New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NorCal 8/8/09 meet impressions - Page 3  

post #31 of 154
here's my pics of the meet:

Flickr: linux-works' stuff tagged with norcalheadfimeet2009
post #32 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
Nope, that was Grahame's Transporter transport/DAC. A great thanks to him for saving me - in a crazy rush this morning, I forgot my Buffalo32 at home and he came through with a Terabyte of music feeding through that monster! Very impressive convenient to use and pretty damn good sounding. I love the idea of that piece of equipment, very cool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post
Are you talking the Transporter that sits above/below FallenAngel's Melos? That's Grahames'. The Transporter uses the same controller as the squeezbox Duet but comes with a very good built in DAC. There has been an on going debate about whether a squeezebox+ DAC would ever be as good as the Transporter. I myself couldn't find anything wrong with the Squeezebox plus my own DAC. Some people think otherwise.
The Squeezebox did seem to be an interesting piece of technology the more I played with it. Too bad it's a bit towards the expensive side, however. Still, if I find out that the Squeezebox can be configured that way, they have a future customer for sure. I just never expected Logitech to make such a huge and expensive thing such as the Transporter to go along with the Duet.
post #33 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
The Squeezebox did seem to be an interesting piece of technology the more I played with it. Too bad it's a bit towards the expensive side, however. Still, if I find out that the Squeezebox can be configured that way, they have a future customer for sure. I just never expected Logitech to make such a huge and expensive thing such as the Transporter to go along with the Duet.
Both the original Squeezebox and Transporter were made by Slim Device before the company was bought by Logitech.
I bought my Duet from Fry's for $325 which was much cheaper than the Transporter($2000). Maybe one day I will go for the Transporter but at the moment I am quite happy just using the duet with my own DAC.
Sorry for going off topic. Let get some more meet impressions!
post #34 of 154
I see some pictures of the LCD-1 there. Did anyone have a listen?
post #35 of 154
Hope you had a great time all. Thank you for impressions so far, please keep'em coming.
post #36 of 154
First of all, thanks to JP for organizing such a great meet. It was my first time attending the meet and I had a great experience. Before I write my brief impressions, I want to say that I didn't have much experience with high-end gears before I attended this meet. Also, I (like everyone else) had limited time on each headphone and couldn't concentrate on listening very well due to the noise in the room. So, these impressions are no-where near accurate or helpful. I am writing this just to entertain some of you and myself. Please understand if any of my impressions/thoughts are very much different from yours.

I listed the headphones in the order of my preference but, of course, this does not indicate how well they perform or tell you which one is better than the other. If I ever use wrong names or brands, please correct me. There were many new gears I have never tried before today and I am not sure if I got them all right.

1. JH|13/JH|11/JH|10X3: JH13Pro was the first thing I wanted to try at the meet and I went straight to them when I got to the hotel. I tried all three of the demo version and was particularly surprised by JH|13. There were so many other headphones that I wanted to try but I sat there for an hour to really appreciate the music that JH13 were playing out of my iPhone/D10. Its detail, imaging, staging, speed and instrumental separation was a class above my W5000 and any other headphones that I have owned so far. The bass was very impressive for IEM, very well controlled and punchy but not overwhelming. I was a bit concerned about prominent high, but many said the problem exist with demo version only and not with the actual custom one. Even considering that, they were very very good, JH13 was by far my favorite. I am very interested in getting one.

2. Stax SR-Ω/O2: To be honest, I don't even know exact model names of these two headphones (they looked very similar). MKI? MKII? Omega? All these different versions confuse me because I was never interested in high-end Stax (due to high price). Anyway, these were connected to Blue Hawaii amp and SACD player for source. I spent almost an hour here also trying out various tracks. Straight to the point, these headphones are AMAZING! I actually like these more than JH13 and I think they sound absolutely beautiful. They have so much detail/speed and very deep, punch bass, and soundstage was also better. I couldn't pick out any weakness for both of these headphones (though I would prefer a bit more bass impact). I would be very happy with these (wish I could afford these). One question for you guys though, are these two headphones suppose to sound very different? I tried one in the morning and other one in the afternoon so couldn't exactly figure out the difference. But if I had to choose, I would choose darker one.

3. K1000: I had less than 10 minutes to try these and I couldn't use my own source but I still liked them ALOT! I don't actually know how to describe their sound but they were definitely different from all other headphones. I think there was enough detail/speed and great soundstage. But what I really liked about them was their tone and ability to produce music like speakers.

