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Audiophile by accident . The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

post #1 of 461
Thread Starter 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

 

Few years ago, when I was still a student, but already had a job, few responsibilities an few expenses, I found myself with some spare money for myself.

I forgot to tell you, but I am little tech freak even since 5th grade when my parents bought me my first PC. In 7th grade I overclocked my computer without knowing that what I did was called overclocking  I was looking into the motherboards' manual and I've seen that you could change the settings (fsb, clock and voltage). I said to myself....what a wonderful world... :)), and I thought that I could brake the half ghz "barrier" ( had a 450 mhz amd k6 II ). Changed the clock from 4.5 (x100) to 5 x 100. I received a blue screen after a while. Hmm...for being faster it may need more voltage, and so, without my father knowing I found the stable version. Since then I was obsessed about getting the most of my computer, and having good components.

Ok, enough about that. Where were we?

Ah... So I had some spare money to buy myself a toy :D . I already upgraded my computers a few months earlier, already had a "good" Technics SH-580 Sound System, but my "expensive" Sennheiser cx300 (40$) broke. I kept seeing adds with 7.1 Logitech headphones and I was thinking of buying a pair of those.

One night I contacted a good friend of mine, George Dinca, on messenger. We got into gadget talk as usual, and, at one point, I tolled him of my decision of buying a new pair of 7.1 headphones. It was then, I found that he was into this hobby that i knew nothing about. He convinced me that those 7.1 headphones are good for nothing and he made me look at the Sennheiser HD595. I was shocked. 200$ for a pair of headphones?? What could they do to deserve so much money?? Was he nuts?

He then told me he intended to buy a pair of Sennheiser HD800 and a Meier Symphony 2 (dac/amp ) from meier audio, in total of a little over 2k$. I was shocked. I was like : "Dude....are you crazy?".

Then I started reading reviews on hd595 and HD555. I read that the differences were not so big between the 2, and the 555 was half the price.

I decided to go with the 555.

Looked for the  Sennheiser dealer from Bucharest and went the next day directly to the store. They did not have the 555. I was sad...I wanted my new toy :)) . They said they had the 545 and 595 and that I can listen both. I was thinking... ok ...i will listen to both, but will not get the 595 ( what can it do for the money ).

They plugged the headphones into a laptop and started listening to 545. I was like....ok...interesting, let's see the 595. I put them on and was shocked. The differences were huge to my ears. Much bigger soundstage, mode details (but at that time, I think the soundstage impressed me the most). I looked at the salesman and said :

Shut up and take my money

That was the first time in my life I have heard sound of such good quality. It trumped every computer system I heard, my technics sound system, and any headphone I heard to that date ( I think my most expensive headphone I listened to until then was 20$).

I was really happy with my new toy, even though i was not planning to spend so much money on it.

Went home and plugged them in my Creative Extreme Audio sound card and started listening to my mp3s. I rediscovered all my music.

Every day I started appreciating the sound better and better.

Went on messenger again and started speaking with George again. Told him about my new pair of headphones and how happy I was with them.

After a while he started to explain to me that even though the headphones only had 50 ohms, they will still benefit from a headphone amplifier. I was then again shocked. "What? An amplifier just for the headphones? What is this madness? ".

"Dude trust me! They will take the sound to another level!".

I started looking for headphone amplifiers. That is when I wrote my first post on headfi .

The first response I got was "Welcome to headfi and we are sorry for your wallet!".

I was a little bit surprised. "What was this guy talking about?" . It didn't take long for me to find out. At that time, in Romania I did not find anything on the market that would interest me. I was thinking of spending a maximum amount of 200$. After a month of reading reviews and posts on headfi and talking with George, I found out about Meiers' amplifiers.

I ended up spending 500$ on a Meier Cantate 2 amplifier (and dac).

cantate2

I was really impressed of its' looks, built quality and  sound improvements. I started to notice a deeper  and more controlled bass, better details, and from what I remember a wider soundstage.

