Old Man Rant #1 – Don’t Fear The EQ



Ok, every once in a while I’m going to throw up a quick rant about something or another, and this is my first. It’s my god-given-old-man right, lol. I’ll get right to it. I’m sick of reading, hearing, or seeing folks say that “You’re not an audiophile if you EQ your music” or “You’re not listening to the track the way the producer intended”. One reason that is ridiculous is that we the listener have no clue what headphones or speakers the person was using at the time, maybe they had more bass or treble than our headphones or speakers. Maybe, without EQ’ing, we’re not listening to the music the way they intended? We don’t actually know. And, because we’re not buying or listening to our music for the enjoyment of that producer, why should we not EQ it to our tastes? I say we can. I EQ every single headphone I have out of every source I use. I have EQ setups for extra bass, extra highs, raised mids, even for different genres. I enjoy the hell out of my music when it’s EQ’ed. And that is what this rant was about, not to tell you that you absolutely have to EQ, but to tell you it’s 100% ok to EQ your music if that is what you like, without someone telling you that you aren’t doing it right. Music enjoyment is subjective, do you, screw the haters, lol.


FiiO F9 PRO Full review

The FiiO F9 PRO. FiiO’s 1st real Approach to Audiophiles

The FiiO F9 PRO is a shot at Audiophiles who enjoy a detail filled listen with tuning that resembles the classic Sony EX1000 among others. Did they hit the mark? Lets check it out.






The F9 Pro uses

(x1) Dynamic 9.2mm PEK Polymer nanocomposite driver

(x2) Balanced armature drivers. the “Knowles” TWFK-30017-000



Impedance is 28 Ohm

Max input rated at 100mW











FiiO has made an all metal design with an MMCX connect and mesh covered nozzle with a lip for securing the eartips. The interior is lined with plastic to secure the driver and reduce resonance.


It feels like an aluminum peanut. It fits like a piece of hearing protection which is to say it fits really really good with the proper eartips which depend on your ear size.




Inside the Box




Inside you find 

As mentioned above:


Hard shell case

Soft carry case

(x1)  2.5mm balanced cable

(x1) 3.5mm single end  (SE) cable

(12) sets of ear tips 6 bass enhancing sets and 6 balanced sound sets






Sound impressions:





Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time


The wide spacey intro “Foreplay” is the kind of stadium rock anthem the the F9 PRO shine on. The treble clarity and peaks create a great sense of space. There is no perceived restriction on the virtual playback stage. Live recordings or those with large presentations from Classic to live 70’s arena rock shine on these







Gold Dust Woman


Male and Female vocal Fundamentals are stretched across the entire mid range.

Stevie Nicks and at times Lindsey Buckingham and others sound well balanced and well placed. The mids would be slightly forward or proper. There is no recess detected to my ears. The mid to early treble is one of the strong points of this set. Guitar also sounds very good both electric and acoustic.





Dazed and Confused

The opening notes of John Paul Jones Bass guitar are clear and extend into the harmonic range nicely. The lower sub-bass seems to be somewhat lacking. These are not basshead in any form nor were they advertised as such



According to FiiOs own advert it is a relatively neutral bass tuning with no real increase or recess along it’s range.  It sounds that way. Some folks may want to add roughly +3dB or more/less depending on tastes for a fuller sound in the lows with more impact. An EQ will work a hardware bass switch would be ideal for many.








Shorty Wanna be a Thug



There is a ton of studio deck mixing going on on this track and the better the treble the more you will hear. Everything comes through loud and clear. The F9 has a peak at 7-8Khz. The PRO has one at close to the same point according to their graph. it seems less harsh than the F9 to me? They could graph out identical but while it sounds like a bright IEM it does not grate on me like the F9 did initially. I got used to it or this is just a bit better in resolution, clarity and no worse than the F9 peak perhaps better. This could be my brain getting burnt in though so take that with 2 grains of Salt








Did FiiO do what they set out to do?


