Melody and Madness: My Quest for the Ultimate Audio Experience

Hi, I am sandeep ajila, a doctor by profession and an audiophile by admission. I was a modest man living a modest life till around 2019 when suddenly it all changed.

Emotional sepia tinged Flashback: I have always loved listening to music from the time i was in my teens. Whatever little pocket money i would get, i would spend it on cassettes and later on , cds. Along with the music, the sound quality of the music was always important to me. Chrome tapes, metal tapes, i bought them all in search of fidelity. My first noticeable purchase was a sennheiser basic iem. My knowledge in sound gear till then was limited to sennheiser and bose and sony and Bpl. This would all change when i joined TIAF on FB in 2019.


My first purchase on joining this group was a Master & Dynamic headphone . It was pretty good but by then this craving to hear something better had entered my system. My music choices are a bit eclectic but broadly speaking , i listen to mostly 70’s, 80’s , rock and also a sprinkling of tunes from the 90s and upwards. Melody in the song is of utmost importance to me, the lyrics come second .

By the time i had acquired a little taste of what audiophilia really means, Covid had struck. It became quite tough to get new stuff /gear to listen to. So, in a way, this further whetted my appetite in trying out new gear.

Suddenly, i was exposed to terms such as dacs, amplifiers, daps and names like Hifiman, Audeze, Topping and so on. Coming from a small village called Mumbai, this was a great shock to me.

It took me a lot of time to adjust to these concepts. One may buy an expensive headphone but u wouldn't be able to get its full performances from a phone. Wait, what ? You then have to spend a pretty big amount to buy gear which would then enable the headphone to sound good. This theory sounded bonkers at first ,to me but later on, when i became broke buying stuff, it all made complete sense.

One of the most important and fascinating things in this field is synergy amongst the gear you have. A headphone can sound bad when paired with a particular dac and amp, while on the other hand, it can transform into a thing of beauty when paired with the right source. This mixing and matching can provide an almost endless source of fascination and vexation for a person, not to mention an almost never ending drain on the financial resources, but hey, you only live once and you only hear when you are alive and i am totally confused how to end this sentence but i have found a full stop and i will use it now.

For me personally, what has been of great joy to me in this journey, apart from the music and the gear, is the people who are in this hobby. I have come to know quite a few of them in a span of around 3 years and almost all of them are endearingly eccentric. Very helpful, but also have their own point of view with regards to likes and dislikes. This has led to discussions, both heated and hilarious, but never dull. I have made some solid friends in this journey. In life, as we get older, it becomes more and more difficult to make new friends but i have found that most of my new pals are in this hobby and i am having a slight doubt on my sanity because of it.

Onto the gear i have had in my musical life :

I started out with a Meze 99 classics headphone and an ifi hip dac. Soon, I had sold both and then progressed onto different headphones and dac amps.

Some of the headphones I have owned and used so far:

Hifiman 400i, Hifiman 5se, Akg 712 pro, the Beyerdynamic tygr, beyerdynamic Dt1990, Verum one, Audio technica R70x , modded fostex,Yamaha hp2. Sennheiser hd650 and the sennheiser hd 800s.

In iems- vmoda zn, moondrop starfield, ikko oh 10, campfire andromeda 2020 , audeze euclid.

Dac amps - ifi hipdac, ifi idsd micro Bl, ifi zendac, ifi zencan, the cavalli hybrid amp, earmen sparrow, cayin ru6, gustard h16, lotoo paw s2, felix echo OTL , mojo 2.

Daps- hiby r3 pro, cayin n6ii, hiby rs2, sony w1ma.

As of now, i have the campfire andromeda, the audeze euclid in iems. In headphones, the sennheiser 650 and the sennheiser 800s along with the modded fostex still live here. The gustard h16 and the feliks echo are the amps while the mojo 2 and the sony w1ma provide the source.

I don't believe in hoarding stuff . I have been very lucky in that my long suffering wife has been a constant support for me in pursuing my hobby and other than giving me strange glances when she sees me with different contraptions on my head, she never says anything.

This has been a enthralling journey so far. I don't believe that there is ever an endgame setup for me in this field. The potential to endlessly mix and match gear is what fascinates me. Plus, i have had the pleasure of knowing some of the biggest crackpots in this field who i am proud to call my friends.

I won't name them in the fear that they may be surprised that i think of them as friends! I know that whenever i am in trouble , they will be the first to come and be by my side and run away with all my gear . What more can u want in life?? 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Trusted By Over 22K+ Music Enthusiast