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zilch0md

Curator: Member-Judged Fine Art Head-Fi Gallery

Location:

Near Dallas, Texas

Forum Post Count:

3709

Join Date:

4/28/07

About Me:

Just another guy who enjoys listening...

What I do for a living:

Spend money I find under rocks

Headphone Inventory

Sennheiser HD280
(A sleeper - bang for the buck)

Sennhesier HD800
(Too bright - with everything except the Schiit Vali (sold) and the Schiit Valhalla 2, although, the DACmini CX is suprisingly not as harsh as other solid state amps with the HD800, but the slightly warm and detailed Line Out of the FiiO X5 helps - for the amps in my possession, at least! - I need a warmer DAC still - i.e. Metrum Octave MkII.)

OPPO PM-1
(A freebie from OPPO, following four months of Beta testing - so I'm biased, but here's my mini-review: http://tinyurl.com/mynenrk and some pictures: http://tinyurl.com/m3x9yal PM-2 Pads make it better still.)

Sennheiser Amperior (Silver)
(Lower build quality than the Beyer DT1350, but more comfortable and amazing sound - a poor man's LCD-2!)

Audio Technica ATH-M50
(Best $100 headphone out there - but it only sounds like a $150.)

Shure E4g
(I'm not into IEMs, so these will do...)

Audez'e LCD-2 rev.1
(Almost everything I want in a headphone - yes, I slightly prefer it over the OPPO PM-1 - if I had to get by with just one headphone. If only I could find a way to give it a 13-Watt into 50-Ohm, neutral and transparent signal.)


GONE BYE-BYE...

Sennheiser HD600
(Sold - Considerable bang for the buck - especially on the Beresford Bushmaster MkII.)

Sennheiser HD650
(Sold - Surely, the offspring of an HD800 and LCD-2, the HD650 was the best compromise out there, until the PM-2!)

AKG K550
(Sold - My head wasn't wide enough for a good seal.)

Philips CitiScape Downtown
(Gifted to 91-year-old friend who loved them for listening to dixieland jazz - now deceased...)

Shure SE530
(Sold - awesome IEM, but seldom used)

Beyerdyanmic DT1350
(Gifted to a friend - sounded great, but I've decided I don't like the discomfort of supra-aurals)

Beyerdyanmic DT1350 "Facelift"
(Sold - A comparison with the Sennheiser Amperior ... Amperior wins!)

Beyerdynamic T1
(Sold - I had a love/hate relationship with the T1 due to not having the right amp - for my tastes, the T1 wants a tube amp, but I'm not willing to go there - I'm too obsessive to roll tubes!)

Headphone Amp Inventory

Meier Audio Corda Stepdance
(The ultimate portable amp, IMHO.)

iBasso PB2 Pelican with HiFlight TopKit
(Currently running Frugalphile's LME49990 x4 in L/R + dummy buffers. Portable power!)

CEntrance DACmini CX with 1-Ohm output impedance mod
(This thing does so much, so well. I will never sell it.)

TBI Audio Millenia MG3 - with a TBI-made external 10:2 resistor network
(A ridiculously good 32W into 8-Ohm speaker Class BD speaker amp that I use with directly-attached 8-Ohm Def.Tech SM45 near-field monitors or with only very efficient headphones or IEMs via the TBI resistor box and appropriate cables)

OPPO HA-1 DAC/Amp
(Had Beta test units for seven months, beginning mid-December 2013 - Received a silver HA-1 of my own in August 2014, for keeps. This DAC/amp does it all - with everything except the finicky HD800, that is...)

NuForce HA-200
(Purchased as a "solution" for the HD800's bright and brittle treble. Using this amp with my Metrum Octave MkII has finally given me the smooth, yet transparent and very detailed treble I've spent a long time trying to secure for the HD800. This is a LOT of desktop amp for the money - I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to spend $350 or less for a desktop amp. I have not tried it with another HA-200 in balanced mode, as I personally think it's got plenty of power for the HD800 single-ended.)


GONE BYE-BYE...

Schiit Valhalla 2
(Returned under Schiit's gracious 15-day trial guarantee, I'll say it was my least fatiguing amp for the HD800 to date, but a little too laid back (10th row seating) for my tastes and a somewhat lacking in dynamics and bass energy, compared to a good SS amp like the OPPO HA-1 - where, I'm back to dealing with HD800's fatiguing treble. HD800: A world of compromise.)

Beresford Bushmaster MkII (TC-7533) DAC/amp
(Sold - Spectacularly non-fatiguing, detailed, transparent, low-noise DAC and intergrated amp, runs on 12VDC, pulling only 60mA, and makes HD600/HD650 and the PM-1 sound their very best. This thing almost sounds like a Speedballed Bottlehead Crack (per a couple of friends), but it's solid state! http://tinyurl.com/ny2oq6g)

Schiit Vali hybrid mini-amp
(Sold - This giant-killer was my favorite solution for the HD800, until it wasn't. Aside from the microphonic ringing, which really wasn't a problem for me, it has a constant sheen of sorts that makes the timbre of every instrument and voice sound similar.)

