About audiophilia and melomania, Meze Empyrean and RME ADI-2 DAC

I love music: I have listened to it since I was just a kid, and I do it a lot. And with a lot of passion. Music isn’t just ‘important’ for me: it still sends shivers down my spine, and I couldn’t control it even if I wanted to. The thing is that the music actually controls me.

I remember falling asleep to Pink Floyd and Toto Cutugno (you only may know Toto Cutugno if you’re Italian or Russian of at least 25 years of age) when I was 4 to 6 years old wearing those vintage Soviet Amfiton TDS-17 headphones. Then I graduated from the piano class of the music school, went to Bach organ music nights in the City Philharmonic Hall with my parents and did many other academic music-related things when I was younger. As I grew older, my musical taste evolved with me: starting from those very first post-Soviet pop bands and Scooter and the so called Russian rock, passing through Placebo, Portishead and Marilyn Manson and ending up with growling metal, industrial and howling delta blues. By the age of 25 I realized that the fact of liking one or another genre doesn’t actually say anything about a person except that the person is tunnel-visioned. In fact, there’s no bad genres (let’s not mention Russian rap or Russian chanson, these are objectively worse than anything you’ve even heard in your lives), there’s only bad music and good music. Regarding the good one, you can find it in any genre, you just need to learn how to listen to it and to perceive it.

As incredible as it may seem, I’ve always been looking for good music and not equipment to make any track sound better. My musical ‘growing-up’ happened in the first post-Soviet decade, when you had to decide whether you want to have some decent sound while listening to the music or to have something to eat (no kidding, these were tough times in Russia). Obviously, most people including me chose the physiological over the aesthetic.

That’s why I was more than happy listening to the music via cellphone and the headphones provided with it, until I met them: the in-ear Fischer Audio DBA-02 mkII headphones. After the very first time I used them I discovered that the music can actually sound differently, even somehow unearthly. It was wide, bright and very detailed.

So I dug into frequency response, square waves, output impedance and other specs and started to look for my own perfect sound, that special combination of devices to make the music sound just like I love it: as if the band performed right in my room, and a little bit better. Then I started trying different cables, earpads, portable players experimenting with their firmware etc. I ultimately found my perfect sounding after 7 years of stubborn searching. To be more precise, it wasn’t a perfect sounding or perfect equipment, it was an approach that spared me all this typical audiophile drama.

That is, this post is for those who want to know how to find a decent sounding and skip years of information digging. To be honest, I’d give anything to have somebody give me this post on a silver platter at the very beginning of my journey.

Here are the 3 main principles to remember when building your own sound system.

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First AX — ASUS RT-AX88U

As soon as the first AX router hit the market, I bought it immediately.

Why would you need such a cutting edge router that doesn’t even have any compatible clients? Well, it actually does have some — a Galaxy S10/S10+ and at least one Intel AX200 adapter. Moreover, any manufacturer, when releasing a cutting edge router, usually implements not only support of the latest standards and the widest functionality, but also the most progressive hardware, maximum memory capacity, more ports, etc.

The router itself is a huge black box. You can position it on any surface or you can hang it on the wall — as you wish. As you can see, I chose the wall mounting option. Antennas have a little bit of ‘gold’ on them to increase throughput, of course.

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About computer desks and workplaces in general

Choosing a computer desk is indeed challenging. Almost every furniture store offers a bunch of those ugly closet-like freaks that steal a good half of the room. Let’s not forget about ridiculous stands for CDs, platforms for 17-inch monitors and other nonsense.

I have basically no idea why these infernal monsters from the 90s are still here nor do I know who actually may buy it and why. It’s not that I would love to know it, but still.

My passion for minimalist lines says an ideal computer desk should look something like the following:

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About the Sennheiser GSP 670 gaming headset

Sennheiser is known as one of the wired gaming headsets manufacturers. However, it’s for the first time that the company presents its fully wireless gaming model. Was this very first attempt a successful one? Let’s see!

From what we can see, the design is inherited from the GSP 600 model — with closed earcups and a wide frame.

All pictures are clickable to enlarge.
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Audiophile corner

For a while now, I have been thinking to organize a dedicated place at home, where I could listen to music thoughtfully though headphones, and spend a time with a good book, if the mood is right. First, I checked, how the true audiophiles organize their place — all of them would just have a table with piles of hardware and various devices stacekd. Looks appalling and takes up a lot of space. As for me, I was looking for a compact, neat and functional solution. 

After giving it much thought, I came up with this:

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