What are you upgrading?

My GF couldn’t stop laughing after reading this


I didn’t expect any headphone cable to make a “night and day” difference but the way I look at it if I can’t tell with a blind test then what’s point since my limited funds could to toward another headphone, more music, more wine, etc.

@TylersEclectic, cable are an aesthetic thing to me also but don’t forget that its also a physical thing, it why I can’t stand the 8 conductor cable that Grado uses on anything from the SR125e and up, way too heavy for such light weight headphones.

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No insult intended but how much experience do you have listening to high end audio systems?

I know the typical answer to a question like that but it’s sometimes more than just your ears. If the listener does not know what to listen for, they will likely focus on high level passages and how well the devices handle reproducing these without distortion. That is only half the story because really great audio equipment also has to reproduce very low level content as well as the high level passages.

It is also critical to choose the right music to audition a system. I won’t suggest any particular music but the quality of that music is the key. Here, again, whether quality is present is not just about how well it rocks the house. Choosing very well recorded acoustic instruments is very important because, with electronic instruments, it is very difficult to tell what those instruments are supposed to sound like.

Being familiar with live music is also important due to the obvious need to have some exposure to how the performance should sound in the place where it was recorded. Once you have those bases covered you can focus in on the devices you are auditioning and tell which reproduce the music faithfully and which just make noise.

Also, listening to attack and decay of notes is very critical due to the need of having drivers that respond well and do not have trouble dealing with quick transients and reproducing the envelope of the sound without unrealistic overshoot.

That sounds like a lot of technical speak and not like listening to and enjoying music, which is the end result we all want. Understanding why a device performs the way it does is critical so you can tell which are coloring the music and which are doing the performance justice.

Critical listening of music takes a bit of experience and enough understanding of the musical content to tell when the equipment is doing that music justice. It is too easy to get impressed by equipment that sounds very good at something we rarely listen to.

I have a few reviewers who I trust and choosing their reviewed equipment has served me well.

How ever it works out I wish everyone luck with whatever you are shopping for.


Subjectivity is all any of us have to offer. No one is right. No one is wrong. We are all on different places in our musical learning journeys. No one is right and no one is wrong. We learn from each other’s experiences. That’s what separates our forum from others

Being teachable is what allows me to continue to learn. " Happy Listening to All "


Thanks for stating this! I feel like I should apologize for adding impetus towards our argumentation by stating that “I have no interest in cables except for convenience factors”. While it’s true that I have no interest in cables, I also have no interest in puppies, abstract expressionism, or gin, and until fairly recently I had no interest in headphones. My not having an interest in any of these things doesn’t make them bad, and someone else having an interest in any of these doesn’t make me regret those things in which I am interested.

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This is really a key question. It’s not just an audio question, it is how experience and training affect your reactions in many activities, and it’s a double-edged sword.

When I was the product manager for an authoring and editorial system in the professional publishing space, I was ALWAYS looking for naive users. The more a user knew, the more they focused on advanced features, and the more adaptable they were. But it was important to get impressions and feedback from people who were using it the first and second times, because you need adopters before you get users.


Above, for example, you see the word “Thin” written twice. Once with a “Serif” font and once “Sans Serif”. Many people, even those who have read for years never encounter a discussion of the technical differences. I had one user get irritated at me for explaining because once she knew, she was seeing this everywhere, and it interfered for a while with her reading. Good thing I also didn’t tell her about X-Height (the ratio of letter height from caps to lower case like the “n”), or point out kerning differences, like how the serif of the “h” overlaps the space of the “t” in Century Old Style, or the way Futura’s lower case h goes a bit higher than the cap T.

So, @DavidA, just be careful about educating your ears. Make sure you can turn off the education and listen to the music. And I’ve learned that unless the typeface is too small, I can still read a good book.


More notes on the Mjolnir Audio modifed STAX amp and the old headphones. Today I let the amp stabilize for about 20 minutes before listening. Had a much better experience. Most of this was streaming Apple Music though the Mac Mini to Dragonfly Black to STAX amp to the old SR-5N earspeakers. I have heard that using them more is good for them.

Today, I did get satisfactory volume. Did not hear clipping or distortion, but was listening more to classical pieces – Handel, Mozart, The Beatles White Album, Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.

The Hifiman HE-560s have decidedly more bass punch. The old Stax go deep, but I don’t think they have the driver area. After reading reviews of the newer STAX, I think the SR-L700 will be my next target high end headphone. They use the new transducer tech, but are priced just above the Troposphere, in the ozone layer ($1425 list) not high in the Stratosphere like the SR-007 MK2, or in the Mesosphere like the SR-009S.

You are definitely right. “No one is right and no one is wrong.” I feel like this forum just expands your view of how to be subjective. Techniques, different points of view and critical listening notes can help elevate how you listen and how your subjectivity changes.

