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South Florida Meet Impressions - 12/2/06 - Page 4

post #46 of 213
The Singlepower Extreme and the AKG 1000 was a perfect combination!!!!!!!! I want BOTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #47 of 213
Wow, what a great weekend. It seems like each Florida Meet out does the one before. It's been about 2 1/2 years since my first meet in Brooksville. It is amazing the friends that I've made in that time as a result of Head-Fi and these meets. So thanks to all my old and new friends for attending. Ray, Mikhail and Tyll Al, Steve, Wayne -- a huge thank you for traveling some pretty great distances to join us. Wayne maybe be the craziest for driving through snow storms from the midwest to be here. Ray had quite the experience as well arriving at the airport probably at 4am and having flights cancelled and not arriving here until 10pm Friday night. As if that wasn't enough, he came back to Alligator Alley to catch the end of Jaco's Birthday Bash.

Day 1 of the meet: JP, me, Voltron, Stevieo and agile_one meet at my house and then it's to Miami and the Titanic Brewery for beers and lunch. Next up was to head up to Fort Lauderdale to a beer bar in town, then back to the hotel to hook up with boomana, the official designated driver for the Florida crew. We went to the Alley, ate some great gumbo and heard some very talented musicians. Felix Pastorius can flat out play the bass. From there it was a mini meet in boomana's room with a bunch of us until about 3:30am.

Day 2 of the meet: The meet was great, although my total listening time might have been an hour or a bit more. Ray's B52 with the balanced Qualia (my new favorite can) was just beautiful. I also enjoyed the balanced Senns. this amp is better looking in person. It truly is a piece of gear that both sonically and cosmetically belongs on a rack with any high end audio gear you can mention.

I also tried Headrooms Balanced Desktop with the Home upgrades and the Maxxed out Desktop. I believe the consensus that, while the single ended Maxxed Desktop is an nice amp in it's own right, it fell short of the Balanced Home. The balanced was just more open then the single ended. Everything seemed more controlled when balanced.

The Singlepower Extreme was a great little amp. Mikhail explained the tubes to me but I will leave it to other to discuss them. I used the K1000 and 650's with this amp and they sounded great with this amp. You can just tell that this amp has some serious power.

I also had the Eddie Current HD30 prototype next to my Zana Deux. This amp is going to be a pretty significant entry into the $800 to $1200 price range. It has a similar sound to the ZD but is not the equal to it's bigger brother. If I didin't have a ZD and was looking to spend a little less cash I would strongly consider this amp. I have it in the house, so will split time with jp11801 over the next week (Craig permitting) so will have more to say.

Between the Raptor (mine sounds so nice with the upgraded ps), SP Extreme and HD30 there are some pretty seriously good amps for you to choose in the under $1200 price range. The Raptor and Extreme both do a nice job with the K1000. I didn't try it with the HD30 (like the ZD, the HD30 was not intended to drive the K1000). The Zana still rules the roost, imo. Every headphone I had in my house for the last week (mostly Wayne's) sounds great out of this amp. It does everything right, from the treble, mids and down to the bass. Qualias out of this amp, wow!

I also spent a little time with the Scherzo Audio Adante solid state amp. This thing is small but heavy from the batteries. It is designed and built by Gontran. What a nice and enthusiastic guy. The amp sounds very nice and will add another contender in the sub $500 solid state category. The amp has a 1/4 and mini output, RCA and mini input. No opamps and is battery powered. Would make a nice transportable amp.

We had a blast this weekend. I am already looking forward to the next one in Tampa (Matt, it's up to you).

Thanks again to Oz at Let There Be Sound for hosting us last night!

Thanks again to Ray Samuels for donating the Tomahawk. Guss2 congrates on having the most beautiful baby and winning the Tomahawk. The money paid for the room and the $190 left over will be donated the Terry Cain Medical Fund (tcainbenefit@hotmail.com). You can read about it at http://www.6moons.com/showcase/terrycain/terrycain.html. Thanks to everyone that participated.
post #48 of 213
Sounds like it was a great meet. And sheesh, 4 new high-performance amps (B-52, Balanced Desktop, HD30, PPXE) to play with has to be some sort of Head-Fi record.
post #49 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by procreate View Post
You should also mention if you'd like the comparison with the stock tubes in the Darkvoice or the affordable replacements. It seems the stock tubes in the Darkvoice weren't so hot.
Oh yes, if you can, make the comparison with some $40-$50 tubes and not some ridiculously priced NOS tubes.

Thanks.
post #50 of 213
What a great meet. There was very good set of gear to listen to and The people were great as well (except for steve, j/k ). I will post more impressions later but there were a couple of combos that really stood out for me.

SinglePower Extreme - What a great amp. This thing is absolutely fantastic for its price. It drove the K1000s as good as i've ever heard them and it sounded great with just about every other headphone I tried with it (R10, HD600, HD650, 701, and Qualias). I have already told Mikhail that I want one.

Zana Deux w/ R10s - What a great combo. I was listening to some Medeski, Martin & Wood on this setup and I was absolutely floored with soundstage and the imaging. IMO this was the best amp for the R10s at the meet besides mikeg's Supra.

