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Reviews by: Asr

Audio-Technica's spiritual successor to the Grado HP1000

Posted

Pros: Ultra-light; comfortable to wear; bass/mid-bass presence; cohesive imaging

Cons: Lack of clarity & distinction; unable to handle complex music; limited dynamic range

published on April 30, 2016   - download a printable 8-page PDF version of this review (link goes to a location on my Dropbox)   (click any photo in this review for a larger version)   Intro   Ever since I discovered the original AD2000 in 2006 (which I still own & love), I’ve owned or otherwise heard a variety of Audio-Technica’s headphones over the years—some great (like the AD2000, and more recently the MSR7), and some not-so-great (the FC7 comes to mind). When the R70x was released last year, I was curious enough for an impulse purchase back in June 2015. However, that first purchase left me underwhelmed & disappointed, and I promptly sold that...
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Garage1217's new tube amp

Posted

Pros: Features & versatility; price/value; overall very good sound

Cons: Lack of clarity; inability to drive high-impedance headphones as configured

published on October 29, 2015 Manufacturer's Response added on November 3, 2015 (see bottom of review) updated on April 25, 2016   (click any photo in this review for a larger version)   Intro   Garage1217's Project Solstice was released earlier this year as an alternative to their other amps, and when I asked them for a loaner unit back in June (for a Head-Fi meet in Denver CO on 6/27 that I was then organizing), they were happy to oblige. Once again I have to thank Garage1217 for being so willing & generous in providing me with loaner amp units! (Not that I'm really doing anything out of the ordinary btw—just trying to provide honestly-written reviews here...
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Very good closed headphones

Posted

Pros: Great value; great for multiple applications; balanced sound; moddability (see forums)

Cons: Moderate lack of clarity; may fit too large for smaller heads; annoying coiled cable

Anyone looking for a set of closed portable headphones needs to try the Yamaha MT220. Why the MT220 and not one of the many other models available on the market? It’s simply one of the overall best-sounding closed portable headphones I’ve heard, regardless of price—and the fact that until recently it was available from B&H Photo for $150 practically made it a steal!   The MT220 is one of those headphones that probably won’t impress anyone upon first listen; it certainly didn’t impress me initially. There was no “wow” factor—its treble was just a bit subdued to me (but I personally like treble, so that may be a good thing for those who don’t), its bass lacked an extra oomph that...
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G1217's new solid-state amp

Posted

Pros: Functional versatility, inexpensive price, very good overall sound

Cons: Lacks some clarity & speed/agility

published on September 22, 2014   (click any photo in this review for a larger version)   Intro   I first heard about Garage1217's Project Polaris (just "Polaris" from here on out, for the sake of brevity) directly from them back when I did a review of their Project Ember earlier this year. The Polaris was finally released back in late July, and once again Garage1217 was generous enough to provide a loaner review sample, which I was able to spend approximately 2 weeks with. Normally I would've preferred spending more time with the amp to get to know its intricacies better, but personal circumstances got in the way a bit and prevented me from doing further critical...
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Audeze's new metal headphones

Posted

Pros: Deep & heavy bass, full-sounding mid-range, high efficiency

Cons: Compacted soundstage; lack of scale, musical dynamics, & clarity; heavy & prone to discomfort during long listening sessions

(click for a larger version)   Intro   I recently got the opportunity to audition the LCD-X in-home for 6 days thanks to HeadAmp's Headphone Demo program (getting in on it at the tail end of the West list, right before they were to go back to HeadAmp) which calls for my usual disclaimer: 6 days was naturally not long enough to truly get to know the headphones, so my opinion should not be considered finalized and is subject to change (so, extra grains of salt and all that). I was able to listen to the LCD-X for about 4-6 hours each night while I had it though, and I felt that I got to know it relatively well despite the short amount of time I had with it.   Some...
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Audio-Technica's open flagship

