More of the Same
Last time I sat down to write a blog, I wondered what might be changing. As it turns out, not a whole lot.
I'm even more comfortable never leaving the house--to the point where I have a bit of an aversion to it. Strange for someone who spent his life crawling around in holes in the ground, exploring technical canyons, diving, and otherwise getting as far off the beaten path as possible. Now I guess I've gotten that out of my system, and there's plenty going on at home....
Work is dominating my time right now. I'm in an exciting phase of a multi-year project, so I don't mind the long hours. I actually love what I'm doing for work right now. Especially since I can listen to music for hours every day. Yeah, that's still going on.
I did make it to a couple audio shows last year. CANJAM SoCal was epic. I met Jude from Head-Fi (who put on the event) and made some new friends. I also got to hear nearly every "summit" level headphone that I hadn't yet heard. Later, I attended Capital Audiofest Where I accidentally became one of the very first adopters of an amazing closed back headphone
. Meze LIRIC
replaced Hifiman Arya
as the most fun can to blow minds with while out and about.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same
The LIRIC is a $2000 closed back planar dynamic headphone. It's not the most expensive closed back option on the market, but I liked LIRIC better than DCA Stealth
at the show, and Stealth goes for double. I did finally manage to get LIRIC on the head of my local Best Buy manager and blew his mind. Too bad Best Buy isn't set up to showcase good audio. I've yet to find any place in the entire state of Arizona where one could go to experience high end headphones. It's me. I'm the man, apparently. Sometimes there's a man. Sometimes there's a man....
It's been fun, but I'm about to complete this game. I've very nearly run out of sensible options to improve my ability to consume audio in any way.Hifiman Susvara
remains an essentially perfect headphone. Seriously, the only two complaints it deserves are: (1) it's ridiculously expensive at $6000 list (don't pay list); and (2) it's difficult and expensive to power properly. But after hearing basically everything, Susvara still offers the best overall combination of sound quality, comfort, technical performance, etc. There are other worthy flavors, but nothing else matches the complete package, IMO.
Ferrum Hypsos + Oor: New Kings of the Desktop
I have my speaker amp as an ultimate solid state source for Susvara, but I also upgraded my daily system to Ferrum Oor
(amp) with Hypsos (power supply). This chain drives Susvara with authority, while also driving most IEMs with black background / no noise! So that's solid state amp and desktop amp pretty well knocked out of the park.
DACs are covered, too--the Holo May
is engineered to such excess, I can hardly guess at ways to improve upon it. I've got Roon
for streaming / library management / whole house audio. Unique Melody MEST MkII customs
remain one of the best buys in all of audio, and I upgraded my portable game with an Astell & Kern SP2000
. I've got one final update in the works: ampsandsound Nautilus
, tube amplification done to ridiculous excess. It'll fit right in.
So, seriously, there's nothing left to do. Well, except a turntable, but I am in no hurry
. I don't have time to listen to vinyl right now, much less dive into figuring out that whole rabbit hole. I'm overwhelmed just enjoying what I have.
Parting thought: Moondrop Kato
is one of the best things going under $500 (and, surprise, it's under $200). Unfortunately, it's not stellar for gaming (works fine for casual play, but gets a little overwhelmed by busy action). But it's eminently lovable, and great for music. It's not as detailed as high end stuff, but it hides its limitations well, and comes with a pile of extras, like a nice hard case. It's one of the very cheapest things to legitimately impress me, so if you're in the market for some IEMs ... well, tell Mimic that Speleo sent you.
Speaking of "enjoying" what I have, I burned up a pile of fast games in January. As usual, it started with no plan except, "I haven't gamed much in the past 3 months, so lets knock out some of those easy games that have no doubt been piling up." Well, that was an understatement.
I broke 100k in January and still have no shortage of fast titles in my backlog. And more are showing up every day! I finally broke down and started Shadows of the Damned
, because I needed something more substantial than flavorless insta-points. Ironically, I had done some longer games recently, so fast sounded appealing. And on it goes....
So, that's life in 2022 so far: work, music, game, repeat. Pretty mundane all in all, but at least life has never sounded better.