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Seattle meet at Bottlehead Audio - Page 2  

post #16 of 46

Great meet!  Enjoyed talking to everyone and listening to all the gear.  Don't think I'm in any hurry to bust open my wallet (aside from a few CDs I want to get now), but lots of fantastic equipment out there.  Really liked the Balancing Act in particular.  Also enjoyed the Skullcandy phones, I thought they were very good considering its fifty dollar pricepoint.  Thanks a bunch to everyone that got the meet set up and Doc B for providing the location.

 

And thanks again Equus for the hospitality post-meet.  Enjoyed comparing the Liquid-Fire/Stacker as well, two great amps that (for now) have their own strengths.

post #17 of 46

Nice meet, great photos, the gear looks excellent.

Is tube rolling over Kingstyles or..........?

post #18 of 46

Just a few things -

 

Mike (Mossback) Lavigne's moniker - at least on other forums - is mikel. There is another local who uses the moniker Mossback on the Bottlehead Forum and AA - my old bud Dan Hayes (who also happens to have a pair of Stax IIRC). Had me confused, so I thought I would share that info.

 

And that big ol' tape deck in the picture is a Studer A80, not a Sony. That's going to be set up to play 1" two track Tape Project master tapes for equipment evaluation purposes in the listening room. Hey Kingstyles - if you want analog, a Studer would look killer with your gorgeous rig ;^)>

 

My headphone experiment is turning into a bit of a long term project, requiring some exotic materials research. I'll definitely let folks know when we have something I feel I can share.

 

Unfortunately those Skullcandys are $150, not $50. I can't find many folks who like them. My impression is that they seem to work better with an iPod/iPhone than a higher end headphone amp.

 

Oh yeah, and that red box connected to Sergio's turntable is our prototype Bottlehead Tube Phono preamp.


Edited by Doc B. - 3/7/11 at 8:22am
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

 

 

Mike (Mossback) Lavigne's moniker - at least on other forums - is mikel. There is another local who uses the moniker Mossback on the Bottlehead Forum and AA - my old bud Dan Hayes (who also happens to have a pair of Stax IIRC). Had me confused, so I thought I would share that info.


 

sorry to cause confusion, and thanks Doc for clarifying that.

 

'mikel' was already taken on Headfi so i used 'Mossback' as i'd used that on some non-audio forums in the past. most audio forums i use my own name as my moniker if mikel is taken. but i noticed that on Headfi everyone has a moniker, and tried to go with that flow.

 

anyway; i'd like to say thanks to all the attendee's on Saturday for making me feel welcome to your group, and especially to Doc B. for his hospitality. in retrospect; i was having too much fun with people wanting to listen to my Stax set-up and asking about my digital source that i did not spend enough time listening to other stuff and meeting everyone. the vibe on Saturday was very nice. it was great meeting 'Eli from Bellevue' who was just learning about how fine audio can sound.....and many other 'young' guys that have the passion. it's a bit different (and refreshing) compared to my audio club or High End show.....in a very good way.

 

i did get to hear the Audeze LCD-2's in a number of set-ups which was something i wanted to do and listened to the Jades in Ironbut's tape/custom amp set-up which i loved. as a big tape head i can say there is nothing like good RTR tape.

 

the LCD-2's did many things right, but i think i like the O2's better so far; simply more detail and the LCD-2's seemed a bit heavy/dark and not as open as the O2's. of course, the LCD-2's were with different amps and sources so it's hard to know exactly what is what.

 

at some point i need to try and get some LCD-2's to spend time with in my system.

 

i had a fun time at the Meet and look forward to the next one.


 

 


Edited by Mossback - 3/7/11 at 10:39am
post #20 of 46

 

Quote:
it was great meeting 'Eli from Bellevue' who was just learning about how fine audio can sound.....and many other 'young' guys that have the passion. it's a bit different (and refreshing) compared to my audio club or High End show.....in a very good way.

 

 

Yup, I have been telling all my "elderly" high end audio buds - who have been complaining for years that no younger folks are getting into high end audio - that they need to keep an eye on the headphone movement. This billion dollar headphone industry is the equivalent of us old guys buying Advent speakers, NAD integrated amps and Technics turntables (well, ahem, I always had a Thorens TD124) for our dorm rooms in the 70s and 80s. It's the present day starting point that leads to high end (or in some cases off the deep end) systems in later years when money and living space can accommodate it.

post #21 of 46

Haha...I can totally see that, Dan.  I think it's easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by the cost and breadth of the speaker market, while there seems to be more readily available launching points for headphones.  That the audio world has also gone so much more portable than it used to be obviously also helps the headphone market.

post #22 of 46

Yes, you have to remember that my prehistoric generation precedes digital and also anything portable that used headphones besides a cheap transistor radio. I remember my first experience with portable headphones - buying a top of the line Sony Walkman and a pair of Sennheiser MS-80 portable headphones in HK to take with me into China in 1984. The first Discman had just hit the market about a month earlier, and IIRC it was about 400 1984 dollars. I think my Walkman was more like $150, and there was way more software available.

