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Omaha, NE (Midwest) Oct. 9th Custom Electronics Wrap-Up and Impressions  

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Alright guys I have started an impressions thread for the 2nd anual meet. I will have photos posted with in a few days and my impressions coming shortly.



List of Attendees (and associated gear):


(Presently we have 21 attendees, let's get some more, no limit on attendees (however please limit number of guests you'd like to bring. Thanks!))


James Schmitz aka Aynjell, and one guest.


Shure SRH840

Grado SR325i

Grado SR80i

Sony MDR-V6

Westone UM1



Headroom Total Bit-Head

Little Dot I+ w/ OPA2107 & Sylvania GB408A valves

S.M.S.L. Mini Dac SD-793  w/ OPA2107

Custom Water Cooled PC for use with equipment (X-Fi Titanium)

Dell Latitude 610 w/ Ubuntu Linux



Dave Keim aka Bassvirtuoso


Sennheiser HD580




Burson HD160 Amp

JDS Labs cMoy


Unknown aka Vinhson


Audio Technica ATH-A900

Denon AH-C700



Corda MOVE

MSeed Spirit


Unknown aka nylan8301


Beyer-Dynamic DT880/250

Grado SR-60 (originals)


Beyer-Dynamic DT321

Koss KSC-75 (modded)



Little Dot MK II

Audio-gd Compass (earth)

PA2v2 Amp (Portable Amp 2, Version 2)

Sony A818 w/LOD


Unknown aka matajuro, and one guest.


Sennheiser HD-280

Sennheiser HD-238




dual CMOY



Devin aka mrscotchguy


Grado iGrado (with HD414 pads)

Sennheiser HD555


Curt aka cowsandcorn, and one guest.


Sennheiser HD650

Grado SR-80i (If not sold)



Audio-gd C-2C

Eastern Electric Minimax DAC

PC w/ Asus Xonar Essence STX



Unknown aka RepublicanJew


Denon AH-D2000

Grado SR60

Etymotic ER6i


Headroom Airhead


Nate aka nierika


Grado HF-1

Beyerdynamic Tesla T1

Beyerdynamic DT-250 (80ohm)

Sennheiser HD 25-I



Technics SL-1210M5G

SPL Auditor



Unknown aka gritzcolin, and one guest.


Koss KSC35 (kramer modded)


Unknown aka mattcbr9 (a shure\monster\etc rep)

Unknown aka piperfect


Let me know if I missed some one or some one was not there.

Edited by matajuro - 10/10/10 at 4:57pm
post #2 of 35

First and foremost, I can't say I am the best person to ask about this. When I come to these events, it's a chance to get initial impressions with gear, and to socialize. Most of the time, I don't hear the full gamut. Personally what impressed me the most was the huge show of top tier cans we had there this time. PS1000, HD800, HD650, HD600, HD580, Beyerdynamic Tesla T1, and basically every other good can at it's price point. We really had a great showing of cans. I still was unable to pick between 650 and 600, and will most likely trust the community and buy the 600 when I get my fun, that or the 580 since I'm a dumpster diver. smily_headphones1.gif



Anyway, thanks again everybody, and a special thanks to our sponsors. Matujuro, I cannot wait to see your pics!

post #3 of 35

Get the 580, and strip the head band and upgrade to the 600 grills, :O its so sexy!  Also if you say that Little dot has a high gain setting you should really have no issues driving the high end Senns on it. Despite their 300 ohm impedance rating they really don't require much power in terms of voltage to perform very well. Sure they might sound better on bigger amps but when you are ballin on a budget you might as well go for something classy and versatile.


As far as the meet I had an absolute blast. Got to meet some very cool people. Everyone was very friendly and generous with their gear. Granted I was too scared to touch anything that looked abnormal to me. I really want to bring my pocket amp and Senns next year so I can listen to my HP's on different amps and different HP's on my amp.


I didn't check out too many headphones. The impressions of the ones I did check out


Beyerdynamic 880's - Sorry Nylan I feel about the Beyers as you do about  all Senns. They just didn't impress me they felt boring to me and didn't have enough bass.


Shure SRH840 - These were probably my favorite out of everything I listened to aside from the HD 800, They were detailed and felt alive right out my ipod. I do not care for closed cans either so they kind of surprised me.


Grado's - I listened to the 80, 325i, PS1000  my favorite of the 3 were the sr 80's . the others just didnt add enough to justify the increases in price for me. It was still a Grado and not my cup of tea but I did enjoy them.


I am tired so I will finish this later.

post #4 of 35

This needs to go in the Head-Fi Meet Impressions, Trade Show Reports, Factory Tours forum. smily_headphones1.gif

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

It has been moved.

Edited by matajuro - 10/10/10 at 11:00am
post #6 of 35

I don't think avalover and ru4music were there.

post #7 of 35

* The AD700s were better than I expected.


* The SRH840 were also pretty good - comfortable with more agreeable sound than Senn HD 280s and almost as much isolation (with less clamp).


