Post Count: 18,767: Behind the Q-Ball.
What happens when you are bored and you have nothing to buy in your budget? This.
"Giottos Q Ball Air Blower Super Air Cleaning System.
A funky tech approach to keeping your high-tech digital camera equipment dust free! The Giottos Q-Ball Air Blower can be used on telescopes, computer keyboards, microscopes, communications equipment, just about any precision equipment or traditional and electrical musical instruments."
Just in case I develop "Grattle." Oh, and my poor Les Paul needs a good air dusting around the tricky tuning pegs. And it's environmentally sound, whee!
Post Count: 18,796. The Closed Cans Cometh!
Sorry for this first pic, the Darth Beyers seem to swallow all light into its bassy Darkness...
So there we go. My sister finally returned the recabled DT770s, and she seemed so forlorn in doing so, I worked a deal with JJCha to get her some nice Birthday replacements - the Sony MDR-D777SL Altus HD Headphones!
Hmm, can we get the Sonys to spearhead a shot here? Ah, there we go.
So anyhow, they do have that typical Sony signature - great detail and separation and imaging, but the "where's the bass" syndrome. Due to its closed nature tho, it does come out more than, say, from my wife's ATH-CM3 buds, and when you hear its bass the quality is FAR better than the sloppy cottony Bose triports, which are its natural price range competitor (they even sell these at the Apple Store now too!)
But compared to both the AKG K81DJ and the Koss KSC75, i'm afraid the Sonys don't bring enough midbass to keep me happy on the go. Oh, and the Open/Closed switches do nada. At home in a quieter setting they fare better, and work best to keep your tunes away from your peturbed wife. But then that's when my Darth Beyers come to play.
Just because they don't have a place here among my can harem doesn't mean my sister won't be gaga plugging them into her laptop tho, so off they go to give someone far more joy than anything else the Apple Store can currently provide! Someone turn on the lights!
Post Count: 18,902. Everything Old is New Again!
Sometimes the Curse is extremely clever. There I am surfing Head-fi, when within a span of 2 seconds I pull the trigger on a Vintage Discman! Here's the quick thought process-
1)Oh, Lookit, a D35! I've wanted em since I saw this ad and thought "ooh! so many buttons!
2) The price is oh so right!
3) The Melos has an open Pre-Amp slot for "CD" - this is a CD player, right?
4) Like my Vinyl rig, it can be a blast from the past change of pace!
5) If I use my Oppo, I'm going to play Hi Def anyhow. I need something Old School for Redbook!
6) The Curse Commands Me!
And thus was another tier for the Tower begotten.
It's a little skippy for the outside disc track (I'll fix this later or ask someone at the NYC Meet to have fun with, kinda like how my old D15 used to be before I spun the pots) and the SQ is definitely not Oppo level - a bit sibilant in the highs, shouty in the mids, but oh so boomilicious in the bass! Very warm and vintagey - I'm playing Violator's hybrid SACD through it and reliving some killer "Enjoy the Silence" via the line out to my trusty Magwires mini-to-RCA to the Melos to the Darth Grados!
Oh, I forgot the last reason- it matches the Melos.
Go, Black and Gold! Slowly but surely the secondary ziggurat is gaining on the main tower!
Post Count: 19,023. The Guitar Hero Cometh.
I have no idea where to start! well, seeing that lil gibson SG in PyroPhonez's pic inspired me, so the Guild black jumbo is gone, and in its place? an SG of my very own! uh, kinda.
But yes, the Guild is on its way to a happy new owner and in a few weeks that means a big Curse update, but not yet...anyhoo, i spent the last 4 hours beating all the songs on Easy in GHII (first time ever playing this series, it's fun! and i learned some new "fake" techniques along the way, cool!) oh man, so much stuff leaving and coming and going and arriving...i can't keep up with myself, my head is spinning! Fun stuff!
Post Count: 19,174. Straphangers, Unite!
