or Connect
Head-Fi.org › JoeDoe › Reviews by JoeDoe

Reviews by: JoeDoe

Hugely Underrated DAC with a Great Headamp to Boot!

Posted

Pros: Versatility, SQ, Value

Cons: Balanced headphone implementation

I'll admit Teac is a brand that flown relatively under my radar since I began my head-fi journey. Seeing as how their gear rarely get's dedicated appreciation threads, major reviews on the usual head-fi websites, or a dedicated fan club, I'll admit I assume the gear they produce was just so-so. Let me tell you... I couldn't have been more wrong.   The Breakdown:   The Chain: MBP running JRMC21 > W4S Recovery > UD-503 > Project Ember > Alpha Prime, PS1000, HD800S (loaner)   Test Songs (all ALAC either 16/44 or 24/96):     "Happiness" by Needtobreathe - HARDLOVE "Strasbourg/St. Denis" by The Roy Hargrove Quintet - Earfood "Grown...
(read more)

Hands Down, One of the Best Values in Head-fi

Posted

Pros: Build Quality, Input Options, Balanced Design, Headphone Amp, Neutral Sound Quality

Cons: 1/8" Headphone Out?

The Emotiva DC-1 Stealth DAC is frankly, an incredible value. The only other products I can think of that offers such a complete and capable skill set for such a low cost are the Koss KSC75, SennGrado, Chord Mojo, and Cavalli Liquid Carbon. Here's why:   The Breakdown:   The Chain: MBP running JRMC21 > DC-1 > Cavalli Liquid Crimson > GH1, GS2000e, Alpha Prime   *other gear used for review: Mojo, Liquid Carbon, PS1000, Tralucent 1+2   Test Songs (all ALAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   "Limit to Your Love" - James Blake - James Blake "Grown Folks" - Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha "Best for Last" - Adele - 19 "My Hero" - Foo Fighters - ...
(read more)

Some Quality Aesthetic Improvements Over the Younger Brother

Posted

Pros: Ear 'Fins', BT Connection, Accessories, Value

Cons: Bass bleed,

The BLU-200 from Brainwavz is an update to their first foray into Bluetooth listening, the BLU-100. The 200 features a new tuning, some welcome ergonomic upgrades, and as per usual, a healthy accessory package.     The Breakdown    Test Songs:   "Light Up the Sky" - The Afters - Light Up the Sky "Attaboy" - Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, & Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber - Purpose "Washed by the Water" - NEEDTOBREATHE - The Heat "A Good Name" - Shad - TSOL     Source: iPhone 5C running Spotify Premium (Streaming 320)   Build/Accessories: From my review of the...
(read more)

Astell & Kern 100ii: The Gatekeeper

Posted

Pros: Aesthetics, Sound quality, Design, Additional features

Cons: MSRP, File transfer for Macs

The AK100ii is a DAP I've had my eye on for quite some time. At first glance, it's obvious that it's a premium piece of kit, with it's clean efficient lines, quality touch screen, minimal physical interruptions, and compact size. Reading up on it's specs and the fact that it keeps (and improves) on it's previous iteration leads one to believe that for the asking price, this should be a one stop product, where a bunch of tweaking, additional cables, outboard DACs or amps shouldn't be necessary.   And ya know what? It lives up to the hype.   The Hits  Support for every lossless format under the Sun USB DAC capability Wi-fi and Bluetooth capabilities Smoothest, most...
(read more)

Quintessential USB DAC

Posted

Pros: Aesthetics, size, SQ!

Cons: Availability

Until I saw one posted in the classifieds a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of the Bladelius brand. From my reading, they are more known for things like power amps and media servers - two things I have no use for. I saw another B-DAC online earlier last week and figured I'd make an offer as most of the write-ups I'd seen about their first foray into the mid-fi DAC world was positive. Let me just tell you... I'm very glad I did!   The Breakdown:     Test Songs (all FLAC, ALAC, or AIFF either 16/44 or 24/96): "You Give Me Something" - James Blake - Undiscovered "Gold" - Chet Faker - Built on Glass "Blue Monk" - Chick Corea Trio - ...
(read more)

The New (Grado) Kid on the Block is Here to Stay... well, Kind of...

