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9/18/2010 Mississauga (GTA) Head-Fi Meet Impressions  

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Just had a wonderful meet here of some long-time Canadian GTA members. Lots of great equipment and people were in attendance.


IMO, the most impressive setup was the AKG K-1000 (bass-heavy version) being run off an Audio-GD Reference 1 DAC with Pricklely Pete’s mods, and powered off an Audio-GD Phoenix with upgrades as well. It was the only headphone that had a larger, more speaker-like soundstage than the HD800, and since it didn't touch your ears it gave a really strange sensation of the sound emanating from nowhere. I felt I was listening to a very good set of near-field speakers. It was also fast, balanced and natural. The HD800 were a bit more detailed and extended, but it wasn't a big deal. I think the K1000 isn't really better than the HD800 in terms of SQ; it's the feeling of nothing touching your ears and the holographic imaging/speaker-like bass that makes it unique and enjoyable.

One caveat also: I didn't get to try the HD800 from the same setup and maybe it was the setup making it sound so good, but I have a feeling a properly-driven K1K will still be more enjoyable (for me) than a properly-driven HD800. Keep in mind, my HD800 has a $400 OCC 7N silver cable on it too, while the K1K was in its stock form.


The Audez'e LCD-2 were good (and I tried them out of some monster setups), but they weren't better than the silver-recabled HD800s IMO. Their treble/air and sparkle was lacking in comparison, but the lower-midrange and bass were excellent, and a bit more involving than the HD800. The presentation was very different from the HD800 in that they were much more up-close. It felt like the musicians were around you instead of in front of you. It was different in that regard, not better or worse.

In terms of comfort, the LCD-2s were better than I had anticipated, but their weight, as expected, became unbearable after about 30 minutes. I'm glad I stuck with the HD800s. (I know some people at the meet didn’t have as much of a problem with the weight as I did).


The Stax O2 Mk1 were pretty good, but they were being powered by a "crappy amp" (in the words of its owner Djarum). I know the O2 Mk1 are said to be amp sensitive and ideal with the BHSE, so what I heard was only a fraction of their potential. 

Other equipment present was the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC and the Dynahi, both of which impressed me. The Phoenix also sounded great but I don't know if it was the amp or the Ref 1 DAC that was making it sound good.


The Joe Grado HP2s were the best Grados I've heard. They actually had a good soundstage and were balanced/quick. In this meet I heard the Grado HF-2 at their best...so good that I thought they were in the same ball-park as the HP2. How? I believe it was the amp synergy. The DNA Sonett just brought them to a whole new level...toned/tightened the bass and expanded the soundstage with better tonal balance. The HP2s were better, but didn't embarrass the HF2's. It's a curious thing because I distinctly remembering being a bit disappointed by the HF2s at the last meet (powered by different amps...WA6, MAD Ear HD+, M^3, Glite).

Anyways, I still don't think Grados are for me. I've heard the best they had to offer, and while they were good, I still came away preferring the K-1000, HD800 and LCD-2 to them. 


The HE Jades were nice too, but were under-amped in the setup I tried them and they sounded like a lower-end version of the 800s there. They were a bit strident too up top. charliex urged me to test them in a proper setup downstairs, but time didn’t allow me that opportunity. I only heard them from the same low-end amp from which I heard the O2 Mk1s (source was the PerfectWave for both).

Edited by Shahrose - 9/24/10 at 6:06pm
post #2 of 20

I'm really happy with the turn out and the gear that came out too! I spent a lot of time listening to the LCD-2s and the K1000s. Damn, I hate this hobby sometimes, LOL But the K1000s blew me away just as I'm sure they blew everyone else away too. 

post #3 of 20

More, more, and more! Also some pics! 