* The PS1000s were nice cans and I enjoyed them even more with bowl pads (unfortunately, they are not stable on your head with bowls because the larger earcups). Would have been nice to hear them with an amp that has better synergy. Thanks to Aynjell for the jumbo pads which I've put on my HF-2s.


* The HD 800s were more comfortable than my T1s and the stereo imaging/sound staging was excellent. However, I did not like the sonic balance. Not enough bass presence and they seem to have a spike in the upper midrange where there used to be a veil (a confusing departure from the 580/600/650 series).


* I still really like the HD 650s (oh, those mids!) after hearing them amped better than I've ever heard them. I was using a Gilmore Lite+PSU when I had them years ago.


* I guess we don't like AKGs in Omaha? smily_headphones1.gif


* Thanks to everyone who helped put this on - I had a lot of fun!

post #8 of 35
Originally Posted by nierika View Post

* I guess we don't like AKGs in Omaha? smily_headphones1.gif




I tried to get K701 to the event but we got HD800 instead. I don't regret it. I'm trying out the HD800 at length today, in conjunction with my kit and the ultra desktop. the I+ continues to impress in that it can drive even HD800 to acceptable volumes, but doesn't control them near as well as I'd like. The ultra desktop turns the HD800 into the refined can I expect them to be. Here's the funny thing though, Every crossfeed I have tried I can't hear. I CAN hear the headroom ultra desktop's crossfeed, and it's FATIGUING. The one on the bithead isn't clear to me, and software crossfeeds I can't even hear, but the one on the ultra desktop just sounds bad to me. Call me wierd...


Thanks to Neirika, I now had HD414 pads which COMPLETE the 325i, the comfort, the sound, the aesthetics, it's all 10/10, I was 50/50 on selling them but now I can't get enough of them. These things look, feel and sound like cans twice as expensive, and given I bought them on last year's discount of 15%, I got a hell of a deal. I'm glad some of my dusty gear went to use. Niereka bought my jumbo pads and nylan bought my mullard m8161. Not bad parts, but really better placed in their systems. The HF2 + Jumbos are breathtaking and really are baby ps1000's, and considering they're valued at about 20$ for the pads plus whatever the HF2's are (430?) that's a hell of a value compared to the PS1000's (1/4 the price?). The M8161 sounded dull and lifeless in my I+ but really shined in the MK II. I was happy they went to a good home, and art of the trade was I got nylan's stock 6JI, which I was in dire need of. They're stock on I+ and MK II, I guess, but mine died for whatever reason. The ones I got from nylan are kind of kitsch since they're older and look a bit nicer, and sound like 6JI. I'm in love. smily_headphones1.gif

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 


I have a Five song listening criteria. My reviews will list the HP I tested, and what I noticed on each song.


List of songs and why I chose them:

Blitzen Trapper, Furr (For finding separation and sound stage, a good HP I can hear the bad guitar string buzz, should also have a warmth to it.)

Neil Young, Dance Dance Dance (For the highs, Neil young has a high pitched voice but shouldn't sound tiny, also as it is a live track it needs a tiny bit of reverb)

Blue October, X Amount of Words (Great for Mids and Bass response, when the bass beat hits it should sound like how a snare and bass drum really sound)

VNV Nation, Testament (Should have deep strong clear vocals, along with a intense electronic sound)

BT, Forget Me (Needs Crisp Vocals with good separation to hear the intricacies of the track)



To eliminate as many variables as possible, all of the following tests were done on the HeadRoom Ultra Desktop Amp. With the same settings unless other wise noted.


Senn HD 800

Furr: good separation
X Amount of Words: bass sounds muffled
Neil Young: over all good but highs sound rounded off, lack of definition
VNV Nation: no definition

HA-DX 1000
Furr: great separation huge sound stage Great definition
X Amount of Words: very good base
Forget me: great not the definition I'm looking for tho
Neil young:  not high enough rolls off at the top
VNV Nation: base is spot on not very good separation/definition not hearing the high I want

AudioTechnica A900
Furr: light and airy sound very clean no warmth at all. Sound stage isn't very big but has good separation.
X Amount of Words: good separation bass is clear but not where I would like it to be.
Forget Me: good vocals very clear could be just a tad warmer
Neil Young: closest yet on the highs still could be a tad warmer
VNV Nation: best yet for separation needs a wider sound stage still needs to be a tad warmer perhaps it is amp dependent further testing is necessary.

