Super Best Audio Friends

The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists

Hello north TX friends,


LSA (self-billed as "the Woodstock of high-end audio shows" lol) will be going on from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4 this year.
  • It will be held at the Embassy Suites Dallas Galleria in Dallas, TX.
  • There is no price of admission for attendees.
  • Here's the schedule for the weekend, which starts at 10am and ends at 6pm each day.
  • If you're thinking about exhibiting your system, here's the registration form for a room.
Would be good to get a nod from each of the folks who are planning on attending, and we can also post impressions and pics here as well!
About a year ago, someone on Reddit asked me to help them navigate the morass or products out there, to write a guide. To do this comprehensively would be difficult if not impossible, but as I thought more about this, I came up with some ideas. I will eventually write a Newbies Guides to the Galaxy of Personal Audio, but not today.

Somewhat related to this, I felt it may be a good idea to discuss what I am personally using (members please chime in). I've slipped hints to readers here and there: the secret to knowing what is good is not necessarily what reviewers say is good, but to ask the reviews what they actually use themselves. Case in point: we all know Amir has some pretty awesome shit in his house that isn't Topping. :)

BTW, it's frustrated me that so few people have asked me what I actually use (keeping in mind that I have stuff at various price points lying around the house). What it comes down to is that most people see something shiny and new - and want confirmation that they made the correct choice. Whatever people want, I will oblige.

Over five years ago, I wrote a review for the Massdrop x Input Club K-Type keyboard. I definitely don't count myself as a mechanical keyboard geek, but I certainly do appreciate nice things. This keyboard was pretty good for it's day. The only thing that sucked about the K-type was the included stabilizers, which I wrote a guide on replacing them in the article. Fast forward five years later, I got another chance to examine keyboards again, mainly because my son wanted one. I got him a Drop ENTR which is a decent base (much better than the discontinued K-Type here as it should be). However the switches that came with it, the Halo True, didn't work well for his purposes. They lacked feel and required too much pressure to depress. They were horrible for gaming. In addition, several of the keycap stems broke. And they weren't on the WASD keys mostly used in gaming, more like the J key. My son said screw this and decided to build his own keyboard from scratch with a Glorious base and Cherry MX red switches, but that is another story.

When I moved to Texas a few years ago, my K-Type got damaged in shipping. I had no idea how this happened because the keyboard was stored in its original box which did not look damaged. I mean this is supposed to be a solid piece of aluminum right? How the heck was this even possible?
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I recently finished restoring an early model HH Scott 222d integrated amp, which is actually the circuit from the 222c, just with a different face plate. Along the way I decided to add the biasing circuit from the 299b. It turned out great and unseated my Ragnarok 2, not on technicalities, but on musical enjoyment. I've come to accept that I just like vintage stuff and I like tubes and I'm ok with that. Then I came across a cheap Scott LK-48 for sale locally and grabbed it. It's the same circuit as the 222c, but again with a different face plate, and uses 7199 tubes for the phase inverter instead of the 6UB tubes in the 222c/d I restored already, although some 222c's did use the 7199. Anyway I'm starting to restore/mod the LK-48 and will keep a log here.

I forgot to take before pictures, but the first order of business was to clean off the dust/grime and remove the output transformers and power transformer bell cap for a repaint. They looked similar, but a little worse, to the condition of the transformers on the 222c, which I failed repaint and will do later. Here's the unpainted transformers on the 222c/d

LK-48 with transformers and bell cap removed:
*Considering that every single ETA thread for some reason is drawing drama, this will act as the official thread for loaner impressions and conducive discussion.

ETA O2 Impressions

If you have had the chance to listen to a good unit of the old pre-fazor Audezes and wondered what it would sound like as a dynamic, look no further. The ETA O2 is in many ways a similar headphone: a rather interpretive listen, one that is somewhat unhinged and wholeheartedly unrefined energy (especially in the highs) but not in ways that are necessarily negative. If the Utopia (when driven by synergistic amps) is a posh, stuffy, properly-mannered suited up guy, the O2 is the borderline gangster who wore backwards hats back in the early 2000s and rode a skateboard while carrying around a boombox. There's room for both.
The Schiit Syn was publicly shown at the Schiit Meet in CCTX last evening. I will write up a couple notes I took from the meet and also provide commentary for many things brought up in this thread:
Blu-Ray Player -> Syn -> Bunch O' Rekkrs -> Klipsch speakers