4. HP1000/PS1: I couldn't try these long enough to really describe their sound either (so many people were hanging around FallenAngels table). I tried these two on both D10 and FallenAngels amps. I tried them with my own source/amp thinking that these should be easy to drive (after all, they are Grado). But they obviously sounded much better with full-sized amp. I liked HP1000 a bit more than PS1. PS1 sounded more like other Grados whereas HP1000 had much more balanced sound (bit warmer, darker sound?). I don't mind Grado house sound (I love RS1/2) but still liked HP1000 more. I was tapping my toes while trying these and they both really put you right into the music.

5. L3000: I don't remember what model it was, but they were connected to one of the Woo Audio amp. L3000 was also one of the headphones that I really wanted to try at the meet. So I waited to try them with my own CD but CD player was connected to several amps and headphones. I didn't want to bother anyone else with my music so I asked owner if I could try them with my iPhone/D10. They sounded very nice but was disappointed because I expected so much (considering their price and reviews). I assume it is due to my weak source/amp but even with CD player and Woo amp, they didn't wow me as much as Stax or K1000 did. But I really liked the bass sound coming out of L3000, I actually liked their bass the most when compared to all other headphones that were at the meet. I know I am very biased to say this but I would say my Fitz modded W5000 comes close to L3000 (about 70%-80%). I realized how good W5000 (or F5005 since it is modded) were for its relatively 'cheap' price tag. Stock W5000 doesn't sound like L3000 at all but the Fitz mod changes its sound completely and comes close to L3000 in my opinion.

6. Qualia/CD3000/HD800: Now, you will be wondering why HD800 ranked so low and why it is grouped together with Sony headphones. First, grouping with Qualia and CD3000... I have no reason for it. They certainly all sound different but I would still place them in same rank (which is just my preference rank). In technical point of view, I felt HD800 were better than the other two. They were more transparent, had more detail and were faster. Soundstage on HD800 was also great. But I thought that all three have very prominent highs and lean bass. Maybe I shouldn't say 'lean' (which would be too extreme) but I wanted just a tad more bass impact. Low frequency sounded best on CD3000 among these three but overall I liked HD800 the most. I spent quite a long time with HD800 since it's FOTM and got many great reviews recently. I almost wanted to believe that they are great, but my ears couldn't convince me so. I just don't know why but I didn't like them as much. Amp used with HD800 was Single Power and source was CD player.

7. HF2/GS1000/DX1000: I had less than 10 minutes with each of these phones. I particularly didn't pay too much attention to HF2 because I ordered one and I will have plenty of time to try them later on. Anyway, my initial impression wasn't that great (both bowl and flat). Maybe I expected too much by reading so many good reviews or maybe because I tried them right after JH13. It sounded like they had too much bass and it wasn't very tight and punchy. But as I mentioned before, I didn't spend much time with them. Likewise, I was bit disappointed by both GS1000 and DX1000. Before the meet, I thought (and I have read) that they had great bass but didn't think that way. But again, didn't have much time with them (sorry about saying it over and over). Both sounded a little hollow and congested. Hope to try them again though.

8. LCD-1/Markl D5000/SRH840: Nothing much to say really.... I kind of liked them all three but didn't really want them or buy them. Modded D5000 was much better than my previous stock D2000 but I still thought their mid was a bit recessed. I like the smooth high, a bit forward mid and bass with authority. D5000 satisfied me with their bass but high was a bit forward and mid was recessed. LCD-1 was pretty good but I thought it was a bit boring. Maybe I should have spent more time with them. I didn't like SRH840 too much. I tried them with both D10 and Gilmore Lite (owner's rig) but both sounded a bit hollow and congested. However, I think they are really good for their price (which I believe is around $140).

Ok, so there you have it. I guess I could write them in more detail but I tried my best. I strongly believe that my impressions will definitely change if I own them or test them for longer period of time. I also feel that I couldn't really do critical listening because my head was all congested with all these different sounds from different headphones that I heard in such a short period of time and I was quite confused towards the end of the meet.
post #37 of 154
Anyone knows what this amp is? It looks like a DIY amp, but what is it?
Thanks for sharing the nice pics and impressions!
post #38 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari View Post
Anyone knows what this amp is? It looks like a DIY amp, but what is it?
Thanks for sharing the nice pics and impressions!
It's a Bottlehead amp. Exactly what model it is, I'm not sure about. Perhaps a really old model, or one in progress that's not available to the public yet.