Well, if the graph they made was what they wanted then yes. It sounds very detailed with a large presentation and a tame bass region. No noted recess in mids. That is what they showed in their own graph and that is what they did, to these ears.


If you like the Sony EX1000 like I do ( I fracking love em’!!) then you would like these and they fit much much better than the Sony.



Initial unboxing video












Buy at:







FiiO provided this sample to me for free.

Thank you to FiiO and thank you for reading










With the bass boost on the Q1mkII I fully rec these. They are great without but they are to my taste with so I rec. They sound fantastic now.


Happy Holidays!





Worldwide Audio Wednesday





The Portable Audio Fest is coming (Japan)






Girls holding audio stuff they don’t know the name of…or care but nobody looking at them cares that they don’t care so who cares.


(insert favorite company name) +Black friday


90% chance you will spot a deal O’ the year going on







e-earphone is selling stuff at a reasonable price and calling it a sale I think?

Some legit deals to be found though






Wordwide Audio Wednesday





World Wide Wednesday Vol1                 11/22/2017




FiiO is about to release the new F9 Pro Hybrid IEM with Knowles BA tech

They are also organizing a tour on Head-Fi and application to join can be found here


(I will be in the mix so a look will be found right here.)




Shanling is also hosting it’s first tour in North America and it is sending 3 DAP’s at once to the reviewers chosen. information on that tour can be found here.




(They follow me on Twitter but do not reply to me …about anything, anywhere, ever.LOL, whateverz, it is news!)





Hiby has begun the process of delivering the first Hiby R6 DAP units outside of China/Asia and reviews and impressions should start coming in on that soon.

(I will be in the mix so a look will be found right here.)

Info on the device below





The long awaited FiiO Q5 amp/dac is slated for a December release for $349.99

(I hope…who knows?)





Will edit and expand sources to include the gobs of stuff I come across. Somebody once laughed at Headphonia in a PM about their daily events. No, it’s smart. the traffic flows have patters and in between reviews you let the tide go too low or you use what they call “B-roll”. 20 year old tactics that work still. Gonna do Photobomb Friday’s if you folks tempt me!!










Unique Melody ME.1 Planar IEM REVIEW

**Waits for Unicorn IEM**
Unique Melody: Hold my Beer, I got this..

Like a Game of thrones, The Sony EX1000 has finally been put down

by the Unique Melody Me.1

Unique Melody ME.1

The Unique Melody Me.1 is what is known as a “Planar” IEM

It is a technology developed and used for expensive headphones costing in the thousands of dollars. Recently the technology, forms of it, have been miniaturized and used in IEM or “In Ear Monitors”.  This is a very good thing for music listeners obsessed with detail. The minutia that is barely audible and sometimes lost to harmonic distortion is now available to you, the O.C.D crowd (me) and people who expect the whole recording to be played back…ALL of it



Sound impressions

Unique Melody ME1 FiiO X7MKII

Finest, clearest most impressive sonic playback of any IEM I have ever heard at any price.

The black quiet background is unlike any BA,Hybrid or Dynamic driver I have ever tried. It is absolutely addicting.

A Benchmark.

The sound of the needle gliding along between tracks on a vinyl rip is like being there. Next to Mom’s record player again, young, loving music and not analyzing it.

The moments between “The Battle of Evermore” and “Stairway to Heaven”


Those kind of moments are why I love this hobby.

I decided before starting to write this to just say what i think without trying to be some balanced robot infonator passing facts and general thoughts on to you. Nah, fuck that, these fucking RULE!



It is very much like the Sony EX1000. No measured increase of note between 20Hz and 1Khz. It is very clear and the speed of planar is second to…nothing. Bass guitar is outstanding. The pluck and pull and resonance of bass strings on some thing like the Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” is pure joy.


Who is she? No idea? Mommy or Daddy sure know their freakin’ music though. Whole album sounds sick on the Unique Melody Me.1


The best pairing for this IEM is the FiiO Q1MkII with it’s hardware bass boost switch. Most any good amp with a good bass switch will bring out the thump in these in a way an EQ cannot. Most DD or BA can be EQ’d to a reasonable point but for thump these love a good hardware boost..to my ears anyway.



Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are an awesome pair of Male and Female vocals. Christine Mcvie reaches a little higher and brings in what is the sole weakness of the Planar…all of them. From 1.5Khz to approx 4.5Khz there is a harmonic event. A dip. Just prior is often a hump. Vocals on planar IEM without EQ can come off as shouty or odd if no EQ work is done.


Bass can go up because…it’s planar,

mids will not become veiled.

1Khz is very sensitive with this IEM IMO and it is my dip.

I do that at 400-500Hz usually but here it is 1Khz then I slow rise peak between 4-6Khz

Pretty simple and the payoff is perfect mids that transition to treble well, anchored by tight and authorative bass if you want it to be



“Telephone Line”

Woooo!! WOOOOO!!!

every crispy little detail pulled out and layed there for you. NOTHING shaded, trimmed,dulled…nothing. I coulda used any track with some sparkle but I was listening to this, wanted to try the widget so BAM….there ya go.

Science,  muf __kers!!


Product Specifications

Impedance: 23.1 Ω
Diaphragm Diameter: 18.5 mm
Magnet Type: Dual-Layer High Strength Neodymium

Shell: 3D Printed Medical Grade Acrylic with CNC Finish Connector Type: 2-Pin Protruding Connector
Cable: 6N Single Crystal Copper
Cable Termination: 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

You can change the cable..

But why??



Pimp C would blush….then wear it.

The cable is sick, the comfort is great (I use comply) the earhooks are soft and easy to adjust to your ear and the cable is sick….did I mention that?



Un rivaled SQ

Speed of driver and it’s assurance of the TOTL quality

Very responsive to EQ

Comfortable for long listening

The cable is unicorn hair dipped in gold


EQ near 1.5-4.5 Khz would be advised

hardware bass boost really needed to push bass properly


Your desk without these on them

I once watched Twister6 stumble over announcing one top of the line IEM after the other till he said he would stop making such grand statements and I thought..pffft, get a grip dude!

Now I am looking at my EX1000 considered by many old timers and myself to be the apex of dynamic in ear monitors. And I find myself rationalizing that they are in the Dynamic driver world but I am just splitting hairs over here. The Unique Melody Me.1 are the finest IEM on the market and they are not over $1000, they are not even near Unique Melody’s most expensive IEM yet here I am calling them the King.


Do I rec em?

They are in the header image of this site.


You can purchase the Unique melody Me.1 here (below)

UM Universal ME.1 Planar magnetic Drivers IEM






FiiO X7Mk II Hi-Res Music player REVIEW

Fiio X7mkII

Original FiiO adverts for player

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • 2GB RAM ,

  • 64GB ROM ,

  • ESS9028 PRO,

  • Balanced

  • + DSD + BT 4.1 aptX + Dual mSD + Dual Band WiFi + Optical



Shii, let’s get right to the point

There has been a lot of discussion about the sound of music players and due to laziness or stupidity or both, the terms often used to describe speakers , headphones or any audio transducers has been ascribed to Music players as well and let me tell you it is total bullshit.

There is no loose bass, recessed mids or rolled off treble with a music player which has at it’s heart a DAC which is a Digital to Analogue converter.

It converts digital data into analogue data.

That’s what it does.


There is a thing happening. Cannot measure it. Cannot do anything but marvel at how some music players using the same exact DAC cam exhibit a tonality that is so different from another.

ESS9018K2M  Used by OPUS #2 (x2) and Calyx-M (x1)

They sound nothing alike and it has nothing to do with dual DAC’s.

The X7MkII is using an ESS9028Pro (x1) and the Dx200 (x2)

They sound different. I prefer the single DAC implementation but can appreciate now (unlike a few months ago) that it is a fine device in it’s own right. NOT my type of sound but very well liked by some.

