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Party at Neil's Orpheus/K1000 Meet Impressions - Page 4

post #46 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
Hey guys, I'm glad our meet has some interest for you. Ok, so HE60, HE90, OmegaII.

etc...


Neil
Many thanks for the reply! Now I have more clear ideas about HE60 vs OmegaII
post #47 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amartignano View Post
Very interesting insights of higher-end setups! Thanks.

As a "proud" HE60 owner I have a question:

ok, it's somewhat natural that the HE90 sounds better than HE60, given the HE60 is a "cheap" derivate of the HE90...
But can you guys say something about HE60 vs OmegaII?
And, moreover, specifically, in what parameters the HE90 was better than the OmegaII and HE60 respectively?

thanks in advance

Andrew
If I owned the HE60/HEV70 combination, I would be very proud too! I am lucky to have heard many electrostatic setups at meets and friends' homes, but I have never owned a setup or had one for truly extended listening.

My comments on the HE60 you quoted were speaking only in comparison to the HE90 on the HEV90. We were simply listening to different cans all with exactly the same source and amplification. It was very interesting and made for a good meet. Neil's HEV70 sat on a shelf unused, so I was not comparing the cans in their "natural" rigs.

The fact is that on the HEV90, I preferred the HE90 by a long shot, followed by the HE60, and then the O2. I have heard the O2 sound much better from other amps, but it sounded too warm and a bit bloated on the HEV90. Neil has given some very informed and detailed views on the three e'stats from the meet, and I think he has done a very good job of describing The HE90 Effect: the 3-dimensional impact and its ability to transport you to a place where only the music is happening. It is really an amazing experience when all of the compenents of the system come together as they did with Neil's rig. I am still dying to compare the tricked-out ES-1 against the Orpheus, but we will have to wait until next month for that one.

Ciao!
post #48 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
you guys also heard the Aural Symphonics upgraded glass optical interconnects (between the DCC2 and CDSD). I stand by this assertion: These cables sound amazing. Do I know why? Hell no! They do. The differences are obvious from the stock. I believe the signature + these EMM Optimism cables really make a magical combo.

Neil
That's hard core. Those Aural Thrills optical cable set for EMM is like $3200, isn't it? I think that's more $ than my entire K1000 headphone setup currently
Quiet PC->Ori Zhaolu DAC($400)->Almarro A205a MkII($800)->K1000 ($1200)
post #49 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
The fact is that on the HEV90, I preferred the HE90 by a long shot, followed by the HE60, and then the O2. I have heard the O2 sound much better from other amps, but it sounded too warm and a bit bloated on the HEV90.
Ciao!
HE60 better than Omega II is interesting , but is probably biased by Sennheiser amping
I also think that the HE60 with the HEV90 has an advantage on the HE60 driven by the HEV70, as someone else have said.
Maybe I can think about a tube amp in the very future for my HE60.

Andrew
post #50 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
That's hard core. Those Aural Thrills optical cable set for EMM is like $3200, isn't it? I think that's more $ than my entire K1000 headphone setup currently
Quiet PC->Ori Zhaolu DAC($400)->Almarro A205a MkII($800)->K1000 ($1200)
Sad but true. However, to my defense, I am currently the only person who owns these cables to have gotten them used off of Audiogon (although while at a cheaper price, not substantially so). The good news is, Tommy, the owner of Aural, is a very nice guy and just yesterday took back the cables and offered to give me completely brand new upgraded ones with IO Gel since he claims these are even better. And the best part? Completely free

Neil
post #51 of 160
Very interesting meet..and great impression guys. I've yet to hear the HE-90, but I briefly owned the Baby O system couple of years ago b/f the jump in price! Have any of you listened to the Big O and R10 side-by-side? What is your opinion b/w the two?
post #52 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post
Very interesting meet..and great impression guys. I've yet to hear the HE-90, but I briefly owned the Baby O system couple of years ago b/f the jump in price! Have any of you listened to the Big O and R10 side-by-side? What is your opinion b/w the two?
I used to own both at the same time. However, I'm pretty sure I never gave the R10 the red carpet treatment it deserved. I didn't have a great amp for it, at the time I had an Earmax Pro Anniversary and a Rudistor RP6. It sounded good out of the RP6 and also I remember it sounding nice out of a Singlepower MPX3 that Voltron let me borrow for a while. I remember loving the tone and speed of the headphone, although there are certain things that come to mind that were very different between the two phones:

