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 compare to HD650 and JAR600 below. Measurements are mostly consistent with my concise subjective impressions here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...sial-hd-660s2-thread.13205/page-4#post-425945. A summary:
  • HD600S2 is more full bodied (or has less bass hump depending how we want to look at it)
  • HD600S2 is recessed in upper mids
  • The funky thing that I mentioned (subjective): HD600S2 has more edge or is more prickly than either JAR600/HD650. The measurements show HD660S2 to have less treble overall from 7-10kHz, but why is this? Could be be the 5.5kHz peak? Let's look at CSD and Burst Attack Envelope later...
  • Measurements alone would suggest that the JAR600 would be more difficult in the highs than the HD660S because the JAR600 has a bump around 8kHz, but I actually found the JAR600 to be more even sounding, less prickly, less edgy, than the HD600S2.
Sennheiser HD660S2 -vs- HD650 (WHT)
A challenge was presented to me requesting I develop an inexpensive electronics learning lab that would

a) engage the student
b) present concepts clearly and concisely
c) be simple to learn and use
d) be hands-on
e) be inexpensive

The initial target audience are my grandchildren. However others may find this interesting and possibly useful.

Primary considerations for measurement devices were simple operation, highly visible large display, inexpensive. Accuracy and features were not a priority.

Buy this now.

Just a mere two days ago, the ETA Ada headphone made an unexpected appearance at my doorstep. Not a whisper from Tommy or Evan preceded its arrival***; it simply materialized out of thin air. Frankly, I had no inkling of its contents; it could have easily been another delivery of delectable Korean snacks for all I knew.

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Every now and then, a product emerges to fill a void unbeknownst to many. The ETA Ada embodies precisely that notion. These days, my enthusiasm for headphones is rather subdued. Marketing teams often hype up new technology, touting it as a "real" game-changer – yet to me, it often boils down to, "Does it produce sound? Oh, just a different sound." Different, not necessarily better. Then there's the monthly parade of super-expensive orthodynamic headphones, necessitating special components to rectify one or two vexing issues. By the time the setup is complete, we've likely spent enough to put down a sizeable down payment on a scarcely available MSRP C8 Corvette.
*I've been way behind on these. Apologies to Sajeev and SBAF.

Nectar Ambrosia Impressions
After the bombastic ortho called the Bee, someone pointed out to me that Nectar makes a dynamic driver headphone called the Ambrosia. I did wonder what I was about to hear; was this going to be along the same lines as the Bee (and maybe kind of like ZMF Atrium), or was I going to get something entirely different? Surprisingly, the answer is the latter; the Ambrosia can be summed up as a polite and gentle listen and compelling at its price point ($400 + shipping).

The Ambrosia's FR seems to be somewhere along the lines of the ZMF sound; lush in the bass and mids, with a noticeable dip in the upper mids and a comeback in the mid treble. This contributes to the Ambrosia sounding a bit polite, although it is definitely not the only reason.

The transients are where I believe the Ambrosia is a bit polite. While not necessarily slow, they are a touch rounded in character (my preference) and it doesn't have the slam of the Atrium.
The Verum 2 sounds like a more mature version of the Verum 1. Things are tighter (as opposed to loose) with snappier transients and focused delivery. The possible downside is that the presentation is a bit drier. The Verum 2 also scales much better with better gear. (It was a let down coming from the MILF/MJ3 to the MMB1/Piety)...

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Hi everybody! We are at it again in the Bay ( If you are interested in bringing your gear and getting a table spot, please join the discord (link below) and fill out the sign up sheet. I will follow up with you in the coming weeks to give you details on the event, etc. That being said, if you have headphones or IEMs (or even DAPs) that are portable, feel free to bring those with you and carry those around to test out all the cool stuff that will be there. So here are the details:

Important notes:
  1. If you are selected to bring your own setup, please arrive 1 hour before the event to set up. There will also be 1 hours after the event is over to break down and pack up.
  2. Gear list to come.
We are sponsored by Schiit Audio!!! Please thank them for helping us put together this meet and be able to enjoy this bigger venue and the space needed to bring more of us together! Also for sending us awesome gear.

Note: Please be conscious of your manners and hygiene. If there’s a line growing behind you or for the table, limit your listening time and come back when the table isn’t as packed. Let’s let everyone listen. Also keep in mind you will be demoing other people’s gear. Please be clean, wash up, don’t put products in your hair, clean your ears, etc. Be respectful. There’s a lot of cool gear here.