I was already hooked up into reading reviews and posts on headfi about headphones and amplifiers, so I kept at it. I found out quickly that my headphones did not bring the most out of my new amplifier. Guess what? I started looking for other headphones, ones that would be a better match for my new Cantate 2. This is how I met Darku (Sandu Vitalie), and actually became good friends :D, but this is another story, for another post .

 

 

 

Next:

 

I'm going to write here my little story about how I got  into this hobby and High-end. Every post will contain one or more stories that lead me to this point in time.

 

You can also find all of this on my blog: HeadMania.

 

I encourage everybody to tell us their brief story about how they got into this hobby.

 

Contents:

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

 

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

 

The Hobby: There And Back Again

 

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets

 

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

 

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

 

The Return Of The King

 

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

 

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & FIIO E17

 

InToxicated Mind

 

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

 

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

 

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

 

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

 

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

 

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

 

A nice surprise: Focal Spirit One

 

AudioPhile Power Cables Shootout

 

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 

Audeze LCD2 Aftermarket cable: Toxic Silver Widow

 

IEM Shoothout

 

The Amazing Sennheiser IE800

 

The Spectacular Sennheiser HD800

 

A Wonderful trip down memory lane

 

The Little Black Box: Arcam rPac

 

The King of Musicality: Audeze LCD3

Audiobyte Hydra: High-End USB interface

Naim DAC-V1 Review

 

 

FiiO E12 Mont Blanc - Review

 

FiiO X3 - Review

 

Chord Signature USB - Review

 

Audeze LCD-X Review

 

Audeze LCD-X vs Sennheise HD800

 

Audiophile and Proud

 

Focal Spirit Classic & Spirit Professional - Review

 

I encourage everybody to tell us their brief story about how they got into this hobby.

 

Subscribe

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 1/1/14 at 7:15am
post #2 of 461
Thread Starter 

Previously:

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

 

 

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

 

Hello again guys. Where were we?

Ah yes. How I met Darku Sandu ).  And no... it is not a story like "How I met your mother", and I am not going to extend the story on more than 8 seasons. I think that 6 are sufficient! :)). (kidding)

After I met Sandu, things escalated exponentially, upgrades after upgrades...and the story continues! :)) Sandu gave me a boost kick into the audiophile world.

While I was looking for a better headphones to match my new amp/dac, Corda Cantate 2, I stumbled upon Sennheiser HD650. I started reading a lot of reviews, opinions on headfi and many comparisons with Hd595  with the hope people would say that the difference between them is very small and they do not worth the difference in price. Of course that was not the case. On some thread i asked about the HD650 something.

That was where Darku saw me and I received a private message:

 Fellow Romanian you say! :))

And then he informed me he had a pair of HD650 to sell and that I can listen to it before I can buy it. Ok.... So I went to his place. Then I have seen his headphone rig on the table. My jaw was on the floor.

It was made out of 4 components :

-Woo Audio WA6-SE (maxed out) (that had 2 parts : the amplifier and its' source)

-Havana DAC

-Sennheiser HD650

I also brought my Sennheiser HD595 with me. I started listening to the HD650. My jaw was on the floor again. Couldn't believe my ears. The sound was marvelous. I had no words for a few minutes. It must have been funny to Sandu watching me as I was listening paralyzed to his music. The sound was more fuller than on hd595. The soundstage was more natural, the sound was much smoother. The bass was amazing. I just fell in love with them.

I found his sound sound system to be amazing.

I made a "smiley" just for a situation like this ( audiophile drooling ) :

Audiophile drool
Audiophile drool

After that, Sandu showed me the cable. It was the famous (found out later) zu mobius mk2, which gave more energy and details to the hd650.

