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8/14/10 Denver CO summer meet impressions - Page 2  

post #16 of 36

I posted my BHSE vs WES impressions from the meet - nothing big though:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/439657/headamp-blue-hawaii-special-edition/225#post_6854973

post #17 of 36
Thread Starter 

Gear Impressions:

 

- Audeze LCD-2 (source: Ayre QB-9 | amp: B22): Anyone who's read any number of my written impressions & reviews on Head-Fi will probably notice that I have a tendency to nitpick just about everything I listen to. Well, I was once again prepared to nitpick the LCD-2, given my anticipation. I heard Audeze's pair at CanJam 2010 for only a few minutes on unfamiliar music so naturally I wanted to hear it again on music that I do know, for a longer amount of time, to make sure that I made the right decision to put my pre-order in recently.

That said, probably the highest compliment I can pay the LCD-2 is that if I were drunk, I might be able to mistake it for the Stax OII MKI. There was a certain similarity between the two headphones and yes, I did go back over to my Plinius CD-101/BHSE/OII system just to make sure that I was hearing straight. Of course they weren't completely similar though, and I was sober so I could totally tell the difference. But like I said, if I were drunk, I don't think I'd be able to tell.

So let's just say that the fact I was amazed is kind of an understatement. I'm officially 200% more interested in getting my own pair now! The one thing that stood out most to me about the LCD-2 was a big sense of physical movement and tactility from music that I don't think I've heard from a headphone before. It made prog rock and metal music specifically sound really awesome for this reason. I didn't bother to listen to electronica though so I can save something for when I actually get my own.

- Westone ES5 demo universals: I was kinda prepared to nitpick the ES5 too, for no good reason really, but just because. And honestly the ES5 kinda blew me away too - if I didn't already have the JH13, I might have gone with an ES5 instead. The ES5 is almost as good as the JH13! The iPod actually had some music that I'm relatively familiar with (specifically Eva Cassidy and Radiohead) and there weren't really any glaring omissions that I could hear compared to my JH13 experience in general. To go back to the drunk analogy, if I were drunk I'm not sure I could tell the difference between the ES5 and JH13. I have to hand it to Westone, they put together a great IEM!

- HiFiMan HE-6: I wrote my HE-6 impressions in another thread that can be viewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/497004/he-6-loaner-program/330#post_6858569

- Senn HD800, revisited: I have my own HD800 but at Larry/HPA's persistent prompting I checked out his re-cabled ones on his Eddie Current ZDT sourced by the PS Audio PWD. And it sounded very good, well at least for an HD800, because I don't have a high opinion of the HD800. Not even this system made me like the HD800 (nor have I completely liked it on mine where I've used it with an M3 and B22), but it was one of the best examples I've heard where the HD800's flaws were minimized (another example is the Luxman P-1u when I had it on loan from TTVJ, which I wrote about in the TTVJ Premier Sponsor forum).

- Woo WES vs HeadAmp BHSE: Ok so not exactly an apples-apples comparison as the two amps were on different sources, the WES on a PS Audio PWD and the BHSE on my Plinius CD-101. The test music recording was Eva Cassidy's Live at Blues Alley which I don't listen to all the time but I'm relatively familiar with it regardless. I felt that the WES underpowered the OII, as there was marginally less dynamic range and less intensity to Eva Cassidy's voice, but it wasn't bad and still sounded ok. The WES was mostly a different sort of presentation, with more-forward vocals and not as much sense of the acoustic space of the performance venue. The BHSE spread everything out and away more with a better sense of air and space, with a more laidback type of presentation.

- Woo WA2: The owner of this system had a lot of modern rock music on his computer, a lot of which I was actually familiar with, and I checked the amp out with both the Sony SA5000 and my own Audio-Technica AD2000, and it sounded pretty good and didn't subtract much that I could easily hear. But this amp was being sourced by a NuForce uDAC which was probably limiting the performance of the amp - by how much I have no idea.

