Editor's Note: This is the first article in a new series from CA contributor austinpop. I'm sure the anti-pseudonym crowd is already up in arms, but that's OK. I've personally met autinpop on a couple occasions and we've exchanged enough communications that I'm extremely comfortable with his credibility, experience, and knowledge.
I recently had a manufacturer email me to say he couldn't find a single review written by austinpop online and was concerned about credibility. Releasing a product to someone unknown to him could be a recipe for disaster. This was comforting in a way because the manufacturer really cared about who would write the review and wouldn't just supply products to anyone who could type better than a monkey and supply accolades. I told the manufacturer, and will tell the CA Community here, that I stand behind austinpop as a very credible person who will write his unbiased opinion and correspond with the Community in his usual professional fashion.
We may no agree on everything when it comes to audio, but that's part of what makes his new series of articles even better and what makes this hobby so wonderful. Plus, people have to be sick of me by now :~)
Enjoy this introduction from austinpop and the followup coming later this week.
- all my music on a Synology NAS, running minimServer as the UPnP server
- Auralic Aries Mini streamer, as UPnP renderer, over USB to
- Ayre Codex DAC
- Cavalli Liquid Gold headphone amp
- Sennheiser HD800 headphones, with Super Dupont (SD) mod
How I upgrade - where should I spend my next $?
It occurred to me that with the loaner (Ayre) QX-5 sitting in my room, I actually had the makings of a very interesting experiment - i.e, compare these two (approaches):
- Upgrade the DAC: replace the Codex with the QX-5 in my current chain
- Upgrade the music player: replace my current chain with the SE chain in finding 1, keeping my Codex DAC
Cost wise, these are in the same ballpark, depending on whether you factor in retail vs. used cost, and the resale value of superseded gear. Not perfect, but an interesting comparison.... Upgrading to the SE chain yielded more bang for the buck - to my ears - than upgrading the DAC. Now of course, upgrading both was to be transported to a divine plane, where you recline on a cloud, caressed by sunbeams, while angels sing.