Location and Date/Time:
Saturday January 27, 2024
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST
420 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113
Let's be honest, the vast majority of SBAF members here like to see audio as a fundamental science rather than a product of engineering. That means for some reason audiophiles have convinced themselves that hearing "how something sounds" in an uncontrolled environment even remotely qualifies as an observation (it does not and never will)

I believe this approach to audio is severely damaging to the hobby, but it has sadly been the standard for many decades. Trust your ego, not your ears, because if you actually trusted your ears, you'd conduct a proper blind test.


However, I did stumble upon this. (Someone reported that this worked, so I decided to try it). Holy moly, this worked darn good. Piety tiny edition is actually subjectively more ballsy (but murkier) in the lows and wetter in the mids than Pietus. The CA-1a are on the cool and dry side, so Piety is great match. (I'm also using Yggdrasil LiM)

Schiit Yggdrasil LiM -> Nitsch Sound Piety -> TI-1b -> CA-1a

The downside is that we need to crank up the volume. I had no issue getting to moderately high volumes without maxing out the volume with rock tracks that are compressed. With classical tracks with high dynamic range, I had to max out the volume. All this in high gain.

I am messing with you guys? Absolutely not. Sure, some of this is a little bit of recoil from my recent experience with expensive amps that did not meet high expectations**. However, I am dead serious.

This is an honest review* of the Ferrum ORR headamp and HYPNOS power supply. Due to the very recent release of a number of headamps which have really pushed what solid-state headamps can do (tube expressiveness), the Ferrum OOR is going to have some stiff competition. I'm going to be direct and succinct without much extraneous bullshit and technobabble (some it probably wrong or misleading) that other Internet reviewers spew.

The HYPSOS is a power supply does guud things. I have not heard the OOR without it and I won't because I don't have the time. Ferrum Audio should just sell both together instead of offer an "optional" power supply that makes the base headamp guuder. For Jeebs sake, f'ing sell the best product that you can instead of something gimped that requires an extra attachment that makes it how it was supposed to be in the first place. If it sounds like this kind of audiophile bullshittery bugs the F outta me, it's because it does. (I mean GM doesn't sell a Vette with a V4 at $50k but ask an extra $30k for the V8.)

After years of moving magnet and moving iron cartridges, I managed to buy a SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC Star which is a low output (0.4 mV), moving iron cartridge. So now I need phono pre with moving coil gain to play the Zephyr.

You are probably thinking, why not just get a step up transformer (SUT) and use it with your existing MM phono? It turns out that the Zephyr has inductance of 2.75 mH per channel. While that is much lower than the 400 mH or so with a typical MM cartridge, it is near the top of the range for an MC cartridge. An MC cartridge can have inductance as low as 5 uH. With a low inductance MC cartridge and an SUT, the frequency response can be flat and extended, but at 2.75 mH, the SUT and the cartridge may interact to generate a significant response peak in the treble region. That can also affect phase over the top half of the audio range. In other words, an SUT with a high inductance cartridge is risky, so I decided to find a phono pre-amp with an active first stage.

A few years ago when I was at an event the Schittr, someone grabbed me to check out the RAAL Requisite SR-1a ribbon ear speakers. "Hey Marv, you gotta check these out!" The rest is history. Read about the SBAF Golden Schlong Winner SR-1a here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...udio-sr1a-review-holy-moly-buy-this-now.8041/

I knew that that RAAL Requisite had been working on a circum-aural version which has come out as the the CA-1a (Yes, I'm a late to the party.) I decided to grab a pair for the SBAF loaner program after a few members mentioned that the CA-1a was worthy, trading off technicalities of the SR-1a for more extended lows and more even frequency response. This is an accurate assessment. The CA-1a comes with two pairs of pads. One set has cutouts to allow more air. The sound of this pad is a cross between the fully encircled pads and the SR-1a. The fully encircled pads actually make the CA-1a tonal response somewhat like an HD650.

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I recently finished restoring an early model HH Scott 222d integrated amp, which is actually the circuit from the 222c, just with a different face plate. Along the way I decided to add the biasing circuit from the 299b. It turned out great and unseated my Ragnarok 2, not on technicalities, but on musical enjoyment. I've come to accept that I just like vintage stuff and I like tubes and I'm ok with that. Then I came across a cheap Scott LK-48 for sale locally and grabbed it. It's the same circuit as the 222c, but again with a different face plate, and uses 7199 tubes for the phase inverter instead of the 6UB tubes in the 222c/d I restored already, although some 222c's did use the 7199. Anyway I'm starting to restore/mod the LK-48 and will keep a log here.

I forgot to take before pictures, but the first order of business was to clean off the dust/grime and remove the output transformers and power transformer bell cap for a repaint. They looked similar, but a little worse, to the condition of the transformers on the 222c, which I failed repaint and will do later. Here's the unpainted transformers on the 222c/d