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

"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.
I consider my OBs a "subjectivist" speaker and I kind of wanted to build one that is more into the "objectivist" camp for a while now. There are actually three designs based on this concept. Omni bass transitioning to cardioid midrange/treble.

This is the first one I built and might be the best sounding. If it didn't sound great I wouldn't bother spending hundreds of hours tweaking it to perfection :)

First the current frequency response in-room:
Hathor XO3 in room FR.jpg

The peak at 8kHz is the only annoyance and it's not as bad as it looks IMO. That's not to say it isn't there. As you will soon see, these are brually honest and revealing speakers and the peak is the price we have to pay with the driver selection.
After successfully implementing the tube-hybrid mini amplifiers Aiyima T9 and T9 Pro (and an unsuccessful test with the Nobsound B100), I was curious to give a tube-less mini amplifier a try, and my choice is the Loxjie A30, which qualifies as an all-in-one budget solution with enough inputs (5x) for my setup and a headphone amplifier on top (which I don't really need). It's a 2.1 integrated amp that you can connect to an active subwoofer, like the other two.

In practice, the A30 has one input less than the T9/T9 Pro, as the RCA analogue input and the coax cannot be used simultaneously. One of the RCA inputs is used for either coax or the analogue right channel. Never seen such an implementation before.

Know about them thanks to @Vtory's profile post.


I love how it looks, resembles a modernized all black Qualia 010 with an orthodynamic driver. What is very interesting is that Final Audio reportedly hired Yamaha (and Sony) engineers to develop the D8000, so this was probably made by the same people that developed the D8000. According to the above article, they want to price it around 400-500k yen (3-3.5k usd in Japanese domestic price, 4k in NA maybe). Weight is only 320gr and should come with two different earpads. It's still in prototype stage according to that japanese article. Ngl this has lots of potential to sound amazing, very excited to see this and hope to hear them one day.
For more info, see here:

Many moons ago, I wrote up a guide on how to get the Pi2AES up and running here. I was a relatively late adopter because of the level of effort (and mystery) to put one together. I was interested enough that I did research asking various people here how they put theirs together, eventually putting up the aforementioned guide. Still, it's not something I look forward to building. The ask to @Michael Kelly was this: can't you guys offer something without all the fuss! Hence the Pi2AES Mercury V2 Streamer.

And here is a photo of the back. Like the Pi2AES, there are several digital outputs: HDMI LVDS i2s, Toslink, SPDIF Coax, BNC, and balanced AES. All digital outputs work simultaneously!
Anyway, you guys know how Amir loves to shit on everyone else's methodologies except his own? I recall Amir poking holes into Jude's measurements because Jude puts his torso/head thing in heavy box lined with foam inside. Amir said something to the effect that such a box would wreck measurements because of internal reflections and that any foam lining inside would be of limited effect.

Being a man interested in science (different from religion), I wanted to test Amir's hypothesis that such a box would wreck measurements. Theorycrafting is good and all, but I wanted to know for sure. I mean, I don't exact trust a dude that totally wrecked Microsoft's consumer division. I figured I would start with the most basic ghetto setup: a bare cardbox box. I'd then move toward lining the inside of the box with foam, polyfill, etc. And maybe at the end, I will build a real box with MDF (heavy).

To be absolutely clear, both THD and THD+N are not completely useless measurements. However, when interpreting these numbers, it is of vital importance to keep in mind what they represent. THD is essentially a summation of all of the harmonics, i.e. 2nd harmonics, 3rd, 4th, etc, and outputted as a single number. The “+N” part, the noise, refers to things like mains noise. This measurement is most useful just as a quick and dirty way to see the harmonic distortion present within a system; however, there are several problems with this singular number approach, some of which I will attempt to identify and explain here. The goal is to be able to explain the dated nature of THD using the examples of some amplifiers, explain how to use the individual harmonic measurements to help extrapolate sonic characteristics from looking at measurements, and introduce @atomicbob’s “crap factor,” which @atomicbob believes to be a much more useful measurement when talking about the bad stuff we don’t like listening to. Keep in mind that I am not downplaying the importance of subjective impressions (after all, we listen to music and not sit there and listen to 1kHz sinusoids), but rather is an attempt to help this community understand the thoroughly detailed measurements that @atomicbob, @purr1n, and others post, how they might correlate to things that you hear, and how to use them to help match the measurements with your personal preferences. After all, Changstar was founded upon the idea of measurements, and measurements should serve as a basis to at least keep us honest.