After listening, we started talking, and Sandu explained to me the importance of each component in the system, and basic audiophile notions. From that moment on I started listening only to loss-less music, and the difference was quite noted. It was then when I found out that the source was very important as well.  I said that I had the Corda Cantate 2. I found out that the Dac included in the amplifier was some kind of bonus, but it was merely mainstream, or even low end.  After buying one 500$ amplifier, a 200$ pair of headphones and a new pair of headphones for 350$ in less than 4 months, the news was not well received. :))

I happily went home with my new HD650. I started listening to music from my cantate 2. I was shocked to see that the sound quality was much lower than at Sandus'.

Said this to Sandu, and he explained me the importance of a good dac , and that his amplifier and dac were far better than mine. It definitely felt that way....that was for sure.

I was like why...why is it so important....it is just a DAC (digital to analog converter) ...what could it do better...?

He explained some brief technical stuff to me, long story short we have concluded that I would at least buy a better sound card, so I went for the xonar essence st (another 160$).

The sound did improve a lot with the Essence ST sound card: far more details, wider soundstage, and better midrange. However I found the sound to be very bright and tiring. It still did not compare with Sandu's sound system (Woo Audio WA6-SE with Havana DAC). His system had a much smoother sound, a deeper bass, lush mids, etc.

Well....I used this (corda cantate 2 + essence st + hd650)  system for over 1 year.

I got into a new relationship and had to move with my girlfriend for more than a year at her place. It took some time to move all my stuff, including my sound system, and when I finally did, I did not have the space or time to listen to it. I tried to get her into this passion but with no luck. Then I realized it was much better this way. 2 audiophiles in the same family-> bankruptcy . :))

Have no worries, more upgrades are yet to come, but in the next posts :D
 

 

Next:

 

 

 

The Hobby: There And Back Again

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & Fiio E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A nice surprise: Focal Spirit One

AudioPhile Power Cables Shootout

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/17/13 at 12:46pm
post #3 of 461

Nice story ! I'm starting too this new hobby, it's interesting to see someone's experience.

 

Salut de la Cluj ;)

post #4 of 461

No need to post! I already looked your profile!

 

jk

 

Please write more. The journey is the beautiful thing.

post #5 of 461
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys! 

 

Salut Reiep! :D  I will traditionally welcome you to this wonderful hobby with the well known "We are sorry for your wallet!" .
 

It is always nice to find a fellow Romanian on headfi L3000.gif . From what I have seen, there aren't many "headphoniacs" here, so we must stick together atsmile.gif .

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

No need to post! I already looked your profile!

 

jk

 

Please write more. The journey is the beautiful thing.

 

I do have more stories from the journey to share :D . And yes, I consider the journey to be one of the most important parts of this hobby too,

post #6 of 461

Actually I'm french, but I've been living in Romania for 6,5 years now :) But yes, we should stick together :D

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post
Salut Reiep! :D  I will traditionally welcome you to this wonderful hobby with the well known "We are sorry for your wallet!" .

 

It is always nice to find a fellow Romanian on headfi L3000.gif . From what I have seen, there aren't many "headphoniacs" here, so we must stick together atsmile.gif .

post #7 of 461
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiep View Post

Actually I'm french, but I've been living in Romania for 6,5 years now :) But yes, we should stick together :D

Well played sir! :)) I walked right into it. Nevertheless, as you said it, we should still stick together, as we are small in numbers (and to add a little drama) but passionate by heart!  
 

post #8 of 461

hi, nice story,

 

guess my story is the same as the majority of hi-fi audiophile baptisms

 

until high school i never really listened to music except in cars, clubs and lives, my mother had a cassette walkman and a pair of cheap plastic sony on ear over the head cans, from the early 90s, which i promptly stole from her, to use on the go on my way to school

 

 i guess, in the 2nd half of the 90s cassettes where still the main media for copying compiling music, it was only in 2001 starting high school  that i bothered buying a cd walkman and a new set of the same cheap cans, i was never a bass head, cos listening to rock, metal and acoustic classical  stuff mostly, and i liked playing different instruments, so i guess that helps one to realize and appreciate reproduction capabilities and fidelity of various audio sistems, i mean ones background of music exposure

