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.

Primary System

  • iFi iUSB 3.0, powered and fed by a Raspberry Pi 3B with DietPi as a Roon end-point.
  • Chord Hugo 2 or Schiit Audio Yggdrasil Analog 2
  • Van Den Hul The Mountain 3T XLR or The Orchid RCA interconnects.
  • ALO Audio Studio Six, Audio-gd Master 9 or Master 10
  • Meze Empyrean, Focal Utopia, HiFiMan Susvara headphones or ELAC FS247BE speakers.

Current gear list

Items currently in my possession (indicated by the 🔸 mark) were purchased unless their status is mentioned in brackets.

  ▶ Headphones
🔸AKG/Massdrop K7XX
🔸Audeze Mobius
🔸Audeze LCD-X and XC (very first drivers, review samples)
🔸Audio Technica ESW9LTD – Unboxing | Review
🔸Campfire Audio Cascade (sample)
🔸Focal Utopias
🔸HiFiMan Sundara (sample)
🔸HiFiMan Susvara (loaner)
🔸Massdrop Focal Elex (sample)
🔸Massdrop Sennheiser HD6XX (sample)
🔸MB Quart QP400
🔸MB Quart QP55X (my original “high-end” headphones that got me into this mess back in the early 1990’s)
🔸Meze 99 Classic & Neo (review samples)
🔸Meze Empyrean
🔸MrSpeakers Ether Flow
🔸Sony MDR-Z7
🔸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 (sample)
🔸V-MODA LP2 (sample)
▶ IEMs
🔸FiiO FH7 (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio IO (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio Polaris (2019 version) (review sample)
🔸Ultimate Ears UE LIVE (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio Atlas (review sample)
🔸Campfire Audio Andromeda (review sample) Unboxing
🔸Campfire Audio Vega (review sample) 
🔸DITA Audio The Answer Truth Edition (review sample)
🔸Jerry Harvey JH-13 Freqphase with Norne cable
🔸JHAudio Layla universal (sample)
🔸Jerry Harvey Roxanne Universal (pre-production demo unit, review sample)
🔸FiiO FH5 (Brooko’s Review)
🔸HiFiMan RE2000 (review loaner) 
🔸HiFiMan RE800 (review loaner)
🔸Meze 11 Neo (review sample)
🔸Shozy Zero (review sample)
🔸Sony XBA-30
🔸Sony XBA-3
🔸Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (sample)
🔸Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors (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 HE1000 V2
🔹HiFiMan Edition X
🔹Jerry Harvey Roxanne II Universal 
🔹MrSpeakers Aeon Flow
🔹MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open
🔹Mr Speakers Ether
🔹MrSpeakers Ether C
🔹MrSpeakers Ether C Flow
🔹Noontec Zoro II
🔹Noontec Zoro II Wireless
🔹Oppo PM-1
🔹Pendulumic Stance S1+
🔹RHA T20
🔹Sennheiser HD-600
🔹Sennheiser HD-800
🔹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
🔹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
🔸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
🔸FiiO M9 (review sample)
🔸FiiO Q5 (Brooko’s Review) (review sample)
🔸Cozoy Rei (review sample)
🔸ALO Audio Continental V5 (review sample)
🔸Astell & Kern AK380 (Demo unit)
🔸FiiO X7 (Review unit) Unboxing | Review
🔸Shanling M0
🔸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
🔹APEX Audio Sangaku
🔹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
🔹Audiovalve Solaris (Review loaner)
🔹Aurender Flow
🔹Bakoon HPA-01
🔹Centrance HiFi-M8
🔹Cavalli Stacker II
🔹FiiO X5 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
🔹Soundaware M1 & M1 Pro (review units)
🔹Stax T1S
🔹Triad Audio L3
🔹Woo Audio WA7
🔹Woo Audio WA8
🔹Yamamoto HA-02
  ▶ DACs
🔸Chord Hugo 2
🔸iFi Pro iDSD (In for review)
🔸Schiit Audio Yggdrasil Analog 2 – Review
🔸Chord Hugo
🔸Chord Mojo (sample)
 ▶ Transports
🔸Raspberry Pi 3b with DietPi
🔸iFi iUSB 3.0
🔸iPad Mini Retina
🔸iPhone X, 6+
🔸iPod Classic 160GB
🔸Mac Mini 2012
🔸MacBook Air
 ▶ Borrowed and Tried
🔹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
 ▶ Previous Digital Components
🔹Audio-gd R2R 7 – Preview | Review
🔹Soundaware D100PRO (Review unit)
🔹Onkyo DV-SP502 SACD player
🔹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
 ▶ 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.
🔸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.
🔸Nanotec cables (DIY)
 ▶ 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