Bottlehead.com
post #39 of 154
If you're talking about the lacewood faced "big" headphone amp, it was built for use at "Paul Stubblebine Mastering". Doc created a lot of the amps used there.

Regarding the Bottlehead products, I was really impressed with the "Quickie" battery powered preamp/headphone amp. I listened to it with a pair of HD600's and it sounded way too good for such a low priced unit. I think that it's a natural for use in a desktop system where you could connect the pre outs to a pair of powered speakers and be able to switch inputs from your computer/dac, cd/dvd player or whatever you have. Great idea! I know guzziguy took one home so I'll be looking forward to his long term impressions.
I was also impressed with how well the Paramount amps drove the k1000's. Considering the high prices that these phones are demanding today, finding a lower priced 300b amp to drive them is a natural pairing.

Craig Uthus was set up right next to me and I had a nice visit with him. The Balancing Act driving Craig's balanced AD2000's sounded fantastic. This was through Craig's new phono stage and for the prices he's talking about, the phono stage is going to be a huge bargain. Voltron brought over his HD800's latter and that was the best I've heard them so far. I think the HD800's are going to be one of those can's that will end many folks search for a long term "everything" can.

I spent a lot of time talking to (and learning from) Frank Cooter. Really a fun guy and he didn't disappoint with his latest creations. Just beautiful and fantastic sounding at the same time.

Mikeymad's rig is alway a pleasure to listen to also. You can really tell that he's put a lot of time and thought into his Marantz SACD>SP ES-1>O2 set up. It's always one of the better electrostatic rigs you can hear.

I listened to the Audeze planar headphones again and have got to order a pair. I used to have some Yamaha's way back when (80's?) and loved them. I never got a chance myself, but several folks said that they were heaven out of the Eddie Current ZDT (standard transformer version).

Once again, it's the members that really make these things into much more than just a bunch of gear. Thanks to everyone (and the candied pecans of course) and I'll see you at the next one.
post #40 of 154
Here are some of my thoughts regarding some of the gear I tried at the meet. One of my goals at the meet was to try a wide range of amps with the JH13s. As great as the JH13s sound out of my pico/netbook/flac rig I knew a lot more goodness could be squeezed out of these puppies. I made a choice to not eliminate any amp there no matter how bizarre it seemed to pair them with an iem. Well after listening to them with the GS-1, Gilmore Light, Balancing Act, ZDT, BottleHead battery amp (btw very cool $200 amp), DNA (Donald North), Luxman 200 and pico slim I settled on the GS-1 being the best choice for me although the Balancing Act had the absolute best sound with them. Most if not all the others sounded good with them but the GS-1 and Balacing Act really locked in with the JH13s, I know I know how crazy is it to use a huge tube amp with IEMs or the GS-1 for that matter but the JH13s are no ordinary IEM. Out of the BA the Decemberists song 'THe Perfect Crime #2' sounded the best I have heard it.
BlessingX's rig with the GS1 was equally stunning with the JH13s Roger Waters singing Paranoid Eyes from the FInal Cut cd was scary good as was Frank Sinatra belting out It Was a Very Good Year. Ric thanks for putting together a great demo song list for your rig , it is always a treat to see your set up.

Ok on to some of the gear

Audeze LCD-1 I really like these and had the opportunity to hear them out of the Eddie Current ZDT. Great imaging and tone out of them they remind me of Maggie speakers in the way they reproduce lifelike sound and have great speed. At $400 for the ones in the converted housing they are a steal.

DNA Sonnet nice amp and Donald is a great guy as well. I started out at his table with no cds of my own and the fist two cds were so poorly recorded that I thought it might be the gear, thankfully I switched to Radiohead (not the best recordings but decent). The amp sounded good, remember I was using them with the JH13s and also I used Donald's Beyer 880 which I really am not a fan of. Nice amp in the $1000 category not ultimately my favorite amp in this segment but a very nice amp non the less. At this end of the amp market there is not a whole lot out there and this is an option you should hear if you are in the market for an amp in the $1000 category.

