Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. J Seymour

    J Seymour Rando

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    Wrong, I am a huge supporter of the federalist system. I think the state system has been outdated for a long time. Problems don't stop at state borders. Problem with our system is small states like Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, etc. having two senators. They shouldn't have that much power. A unicameral body is something to be considered.
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    This was a consideration (not the sole) with Justice Kennedy's opinion on allowing gay marriage. Too confusing hodgepodge if states were left up to it.

    On the other hand, perhaps it's best that some semblance of states doing their own thing wouldn't be such a bad idea. Sort of like different strokes for different folks. Perhaps this would be the best way to maintain "peace" in the culture wars. We do our thing, you do yours.

    Personally I think it may be a good thing. If California wants to go 100% solar, outlaw nuclear power, outlaw ICE autos, refuse to build water storage, keep running up unfunded state workers pension plans, and lock down all restaurants and businesses for the next COVID wave - then awesome! In Texas, we can do our thing.

    You know, it would be kinda like the Star Trek thing where the Federation tries really hard not to impinge on other worlds' cultures. This to the point where Kirk almost died at Spock's hands because Earth had to respect Vulcan mating rites. Or Wesley Crusher almost executed because he accidentally destroyed a sacred flower box.
     
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  3. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    Why reference the Republican "small" states when Democrats also have small states like VT, RI, NH, ME, etc?

    I agree with Unicameral body but only on the state level....having people from all states on the federal level makes it more wisely to have two cambers of congress. You can't have the cities always having the advantage.

    But on another topic, I hate vandalism near my apartment:
    [​IMG]

    I noticed more paint spray vandalism near my apartment as of late, with "RESIST" being painted on public property. That "My Body My Choice" is also painted on public property. The issue isn't the public property, it is more that you are making people not agreeing with your viewpoint if you do not agree with vandalism. You even have people on the Pro-Life side saying this is the side since they are cultured and don't vandalize stuff like the woke left.

    You don't win by vandalism that is what I am saying. And this is someone who is on the Pro-Choice side but not crazy about it.
     
  4. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I am the kind of person who grew up in the 90-ties and because I was also a street kid, I encountered many people without politically correct filters. The racism and discrimination in the Netherlands was real. I wish I was joking.

    When you come from a mixed family, sometimes on the brink of poverty and you learn to scrape by you become "woke" from a young age. After enough drama you realise one thing.

    Whatever other people say: prove them wrong, become the best at what you do and just let them watch.

    The moment you are the only one left, you can be merciful or have your revenge and let the world burn.

    I still believe in the value of virtues. At the same time I remain bitter. I had to learn some hard lessons.

    Vandalism is a waste of time.
     
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  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Actually, I think this sucks!

    On another forum, in a conversations about Indian folk emigrating, eg to USA, someone said, "I tell them they have to excel."

    Why? Is there no room in the world for ordinary folk, the mediocre and the slightly clever, the reasonably able? Was I only only able to make that work because I was white in a white world?

    I guess the answer, sadly, is yes.
     
  6. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    My mantra has become very simple: suffer and become stronger, consistently.

    Fun, no but very necessary. I find solutions and move on. If I succeed at realising my goals I am content.

    Since the Covid-19 period and then the passing of my father I feel I have aged instantly. I am in my 30-ties but feel twice that.

    I have to make the future work for my loved ones. It is what it is.
     
  7. willc

    willc Friend

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    Bruh. Update.
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    MY TOP FIVE HEADPHONES 2023

    Surprisingly little to update four years later. Yes, it's four years later and really not much has changed. This is how things should be. The reality is that most of what's new is different, not necessarily better. I will answer in the context of what I personally like in no particular order.

    CRUCIAL NOTE: We won't get good results without good component synergy. Buying the "best" headphone, "best" amp, and "best" DAC, and mixing them all together will likely lead to a less satisfyingly experience than someone who carefully curates "inferior" gear where the sum of the whole is greater than the parts.

    (1) Sennheiser HE90/HEV90 (OOP)
    If this wasn't the GOAT, but then it would not be here because it's OOP. It's an electrostatic headphone, which means it will lack the heft and kick of orthos or traditional dynamics, but everything else about it is so much better than anything else, even in 2019. This is the best headphone and headphone system that I have ever heard. The HE90 renders sounds with a better sense of tactility than the STAX stuff. It does exhibit a bit more grain as opposed to the plasticky timbre of the STAX. The frequency response may be just slightly upward tilting, but it's much smoother without the big dips and small bumps found at various spots on the SR-007 or 009. FWIW, the modern Sennheiser HE1 system with the marble chassis amp is "meh" compared to the HE90/HEV90. People with both money and class seek out the HE90/HEV90. Rich Chinese people or GOOP subscribers who want to brag about their wealth buy the HE1. Retaining its place as #1 because of both excellence and longevity of being at the top.

