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Audiophile by accident . The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey - Page 3

post #31 of 457

Wow, awesome story! And congratulations (in your marriage, in your purchases)!

 

My headphone journey started about ten years ago, but I was a high school kid back then, so I couldn't do much then. Fast forward to 2011, while working at the mall at a kiosk, I just had the crazy notion to get something I hadn't thought about for years: the HD650. I wasn't on a headphone high or anything at the time—I really can't remember why I thought about headphones at the time. I never really knew anything about the HD650, I just remembered they were such premium headphones back when I was in high school, but I always desired them just because of all the great reviews I read about it on Amazon. In high school, I told myself I would own a set one day. But years passed and nothing came of it. I finally took the plunge in the spring of 2011. No regrets! 

 

When I got the HD650, I started reading a lot on the Audeze LCD-2... For me, it's deja vu because know I want them, though I haven't heard them yet (not many opportunities when I'm from). BUT there will be a meet (not really near, a six hour drive to Atlanta) a few months from now, and my beginning-audiophile friend and I will be attending. I hoope I'll get to hear the LCD-2 soon!

post #32 of 457
Great story, but... just imagine a peaceful journey into stax....very_evil_smiley.gif
post #33 of 457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ej8989 View Post

Great journey! Great write-up! I really enjoyed reading your story :D

One question: You heard the LCD3s yet?

 

 

Thanks ! Happy you liked it! I heard the LCD3 and my impressions will be included in the story at one point. They are better over-all. Better soundstage, more details better instrument separation, but they didn't convince me yet, as the differences weren't so big. I somehow like the more intimate sound of the lcd2 which also has a more prominent lower midrange. 

 

 


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikenike View Post

Wow, awesome story! And congratulations (in your marriage, in your purchases)!

 

My headphone journey started about ten years ago, but I was a high school kid back then, so I couldn't do much then. Fast forward to 2011, while working at the mall at a kiosk, I just had the crazy notion to get something I hadn't thought about for years: the HD650. I wasn't on a headphone high or anything at the time—I really can't remember why I thought about headphones at the time. I never really knew anything about the HD650, I just remembered they were such premium headphones back when I was in high school, but I always desired them just because of all the great reviews I read about it on Amazon. In high school, I told myself I would own a set one day. But years passed and nothing came of it. I finally took the plunge in the spring of 2011. No regrets! 

 

When I got the HD650, I started reading a lot on the Audeze LCD-2... For me, it's deja vu because know I want them, though I haven't heard them yet (not many opportunities when I'm from). BUT there will be a meet (not really near, a six hour drive to Atlanta) a few months from now, and my beginning-audiophile friend and I will be attending. I hoope I'll get to hear the LCD-2 soon!

 

Thank you Mike! If you like the hd650 sound very much, I think you would love the lcd2, as it seems like a hd650 on steroids!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

Great story, but... just imagine a peaceful journey into stax....very_evil_smiley.gif

 

 

I am afraid....no ... literally ...I AM AFRAID....as i sweat a lot in the summer...and I don't want to get fried :)))

 

Joking aside, don't know if I would give so much money on audio in this state of my life. If I become very rich....I am sure I would :)) and I would like hearing one if I get the chance.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 1/15/13 at 5:22am
post #34 of 457
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

The fellowship of the Broken Wallets: Part 2

The Two Titans: HD800 & LCD2

The Return Of The King

 

 

 

 

Burson Conductor: Ambush of the Wallet

 

Hello guys!

Hold on tight cause this will be about an amazing peace of audio gear.

Well, a few months ago, I was very happy with my combo ( Burson HA-160DS and LCD2). I thought this will be it for a loong time... Who was I kidding??

 

One day Sandu (Darku) contacts me very happy saying that he has received the new Burson Conductor to write a review for soundnews.ro . He already had the Burson Soloist for a review and considered it to be an excellent product, and he expected a lot from the new all in one product from Burson .

 

It took a while to hear from him again...he disappeared for a while...and i thought it to become suspicious. One day he contacts me again and invites me to his place to hear the new product. I asked him to tell me his impressions first. He said that I will hear it myself and it wouldn't be productive to tell me anything before.

Something was fishy in Denmark...actually in Bucharest...

 

 

I then suspected an ambush with my wallet as the target. This could not happen. I just bought a 1000 Eur (1337 USD) headphones. Yeah....1337 USD. That's right!! In Europe, all products from USA are more expensive. Usually the price goes from x $ to x EUR . My wallet was recuperating from the last hit he took.

So I went there armed with a lot of skepticism and no wish to buy anything whatsoever!!!

In my head...: "In fact...how good could it be? From a step forward all in audio is overpriced and does not justify the costs! I bet it's just a small small small difference!"

