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Seattle meet at Bottlehead Audio - Page 3  

post #31 of 46

Good times had from all, I didn't kill myself in the process of unplugging my phono preamp from the flimsy slapped together iec inlet i put on it, was stuck at the girlfriends and it was on my to do list to get fixed, its fixed now, but thanks for stepping in Doc :) 

 

Lot of new toys to listen to, of course the tapes are always a treat to listen to, clean, naturally detailed, it spoils you, Im slowly setting aside funds to have my tape heads re-done on my Technics rs1506, but between that, and putting together a 55 watt PP custom cascoded speaker amp im getting sent, pre-populated, needs transformers, tubes and a case, im looking at you FPE :) Ill have to wait. I have 80 tapes and about half of those are pre-records 7.5 ips, a couple blank 15 ips reels to record vinyl to. Wish i had that controller from the movie Click to fast forward to audio nirvana, but its a getting there.

 

I haven't heard the Stax Omega 2's in a while, the stock amp is nice, I've definitely heard these shine with a KGSS or Blue Hawaii design before. I'm sure there's more designs to be had, e-stats have great potential, its definitely worth looking into Mike ;)

 

The Hifiman HE and EF setup hooked up to the Rotel, was very nice, clean, nice build quality throughout, sounded clean, articulate and fast, another nice place to start, 6 moons reviews it here : http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/hifiman/system.html

 

It's always fun to see KingStyles lug all that stuff around. No wonder you have your workout clothes on ya every time we see ya :)

 

Great to finally meet Sachu, sorry about the wallet dude hehe

 

Good to see meet enthusiasts of all ages. It's certainly interesting to hear the opinions of veteran audiophiles regarding this hobby, audio is and always will be a personal experience for all involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by xtreme4099 - 3/8/11 at 2:21pm
post #32 of 46

Really like taking a boat to go to a meet. A BIG THANKS to Doc B and everybody at Bottlehead. They are really nice to us Head-Fiers. Yeah, I was a little late. It was nice to see all the usual suspects and meet some new faces. Got to do the Liquid Fire/Balancing Act Shootout. BA just sounds plain gorgeous. The Liquid Fire needs some tubes to be fair. Those JJ's aren't doing anyone any favors. I walked in and notice ironbut had his office for his gear, Wow that guy has some pull.wink.gif Attended a mini after meet at Curbfeelers with Xtreme4099 and Joe from Kosmic. Stan has a awesome vinyl rig pushing some Maggies we got the pleasure to listen to. Will post more thoughts when I get a chance. Fff to school.

post #33 of 46

 

Some quick impressions from my end:

 

  • Playback Designs MPS-5 was just simply phenomenal. It brought forth what the SRM-717 + O2 combination is capable of. Every other time i had heard this combo it has been too dark and laid back, very dull sounding. The source was a HUGE shot in the arm for that combination.
  • The Schitt Lyr amp is very decent for the money..more listening time needed for any sort of judgement call to be made. Overall great for an office rig..didn't try the LCD-2 or the other orthos on it though.
  • The LIquid Fire and the Balancing act were being run through the Ayon Skylla. The Ayon has both Single Ended and balanced outputs. The balanced to single ended conversion probably being done through an opamp driver. While still not the most ideal setup to compare the two amps . The LF was more effortless with anything that was thrown at it while the Balancing act edged out the Liquid Fire on detail retrieval. TO put it simply, the BA sounded more open and clean sounding. However, the BA still fell short of being able to power the LCD-2. The mid bass wasn't as tight or full when coming straight off the Liquid Fire. A more in depth and even comparison (seriously need to look into rolling proper tubes in the Liquid FIre..maybe drop some 1000$ tubes in it as well :P ) is needed not to mention the production version of the Liquid Fire is probably more evolved..  All this said, hats off to Kingstyles for taking the pains to put together a bang up system. He's got a ear and eye for detail for sure. biggrin.gif
  • The Liquid Gold prototype setup with Sergio's turntable through the Hagerman Bugle and later th Bottlehead phono pre section was sounding unbelievable. It fooled a fair few (and even made me go wtf!!) into thinking the Liquid Gold was a tube amp. The warmth the source added to the solid state amp was hard to miss. I was floored by how good the amp was sounding with a vinyl front end. This experience was enough to help me make up my mind to head right on into investing in a Vinyl rig. Thanks Sergio!!..some fantastic material you had with you too :). The bottlhead phono section too is something I am going to keep my eye out for..hurry Doc!! :)
  • The Cavalli Audio Stacker 2 was as always sounding the most organic and involving at the meet. There was good reason why it along with the Assemblage DAC 2.7 and LCD-2 was and still stays as my reference headphone system. There is something about the Stacker 2 that is quite indescribable. It really is like an enigma and i am jealous of all those who own one. 
  • Doc B's Bottlhead setup with the Sennheisers totally took me by surprise. It was clearly among the highlights of my weekend as it just brushed away the infamous senn veil and made it sound glorious. 