    (2) RAAL Requisite SR1a. Yup, still here with the caveat that component synergy is crucial. Can be lean, bright, and shouty on the wrong system, but extremely responsive to EQ so we don't have to play the game of choosing the correct $7000 amp and $8000 source to get the right "synergy". Don't even compare to the K1000, another ear monitor from long ago. The K1000 sucks in comparison (lacks any bass below 90Hz, honky and shouty, mediocre transient response, textural rendering). When set-up properly, it's what every headphone wishes it wanted to be (no cup interactions, clean focused transients with realistic "speed", fine rendering of textures, awesome sense of tactility, supreme translation of the rest of the component chain) with the only downsides being lack of ultimate SPL in the bass, highish distortion in the lows, and that it's an ear speaker. The SR1a is a prime example of why transducers matter more than amps, DACs, etc. Yes, it's easy to note differences in components upstream, but throw any decent amp at it with enough power, and the SR1a sounds good. It's hard to go back to most other regular headphones. I know these guys have a new supra-aural headphone, but the SR1a stays because of its uniqueness being an earspeaker.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...udio-sr1a-review-holy-moly-buy-this-now.8041/

    (3) Focal Utopia
    Lots of folks slurped this up when it was introduced. Many dumped it later. However, this still remains on my list. Impactful, fast, very good mid-bass quality, perhaps more resolving in the mids than the HD800. On the wrong system, can sound lean with emphasis in upper-midrange. The main complaint has been that the headstage is too close for comfort; but hey, the Audeze's are not any better in this respect. The fact we can so openly acknowledge the Utopia's weaknesses is an indicator of how good it really is. I'm too poor to own a Utopia, so I have an Elex. The Clear is good if you prefer a warmer more laid-back sound. The Utopia's place here was confirmed yet again at the Texas Show from the DNA Stellaris and EC Studio B. If you have already set up a chain that works with the OG Utopia, don't bother with the new more expensive one. It isn't any better, it's just tuned to be more laid-back.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...view-collective-stream-of-consciousness.2669/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...the-mighty-utopia-focal-utopia-revisted.9750/

    (4) ZMF Verite Closed
    The latest and greatest from ZMF, the Atrium, almost beat the Verite C out. However, the Verite C stays because of its unique voicing. ZMF tuning lays things on strong in the lows, with a depression in the upper mids, and then slight comeback in the lower highs (and maybe a bump in the middle mids). Not for everyone, the Verite lively and snappy transients provides for an unusual juxtaposition with its voicing to arrive to a beguiling listen. The closed version of the Verite has a cup reverb and wood resonance effect even more present than that of the famous Sony 1R. I joke that ZMF is the finest manufacturer of Japanese headphones (think Sony Z1R, JVC DX1000/2000, Fostex TH900); but I am not kidding. This is the way to go if you want a romantic cozy type of sound. It's my wife's favorite. You if want less weird, bassy with the rest neutral/dark, then go with Atrium.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...f-verite-closed-review-and-measurements.8383/

    (5) JAR600
    Since the JAR600 is more or less a real thing now instead of an experiment, I'm putting it on my list. The JAR600 has taken over the spot previously held by the HD650. I was using the JAR600 on a daily basis and only do not have it because I've sent out on loan so others could get a handle on it. The JAR600 takes the best of the aspects of the HD600 and HD650. It doesn't have the veil of the HD650. It has the speed of the HD600. It's more neutral than either.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...obs-he560-and-jar600.11251/page-2#post-355068
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/jar-hd600-impressions-and-measurements.8172/

    They don't have the bass extension of planars, the lows are veiled compared to the TOTL stuff. However, from the mids on up, they do everything right: smooth, resolving, and engaging. Most importantly, they keep scaling from a with better amps up to the boutique ECP, EC, and DNA headamps. Anyone who thinks these "lowly" Sennheiser suck have never heard them though true HiFi chains or is still the audiophile infantile stage of prioritizing bass technicalities.


