Golden Schlong 2020 Nominations

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by purr1n, Nov 18, 2020.

?

What should we name our "this is bad" award

  1. Poopy Butthole

    13 vote(s)
    8.9%
  2. Brown Starfish

    51 vote(s)
    34.9%
  3. Limp Dick

    38 vote(s)
    26.0%
  4. Floating Turd

    33 vote(s)
    22.6%
  5. POS

    20 vote(s)
    13.7%
  6. Award for Nasty Unflushable Scheisse

    25 vote(s)
    17.1%
  7. Homelander

    14 vote(s)
    9.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. brencho

    brencho Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,545
    Dislikes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    Easily SW51+ for amps, and Soekris 2541 for dacs... leaving vinyl out of it, because it’s hard to have a frame of reference. Headphones, I’m down to a hd600 and airpod pros so pls ignore me.

    edit: also a fan of dna and ecp stuff, haven’t heard the latest stuff, seem to be selling like hot cakes as far as high end stuff goes
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  2. magnium

    magnium Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    46
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    For the "this is bad" award, it should be named the Blue Balls Award, inspired by the pics below from another thread. You could ask Lampizator if they want to sponsor the award.


     
  3. shabta

    shabta Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Likes Received:
    208
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I realize that many people here haven't heard the Kaldas RR1 conquest. I'd nominate it in V category. If you are considering the Nektar Hive, it's a shame not to check this out. It's a little cheaper than the hive, weighs a lot less, can be modestly amped (I use a restored srm 1/ mk 2) has dust covers (which for estats i would think is essential) and you can take it off your head while music plays without fearing the stators will get stuck. I sounds like a darkish estat, I personally think it sounds really good, especially for the price. I wrote it up last year, use search. Not the be all end all in resolution or layering, but in estats you have to get to at least the L700 level maybe SR007 to beat it. If there is real interest, I could approach Aumkar, the owner, about a loaner. My pair is pretty far away from most of you, in the south of france. But at least this RR1 Conquest has a view of the Mediterranean. :sail:

    I also think, as the PI2AES won last year (yay!), we should give a nod to the OG Pi502DAC V category. It sounds almost as good. And for most inexpensive DACs (say in the under 500 bux category but maybe more) it sounds as good for less scratch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  4. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    301
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    Grado Hemp
    Long time Grado fan here, and in my opinion the Hemp is one of the best Grado headphones that I have ever heard for pure musical enjoyment.
     
  5. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,369
    Dislikes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'd like to throw the BHA-1 into the ring. It seems to be making a comeback as of late. It's a great option for those looking for a way out of mid-fi purgatory, seems to work well with EVERYTHING (something even the warmish Black Widow can't claim), has balanced ins (for TOTL DACs), has THREE headphone outs (2 balanced, one SE), and manages to be one of the few SS amps with no glare, etch, haze, is neutral without being sterile, scales like mad... and to top it off has damn near tube like staging. It's also an excellent value used ($1200 last I checked). It doesn't get the attention it deserves IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  6. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,986
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Sector 8023 of the Third Quadrant
    Unlike the "warmish" SW51+.

    I think I see a pattern.

    That said, the Bryston does deserve more discussion on SBAF.
     
    pure5152, YMO, dncnexus and 1 other person like this.
  7. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,369
    Dislikes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The SW51+ is all over this thread and deserves to be, no need to repeat what's already been said. On the other hand, nary a mention of the BHA-1. That's why I mentioned it.
     
    crenca likes this.
  8. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,547
    Dislikes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    You do realize the BHA-1 is over $2k new right? It ain't Golden Schlong worthy at that price. At that price point, you're competing with amps like Starlett and DSHA-3F.

    And yes, I realize that BHA-1 can be found used for around the $1k price point. But here's reality; none of the previous Golden Schlong/Silver Dong winners needed a qualifier of "oh if you can find this used." That alone is enough to disqualify it in my eyes even though I still consider it to be a good SS amp.
     
  9. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    5,870
    Dislikes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    SW51+ with stock tubes is not warm, and I'm not alone with that viewpoint.
     
    sheldaze, gixxerwimp, obsiCO and 9 others like this.
  10. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    I'm personally of the opinion that the BHA-1 is a great amp, but given the price that it goes for new I don't think its particularly golden schlong worthy, as @ChaChaRealSmooth pointed out. Although it doesn't exhibit the characteristic defects of Solid State amps, I also felt that the sound it put out wasn't particularly nuanced or engaging compared to good tube amplifiers. Granted, my chain might have something to do with that, but I recall @dllmsch having very similar impressions on a very different chain when comparing it to the SW51+. If it sold for around $1200 new (the price it sells for used), I think there would be more of a case that it is worthy of an award.