So my wife has conveniently thrown out my last two camera bag straps while "cleaning," meaning my dog walks have been painfully unrigged for the past two weeks. After I whined about it like a baby that I didn't want to get yet another bag just for the strap, she said "fine fine I'll see what kind of strappy thing we have at work then." Ooh! She works with professional photographers! This is going to rock!
Uh, any rat near Bowling Green lose its tail?
So I got fed up and googled for the King of All Straps. And I found it! Time for a Skooba Snack!
AH SO MUCH BETTER. As advertised-
"Identical to the strap that comes standard on the award-winning Skooba Satchel, the Skooba Strap
is a great replacement or upgrade to the shoulder strap on just about any carrying case, duffel, suitcase or sport bag. Eighteen individual air-filled pods provide incredible carrying comfort, and a non-slip surface keeps it on your shoulder. Heavy-duty webbing and metal swivel clips, along with double-stitched reinforcement at load and stress points, make this strap built to last, and ready for the heaviest load you'd care to carry. The Skooba Strap is also compatible with the Rivet accessory clip system."
The clips are heavy duty metal - perfect with my bag's metal D-rings. and they totally swivel so the strap never gets tangled. and the little comfort pods really work - and the travel pouch is nice and slim, just the size for a spare cablewrap in there, just in case! Man, sometimes the Curse throws a little blessing your way!
Post Count: 19,415. My Guitar Curse Kicks In. Yeah, not head-fi related but oh well!
So you might have been following my double pickguard HD-28 hijinks, and I'd like to share the conclusion.
Just as I was thinking about yet another mod to my HD28, someone else just posted on craigslist that simply said "70's Mojo Martin D35" with a pic of the axe up against a studio mixer. I felt the vibes, man. I called him up, he checked out my listing, we agreed to meet at his studio, and after work I hoofed it over there in the chilly night.
I felt the positive atmosphere the second I walked in. All of his stuff was tube-based, including his mics of course. He said he got the Martin as a trade in for studio time, and only brought it out if someone needed a Martin sound, since he was a Gibson guy personally. So he opened that funky blue Martin case and the first thought I had was the first thing he said - "She's a Real ****kicker!" Yeah, she took a lickin' alright. I just knew I'd be hearing the cannon blasts bouncing off the walls. He left for a bit to let me thrash in private, and I went to town.
Guys, this thing is amazing. When it's played lightly, everything has a great bass/midbass balance. But when you dig in hard, it doesn't lose focus - it's like the same balance - hammering in front of you relentlessly. AWESOME. In contrast, my HD28 was so shimmery when you stop playing, but even then the overtones seem to hang on the surface. When you dig in, it's like the sound is there but swallowed up - I guess I'm not saying it right. What really got me was turning the soundhole towards me and raising my voice a bit to tell the guy I was done and I swear the D35 resonated to my voice like...I can't describe it. Awe inspiring.
So he comes in and just said "let's do the trade." He didn't even try the HD28! I guess I was auditioning for it without knowing it - that, plus he must have seen that grin wrapping around my face. Damn, I felt like a bandit.
Well now it's in its permanent home with me, let me tell you I was skipping all the way home and my wife was totally digging it too, saying I did the right thing because it ROCKED. I looked up the serial number, it's a '72, and it's set up so perfectly I don't want to do a thing to it. I LOVE NEW YORK! So here's a shot with my equally roughed up '65 Guild F30:
Post Count: 19,837. Finally, a REAL Curse update! Enough of the guitar fiddle-faddle, right?
So for the past month I've been preparing myself to reclaim that elusive feeling of an Eargasm. How so? By intentionally listening to the crappiest cans I have for a whole month! So I stashed away the HP2 and the Lambda Pros and fired up the prototype 600 ohm Darth Beyer beasties! Don't get me wrong, they're great situational cans and their sealed nature means they get plenty of play anyhow - but usually I bring out the big guns for the times I want a "wow" moment.
