Many thanks to JP### and all the other guys and gals who helped to run this meet. I would also like to thank Tyll for lending me his HUGE tape gun, and putting forth the extra effort on Saturday night to make sure that everyone at the meet had a great time.
Like many meets I had more fun chatting with other audiophiles and designers BUT this time I actually took a moment to listen to some music!
The big woo electrostatic amp: sounded very good with the O2. Jack said that he still had some work to do on getting the amp set up and dialed in right. It is already very good, but with even a little improvement this will be a great bit of gear when it gets running full tilt. This is definitely on my "must hear" list for the next NYC meet.
The TTVJ/millet 307a and Manley 300B headphone amps both sounded superb with the HD-800, and the HF-2. I gave the PS-1000 a moments listen, but not really that long.
I spent quite a bit of time in the headroom room listening to the HD800 every which way out of every which amp. Their sound is certainly worth their title of flagship headphone, which is not something I so easily say for the HD-580. I quite liked the bass and the effortless flow of sound, with no obvious gaps or spikes. The bass was certainly there in spades, as mentioned, but I think it blended well into the rest of the headphone never sounding artificial or overbearing.
I spent a few minutes listening to the head direct orthos, and they were happy to show their potential. In all fairness, Fang told me they were not broken in (on Friday evening) but I was eager to hear them before the crowds started to gather. I gave them a listen on both his small hybrid tube amp, and my own tube amp. They both showed a good strength in the bass, which I like and have difficulty getting from other orthos. The down side was a wicked treble spike. BUT like I said, they were not broken in at all, and at the end of Saturday the treble had calmed down to a more reasonable level. I have high hopes and good confidence that these will show themselves as a solid headphone with a few more hours on them. This is also another "must listen" the next time there is an NYC meet.
The Donald North amp was cool! I have been running IEC outs on my own amps for some time for the beyers, and am happy to see someone else doing this as well. I listened to the DT-880/250 as they are what I am most familiar with, and they sounded very good from this little amp. The tonal balance and overall range were both very good as the IEC out cures many of the oft mentioned problems of the DT-880.
I spent some time at the next table over listening to namman's various gear. He also had a TPA dac, and I was quite pleased by the bijou with the HF-2. I spent a moment with the B22 and K-701 and that was also a great pairing.
Next over was the group effort of VPIvinylspinner's M3 amp, Thrice's buffalo dac, and someone else's CD player. This system was GREAT with pretty much everything I threw at it, and a real pleasure-fest. The highlight was the balanced HF-2, which grawk kindly declined to listen to so that others could.
I had a great listen to JP##'s stacker 2 amp & my HF-2. This amp took a variety of music and effortlessly got it pumping.
I had the privilege of parking my little amp in my own little group effort table with Nebby's various TPA sources, and both sounded great although I preferred the buffalo. We also had a few of Ctoole's and Sachu's orthos on hand and happily listened.
The high end room was quite high end this year. The reel to reel system in the back was SCREAMING for attention, anyone who took the time to listen got a treat. The 2 SP ES-2's were running full tilt, and sounded great with the omega2 or the HE-90. The balanced R10 from the SDS-XLR was a great pairing.
I missed the golden opportunity to listen to one of the prototype eddy-current amps but took a good long listen to the L3000 on my system. I am happy that I did: they have a very cool and unique sound: very dark, but at the same time quite intimate. I have heard them sound downright funky and weird on the wrong amps, but everything I threw them at got them singing loud and proud this weekend.
The final highlight (and the highest of the highlights IMO) was the Smyth room, and their headphone system. The whole concept is very cool, and I like the possibilities it brings to headphones. After the brief setup procedure I was encouraged to watch the opening scene of "Saving private ryan" and was nothing short of locked in my seat trembling in fear. I could not tell when the bomb was going to get me or what was really happening (I have never actually seen the movie), but I WAS IN IT! This was without a doubt the biggest "wow" moment I had the whole trip.
Originally Posted by panda
the amp underneath the lcd screen is called mccormack micro integrated drive. very few people have heard this amp let alone know anything about it. yet it is one of the top 5 best.
Originally Posted by subtle
Top 5 best in what area? In the world?? According to who?
I was also interested in this amp, as they come up on audiogon from time to time at a reasonable price and McCormack gear is generally well regarded. I was disappointed with this amp. I hoped it would get better after a few moments listen, it didn't. it had almost a screechy top end and really didnt get me into the music too well at all.