Reader Rigs: DFKT’s Cowon S9 + Headsix + UE11

dfkt rig 01 Reader Rigs: DFKT’s Cowon S9 + Headsix + UE11

We all love to show off our portable gear, whether its low key or something flashy and expensive- its a lot of fun to see how we all make our portable audio experience personal. In the forums we have a subforum dedicated to showing off your gear. The thread that started it all continues to grow into something massive:Show off your portable audio stuff! (56k warning)

Every so often we thought it would be cool to show off some of the site reader or forum member’s portable audio setups. To start it all off we thought it would be appropriate to feature the creator of the portable rig thread, DFKT aka Martin Sägmüller, our headphone editor and forum admin. As an enthusiast, he has quite a few rigs shown off, but this one is one of the more recent and stunning. Below are some photos and breakdown of this luscious setup.

dfkts rig 01 thumb 480x360 Reader Rigs: DFKT’s Cowon S9 + Headsix + UE11

dfkt’s comments

The S9 because its interface combines the best of both worlds, enough tactile buttons for quick/blind use – and the benefits of touch screen scrolling, quick skipping through tracks/lists, etc. Also the BBE+ enhancements which beef up the sound quality just fine without sounding too artificial (every DAP needs some tweaking to sound good, IMO). Also not to forget the awesome AMOLED screen and battery life. I also chose the S9 (or any other of my Cowons) because of it being non-crippled and the freedom it provides compared to the products of many other DAP companies: it has file/folder browsing, pan/balance, MSC transfer mode – only major drawback for me is that it has no gapless playback.

The Headsix amp is there to fix the flaws of the S9′s sub-par amp section (in combination with low impedance phones, same as 99% of all other DAPs out there) – to reduce the background hiss, to improve bass response, and to improve stereo channel separation/crosstalk. The Headsix is the one amp I own which hisses the least by itself, so it’s particularly suited for ultra-efficient IEMs like the UE11. Furthermore, I prefer an analog volume potentiometer to the ± buttons on a DAP.

The cable between the S9 and Headsix is a DIY job, made from stripped down stock earbud plugs, well insulated Mogami cable, and heatshrink. Cables transport electricity, not “music”, so any cable is good enough – especially over these negligibly short runs. I just went for the lowest profile instead of blinging it up. It sounds as good (or bad) as any $300 “oxygen free silver interconnect”.

The UE11 because… well, there isn’t anything better for my taste, and the phones are the most important part in a setup. They’re the only IEMs that don’t have any particular flaws for my ears – except their price of course. Their isolation is perfect, their sound reproduction is near-perfect for me, as far as in-ear monitors go. Their bass in particular is what I look for in IEMs – I’m not a fan of so-called “neutral” phones, I prefer my phones to sound like full-sized loudspeakers. The UE11 don’t sacrifice any clarity or precision despite their huge bass, so I’m a happy camper.

Want to share your portable rig? Drop by the show off your gear forum and post to the long running thread or if you think its extra special or unique, start a thread just for your setup. Remember, we are not just looking for the most high end setups, we are looking for personal ways you use your player. Adding some text discussing the photos and/or the setup and also having more than one pic will increase your chances of it being featured on the front page. Show us your gear!


electron on May 11, 2009 3:30 PM

haha, dftk.. you are such a show-off… ;) (in a good way ;) )

Martin Sägmüller on May 11, 2009 3:41 PM

Andreas just chose my stuff to get that Reader’s Rigs series rolling – it’s not my fault! But yeah, of course I tried to take a show-off-worthy pic for the occasion. ;)

electron on May 11, 2009 9:23 PM

yes, yes of course.. ;) lemmie know when it breaks, ok? I will gladly pay for the repair costs if I get to keep it.. lol ;)

TheDarkSide on May 11, 2009 9:23 PM

I’m lovin’ it Martin, as always!!! And I do agree, such a show off!!! Please, keep up the excellent work bro!!!

Hazelburg on May 11, 2009 10:04 PM

Hahaha…I would be way too scared of bringing that set into public…

Shortly on May 11, 2009 10:39 PM

Dfkt: Did you really pay $1150 for your headphones? Gee, I mean are they really worth that much money? I mean, does any MP3 encoding justify that quality of headphone?Maybe FLAC’s or AAL’s can justify them. I guess I could just never justify that price to myself. I’m glad that you have. They must be good.

JamieMcMe on May 12, 2009 1:24 PM

That’s awesome Dfkt :D Think I learned a bit about DAP to amp connections too :D I can’t believe how much you spent though… it’s all worth it though!

Xenodius on May 12, 2009 6:03 PM

I really want an S9 so much more now. I like the guitar I got last Monday more, though! =DI think I am going to get UE11′s some day, cause I could sort of justify as using them for monitors, not only for my DAP.

Corey on May 17, 2009 10:04 PM

I’ve been using a set of UE10′s for over 3.5 years now. They cost me $900 (plus molds, plus shipping etc) in Jan 2006, long before the UE11′s were available.I have to say it was the best decision I ever made for my portable listening. The cables are replacable and the UE’s are servicable in case you ever did something like blow one of the ‘drivers’.Because they are individually molded to YOUR ears they comfortable enough to wear all day, or even sleep whilst wearing (like on overnight flights from Sydney to LAX etc).The sound quality is the best I’ve heard from any IEM/earbud (compared to sony/sennheiser/yuin/shure/UE earbuds/off-the-shelf IEM’s which I’ve tried or own).So @ Shortly… yes Dfkt paid $1150 on his UE11′s (plus molds and probably plus shipping). Is it worth it? DEFINITELY YES!

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