- Lawton Audio LA7000: Larry/HPA wanted me to listen to this too, so I did, and I have to say that these headphones were bad - one of the worst headphones I've heard recently! The impulse response was pretty slow compared to what I'm used to (in other words, mediocre) and the treble wasn't clean/clear enough. But by far the most annoying thing about it was its one-note bass response. I was listening to Alison Krauss & Union Station's "Let Me Touch You For Awhile" and anyone who knows this music will know that there's a rhythmic double-bass that plays two notes, alternating between them on the beat. The LA7000 rendered the two bass "notes" on each beat but almost completely lost the pitch on them, making them sound like practically the same note! I have to say that out of all the headphones (and speakers) that I've heard this track on, I have never heard them sound like the same note - until I heard this music on the LA7000 (!).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I'm a little bit disturbed by the small amount of cash donated to help pay for the room, and with 15-16 rigs set up we should have had more than that.   It appears that over 25% of the donations came from me and my son (although we did get gear in return from the auction).  The economy sucks, and many of us including me live paycheck to paycheck, but it's not fair to leave the bulk of the expenses on you.  Let me know if I can help further.  I'm sure I can scrounge up a little more after Wednesday.


I'll put it this way: funding a meet is a non-issue for me and I specifically stated in the meet thread that donations were voluntary, not required. No one who attended the meet should feel pressured to donate more and I specifically mentioned a cap on donation amounts in the meet thread too. I will just say that the donations were appreciated. No more needs to be said on this subject.


Edited by Asr - 8/16/10 at 10:57pm
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Gear Impressions:

 

- Audeze LCD-2 (source: Ayre QB-9 | amp: B22): Anyone who's read any number of my written impressions & reviews on Head-Fi will probably notice that I have a tendency to nitpick just about everything I listen to. Well, I was once again prepared to nitpick the LCD-2, given my anticipation. I heard Audeze's pair at CanJam 2010 for only a few minutes on unfamiliar music so naturally I wanted to hear it again on music that I do know, for a longer amount of time, to make sure that I made the right decision to put my pre-order in recently.

That said, probably the highest compliment I can pay the LCD-2 is that if I were drunk, I might be able to mistake it for the Stax OII MKI. There was a certain similarity between the two headphones and yes, I did go back over to my Plinius CD-101/BHSE/OII system just to make sure that I was hearing straight. Of course they weren't completely similar though, and I was sober so I could totally tell the difference. But like I said, if I were drunk, I don't think I'd be able to tell.

So let's just say that the fact I was amazed is kind of an understatement. I'm officially 200% more interested in getting my own pair now! The one thing that stood out most to me about the LCD-2 was a big sense of physical movement and tactility from music that I don't think I've heard from a headphone before. It made prog rock and metal music specifically sound really awesome for this reason. I didn't bother to listen to electronica though so I can save something for when I actually get my own.

- Westone ES5 demo universals: I was kinda prepared to nitpick the ES5 too, for no good reason really, but just because. And honestly the ES5 kinda blew me away too - if I didn't already have the JH13, I might have gone with an ES5 instead. The ES5 is almost as good as the JH13! The iPod actually had some music that I'm relatively familiar with (specifically Eva Cassidy and Radiohead) and there weren't really any glaring omissions that I could hear compared to my JH13 experience in general. To go back to the drunk analogy, if I were drunk I'm not sure I could tell the difference between the ES5 and JH13. I have to hand it to Westone, they put together a great IEM!

- HiFiMan HE-6: I wrote my HE-6 impressions in another thread that can be viewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/497004/he-6-loaner-program/330#post_6858569

- Senn HD800, revisited: I have my own HD800 but at Larry/HPA's persistent prompting I checked out his re-cabled ones on his Eddie Current ZDT sourced by the PS Audio PWD. And it sounded very good, well at least for an HD800, because I don't have a high opinion of the HD800. Not even this system made me like the HD800 (nor have I completely liked it on mine where I've used it with an M3 and B22), but it was one of the best examples I've heard where the HD800's flaws were minimized (another example is the Luxman P-1u when I had it on loan from TTVJ, which I wrote about in the TTVJ Premier Sponsor forum).

