September 8, 2019 § Leave a comment
“A little piece of trivia: Mama Cass Elliot and Keith Moon both died in the same room in Harry Nilsson’s London flat. Four years apart. Now on with the show. Harry Nilsson’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night is one of my favorite albums. I listen to it in spurts as I do Taylor Swift’s 1989 album (gilty pleasure). I have this album on my laptop and my iPhone for my offline listening pleasure. I press play and don’t stop listening until the final note of track twelve. The album’s opener, Lazy Moon begins with a smooth Nilsson vocal and Gordon Jenkins conducted orchestra sending the listener floating through the air via violins and strings similar to when an Academy Award is presented and the winner walks up to the stage. My Etymotic and Cobalt combo reproduce this sonic delight pretty well and about as good as I’d expect from a portable system. Nilsson’s voice doesn’t quite have the enveloping full range that I’m used to with my full-sized audio system, but that’s to be expected. Above all, this track, and entire album, has a beautiful bloom to it through the Cobalt.”
May 8, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The WA11 has absolutely no problem getting the 300 Ohm Sennheiser to blasting volumes. Loudness isn’t the problem of the Senn, as it’s an easier to drive headphone, but it can be very picky when it comes to sources. With the WA11 I feel it’s a good match. You will still get all the details from the Senn, but you will receive good amounts of body from the WA11, which makes a great blend of the two.
Don’t expect the bass of the HD800S to be elevated to levels of the Empyrean or even Diana Phi though, it’s still light on the lows, but mids are a notch denser with the Woo, which is also an area where the Senn could be improved on its own to me.”
March 18, 2019 § Leave a comment
“A problem with armature-based IEMs, such as my Ultimate Ears 18 Pros, is that their vibrating reeds start to run out of excursion with high levels of low-frequency tones, producing “doubling” (second-harmonic distortion). This was not the case with either the KSE1500 or KSE1200SYS earpieces, which played the low-frequency, 1/3-octave warble tones on my Editor’s Choice (CD, Stereophile STPH016-2) cleanly and with full weight down to 32Hz, provided the sleeves were making good seals with my ear canals. The combination of low-frequency clarity and weight in “Happiness Is Easy,” from Talk Talk’s The Colour of Spring (DSD64 file ripped from SACD, EMI 591452), made the sparse interjections from Danny Thompson’s double bass and Alan Gorrie’s electric bass sound suitably forceful. No, in terms of low-frequency weight, the in-ear Shures still couldn’t match my long-term headphone reference, Audeze’s LCD-Xes, driven in balanced mode by Ayre Acoustics’ EX-8 integrated amplifier. However, the over-ear LCD-Xes weigh my head down after the first couple of hours; the lightweight Shures remained comfortable throughout far longer listening sessions.”