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About tbln

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  • Headphones
    AKG: K240S w Zu Mobius K271S w Zu Mobius K501 K701 APuresound v3 XLR K1000 (SAA Equinox Speaker/Moon Audio XLR ->1/8") Alessandro: MS2i Audio Technica: AD2000 ESW9 ESW10 Beyerdynamic: DT150 DT250-80 DT770-80 XLR DT880 (05') DT880 (05') Apuresound v2 XLR DT990 (05') Denon: D2000 (Apuresound V3 XLR) Grado: SR 325i HF-1 RS-1 GS1000 (Gone, not forgotten) SR225 (Gone, not forgotten) Sennheiser: HD25-1 II HD580 (Cardas Smurf XLR) HD600 (Cardas Grey XLR) HD600 (SAA Equinox XLR) HD650 (SAA Equinox XLR) HD650 (RAL XLR) Etymotic: ER4P ER4S Shure: E500 Westone: UM2
  • Headphone amplifiers
    Home: Headroom Balanced Desktop/DPS Singlepower MPX3 SLAM Singlepower Extreme Platinum RSA Apache TS Lim Diva (Gone, not forgotten) Original Master PS Audio HCA-2 (K1000) Portable: Headroom Pico RSA SR-71 RSA Hornet RSA Tomahawk Portaphile V2
  • Sources
    Home: Cambridge Audio Azur 840C Denon A11 Marantz SA11S1 Marantz SA8260 Sony XA777ES Portable: Apple Ipod 4G 40G Apple Ipod 5G 60G
  • Favourite configuration used
    Solid State: Marantz SA11 S1/Cambridge Audio Azur 840C -> Apache - Sennheiser HD600/650 XLR/Denon D2000 APS v3 XLR Tube: Cambridge Audio Azur 840C/Denon A11 -> Singlepower MPX3 SLAM -> AD2000/K701/D2000 Portable: Ipod -> Mundorf Cryo LOD -> Pico -> E500/Etymotic ER4P

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  1. Do not forget that the price of recabling is not just the cost of cables and plugs, but also includes the cost of expertise, skill and time needed to dismantle and re-assemble the headphone together again properly. Go check out Patrick Koh 9626 3488 as an alternative locally. Have not seen his headphone 'surgery' work before but have had some good experience with Patrick's work on cable.
  2. Nice! Your write up has made me think about spending more time with my headphones again. Great job!
  3. Simplifying my life . Beyer DT770/80. Single entry. 2m Gotham Starquad with techflex. Qables Y Split. 2 X Neutrik XLRs. Closed headphone for the bass lover. Very good condition. $300. Please leave contact. Thanks for reading.
  4. Glad to see that we are all getting back to the topic at hand. It has been quite a while since my last post and the resurrection of my 'old' threads is a timely reminder for me to update my impressions and share my thoughts since then. Having travelled the long road from my first eargasm with the Etymotic ER4S to my current experiences with both single-ended tube and solid state balanced systems, these are some of my observations: 1. Sonic preferences are not universal and what sounds good to one person may not necessarily float anothers boat. Try if listen first and not get caught up in the hype. I have owned and heard headphones and systems that others have raved about that have not moved me much. The Grado GS1000 comes to mind. 2. Price is, unfortunately, not an indicator of quality. System matching is critical. A well matched single-ended system can provide a listening experience that can rival poorly coordinated balanced ones. 3. Get the basics correct before spending too much on tweaks. It may sound like a cliche, but garbage in garbage out. Get a good source and build your rig around it. Tweaks like power cords, conditioning, interconnects, footers do make a difference (believer here ), but they cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. 4. Synergy is critical. I have had eureka moments when headphones I have been about to give up on suddenly came to life when paired with another system. 5. All things being equal, I have found a balanced system (balanced source -> balanced amp -> balanced headphones) to provide a more engaging listening experience. Benefits I have noticed include a wider headstage, more accurate staging and better bass resolution. I will be the first to admit that the differences are not night and day and rationally, the additional costs outweigh the benefits. But, hey, isn't it this way with all things audio? I would like to also remind everyone to ask why we got into this hobby and not get too caught up with the equipment. Enjoy the music! As always, these are my observations and views. Peace.