1) The R10 had significantly less bass than the HE90. I had the 'new' R10's so to speak. They were still bass shy in my setup as compared to the HE90 with the same equipment (but different amps of course).

2) The R10 was quite sibilant and and thin at the upper end. The treble with the R10 was beautiful and nuanced, but tended towards stridency. It was excellent with strings and jazz, but not so good with rock, especially poorly recorded rock (which is a lot of it). The treble coupled with the lack of bass in this setup (although I am well aware of those who claim they can get good bass out of an R10) really made this a headphone that didn't really groove at all for me.

3) The headstage was quite comparable (horizontally), and they both have great instrument separation. The R10 while being a closed headphone, imparted a certain room or hall type effect, to a slight degree. The HE90 to me doesn't have this kind of coloration, but instead I feel it is like hearing music in the outdoors, with no roof and walls to reflect the sound.

4) The R10 was tremendous with vocals. Just awesome vocal and upper mid range presentation. Maybe better than the HE90? I don't know since my system is so different now.

I got the impression that R10 was a very delicate headphone that easily picked up the nuances and insufficiencies in a given system. The thing that stopped me from going the distance with the R10: Fit and Comfort. It was just not that comfortable for me. It was too warming on my ears, but also too unevenly balanced, and it would rock around my head and jostle around. I am not always very still while listening to headphones and I like to shake and bob my head sometimes. The R10 is not the phone for this unless you have a big head.

===

That's about all I can say. In the end, the fit, and the lack of the ability to groove way down low (in my setup), made the choice to part with it easy.
My next pair of phones was the L3K so obviously I overcompensated. Hehehe...

The other thing - It took me a while to get my Orpheus system sounding its best. Pretty much almost a year or so. It is very picky and various issues come up when the system is not gelling. I don't have all those VD cables for nothing. They add bass, impact, speed, dynamics, and a lush but non-fatiguing tonality to the headphones. They give the sound substance. Of course my EMM Labs goes a long way at helping with this, but honestly, the EMM Labs gear can sound fatiguing and a 'etched' in the highs without good power and cables. The power cables and the P600 regenerator are totally crucial in the equation for me. Without them, the noise floor doesn't drop down and reveal everything as it is. Without the power coming in right, everything else becomes a mixed bag, and system tweaks generally provide lateral changes, not forward movements. I truly believe that what I currently have is THE BEST setup in the world for headphones. Not kidding
We'll see though, even the best can become even bester I'll have to wait for my ES-1 to arrive. If it's not better, well, hopefully it is different, and I can dial in my exact listening preference in even closer.

Neil
post #53 of 160
I'm sure you have the best electrostatic headphones setup in the world, and probably (I believe this), I have the best dynamic one, hard to say if there is one of the two setups in the very first place, IMHO! But this is not the most important thing...

I also had a lot of time to arrive at the sound I have now with my K1000/Air Tight WE 300B. (Source and cables is also very important, everything is important even with the K1000, as you said for the HE90).

For example, the interconnect Acrolink, have done that "stress free" to the sound and give a perfect treble with all the power of bass.

As I have said before, you have compared the Orpheus system that has a very good TUBE AMP, I believe that even the K1000 need absolutely a very hi class TUBE AMP and possibly SET with WE 300B, this is only my experience...

And more, probably the EMM labs is not the best source for the K1000... they need a more "english" sound, like Meridian, Naim or Linn...).

Congrats for your dream steup !!!
post #54 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
... everybody knows a lot of what is said here is subjective, mixed-up, and downright worthless.
Well, in that case... I'm well qualified to post one more.

