SBAF Wishlist for 2021 - Petition to MOTs

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by purr1n, Jan 15, 2021.

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UNLIMITED votes. Check to tell Santa what you want in 2021.

  1. Fostex T50RP (Drop Fostex T-X0 II)

    17.1%
  2. iFi Portable Roon Endpoint

    14.4%
  3. Schiit Sabreius

    24.6%
  4. Schiit MagnIEM or Geshelli Archel IEM

    16.0%
  5. Schiit "Multius" and/or affordable NOS

    37.4%
  6. Soekris DAC with DIY digital filters

    10.2%
  7. Pi2 Design or Allo Idiot-Proof Ready-To-Go RPi/AES Streamer

    24.1%
  8. Sennheiser HE90 Resurrection

    30.5%
  9. Sennheiser "HD850"

    63.6%
  10. RAAL Requisite Headphone Version of SR1A

    17.6%
  11. Fixed Topping L30 that won't kill headphones

    1.6%
  12. More 0.000x% THD 110db+ SINAD Nested Feedback Composite Amplifiers

    3.2%
  13. John Yang of Topping / SMSL to be more gracious to his competitors and victims of his amps exploding

    16.0%
  14. Schiit Saga S (with balanced)

    12.3%
  15. iFi Zen DAC Signature (available outside of Drop)

    4.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    For fun. Please feel free to imagine items for your own wishlist. I will incorporate them into the first post only if you can write a good two paragraphs making a compelling case that can actually be realized from a likely MOT.

    [​IMG]
    https://santaupdate.com/

    Fostex T50RP (Drop Fostex T-X0 II)

    To the chagrin of many tweakers and modders, Fostex had changed its formula for the T50RP (and T60RP) where they became difficult to mod to have a more neutral frequency response. Drop has worked with Fostex on a few iterations for a custom product. The first one didn't go so well, so they went back the drawing board for the second one here: https://drop.com/buy/drop-fostex-t-x0-v2-planar-magnetic-headphones

    I found that with the Drop offered package on the second iteration, some quick and dirty tweaks yielded some decent results:
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/fostex-t-x0-ii-headphones.7972/

    Drop could be our only hope as Fostex doesn't seem intent on bringing back the T50RP circa 2010 before the revisions from a few years ago. Maybe more of you guys can hit the Drop site and press the Request button? I am not sure if even the first run took off. There may not have been enough purchases.

    I still love the LFF Paradox (and a mod that @rhythmdevils did up). These modded T50RPs are still remain not only one of my favorite orthos, but also one of my favorite closed headphones today. Newer and latest and greatest isn't always better. There is a reason why Dan Clark Audio and ZMF were able to launch their businesses from offering their take on the T50RP.


    iFi Portable Roon Endpoint

    I know that there are quite a few iFi fans here. The reason for this totally makes sense. Through selection of components and consistent design methodology, iFi sculpts the the sound of their gear. As such iFi has a consistent and identifiable house sound. However, with the advent of streaming and curation services, many iFi fans have found themselves running more complex component chains than necessary.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could use Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, along with Roon from a transportable iFi AIO?


    Schiit Sabreius

    The AKM factory burned down. Schiit has said that they have a stockpile of AKM chips. However, how long will this last? Larry Ho and MOTU have shown us that in the right hands, ESS Sabre chips, even low end ones, are malleable and can sound damn good. @Psalmanazar's recommendation for the MOTU Ultralite, turned out of be not only a swiss-army knife of audio gear, but also a very good sounding as a DAC (or 8 DACs). To this day, I consider the DAC out of he Ultralite to be a reference. There's inner warmth, but otherwise it's a rather "normal" and minimally colored sounding DAC closer to the pre VELVET SOUND AKM4399 part.

    So what would happen if Schiit pulled off a Modius, but with ESS parts in it? Given Schiit's strength in DACs, I'm sure they could tame the ESS Sabre chip so it didn't sound like typical implementations that sheared our ears off.


    Schiit MagnIEM or Geshelli Archel IEM

    The one thing in Schiit's and Geshelli's lineups that they do not have is a small desktop amp with 0.5x gain for use with IEMs. We know both the Magni 3 and Archel variants are quiet enough. However from most desktop DACs, unity gain will be too high for super sensitive IEMs. I would prefer a 3+ discrete design, but a design using composite parts would be just fine, since every IEM I've heard sounds better from a decent desktop amp (coupled with a desktop source) - it's just I can't use much of the volume knob.

