CanJam SoCal 2015 Member Table Purrin

Marv (Purrin) is a long time member of the headphone enthusiast community and is a founder of One of the very cool things about having member tables is that you get a chance to hear gear that is simply unavailable otherwise. Marv brought his custom made, one-off Eddie Current amp that uses a pair of Western Electric 417 tubes on the input section, and four 2A3 tubes on the output. He originally had the Eddie Current 445, but found it lacked enough power for his needs, so he went back to Craig Uthus and asked him to build something similar but with a bit more grunt. Marv says it may forever remain one of a kind as the gentleman who winds the interstage transformers used is about to retire. A very nice piece of kit here.

The front end for Marv's rig was the about to be released Schiit Yggdrasil—an extraordinary new DAC that eschews todays trend of delta-sigma DACs and returns to the R2R (resistor based) DACs of old. I'm going to have to do a little studying up, Marv told me it's a hybrid string/ladder DAC, and I've got only a very basic understanding of what he might be talking about. If someone's got a link to a technical description of this DAC I'd love for you to post it in the comments. And speaking of harkening back to DACs of old, Marv also had a Theta Digital GenerationV DAC at his table, which is related to the Yggy both in that they share a similar design philosophy and the same designer in Mike Moffat who is now the chief engineer at Schiit. Again, a display of very desirable gear you'd never see or hear on a vendor table.

Marv has also been a huge influence on the evolving vibe of the headphone enthusiast world. He founded, which has become an important place for fairly advanced headphone enthusiasts to have dialog that strives to find a middle way between objectivism and subjectivism. I think this is a terribly important activity. For too long the audio world has been somewhat polarized into the two camps; all too often sides are picked and an "us vs. them" tone prevails. It's understandable, it is difficult to construct a meaningful dialog that incorporates both objective and subjective constructs as they exist in two significantly different domains. The folks at are breaking new ground in developing a way to talk about audio that respects both measurements and experience.

And speaking of measurements, Marv has build his own headphone measurement rig and has amassed a significant body of characterized headphones. You can find links to the measurements at the bottom of's home page. You'll find his measurements quite a bit different than mine here at InnerFidelity: he uses a different type of microphone and presents the data in a somewhat different way than I do. His measurements do a better job of identifying resonances in headphones by presenting cumulative spectral decay plots (CSDs), and his distortion measurements show the harmonics as separate traces. A little forewarning though, please don't directly compare his measurements with mine; because they're taken with different acquisition microphones, they present different frequency response characteristics. The two systems are related, but they will produce slightly different results.

Thanks for all you've done. Marv!

Here's a little video to help readers get to know Marv a little better.

Click here if you can't see the video.

logscool's picture

Hey Tyll, wondering if you have a link to the huge DAC thread mentioned in the video. I would love to check that out.

AustinValentine's picture
tony's picture

I had a chat with Purrin back when J.Stoddard brought the Yggy to Purrin's group for "Prototype Exposure" ( along with some "Aged" Scotch).
I'll write him a note ( on his Chocolate thread ) about his immigration to Loudspeakers, $5,000 doesn't do much to move the needle in full room music systems, neither does 2A3 Power but he seems resigned to having gone as far as headphones can go. ( not me though ) .

I somehow had the idea that Purrin was a serious cut-throat, now I see that his little kitten picture is closer to he actually is.

Thanks for sharing him with us all,

Tony in Michigan

pissin's picture

Unbelievable!!!!! Literally!!!
He says he's not really into headphones at the moment?
I mean like what about all those cans in front of him ... and what about Changstar?
Oh ...the dude's bored and movin' on ... and now he's into "experting" ... uh ... classic DACs ... Guess what, folks: at, Delta-Sigma vs. Multibit vs. et. al. debates are been-there-done-thats for over 12 years... 'cept in a MUCH more scientific and academic CONTEXT than the off-the-top-o'-noggin' garbage Marvy spews.
Classic D/A processors with compromised SPDIF data links, hot-runnin' power supplies, huge-ass chassis and MASS ... Jesus Henry C!!!
BTW... that Eddie Current may sound nice ... but it sure is one helluva an ugly piece of kit (the Schiit's damn sexy, tho')

Tyll Hertsens's picture
A) I put more exclamation point in my title than you managed. Hard to believe.

2) I'm stunned you can pack so much energy into a post with so little content. Nicely done.

pissin's picture

Hertsens wrote:
"Hard to believe."
WHY??? They're right there ... or did certain sequential ASCII characters not make it to your blog's nanny censors??!!!!!!!!!

Hertsens wrote:
"2) I'm stunned you can pack so much energy into a post with so little content. Nicely done."
The best thing to do when you come across posts that may offend you is to ignore them...but you were WERE off'd. So, yeah ... your reply is accurate and, more important, was EXPECTED.

firev1's picture

Its funny you mention DIYaudio with all the "Delta-Sigma vs. Multibit vs. et. al. debates are been-there-done-thats for over 12 years... " when they are again exploring R2R with Soren's new dac which has been wildly popular. Also not to mention with some diyers obsession with AKM4396 which is said to be a DS dac which most resemble multibit architectures. Not many people own a well designed R2R dac and its great that Marv is exploring their subjective benefits.

iAmback's picture

Yeah ... that lonelyboy has defecatanly gots his own 'genda.
Multi-bit ... PFFFFTT!!! Anything to create content for Google and Alexa ;)

purrin's picture

I actually had no intention of making the meet, but one of the organizers, my friend Warren asked me to be in the member showcase because he figured I'd bring something interesting.

As for all those headphones. None of them were mine. Lots of friends and acquaintances, knowing that I didn't really have any headphones, came by and parked their headphones there. It was really nice meeting a lot of folks in person for the first time. I remember coming back upstairs from Mike Moffat's presentation, and saw that someone had nicely laid out all the headphones from left to right. It's kind of cool that someone did that.

Yeah, that amp is ugly. It was barely done and tweaked right before the show. I was just happy that it was running and sounding the way I wanted it to. Working on a chassis for it next.

tony's picture

The amp ain't ugly, it's Art-Deco.

I'm pleased Tyll featured you with a nice little Video, it's obvious the peer group have respect for you.

If I were in L.A. I would've made a point to meet you.

Thank you from: Tony in Michigan

Jazz Casual's picture


ulogin's picture

Read and reread your PONO's piece. Thank you so much for the effort.

I am just wondering if you would consider writing an article on DBT? DBT is difficult; null effect is the norm. But you manage to tell DAC and DAP apart and rank them in SQ. Indeed, you and Purrin are probably the only two persons in the whole universe who dare to claim that you can ABX DACs and DAPs without cheating (like using high OI source and detect by relying on its interaction with certain IEMs). Plus, Tyll, you seem to have developed a protocol while you are testing PONO. So I am wondering if you would be willing to share what you've learned in the process.


Tyll Hertsens's picture
I think there are plenty of guys around who can do it. You have to have decent ears, for sure, but educated ears are more important. Guys who work at it can do it.

One thing I've learned about blind testing is that it's a pain in the ass and not fun at all. I also think if you've worked at it you can get pretty good at judging the qualities of some piece of gear without blind testing it.