Acknowledgements

  • Doc B and Eileen.. COuldn't have asked for a more gracious host. You two are amazing and pulled off what to me has been one of the best PNW meets thus far. What a location too loved the entire trip. :)
  • Gil/ Big Poppa..thanks for pulling this together..oh..and to be polite and go with your usual greeting.. FU....very_evil_smiley.gif
  • Equus/Ethan for all his help. You are too cool and amazing for words my brother. cool.gif
  • Curbfeeler/stan ..apologies for not making it to your place after the meet. A seattleite was driving and didn't know how to get to West Seattle rolleyes.gif  I soo wanted to hang with you guys and check out your magnepan setup and possiboly even coerce you into letting one of your TTs go :)
  • Speaking of TTs ...Sergio..thanks for hauling that rig...big personal moment for me with vinyl. Was a pleasure to meet you. 
  • Ironbut/Steve for hauling that gorgeous system from California. 
  • Kingstyles/Josh for hauling that great system with him and allowing me to setup the Liquid Fire through his Ayon Skylla.
  • Lastly but most importantly it was great to meet and greet new and old faces...that's you Marco, Peter, Poetic, Muu Muu, Wharfrat  :)

Edited by sachu - 3/8/11 at 5:56pm
post #34 of 46

It was great meeting you Sachu!

After reading your impressions, I realized that I'd forgotten to mention the server set up that Doc had. Being familiar with the sound of the headphones/amp as well as Amarra, I have to say that his prototype DAC is sounding mighty sweet! I got a chance to hear it on the Bottlehead speaker rig on Sunday and it seemed even more impressive there. I look forward to some "giant killing" once the final version is available.

 

Another great sound were my AT AD2000's on the SEX amp. I imagine that the particular amp (in the office rack) included the Magnequest iron upgrade but I think it may be the best "reasonable $$$" amp I've heard for those cans (they also sound great wired balanced out of the Balancing Act and single ended out of my Zana but that's much more serious money).

post #35 of 46

I daresay a good time was had by all!  Given the range of gear present, I have to say it was quite a show.  Several new pieces of high end gear made maiden appearances at the collective tables and were clearly much on everyone's tongues at the end of the day after decent time on the ears...

 

I have to admit to one thing and live with it for the rest of my life: KingStyle's rig, upon viewing it alone makes me feel like PeeWee Herman trying to get a date with Gisele Bundchen. He probably would knock me upside the head, tell me to not be such a fool and get it on with the volume knob...nice guy as he is always....but one of these days I will man up and give it the respect with a serious listen. 

 

Doc B and Eileen: so many thanks for the warm welcome.  I always feel peace at seeing your smiles.

 

I would like to thank Equus/Ethan, Lugia882/Patrick, Oscarhong, and one other person who helped me get my equipment case up the stairs.  I apologize for lugging around that heavy power conditioner with me, but I believe it helps with the system sound. 

 

I appreciate Jax's willingness to bring his Violectric HPA 181 amp to pair with the Lavry DAC.  It helped me narrow down my preferences in amps.  It made clear to me that I need to have a system with a level of tonal weight and presence that pulls me effortlessly into the music because I can't always be "listening hard" for certain frequencies to be readily discernable. I am still out on whether this is something headphones are more responsible for than amplifiers, but the EF5 I have and the Lyr tell me differently.  Mossback alluded to the same thing with the Stax amp when we were discussing the O2's sound when he mentioned that the Blue Hawaii he is waiting delivery is designed to give electrostats more drive.

 

Speaking of electrostats... that Jade can is something!  Rich, sweet, and quite truly one of the most comfortable set of cans I have put on my head, other than the HD800s.  Ironbut's reel and electrostat tube amp combo was able to give me that rich sound of analog through the Jades....It makes me think again about getting into a turntable system.   I once traded an authentic, numbered Salvador Dali lithograph drawing of Don Quixote for a Thorens turntable...this is what got me into audiophilia.  I should have held on to the Dali and would likely have ended up with KingStyle's system if I did trade up now for it, but thats the breaks....at least I am where I belong in this hobby, learning by doing.

 

I got my rocks off with the K702,  the modded Grado MS1 (or was it MS1000?), HD800, the Lyr (it could probably do more loudness wise if the source had been a higher voltage signal output unit, like a CD player, I would think, based on some recent notes out of 6moons posted on the Lyr thread.  I did not note the DAC feeding the Lyr and whether it held back anything, so I can't be sure if that was an issue), the Grace m902...Doesn't that sound like a family of mid-range rich cans and high-powered amps that can be a happy marriage for my blue-collar ears?  It also became clear to me the more resolving and tonally neutral headphones (think Audeze LCD-2, HE-5 and Staxes.....) are for sonically sophisticated ears than mine.  At least I will save some $$$.  biggrin.gif

 

Big Poppa: you mentioned a softer cover for the resting pad on the hose hooks some of us had brought to put our headphones on. Would you explain again where I could get them?