I'm afraid some people following this thread are going to come away with conclusions about the F1 and the Sig 30 that are unwarranted. For most of the meet we didn't have a fair comparison set up for the two amps but didn't realize it. This probably led to inaccurate impressions.

There was a short period where the two amps were displayed on a relatively fair footing. Briefly, the Sig 30 had a custom-made beldon tail attached to it (while the F1 was using the blue dragon). A-B'ing the two amps in this configuration left me with the impression that there wasn't a clear winner -- each amp had its own unique advantages. After my A-B'ing I spent most of the rest of my time at the meet listening to the F1, chatting, and listening to Neil's amazing gear.

The beldon cable was removed after just a few minutes because we had trouble keeping it attached to the Sig 30's speaker posts (its bare wires were very close together). This is when the equinox was brought out and hooked up to the Sig 30. I believe any comparison after that point is invalid.

I didn't notice a problem until just before I had to leave. The equinox had been moved to the F1 after it was used with the mono-blocs (or maybe just before -- I'm not sure). From that point on the F1 didn't sound right to me. The difference wasn't subtle. I believe that prior to that point the Sig 30 was suffering from the same problem (it was using the equinox for most of the meet).

I'm very surprised that I didn't like the equinox hardwire. This was my first experience with it. Everything I've read about it in the past has led me to believe that this is a great combination for the K1000. Was there some other factor going on that was causing the problem (damaged wire, perhaps)? I don't know.

Readers of this thread should understand that virtually all of the comments here that compare one amp or the other should be considered suspect. When one amp sounded good the other most likely had a cable attached to it that was causing problems. There are better sources in Head-Fi for comparisons of the F1 and Sig 30. For example, Alwayswantmore and tmarshl have owned both amps simultaneously and can give impressions that are uncluttered by the equipment problem we had.
post #55 of 160
Thread Starter 
See, that didn't hurt too much...

I think your comments are completely valid and helpful, Bob. The cable switching and lack of two identical cables at any time marred the ability to really compare these straight up. I will also repeat (I think I said it already) that my K1000 listening in total is very minimal so I was not meaning to be authoritative in my comments.

We should do some work for the Int'l Meet to set up a better basis for comparison. If we can manage it, it would be great to get cables from some cable maker -- say Moon Audio who is sponsoring the meet from afar -- to donate some loaners so that we can have one set of Moon Cables across all K1000 setups. Hard-wired cables are harder, but we can solicit a few pairs of hardwired K1000s from members who are attending. Between members and vendors I bet we could have full sets of a couple different options to do a few types of comparisons. The K1K room could be a very cool place at the meet.
post #56 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcn View Post
I'm very surprised that I didn't like the equinox hardwire. This was my first experience with it. Everything I've read about it in the past has led me to believe that this is a great combination for the K1000. Was there some other factor going on that was causing the problem (damaged wire, perhaps)? I don't know.

Readers of this thread should understand that virtually all of the comments here that compare one amp or the other should be considered suspect. When one amp sounded good the other most likely had a cable attached to it that was causing problems. There are better sources in Head-Fi for comparisons of the F1 and Sig 30. For example, Alwayswantmore and tmarshl have owned both amps simultaneously and can give impressions that are uncluttered by the equipment problem we had.

Bob,

The one thing I remember for sure was that the hard-wired K1000 just didn't sound right out of the F1. I did listen to the hard-wired with the Sig30 and thought it was fine.
When I got home that evening, I hooked up the hard-wired 1000 to the Cary and everything sounded fine so I don't think there was any damage to them.

I know that tmarshl has had good results with his hard-wired K1000/ F1 combo so not sure what the issue was at the meet.

I guess if our impressions are true, then no need to worried about the long lead time for the Equinox cable and trying to find someone to do the hard-wired conversion .
post #57 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcn View Post
Well, in that case... I'm well qualified to post one more.

