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K1000 Mega Meet In San Francisco -- 5/26/07

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
We are just wrapping up the meet and I will be posting impressions and pics tonight. We had an epic collection of amps, cables, and K1000s and a great deal of fun. Watch this space for impressions of the Woo Audio WA-5, Moth Audio 300B Paradigm, Red Wine Audio Signature 30, Pass Labs Aleph 30, and two Dussun integrated amps from China via AAA Audio. Plus, we had two Equinox hardwired K1Ks, a Moon Audio Silver Dragon hardwire K1K and many Moon Audio tails in play. Lots of thoughts to follow.
post #2 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
We are just wrapping up the meet and I will be posting impressions and pics tonight. We had an epic collection of amps, cables, and K1000s and a great deal of fun. Watch this space for impressions of the Woo Audio WA-5, Moth Audio 300B Paradigm, Red Wine Audio Signature 30, Pass Labs Aleph 30, and two Dussun integrated amps from China via AAA Audio. Plus, we had two Equinox hardwired K1Ks, a Moon Audio Silver Dragon hardwire K1K and many Moon Audio tails in play. Lots of thoughts to follow.
Very interested in hearing what you guys have to say. Now get to the post office.
post #3 of 93
Thanks for hosting Al. I now know a new pizza crust!

Between the Moth and the Woo (with upgraded tubes) it would really depend on the music on which I'd choose. Body was there with the Moth, but clarity was won by the Woo. The Red Wine, which I had a slightly lower opinion of than its rep, when first heard elsewhere, really held its own especially when... the big surprise of the meet, Ori's X-2 ICs ... were added. I've never heard an IC have such an impact on the sound, and I mean that in the best possible way. Great to hear three such strong amps. I didn't spend much time with the others so can't comment there.
post #4 of 93
Very interesting. I am looking forward to impressions. It's a real shame that none of the budget K-1000 amps made an appearance (Trends TA-10.1, Big Joe, etc). I think you would have been thorouhgly impressed with what those mini-wonders are capable of.

Did Neailpert go mobile again and hit on some muffin tops while sporting the K-1000s? If so, we demand pictures!

post #5 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessingx View Post
Thanks for hosting Al. I now know a new pizza crust!

BetwOri's X-2 ICs ....
What is the brand and price on the X2?
post #6 of 93
The X-2 is priced at about 600 for a meter? I think. Made by Ori of Oritek of Oritek modded Zhaolu fame. There is also a cheaper x-1 that is supposedly quite competitive for its price.

All the amps were pretty excellent. As I don't personally own K1000s I couldn't really reach any opinions on particular components. I can just reinforce my initial impression that K1000s with a good amp are quite resolving/detailed/with great soundstage/tonality and most of all, the most textured sounding. While Qualias slightly win out on detail and resolution.... yeah. K1k definitely top tier.

I think, and take this with a large grain of salt, but I liked the Silver Dragon Hardwired a lot but the Equinox slightly more but given the potential heard with Black Dragon tail, hardwired Black Dragon would take the top spot. Of course I heard this all through different amps (Same source/interconnects) so... yeah. The Silver Dragon'd K1000s definitely don't sound overly bright like you'd think since K1000s are a somewhat bright headphone, but instead good and very detailed. Equinox just had a slightly better balance over all.
post #7 of 93
Thread Starter 
The Attendees:

Voltron
Ori
bobcn
blessingx
Icarium
Icarium's buddy
NeilPeart
neilvg
Grahame



The amps:



Woo Audio WA-5



Moth Audio 300B Paradigm



Red Wine Audio Signature 30



Pass Labs Aleph 30



Dussun V6i, 150 W/Ch Integrated Amp



Dussun DS99, 100 W/Ch Integrated Amp



Ori's 3-ch switchbox and X-2 cables that made comparisons clean



The K1000s:



Alwayswantsmore's new Moon Audio Silver Dragon v.2 Hardwire



utep10's and Voltron's Stefan Audio Art Equinox Hardwire (not pictured)

Plus Moon Audio Silver Dragon, Silver Dragon Special Edition, and Black Dragon Tails



The Source:



EMM Labs CDSD SE (Transport) and DCC2 SE (DAC/Pre)



The Interloper Setup:



The next room had a little non-K1000 diversion made up of an Onix CD-1 feeding through the Lavry DA-10 or Ori-modded Zhalou DAC and then into the Eddie Current EC/SS for HD600 and HD650



Ori also brought his vintage Harmon-Kardon tuner with amplifier built right into the box. With this in the setup the K1000s were back in the mix and the interlopers were displaced.



The Candids:



Most of the gear



The line-up




4 K1000s playing the same track from 4 different amps + 1 Poser.
L to R: Voltron, Ori, NeilPeart, Grahame, neilvg




Mega Max Beckman gets into the act



NeilPeart can't stop drumming.



The sad moment Bob realized that he had to replace his ICs with Oritek X-2s



The meet was on Miles Davis' birthday (would have been 81) and I kept saying we had to play some Miles music, such as the amazing Cellar Door Session pictured. Didn't happen to my knowledge.



