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Brooko's Reviews - Past & Future

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  1. Brooko Contributor
    Thanks mate - Head-Fi will always be my home base though I think.  I enjoy the writing anyway - but Head-Fi is the one that gives me the freedom to formulate the review the way that I'd prefer to see it done.
    It's good to have the Headfonia opportunities though - as I wouldn't have had the relationship with people like Jays if they hadn't given me the initial contacts. And Lieven and his team are really good to deal with - very fair, and very professional.
    And still purely a hobby for me - been approached twice so far about receiving payment, but turned it down both times.  It would destroy my objectivity - and at this stage the process and the ability to hear a lot more gear than I would otherwise is still the driver.  I still make it known to every manufacturer I deal with that even if they choose to leave the gear with me (for future reviews / comparisons etc), I still regard the gear as theirs - just on long-term loan.  If they ever want it back, I'm more than happy to return it. Doing that helps keep me balanced I think.
    twister6 likes this.
  2. prot
    I'm definitely a fan of your open, clear and fair way of dealing with the financial/sponsorship side of the reviews. If anything, you err a bit on the too-many-disclaimers side. That should be the normal, usual way, but unfortunately you are quite an exception nowadays. While your reviews sound refreshingly down to earth and honest, most of the other stuff I read between adverts in various magazines makes me puke quite often.
    Anyway ... good luck again and keep ot up! :)
  3. Brooko Contributor
    Fiio E11K review posted - http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-kilimanjaro-2-e11k-portable-headphone-amplifier/reviews/14277
  4. Brooko Contributor
    Alclair Curve (new tuning) review posted - http://www.head-fi.org/products/alclair-curve-new-tuning/reviews/14344
  5. Brooko Contributor
    1More (Xaiomi/Mi) Earbuds and Voice IEMs review posted (Headfonia) - http://www.headfonia.com/review-1more-piston-earbuds-voice/
    twister6 and Hawaiibadboy like this.
  6. Brooko Contributor
    VE Zen review posted - http://www.head-fi.org/products/ve-zen/reviews/14418
  7. Brooko Contributor
    Fiio X7 review posted - http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x7/reviews/14456
    twister6 likes this.
  8. prot
    Hi Brooko and first of all congrats for the first-page review. If it was my decision I'd put all of your reviews there in a permanent how-to-properly-review-audio-stuff column :)

    And one observation. You mentioned in a few reviews of late that you do not check amps/dacs for things like soundstage. In theory, I fully agree with you, soundstage should be 100% a function of the transducer/room/ears. But in practice, the soundsatge situation seems to be more complex.

    Just a sample, I bought a '70s Marantz receiver a few months ago because I am a fan of the brand and they have that superb vintage look. While it sounds very good and pleasantly warm, it has that sound-blob-in-the-middle effect on the soundstage. With nothing else changed in the playback chain, a modern 2014 Marantz receiver used as pure amp has a much larger and airier soundstage. And the effect is quite obvious with pretty much any music.
    Currawong mentioned ~the exact same effect in a comment to your FiioX7 review and had an interesting theory about the lack of amp power being the reason. Not so sure about that cause the old Marantz can still drive my speakers beyond ear-splitting levels with ease. I cannot really offer you a solid explanation but it may be about the rarely mentioned slew-rate.

    Also, I do hear soundstage diffs between DACs in my setup. The Minimax Plus DAC produces a very wide but not particularly deep soundstage .. the DAC in the Marantz receiver is slightly narrower and a bit deeper. *Much* less obvious than the amp diffs but I think I will be able to BT with some effort. I looked around a bit but haven't found even a half-reasonable technical explanation for those soundstage diffs in DACs, so don't ask :)

    In any case, I think that you should do such soundstage tests/comparisons for DAC & Amps ... while I agree that most of the recent gear sounds *a lot* more similar than different, there could be audible soundstage differences.
  9. Brooko Contributor
    Thanks Prot. I'll see if I can implement in future. Worth testing - not sure if differences will be very noticeable though on a lot of gear.
  10. landroni
    I notice that you've reviewed quite a number of DACs... Have you ever considered or perhaps have the opportunity to review R2R DACs like Schiit's Bifrost MB or Audio GD's DAC-19, or perhaps an FPGA solution like Chord Mojo? 
    I'd love to read such a review by you...
    PS For more on this see:
  11. Brooko Contributor
    Unfortunately they are well out of my price range (growing family, mortgage and life's other commitments) - and due to my location (NZ), it's unlikely I'd be able to arrange review loaners.  Shipping would simply be too expensive.
    Hopefully I might be able to get my hands on a Mojo at some stage in 2016.
    Thanks for the thought though.
    I still have to sit down and write up my current desktop unit (iFi Micro iDSD) - a unit which I just love.  Just need the time.
  12. Brooko Contributor
    Brainwavz S3 Review Posted - http://www.head-fi.org/products/brainwavz-s3/reviews/14511
    twister6 likes this.
  13. Hawaiibadboy Contributor

    I am an absolute fan of that item. Not heard anything like it in the portable audio world. I did a fanboy gushing video but a real proper review by you would be excellent for the community.
  14. landroni

    I too would love reading your review of iFi Micro iDSD... I've heard very good things about this item in the past, and a thorough review would make for a very interesting read.
  15. Brooko Contributor
    Thanks gents - definitely on my to-do list.  I just have some others in the queue first & reasonably time sensitive.
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