  5. This album fits the bill. Great recording with really relaxing music. You can almost feel the island breezes. http://www.soundstage.com/music/reviews/rev626.htm http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/6
  6. This is IMO, the nicest I have seen to date. Love the clean, understated looks. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/lets-buil...69/index28.html Eric's new toy is a close second.
  7. Congrats on your new toy! Beautiful amp. Definitely one of the nicer looking B22s out there.
  8. Having been seduced by the magic of balanced amplification (Lightning first struck here!), I recently succumbed to this little temptation from Headroom, the people who first pioneered the idea of balanced headphone amplification. Out of all of Headroom’s balanced amplifiers, I have always been drawn to the Balanced Desktop amp. A small form factor with a built in DAC providing true balanced output proved to be a quite an appealing idea. Imagine the possibilities, balanced amplification compact enough to fit on the office desktop or bedside table. Who says lightning never strikes the same place twice. An opportunity to acquire the Balanced Desktop together with a Desktop Power Supply at an attractive deal was an opportunity too tempting to be passed. Balanced Desktop My Balanced Desktop was specified with the Home Module, Home DAC and a stepped attenuator. A compact unit, the Balanced Desktop measures a space saving 6”x 6” x 3 1/3”. Finished in matt black, the unit presents quite a workman-like façade. No audio jewellery here. In case you have forgotten, Headroom saw it fit to put this little reminder on the top corner of the amp. An unusual detail is the two urethane bezels, one fitted around the front panel and the second around the back plate of the unit. Each bezel is designed with a curved ‘foot’ molded underneath and a corresponding ‘slot’ on the top of the bezel. This allows the unit to sit alone, or stack securely on top of the optional Desktop Power Supply. The ‘foot’ fits exactly into the ‘slot’ of the unit below, providing a stable way to couple both units easily. The faceplate looks relatively clean with two Neutrik combo jacks. This allows the option of connecting either one pair of balanced headphones or two single-ended headphones. A crossfeed switch and a 3 way gain switch are the only two other switches visible from the front. The stepped attenuator provides volume control over 24 discrete steps. Together with the 3 way gain switch, you should be able to find a comfortable volume range. A stepped attenuator will provide the most precise volume balance without the sonic degradations unavoidable with regular volume pots over time. The tactile feel when you turn the volume knob is a nice touch although I wished the knob was bigger. It is around the back that things get busy. Provisions are made for a digital signal to be accepted through coaxial, USB or optical inputs. A toggle selects between the 3 inputs. The DAC then converts incoming digital signals into a balanced headphone output. A pair each of single ended and balanced inputs completes the input choices. I am a firm believer in the sonic benefits of a robust power supply and this, unfortunately, made the optional Desktop Power Supply a 'mandatory' upgrade for me. Housed in the same black case as the amp, it is connected by an umbilical terminated with with five pin DIN connectors. The Desktop comes with a supplied Astrodyne switching power supply as standard. Once the units are hooked up and powered up, the Headroom logo on the top left face of each unit reveals a discreet green LED. This green glow lets you know both units are powered and ready to go. The Headphones As my interests lie largely in the balanced arena, this family of balanced cans were pressed into duty: Sennheiser HD580/Cardas, HD600/Cardas, HD600/Equinox, HD650/Equinox, HD650/RAL Beyerdynamic DT880 (05) APS V2, DT770/80 Denon D2000 APS V3 AKG K701 original cable with XLR termination, K701 APS V3 The Method As I am planning to use this amp utilizing the internal DAC, all initial listening was done using a digital signal supplied by a Denon A11 sent through either a Kimber Illuminati D60 coaxial cable or Stereovox HDXV. I will continue testing the unit through its analog XLR inputs after I have put in some hours of use. The Sound As the amp has only had no more than 65 hours of burn-in, I will be updating my comments as I go along. Any changes, if any, will be duly noted. Out of the box, the amp was sounded bright with an anemic low end. Not what I had expected, bringing out feelings of buyer's remorse. Thankfully, the sound settled in right after 40 hours of use, with