Well, these thoughts were rushing through my head while driving to Sandu.

 

I got there and after we talked a little he showed me the Conductor . It was looking great. Even greater than my Ha-160DS and the HA-160D. The built quality and looks were better! I then observed a thing that I love. It had gain settings (low,medium, high). At last!!! I really missed that on HA-160DS. I think it was one of the reasons it did not go well with my former Grado RS2i.

He invited me to stay in the chair (TRAP: My future wallet was screaming ... "Don't do it...don't do it!! It is an ambush!")  .

 

I sat down, put the LCD2 on and started listening:

amazed2Imposibruamazed1Amazed3

 

 

I got through all the five stages of grief:


1. Denial -  > This can't be...It is just psycho-acoustics...must listen more...

2. Anger . -> NOO...NOT AGAIN. The Money from my wallet SHALL NOT PASS

 

Pass


3. Bargaining (with myself) ... If i sell the Burson Ha-160ds with 761$ and get a small loan...and my wife does not catch me...I can get one....
4. Depression.  -> This will never work...I cannot buy one... But...but..the sound..the quality

 

Depression meme


5. Acceptance.

 

Challenge accepted

 

 

My wallet did not stand a chance... The ambush was too good... I just sat...listened...in a still position...not moving for a few minutes...

The difference between my HA-160DS and the Conductor were that amazing.  It was like the first time I heard the lcd2 (at full potential).

I then talked to Sandu and he had the same impressions as I did, being happy that I confirmed his findings.

He wanted to buy one too....we were both..like:

 

 

When I got off from Sandu, I needed to talk with someone about the amazing experience, so i called my other  audiophile friend, Traian (citraian), who also bought a new LCD2 a few weeks after he has listened to mine.

I told him about my experience and the fact that it was like it was the first time i have truly heard the lcd2. I forgot that he also recently bought a new Asus Xonar Essence One and he was happy with it. He was  like:

 

resizedFYOU

 

"****** you man! I just bought my new stuff...leave me alone!" I heard his wallet scream through the phone.

 

In the meantime I got lucky and found a good friend that wanted the HA-160DS and a friend that was coming back from USA. It was the perfect match. So in 2 weeks I got my new Conductor.

I learned that this piece of gear needs a lot of break in! At first it was bright ...even with the lcd2. After 100h it finally broke in to the sound I was waiting for.

Now for the sound impressions compared to the HA-160DS.

 

 

The sound-stage was a lot wider, the details were amazing (I found a lot of sounds I did not hear before in my favorite songs), the instrument separation ...incredible .... I could concentrate on each instrument so easy...

The bass and lower mid-range were incredible! The extension of the bass is amazing. It goes so deep...so fast...so controlled. I am sure you can get more impact with other amplifiers, but the quality...oh the quality...

The sound is so transparent...It is like a window through the music. You no longer listen to music....you get into the music...you play a part into it.

 

 

I was listening to Carlos Heredia - Gypsy Flamenco (3000kbps and 96000HZ) one night at a late hour. The details are incredible. I just love the mids and the impact every guitar stroke has. The vocals are amazing...The sound-stage sounds so natural. Well...because it was late and I was insisting on listening...i fell asleep during one of the songs from that album. I dreamed I  was in a gypsy camp sleeping near a tent on a blanket while some happy gypsy group was playing guitar and singing near a camp fire...It felt so real...

 

 

true-story-neil-patrick-harris

 

The Song de la Frontera - Cal album made me love the combo even more. The mid-range and details are incredible.  Also the sound-stage is very natural and doesn't cage you.

 

Infected Mushroom - Vicious Delicious-Becoming Insane -> well the title is not far from the truth. The bass is amazing. It is very punchy, fast, and controlled.

 

Jean Michel Jarre - Teo & Tea -> Partners in Crime 1 -> The instrument separation is amazing. The sound is  multi-layered and is very airy.

 

I love Leonard Cohen. He has an unique voice and his lyrics show that he was a poet before being a singer.

Leonard Cohen - The Traitor & Be for Real & Teacher  -> The instruments tickled my ears. I get goose bumps from those songs. The sound is flowing so nicely..so musically..so liquid...in a natural harmony. His voice sounds amazing on lcd2 and conductor. I could feel it in all my body.  

 

Loreena McKennit - The gates of Istanbul -> The sound stage on this one is incredible. The voice is very natural and very musical. The sound flows liquid with all the details in it.

Gorillaz - Double Bass->  I was mesmerized from the bass on this one. The extension is just incredible. The control and tightness are like an iron grip not letting any mistake through...

 

Any soundtrack LOTR and The Hobbit  sounds incredible.

 

 

I would stay here all night telling you about other songs, as I have rediscovered all my favorite tracks with Conductor and LCD2, but I would start to repeat myself if I already didn't.

