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Audio Supremus

Location: Hong Kong.
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Re-defining the State of the Art

Posted by Audio Supremus from Hong Kong on 2014-02-17
Posted on AKG K812

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Awesome life-like sound.
Cons: Not for casual use. Requires top flight source and amplification to bring out its' potential

This is the best headphone I have ever heard or used. I also own the Sennheiser HD-800 and HD-650, the Fostex TH-900, the Audeze LCD-XC, the Audio Technica W5000 and ESW-10 JPN, the Denon AHD-7000 and AHD-7100, and of course AKG's K701 and K702. The AKG K812 is superior to all of the above. It is the most accurate and neutral transducer currently available. ( Exception: I have not heard or owned the Sennheiser Orpheus or the Stax SR-009. )

When you hear music through the K812 with the proper source and amplification, you can put aside all the usual jargon such as Treble, Mid-range, Bass, Spatial Imaging, Transparency, Scale and Dynamics, etc, etc. That's because the sound that comes out of the K812 is so breathtakingly lifelike, you will be immediately drawn into the music and transported to its' venue.

However, the K812 demands the absolute best in ancillary equipment in order to perform right. Plugging into an iPad or MP3 player simply will not do. Nor will most portable amp set-up unless its' circuitry is strongly biased into Class-A with good current drive.

Compared to the AKG K701 and K702, the K812 is vastly superior. What is more is that while the K701 and K702 cannot play very loud ( the bass becomes woolly ), you can really crank up the volume with the K812 and its' sound remains effortless.

Compared to the K812, the Sennheiser HD-800 and much more so the HD-650 sound euphonic and overly mellow-sounding, the Audeze LCD-XC sounds lean and at times uneven, the Fostex TH-900's bass sounds over-damped and dis-jointed from the rest of the sonic spectrum, the Audio Technica's sounds colored and artificial, and the Denon AHD-7100 sounds closed-in and monotone. The dis-continued AHD-7000 is the only headphone out of this group that can also project a similar sense of grandeur and sonic realism, albeit tonally less neutral/flat and with a smaller sound stage.

Overall, one can argue the K812 has no peers and is justifiably highly recommended.

Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

35 out of 38 people found this review helpful. Did you?

One of the Very Best Headphones. Period.

Posted by Audio Supremus from Hong Kong on 2012-07-26
Posted on AKG K701 Balanced Fat Pipe Upgrade 10ft

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Takes the already superb K701 to a higher level of performance.
Cons:

The Balanced Fat Pipe Upgrade essentially takes the already superb K701 to a higher level. Listening with this balanced version lends to a greater sense in the control of the music, especially through complex passages. Scale, dynamics, and pace are all improved, while bass exhibit greater heft. Soundstage is more expansive, and backgrounds are more 'silent' in intimate recordings. Of course, a top-flight DAC/Balanced Headphone Amp set-up is also mandatory to bring out the best of these headphones and get the desired result. Like the K701 and K702, extensive 'burn-in' period (500+ hours recommended) is required here.

Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful. Did you?

One of the Very Best Headphones at any price.

Posted by Audio Supremus from Hong Kong on 2012-07-26
Posted on Sennheiser HD 800

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Superb sound and great looks!
Cons:

Sennheiser's flagship model is a superb headphone that sets a benchmark in resolution, soundstage presentation, and imaging rendition. While the overall sonic signature still leans towards the warm side and reminds of its' sibling HD650, the HD800 is overall very neutral with excellent delivery of musical timbres. Compared with other top-flight more 'up-front' headphones, the presentation of the HD800 is laid-back while sonically engaging, which would appeal to many listeners. A high quality DAC/Headphone Amp set-up is of course mandatory to bring out its' magic. For portable amps, only the Class-A or Class-A/B biased type would have good enough current drive to do the job. Required 'burn-in' time between 150-200 hours recommended.

Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

51 out of 52 people found this review helpful. Did you?

One of the Very Best IEMs at any price.

Posted by Audio Supremus from Hong Kong on 2012-07-26
Posted on Klipsch X-10i

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Superb sound and comfort. Excellent value.
Cons: Requires a decent headphone amplifier to bring out its' best.

The X-10i and its' predecessor X-10 is a controversial and one of the most underrated high-end IEMs (In-Ear Monitors). While many reviewers and audiophiles alike have lauded its' superb sound and comfort, others have criticized it as having excessive bass, a recessed mid-range, and narrow soundstage rendition. The truth is the X-10i requires good amplification to bring out its' magic. Listening directly from an iPod or MP3 player may indeed yield those former shortcomings, but when coupled with a decent portable or desktop headphone amp, and it's becomes totally different story. The sound is balanced and well extended from the upper-most octaves to the lowest bass. Soundstage is wide and deep, and the mid-range comes forward with great immediacy. What's more is that being a single armature design, the sound is perfectly smooth and coherent from top to bottom. The X-10i however is not the most neutral IEM around, and does have a very slight coloration to its' sound. But what coloration there is, it is coherent with the rest of the sonic spectrum. Overall, a very engaging listening experience and rightfully highly recommended.

As with all headphones, they require a 'burn-in' period (about 120+ hours). Most people including many reviewers say BA (Balanced-Armatures) IEMs don't require burning in, but while that's true for the BA part, they all forget that the headphone cable itself requires a 'burn-in', as is the case with all audio cables.

Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

29 out of 37 people found this review helpful. Did you?

The Ultimate DAC/Headphone Amp set-up.

Posted by Audio Supremus from Hong Kong on 2012-07-25
Posted on Triple-Stack Balanced Ultra Desktop Package

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Truly incredible sound and excellent value.
Cons:

The Triple-Stack is simply THE best DAC/Headphone Amplifier system in the world, speaking from my experience of having been a High-End audio reviewer in the past. Most reviewers and audiophiles usually compare one piece of audio equipment with others, and judge merit based on performance is areas such as Transparency, Neutrality, Resolution, Quality of Treble / Mid-range / Bass, Timbre (Textural Accuracy), Speed (Dynamics) and Control (Pace), Soundstage and Imaging rendition. When listening with a pair of top-end headphones, the Triple-Stack system excels with all these qualities. But what makes it really special and sets it apart is that it has that very rare ability to make reproduced music sound so very much like listening to life music. And this is the highest accolade any reviewer can give to a piece of audio equipment, as life music is the only true reference.



40 out of 45 people found this review helpful. Did you?