Current Setups (let’s get this out of the way first):
It’s easier to diagram things out, so I might as well show that instead (hopefully up to date):
If you prefer it in text (likely more up to date, I’m too lazy to update the diagram all the time):
– Main Listening Room: My most realistic and enjoyable setup, but can’t use it all the time
Digital: Home Switch -> UpTone EtherREGEN (w/ Mojo Illuminati V3) -> Ediscreation Silent Switch OXCO Extreme (ground isolated on incoming, connected on outgoing) -> Antipodes K50 (running Squeeze server & player) -> Totaldac d1-twelve-mk2 (direct output) -> Totaldac d1-driver-mk2 monoblocks
Commscope Teraspeed Fiber + Finistar SFP
JCAT Signature Ethernet
Transparent Reference XL AES
Purist Audio Design Neptune Luminist XLR, RCA & Neptune Diamond Power (for the DACs and K50)
Triode Wire Labs The Obsession Power (for the upstream gear)
All connected to a PS Audio P20, separate 20a circuit, all Totaldac have live-powers.
Analog: Totaldac d1-driver-mk2 monoblocks -> LAMM LL1.1 Signature -> LAMM ML3 Signature OR LAMM LL1.1 Signature -> Angstrom Stella SHA20 MK2
Purist Audio Design Neptune Luminist XLR, RCA, Spade, Neptune Diamond Power
All direct into wall, separate 20a circuit, multiple Synergistic Research Orange Duplex.
Tubes: Stock tubes
Transducers: Verity Lohengrin IIS & LB-acoustics Mysphere 3.1 (custom cable) on both amps
– Main Desk: Closest I can get to the speaker setup, but in headphone form
Digital: PC -> Berkeley Alpha USB -> Berkeley Alpha Reference Series 3 (sometimes Mojo Mystique EVO Pro 21) OR Ediscreation Silent Switch OXCO Extreme -> Sonore opticalModule Deluxe (w/ Mojo Illuminati V3) -> Sonore Signature Rendu SE optical Tier II -> Ideon 3R Master Time Blackstar -> Lampizator Horizon
Commscope Teraspeed Fiber + Finistar SFP
JCAT Signature Ethernet
Final Touch Audio Sinope USB (for the Horizon setup)
Audience FrontRow USB (for the RS3 setup)
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution AES
Audience FrontRow HP (for the Horizon)
Triode Wire Labs The Obsession Power (for everything else)
Separate 20a circuit.
Analog: Lampizator Horizon & Berkeley Alpha Reference Series 3 -> FM Acoustics FM155-MKIIR -> Eddie Current Studio T (on tape out) & FM Acoustics FM108-MKII Monoblocks (on pre out) -> Headphone Tap / Speaker Switch (w/ WBT Nextgen Sig posts, Cardas Rh XLR, Goldpoint Sw, & Kimber wire) -> speakers & headphones OR Berkeley Alpha Reference Series 3 -> Mass Kobo 394 II
FM Acoustics P.I.T. RCA & RCA to XLR & Forcelines 7 (for the Horizon and FM gear)
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution XLR (for the EVO and 394 II)
Ansuz Speakz A2 (for speakers)
Audience FrontRow HP (for FM155)
Triode Wire Labs The Obsession (for everything else), or attached power cables.
Separate 20a circuit.
Lampizator – Takatsuki 274B, Brimar CV1988 Black Glass, Tung-Sol KT170
Eddie Current – RCA 2A3 Black Plate
LB-acoustics Mysphere 3.2 (on the 394 II or FM108)
Hifiman Susvara (on the FM108)
Focal Utopia (on the 394 II or Studio)
Final D8000 Pro (on the 394 II or Studio)
Abyss AB1266 Phi TC (on the 394 II or FM108)
Audio-Technica ADX-5000 (on the 394 II or Studio)
97′ Sennheiser HD600 (on the Studio)
Borresen 01 (on the FM108)
LB-acoustics – Kimber Axios Hybrid
Hifiman – DHC Prion4 Xhadow
Focal – Danacable Lazuli Nirvana
Abyss – JPS Superconductor
Final – Brise Mikumari Ref. 2
Audio-Technica – Brise Mikumari Ref. 2
Sennheiser – ALO Hybrid
– Portable Setups/IEMS: For either on-the-go, or work trips/travel
Sources: Luxury & Precision P6 Pro OR Lotoo PAW Gold Touch Ti -> sometimes Mass Kobo 424 (either off batteries or Fidelizer Nikola2) OR Woo WA8
Plussound X8 Gold Plated Hybrid 4.4mm to 4.4mm
Oriolus Traillii JP (on P6 Pro and/or 424)
Rhapsodio Infinity MK2 (on P6 Pro and/or 424)
MMR Thummim (on LPGT TI and/or P6 Pro)
Hyla Sarda (on LPGT TI and/or P6 Pro)
Focal Utopia (P6P -> 424 or WA8)
LB-acoustics Mysphere 3.2 (P6P -> 424) or 3.1 (LPGT TI -> WA8)
Final D8KP (either to either)
Also Koss KSC75, the true GOAT.
Oriolus – Stock PWA
Rhapsodio – Rhapsodio Evolution Copper
MMR – Eletech Aeneid
Hyla – PWA 1950s 4w
– Not My Setup:
Fidelice Precision DAC (RNDAC) -> whatever cans and cables
– Leftovers: things without a dedicated setup
Sources: Luxury & Precision W2, CEntrance DACport HD, VE Megatron
Transducers: Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm, Koss ESP950, Sony MDR-V6, Koss KSC75, Fiio FH3, Guideray GR-i18
I have no issues rambling on about audio for as long as you let me, but don’t really have anything to say about myself lol. I guess I’ve been a part of this hobby as long as I can remember, as was most of my family, I guess I started getting really deep into it around 20 years ago and haven’t really stopped since. It’s quite hard to leave in fact, and I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.
