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Audiophiling is a hassle

  1. Goldvein
    It's now 6 months ago I started reading everything about headphones and music quality. I've obtained a Chord Mojo, an Audioquest Nightowl and some LZ A4 iem's. Also had a Sony MDR-1000x from before that. I've spent a lot of time on head-fi even though I dont post that much. I have one problem though. Well... lots of problems.
    My mojo always disconnects from my phone, iPad or laptop. Seems like the USB port is just not connecting well. This makes it impossible to use on the go, since I have to place it perfectly to connect.
    My nightowls sounds good, but are really big to ever take anywhere.
    Today my lz a4's twice made a very loud sssshhhhh sound almost making me deaf while I was listening to some smooth rap. Now I wont listen to high volumes because I'm afraid it will happen again.
    My lz a4's one side makes scratching noises like the cable is not perfectly fitted.
    All these problems are solvable but bothers a lot when you have other things to spend your time on (like listening to music)
    It seems like problems are everywhere and that sound nirvana is there when your things are working, but it seems so difficult to make everything work at the same time.
    My question is, if being an audiophile is always going to be so filled with small problems? Is it worth buying this expensive stuff just to find out, that there are even more problems to solve before I can enjoy the perfect sound experience?
    I need some encouragement.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  2. Monsterzero
    Man I lose my mind when my system catches a cold...But when all is right,its a fun hobby.

    Sounds like your Mojo needs a new USB cable...Have you tried that? Otherwise it might need a trip to the tech.

    Fret not,tis a small bump in the road.
  3. Goldvein
    In the beginning, the cable coming with the mojo worked well, and only cut off some times. After a while it started to disconnect more often. I bought the Fiio CL-06 OTG cable but it's even worse. None of the other cables I have seems to connect easily. I guess I have to get it to the tech. Annoying when you bought it in London and live in Spain (the guy in the store in London was so helpful and I wanted to buy it from his store)

    I just hope that the road wont be all bumpy. The problems seem not to be easily solvable.
  4. Monsterzero
    Chord has excellent customer service. They fixed my Mojo free of charge even though I bought it 2nd hand and didnt have any receipt.
    Drop them a line and see what they say.

    Good luck.
    Goldvein likes this.
  5. Whazzzup
    Portable micro USB sucks, plain and simple.
  6. nordkapp
    Run for the hills. Get out before it's too late.
    serman005 and Monsterzero like this.
  7. Goldvein
    Lol. Despite your very encouraging words, I've emailed chords and I plan to keep going.
    Just one day I hope to get some products that work flawlessly. And also is audiophile
  8. Redcarmoose

    It has to be a hobby you enjoy or you’ll stop, and many have. All I can say is you have to keep it fun. Most all of us have made amazing sacrifices; still keeping stuff in somewhat of a balance.

    Most of the time it smooths out or can go the other way emulating Dante Alighieri’s nice written ideas of “the Inferno”; then getting better. My first two purchases on Head-Fi were not compatible. :)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  9. maira
    As good as the Mojo sounds... i always like to keep things simpel. In this case a DAP as simple as possible and a good pair of phones /iems ... . No BT, no streaming etc. ... .
  10. serman005
    Hiccoughs are just part of the hobby. Hang in there. It will get better once you have sorted a few things out.
  11. megabigeye
    Ooh! Is this a thread for complaining? I love complaining!

    I think I agree with you: audiophiling (I'm digging that as a verb) is kind of a hassle.

    For the most part I'm able to look past and eventually move past all of the foibles, but it can all be painfully annoying at times, especially when you consider the amount of money and time spent.

    I used to have a similar problem with my Dragonfly Red where it would disconnect from my phone if I looked at it funny. Or thought about looking at it funny. It caused me to have to disconnect it completely, exit my music app, force quit the music app, wait ten or fifteen seconds to replug, then wait another half-eternity for the music app to relaunch. The string of expletives would've been enough to make a sailor blanch. I'm sure I looked like a lunatic standing on the street corner. So frustrating. Thankfully, that was solved with a new cable. I still have trouble with the DFR and my MacBook Air, where it just starts distorting randomly. Also frustrating!
    Of course, I got the DFR in the first place because I was tttiiirrreeeddd of having to lug around the FiiO X5 plus E12A. That setup sounded pretty good, but geez, by the time I'd gotten my earphones out of their case and into my ears, the FiiOs out of their case, everything hooked up, and my music cued up, I felt like my commute was halfway over. Plus it weighed like a pound. Which is ridiculous.
    And I got the E12A because the X5 just sounded lousy.
    And I got the X5 because I managed to kill my iPod.
    And I got the iPod because carrying around 1,000 CDs is not practical.

