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Party at Neil's Orpheus/K1000 Meet Impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Well, our reference test disc was a CD-R, but we only had one, since the EMM Labs sourced all the amps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
The CDSD/DCC2 handles cdr's very well. The only problem I have had with it aside from the forthcoming comment is that certain copy protected CD's (I think they are some sort of enhanced CD) tends to skip every now and again. These CD's are few and far between so it's not really a prob... and maybe the problem is fixed with the new DAC... we'll see (but not likely).

Forthcoming Comment: the EMM Transports is just a bunch of $^%. And what I mean specifically are the transport controls. So slow, so susceptible to error and frustration. I finally got an answer: Ed doesn't like two internal clocks... he doesn't want them to run asymmetrically, and apparently doing this has an adverse effect on the SQ. However, even his employees are skeptical.

Either way, in the end it is worth it because clearly the fidelity is just so great and balanced that it doesn't matter and I put up with the minor inconvenience of sloppy transport control.

Neil
Thanks guys.

As for the copy protected CDs, I know what you mean it's a pain in the ass. I only own one, Star Wars Episode 2 but there have been plenty of CD players that couldn't play it; a real shame.

Could you guys list what was on your demo CDR(s)? I tried following the meet planning thread, but didn't find a complete list.
post #17 of 160
Here you go, the track listing for our test disc:

1) XTC - River of Orchids
2) Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!!!...
3) The Decemberists - Shankhill Butchers
4) Muddy Waters - Good Morning Little Girl
5) Ryan Adams - Amy
6) Camel - Air Born
7) Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year
8) Pink Floyd - Paranoid Eyes
9) Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach - In The Darkest Places
10) Kate Rusby - Underneath The Stars
11) Sigur Ros - Glosoli
12) Bach - BMV 249.2 Adagio (don't remember what recording/performance this is)
13) Leo Delibes - Flower Duet
14) Janos Starker - Cello Suite No. 1 (Prelude)
15) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
post #18 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Pak View Post
Can anyone comment on how well the CDSD is able to read CDRs?

I agree with source first, there is a CDSD/DCC2 combination in my future.
I'm seriously considering the new CDSA Signature Ediition CDP. It's supposed to have the same DAC and other electronics as the combo, but in one box that looks almost exactly like the CDSD. I plan to do some more reading but it has been out only a month and it seems EMM Labs has changed to 100% direct sales--no distributors. Makes it a bit had to even get a listen.

Although I was one of the people complaining about lack of responsiveness to the controls and the inability to easily jump around tracks on a cd, it wouldn't stop me from loving the EMM gear. The sound is still unlike any digital front end I have heard. I am thinking that we should make sure to compare EMM to the Meridian 808 (TTVJ is bringing one) and any other serious statement players at the international meet in April. If I break down and buy the CDSA by then, that would be a particularly cool comparison. Wadia and Esoteric would be other comparisons I would like to hear.
post #19 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
^

To quote Neil, it's "only" the Master series lol
To be totally honest, there two revelations in there (1 power cord and 1 XLR IC; if you know how they look you can spot them in the madness pic )

Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Here you go, the track listing for our test disc:

1) XTC - River of Orchids
2) Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!!!...
3) The Decemberists - Shankhill Butchers
4) Muddy Waters - Good Morning Little Girl
5) Ryan Adams - Amy
6) Camel - Air Born
7) Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year
8) Pink Floyd - Paranoid Eyes
9) Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach - In The Darkest Places
10) Kate Rusby - Underneath The Stars
11) Sigur Ros - Glosoli
12) Bach - BMV 249.2 Adagio (don't remember what recording/performance this is)
13) Leo Delibes - Flower Duet
14) Janos Starker - Cello Suite No. 1 (Prelude)
15) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
We used MFSL wherever possible (Muddy Waters, Queen), RBCD Layers of SACD's (Ryan Adams), and Modern Re-Masters (Camel, Pink Floyd).

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Pak
My attraction to the DCC2 is also the preamp function; less junk in the signal path going to the poweramp.
I really like the DCC2 as a PRE. I got a chance to hear the MBL flagship 1621/1611 Combo (~$40K) and while this was very very good (with the purportedly exceptional PRE), it wasn't THAT much different than the DCC2 PRE, let alone better (which would be debateable). However, with the DCC2 Upgrade I think I favor the EMM - so smooth and liquid, yet so detailed and dynamic. That's what gets me. I want to hear the Esoteric again (P03/D03) because as I recall, the Esoteric is awesome, but I remember it having an analytical sheen, an almost mechanical laser-like accuracy that was cool to hear, but I think in the long term I would favor greater musicality. HOWEVER I would definitely have to hear this combo again (perhaps soon? Al?/Richard?/Mikhail??).