Posted

Pros: Mid-range focus; speed as it translates to fast music & percussion

Cons: Relative lack of low bass & high treble; lack of clarity, neutrality, & a natural tone; compacted soundstaging

published on January 26, 2014   - download a printable 4-page PDF version of this review (link goes to a location on my Dropbox)   (click for larger photo)   Intro   This is basically a short mini-review of the AD2000X (AD2KX from here on out) from while I owned it, which was June 2013 through January 2014.   Equipment Setup   - Source components: Plinius CD-101 (CD player), NAD T533 (DVD player) - Headphone amplifiers: Burson Soloist, HeadAmp GS-X MK2, HeadAmp Gilmore Lite w/ DPS, Micromega MyZic, Garage1217 Project Ember - Comparison headphones: AKG K712, Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000, HiFiMan HE-400, Sennheiser HD598, Shure SRH1540  ...
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AKG's new K7xx flagship

Posted

Pros: Relatively natural sound, moderate clarity, open soundstage, controlled bass

Cons: Relative lack of low bass, lower mid-range, & high treble; amp-dependent performance

published on January 19, 2014   - download a printable 3-page PDF version of this review (link goes to a location on my Dropbox)   (click for larger photo)   Intro   This is basically a short mini-review of the AKG K712 from while I owned it for a few weeks in December 2013 through January 2014.   Equipment Setup   - Source components: NAD T533 (DVD player) - Headphone amplifiers: HeadAmp Gilmore Lite w/ DPS, Garage1217 Project Ember - Comparison headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000 & ATH-AD2000X, Sennheiser HD598, Shure SRH1540   Evaluation Music   - Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest - Carlos Kleiber & VPO -...
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Garage1217's flagship amp

Posted

Pros: Functional versatility, highly tube-rollable, inexpensive price, very good overall sound

Cons: Lacks some clarity & speed/agility

published on January 12, 2014 updated on October 27, 2015   - download a printable 6-page PDF version of this review (links go to locations on my Dropbox) - download a printable 7-page PDF version of the notes that were written for this review. The notes should be considered a supplement and not a replacement for this review (as the review is not straight from the notes).   (click any photo in this review for a larger version) (photo note: case pictured below is the optional hard case sold separately on Garage1217's Web site)   Intro   I found out about Garage1217 several months ago, through a Head-Fier who listed "Project Starlight" in his signature which...
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Audeze's best value

Posted

Pros: Full-bodied mid-range, relatively close to neutral- & natural-sounding, music genre versatility

Cons: Suffocatingly-small soundstage, lack of clarity & musical dynamics, physically heavy & uncomfortable

Originally published on April 11, 2011 Updated on December 11, 2011   Note: this review is an exact cross-post from post #1 of this thread on Head-Fi, which contains some user discussion on the review that may be relevant to read: http://www.head-fi.org/t/548875/review-audeze-lcd-2-r1-r2-hifiman-he-6-stax-sr-507-stax-oii-mki-bhse-et-al - download a printable 9-page PDF version of this review (links go to locations on my Dropbox) - download a printable 15-page PDF version of the notes that were written for this review. The notes should be considered a supplement and not a replacement for this review (as the review is not straight from the notes). The notes for this review in...
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Audeze's open flagship

Posted

Pros: Heavy & powerful bass, very full mid-range

Cons: Lack of clarity & musical dynamics, moderate scale, physically heavy & uncomfortable

Originally published on February 6, 2012   Note: this review is an exact cross-post from post #1 of this thread on Head-Fi, which contains some user discussion on the review that may be relevant to read: http://www.head-fi.org/t/594426/mini-review-audeze-lcd-3-vs-lcd-2-r2-sr-007-et-al - download a printable 5-page PDF version of this review (right-click the link & save target) - download a printable 5-page PDF version of the notes that were written for this review (right-click the link & save target). The notes should be considered a supplement and not a replacement for this review (as the review is not straight from the notes).   Intro This is basically a mini-,...
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