So today I had a big ol package waiting for me from Todd the Vinyl Junkie - howzat for a Happy Easter? Yep, drove back from Delaware thinkin' "oohboyoohboythey'redownstairsgottapickemup" and sure thing, I slipped em in with all the other groceries I lugged up out of the car to my place. So they've been stewing on top of a bookshelf for the past five hours until everyone's asleep - and now like a ninja in the dark, I STRIKE!
Hey now, this is a bigger pizza box than I'm used to. Kinda chunky. Not the flimsy cardboard of the Prestige series - this is heavy duty corrugated paper, man! So anyhow the next thing totally surprised me, because I was expecting the light honey colored wood of the new John Grado cans. Uh, a darker Taste O' Honey here, wouldn't you say?
Or maybe I'm just imagining it because I'm squinting at it past midnight, hehe. Anyhow for the first (and most important) listen to achieve that eargasm, I gave my ears an extra nasty dose of Sports AM radio in the minivan on the way back to NYC. My ears were begging for any kind of fidelity, but muahaha I joined a class action suit against the BMG Music Club and got hooked up with club SACDs for under 4 bucks, free shipping! So I got the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan spinning SACD layer on my Oppo DV-970HD, and the Melos that was left on all weekend while I was gone so as to be nice and toasty...can you tell that I REALLY wanted that eargasm?
Well, I gots it. Even with fresh Bagels, this can was so gorgeous when "Blowin' in the Wind" came rushing through these gigantic 'hog cups. I've been playing my minijumbo Guild F30 quite a lot while waiting for my Ultimate Guitar to come in (perhaps tomorrow!) so the lo-fi folksy thing coupled with the latest and greatest by John Grado just hit the right spot. Acoustically, musically, sonically, I got the Payoff. EARGASM.
Yep, any can that delivers it pretty much gets a free pass on my bias-o-meter from here on in, so don't expect any rational objective reviews from me on this can folks. It Rocks. What else can I say. And I'm intentionally NOT going to have this baby go head to head against Bozebuttons'/Jude's prototypes - I don't want this guy to go all Mythbusters against 'em
Thanks John and Todd, this is a great can, and is going to be the representative of the John Grado signature in the Tower of Power, proudly holding court with Joe's HP2 and the STAX.
And yeah, the rep was supposed to be the HHF-1, but 1911 is an arse. Yeah, I said it.
Post Count: 19,871. The Iceaxe Cometh.
So in this unseasonably cold wintry Easter week I rush home through a spare flurry of snowflakes to grab what can only be described as El Tower Del Doghouse-o.
"Not that I don't appreciate you naming this monstrosity after me, Master, but don't you think the Mistress is going to be Pissedness?" Hey now, I still haven't forgiven you for ruining my ninja sneak of the GS1000s last night, Pumpkin, you better watch it!
"Sorry to say this Pops, but the dog is right. Mama's gonna knock you out. Plus, isn't this case a bit frigid?" Hey you're right kid - and when did you start learning slang from the old man?
Anyhow the case was dangerously chilly - I think it was going to start sweating, that's how cold it was. I've heard enough scare stories about finishes cracking like a spider on crack, so I stuff this thing in the closet for the next five hours (right after the 10pm dogwalk this Guitar is MINE!) and turned my attentions to the other tinier packages. One of them had a nifty HF2 hat, whee! National Meet, here I come!
And I got a new DVD burner, a BenQ that lightscribes too, and it snapped in there really easy with autoinstall (thanks to Mr. Slacker for prepping this system for my dummy-proof operation). Oh, and the last of my BMG stuff- remastered AC/DC Back in Black, the rest of the SRV stuff I didn't own, and a remastered ZOSO. Yeah, Page sucks behind the soundboard, but I wanted a clean digital rip, tho I prefer the vinyl stuff by far.
So that's it until, hmm, 2.5 hours from now! Can't wait to open this puppy up! The last laugh will be had by me - Curse you, Curse!
Four minutes before 10. Seriously I was worried. I 'fessed up to the wife and she wanted to see it too since technically it was her V-day present to me, right? So before I walked the dog we opened the case and - no checking WHEW. In fact, it's DARN GORGEOUS!
