December excitement

THEY CAME. After a bizarrely long journey from Japan to Canada, I have become a proud new owner of the Sony MDR-E888SP earphones. I was browsing audio forums randomly when I decided to see if there were any popping up on eBay- and bizarrely a new in box e888 was available for a relatively low price point- I would guestimate at a third to a quarter of the typical selling price of a pair of new in box e888. They are very rare at this point. They were made in the late 90s and discontinued some time ago. There were many fakes of these and the eBay market was flooded with 20 dollar fakes. They were known for being the baby bio-cellulose sibling of the MDR-R10, MDR-CD3000 and MDR-CD2000. The diaphragms are made from a bacteria byproduct which made the diaphragm a very light but tough material. The material was expensive to work with- because it was organically made, making matching pairs that sounded the way Sony wanted them to sound was difficult. The CD3000 regularly sells upwards of 1000 CDN, while the R10 goes for 10000 USD at times (I’ve seen one at 20000 USD but I’m not sure if anyone actually bought it at that price). They are fairly legendary. So I’ve been hunting the e888 for some time because I’m not buying an R10 anytime soon. The e888 is also really near and dear to my memory- I remember holding one in my hand at its original 100 ish CDN price in the Sony Store awhile back in high school wondering who would pay that kind of money for earphones- the answer would be me haha. As a headphone enthusiast, it pained me that I had them in my hand and at the MSRP- prices have gone up quite a bit since then because of rarity. Sony has also left behind the biocellulose diaphragm design. I believe there is a company ZMF that is now making these types of diaphragms in headphones.
First impressions were to check if they were genuine or not; thankfully, it has been pretty well documented what the fake and authentic versions look like. I doubted it was fake, given that it was coming in from Japan, where most fakes were coming from USA and China. First impressions after that were that it feels like a generic earphone- nothing bad but nothing expensive like the MDR-EX1000. Which somewhat surprises me because the EX1000 while it has a bit of a cult following, doesn’t seem to be as cult like with the e888, so the hype is big over a standard feel earphone. The manufacture date is 1997! 23 years old. The foam cushions fell apart in my fingers when I tried to apply them. And it had yellow tape covering the bag- another sign of early authentic Sony packaging. Soundwise it is pretty musical and detailed- its definitely not the v-shape fun sound that something like an Airpod might sound like. So far I have enjoyed it with live music, and rock. It seems to have some more meat than something like the SA5000, but more detail than the Z7. I was also surprised by the packaging- there is no carry case – there was a blue and gold plastic carry case; I guess this was because it was the SP version designed to go with the wired remotes that were popular before. This does give me more faith in the genuineness of these earphones too- the fakes are all the LP version AFAIK. Also I haven’t used an earphone in ages. I’m typically using an in-ear instead. I don’t think I have seen standard earphones for sale in some time. Most have been using the in-ear style that the Sony EX71 pioneered. A comparison with my EX71s suggest a much darker tone with the EX71, less detail, and a muddier presentation overall- but more bass. Certainly the E888 sits better with more an audiophile audience I think.
AnnnnnnnnD we are locked down again. After the last measures were not sufficient to curb the COVID numbers, everything has closed again. Even our outdoor meets are closed – social distancing and masks be damned. But then this gets confused with outdoor group physical activity- how is that different than an outdoor meeting? Anyways, my gym is now closing.
So with the gym closing for a second time, I decided to try to make it as worthwhile as possible. I did all three of my compound lifts and a run on my last day with the gym. I had a really solid deadlift session with the grizzly lifting pads and some grapefruit monster drink.
and then for fun I decided to end the night with a run, to really pound that last day at the gym. I was the last one in before the midnight closure.
And some chest press, with squats/leg press the day before. Thankfully this time I can use my dumbbells with the floor press. I feel more ready to handle a gym shutdown than back in March when it was so sudden.
Were doing office shopping with it looking like I will be doing this zoom thing for another half year at least; my old ratty office chair had to go, but I didn’t know what to replace it with. As with most things, I like to have some pride in ownership and research what I am getting. And office chairs is really not my area at all. I was going to get a reasonably ok Staples chair, but I found this Serta chair with Smartlayers, their own marketing of the mattress coils which they have embedded inside the seat cushion. While I am not a fan of fake leather/bonded leather, the price was reasonable for the quality. I ended up with this one, maybe more so on the coils alone.
I had originally been pining for this chair- the Anda Seat Dark Knight gaming chair. I thought it looked wild and matched my aesthetic and desktop. But I did not think it was as comfy as the Serta, and aside from Secret Lab and DX RAcer, reviews seemed to be emphasizing better quality office chair over gaming chair for comfort. The price for this chair was also high enough that I think I both hesitate with the purchase, and will be quite picky with any quirks.
The BWING IS BACK. Its in Star Wars squadrons. And the TIE Defender. In an update yesterday. I was shopping on Steam and saw it on sale but now I am sold. I cannot give up an opportunity to fly my favorite Star Wars ship.

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