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Updated OP.

post #5 of 20

Yup, it was yet another terrific meet (the third one from Punkaroo), and once again she proved to be an excellent hostess with yummy barbecued dogs....and as a surprise, she even had a birthday cake with candles for my birthday weekend (even had the Happy Birthday song sung by all members present - now talk about a 'source'.  This is such a unique hobby, and it seems to attract only the nicest of Head-Fiers, so it was great getting together with old members.  Some good friendships have developed.  FallenAngel brought an array of goodies, my favorite being the Joe Grado HP 2's.  A completely different signature than the standard John Grado cans of late - fantastic soundstage, wide and diffuse, much tighter and deeper bass and more sparkly, but not strident highs. (Guess whats now on my want list).  I was also thoroughly impressed with Punkaroos DNA Sonett/HF 2 combination - they seemed like they were made for each other.

Prickely Peete had his AMAZING balanced HD-650 system there, and once again he has further modded and improved what is truly a spectacular system. I enjoyed the HD 800s, but still prefer my LCD-2s and K1000.

Lots of Stax equipment there, but not enough time to really give them a workout - perhaps nextmeet.

Oh, and I almost forgot - FallenAngel raffled off (with funds going to the gracious hostess) a Starving Student Mini Millet, which I happended to win (an absolutely terrific birthday gift from the meet).

All in all, a memorable meet - looking forward to the next!

post #6 of 20

sounds like you guys had a great time! sorry i couldnt make it, i had work that day.


i hope someone took a lot of pictures lol.

post #7 of 20

We're lame. We didn't take ANY pics!

post #8 of 20



Sorry that I had to cancel out on the meet, I would have loved to have heard some of the gear there, especially the AKG 1000s & HP2s and to see you guys again.


Anyone interested in a small meet at my place in Guelph in a month or so?

post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by punkaroo View Post

We're lame. We didn't take ANY pics!

Very lame! 

post #10 of 20

Brian, I'm there if you have a mini-meet!!!

post #11 of 20

Great to see the K1000-love spreading!

post #12 of 20

Hey Brian - I'm in and would also like to see my Jades get more of a meet workout : )

PS - I'll be in touch shortly about the ESP-950's



post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by Canuck57 View Post





Anyone interested in a small meet at my place in Guelph in a month or so?


I am


I wish I could have made it to this one, but the bus service between Guelph and Mississauga is almost nonexistent on weekends. I also have a bunch of beginning-of-schoolyear chore to deal with.

post #14 of 20

Great meet guys and gal. :p  Thanks a bunch to the gracious mistress of the headphone meet for offering up her place.  Nice to meet everybody there and listen to some nice gear.


LCD2 are very cool, sound great, very nice soundstage and clear sound.  Certainly a contender for one of the great headphones.

K1000 are always a pleasure, still not enough bass for me and the goofiness of them still keeps me from wanting them again, not to mention isolation and amp requirements.

HE5 also sound very nice, glad to finally try them, have had my eye on them for some time.

HD800 still as under-impressing as I remember them. :(


I might be in for a Guelph meet, just over an hour or so drive for me.

post #15 of 20

Sorry for belated response about the meet. I've been under the weather the past 2.5 days with that cold (flu ?) that has been going around. I'd like to extend profound thanks to CharlieX and Pat for making this latest meet a reality and a terrific success. I really enjoyed myself and had a great time connecting with familiar faces and meeting new ones.


My highlight of the meet was spending some quality time with the LCD-2's (in balanced mode ) run on my A-gd MAX system. Talk about great synergy...wow I really liked, no loved what I heard from these cans so it's not surprising that getting myself a pair of these phones is priority no 1.


I'd like to add further comments about other setups/headphone combinations I heard but with my current state of being (feeling pretty crappy due to this cold/flu whatever it is) I'll have to add those thoughts at a later date when I can actually think with a clear head. I would love to attend Canuck 57's next meet if he will have me (provided I'm over this bug in time).


CharlieX I will PM you WRT the LD MKIII  amp loan & mods...maybe we can get together in a few weeks for our own micro meet



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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Meets, Get-Togethers, Factory Tours › Head-Fi Meet Impressions, Trade Show Reports, Factory Tours › 9/18/2010 Mississauga (GTA) Head-Fi Meet Impressions