    More ideas: variable Zout (0.5, 1, 2, 4, 10), balanced outputs 3.5 or 4.4

    Amps with less than unity gain for IEM use, that don't kill our transducers, from reputable companies with a North American presence, are still few and far between.

    Schiit Multius and/or Affordable NOS


    An updated Modi Multibit, which is getting old, a Multius per Modius. And/or an afforable cheap NOS solution. The USB tech in the MM is a bit old. It's still 4X OS, though that may be a good thing. I guess I'd like to see at least another refresh of it. I think that platform may have untapped potential. Getting it into one of their larger chassis, like seen with the Modius, might be a good idea.

    Actionable Ideas: Update MM with a Mulitius. Make MM an NOS DAC with upgrades to one of those next gen opamps.


    Soekris DAC with DIY Digital Filters

    The ability to design and/or roll own digital filters. I thought this was possible on the DIY boards? Filters could be designed via group efforts on the Internet.


    Pi2 Design or Allo Idiot-Proof Ready-To-Go RPi/AES Streamer

    An even easier Raspberry Pi streaming solution. Sure, we have the Metrum/Sonnet stuff, but those products are fairly pricey. I'd like to see more all-in-one boxes where at most all the user needs to do is write a new image to their SD card if they want a different distro. Plug it in and go on your way otherwise. (And maybe we can get automated WiFI setup working so you don't have to plug into ethernet first or modify a config file on the SD card before booting?)

    I like where Allo went with their USB signature product. Custom board and all that, but needs an external PSU. Can we get it all in one box and make it even more idiot proof overall?

    And as much as I like the convenience of local network playback, it would be nice to be able to pop in another SD card or USB drive to play back local contents. This is possible with the RPi, sure, but still a lot of DIY involved.

    Transports can make a huge difference. RPi-based solutions like the Pi2AES and DigiOne have made excellent SPDIF sound affordable, finally. Next step is to make it simpler and easier.


    Sennheiser HE90 Resurrection

    Please Sennheiser, bring this back. Just the headphone. We expect to pay a lot, but not at exorbitant ORFAS.org pricing. Please don't cater to the GOOP or rich Chinese crowd - remember, it's hobbyists like us who truly support you.


    Sennheiser "HD850"

    Put an HD800 class driver into a housing like the HD6xx or something fancier like the HE90. Many of us are willing to trade the HD800 soundstage for HD6xx tonality. Please? We have been waiting for something like this for almost a decade now and thought the HD700 would be this.


    RAAL Requisite Headphone Version of SR1A

    How cow, what would happen if we put the ribbons in a headphone. We wouldn't need the OB compensation. Imagine the possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  2. wbass

    wbass Facebook Friend

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    iFi iPhono Pro

    I'd love to see iFi take the iPhono 3 and make it into a more standard half-rack-width component (like, say, the iCan or iDSD) with all jacks on the rear of the unit. I've liked the iPhono iterations, but their dual-sided ins and outs just don't work in my rack. Keep the two sets of inputs, but, if possible, offer balanced ins and outs, which have their advantages in a phono chain.

    A more standard sized/shaped iPhono could also have the advantage of moving the loading, etc. adjustments to the front panel. Having all of those dip switches on the bottom of the unit is incredibly fiddly. There's a market, I think, for good solid-state phono pre's in the $1500-2000 range, and iFi continues to have hits with the iPhono. Now, make the design a bit more user friendly, a bit more, urgh, pro. I bet they'd sell a bunch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I am currently working on number one, hopefully using the currently available T50rp mk3. I’m close but not totally there yet. I’m a picky basterd so I’m not sure how long it will take and if I’m never totally satisfied it won’t see the light of day. I also am fighting a chronic illness so I’m not sure about my ability to produce them. And it would be by hand and a much more sophisticated mod than Drop could produce so the cost would be much higher (but not crazy).

    But the desire is there. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  4. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Ditto on a dedicated Schiit IEM piece.

    What I want -

    An open back headphone that's comfortable, lightweight, has effortless subsonic extension, zero peaks in the treble, smooth non-fatiguing timbre, better slam than a Senn, and a gently downsloping response... under $750. Working on it, with a bit of help. There are no excuses for exorbitant prices and shitty sound in 2021.
     
