View Full Version : the KKF audio thread!

06-29-2011, 12:07 AM
it's been my experience that audio gear overlaps with kitchen knives (me myself, i run an audio forum with a fairly active kitchen knife culture!). what gear are you running at home, and what music do you like?

i have an Audio Aero Capitole Mk II CD player/DAC going to an Odyssey Stratos SE amplifier running a pair of Thiel CS 2.4s. i'm mainly into classical and jazz, though i used to be obsessed with Bjork and David Sylvian. i used to be a headphone crazy (my last headphone rig was the same CD player running to a Singlepower MPX3 Single triad headphone amp with a pair of Grado HP-2 headphones). i don't use headphones on the go since i started suffering from tinnitus (one loud concert too many), so music has become something at home only that i really deeply listen to.

06-29-2011, 12:15 AM
Wow, that's a hell of a set of cans. Never got to hear a set of Joe Grado's works. Singlepower...meh, not a fan of the guy who runs (used to run, maybe?) that company. Everyone says they make good sounding amps though. I was into the DIY headphone audio scene for a while.... just too darned expensive, makes knife hobby look like collecting matchbox cars... and a full system makes headphone hobby look like collecting frisbees.

06-29-2011, 12:18 AM
the Joe Grados were amazing, but they are starting to degrade. Joe is taking advantage by selling refurbishment for a couple grand. they ain't worth that (the Thiel CS2.4 speakers are way better than the HP-2s ever were, for less than $3k used). Mikhail was a screw up, but his amps sure sounded good then they worked! do you know head-case? i'm the same ER...

06-29-2011, 12:24 AM
Yeah, Mikhail was a tool. I actually saw a guy gut and rebuild one of the singlepower amps. Obviously never heard the results, but man did the guts on that thing look much nicer. I was never on headcase. Spent a good bit of time on the DIY audio forums of head-fi and headwize a few years back. Actually never got on headcase at all, how old is that forum? Didn't even know it existed, and that's odd. Most of these forum based communities have some cross referencing going on... Anyway, I got a set of Grado HF-2 (the second head-fi limited edition model) and promptly stopped listening to headphones - not because of the headphones, just because I stopped having time. Have since sold off most of my equipment for the knife hobby, but I still have those cans. Really nice sounding for $500.

EDIT: just had a glance at the head-case diy forum and saw a lot of names I recognized. Dr. Gilmore, nikongod, n_maher, a lot of others. Might join up to talk to those guys again. Something about head-fi really turned me off there a couple years ago, and I'm still not sure what.

06-29-2011, 12:28 AM
my partner and i (it's a completely non-commerical site) started head-case (www.head-case.org) in 2006, in reaction to head-fi becoming more and more commercialized. the main DIY forum moved to head-case soon after, and all of the head-fi national meets after 2008 have really been head-case meets, in terms of how they were organized.

yeah, the HF-2s were decent enough. speakers are where it's at, though. unlike most of my hobbies, i spent as much money as possible with the speakers, and haven't felt like i needed to upgrade since. i think it's the way to go.

06-29-2011, 12:41 AM
Damn, has it been that long since I stopped looking at headphone forums? It must be so, because I would have known of a quasi-defection from head-fi. Like I said, a lot of the stuff at head-fi kind of drove me away from the headphone world, plus I just wasn't listening as much as I did before that...

Wow, I'm feeling old.

06-29-2011, 12:43 AM
the things driving people away from head-fi is what i started head-case. no big deal. you might even be forgiven if you visited head-case and thought it was a high end booze forum ;)

06-29-2011, 06:07 AM
I have a set of Salk HT2-TLs for 2 channel driven by a AVA 550 EX. I use my pioneer AVR as a preamp and a squeezebox as the source. I need to get a dedicated 2 channel pre amp at some point, but I just shelled out for a matching center channel and I am probably done with audio for the year. At the computer I just use some Senn HD555 I got really cheap on sale with rebate a couple years ago. I need to upgrade, but I so rarely listen to music in here it would seem like a waste.

How do you like the stratos amps? I was thinking about them at one point then found a smoking deal on the used amp I bought.