One more thing. While listening to some classical music, I heard a car passing by the building, a subtle but strong motor (a diesel I think). In one other day during the same song I hear the same car... The third time...I realized it was in the song. I heard a car passing near the concert hall the play was recorded. With Conductor, It was the first time I heard it. I gave the song to Sandu, which confirmed my findings...it was in the song.

 

 

The Conductor is a jewel in my opinion.

I also listened to a HD800  on it, but not for long. My short impressions was that it was a much better match with the Conductor that with the HA-160DS or the 160D. It rounded the highs, it gave it musicalityincreased the bass on it, very very nice soundstage ( a lot wider than on DS). I even liked listening to some ACDC on it....first time to like a rock song on HD800.

 

 

To sum up, it the Conductor offers extraordinary performance. The sinergy is excellent with lcd2 and many others from what I have seen

  • I have even tried some  Triple Fi IEMs  briefly on low gain settings and loved them
  • AKG K550 fits very well with it
  • HD800 as well (but still have to listen more on this combo to make more impressions)
  • A brief session with LCD3 made me think it is a great combo with it too

 

It has a very liquid and musical sound presentation. It is very very detailed but in the same time it keeps the musicality and keeps out from the bright zone, this being a hard to achieve balance.

 

The separation of instruments is great and you can easily concentrate on each of the instruments you like .

 

The bass and lower mid-range is magical. It concentrates on quality not impact, but it does not lack impact. It controls the bass with an iron hand (as Sandu said in his review) and the extension of the bass is very good .

 

This product was a perfect all in one for me. The amplifier is very good and the DAC is in the same league. I do not agree with headfonias' review on Conductor where it says it is somehow lacking(the dac section). The Conductor stands out of the crowd as a dac too.

 

I have listened to it neck to neck to a 8k $(dac /amp) and the differences were minor, and in some aspects even preferred the Conductor :D, but more about this in another post.

 

Next:

 

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 12:45pm
post #35 of 457

Totally agree with you, that's a great description of the Conductor's performance, I'm loving mine as well.. my wallet was also injured but I'm giving it some time to recover! (I hope) darthsmile.gif

post #36 of 457

What a creative and funny way to express your feelings Dan, i had a big surprise when i heard the soloist as well. smily_headphones1.gif

post #37 of 457

I have been really enjoying this story, making me want to do a serious overhaul on my music setup...

post #38 of 457

It might be just as good getting the soloist and another DAC. Nice writeup anyway! Wonder if it has good synergy with the hifimans too.

post #39 of 457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

What a creative and funny way to express your feelings Dan, i had a big surprise when i heard the soloist as well. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Odium Child View Post

I have been really enjoying this story, making me want to do a serious overhaul on my music setup...

 

Thank you guys! Glad you like it. Good luck with the overhauling, Odium biggrin.gif

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

It might be just as good getting the soloist and another DAC. Nice writeup anyway! Wonder if it has good synergy with the hifimans too.

 

Thanks David. And of course, if the other DAC is as good as the one in Conductor. I haven't heard any Hifimans on it, but I heard good things about the synergy.

post #40 of 457
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

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 wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live and FIIO E17

 

 

Hello guys!

 

 

So...my dream system was completed.

 

I had a very good pair of headphones (Audeze LCD2), the one I dreamed about for one year, and I recently got a really good source and really good amplifier for it (Burson Conductor). I was really pleased with my sound system:

 

 

Success Grandpa

 

However, after a while...i realized that , even though at home I had my dream system, at work I didn't have anything to listen to...and that started to bother me.

 

I heard from some friends (citraian and darku) that the Creative Aurvana Live are the best headphones at that price, being a re-branding of Denon D1000 which had a price near 200$ in Romania.

Found a good deal with 70$ and I bought it.

I was very impressed from the start, as they have a very nice package at that price. They even come with a nice leather like material bag for carrying around , and a 6.3 jack converter.

 

The moment I started listening at them, I was impressed. The tone and sound signature are excellent. It has a nice bass even though it is not so well defined and is a little loose. The mids are engaging and the treble is quite ok in my opinion, even though some will find it a little recessed. 

 The CAL is not a very detailed headphone but it is very engaging, musical and smooth. You can listen to music for hours and not get tired with them.

They are very easy to drive and were a very good pair with my Samsung Galaxy S. They are relative small, making them a good solution for mobile use.

One problem would be that they are not sealed and leak quite a lot from inside out and outside in.

I even tried them on Conductor. They are quite a good pair, the Conductor compensating some of the lack of details the CAL has. I feel that  they are the best headphones I heard at that price.