 

I agree with Doc B's assessment of the respect accorded to everyone's equipment by the attendees.  I brought several headphones and everyone who wanted to try to A/B their cans with mine made sure I was aware they are taking it away from the table and returning them intact...It was a throughly respecful gesture and I really appreciated it.

 

It was good to see happy faces, new and old.  Each meet gets better and better....Thanks to all of you who made the day possible.  I look forward to the next meet....soon,  BBQ and all...

post #36 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wharfrat View Post


 

I got my rocks off with the K702,  the modded Grado MS1 (or was it MS1000?), HD800, the Lyr (it could probably do more loudness wise if the source had been a higher voltage signal output unit, like a CD player, I would think, based on some recent notes out of 6moons posted on the Lyr thread.  I did not note the DAC feeding the Lyr and whether it held back anything, so I can't be sure if that was an issue)

 


 

Thanks, I also dig my MS1000. There is a huge thread about them here on headfi if you werent familiar. My Lyr was being fed by a MSII+ which is a very capable DAC but not on the high end. Sadly my CD player is dead except for the one I have in my home theater rig and didnt take it apart to bring it in. I think it sounds fine though from the laptop but I dont have super sophisticated hearing myself to notice all that much difference.  I pretty much like what I like and dont what I dont and leave it at that. Im still on the fence about how much I love the Lyr, but Im certainly not at all unhappy with it. It would be fun to hook it up to a better source though, anyone wanna invite me over :-)

post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbut View Post

It was great meeting you Sachu!

After reading your impressions, I realized that I'd forgotten to mention the server set up that Doc had. Being familiar with the sound of the headphones/amp as well as Amarra, I have to say that his prototype DAC is sounding mighty sweet! I got a chance to hear it on the Bottlehead speaker rig on Sunday and it seemed even more impressive there. I look forward to some "giant killing" once the final version is available.

 

Another great sound were my AT AD2000's on the SEX amp. I imagine that the particular amp (in the office rack) included the Magnequest iron upgrade but I think it may be the best "reasonable $$$" amp I've heard for those cans (they also sound great wired balanced out of the Balancing Act and single ended out of my Zana but that's much more serious money).

Thanks for the kind words. I have to admit that though I am obviously a way off the deep end analog guy, I am really diggin' the server/DAC rig in my main system. The Mac Mini with Amarra running straight from the optical in and out to the DAC is the best server I have heard it with so far. We have several little tricks in the DAC design that may surprise folks when we release the final version.
 

The AD2000s on the S.E.X. really surprised me. I had taken both the S.E.X. (about $800 as shown) and the new Smack prototype (estimated at around $450) to the Bay Area meet, and the lower impedance cans that were tried there (mostly Grados) seemed to like the Smack a little better. And here we have found one that likes S.E.X. better. That's why we are trying to make a lot of different types of headphone amps available, there are so many different kinds of cans with different needs. I hope to have an ES headphone amp in the future as well as the four we have already. That reminds me, next meet we should try the LCD-2s with the Paramounts. I'm speculating that it might be a good combination.

post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wharfrat View Post


 

Big Poppa: you mentioned a softer cover for the resting pad on the hose hooks some of us had brought to put our headphones on. Would you explain again where I could get them?


He was talking about heat shrink tubing.  You'd need a large enough diameter heat shrink tube to go around the hook part.  You could also put some foam or other material under the heat shrink before shrinking it down.  That would give some extra form and cushion to the hook.

 

I need to do the same or similar to my hose hook stand.  Something.  I'm just not sure what.

 

post #39 of 46

Yeah it was heat shrink. I would go take the stand to Westlake electronics in Woodinville to size it up with some of the thicker Heatshrink. To me it the stand needed a little extra cushon to support the headphones.

post #40 of 46

Ham and Pops, thanks for the lead on the heatshrink info...will definitely check into the Westlake Electronics option if I can't find anyone closer....

 

Pseudohippy: If you are game for a triapse across the Big Pond to Vashon, I have three (!) CD players you can test your Lyr with.  One is a SACD tube and SS hybrid, so you would have some options for flavor-testing.  We can even hook it up to the pre-amp outs on my 30 watt NAD receiver and probably drive the HE-5 (or K1000s, even) out of this solar system, LOL...If you can walk on, I can pick you up on the Vashon side and save you car ferry fees.

