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A thread for mini meets at Larry's house  

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

We almost had a meet at larry's today, but it was canceled for a family emergency. I didnt know that and showed up anyways, Thanks to larry for hanging behind and letting me sit for a few min smily_headphones1.gif


I listened to a audiocats modified STAX Transformer box, a DIY Lundahl transformer (also made by audiocats), and the Orpheus (because its awesome, and its a crime to be in the same room as an HE90 and not listen to them).


I didnt want to hold Larry up, as he was being very generous by staying behind anyways so I only listened for a few minutes. The Lundahl transformer had a slightly smoother top end than the STAX transformer. It wasnt rolled off as far as I could hear, just smoother. Compared to the definition of all that is awesome in audiophilia (the HEV90/HE90) The Lundahl transformer + Omega2 sounded much closer to the HE90. 


A few pics, because thats the only reason I read these threads tongue.gif




The system in general. 

From the left:

Lambdas of some sort.

Larry's custom balanced dual headphone amp. 


DT770 (I dont know which)

Goldpoint volume control

Lundahl transformer

Modified STAX transformer

Stock STAX transformer (was not listened to)


Bottom shelf:

nifty band & olfusen system

PS audio amp to drive the transformers

speaker switcher to switch the transformers.






Major bonus points for tasteful reuse of packaging.




As a matter of housekeeping:

I propose that rather than starting new threads for these little mini meets, we keep a thread for each host. This makes finding things SOOO much easier. 

Edited by nikongod - 10/9/10 at 5:45pm
post #2 of 33

Congrats to audiocats (Kevin) on his transformer box (in the Glenlivet scotch case!) for Stax HPs using Lundahl transformers.  Looks great, fab form factor, and terrific sound.  Yikes (Ethan) said to me at the NJ meet that a powerful Class D amp might well be a good match for Lundahl's and he is right.


With O2 Mk 2 (007a) Spritzer Mod, the SQ is near perfect, very comparable to the Orpheus.  The upper mid-ranges of the phones and the transformer box seem to compliment each other perfectly, eliminating any problems.  Mid-bass also seems smoother (might be placebo, might be the Spritzer mod itself).  Source is always SACDs via a Wadia 781i.


I really only listened to this combo -- have not compared to the Stax units yet (and my WEE is not here!  Jack?).  It's been here since July and I have used it with 404s and HE60s (via an adapter) too, although with HE60s direct amping seems better. But for Stax -- heck, my 717 has been unused with Stax phones since Kevin's boxes showed up.


Ari is a great guy, and a superb photographer.  He should be called Nikon God (oh, he his!).


What he didn't tell you is that he finished the wiring for me yesterday morning even though I threw him out of my house.  See the red anti-cable speaker wire behind the PS Audio Amp?  Ari finished that off.  Hard work. With Ari and John (MD1032) wiring for me, I now have a killer set-up thanks to their expertise and skill.  Head-Fi is great -- we're a physical community, not just an Internet one.


A few comments on the gear.  The 770s are 600 ohm too -- both beyers are MANUFAKTUR.  The custom balanced amp that drives them is desgined for 600 ohm phones, and there is an off-the-shelf unit that is similar -- by QESLabs in Italy.


The polished brass weights are from MapleShade.  I don't belive they do anything for SQ, but they sure keep little boxes with heavy wires on the back from tipping up! 


The other Stax are 404s and Lambda Sigs.  The red storage box is from Home Goods -- many colors/designs available.  The cover is so light that you can close it on the cable!!  They are too deep as the come from the store, but a custom cushion from www.foamorder.com (I like EverFlex V10 Super Soft with Dacron wrap -- very reasonable; specify the dimensions to fit your box) solves that perfectly, protects the ear pads, and the whole thing keeps dust off the drivers (which stands without plastic covers don't do).


The speaker switch is the only one I have found with audio grade parts and small form factor -- Qed SS21 2-Way Audiophile Speaker Switch, at www.qed-cable-shop.co.uk


And except for Ari, Diet Coke cans are not allowed on the gear!


-- Larry (the NJ Larry -- aka wavoman)

Edited by wavoman - 10/9/10 at 10:30pm
post #3 of 33

Hoped everything turned out ok for larry.  

post #4 of 33

Thank you kboe!  Very early Saturday of the meet I learned that my Mom in Philly went in to the hospital, so I had to go (only about 2 hours away, not a bad drive).  Anyway, they let her out today, and for 92 years old, she is doing great.  Blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, she nonetheless loves to watch TV and listen to opera (OK OK, she owns Bose, don't blame me!).  She loved the extension "speakers" they put on the bed headboard in hospitals, so I strung together my spare HP extension cords and jury-rigged ny own headboard speaker in her bedroom at her (assisted living) home, and she thinks it's great!


The meet is being re-scheduled!

post #5 of 33

i want in!



post #6 of 33
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post

i want in!




 YGPM  !!

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 

We had a mini meet at Larry's house yesterday. I snapped some pics, listened to some gear, and generally had a great time. 




Penne al vodka, some pasta I dont remember what its called but tasted awesome, and sausage. All outstanding. 




The left over potato pancake and the other end of the kitchen island. 




Larry with more food!




I spent most of the day working on this! A Transcriptors TT. 




The Shure V15 mkIV Awesome cartridge. 




My gently tweaked Bottlehead SEX amp. We used this for the DT880 250/600 shoot out. 

We all agreed that they were extremely close in sound. 