    I also agree about some "portable" headphones really being too big to actually be portable. The PM-3 are, in my book, in no way truly portable and a complete PITA to use them as such. They're big and take up lots of space in my bag, they're hot in the summer, I can't wear a hat with them in the winter, I can't wear glasses or sunglasses with them unless I am in the mood for bass-less music, and they isolate pretty-well-but-not-well-enough-to-sound-like-$400-audiophile-headphones-while-on-a-bus-or-subway. So, basically, I could use them for portable use so long as all of the following are true: it's between 50º and 70º Fahrenheit; it's overcast, but not raining; I don't have to wear glasses; I don't have much else in my bag; and I'm walking to work instead of taking the bus. Just thinking about this makes my blood pressure go up!

    This isn't touching on potentiometers repeatedly failing, equipment breaking other equipment (was it my fault? Poor design? Who knows!), and coming to the slow conclusion that vinyl just doesn't sound as good as a lot of people will have you believe*, or equipment not quite having the feature set or headphones not quite having the sound I'm after. The whole thing sometimes feels like a series of compromises and concessions-making.

    But you know what? Somehow it's all worth it anyway. The frustrations are merely momentary lapses and interruptions before I can get back to losing myself in the music and forget about all of the annoyances... Until they happen again.

    *Except maybe it does! I recently moved and suddenly the hum that was audible from across the room is no longer... audible.
    Redcarmoose likes this.
  12. Redcarmoose
    We are the audiophile monkeys and the audiophile makers are the zookeepers who get us the food. What’s there to complain about?

    megabigeye likes this.
  13. castleofargh Contributor
    my personal position is that we're all working toward enjoying the musical experience more. when something isn't comfy, practical(UI, battery life, plugs) and bug free, I'm not enjoying the experience. worst, it makes me pretty mad as I'm naturally grumpy and overly critical. on the other hand, I can have a blast with mediocre sound system so long as using it is nice. I have a personal hatred of background noise, so I can't rely on absolute garbage, and I have to stay away from overly sensitive IEM/headphones if I'm going to use a hissy source. but beyond that and having a frequency response I can easily EQ to my taste, I pretty much disregard any concept of HIFI (objective or subjective), or at least I never put them first in my list of priorities.
    out of the bunch of audio gears I own, the best ones are clearly known(because I've measured them all fairly extensively), the ones with sound I subjectively prefer are obviously known to me too. same thing for the most expensive ones. but I spend most of my time with "inferior" stuff(objectively and subjectively) because they're overall more enjoyable to me for reasons unrelated to sound. I keep using IEMs with small form factor and strong isolation(which are never my favorite when it comes to sound and are also never the ones with the best measurements), I keep leaving my portable DAC/amp at home, and instead rely on a DAP that's not even the best DAP I own, but it's smaller and has a good deal more battery. from a purely audio perspective, I like planar headphones a lot. but I don't own even one because I consistently find those I like, to be too heavy for me. instead I stick with my trusty HD650 because I can spend hours with it without any form of discomfort(I did bend the metal plates, remove parts, added a clip to hold the cable, add EQ and some fancy sort of crossfeed...). HD650 isn't the best anything, it's not even the best sennheiser. but it's been good to me.

    I have my own priorities and ironically, sound is rarely at the top of the list. someone else will have different priorities and make different decisions based on those. in practice we always have to make compromises, so it's really important to know what makes you happy, and to follow that road no matter what the FOTM is on Head-fi. except obviously if being the owner of famous stuff makes you happy, but I tend to consider that sharing the fame with hyped gears on Head-fi is more of a side hobby that doesn't necessarily relate to being audiophile.
    phthora, serman005 and megabigeye like this.
  14. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Every hobby pursues performance and perfection so you're bound to run into problems.