And here's the moment when Bob realized that the Equinox was still the hardwire of choice for him even with the cost, the wait, and the hassle of finding someone to hardwire it.



Icarium thinking that this K1000 setup seems so Qualia-like.




Tubes. Just because.
post #8 of 93
Btw Al thanks for hosting it! Definitely some planning went into setting it up and the setting was great! I owe you money for pizza ;p

It's ironic but on the way back my buddy got a ticket for doing 80 laf :/ Silly stealth all black police cars.
post #9 of 93
Thread Starter 
Oh well, impressions will have to wait for tomorrow. Where is everybody else? Post your thoughts fellas!
post #10 of 93
This is a unique tread for K1000 owners, in that you had so much great gear collected in one controlled environment. Thanks for doing this.

I have not yet seen or heard my new SDv2 hardwire, but from initial comments, the SAA appears to have a good start out of the gate ... could attendees please expand on what they heard when comparing the two hardwires -- how is the treble / bass balance?? How about resolution and soundstage?

Also, from best I can tell from the pictures, the SDv2 sure looks pretty. So if I told you my SDv2 “promotes world peace, and won the swim suit contest,” would the SDv2 be crowned the winner?

Did the Sig 30 – when matched with the same cables – hold it’s own against the pricier glass-powered competition? Again, any additional details on where the sound differed would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Kent
post #11 of 93
Al, Dan, Ori, Neil, Leav, Graham, and others .... what a great day you must have had. Thanks for the excellent pics and posts. Looking at them was almost like hanging with you guys again - good times.

Nice to see the Woo, and new AAA Audio gear, and nice to see Ori's X2's getting some props. I remember when I first got mine, and had the biggest (and honestly, only) WOW moment from changing IC's ever. They really are great cables.

WIll be tuned in here to hear the rest of the impressions from this amazing collection of gear.
post #12 of 93
What a great collection of equipment.. and ears! Looking forward to your detailed impressions. Make sure to commit them to headfi before your sonic memory blurs the details, and thanks for doing this. I know it was a lot of fun, but it is also a great service to your fellow head-fiers.
post #13 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore View Post
This is a unique tread for K1000 owners, in that you had so much great gear collected in one controlled environment. Thanks for doing this.

I have not yet seen or heard my new SDv2 hardwire, but from these initial comments it appears to trail the SAA... could attendees please expand on what they heard when comparing the two hardwire alternatives -- like was the SDv2 bass shy, too much treble, what??? How about resolution and soundstage? Was the SDv2 a clear step up from stock?

Also, from best I can tell from the pictures, the SDv2 sure looks pretty. So if I told you my SDv2 “promotes world peace, and won the swim suit contest,” would you reconsider the rankings?

Did the Sig 30 – when matched with the same cables – hold it’s own against the pricier glass-powered competition? Again, any additional details on where the sound differed would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Kent
Have no fear, Kent, your new cable will rock your world! Is it a clear step up from stock? Funny question because yesterday the question was whether the SDv2 hardwire was the best they had heard the K1000 sound or whether the Equinox edged it on some setups. I am not trying to put words in peoples' mouths, especially because I hope they post plenty of impressions of their own, but I just want to assure you that it is a spectacular cable!

There certainly are differences, and I hope to shed more light on that when I finally get some more impressions into this thread, but there may be some areas where the SDv2 excels and some where the Equinox excels but they both cream any tail to stock combination out there. Including the tails made by SAA and Moon, which are very fine upgrades in themselves. The hardwire makes the most intense, most immediate difference to the K1000, and both of these (as well as the Mogami hardwire of JP#s that was at the Int'l) make the cans much more cohesive, balanced and natural sounding. Open cans become more open. Congestion that can impede those beautiful drivers is flushed away. The BASS enters the image in a big way.

OK, so I am slipping into impressions in what was intended to be my "thank-you" post, so I have to finish expressing my sincere gratitude for the many people who contributed to this epic K1000 event.

I am going to start with Jack Wu and Woo Audio because his long-term loaner of his WA-5 prototype loaner was the catalyst for this whole meet (as well as the stealth all-300B meet with foo_me's Zanden and my Moth a couple weeks ago -- more on that later). Jack's loan has made me doubt other purchases and wish that I could go back on others, but it certainly has allowed a lot of great comparisons in the Bay Area Head-Fi community. Finally, and assuming I can give it up, the WA-5 is heading next to Florida for the upcoming meet there. It will be good to get more detailed thoughts, also assuming some of the Floridians are sober (we're counting on you, Saint V!). Thanks Jack, it's been a blast to borrow your beauty.

Kent and Drew from Moon Audio are next for their very generous joint effort to get Kent's cans rewired and get them directly to me for the meet. That was above and beyond for the community and I know you are desparate to get them yourself and give them a listen. How many compulsive Head-Fiers out there would delay their satisfaction of a new item that was much-anticipated so that other Head-Fiers could paw them and listen before you ever even see them?! This effort provided a great opportunity to get head-to-head comparisons in a very controlled environment. So thank you Kent for volunteering and thank you Drew for making it possible by working your butt off to build the cable, hardwire it up, and burn it in all in a very short time span.