    Regardless, I do agree that its one of the better sounding solid state amplifiers out there for those who are looking for something to drive lower impedance dynamics or planars. But I personally didn't find that it was the magic solid-state solution to amplification that some folks outside this community have talked it up to being.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  11. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,369
    Dislikes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    113
    For sure, in my original post I mentioned it could've been the tubes.

    I feel like that quote was taken out of context. It had nothing to do with my opinion about the BHA-1 being more versatile than another SS amp in the same class that gets alot of love around these parts. It was a point in its favor as an awards contender, not a burn against the BW or warm amps in general.

    There is an honorable mention category, no? I think the BHA-1 should be highlighted. You don't have to agree, but just because it's not the amp of the year doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered for the runner up categories.
     
  12. dllmsch

    dllmsch Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    191
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Molvanîa
    I think there is a reason for different categories schlongs, Excellence, Longetivity and Value. Not that any of these products(anything above $1k) are competing in the V stage, but with regard to their own excellence. Even Pioneer M-22 got a nomination IIRC. Perhaps inferior to a DSHA3F but I read that BHA-1 trade blows with a starlett? based off memory. FWIW BHA-1's street price went as low as $8k HKD(we don't get 20years warranty, just 1 year) in Hong Kong and hover around $4k-4.5k HKD in the used market. Focal clear pro goes for $1.2k AUD new as well, which I consider a good damn great deal. If price point is a thing for E or L maybe we should stick to MSRP?

    My impressions was solely based on HD650, which sounds good on both amps. However SW51+ sounds congested with my Atticus, low Z out is better but still far behind BHA-1. And HD650 with low Z out loses the magic of SW51+. At the end of the day I think system synergy and personal preference is more important for the engaging factor, which is where it comes to BHA-1 greatest strength IMO, no matter what headphones I throw at it they are gonna sound good, I've seen pairings from HE-6 to HD800 and BHA-1 seems to drive them with ease. They may not be magical, but damn this amp is versatile. For this reason alone I think BHA-1 is a worthy candidate for E and L.
     
    dematted likes this.
  13. tommytakis

    tommytakis Gear Cycler SoCal Edition

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Likes Received:
    4,609
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Man I was originally planning on staying quiet and watch but I guess y'all are getting too heated about this lol

    I've actually owned all three amps being discussed right now (3F, Starlett, and BHA-1) so I'd like to comment on some of the previous remarks made here. I think both sides have made very interesting arguments, so I'll respond to both sides and not play favorites.

    1. BHA-1 is not TOTL, it's just shy of it actually in terms of plankton and microdynamics. Compared to the 3F, it's behind in clarity and microdynamics, but it does staging better (one of the best staging I've heard in a solid state amp in both width and depth).
    2. BHA-1 DOES trade blows w/ Starlett, Starlett is not a perfect amp (no amp is really, no matter how good they are). For example, microdynamics, plankton easily goes to Starlett but BHA-1 does have a more delineated treble and better macrodynamics.
    3. BHA-1 is one of the few solid state amps that actually works well w/ HD800 without murking up and turning the can into a warmpoo-cest pool. I think that's worth mentioning since most solid states paired w/ hd800 will make my ears bleed and cry. This was even mentioned by Marv's original HD800 amp recommendation guide made years ago.
    4. BHA-1 has been out for many years now and has made a recent resurgence of popularity for whatever reason. I think that already shows that it's not one of headfi's FOTM products. I know couple of my friends who has owned this amp for a very long time and still love it to this day. It's aloso very versatile af like others have mentioned. (Possible L and V argument?). I think BHA1's original price NEW was actually around 1-1.5k if i'm not mistaken, but they ended up raising their price sometime during the years. **please correct me if I'm wrong**
    5. Let's not be too critical of gears that we've actually never heard before, ya? I won't call you out directly, but you know who you are. :) <3

    This is just one man's thoughts and opinions, but let's not get too heated about nominations, I don't like seeing my friends getting all worked up about this, especially during the holiday seasons. Just let BHA-1 get the nomination and let the community decide what's deserving of the schlongs. If it's poo, we'll know based on the votes right? Alright, have a great Monday everyone haha
     
  14. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,322
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Going back to nominations, I think modius should get a nomination for value. $200 balanced DAC that competes with other DS dacs several hundred more than it, AKM yet hits harder and doesn't have that usual AKM "velvet sound", especially out of the balanced outs. Great timbre/tonality and clarity. Yeah, bifrost 2 hits harder and has better microdynamics, but it's also $500 more -- you could build a whole stack for that money.
     