I'm afraid some people following this thread are going to come away with conclusions about the F1 and the Sig 30 that are unwarranted. For most of the meet we didn't have a fair comparison set up for the two amps but didn't realize it. This probably led to inaccurate impressions.

There was a short period where the two amps were displayed on a relatively fair footing. Briefly, the Sig 30 had a custom-made beldon tail attached to it (while the F1 was using the blue dragon). A-B'ing the two amps in this configuration left me with the impression that there wasn't a clear winner -- each amp had its own unique advantages. After my A-B'ing I spent most of the rest of my time at the meet listening to the F1, chatting, and listening to Neil's amazing gear.

The beldon cable was removed after just a few minutes because we had trouble keeping it attached to the Sig 30's speaker posts (its bare wires were very close together). This is when the equinox was brought out and hooked up to the Sig 30. I believe any comparison after that point is invalid.

I didn't notice a problem until just before I had to leave. The equinox had been moved to the F1 after it was used with the mono-blocs (or maybe just before -- I'm not sure). From that point on the F1 didn't sound right to me. The difference wasn't subtle. I believe that prior to that point the Sig 30 was suffering from the same problem (it was using the equinox for most of the meet).

I'm very surprised that I didn't like the equinox hardwire. This was my first experience with it. Everything I've read about it in the past has led me to believe that this is a great combination for the K1000. Was there some other factor going on that was causing the problem (damaged wire, perhaps)? I don't know.

Readers of this thread should understand that virtually all of the comments here that compare one amp or the other should be considered suspect. When one amp sounded good the other most likely had a cable attached to it that was causing problems. There are better sources in Head-Fi for comparisons of the F1 and Sig 30. For example, Alwayswantmore and tmarshl have owned both amps simultaneously and can give impressions that are uncluttered by the equipment problem we had.
I have been watching this thread with great interest. What a fantastic opportunity for those who were able to attend. I have also resisted posting so far, but Bob’s comments above set a backdrop for my 2cents on this topic (F1 / Sig 30)…

Context:

Both tmarshal and I have had both units in-house. In my case I returned the F1 (for a refund and stuck with the Sig 30). Tmarshal still owns both, so I’ll leave it to him to represent his feelings on the two units.

I have a good source (Wadia 830 with factory upgrade to add second power supply), but not in the same price stratosphere as the one used at the meet.

I own and enjoy a very broad range of music, but when it comes to critical listening on a top-end rig, I primarily stick to female vocals and light instrumental (in fact, nothing on your gold CD has ever been played on my rig).

tmarshal and I have different sources, different ICs, and he has the Equinox hardwire, where I’m using an Anti-cable pigtail and stock cord to the phones.

IMO:

The F1 is very impressive, but (at least with my source) lacks the warmth and 3D depth I was able to obtain with the Sig 30. I say impressive in that it does have balls and detail – which are very obvious to pick out in a brief listening session. Some of the Sig 30’s virtues are pretty subtle – and may take a more time (or a more relaxed environment) to fully appreciate.

Check out the amp comparison link in my sig if you wish to learn more about my experience with these two amps.

In Closing:

I’ve never heard the HEV90s, EMM Labs CDSD/DCC2 Signature Edition combo or Orpheus – after reading about how great these products sound – and having a vague idea as to their cost – I’m almost glad I wasn’t there to get more spoiled than I already am
post #58 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore View Post
I have been watching this thread with great interest. What a fantastic opportunity for those who were able to attend. I have also resisted posting so far, but Bob’s comments above set a backdrop for my 2cents on this topic (F1 / Sig 30)…

Context:

Both tmarshal and I have had both units in-house. In my case I returned the F1 (for a refund and stuck with the Sig 30). Tmarshal still owns both, so I’ll leave it to him to represent his feelings on the two units.

I have a good source (Wadia 830 with factory upgrade to add second power supply), but not in the same price stratosphere as the one used at the meet.

