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bifcake
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Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
A pleasant surprise

I was in the market for an USB DAC to use with my computer and headphones. Initially, I thought that I would use my existing headphone amp, but if the USB DAC had a quality headphone amp, then all the better.

I did my usual research, but then I contacted Ethan Winer to ask if he had any suggestions. He recommended M-Audio products. I thought that those were geared for recordings. He said they are, but they're very good for playback as well.

I looked into it and I decided to get the M-Audio Fast track pro (I wanted a 24/96 capable DAC). I figured that if I didn't like it, I would return it. I picked one up for $200. I hooked it up to my computer. The installation went very smoothly. No problems at all. I didn't expect much when I turned it on...

I played my Pink Floyd reference track - Shine on you crazy diamond. My jaw hit the floor. This couldn't be a $200 piece of gear. The clarity and resolution not just rivaled, but surpassed my main rig (Rega 2000 CD player and Cary SLP-88 preamp which I use a headphone amp). I did not expect this level of performance from a $200 piece of pro-audio gear. I played Sinead O'Connor's various tracks and the result was the same. The best result came when I put on the Buena Vista Social Club. It was recorded on a budget, so when you hear it on a really good headphone rig, you can hear the room. You can almost sense the dimensions of the room. This is something that always bothered me about my home rig. As good and as musical as it is, it lacked a certain sense of air. This thing reproduced it perfectly. I've been sitting here with a shit eating grin on my face listening to my music.

I haven't heard anything that touches this thing for anywhere even close to this price. Jayzuzzz!!!

Thanks Ethan. I'll have to be your bitch now.

ethanwiner
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Re: A pleasant surprise


Quote:
I did not expect this level of performance from a $200 piece of pro-audio gear.


Yep!


Quote:
Thanks Ethan. I'll have to be your bitch now.


Uh, okay.

--Ethan

Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: A pleasant surprise

Well, this is just wrong, how can Ethan be a sharpener like that?

Ethan has brand preferences?

If it weren't so affordable, he'd be labelled a sharpener, for sure.

bifcake
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Re: A pleasant surprise


Quote:
Well, this is just wrong, how can Ethan be a sharpener like that?

Ethan has brand preferences?

If it weren't so affordable, he'd be labelled a sharpener, for sure.

Bahahahhaha well, actually, Ethan did say that he thought that they all sounded the same, but his preferences were based on product support and availability of driver software.

So, it's important to note that Ethan did indeed stay within character.

Buddha
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Re: A pleasant surprise

I think (just like Elvis lives) that Julian Hirsch is not dead, he just went undeground as Ethan Winer.

bifcake
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Re: A pleasant surprise

The good news is that he's consistent.

Buddha
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Re: A pleasant surprise


Quote:
The good news is that he's consistent.

I have honest affection for Ethan. When it comes to room treatments, he is a total sharpener!

bifcake
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Re: A pleasant surprise

A pencil sharpener? He does use a leveler when installing his absorption panels, so I guess that makes him well balanced.

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