RSA B-52 w/PS-1s - This combo was just fantastic. This was the first time I've ever liked the PS-1. It seemed to balance out the sound more and bring out the highs. I was very impressed with this combo.
post #51 of 213
Quick post before leaving:

R10s-Shouldn't have left them in the room with me, Ray. Now I wish they were mine. Got to spend quite a bit of time with them thanks to Ray and Mike G. and made the rounds with them. Especially liked them with mikeg's rig.

HD600-I have the 580s and 650s, but had never heard the 600s before. Right amp and cables, the 600s do what I looking for with the 650s without getting heavy on the bottom.

Ditto Joe's post on the B52/balanced PS1. Threw a variety of music at this combo and everything sounded amazing.

New Headroom Balanced Desktop: had single-ended and balanced set ups side by side and running from the Meridian. The balanced put the music into the K701s, which had never done much for me before. Per Tyll, the single-ended desktop had "better" stuff (don't know what specifically) inside, but who cares when the better sound is coming from the the amp nextdoor?

SinglePower Extreme: listened with modded Denon, Rega TT (P5?). Yes with K1000, K340s, 650s (all my cans). So, yes to the amp. It's mine.

I'll get back with the Heed vs. Darkvoice later, but since they're going home with me, there's time.

There's much more to say, but others have better words with their impressions, so I'll let them at it. All I can say is that I should have checked out a couple hours ago, but some stragglers are having breakfast beer in my room....whatcha gonna do?
post #52 of 213
i spent friday at merritt's house (hifihaxor) working on my dynamight... in the mandatory pre-meet marathon to finish up equipment

workingon the dynamight:













and re-cabling headphones...









and finally day of meet... about 99% done... actually finished in the meet, had to replace a 7915 that exploded... lol







apparantly she likes the HE-90s more than the HF-1s... this is going to be an expensive child



K340's are always nice...



woodied K340's... and a chinese tube amp... some of these chinese amps were pretty nice, and very reasonably priced...



a headroom max single ended, and a headroom desktop balanced... along with a micro amp/dac... the balanced desktop was very nice... I got to borrow it for a little while to review/play with it yay!



balanced headphones for the headroom



a blockhead with some more balanced hedaphones...



some AT love



oxygen free audio... these amps were pretty nice, although i couldent really enjoy them, the rega cd player that was their source was ear-bleedingly bright...



the B-52... words cannot describe this amp... it sounds better than it looks, and it looks amazing! ray really made an amazing piece of electronics with this amp...





merritt's akido amp...



my dynamight



Ray and Tyll...



post #53 of 213
Stevieo tormenting ray...









group photo time...



Ray was not amused with drunk Stevieo



what a great meet... the only thing better than the headphones and equipment are the people...





as punishment for steveio they collected all the left over alcohol and made him drink it...





and then dinner...













let there be sound!









post #54 of 213
did anyone listen to my amp? i know, i know, it didnt look like it was going to explode at any moment like the last meets... but now that it is finally a dynamight i was hoping that i would get some impressions from my piers
post #55 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by flecom View Post
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for photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by flecom View Post
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Oh, Frank, you're such a tease ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by flecom View Post
did anyone listen to my amp? i know, i know, it didnt look like it was going to explode at any moment like the last meets... but now that it is finally a dynamight i was hoping that i would get some impressions from my piers
Your not-so-ghetto dynamight was killer, Frank. Wonderful job, and it has been great fun watching it evolve over the last few meets. I only listened with Beyer 880s and for about 10 minutes, then got distracted by stevieo doing something absurd.

It is a seriously good amp - easily the equal of commercial amps in the 2-3k range. Clean, uber powerful, grain free solid state to the max. You should be very proud of it,
post #56 of 213
Just got back to Sarasota - smooth trip accross Alligtor Alley, and I75 had uncharacteristically light traffic, so was home in near record time. Another legendary SoFL meet - tyrion gets a new title, too, even iif he made it up himself. Henceforth, tyrion shall be known as Meet Master - all hail the Meet Master.

I would like to post some impressions - there are so many, though, that present available time will not allow - have company, and must be social - hope to get back later tonight.

I must share this, though, because it is the kind of thing that sets FL meets apart. The Master of the Universe, aka Voltron, does not fly out to the west coast till 7:00 pm tonight, so jp11801 volunteers to show him the sights. Stevieo is still in town and joins them. While some people's idea of the sights are the scenic, artful, or architectural, Johnnie Nums thinks in terms of beer bars, record shops, and hole in the wall entertainment venues (my kind of man). Anyway, I get home, am walking from car to front door, and my cell chimes with a message. Check it, and it's a closeup of strippers in action from very close range. It's from Nums, so I call him right away. Voltron answers Nums' phone - they are, indeed at a female dancing establishment on South Beach, but Nums and Stevieo are tied up at the moment negotiating their freedom from a rather large bouncer for taking photos. All ends well for our heroes, but just wanted to share a not untypical moment of what can go on during the weekend of a FL meet. Attend at your own peril.
post #57 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrowmark View Post
The Singlepower Extreme and the AKG 1000 was a perfect combination!!!!!!!! I want BOTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I now HAVE both...hah ...well, shortly (talk to you later this week, Mikhail).

