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Monday, 21 May 2012

Bryan John Appleby - Fire on the Vine (2012)

I actually found this album by sheer coincidence. One of my international friends posted a cover of one of the songs on the album, the cover can be seen here and I must admit it's very good for being a first cover.

I decided to google Bryan John Appleby and so I found his website. I listened through some of the tracks and I really wanted to buy the album. The digital download costed $7 and that was exactly how much I had left on my PayPal account. So I bought the album, downloaded it in FLAC and started enjoying it.

It doesn't really sound like anything I've ever heard before, but it's good. Very good. Favorite tracks so far are #1 Noah's Nameless Wife, #6 The Word Of The Revelator and #7 The Lake.

Bryan John Appleby has several "covers" of himself on YouTube, for an example thisthis and this.

MasVis analysis

Audio quality - 6.5/10

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Authority Zero - Big Bad World

Track #6 from the Stories of Survival album with Authority Zero. Very nice song, although sound quality could have been better...

Here's an interesting acoustic verison, check it out!

MasVis analysis

Audio quality - 5/10

Denon AH-D2000


I borrowed this pair of headphones today. It's a pair of Denon AH-D2000 headphones which I have borrowed from the Swedish Hifi-Klubben.

Initial impressions: Treble feels very boosted. Would probably need to EQ it down a bit. Bass is better in the Denon than in my AKG K271. I still need a bit more listening to be able to give a fair comparison of the midrange and soundstage.

Comfort is good. The clamp-force is a little bit less than my AKG, the ear-cups are larger and the pads are softer. One thing that is worse is the cable. I can't understand how Denon chose to use such a useless cable. It's long, non-detachable, stiff, and it goes from both cups and not from one.

I will be able to keep these until sunday night so hopefully I'll be able to tell if it's a good buy or not. If I like them I can buy them for 2250SEK, maybe lower since this is a demo headphone used in the store.

Update #7: Forget what I've said about EQ. After some 200-300 hours of burn-in the midrange has calmed itself down and the "nasal" sound is gone too. For the past week I've been listening to them without EQ and it's better that way now.


Update #6: Tried them for portable use yesterday. Powered them with my HTC Desire phone and listened to some Authority Zero and In Flames during a ~90 minute powerwalk. The cord is incredibly unportable and MUST be replaced if you want to take these cans outside your house. You can't just roll it up and put it in your pocket, it's too thick and stiff. Apart from the cord they're quite okay for portable use, as long as you're just walking or sitting. The clamping force is quite light so if you shake your head too much they might fall off. Sound isolation is perfect. Nobody will hear your music and you wont hear much of the enviroment. When I was walking yesterday I could still hear cars when I was crossing roads and such but I didn't hear much else really, which fits me perfect.


Update #5: I now own a pair of Denon AH-D2000. Hifi-Klubben let me buy them for the fair price of 2100SEK.


Update #4: So I have decided to buy these headphones if Hifi-Klubben can give me even more discount. Original price is 3000SEK. They have been lowered all over Sweden to 2400SEK recently and I bought this pair of demo headphones for 2250SEK (although they look brand new). I'll see if I can get the price down to maybe 2000-2100SEK since I'll have to change cable (which will probably cost maybe 300-500SEK), use EQ which only works in Foobar2000 and since they're actually demo headphones and not brand new ones.

I have e-mailed them about it and hopefully I'll get an answer tomorrow so I can buy them before I leave for Slovenia on Monday night.


Update #3: I've been comparing these to my AKG headphones a little tonight and the difference is stunning, especially in the bass. The Denon has MUCH more bass and plays lower bass as well. They are more comfortable and the isolation is better in the way it leaks way less sound but it lets more sound in. I don't know how that works but they let in much more sound than my AKG but let much less sound out of the cans. I haven't had enough time to compare mid-range and treble but hopefully I will have time for that tomorrow or on Sunday.

I had a friend over here to listen to them as well. He has AKG K271 MKII as well but no Asus STX soundcard that which I have. He thought the Denon sounded way better than the AKG, but then he hasn't got as much of audiophile ears as I have. General conclusion seems to be that the Denon are better than the AKG as long as the Denon are with EQ.


Update #2: I sat down by myself yesterday night and listened. I decided to stick with the EQ even if it sounded unnatural so I was listening with the EQ on for about two hours. I then decided to try to switch the EQ off. When I did so the sound became really harsh and sounded incredibly unbalanced and bad. Final conclusion is that these headphones do need EQ to sound balanced. I have yet to compare them with my AKG though.


Update: I've been doing some more critical listening to the headphones and my conclusion is that they are not as all-round as my AKG K271 MKII. I googled them and found an interesting EQ graph over at Head-Fi.
So I tried this and ofcourse it sounds different and a little less "harsh", I don't know how to say it in words... The EQ made them sound better to rock but less good for acoustic guitars. I put on some Antonio Forcione and Andy McKee and quickly realised that it didn't work at all. It sounds a bit "canny" and some strings sound "muffled". I'll definitely have to play around with the EQ a bit more. In its standard appearance I must say the headphones are not for me (so far) but hopefully I'll be able to EQ them properly. If not I'll get them back to the store on monday and get my money back.