SBAF 2022 Schlong Nominations

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by purr1n, Sep 23, 2022.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Getting rid of the color, golden, silver. Instead, going for numbers, like Michelin star. Interesting tidbit: no Schlongs were awarded in 2021 because nothing was good enough and we were grumpy from COVID.

    My nominations for this year:
    1. Mini S: I had to pick one, so I picked the S because I found it isolating enough. Excellent tonality, low distortion per SPL, and sounds good from a phone dongle. The S has a snappier transient response than the C as would be expected for a semi-closed / semi-open design. Folds compactly and seemingly indestructible. My daughter stole these for school after her AirPods stopped charging (intentional design decision by Apple to destroy our planet). Consider the C version if better seal is needed.
    2. iFi Go Blu: The diminutive Bluetooth pocket headphones amplifier works with ETA Mini, Grado, IEMs, Koss KSC, etc. It doesn't work as well with the harder to drive headphones such as the Sennheiser HDxx series or current hungry orthos. Even via Bluetooth (it works as a USB DAC too), the sound is engaging and resolving, and the highs are pleasant (it's not in iFi Audio's DNA to make lean bright crappy nasty sounding stuff). No, it's not going to slam or resolve like the better desktop amps, but the iFi Audio literally hits x10 above its weight. Why does this deserve a Schlong? It's because I use this on travel, at my beside, and in the car (when everyone in the family wants to hear something different). The downside? I keep losing it under the bed, in my pocket, in my bag. Looking forward to the iFi Go Bar.
    3. ZMF Atrium: If I had to pick one ZMF for desert island, I'd still choose the Verite Closed because the VC is so different. However, the Atrium is a very close second. The bass hits like a freight train with the rest of the band being neutral or dark (depending upon choice of front mesh). Just as resolving as the Verite, but not as "fast", but that's OK or even desirable for a change. I lent these to some local guys and all came back shitting in their pants telling me they wanted one for themselves. Alas, these headphones are expensive. However, they are beautiful enough to pass down as heirlooms to your kids, which I plan to do.
    4. Nitsch x Schiit Magni Piety: I have long story (and yes, I've secretly had the prototypes for years).
    5. JAR600: I had to pick one, so it's the JAR600. Think HD600 with improved bass extension, smoother upper mids, and better controlled resonances. With how crazy Sennheisers scale with better upstream components, this is pure win. One of the most perceptually neutral headphones around if not the one.

    Almost nomination, no nomination, and reasons:
    1. Anything which has received a Schlong in the past: Once a schlong winner, always a schlong winner.
    2. Folkvangr: limited edition
    3. LIM: nice tone, but still not good enough
    4. RU6: you fricking kidding?

    P.S.

    Taking nominations from members under the condition that you write a paragraph supporting your nominations. No paragraph means your nominations get deleted or ignored. I know in the past, members were simply allowed to provide a list. We are discontinuing this practice, although please remind me if I happened to forget something.

    P.S.S.

    We need some tasteful artwork, for single Schlong, double Schlong and triple Schlong. Eventually. Want to be stingy about double Schlongs. I see the double and triple Schlong winners passing the test of time.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  2. YMO

    YMO Big Pooh & Buttcracker

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    Cayin RU6

    With the right neutral IEM (Moondrop Kato) they sound great. It's an addicting sound in the R2R world that is great for casual listening from your phone. Was impressed with the soundstaging + mids with the Moondrop Kato, but please check out both NOS and OS since some of us prefer NOS over OS all day/everyday. The RU6 dongle for the price is a solid purchase and in a way a good deal since paying $1000+ for a R2R DAP is retarted. You also must use the right IEM with these, and honestly I don't recommend using headphones with this dongle.

    Before you hate it, listen to it first like the others who did the loaner. Poor measurements don't move me that much regarding what is subjective pleasing to my ears or not.

    Before someone said that I'm doing trolling shit regarding Marv's comments above, I am not. I'm being honest with my comments here regarding the RU6.