I own and enjoy a very broad range of music, but when it comes to critical listening on a top-end rig, I primarily stick to female vocals and light instrumental (in fact, nothing on your gold CD has ever been played on my rig).

tmarshal and I have different sources, different ICs, and he has the Equinox hardwire, where I’m using an Anti-cable pigtail and stock cord to the phones.

IMO:

The F1 is very impressive, but (at least with my source) lacks the warmth and 3D depth I was able to obtain with the Sig 30. I say impressive in that it does have balls and detail – which are very obvious to pick out in a brief listening session. Some of the Sig 30’s virtues are pretty subtle – and may take a more time (or a more relaxed environment) to fully appreciate.

Check out the amp comparison link in my sig if you wish to learn more about my experience with these two amps.

In Closing:

I’ve never heard the HEV90s, EMM Labs CDSD/DCC2 Signature Edition combo or Orpheus – after reading about how great these products sound – and having a vague idea as to their cost – I’m almost glad I wasn’t there to get more spoiled than I already am
Well, maybe it's just your system synergy that's making you prefer the RWA 30 over the F1, and I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with that.

I think the RWA 30 is a great amp for the K1000s, better than the Aleph 3 that I've had. It's just a personal preference for me. I will have a chance to hear the RWA 30 in even more depth soon.
post #59 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Well, maybe it's just your system synergy that's making you prefer the RWA 30 over the F1, and I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with that.

I think the RWA 30 is a great amp for the K1000s, better than the Aleph 3 that I've had. It's just a personal preference for me. I will have a chance to hear the RWA 30 in even more depth soon.
No doubt that personal preferences and synergy play a big role here. And no doubt both are great amps. Humanflyz, I also reread your comments in an earlier post...

"I also came into the meet wanting to compare the Red Wine Audio Signature 30 against the FirstWatt. I personally preferred 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."
Your comments about F1 power and grip are very accurate in my experience. I will add to your comment on sibilance: I've migrated to a pure silver IC (Audiosource 8-wire silver with Eichmann Silver Bullet connectors), all sibilance is gone, the sound is very smooth and rich, and I also got improvements in detail and soundstage compared to my original Audioquest Quartz (lytz copper).

I'm not trying to convince anyone to go one way or the other. Just sharing my experience and opinions based on my gear and my preferences.
post #60 of 160

Thoughts...

Guess who just bought an Aleph 30...




Loved the F1 and its unbelievable control over the AKGs and the Sig 30 evoked a warmer, more tube-like sound from the K1000, somewhat reminiscent of the EAR V20, if my memory serves me well (which it probably doesn’t).

Brownies+10 sec microwave tweak=bliss, HE90 be damned

Bruce - it wasn't your scent but I had a valid reason (recall your youthful days )

Neil,
Gracious host as always - where's that HEV70 PSU?

I think there were 4 pairs of K1000s present:
Bruce's hardwired Equinox
Mine (with the Belden tail) - Nicola you still have my Equinox tail!
humanflyz's with Blue dragon (and black box)
bob's (forgot what tail)

Regarding the HE90: I've been an outspoken fanboy of these cans for too long. I hate their vertical soundstage capabilities and their disappearing character. I really loathe their ability to retrieve such astounding detail and yet remain so smooth and listenable (yes Qualia, you are the most detailed but you're just not as endearing as the HE90 to these ears and really the HE90 is just a micron less detailed than you in the bass department). I'm not sure which amp I prefer with the HE90 because the HEV90/HE90 system is the smoothest I've ever heard. The ES-1s I've heard were pretty amazing too, and probably the most revealing I've ever heard the HE90s. The Blue Hawaii and KGSS may not sound the best with the HE60 or HE90 but I prefer the Omega II with the Blue Hawaii over any other amp (Stax or otherwise), but the HE90 easily outclasses the OII even when the mighty BH is driving it (IMO of course). When Neil finally receives that elusive ES-1 MAXXED OUT!!11!! I will be there to snatch a quick listen (if he allows my presence to besmirch his good name).

I had a blast as always and I promise I will pass on the crazy beer next time...

Nicola I hope you have an opportunity to hear the HE90 one day.
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