Neil
post #20 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Here you go, the track listing for our test disc:

1) XTC - River of Orchids
2) Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!!!...
3) The Decemberists - Shankhill Butchers
4) Muddy Waters - Good Morning Little Girl
5) Ryan Adams - Amy
6) Camel - Air Born
7) Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year
8) Pink Floyd - Paranoid Eyes
9) Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach - In The Darkest Places
10) Kate Rusby - Underneath The Stars
11) Sigur Ros - Glosoli
12) Bach - BMV 249.2 Adagio (don't remember what recording/performance this is)
13) Leo Delibes - Flower Duet
14) Janos Starker - Cello Suite No. 1 (Prelude)
15) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
I'm seriously considering the new CDSA Signature Ediition CDP. It's supposed to have the same DAC and other electronics as the combo, but in one box that looks almost exactly like the CDSD. I plan to do some more reading but it has been out only a month and it seems EMM Labs has changed to 100% direct sales--no distributors. Makes it a bit had to even get a listen.

Although I was one of the people complaining about lack of responsiveness to the controls and the inability to easily jump around tracks on a cd, it wouldn't stop me from loving the EMM gear. The sound is still unlike any digital front end I have heard. I am thinking that we should make sure to compare EMM to the Meridian 808 (TTVJ is bringing one) and any other serious statement players at the international meet in April. If I break down and buy the CDSA by then, that would be a particularly cool comparison. Wadia and Esoteric would be other comparisons I would like to hear.
"Introducing the EMM Labs CDSA SE CD/SACD Player. It’s a single-box, dual format player that doesn’t merely upsample CD audio to SACD, it upsamples to double the SACD standard sampling rate."

It sounds pretty impressive, I'm sure EMM has another winner, but I recall reading that Ed wasn't a fan of the high-res formats.

My attraction to the DCC2 is also the preamp function; less junk in the signal path going to the poweramp.
post #21 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Which brings me to the question regarding K1000 cables. Did the Equinox hardwire really sound edgier than stock+blue dragon? What about stock+stock extension cable?
Yes -- what I heard is what you've asked. I preferred the moon/stock configuration.

Please keep in mind that this was hardly a scientific exercise. Cables and connections were swapped somewhat freely. Is it possible that something had been switched while I wasn't looking or aware of it? Yes. I wasn't trying too hard to keep track. I'd already found what I was looking for (the Sig 30 rocks!).

Given that disclaimer:
We never listened to stock/stock. Before I left I listened to equinox/F1 vs moon/stock/Sig30. The Moon extension/Sig 30 sounded good. The equinox/F1 combo sounded wrong.

However, my initial impression of the F1 with moon/stock was very very good.

I wish I could be more definitive, but I really can't.

YMMV (mine certainly does)
post #22 of 160
Thread Starter 
The setlist CD was a great idea and one I would recommend to others setting up smaller meets like this one. Neil solicited songs and put together the CDs -- burned onto gold CDRs no less -- and then sent them around in advance of the meet (which was delayed several times). Everyone there talked about how good the music was and it seemed like everyone had listened quite a bit. Having one primary musical selection with many tastes reflected was key to having five electrostatics and 2 or 3 K1Ks all in use at once and all from the same source. It worked brilliantly.

There were a couple of other tracks thrown on after the setlist was done, but the next music chosen for large group listening was The Beatles, Love. That was a great listening experience because the EMM Labs certainly does the Redbook justice and playing that through was another smart move musically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonL
Which brings me to the question regarding K1000 cables. Did the Equinox hardwire really sound edgier than stock+blue dragon? What about stock+stock extension cable?

How about HE90 vs HE60 comparisons? Last time I compared them out of the same amp (KGSS), I thought HE60 really made a good case for itself.

BTW, what level of Virtual Dynamics cable madness are we seeing here, Master, Revelation?
I cannot offer too much of value on the different cables. There was not a simple way to do valid A/B comparisons as bobcn mentioned, but I am also handicapped due to limited K1K listening experience. I think that the hard-wired Equinox sounded amazing from the mbl monoblocks -- smooth and clean sound with plenty of bass. I cannot recall hearing that same pair from either other amp. I know that when I was first listening to the FirstWatt vs. Sig 30, I preferred the F1 although I thought both of those amps sounded great. The F1 seemed to have a bit more authority.

The HE60 are a very nice headphone and certainly sounded great with this rig. We had a conversation in the later going about whether they can stand up the the Big O. Not a chance in my book, and most others readily said the same. Switching back and forth over the course of the day, the HE90s are clearly and unequivocally in a class by themselves. The Stax O2 are also great headphones but they were not even close to the HE90s with this setup.