    Drop + Etymotic ERX IEM:

    A shame that this IEM will not be popular. It doesn't have the ear-rape design like the other Ety IEMs, but the sound for a BA IEM is very very solid. Still have some of the BA IEM faults, but the mids are excellent with solid details without the treble being dumb like in a lot of AZN Vocal Fetish tracks. Sub bass is still weak like in a lot of BA IEMs but the bass is groovy. Warmish sound but not poo or wanna kill myself with female vocals. It does everything right for a single driver BA IEM for the most part, and I can listen to it for hours. What is holding it back is the price.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  3. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Below are my suggestion
    1. Pi2Design Mercury Streamer - Well it comes pre assembled and is plug and play and I feel the wifi with external Antenna gives around 70MB/s speed which is good enough to play Hi-Res files. It has been designed to scale up with LPS like Sbooster to satisfy the audiophiles who don't want to use SMPS and I felt the LPS has impact on the SQ of this streamer as compared to Pi2AES. Only thing missing is buffered I2S for Metrum and Sonnet DAC
    2. Zero Surge(8R15W-I) - Based on my finding this is a very reliable surge protector with ability prevent cross-talk when mixing digital and analog equipment or for isolating items with a large in-rush current and is not crazy expensive and doesnt need grounding for the surge protection and has 10 years of warranty. Plug and forget.

    Unfortunately haven't heard any new headphone in recent times and using ZMF Verite for past 3 years
     
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  4. saint.panda

    saint.panda Friend

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    ETA Mini C: the ultimate remote work headphone.
    - very portable: sounds great straight from a macbook (no need for fancy amps/cables or even DACs), somewhat foldable, replaceable cables, rugged design
    - good enough isolation for coffee shops
    - sounds great: especially on macro details, bass extension, flat response, layering. Definitely audiophile level, i.e. no need to compromise on sound quality anymore when traveling.

    If you think about truly portable headphones that sound good, you have to go all the way back to the Senn HD25, and that's decades ago. And no, most closed headphones are not portable and carrying an amp to a coffee shop is ridiculous. The Senn Momentum was an ok attempt but ultimately fell short. I doubt the intent behind the Mini C was to be the ultimate remote work headphone, but that's what it ended up becoming.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  5. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Jupiter Audio Research 6X0.
    Things have been quiet about these headphones for the last couple of years, but they're still very prominent in my stable and there's a new version brewing. The JAR600 takes the (in my case) unbearable highs and tells them to GTFO. It adds impact and texture and makes the 600 a headphone I will actually reach for. The JAR650 is the motherfucking "super 650" that everyone's always searching for. It's been right there under your noses the whole time. Those things you like about the romance, the texture, the microdetails, this mod brings them all into focus and serves them to you on a plate with a garnish of added bass. I've had headphones into the thousands of dollars but those are gone now because I didn't reach for them. I reach for the JAR mods.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Worthwhile mention, but I had to pick one. Really can go either way with S or C depending upon needs.

    JAR600. Had to pick one. I knew I forgot something.
     
  7. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    A Nitsch x Schiit magni Piety has arrived here. I am exceptionally impressed with how it sounds. The small size is deceiving; it produces a extensive, immersive experience.

    Also think highly of ETA Mini C but I know you had to pick one. ETA & JAR are to be watched.
     
  8. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    V2 adds the parallel buffered I2S. We listen!
     
  9. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Yeah I second the Go Blu, I've been using it for about two months now, nearly every day. It just plain sounds good, and it's the right companion for this era of headphone jackless phones. The controls on it are great, and because of that, I fiddle on my phone less and get lost in the music more.

    I also turn on xbass and xspace (...gasp! look away audio purists) which really help with iem in-your-headness and brightness. The Ara are listenable w.o. any EQ b.c. the additional bass makes the highs less prominent.

    I can't dongle because the bulk and wires would be annoying as shit. LDAC natively from my Pixel sounds excellent (enough). This one is a game changer for me.
     
  10. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    ETA Mini S - Goldilocks. Where Mini can lean a little ‘cold’, Mini C ‘warm’, Mini S gets it ‘just right’. Supremely balanced, with speed, clarity and space, and driven simply from a headphone jack (wherever you may find one). ETA deserves to sell a tonne of these. If you need isolation, Mini C with suede pads gets remarkably close, albeit with a slightly more lush presentation.

    43139D28-38C8-4FD8-AEF8-C9C32905E116.gif
     
  11. Huhnkopf

    Huhnkopf Friend

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    JAR 600. It's THE headphone that resets people around me (also grounded my ass after a few kilobuck misses and adventures) and only really "suffers" around bass, which imo for most music genres is a non-issue, unless you want the hard slam, punch of a HE-6 for techno etc Everything else is so sublime, tonally even, "correct", linear, rich, moving. I don't even have a dedicated tube amp yet, though 4 tubes in my SF Processor 3 at least and it sings.

    The print and craftsmanship add to the cost of a regular HD 600 for a superior version unbeatable in value.