Beyerdynamic Tesla T1
Furr: great sound stage separation not quite as good as the stage
X Amount of Words: excellent mids and highs, bass it self could be more defined, however I have never heard such good separation in my life! This is the best I have ever heard this song!
Forget Me: excellent
Neil Young: highs are good still slightly rounded off but best so far has the warmth I'm looking for could be a little better on the highs
VNV Nation: a little bit dry sounding otherwise everything is good. Vocals could sound better they seem to be repressed on this song for some reason

Senn HD 280
Furr: good sound stage very good separation
X Amount of Words: good bass clear precise
Forget Me: great vocals
Neil Young: awesome highs bit of reverb due to the concert hall which is ecstasy.
VNV Nation: with brightness filter on it is what I'm looking for amp wise though

Senn HD 600
Furr: excellent
X Amount of Words: excellent
Forget Me: excellent
Neil young: sooo close...
VNV Nation: close needs more vocal separation from the rest of the song

Senn HD 650
Furr: warmer great bass
X Amount of Words: rounded bass warmer
Forget Me: vocals are good a lil less warm would be better
Neil Young: prefer the 600s
VNV Nation: okay, vocals are good bit too warm

Senn HD 25-1
Furr: good stage good separation no vail
X Amount of Words: excellent bass
Forget Me: awesome bit warm but very clear vocals
Neil Young: missing that reverb I'm looking for on the very edge of the highs
VNV Nation: vocals are pretty much perfect no vail at all, music is rich and full as well as defined in each part of the track

Furr: good sound stage good separation
X Amount of Words: lacking on the bass it's there but it doesn't sound correct
Forget Me: great separation vocals are good lacks the slight reverb on the highs
Neil Young: not there
VNV Nation: nope

Bower and Wilkins
Furr: great stage good separation reverb on the highs
X Amount of Words: bass is lacking there but not very low end it's almost between mids and lowes
Forget Me: no bass the rest is good
Neil Young: nope not high enough every thing seems to be slightly off
VNV Nation: vocals good but other wise no.

Sure SRH 840
Furr: good sound stage good separation
X Amount of Words: defined base response proly best so far
Forget Me: weird vocals reverb-ish
Neil Young:  very close
VNV Nation: muffled vocals

Grado SR325
Furr: good separation nice vocals good stage
X Amount of Words: decent base not as defined as I would expect from a Grado
Forget Me: good vocals balanced with music noticed something never heard before oh soo good
Neil Young: very close
VNV Nation: not the best separation good when the brightness switch is set to filter 2 perhaps could be a bit warms actually...


If I money wasn't in the equation hands down the Beyerdynamic T1 then Senn HD 600 then the Senn HD 25-1.  Also on my list is the Audio Technica ATH-ESW9 which i heard last year.


The Senn HD 800 was disappointing to say the least. I'm seriously hoping it was a defective unit.. Would have liked to have heard it with the original cabling.  


Photos will follow shortly...

Edited by matajuro - 10/10/10 at 8:33pm
post #10 of 35

I had a ton of fun guys, thanks again for putting this on James!


My impressions will follow, but I have to admit, those HD-800's started growing on me after I heard them on my amp playing a Genesis LP on my Dual turntable...

post #11 of 35

I left feeling pretty good about my cans (Denon D2000) for the money.  I'd been dying to get my hands on some upscale Grado cans since the SR 60 was my gateway drug into better cans (thx Aynjell).  I also tried many others, but none really wowed me.  The biggest impact the outing made on my cheap rectum was the HeadRoom Micro making a more noticeable improvement than I anticipated over the Total Airhead I'm currently using. 


By the way, for anyone who didn't end up coming down, this was my first foray, and the crew that was there when I was were just a great group.  Very friendly and informative, and most of all very easy to be around.  Even the off topic conversation was good--I can't wait to get me some Glen Moray single malt, off a suggestion from an attendee who works at Spirit World.  Anyone who stayed away this year should consider heading on over next time around.


Thanks again, everyone.

post #12 of 35
Originally Posted by bassvirtuoso View Post

I had a ton of fun guys, thanks again for putting this on James!


My impressions will follow, but I have to admit, those HD-800's started growing on me after I heard them on my amp playing a Genesis LP on my Dual turntable...

They've grown on me ALL day. I bought Fleetwood Mac's Rumours last night ,and HOLY CRAP it sounds good on this setup. Sounds good on my setup too, but this is another level. So good I bought a pair of HD580. smily_headphones1.gif



177$ on ebay. They already have the 600 grilles and 650 cable, just need to replace the pads. Essentially a half price HD600. smily_headphones1.gif


Also you should be thanking the sponsors. I am sure I've had more fun organizing this than some of us even had at the event. And I'm sorry for showing up a bit late. :\

Edited by Aynjell - 10/10/10 at 9:53pm
post #13 of 35


post #14 of 35

Thank god for that. I don't like AKG's, you need a nuclear reactor to power them (Granted there was a few at the meet) and their soundstage is way to big imo. Very Happy I got to try the 800. I am gonna work on fixing up my Sextetts so next year you can hear a good AKG Can. They may not look pretty but they will sound superb.

Originally Posted by Aynjell View Post


I tried to get K701 to the event but we got HD800 instead. I don't regret it.

post #15 of 35

wish I saw this thread last week.

Edited by t0wer - 10/11/10 at 11:46am
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Meets, Get-Togethers, Factory Tours › Head-Fi Meet Impressions, Trade Show Reports, Factory Tours › Omaha, NE (Midwest) Oct. 9th Custom Electronics Wrap-Up and Impressions