KookDesigns t1_iyfd1o3 wrote

Just got the Xduoo TA-26 added to my rig.

Right now, I'm just running out of the Presonus into the Xduoo to get a feel for it, but ultimately I plan on using the TA-26 as a tube preamp, then using the Magni 3 as the headphone amp at the end of the chain.

Right out of the box, the Xduoo doesn't sound bad at all. The tube saturation is evident, without being distracting, like I remember on my old Little Dot Mk1.

I'll eventually roll the tubes, would love to hear your experiences with different ones.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I'm using Focal Elegias, 6xx, 4xx, K371, Grado sr225, and of course Portapros and KSC75s.


KookDesigns t1_iwbsvrc wrote

Reply to True by Goldeneye07

2 VERY drastically different business models.

Apple is about getting shiny white plastic in everyone's hands, every 6-12 months, with a built-in expiration date, and, as a backup, software/firmware updates to stop supporting when it's time to make customers re-up.

They're not designing their products to last generations, they're a few steps above disposable.

Whereas Beyer did the legwork decades ago to know their product is polished and optimized, so it doesn't need built-in obsolescence or marketing tie-ins to move products.


KookDesigns OP t1_iugu4bc wrote

Reply to comment by Veer_appan in Very happy for 20$. by KookDesigns

The only budget IEM's I own that I really feel I struck out with are the KZ ZSN's.

Maybe I got a defective model, but they just sound on par with the complimentary apple earbuds.


KookDesigns OP t1_iugtsg9 wrote

Reply to comment by greg1993- in Very happy for 20$. by KookDesigns

I have about 6-8 pairs of in-ear headphones, from 20$ to 150$, and these perform very close to the higher end of that price range. You really can't go wrong for the price.

Look into the Koss Portapro's as well. They're not in-ears, but for 40$, they're absolutely amazing, and still a pair I use almost every day, even with headphones almost 10x the price in my collection.

Look up 'chifi IEMs" and do some research on how many affordable options you truly have.


KookDesigns OP t1_iuc4919 wrote

I bought the Little Dot Mk2 for my Grado 225s, and up until now, haven't really had any other headphones that need more power. I found I could get by fine just plugging the Grado's into my Presonus usb audio interface.

Sometime between then and now, I got a Magni 3, which has been useful for routing my subwoofer to receive signal only when the headphones arent plugged in.

I've toyed with the idea of upgrading to the Magnius for its balanced ins and outs, but I don't need its extra power or size at this point, so it looks like the Magni 3 will be my headphone amp for the time being.


KookDesigns OP t1_iu6xktx wrote

There was really just one very thin bead of rubbery adhesive holding all the foam and covering to the original plastic rings. I was able to easily peel it away with a fingernail, and it left no residue. From there, the Brainwavz essentially lock in by being sandwiched between the ring and the headphone body.


KookDesigns OP t1_iu6re65 wrote

Very cool! I'm interested to see how much oomph my Magni 3 has for my 6xx's when they arrive. Other posts seem to say it not an issue, but I'm kinda kicking myself for selling my old Little Dot.

I may have to pick up a Bottlehead Crack kit next time I get a bonus from work, though I'm sure I could find some great deals in my local used market for good headphone amps.


KookDesigns OP t1_iu4swv9 wrote

I got them through Amazon, shipped to the Midwest in under a week, and I would absolutely recommend them.

At the very least, they have not changed the 4xx's sound signature enough to really notice, and at best, it has widened the soundstage and the extra airspace around the driver might have helped the low end establish a bit more body.

Basically, they keep all the good parts of the 4xx sound, and feel far more comfortable to my ears than the stock pads.

I did give the headband a firm bend in the opposite direction for 30 seconds to loosen the clamping pressure a bit, since the Brainwavz take up more space.


KookDesigns OP t1_iu4s7bn wrote

They're definitely V-shaped, and the low end, both with stock pads, and the Brainwavz, sounds awesome. I'm a big fan of the way the planar magnetic drivers handle lows, and the only headphones with more bass in my collection are my Yamaha YH E700As, and Monoprice Retros, though they don't count for much as the bass is overpowering, boomy, and muddy.

I'm very interested to hear how I like the 6xx compared to the 4xx, but I'd say the Hifiman's are currently my favorite headphones in my collection, with Grado 225's and my trusty Porta-KSC75's in 2nd and 3rd spot.


KookDesigns OP t1_iu2wonx wrote

I had to cannibalize my original pads to fit their plastic mounting ring inside the Brainwavz, so I was kinda going all in on this mod, but it paid off. I put a little strip of double sided tape to keep the pads secure, but the tension when the rings snap in feels like it should be enough.

Ive got HD6XX's on the way, any recs on must-do mods?