FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU- so disappointed I couldn't be there. I don't have any money for the inevitable gearitis but it would have been good just to have a chat with you lot again. Maybe next year!
Brisbane Meet 2011 (12th March Impressions n Pix) - 56K Warning! - Page 2
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- 35 Posts. Joined 5/2009
- Location: Australia
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Thought I might as well post some impressions, being my first Head-Fi Meet...
Firstly, a big thank you to MomijiTMO for organising the day (and wearing the cost of the room hire - yikes!). It was nice to put some faces to the names here and listen to some excellent gear. A good blend of gadgetry and socialising
Eddie Current Balancing Act: jrisles' monster amp was the show-piece of the day. Drove any phone we threw at it beautifully and with a fidelity I have never experienced before in headphone listening. Superb!
Sennheiser HD600: I know - who hasn't heard these before? Me, until yesterday. I guess because of their ubiquity and constant comments of "veiled" and "hard to drive" left me expecting little from them, but whether it was a balanced set (Equinox cable) from the Balancing Act, or a single-ended set (Blue Dragon cable) from the puny Maverick D1, I was surprised at how accomplished these phones were. The comments are still true, but these phones have gained a new fan.
AKG K701: I expected a shrill, trebly phone that suited simple acoustic and vocal music only and would present rock music with the timbre of nails on a chalkboard - instead I heard a great set of phones that, yes, were suited well to classical, acoustic and jazz, but still proved to be a better all-rounder than some have reported. No bass? I heard bass - tight, and deeper than I expected. Speed and detail was execllent. The Yamamota and Balancing Act were probably the culprits as I didn't have the same luck with the Maverick D1 (no surprise), but they were still very listenable. Would like to have heard these with the Burson amps.
Sennheiser HD800: From the CKKIII, the best presentation of classical music I have heard through phones. Beautifully balanced sound from top to bottom with supremely spacious soundstage. I know these could be bright phones, but this combo seemed to work well. Sounded like they would keep on giving as amplification increased. Comfortable. Leaked like a damn sieve! :)
Oddities and Observations
Audio Technica W5000: jrisles and I agreed these seemed to have an artifical 'reverb' effect to them. He found them gaining new life with the Burson HA160D - I still wasn't won over. Certain attributes were incredible (air, detail, bass control and detail) whereas others were lacklustre (everything else). Others disagreed and loved them, but to me they ended up sounding a bit disjointed. Audio Technica's 3D-wing is still the most comfortable headband design ever, IMO.
Sennheiser HD800 + Yamamoto HA-02: From the quick listen I had with this pairing, it was pretty average. Can someone else put their thoughts in? Might have been the song I was listening to, but I remember thinking the CKKIII was much better...?
Beyerdynamic DT880: Wasn't expecting much, but these phones from the Maverick D1 were a surprise. Quite a thick midrange and tad sluggish in the mid-bass, but still had an immediately appealing sound to my ears and had enough PRaT and detail to keep me happy. Not as good as the HD600 IMO, but still very nice.
Denon D2000: All the reviews and comments setup the expectation to be consistent with the actual experience; these sounded exactly like I thought they would. Only hyper-detail freaks who abhore bass would dislike them - I can see these keeping everyone else happy. A very agreeable sound, with huge, deep bass. An easy universal recommendation, and the leakiest close phones I have heard :)
..and Lastly & Leastly...
LCD-2: Sorry, I had to say it. I think I was the only there who didn't like these. I expected to love them from what I had read about them. Four members at the meet had a set so there was plenty of chances to try them out, but I found myself reluctant to come back to them. The first two words that spring to mind are 'slow' and 'dark'. When compared back to back with balanced HD600's (both phones from the Balancing Act) while the LCD-2 had the edge with a very wide soundstage with gobs of detail, the Senn's agility (as jrisles put it, and I agree with his comments completely), to my ears made it a better all-round listen. The LCD-2 just seemed to have so minimal PRaT that their good attributes (which are very good), let it down overall. They're also very heavy to wear. I may have slightly prefered the LCD-2 from the Burson HA160 + Audio-GD Ref5 DAC rather than the the Balancing Act...? As you say qusp, some solid state grunt might bring those big drivers to life? Would like to spend some more time with these one day.