- Woo WES vs HeadAmp BHSE: Ok so not exactly an apples-apples comparison as the two amps were on different sources, the WES on a PS Audio PWD and the BHSE on my Plinius CD-101. The test music recording was Eva Cassidy's Live at Blues Alley which I don't listen to all the time but I'm relatively familiar with it regardless. I felt that the WES underpowered the OII, as there was marginally less dynamic range and less intensity to Eva Cassidy's voice, but it wasn't bad and still sounded ok. The WES was mostly a different sort of presentation, with more-forward vocals and not as much sense of the acoustic space of the performance venue. The BHSE spread everything out and away more with a better sense of air and space, with a more laidback type of presentation.

- Woo WA2: The owner of this system had a lot of modern rock music on his computer, a lot of which I was actually familiar with, and I checked the amp out with both the Sony SA5000 and my own Audio-Technica AD2000, and it sounded pretty good and didn't subtract much that I could easily hear. But this amp was being sourced by a NuForce uDAC which was probably limiting the performance of the amp - by how much I have no idea.

- Lawton Audio LA7000: Larry/HPA wanted me to listen to this too, so I did, and I have to say that these headphones were bad - one of the worst headphones I've heard recently! The impulse response was pretty slow compared to what I'm used to (in other words, mediocre) and the treble wasn't clean/clear enough. But by far the most annoying thing about it was its one-note bass response. I was listening to Alison Krauss & Union Station's "Let Me Touch You For Awhile" and anyone who knows this music will know that there's a rhythmic double-bass that plays two notes, alternating between them on the beat. The LA7000 rendered the two bass "notes" on each beat but almost completely lost the pitch on them, making them sound like practically the same note! I have to say that out of all the headphones (and speakers) that I've heard this track on, I have never heard them sound like the same note - until I heard this music on the LA7000 (!).
 


I'll put it this way: funding a meet is a non-issue for me and I specifically stated in the meet thread that donations were voluntary, not required. No one who attended the meet should feel pressured to donate more and I specifically mentioned a cap on donation amounts in the meet thread too. I will just say that the donations were appreciated. No more needs to be said on this subject.

 

I really appreciate you humoring me and listening to some gear that I pushed your way, because I really wanted to know what you thought.  I think I did the same thing to you last year as well.  Sorry.


Re - Audeze LCD-2 - I agree now, once I was able to try them on my PWD > ZDT.  I recently posted similar thoughts about the LCD-2 and O2 Mk1 sharing a similar sound signature and soundstage presentation.  When I first got them I used them with the Apogee mini-DAC > WA6 or SAC amp, and the LCD-2 were less spacious and more grainy/fatiguing to me.  Changing the source improved them, and changing source and amp made an even bigger difference.  I like them a whole lot more than the Beyer T1, which I will not be buying.

 

Re - - Westone ES5 demo universals:  I have compared my production ES5 to my JH13Pro since I received the ES5 two weeks ago, and I think I might like my ES5 more.  As a matter of fact, if I listen to the ES5 first and then quickly switch to the JH13pro the contrast makes the JH13Pro sound almost a little muddy and boomy in comparison, with less detail.  I'm very happy with the ES5 for portable use, and I've been leaving the JH13Pro, ES3X and UE11Pro at home.  They did seem to have some boosted treble in the 10K region when right out of the box, but after I put some hours on them that tamed down noticeably for me.

 

Re - HE-6 and HD800 - no need to comment

 

Re - - Woo WES vs HeadAmp BHSE: I agree that the BHSE had a better sense of the acoustic space of the performance venue, and that they have a very different presentation.  I posted that in the BHSE thread that I linked to as well.  The BHSE does have more power, but I cant say the WES seemed grossly underpowered, but with the O2 it seems that "more is better".