 

so changes makes the world go around, father is something close to an audiophile, an audioengineeringphile and analog freak i guess,there was his first generation cassette tuner walkman, so one day i came home and saw a new pair of headphones on it

 

so first question was the usual where did u get them and how much, and bam!!! when i heard the $70 i was like what? that ain't gold father, this is plastic!!! do they transform or something !?! so i checked  the brand... sennheiser px100... first thought... lol $70 and it ain't even sony... so i quickly plugged them into my walkman, pushed play and... from that moment i realized how much the "gear" mattered in proper records, music reproduction enjoyment

 

so my baptism into hifi and audiophileosis contraction was by cans, my father was quickly forced into buying me a pair of px100, then as i started earning  and recording music, more head gear came along, akg 240 mk 2, shure se530, sennheiser hd650 and recently the beyerdynamic t1, as sources i use a cowon d2+ for on the go listening with my se530, for work both the 240s and se530 over a avid m-audio fast track ultra usb, and for music enjoyment the hd650, recently upgraded to t1s, over foobar with asio to the ftu coaxial out to harman kardon hd970 and to hk970, and various turntables

 

and of course i'm into stereo speakers too, but lack of adequate room and nomadic lifestyle had me more inclined to headgear at first , only later i started exploring the more costly hobby with stereo speakers

post #9 of 461
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roskodan View Post

hi, nice story,

 

guess my story is the same as the majority of hi-fi audiophile baptisms

 

until high school i never really listened to music except in cars, clubs and lives, my mother had a cassette walkman and a pair of cheap plastic sony on ear over the head cans, from the early 90s, which i promptly stole from her, to use on the go on my way to school

 

 i guess, in the 2nd half of the 90s cassettes where still the main media for copying compiling music, it was only in 2001 starting high school  that i bothered buying a cd walkman and a new set of the same cheap cans, i was never a bass head, cos listening to rock, metal and acoustic classical  stuff mostly, and i liked playing different instruments, so i guess that helps one to realize and appreciate reproduction capabilities and fidelity of various audio sistems, i mean ones background of music exposure

 

so changes makes the world go around, father is something close to an audiophile, an audioengineeringphile and analog freak i guess,there was his first generation cassette tuner walkman, so one day i came home and saw a new pair of headphones on it

 

so first question was the usual where did u get them and how much, and bam!!! when i heard the $70 i was like what? that ain't gold father, this is plastic!!! do they transform or something !?! so i checked  the brand... sennheiser px100... first thought... lol $70 and it ain't even sony... so i quickly plugged them into my walkman, pushed play and... from that moment i realized how much the "gear" mattered in proper records, music reproduction enjoyment

 

so my baptism into hifi and audiophileosis contraction was by cans, my father was quickly forced into buying me a pair of px100, then as i started earning  and recording music, more head gear came along, akg 240 mk 2, shure se530, sennheiser hd650 and recently the beyerdynamic t1, as sources i use a cowon d2+ for on the go listening with my se530, for work both the 240s and se530 over a avid m-audio fast track ultra usb, and for music enjoyment the hd650, recently upgraded to t1s, over foobar with asio to the ftu coaxial out to harman kardon hd970 and to hk970, and various turntables

 

and of course i'm into stereo speakers too, but lack of adequate room and nomadic lifestyle had me more inclined to headgear at first , only later i started exploring the more costly hobby with stereo speakers

popcorn.gif I really enjoyed reading your post. atsmile.gif I encourage everyone to write their introduction to this hobby :)

post #10 of 461
Thread Starter 

Previously:

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

 

 

The Hobby: There and Back Again

 

Hello again guys.

I'm back from my new years' vacation, ready for my new post.

By the way, my Creative Aurvana Live did its job pretty nice this vacation in combination with my Galaxy S. These headphones have a very relaxing and silky sound. I fell asleep with them 3 times.

