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Sony NW-WM1Z Walkman Review

Signature Series

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

After trying the A&K A&ultima SP2000T, there weren’t many other options that met my standard as to what I was looking for in terms of a user interface. I wanted something that locked me into a media player experience and not an experience that felt like phone with audio outputs.

Only a few devices seem to catch my attention.

  1. Cayin N8
  2. FiiO M17
  3. Sony NW-WM1Z

The Cayin N8 seemed like the SP200T with the ability to choose between tube and solid state. It has an asking price of $3,299 which would be the most expensive item on the list and I’m already well over what I wanted to spend initially on this journey, ~$700 hah!. The reviews I read on it are only great. My biggest issue is the design, though completely subjective. The physical design of this device looks like a late 1990s rendering of a player with heavy photoshop bevel effects. The interface itself looks pretty well dated too. I couldn’t get past the mere aesthetics of this device for the price.

Next on the list was FiiO M17. This was really interesting at a price point of $1,799 with the THX certification. I’ve listened to some THX systems done right before and they have been the creme of the crop. They’re packing a lot of features in this device which also seems to be the biggest drawback for me. This device is borderline a desktop amp. It seems like a desktop amp that you can take on the go and thats not exactly what I’m looking for when I’m working in my shop and wanting a DAP in my pocket.

Finally we have the Sony NW-WM1Z. This is a 6 year old device coming in at $3,000. Looking at this device just screams sex appeal and the ergonimics look like a total win. The NW-WM1Z is the premium version of the Sony NW-WM1A which I would’ve opted for if I could find a new one. But because these devices are so old, it was a miracle I could find a new NW-WM1Z.

The FiiO M17 and the Sony NW-WM1Z both look like they have an Android device due the footer navigation buttons on the player screens, but the Sony actually runs a homegrown OS. After experiencing the A&K daps, I wanted to get out of the Android experience completely and try the Sony’s known warm sound signature. Lets dive in!

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Feb 11, 2022 11 min read

Roon On NAS

Restrict directory access on Synology

If you run your own Synology NAS, you may want to run roon directly on your server for audio streaming. Roon on Nas provides a package to conveniently install on your Synology server. The issue with this option is that the Synology service runs without any restriction on what it can see.

I noticed this issue when configuring my client. While adding the location of my music, the roon client was able to browse the entire NAS. Though the roon app will only add music to its library, this was not something I wanted available to any roon client that was on my network.

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Feb 10, 2022 2 min read

Astell & Kern SP2000T Review

Crash and burn

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The search for the perfect DAP continues! This journey began with the A&K SR25 MKII and I suggest giving that a read first as this is part of a series and referenced at times.

So, you’re probably wondering how I started at $750 DAP then jumped over 3x time the prices to a $2,500 DAP. It wasn’t an easy pill to swallow but with enough time and effort, I’ll probably able to rationalize anything. When I took another look at the products out there, A&K still made the most the sense to me. I really like their locked in Android UI and what their DAPs have to offer. The SA700 in vegas gold really captured my attention for the next purchase. Unfortunately I found enough negative critisms for me to pass it up. If I was going to be paying so much for a DAP, at this point I figured I should look at whats the latest and greatest, and what has the most interesting features.

This is where the SP2000T stood out from the rest of the lineup. I haven’t heard of a DAP with both vacuum tube and solid-state amps built in. Not only did it let you select between the korg tube or the OP amp, it also let you combine the two for a warm yet accurate sound in a hybrid mode… Well, at least according to the marketing material. At any rate, this was a technological masterpiece that I thought would be worth it’s asking price. Lets dive in!

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Jan 22, 2022 17 min read

Astell & Kern SR25 MKII Review

So close yet so far

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

I set out looking for my first DAP. I tend to look for the highest quality before the law of diminishing returns takes into too great of an affect. To me, this is the point where paying more only gives you a fraction more performance. Some would argue that’s where the magic is in audio equipment. (I’ll table that for another write-up.) Along with my bag of requirements are a few things:

  • Build quality.
  • Aesthetics.
  • Ergonmics.
  • Accessories.
  • User Interface and Software.
  • Modern features.
  • Customer support.

In this search I found the Astell & Kern SR25. An absolutely beautiful device that seemed to check all the boxes. It was about the perfect size to be portable on walks. The system was android but it didn’t feel like a phone with a headphone jack. It felt like a device whose sole purpose was music. While researching the device, I found out the mk2 version was only a couple of weeks from being launched so I put my money towards that and waited. I was excited to have this new toy in time for the winter vacation.

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Dec 27, 2021 13 min read

Popovy Girls

Inspired by the Popovy Dolls

In 2019, I dedicated a photoshoot to the Popovy Dolls who continue to be an inspiration of art. I put together a small team consisting of a makeup artist, hair stylist, and models who were intrigued by my vision. I took on the responsibility of photography, wardrobes, props, and final presentations. These are the results.

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Jun 1, 2021 1 min read

Leica M10 Review

A compilation of annoyances

Sure, I’ve been giving Leica a lot of praise in my posts because it’s really that great of a company that focuses on the essentials but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. You’d expect such a high valued item to be closer to perfect but here are some things that could be better.

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Oct 5, 2020 4 min read

Sony A7R Review

The camera that does it all

This review is not a spec review but a personal review of the Sony camera system. At the time of this writing, the Sony A7R IV has already been out for 10 months and I have already parted ways with my A7R III six months ago. It wasn’t for a direct upgrade because I feel like the A7R III was already good or better than good enough for most things. On the contrary, I opted for a completely manual system with less features on a spec sheet. Part of the reason for this was due to how my shooting style evolved. I’ll explain.