 

Doc B:  I will be over in Silverdale this Saturday to watch my wife bowl her monthly league games. Watching folks loft their balls ain't my idea of sport, so would you happen to be open for any reason?  I have a pair of AD2000s and haven't tried them with the SEX amp...plus you brought up the idea of a mod for me...i am open to discussing it then or later, whatever suits your fancy...but would like a chance to give Bottlehead gear more time.....I only heard the Crack amp and found it wanting....But if Saturday doesn't work for you, we can work out another time...bigsmile_face.gif

 

 

 

post #41 of 46

I'm late in chiming in here as I've been working since leaving the meet.  A big thanks to Doc B. and to Gil for organizing and hosting a great meet.  This was only my second local meet as I seem to have had conflicting schedules on previous events since the Meet in the Middle.  It was nice to see a few familiar faces from the first meet I attended, and again I was impressed by the diversity of the crowd and the enthusiasm without attitude that prevailed here and at that previous meet.  Having attended my share of high-end audio shows where the crowds are quite different, this is a refreshing change of pace and more to the point of what I enjoy about music and the hobby.  I was really bummed that I did not have time to prepare enough to figure how to get my laptop to act as a server for my Squeezebox Touch, which rendered my system a bit of a dud compared to what it could be (I could not bring my whole rig as I did a walk-on trip on the ferry, so was relying on making it work with borrowed parts and in a way I had not set it up before).  Thank you to Saachu who offered up his DVD player as a front end for me.  Thanks also to Bob (Wharfrat) for sharing his DAC and cords.  The whole setup thing had me a bit flustered and kind of wasted half the time I was there running around trying to get things to gel.  Sorry they did not and hope to get it together in time for the next meet.  Perhaps then I can bring my full rig next time. 

 

Highlights at this meet for me were:

 

KingStyles outstanding system - the DAC especially impressed me with a very natural presentation of music that did not render any digital cues to my ears.  I really liked the sound of the LCD-2 through the Balancing Act, but am kicking myself for not getting back to it after Josh corrected his preamp setting that someone else had moved when I listened.  I was thinking, though it sounded great, that it was a bit underpowered for the LCD-2's and lacked a bit of slam in that respect.  Turns out his preamp was turned WAY down and I was having to compensate with the amp.  Another reason to attend the next meet.  Thanks also to KingStyles for showing me and Peter the ins and outs of the XLD ripping software.  Peter downloaded a copy when we got back to his place in Port Townsend and I'll download a copy now that I'm back home.  It was a bit tricky getting up to speed with so really helped that you demonstrated that, Josh.  Thank you.

 

The Schitt Lyr was also a real highlight for me, and thanks to PseudoHippy for bringing his brand new amp along.  Wow, that is a real bargain, especially as an amp for the LCD-2's, where it really does shine.  Even with some Beyer mid-priced cans it sounded great, and all with a MusicStreamer+ off of a laptop.  Very impressive.  I would have liked to do a direct comparison with the V181 that I use which, I think, offers a bit more resolution and dynamic nuance from what I'm used to, but who knows how good my aural memory/judgment is there, and I was not listening to anything that was really familiar to me on the Schitt.  On any level it was a very impressive listen that raises the bar on what's available in that price bracket, and might make some question why spend any more. 

 

It was great to see Mike (Mossback) and to hear the impressive systems he's assembled coming from being a devoted speaker guy like myself.  The player and Stax combination was very impressive to me.  I would love to listen to that more - it left me to wonder if the airy sense I got from it might occur a bit lightweight for my tastes with other material than that I listened to, but what I heard sounded quite compelling. 

 

Also impressive was listening to Doc B's tape rig and I'm going to have to go back to hear that some more.  Peter and Jon and I have plans to go back there again.  There was so much I did not get to hear between futzing around with trying to get my own rig up and running, and socializing and gabbing, which seemed to take up a whole lot of time, though I certainly did enjoy it.  All more reasons to come back again. 

post #42 of 46

Hey Wharfrat,

 

Sorry to say that I won't be able to open the office on Saturday, as we will be attending a memorial service for a relative. But let's definitely schedule some listening time!

post #43 of 46

Dan,

Thanks for the reply.  Sorry to hear of your loss and I hope the memories will be good ones....

 

Now to squeeze a visit into the calendar...we can work something out.  I wlll PM you.

 

Once again, thanks for hosting the wonderful Meet!

post #44 of 46

Regarding visits, everyone is most welcome. Our hours are a bit sporadic and thus simply dropping by may find us out of the office. But we are very flexible about opening the office up for a scheduled visit. Just give us a call at 206-451-4275 or email us at queen at bottlehead dot com. For a little extra incentive here is a photo of the new listening station I have been putting together. Hope to have it up and running by next week:

 

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1687.0;attach=979;image

 

 

post #45 of 46

Wow that looks pretty nice :p

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