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
Let's break this stuff down:
Basically, other than a a few standouts with the price since the performance is mostly the same, you would be buying more or less the same DAC, but repackaged, slightly tweaked for tenths of a db better SINAD. Somebody is pulling the wool over your eyes, or is being paid off by Shenzhen Audio.
Which makes us wonder if we should not just cut off the lower part of the graph below the -100db line. Think of it like tolerances for automobile body panels. What's considered acceptable tolerance for the gap? 3mm, 1mm, 0.5mm? I'm sure Toyota's spec is probably much tighter than Ford's or Chrysler's (Tesla probably doesn't even have one, their spec manual likely being "use eyeball" or "whatever Elon says is OK for the day"). However the fact is, after a certain tolerance spec, it's not going to matter to the human eye. I'm not going to care if the gap between the hood and front quarter panel is 0.01mm off from spec. The reason is because I cannot see this.
TBH, I've had prejudices for DCA and Harman target respectively. Listening with Stealth for several days made me revoke most of the bitching claims I made before. Maybe less for DCA as I still think their prior products were weaker than competitors. But for the Harman target, I should have rigorously separated my dispreference toward Harmanzing EQ from a legit target-driven product. My criticism was not based on real products. How clueless I was.
Listening evaluation picture:
- Magni Piety inputs switched between Yggdrasil LIM and Holo Spring 2 KTE SE outputs.
- ECP DSHA3-F switched balanced inputs between Yggdrasil LIM and Holo Spring 2 KTE balanced outputs.
HaiTai Korean Butter Chips
This unit is really exceptional. It can be purchased from Amazon or your favorite CCCP sponsored online marketplace for around $129 USD. It is worth every penny. I purchased it to use as a stopgap until my single-ended 2A3 project is completed later this year, but I have become so enamoured with it I wonder why one really needs anything more.
In another thread, I can't remember where exactly (readers feel free to point out where I buried it), I posted a list of "Summit-Fi" tube amps I've heard and assigned them rankings per game character builds a la Diablo 3 or Xenoblade (S-tier, A, B, C, etc.). I am still debating whether I actually want to start a formal thread of tube amp rankings because I eschew these kinds of rankings for the following reasons: 1) they greatly oversimplify; 2) audio isn't a game where one or two kinds of character builds will objectively dominate leaderboards; 3) they do not account for personal preferences; 4) they do not account system synergies; 5) they allows readers to take the easy way out, not doing any exploration or research on their own, to just buy what somebody says sounds good, which rarely leads to the exceptional dish.
The Stellaris remains at the top of the leaderboard!
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.