Drew gets another big thanks for the continued loan of numerous tail ends that were at the Int'l Meet. I listed them earlier but each of the Moon Audio cables were in use at this meet in numerous setups. After comparing them with the straight stock plugged into the Woo's K1000 jack, I have to say that they are all a big step up from stock -- duh! -- but the Black Dragon really had me. I think it was with the Aleph 30, which sounded better than I have ever heard it in this setup, but there was one time listening with the Black Dragon tail that made me really want a BD hardwire. Icarium had the same thought, and I will bet he will have one before the end of summer! Oops, impressions sneaking in again.

More thanks to another vendor who sent gear on his own initiative for the meet. My man Ping Gong of AAA Audio sent two very nice Dussun integrateds for the meet. They did not get the same level of attention as the other more popular K1000 options, but the DS99 is a very nice little amp and sounded very good with the K1000 and it is only $600. In K1000 terms that is a pretty budget solution, plus it will easily power speakers. The bigger V6i is a very nice and very clean amp, and its Hyper Class A power is substantial. See my comments on both amps later in the thread. Thanks Ping, and I will be sending back your amps as soon as I give them both some more listening time!

Another quick thanks to Rob Fritz of Audio Art Cables. Rob sent me three pairs of his fine IC-3 interconnects for a trial use and for use at this meet. I really like these cables a lot and their budget pricing is amazing. $99 cables have no business sounding this good. I cannot wait to hear the IC-3 Special Edition that Rob is working on -- the pictures had me drooling so I hope the sound rivals the looks! Thanks Rob.

Ori of Oritek went out of his way to help out with this meet too. He provided four single-ended pairs of his great X-2 cables, and neilvg also brought the balanced X-2 that Ori recently spent 12 hours making. These cables were used much of the time, but the Audio Art cables also were used and compared to the X-2s. I have managed to hold onto one of Ori's X-2s for a little more comparing, but the impressions will be forthcoming from many in the thread. Ori also built the great little switchbox that even has a volume control limited to one of the three outputs for the Aleph 30. It seemed transparent and really allowed us to minimize outside influences. The ability to play the line-out from the EMM Labs gear simultaneously to all amps at once was great stuff. Ori even picked up utep10's K1000s and brought along a couple of power conditioners to maximize the clean setup.

Obviously, all of the members who broke up their precious setups and brought along their gear deserve some thanks as well. This would have been much less useful without the range of gear we had.

If I have forgotten anybody, I am sure I will remember while posting more and then I will just edit a bit here. It was a great community event and I hope the bigger community gets something out of it. So, have I mentioned that people need to post detailed impressions enough yet?! Get to posting and the rest of you K1000 devotees should ask questions to spur the discussion too!

Cheers.
post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
The sad moment Bob realized that he had to replace his ICs with Oritek X-2s

And here's the moment when Bob realized that the Equinox was still the hardwire of choice for him even with the cost, the wait, and the hassle of finding someone to hardwire it.
Ha, ha, ha.
Sadly, it's true.

Besides listening to some fine equipment and enjoying some good company, I was hoping to find a (relatively) inexpensive solution to my K1000 cabling concerns. That's not how things worked out.

It was sort of like an alcoholic getting on a bus to go to an AA meeting and finding he had joined a wine country tasting tour instead. Curse you Head-Fi!

The huge improvement Ori's interconnects bring to my Sig 30 setup was completely unexpected. Once again there goes my budget (Oritech X-2s aren't cheap). Also, I've decided to bite the bullet and go Equinox hardwired (with all of the cost, delays, and risk that involves). My earlier concerns about the performance of Equinox hardwire (from an experience at another meet) seem to have been misplaced.

The setup Al provided was perfect for comparing equipment (and just plain enjoying some extraordinary gear and fine music). Thanks to Al and Ori (who's a great guy, by the way) the conditions were more controlled than we were able to achieve at the national. All of the gear had an opprotunity to be heard at its best.

Virtually all of the amps took advantage of the situation to show their various strengths. There were no slackers in this crowd. Al's Moth sounded very musical and lent weight and authority to the music. The Woo amp excelled at clarity and detail. The Aleph 30 sounded excellent in this setting. The performance it gave was the best I've heard from a Pass amp so far. I'll let others describe the Sig 30's performance. I really like this amp and can no longer be trusted to be an unbiased source. I'll just say that I thought the little Sig 30 can run with the big dogs.

Thanks Al. I had a great time.
post #15 of 93
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bob and everybody else. It was fun to host and I had the advantage of having my wife traveling for a few days to set up and get ready.

I am off to a Giants game so more impressions will have to wait...

ps to Bob--you must post impressions of the Sig30 it is important for one who owns it to compare and contrast. Please?
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