Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alessandro MS1

Thanks to Alan for the loan unit, I am going to review the MS1, not the MS1i as previously mentioned.


The design on the Alessandro and Grado series always has to feel weirdly classic to me. They are still one of the more famous open back headphone line ups known to head-fi. They expose the drivers so much that it can be used as a pair of speakers themself. The MS1 itself is quite light and can be used for long durations without a problem.



The treble on MS1 is quite clean, the high pitches are clearly portrayed, especially on classical orchestras. They do real nice on it. The cymbals are crispy, and not ear deafening piercing at all.


Guitars and vocals do remarkably well on the MS1. Vocals are quite laid back on the MS1 compared to what I remember of MS1i. Guitars strike with authority and makes rock very sensational to listen to.


Bass on MS1 is quite a polite one. Not too much power on it, but has the beats that you can feel the presence to. I like to refer it as a "polished" bass rather than a "quantified" bass.


There isn't quite much soundstage on the MS1. It is still that Grado / Alessandro house sound that is more a studio sound than a stage sound. Separations are quite clear cut, and can be dissected into left right mid back and forward starring.


You know I like to cut the bullshit descriptive illustrations going as thick as a JR novel, so I will just tell you what kinda music will suit the MS1 or in fact any Grado related cans to say. Rules of thumbs when it comes to Grado / Alessandro is Rock music and Metal Music or anything that is similar to it. Now, that's a fact! So, unless you are into these music genre, Grado / Ales is a must have, for other genres, try first before deciding to get it, it's a 50/50 chance you will like it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Alessandro MS1i review coming soon

Nothing much to say, but thanks to a recently met friend, who coincidentally also called Alan (which is my name too anyways FYI), lend me to try his MS1i, and hence, I will have a chance to reminiscence on the good old days when I had a MS1i. Ah~ the good old days when everything seems like curiosity and hype.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Observation of bass port of Q701

Here are my observation of the bass mod for Q701. With the sticky removed, bass had more volume, treble got slightly more appearing, so are dynamics.

With the sticky on, soundstage was greatly different, though bass is lesser volume but with the same authority. The high "tings" get more appearance in comparison too, those are like the super highs.

So, for you readers, bass mod for the bass and treble up, or no bass mod for the flat sound and wide soundstage?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Schiit Magni

Schiit ( named exactly what you think it is ) is a company established by Jason Stoddard. Their ideal is simple, clean, powerful, made in the USA using USA parts. I love them for the plain humor they imply on their site, and also the design of the item. Oh, not forgetting the great sound from a simple circuit board implementation.

Some do feel that simplistic means lousy, this redefines it! Here we will talk about the Magni, an "entry" level $99 amp that packs some absurd power. 1.2W RMS per channel on 32 ohm, like seriously.. and on 600 ohms, 130mw RMS. So, who says $99 amp cant get you nowhere?



I absolutely love the aluminium looks of the Magni. It looks real simplistic and is a definite space saver on a desk. The Magni is connected via RCA ONLY. 
There are 2 variations for voltage and 4 types of plugs to choose from.


When I plugged in this amp, I was skeptical for a $99 amp. I wasn't expecting something extraordinary, apparently from the early part of this article you should know I had my mind turn upside down.


The treble on Magni is really really nice. From an orchestral perspective, you can hear all the minor details that are in the music clearly. The high hats are just plain crispy. All the little "ting tings" possible in a music is clear cut and apparent. No top parts of the music gets let off.

Vocal / Mids

Wow, the trumpets in this Magni is mesmerizing.  Vocals mix real well with the trumpets in "Trumpets, by jason derulo" That really proves that vocal isn't always necessarily be overturning other mid range audio parts. Piano, goosebumps, period!

Female vocal is quite sweet and warm on the "Vertigo" duet between Jason Derulo and Jordin Sparks. Their mix with the piano really caught me in my emotions!


I used "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo to test the deep down bass of Magni, and it did not disappoint at all! Beats can go real down thumping, but very well controlled and precise. It will not give you the WAAAYYY overpowered bass that "some brands" will give, but instead quality speaks better than quantity.


The soundstage projected by the Magni is very wide, as explainable in "the fire rises" by Hans Zimmer. The whole scene can almost be very well positioned, with every instruments pin pointable to their exact location, near or distanced. Echos transverse wide and clear without early cut offs.

Dynamics are very well done in Magni. It feels like everything is equally appearing and mix real well together, giving you the feeling that this is at the Alo Audio level material but at a $99 price level.


Well, with that many praises from Head-Fi, and Jason with his humor, I can say it is undeniable that Schiit is making them a challenger to be reckoned with at this already diverse market of amp and DAC options. If you do have an interest in audio, the first step to go for will be the Magni, it's $99 pure awesomeness! I wonder what other Schiit will sound like.. Schitty perhaps? haha. For Magni, I give a 100% definite recommendations, no questions asked!