Major thanks and appreciation to CEE TEE, Renulte, and Susan for picking up the ball and pulling the load on this one! You guys did a great job and I had a blast! Best part, as always meeting an ever increasing circle of audio devotees and just plain good people.
Time flies at these meets, so there's always people and equipment you miss and later regret, but I always come away with something new. My main equipment interest was checking out the new high end ortho's. I own and like an HE-5, so I'm definitely interested in going further down this road at some point. I got considerable time with the HE-6 and the LCD-2.They are both great headphones, and to me at least, clearly a step above the dynamics at similar price points. Under meet conditions, with different signal chains, I couldn't choose a preference. I'd be happy building a system around either. I do prefer both to any of the lower end Stax that I've owned. Ultimately, that the O2, while containing flaws of its own, goes a level deeper in resolution, detail, and nuance. For now, I'll continue down the electrostatic path. If I had to rate my own SR-507, I'd put it on the same level as the ortho's. No surprize, as they are all in the same price league.
I didn't get to all the commercial vendors, but I did spend time at the Schitt and Bottlehead tables.
The Schitt amps are major "bang-for-the-buck" values. They sound excellent regardless of price. Particularly interesting is their hybrid tube- mosfet model , which is one of the few dynamic amps at anywhere near this price point that properly drive the new ortho's.
I've watched the Bottlehead stuff for years, and if I wasn't a scratch buider, this is where I'd begin a DIY journey. The value level of the kits is exceptional, and the circuits are very well thought out. What really distinguishes Bottlehead is the incredible support structure that goes along with the kits. It's great to see "Doc" and his crew becoming a central part of the Head-Fi community.
Individual systems that impressed me were of course n3rdling's awsome collection of the best headphone gear ever built. Miles is one generous and trusting guy! I'd be paranoid to death turning loose that kind of gear with 75 strangers. Really appreciate you bringing this collection and letting us all see just what is really possible.
My neighbors Bobcn and Shane had some good sounds going on. Bobcn's LCD-2/ Redwine rig was my favorite of the LCD-2 based systems. Shane's high res. needle drop files pointed the way to go when I eventually get into computer audio. Purrin's new Audio Technica (model escapes me) sounded like a hybrid of the best of Grado and Sennheiser. Lots of great sound from others as well. I enjoyed them all.
As always, I want to thank my buddy and tablemate Ironbut for bringing his world class reel to reel tape system and ultra rare and expensive "Tape Project" tapes. I say it after every meet, but if you have any interest in ultimate high end audio, you need to listen to this tape system if only to establish a reference point of what a source can sound like.
Thanks to all again, especially CEE TEE, Renulte, and Susan (who wouldn't even let us buy her lunch). Hope to see you all again!
I'll discuss some of the comments about my amplifier in a seperate post. For the moment, I just want to say that at these voltage and power levels the radiation produced by mercury vapor rectifiers is less than that produced by an old black and white television. Still, if anyone is uncomfortable with this, then I will not bring them to future meets.