Excluding all the babble about “loose” and “recessed” lets put them on one plane and call it a neutrality line

Warm (implies some sort of perceived focus in bass and vocal range)



FiiO X5iii

Shozy Alien +

Neutral ( no emphasis perceived anywhere along frequency)

FiiO X7 *1st gen stock amp*

DX200 *stock amp*


Cold (implies some sort of perceived focus in treble, perhaps forward mids)


Aune m1S

If that is reasonable, and I think it is, I would place the FiiO X7mkII in the Neutral category with a slight lean towards treble. It seems to have no more weight to bass than the 1st X7 but the clarity seems…well…clearer. The minutia in some music is there and while DAP’s that are leaning north of neutral can be a bad match for long term listening the X7mkII is actually the opposite. It is more engaging and comfortable than the X5iii and warm music players are supposed to be good for longer term listening.

Maybe true? But the X7mkII is an exception to the rule which makes it…exceptional.



I was unable to get past the tiny font on the Cayin i5.

Sometimes a simple little thing can make a device almost un useful if it does not mimic an ipod like ease of use experience with as few clicks and swipes as possible and a minimum of missed touches/clicks.

The FiiO X7mkII is a mature, easy to navigate Android based music player with no annoying habits. I have had it for 5 months and picking it up and using it is a thing done without thought of any kind.

I do not have to “put up with” anything annoying.

There are 3 basic themes.

Several ways to browse your music

The ESS9028PRO has 7 filter settings embedded in the DAC to make subtle adjustments to the sound

Screenshots taken with players screen capture

(hold down power and “up” on rocker switch at the same time for 1 second to do this)

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 Using the thing

Adding your music is as simple as plugging it into a PC or MAC and dragging the music files onto the devices storage. It is in fact less tedious than using itunes with an idevice.

Most common question I hear from folks not crippled by music gear collecting is:

“How do I add my damn music??”

Just plug it in bro.

It will ask to be storage device and you allow it then find it on your computer where your other drives are and open it and go.

Easy peasy.

Photo Bombing





fiio x7 and sonyma900Fiiox764audiou12

 Compared with other music players?

This is a thing you can ask directly in a question as I believe the headphones/IEM have the final say in the sound so I would need to know what music and what other gear. I can do it. Have no problem declaring one over another but just in general terms? Nah, that’s a hype game parlor trick.

X7ii and OPUS2fiio x7ii and x5iii

What do I listen to?

DSD when I can

Vinyl rips of classic albums

70’s Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae

I sometimes EQ Bass up for a more “live” feeling and i do it with every device that I can

The good

Sound Quality is pretty damn awesome

Very easy to use

You can change the amp at the bottom of the device and get more power without stacking

Battery life will get me through a regular day with no worries

Android allows you to use other music apps like on your phone and Neutron will work with this and not resample to 48Khz

The bad

The EQ is just O.K.

1/2 of screen is taken by control panel and other half for album art? It would be nice to auto hide that big panel

The leatherette case is very very hard to take off. Almost had a meltdown taking that back off

The Ugly


It sounds great, it is priced great compared to it’s rivals, the company updates the device to add things that people ask for.

This device was given to me for free.

Does that help make my review positive?

Legit question.

I dunno? I had it for months, I use other music players too. I enjoy being brutal and honest and sometimes burn bridges because of that.  So I guess no. I definitely like it and have no problems telling you it is one of the finest devices you can buy to listen to music with and it will not cost you a shit ton of gold. Your good, this is a good purchase.

Highly rec’d






Who is this new old guy?


In case you’re wondering who the new guy is, I’m OldDude04. Some of you may know me from Head-Fi. I’m just an old school basshead and music lover that started out way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s using car audio in my mini-truck to fill my need for the low end rumble. As I got a bit older and got my own place, I spent silly money on home stereo equipment in my long-term chase for the bass. Then I got married, had some mini me’s and all of a sudden I couldn’t play my stereo cuz babies were sleeping. (They sleep ALL the time, lol) Anyway, long story short, I was forced to find a new way to get my daily helping of bass, and I turned to personal audio. I look forward to sharing some of my thoughts with you guys on IEMs, amps, & headphones, and how they relate to a basshead’s needs.