 

 

 

After this i was overwhelmed with good offers :

 

 

 

 

Just one day after I received the CAL, citraian says he wants to sell one pair of his two pairs of AKG K550 (one for work and one for home). He gave me an offer I couldn't refuse, so I bought it. In the meantime Sandu said he is selling his Fiio E17 with a really good price. Of course I could not resist and bought that too, as it was a wonderful solution for work.

 

 

I found fiio e17 to be a very good improvement over my samsung galaxy s. The sound was fuller, more detailed, more refined, the soundstage was bigger. I love fiios' products. They have an excellent warm sound and a very good built quality. It is an excellent product for portability even for an entry level headphones audio system for home, in my opinion.

It is a very good pair for both k550 and the creative aurvana live.

 

 

 

Akg K550, in my opinion,  is a pair of excellent headphones. It amazes me every time I listen to them, even after I listen to my LCD2 Burson Conductor at home.

At first I thought It wasn't worth half the price, but citraian, the friend that introduced me to them said it may have to do with the fact that I may have a smaller head than his and the seal is not good on my head ( it seems to be a know problem with akg k550) .

He told me to push a little on cups and tell him if it was a difference. Before i pushed, i thought it had a thin sound, that it was too sibilant, that it had a loose and undefined bass, etc (in a few words I hated them). 

Ok....I pressed on them for his sake, as I for one was skeptical, but I was truly amazed of the difference. The bass became very punchy and well defined, it stopped being sibilant, the sound more balanced all over the spectrum, etc...

 

I do not have a small head, when I go at karting I usually get a xl helmet, as the smaller ones do not fit, but the shape of your head really matters. If you have a good seal, these headphones are one of the best sealed headphones out there, if the seal is not good, you must apply some mods to get a good seal, starting with the bend of the headband.

 

I would recommend 2 mods to fix the issue:

first one - > this looks like a good idea after you bend the headband.

second one -> I actually tried this, but i used cotton and I don't think i got the both ear-pads even. Also the sound seemed a little moody afterwards. So be careful on the quantity of the stuffing material, as both earpads must be even.

 

After you bend your headband, you must be careful as if you use them at minimum setting, you may loose the seal on the lower side of your ears, even though the smallest setting on the headband seem to fit you. You must try to increase the headbands' size one by one, until you get a full seal in the lower part too.

 

I don't know what AKG's headphone designer thought while designed the k550, but he must have had a really big head...really big!

700

 

I gave the k550 to a female colleague at work and the headphones fell at the smallest settings.

 

Sound wise, I just love these cans, they are great for work, or anytime you have to use sealed cans, but they are good in any situation too!

They have a very punchy and quite extended fast bass , the mids are very detailed and present. The treble is quite detailed as well, but it makes the k550 a little bright and sibilant.

One other impressing thing on these headphones is the sound-stage. For a sealed pair of headphones it has the best sound-stage I heard until now. The imaging and the separation of instruments are quite good as well.

 

They are a steal at their price, trust me! I would give them an A+ for the price/quality ratio, and if they had a better design and wouldn't have the seal issue, they would have deserved A++. I have listened to AKG K701, and didn't like it at all, but I really enjoy the k550.

So be aware that if you seem to find them sounding to thin, or feel like they have a thin loose bass, or if you think they are too sibilant, you may have the known seal issue!

 

 

Unfortunately, in this post, I have reached the end of my audio toys that i own in this moment.

No worries, as I have the  feeling this is not the end of my journey :D

 

I was thinking of getting another pair of sealed headphones that offer better portability than the K550 (as they are quite big) . How about Sennheiser Momentum or Amperior? Any other sugestions? What good sealed headphones do you know?

 

 

P.S. I found the best "mod" for K550 to increase the clamping force! :)))) :

 

 

 

 

 

Next:

 

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 12:45pm
post #41 of 457
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

The end of wallet: AKG K550, Creative Aurvana Live and FIIO E17

 

 

 

I was thinking of getting another pair of sealed headphones that offer better portability than the K550 (as they are quite big) . How about Sennheiser Momentum or Amperior? Any other sugestions? What good sealed headphones do you know?

 

 

How about Mad Dog for a close headphone at home? It's not portable but ppl said that their mid is almost as good as LCD2 

post #42 of 457
Nice writing. Subscribed.
post #43 of 457
Quote:
Originally Posted by haquocdung View Post

How about Mad Dog for a close headphone at home? It's not portable but ppl said that their mid is almost as good as LCD2 

I dont know how people make the mad dog, Yes, it is not the portable, but when i plug it to my headamp. There is no sign of Lcd2 in this headphone. :( 

post #44 of 457

wow what an amazing story, really enjoyed that and now want a LCD-2 even more. I tried one at a meet a few months ago and have wanted on very much since then....

post #45 of 457

How does the mad dogs isolate? Thinking about getting it as portable despite its bulkiness

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