SBAF 2022 Schlong Nominations

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

  1. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    @purr1n looks like I nominated myself by posting last lol. I gotcha chief.
     
  2. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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    Not sure if we're still making nominations, but I have one nomination and two honorable mentions:

    Nomination - ETA Mini S - I haven't heard a dynamic headphone from a company not named Focal, Sennheiser, or ZMF in the last decade that I liked until I heard the ETA headphones. The ETA Mini S has the major advantage of being way easier to drive than any of the other three while maintaining a fantastic sound signature. These headphones sounded fantastic from the headphone out on my 2021 16" MacBook Pro. These are also easy to drive over bluetooth. I used a Mini S with a Fiio UTSW5 and it made all of my other bluetooth headphones sounds like ancient crap. These provided enough sound isolation that my wife didn't notice around the house.

    Honorable mention - JAR HD6## mods - It's no secret that JAR makes fantastic headphones and My JAR600 is my favorite headphone. However, getting your hands on a JAR is an involved process and not easily accessible to most potential buyers. I prefer to hand out schlongs to commercialized equipment that is available and easy to source.

    Honorable mention - Nitsch Modi Piety - I should probably recuse myself here, but this is the most unique SS amp I've heard under $1k. (FWIW, I'm usually averse to SS headphone amps unless you're doing crazy stuff with speaker amps+headphones.) For a $150 if feels like you got a decent tube amp in a tiny package without the tube hassle. If this was still available, it would deserve a schlong.

    Sidenote: The one piece of gear that continued to wow me whenever I ran across it this year was the Chord DAVE.
     
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  3. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Erroneous, do you mind picking just one flavor of Senny for the poll, or should I just put you down for JAR600 (I'm not differentiating between OG and B just yet)
     
  4. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Vansen, same to you sir
     
  5. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    [​IMG]
    @purr1n Here's what we have so far, I included everything, including honorable mentions and nominations of gear not produced in 2022 (not sure how Schlongs work, if they need to be produced within that year or not so I erred on the side of caution).
     
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  6. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    I think we keep it generic and just say JAR600.
     
  7. joch

    joch Friend

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    Soekris DAC2541 was a winner in another year—can be removed
     
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  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    ifi Zen Phono also (2020, silver). I forgot that when I suggested it for this year.
     
  9. joch

    joch Friend

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    If it's not too late:
    +1 for Timeless 7Hz. Despite the S12 may be a better fit, and cheaper and subjectively betterer with mods, but I don't want to deal with mods. The 7Hz is good out of the box.
    +1 for Vali+(+). Great bedside amp, overshadowed recently by the Piety. I compared the two and liked the Piety more, but that was with the stock tube on the Vali. I put in a 6n23p-ev and it pulled me away from the Piety for a while.
    +1 for Piety. With reservations because they are sold out (for now? for ever?) $150 for such a unique amp. Wow. I hope more would be available.

    Rediscovered:
    +1 for Koss PortaPro. Sub-$50. I heard worse at 10x the price. And the Drop version has a mic so I can WFH transitioning from tunes to meetings.

    Just putting it out there:
    Folkvangr. It's limited production, and sold out now so you have to go fish in the used market. I respectfully disagree with "limited production" exclusion for consideration because a lot of things are limited. The amp was available for a while, and Schiit had this out at a couple of meets. It should still be noted for its existence in 2022. This amp is really good for the price between $500-$2000 ("no man's land"). Also, the best looking product that Schiit ever made. The only suck things about it are (yeah) limited availability from here on, and the requirement of 10 tubes. 8 power tubes with possibly limited availability due to geopolitics. Still, the 8 tubes don't need to be matched and a set will cost less than say a single Tung Sol 6080 for a Bottlehead Crack.
     
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  10. Questhate

    Questhate Friend

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    I've truly been living under a rock. The JAR650 looks right up my alley.

    iFi GoBlu - I've been out of the hobby for a while, so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt since I'm not up on the latest things. But I did want to +1 the GoBlu as one of the best audio purchases I've made. For anyone that can't keep up with the work that goes into this hobby (sourcing hi-res files, managing a library, maintaining a server/player, being tethered next to a big stack), this little device goes a long way to bridge this hobby with the convenience of today's Spotify zeitgeist. I've gotten a dozen or so TWS's over the last couple of years trying to find decent sound in an ultra convenient package and I always go back to Andros + phone dongle. (I'm not quite as smitten with the APP2 as most folks here.) Since I got the GoBlu, I can't stop using this thing.

    Plus it fits so well in my little IEM case:
    [​IMG]


    iFi Gryphon - picked this up based on how much I liked the GoBlu and it's been a great little package. Obviously much bigger than the GoBlu but still pocketable and super easy to throw in my computer bag when I'm on the go. More power, so this doesn't fall apart in busier passages the way the GoBlu can do at times. Much better dynamics, imaging and blackground than the GoBlu. It's definitely more warm/analog sounding than the Mojo that this replaced for me, but I honestly haven't critically listened side by side.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  11. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    I don't have the Mini S; I have the Mini C. I can say that nothing has bothered me about it. Nothing sticks out as problematic. That's already a high bar. (Good luck finding a woman like that.) So, yes, I nominate the Mini C. That said, if the S is more to people's taste here, I have no objection to its getting the award. In any case, ETA deserves at least a silver schlong.

    I'm iffy about giving awards to very limited productions, such as Piety. Of course I'm grateful that CeeTee brought it to market. But is it really that good? I bought one, and I have sonic reservations about it that I don't want to generalize about. But it could definitely win in the value category.

    Porta Pro deserves a longevity award. Which is ironic because I've gone through a couple; but I could've been more careful. It doesn't work for everyone right out of the box: it helps a lot if you bend the headband to shape of your head. And Yaxi pads are more comfortable. But these are ultimately trivial objections to John Koss's fine little headphone that has remained a sound purchase for almost 40 years(!).