Emotiva a-100 Mini-X
(Sold - 8 Watts per channel into 50-Ohms - but a little bright and a little harsh, even with LCD-2)

Burson Audio Soloist
(Sold - I liked it with the Beyer T1, but prefer the sound of the LCD-2 with DACmini CX - for real.)

CEntrance DACport
(Gifted - an awesome piece of gear but I didn' t really need it as much as a friend of mind did)

Source Inventory

Sansa Clip+
(8 GB + 32GB & 64 GB microSD cards)

Sony PCM-M10 - 96kHz/24-bit Linear PCM recorder/player
(My favorite portable source for 3.5 years - preferred over HiFiMan HM-801 and TASCAM DR-100, but replaced by the FiiO X5)

FiiO X5 DAP
(Wow! Here are my initial impressions, only three days in: http://tinyurl.com/n8p8apv)

Toshiba Windows 7 laptop + Foobar 2000 + WASAPI plugin > USB

CEntrance DACport LX
(Sold and bought again, after buying the DACmini CX. The LX is a must-have for traveling with a laptop!)

CEntrance DACmini CX with 1-Ohm output impedance mod
(The DAC section has just a tiny bit of "etch" in the treble - great with LCD-2 rev.1)

TeraDak Teralink X2 USB-to-IIS or USB-to-S/PDIF Converter
(I was only using my Concero as an S/PDIF converter for the Beresford Bushmaster MkII, until I bought this giant killing, bang-for-the-buck converter which sounds every bit as good. (It's limited to 96/24.)

Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII NOS DAC
(Just got it - impressions later...)


GONE BYE-BYE...

Beresford Bushmaster MkII (TC-7533) DAC/amp
(Sold - Ridiculously good sound, runs on 12VDC, pulling only 60mA, and makes HD600/HD650 and the PM-1 or PM-2 sound their very best. This thing almost sounds like a Speedballed Bottlehead Crack, but it's solid state! http://tinyurl.com/ny2oq6g)

Resonessence Labs Concero w/Apple Remote
(Sold - Amazing USB power management when external power isn't convenient.)

Decware ZSTAGE Zen Triode Tube Gain Stage
(Sold - with JJ ECC82, PSVANE T Series Mark II 12AU7, NOS Radiotechnique 12AU7, NOS Siemens 12AU7, NOS Mullard 12AT7)

HiFiMan HM-801
(Returned on 30-day trial guarantee for a full refund. Here's why: http://tinyurl.com/mftmfvz )

TASCAM DR-100 MkII - 96kHz/24-bit Linear PCM recorder/player
(Returned after one day of ownership for a refund. Here's why: http://tinyurl.com/mx89gdk )

Stoner Acoustics UD100 ESS9018 USB DAC
(Sold - dry and lacks dynamics, but smoother treble than the Objective DAC)

JDS Labs Objective DAC
(Returned on trial guarantee with 15% restocking fee - intermittently "screechy")

iBasso DB2 Boomslang2 DAC
(Returned on trial guarantee - "lifeless" and too dark - at least for the LCD-2 rev.1)

CEntrance DACport
(Gifted - an awesome piece of gear but I didn' t really need it as much as a friend of mind did)

Cable Inventory

AntiCables
(2x 2m speaker wires and 2x 0.5m RCA Level 1 interconnects - way out stuff that works very well)

Audioquest Golden Gate Mini-to-RCA 2.0M

Audioquest Golden Gate RCA-to-RCA 0.6M

Milian Acoustics SPOFC 6-inch interconnect with 1/8th-inch Switchcraft connectors

Toxic Cables Silver Poison UPOCC, 60-inch, naked, terminated for iBasso PB2 (balanced) and LCD-2

Toxic Cables Silver Poison UPOCC, 96-inch, naked, terminated for 4-Pin XLR and HD800

BTG-Audio 8-wire clear OFC adapter: Neutrik female 4-Pin XLR to Banana Plugs

4x Emotiva 0.5M RCA interconnects
(A great value!)

LaCie USB Dual Power Sharing Cable 131046
(The poor man's KingRex uArt Y USB cable for DACs with female USB Mini-B jacks, i.e. DACport LX, ODAC, etc. Cover the 4th pin of one USB A connector with a sliver of Scotch tape to supply only data from the PC and only power from an external 5V source.)

C2G (Cables To Go) 28108 USB Y-Cable
(The poor man's KingRex uArt Y USB cable for DACs with female USB Type B jacks, i.e. Concero. Cover the 4th pin of one USB A connector with a sliver of Scotch tape to supply only data from the PC and only power from an external 5V source.)

TeraDak USB Y-Cable
(Included with the TeraDak U9VA PSU, this cable is an excellent and affordable alternative to the exceedingly expensive KingRex uArt and uCraft Y USB cables for DACs with female USB Type B jacks, i.e. Concero. - allowing only data from the PC and only power from an external 5V source. No Scotch tape required!)

