Favorite Gear you own

Curious what people’s favorite pieces are of their collection. Top 1, Top 3, top 5, ordered list, whatever. of course it will vary based on collection size and decisiveness. Mostly ranked by how much you like its sound but if you have other reasons, interested to hear them. Limited to the end of the chain so headphones, IEMs, speakers. If you aren’t a collector what made your single piece of gear the one?

for me:
omitting my recent acquisitions as I haven’t spent enough time with them (but I suspect my LCD2s will be in the top)

Top 3 in no particular order (hard to choose a favorite child)

X00 purplehearts
iBasso IT03
DT880 600 ohm

previously the 880s would’ve been my 660s but i feel the 880s have overtaken them as my general use headphones. still love the 660s though

4 Likes

So far, my keepers are:

  1. Grado GH2 headphones
  2. Focal Elex headphones (still new though)
  3. MAD Ear+ HD II amp (still new though)
  4. SMSL SU-8 DAC
  5. Burson Fun-Classic amp
  6. Schiit Loki EQ
  7. Sony NW-ZX300 DAP
  8. Koss ESP/E95X system

In hindsight, I should also add, at # 9, the Vanatoo Transparent Zero speakers.

Everything else in my collection is in play and fluid.

It took me five plus years, countless mistakes and thousands of dollars to find this many keepers. :laughing:

4 Likes

nice would that be most liked is the grados? I know they can be pretty divisive haven’t had a chance to try them myself.

Grado has been my number one for a long time, but the Elex is a whole different kind of headphone. Addictive to me.

1 Like

My top 5 that i know for a fact ill never get rid of in no particular order are:

  1. Focal Elex
    After trying some lower end open headphones as i progressed in this hobby, nothing had an immediate wow factor to me quite like the Elex, everyone needs to hear them, they create a space like no other headphone ive heard

  2. JDS Labs EL Amp (gen 1)
    My first desktop headphone amp, had it for about three years now. Just sounds great, and is a very unique unit imo

  3. Neumann NDH20
    IMO, a nice natural sounding closed back. This is just me, i know there is a lot of debate about them. But to me, they are the best closed back ive heard, in terms of sounding real, like insturments and voices actually sound like in real life.

  4. RME ADI2 DAC
    After trying a few dacs as i progressed, i thought, why not just go all out and go for the RME and be done for DACs. So thats what i did and havent looked back since. Great all in one, great standalone dac, great everything with every feature you could ever need and then some.

  5. JBL Studio 530s
    Great sounding speakers at a desk or volume cranked walking around my house, got them when they first dropped down to $300, very unique in looks as well

Edit: Had to add the RME in there too, and add little descriptions, and again because i forgot some things

4 Likes

Nice I have friend that owns some sr60s I’ll try eventually.

Elex is probably the next most interesting headphone to me, followed by the 1990s. M0N also mentioned the prospect of an 1880 which obviously isnt a real thing but if it did get announced would probably pry my wallet open.

I have an el 2 stack. Love the amp and jdslabs generally. Sad the vokyls seemed to be disappointing because i’m a big fan of their source gear.

2 Likes

yeah everything ive gotten from them has not disappointed, but the EL amp im just attached to, partially because it was my first big step into this hobby, second because it just sounds great, and it also looks so unique, ive had so many people look at my desk and everyone always points to the EL amp and goes “what is this?”. Just something about it. Also love supporting American companies. I got the SMSL SP200 shortly after is was released because i was always curious about the THX tech, and i eneded up selling it a week later because i heard no difference between it and the EL amp.

2 Likes

that knob man, looks nice, swivels nice, is nice

1 Like

Next amp on my list is the Rupert Neve RNHP, and i have a feeling once i get my hands on that, thatll be on my list.

Ive bought tried and sold lots of things, pretty much right now everything audio in my possession is a keep for me, that list is just a bit longer

4 Likes

yeah the rnhp looks nice. Don’t currently have any plans to upgrade my amp but if/when i do the rnhp is a strong contender, which was definitely influenced by this forum (looking at you M0N).

1 Like

yeah im good amp wise, besides the EL amp i have the new Geshelli 2.5 (again like supporting American companies), which should probaly be on my list as well, and the amp in the RME is pretty great too imo, so i most certainly dont need another amp but ive been paying close attention to all the discussion about the RNHP and i just gotta try it for myself.

With paypal credit no interest if paid in full in 6 months, it may come much sooner than originally anticipated. thats how i got the Elex and the RME. had the money to pay for both, but i figured if i can pay over time with no interest why the hell not.

