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Sydney (Australia) meet - December 2010 Impressions  

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 


Special thanks to Vincents here for hosting the meet, especially since he is new to Head-fi and lent his his office to a bunch of total strangers.


I had arrived in Sydney this morning suffering from a severe lack of sleep and the, but managed, after a shower, nap and lunch to make myself vaguely coherent and get myself to vincents office building, only to have my phone decide it wasn't going to make phone calls, preventing me getting into the building. Thankfully mogs and friend turned up just then, and we got in.


There were only 8 of us ultimately, with only 4 rigs (if you include my Pico Slim + iPod) but that made for a cosy meet.  I got to try a MingDa tube amp, Shiit Asgard and iDecco, which were all quite good. They all seemed to work well enough with the LCD-2s. I spent a bit of time with the K702s and was reminded how wonderful they are with female vocals and how poor I thought they were with any music that required a bit of punch.


It was great meeting SP Wild and the others who came -- truehobbyist, Hero Kid, Alvian, Rysiek, Mogs and, of course, Vincents.


I'll post some pictures a bit later.

post #2 of 12

Thank you Currawong for bringing your wonderful gears and being so generous with your knowledge. I have learnt a lot from you and other head-fiers, and really enjoyed LCD-2.


I'm doing more research in here, any quality up to LCD-2 is what I'm always looking for. But I'm not sure of the Balanced set up, it does require quite a commitment and budget to have the whole process complete.

post #3 of 12

Subscribed. (Will post in a sec)

post #4 of 12

It was a terrific meet and I can't wait to attend another one.  I was so delighted to be able to interact with real people (as opposed to computer posts) and converse about our passion for music and learning new things.  It was fun to be able to relate to how everyone else got sucked into this money sucking hobby (I spent a lot of time trying to convince Hero Kid to forsake us while he still can...and benefit financially as a student. LOL).


I was having so much fun just conversing with other members that I nearly forgot to actually do any listening...but fortunately I did squeeze a session or two in.  The Reference 7 dac was mated to vincents Ming Da speaker amp...which had a headphone out.  I owned a Ming Da head amp...but this one was better, more precise and controlled, more solid state like than my tubey MC84 C07.  It did have a low hum that could be heard with sensitive cans, but otherwise I am always surprised from the quality coming out of China, the value ratio is second to none. 


I got to hear Currawongs Magnums (modified Grados) and I think I am starting to understand the midrange "body" that Grado's are famous for.  I liked it a lot...far more than the GS1000s and PS1000s, which I felt overcooked the upperbass.  The Magnums had a slight upper bass emphasis...but not overwhelming.  This gave the midrange a substantial "heft"...this sort of midrange presentation I have always sought after, I found it in the HD650s, D7000s and LCD2s...the common factor here is bass...my kind of midrange is not possible on bass lite cans.  So the Magnums had a very satisfying punch to the bass and a crystaline well extended treble, which for me was very pleasant...with a massive soundstage.  I'd say that these cans were a notch and then some more technically accomplished than either my HD650s or K701s.  I would take the Magnums over my HD650s and D7000s any day of the week.


I also got to try out Vincents Peachtree Idecco, its built in headamp and its dac also routed to my Lehmann Black Cube Linear, Rysieks Schiit Asgard and Alvians Perreaux SXH2.  Using my stethoscope I probed each amp and checked it's state of fitness and how it paired with the built in Sabre dac of the Peachtree.  Yes...I always considered my LCD2 as a stethoscope for listening to the insides of Dacs and amps..haha.


The winner in this shootout using the LCD2s was the Peachtrees built in headphone amp mated to its own internal DAC.  It had lots of grunt to drive the LCD2s, it sounded detailed, alive, full bodied and musical with a large soundstage and organinc mids.  I think the Peachtree was the star of the show...for its versatility, value for money and superb sound quality.  Yes, I preferred the Peachtree combo better than my own amp, using the peachtrees dac.


That Asgard was also very nice...I liked how it ran warm...it was reassuringlys class A.  It sounded class A as well...very non fatigueing, full bodied and laid back...I reckon this amp would be a no-brainer value for money amp for the HD800s...It would synergise perfectly.  I still enjoyed it with the LCD2s as I have no problems with a warm on warm presentation (yeah, I like it hot!) but I can understand how others will not be as receptive to this combination as I was.  Lets just say I still preferred this combo better than my BCL, yes the BCL is more detailed and a tad faster...but it sounded clinical compared to everything else.  I fact I preferred all the other amps than my own.


Including Alvians Perreaux.  This amp had the best sub bass  it went lower than everything else.  It idid not have the Class A bronze tinged tone of the Asgard, but it was not as clinical as the BCL.  It straddled the middle ground.  I was very surprised with this amp as I have never read anything about it.  It had a relaxed presentation with a good degree of precision without being overwhelming with its details which the BCL can do.  This leads to an easier and more enjoyable listen. 