So WTF does the Syn do and how can it be used? Based on this meet, I see it used in several ways:
  1. As a cheap drop-in surround sound processor for those with existing two-channel systems - allowing them to pull off 5.1 HT duties. This would my my person use case.
  2. As a headphone listening soundstage enhancer, providing the ability to expand stereo width and adjust the presence region to move the vocals (or other instrument in the vocal range) forward or back.
  3. As a surround sound processor for music. Holy shit, this was the surprise of the night for me.
  4. For people with PCs to build a cheap multi-purpose setup for surround sound gaming or watching streaming with surround.
"Earlier this week MQA filed paperwork with the UK courts for the Appointment of Administrators. This is the British equivalent of filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under United States law. There is a twist to this though as MQA may be able to survive and re-emerge but will likely have to sell off SCL6 (formerly MQAir) to do so."

I will wait with bated breath for Schiit to come out with an official apology


I have no idea where these came from. All I know is that @ChaChaRealSmooth sent them to me. First off will be some impressions. I will do measurements later.


Tonally, I found that the S5X were best mated with darker sounding setups. For example, the Nitsch Piety paired with the Zen DAC Signature (a clean zippy sounding DAC) was way too much. The Modi MB 2 in NOS mode or Zen DAC V2 Regular edition fared a little better. Pop tracks from Eminem or Rihanna (which otherwise sounded fine from the JAR600 or Mini C) came off as shrill or lean. It sounded like there was a big lift in the upper mids with some hard to explain difficultness in the rest of the highs. It wasn't what I would describe as sharp, strident, or zzzz, but rather as "difficult", especially at higher volumes. The bass extension on the S5X was excellent! However bass quality, articulation, texture were lacking. Note that I do tend to crank up the volume.

I found the headband to be designed for people with thinner heads, like a Michael Schumacher head, rather than rounder or blockier wider heads as many Asians have. As such, while I was able to get a good seal, I felt more pressure on the top of my ears from the pads. Some additional adjustability into hole of the wood cups where the gimbal rods go in would fix this issue. The suspension headband is nice and suits people with Klingon like ridges on the top of their heads like me. The metal frame that holds the suspension is kind of chintzy, although we really cannot complain given the affordable price of the S5X.
MOD ADD April 3, 2023 - just go here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...nkind-disposal-thread.6585/page-5#post-406435

I will donate $100 to beat them to death on video with a sledge hammer !!! Who else is with me !!! Donate to the SBAF truth fund !!!

I have a chainsaw to cut them into tinder too !!!
I spend a lot more time in the kitchen cooking and trying new things than I do with headphones on. Over the past year, one of my favorite recipes that I have dialed in is a Moroccan Kefta Kebab Lavash Wrap. The concept for the whole wrap was put together by a friend and me, but it’s not an original idea and there are many similar recipes out there.


I’m interested to see what other variations people have in mind, or other recipes like this that I should try.
MOD ADD: In case you guys didn't know, Syn will be at Nueces Brewing Company in Corpus Christi TX this Thursday March 30, 2023 starting late afternoon.

--OG post starts here--

If you already know, please don't contribute. I've hid this thread for a reason. I wish to speak, but not be heard.

They say they are slaughtering a sacred cow, which the only one I can think of is that analog signals should stay in the analog domain. Much of Schiit's intellectual prowess is in the digital field (not to short Jason) and it's been underappreciated as the swap from AKM to ESS was a bear, but not a celebration.

Jason is kind of making a real big deal outta this. It doesn't feel like he's discussing his own work. So some kind of device that takes an analog signal into the digital domain in a way that will upset analog purists. Doesn't sound like a big deal? Well we're dealing with Jason trying to hype his partner's product. Maybe he's having a little extra fun with it. I won't hold it against him.
The irony of all this is that I helped them sell their product. See this thread for my review of the WE300B: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...tric-300b-impressions-and-measurements.12404/


One of the Western Electric 300B vacuum tubes I purchased less than a year ago started cutting out and making noises. I submitted a warranty RMA via their website and received indirect responses. Wowee. This is just downright scammy, from a high-end audio company too. I've had to return tubes to KR and EML, but have never experienced anything like this.

Some takeaways:
  1. Why didn't WE provide a sheet with a big warning: "IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ IMMEDIATELY AFTER PURCHASING" on the outside of the warranty card? Why was the warranty card folded and left blank on the outside except for the serial#?
  2. Why is the WE rep playing games and refusing simply to state: "We will not warranty the product because you did not fill out the warranty card within 10 days of purchased", but instead obliquely provided a link to their warranty policy or refuse to answer.