Posted

Pros: Comfort, Sound, Value, Versatility

Cons: Availability, Lack of Premium Packaging

So Grado's newest headphone, the limited edition GH1? Well, the total of it all is that it's the best sub $1000 offering from Grado yet. It marries several of the best qualities of the RS, PS, and GS series in one gorgeous maple package. Read on to see why!   From my 325e review, "I've listened to a lot of headphones. A lot a lot. More than anyone should. And as such, I've developed some preferences. To keep this from dragging on... Grado is where it's at if you want lifelike reproduction. Back when I reviewed my RS1i, I mentioned that it was the first and only headphone (to that date) I'd heard that made me feel like I was listening to actual instruments. The 325e was the...
(read more)

(New) Best Modified T50rp Out There

Posted

Pros: SQ, Comfort, Looks, Customizability

Cons: Scarcity

While any avid head-fier is likely to know of at least one, if not multiple versions of a modified Fostex T50rp, knowing which versions are likely to fit one's personal preference is a whole other story. If you like rich mids and a little heft down south, Mad Dogs are likely to please. A more neutral tuning? LFF is your guy. Somewhere in between has largely been filled by the excellent ZMF Master Model.    However, there is a newcomer who's made quite a name for himself as far as I'm concerned. He's a head-fier and he goes by PETEREK. His modified T50rp (I'm told a snazzier title is forthcoming, but for the remaineder of this review, I'll call it the PTKT50) bests all of the...
(read more)

Delta: A Testament to Quality Engineering

Posted

Pros: Build quality, cable, accessories, filters, value

Cons: Housing shape

It's been a while since I felt compelled to write an IEM review that I purchased on my own. With the steady influx of new 'budget-king' or 'mid-fi champion' IEMs, it's become a little hard separate the cream from the crop. Well, luckily for this head-fier, I found a pair of these touted hybrids on eBay for a steal and decided to pull the trigger. After several hours both at home and in the car, I'm happy to report that these are living up to their hype. Read on for why!     The Breakdown    Test Songs (all FLAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   The Curtain - Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest - Sylva Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself A Good Name -...
(read more)

Sound: Good, Extras: Great

Posted

Pros: Build quality, Accessories, Relaxed sound

Cons: Nozzle size, Not a great value at current price

[Disclaimer: Pandora from Brainwavz reached out to me for a review. I'm in no way affiliated with the company and frankly, I'm quite humbled that I was asked to post my thoughts!]   Short Review The S3 is yet another sub-$100 offering from Brainwavz (this time with inline controls) that, like its siblings, yields quite a bit of bang for your buck. It has what I'd call 'a conservative' sound signature that is pretty good at most things, but not really great at any.   Here's the breakdown:   Packaging/Accessories/Build Quality   Well, Brainwavz has made a name for itself through it's trademark packaging/accessory kit. The S3 comes with an excellent hard case,...
(read more)

Killer Sound AND Looks?! - A Review of the Woo Audio WA7

Posted

Pros: Aesthetics, size, volume control, upgradeable, value

Cons: Not great for rolling tubes, fingerprint-prone

Ah, the WA7 "Fireflies" from Woo Audio. As stunning to behold as it is to hear! This is my first piece of amp/DAC kit that retails for over $1k and well, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I think you people who spend that kind of dough on these things are only slighly less crazy.  Here's why:   The Breakdown:     Test Songs (all ALAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   Limit to Your Love - James Blake - James Blake What About Me, Kite, Lingus - Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here Rich Girl, I Want You Back - Lake Street Dive - Fun Machine The Twilight Zone - Rush - 2112 The Table - Chris Tomlin - Love Ran Red Make It Mine - Jason Mraz - We Sing, We...
(read more)
Head-Fi.org › JoeDoe › Reviews by JoeDoe