    If cars are your hobby you can have a Mazda RX-7 that's very agile and can be made very fast very easily...but the Wankel engine seals needs to be redone at a quarter of the time and quadruple the effort of replacing the cylinder head seals on a piston engine; a Lamborghini that might send you to a chiropractor (if you're into bikes, good luck with the Ducati), or that you either can't drive everywhere or you try to and you frequently scrap the undercarriage or front air dam on something; or you have to buy an expensive alloy wheel and a possibly extra wide, low profile tyre twice a year because you didn't see those potholes.

    If you like cooking but don't really know what you're doing when you try more specialized equipment, you'll be moaning about rusting carbon steel or cast iron pans and your eggs stick; or rusting carbon steel knives; or Japanese knives that chip when you chop like how you think it's done thanks to TV or you think you can just use any Miyabi to take a chicken apart like a cleaver; or you can't sharpen the knife, or you can sharpen it but it snags paper when you test the edge, or why the hell does this 4000grit stone not make the edge as shiny as the rest of the knife (plus you scratched it all up trying to sharpen it) but this guy keeps saying you should try a 3000 grit Naniwa, so you did, and now it's shinier the edge is close to looking like a bumper on a newly restored 1950s Cadillac. You're not even at "I can't seem to get my pizza dough or specific type of noodle consistency right" or "why does my prime rib have a thick layer of greyed out meat before you get to the medium rare center."

    If you like video games, and particularly on PC, then there's the "why is it slowing down" or "argh that awful noise" so you blow a lot of money on a fully custom PC but after a while you're now at "ewwwww it's green" or "OH MY GOD IT'S LEAKING!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! *bzzzzzzzt *RTX 2080 Ti has left the world of the living." My cousin ditched his PC for consoles, and now he's on "when is this game going on sale."

    You want the absolute best performance and maximum enjoyment in audio? It gets worse. You need to build your own house and have a large room inside another room that can get around noise complaints with acoustic isolation, line the walls with acoustic absorption and diffusion panels, and then install a quiet split inverter A/C in there so you don't suffocate in the summer but you don't have to hear the compressor, all so you can listen loud and with no ambient noise using a Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage driven by monobloc Class A amplifiers.

    Of course, if you actually know what you're doing and can limit yourself to something more practical instead of pursuing absolute performance, you can always just go with a Toyota 86 or Mazda Miata with a suspension and exhaust/intake upgrade along with one size wider tyres. Or a simple stainless steel pan and stockpot that you can soak in baking soda if anything sticks, along with a softer steel Tojiro 210mm gyuto and fillet or boning knife that won't need anything more than a Suehiro Cerax 1000/3000 combo whetstone. Sacrifice size and other ways of making the install harder by putting a BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 or Noctua NH-D15 on that Intel i9-9700K and just make do with what you can get out of an EVGA RTX 2080 Ti with the factory installed cooling system and minimize any audible noise by wearing headphones.

    Or just get something like a Westone UM30Pro...but still just deal with that bulky dongle. Or get around managing that dongle by using a wireless BT receiver for it. Oh wait no you're going to have to charge that BT receiver too, and no fancy case like with the airpods.

    Maybe just stick with the airpods.
  15. megabigeye
    I couldn't agree more, @castleofargh! It really is about the experience as much as (or more than... Actually definitely more than) the audio. There are definitely times when I just think, "you know what? It's not even worth it right now."
    Also, you should consider St. John's Wort for your grumpiness. I started taking it a few weeks ago and I've hardly ever felt more relaxed. I used to get super freaking grumpy when I'd get tired, but now I mostly just feel relaxed. Aaahhh!

    @Redcarmoose, "It's always bananas, bananas, bananas! Finally you give me an apple and the damn thing is rotten!"

    @ProtegeManiac, One of these days you're going to have to spill the secret to having a non-stick carbon steel pan (or iron, for that matter). My wife insisted on buying the Matfer Bourgeat, and I've managed to make it look pretty with no rust, but I'll be damned if I can get it as slippery as people say can be done.
    Redcarmoose likes this.

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