Lothar‘s Systems

Now that @SwedishMike @pennstac and @AudioTool have presented their systems, I would like to try to outline my path through my systems of various component combinations and explain why I have combined them in the way I have.

This could be a long journey because, as some of you have noticed, I have several “meters” :rofl: of hi-fi material at my disposal.

I will try to give an update on my system 1-2 times a week and give a reason why I have this particular system in my portfolio.

Maybe I might step on one or two reviewers’ toes


because I sometimes see/hear things differently than they do.


My aim is and always has been to make headphones shine. I have rarely given up on a model and have always tried to get the best sound out of the headphones by tinkering or combining them in various ways.


Here I’ll start with my entry-level system, which I think is highly recommended.

My basis is always streamed music from Tidal & Apple Music.

Then I chose the most neutral headphones from the Koss portfolio, the KSC75

and the equally neutral TinHifi T2 original,

to use them via iPad and Apple dongle, either directly or connected to xDuoo MT-602.

But why exactly this combination?

Well, this is ideal for beginners to experiment with, because it is relatively cheap and simple, and the relatively neutral sound reproduction makes it easy to research.

1.) What difference do tips and ear pads make?

2.) Does a DAC make a difference in the sound chain and if so, how big is it?

3.) How much worse does Bluetooth or wireless sound compared to a direct cable connection?

Is there a difference between a solid-state amp and a tube amplifier and what does it do?

5.) How does replacing the tubes affect the sound?

6.) How much money do I have to invest to put together a system to hear noticeable improvements in sound if you have a basic combo as a reference?

7.) For the high end faction among us, it is sometimes not a bad idea to have something like this as an alternative to be grounded and to learn to appreciate the 30-100K system again and not necessarily have to invest the next 4-5-10K to tease out marginal differences in there systems!


These are all, on a smaller scale, the questions that run through the entire hifi journey, and you can use them to gain basic knowledge that can later lead to saving some money and investing it wisely.


I hope there is bar service available in this thread



Ohh, this will be fun to follow. Lots of things to learn



Finishing the first of what will be a number of cups of coffee. :grinning:

Mark Gosdin


Friggin’ awesome post. But you really need a Luxury & Precision W4 to add to your tiny portable DAC/AMP collection. I look forward to following this thread.


Or, at the very least a Lotoo and Paw S2 with its line-out feature.


“Just the tip!” :wink:


That’s a whole lot o’ tips to try out! :laughing:

My adventures with IEMs is very limited, and will stay that way. They’re not really my thing. But once I found ear tips that worked for me with the several pairs I have, I stopped messing around with them, and I like silicone tips best. Foam tips :-1:

Lothar, I look forward to reading about your adventures in hifi!


Now I would like to continue with my setup bit by bit.

I have several, partly smaller, listening stations spread around the house.

One of them is by my bed.

This Ifi Zen Stack is ideal for this purpose, as it is extremely easy to handle and offers very good sound quality for the price range.

I usually use the following headphones with this combo.

For all of these headphones, I press the magic button to xBass & 3D and the fun can begin.

Each of these can‘s offers its own sound characteristics and offers good diversity to have varied listening options.

Even with their “big brothers” you get a very fun sound,

not the last word in resolution and imaging and stage with the „biggies“ but certainly pleasant to listen to.

Incidentally, I don’t use the magic button on the Arya Stealth.

In any case, this combination is easy to operate using a tablet or cell phone with Tidal Connect while lying comfortably in bed.

The Zen Combo also makes it very easy to determine what a not insignificant difference in sound a DAC can have on a system.

The switch to the Signature DAC is more than clearly perceptible, as the stage opens up in all directions, more details can be heard and the imaging is easier to identify.

Speaking of which, a word about the Bayerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm.

I personally really appreciate these headphones and the Zen Can is absolutely sufficient to drive them.

I have a couple of tip‘s for anyone who has problems with the highs.

1.) No THX amps, especially in conjunction with Sabre DACs.


2.) Class A amps are my choice for these headphones.

3.) Actually decouple the DAC from a PC and either couple it with a streamer or put an internet purifier in between.

4.) If all else fails, Bayerdynamic itself offers a solution by replacing the foam insulation.

Interestingly, if you listen closely you can recognize a tonal basis and tuning that was picked up years later by Sennheiser when developing the HD800.


These two headphones are not that far apart in terms of sound; ultimately it is the fine tuning that makes the HD800s so good.

See you next time :wave: