Dazed & Confused (c/o Head-Fi!!!)
Jan 18, 2004 at 11:39 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Traveller

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Hi2all!

I'm new to the site and came upon HeadFi after getting an iRiver iHP-120 MP3 player. I purchased a RIO 500 back in 1999 and it was the only "portable" I've used up until now. What made me so excited about the iHP-120 was not the fact that I could store up to 6,000 low-bitrate 4min songs, but that I could take my existing modest collection & raise the quality levels to the point where I really begin to appreciate that you can get good reproduction from a portable device!

So much for the background: four days of intense analysis of what, a gazillion posts in this forum & I'm somewhat dazed & confused (... talk about understating
tongue.gif
) My initial goal was a good pair of "portable" 'phones and now I'm distressed because I feel like I'm the only idiot on the planet without a custom-made amp! Curse you all...
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So here's the deal: as a newbie, I thought I'd start out with something familiar to me - a Headroom portable: browsing the April issue(s) of Stereophile, you cannot miss the several Headroom, Music Fidelity amps as well as the few CAD & Melos' "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" entries.

But of course, four days & a gazillion posts later, Headroom's only for the ignorant & custom's are all waaaay better, with sites like JMT's, Headsave, Xin, Meier Audio all still waiting to be properly sorted in my favorites browser-list and buzz words like PPA, meta-this, meta-that, even pdacs keeping me up at night.... arrrrg
tongue.gif


But then just as I was going to go for a porta Corda (I'm currently in Austria & thought I'd go to the "neighbor" first) I lost it again when I saw JMT's signature:
"Travel Rig: Sony D-303 => 2004 HeadRoom Total Airhead/Self built portable PIMETA => Etymotic ER-4S"
Go figure, four days & a gazillion posts later and I'm still stumped!

So here's the deal: Headroom's offering what would seem to be a pretty good deal, a set of Etys ER-4S & a TAH (2004, I should certainly hope; Jamey, if you come accross this, please confirm, thx) for $399. As I was planning to upgrade my portable headphones too, this seems to be the way this newbie's gonna go.... any major objections from you veterens of the art of 'phone amplification...?

Thx btw, for all the excellent reading I've enjoyed on this forum so far
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Jan 18, 2004 at 2:55 PM Post #2 of 21

markl

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Quote:

But of course, four days & a gazillion posts later, Headroom's only for the ignorant & custom's are all waaaay better,


I don't agree that the Headroom gear is "for the ignorant", or that the custom amps from hobbyists are automatically "better". With Headroom, you get excellent customer service, they are a known, reliable dealer, they've been around for over a decade, they'll be here tomorrow if you have issues. You also get their outstanding 30-day trial period to test their product in your system and see if it works for you. Not casting aspersions on any of the private builders by any means, just pointing out that going Headroom is not without advantages. As to sound quality, it's going to come down to personal preference.
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 3:23 PM Post #3 of 21

Traveller

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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
With Headroom, you get excellent customer service, they are a known, reliable dealer, they've been around for over a decade, they'll be here tomorrow if you have issues.


Your positive attitude certainly helps to take away some of the sting of stressing out my Mastercard once again
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 4:17 PM Post #4 of 21

Sovkiller

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Quote:

Originally posted by Traveller
But of course, four days & a gazillion posts later, Headroom's only for the ignorant & custom's are all waaaay better, with sites like JMT's, Headsave, Xin, Meier Audio all still waiting to be properly sorted in my favorites browser-list and buzz words like PPA, meta-this, meta-that, even pdacs keeping me up at night.... arrrrg
tongue.gif

But then just as I was going to go for a porta Corda (I'm currently in Austria & thought I'd go to the "neighbor" first) I lost it again when I saw JMT's signature:
"Travel Rig: Sony D-303 => 2004 HeadRoom Total Airhead/Self built portable PIMETA => Etymotic ER-4S"
Go figure, four days & a gazillion posts later and I'm still stumped!


I agree with markl here, headroom is not for the ignorants, in fact, ignorance is a bliss we do not have anymore since we meet this site, and a lot of us, purchase and will keep on doing from them.
BTW the Blockhead is one of the best amps ever made....period, along with others....is true that their "portable stuff is not at the same level of some of the DIY one" but you have to consider that they have also a very good customer service, a loan program for us, they always loan amps for the meets, and sometimes even very good prices on headphones, and associated gear, and over all these they are sponsors of our forum, what else to ask for???