So that was how I saw heard those amps.  My own BCL being the fastes, most precise amp, but least enjoyable when it comes to just enjoying the music.  Even at home, my BCL is normally reserved for anaylytical purposes and my Cayin SET tube amp reserved for musical enjoyment.  But to my mind...there was no two ways about it...the built in Peach tree headamp along with its own DAC...synergised in a manner that, to me sounded in a different league to the other amps...perhaps because of having to bypass interconnects or whether they were simply matched from factory...it had the the precision and speed of the Lehmann...combined with the musicality of the Asgard and by definition, encompassing the Perreux.  I was thoroughly impressed, especially considering it is a DAC, Headamp, Ipod doc, speaker amp...all in one.  The Peachtree is a no brainer for those that wish to enter the hobby on a strict budget.


@ truehobbyist.  I think you'd be quite amazed at how the LCD2 would sound out of your existing setup.  Going balance is not a necessity...it's an option.  I think you need to be able to audition the LCD2s on your amp and dac and I think you might just end up being pleasantly satisfied by the result.

post #5 of 12

gutted i missed it. just found out about it just now. Would have loved to hear the pico slim. I keep almost buying one, but decide against it at the last second. Just never heard one and would have loved to have heard what all the fuss was about.

post #6 of 12

Ok time to write something down.


I'll start by saying I'm extremely glad I came to the meet as it has really changed the way I view my system and audio gear in general. Talking to people like Sam and Amos who are passionate about music and their gear and are willing to share their knowledge and experience face to face rather than reading text off a screen is something seriously underrated. As I mentioned at the meet I have spent the past year on Head-Fi living (nearly) exclusively in the Portable Section. The world of headphones, DACs, amps, cables, etc was always a big scary pool of products, money and a severe lack of knowledge from my end. I now feel I have the confidence to start to venture into those sections and keep a tab on some of the great products currently causing a stir without being too overwhelmed.


I can also see me completely changing my near system in the near future to something to suit my needs and budget.


I'm not going to comment on any gear because it's not something I feel comfortable doing at this stage :P

I will say I appreciated Amos' Magnums for their ability to make a fantastic Jazz headphone. Hooked up to the Reference 7 and that solid state amp (forget it's name and who owned it, tut tut) it was a most enjoyable listen. I also love love the LCD-2. Not surprising I suppose... all I can think about is listening to some of my vinyl with them would be dreamy.


So thanks again to Vincent for offering us his office space. To Amos for organizing the meet. To Sam for sharing his knowledge with me and trying to talk me out of spending lots of money :P and lastly to all those who attended and brought gear.


PS: Sorry for not saying farewell Sam. I made a dash when Alvian left and in my head you had already left.

post #7 of 12
I checked out on the threads again, and they speak highly of LCD2 with my Meier DAC AMP set up, I definitely think that it's going to be a great combo smily_headphones1.gif

Speaking of my experience at the meet, certainly the set up in the centre of the room was mind blowing. The fact that the same LCD2 sounds different with different system leaves me a lot to think of and to learn. The pleasant shock from this system reminded me of the time when I first heard from a proper set up and made up my mind to pursue. System brings the listener closer to music, and justifies quality in recording.

@hero kid, I would recommend more learning before ur budget is ready, money doesn't always buys the best. And I find that the more u know, the more efficient u spend money, and achieve better result. Patience pays off nicely.

@sp wild, thanks for ur advice, I'll try to test LCD2 with my system before purchase. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by truehobbyist - 12/23/10 at 2:23pm
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

The one thing I forgot to mention was trying the Foxtex T50Ps (I think that's the correct model number?). I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they sounded. Quite a bargain if you like a more natural sound with detail and without coloration.  Now if only I could justify some Thunderpants...

post #9 of 12

Now if only I could justify some Thunderpants... 


You can , if you change your underwear regularly..........

post #10 of 12

I want to add my thanks to Amos and Vincent for organising and hosting the meet, and to everybody who came and listened to our gears. It was a lot of fun sharing high quality audio.


I have too little experience to comment on the pros and cons of the various gears on offer. All the equipments sounded good to me but each has its own characteristics. To my ears, the biggest contribution to sound came from the headphones and less so from the amps, and I was starting to hear the limitations of my 11.5-year-old HD565.


Sam, what model is you Denon headphones? I could not see a model marking on it. It was a nice surprise.


Merry Christmas to you all,

post #11 of 12

Hi Alvian,


The Denons you  heard on the day were the Flagship D7000s.  You weren't the only one that felt the D7000s were very impressive on the day.  They do have an extremely satisfying grumble in the sub bass, very primal and very addictive I find.

post #12 of 12

I could not have made this meet, it looks like I missed out though, looks like a great event and an opportunity to catch up with nattonrice, qusp, johnwmclean and others.

Hopefully I should be able to make the next one. :)

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