 

Ok, getting back to the story.

So I desolated my wallet in a very short time, but I have reached a somehow complete headphone audio system:

  • Sennheiser HD650 + zu mobius one headphone cable
  • Meier Corda Cantate 2 as a headphone amplifier
  • Asus Xonar Essence ST as DAC

 

But rest assured, something had to happen. Don't kid yourself folks, Murphy is without doubt out there, watching you :)) . Not necessarily bad would happen, bud funny given the circumstances.

As I have stated in my previous post, I had the gear but not the time or space to listen to it in peace, after moving in with my girlfriend and with some common friends.

In time, I started to learn to enjoy every little time I had to listen to my system.

 

Considering the fact that my listening at home reduced drastically, I started to feel the absence of music at work.

A light-bulb lighted up in my head.  If i got headphones at work it would resolve a part of my lack of time/space to listen to music problem :D. It wouldn't be at my hd650+cantate+essence, but nevertheless, I would be listening to music, which is the ultimate point after all, isn't it?

 

Well I started looking for a second pair of headphones for office.

Ok...I knew I wouldn't bother anyone at work if I got open headphones, so one of the most restraining factors were put out of the equation  :D .

I thought of getting  a pair of headphones that wouldn't surpass 200$. You know the old story... I ended up spending 500$.

 

 

After a lot of research, mostly on headfi, but also talking with Sandu, and reading other reviews, I decided to go with the Grado RS2i , even though it was a little risky.

My birthday was coming :D. Perfect opportunity !

 

The result is shown in the next pictures:

So, I wished for it:

And well:

 

 

I said before that my decision was risky.

Why was it risky? The Grado sound is a little different. As Sandu said "You either love it, or you hate it!". It was the first grado headphone I would ever listen to. My decision was based only on a lot of reading and others' opinions, because I did not have the opportunity to listen to it before buying it.

It seems I was lucky, because I ended up loving the sound.

 

At first I was disappointed. I plugged them into my Meier Cantate 2. The sound was awfull. The bass was practically not there, the sound was so damn bright, I hated it. I tried them directly into the Asus Xonar Essence ST with the same result.

Ah, and I almost forgot. I did one stupid  thing. I let them to break in/burn in, plugged into my cantate 2, at half the volume (pretty high considering the RS2i had only 32 ohms, and the cantate was made for headphones between 300-600 ohms). In less than 5 ours the left driver burned in alright, but not figuratively. I was lucky that they moved very fast at the service. In 2 days I had it back with the driver changed.

I then learned that the break in periods is done at low volume.

Any way, beware, the Grado RS2i seemed to be like a very sensitive headphone.

 

 

Ok...What now...? I encouraged myself to be patient, and keep in mind my initial plan, to use them as work cans. I started selecting a bunch of my favorite music tracks and put them on my Samsung Galaxy S. (they, all were loss-less).

When I started to listen to my Grado RS2i from my phone, I was astonished. The sound became warm, the bass was very punchy, the mids were the best I have heard to that date.

I started loving those cans. The bass was not as deep or powerful as the hd650, but it was faster, the soundstage was very very small compared to hd650, it had more details than the sennheisers. The sound was very different, but in a very interesting way. The headphones were a very good complement to each other.

 

The sound was very intimate, sometimes vocals gave me goosebumps, as I felt the singers singing into my ear. It was like i was feeling their breath and warmth into my ears.

They did not seem so uncomfortable as many headfiers complained. They were not as comfy as hd650, but I did not have problems with them.

Sometimes when I listened to the Grados, i was thinking that I wouldn't need any better(because of the warm and detailed mids), and that I would stop at them. Well...of course, I didn't, but the fact that the thought crossed my mind is important.

I started liking them more than my hd650 ( this opinion changed after some months. Stick in to see why ).

