About

Hi, I’m Amos, otherwise known online as “Currawong” online. In 2008 I joined Head-Fi because I wanted better headphones than the pair I’d been using for the last 15+ years. I ended up as one of the administrators of the forums, not only learning for myself, but helping many other people find what they needed to be able to enjoy listening to music.

You can read many of my reports on the Fujiya Avic headphone festivals in Tokyo in the Meets forum on Head-Fi.

With my background in science (I’ve helped or worked on and off at Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre since I was in elementary/primary school, as well as my family consisting of biological and behavioural scientists) and equally long background with computers and technology both as a hobby and as work (such as running MacTalk Australia and working in well-known computer retailers) I have a lot to draw upon when considering the merits of a product, not just whether I like it or not.

What is more, it is great to be able to get direct feedback from people about both products and my reviews of them, so that I can improve what I do.

I am indebted to friends, distributors and manufacturers who have lent or given me a sample of their product so that I can review them.  About the latter, I have no problem disclosing where a review item came from. While there have been various comments about getting gear for free, in my case, I have bought all that I want or need to use for my own listening enjoyment, so anything more doesn’t benefit me. At best anything I have here can be used for future comparisons, and at worst takes up space, and might use power if it is something that needs regular charging, or costs me in shipping if a friend wants to borrow it.

Review samples that don’t require return, and are no longer of use, I give away.

Most importantly, I know that manufacturers respect me for my ethics when I review products. Giving as clear an explanation as possible about a product so that someone can get an idea whether to buy it or not I consider to be very important. A customer that buys a product because of a purely glowing review and then dislikes it is not just of no benefit to a manufacturer, but bad for them, as they are likely to be vocal in their displeasure. The honest manufacturers out there understand this and wish only people who will enjoy their products to buy them, respecting reasoned and balanced reviews. This is what I aim to provide.

Current gear list

Items currently in my possession (indicated by the 🔸 mark) were purchased unless otherwise mentioned.

