More than listening to gear, I just had a great time meeting HF and members of other headphone forums. The organization of the meet was absolutely top notch and the community presence was mind boggling.
The HD800 were very unique in that they could sound so different in so many setups. I thoroughly enjoyed them in a balanced configuration on my B52 and look forward to ordering a pair in the future.
The balanced R10 out of Andy's SDS-XLR, the HE90 out of Neils ES2 were absolutely amazing and I had ample opportunities to listen to them as my setup was in the same Catalina D room.
I was almost ready to completely go offline as when I powered up my rig, I tripped the breaker and everyone in the room lost power. This happened three times before I finally was able to have the hotel services daisy chain 2 extension cords to power off a completely different circuit.
Edips Reks stopped by and mentioned the extra gain on the setup. Switched the 12ax7 pairs (Mullard CV4004) for a pair of 12AU7 Telefunken smooth plates and he was much happier. I just had the extra gain to mitigate some of the meet conditions. Great guy to talk to and we exchanged some of our audio philosophies...a very pleasurable personality and he really had some great audio insight...always fun to hear!
Anyhow, the HD800 and the JH13's are probably on the plate for me as I think they were some of the best sounding units at the show. One of the best I heard the HD800 was when Neil and I went up to Jude's room Saturday night. He had the Lavry DA11, a Raptor, the new top of the line Cardas cables and a power plant premier all hooked up.
Absolutely amazing. Jude likes most of his headphones through the Luxman amp he owns, but the HD800 were best to his ears on the Raptor and he didn't know what was the real reason here. Maybe the OTL design, but the HD800 were just spectacular here. Neil and I both were taken aback by how nice this was sounding. Maybe because the pair was broken in so well for the past 3 months that Jude owned it. Also, there were no meet conditions here....so whatever it was, the sound was heavenly with some Cowboy Junkies, Damien Rice and some MFSL tracks...all lossless through iTunes. The digital crossfeed on the Lavry DA11 was a total trip. Absolutely brilliant!
I loved every tiring minute of CanJam and hated the Monday morning blues.
Oh one more thing, the Ultrasone Edition 8's sounded so much better than the 9s. I did an AB through Rudi's RPX 33 which was right there next to the Ultrasone table. Putting on the Edition 9 brought back memories and reminded me why I had sold them. Edition 8 were a totally different story though...a more refined headphone to my ears.
My good friend ServingEquador won the Ed. 8 in the Raffle and I was so happy for him. Couldn't imagine a better person to have those! He had absolutely no clue they were $1500 headphones! He found out later when he checked at home and almost fell out of his chair. hehee
Here was my setup/table:
One of the highlights of CanJam for me was actually on Thursday evening
Ray Samuels and his son Charles graciously came over to my home for dinner and some music listening on my speaker system (add a pair of tube monoblocks and single driver speakers to fully treated room to get an idea). Ray brought over his new A10 and boy did we have a great time. We played around comparing the B52 preamp section with the A10 preamp section. I was almost torn apart when I heard the A10 preamp kill the B52 preamp and we both were just wondering what the hec was going on...turns out a simple tube change (pulled out the Telefunken 12AX7 Smooth plates from the A10 and into the B52) in the input section fixed everything. Now the preamps were sounding EXACTLY the same and my smile returned back to my face
What an experience..a pair of tubes made the difference between mid fi sounding and hi-fi sounding experiences. We both were absolutely dumbfounded. The input tubes on the B52 make an absolutely massive difference to the sound! Bad thing is now I have to track down a pair of matched Telefunken smooth plate 12AX7 tubes. Great food (thanks to my family cooking some elaborate North Indian dishes), good music and an amazing company made this a very memorable evening for Ray and I.
Honestly, this is one of the best headphone meets ever. Thank you head-fi...without you, this would not have been possible.