Peterpangea here. I got started in head-fi in 2011 after purchasing a pair of Klipsch S4s and Alessandro MS-1is, and my collection has been steadily expanding/improving ever since (at the expense of my wallet T.T). Prefer to purchase my equipment used because of poor student syndrome (although some of my stuff implies otherwise...). I mainly lurk and get impressions of gear I want to pick up, hence why this was a bit overdue.
I listen to a lot of Asian pop, hip-hop, acoustic, and house/EDM, been slowly getting back into jazz and classical. I'm not too picky about specific sound signatures, but I appreciate good bass performance coupled with an open soundstage. Also, I'm a fan of integrated DAC/Amp combos rather than separates due to their simplicity and tidiness on the desk. My goal is to enjoy good audio performance using gear that has a refined appearance and doesn't look too dorky (ie. I can proudly show them off in my house).
Below is a list of my collection, let me know what you think :)
- Muse Audio X5 USB DAC (good little cheap DAC for on-the-go use, it's better than my laptop's sound card so that's enough for now)
- Electric Avenues PA2V2 Amp (first amp I purchased, I know the technicalities aren't the best but this amp does very in the ease of use factor, **cough cough 100-hour battery life cough**)
- Aune T1 with Tesla E88CC tube (bought this for the now-departed HD600, will probably get used much less due to me getting the below)
- Burson Conductor w/ ESS9018 DAC and Burr Brown 1793 DAC (calling it a day! looking forward to how these will pair with my headphone collection, most notably the Audezes)
- Dasetn AP8 (nice cheap DIY pair from Dasetn audio... sounds great for the $4 I spent!)
- DIY Yuin PK3 (nice DIY pair, cable seems better than the official version, although the paint on the Paliccs plug scratched off pretty quickly... can't compare on the sound though)
- DIY Dasetn Yuin PK2 (see comments above)
- Monoprice 8320 (good cheap IEMs, really good clarity for the price but uncomfortable)
- Monoprice 9396 (picked these up because they were cheap and looked better built than the 8320s, my pair has a severe channel imbalance so I need to get a replacement :( )
- Hifiman RE-Zero (these are pretty good; however, I lost them for almost a year which prompted me to get the below... just found them again recently.. need to do some A/Bs)
- Westone 3 (my "end-game" IEMs hopefully forever.. got a good deal on Amazon... this is pretty much all I use out and about, nice mix of good bass and treble performance.. although it is a bit of a pain having to use the included volume control to get rid of the hiss I get with it on my main sources for these - phone and laptop)
- Alessandro MS1i (picked these up as my first headphone since they were agreed to be on consensus to be more balance than Grados and have SR125 level sound for SR60/80 price... nice detail retrieval and clarity for the price, but a bit uncomfortable and fatiguing after a long listen)
- Phiaton PS 320 (liked the look, though the sound quality from reviews were acceptable, and liked the fact that Prada had the exact same headphones with Saffiano leather for $700 (yes call me a brand whore) they're a nice headphone for on-the-go use, but I still prefer IEMs for that purpose due to the lack of "headphone hair"... should really use these more often)
- Audeze LCD-2s (alright the end-game phone! love the bass, the dark background, how they sound decent even plugged straight into a phone, and how they're a grand less than the LCD-3s... looking forward to hearing how they pair up with the Conductor I have coming in)
- Paradigm Millenia CT (figured I should get some "decent" speakers after I picked the the Audezes, so I got these... haven't actually used them for their intended computer use, but they've sounded pretty great connected to my TV)
The Dearly Departed
- Klipsch S4 (I enjoyed these when I had them, but lost them at school after three months... too bad)
- Sennheiser HD 600 (first 'upgrade', great sounding headphones that were super comfortable, sold to acquire the Audezes as I was looking for better bass performance... no regrets so far as long as I don't look at my bank account too much)
On-the-go (portable): Phone (Blackberry Z10) --> Westone 3/occasionally Phiaton PS 320 [convenience beats the ~20% sound quality increase I'd get from using a portable DAC/amp)
On-the-go (laptop): Lenovo Thinkpad Edge --> Muse Audio X5 --> PA2V2 --> Westone 3/Phiaton PS 320/Audeze LCD-2 [good enough for now]
At-home setup: Lenovo Thinkpad Edge --> Burson Conductor --> Audeze LCD-2/Paradigm Millenia CT/Alessandro MS1i on occasion [I think this is a good "end-game" point, top notch SQ without totally draining the bank account]
What I'm looking to get eventually [in order of priority]:
- A headphone stand (or two)
- A nicer, stylish headphone for on-the-go use: looking at the Aedle VK-1, Bowers & Wilkins P5, and Bang Olufsen H6 in that order... Aedle owners, what do you think of your headphones?
- A nicer portable/transportable DAC/amp for laptop, maybe phone use: I've considered the O2, but part of me feels like I should just save my money more and get something better, say from Cypher labs
- Sennheiser HD800s to complement the Audeze LCD-2s
- Nicer cables/interconnects for the Audeze and Burson: I should really use this money towards other things at this stage in my life
- A nice pair of custom IEMs: Likewise, I should really use this money towards other things at this stage in my life.. customs must be amazing though, maybe when I get a full-time job...
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think in the comments!