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mkaramazov

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About mkaramazov

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    Sydney
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    Australia
  1. Vintage Caravan 1966 Crestline

    I have already passed this on to a few friends who may be interested :-).
  2. Vintage Caravan 1966 Crestline

    Omg. That is beautiful.
  3. A great price for a classic amp. GLWTS
  4. FS: Nintendo Switch + extras

    Zelda is astonishing, a very good reason to get a switch. GLWTS
  5. I usually like dry bass and detail in a headphone. So, why do I find myself with not one but two discontinued headphones from Sony’s “XB” (Extra Bass) line? Well, a combination of cheap pricing and curiosity led me here. And though these headphones are completely different from my usual taste, they have proved very surprising, particularly as I shall discuss, the XB1000. Image: MDR SA3000 (left), MDR XB700 (middle), MDR XB1000 (right) This isn’t so much a review but just some field notes on my experience with a few different Sony cans – the XB700 and XB1000; and then some thoughts on how they compare to my usual (and very different cans) – the SA3000s. Please note I am not offering comparison to high end cans (eg HD800s which I have no experience of) - just some thoughts on how these three "vintage" Sony headphones compare. Sony XB700 I picked these up recently for a very cheap price on Gumtree. It was not only the cheap price that made me curious, but also those monstrous ear cushions, which on one hand seemed absurd, on the other hand, strangely intriguing. The XB700 sport a large 50mm driver. Those big pleather cushions are very comfortable and isolate pretty well. But what is surprising for me is the sound. These aren’t going to win any awards as audiophile headphones, however I am surprised by how impressive the sound quality is for such a cheap headphone. I was expecting to be overwhelmed by crappy bass. However what is surprising is how restrained the bass seems - it is true that this headphone leads with the bass, but most of the time it carefully underpins the sound with a solid background. There is less of that sense of the bass overwhelming the soundfield as I seem to often experience with cheap headphones. And that bass is beautiful – tight and controlled, deep. The rest of the reasonably wide soundstage is pleasant, however it lacks sparkle up top and the midrange does not seem overly prominent. But I am still really surprised by how listenable it all is; indeed I would suggest these are some of the most relaxing headphones I have listened to – comfortable with an easy going sound. Sony XB1000 I happened upon a relatively inexpensive pair of rare to find XB1000s and impulse bought them. This model is slightly worn, which partly explains the price, though they are fully functional. My curiosity about this headphone partly came from reading about their massive 70mm driver, a driver size that is shared with the contemporary Z7 and the mighty Z1R. Image: Sony MDR XB1000s dwarfing a pair of Koss Porta-Pros And they are massive. Truly massive. I have had some big headphones in the past (such as a pair of Jecklin Floats) . But there is something about the scale of these things which is utterly absurd. But they sound marvellous. Perhaps strangely, the bass is more restrained than the XB700- still monstrous, but much more controlled. But where the XB700 feels much more closed in, the XB1000 feels very open, like being in a big club. Although this headphone has a touch of a dark presentation, the soundstage sparkles much more, and with all that space, there is tons of detail to follow. I certainly am not claiming they are ultra-detailed in the way that I imagine a pair of proper audiophile headphones should be. But still, I heard lots of things I hadn’t noticed before, and there something so persuasive about how sound is rendered in a big, full, impactful way. Indeed, there is something visceral about the experience – like being in a room with a pair of big speakers. Naturally these headphones sound best with music that showcases their impressive bass; but I was surprised by how decent they sounded playing jazz and folk, and how that huge bass doesn’t necessarily always remind you that it is there. Like the XB700, these are also really comfortable, and their big smooth detailed sound does not get tiring. I really love these cans. SA3000 The SAXXXX line were renowned for generating highly divisive love / hate responses (as did the ultimate version of these, the Qualia 010). The top SA model – the SA5000 – featured a 50mm driver, an open design magnesium frame and leather pads. It was well known as a ruthlessly detailed headphone, with an almost “icy” presentation. The headphones I have are the model below this, the SA3000s, which utilise the same drivers, but uses a polymer frame and fabric ear cushions, and supposedly sound similar to their more expensive sibling. I have had these for a number of years and really enjoy them. The SA3000s of course offer a completely different picture from the XB1000s. The presentation is dry and clinical, and the bass is hardly prominent. The open design means a wide soundtage; although surprisingly, though the XB1000 is not really an open design, it sounds similar. But there is no question that the SA3000 is more detailed, or at least more prominently reminds you of every detail. And while the SA3000 does not have the impressive bass performance of the XB1000, there is something so intriguing about how it reveals the details of the bass you are listening to. Playing jazz or baroque music on the SA3000 is sometimes quite a moving experience – tons of detail in an open soundstage, and a very persuasive way of rendering the mid range and treble on good recordings. Final Thoughts I think all of these headphones are interesting in their own way. Partly they demonstrate the almost bizarre way that Sony can offer quite different philosophies and approaches with their products – each offers an interesting and high quality sound in their own way. Perhaps usefully, all of these headphones can be driven without a headphone amplifier. Although I used a Matrix M Stage to listen to these, they happily play from my Sony ZX1. (I should stress I am not sure how the XB700 or XB1000 would play with lesser amplification like a mobile phone. And I suspect the XB1000 is happier with a solid state amplifier - my old valve Darkvoice 336SE headphone amplifier for example would probably accentuate the bass in an undesirable way). I suspect I will sell the XB700 at some point, as it does not seem in the same class as the other headphones here. But, the Sony XB1000 has been quite a revelation for me. While in general my taste will perhaps always be towards headphones that are more analytic with a drier bass, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the XB1000 and the impressive way it renders sound. While it is not as detailed as the SA3000, indeed I would hesitate to say that it would satisfy insistent audiophiles after a “reference” sound, I still found myself noticing things I hadn’t noticed before and importantly they feel like such an event every time I put them on. And despite saying “extra bass” on them, I am so pleased to report that they are remarkably restrained on that front. I will probably be hanging on to these XB1000s for quite a while.
  6. Hi! I'm Lachlan, AKA lachlanlikesathing

