Audio Audiophile and gears

Please share your portable set ups and ideas. After some, we can make a list of various setups for various price brackets. It will be fun.
USB DAC/AMP: Temptotec Sonata HD Pro (4.5k INR) - used as desktop DAC when not travelling
Headphones: Hifiman HE400i (11k)
In ears: Signature Acosutics Raven (2k)
USB DAC for the Raven only: Apple USB C to 3.5mm Dongle (800) - use this with the Raven because it has mic in, use the xDuoo for HE400i
Wireless: 1More Stylish TWS (5.5k) - for travelling and wfh

Desktop AMP: xDuoo MT-602 (8.5k)
 
Please share your portable set ups and ideas. After some, we can make a list of various setups for various price brackets. It will be fun.

Sundara - 20k
Fiio A5 - 5k
And LG G8x.
Also have a worn out m40x and blon 03

20210915_193530_HDR-01.jpeg
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
USB DAC/AMP: Temptotec Sonata HD Pro (4.5k INR) - used as desktop DAC when not travelling
Headphones: Hifiman HE400i (11k)
In ears: Signature Acosutics Raven (2k)
USB DAC for the Raven only: Apple USB C to 3.5mm Dongle (800) - use this with the Raven because it has mic in, use the xDuoo for HE400i
Wireless: 1More Stylish TWS (5.5k) - for travelling and wfh

Desktop AMP: xDuoo MT-602 (8.5k)
Very nice set ups. Had to google the Sonata HD Pro and Raven...knew about them but forgotten completely.
Sundara - 20k
Fiio A5 - 5k
And LG G8x.
Also have a worn out m40x and blon 03

View attachment 114764
Are you double amping the Sundara with G8X and A5? Is there any lineout option from the usb c of the phone? Or the hp out can act as LO too?
 

rdst_1

Skilled
CCA C16 IEMs - direct out of LG G8X.
HD650 - Balanced out of E1DA 9038s connected to LG G8X.
Players used on phone - Poweramp and Neutron. Usually am using the built-in 'Rock' preset on both players. Did try the Oratory equalizer settings for the HD650 as well, but didn't like it much. Probably too much used to the 'Rock' preset sound signature.
 
CCA C16 IEMs - direct out of LG G8X.
HD650 - Balanced out of E1DA 9038s connected to LG G8X.
Players used on phone - Poweramp and Neutron. Usually am using the built-in 'Rock' preset on both players. Did try the Oratory equalizer settings for the HD650 as well, but didn't like it much. Probably too much used to the 'Rock' preset sound signature.
Did you try Oratory equalizer settings in mobile or in PC?
Also try wavelet, just type your headphone model in Auto EQ.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
I'm not much into EQs while listening to music, but very much into it while mixing/ mastering.
Whatever EQ you use, try using the subtractive EQ.
It's a little difficult concept to wrap around head, but a very good practice.
Anybody here knows of any audio player which allows manipulation vst / AU.
All good software EQs are VSTs in Windows, AU in Mac.
So far, the best audio player for me has been DAWs. It may sound crazy, but you can do so many things in them with so many plugins!!
It's like watching videos in a video editor!!
CCA C16 IEMs - direct out of LG G8X.
HD650 - Balanced out of E1DA 9038s connected to LG G8X.
Players used on phone - Poweramp and Neutron.
Sensible audiophile....a contradiction in itself!!
 

rdst_1

Skilled
Did you try Oratory equalizer settings in mobile or in PC?
Also try wavelet, just type your headphone model in Auto EQ.
I tried Oratory by manually entering the values in Neutron's PEQ. I just prefer the 'rock' preset because I mainly listen to rock music only and I like how this preset makes the drums sound so clear and precise with the HD650s. So whenever I listen to some other preset or without EQ, I just miss the drums man. What can I say, I'm just a creature of habit it seems.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
PXL_20210916_092804249.PORTRAIT.jpg Pocketability is not impossible..though I'm way past the skinny jeans age, but it's not loose either...the usual poor man's jeans aka Levi's 501. Riding a bike is difficult though.
I tried Oratory by manually entering the values in Neutron's PEQ. I just prefer the 'rock' preset because I mainly listen to rock music only and I like how this preset makes the drums sound so clear and precise with the HD650s. So whenever I listen to some other preset or without EQ, I just miss the drums man. What can I say, I'm just a creature of habit it seems.
Mate, you like the rock drums, give the hd25 another chance...with no EQ. It's definitely one of the best headphones for both drums tracking and playing.
A properly driven hd25 makes the drums super alive...typical agression of Grado with a lot of bass ( kick drums)
Just listen to the tom break in Phil Collins' In the air tonight once. You will literally hear the rack vibrating after the second double hits. Never heard/ felt that in any other headphones.