  15. memoryerror

    memoryerror Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Likes Received:
    2
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Can I suggest a name for "this is bad" award of: melted candy bar in the pool
     
  16. famish99

    famish99 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,389
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    To help dig you out of this hole, I run Amperex tubes on the SW51, because I don't run warm sources and I needed something to help round it out with Senns. But having tried the VC with the SW51, even with the Amperex in, it pairs fine. Probably would be better with the stock ruskies there though. I would say the biggest drawbacks of the SW51 is lack of power and closed in stage, but it really has no issue with most 300ohm cans and highly efficient low impedance cans (Clear/Utopia comes to mind).

    Mostly quoting this so that it doesn't go unnoticed lol.
     
    edd, FlySweep and Gazny like this.
  17. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6,547
    Dislikes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    Another nomination: ZMF Aeolus. I personally wasn't the biggest fan if anyone read my original impressions, but I definitely think it has merit (and honestly I really would like to audition it again with different pads). Curious if people think it's schlong-worthy.

    I did not know this. At that price I would actually consider it GS-worthy. Currently, from a brief glance online is the US I see it going for around $2k USD. Not sure how the community and senior members feel about this in terms of giving out a GS; I will leave this up to them.
     
    Jinxy245, edd, jnak00 and 3 others like this.
  18. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    I personally think the Aeolus should get a schlong for value, if not necessarily for excellence. From all the headphones I've listened to, including the HD600 and 650, the Aeolus has the most agreeable tonality and timbre (with the universe suede perforated pads - I didn't much like it with stock ones). It lags behind other headphones at its price-point in a lot of the traditional measures of technicalities (detail, microdynamics, transient response, etc.), but having sold, bought, and compared it to other headphones numerous times, I'm fairly certain that the Aeolus is one of the most agreeable sounding, enjoyable headphones to listen to out there.

    In short, it's really hard to -dislike- it, even if it might leave one craving for a bit more in ultimate resolving power. It also renders badly recorded music, like some 1960s/70s classic rock, really well. At 1200 dollars, I believe it's actually one of the safest dynamic driver headphones to recommend at its pricepoint: the Clear has some classical focal timbre nasties and aggression, the HD800 has its famously polarizing frequency response, and from all I've read about the Auteur, it seems a bit more dependent on getting the right gear to bring the best out of it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    Jinxy245, Inoculator, obsiCO and 9 others like this.
  19. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    630
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I agree on the Aeolus - my personal favorite of the ZMF's - Like you state - the Focal Elex / Clear are very competitive against it. Neither headphone are worth double the Elex though (IMO). The Aeolus being the most agreeable over a large portion of music, but at the cost of its unique traits.

    Since you have a Borealis in your avatar - how do those stack up for you in the grand scheme?
     
    jnak00, dematted and E_Schaaf like this.
  20. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    Thanks for the question!

    The most obvious difference between the Borealis and the Aeolus is the tonal response: as I believe the creators of Borealis once commented, their tuning philosophy is different from Zach's, and it shows. The headphone is notably brighter and more alive in the treble than any ZMF I have owned. This isn't to say that its a conventionally bright headphone, but there is a peakiness in the treble which isn't found on any ZMF. In many ways, the headphone resembles a Focal more than a ZMF: it has a very quick, zippy transient response for the most part, despite presenting a great deal of musical information and plankton. It has a tightness in the bass in particular that contributes to a great sense of slam and control, though sometimes at the expense of the overall cohesiveness of the sound (bass often feels very isolated from the rest of the frequency response).

    Although it has a mostly agreeable timbre (which is sometimes a bit dry, but still a step ahead of say, the Focal Clear), there is still a lack of warmth and euphony in the headphones overall presentation: mids in particular sounded a little thin for me, and the sound as a whole doesn't feel particularly well-integrated - each band of the frequency response tends to do its own thing, without much sense of overall cohesiveness to the sound. The Aeolus does not have this issue at all. Because of this (and because most of the music I listen to lives in the mid-range), I think I prefer the Aeolus, which has a lusher, thicker, more tonally dense sound, even if the Borealis comfortably beats it in most technicalities.

    I wouldn't nominate the Borealis for a golden schlong myself, simply because I've learned that I can't live with headphones that don't have a tonality that is "just right" for me, but I still think it is a tremendous value. I cannot see any reason, for example, to own a Focal Clear rather than a Borealis. To me, the Borealis does almost everything the Clear does well better, and is not as weak in the points where the Focal is weak. The two caveats here, I suppose, are the very low impedance of the Borealis, which makes it difficult to use with most tube amps (which I feel like it would benefit from), and, of course, the rather bizarre build.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    Jinxy245, vtrinidad87, obsiCO and 7 others like this.

Share This Page