SBAF 2022 Schlong Nominations

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by purr1n, Sep 23, 2022.

  1. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Another +1 for Linlai. Competitive with Acme in terms of sonics, but quite a bit ahead in terms of reliability and durability.
     
  2. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I have a couple entries that I think are worth a nomination.

    1.) Sennheiser IE-600. Half the price of the IE 900 and offers quite a bit of the technical performance as its bigger brother, but revised without the dip in the mids. A more "normal" sounding tuning with a little bit of extra spice in the treble. It focuses more on the low/sub-bass and lacks a little bit of punch in the mid-bass. My tastes lean more that direction for fatigue reasons. I do prefer the IE 900's extension on both ends, particularly the sub-bass and bass presentation as a whole. The IE 600 does a very good job getting close though. The 3D printed metal is just geek-out levels of cool IMO. These would be my 'golden' schlong if they slammed just a tiny bit harder and the treble was just a tiny bit less spicy. The mids and sub-bass are pretty great though. These are so close to being the perfect everyday carry IEM. There is no perfect, so these are MY personal everyday pair.

    2.) Air Pods Pro 2. Just picked these up while I was on vacation. They keep the convenience and comfort while improving noise cancelling and tonal balance. The volume slider is very useful and they seem to connect quicker to all my devices. The spatial audio with personalized HRTF is pretty rad too. Turns them into 'movie theater' mode (tonally / spatially). I'd say they are getting pretty close in quality to something like my MassDrop Plus+. The APP2 do lack in micro/macro dynamics & outright resolution, but the rest of the package makes up for it.
     
  3. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    Schitt Tyr:

    gee, a US based audio manufacturer, with a commitment to US sourced (as much as possible) parts and US based labor. so, they build an over-engineered, high power, reasonably priced (for what it is) SS mono block that appears to totally kick ass.
    still waiting for the OFAS @Stereopile (of USD $250K turntables) to get with the program.
    or you could look at MacLabs, where the closest thing i could find is the MC312 @USD $7000 (stereo SS amp, close to the same power as Tyr).
    if this piece of Schitt sounds any good, there is definitely a new kid in town.
    cheers!

    nb: hey, Jason and Mike please don't stop making headphone stuff!
     
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  4. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    I would like to +1 the JAR 600 (and really all of Jupiter Audio Research offerings, I think as more folks get ears on the JAR 800/800s mods we will see people building 800 chains again around them).

    I owned the JAR 600 briefly previously, and while I was impressed by it, it at the time did not unseat my Auteur+stock HD 600 combo and I did not spend long with it. (Link to previous impressions: JAR HD600 Impressions and Measurements | Super Best Audio Friends). I got a new pair recently from Jupiter and they have absolutely knocked my socks off. Maybe this pair is just that much better, or maybe my new chain is a better fit (HoloAudio May -> HoloAudio Serene -> DNA Starlett VS Gungnir Multibit -> Liquid Platinum previously), but either way, they really are something special. Really the perfect goldilocks headphone, hard to fault any aspects of its presentation. Soulful and captivating, supremely detailed with great space and separation, just a treat every time I put them on my head. Some of the negatives I noted in my previous impressions seem to be completely negated, everything just falls into place and is very well sorted but with life and charisma.

    Jupiter has been doing some great work; in my opinion, the JAR 600 is the magnum opus. I thought 2022 was the year of the HD 580 for me as I was settling in for the long-haul with a particularly good sounding 580 and the Starlett after saying goodbye to my beloved Auteur and 3F, but the JAR 600 has relegated the 580 to gathering dust again and I am not particularly missing my Auteur. It is the type of headphones I could be perfectly happy with as my ONLY headphones. That being said, Jupiter is never resting and has lots of great stuff in the pipeline, and I am already eagerly lining up to hear more of his creations.
     
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  5. Sonofsin

    Sonofsin Rando

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    Schiit Vali 2+

    As far as I know this has not received a price in the last years. It is a great budget amp for the HD600 and a notable step up for example from the amp included in the Ifi Nano BL when used with the HD600.

    It may be superseded by the Piety, however that is not available yet and probably only a one-off. The Vali sits on my desks and glows happily.

    Bonus points for being fairly universal, no matter if you listen to Beethoven or Beastie Boys. So I think at least an economy Schlong is in order.
     
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  6. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    ^ Off topic, but based on my limited time with Piety and ownership of Vali2+ , used with many tube families including the tubes used in the new ++ version, I would say the Vali2+ and Piety are different enough that they won't supersede each other. I will be ordering a Piety and still keeping my 2+.
     
  7. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    @purr1n sent you schlong award artwork via PM fyi.
     
  8. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    RD Modded LCD-4: My favorite headphones of all time. Resolves as well as the Utopia, this really comes through after RD's mods. Actually, I like the way it resolves better, has more of a meaty feel to it. Extended on both ends yet still a smooth listen. Just the right amount of excitement, wonderful texture, air, tone, and timbre. If I had to pick only one pair of headphones, they would be it.