Emotiva XDRCA 0.5m 75-Ohm Coaxial (digital) interconnect
(It works - but maybe too well - it's thick and stiff - uh... that didn't come out right...)

KabelDirekt (6 ft.) Pro Series Digital Audio Cable 1 x RCA Male to 1 x RCA Male
(Works great as a Coaxial interconnect - very flexible.)

Cardas GreyPigtail Adapter: Neutrik 4-pin female XLR-to-6.3mm Rt-Angle TRS


GONE BYE-BYE...

Cardas Grey (24AWG x4) with black Teflex sleeves, 54-inch, terminated with Neutrik 4-Pin XLR and HD600/650
(Gifted)

Power-Related Components

Furman AC-215A Power Conditioner

TeraDak U9VA Linear Low noise Power Supply (Adjustable 0.25 to 9.0V, 1Amp)

Energizer XP8000A 8000mAh LiPo battery pack (5V, 9-12V, 19-21V, 3Amp)

XPAL Willy Cable WI15 and Powerstream adatper to supply Meier Stepdance with regulated 15VDC (max. permissible)

XPAL Willy Cable WI16 to supply iBasso PB2 with regulated 16VDC (max. permissible)

Venom 25C 6-cell 3600mAh 25.2V LiPO Battery for use with TBI Audio Millenia MG3 amp

Anker Astro3 10,000mAh LiPo battery pack
(5V, 9V, 12V - 2Amp)


GONE BYE-BYE...

Tripp-Lite PR-3UL 3Amp 13.8V DC linear regulated power supply
(Sold - a great but crude-looking power supply, no longer needed)

Other Audio Equipment

Definitive Technology SM 45 monitors (for near-field use)

Audio-Related Tweaks

My Travel Rig, version 4.0
http://tinyurl.com/lyt5ykl


Using the Energizer XP8000 LiPo Pack to Supply Regulated 15V to the Meier Audio Stepdance, 2Stepdance, or Quickstep
http://tinyurl.com/k3yrrk6 and http://tinyurl.com/lwejmp7

Using the Energizer XP8000 LiPo Pack to Supply Regulated 16V to the iBasso PB2 Pelican amp
http://tinyurl.com/kvmjnj2

A 15V LiPo Battery Solution for the Meier Audio Stepdance, 2Stepdance, or QuickStep
http://tinyurl.com/l64z8kr

Selecting Resistors for Using Headphones With Speaker Amps
http://tinyurl.com/mkwm3to

An External 6-cell 25.2V LiPo Battery Solution for the TBI Audio Millenia MG3 Amp
http://tinyurl.com/kw5m8rm

Achieving 25.2VDC with AA Li-Ion Batteries Inside the TBI Audio Millenia MG3 Amp
http://tinyurl.com/mjkde4c

Schematic For Dual 9V Battery Pack Connection to the HiFiMan HM-801
http://tinyurl.com/p6ezhbt

A portable solution for 5.1 Watts (uh, make that 0.133 Watts) per channel into 50-Ohm LCD-2
http://tinyurl.com/q3c4fvt

Clean, ample, 5VDC power USB-powered devices like the Resonessence Concero (vanilla, HD, or HP)
http://tinyurl.com/kuoq97g

The awesome and affordable Bushmaster MkII integrated DAC/amp > HD650 or PM-1
http://tinyurl.com/llfeb3n and http://tinyurl.com/kf88k4y

Accessorize your USB-powered DAC!
http://tinyurl.com/kh93c7u

zilch0md's Recent Activity

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NEW! SONY NWZ-A10 Series Walkman. Micro SD Card Slot!
zilch0md posted in this thread in Portable Source Gear Today at 6:55 am | 881 replies | 83032 views
Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread
zilch0md posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) 10/29/14 at 11:29am | 1848 replies | 156573 views
CEntrance DACmini DAC/Amplifier Official Thread
zilch0md posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) 10/28/14 at 4:28pm | 1197 replies | 125375 views
The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
zilch0md posted in this thread in High-end Audio Forum 10/28/14 at 2:14pm | 14779 replies | 646465 views
The Member-Judged Fine Art Head-Fi Gallery
zilch0md posted in this thread in Members' Lounge (General Discussion) 10/26/14 at 10:32pm | 489 replies | 11267 views
The all-purpose ultracapacitor-powered Vinnie Rossi LIO
zilch0md posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) 10/24/14 at 10:03am | 11 replies | 270 views
Oppo PM-1: A New Planar Magnetic Headphone!
zilch0md posted in this thread in Headphones (full-size) 10/24/14 at 3:50am | 2544 replies | 249351 views

 

zilch0md’s Photos

More Pics
67 photos
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Latest upload: Oct 4, 2013
PB2 + XP8000
9 photos
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XP8000 Regulated to 15-Volts
6 photos
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Latest upload: Aug 24, 2012
Walkabout Rig
6 photos
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Latest upload: Nov 29, 2012
1-Watt per channel Travel Rig
3 photos
4,778 views
Latest upload: Aug 8, 2012

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