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Amazing Bay Area Meet 2/19/11 Impressions Thread! - Page 5  

post #61 of 303

Go n3rdling!  Nice to have someone represent SoCal!

 

I have to admit ever since I heard your Stax Omega Sr Headphones and Blue Hawaii mod with my Great Northern Sound Wadia 860 I have been thinking about getting a home rig.

 

IMHO it fits the bill of High Fidelity sound... you know.... sound that makes you believe you are actually there Most of the time.....not just for a few seconds here and there.

 

Also cooooooooooooool to see reel to reel. Back in the 1970's and 1980's we did not argue over whether Vinyl was better than digital... we ALL KNEW that Reel to Reel Master tapes slayed everything. It wasn't even debatable.... we all knew vinyl and everything else could not hold a candle to good Analog Master tape.

 

So because I could not attend the NorCal event- I'll offer this though for the younger people in attendance- so in some way I can feel like I might contribute something - even post event.

 

Why do Analog Master tapes sound so real? (Assuming mic placement is good etc.. etc.. and even taking into account additional headroom, lower noise floor, better transients, faster rise times etc.)

 

Perhaps there is a reason for this...  and maybe it is in the taping..itself.

When a recording engineer compares the actual event live with the recording using high speed (high speed is good when recording as it passes more tape per second past the record heads with less chance for saturation)  wide master tapes... he listens and compares in real time with the third tape head- trying to replicate the input with his output- often not thinking about exactly how the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation vinyl pressings are going to sound or how high speed dubbed (High speed dubbing is bad- as the tapes are dubbed at high speed but played back at SLOW speed- ie less resolution) cassettes are going to sound... (remarkably though- through excellent cassette playback machines like the Tandberg 3014...they can sound amazing...and everyone doubts this until they hear it for themselves).

 

But today so much is done in Digital- for example Pro tools and logic from the start- with inevitable recording losses from the start. That IMHO a lot of ....for a lack of a better analogy "Make Up" has to be applied to create a recording that sounds  "beautiful" ...though not completely accurate- but still a bit closer to the original. Sometimes that "make up" is Analog....so funny IMHO.

 

Of course with true high resolution... like a  magnifying make up mirror- we can see through this type of production, but none the less in all but the MOST RESOLVING systems it passes for beauty. But not true beauty- down to the core of the recording..to the actual event.

 

Keith Johnson of Reference Recordings had a unique modded tape machine he used.... his best recordings certainly lose less of the actual event than many other  "high end recordings".

 

But for the younger generations, who don't listen to classical or acoustic instruments as their reference...the tendency is to just say (when comparing two electronic music  tracks with heavy post production) .... "it sounds different" ... because in many ways they don't have a reference.

 

But there are differences, it just helps to have some true reference even when listening to electronica or heavy post production music..even hip hop. You can see if the mastering technician made the proper  (right or wrong) choices.

 

Here's a fun clip- for that younger generation:

http://vimeo.com/808485

 

Keep in mind that he is mastering for playback systems that have no true sub bass and no true extreme highs as this is sound reinforcement for clubs. So we aren't expecting 10hz-35khz just not to ruin the midrange (which IMHO can get polluted from other frequency bands) and midrange often needs the most help in clubs.

 

Moderators feel free to move this post if you like.

post #62 of 303

Thank you everyone for being so kind in letting me try your gear.  You guys are AWESOME wonderful people. 

 

Thank you CEE TEE for putting it together.  I had loads of fun.

post #63 of 303

Great meet, thanks to CEE TEE for everything, and being quick with a joke.  Of course there was a lot of great stuff to see and hear, (n3rdling, you know you're the man)  but the best thing about the meet was meeting all the great, easy going people there.  I even got along with a United supporter, go figure!  All kidding aside, my highlight was kicking back at the end of the meet, and shooting the bull with some of the guys.  A great group to hang with.

post #64 of 303

purrin,

 

Thanks for your kind words!

 

After hearing your W1000x, I know what I am missing.

 

Oh, I still live in the Bay Area wink_face.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

Some quick impressions:

 

  • Rockcod / YBM (builds AMB gear), who I didn't even know lived in the Bay Area, sat to my right. His balanced HD600s into the B22 were very nice - very neutral. This is an "oldskool" setup now given all the new toys available, but that setup is still something to be reckoned with!