    Honorable mention: LAu X for orthos. I really enjoy it with my Paradox. Thank you RD for bringing it to our attention.
     
  12. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    +1 for jar modded senns. Real deal good. Differences in 600, 650, 580, 660 etc come down to personal prefs, different flavors, and synergy. Count the vote however you like.

    +1 for wavedream… took me a while, but it’s the real shazam. Stages like a mofo on speakers, natural sound yet highly resolving, great timbre and tone, non digital fuckery sound.

    +1 for piety, has no business sounding this good for the price of admission.

    +1 for what ETA have been up to. Looking forward to whatever’s next.

    Is that too many? I liked other nominations too, but these stood out for me in recent memory.
     
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  13. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    Phono pre nomination for me: Darlington Labs MP-7. It completely opened up my vinyl system - I find so much depth, detail and engagement from it that I'm almost disappointed listening to my digital rig and I'm looking hard to upgrade that side to try and come closer to the analog rig. I've tried a bunch of options to try and challenge it - the best of the bunch being the ifi iphono 3 black and I still came back to the MP-7 (+SU-6 if you want MC) because it just made me tap my feet so easily while not compromising on a technical level.

    I'm surprised that it hasnt got as much attention over the year but I'm sure people would be really happy hearing it.
     
  14. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Keep 'em coming! I'll do another count in a tonight/tomorrow. And remove the DAC2541 and Zen Phono.

    2022 is shaping up to be the year of expert modders and small-batch crafters/artisans/makers. You love to see it.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
  15. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Since my first post, I bought the Air Pods Pro 2 and think they deserve a nomination for value (and performance, actually). They're a nice improvement over the 1 in SQ and the noise cancelling is a lot better, too.

    I'll join the JAR bandwagon and nominate not the JAR600 (which I sold because I had too many headphones at the time) but the JAR660S which I just adored during my time with the loaner. I immediately sent my own 660S for JARification after parting with the loaner.
     
  16. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    +1 for the Air Pods Pro 2. They get a ton of use, sound pretty darn good, and do noise canceling very well. All in a package I can slip into my change pocket.

    I'm halfway on the Piety hype train. It hangs in pretty well with the SPL Phonitor SE I have here, but I can't compare it to my big boy tube amps, as those are in storage. Or, indeed, to the Vali 2 I sold a while back. I don't think the Piety resolves as well as the SPL, but I prefer the warmer tonal balance of the Nitsch. But the Piety seems like a lock for a GS, so what the hell? +1.

    The Focal/Drop Elex was nominated back in 2018, and I think it's still very fine at the price.

    I just got in the Let's Shower S12, and I think it's a compelling affordable IEM option. But I don't know the IEM space well enough to nominate it.
     
  17. Aklegal

    Aklegal Friend

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    Updated after reading the rules in the first post again.

    Moondrop Kato - My iem experience is pretty limited. A pair of Etymotic MC5s, Massdrop x Nuforce EDC, Massdrop x Nuforce EDC3, and Moondrop Starfields. I thought I lost my pair of Starfields and ordered the Kato after reading a bit. I really love listening to these. Not as tipped up in the top end like the Starfields with better bass and a really nice midrange. Easily the best IEM I have heard. I often forgo my main rig and get my headphone fix from the Katos and the Fiio E10K TC.

    Piety - This thing is crazy. The price/performance ratio on this thing has to be the best for any piece of audio equipment ever. The Yggdrasil is still my favorite piece of gear but the Piety is second. Try it with a 7 series AKG. It's my favorite amp under $1000.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2023
  18. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    2022 SBAF Schlong Nominees
    [​IMG]
    New and final count! Updated as of 11:00PM CT, 2/7/23.

    Some notes:
    • Two votes for JAR6X0 in general, as well as one vote for the 600B specifically that were counted as "JAR600"
    • One vote ETA in general that was counted as "Mini S"
    • Gryphon isn't really a dongle, but it is a DAC/amp AIO and the unit is small, so I left it there instead of trying to make it fit with the other full-size amps
    Headphones
    JAR600 (9)
    Mini S (9)
    ZMF Atrium (8)
    ETA Mini C (5)
    Koss Porta Pro (3)
    RD-4
    RD-X
    JAR660S
    JAR650B
    HE6se v2
    T50RP
    Koss KSC75
    Focal Elex
    Caldera

    Dongles/Portable
    ifi Go Blu (4)
    iFi Gryphon (2)
    Cayin RU6

    Amps
    Piety (14)
    Schiit Tyr (3)
    Schiit Vali 2+(+) (2)
    DNA Stellaris (2)
    Jotenheim 2
    Bottlehead Crack
    Liquid Gold X

    DACs
    Rockna Wavedream (3)
    Modius E (3)
    Yggdrasil+

    IEMs
    AirPods Pro 2 (6)
    7Hz Timeless (4)
    Sennheiser IE-600 (2)
    Moondrop Kato (2)
    Drop + Etymotic ERX
    Letshuoer S12
    Symphonium Helios

    Misc
    LinLai 300B tubes (4)
    Mani 2 (2)
    Darlington Labs MP-7 (2)
    CCA
    Mercury Streamer
    Zero Surge (8R15W-I)
    ZMF pads
    Modern Prod. 300B Tubes
    Freya (any version)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2023
  19. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    another vote for the letshuoer s12 (i think thats missing from the list, i saw atleast one other vote for it)
     
  20. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    I think @wbass said "but I don't know the IEM space well enough to nominate it." but I can put it in once, unless @wbass wants to officially nominate it, then I'll put it as 2x.

    Edit: added. @joch added ZMF pads under misc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2023

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