They are some nice pieces you’ve acrued.
it is hard to qualify expensive ‘upgrades/sidegrades’ for minimal increases.
I really feel what consumers need to figure out is where the bang for buck nets us the best we are comfy spending.
my teenager has reason to have a hifi.
they were bought a nice set of headphones (sennheiser on ear momentums (gen 1))many many years ago, and have done an exceptional job looking after them. A cable was destroyed a year or so ago, and so they could no longer be used with the microphone cable for phone calls (to the other parents house). Preempting the remaining cable dying, and not wanting to be stuck shelling out for an expensive upgrade/sidegrade, I kept an eye out and nabbed some second hand momentum over ears (gen 1). For a little bit more than the cost of the replacement cables I had added another practical tool to have around the house. (Different sound)
most headphone peeps (those with ‘a few sets’) realise that the cost of a set of headphones that does ‘all genres well’(if such a set exists) is more money than having three or four ‘very well regarded’ ‘cans.
that is why some nice closed backs with a certain bass responce might be preference for electronic dance music, and some large driver open backs the preference for classical/chamber music etc..
of course prefered recordings for each hifi/set of headphones starts to get built up.
anyhow, i digress..
having seen how well my wee one looked after the headphones, and having gotten more seriously into audio lately (finds apple music unlistenable vs uncompressed recordings now that the music habits are extending into grunge and industrial, all of a sudden my digital audio player is being ‘borrowed’ frequently, otherwise outboard DACs are being used with the tablet or phone.
The weird thing is I bought a creative e5 years ago as a ‘jack of all trades’ device. It was a joke part to an audiofool like myself, but fit with the budget for a sound upgrade for my daughters momentums. I expected the amp component to be noisier than an iDevice, but that the DAC would likely be more musical. It was a gamble, and tombe fair it wasnt just bought for headphone sound quality-DAC and amp. (An E5 does so much stuff that the practical ways it was used, and still is, qualified it as one of the best audio purchases of my life (and I once paid $500 aussie dollars for a boxed/as new Denon DCD S10 with a superclock mod and twenty odd blackgate caps upgraded throughout))... anyhow a bad experience on my childs first use, where the E5 jumps to ‘full volume output’ when connecting to iDevices had the product passed over for a couple of years ‘as a headphone amp/DAC. Now my child happily uses it as it seriously flogs the included sound of mainstream/massmarket stuff (eg phones).
that is not something i thought I would ever say about creative products. (Very ‘mass market’ products themselves).
now an e5 is as entry level hifi as a person can buy.
so, being a teenager, and being a few years since I had bought my child anything audio, I nabbed a $100 cambridge audio ‘the one’ (a cute little one box hifi unit).
upon getting it home and ‘testing’, i realised the CD section actually sounded better than my rotel rcd971, a cd player from the 90s (likely more to do with the unserviced ‘jittery’ old cd player).
a set of early generation castle acoustics speakers from the early seventies, well maintained and recently serviced, being a true timber build, and not veneer like later models, and for ‘less than the cost of an ‘entry level’ set of hifi cans’, we have a full high fidelity system.
my child refuses other headphones, even the ‘bigger’ momentums, as they prefer the voicing of the ‘on ears’.
does yesteryears equipment still sound great? Absolutely!
would i pay many thousands of dollars for modern equivalents. Not for someone elses system,. Maybe i would expect ‘quite a few’ car washes in return ;-)
the point of my long rant/diatribe; when we know our budget and are patient/pre emptive, we can build to our requirements AND save a lot of coin.
This is where Drop is fantastic.
we might have to wait awhile, but the payoff is saving money, money that can be used towards the next great project.
when i see spec sheet keyboard warriors warn other prospective drop customers to avoid a piece of tech because it doesnt have some feature, i like to consider the importance of that feature.
an example would be ‘apt x hd’ on a DAP. If the digital audio player is being purchased for its DAC chip(s) and amp, and then someone denounces the part for not having the latest bluetooth codec (LDAC etc), which BYPASSES the DAC & amp circuits, then the DAP might as well be a phone. Would probably serve as a better, more capable player.... any benefit of the expensive DAP is mostly lost.
a consumer warning others away from a part when clearly they dont understand the tech, or the buying motivations towards the equipment makes for some pretty ‘poor advise’.
recently i nabbed a nuforce icon hdp on drop for a mate.
he listens nearly exclusively to bluray music discs. He has a very average bluray player ($500 price point, but included a hdd recorder etc),.. he has spent years assembling his stereo. An entry level marantz stereo amp with some bowers and wilkins domestic monitors from the early eighties. Cables are sorted. Room is sorted. Furniture is sorted. A DAC upgrade is about all thats left to do.... will a $130 ‘budget’ (thankyou Drop) part massively upgrade his sound. Yep!
does he need to pay four times the money for the same sound quality and MQA support? No way! Yet so many people filling these forums with ‘knowledge’ would steer him to a newer part.
with the rate consumers keep dumping the old and buying into new formats (4K, DSD etc) last years ‘top tier tech’ makes for great value aquisitions.
the money saved buying outdated, leaves ‘more coin in the kitty’ for todays tech on clearance, tomorrow.
i know this is a blurb. Anyone enjoying this ‘too long;didn’t read’ epic, yay!
as consumers there are a few truths many from my generation and above will glean from these paragraphs.
i understand little johnnys will always try to educate me as to why their brand new toy with spec sheet bragging rights blows away everything i’ve ever known...
i will just spin my supertramp ‘some things never change’ HDCD and enjoy beautiful transparent music that makes me happy. I know that i could stream it and need an mqa supporting DAC and internet bandwidth etc to have the joy of it being apart of some massive playlist.
for the dollars saved it suits me fine to walk across the room ;-)