I started out surrounded by 2 channel setups, but found myself favoring headphones early on and have continued to focus on headphones ever since (although I’ve been bitten by the 2ch bug, and it’s starting to win over now). The first “serious” cans I was gifted were a pair of hand me down a 90s Sony MDR V6, and then an original 97′ Sennheiser HD600 (and IEM wise Etymotic ER4S), and once I started making some disposable income to fuel this addiction, branched out from there. Many many different headphones later, those two still stick with me (although both pretty warn from their age), although I can’t say I use them all that much given what other options I have now, but I do still think they hold up for their respective price points. For what I currently use/have, check out my forum profile. I can’t really remember all the cans and associated sources I’ve cycled through, but it’s a significant amount lol.
Early on, I also grew an infatuation with source gear and how prominent of a role it could play in some systems, and the concept of scaling and how I could further elevate what transducers I already loved with better and better sources. That still very much holds true to this day, and admittedly largely dominates what I talk about and what I’m interested in for my own personal setups. The higher I went up, the more and more important I found it to be, I can’t stress enough how much it can potentially make or break a higher end setup. Currently (if you can’t tell) I can’t get enough of what various DACs and digital sources contribute to my setup, but I make sure to not neglect other aspects of the chain as well, after all it’s only going to perform as well as it’s weakest link.
From a preference perspective, since I grew up around a variety of different gear, I don’t really have a strong established preference toward the gear I listen to, I just appreciate high quality sound regardless of voicing and tuning as long as it’s well done. I could be content with either side of the spectrum or right in the middle, all depends on the system and the synergy between that system. If I did have to figure out some defined preferences I have, I do place heavy importance on a lot of things in the time domain: overall spatial recreation, realistic timbre, unrestrained dynamics, and generally a sense of overall directness and incisiveness that I think really contributes to the realism of a specific unit. Tonally I do tend to prefer a slight warmer and richer lean if I had to pick given my current systems, but I really don’t care too much about this anymore, as I feel that the more intangible aspects contribute a lot more to the overall sound and coloration than simple tonal balance/frequency response.
The more I learn about this hobby and the more I experience, the more I realize the less I know lol. Every question seems like the only answer is “it depends,” there’s merit to most all ideas/designs/concepts and the answer typically lies in the middle, most things aren’t absolute, trusting your own ears is the most important thing you can do in this hobby, focusing too much on the “truth” of this hobby typically leads to even less understanding, the easiest answer is typically not the best one, an open mind is the best way to approach this hobby, etc etc etc. There’s a lot of general advice that could be said here, but it really depends on the person and their own experiences for what’s actually valuable. Just making sure to do what leads to the most enjoyment for you is a good way I’d summarize, this hobby is inherently selfish, make sure to prioritize your own enjoyment first since what works for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa.
I’ve been watching and lurking in the online community for a long time, but only recently did I really sort of dive in and start becoming an active member both here and on another forum, and it’s been pretty fun actually getting in on the discussion for once. Met some great people in person and online, really enjoy just talking and hearing about most things in this hobby, though I like to keep things more casual than not lol.
I should have addressed music a bit sooner considering it’s 50% about the music and 50% of the gear for me (or at least I try to keep it that way). I tend to find myself listing to a large amount of orchestral music (typically classical and up), ambient, most electronic of most all types, classic and modern hip/hop & rap, experimental jazz, and more. I really tend to listen to any genre as long as it sounds good to me. The only genres I might say I specifically avoid or tend to not enjoy as much is more modern country and things that focus too heavily on vocalists and the human voice (although I do love opera lol). Not sure why, but I am not the type of person overly concerned about lyricism and vocal performance, perhaps it’s from a previous mastering side gig that mainly had me dealing with vocals and speech, doing something for a living does tend to reduce my enjoyment of it as a hobby lol. I’ve got quite a large music library that’s constantly expanding, still very much interested in hearing new sounds out there, there’s so many these days.
I guess for some non audio info, I generally find myself interested in most all tech, although after working with tech as a career, I find I’ve become someone younger me would hate, someone that just wants something that works and is willing to pay for convenience lol. I can’t say I experience that trait leaking over into audio, I just hope it stays that way lol. I also enjoy swimming, and uh, that’s about it I guess. I feel like all I really do and care about is audio and listening to music, don’t really consume any visual media, just listen to music almost all the time.
I apologize about the more amateurish and simplistic writing, not really my strongest skill, hopefully it’s readable enough lol. Just prefer to be more direct and concise if possible, but that’s not always possible given the subject, so I tend to favor a more no nonsense and informative approach to try and get as much information across as I can. It’s all just my opinion and experiences anyways, that’s all I can really provide, so make sure to take that as such. At this point most of the stuff I want to write about is very difficult to put into words, the higher you go, the harder it is to articulate what you hear after all lol, so hopefully it still comes across well enough to have some sort of substance.
Thanks for stopping by the site, I hope you enjoy your time here (and potentially join in on the discussion on the forums as well)!
Yes, regretfully, I do have a tier list: https://www.sonusapparatus.com/2022/10/m0ns-shit-list/
Not a reviewer and not writing reviews, just opinions and experiences of someone in too deep for fun. Prefer to keep things concise (sometimes), casual, and hopefully enjoyable, not much more to say here lol, more active on the forum