┏━┓
    ▶︎ Headphones
┗━┛
🔸Focal Utopias
🔸HiFiMan Susvara (loaner)
🔸MrSpeakers Ether Flow
🔸HiFiMan HE1000 V2
🔸Sennheiser HD-800 (modded and re-cabled)
🔸Meze 99 Classic & Neo (review sample)
🔸Ausdom ANC7 (sample)
🔸Audio Technica ESW9LTD – Unboxing | Review
🔸Sony MDR-Z7
🔸Audeze LCD-X and XC (very first drivers, review samples)
🔸AKG/Massdrop K7XX
🔸Symphones Magnum VX (325is-based)
🔸Symphones Magnum MS2i-based (V7 drivers)
🔸Symphones Magnum V7 with 3D printed cups
🔸VectorScan VSH5 (Audio Technica ATH-2)
🔸V-MODA M80 (review sample)
🔸V-MODA LP2 (review sample)
🔸MB Quart QP400
🔸MB Quart QP55X (my original “high-end” headphones that got me into this mess back in the early 1990’s)
┏━┓
    ▶︎ IEMs
┗━┛
🔸HiFiMan RE2000 (review loaner)
🔸HiFiMan RE800 (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio Vega (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio Andromeda (review sample) Unboxing
🔸Meze 11 Neo (review sample)
🔸Shozy Zero (review sample)
🔸Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (review sample)
🔸JHAudio Layla universal (review sample)
🔸Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors (review sample)
🔸DITA Audio The Answer Truth Edition (review sample)
🔸Jerry Harvey Roxanne Universal (pre-production demo unit, review sample)
🔸Jerry Harvey JH-13 Freqphase (with Norne cable)
🔸Sony XBA-30
🔸Sony XBA-3 (http://www.head-fi.org/products/s…)
🔸RHA T20 (review sample)
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Headphones & IEMs Owned or Borrowed
┗━┛
🔹AKG K701 (ALO re-cabled)
🔹Audeze LCD-3
🔹Audeze LCD-2 (Rev. 2)
🔹Audeze LCD-2 (Rev. 1)
🔹Audio Technica W1000Z
🔹Audio Technica W3000ANV
🔹Audio Technica AD2000
🔹Audio Technica A1000X
🔹Audio Technica ESW10JPN
🔹Audio-Technica W11JPN, W10LTD, W10VGT, ESW10JPN, ES10, ESW9 and others.
🔹Denon D5000 (with the pre-Lawton Audio markl mods)
🔹Denon D2000, D7000
🔹FitEar FitEar
🔹FitEar Parterre
🔹Fit Ear TO GO! 334
🔹Head-Direct RE-ZERO
🔹Head-Direct HE5
🔹HiFiMan HE1000 V1
🔹HiFiMan Edition X
🔹JVC HA-FXZ200
🔹MrSpeakers Aeon
🔹Mr Speakers Ether
🔹MrSpeakers Ether C
🔹MrSpeakers Ether C Flow
🔹Noontec Zoro II
🔹Noontec Zoro II Wireless
🔹Oppo PM-1
🔹Pendulumic Stance S1+
🔹Sennheiser HD-600
🔹Sennheiser HD800 S
🔹Shure SH-440, SH-840, SH-940
🔹Sony MDR-100ABN
🔹Sony MDR-Z1000
🔹Sony MDR-Z1R
🔹Sony Qualia 010
🔹Stax Omega I
🔹Stax SR-009
🔹Stax SR007A “Omega II”
🔹Stax SR007 “Omega II”
🔹Stax SR-404LE
🔹Stax Lambda Nova Signature
🔹Stax SR-5NB Gold
🔹Thunderpants
🔹Tralucent 1plus2 (with silver and Uber cables)
🔹Ultimate Ears Triple-fi.10
🔹Ultimate Ears Super-fi.3 Studio
🔹Ultrasone Edition 8
🔹Ultrasone Edition 9
🔹Ultrasone Performance 840, 860, 880
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Headphone Amps & DAC/amps
┗━┛
🔸Audiovalve Solaris (Review loaner)
🔸APEX Audio Sangaku (Review unit for Japan)
🔸ALO Audio Studio Six
(Tubes: Sylvania “Fat Boy” 6SN7, Phillips or Sylvania 6V6GT, Mullard CV1833, Mullard metal base 5AR4)
🔸Chord Mojo (review unit)
🔸Chord Hugo
🔸Chord Hugo 2 (review unit)
🔸Audio-gd NFB1AMP (review unit)
🔸Audio-gd NFB-10ES2 (review unit)
🔸Schiit Audio Valhalla (review unit)
🔸Schiit Audio Vali 2 (review unit)
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Portable Amps, DAC/amps and DAPs
┗━┛
🔸Cozoy Rei
🔸ALO Audio Continental V5 (review sample)
🔸Astell & Kern AK380 (Demo unit)
🔸FiiO X7 (Review unit) Unboxing | Review
🔸FiiO X5 II
🔸Soundaware M1 & M1 Pro (review units)
🔸ALO Audio Rx (2015 IEM version, review unit)
🔸Calyx M (review unit)
🔸Headamp Pico Power
🔸Sound Potion Monolith (review unit)
🔸O2 (DIY)
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Amps, DAC/amps and DAPs Owned or Borrowed
┗━┛
🔹ALO Audio PanAm
🔹Astel&Kern AK240 – Unboxing
🔹Audio-gd Fun
🔹Audio-gd NFB-11
🔹Audio-gd Sparrow
🔹Audio-gd Phoenix
🔹Audio-gd C2C
🔹Audio-gd Compass
🔹Audiovalve RKV Mark II with Impedenzer
🔹Aurender Flow
🔹Bakoon HPA-01
🔹Centrance HiFi-M8
🔹Cavalli Stacker II
🔹Fostex HP-P1
🔹Furutech ADL Esprit
🔹Headamp Pico Slim
🔹Headroom Portable Desktop
🔹Inspire by Dennis Had Dragon IHA-1
🔹iRiver AK100 (modded)
🔹Leckerton UHA-6II
🔹Luxman P-1
🔹Luxman P-1u
🔹Luxman SQ-N100
🔹Luxman D-321
🔹Oppo HA-1
🔹Parasound Zamp
🔹Stax T1S
🔹Triad Audio L3
🔹Woo Audio WA7
🔹Woo Audio WA8
🔹Yamamoto HA-02