Just got home. Yes, I live only 30 min away, but a room is sooo much more fun. Last post before I vanish for a few days in work mode.

I wanted to touch on the Tomahawk because prior to this meet, I'd read some insane thread here where folk who hadn't even heard it were battling back and forth re IEM only or something like that. My first introduction was when Ray handed it to me with the R10s, a nano (BTW, nice tunes, Ray) and ALO cryo. End of debate. I did try it with my Ety ER4Ps, and those who want it for IEMs will not be disappointed. I gotta say though, at the end of the night...er...morning...when the boys all left, and left their gear with me (who has the pic of that glorious headphone table mess), it was the SR-71 I finally chose to send me off to sleep. I prefer the SR-71, but the fullness and detail that comes outta that little Tomahawk makes it a no-brainer if you're looking for an ultra-portable. Once I settle my home rig down, this amp might be it for me for travel. I'd have to live with it for awhile to say anything more about it...oh..and NOT have a group of 3AM drunken head-fiers with thousand of dollars worth of cans in the room with me...how distracting!

Okay, for those wanting Heed vs. Darkvoice and tube talk, you'll have to live with the fact that large meet conditions are just not right, at least not for me, for making detailed judgments, so I won't. I can say definitively re Darkvoice that the stock tubes suck, if you plop in $1000 worth of tubes (thanks, Mikhail), that little Chinese box will blow you away, and if you can find the right combo of $50 tubes, the Darkvoice will be a very happy amp for you. In truth, I don't even know what I finally went home with. I'll have to look when I open the box in a couple days. The Heed is just a great little solid state amp with better detail and across-the-spetrum sound, but dang, the mids, especially lower mids, of the K340/Darkvoice combo seduce you and suck you in, and I didn't care much that I lost the tamborine dancing just behind my head (I forget which song that was on, but with the Heed, it was there, and with the Darkvoice, it was gone). The 650/Equinox/Heed/MiniMax combo is really really really nice. Not so with the Darkvoice. The R10s are nice with both, but they're my new can crush, so don't pay attention. Never tried the 701s; sorry to those who wanted that impression.

I wish I could have listened to more, but ya gotta make your choices, and I'm fortunate enough to have jpnum's, tyrion's, guss2's, and mrarroyo's gear nearby. John's place in a couple weeks, right?

Okay, that's it. Just thanks to all who made this a wonderful weekend for me. The craziness was almost minimal, or, more accurately, it was drowned out by the overwhleming kindness and plain good-people feel of all who attended. Hope to see most of you, if not all, in Tampa.
post #58 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by agile_one View Post
I must share this, though, because it is the kind of thing that sets FL meets apart. The Master of the Universe, aka Voltron, does not fly out to the west coast till 7:00 pm tonight, so jp11801 volunteers to show him the sights. Stevieo is still in town and joins them. While some people's idea of the sights are the scenic, artful, or architectural, Johnnie Nums thinks in terms of beer bars, record shops, and hole in the wall entertainment venues (my kind of man). Anyway, I get home, am walking from car to front door, and my cell chimes with a message. Check it, and it's a closeup of strippers in action from very close range. It's from Nums, so I call him right away. Voltron answers Nums' phone - they are, indeed at a female dancing establishment on South Beach, but Nums and Stevieo are tied up at the moment negotiating their freedom from a rather large bouncer for taking photos. All ends well for our heroes, but just wanted to share a not untypical moment of what can go on during the weekend of a FL meet. Attend at your own peril.
No surprises here. None at all.

EDIT: Well, that others weren't also involved is a suprise.
post #59 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by agile_one View Post
I must share this, though, because it is the kind of thing that sets FL meets apart. The Master of the Universe, aka Voltron, does not fly out to the west coast till 7:00 pm tonight, so jp11801 volunteers to show him the sights. Stevieo is still in town and joins them. While some people's idea of the sights are the scenic, artful, or architectural, Johnnie Nums thinks in terms of beer bars, record shops, and hole in the wall entertainment venues (my kind of man). Anyway, I get home, am walking from car to front door, and my cell chimes with a message. Check it, and it's a closeup of strippers in action from very close range. It's from Nums, so I call him right away. Voltron answers Nums' phone - they are, indeed at a female dancing establishment on South Beach, but Nums and Stevieo are tied up at the moment negotiating their freedom from a rather large bouncer for taking photos. All ends well for our heroes, but just wanted to share a not untypical moment of what can go on during the weekend of a FL meet. Attend at your own peril.
As the Meet Master (Nums made it up, not me) I had to get 3 people to the airport, feed my sons snake, Gecko and take care of my dogs with my family gone for the weekend, so I missed the fun activities today. Next year, nums is the Meet Master or what should be his custom title, "Captain Tweaks".
post #60 of 213
Wow that new SinglePower...mmm....

I see the 5998 in the output, what was used for the gain tube?
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