Lastly, Neil *claims* that some amount of the VD cabling is on loan for auditioning and the like. Maybe, but he sure seems to like those glittery beauties...
post #23 of 160
A big thanks to Neil for providing the Venue, hospitality and equipment.

It is an hono(u)r and a privilege to attend such a meeting in the company of such fine fellows.

Yet more pics





I'll leave it to others to exhaust the superlatives required to do justice to the sonic experience we enjoyed today. It is worth being reminded just how good sound reproduction can be.

Also worth mentioning :-

Quotes from a conversation comparing the EMM kit to super-models.
They are both objects of lust
Yes, but (the EMM kit is) more obtainable

A real life demonstration of the dietary habits of constrictors!

Possibly the best non Head-Fi mod ever?

Radiation enhanced Petite Brownie Bites; 10 Seconds seemed to produce the optimum enhancements.

We just need NeilPeart to give his comments on the AxB comparison vs stock.

Thanks once again to Neil, and all those in attendance for a great time.
post #24 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
I think that the hard-wired Equinox sounded amazing from the mbl monoblocks -- smooth and clean sound with plenty of bass. I cannot recall hearing that same pair from either other amp. I know that when I was first listening to the FirstWatt vs. Sig 30, I preferred the F1 although I thought both of those amps sounded great. The F1 seemed to have a bit more authority.
To Voltron: This is why I tend to avoid doing posts.

I agree with Voltron's impressions. However, the initial setup (which I suspect is what he heard) was with F1/moon/stock and either equinox/Sig30 or (very briefly) beldon/stock/Sig30. I also preferred the F1 with this configuration. When the phones (and cables) were switched things sounded very different. The bottom line is that for me I really didn't care for the equinox hardwire/F1 setup.

And yes, the equinox hardwire was the same phone that was hooked up to the mono-blocs. That configuration sounded good.
post #25 of 160
Thanks Neil! I had a great time.

It was nice seeing some again and meeting others from headfi. It was great listening to that top of the line system. I definitely see the HE-90 as the best headphone ever made. At the last meet (from a brief listen) I felt the O2 and K-1000 were more enjoyable, but after yesterday - the HE-90 is King.

The K-1000 definitely did scale up and the major comparison for me was the Sig 30 and F1. I was surprised at how much smoother the F1 was, but if I owned the Sig 30, I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade. I thought the F1 is the best match of any amp with the K-1000s (that I've heard), but don't expect to be packing it in your suitcase for a vacation

It was fun talking to everyone and enjoying some music!

Thanks again Neil and others (Bob for bringing the Sig 30, and of course humanflyz).
post #26 of 160
Great meet impressions and great pics. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun and listened to some pretty sweet gear. Hopefully I'll get to hear some of this stuff one day if I ever make it to a meet.

Man, I am so psyched to hear the K-1000s I just bought. No I won't have the exhalted EMM or F1 etc. but they'll be mine, ALL MINE, MWAHAHAAH!!!

Ahem.
post #27 of 160
Big “Thanks” to Neil for not only hosting (a great meet) but for also allowing us mere mortals the chance to hear some outrageous equipment. I spy some goat cheese on them HE90s. The beer selection was nice too (loved the smooth Murphy’s).
Thanks to humanflyz and bobcn for bringing their amps to share. Luggin’ an amp a couple of flights of stairs is no easy task.

This is what I learned from yesterday’s meet:

The FirstWatt F1 amp is the most dynamic amp for the K1000s that I’ve heard. I’ve never felt the K1000’s mesh cages vibrate so much. I really felt sorry for the transducers. I agree with humanflyz and bobcn that the F1 sounded best with the the Blue Dragon Extension cable that was there. My Equinox hard-wired K1000 with the F1 was just not right.

With the Redwine Audio Sig30 amp, I heard some minor siblance with while losing some micro details that I heard from the F1. I don’t remember what cable I was listening to so that could be some factor. I don’t think I heard the Sig30 at its best for some reason. I’d like to take a listen again sometime.

I loved the way my K1000s sounded connected to Neil’s MBL Monoblocks. I don’t anticipate ever hearing this combo again .

The HE90/HEV90 combo is head and shoulders above anything else I heard yesterday. I have yet to hear anything else touch it. The EMM Labs didn’t hurt either.

Ric, I love the SR-71. Thanks

The only thing that would have made this a better Bay Area meet, was to have ayt999 around. It seemed like such a short ride home without going through Healdsberg.

