Hi-fi in general, kit building, turntables, photography and hiking - particularly for the photographs.
LOVE my Head-fi gear!
Sennheiser HD 540 Reference, Denon AH-D1000 (with Merkl mods to capsules - damped - and Mogami cables), Sony MDR-1R, HifiMAN HE-400S
Headphone Amp Inventory:
Main Head-Fi system consists of Schiit Audio amplifiers; Magni 3 and Valhalla 2, which has Amperex NOS 1968 Orange Globe input tubes.
Corda 2MOVE portable amp/DAC.
FrankenZero DAC/Pre with Earth HDAM in DAC/LT1364s in amp + NOS Alps pot, Silicon Chip Professional headphone amp (kit) known as KHA II with OPA Earth HDAM.
KHA II was based on the upgraded stock board known as KHA I.5 and fully rebuilt from scratch with a new board and top SQ parts, Russian PIOs and Black Gate caps alongside Nichicon FA and ES series caps, Dale resistors, OPA Earth with audio-gd power supply. In combination with Frankie, in a word, stunning!
Now have two of the little $25 valve hybrid headphone amps; one is near stock, with only better Phillips PS caps, Nichicon Muse output caps and AD825 opamps installed ... well, I say only - I'm not a fan of cheap caps. The other has the same upgraded Phillips and Nichicon Muse FA caps, with the addition of Black Gate NX series 0.1uF coupling caps and all metal film resistors, CAT 5 wiring other than Teflon covered pure silver ribbon output wiring to the headphone jack. The AD825 opamps are wonderful in this circuit and suit the Denon cans to a T. Power supply has paralleled 9V batteries.
Apple 15" MacBook Pro, Questyle QP1R Digital Audio Player - also used as a very clean source. Marantz DV6600 DVD/SACD/DVD-A player, Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-ray player (actually makes for a very clean sounding transport).
Technics SL1210 MkII turntable in fine condition, Ortofon OM10 cartridge body with new OM20E stylus.
Sold off all older phono stages, probably a new Schiit Audio Mani coming up.
Interconnects are White Zombie's La Cacanya (pure silver), another shorter length of silver ribbon cables with Bullet plugs, SlinkyLinks pure silver ICs with SlinkyLinks speaker cables in the main system, van den Hul D501 cables for the turntable, Neotech KHS154-SPC Hyper Balanced, AudioQuest Mini 3 3.5mm to RCA cable and Evergreen 3.5mm to RCA (better).
Hand made (self) pure silver cables x2, one from 2mm x 0.25mm silver ribbons with Bullet plugs, the other from 0.25mm 5x9s pure silver, also with Bullet plugs. The ribbons sound fantastic, 9/10ths of the superb Slinkylinks.
Recently sold off all older gear ready for an upgrade to a simpler set-up, probably KEF LS50W system.
All electrolytic caps on KHA bypassed with Black Gate NX series .01uF caps. All 0.1uF polyester caps replaced with Black Gate NX series .01uF. Power supply caps bypassed with Russian paper in oil caps with awesome results. LONG run in time! Fuses removed and replaced with pure silver ribbon.
I will create a complete new housing for the KHA amps, maybe both models in a stacked housing so that I can easily switch between the two. The OPA Moon HDAM seems to particularly suit KHA 1.5 and OPA Earth KHA II.
Zero DAC became FrankenZero with very fine and worthy results and has only recently been replaced with the MusicStreamer II+ DAC. FrankenZero is now in the main system as an external DAC for the 4K TV and the Samsung BD player, where it sounds just terrific.
Eclectic tastes, David Bowie, Eva Cassidy, Tool, lots of World music, Ali Farka Toure, Ry Cooder etc to the Pixies, Yes, Genesis, Dave Matthews Band, John Meyer, selections from the Chesky collection, Alison Krauss, some classical, particularly the Romantics and some more recent electronic music - Above and Beyond, Chicane being just two. Current fave is the new Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis "Two Men With The Blues", stunning and fun.
Listening to even more 'World' music these days and have discovered the likes of Terakaft, Tinawiren, Yasar Akpence and more for those swinging desert blues and Middle Eastern rhythmic moments.
Really enjoy using a really decent quality fishing rod and the same goes for a good camera, I especially enjoy using an Olympus XZ-1 digital camera for general use and photographing my electronic projects, alongside an Olympus E-M1 mirrorless SLR - includes an adaptor for using a selection of Canon FD lenses.
Been passionate about hi-fi since 17 years young and have been loving my headphones since 1990.