The On-Topic, OFF-TOPIC Thread

Since I have a historical propensity for making on-topic posts in the off-topic thread, I thought it was time to self-indulgently create a thread that caters to those random “won’t fit in any existing thread, but isn’t strictly (or vaguely) off-topic” posts.

So that’s what this is …

Actual off-topic posts still belong here.


And I had a very specific post in mind when I created this thread, which I have now forgotten …


Can’t decide if that statement goes in the on topic or off topic thread…


Every forum needs one of these…

Wow…good to see everyone has lots of spare time on their hands!!



Bemused by another recent rash of people sending me PMs via other forums, that I rarely visit, to ask questions/argue/disagree with something they read on this forum/

Why not just do that here?


Registration makes my fingertips sore. Password 836 overloads my brain.

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If they are already that stupid, why bother replying?

They wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.


Typically I don’t.

Unless their post is really long, goes into a bunch of angsty pro/con arguing with themselves about a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard (of) and then asks: “Can you tell me what you think?”

Then it’s usually too much to resist responding with:



Ok, I laughed out loud with this comment ha! My other favorite one is one you see a lot… “hey can you compare obscure DAC/amp/headphone to your a/b/c gear?”

:thinking:… my new answer will now just be “no”!! Lol in my best Torq impersonation (at least in my head it would be a good impersonation lol)


Looking back …

Admittedly with a midday drink (or two) in me (hey, I’m retired … can it) …

I am not so sure that my current level of portable musical enjoyment … is any higher today than it was with a Panasonic portable CD-Player, Headroom Supreme and Sennheiser HD540 Reference (at under $1,000 all in) vs. my current A&K SP2000/Cayin N8/tia Forté …

No doubt fidelity has improved, markedly … and so has SIZE …

But how much I enjoy actually listening to it?

Not so much …

Which probably says more about the nature of enjoyment than it does equipment performance.


It’s five o’clock somewhere.

How about desktop musical enjoyment?

I don’t feel the situation there is notably different.

Now, if we compared what I have today, vs. what I used back then (about 25 years ago, based on the above), I’m 100% sure I would NOT be as happy with the older setup.

And there’s no question that fidelity and general performance has been improved - markedly.

But how much I enjoyed that system then, vs. this system now … about the same. Though I am quite sure if I had this system then I’d have enjoyed it more.

Which, again, says more about the nature of enjoyment than the gear.


I’m chasing that feeling of euphoria that comes from an uplift in fidelity/presentation (are we allowed to say auralgasm?) and that’s sent me into an upward? spiral of upgrades and tweaking. Before you know it I’ll be trying to buy RAALs in a back alley somewhere.

The HD650s just don’t do that anymore. In the same way, the reaction my wife had from me pouring pesto from a jar on dried pasta now requires several days and a bunch of laboratory equipment.

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I flew back from Germany a couple of weeks ago with a cold and since then my left ear was “blocked”. I travelled back to Germany on Monday (by road) and hoped that it would “unblock” as I have some ANC headphones I wanted to test on the flight back.

Well, I am at the airport waiting for the flight and since yesterday both ears are blocked!!!

I guess I won’t be making relevant conclusions :smiley:

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Posting an ad-hoc list of my top-5 favorite headphones, even with position 4 technically covering three models, since I was undecided about that slot, generated an unholy shit-storm of messages … mostly private, but a few on various sites.

Some favorites, without naming names, and paraphrasing/collating/grouping to protect the guilty:

"What no <brand XYZ> in your top 5?!"

I responded to a few of the more incredulous ones, just to stir the pot a bit …

No <brand XYZ> in my top 10

That just stoked the fires of disbelief and indignation, of course.

"You’re wrong about headphone XYZ!!!"


How’s that then?

I’m pretty sure I have a much better idea of what I listen to and enjoy the most, than anyone else on the planet. That you have different preferences is great - but also wholly irrelevant as this was my top 5, not yours.

Notably they don’t post theirs.

"XYZ should be in your top 5, especially driven by ABC and DEF - its ENDGAME!"

Well, if we took the most common products/brands cited for “XYZ”, “ABC” and “DEF” then it certainly would be endgame; if I had to listen to those at length I’d wind up quitting the hobby entirely!

"How come there are no closed back models in your top 5? You should have XYZ closed-back on your list!"

Shocking at is may seem, it was my top-5 open-back models, so putting a closed-back unit on there would be rather silly.

But, at least a few asked a more sensible question, which was, of course, what are your top-5 closed-back models?

  1. ZMF Verite Closed
  2. Focal Stellia
  3. Sennheiser HD820
  4. ZMF Eikon
  5. Focal Elegia

Sadly, though, sense left the building at that point, and the predictable pattern of indignant/offended “Why do you think XYZ is better than ABC-headphone-that’s-not-on-your-list!!!” ensued.

If the topic had been about DACs … I think some would have been triggered to the point their heads may well have just exploded …

Unless you sent me a PM whining about it, this is not referring to you. Most of it was from other sites/direct.


I’m personally wondering how much of that was clear fanboyisms particular to certain sites. You can’t be an audiophile if you don’t own a Topping, according to a one site, for example.


Lots of it.

And a good deal of it from serial-side-graders, keeping themselves trapped in Pov-Fi, as they chase the next group-think FoTM while obsessing about what other people think of them/their gear - rather than waiting a bit, not buying silly bits of do-nothing tat, and going for an actual, clear, upgrade.


Some of the issues you see are similar in how people respond in Gamming for PC & Console, GPUs markets a lot of passion and also misinformation flowing in these communities.

The hardest group I ever dealt with in my product forums was working with the Bitcoin miners. It was an interesting group, You would see the worse of people since money is online not just an opinion and ego. But we also had that too.

On positive slant, It is interesting looking at your stats where passion in this forum sits and where the energy/gravitas is. Torq I say you had a positive influence on this community.

Vendor Views Replies
RAAL SR1a 18,200 718
HEDD HEDDphone 8700 541
ZMF Vertie C 7900 344
DROP HD58x 8600 331
Focal Elegia 8300 307
Focal Stellia 9100 289
ZMF Vertie Open 7500 257
Campfire Audio Solaris 3800 226
Audeze Mobius Planar 7800 178
Focal Clear 5900 169
Campfire Audio Andromeda 5700 136
Focal Utopia 3400 116
Campfire Audio Cascade Closed 4600 85
Sennheiser HD 820 4000 67
Focal Elex 6600 50