the highs mellowing out and the bass filling out nicely. At this stage, the sound of the Balanced Desktop can best be described as iron-fisted solid state. The details are nicely presented, with an articulate midrange and tight, textured bass. Of the cans I tried, the Sennheiser HD650/Equinox/Stereovox really came alive when paired with the Balanced Desktop. This pairing had the most synergistic coupling that complemented the sonic signatures of each one beautifully. Veil? What veil? The sound provided a clear sonic view, much like looking through a very clean window. Lest someone thinks that I mean cold, the presentation is anything but. It provided a solid soundstage that was both stable and deep. Muddy, intrusive bass? What muddy, intrusive bass? The amp’s iron-fisted control of the HD650 drivers really tightened the bass and allowed me to clearly hear the different bass notes. The APS Denon D2000 also put in a stellar performance and could possibly be the best closed can I have tried to date. It provided a lively and energetic performance with good, articulate bass. Not as open sounding as the best open cans but excellent for a closed. Downsides? If anything, I do miss the tube-like bloom that I get with the Apache. The Apache also presented a more tactile bass presentation. However, that is not actually a fair comparison as it compares the DAC inside the Desktop compared to the analog signals from the Marantz SA11S1. A fairer comparison can be made when I compare both amps using the same balanced analog connection from the Marantz and Cambridge Audio 840C. Look out for Round Two! At this point, I am very pleased with the Balanced Desktop. The amp definitely settled in after some burn-in and provides a sweet, coherent sound. The flexibility of the DAC allows the amp to be used with a variety of sources and also provides the ability to make a simple transition from a single-ended to balanced rig just by getting balanced cabled headphones. Together with the available SE and balanced analog inputs, the amp provides more options than a Swiss Army knife. Let’s see what further running in will bring to the table. Plus Small form factor DAC that can accept a digital signal from a variety of sources to be output as balanced Ability to drive both single ended and balanced headphones Minus Too many switches placed at the back. Can be difficult to access if rack mounted. Crossfeed dulls sound Difference in gain settings not consistent. Change from medium to high gain > Change from low to medium. Stay tuned!
  9. Protection = Original acrylic case + screen protector. Not too bad looking if I might say so. Found mine at Farle Funan.
  10. Time to trim the herd. A mint condition Grado GS1000 and RA1 (battery) amp for sale as a pair. Combo price of $SOLD firm for both. GS1000 includes original packaging and accessories. RA1 does not come with any packaging. GS1000 http://6moons.com/audioreviews/grado/gs1000.html http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue28/grado_gs1000.htm RA1 http://www.gradolabs.com/product_pages/ra1_amp.htm Please leave contact details if you are interested. Thanks!
  11. Should be here if I am not wrong: Musiclink AV Distribution 100 Beach Road, #02-47 Shaw Tower, Singapore 189702 Tel:62911106 Mon-Sat:12.30-8pm daily Sun:By Appointment Only Closed on all holidays
  12. Thats why both amps were waiting there. Thought you guys were OD on headphones, so I didnt ask. Maybe next time.
  13. Great company and exciting toys! What more can one ask for? Top three items to try on my agenda were the Zana Deux, PS-1 and of course, the L3000. The ZD was certainly quite a sight to behold and sounded very nice as well. It delivered the beautiful sound of tubes in spades. The amp also impressed me with its iron grip over the generous bass of the PS-1. Nice. The PS-1 was heavy on the head, but was the easily the best sounding Grado I have heard to date. It brings a healthy serving of bass to the Grado sound. The sight of the L-3000 would make the knees of any headphone lover soft. Gorgeous leather everywhere and great build quality. While I did not have too much time with it, the sound was certainly quite good. Detailed and full. Comfortable on the head as well. Thanks to all for making the time and effort.
  14. My DT880 was sent out for balancing. As far as I know, converting to balanced is not a simple matter of reterminating the TRS plug (as with HD650 or K701). The original wire on the headphone was single entry, so it would also require some work on the right earcup to facilitate cable entry. Original post also updated to answer questions received.
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