Desk Stack Update/Overview
RME ADI-2 DAC - Replaced my Schiit Yggy. Takes up much less space and doesn’t need to be on 24/7. Overall, the sound is very clean and the options are endless. The built in amp is surprisingly capable. The dedicated IEM port is also a nice touch. Looks wise, I’ve always been a sucker for visual spectrum analyzers, so that’s always a plus.
iFi Pro iCan - Replaces my Woo Audio WA22. Again, it was a matter of space. I moved my audio stuff to a much smaller desk, so space economy was important. Sound wise I am a big fan of all the options. Each button press and twist of a knob is meaningful and means one is never bored with this little powerhouse.
iFi Pro iESL - I got this to drive my incoming STAX L300LEs and a few other electrostatics I may pick up along my audio journey.
Focal Utopia - I picked these up for a great price. After getting the Massdrop X Focal Elex, I really wanted to see what these were all about. As someone who loves warm, dark headphones, it really surprises me that these have become my #1. My favorite part about them is detail retrieval. A phrase I pretty much could never relate to until I got these. I mean… it just gets every nook and cranny of a recording. Kind of bites you with poorly recorded tracks, but is extremely rewarding with well recorded tracks. Instrument separation is some of the best I’ve heard. Previously my HD 800 S was the best at this (in my collection). I only used the HD 800 S with classical and similar genres, but I find myself listening to almost everything with the Utopia. I still like my TH900 Mk2, Eikon, and Argon Mk3s when I’m in a bass mood.
ZMF Eikon Ash - Honestly… I got these for the looks. That was what drew me in. Not to say I didn’t care what they sounded like. I was told by a few people that know my taste that these needed to be in my collection.