 

post #65 of 303

A big thanks to Cee Tee for putting this together, Team UE had a great time at the meet and let's do this again sometime!

post #66 of 303

looks like a great gathering - wish I could have been there.

post #67 of 303
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I had an amazing time at the meet and am extremely glad to have this type of community around the Bay Area. It was a pleasure meeting all of you and I had some great conversations with you all that I know I can't have with anybody else! At the ending dinner, it was definitely funny to talk about the fact that our only outlet to really talk about this stuff is online by typing. So most of us didn't know how to pronounce WA6SE or Fiio, or Re0, or other confusing models. Special thanks to CeeTee for handling an amazing meet and Susan who I wish I could have talked to more because I felt bad that she had to stay in the front the entire time. Thanks to mdraluck for helping me get there and out as well!

 

Some impression about gear to mention:

 

1. n3rdling's gear really opened my eyes. It's weird because I had heard the O2 before for a very short period of time and was not too impressed with them. However, when I got a chance to listen a little longer with some amazing gear (BHSE), I found the O2, Omega, and Orpheus as the three headphones that truly showed me what a headphone should sound like. I do think that the HD800 is still the best that a dynamic can do and as close as it gets to these bad boys, but I would be lying if I told you that I'm not thinking of going for a Stax rig.  I would say that the Omega was my favorite, followed by the the Orpheus, then the O2, but all of them were quite amazing! Interestingly enough, I wasn't too much of a fan of the R10 bass-light.

 

2. A lot of my impressions about the Audeze LCD-2 have been confirmed after listening to them in so many different rigs. I felt they were still a little less to my liking than the HD800 or the T1 (which I found surprisingly great! Almost couldn't tell if I liked them or my HD800 better- thanks calaf!) I think they sound a little congested and deficient in the highs still. However, I have to say that bobcn's rig was the best I had ever heard the LCD-2. Almost like a completely different monster! His isabellina with upgraded tube and norse cable really made it sound like a GREAT headphone!

 

3. FrankCooter's 507 stax and his setup were quite amazing. I have no idea what he has in that amp, or if the 507 was doing most the work, but I thought it was one of the best headphone rigs I've ever heard! I was very surprised. I listened to a live recording of the Eagles and I never heard it sound so real.

 

4. Some odd reason, I felt the HD800 still sounded the best coming from my WA6SE. Maybe I'm a little biased but the B22, Phonitor, Lyr, Isabellina HPA, and other didn't really seem to provide any noticeable upgrade for me. Then again, meet conditions don't make it easy to do A/B with all the amps, but nothing really popped out at me as being much better.  I'm very glad with my setup and still feel like the HD800 is the best dynamic headphone out.

 

5. The HE-6 was quite a surprise for me. I did prefer this headphone to the LCD-2 after A/Bing them on a couple rigs. They sound excellent! I would go out and actually get them and even consider going head to head with them against the HD800 but they are simply too difficult to drive. I had to put them at about 3 o clock on my WA6SE volume pot in order to hear them at a satisfying level. If I wanted to rock out any louder, it maxed out my volume pot and even then, I'm not sure if they are being driven to their potential.

 

Again, thanks all!

post #68 of 303

Frank Cooter's DIY magic and SR-507 changed my life. 

post #69 of 303

Did anybody compare the Phoenix and β22? 

post #70 of 303

Thanks CEETEE for an insanely awesome meet!

 

My impressions follow:

 

Sennheiser HE-90 - I was one of the few who had a chance to listen to Milos' (n3rdling) HE-90, and though I was not surprised by it's greatness I was still taken aback by it. There's no doubt in my mind that this is the finest sounding headphone on the market. 

 

Akg K1000- Runner up for best headphone of the show IMO. Immediately I had the rare occasion to close my eyes and actually imagine i'm in concert. You get the sensation of soundstage that normally come from speakers, and the more personal experience of headphones all in one package, you get it all. Why buy 10k speakers when you could have the akg1000, thats the question i'd ask myself before purchasing speakers.

