Wonderful meet, I finally got to relax and listen to the great gear for a longer period of time! Thanks to Andrew for organizing a small but very high-quality meet…I didn’t have as much to share but that’s why it is so important for me, I am able to hear some great systems to see which appeal to me.
I wanted to listen to the HD800 and I really like them. They extend very nicely into the lower and higher frequencies. They are still smooth (as opposed to my energetic but slightly harsh RS2i and HF2) but they do have nice detail. I understand that the treble is a little bit too much for many but so far I did not have any issues with it. I had fun listening to AMB’s stock HD800’s through his Dynahi amp. Because I have borrowed the HD600 and noticed how it really lacks the low end, I had fun listening to very low bass on the HD800. Almost seemed like all the midrange and smooth but detailed presentation of my UE RM but more of the low bass and more of the treble. Very balanced and linear to me…reference and very enjoyable/comfortable. I will listen to it on a couple more occasions to see if it gets onto my wish list. (I REALLY enjoyed it while listening to Horio’s Scout turntable playing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” through purrin’s Apex Peak and the HD800…in fact, now I will be getting my guitar out and practicing Lenny again this year!)
Big nice surprise = money will be spent on AMB’s mini3 (cubed) portable amp!! This amp (from my iPhone 3gs and qusp LOD) made a VERY noticeable difference with my UE Reference Monitors…the soundstage opened up, the clarity increased, and the impact increased without feeling “pushed” at all. This was the “high performance” version with a gain of 5. The “extended runtime” version sounded almost as good (very small difference to clarity, almost negligible). AMB (Ti) told me to order from MisterX with a gain of 2. That’s exactly what I will be doing. The mini3 beats my Icon Mobile and my D12 easily with UERM from phone. But, now I know that I have to try rolling all opamps/buffers in the D12 to see if there is a configuration that beats what I have in there for my Grados. Looking at AMB’s site, the mini3 has an active ground- I wonder if it is like a less powerful/less costly version of StepDance??? (Anyone done comparisons with mini3 and StepDance?) I really recommend those with UE customs to try a mini3. I don’t know current pricing from MisterX but if around $150 I think it is a steal. (Think used ones are going for $110 or so.)
BIG THANKS to Bobcn!!! He was <extremely> nice and patient with me as I was very interested in his Isabellina and spent a LOT of time trying things with his set-up and putting my source into the Wadia dock, even putting a Benchmark DAC into the system and messing with his cables. I owe him a good beer the next time I see him…even if just for letting me listen to his amazing Grado HP1000’s. Man they are beautiful, just smooth- not so peaky and still have nice energy and presentation. Stopped listening once I heard how good they are because they aren’t easy/inexpensive to get!
Last note: the Moscone Center scares me! I was joking when we all took a break in the kitchen and started brainstorming about the next meet…at least a couple people (or was it just purrin?) took the possibility seriously! No, it seems there is not an official CanJam this year…Burning Amp(?) is in October so it seems like August might be the right time for the next meet. I have been talking to mkubota about organizing the next big one, it will need to be scalable or we will need to pre-set some limits to vendors/tables. We are also considering some special A/B tables to settle big comparison questions (Planar magnetic table? HD600 vs HD650 table?). Been requested again to have a “quiet” room and to separate the vendors into their own room so lots of talking is expected. I am wondering if a bigger space on one longer day is good or if two days at the DoubleTree is better to spread it out (mini-meets at night) and allow those sharing gear one day to have a day to roam. Two days would allow more vendors if we didn’t have enough room at a one day event... And, if more people fly in, there’s more for them to fly in for.