    SPECIAL MENTION

    (1) Grado RS-2X
    Now with a double wood sandwich incorporating Hemp has one of the woods. Ditch the bowl pads and use with the Grado F-cush pads (found on SR225 and SR325) to tone down the mids and highs and extend the lows. The F-cush pads work better than the TTVJ pads. Very much an open baffle bass sort of sound with zippy transients and varying levels of crunch. Note that some Grados like the limited edition Hemp come with a F-cush which is exactly like the flat pad. I personally own the RS-2X and use them with flat pads. The RS-1X is hardly neutral yet strangely beguiling with the Gerod pads.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/grado-rs2x-review-and-measurements.11872/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...rs2-ttvj-deluxe-pad-appreciation-thread.8952/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/grado-rs1x-review-and-measurements.11773/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/gerod-bowl-pads-for-grado.12633/

    (2) Final Audio D8000 Pro
    I had almost forgotten about this until @crenca brought his to the Texas show. The only ortho out of the box which I felt did not need mods. I can live with the mid-treble tizz, or just resort to EQ. Also, it's Final, a Japanese boutique audio company.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...pro-out-of-the-dark-ages-of-ortho-tech.10824/


    REMOVED
    • HD650/600. The JAR600 has taken its place.
    • HD800. I just don't like them no matter how they are modded. The cup design imparts a unique headstage, but they just don't sound totally right.
    • HE-5/HE-6. Can't get the OGs anymore and the new editions aren't as good, but can still be modded to sound pretty good.
    • RS-2E. RS-2X has taken its over.
    • LCD-4. Modded LCD-X has taken over its place. Also, LCD-4 is no longer available.
    • Verum 1.0. Still the best ortho for under $300. Not sure about its availability anymore because on the war in Ukraine.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  9. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Excellent read, thanks a lot. Wanted to ask you about Susvara. If it's not on your list or even mentioned, you didn't find it as good/impressive as other cans? Just curious :)
     
  10. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    Thanks for the update, Marv. Somewhat reinforces my opinion that things have settled down a bit in the HP world (or at least around SBAF), save, perhaps, for the occasional hi-fi company jumping into the market with their $$$ models that few will hear (T+A, for example). Makes me wonder what/who will come along and really shake things up again, as Focal and Raal have done, though some time ago now.

    In many ways, it's a great time for HP users. The classic Senns still around and still relevant. ZMF, with Zach and Bevin continuing to give us great, beautiful stuff. Modders-to-makers pushing things forward without going into the stratosphere price-wise.

    I've not heard the HE90, but I did hear the HE1 at a hi-fi shop, and it really impressed. It's a benchmark for me, but I'll never own it. Utopia on a good chain gets close-ish. Will someone take us even further with improved driver tech? Or will it come from the oft-promised spatial/3D/DSP/whatever?

    I used to not care much about DSP, then I got a digital crossover for my 2ch rig and was pretty stunned at how much better integrated it got the subs and overall timing and coherency. Maybe software will matter more, ultimately, than drivers? Just musing...
     
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  11. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    That's a spot on observation. The headphone market isn't stale, but it's been a while indeed. RAAL Requisite SR1a was probably the most recent spicy can release we had, no?
     
  12. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Look at the enormous amount of variation in enclosure designs for electrodynamic loudspeakers. Then look at how similar many electrodynamic headphone enclosure designs are from one another.

    I see huge room for growth and experimentation even in the lane of electrodynamic headphones alone. Drivers are one small part of the much bigger picture. The same driver can sound a million ways depending on what that driver sits within. Great driver tech doesn't guarantee optimal implementation or good sound even if technical benchmarks continue to improve on paper.

    Focusing too much on driver tech is kind of like evaluating a DAC based on chipset alone while ignoring all other variables of a topology.

    Stagnation to me means an opportunity for even more radical innovation. The calm before another wave of storms. It's good to have an overactive imagination. Incrementalism in new product development seems to be market trend more than risk-taking and experimentalism for curiosity's sake.

    I suppose you could say 'if its a tried and true approach, why fix something that's not broken?'... And it's true, there is a lot of great stuff out there. But what's the fun in that looking forward?

    Edit - of course not all ideas are good ones. But someone's gotta do the work to 'fuck around and find out' ;)
     
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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
  13. caute

    caute Rando

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    really hope the new Yamaha orthos are capable of beating out the Final D8000 for the 2027 list, bc they are the snazziest-looking headphones I’ve ever seen, really hoping the R&D pays off for those and they have an inoffensive FR. Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Like for LW quote in sig. But i'm afraid these Yammies are going to be too far up the kilobuck array to make sense unless they sound like god.
     

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