 

 

I looked up my phone specs. It seems like it has a Wolfson WM8994 DAC, not bad for a phone. It was ranked as one of the best sounding smartphones  on the market. I also found the Voodoo Sound Plus application that boosted the signal and added direct dac functionality (similar to kernel streaming, i think), and improved the sound even more.

I found out that having more headphones can be tricky sometimes.  It took some time to get used to each of them. After I got used to one type of sound, when listening to the other pair of headphones, at first it sounded terrible, but after a while got used to it. I couldn't swap headphones for each different track, as none of them would have sounded ok.

I think it is enough for one post. The next one will contain the story of one of the most important upgrades I have ever had.

 

Stay tuned....

 

Next:

 

 

 

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & Fiio E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A nice surprise: Focal Spirit One

AudioPhile Power Cables Shootout

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/17/13 at 12:46pm
post #11 of 461
Thread Starter 

 

Previously :

 

 

The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

The Hobby: There And Back Again

 

 

The Fellowship of the Broken Wallets 

 

Well... I couldn't stop myself from writing 2 posts in one day, so this is the story of  one of the most important components I had over time the Burson HA-160DS.

It was one normal day at work. In a break I talked with Sandu about some stuff. It was then when he told me that HeadFonia had a photo contest where you could win one Burson HA-160DS.  The contest was about girls and headphones. The photos should have contained beautiful girls and rare headphones would have been a plus.

 

I am not a photographer, just an amateur. However I like reading photography stuff and taking a lot of different pictures whenever I go somewhere new. I was afraid of having this hobby in parallel.

If I would have pursued both hobbies in the same time I would have been robbing people for new headphones :

 

christian bale with axe - You don't understand There is a new better headphone that i don't have

 

(Just kidding' of course)...................Or am I? very_evil_smiley.gif

 

Nevertheless I still had a good camera : Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 and some friends with dslrs, so I thought to myself "what the heck? I like talking pictures, I can't loose anything!".

The beautiful girls part was the easiest one, heck I live in Romania, actually, I even married one :D . Besides her, I convinced her sisters and cousins to participate >:) .

You can see the pictures here.

In this time, I read a lot of reviews on HA-160DS, and really got into it. I did not win the contest. I was a little sad at the beginning, but good things happen for those who wait :D

 

 

Meanwhile, I was looking to buy a new apartment where I would move in with my girlfriend. She did not know yet, but I was plotting "against" her . My plan was to ask her to marry me the coming Christmas .

I have read all there is to be read on diamonds. I knew every characteristic. While looking for the proposal ring, I had a funny encounter with a salesman. I was looking at a diamond ring in his store. Near the ring was a small glass magnifier. I asked about its purpose. He said that if I looked at the diamond from the ring with the magnifier I could see hearts. He said  the diamond was VVS(very good cut level) . When I looked with the magnifier I saw a lot of inclusions(very bad if you can see them so easily). It was barely a SI cut diamond. He asked me what I saw. I told him "I see myself leaving your store!". We did Christmas at her fathers' house that year. It was a family tradition for the girls in their family (my wife and her sisters and cousin) to do secret Santa on Christmas. I put the ring in a Christmas tree globe (and with over 14 people in the room, I somehow manged to put it in the tree without any of them seeing it ), and after they gave each other their gifts, I said to my girlfriend in front of her whole family (even her grand parents were there), that she still had a gift in the tree, and that she has to look for it. When she found the globe, and she saw what was in it, i put myself in one knee and I asked her to marry me. Then it got blurry. The whole family was screaming, laughing, crying. (she said yes).

 

 

And now back to the main story.

After more than 6 months of searching for an apartment, we found a good one and bought it (with a mortgage of course). You can imagine that we had a looot of expenses that winter. Eh..well, exactly in that time Sandu presented me with a very good offer for a Burson HA-160DS that I couldn't refuse. I was broke for 2 months, but it was worth it.

I sold both my Corda Cantate 2 and Asus Xonar Essence ST.