BTW the portacorda according to the site was discontinued....I sadly saw that yesterday on the Jan's website, unless there was a mess of the front page site arrangement, i try to look at it in all resolutions possibles and there is a mess anyway, the sign says discontinued on top of the text that belongs to the portacorda, and later over the pic of the HA-1, so ?????
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 4:45 PM Post #5 of 21

Traveller

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Quote:

Originally posted by Sovkiller
I agree with markl here, headroom is not for the ignorants... BTW the portacorda according to the site was discontinued


Great, another supporter of my cause! Btw, I think you mean the HA-1 has been dicontinued; The Porta Corda is business-as-usual, or so it would seem....
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 4:53 PM Post #6 of 21

Sovkiller

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The sign that reads "discontinued" is over the text that belongs to the portacorda, and over the picture that belongs to the HA-1, so is confusing, I would like to know which screen resolution Jan used for the design of his website, but is not working very well, it is supposed to work at any you use....and i tried all of them possible and non of them shows a right view....
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 4:53 PM Post #7 of 21

JMT

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Traveller, ain't it a bitch.
biggrin.gif


I received one of HeadRoom's new generation Total Airheads a couple of weeks ago, and am currently putting together some listening thoughts to post as a review (when my schedule allows). I will say this: The new Total Airhead is a completely different offering than the previous version. It is a very, very good sounding portable amplifier. Whatever you have read about the Total Airhead, good, bad, or indifferent you need to make sure you specify what version the author was writing about.

Just to clarify, the Total Airhead that I have is not a review unit...it is mine.
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 5:04 PM Post #8 of 21

Traveller

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Quote:

Originally posted by JMT
...currently putting together some listening thoughts to post as a review... The new Total Airhead is a completely different offering than the previous version. It is a very, very good sounding portable amplifier...


wow, the man himself, posting in my humble thread: quite an honor indeed
smily_headphones1.gif


Thanks very much for the info & I am very much looking forward to your review (when your schedule allows, of course!) I very much appreciate your opinion(s), considering your vast experience in the art
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Jan 18, 2004 at 7:09 PM Post #9 of 21

NetRunner

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Sovkiller: The "discontinued" text is on the Corda HA-1 picture and over the HA-1 price. What browser and os are you using? (Hmm.. bit unusually placed that text.. Absolutely positioned div? No wonder it can be in a wrong place.. With different fonts and stuff.)
 
Jan 18, 2004 at 9:57 PM Post #10 of 21

Sovkiller

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Quote:

Originally posted by NetRunner
Sovkiller: The "discontinued" text is on the Corda HA-1 picture and over the HA-1 price. What browser and os are you using? (Hmm.. bit unusually placed that text.. Absolutely positioned div? No wonder it can be in a wrong place.. With different fonts and stuff.)


Windows XP-Pro and IE 6.0, and I have tried all the resolutions from 800 x 600 to 1280 x 1024, and in all of them, there is a problem with the sign placement, and also with the pictures placement, a total mess....maybe is the font, or size of the font, but this should not happen on regular webpages, mostly all the pages on the web work fine under any setting
 
Jan 19, 2004 at 1:52 AM Post #11 of 21

gpalmer

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One more vote for HeadRoom. As others have mentioned there are a lot of good things about buying from them. You have to understand that this site runs on flavor of the month. Whatever the new amp that's out will get a lot of press. Most of the HeadRoom gear has been out for some time so it doesn't get discussed as much as the flavor of the month. I would at least wait until JMT posts his impressions of the new Airhead, though since HeadRoom gives you a thirty day money back period you might want to try the 4s TAH combo yourself.
 
Jan 19, 2004 at 3:02 AM Post #12 of 21

NetRunner

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Sovkiller: Odd checked the IE 6 (also XP Pro), but here the page looks good.. (Generally I only use IE for windowsupdate.. IE so fallen behind times.) The text is in the wrong place only if I change the text size from the default medium.
Anyways..
 
Jan 19, 2004 at 8:04 AM Post #13 of 21

Traveller

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Quote:

Originally posted by gpalmer
... I would at least wait until JMT posts his impressions of the new Airhead, though since HeadRoom gives you a thirty day money back period you might want to try the 4s TAH combo yourself.


Good idea to wait on JMT, but I've caught the "bug"... & as a 1000+ poster, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, huh...
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Jan 19, 2004 at 8:25 AM Post #14 of 21

gpalmer

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Quote:

Originally posted by Traveller
Good idea to wait on JMT, but I've caught the "bug"... & as a 1000+ poster, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, huh...
biggrin.gif


* blush * Well, I have been known to buy some gear in the past...
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Jan 19, 2004 at 10:11 AM Post #15 of 21

tommyatkins

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Another thing to consider is the crossfeed offered in the HeadRoom amps. I really enjoy my Total Airhead (1st gen, 2 AA version) because it provides good oomph as well as crossfeed in a very small package.

Many of the custom portable amps do not have crossfeed or a crossfeed module will greatly increase size. Maybe Elrod-Tom will step in here and back me up...
 

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