    Love your you tube clips Lachlan / @a_recording ! So great you have joined this community.
  7. FS: Nikon FM2/T Never Used in Box

    Now that is beautiful. GLWTS
  8. SOLD: FS: Nikon FA Film SLR - Never Used

    Looking forward to seeing what new gem you unveil from the vaults!
  9. SOLD: FS: Nikon FA Film SLR - Never Used

    Beautiful. Glwts
  10. Thanks ex brickie - would prefer local pick up, but will keep you in mind
  11. Item: Stevie Wonder LPs bundle Location: Marrickville NSW Price: $40 Item Condition: Used - see below Reason for selling: Not Needed - duplicates Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Some classic Stevie Wonder Vinyl: 1) Hotter than July, Aust Press, Cover G, Vinyl G 2) Talking Book, early 2000s re-issue, Cover Ex, Vinyl Ex 3) Innerversions, early 2000s re-issue, Cover Ex, Vinyl Ex I have been conservative with my grading. None of these have been cleaned and would clean up well. TalkingBook and Innerversions I bought about 15 years ago new and played very sparingly with either a 12 inch tone arm or on a linear tracking turntable at 1.5g. Pick up only in Marrickville NSW Pictures:
  12. Item: Bruce Springsteen Vinyl - Instant collection Location: Marrickville NSW Price: $70 Item Condition: As below Reason for selling: Not Needed Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Great instant collection of classic Springsteen: 1) Greetings from Ashbury Park NJ. Aust Press - Cover Ex, Vinyl Ex 2) The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Aust Press - Cover Poor - Good , Vinyl VG 3) Darkness on the Edge of Town, Aust Press - Cover VG, Vinyl VG 4) Nebraska, USA Press, Cover - Ex, Vinyl - Ex 5) The River, Aust Press, PROMO COPY, Cover VG, Vinyl VG 6) Born in The USA, Aust Press, Cover VG, Vinyl VG 7) Tunnel of Love, Aust Press, Cover VG, Vinyl Ex I have been conservative with grading. None of these have been cleaned - I imagine they will all clean up well. Pick up Only in Marrickville NSW Pictures:
  13. Item: Mastodon, The JayHawks, Jeff Buckley, Feist, Smashing Pumpkins Vinyl Pick Up Only Location: Marrickville NSW Price: As priced below. Item Condition: Near new or New Reason for selling: Not playing them Payment Method: Pickup Only Extra Info: All this vinyl has either never been played, or played once by me on a Thorens TD124 with SME 3012 tonearm, Audio Technica AT32E MC tracking at 1.6grams. Please note PICK UP ONLY in Marrickville NSW. 1) Mastodon Package - $90. Includes Remission (Never Played - NM); Leviathan (Played Once - Ex); and Blood Mountain (Played Once - Ex). All sleeves Ex or better - a couple of minor scuffs. 2) The Jayhawks Package - $70. Includes Tomorrow the Green Grass (Never Played - Sealed); and Hollywood Town Hall(Never Played - Sealed). 3) Jeff Buckley Grace (Legacy Press) - $25. (Played Once - Ex) 4) Smashing Pumpkins Gish - $25 (Played Once - Ex) 5) Feist Metals - $20 (Played Once - Ex)
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