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Tokyo Headphone Festival 2019 Autumn Report

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.


MASS-Kobo 406 Full Balance Headphone Amplifier with HiFiMAN Susvara Headphone

Matsuda-san of MASS-Kobo and myself have somehow missed each other over the past 2 years. During the 2019 Autumn Festival, I was finally able to experience the range of headphone amplifiers put together by Matsuda-san, a highly respected Japanese sound engineer.

In my review of the HiFiMan Susvara, I mentioned that there is a lack of headphone amplifiers that could power the Susvara properly, the only amplifier that could do so is the Leptoni DT-Reference. Following my experience with the MASS-Kobo model 406, I am pleased to say that there is now a second headphone amplifier (and the only solid-state amplifier) which in my opinion is able to power the Susvara properly (powering a pair of headphones properly and having sound is two matters altogether).

In the short time spent with the MASS-Kobo products, I have to say I was very impressed with the work of Matsuda-san. They are definitely amongst the best sounding solid-state headphone amplifiers that I have heard and I can’t wait to spend more time with them.

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  1. hi,if elysian acoustic lab ” terminator ” compare with sony ier z1r , which one is better ?
    thank you.

    • Hi Ing Kian, the two are very different IEMs which differs very much in Sound Signatures, without knowledge of your listening preference. It is very hard to cite which is better. The IER-Z1R is my go-to IEM if I would like an IEM which I can use as a reference while the Terminator is good, it is more of a HiFi sounding and not in the Flagship league as yet, however, my experience with the Terminator is that the performance can be further scaled with upgrade cables. I hope I have given you some insights.

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