Watershe(a)d-Fi?
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AngusMcToon

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Don't laugh.

I believe I have hit a sonic watershed with my setup...a point in time, however long or short it may last, where I can listen contentedly to my rig without thinking about upgrading anything. Earvana. WatersHead-Fi. Call it what you will. It sounds like what I want it to sound like right now, at home and on the road. It's taken a lot of obsessing, certainly obsessive board pounding on Head-Fi and HeadWize, and god knows more $ than I ever quite intended to spend on something Consumer Reports won't acknowledge as costing more than $25.

The ingredients, for what's it's all worth:

Work/home rig: Started with the seductive sound of the HD-600 which won me over during the Headroom tour in various configurations. (I went looking to try out Etys. Thought amps were excessive and only for freaks--so dammit, I didn't spend enough time listening critically to amps! What a waste--just wasn't ready. Founds Etys uncomfortable, so at the last minute got the 600 first.)

You have 600s, you really do need an amp. OK, I'm firmly in the camp that has liked each stage of 600-dom. They sound great. They sound greater with an amp, you knew they could and would improve with tweaking. Worked through an AH to a TAH in short order, now in the portable rig, picked up a used Little (non-premium) and thought that really made the 600 sing...and then, very recently the 2 pieces that have completed
the 600 picture for now:

1. Got my Tangent-built "all out" style Meta42...and omigod, I love this amp. Brighter and faster than the Little, this amp is still beyond adjectives--I can't compare it to the Little yet, because I can't stop listening to it. It mates with the 600 magnificently. It makes the 4P through 4S adapter ready for rock and roll. Hey, it makes the 600s totally safe for rock, in my opinion.

2. Cardas cable. Well, didn't believe in amps, let alone boutique wire. That was then. Straight out of my CD deck, mediocre Sony gear, the difference is audible and amazing. Smurf up to the Meta...and that is the apotheosis. My 600 now sound the way I want them to. I am awestruck by this combo.

Portable rig and travel rig: using my DLink portable MP3 with well encoded MP3 and my SlimX through TAH+ER4P, or straight through 4P. Microphonics and occlusion are there, but less bothersome over time, plus I've gotten totally comfortable with the fit of the 4Ps and they sound great in a very different way from the 600s...both sounds are wonderful, both very different in character, and the luxury of both a rare and wonderful privilege to listen to. Etys seem to violate nature, especially when on advice here I kept sticking them in my ears when they were uncomfortable hoping I'd get used to them. This felt counter-natural and freakish at first.

Now, it all just sounds great. I have finally reached a state of desirelessness with my sound.





(For now, at least...)

Thanks to the many folks here for opinions, advice, education, and patience with all manner of noobitude. Also thanks to Tangent and other DIY'ers who can make a great amp like the Meta available to those of us known only for soldering irony when it comes to wrangling with tiny components.

In grim and difficult times, somehow it seems paradoxically reassuring that a community can thrive discussing which headphones are best for the head. That's what Head-Fi is for.


 
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a1leyez0nm3

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at the moment i am almost happy with my 280pros/ koss clips/ pcdp/ AH...




i just want either the ety er4 or er6..
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Great.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
 
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AngusMcToon

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Quote:

Originally posted by a1leyez0nm3
at the moment i am almost happy with my 280pros/ koss clips/ pcdp/ AH...

I just want either the ety er4 or er6..


Well, tried both at the Headroom show, and for whatever reasons, with a seemingly good seal on both, found the 6's disappointing, at least in comparison...much more comfortable at first, but much more average in sound. So if you can swing it, try to do the er4. Figure either way you go through some sort of training period. The best advice here was just keep trying...eventually it becomes more comfortable, and the sound is worth the trouble, imo, though I suppose I understand those who can't deal with them.

They're great on a plane too..
 
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HighwayStar

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AngusMcToon,

Great post ! I had some similar opinions in the beginning myself. (I'm not sticking anything in my ears.../man that's a lot of money... etc. Didn't fight the amp though, knew I needed it due to the lame output of the portables I was using. Tried all sorts of crap phones I thought would give me some fidelity and volume) But it's funny, but I've arrived at the same travel rig, SlimX>TAH>ER4P's. Of course this is due to reading the contributions of those who have posted here.
 
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HighwayStar

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Quote:

Originally posted by a1leyez0nm3
at the moment i am almost happy with my 280pros/ koss clips/ pcdp/ AH...

i just want either the ety er4 or er6..


I've seen quite a few posts stating the 6's underwhelm. I have not tried them so I cannot offer an opinion. I can tell you that I'm very happy I bought the 4P's. I'm very happy with them and it's probably some of the best money I ever spent.
 
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a1leyez0nm3

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yea... on second thought.. the er6 is out.. i was disapointed too now that i think about it... I will just save for the er4. my 280s sound better than the er6... not joking. but the er4 is great.
 
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Gus B

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Quote:

Originally posted by AngusMcToon

Worked through an AH to a TAH in short order


Angus, did you notice any improvement with the TAH over the AH? I was thinking of upgrading, primarily for use with 280 pros.
 
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AngusMcToon

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Quote:

Originally posted by Gus B


Angus, did you notice any improvement with the TAH over the AH? I was thinking of upgrading, primarily for use with 280 pros.


Well, I didn't have them next to each other, but the general opinion in the office among the 3 of us who've been trying out combinations of things was that the TAH did improve the sound incrementally--it was a $30 jump between a new AH I returned and used TAH I bought here on head-fi. Being sorta frugal at heart (Scottish blood, I guess) I don't know if the difference was worth more to me but it might have been. I'd have jumped on a Porta Corda if that had come up used...but seized a nice deal on the TAH first.

On the other hand, we all universally agreed that the leap between TAH and Little is a very perceptible jump in quality at least through the Senn 580s and 600s we've listened with. And with the Etys, the 4S adapter does seem disappointing with TAH, to my ears at least, but the Little seems to take to them to another level entirely. TAH->4P, on the other hand, is pretty lush and open and well powered and comfortable at all levels for my tastes.

The 9V battery may help, but HeadRoom doesn't make them anymore. The 9V battery is hard to change (tight fit in compartment) and doesn't last long, in any case. I use it with a 12V RS adapter whenever I can but not of course portably. The 4.5V probably wins big on convenience and availability of rechargeables.
 
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