The Return of the Black Jumbo!
Yep, a 1995 Martin J-40 BK! Oh, and it's Rosewood too!
Electronics were installed by Norick Renson, a pretty well known guy in Cali, so I'm ready for the Tower studio or even playing out, if ever. And it sounds like a church bell shot out of a cannon, just tone tone tone...
OK Time to get off the stupid Guitar Curse Wagon for a while!
Post Count: 19,967. Everything old is new again.
So yep, getting Gear Acquisition Syndrome for Guitars out of my system these days, and as a result I'm recording things into this Mr. Slackerized Dell Desktop here. Meaning the modded E-MU 0404 is back in action, and the Linksys Wireless Bridge is going to take a backseat until the recording bug wanes (which may be a while). But this DMP3 Preamp is too wussy, so what do we need? The Dreaded EQ!
Yep the BSR EQ-3000 is back, baby! I only have one mic, a Shure SM57, so I only need to touch up one channel, and pan it to both channels via the E-MU Patchmix. Ah, weak reedy signal is analogey and beefy again. But what to do about my nasty Boss tuner with its wavy needle? I don't have perfect pitch and my guitar always seems a bit out of tune. Well, not anymore!
This Peterson StroboFlip digital strobe tuner is accurate to 1/10th of a cent, whatever that means. What I got this thing for is its "Sweetened" tunings for acoustic guitar. Pretty amazing stuff, I just follow the scrolling bars and bingo my guitar sounds pro with just one sweep of a thumb! The best part is there's a unique sweetened tuning just for acoustic 12-strings too, and once my Guild F312 makes it back from a tune-up I'm going to fire the StroboFlip up and avoid the huge tuning headache I used to have with my first 12-string, a Guild D4-12NT. Ah, life is good.
THE CURSE TO DATE:Source -
OPPO DV-970HD Universal DVD Player OR Modded 0404 digital out to Dayton glass optical toslink to modded DAC-AH w/E-A-R Specialty Composites small isolation feet. Vinyl is the Goldring GR1 with Grado Prestige Gold Cart to Element ICs to the Marantz 2226 Phono Stage.Pre-Amp -
Cardas Neutral Reference Interconnects to Melos SHA-Gold "Maestrobator" Pre-Amp/Headphone Amp w/matched USN-CEP Amperex 7308 tubes with HAL-O 9 Damping Instruments[/url] on Type IV Vibrapod Isolators and Cones.1) Out to-
Active tube out to Audioquest Diamondbacks to STAX SRM-1/MKII to STAX SR-Lambda Pros.2) Out to-
Passive pre-out to Element Chorus IIs to Marantz 2226 receiver to Audioquest speaker wire to Wharfedale Crystal 20s. and rat shack speaker wire to 1911's crappy inifity subwoofer.3) Out to-
Melos headphone out to Joe Grado HP-2. Or John Grado GS1000. Or DT770 Darth Beyers.Phono -
Goldring GR-1 Turntable with Grado Prestige Gold cart to S.A.E. P102 Preamp Phono stage to Headphile Blacksilver ICs to Melos. Can probably also thread the Melos or the S.A.E. back to the 0404 for recording vinyl.Tuner -
Marantz 2226 receiver to the speakers or DIY Starquads to Melos. Probably could use the S.A.E. in a pinch too.Portable -
5G 30gig iPod to Apple Radio Remote to RnB Audio BlackDiamond Mini to Mini cable with gold straight plugs to RSA "M" Modded Hornet to an AKG K81DJ w/The Cable Turtle and Replacement Sennheiser HD25 Velour Pads, or Koss KSC75 drivers with KSC35 clips!
