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Las Vegas 2013: Audio Impossible

Frank Chou of Audio Impossible was having a fine time, demoing his Metronome headphone amp. He was cheerful, entertaining, and actually got me to sit still for 15 minutes, something that happened maybe 8 times that entire week. And I'm happy I did -- the Metronome is not only cool, it sounds great.

$2,400 is a lot of dough to drop on a head-amp, to be sure, but the Metronome does have a couple of unusual features, like adjustable output impedance: 32Ω, 300Ω, and 600Ω. Got a pair of headphones that never sounded like they were worth the cash? It’s probably not the ‘phones — it was the amp — and this variable output bit may well resuscitate some cans you had intended to be somebody else’s problem.

Most obvious thing about the Metronome? The shell. It’s carbon fiber. Love that big brass dial, too. And think the shape is cool? Well, guess what. It’s a can-stand. Nice!