    +1 ZMF Atrium: It does so much right. It has that beautiful cozy ZMF house sound with great resolution and "neutral" tuning. If I had to pick only one ZMF, this would be it without hesitation. I also love the large assortment of pads available to tune the sound to my taste. I know that applies to all ZMF but still a very useful feature worth noting. My #2 favorite headphones of all time, only bested by RD's LCD-4.

    +1 Nitsch Piety: A fabulous SS amp, if it was in a larger case and cost $500, I bet people would still call it a fantastic deal for what it can do (and I'd agree with them). Great tone, timbre, and power while being smooth enough for super sensitive ears like mine. This is the budget amp to buy.
     
  9. caute

    caute Friend

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    Am I weird for thinking the RD-LCD-X is a better deal overall, and not purely for its lower base price? I only got a little time—a couple of songs—with the RD-LCD-4, however, but I don't remember liking it that much more than his modded X, but to keep it real, I've only heard both modded headphones from a Liquid Gold X fed by a Gungnir A1 at the Schiit Audio Show, have very inexperienced ears and have never even heard a non-modded LCD-4.

    I think the RD-X has improved speed, resolution, clarity, is refreshingly non-fatiguing (completely axes those tiny blips of sibilance that pop up every once and a while on the OG-X) or easy-going-ness without losing out on the dynamism, much, if not most of the punch of the original, and shares a vast majority of the bass response/slam of the original LCD-X. Both are a truly engineering feats, esp. considering @RD tunes by ear, but I'd be lying if money were no concern, I would buy the RD-LCD-X and only the RD-LCD-X. But I wonder if it says something that I would want to own both the RD-LCD-X and RD-LCD-4...

    Edit: even though I probably don't have voting privileges, I'd +1000 the Nitsch Piety. Super amp technicals in a tiny footprint, and an even lower price point.

    Double edit: Also, if I could vote, I'd definitely vote for the JAR600B over the OG and not at all for price-to-performance reasons, purely for SQ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  10. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    It's fine if you disagree with me, I think the LCD-4 is worth the higher price, especially what they go for used. So in that sense I don't agree the LCD-X is a better deal because I am unhappy leaving that much behind. You may agree if you ever get to hear it on a similar stack to mine. The extra resolution is really nice with the right DAC. :) I also felt the LCD-4 is fuller sounding and just ... so right.
     
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  11. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I'm going to add one more to my earlier two choices for the year. (Vali 2+ gets honorable mention for being missed last year)

    1.) ETA Mini S - I find this headphone to be a great, no-nonsense headphone. All function with a form that is comfortable and simple. Tuning and timbre are excellent at any price point. Technical ability is right there with most the big boys in the $$$ range, just under some of the $$$$ headphones such as (IMO) the Focal Clear / Focal Utopia. If the presentation of the Mini S was similar to the Utopia while retaining their (Mini S) tone and timbre, ETA would have a complete grand slam. They are in homerun land right now.
     
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  12. Entropy

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    Nomination: Topping Pa5 speaker amp (see below)

    -Among the least reliable units Topping has ever produced, with a high failure rate after several thousand hours of "On" time, regardless of if a signal was passed through it or not during that time. Personally failed twice for me within 9 months. But hey, unlike the l30, this doesn't blow anything up (other than itself!)
    (this is the justification that Topping used to keep selling these units and not issue an immediate recall)

    -For the year it has been on sale, this issue was never fixed, so Topping decided to discontinue it for no other apparent reason.
    -Inconvenient TRS port placement, small speaker terminals, obscure aviator-type power connector coming from the large external switching PSU.
    -No remote; it's an amp with two inputs and a volume knob.
    -Similar sound to cheap ma12070-based amps (some of which are both more fully featured and under $100)
    -Highly recommend By Amir!

    /j, Sorry guys, I just had to. :poop:
    A serious nomination for the garbo category if we're doing that this year

    More seriously, I wanted to +1 the AirPods pro 2. For what they are, they're seriously impressive. I enjoy their tuning and tonal balance, and their general technicalities are decent. They fit well in my ears and seem to be pretty unambiguous in their relative comfort to most people. They way they use adaptive EQ to compensate for different ear canals and different positioning is quite nifty. The build and looks obviously aren't going to win any awards, but the performance of course outshines that. I definitely prefer these to my TE zeros in terms of sound.. Then comes the fact that they're true wireless and come with fantastic anc. Seriously man, what else do you need? This is a Great little product, apple nailed this one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2022
  13. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I would like to add the JAR 600 (v1) for silver or gold.

    Heard 2 different pairs in the past (1 or 2 years ago?), 1 of which was on loan for a while, and liked both but I didn't want to nominate them at the time as not enough people had heard them.

    Received my pair today and although it's only been a few hours, they were as good as I remember in the past. Now that I know they're still as good as I remember, "enough" other people have heard them and listed similar reasons for "why it's good", and they're available for now, I am adding a nomination.

