I cleaned up the study on the weekend and took some pics of my headphone collection. Which made me think I should start a thread in the spirit of Craig’s posts a year or so ago (https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,49887.0.html
). If I had the original intention to publish the pics I would taken a bit more care with them, but here goes …
Starting from left to right …
One of the smallest components doing the toughest job of them all … the petite Topping TP4 is about the size of a 250g block of butter. Which is quite apt, as this little Class T amp makes the power-hungry AKG K1000’s sound rich and creamy.
Next to diminutive David, the HoBo (names in honour of it’s creators Wim Bowman and Alan Hobkirk) cuts an imposing but gentle Golliath figure. Despite it’s 30kg heft it treats all kind of music with empathy and insight.
Next up, the heart of my system as it has been for over a year now … the delectable Wadia 121 (still begging for a PSU upgrade to unleash what greatness hides inside the square box) and original SPL Phonitor 2730 … the one with the 50’s sports car dash. Haven’t heard every amp out there but this is to my ears the best solid state headphone amp out there and probably my most-loved piece of hardware. A very neutral tone with incredible resolution, transparency and attack. And seminal industrial to die for ...just look at those VU meters ...
The Squeezebox Touch is a recent addition to my music listening experience. I use it as a transport, fed by a dedicated old laptop running LMS off a NAS-stored collection. The signal is passed by SPDIF RCA to the Wadia 121 for practical reasons (USB is reserved for JRiver running on my other laptop).
While the SB Touch is in easy reach where I listen, my 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab does Squeezebox controller duty courtesy of free Squeezer app, as does my Galaxy phone.
The music database resides on a 6TB Seagate NAS and is shared between LMS and Jriver … the latter which I prefer for library management, tagging, and serious listening. Here are Audeze LCD2 (Rev 2, pre-fazor) and Sennheiser HD650 draped over the JRiver screen. Wasn’t planned like that but these two incidentally share a common, dark and slightly withdrawn personality. And both can make great organic music when partnered appropriately.
Another reason I still use JRiver is the ease with which VST plugins are installed. This screenshot is of the incredible Sonarworks headphone calibration software.
HD600 and HD800, flanking the true King, the AKG K1000. I have had pleasing results driving the K1k with the Schiit Lyr, but since that amp has now gone to Ron G I alternate between the Topping and HoBo when listening to these. The HD800 gets substantially more head-time than the others. I's not sure why ... but it's the set I most often grab for a listen.
AKG K1000 up close.
If I had to choose a theme for my collection I suppose it would be “former flagships” … here three generations of Sennheiser flagships frame the K1000.
My travel set … Fiio X3 DAP and Sennheiser Momentums. The Fiio is incredibly versatile and great value for money. The Momentums are sadly beat by the recently departed NAD HP50’s, but it improved on the NAD’s styling and perceived longevity.
Not shown… Nuprime uDSD DAC/amp, Perreaux SXH2 amp, Audio Technica ATH-M40x and a couple of low key headies. Items that have come and gone include the mentioned Schiit Lyr, Millet Max hybrid headphone amp, Audeze Deckard DAC/amp, Benchmark DAC-1, Samson SR850, Grado SR60i, Beyer Dynamic DT990, NAD HP-50, and a pair each of HD600 (first love) and HD650 (seductress) subsequently replaced by more of the same.
And now a couple of general shots …