Source Inventory

┏━┓
    ▶︎ DACs
┗━┛
🔸Chord Hugo 2
🔸Audio-gd R2R 7 – Preview
🔸Schiit Audio Yggdrasil – Review
🔸Chord Hugo
🔸Chord Mojo
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Transports
┗━┛
🔸Audio-gd DI-U8 (modded)
🔸Onkyo DV-SP502 SACD player
🔸iPad Mini Retina
🔸iPhone 6+
🔸iPod Classic 160GB
🔸MacBook Pro 2011
🔸MacBook Air
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Previous Digital Components
┗━┛
🔹Soundaware D100PRO (Review unit)
🔹Audio-gd NOS-1704
🔹Audiophilleo 1 with Pure Power
🔹Astel&Kern AK240
🔹Audio-gd Master 7
🔹Anedio D2
🔹Audio-gd Reference 7.1
🔹Audio-gd Reference 3
🔹Audio-gd Reference 1 (v5 DSP)
🔹Apogee Duet 2 USB
🔹Audioquest Dragonfly
🔹Calyx DAC 24/192
🔹Cambridge Audio Azur 840c
🔹Fostex HP-P1
🔹iBasso DX100
🔹iRiver AK100 (Mezzo modded)
🔹Lavry DA10
🔹Luxman D-121 CDP (Long before Head-Fi)
🔹Metric Halo ULN-2
🔹Metrum Octave
🔹Northstar M192 MKI
🔹Parasound DAC 1600 HD
🔹Resonessence Invicta
🔹Zero DAC/amp (modified)
🔹Thorens TD-125 Long Base with SME M2
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Borrowed and Tried
┗━┛
🔹ODAC
🔹Marantz Project D-1
🔹Assemblage DAC 3.0
🔹Nakamichi Dragon DAC
🔹Benchmark DAC 1 (original, pre-USB version)
🔹Yamaha S1000 SACD Player
🔹Esoteric D05 DAC
🔹Esoteric K-01 SACD player

Cable Inventory

┏━┓
    ▶︎ Headphone Cables
┗━┛
🔸Kimber Cable for HD800
🔸DITA Audio Dream cable
🔸Moon Audio Silver Dragon and Black Dragon (various)
🔸Norne Audio Vanquish (HD-800) & Vorpal (UERM/JH-13)
🔸WyWires (HD-800 and Audeze)
🔸ALO Audio Reference 16 (HD-800 and Audeze)
🔸UERM balanced for AK balanced
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Interconnects
┗━┛
🔸Moon Audio Silver Dragon RCA.
🔸ALO Audio Reference 20 RCA (Part of a
package with the Studio Six).
🔸Van Den Hul The Mountain 3T XLR.
🔸Van Den Hul The Orchid XLR and RCA.
🔸Van Den Hul The Gold Hybrid RCA.
🔸Van Den Hul The Thunderline XLR.
🔸Van Den Hul The First Ultimate Metal Screen RCA.
🔸Norse Audio Skuld XLR.
🔸Various DIY cables.
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Digital Cables
┗━┛
🔸Harmonic Technology Magic Digital Two
🔸Van Den Hul The Professional Digital with Oyaide BNC plugs
🔸Van Den Hul The Optocoupler (mini to Toslink)
🔸Van Den Hul The Thunderline (AES/EBU)
🔸Synergistic Research optical cable
🔸SysConcept 1300 strand Toslink to optical cables.
🔸Sony optical cable
🔸Canare RCA and BNC cables.
🔸DIY Moon Audio 75 Ohm BNC cables.
🔸Oyaide d+ Neo USB
🔸Lavricables Lightning to microUSB with
CCK.
┏━┓
    ▶︎ Power Cables
┗━┛
🔸Audio-gd power cables re-terminated with AET plugs.
🔸DIY Oyaide + CryoMax III power cables.
🔸DIY Oyaide + Van Den Hul Mainstream power cables.
🔸Oyaide PA-23