The Watercooler-- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Apr 24, 2022 at 5:59 AM Post #22,696 of 36,910

CrocodileDundee

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USB 4 can handle 48v
Thunderbolt can also handle some good wattage too. While smartphones can be an issue, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen some ultra dongle DAC yet. The tech is there, and chips are getting smaller and more efficient.

But that’s just my 2¢
Hum. USB4 is not a thing yet. It will take a few years to be widely used. We still have USB 2 being used on audio.

Dongle is for portability, no smartphone will allow high power consumption through the usb as it defeats the purpose of it. Since it will drain the phone leaving the user without phone and dac/music.

But we never know what is on the companies blueprints until it starts to pop up the “rumors”.

On the other hand I am looking forward to the new Airpod pro 2 and the possibility of having high res Bluetooth there. That would be an start of a new era of wireless audio. (We all know that when apple implement something it becomes the new standard)
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:46 AM Post #22,697 of 36,910

Kerouac

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I saw this beautiful opus today, thought it might be of interest. :) It reminded me how fun the journey is. Overflowing with creativity and self-expression, be it from the maker, musician, or listener. All is brimming with goodness. And what better it is than to share some of the joy @Kerouac
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/effect-audio-axiom.25610/reviews#review-28376
11751716.jpg

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Thank you for sharing this over here (which I just noticed a few minutes ago) in this thread!

Some time ago I 'unsubbed' from this thread, not because it ain't interesting (instead, there are lots of interesting posts over here imo). But because I just couldn't keep up with its pace. Sometimes, when I had not been on HF for some days, and when I saw how much there had been posted over here in the meantime, it litteraly gave me too much stress to read them all. I just couldn't handle that pressure anymore :smile:

Stress.gif


Anyway, now I'm probably 'subbed' again because I'm posting this. But it's still an interesting and fast moving thread. So, I'll do my best to keep up with the pace over the upcomming period this time :)

Cheers to ya' all!
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:49 AM Post #22,698 of 36,910

RTodd

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Seeing as we’re sharing photos, here’s some simple phone snaps from my short Easter getaway with the family last week :)
DB4BEF8A-FA85-4467-A4D6-CE9DB7124E3F.jpeg4BC36256-4F2E-4B25-BB99-49EC11DB8E9A.jpeg528D6A1F-F5AC-41CB-A3D7-3C3509073045.jpeg297C2A91-9F51-4739-8162-86E94DE3153D.jpeg9A847718-12FB-4013-ACC5-B9671B879AB3.jpegAFFDE505-0953-41CF-8B60-1E9A155CEEF1.jpeg

Was a wonderful and much needed break but it’s nice to be back home and listening to some tunes 🥰

Today’s setup:

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Terrific Photos.
Phone has come so far.
You live in such a beautiful place.

I understand why people like the XE6, it is just so much fun, the way it renders so so far from reference, all energy all emotive.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:57 AM Post #22,699 of 36,910

gLer

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Agree on the Nio in terms of technicalities. I too really like the tonality and think it does bass very well. They’re quite smooth though and can leave something to be desired on the detail and technical front for its MSRP. At ~$1k on the secondhand market I think it’s still a great buy though.
Nio's greatest strength, for me, is its easy-listening tonality. I could listen to it for hours on end without fatigue, and it has incredibly organic vocals. For pure musical enjoyment, it's right near the top of the list. I think what ultimately made me move it on was my (misguided) belief that it would be a U12t with DD bass (I sold the U12t to buy Nio), and when it didn't live up to the 12t's technical strenghts I was a bit perturbed.
I still find it odd that people are willing to shell out these ever increasing multiples of $1K for musicality. Musicality should be fundamental property of the purpose of an iem regardless.
Perhaps all IEMs have some degree of musicality-- but many of them beyond a point eschew musicality in favour of a more technical performance.
In IEMs, I’ve noticed there is a key component of musicality that does tend to rise proportionally with MSRP, and that’s dynamic range. One of the main advantages pricey flagships have over less-expensive IEMs is their ability to sound big and open, which comes from dynamic range (or go from small to big). So, that’s the one contributor towards musicality that you do have to pay decent bucks for.
Ken, the chief architect at Subtonic, has an interesting view of reference and musicality, which is -- as they both scale upwards along the ladder of excellence, they will eventually converge at a single point where reference and musicality is the one and the same thing. That's his mission with the Storm IEM, I suppose.
Contrast in an IEM’s FR (bass against treble, bass against high-mids, low-mids against treble, etc.) is a great way to coax musicality out tonally. It’s like having a good blend of highlights and shadows in an image; immediately makes it look more impactful or dynamic.
I define musicality as my preferred presentation of music. Just because I like a sub-bass emphasis with some warmth and organic vocals and relaxed treble doesn't mean that's everyone's idea of how music should sound. I can also personally enjoy my idea of 'musicality' across all genres, meaning I don't need to switch to different IEMs with different presentations for different genres (or even sub-genres, or, in extreme cases, album by album). It's interesting to hear different presentations, sure, but I'm not the guy who orders different toppings on pizza at every outing just for the sake of variety.