The thing that bugs me about a lot of forums is that users try to alter others point of view instead of adding to the experience by providing their own techniques and subjective points of view, that may in turn influence others to use different techniques in how they listen.




Starting with “no insult intended” is like an insult IMO since you know nothing about me or my experiences.


I think…we should all take a breath for a sec… Now, before responding to someone with a response, it would probably be in everyone’s best interest if you opened their profile and go through their previous posts. Or try and think how you are writing something to maybe not include a specific post/member, and make it more of a general statement to help curb any antagonistic dialogue from emerging. This is especially true if you don’t know their background, but we are all/mostly adults (I’m a child stuck in a man’s body myself) and should try and be mature about all this. I’m no saint and have had my fair share of internet debates. Anyhow back on task let’s keep it civil…kisses and hugs lol


That is absolutely true. I was writing as if you don’t have the experience and I really did not intend any insult. It was a possible explanation and that is why it started the way it did. If you do have the experience then it is not applicable to you.


Life is analog, digital is just samples thereof

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. For those of us who remember:

Buffalo Springfield.

This has nothing to do with audio, but …

I once underwent training to become a mediator. The professor was himself a mediator who specializes on Latin America, and in particular conflicts involving indigenous peoples. Consequently, he spent some effort on impressing upon us that different cultures use very different communication styles and that this carries over into how they engage in and resolve conflict. To give one example, Russians (and to perhaps a lesser extent my people the Germans) value directness, to the point where they might find the sort of indirect friendliness practiced here in the American south to be insulting. I’m reminded of this difference whenever I return to my native land and need to remind myself that people aren’t intentionally being rude to me, but rather are simply used to a different way of interacting in public. We humans tend to be fiercely defensive of our culture to the point where violations of cultural norms can really set us off, and it sometimes takes real self control for me not to go flying off the handle!

I mention this because on the Internet, we frequently come into contact with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds without even knowing it, and it becomes easy to feel ones own cultural norms violated. And that’s not mentioning the fact that humans rely heavily on visual and other sensory queues as part of our communication, especially in emotionally elevated situations, and these queues are of course completely absent in written discussions. Before getting worked up about something we read online, it’s definitely good to take a beat as @TylersEclectic suggests, and give our fellow netizens the benefit of the doubt.


Time to get this topic on course. " What are you upgrading? "

The rest is in the past and the music is what it’s all about.


It’s not much of an “upgrade”, but having realized that I really like the Sabre sound (at least as it’s implemented in my V20), I want something that I can keep hooked up to my Magni 3 and just feed from Roon. I could have gone for a known quantity like the Topping D50, but instead I decided to get a Nobsound NS-DAC3 Pro.

Nobsound makes some cheapo tube amps that receive some decent feedback. I’ve never seen anyone talking about their DACs, which tickles my bargain-hunter curiosity. The thing also has a built-in headphone amp that’s specified as putting out a good bit of power, so I’m interested about that end of it as well. With both an optical and a USB input, I can feed it either from a Chromecast Audio or one of my many Raspberry Pi boxes. The built-in bluetooth also seems handy for when I find myself wanting to watch some videos on the laptop.

Honestly, I’m not expecting a whole hell of a lot, but I’m open to being pleasantly surprised. For fun, I’m actually having the unit shipped directly to Amir from Audio Science Review for measurement before I even get my hands on it. If it turns out to be something that measures well and sounds decent once I get to hear it, it would be a fun thing to be able to recommend as an entry-level Sabre desktop all-in-one.


Looks nice. It’s tough to go wrong with the Sabre 9038 . :wink:

I’ll keep my fingers crossed, though as I understand it, there’s a lot that goes into actually implementing the DAC into a complete circuit where there’s actually plenty that could go wrong.

Still considering an upgrade to my Dragon Fly Red which I really like. However I think I’d like more extended highs and lows. Torq suggested the Grace M900 or the ifi Macro. Both are nice. But I’m leaning toward the Grace. I know the Mojo is in the same price range but there are things about the design that turn me off.

An interesting point. I work in Cyber Security and deal with these kind of issues on a regular basis. On the internet you cannot help but run afoul of someone else’s feelings, point of view or whatever. We all operate differently.

We have all have had exchanges with other people where those exchanges didn’t go well and we could not figure out why. Or even more common, how many of us have tried to explain to our wife or girlfriend something that went terribly wrong.

I cannot count the number of times I ended up apologizing for something I had no idea I did. As years went by and experience taught more lessons, it got easier and these type thing became less of a problem. Nonetheless they can happen.

I only wanted to illustrate a typical situation where a person could misunderstand and get listening wrong, or maybe, not as intended. It was no crime and only a case of inexperience. All the same it was not taken well.

I suppose I should have not written it at all or written it in a better way. I really didn’t want to offend anyone. Life is too short for that. It was not my intention and I offer my apologies to anyone offended.