    LUCKY GOLDSTAR for @ext1
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  12. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    Seems like for a Schlong award, the length and girth should dicktate (couldn't resist...) the level of the award. We could even give a special Tiny Schlong lifetime achievement award for the ASR douche we all love so well.
     
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  13. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Schiit Tyr - My speakers (Tekton Moabs) and headphones (Raal SR1A & Focal Clear & HE6se) have never sounded better. I had no idea what I was missing in terms of driver control, detail, hi-fi treble, and all-around dynamics until I dropped the Tyrs into my chain. Yes, they're currently Schiit's most expensive product (since you gotta buy two), but for my use cases, I consider them to be high value. One other compliment I can give to the Tyrs is that thanks to them, I'm actually ready to take a year off from buying anything audio, which is a first for me since getting into this hobby over 5 years ago.
     
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  14. joch

    joch Friend

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    I’m surprised that Piety which is technically still in production and will have a limited run gets the nod, but Folkvangr which also has a limited run but still available as I type doesn’t get the nod.

    I was about to suggest the Soekris 2541, but I forget if that’s 2020 or 2021. Covid history is blurry. Anyway this DAC is engaging and is a good value for what it brings to the table: R2R, output/volume control, filters, universal voltage input, small size, and even a built in amp if you need something in a pinch. With the euro at its current low, the 2541 is pretty compelling.

    Update: Vtory recapped the past winners below
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  15. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Here are old GS winners. Let's avoid nominating anything below!
    • 2019-2020: Both gold and silver awards
    • 2015-2018: Gold awards only as there were no silver categories
    • Honorably mentioned products not listed
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2020
    • Headphones: Nectar Hive
    • IEM: Campfire Ara, Gaudio Nair
    • DAC: Soekris DAC2541, MOTU Ultralite, Burn B2 Bomber
    • Amp: SW51+, Eddie Current Studio B
    • Etc: iFi Zen Phono

    2019
    • Headphones: Raal SR1A, Verum 1, Focal Utopia, ZMF Verite, Senn HD600
    • Amp: ECP DSHA-3F, Schiit Aegir, DNA Starlett, SW51
    • DAC: Schiit Bifrost 2
    • Etc: Pi2AES

    2018
    • Headphones: ZMF Auteur, Focal/Drop Elex
    • IEM: JVC HA-FD01 modded
    • Etc: MiniDSP EARS

    2017
    • Amp: Schiit Saga
    • Etc: Schiit Eitr

    2016
    • IEM: Campfire Andromeda
    • DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit
    • Amp: Eddie Current ZDS

    2015
    • Headphones: Fostex/Drop TH-X00, Senn HD6X0
    • DAC: Schiit Gungnir Multibit
     
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  16. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Feel free to disregard this as the Modi Multibit is a prior schlong winner, but I do feel the opamp modded Modi Multibit sounds different and better enough to be viewed as a separate entry. More detailed, less dark, very engaging and musical, the opamp modded Modi Multibit is one of the best bargains available for a multibit DAC. I went from a Gungnir Multibit to the modded Modi and honestly I didn't miss the Gungnir as much as I expected, whereas I absolutely would have if I went from Gungnir MB to regular Modi MB.
     
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  17. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    7Hertz Timeless (with some reservations)
    Planar IEM with well-balanced tonality, good timbre across the range, clean & smooth mids & highs, excellent separation & layering, for $199 (current price). Downsides are slightly soft mid & upper bass, and subdued macrodynamics (although the latter might be a matter of taste - they make a nice contrast with 'fast & hard' things). Best with warmer and/or dynamic sources with some power.
    Reservations: fit - can you even get them into your ears; and even if you can, you might have trouble finding the right tips. Some might find the combination of the level and imprecision of the mid- (particularly) bass overwhelming.
     
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  18. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    I second this and the JAR600!
    Both are great performer at their respective price point. One might even call the 7hz a "giant killer". I sold my more expensive IEMs after getting it.
    They might not be the end-all as far as technicalities go, but there really is no substitute for good FR in the end!
     
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  19. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    JAR600 and Tyr. Amazing fucking year for audio. Absolutely blowing my mind.
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    It's more that Piety's run is unknown or indeterminate based on parts availability - that is, it's not guaranteed. I never heard anything specifically that Piety would be limited to X number and then never again. Folkvangr I'm pretty sure is limited, 250 units exactly, and that it will never be made again after the last is sold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022

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