 

 

Well...when I started listening to it, I felt I heard for the first time my HD650 to its full potential( at my home ). I fell in love with them . It was somehow similar to the time I listened to them for the first time at Sandus' Woo Audio Wa6 Se + Havanah. The sound was fuller, the bass much more detailed and faster, more controlled, the mids were liquid and detailed, the brightness was gone. The PRAT was excellent, the soundstage was wider.

The sound had almost a analog presentation and had a very good energy and PRAT.

The level of details was a lot bigger than with the Essence ST. For me it was no level of comparison between what I had and Burson Ha-160DS.

It was only then I started to appreciate the HD650 to their true value. I realised that my Xonar Essence ST was a poor dac for them, and even the cantate 2 wasn't a very good match, or maybe I'm more into warmer sound.

I am very sensible with bright treble.

I  often found myself at 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM listening to music, not realizing how fast the time passed away.

 

 

I started liking the HD650 more than my grado rs2i. Don't get me wrong, I still liked them a lot, but with Burson HA-160DS the Hd650 went up 2 classes.

I've listened to a lot of headphones from then, but none impressed me in a way in which I would sell the hd650 and replace them with the new headphone. I found many that did more things better than the HD650, but the overall sound presentation did not impress me more than HD650. I was almost sure that for any headphone I would buy in the future, I would keep the HD650 to complement them and for long listening terms.

For example, If I would have bought a HD800 I would have surely kept the HD650.

 

 

I was really happy with my system now.

I also moved into the new apartment where I have my own desk and room, so I could happily listen to it whenever I was at home.

While I was speaking with Sandu and praising my component, he said to me something that almost made me "table flip"  : "So my friend, you got closer to hifi now!". I was like....What??!!! I do not have a Hifi system yet?!??!

No worries, the story still continues, but in the next post...

 

 

 

Next:

 

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & Fiio E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Audiophile USB Cable Surprise: Wireworld Starlight Red vs Chord USB Silver Plus

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A nice surprise: Focal Spirit One

AudioPhile Power Cables Shootout

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/17/13 at 12:46pm
post #12 of 461

Man,can't wait to read your story!

post #13 of 461
Thread Starter 

Previously :

 

 

The Fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part II

 

 

It seems I am eager to tell you more :D .

Well... as you read in my last post, I was happy with what I had. I was really anxious to go home and listen to my HD650 + Burson ha-160DS and I was really happy to listen to my Grado RS2i from my surprisingly good sounding phone, Samsung Galaxy S.

I forgot to say in my last post that the Grados did not pair well with the Burson either. It was better than with Meier Cantate 2 + Xonar Essence ST, but still not a good pair, and still much better from my phone.

 

At home in my listening sessions, I have noticed something strange. I felt that the sound improved a lot at night, somewhere after 11:00 PM or even 12:30 AM. The sound was clearer, the bass was deeper the details were more pronounced, the separation of instruments better. I naturally assumed that it is due to the total silence and the absence of light which let you concentrate better on the sound.

I started moving my "serious" listening sessions at night from that point on.

 

Well, as I said before, I was pretty happy with all my components.  I was really happy at work, and really happy at home, not needing anything else.

This didn't last for long. One day,  while speaking with Sandu, he told me about an headphone audiophile meeting organised by SoundNews and Avstore.

 

I went very happy and relaxed to the meeting and left restless and nervous :)) .

The meeting was very nice. I had the change to listen to HD800 again, Audio Tehnica AD700, AD900, AKG k701, Audio Tehnica ATH-w1000x, etc.

I liked the HD800 but it lacked euphony. I wasn't so impressed, I thought to myself, that my hd650 is perfect and I wouldn't trade it for any of those :D .

While I was being happy with my thoughts I remarked a huge thing under the table, where the amplifier and source where plugged in . I asked Sandu about it. He than said calmly that it was a power conditioner.

 

He also stated that, even it was the same Burson Ha-160D he had at home with his own HD800, the sound was better there, because of that power conditioner.