Completely forgot about the super VFM IEMs!! Both T2 and OPPOTY are fantastic. Listened to the T2 after a really long time...still spectacular... wondering how much better can an iem be sonically.
Honestly except the customs I won't be able to differentiate between something like a T2 and any non bassy neutralish IEM over 1000 EUR in a blind test.
 
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rdst_1

Skilled
View attachment 114799
Mate, you like the rock drums, give the hd25 another chance...with no EQ. It's definitely one of the best headphones for both drums tracking and playing.
A properly driven hd25 makes the drums super alive...typical agression of Grado with a lot of bass ( kick drums)
Just listen to the tom break in Phil Collins' In the air tonight once. You will literally hear the rack vibrating after the second double hits. Never heard/ felt that in any other headphones.

I never had a problem with HD25s resolving prowess. Three things that didn't work for me were -
1) Congested soundstage
2) Treble happy nature. I am someone who always tones down treble.
3) Very discomforting due to on-ear design and the structure of my ears.

Anyhow, they have found a better home with another TE member who will at least use them. I was gonna keep them just for the heck of it, but then I thought that it's better if someone else uses and enjoys them instead of them just lying in my closet.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
Never understood why Philips doesn't sell these in India.
Truly wonderful headphones for everyone. Shouldn't cost more than 6-7K INR, nice big and comfortable earcups, a very pleasant sound with adequate resolving capabilities.
These should have been the first open back headphones for every budding audiophiles, not the Sennheiser HD 5xx series.
Has anybody noticed how much nicer ESS setups sound compared to AKM for movies?
I have a very nice desktop DAC with AK4499, it doesn't colour the low midrange like most typical AK based DACs, but for movies even the low end ESS is sounding much more realistic ( specially gunfires, bombs etc....I'm familiar with gunfire sound...it truly rings inside the ears like a short burst of tinnitus..ESS can do that!!)
 
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Nalin

Skilled
Got a new source in my arsenal today, MBP 16 that I recently got from office. Compared it with my existing MBA M1 Air and Apple USB-C dongle just for kicks. As usual I used my trusty Andromeda for the comparison.

Quick Impressions :

MBA M1 Air - Sounded worst out of the 3 as it had the most digital noise that I can notice.
MBP 16 - Sounded warmest out of all with a nice kick and acceptable noise.
Apple USB-C Dongle - Sounded cleanest but at the same time coldest out of all 3.

IMG_0484.jpeg
 

DrkLord

Disciple
Never understood why Philips doesn't sell these in India.
Truly wonderful headphones for everyone. Shouldn't cost more than 6-7K INR, nice big and comfortable earcups, a very pleasant sound with adequate resolving capabilities.
These should have been the first open back headphones for every budding audiophiles, not the Sennheiser HD 5xx series.
Has anybody noticed how much nicer ESS setups sound compared to AKM for movies?
I have a very nice desktop DAC with AK4499, it doesn't colour the low midrange like most typical AK based DACs, but for movies even the low end ESS is sounding much more realistic ( specially gunfires, bombs etc....I'm familiar with gunfire sound...it truly rings inside the ears like a short burst of tinnitus..ESS can do that!!)
They cost upwards of 10k in India. When I went to buy some good headphones, ath m50x was what many reviewers recommended. Few years later I find they were one of the worst entries into good sound lol. Philips shp 9500 also are recommended many times. They cost 15k on amazon and I guess hifiman he400 will be better at 11k-12k then?
 
Never understood why Philips doesn't sell these in India.
Truly wonderful headphones for everyone. Shouldn't cost more than 6-7K INR, nice big and comfortable earcups, a very pleasant sound with adequate resolving capabilities.
These should have been the first open back headphones for every budding audiophiles, not the Sennheiser HD 5xx series.
Has anybody noticed how much nicer ESS setups sound compared to AKM for movies?
I have a very nice desktop DAC with AK4499, it doesn't colour the low midrange like most typical AK based DACs, but for movies even the low end ESS is sounding much more realistic ( specially gunfires, bombs etc....I'm familiar with gunfire sound...it truly rings inside the ears like a short burst of tinnitus..ESS can do that!!)
I have a very old Phillips SHL3300BK/00, it cost me 2k. It's a on ear model but the sound that cheap headphone produces is so great that it even surpasses m40x for me except for the extra bass in the Phillips. It also has good soundstage. I also have a Phillips 2.1 from 2015 that sounds good for the price. Phillips audio products are very underrated. Their cheap stuff is really good.

For the ess DAC, it's probably more to with the implementation/amp than the DAC itself if the experts are to be believed. But I have my own preference for ess DAC too, even for songs I liked it more than akm dac that was in es100.
I meant he400se. 400i comes close to 16k. Sorry.
If you're gonna buy right now, buy used ones from Pre loved Fb group if not wait for offers during sales. I saw several sundaras with few months warranty left for 17-20k, there was a hd560s for 12k probably without warranty (not sure)
 
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