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Jul 30, 2020 6 min read

Leica Q Review

The Gateway Drug

It’s been exactly two years now since I’ve purchased my first Leica, the Q. It was right around this time when I was going on a birthday trip to Mexico. I was a Sony A7R shooter and I believed then what I still do now: the Sony system is the most technological advanced system out there that delivered some of the sharpest results I’ve ever seen. But what it was lacking is what I was looking for in Leica.

A couple of trips around the world prior had me realize that I don’t want to be the person carrying around a backpack full of lenses and a large camera body. I wanted my family trips documented in the highest quality but at the same time what are supposed to be a trips of leisure and quality time shouldn’t feel like trips of added work… Thus the search for smaller systems…

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Jul 25, 2020 7 min read

Add cursive fonts to VS Code

Fira Code

I have recently got into caligraphy and thought it would be neat to see cursive in my code editor as well. A quick google and I found a monospaced cursive font with ligatures! (Ligatures are basically symbols that replace pieces of code like !== to single looking character.) It’s really nice and makes some things very easy to read on top of making the coding experience a little more fun.

To get started…

  • You’ll first need to download Fira Code fonts and install them.
  • Install and apply Dark++ Italic theme.
  • Open your VS Code settings.json file and add the following lines:
    "editor.fontFamily": "Fira Code iScript, Menlo, Monaco, 'Courier New', monospace",
    "editor.fontLigatures": true,
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Jun 14, 2020 2 min read

Vi Vante Review

The Epitome of Luxury Camera Straps

“Ooo hello there Matador Noir! Now that’s a good looking strap.” … “What?!? $250!!! For a camera strap???” Yeah, those were my exact thoughts when I first laid my eyes on the “Matador Noir”. I glanced at a few pictures and thought yeah, that’s pretty nice. Glanced at the price, sighed, and closed my browser tab. A year has passed since then and Vi Vante camera straps have been my exclusive choice of leather on my Leica M and Q bodies. But how did this happen? How did I let this seemingly overpriced looking brand take over my precious Leica collection?

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Jun 4, 2020 7 min read

Cinestill C-41 Development Times

Chemical Reuse

Below you’ll find my table of development times for color negative film using the Cinestill C-41 kit at 102 degrees F. These notes should work with Arista C-41 as well since the instructions are nearly identical for chemical reuse. Heck, it might even be the same stuff, just repackaged.


It’s handy to print this out and save it in your lab for quick references. It’s also a good idea to put a piece of gapher tape on your chemistry bottles used for storage and mark how many rolls have been developed with them by a sharpie.

Rolls Processed   Time
0 new chemistry 3:30
1 3:34
2 3:38
3 3:43
4 3:47
5 3:51
6 3:30
7 3:59
8 4:04
9 4:08
10 4:12
11 4:16
12 4:20
13 4:25
14 4:29
15 4:33
16 4:37
17 4:41
18 4:46
19 4:50
20 4:54


The way to read this is not by how many rolls you are going to develop, but how many rolls have already been developed. For example, if I were going to develop 5 rolls with fresh chemistry then I would start at 0. The next batch will start at 5 and so on.

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May 24, 2020 2 min read

Upgrading Emacs to 24.5

on Ubuntu 12.04

Dump this in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install checkinstall
mkdir -p ~/src
cd ~/src
wget https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/emacs-24.5.tar.gz
tar xf emacs-24.5.tar.gz
cd emacs-24.5
sudo checkinstall
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Apr 5, 2017 1 min read

What are In-Ear Monitors?

In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), is a type of headphone designed to be partially inserted into a user’s ear canal by using form-fitting tips often made by a range materials such as rubber, soft plastic, silicon, and more. It’s also common to purchase custom molded tips to fit your ear canal. This typically offers the best results in comfort and noise isolation.

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Jan 10, 2016 1 min read

Facebook Page Analytics

with Ruby On Rails

I decided to flex my programming muscle and try something new. I’ve done Ruby for CLI tools and Chef cookbooks but never a Ruby on Rails (RoR) application. Much of the hype with RoR is gone these days but it’s been around long enough to be considered tested and somewhat mature like an old elitist hipster… If that makes sense.

tldr; Just give me the source


The project was to create a Rails applications that provides analytics for the last 100 Facebook posts of a Facebook page. As a user, you should be able to login using Facebook, see a list of pages that you have authorized admin access to, and lastly see a display of the pages' top 5 posts (out of the last 100) as well as a sortable table of the 100 most recent posts.

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Dec 20, 2015 6 min read

The World's Finest Audiophile Electronics

Now Live

I’m very excited to announce LosslessLife, a company focusing on the best high resolution audio gear. LosslessLife reflects the continuous hard work and commitment in the products it believes in by creating a voice to get the word out from the audiophile communities and to consumers.

It is often assumed by the average consumer that a higher price and/or bigger brand name results in better product. While this can be true to some degree, consumers are often paying more for a product’s marketing expenses when purchasing from large retail stores rather than receiving higher performing product.

Strict factors such as performance, output quality, and the overall craftsmanship of products must be met in order to make it to LosslessLife as the company name is synonymous with the highest level of quality.

In a market that is saturated with mediocre products, LosslessLife believes it’s success will be by educating consumers to make smarter choices when purchasing. We do the research for you and provide all of the facts in an unbiased fashion.

While many companies sell products which they claim they would use, LosslessLife only sells products it does use by it’s highly enthusiastic team with backgrounds in technology, production, and an affinity for music.

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Nov 15, 2015 2 min read