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Reviews by: The Fed

The Sennheiser HD 650 - Greatest Ever... Really?

Posted

Pros: Smooth Presentation, a linear, stout sound at louder volumes.

Cons: build quality is meh! Overall sound is too recessed and lacks weight

The praise that has been heaped upon the Sennheiser HD650 headphone is something that probably every headphone OEM envies. The HD-650 is nearly a decade old and yet is still viewed by many as a top tier dynamic, worthy flagship and is the benchmark that many measure price to performance ratio against.   I personally was cruising along quite happy with my set up… Running almost exclusively between Denon D5000’s and Ultrasone Pro900’s I felt I had the best of both worlds. Since I love the visceral impact of good bass in my music, these two pieces seemed to be perfectly tailored to my listening habits.   The Denon gave me a little more reasonable treble energy and a little less...
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Hifiman HE400 - The Everyman Audiophile Can

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Pros: Good across the frequency range, Live Sounding, Full

Cons: Connectors - Logo Paint

When I originally got into this hobby some 2 years ago, my first run of purchases included Sennheiser HD650's, Denon D5000 and Ultrasone Pro900's. I also had a couple beaters from Koss laying around like the Porta Pros (which I LIKE!). So upon purchasing my first true head amp (a Fiio E10) I thought my journey was over.... I had an amazing closed headphone, an amazing open headphone, a decent amp/dac... nuff said. Lets close the book on this consumer business and listen to some music. From there I focused a good amount of my energy on (A) fixing up my 54 Lincoln and (B) mechanical watches..... I was in the throws of said watch obsession waiting for Steinhart to fill...
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The National - High Fashion, but High Fidelity?

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Pros: Aesthetics & Build, Price, The Continental

Cons: Low Frequency Distortion, grainy, some electronic hash in complex passages

I bought both of the ALO Continental/ National family members around June/ July of 2012 when the second wave of V2 Continentals hit the market. I got the bug bad at the time and was worried it was going to sell out... I was worried that I was going to miss my chance to own a collectors piece.... A portable tube amp... a one of the kind piece of kit.... Yeah I had gotten bitten by some consumer dementia and was quickly losing site of reality.   The Marantz 8b is a collectors piece... a McIntosh 275 is a collectors piece, a Levinson #33 or a Dynaco Stereo 70 is a collectors piece.... The Continental.... eh not quite.   However despite having become a bit unhinged from...
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The Spitfire Mark II - Little Box = Big Sound

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Pros: Tonally dense, Full bodied,

Cons: Connectors Feel Sketchy

Firestone Audio Spitfire Mark II   DAC reviews always seem a bit like a crap shoot to me.... At least like trying to draw broad stroke differences between two items with very minor changes in sound. However in regard to my last two DAC's the Firestone Audio people have put forth a product that I can draw some distinct and clear differences from.   The Spitfire MKII sells for anywhere from $200 to $260 USD. Right now there are a couple different vendors selling on Amazon for around $206.00 however most audio focused vendors seem to be selling them closer to the MSRP $260.00 price point. The Spitfire comes in a relatively decent package. The cardboard box is probably...
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Violectric V90 - A Good Amp

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Pros: Outstanding Performance with Orthos

Cons: None of the jewelry of its older brothers

The Violectric V series amps are consumer/ audiophile grade products from German pro audio house Lake People. Fried Reim, CEO and head designer at Lake People/ Violectric, has recently released a Lake People branded line of consumer grade headphone amps as well. The new Lake People G series line will include both balanced and unbalanced configurations.... The G103S (Single Ended) G103P (Pro - Balanced), G109S and G109P.   When looking for my desktop amplifier solution, I had initially focused on the G109S (after wringing my hands over Burson, Apex, Woo and Schiit options) however in a last minute change of heart opted for the runt of the litter in the Violectric line. The V90...
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