All that said, I think as we move up the chain (and price points) in the IEM world, we should expect technical excellence to rise accordingly. Even the cheapest IEMs can deliver spot-on musicality with the right tuning, but very few can deliver that with an equivalent level of technical excellence. That's what sets TOTL IEMs apart from others, for me, and why I agree with both @KuroKitsu's point about staying at a certain level of IEM once you're used to it, and also the Subtonic guy's point about the convergence of musicality and technicalities at a certain point. We'd all like to think that's possible at $500 or even $1000, and (depending on your 'good enough' threshold), I'd say you're probably looking at $2000 before you can consistently find IEMs that hit both marks most of the time.

Also, @Deezel177's point about light and shade is so apt. It really is what brings the drama and 'story' out of an image, and can do the same with music. That's not all down to the IEM or audio chain, however. It's very much a factor of the music itself, and what brings out the emotional connection with the music for each of us. Very often when I read about 'emotional engagement' from an IEM, I look to see what music is being used in that context, and equally often I can listen to the same music with IEMs that make me well up with tears with my own music, and yet feel absolutely nothing with the music referenced by the reviewer (metal is a good example here, sorry guys).

Ultimately it's the synergy between the music we listen to and the gear we listen to it with that appeals to us and makes us go all gooey. Without the music (and artistry behind it), IEMs are nothing more than a collection of metal and plastic parts.
Where was this taken?
With images were taken a few kilometres apart in a small town called George in South Africa's picturesque Garden Route. I've been visiting this area all my life, and could easily see myself retiring there one day. The Top image is from the banks of Garden Route Dam at sunrise, and the second from the famous gold course at Fancourt Estate, also at sunrise. Wind-free mornings are essential for the mirror-like finish on the water. As soon as the sun comes up, the breeze ripples the surface and the photo op is gone.

Fancourt: https://goo.gl/maps/AHiivYZYREWjLkgn9
Garden Route Dam: https://goo.gl/maps/AHiivYZYREWjLkgn9
Nice review on R5 Gen 2, is it a good pairing with Z1R (within ultra portable range DAP)?

It's early days, but I can say the R52 has plenty of driving power for the Z1R, even on low gain. I don't expect it to challenge the RS6 for synergy or SQ, and definitely not the WM1Z, but at this stage I have no qualms recommending it as a cheap and cheerful (and very versatile and powerful) ultraportable DAP.
This is a good book, unfortunately I don’t have the energy to read these days, with work and handling my dad’s and my own illness. I guess it’s also why I don’t want to spend time poring over nuances, technicalities and specs. I’ll defer to the experts and just read insights where possible. Re musicality and reference, my own selection of audio equipment is very much gut-based and visceral. It’s often love or at the very least super like at the get go, and because of that, the weaknesses in the IEMs I’ve decided to keep are pretty much out of my mind.
So sorry to hear about your troubles and glad you're able to connect with music and music gear to ease your pain somewhat. Wishing you much strength and warmth in your battles.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:59 AM Post #22,700 of 36,910

RTodd

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Where was this taken?

Here's my contributions to the photofest. Straight out of the camera, too lazy to edit:

old_timey.JPG

Like these images, like sketches.
This one reminds my of this shot from Cody Wyoming.

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Apr 24, 2022 at 7:53 AM Post #22,701 of 36,910

Neweymatt

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First concert, INXS X Tour with Soup Dragons back in 1991, LOL.
Where did you see that show?? I saw the same tour when I was at college at Urbana, IL.
After referencing The Orb gig I attended in 1994, that led me to revisiting their 'UFOrb' album from 1992.
Oh, man, The Orb have been a mainstay of mine since a college roommates of mine went to the UK on an exchange program in 1992 brought Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld back with him.
I thoroughly enjoyed a nice pint too!

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Yum! I have great memories of going to the Lagunitas brewery in Chicago with my dad a few years ago.