 

Re - - Lawton Audio LA7000:  I think that I had you listen to them on the wrong rig.  The CDP-8 > ALO Amphora wasn't the best choice, but the PWD > ZDT was being used by someone else at the time.  Last year I found that the prototype WA22 didn't drive them as well as the ZDT, and the Luxman P-1u was even better than the ZDT when I had it to review them.

 

Sure, the LA7000 are slower and less detailed than the O2 Mk1, LCD-2, HD800, or HE-6 - but with a better rig they're not as bad as you describe.  They're not the best phones, but with the right rig they can do some things very well, and they're one of the better closed cans that I've tried (and much better than any stock Denon). 

post #19 of 36

Doh, already posted this on page 1.

post #20 of 36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

- Woo WA2: The owner of this system had a lot of modern rock music on his computer, a lot of which I was actually familiar with, and I checked the amp out with both the Sony SA5000 and my own Audio-Technica AD2000, and it sounded pretty good and didn't subtract much that I could easily hear. But this amp was being sourced by a NuForce uDAC which was probably limiting the performance of the amp - by how much I have no idea.


Technically it was the NuForce HDP, and I didn't have the uDAC hooked up to anything, but I agree about that probably being a limiting factor. I haven't figured out what to do about a better source yet.

 

I ended up liking the HD 800 a lot, which I did not at all expect. I also had a laugh trying to run the HE-6 from my setup... With the HDP volume at max and the WA2 volume at about 3 o'clock it was loud enough, but it certainly didn't sound great.

post #21 of 36
Quote:

 

Re - - Lawton Audio LA7000:  I think that I had you listen to them on the wrong rig.  The CDP-8 > ALO Amphora wasn't the best choice, but the PWD > ZDT was being used by someone else at the time.  Last year I found that the prototype WA22 didn't drive them as well as the ZDT, and the Luxman P-1u was even better than the ZDT when I had it to review them.

 

Sure, the LA7000 are slower and less detailed than the O2 Mk1, LCD-2, HD800, or HE-6 - but with a better rig they're not as bad as you describe.  They're not the best phones, but with the right rig they can do some things very well, and they're one of the better closed cans that I've tried (and much better than any stock Denon). 

 

Last year I was totally amazed by your LA7000.  This year I wasn't even sure they were the same headphone.  I'm not sure what changed.
 

post #22 of 36
Thread Starter 

One more gear impression I forgot about before:

Audio-Technica AD900 (source: Ayre QB-9 | amp: B22): I was caught off-guard when I found out that these actually sounded somewhat similar to the AD2000, as I wasn't really expecting them to. I'll put the difference this way: take the AD900, speed up the impulse response, extend the treble and bass, fill in the bass/mid-bass with a greater degree of impact and power, add a higher x-factor sense of assertion/viciousness, and you almost have the AD2000 at that point. Not completely though, as there are probably more differences that I didn't bother paying attention to.

And last pics below. Note: the color saturation on these was increased in Photoshop, which will explain why skin tones might not look realistic.

"Sherwood" sporting the Audeze LCD-2
co2010_7.jpg

Doug from Westone
co2010_8.jpg

Melissa, also from Westone
co2010_9.jpg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by complex View Post
Technically it was the NuForce HDP, and I didn't have the uDAC hooked up to anything, but I agree about that probably being a limiting factor. I haven't figured out what to do about a better source yet.


Ah ok, thanks for the correction.


Edited by Asr - 8/17/10 at 9:48pm
post #23 of 36

ahhhhh!!! im kicking myself now.. i was in Denver on Saturday with my D2+ loaded with FLAC and nothing much to do. wish i had known about this meet :(

post #24 of 36

I’m thankful for all the people who make this event take place. It was very educational for me.  I don’t claim the golden ears or understanding differences between variety of system. I would like to enjoy the music. It was surprise to me what my modest system in mine ears was holding real good against megabuck systems. It need work and I’m really grateful to people who help me understand the deficiency of my stuff so I can work on it. Another thing was the trouble with the recordings. Mine best one is a hybrid disk and it doesn’t play good on all players so it didn’t best mine setup on a few players I was checking. Also they sound like missing something on recordings I was listening. Or my system got artificial bloom??? YMMV
It’s pity what it’s probably the last meting in Denver. I’m going to miss it.
Big thanks to all the people who make its possible.
Vlad
 