 

Denon AHD D7000- Honestly, I came into the meet not expecting much out of these. I thought that there would be little difference from the d5000 and a downgrade from a MarkL MD5000. I couldn't be more ignorant, the D7000 was a major upgrade to say the least. Listening to Shane55's system was a real treat, both songs I listened to sounded absolutely amazing. I've heard both of the recordings out of lesser systems with lesser quality headphones and it really made me appreciate the transparency of the d7000.

 

Shiit LYR- Definitely deserves mention. What a little beast that thing was. It powered my woodied T50rp like crack powers Whitney Houston. Everything sounded fuller and less anemic. It's quite amazing what a little more current can do for a power hungry ortho. Good job guys at Schitt.

 

HE-6- I don't know why there's so many LCD-2 vs HE-6 debates, the He-6 clearly is the spanker and the LCD-2 clearly has the red buttcheeks.very_evil_smiley.gif I found the HE-6 to be very clear and transparent, while the LCD-2 sounded a little too warm for my taste. 

 

Once again, great meet everyone, I'm glad that I made the trip up. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #71 of 303

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epocs View Post

 

3. FrankCooter's 507 stax and his setup were quite amazing. I have no idea what he has in that amp, or if the 507 was doing most the work, but I thought it was one of the best headphone rigs I've ever heard! I was very surprised. I listened to a live recording of the Eagles and I never heard it sound so real.

 

Frank's rig was definitely not as accurate as n3rlings, but it was sure a lot of fun. But hell yeah, on that Eagles Hells Freezes Over disc, it was like you were right there at the concert! I came home and played the same CD on my rig but could only weep.

 

Maybe I was just mesmerized by the boiling mercury and eerie blue glow of the rectifier tubes.

 

Quote:

4. Some odd reason, I felt the HD800 still sounded the best coming from my WA6SE. Maybe I'm a little biased but the B22, Phonitor, Lyr, Isabellina HPA, and other didn't really seem to provide any noticeable upgrade for me. Then again, meet conditions don't make it easy to do A/B with all the amps, but nothing really popped out at me as being much better.  I'm very glad with my setup and still feel like the HD800 is the best dynamic headphone out.

 

 

I was actually able to get some quiet time on your rig when most folks were outside of the room eating lunch - that's one setup you've got (with the upgraded tubes?) that works with the HD800. This was one of my pleasant surprises: HD800s now have bass.

post #72 of 303

1.jpg

post #73 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIGF View Post

1.jpg


I didn't take a look at what the output tubes on the right were. The tubes on the left were those rectifier tubes I was talking about. They would definitely be illegal to manufacture and use in the home today. Too bad they are not glowing light blue in this photo. I wish I had taken a close up photo of those tubes - you could see the mercury vaporize into a blue haze and precipitate on the sides toward the bottom.

post #74 of 303

Loved the Stax 507 rig. None of the headphones I tried with acoustic guitar music sounded quite like this (disclaimer: I didn't try every single rig, and didn't try all with the same music). Favorite headphone experience.

 

Most hyped match: LCD2 vs HE-6. That's all I can say since I didn't get enough time with either.

 

I arrived much later than I planned and didn't set up my headphones. I wanted too much to try my HE-4 with different amps so I didn't see the point of having it out for such a short a period of time, and I didn't have time to babysit for others in return since I wanted to do some listening... If I were ever late like that again I probably would have just tried 2 specific amps immediately and then ask somebody not too busy to host my headphones for the short remainder of the time so atleast I could have shared something.

 

I wish I had more time with the HE-5.

 

So many wonderful headphone rigs. See the pics.

 

The HD600. I should have started there at the beginning of my HeadFi trip. I would have kept them all the way. They sound just right on the rigs I tried. 

 

RS1. Still want one just for listening to rock. 

 

Thanks to CEETEE for being a very good host, for organizing, and for fronting the money.

 

Thanks to everyone else for being so generous, courteous, and a pleasure to meet. Including the MOTs!.

post #75 of 303

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

I didn't take a look at what the output tubes on the right were. The tubes on the left were those rectifier tubes I was talking about. They would definitely be illegal to manufacture and use in the home today. Too bad they are not glowing light blue in this photo. I wish I had taken a close up photo of those tubes - you could see the mercury vaporize into a blue haze and precipitate on the sides toward the bottom.

 

Thanks for the info. I wouldn't have thought there was an illegal something in a audio equipment.

 

What I actually meant by "what are these?" was the devices that have the tube on.

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