He explained the concept of power conditioning, and the fact that in appartment blocks the electricity is influenced by everything our neighbors plug into their sockets.

I was like "wtf man...this is damn electricity....this cannot be true..."
Picard Wtf - Wtf. This is just electricity. Who cleans electricity?

 

I was stubborn. I did not want to believe.

He also said that at night, when most of the people sleep, the sound is better. Then...a light bulb blinked in my head. Is that the reason I was perceiving the sound to be better at night?

 

Well....it was time for serious testing. For a few weeks I have tested this at my home, listening both at night and in the evening. It was not hard to see the sound was better at night. The difference was quite easy to hear.

I than tested the sound in the middle of the day, when most people go to work. Yep..the sound was better...

 

 

O.K meme - Ok....I give up. I will buy a power conditioner The electricity is dirty at day and cleaner at night.

 

 

Well, it was time to look for a power conditioner. When I started seeing the prices my wallet ran away and hid for a few days. What the hell.... I have seen some veeeery expensive stuff... Who needs a power plant for headphones?

If I move outside the city, when a friend comes into my home, I will go with him at the window, and show him :

 

 

powerplant

 

 

You see that power-plant over there? That is for my headphone sound system!

 

 

I have read reviews saying that if you buy a cheap power conditioner, you may get lower quality sound, with restricted dynamics, less bass, less details, etc.

After a while I have found the PS Audio Duet Power Center, which was a smaller version of the Ps Audio Quintet.

 

 

I bought it. I was pretty nervous when I plugged the system into it, but the nervousness disappeared quickly. The sound was better. It was cleaner, the bass had more impact, it was more controlled, the separation of instruments was better, more details, etc. It was like I was listening the sound at night. The funny fact is that at night, the sound was even better, but the difference was not so big this time.

I was sure the sound was better, because a week before buying it, I received a friend (who has nothing to do with this passion ) at my place, who listened to my hd650 on burson and he said " it is ok. not spectacular. I wouldn't spend as much money on this stuff.".

It was in the middle of the day. After buying the ps audio he came again. I did not tell him i did something to the system. He said the sound is better and was quite pleased with it.

 

 

Being pleased with my new toy, one day I started looking for into the manual of the PS Audio Duet. I then saw some cables from PS Audio recommended for the Power Conditioner to work at its best. I started googling the cables (ps audio ac5). You needed two cables, one used to power the duet center, and one to plug into it and power your amplifier/dac.

One cable was as much as the whole power conditioner ...now seriously...:

 

 

nervous legolas

 

 

I ended up buying the cheapest cable from PS Audio : Ps Audio Jewel and one Wireworld Aurora. The aurora was better on its own, without the power conditioner, but plugged into the power conditioner it restricted dynamics (maybe because it had some power filtering of its own, and 2 power conditioners/filters in series only do worse) .

The Ps Audio jewel increased the power of the bass, and the clarity.

Stay tuned for "The Two Titans" !

 


Next:

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

The End of The Wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live & FIIO E17

InToxicated Mind

Wrath of the Titans: Audeze LCD2 vs LCD3 & Burson Conductor vs M2Tech Vaughan

From Hobby to Obssesion and back to Hobby

The Ambush of the combos: AudioQuest Dragonfly vs FIIO E17 & Dragonfly with Burson Soloist; Dragonfly vs Conductor's DAC

The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum

The Titans are Back: Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD2 & Burson Conductor

A nice surprise: Focal Spirit One

AudioPhile Power Cables Shootout

Focal Spirit One vs Sennheiser Amperior


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 3/17/13 at 12:46pm
post #14 of 461
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrinspire View Post

Man,can't wait to read your story!

Happy you like it. 

 

Nobody wants to share their stories about how they got into this hobby? ksc75smile.gif

post #15 of 461
Maybe in a few days. I don't write nearly as well as you and english is my first language. Plus my story is boring. I plunged right into the high-end within 6 months as an audiophile.
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