Jun 23, 2016

Massdrop Profile: Meet Matt T.!

Our Massdrop Profile series introduces you to the people behind the communities you love. They’re responsible for sourcing products, communicating with members, and making our site an awesome place to hang out. You might recognize them from Discussions you follow—they’re the smiling avatars next to those tiny Massdrop logos—and now you can get to know the personalities behind the handles.
This time, we’re talking to Audiophile Buyer Matt T. First, we’ll let you read a little about his background and passions. Then, we’ll turn the mic over for a community Q&A. Submit your questions in the comment section, and he’ll answer them as soon as he can.
What do you do at Massdrop?
I’m a Buyer in the Audiophile and Pro Audio Communities.
What got you interested in the audiophile community?
Initially, it was just an interest in listening to music. I was involved with college radio throughout my undergrad years, and after listening to a lot of recordings on sufficiently powered setups, I started to realize how much detail and impact I was missing by simply plugging cheap headphones into my computer. I started climbing audiophile mountain then, and now I’m here.
Most memorable concert?
Pavement’s reunion shows.
Tell us about your audio setup. At work? At home?
My main setup at home is a balanced Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000 powered by an Oppo HA-1. At work, it's the Violectric V800, Violectric V181, and Vibro MK II Rusted Zebra by ZMF Headphones . For the sake of convenience in my home setup, I prefer to have my DAC and amp integrated into one unit. I have them as discrete in the office and use closed-back headphones so I don’t blast everyone around me with my music.
What are you listening to these days?
The album’s I’ve been listening to the most lately include: Joanna Newsom’s Divers, Sun Ra’s The Antique Blacks, Fugazi’s The Argument, Can’s Future Days, Judee Sill’s Judee Sill, and Wire’s 154.
What’s the biggest investment you’ve made in building your setup?
Definitely the Oppa HA-1. I bought it used from a Head-Fi member. At first, I was planning to just borrow it for a trial period, but then I couldn’t make myself return it.
What did you do before working at Massdrop?
Tax preparation and street photography.
What’s your favorite thing about working here?
Trying out all of the great audio equipment! There are so many different sound signatures to explore in the audio world, so it never gets old.
Which audio companies are you excited about today?
Airist Audio, Cayin, Oppo, Audeze, and ZMF Headphones, to name a few.
Now the hardest-hitting question: Favorite pizza topping?
Capers.
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Want to hear more about Matt’s favorite equipment? Not sure which amplifier to pair with your headphones? Leave your questions in the comment section—or just drop a quick “Hello!” If you’d like more audiophile info, hit the "Follow" button to get notified about future posts from this account.
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Hi Matt, great responses to the questions. Forgetting capers for a minute too, love them by the way when it comes to my mom baking chicken with them, excellent in my opinion.
Your thoughts on bringing more from the audiophile market in regards to balanced DACs and amplifiers. Definitely see potential for exotic listening environments with the most recent redrop choice of the Nuforce HA-200 and the earlier run of the Teac DAC. Would you have time to comment on your experience within the balanced arena. Is there interest in bringing even more exotic drops to our audiophile community in regards to dedicated balanced equipment using the 3-pin XLR interface? Has it been in your mind to take more interest in these exotic products either for listen by your team in the lab or for eventual drop to the community? How far can we the community pursue these arenas with the vendors to bring these items to a drop? What are your thoughts pursuing even further the exotic market with hopeful anticipation of eventual listening on your own or by limited drop run?

A few questions, but yes welcome and do enjoy your pizza with capers but also try them with chicken. I find you might have interest in both.
Ok guys, let's be serious...so....how infectious is your smile around the office? :D (Great smile)

Ok real question: assuming you don't own them, what has been your single favorite headphone listening experience? Also what was driving them?

EDIT: Thought of one more. If by "buyer" you mean you complete the deals for the products that appear in the Audiophile and Pro Audio sections, then what product/deal are you most proud of getting on here so far?
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MassEDU
As for your second question, yes! That's an accurate description of what my role is here, except that I recently moved off of the pro audio community to focus solely on audiophile. I'm especially happy about setting up drops for equipment that's of particularly high value. The Venture Electronics Monk Plus--a fantastic $5 earbud--is one that particularly stands out. I like that people can spend that amount of money and feel they're getting an accurate, pleasing representation of their music. I have a lot of friends who are very invested in their music listening, but would prefer not to throw down on expensive audio equipment. I hope everyone gets to have mindblowing experiences with music and art, like what I described in my previous comment. Maybe an inexpensive earbud, which is likely a huge improvement over stock device earbuds/IEMs, makes those times just a little more enjoyable. Also on this end, I think the Shozy Z:ero is a fantastic value at its price. I was happy to set that drop up for everyone.

In terms of just a 'wow this is super cool' drop, the Campfire Nova definitely fit the bill. People around our office were constantly asking to check it out. The Campfire folks have such high craftsmanship in their work.

Wow, I wrote very lengthy responses to your questions. Thanks for asking!
Wow right back! Very thoughtful responses. Pleasure to read, thanks. "Making an event" of your album/music listening is what makes all those experiences so unforgettable for you. You really seem to make it all about the music, as it should be for the most part. I definitely agree! Gotta find that quiet place to simply listen and enjoy. We all need to find our own Mt. Umunhum :)

Even if I didn't join it, I agree that the Monk drop was a cool one. Keep 'em coming: $5 earbuds, unique collabs and everything in between! Your drops will always have my attention, at the very least.
But you can nestle the capers evenly between the anchovies...
What is the density of capers you prefer on each slice?
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ltopper
One must allot capers across a pizza slice with appropriate distance ~1.5cm apart from each other. Under no circumstance should capers exist on top of other toppings. Where there is an unclaimed portion of cheese, there must exist a caper.
Matt.T
So...pretty low density. Do you even like capers? Because it's not quite clear anymore.
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