To non Head-fi learning/experiences:

The 10sec mod to the little brownies that Grahame brought, was very yummy.
Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale is hella hoppy.
This French Pizza thing was tremendous. Like pizza on a croissant.
Little mouse and little constrictor snake do not room well together in the same cage.
Never thought Beatles music would be the hit of a Head-fi meet.
Daba likes his chairs.
NeilPeart’s back to back “3 lane change" on 101 (4 lane highway, from fast lane to the farthest right slow lane then back across to the fast lane) to maneuver around the three cars in front of us, was almost a life changing experience . I told Leeav that was the smoothest I’ve ever seen someone do that but it was also the first time I’d seen that maneuver done. I must say that you were in a hurry to get somewhere or I was really stinkin’ up the car.
Thanks for the fun ride.

Neil, Thanks again and next time I'll bring my little SB3 power supply so we can compare the DACs on the SB3 and the EMM Labs .
post #28 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcn View Post
To Voltron: This is why I tend to avoid doing posts.

I agree with Voltron's impressions. However, the initial setup (which I suspect is what he heard) was with F1/moon/stock and either equinox/Sig30 or (very briefly) beldon/stock/Sig30. I also preferred the F1 with this configuration. When the phones (and cables) were switched things sounded very different. The bottom line is that for me I really didn't care for the equinox hardwire/F1 setup.

And yes, the equinox hardwire was the same phone that was hooked up to the mono-blocs. That configuration sounded good.
Bob--I don't think you should avoid posting because you have good things to say and everybody knows a lot of what is said here is subjective, mixed-up, and downright worthless. Why should you be the only one holding back?! As you, Michael, and Bruce have all mentioned, the cable issues put a gloss on all of the comparisons and at the San Jose meet --where we may have a K1000 QUIET room -- we will be able to come up with a way to take that variable out of the equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayt999 View Post
wish I were there. have fun guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by utep10 View Post
The only thing that would have made this a better Bay Area meet, was to have ayt999 around. It seemed like such a short ride home without going through Healdsberg.

To non Head-fi learning/experiences:

The 10sec mod to the little brownies that Grahame brought, was very yummy.
Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale is hella hoppy.
This French Pizza thing was tremendous. Like pizza on a croissant.
Little mouse and little constrictor snake do not room well together in the same cage.
Never thought Beatles music would be the hit of a Head-fi meet.
Daba likes his chairs.
NeilPeart’s back to back “3 lane change" on 101 (4 lane highway, from fast lane to the farthest right slow lane then back across to the fast lane) to maneuver around the three cars in front of us, was almost a life changing experience . I told Leeav that was the smoothest I’ve ever seen someone do that but it was also the first time I’d seen that maneuver done. I must say that you were in a hurry to get somewhere or I was really stinkin’ up the car.
Thanks for the fun ride.

Neil, Thanks again and next time I'll bring my little SB3 power supply so we can compare the DACs on the SB3 and the EMM Labs .
I meant to post yesterday that it was a shame Alex wasn't there, other than in spirit and as the butt of various jokes at the meet (j/k Alex ), and I second that emotion albeit belatedly.

I also meant to thank Bruce for bringing that Bigfoot Ale, circa 2005, that Bruce aged in his garage for our enjoyment. It was excellent, and I appreciate you bringing it along. I also agree 100% on the brownie tweak, the frenchie pizza, and the Beatles, yeah! Anyway, who said Head-Fi is close-minded and only focused on audio geekery? Chair-Fi anyone?

Lastly, where was Shpongle-Joe? Xantus, are you out there? We missed you too, bud, and we had not one moment of Shpongle-Fi without you.
post #29 of 160
Wow!! Nice gear & set list.

Curious...
Why Bohemian Rhapsody? Ive always liked the vocal / instrumental arrangement, but never really thought of it as an audiophile recording. Furthermore... I think this is the first time I've ever seen it used as a test track.
???
Hope to see some of you guys in April.

Garrett
post #30 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
Wow!! Nice gear & set list.

Curious...
Why Bohemian Rhapsody? Ive always liked the vocal / instrumental arrangement, but never really thought of it as an audiophile recording. Furthermore... I think this is the first time I've ever seen it used as a test track.
???
Hope to see some of you guys in April.

Garrett
This is the DCC Remaster, which, IMHO is better than the DVD-A release and all the other releases. Is it audiophile? No. Does it sound pretty good? Yes. Basically it's a familiar track we just threw on at the end for kicks... The real test was in how the tracks sounded on different systems; Most of the recordings on their own aren't the cream of the crop in fidelity.

Neil
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