1 Like

Well if you end up liking the lcd 2 alot and want to prioritize that, I would instead point you towards something like a burson soloist mk2 or cayin iha6 over the rnhp. But if you do go getting into focal the rnhp is worth for sure

1 Like

Will definitely ask once I’m ready to make the upgrade. Hoping to be satisfied with my current gear for a little bit, but that is usually just a precursor to some unpassable deal going up.

2 Likes

been hawking the internet for a lightly used RNHP to get a bit of a discount but it pretty much doesnt exist, and when they pop up the price difference from new just isnt enough to go the used route

2 Likes

RNHP, Bifrost 2, Focal Elegia, ZMF Atticus.

5 Likes

had to edit my original post yet again because i walked to my desk, and i was like oh i forgot about those lovely giant speakers that are right in my face while im at my desk

1 Like

Hd650 (almost edged out by sundara but not quite)

2 Likes
  • ZMF Eikon
    I’ve only had these for a few weeks now, but they have fast climbed to one of my favorite headphones, the sound is superb and is detailed and natural sounding, the subbass digs deep and hits hard. Closed back but hardly feels like one as the soundstage is fairly wide and deep and can easily pick out sounds from different directions. The camphor wood cups emanate sex appeal and are a pleasure to look at and the build overall is very comfy. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better sounding pair of closed backs under or above this price point.

  • Focal Clear Pro
    Pretty much my favorite HP at the moment, although the Eikon is catching up… I love listening to my Clears and they are so rich with detail. The Eikon might be the more “fun” sounding out of the two but the clears have it beat on detail retrieval, soundstage, and dynamics. These are the headphones I like to listen to when I really want to immerse myself in the music and hear everything that’s going on precisely and naturally. The RNHP helps tremendously as the pairing is a match made in heaven and as soon as I made the switch from THX I could immediately tell this was a higher tier of sound that I had not heard before.

  • RNHP
    My current “endgame” amp. The RNHP is just a quality piece of gear, no fluff or features to reduce it’s performance or to distract from the music, just great amplification for a great price. Neutral sound with a natural presentation that keeps me listening for hours with no harshness or fatigue. This amp has made everything I’ve thrown at it sound better and it continues to wow me with it’s affordable price point and performance compared to the competition. This is THE amp for Focal Clear imo.

  • Obravo Cupid
    The IEM I keep coming back to time after time. For a set that can be had for less than $200 for the basic package it just seems to outperform a lot of more expensive offerings imo. Planar tweeter + Dynamic driver hybrid is already a unique combo you don’t see often, but this set has a certain musical quality that I have not been able to find in any other pair I’ve owned. The highs are clear and crisp with no harshness, Mids have a forward and intimate quality that immerses me in the music, and the bass strikes tight and hard with great quality and control no doubt in due to the DD. Great snug fit second only to the Meze Rai Solo in my collection. The only thing that I find as a minus to this set is the tip and fit picky nature, you will likely have to tip roll and play with fitment quite a bit before you find the perfect combination of seal and depth, but once I got it sorted they became my most pleasurable on the go pair.

  • SVS Ultra Bookshelf
    My dream set of speakers that I was finally able to purchase earlier this year. They bring great performance and a higher tier of detail that didn’t think was possible at this price point. The staging is one of the best I’ve ever heard and you can literally pick out the instruments and their positions relative to your seating position. I feel so immersed in the music it feels like I’m there live. The highs are extremely clear and non fatiguing, detail monsters. Mids are buttery smooth and feel super natural when it comes to vocals. The bass is excellent and low reaching with great extension, I opt to use a sub most of the time but they are entirely capable without. Look sexy af in the piano black gloss and will fucking kill you if you push the volume, these things get really loud, so loud it scares me sometimes.

These are some of my favorite pieces of gear atm. Their are others like my HD 6xx paired with a tube amp and my DX160 Dap for portable use.

4 Likes

Pretty nice choice of gear, IMO! Neutral and Fun at the same time…not easy to do the right way.

I bought my Atticus over the Eikon last year…but it was a close call, as I loved the way both sounded.

1 Like

Yes that’s the type of neutral sound I’ve found myself seeking lately and it’s been great fun. I still enjoy warmer sound now and then and do plan on buying LCD-X and nighthawks later this year for some more variety :smiley:

I might grab a Atticus at some point… I’ve heard they have a more fun and v shaped signature compared to the Eikon which could be very enjoyable for me. It will have to wait till after my Aeolus purchase tho.

4 Likes