Austin-based audio omnivore MORBIDTOASTER is perhaps representative of a new breed of audio enthusiast—one who cares passionately about sound quality (as do we all) and who enjoys listening through both loudspeakers headphones. The centerpiece(s) of MORBIDTOASTER’s system are a Kuzma Stabi/Stogi turntable and tonearm fitted with a Dynavector phono cartridge, a Vincent Audio phonostage, and a valve-powered Leben integrated amplifier/headphone amplifier. MORBIDTOASTER is between transducers at the moment, but we understand he favours Sennheiser HD 800 headphones (he has owned them in the past) and is looking, quite possibly, to acquire a set of DeVore Fidelity Orangutan-series loudspeakers. In short, he likes the good stuff.
Jesse Anderson at SOUND CHECK
Jesse Anderson of SOUND CHECK, who specialises in Nagra, Stellavox, and 2-track analogue recordings, brought along cool system featuring a brace of Nagra reel-to-reel tape decks playing master tapes of recording Anderson had made of the Trinity University Jazz Ensemble and Trinity University Wind Ensemble. The system used a vintage Marantz 2270 receiver as a headphone amplifier. However, experimentation throughout the day convinced many listeners that top-tier headphones often sounded their best when fed directly from the Nagra’s analogue outputs, rather than through the venerable Marantz. As so often proves the case when first-generation analogue master tapes are involved, the sound quality pouring forth from those Nagra decks was stupendous.
Head-Fi member THAILAND exhibited a system featuring an Oppo universal/Blu-ray player, a classic Cavalli Liquid Fire hybrid valve/solid-state headphone amplifier with Sennheiser dynamic-driver headphones and Audeze planar magnetic ‘phones.