post #25 of 36



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Thanks to all who came - it turned out to be a very good meet (at least I thought so) with a solid showing from the local area. Thanks of course to Westone for making the trip too. Though the number of people was less than last year's, it didn't take anything away from the meet - in fact, one could say that this was better for listening since it was quieter.  I also thought that this enhanced the meet experience as it was more conducive for simultaneous listening, talking, etc. This time I actually did get to meet everyone who showed up, which was definitely a good thing. There was also a follow-up post-meet dinner (organized by bixby) at Parisi in west Denver, which turned out to be a cool place and had some good food and gelato.

 

Total funds collected from all voluntary donations came out to $260. As this is less than the hotel room cost of $500, no money will be given back to Head-Fi.

 

I wrote in the meet thread that I will probably not organize another meet in Colorado - well, that will probably still hold but there may also be a small chance for just 1 more next year in the Broomfield area. I will not have any further info on this until at least January next year.

 

More pics and gear impressions to come later.

It's not nice. Pm me with yours paypal email. You shouldn't be punished for being nice guy.

Vlad
 

post #26 of 36
I just want to know who's buying me the wave dac? WHO.... Because it cant be me!
post #27 of 36


And my A900 with added internal dampening and silver plated copper cable sounded positively muddy in comparison.  So, what was it about the AD900 that you did like?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

One more gear impression I forgot about before:

Audio-Technica AD900 (source: Ayre QB-9 | amp: B22): I was caught off-guard when I found out that these actually sounded somewhat similar to the AD2000, as I wasn't really expecting them to. I'll put the difference this way: take the AD900, speed up the impulse response, extend the treble and bass, fill in the bass/mid-bass with a greater degree of impact and power, add a higher x-factor sense of assertion/viciousness, and you almost have the AD2000 at that point. Not completely though, as there are probably more differences that I didn't bother paying attention to.

post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 

One other thing I forgot to mention about the meet: two members of the Colorado Audio Society came by to find out about headphones. One of the guys was the president of the society, IIRC. It was good to get some direct exposure to some CAS members and try to convert them to headphones from speakers.  Neither of them were already aware of CanJam@RMAF though which I thought was strange (considering the society runs RMAF), so I told them about it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
And my A900 with added internal dampening and silver plated copper cable sounded positively muddy in comparison.  So, what was it about the AD900 that you did like?


I didn't say what I liked or disliked about the AD900, only intended to point out how it's different than the AD2000. Whether that makes one better than the other (or not) is left to reader interpretation.


Edited by Asr - 8/19/10 at 6:25pm
post #29 of 36

It is great to hear you guys had fun with the WEE. The first batch of chassis is already done so the pre-order should be able to ship on time.

 

About Larry's (HeadphoneAddict) WES, it is a prototype unit, the first ever built. It would be nice to compare it to the current model which it gets improved over time.

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by WooAudio View Post

It is great to hear you guys had fun with the WEE. The first batch of chassis is already done so the pre-order should be able to ship on time.

 

About Larry's (HeadphoneAddict) WES, it is a prototype unit, the first ever built. It would be nice to compare it to the current model which it gets improved over time.


Like I said, the WEE prototype beats my Stax brand SRD-7 Pro and SRD-7 Mk2 Pro, and it's a good choice for people who need to drive an O2 and can't spend $1000 on a vintage SRM-717 amp, or a new eXStatA (mine at the meet cost over $1000).  I used a very high quality set of silver and copper speaker wires from Yacco Cables cables called Cauda Equina.

 

I need to ship this prototype back this week, sorry I haven't gotten around to that yet.


Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 8/21/10 at 4:09pm
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