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 $$$.
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...