Katz's Corner

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Bob Katz  |  Aug 25, 2015  |  20 comments
Something had to give: Tyll has given me the assignment of evaluating a bunch of midprice phones. But I feel that the amps I have to drive them are not completely up to the task. The Burson Soloist is fun, punchy and “tubey”. The O2 sounds comparatively transparent and is a great bargain, but how would it compare to the big guys? So I knew I needed to include a transparent high class amp to drive and test these phones. But Mary would divorce me if I proposed buying yet another expensive headphone amp. Instead I found a solution: Build one instead. The process has proved to be very rewarding in all respects. Let me tell you about it here.
Bob Katz  |  Feb 16, 2016  |  132 comments
Hooo boy! Bob pulls out all the stops in his latest episode.

This is a little treasure trove of incisive opinion on a bunch of pretty darn good $150-$500 full-size sealed headphones.

Bob Katz  |  Mar 08, 2016  |  79 comments

Bob Katz has fallen in love with the Oppo PM-3 and HA-2. A rather long review, but hey, he's in love. Waxing prosaic is part of the deal.

Bob Katz  |  May 01, 2017  |  68 comments
After those episodes, conspiracy theories have abounded: Did somehow my brainwaves have managed to influence five strong-minded individuals in my direction. Was it valid for Bob to use different amplifiers for the two headphones? And why did Bob and Tyll's findings on the Utopia and LCD-4 differ so much?

Let's find out!

Bob Katz  |  Aug 14, 2017  |  25 comments
Today I'd like to discuss what I mean by sonic perfection or sonic neutrality. Most audiophiles have observed that excellent playback systems of different manufacturers can sound radically different! Even the most accurate loudspeakers are subtly voiced and are different sounding. But how can there be more than one "right"? Philosophically speaking, two different-sounding playback systems can't both be "right": one of them must be correct and the other must be incorrect! Or maybe both are wrong!
Bob Katz  |  Aug 31, 2017  |  10 comments
I have a love affair with my Stax SR-007 Mk2 phones, which I judge to be superior, smoother, more musical and accurate than the expensive SR-009 model. What's with Stax? For them "better" seems to mean brighter, but why manufacture an even brighter headphone when the 007 model already sounds too bright? Stax seems to be obsessed with detail at the expense of musicality or even accuracy. But after-market amplifiers have sweetened that tune to a great extent.
Bob Katz  |  Nov 10, 2015  |  33 comments

This episode is full of ideas on what makes audio sound better (or worse). If you're like me, constantly searching for scientific reasons, you'll enjoy this episode. Join me in trying to make audible sense of it all.

Bob Katz  |  Feb 02, 2016  |  25 comments
I'm not a shy guy. If I don't like a headphone, I'll pull it off my ears within five minutes! So far, I've had the Astell & Kearn AK T1p on for over 40 minutes and I keep wanting to check them out—so there must be something about them that's keeping me listening.
Bob Katz  |  Jul 31, 2015  |  60 comments
I am certain that sound quality improves when we sample at higher rates.
Bob Katz  |  Mar 25, 2015  |  35 comments

Famed recordist and mastering engineer Bob Katz is a headphone enthusiast...who knew?

Bob recently offered to write a series of articles for InnerFidelity readers on his recent adventures with headphones. I just couldn't turn down an opportunity for a peak at our favorite head-worn audio device through his venerable ears.

Welcome, Bob!

Bob Katz  |  Apr 23, 2015  |  29 comments

I've spent $4000 on the Stax 007 Mk2 and a custom-built KGSS amp, which can drive them as loudly and cleanly as you like. These are the most transparent reproducers I own, revealing details that are masked even on my fabulous loudspeaker system. That's what electrostatic transducers can do for you. I've always felt they have excellent and solid bass. So it was quite a shock to discover and admit that the cans which I have preferred for over forty years may have a victor: .......

Bob Katz  |  May 13, 2015  |  40 comments

On Monday it was raining lions and tigers all day, but four of the faithful eventually arrived, between an hour and two late. Except Mitch Corbin, musician (Suzy Bogguss, David Bromberg, Byron Berline, David Grisman) and project studio owner, arrived early. That was a good thing, because I gave him a solo audition. When the four others arrived, they each had a headphone to check out and shuffle around. Mitch stuck around to learn everyone's reactions and schmooze for the evening, and a wonderful time was had by all.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 07, 2015  |  74 comments
The Headphone Slutz group meeting was fast approaching, and the demo cans would soon arrive from the Cable Company. I was excited! In a few weeks I would be able to hear and compare four of the world's best headphones, in my own room with the finest associated gear and music sources, and share that experience with seven friends.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 17, 2015  |  21 comments
I've seen some reports that the Stax 007 MkII (the "Omegas") sound a bit bassy and dull, but I don't have that reaction with the KGSS amp and a superior DAC. My precious Stax is clearly missing something in the bass department and I wanted to see if I could transfuse the slam of the Audeze into the Stax and have the best of both worlds.
Bob Katz  |  Dec 07, 2016  |  36 comments
This kind of performance leads us to this question: Can a pair of state-of-the-art loudspeakers placed in the far field of a room sound as transparent, defined, impacting and pure as the world’s best headphones? These Dyns give my Stax 007 MkII headphones a good run for their money. The Stax are driven by a KGSS amplifier. And what about dynamic headphones? I upped my game here, selling my Audeze LCD-X to invest in a pair of LCD4’s. And I borrowed a Deckard headphone amp on reviewer’s loan. No slouches here!

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