Stax: No one had any Stax... :(
Edited by luke2112 - 3/13/11 at 3:18am
- 629 Posts. Joined 12/2009
- Location: Singapore
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Thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone at the meet as well. So sorry i had to leave early and didn't expect that many people to be interested in auditioning the Sony Z1000s. I intended to bring my STAX rig down as well but the SR-507s had to be sent for repair due channel imbalance and i've yet to have them back.
I'm actually pretty tickled that i probably had the lightest and smallest rig at the meet and it's incredible that i'm enjoying my music so much the way i am. I guess it really is true that no one can tell you how u should be enjoying music if you do. Thanks for bringing down some seriously impressive rigs as well, from the BA to the 160D.
Just some thoughts tho:
- I didn't enjoy the LCD-2s as much as i thought i might, while they were impressive, i expected to be blown away and that didn't happen for me
- The Pro 900s and HD600s were really enjoyable as well with the 900s impressing my by being the fun-ner sounding of the 2. I sorta expected to experience serious clamping with the HD600s having read so much about them but they were surprisingly comfy.
- I didn't get to listen to the BA tho since they seemed to always be constantly on audition but it was a feast for the eyes for sure.
- I didn't get to audition the HE-4s as i had hoped for since i just sold the HE-6s and was interested in comparing them.
Great seeing the quest for audio nirvana is alive and well!
well maybe thats one of the things you get from taking them home, i must admit i'm extrapolating the effect of using them balanced and with more solid state power than what was on offer at the meet, as due to their design i assumed they needed more and would scale with that (speed and hard hitting power coming from that and adding to the space and dynamism that was already there). meets as we know are not good places for trying out headphones, but i did like what i heard and i do love my hd600, balanced or SE, so i dont say that lightly. what are they like out of your yammy? maybe it was a case of the Emperors new clothes, but i need to spend more time with them at home with my gear and my music before i know. anyone got a spare pair i can loan? lol
now i hear what your music taste is i understand your rig more, as many know i'm not much of a tube guy, but the eddie current is about as clean as i have heard them. i just dont like the k701 out of anything though, after trying to 'get them' many times while having them here for recables. i figure they just dont suit my gear or my music all that much, cant get past the Princess Leia thing they've got going on.
regarding the whole sponsor thing, dont get me wrong, i enjoyed this meet more than most precisely because i turned up early and DIDNT have my industry hat on, but if we want it to grow, then maybe thats whats needed. myself I prefer smaller meets like this one anyway, but whether they are financially viable/sustainable at venues like this i dont know.
Actually the LCD-2's out of my yammy were very good. It was the first amp i used them on (whilst i was waiting for my newer model of the BA to arrive after selling my last one). I hadn't had that much fun with the yammy for a long time. A great match actually.
The 701's sometimes are "hard to get". They are one of those pair of headphones you have to listen to when you have nothing else around. Because they are pretty neutral and sometimes neutral is hard to get use to when most headphones are not so neutral. You have to force yourself to listen to them and for a decent time before you even become accustomed to the neutralness of these headphones before we can even begin reviewing them - but time well worth spent. This is what happened to me. The K701's were my 1st headphone purchase before i had any other can so i listened to them along time ... and of course we got to know each other intimately. There is bass on the 701's. It is just not bloated .. it is nice and tight and right.
Thanks for coming. A lot of people couldn't make it for various reasons but I still had a good time talking to everyone. I guess we might hold the next one in the middle of next year and hype it up a bit more.
Oh yeah HE-4 thoughts:
The overall sound sig is quite nice but on my gear the sound stage sounded a little compressed. Things just sounded a little too hot and excited to me. I promptly took them to a better amp - Jrisles's BA. Well it didn't sound that much better to me. Yes it opened up but only a little. One thing the HE-4s do rather nicely is making the vocals centre stage on some albums. I guess I'm not a fan but can see how people could enjoy them. For 449USD, they could be a great upgrade for many Head-Fiers. Some people were saying it improves on the HD650 but I'm not so sure it does.
agreed something was really off in the he4 soundstage, i dont think they beat the hd600 at anything personally, well maybe looks.
