You see, they’re so damn cheap on ebay these days.. Tuners which originally sold for £2-300 can be had for as little as £10-30 and high-end ones which sold for around 1k are selling for around £100. So even though the choices of stations are limited where I live, the reception is generally poor and most of the stations I can receive well, are of the highly compressed variety, I am just a sucker for well-made, expensive stuff, especially when it can be had for the cost of a couple of nights out or less.
Hopefully this phase of mine will pass soon.. oh I’ve got another 2 on the way; an old Arcam Delta 80 (analogue but with digital readout and analogue presets!) and another Technics, supposidly one of their best ever; the ST-G90L. I just lost out by £2 for another go at a Linn Pekin. First one I got had a strange issue where it was very reluctant to output stereo, even with strong stations..
FM tuners are, I think the best bargains in hifi-land at the mo. Most other things hold their value well; even quality tape decks are commanding a decent premium.
OK, so I bit the bullet and sold one headphone; my B&W P7 Wireless… If I had cash to spare I would’ve happily kept these in a drawer ‘just in case’ and for the occasional time I was in the mood for their sound signature. However I have been using them less and less, finding them uncomfortable and with all their benefits duplicated (and executed better) with another headphone; Sony MDR 1000x selling seemed the best option. Plus they have held their value well; they sold within a few hours and I got slightly more than I paid for them more than two years ago!
Incoming .. Beyer DT880
B&W P7 BT Wireless – Sold !
Initial impressions of the Beyer; Similar sonic signature to the AKG K712 but not quite as open and with slight sibilance evident on certain vocals. Bass is slightly more prominent though. Hmm- these may be sold in the future.. but that said, these are the most beautiful and luxurious feeling/looking headphones I have owned. Wearing them is like putting fluffy slippers on my head.
I wonder what people’s opinions are on B&W headphones? Reason I ask is because my opinion on the sound quality of the P5 and P7 has changed from an initially negative one (1st listen to demo pairs in a shop) to an extremely positive one (once I owned them) and recently back again to negative (once I heard something better, but not more expensive).
There is no doubt that these models are mostly very well reviewed – all except for Which? reviews, which has had the audacity to award most B&W headphones ‘don’t buy’ status – well below 40% on their review scale. In fact I commented to Which? on this anomaly, very indignantly stressing how wrong they were and that their reviewers must have cloth ears and/or have the ‘phones plugged into a transistor radio, etc etc. This was during my middle, ‘positive’ opinion phase.
Now I’m starting to see Which?’s point.
Do we just get used to a sound and never be truly objective, or do we only hear the real worth of a hifi component when we compare it with something far superior?
Oh my lordy! I was taking a break from listening to new music and put on an old classic; Eric Clapton / Cream – Sunshine of your love. Has anyone else heard yelps and subsonic thumps near the end of the track? I’m listening on my AKG K712Pro’s and Chord Mojo ; walking around like a fool with wires and hardwear in every pocket. But increasingly I’m finding it hard to listen to anything else; even speakers.. the sound from this set-up just makes me smile, smile and smile some more.
I did a quick google and also replayed the section a few times to ensure I wasn’t just hearing something from outside (the AKG’s have virtually no sound isolation), but no, the studio sound is there. Impressed much. This is why I’m into hifi. Little moments like that, justifies the money I’ve spent over the years.
Yes, I know there is hi-fi / head gear out there costing £$Thousands per component, but I firmly believe that the law of diminishing returns means that even with the equipment I have, I am at least two thirds of the way to the best possible and most accurate music reproduction. Not that I want to risk a life of debt, sadness and upgraditis (unfulfillable) by actually listening to mega-top-end kit…