Hi, I’m Jeff. I’m in my mid-20s and have developed a keen interest in iems since February 2020. All of our family members used to work from home back then and using stereo speakers while working was not an option. After one year, I think I still have a lot to know about the audio related things. I’m excited to be a part of this community and hope to learn a lot from you guys.
Hello and welcome @thevishnu.
Hello, have been lurking. Signed up now so I can use classifieds and waste all of my money.
Hi! Thank you. Currently have a number of random gear. My favorite set up is running an older laptop (converted to ssd to keep noise to a minimum) asio (type B 3.0 to type A 3.0) → iFi dsd neo → (LA Pro Audio) 1’ xlr patch → Schiit Magnius → balanced into a Sennheiser HD650. Works very well with next to no perceivable noise.
Been researching the Focal Clear’s, and ended up ordering them the other day. Definitely excited!!
Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the Clear vs 650, @thevishnu.
I haven’t heard the Clear yet but from what I’ve read, it has a different sound to the 650. That’s a good thing, because it forces your brain to reset itself. Just be prepared that your brain may resist change at first, or at least that’s been my own experience when getting a new pair of headphones and being initially disappointed that it doesn’t sound the same as my old pair.
Hello all. I’m new here and just wanted to introduce myself. I’m still relatively new to hifi, though I’ve long considered myself something of an audiophile, I just only recently started putting my money where my ears are so to speak. Like many of you I’ve spent a lot of time at home for the past year, and the silver lining has been that it gave me the chance to dig into audio in a way I hadn’t ever done before. And I sorta dove in head first (when I go in I go ALL IN lol). I’ve devoured every bit of online info, reviews, videos, & blogs that I could find, and now that I feel I’ve gotten up to speed and have specific questions and topics I want to discuss I thought this might be a good place for that sort of thing.
For reference, here’s what I’m currently working with:
: HD800S / Hifiman Arya / Thieaudio Monarch
Sources: Schiit Bifrost 2 / E.A.T. C-Sharp w Ortofon Quintet Black
Amps: Schiit Valhalla 2 (w/ NOS Siemens) / Topping A90 / PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp
I live in a NYC apartment with paper thin walls, so while I do have a 5.1 surround system, it’s nothing impressive or that I’ve put much energy into. I’m planning on moving next year, hopefully to a place with more space and thicker walls where I can build a respectable 2 channel system. For now I’m pretty much all “head-fi” all the time.
Anyway, I look forward to many good discussions with you fine folks.
I believe last year brought many of us back to music and audio gear.
It’s been and is a good way to avoid getting mad while we’ve lost the world as we all knew it before pandemic.
Welcome here among us and enjoy.
Welcome @chrisnyc75 , you really did dive in head first. You have a great set up.
LOL I did exactly the same as you last year. So I’ll warn you that now you’ve caught the bug, don’t fool yourself that you’re done buying stuff.
lol yeah, it quickly added up to a lot more than I ever thought I’d spend on audio equipment, but tbh it has brought me so much joy I regret nothing. Plus, it’s not like I’m spending money on literally anything else right now (no vacations, eating out, bars/clubs, concerts, etc), so if ever there was going to be a time to go ALL IN on my personal audio this seemed like it.
I’m really happy with most of it - I would even go as far as to say I think most of it is “endgame” for me. The a90 & valhalla will surely be upgraded sooner or later, and I kinda still kinda want a ZMF Verite, (even though I don’t really know where it would fit in my listening rotation? lol). Mostly though I’m just trying to slow my roll before I go broke. lol
It’s nice to see another local! You’ve got a great setup there - it would be interesting to read some comparative impressions of your HD 800S and Arya.
I’m likewise a thin-walled apartment dweller for whom a 2-channel setup doesn’t make good sense, and one of the attractions of my HD 800 SDR is precisely to get as spacious and open a soundstage as I can with headphones (as far as that’s possible).
Thanks! Great minds think alike. The Arya is very new, just got it last week (from .com of course!), but I will definitely share my thoughts once I get them in order.
First impression: the Arya has a hint of the soundstage-y magic that the 800 is famous for, but the 800 is still in a league of its own. Arya is much tighter all around, particularly in the low end, and generally better for electronic music where sub-bass is key. 800 is still miles ahead for jazz, classical, and anything where bigger sound is better. They’re similar enough that the sound of the Arya still appeals to my ears which are very used to the 800, but different enough to complement each others’ [very few] weaknesses. At least that’s my story today, very subject to change as these things always are. lol
That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought of the Arya and HD 800S as complementary. I’d assumed they’d be an either/or proposition. (I’ve only auditioned the Arya briefly). But what you write about the tightness and the sub-bass makes great sense. I have a pair of the Clear for those qualities but now I’m more intrigued by the Arya.
Happy listening - I hope you settle into the Arya nicely! Are you using the Valhalla 2 or the Topping A90 with them?
Nice turntable, btw!
I had a Focal Elex which I just sold to get the Arya instead. To my ears the Elex always sounded like a downgrade when A/B’ing with the 800S. So far the Arya sounds to my ears like a different flavor but still on par (or nearly on par) with the 800S. I was worried they might be too alike (or in a perfect world that the Arya would wow me so much that I wouldn’t even need the 800 anymore, but no such luck lol), but my first impression is that they work well as counterpoints that aren’t totally opposite one another.
Mostly the A90 so far, though they seem to work reasonably well with the Valhalla too. Need more time to figure that out, though. I have a love/hate relationship with the Valhalla. More on that later, i’m sure. lol
Thanks, the C-Sharp is a keeper for sure. I spent decades with a cheap Numark tt, decided it was time to buy a big boy unit. lol I suspect it’s the last tt I’ll ever buy unless I win the powerball and decide I need a VPI.
I’ve not heard the Elex but it’s often said that the Elex’s resolution is a step back from the Clear. It would be cool to have a do-all, single headphone but having the counterpoint is appealing - and is why I’d love a pair of the Vérité eventually as it would make for a strong contrast, in tonality, with the HD 800 SDR.
My Thorens turntable is decades old, but it has very few miles on the clock. My father got it ca. 1990 but then seldom, if ever used it when he went all in with digital sources, so it’s essentially a NOS turntable! I hear you on the lottery. I can’t believe I didn’t win the $970 million Megamillions the other week. I’d have spent it so well on headphones etc.!
I look forward to your megaimpressions posts to come re. the Arya/HD800S and the Valhalla 2!
That Thorens is a keeper for sure, that’s a classic. What phonostage do you use?
I hear you on the Verite and agree 100%. Zach confirmed there’s a third batch of LE stabilized VCs coming. I really need to stop though.
Just a temporary one - the phono in an old classic Adcom GTP-500 II preamp and tuner that I’ve got on loan from a friend. It’s entry-level but a decent unit nonetheless. Adcom had great budget gear back in the day, I gather. I’m trying to decide if I’ll go deeper into the vinyl rabbit hole and get a dedicated phono stage. A DAC upgrade’s the next item on the agenda!
The Thorens is definitely a keeper, in part for reasons of nostalgia, in part because it was a solid mid-fi table back in a day when that tier of hi-fi equipment was very well made.
lol, my avatar’s my cat with his dj turntable scratcher. He tore it up!
Yes, the Thorens is a keeper. Check vinylnirvana for maintenance and upgrade parts.