@ jrisles: cool i thought that they would make a good pairing with the yammy, i would realy like to hear them with an alephj, borbely jfet amp or jfet circlotron, the grip of the power these amps have should help them to sound their best. i disagree that k701 are neutral though, well actually i feel that the term neutral and its meaning in hifi has become rather distorted and seems to refer to something i feel is tilted in the top end. i like a natural sound and to me they are not natural, real life environments and sounds reverberate a bit down in the nether regions and have more life to them than what many seem to deem neutral. i think perhaps we come at the same thing from 2 different directions, i go for 'wire with gain' type source and amps and look for a tiny tiny smidge of colour (for lack of a better term) from my headphones, where you seem to like more flat sounding headphones, but look for a little colour from your amps
so anyway this WILL be ready for the next meet, i was so close, yet so far with this for the meet, i stupidly tried to get everything done at once rather than being a bit pragmatic and concentrating on getting this one finished, i'm sure someone would have been willing to run their amp out of it for me. only needed a bit of casework, adding the vcaps and about 15 interconnects made. the last parts for 'the wire' turned up today also; typical. and yes, apart from the dac chip its all hand soldered, no kits, just blank pcbs, as i prefer to d.i.m.s. its a conglomerate of sigma11, bipolar jung reg, d1 iv, ackodac akd12p teflon sabre dac with mcu and its many regulators, hiface oem developent board and a massive conrad heatsink for the d1 iv stage, which puts out nearly 50w of heat. there is nearly 20 regulated power supply voltages in this build. just posting this so you guys might understand why it wasnt ready, plus 2 other amp builds i was wanting to have with me; ambitious to say the least. anyway i look forward to sharing it with you guys at the next one. its been a lot of work and some feedback from people other than myself will be valuable.
Edited by qusp - 3/14/11 at 3:57am
next meet in the middle of the year as in a few months time lol or 15 months time, the latter seems very long and the former too close, perhaps august, or september?? i agree the middle of the year might be better.
I did mean 15 months time. We could always have a mini meet in elcheapo venue later on in 2010. It's a numbers game I guess.
- 736 Posts. Joined 10/2009
- Location: Qld, Australia
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I would like to have another meet potentially around Novemberish but this time Momiji you should not be shouldering all the financial burden.
yeah the mini meet sounds like a plan, regarding coin, need any more from me Momiji? how did that pan out?
Edited by qusp - 3/15/11 at 7:57pm
We recovered 55% of the meet costs through donations. Thanks for helping out everyone!
- 16 Posts. Joined 5/2009
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Wish I was there, looks like a great meet. :D
- 20 Posts. Joined 8/2009
- Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Is it time for a new Brisbane meet yet?
Totally off topic but i wanted to let you Brisbane people know first before i posted these items in the FS section.
I am getting rid of a heap of gear so that i can purchase other stuff.
A couple of things that are head-fi related but the majority of stuff is not. And yes i am keeping the Eddie Current Balancing Act
I haven't yet put prices to these items as this is more of an expression of interest.
If anyone objects to this post then please PM me and i will remove it. But like i said just wanted my Brisbane brethren go get 1st pick at the cherry.
Thank You and i can't wait until the next meet.
Meridian G08 CD Player
Pioneer PDS-802 CD Player
Marantz CD-63 MkII KI Signature CD Player (needs repair)
Zhalou OMZ D2.0 DAC
Zhalou OMZ D2.5 DAC
Amplifiers (Power & Integrated)
Unison Research Simply 2 Integrated Valve Amplifier
Pioneer A-400X Amplifier
Yamaha HA-02 Headphone Amplifier
Bottlehead S.E.X Amplifier (also great Headphone Amp) (DIY-Highly Modded)
Nelson Pass First Watt F3 Tim Rawson Built Clone
Unison Research Unico P Hybrid Integrated Amp (needs repair)
Yamaha DSP-A1 Analogue Surround Sound Processor (needs repair)
Lightspeed Attenuator Preamp
Promitheus Reference C-core Passive TVC Preamp
Promitheus Standard TVC
Bastanis Prometheus MkII OB Speakers
Mission 752 Freedom Speakers
Mission 75C Centre Speaker
Mission 751 Bookshelf Speakers
Mission 750LE Bookshelf Speakers
Sansui TU-719 Tuner
Sansui TU-317 Tuner
Syrinx PU3 Tone Arm
Lyra Lydian Cartridge
Edited by jrisles - 8/29/11 at 12:37am