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Sound. A selection of recording used during the review. Debussy. Complete Piano Works, Walter Gieseking, Signature Collection, EMI, 55917 2, 4 x SACD/CD (2012); Random Trip, Nowe Nagrania, 005, CD + FLAC 24/44,1 (2012); Allan Taylor, Old Friends – New Roads, Stockfisch, SFR 357.6047.2, CD (2007); Barbara Lea, Woman In Love, Riverside/Sinatra Society of Japan, XQAM-160, CD (1955/2007); Dead Can Dance, Anastasis, [PIAS] Entertainment Group, PIASR311CDX, "Special Edition Hardbound Box Set", CD+USB drive 24/44,1 WAV (2012); Depeche Mode, Singles 13-18, Mute, 6 x SP CD (1991); Händel, La Maga Abbandonata, Simone Kermes, Maite Baumont, Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony Music Entertainment, CD 88697846212, CD (2003/2011)...
...Jethro Tull, Thick As a Brick, 40th Anniversary Set, Chrisalis/EMI 461923, CD + DVD PCM 24/96 (1972/2012); Józef Skrzek, Pamiętnik Karoliny, Polskie Nagrania/Metal Mind Productions, MMP CD 0535 DG, CD (1978/2009); Megadeth, Countdown to Extinction, Capitol/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, UDCD 765, gold-CD (1992/2006); Muse, The Resistance, Warner Music Japan, WPZR-30355-6, CD+DVD (2009); Porcupine Tree, Deadwing, Lava, 93437, CD (2005); Portishead, Third, Go! Disc/Universal Music K.K. (Japan), UICI-1069, CD (2008); Tadeusz Woźniak, Tadeusz Woźniak, MUZA Polskie Nagrania /Polskie Nagrania, PNCD 1289, CD (1974/2010); Warne Marsh Quartet, Music For Prancing, Mode/Muzak, MZCS-1111, Mode Paper Sleeve Collection Vol.1, CD (1957/2006).

I must say that finding the best-matching headphones for this amplifier was quite the challenge. If you plug in just any affordable cans, they will most likely sound rather poor with an emphasis on the upper midrange that might become a bit unpleasant. Surely purity and transparency will at first be attractive but the longer you listen, the more fatigue will set in. I started with the not exactly inexpensive older AKG K271 Studio which often worked very well with class A amps. I also wanted to check Oyaide's HPC-X62 headphone cable dedicated to these cans. Unfortunately this didn't work. The result was 'screaming' and plastic. The frequency extremes were never the K271's strong suit but in this setup all their weaknesses of poor differentiation and being slightly lean became so distinctive that I simply couldn't ignore them. I also wasn't too happy with Beyerdynamic's 32Ω DT770 Pro Limited Edition. Nor with the HifiMan HE-500. The former behaved a lot like the AKG. The HE-500 delivered a sound too diffuse and distant to contemplate this setup seriously.

The Slovenian amp proved just how careful each reviewer and audiophile has to be when testing equipment. Imagine a short shop audition of this amp with mismatched cans or exploring it at home where most people have no more than one, perhaps two pairs of headphones. Most likely you'd return this machine as quickly as possible. Such a case also shows that audio magazines play a role in advising a prospective shopper what to look for. [With three out of three perfectly standard headphones making for such very poor results, one feels that the reviewer's explanations are overly protective of the design – Ed.] Most hifi shops have disappeared. When buying equipment one must either trust the manufacturer or some unknown folks on some online forum (and take into consideration that those could be the same people). If you buy directly you can send the product back but this consumes time and money on shipping - plus it doesn't solve your issue. You still don't have the product you wanted. Nowadays reviewers often act as filters or preselectors by taking on a role which previously was handled by the hifi shops. This puts yet more responsibility on us.

So as usual I did my best to find the best solution and not let myself get discouraged by initial setbacks. Eventually I arrived at a few interesting combinations and conclusions. After the time-consuming process of selecting the best-matched cans I was left with three: HifiMan HE-300, AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic's old 600Ω DT-990 Pro. The order from youngest to oldest is based on when they were introduced but this sequence would be exactly reversed if I sorted it instead by what I liked best with the Perfidus - the DT-990 Pro followed by the K701 and least of these the HE-300. What's important is that all three sounded very good to where I could easily live with any of them as driven by this Slovenian.