  5. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    My wish is always the same, a "HD850", which is basically a HD800 with more slam and less peaky treble. Preferably made by someone here and so i won't give Sennheiser any money. So i am, more or less, wishing for the same as @E_Schaaf .

    Edit- i wouldn't mind seeing another project by @Zampotech since he impressed me so much with the SW51. Maybe even a power amp so i could feed my nearfields.


    Unrelated but still a wish:

    I would like a modular rack, so where everything is made in blocks so it fits everyone. I know its utopic but since dreaming is free and my carpenter skills suck...
     
  6. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Facebook Friend

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    A low power Class D amp that doesn't suck. It would be nice to have something more efficient as a daily driver. Even better if it does headphones somehow.
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's everything the Joe Grado HP1000 ... just no extension.

    May already exist. Try the Tripath stuff.
     
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  8. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Facebook Friend

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    All Tripath amps on eBay are fakes from what I've heard. They've run out of TA2020 chips long ago.
     
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    In the vein of that Schiit IEM amp, a speciality amp designed for BA IEMs. The focus would be on being absolute dead silent when music isn’t playing and the blackest background when it is. On top of that, just like some tube amps have high and low ohm outputs, multiple ohm outputs to shape the sound. So like a .1 ohm, a .5 ohm, a 1 ohm and a 2.5/3 ohm, something like that. Imagine a Loki but instead of the knobs, those are all outputs. They could be 3.5mm since this is an amp designed for IEMs.

    Also I would love to see @Zampotech tackle a power amp for high to medium efficiency speakers. I still run the Orcas as nearfields in my office and to really run well they need about 7 good watts. There are plenty of amps that can do this but most cost an arm and a leg.
     
  10. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    Schiit High Power Class A-like Amp

    Besides the fully fledged out version of Loki that seems in development, I'm looking forward to a high power/current version of Aegir that will drive most speakers with poise and some Class-A magic. Such products from other brands are mostly big and/or expensive (e.g., Accuphase). Considering Schiit's recent technological innovations (e.g., Continuity and Nexus), I believe that Schiit can bring to us an excellent high power amp with strong performance at an affordable price, just like many other products from this brand. Hereby I wish such an amp may come to life before long.
     
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  11. YMO

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

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    Schiit MagnIEM would be interesting to hear if that is ever a thing. Wouldn't be hard to do since they already have a good small size amp already with the Magni 3+, they just have to do minor adjustments to it plus charge extra few bucks to make it work = done.
     
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  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    More affordable Eddie Current. None of the "kinda like " or "reminds me of" stuff we already have. I mean as close to a full on equivalent as we can get at higher production volumes and lower cost.
     
  13. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    To add to my previous post, an unrelated selfish request -

    A contemporary cassette deck with reliable parts, an uncluttered design that's easy to service, tube output stage, 3-head, variable speed control. Dream come true.

    edit - 2021 is too ambitious to go from nil to product on something like this. Maybe for 2030.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  14. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I think there was a Fostex that was something like this, but I can't find it among their current offerings.

    4.4mm balanced would IMO be preferable to 3.5 - or even 2.5, but 4.4 with adaptors would probably be better for headphones too.
     
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  15. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    Schiit Belle - as in "it needs more cowbell". Affectionately referred to as "Bell Schiit".

    A 10-tube monster headphone amp to end all tube amps. An ultimate expression of the Schiit "what's the point if we're not having fun" philosophy. I would be the first one to buy it.
     
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  16. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Schiit DHT tubes, biases as -4V 200V, 20mA, <1K Rp, 30 gain at 100$ per pair. That way I can build everyone a great tube hp amp.
     
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  17. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Allo is working one one, which I have high hopes for! No HP function though.
     
  18. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Oh, and a wish that could conceivably come true: A Monoprice Cavalli Liquid Tungsten.
     
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  19. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I'd love to see a Schiit phono coming in around $500-800. Put a bigger power supply in the box, a touch of nexus (somewhere between what you get from freya's 1x and 4x) for richness, and balanced outs.
     
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  20. Blake

    Blake Acquaintance

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    I am keeping an eye on this new amp from Boenicke. No headphone amp. Not the cheapest but some high-end Class D competitors are much more expensive. My guess is Sven probably got this one right:

    https://boenicke-audio.ch/products/electronics/p1/
     

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