An introduction to headphone flagships

The STAX SR-009,
arguably the best headphone on the market

Headphones have long been considered the cheap way into hifi. However over the past few years several companies have started to fill the demands of summit-fi headphones, some of which might even be competing with some of the best speaker rigs out there. All of this is thanks to the digital revolution; many people are listening to music behind their PC's instead of on a couch. As a result the limited movement of headphones is no longer a problem. Furthermore because of the large popularity of the iPod, headphones have been getting extra attention as well.


Fang Island - 'Sky Gardens EP'

Title: Sky garden
Artist: Fang Island
Date: 2008
Genre: Math Rock, Post-Rock, Indie

Total length: 13 minutes / 3 tracks
Download link: FLAC, bought and uploaded by myself.
Buy on Bandcamp for $2!

Jason Bartell - Guitar
Chris Georges - Guitar
Michael Jacober - Bassist
Nicholas Andrew Sadler - Guitar
Marc. St. Sauveur - Drums

Rating 8/10 - Excellent
I love Fang Island. Something in their music just makes you incredibly happy. They describe their sound as 'everyone high-fiving everyone', and I couldn't agree more. You will forget all your troubles and listen to a piece of sheer awesemeness.
This is a short EP, but that doesn't matter. Even at 13 minutes long it's one of the most enjoyable albums I have come across. Perhaps their self titled debut album even more so. If you ever feel down, take my advice and listen to Fang Island. You will instantly become happier than you ever were before.


King Crimson - 'Lizard'

Title: Lizard
Artist: King Crimson
Date: 1970
Genre: Progressive rock

Total length: 42 minutes / 5 tracks
Download link: MP3 (CBR 320)

Main personnel:
Robert Fripp: Guitar, mellotron, synthesiser, organ, composition
Peter Sinfield: lyrics
Mel Collins: Saxophone, flute
Gordon Haskell: Bass guitar, vocals
Andy McCulloch: Drums

Rating 10/10 - Practically perfect
A second King Crimson reviewed. Not really a surprise considering the fact that King Crimson is my favorite artist as of now. The Beatles come in at a close second, but I feel as if nothing, not even the Beatles, can defeat King Crimson.
This album is just inexplicably beautiful; I am unable to say a single bad thing about it. Fripp is just about the best composer I have listened to, while Sinfield is just about the best lyricist I have ever heard of. A perfect duo, especially when aided by Collins' divine saxophone skills.


Building a full-size stereo headphone amplifier

The title of this blog clearly reads 'Tilpo's music and audio', but so far I have only been concerning myself with the 'music' part. I'm going to put an end to that and make my first audio related post. Bear with me.

Background info: About a week ago I finished my first DIY audio project; the adorable Mini³ designed by Ti Kan of AMB labs. I chose to build that specific model because there is lots of documentation on it, the parts are easily obtainable and portability is great (fits in pocket). The construction went without a hassle, apart from some slight issues with the positive battery contacts.
After my little project I got the confidence to start on something bigger. Instead of a pocket-sized portable amplifier I will be building a full size stereo headphone amplifier. I collected some money together from birthday funds, and I was ready to go. I first needed to select the right project to build though, and following will be my process of choosing.

The insides of a magnificent Beta22


KMFDM - 'Nihil'

Title: Nihil
Artist: KMFDM
Date: 1995
Genre: EBM with large metal influences.

Total length: 49 minutes / 11 tracks
Download Link (MP3 VBR v0)

Main Personnel:
Sascha Konietzko – electronics, vocals G√ľnter Schulz – guitars, vocals
En Esch – vocals, guitar, drums
Raymond Watts – vocals
Mark Durante – steel guitar, guitars
Dorona Alberti - Female vocals

Lyrics: Konietzko is credited for all songs, but in most cases the other band members helped as well.

Rating 8/10 - Excellent

I'm a longtime fan of KMFDM, I just think they make some of the best music to have on the background. The upbeat dance beats and god-like guitar textures just make it perfect. It's not my favorite music for an attentive listening session, but it's great for writing an essay (or a blog, apparently) or gaming.
I don't particularly agree with their political views (i.e. 'rip the system') but that doesn't matter; I just love their music so damn much I wouldn't care whether they are 'revolutionists, hippies or racists.