Devo preferred the 250

Larry's wife preferred the 600. 




Vcoheda's balancing act amp. Sounded quite nice with the R10 and Grados. 




More balancing act.








I didnt listen to audez'e but they look awesome smily_headphones1.gif




We have grados. Many Many grados.

post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 



















Pink Driver SR-60 smily_headphones1.gif




Different RS-1





post #9 of 33

great pics ari. thanks for posting. btw, loved spending time with your R10. such a nice headphone.

post #10 of 33

few pics i took with my blackberry.












post #11 of 33

So, the best use for a K1K is to prop up a Grado cardboard box ??


Ari did an awesome job on the Transcriptor, fixing all the mistakes made by the Transcriptor factory itself (the table just came back from the factory in the UK as a jumble of undocumented parts in 5 boxes, some new, some old -- this is what sending them your beloved but destroyed-by-movers 1969 Transcriptor and 850 good old U.S. dollars to "refurbish" buys these days -- hall of shame for them).


The Eddie Current Balancing Act (vcoheda brought it to the meet) is amazing with every HP we tried.  I listened to an earlier version at Can Jam in Florida, and I recall I liked it, but no "wow".  Either the amp got better or my ears did, 'cause now, WOW.  With my frankenstein Larry-Headphile modded/balanced GS1000s listening to Clapton unplugged, it was true sonic delight.


And then there's the R10.  Enough said.


At the last micro meet, many felt that Kerry's BH with O2's rule the world.  More accurate, better extension, better detail, better transients than the Orpheus, but not by much.  The Orpheus is still more euphonic.  With searing violin music, or female slit-your-wrist vocals over a piano, the Orpheus will reduce me to tears (no joke).  That doesn't happen (for me) with O2's.  But for large symphonic works, or opera, I now agree that BH+O2's win.  Kerry went home and "forgot" his BH.  I do think he expects me to bring it back to him at the NY meet.  He'll have to pry my dead hands off it ...


Shout out to MD1032 (John) for once again improving my wiring -- the Wadia balanced output now goes directly to the BH; I no longer depend on the loop-thru of the Beta 22, which was comprimsing things.  This change however forced me to use the internal DAC of the Lyngdorf (Tacit) amp to drive the speakers (Maggies), and as John and I noted before, this DAC pales in comparison to the one built in to the Wadia CDP or the outboard Benchmark.  It also takes the Aphex out of play, so in short, my speaker SQ now sucks.  A large re-wiring project is in our future.


Some questions addressed: we compared Spritzer mod O2 Mk II (007a's) with O2 Mk I's (thanks to DaveDerek ... I made him turn around and go back to NY to get his ... that's what cell phones are for, right?).  Spritzer is the man!  Very very little difference, with the crowed still having a slight preference for the Mk I's, but not by much.  Of course my 007a's were Sprtizer's, he did the mod himself.  YMMV.


The main events were testing the Woo WEE -- the unit is not broken in yet, it just arrived, and Ari believes transformers do need break-in, and I believe whatever Ari says -- he is my (nikon)god after all.  And comparing the WEE to custom Stax transformer units built by audiocats (Kevin), which I have listened to and are wonderful.


Plus the great beyer 880 600 v 250 shootout.


I will report in the proper threads ... but maybe not tonight as I have to give the candy out to every group of hoodlums ringing the bell.  Call me a sour old man, but some kids don't even put on a costume.  I give extras to the ones who try hard! 

Edited by wavoman - 10/31/10 at 2:07pm
post #12 of 33

Larry that is some great gear. Look forward to next year NJ meet again but looks like Aaron going to do something in Bayside which I plan on attending. If my daughter wasnt running track would went to the WhitePlains gig but need college dollars for her so she races that day.

post #13 of 33

Originally Posted by wavoman View Post


Some questions addressed: we compared Spritzer mod O2 Mk II (007a's) with O2 Mk I's (thanks to DaveDerek ... I made him turn around and go back to NY to get his ... that's what cell phones are for, right?).  Spritzer is the man!  Very very little difference, with the crowed still having a slight preference for the Mk I's, but not by much.  Of course my 007a's were Sprtizer's, he did the mod himself.  YMMV.

Glad to hear it.    The modded units are indeed a tad more forward to my ears but they are very, very close compared to how they sounded when I got 'em.  Now it appears Stax have changed the Mk2/A's to fix these issues to some extent at least. 

post #14 of 33

Larry - you're a great host.  Thanks for everything.  There were so many meals, I felt like we were in hobbit land (brunch, lunch, secondies, etc.).  I really appreciate the effort you put into these events.


It was great to catch up with everyone and I really liked comparing CDs to SADCs.  I think we all agreed that production quality and resolution were better on the SACDs.


Great job on the pictures.


Oh and I almost forgot to mention, I built in a cut-off switch on the Blue Hawaii so that it will stop working unless it sees me at the NY meet biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Edited by Kerry - 10/31/10 at 6:26pm
post #15 of 33

few impressions.


 * the BA is a perfect match for all grados, the LCD2 and the R10. all of these headphones driven by the BA (300B tubes) were up there with the best i have heard them.


 * you have not heard the O2 until you have listened to it through a BHSE. this combination is unbeatable.


 * the HE90/HEV90 is still the most euphonious sounding setup out there.


 * the top of the line Wadia 781i is a source to be reckoned with.


 * SACD does sound better than redbook (less grain and more spacious) - at least, when comparing Krall "Girl in Other Room" redbook disc to SACD disc.

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