I am so mid-tier but…

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Grattle, Nov 17, 2022.

  1. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

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    Not to “me too” here, but I think this is worth highlighting. If progressing through gear is your thing (and only you can answer that), it doesn’t need to be the latest model or mint off the line. Almost all of my current components had previous owners, well over half from here. One of the better things here is any poor actors in the For Sale section will be flayed in short order, so all of the nonsense you see on other forums is rare. And if something doesn’t work for you, there’s usually someone that’ll take it back off your hands.

    Also, and I know they’re in a bit of a lull right now, but the loaners programs are great for shaking the gear carousel. Try out something you wouldn’t hear otherwise for the price of shipping the box. Then take what others compare it to and make more informed value judgements in your upgrades.
     
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  2. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Man, we have so many loaners going around that I see it as an embarrassment of riches rather than a desert of lacking. Maybe I'm out of touch with what people want, but to me and what I want to hear we have crazy loaners at the moment.
     
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  3. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    Posts such as this one are both fantastic and informative, and part if the problem I have with our hobby.

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/mid-tier-tube-amp-off.12913/

    Surely the thread above is based on price. The mid-fi tag IMHO belongs on Topping level products, which probably are better than your computer motherboard. Mid-fi is “pretty good”. Like a Fulla, which probably sounds great really. Those amps may not be the summit of sound quality, but I bet they all sound completely adequate. The thread I linked in my opinion, described a few reasonably priced high end amps. Nothing Mid-fi there. Not TOTL, probably. I wouldn’t be qualified to comment on that.

    I am not trying to be a semantic jerk here. I am referring to the mental groupings we place things in and how those groups need to collectively be re-evaluated and evolve.

    Our gear that gets called mid-fi would probably make our co-workers do a doubletake if they knew what this mid-fi stuff costs.

    I’m not on some crusade. I do think its interesting to discuss the direction of our discourse though, and self reflect a bit here and there.
     
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  4. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Can confirm, my Fulla 2 and HD650 still sounds great.
     
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  5. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    No shade throwing intended. Fulla probably is not mid-fi. Haven’t heard one yet. My bad.
     
  6. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    To be fair, I don't think of the terms "mid-tier" and "mid-fi" interchangeably. The former is about price, the latter is about performance.
     
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  7. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    No offense taken, as I didn't think you intended any. I'm not sure if the Fulla is mid-fi, low-fi, or whatever else. I sold my OG Jotunheim and Modi Multibit in favor of the Fulla, not because it necessarily sounded better, but because it was good enough for me. Maybe that says more about me than the Fulla.

    I've talked about this before, a couple years ago in the Mojo thread I think, but the Fulla is one of those hidden gems. I think people overlook it based on price.
     
  8. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    Fair point. But I could say that you’re splitting hairs (as could you).

    I’m in no way being critical of the mid-tier tube shootout thread. I really enjoyed the read, and appreciate the authors time and efforts.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I'm a Fulla supremacist all day long.
     
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  10. TamHo

    TamHo New

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    So does the HD6xx a mid-tier not a mid-fi? I have seen more than 3 people saying they prefer the 6xx to the Utopia . I was not sure they were trolling or not :)
     
  11. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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  12. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF's Mr. Bean

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    1. I don't like to use the whole "mid-tier" thing, but the HD6XX is still the best deal in terms of total sound for money spent bar none. I will die on that hill.
    2. Preference and synergy trumps total system performance. I can give you plenty of reasons why the Utopia is objectively better than HD600/650 (*gasp* yes I just said the o-word, big deal get over it), but if you're not using a system synergistic with the Utopia and/or just don't like the way the Utopia sounds then it isn't the right headphone for you.
    Btw, this is one way I loved the ETA Mini C. Sounds great just out of a phone for a total system cost of a phone + $500. No need to worry about any dongles or bluetooth batteries dying on you.
     
  13. joch

    joch Friend

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    I would say that they're mid-fi with mid-fi equipment. I'll repeat what others have said "they scale with better gear."
     
  14. Case

    Case Anxious Head (Formerly Wilson)

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    So my Mj1 juuust crapped out today, so I fired up the Vali 2 and did not feel cheated out of any enjoyment.
     
  15. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Me. I'm one of those people. For all its formidable technical prowess, seemingly endless cache of resolving ability, and finely detailed dynamism, I still think it just sounds too bright lmao.
     
  16. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Utopia sounding bright is a product of your upstream components. Utopia sounds like what you feed it. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
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  17. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    This is true, or at least what I've heard. My lone experience is demoing the OG Utopia for an hour it at a local shop; it was fed by a Simaudio Moon Neo 430 HAD DAC/amp (used single-ended as well) that I believe has an Sabre 9018 in it, and I doubt the Simaudio people are great ESS whisperers... must've been where the brightness I was hearing came from. It really ruined me on the Utopia too, would love to hear it in a good system.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
  18. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    I am so mid-tier, but...

    I love it. I love the SW51+, the Piety, the Gungnir mb, the JAR600B (which I do not believe to be mid-tier, but purely wrt to price—they would be considered so). They all have great synergy together, and everything sounds magical together. I've been after this setup for 4 months, and I finally have it (well, everything but the SW51+, which is a loaner, but it's almost a specialist amp with 6X0 and I will be looking for one in the future, with some Amperex/Phillips tubes!).

    From here I am really not sure where to go, but the consensus is Yggdrasil OG/A2 with either a Starlett/Stratus or a ZDS. I'm not sure I want to plunk down that kinda money yet, but I am definitely considering it. Maybe once I am in a more fluid financial situation, I will be able to try a DNA amp and then get on the waitlist for one of Donald's amps, or pick up a nice EC ZDS for my Jupiter-Sennheisers.

    I am also gonna be trying to the JAR800 family today, which I am really excited for, so my setup in a year could look drastically different if I like one of those a lot, too, though I'm sure DNA/EC could handle them just fine, and the Yggdrasil would provide the synergy I'm after.
     
  19. TruthfulAdvertising

    TruthfulAdvertising New

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    Owning a few parts some would consider mid to hi-fi, the kitchen google nest mini beats all of them combined by hours of music played each week probably 10 times. My office headphones are HD558 with a self built cmoy + apple dongle while a pair of og clears sits in a box at arms reach.

    The wife said last year to me after showing her a new shiny. "To be honest having music on is annoying when the vocals sound like the singer is in the room with you and you want to do something else while listening music."

    Enjoy the music, don't sweat the gear.
     
  20. ecline56

    ecline56 Almost "Made"

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    Back in the old days I heard the original prototype ZD owned by a head-fier Mikey 01 from Cincinnati, Ohio and that amp was crazy good. Huge sound stage, big, bold sound that was totally engaging with my HD600 and Grado SR-200.

    I then bought a used ZD original from the 1st or second run but I was never really taken in by the sound. To dry and not the greatest for dynamics and very different from the prototype. No amount of tube rolling seemed to help and I sold the amp. But interestingly, the EC amp I liked at the time was the relatively inexpensive transformer coupled HD-25. In fact, I really liked that amp. I tried to find one for sale but never did. That amp was mid-tier but did everything right and was much more to my taste vs the ZD. I wish Craig had never stopped making that one. He did one final run but I was broke at the time and missed out.

    Sometimes sound just needs to be good enough. Sometimes more modest components are best with your sound priorities and trump more upscale products. Sometimes even the best sound does not satisfy you any more than very good sound.
     

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