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A Rig to take Round The World.....what would it include and why?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So you know the score.....you've got your rig at home, you've your source and collection sorted....and what with location/portability not being an issue, all is fine and dandy.  But what if... 


you gave it all up, quit the rat race and went round the world for 8 months?  What would you take?  You've 23kgs (plus some of another 23 if you can sneak into your wife's/partner's/husband's bag), so you have got to be frugal.  Chances are you'll want to have the whole rig with you all the time (i.e. not leave it to the baggage handlers in Bogota!) so it'll have to fit into a carry on back pack.


Let's assume "money no object", but temper this with a "realistically would I be able to listen to them happily?" frame of mind.  E.g. all well and good having a pair of open backed headphones as your full set, but on a flight, that would be useless.  Wouldn't a pair of Bose QC15s (pause for audiophile snickering) be better for the films and then a pair of quality IEMs for when you want to sleep.  IEMs are so small, they'd be easy to carry (I am doing it and it works).  


Anyway, before I ramble on....(I seem to have already)....I wondered if the highly opinionated bunch out here would have an idea ;o)


Current set up:


MacBook Air

iPad2 16GB

iPod Classic 160GB

Westone UM3s

Bose QC15

Graham Slee Voyager

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth



Issues -


1) gaping hole in the DAC section.....I use the Voyager to up the output of the iPod to the Soundlink speaker and give the films a bigger soundstage on the QC15s, but realise I am reliant on the DAC of the iPod and MBAir.  Currently trying to discover the delivery estimate on the HiFiM8 and a delivery address to correlate with this.  Loving the look of the HiFiM8

2) Could squeeze in one more full size pair.....open backed or closed?

3) Reliance on Bose....nicht gut!  Unfortunately nobody does active sound cancelling better than them and if you're going to actively noise cancel, then what's the point of super hifi sound reproduction amongst that white noise?  The Soundlink is simply the best sounding portable rig out there for the size.  Would love the portable rig that Centrance do....very sexy, but would need my own jet for that!

4) Cables need upgrading (using duty free store bought cables at the moment)


Over to you .....now I pause, draw breath and wait for the tumbleweed :)


PS - Source = Mac so MUST have ability to draw the encrypted digital output of Mac sources


Potential Answers:


Ray Sammuel sr71b or ALO RXMkIII with CypherLabs AlgoRhythm Solo -dB

Sennheiser 600/650


post #2 of 10

Can't tell if you're asking the question for a suggestion or just wanting to know what we'd get. 


If it were me, I'd probably have the portable rig to move around while being able to listen to good stuff (not for a plane flight and all that mumbo jumbo). Walking around the house, going on vacation and listening while resting, that stuff. 


I'd probably go w/ a balanced hd800 into the sr71b w/ the solo -dB. Or just a sony PHA-1.



As for you, cables can wait unless you have a lot of money to throw into flames at your disposal. The portable amp/dac looks good. Still confused on whether you want an isolated phone and open or closed. Some closed phones like the TH900 will not isolate well. Open phones are out of the question for isolation since they leak all sound and do not isolate at all. 


Since you listed the hd600/650, I guess you don't care about isolation/leakage? 

post #3 of 10

As a full time traveler, including international, I currently use this:


iPod Classic

CypherLabs AlgoRythm Solo

ALO Audio Continental V2

Sennheiser HD25-1 II


I will soon be moving over to this stack (as in it's all ordered and in the mail)


RWAK100 (Has an excellent DAC built in)

ALO Audio - The International

JH Audio JH16 Pros


The reasoning behind it is that I wanted a single small iPod like device for walking about (RWAK100) and a good DAC/AMP that I can plug straight into both my RWAK(if it pleases the court) or into my Macbook Air directly when I'm stationary.


I also considered the SR71B/MKII/AlgoSolo-db route but I really like the idea of having the RWAK over keeping an iPod and a separate DAC for the overall smaller travel footprint. The stack I'm going for really is a bit more compact over the aforementioned.


I've already received the International and have been using it with my laptop and am very happy with it so far. As for as all extra equipment you mentioned that you carry, I don't know your exact situation, but I would say it's not worth lugging around. Two iPods? And I've never heard a bluetooth speaker that didn't sound horrible, if you're going to use that, might as well just pipe the music straight from your laptop speakers, IMO.


As for cables, pick whatever you like. There's not really any optimal solution for travel unless you just want to cheap ones that you won't mind losing or if by chance they get damaged. Then I would say just keep stock.


Basically, my advice for travel is to keep it to a minimum (of what you're willing to carry around), light and multi-functional.

Edited by Chank - 3/19/13 at 6:49pm
post #4 of 10

Traveling light is a must today.  So in order to get a

great sound but to spend less for the hardware here is

what I would do. 

Player:  Sansa Clip + with a 32Gb micro SD (total 40 Gb)

Selection of music converted to FLAC.


Headphones: The world's most acurate noise-isolating earphones

the Etymotic ER-4 micropro. 


Portable Amp:   JDS C5 headphone amp (new) with

digital volume control, bass boost, dual gain, and up to

14 hour battery run time.


All that fits into a shirt pocket...  sounds amazing!




Acoustic Nirvana... 

iPod classic 160Gb,  Sansa Clip +  8Gb/64GbmicroSD, 

JDS O2 + ODAC,  Etymotic ER-4 microPro, Audeze LCD2

Edited by Linea - 3/19/13 at 8:27pm
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

That sounds like a very cool rig there Linea.  My only issue with the Sansa is the UI, though frankly that is a mind-bogglingly small issue.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

RWAK is interesting.....investigating it now.  As I am already on the move though and the library is pre-loaded, will stick with the iPod Classic set up.  As for the Bluetooth speaker route - I don't use the bluetooth element.  That would be horrific :)


Am using the wired input at the back.  Clearly the sound isn't immaculate, but then portable speakers are like that!


Great to see all the different combos though.....there is just so much potential.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Mr Violin - asking for a suggestion...yes.....asking what you'd get....yes....just interested in some inspired (or otherwise!) set-ups.  One thing that is just so fascinating about this gear is the options available.  That of course and scrabbling towards audio nirvana!


Sound leakage is an issue so the 600/800s are out (more's the pity).  


The portability falls into 4 categories:


1) Flights

2) Films (either on flights or in hotel rooms)

3) Music on the go (IEMs)

4) Music in the room (cans)

post #8 of 10

It can include imaginary piece of gears right?

1. My vaio SB laptop

2. International

3. my samsung galaxy note 2

4. Ak100(modded)/DX100

5. Beyer d1350

6. one of those comfort IEM

7. Audeze LCD2

post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by RTWHeadfier View Post

RWAK is interesting.....investigating it now. 


With the headphones you listed, the stock AK100 would be better & cheaper. RWAK100 really becomes a nice option for low impedance headphones. :)

post #10 of 10
IPad 2 and AH-D 7000 Headphones and Sony MDR-CD 870 headphones.

For me anyway. It's simple and nice. Can listen to You-Tube videos, battery last long, sound quality is great for the style of music I listen to.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 3/20/13 at 10:24pm
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