The Hobby: The Desolation of my wallet

Hello again guys. Where were we?

Ah yes. How I met Darku ( Sandu ).  And no… it is not a story like “How I met your mother“, and I am not going to extend the story on more than 8 seasons. I think that 6 are sufficient! :)). (kidding)

After I met Sandu, things escalated exponentially, upgrades after upgrades…and the story continues! :)) Sandu gave me a boost kick into the audiophile world.

While I was looking for a better headphones to match my new amp/dac, Corda Cantate 2, I stumbled upon Sennheiser HD650. I started reading a lot of reviews, opinions on headfi and many comparisons with Hd595  with the hope people would say that the difference between them is very small and they do not worth the difference in price. Of course that was not the case. On some thread i asked about the HD650 something.

That was where Darku saw me and I received a private message:

 Fellow Romanian you say! :))

And then he informed me he had a pair of HD650 to sell and that I can listen to it before I can buy it. Ok…. So I went to his place. Then I have seen his headphone rig on the table. My jaw was on the floor.

It was made out of 4 components :

Woo Audio WA6-SE (maxed out) (that had 2 parts : the amplifier and its’ source)

Havana DAC

Sennheiser HD650

I also brought my Sennheiser HD595 with me. I started listening to the HD650. My jaw was on the floor again. Couldn’t believe my ears. The sound was marvelous. I had no words for a few minutes. It must have been funny to Sandu watching me as I was listening paralyzed to his music. The sound was more fuller than on hd595. The soundstage was more natural, the sound was much smoother. The bass was amazing. I just fell in love with them.

I found his sound sound system to be amazing.

I made a “smiley” just for a situation like this ( audiophile drooling ) :

Audiophile drool

Audiophile drool

After that, Sandu showed me the cable. It was the famous (found out later) zu mobius mk2, which gave more energy and details to the hd650.

After listening, we started talking, and Sandu explained to me the importance of each component in the system, and basic audiophile notions. From that moment on I started listening only to loss-less music, and the difference was quite noted. It was then when I found out that the source was very important as well.  I said that I had the Corda Cantate 2. I found out that the Dac included in the amplifier was some kind of bonus, but it was merely mainstream, or even low end.  After buying one 500$ amplifier, a 200$ pair of headphones and a new pair of headphones for 350$ in less than 4 months, the news was not well received. :))

I happily went home with my new HD650. I started listening to music from my cantate 2. I was shocked to see that the sound quality was much lower than at Sandus’.

Said this to Sandu, and he explained me the importance of a good dac , and that his amplifier and dac were far better than mine. It definitely felt that way….that was for sure.

I was like why…why is it so important….it is just a DAC (digital to analog converter) …what could it do better…?

He explained some brief technical stuff to me, long story short we have concluded that I would at least buy a better sound card, so I went for the xonar essence st (another 160$).

The sound did improve a lot with the Essence ST sound card: far more details, wider soundstage, and better midrange. However I found the sound to be very bright and tiring. It still did not compare with Sandu’s sound system (Woo Audio WA6-SE with Havana DAC). His system had a much smoother sound, a deeper bass, lush mids, etc.

Well….I used this (corda cantate 2 + essence st + hd650)  system for over 1 year.

I got into a new relationship and had to move with my girlfriend for more than a year at her place. It took some time to move all my stuff, including my sound system, and when I finally did, I did not have the space or time to listen to it. I tried to get her into this passion but with no luck. Then I realized it was much better this way. 2 audiophiles in the same family-> bankruptcy . :))

Have no worries, more upgrades are yet to come, but in the next posts 😀