I wanted to try a 2 pin for the Audeze since it is kinda ghetto stock IMO.

I contacted him and he sent me the BT version after some back and forth.

I like the Blue Benz

You wanna try the white one?

Um actually.


I admired the car salesman like vibe.

And hell, BT buds suck pretty much so picking my own 2 pin set and making them BT is pretty damn convenient. I got em for free so my White Benz feels pretty damn fine.

Does free make a difference in a positive review?

Probably does on some level but I got complaints so not enough to prevent sharing that so no….

Comes in a nice box.
Who cares?

Box people care…that’s who!!


  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Smart-assistant support
  • aptX Codec
  •  Microphone
  • Media-control


I thought the red would indicate (right) but it actually goes only on left of isine20

Red is left on all IEM tried and the notch on the rubber surrounding the termination might be better if it has no bend. Easier to wear down or make earhooks or he could on request though cable is short so there is limited cable to work with.

Everything was worn upside down or backwards so maybe this set was a mistake?

If I turn the logos facing inside they fit a bit better on the 64 Audio U12 but not great. i gotta think this is an odd set.

Red is left and logo turned in makes them fit better on some sets.

Shozy hibiki


From PlusSound,

The red is right side with screws required to face outward, as provided in the instruction card. The only exception is with Audeze units which has the groove reversed, but red is still on the right. When customer specifies Audeze, we know not to include the cable bend. Otherwise, it would have it to make it more comfortable.

Pairing with all DAP’s with Bluetooth was very simple.

Keep holding button down until red and blue blink rapid and look for it on the DAP and pair.

Had no issues with any device



My man cave has Hawaiian beach towels on the ceiling


Stay gangster.



Take whatever the fu you like with you and suffer no audible loss in quality.


Unit housing kinda big .If i wear the cable behind my head like some Sony sets it fits better on the U12 and Hibiki but then I have to reach behind my head to touch the controller which is right behind my ear


If you have a set where the plug is on top and not bottom this is something to consider

Thanks to the guy who sold me the white instead of Blue Benz.

It was free



RBH Sound HP-2 Ultralight Beryllium Headphones

Just ordered these and waiting for delivery.  Will post my thoughts soon.  Maybe compare them with the Taction Kannon and Fostex TH-X00 Mahogany.  Will these break into the Top 10 at The Hardest hitting Headphones are.. ( “The EXTREME BASS Club”)?

Stay Tuned.

Model Name: HP-2
Driver Size: 1.8″ (45mm) Beryllium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 98dB
Frequency Range: 10Hz-45kHz
Weight: 8.82 oz. (250 grams)
Dimensions: 6.3″ W x 7.6″ H (160mm W x 193mm H)
Package Contents: Includes 1 pair of HP-2 headphones, protective carrying case, user’s manual, 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch phono jack plug adapter, and two detachable cables: (1) 3.9-feet (1.2m) deluxe black cable with controller and microphone and (1) 3.9-feet (1.2m) High Resolution Cable.

AUDEZE iSine i20 (Review coming)








Style In-ear, universal fit
Transducer type Planar magnetic, semi-open
Magnetic structure Fluxor™
Magnet type High-grade neodymium
Diaphragm type Ultra-thin Uniforce™
Transducer size 30mm
Maximum power handling 3W
Maximum SPL >120dB
Frequency response 10Hz – 50kHz
THD <0.1% @ 100dB
Impedance 24 ohms
Cable type non-microphonic
Dimension 31mm x 35mm
Weight 11g (per side)


Package Includes

  • Certificate of authenticity
  • User guide and warranty
  • 1.5m audio cable, 1/8” stereo plug input to 2-pin plug ouput
  • 1.5m Cipher cable, Lightning plug input to 2-pin plug ouput