May 15, 2016

Undiscovered gems

One of the main pleasures in this obscure hobby of ours is coming across something that no-one else seems to know about, but absolutely blows you away with something you've never heard or seen before (music/gear/apps/whatever). As this site is based around the concept of people suggesting gear that others might like and then helping them get hold of it as cheaply as possible, I figured this would be a good place to start!
List your "Undiscovered gems" here - it can be a firm, a specific IEM/headphone/piece of gear you can't live without - anything you think people may not have come across in their audio travels. Who knows, if enough people like it, we might even see the MD guys run a drop for it! ;)
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Bose SIE2i

Best best sport earbuds I have ever used. Too bad their next generation killed the sound quality :( If you find these make sure they are the 2I model.
The Yamaha speaker NX-E150 (that come from the Pianocraft mini-hifi system CRX-E150) with decent wiring and amping, have a more revealing sound than my Adam A7X monitor! Shocking! Bloodily insane! God save the Queen! I defy everybody to do the test! The Yamaha NX-E150 are inexpensive speaker you can buy used...I do listening with those speaker as "grot box" (to see how my music would sound on average hi-fi system)...But since the start those speaker was already very revealing! I thought myself "oh, i'll put better wiring just for fun"....then a good subwoofer... Then the Grace Design M9xxx DAC, telling to myself those speaker will reach their limit of improvement, but it never happen so far! The sound alway get better! So for now, I only use the Adam A7X as...grot box!!!! Outrageously shocking!!
Here's some picture!

https://massdrop-
I always wanted the Koss ESP950 electrostatic headphones. I consider these a decent buy at even the list price of $999.99. I have seen them as low as $600.00 at Amazon. I think a lot of people would buy a set of these if given the opportunity and remind them of the Koss lifetime warranty. I think a lot of people have written off Koss as far as only making cheap headphones as that is all you see from them in the department stores anymore. Also the Koss PRO 4S are a headphone you my try to get to do a Mass Drop on. Outstanding headphones. Something like this could put the name Koss back into the main stream again. I am 61 and had one of our warehouse managers in the corporate office for a week. He was 32 at the time. I mention the name Koss and he said he had never heard of them, blew me away, just floored me.
Charles DeWitt
Two awesome gems I've encountered and owned - the VSONIC GR06 and the Panasonic HTF-600-S. Both had brief periods of interest on head-fi, and for good reason. Excellent purchases that were well worth the money! :)
Radius TWF41. I'm surprised that it showed up here on Massdrop, but it's a unique, very competent, super smooth IEM and is quite underrated. :)
The Aune X1S performs amazingly well as a low cost amp/dac combo... I know it's not the primary topic of discussion in most dac/amp threads but really it should be a strong contender when speaking on that subject.
Rbh Ep2
I love my SoundMAGIC E10 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones, they are relatively inexpensive and produce the best sounds http://www.soundmagic.com.cn/en/products/Details51c33p34.html
Maybe not "undiscovered" per sé, but I feel many people do not give good old earbuds a fair shake, and the Edifier P180 are an amazing deal for $18. They also include a mic, which are a plus. I still don't get why many manufacturers for buds and IEMS alike to not include one.
Mine's the Ultimate Ears UE900s, lovely sound, however they are out of production and I really don't want to think of what I will have to do if mine breaks.
This maybe be unrelated but i am looking for a comparison between the Om Audio inearpeace and Zero Audio Carbo Tenore. Don't plan to spend more than $50 and can see that the white inearpeace is around that price. Mic and control preferable but can be sacrificed for audio quality.
Peachtree Deepblue2

It's a high-quality single-box room-portable audio-system. It's almost a disservice to call it a bluetooth speaker.

It's a little expensive at $400, but it's the next best thing to a B&W Zeppelin.

It sounds amazing, and the 6.5" subwoofer gives it some bump. And, since it's semi portable, it's easy to bring it out to the patio or a friend's apartment. It's simply excellent.
I'm a big fan of the VSonic VSD5.. it's lower and higher cost siblings always seem to get the most attention. I think it's one of the best values in my collection. Comes across a bit like a baby T1 as far as tonality goes. Very good resolution for a sub $70 dynamic IEM
My undiscovered jem is the JVC HA-FXH30. If you're coming here from Head-fi you've probably seen it mentioned once or twice in the past :D

https://www3.jvckenwood.com/accessory/headphone/inner/ha-fxh30/

As far as I know they're still only sold in Asia Pacific markets but are flat out awesome. They take the best of the FXD80 (detail, clarity, speed) and mash it with the best of the FXT90 (energy, timbre, prat), giving it all a healthy dose of refinement. Their overall signature is very similar to the well-known and loved Dunu Titan 1, and easily go toe-to-toe with those giants imo. Love these little guys, especially with rock and metal.
Please note - this is not an official Massdrop poll, so there are no prizes for best contribution (apart from the adulation of your peers, obviously). As a starter for 10, this is my latest discovery that might not be on everyone else's radar:

http://www.cardas.com/a8_ear_speaker.php

I came across a thread on Head-Fi about these recently, and managed to pick up a pair. They are quite possibly some of the most musical sounding IEMs I have heard, with an absolutely killer bass (on par with the old ASG series from Aurisonics), meaty midrange and a nice smooth treble. Why more people aren't talking ab out these is beyond me. They are a genuinely great listen, and would also probably double up as ammunition for an old 1800s musket in a zombie apocalypse situation if needs be due to the solid brass construction and sheer weight of the earbuds. Anyone else heard these?
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THat's why I asked...why isn't it so popular? I don't see anything bad with this little Ego. Btw, a guy said the Centrance Slim and Little Ego sound the same. No difference in sound whatsoever. SO I am happy with my Centrance slim for now.
indi_guy
I can't say I have first hand experience with their new portable DAC's but I own my fair share of Emotiva gear (3 amps, 5 speakers and a DAC) and have never been disappointed. Some of those are long past the generous warranty period and still going strong. The Emotiva fans are often overzealous in their posts leading to a lot of "hype" categorization and they had an issue with their international customer service when it was in it's infancy which put a lot of people off regarding the brand. I am still a firm believer in the company and will continue to recommend them without reservation to my friends and family.
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