Just got back from the meet, so I'll post my impressions while they are still fresh.
Aside from meeting all the awesome Bay-Area Head-Fiers, I came into this meet with one objective: to find out how much the K1000s can scale up with equipment. And the answer is that it goes as high as your source goes.
This is the setup that really blew my mind:
EMM Labs CDSD Transport-->EMM Labs DCC2 DAC/Pre-amp-->First Watt F1-->K1000s (stock cable).
This is a fully balanced setup, and the K1000s have never sounded any better. The EMM Labs transport/DAC combo really showed me what my FirstWatt/K1000 setup is capable of, and I have never heard bass on my K1000s sound as good as they did with this setup. To my ears, there was not a single harsh note to be found. So if you are skeptical of the K1000's transparency, you should really try them out on a top-end source, because they are only going to be as good as the source, provided that they get the right amplification.
Now the important question: is the K1000 setup I've just described better or equal to an HE90/HEV90 setup using the same source? The answer is a bit more complicated. The Orpheus/HEV90 setup definitely had greater bass extension, but that is to be expected. The midrange is comparable on the two setups to my ears, although the Orpheus was a tiny bit smoother. They also have comparable highs, although the K1000's highs are just a tiny bit more emphasized. This isn't a problem with the EMM Labs source. Overall I think the HE90 setup is a better setup, but the K1000s are right behind it. But I wouldn't trade in my K1000 setup for an Orpheus setup myself.
A slight aside: the K1000s sounded awesome on Neil's state-of-the-art MBL monoblocks, but it's a little bit too extreme to run the K1000s out of a pair of $15,000 monoblocks
I also came into the meet wanting to compare the Red Wine Audio Signature 30 against the FirstWatt. I personally prefered the F1, because it just has so much control over the K1000s, and it is actually surprisingly smoother than the Signature 30. I heard some slight sibilance on the Signature 30, but nothing really glaring. Plus it is more versatile than the F1. But the power of the F1, it just calls out to me, because it just grips the K1000s in a vice and refuses to let go of the drivers. And at heart, I'm a power guy, and I think that there is no such thing as too much power.
At the end of the day, I was just happy that I got to listen to some of the best setups I've ever heard. And I know once and for all that I am completely happy with my K1000s setup. Sure, the Orpheus is technically better, but even going back to the K1000s setup, I did not feel the slightest urge to upgrade.
The only thing left for me to do is to upgrade the source, because the K1000 is so transparent that it is only as good as the source that is feeding it. I was blown away by how incredibly good it sounded out of the EMM Labs digital front-end; it eats my Lavry for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I have now, more than I have ever before, a believer in source-first.
So I can say that this meet was freaking awesome, it really showed me how much more potential I can unlock out of my current setup. I'll just have to start saving my pennies and plan for a source upgrade.