    The ONLY reason I am leaving wiggle room for gold OR silver instead of a definitive gold is I haven't owned it long enough to say this. Give it another month though and I will probably change say definitive gold.
     
  14. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Chromecast Audio (CCA)

    Absolutely reliable, simple to setup and use Toslink (SPDIF optical fiber) streamer. Works wonderfully with Roon, Tidal etc.

    Launched 2015, discontinued in 2019, and still easily sourced new on ebay and elsewhere - although generally at more than the $20 retail price of 2019. Years later, there's simply nothing else available in its class. Deserves some credit as one of the most appreciating assets in audio also!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  15. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I'm going to go with my gut/heart and go slightly against some of the other Jupiter Audio Research lovers. I see lots of praise for the 600 modification, but the JAR650B is the one that had the most synergy with my preferences and gear. It was the closest to a HD800 with 650 timbre. The 600B is possibly a little less romantic by a smidge while being even more neutral than the 650 variant - possibly to lean for my vast library. The 650B has just enough everywhere to be a unique offering that I don't think there is anything else I've heard like them. They are truly improved upon, OG and B versions.

    So maybe a golden Schlong for @ext1. I've given my praise to ETA already in this thread - just need to hear @rhythmdevils modifications someday.

    I don't think Piety deserves a Schlong, but an honorable mention. It is really cool, but still relatively a magni. The Vali 2+ is already a great product. Probably the new Magni+ also.

    Here is my end of year list of items that I've either spent the money on and kept or have had on loan and will be purchasing at some time.

    1. Apple Airpods Pro2
    2. Sennheiser IE600
    3. ETA Mini S
    4. JAR650 B
    HM. Nitsch Piety

    As you can guess - I'm a driver first kinda guy.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Keep them going. Everything will be on a spreadsheet for deliberation.
     
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  17. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    My nominations / stuff I own.:

    HE6se v2 for value sorta. Keeps dropping in regular sale price, currently $400shipped at Adorama. Ya, it requires a big amp so that has to be factored into cost. I feel a giant amp is part of the experience that makes HE6se special... Go right ahead, connect to a speaker amp! Sonically, HE6se v2 is basically HE500+. Somebody posted this in the HF thread, but $400 today is great value compared to the classic Hifimans from over a decade ago when inflation is considered. And considering the high prices dusty old OG HFM sell for, 6se new with warranty is a convenient bargain.

    T50RP for longevity and value
    . Entire cottage industry around selling mods. The number of community posts written about modding these requires its own server. Open Alpha diy mod is my favorite closed headphone for the foreseeable future.

    Koss Porta Pro for longevity and value. According to the list of past noms Porta Pro has never gotten a nod. Ridiculous! I think Tyll used to say (paraphrased): the audiophile approved headphone path begins at Porta Pro, then 6X0, then after that its murky (I think he did eventually recommend Utopia as the next level). I think if we did a poll about a common headphone we all share either in ownership or respect, I think 6X0 would be #1 and Porta Pro #2.
     
  18. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    I can think of two nominations on both sides of the budget spectrum.

    Starving Student: Apple AirPods Pro 2
    The first gen was mostly a convenience play (with a pleasantly-surprising unfucked balance), but the updated driver and amp take sound up a notch or two. It's resolving enough and has an agreeable enough frequency response that I'm comfortable listening for new music; when I used to reserve that kind of activity to my speaker rig, only (to give the music a fair chance). And because it's a DAC/amp/IEM combo, I have trouble seeing how separates in the headphone world could be called budget or of great value, anymore.

    Also, the oval design of tips is such a good idea for how most people's ear canals are shaped, because the standard circular tips in most other IEMs hurt after short stints.

    Old Rich Farts Audio Society: Rockna Wavedream
    If someone wants to spend crazy money on a DAC, in my eyes, this is as easy and safe a recommendation as I can think of (as long as you're not looking for a specific color/romance). Excelling at so many performance metrics that we judge DACs on, while still managing to feel like music is still flowing fluidly and with grace and not overly clinical or try-hard. Made me realize after spending so much time at and around the top of the Schiit multibit range that some of that perceived Schiit R2R 'resolution' is, in part, actually just coming from an unrefined graininess. Directly A/Bing the R2R offerings from the two companies opened my eyes to this.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  19. caute

    caute Friend

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    Does anyone know when @purr1n and mods going to be pick winners?

    If we can still vote, I'd like to officially put a few budget picks in:
    1. RD-X, planar value king, not the last word on resolution, but close enough (to me) to the RD-4 in SQ that it makes sense to buy and get modded by RD immediately, rather than hold out/shell out for a used LCD-4
    2. JAR600B, dynamic value king, a black silk 600 modded by ext1 will run you about $800, which is an astronomical value for a headphone of this caliber. Truly a TOTL headphone on a budget.
    3. Nitsch Piety, drives both headphones and makes them sound nice, what else can I say about the Piety that hasn't already been said?
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Will be late on this for 2022 since I got business travel to the UK coming up and won't be back until later this month. In the meantime, can someone tally all of the nominations so we can start a poll?
     

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