06-29-2011, 08:12 AM
Great topic! I have a pair of Mirage M3-Si's driven by an Odyssey Audio Stratos Extreme SE. My preamp is an Odyssey Audio Candella with 1950's RCA cleartop tubes and my source is a Macbook hooked up via usb to a DB Labs USB DAC. Unfortunately the goofy power in my house has knocked out my Odyssey Stratos so I will have to drive to Indy and drop it off for repair as I do not feel like shipping a 70lb amp. For headphones I have a pair of Bose over the hears that I picked up at work.

06-29-2011, 08:27 AM
Had Thiel 2.2, Aragon 4004 Mk II and Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 Preamplifier. Forget the CD player and wires but the latter were a mishmash of high-end silver and pure copper that were all the rage in the 1990's.

Due to two different medical issues I lost all hearing in one ear and 60% in the other so everything was sold.

Still have a pair of bi-wired Musical Fidelity MC-4's (naked, without the ugly grills) for video surround sound and people like them.

Most important to me now is the music itself but I really miss excellent imaging, dynamics and the visceral thrill of great music on a great system.

06-29-2011, 01:45 PM
I have always had a foot in the door for audio equipment, but never take the full jump. Had a full surround of Mirage M9's but they got stolen. When I moved to Colorado a year ago, bought a pair of Sonus Faber Concerto Domus, a Pioneer Elite SC-25 and Velodyne 12" sub (regret it, get enough bass from the towers). I really want to get into tube amps, but money flow is directed at other priorities at the moment.

06-29-2011, 02:00 PM
Had to go Canadian:

Amp: NAD C326BEE
Speakers: Totem Mites

This is a mid-priced system (about $1500 all in) for my small living room, that produces collosal sound.

06-29-2011, 04:41 PM
Odyssey Audio Stratos Extreme SE. My preamp is an Odyssey Audio Candella with 1950's RCA cleartop tubes.

What an incredible bargain those Odyssey Audio products were. Do they still make them?

Magnepan 1.7qr, REL Stadium, VTL, MSD, Rotel, Magnum Dynalab, Goertz.

06-29-2011, 05:24 PM
the Odyssey products are still made. in fact, they have started making higher end, expensive items, in edition to the fantastic bang for the buck stuff they are mostly known for.

06-29-2011, 05:37 PM
My stuff is all pretty dated now. Audible Illusions 2b preamp I bought use ~1987, McCormick amp I bought used ~15 years ago (just crapped out last week -- it's right at the 20 year warranty expiration point :) ), Von Schweikert VR3s (I think -- the smaller of the two towers) I bought new ~14 years ago, and a B&O TT I bought new ~1985. CD player is pretty new (~ 6 years old), budget player from one of the uber $$ makers...

Interconnects and speaker wires are old pretty low- to mid-budget. Got an old Nak tape deck that needs cleaning and realignment on of these years...

06-29-2011, 05:40 PM
i bet that's a nice system. all of my cables are self-made from commodity cabling (belden, etc).

06-29-2011, 05:45 PM
I really like it, but the speakers are too big for the room they are in. And I was outvoted in my campaign to move the system into the family room we just added (1 vote yes, and wife's vote NO! :) )

01-29-2016, 03:56 PM
just got harman kardon soundsticks iii for use on a desk with a laptop. does not take up much space and they sound pretty decent for being tiny footprint pc speakers. bass knob on low with a sock stuffed in the port though.

01-29-2016, 04:02 PM
A sock? Clean or dirty? Cotton? rayon? Tube or dress? Liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets? Concentrated washer detergent or regular strength? For Dog's sake man, we need to know the particulars -- it's the details that matter in audio! :D

01-29-2016, 04:04 PM
dirty fuzzy one, no detergent or softener straight up.

01-29-2016, 05:50 PM
I love threads like this, meaning cross hobby threads on the various geek boards... Just don't read about knives on badger and board, or wine suggestions on audiogon!

I have pretty solid two chanel system I like: simm/moon 340i integrated amp, moon 110 vinyl pre, rega RP6 table, plus streaming into the on board dac on the 340i- run through ProAc studio 140 mkIIs. Sounds good to me!