HeadAmp Got a chance to hear the pico slim at Justin's table as well as check out the GS1 and Glite at other tables. The Pico Slim is a great little amp and was not outclassed while being fed by the Sony ES5400 sacd player. If I did not already have a pico amp/dac combo I would have handed over my money to Justin for one of these on the spot!
The GS1 yikes with the JH13s and the GS1 on the low setting it sounded really spectacular. This pretty much sealed the deal for me on a home amp for the JH13s. The sound was very textured and detailed and never sounded harsh or bright. I think the Glite would be a close second but was not bowled over by the sound which I attributed to the usb to optical converted that was used at that rig to get the digital audio out of the laptop source. In theory the Glite and GS1 should be very similar when applied to the JH13 other than the PS there is really no difference in low gain mode (gs1).

Eddie Current Craig is really the best guy in the amp market that has a handle on tube headphone design. His years as a partner in Moth Audio and his work prior to that in the electronics industry provide a knowledge of circuit design that remains unmatched in our hobby. The Balancing Act, what else is there to say wonder tone and texture sounds to me like music should. The BA more closely resembles the sounds I hear when I play music or when I go hear live music (probably 20+ shows a year). Now with the JH13s it's total overkill but still best in class and kicks major butt with every dynamic I have thrown at it in my multiple sessions over the past few moths with it.
I had a short time with the ZDT and was really impressed, it reminds me of my HD2 that Craig built for me, just scaled back slightly but improved in other ways. Craig was gracious to let me home audition the ZDT for a bit so a more detailed review to come but once again very impressive.

Unsung star of the show for me was Craig's new phono pre amp look for this to come out in the near future and it sounded great and was paired with the pedestrian technics 1200 and denon 103 which are not bad at all just not at the level of the electronics in Craig's arsenal.

Lastly the Laconic mini ZD, this is a Russian amp that Craig imports and does some tweaking and overhaul work to then sells. Based off his designs it sounds great in it's price class and would be tough to beat at $600 (I may be wrong on the price). Once to keep an eye out for as a second amp or a nice tube amp on a budget.

More to come just wanted to some initial thoughts out there.
post #41 of 154

Pics part 1

This doesn't smell like a Singlepower...


..because it's 10.2lbs of Woo Audio goodness!


How do I work this darn thing again?!?


Finally it was ready to rock...


...along with the rest of Al's rig


Justin unpacked a serious stash of cans:


And I set up my ode to JH Audio:


Donald North and his amps made the trek


Let the listening begin!


Just don't zap yourself in the process!


blessingx has a spirited conversation:


As things kept churning in the "cool" room...


...strungout1 and others sweated it out in the "hot" room


Others were content to chill out with some cards




(Yet another) great looking amp from Doc Cooter:




The JH13 claims another victim
post #42 of 154

Pics part 2

Time to mix up some raffle tix!


And we have a winner of a PPAS!


Who came all the way from Nevada!


Meanwhile the listening pressed on at JP#'s table...


...and across the room at mikeymad's mad stash


The cable mess grew and grew


More vintage Stax came out to play...


...as did these unusual German headphones


They don't build 'em like this anymore


The first production Audeze headphones were a popular listening target


But not as popular as the treats whipped up by Mrs. Bigguy!


I think all the sugar went straight to his brain


Meanwhile, grahame is stupified


Fureshi takes his shot at the JH13 demo with a friend looking on


Amps and amps and amps, oh my!


The most wicked tape setup we've had the luck to hear yet!


Cooter's table, always busy!


As time wore on, the conversation heated up...


...and the liquid flowed!
post #43 of 154
great pics. they tell a nice story. thanks.
post #44 of 154
Very nice pictures, and the captions make all the difference!

It seemed like the ideal meet- not too overloaded and lots of familiar faces.

Enjoying the impressions since it didn't work out for me to be there
post #45 of 154
Quote:
DNA Sonnet nice amp and Donald is a great guy as well. I started out at his table with no cds of my own and the fist two cds were so poorly recorded that I thought it might be the gear, thankfully I switched to Radiohead (not the best recordings but decent). The amp sounded good, remember I was using them with the JH13s and also I used Donald's Beyer 880 which I really am not a fan of. Nice amp in the $1000 category not ultimately my favorite amp in this segment but a very nice amp non the less. At this end of the amp market there is not a whole lot out there and this is an option you should hear if you are in the market for an amp in the $1000 category.
Thanks very much for those impressions of the otherwise not-talked-about-much amp. Have you perhaps ever heard a Woo WA2 and, if so, could you draw any comparisons?

Cheers
X
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
This thread is locked