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Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Mar 18, 2014 32 comments

The first step is always the hardest: the "Wall of Fame" page for headphone amps makes its debute.

Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Mar 14, 2014 16 comments

Darwin said, "As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least direct use to man in reference to his ordinary habits of life, they must be ranked among the most mysterious with which he is endowed." Indeed. Why is music so pleasurable?

More to the point—of this article—if pleasure can be measured by brain activity monitoring, could audio performance be objectively measured where it counts...in your head?

Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Mar 12, 2014 38 comments

If I think back five years or so, I would guess that Pono would have looked like the break-through audio product for headphone enthusiasts. From the comments I've read over the last couple days it looks like audio enthusiasts are giving it a bit of a squint-eye.

Is Pono the magic bullet we've been waiting for to bring high-quality audio to the masses?

Tyll Hertsens Mar 11, 2014 18 comments

When I go to trade shows I need a reference rig to faithfully test headphones. There's simply no question in my mind: I take my AK120 and CEntrance HiFi-M8. Yes, it's a bit big, but it's a brute and will drive most any headphone on the planet with ease.

This is a no compromise portable amp for audiophiles!

Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Mar 07, 2014 42 comments

I can't believe it...NwAvGuy has come up yet again. In a recent post on the IEEE Spectrum site called "NwAvGuy: The Audio Genius Who Vanished", David Schneider provides a short summary of NwAvGuy's brief stint as an audio industry influencer, and informs us about problems with the manufacture of the O2 headphones amp due to it's Creative Commons CC BY-ND license which forbids derivative works. The power input connector specified in his amp is discontinued and the replacement part has pinouts that are too large for the holes on the circuit board. Unfortunately manufacturers of the O2 are forbidden by the license to change anything in the layout...even something as simple as the hole sizes, and to make matters worse, only NwAvGuy has the files needed for proper adjustments. Evidently JPS Labs has found a workaround and is modifying the boards because, as John Seaber sees it, "... (it's) okay in this case because it didn’t violate NwAvGuy’s fundamental intent." Personally, I'd agree with John in this case, but the ethical issues remain a bit uncomfortable none-the-less.

What I'm more interested in today is whether you feel NwAvGuys contributions to the dialog in the headphone enthusiast community were fruitful or not. I know he did a superb job of pissing numerous people off in on-line forums, and found himself banned from numerous sites. But he also did a great job of measuring gear, and providing quality technical information for hobbyists. Trolls come in two flavors: those the piss us off and are destructive, and trolls that piss us off but make us think leaving us the better for their annoyance. You can visit NwAvGuys now abandon website here.

Which one do you think NwAvGuy fits into best?

NwAvGuy...Troll or Hero?
Tyll Hertsens Mar 04, 2014 10 comments

Okay everybody, get your skeptomometers out, this little gizmo definitely does something. I'm not sure whether it's good or bad...but it is fun.

Fun. That's good, isn't it?

Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Feb 28, 2014 22 comments

On the one hand, NO! It's a silly question, far too simple to be useful. On the other hand, more ears will be listening to music on headphones than ever before, and hopefully they'll be getting their first exposure to well reproduced audio.

Okay, let's talk about it.

Tyll Hertsens Feb 25, 2014 32 comments

I like the K701 and variants; I like the K267 Tiesto; I like the K550 too; but no, I don't like the K812.

Woulda kept my mouth shut, but way too many people have asked me to chime in on these new headphones.

John Grandberg Feb 21, 2014 0 comments

I love relatively compact devices packed with features. Unfortunately many of them involve significant compromise to achieve their size or price point.

Here's one that doesn't.

Tyll Hertsens Blog
Tyll Hertsens Feb 19, 2014 17 comments

We never did get those flying cars we were promised, but we're getting ever closer to being wired up like the Bionic Man.