And all units have Quail Power Cords if applicable, plugged into a Monster Power HTS 3500 MKII. WHEW! Dang, after actually taking stock in my stuff, how did I collect all this on a shoestring budget and wheeling and dealing and lucky breaks and such? I better just count my blessings and walk away!Yeah, Right...the Curse Shall Live on!
hmm, came to Head-Fi with V150 Sony cans, and some aiwa MD stock buds on a streetstyle band. pretty meager, eh?
then my wife got me an ipod. hello, crap ibuds!
i upgraded to a sony blue clipbud thing that is still floating around somewhere. cost me like 12 bucks, no lows at ALL.
i took a huge leap after doing serious research here, and stepped up to the MS-1. I literally threw my V150s in the trash. Bye bye Sony!
LOVED the MS-1, so I had to sell the Alessandro MS-1 to upGrado to an Alessandro MS-2.
Then I needed a closed can because the wife was getting annoyed, so I got a Sony CD3000.
Didn't like the CD3K, so I picked up a Beyerdynamic DT770/80, sold it, got a used DT770/600, and modded to a Darth Beyer!
Grabbed the chance to sell the CD3K to pick up a Joe Grado SR200 with HP1000 drivers! No more need for the MS-2 with the SR200/HP1000 in the house, so sold the MS-2.
Then a Big Opportunity came up. I had to kick the SR200 and Darth Beyer and other things to the curb to come up with the power to get the Joe Grado HP-2! I still have this baby!
I really needed a portable can, so I got a KSC-35, then sold it and got a SR60.
Around here I picked up a K501 for 1911, but it was his bday gift so I don't count this. I also don't count an AT CM3 bud that I got my wife here just for the looks. She traded in her crap buds that I keep just to show folks how bad "normal" cans are that folks listen to. A VERY generous head-fier was the third owner of my original darth beyers and actually returned them to me for nothing! Very Generous, I still appreciate that! Of course, my sister stole them for her movie...
At this time a STAX Lambda Pro came up, and I almost broke the bank getting this JUST when the Grado HF-1 was announced and of course I had to get this too. So this was the point where my wallet was screaming, divorce was imminent, and I had 4+ cans in the house!
I converted my KSC-35 into The Mule by putting it into a Yamaha can that looked very similar to the current AKG K81DJ - see? Instinctively I knew what I needed, but there was no can at the time for that niche!
But then I sold the Mule and traded the HF-1 plus Mule cash to get the SR325i. But walking around with Golden Globes was a bit much...
So I sold the SR325i and went almost back to basics again with the KSC-35 (cash from the SR325i went to get the Headamp AE-1). I loved the KSC-35 so much that I got The Burninator - recabled KSC-35 on a Portapro headband!
I loved the Koss portables so much I got a KSC-75 as well, and put the KSC-35 clips on em, then sold the KSC-35 drivers with the KSC-75 clips on them. I also picked up a Sennheiser PX100 on hype, but I wasn't really a Senn guy, so sold them later.
OK, technically I got ibuds again twice when I got the 5G iPod and the iPod Radio Remote - those stupid buds are making a nice lil pile in my toolbox!
Ok so around here my own bday comes up so 1911 hooks me up with...Senn HD280 cans. Gee, thanks. I sell em. He tells me the Real Gift is my original pair of HF-1 (#200) modded by Headphile to an HHF-1, Cocobolo! But I have to go to Cali to pick them up. They're still over there...
Well I won a pair of AKG K81DJ at the National Meet! Yay!
Around here I get really nostalgic, so I sell The Burninator to get my first ever can, the Alessandro MS-1.
But what the hell? I'm feeling the SAME UPGRADO AS I DID BEFORE! So I sell the Alessandro MS-1 and get an Alessandro MS-2i...WHAT AM I DOING!?
Oh yeah, that's what I'm doing. I swap the MS-2i and cash for the HF-1! Which I owned before! Again! CURSE YOU, HEAD-FI!
And then I sold the stock HF-1s to get the cash to fly over to get my HHF-1s in Cali! ARGH!
But then 1911 SOLD the HHF-1s 2 weeks before I came to save them, so instead I got a GS1000!
So the circle is complete. Around and Around we go, where it stops, nobody knows!
--------------GO TO THE NEXT PAGE FOR A CONTINUATION OF THE CURSE!