 

One of the more memorable images of those early personal portable days was seeing this geek standing in a crowded concert hall lobby before a performance by the San Francisco Symphony. That was in the early 80s. He was wearing these great huge Sennheisers, the ones that had the bright yellow earpads, and held in two hands some kind of fancy Grundig or Sony AM/FM/SW portable radio, with a big old whip antenna sticking out of it. I always figured it was just as likely that he was listening to Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on the local classical station as the Giants game.

post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

Yes, you have to remember that my prehistoric generation precedes digital and also anything portable that used headphones besides a cheap transistor radio. I remember my first experience with portable headphones - buying a top of the line Sony Walkman and a pair of Sennheiser MS-80 portable headphones in HK to take with me into China in 1984. The first Discman had just hit the market about a month earlier, and IIRC it was about 400 1984 dollars. I think my Walkman was more like $150, and there was way more software available.

 

One of the more memorable images of those early personal portable days was seeing this geek standing in a crowded concert hall lobby before a performance by the San Francisco Symphony. That was in the early 80s. He was wearing these great huge Sennheisers, the ones that had the bright yellow earpads, and held in two hands some kind of fancy Grundig or Sony AM/FM/SW portable radio, with a big old whip antenna sticking out of it. I always figured it was just as likely that he was listening to Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on the local classical station as the Giants game.


i think i'm even a bit older. in 1964 i got my first hand held portable 'transistor radio' (am only), in High School i considered myself very lucky to have a Woollensak RTR tape deck. 'portable music' for me began during spring break from the UW in 1970 when i installed an '8-track' in my 64' MGB for the drive with my buddies to Palm Springs.....you needed to attach a car to the gear for portable music back then.

 

of course; popular music at that time reached heights never seen since (or before, for that matter). music was such a force in everything. now there seems to be so much 'noise' it's hard to find the content. pardon me for the 'senior' moment......
 

 


Edited by Mossback - 3/7/11 at 1:16pm
post #24 of 46

Haha...well, while I can't claim to be older (though I'm probably older than most people think I am), I also grew up in Hawaii, so some of my experiences were by necessitated by what was there.  Like the AM only transistor radio.  We used one on the weekends when we'd go fishing from about 4 in the afternoon to midnight so we could listen to the UH games.  And most of the North Shore at that time had little to no FM reception.  Then there was my grandpa who had a receiver with a built-in 8-track that he used well into the 80's...not the 8-track though, just the receiver portion.  And my dad had an old RtR that he swore by.  I think it was a Sanyo.  He used to record stuff off of vinyl onto the RtR then use that sometimes to transfer to cassettes.  I think my first CD player I ever owned was in high school...I think it was in the first or second generation of those nice bulky Sony CD Discman portables.  Ah...memories.  The whip antenna comment is priceless though...I haven't thought about one of those in ages.  Ya know, looking back on the stuff my dad had (RtR, turntable, custom cabinet speakers that he built, some old Technics receiver) I guess it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that I'm in the hobby now.  More of a surprise that it took me this long, probably.

post #25 of 46

It was a great meet. I got there kind of late (got a little lost along the way), but enjoyed listening to others gear, there was some really nice stuff. 

 

Some highlights and impressions: 

 

  • Amarra, dac?, bottlehead sex/crack, HD600: I was really amazed by this setup. It was the best I ever heard the HD600's. Signature Sennheiser sound at its best. I think if I didn't own LCD-2, I'd be pretty happy with a setup like this. 
  • Rotel, EF5/HE5 combo: This was my first time listening to the HE-5's. I played Eva Cassidy's Songbird in the Rotel and her voice just came right through with such musicality. It was a great emotional experience.  HE-5 is great bang for the buck. 
  • Schiit Lyr: Just an awesome and powerful little amp. Ran a little warm to the touch but not hot like the Asgard. I used it with several Grado's and it drove them all with such power and authority. I wish they came out with this a few years back when I first started. Would be fun to play with and tube roll. Didn't get to test it with LCD-2, maybe next time. 
  • Stax O2/717: Just as I expected. Nice, light, and easy to listen to. I need to hear these out of a Blue Hawaii someday...
  • Alessandro MS2/MS1000: I really liked how dead neutral the MS2 sounded. It's a great headphone and I think I prefer it over the stock SR325i. MS1000 is also a great mod and sounded really good. Kind of like HF2's with jumbo pads on.  
  • Audio Technica W1000, W5000? setup: Really nice headphones with great air and soundstage. Sounded excellent driven off the budget usb dac/amp. 
  • Cavalli Stacker II, Liquid Gold/Fire: Only had a brief moment with these amps, but they all sounded quite good and very powerful. 

