CanJam SoCal 2015 Member Table Purrin
Marv (Purrin) is a long time member of the headphone enthusiast community and is a founder of Changstar.com. One of the very cool things about having member tables is that you get a chance to hear gear that is simply unavailable otherwise. Marv brought his custom made, one-off Eddie Current amp that uses a pair of Western Electric 417 tubes on the input section, and four 2A3 tubes on the output. He originally had the Eddie Current 445, but found it lacked enough power for his needs, so he went back to Craig Uthus and asked him to build something similar but with a bit more grunt. Marv says it may forever remain one of a kind as the gentleman who winds the interstage transformers used is about to retire. A very nice piece of kit here.
The front end for Marv's rig was the about to be released Schiit Yggdrasilan extraordinary new DAC that eschews todays trend of delta-sigma DACs and returns to the R2R (resistor based) DACs of old. I'm going to have to do a little studying up, Marv told me it's a hybrid string/ladder DAC, and I've got only a very basic understanding of what he might be talking about. If someone's got a link to a technical description of this DAC I'd love for you to post it in the comments. And speaking of harkening back to DACs of old, Marv also had a Theta Digital GenerationV DAC at his table, which is related to the Yggy both in that they share a similar design philosophy and the same designer in Mike Moffat who is now the chief engineer at Schiit. Again, a display of very desirable gear you'd never see or hear on a vendor table.
Marv has also been a huge influence on the evolving vibe of the headphone enthusiast world. He founded Changstar.com, which has become an important place for fairly advanced headphone enthusiasts to have dialog that strives to find a middle way between objectivism and subjectivism. I think this is a terribly important activity. For too long the audio world has been somewhat polarized into the two camps; all too often sides are picked and an "us vs. them" tone prevails. It's understandable, it is difficult to construct a meaningful dialog that incorporates both objective and subjective constructs as they exist in two significantly different domains. The folks at Changstar.com are breaking new ground in developing a way to talk about audio that respects both measurements and experience.
And speaking of measurements, Marv has build his own headphone measurement rig and has amassed a significant body of characterized headphones. You can find links to the measurements at the bottom of changstar.com's home page. You'll find his measurements quite a bit different than mine here at InnerFidelity: he uses a different type of microphone and presents the data in a somewhat different way than I do. His measurements do a better job of identifying resonances in headphones by presenting cumulative spectral decay plots (CSDs), and his distortion measurements show the harmonics as separate traces. A little forewarning though, please don't directly compare his measurements with mine; because they're taken with different acquisition microphones, they present different frequency response characteristics. The two systems are related, but they will produce slightly different results.
Thanks for all you've done. Marv!
Here's a little video to help readers get to know Marv a little better.
Click here if you can't see the video.