This weekend I’m away with family at the Blue Mountains, about 80km west of Sydney, plenty of great photo ops here for sure!!

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..starting with the iconic view of the Three Sisters..

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..the incredible crystals of the Jenolan Caves..


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..the bittersweet solitude of Wentworth Falls..

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..and a quiet evening with Spiritualized.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 8:44 AM Post #22,705 of 36,910

Scuba Devils

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Where did you see that show?? I saw the same tour when I was at college at Urbana, IL.

Oh, man, The Orb have been a mainstay of mine since a college roommates of mine went to the UK on an exchange program in 1992 brought Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld back with him.

Yum! I have great memories of going to the Lagunitas brewery in Chicago with my dad a few years ago.

This weekend I’m away with family at the Blue Mountains, about 80km west of Sydney, plenty of great photo ops here for sure!!

6F81517D-8A8B-401F-A594-387603EB8BA0.jpeg
..starting with the iconic view of the Three Sisters..

3D587CCE-8FC9-4797-9D0D-F4E8FD5ED329.jpeg

..the incredible crystals of the Jenolan Caves..


2A52E361-766C-4B04-A323-736D86E242AA.jpeg

..the bittersweet solitude of Wentworth Falls..

A05C43E8-76B1-44F2-B20F-91F302AF5BB4.jpeg

..and a quiet evening with Spiritualized.

Yeah Adventures is such an incredible album. I still have the original CD I purchased in 1993, a Deluxe CD edition from about 15 years ago, and my absolute pride and joy quadruple vinyl which was a limited edition for record store day about 5 years ago, really beautiful gatefold and fantastic pressing.

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The Lagunitas IPA was really nice, I hadn't tried it before.

Great photos! Australia high on my list of places I have to see.

Oh and nice to meet another Spiritiualized fan! A mainstay for me since the early 90s. I saw them perform 'Ladies and Gentlemen...' here in Dublin about 10 years ago, fantastic gig. Oh and the vinyl reissue from last year, fantastic pressing. I need a good revisit to Spiritualized actually!

20220424_133406.jpg
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 9:15 AM Post #22,706 of 36,910

Auricon

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Where did you see that show?? I saw the same tour when I was at college at Urbana, IL.
If I recall correctly, I was visiting my college roommate in Ann Arbor, MI and saw the concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 9:24 AM Post #22,707 of 36,910
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Glad to hear, customer service has definitely waxed and waned with EA over the years. The recent improvement is probably most likely to do with their rebranding and ever skyrocketing prices though

I took another look at their site and they don't specify it being Litz or individually enameled so it definitely teaches us all a lesson that we shouldn't just assume a cable will be Litz off the bat.

The reviewers seem to pretty inconsistent regarding the Centurion as well, I also took a look at the bigger reviews that showed on googleand found:

Headfonia: Straightout says the cable is Litz

Headfonics: Copied specs from their site as is.

Twister6: Says the strands are individually enameled.

Even the C51 was more consistent.

Fair enough, I've heard a few TOTLs where even I found then too technical.

I think you're spot on with that. For me I find that the extension of musicality necessitates technical excellence but not in a way where technical excellence overshadows it.

I mentioned whatever was in the spec they sent me :D
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 9:52 AM Post #22,708 of 36,910

claud W

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Now that could be interesting what was everyone’s first concert.

Kind of embarrassed to tell everyone mine.

It was Styx the Grand Illusion Tour.

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The last General Admission show in Philadelphia at the now demolished Spectrum Arena.

Just before that horrible trampling that occurred at a WHO concert, after that no more General Admission assigned seats only.

Come Sail Away With Me Boys
Really dating myself here.
Jimmy Buffet at a small underground club in Raleigh. Just JB and one other musician. Wife and I were so close we could talk to him. We went to five full group outdoor concerts later of his that were great fun.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 10:19 AM Post #22,709 of 36,910

claud W

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I find this perfectly sensible. As an artist and designer I expect the same high level of design in the products I buy as to what I create. For the amount of money we spend on these toys, the least we can ask for in return is some attention to detail and an attempt at creating something as beautiful as it is functional, no?

Which prompts a Cooler Friday Conundrum: what is most important to you in a TOTL IEM: sound, comfort or looks? And if all three, in what ratio?

To answer my own question: all three in equal measure. That's not possible, of course, but when I buy a TOTL IEM, I want the best, and two out of three just doesn't cut it.
Fit 50%
sound 50%
looks 00%
 

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