This is week two of an ongoing column at Headfonia. By all means, read Week One.
As self-serving as it may be to revisit a product I reviewed last week, I will. My in-laws suddenly busted in for pizza and a giggle with my new-born daughter. I enjoy free pizza like the next 30-something desktop audio potato. But truth be told, I’m at the end of my pepperoni.
It’s not just a time thing – that’s always been a thing in short demand. It’s also a pot thing. I love pot, have loved it since I was in my late teens. And, since enjoying it here in Asia could get you killed, I get off now by calling attenuators, volume knobs, well-formed bolts- anything., pots. And the best volume pot I’ve used on any amp, at any price, is PHAntasy‘s.
So perfectly is it weighted that I can lay a heavy finger on it and it won’t grind in its niche. It rotates smoother than the smoothest Leica helicoid I’ve used, approaching Linhof territory. It’s the kind of pot whose perfect engineering makes the dearth of the other somewhat palatable. And, it’s the kind of pot that ruins a man for other knobs and switches.
The pot on PHAntasy’s smaller sibling, Sassy, which, acting completely normal for its price range, is, by way of comparison, rude. It grinds a bit, and friction stops rather than gliding butter-ily to inertia. And, not that it needs the diamond studs wrapping it ’round, but it sports them anyway – for good measure.
Even if you don’t like valve amps, and even if you prefer a warmer sound, have a play with PHAntasy. Its genuine form-follows-function engineering is a simple, pleasurable, marvel that plays wondrously with today’s big-Ω headphones. The amp, too, comes with my full (though proviso-laden) recommendations.
Puff puff twist.
Phatlab Audio: Sassy review
Beyerdynamic: T1 V2 review
Beyerdynamic: DT880 review
Sennheiser: HD800 review