Category Archives: Electronics

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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

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

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

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

What are Planar Magnetic Drivers?

A Planar Magnetic driver, has coined a few other terms such as “orthodynamic” or “Isodynamic”, all of which mean the same thing (in regards to headphones). They can be described as the child of a dynamic and electrostatic driver, sort of… The best of both worlds, at least.

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Nov 10, 2015 2 min read

What are Dynamic Drivers?

A dynamic driver, sometimes referred to as a “moving coil” driver is the most common driver found in headphones. It is the same technology found in speakers around your home, but on a much smaller scale. This type of driver consists of alternating magnetic fields powered by a tiny wire coil (or a “voice coil”). As the current changes based on the sound playback, the coil reacts with the magnetic field and the lightweight diaphragm rapidly compresses and decompresses the air by pulling the diaphragm in and out from the ring within the driver to create the sound you hear.

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Nov 10, 2015 1 min read

What are headphone drivers?

Headphones are essentially a set of tiny speakers that sit in, on or around your ears and like all speakers, they have drivers. Everyone can agree that not all headphones are the same or created equally. But besides the superficial differences and the various features you may be offered such as noise cancelling and wireless capabilities, there are other more subtle differences that can make a huge difference. That subtle difference is determined by the type of driver used in the headphones.

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Nov 5, 2015 1 min read

Bottlehead S.E.X. 2.1 Unboxed

Impedance Switch and C4S Parts Revealed

There you have it. All the parts that I’ll be assembling for the Bottlehead S.E.X. version 2.1. The parts in the image include the impedance switch and the C4S components. To the far left, there is a bag I didn’t bother unraveling because it is mainly little screws and bolts that felt easy to lose.

Build Order

I will do incremental builds. This way I can test the quality of a build on it’s own before adding additional components. This is a good practice I follow in daily software development and has proved helpful in debugging. The order will be as follows:

  1. S.E.X. kit.
  2. Impedance switch installation.
  3. C4S Upgrade.
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Sep 19, 2015 1 min read

Bottlehead S.E.X. 2.1 Journey

Impedance Switch, C4S upgrade, and custom details.

After almost a month of waiting, my Bottlehead S.E.X. has finally arrived. This will be my first of many electronic DIY projects. I will detail the journey from start to finish. Including details like what tools I used, any problems I encountered, and any suggestions I come up with on the way. This blog series is sort of like an enhancement to the original guide provided with your Bottlehead S.E.X. purchase.

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Sep 12, 2015 2 min read