 

I don't think I met everyone, but it was great seeing everyone there and putting some names to faces. I also want to say thanks for those that offered a ride back to the ferry and to Gil and Bottlehead for putting this altogether with the location. I'll bring the booze at the next meet. beerchug.gif

 

 

 

post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAudiophile View Post

It was a great meet. I got there kind of late (got a little lost along the way), but enjoyed listening to others gear, there was some really nice stuff. 

 

Some highlights and impressions: 

 

  • Amarra, dac?, bottlehead sex/crack, HD600: I was really amazed by this setup. It was the best I ever heard the HD600's. Signature Sennheiser sound at its best. I think if I didn't own LCD-2, I'd be pretty happy with a setup like this. 

That was our DAC too, a prototype we've been working on for a while now, and it was a Crack amp. Hope to have the DAC on the market by year's end. Amarra sounds really, really good. I've heard it many times in other systems and liked it very much. Yesterday I immigrated that Mac Mini w/Amarra and our DAC setup into my main system for the first time. With it running in my reference system I can now say what I suspected all along. It really is one of the best sounding media players. The other software packages that I have heard that are up there with it require proprietary hardware that is quite expensive and they don't have the neat user interface that links with iTunes so nicely.

post #27 of 46
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

And that big ol' tape deck in the picture is a Studer A80, not a Sony. That's going to be set up to play 1" two track Tape Project master tapes for equipment evaluation purposes in the listening room. Hey Kingstyles - if you want analog, a Studer would look killer with your gorgeous rig ;^)>

 

Looks expensive. Wouldnt even know where to begin. I would want something more compact like ironbut's.

post #28 of 46

Thanks to Bottlehead, Big Poppa, and the Seattle crew for organizing and making it happen.  I like the Seattle area so I look for excuses to get up there.  And especially Bainbridge Island and the sound.  I had a great time even though drive time exceeded listening time.

Lots of gear and I never get a chance to listen to all of it or even most of it even at a small meet.

It was great to get to listen to two different and very good electrostats.  Lets me know what's going on with that type of sound.  What a treat.  And the people with electrostats bring along good quality suitable music as well.

The Lyr was quite interesting.  I was a bit worried at first about plugging in something like a Grado or Denon to an amp like that with more than enough powah to destroy the headphone.  But everyone else was doing it so I did too.  Brought my SR325is, HD600, and D2000 down to the Lyr to have a listen.  I liked it a lot.  Very impressed.  Especially impressed with the quality of bass it brought out in any of the headphones I tried with it.  I like clean strong bass.  One thing that really impressed and surprised me was how well the Lyr did with the HD600.  I tried Rodrigo y Gabriela's "Tamacun" (a favorite test track I like).  Rodrigo y Gabriela is something I find difficult to get the HD600 to do well and with many amps the HD600 just does it very poorly like they're playing student quality guitars.  The Lyr made the Rodrigo y Gabriela sound really good on the HD600.  Wow.  I wasn't expecting that.

I also got a listen to the  Symphones Magnum upgraded Grado.  That's what a $700 Grado should sound like.  Very impressed.  Great for rock and other Grado friendly music.  And it does it much better than a Grado.  It leaves my stock 325is in the dust.  And it doesn't need to be EQed like I do with my 325is to tame its treble.  Simply awesome in a Gradoish sound kind of way.

Now I just need to get an ortho so I can justify a Lyr.  For now though I think I'll get an Asgard as an additional amp.  My HD600 will thank me.

I also gave the Skullcandy Avatar a try to humor Doc B.  It sounds better than a Bose Triport (the around ears).  Sounds suitable with Talking Heads.  Vocals in R.E.M. lose some detail and what little airyness they have.  The Avatars could do worse.  But at a $150 street price they're a tough sell if you like musical detail.  Sympathy to Doc B. for taking the $150 hit for the team.

post #29 of 46
Thanks to SemiAudiophile for giving me a ride there and also back home, I owe you something. Thanks to BigPoppa for arranging this and also Doc B for providing a nice place for the meet.

I was so stoked by the Stax setup, it sounded really amazing.
I finally had a chance to try the Denon D7000 and Thunderpants. I was actually quite unimpressed by the Thunderpants, it sounded thin and dry, bass was also not that spectacular, maybe it's just me.
The LCD-2s was also overwhelming, sadly I didn't really like their fit.
The SC Aviators shocked me most, it's good for a Skullcandy.
Audio Technica ATH-AD2000, W1000, W5000 were beautiful, I especially liked the AD2000 and W5000. I liked how airy and detailed the AD2000 was and how the W5000 delivered wonderful mids while also giving me deep, punching bass.
I forgot to try the Lyr with my 650, will remember to do that next time.
post #30 of 46

And I forgot to try the 650's with my Lyr. Maybe we can get together one day and test out the combo ourselves.

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