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bay area mini-meet review  

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to start a small thread on the bay area mini-meet that went down March 26th 2011.  It was a great chance to compare setups and helped me decide whether to get LCD2s or HD-800s.  We also had a mini beta-22 vs audio-gd pheonix showdown (with HD800) and in the end we preferred purrins apex peak volcano LOL.  it seems the hd800s really like the tubes especially horios EHHA.

 

Onto the lcd2s.  They are a great phone, good for all around listening but a bit cumbersome.  Overall the lcd2 matched really well with my beta-22 and also sounded exceptional on bobcns red wine rig.

 

Cee-tee and kevinbrown brought a bunch of grados to the meet which was great as i've only ever listened to rs1s and ms225i..  A breakout surprise of the meet was the Alessandro ms-1.  I was quite impressed when I put these on... The sound they give for only $100 seems like a great starting place for grados (we had a solid lineup of grados to choose from HP, RS, HF etc..) 

 

It was also great to be able to really a/b the HD-600 and 650 in both SE and balanced mode (fed from audio-gd pheonix).  Oddly enough I prefer the HD-600 SE and the HD-650 balanced...  K-1000's are always a treat especially with classic and acoustic material (we had 2 sets no less)...  also listening to purrins stax rig through horios vinyl rig was awesome, Led Zep never sounded so good! 

 

Thanks to everyone for coming and making a great mini-meet.  I encourage everyone in the future to try and organize your own small meets.  The community is really great and meetups can really expand your audio horizons..  special thanks to amb and linuxworks (my DIY heroes/idols!) for coming as well.  can't wait to do it again lol...  here are a few pics  http://www.ibiblio.org/tkan/audio/minimeet_20110326/  

 

cheers!

 

- Andrew

post #2 of 54

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by particleman14 View Post

We also had a mini beta-22 vs audio-gd pheonix showdown (with HD800) and in the end we preferred purrins apex peak volcano LOL.  it seems the hd800s really like the tubes especially horios EHHA.

 

The β22 was a 3-channel version, so comparisons were SE. The β22 sounded more laid back and thicker in the bass. The Phoenix was more detailed with treble emphasis. The Peak/Volcano was running with much better source (PS Audio PWD) and a tube (Shuguang Black Treasure) that just happens to match very well with the HD800s. The β22 and Phoenix were being fed by a PS Audio DLIII. Just wanted to be specific on the setups here to account for the differences. As you said, the HD800s seemed to prefer stuff with tubes in it (RWA Isabellina HPA, EHHA, Apex/Volcano, etc,)

 

Quote:

Onto the lcd2s.  They are a great phone, good for all around listening but a bit cumbersome.  Overall the lcd2 matched really well with my beta-22 and also sounded exceptional on bobcns red wine rig.

 

The LCD2s balanced (we compared to SE) out of the Phoenix was a good match too - it really opened them up and brought out that last bit of snap that you don't often hear with them. I think the LCD2s just need a lot of power.

 

Bob's RWA Isabellina HPA was the biggest surprise for me. I would most definitely get one of those if had an extra $2500 to spare or if I didn't already have a good DAC and amp. It was obvious the DAC and head-amp sections were voiced to mesh together. Both the HD800 and LCD2 sounded great out of the RWA DAC/amp. Lots of punch, and a really organic and complete sound. I didn't think I would like NOS DAC section - not exactly a super-detail monster - but it just gets the presentation so right regardless. A big part of it has got to be the battery power.

 

For those of you with multi-amp speaker setups, you gotta check out LinuxWorks' relay based R2R attenuators and more - practically any way of customizing how these would work has been thought of.

 

And finally to Andrew, thanks for hosting the mini-meet!

I'm sure we'll all see each other again. Didn't CeeTee say he was trying to book the Moscone center for a really big NorCal meet in the fall? biggrin.gif

 


Edited by purrin - 3/27/11 at 10:56pm
post #3 of 54
Quote:

Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

And finally to Andrew, thanks for hosting the mini-meet!

I'm sure we'll all see each other again. Didn't CeeTee say he was trying to book the Moscone center for a really big NorCal meet in the fall? biggrin.gif

 


I also wish to thank Andrew for sharing his home with us.

 

And... I've heard that the rumors that CeeTee is planning to book Giants Stadium for the next meet are probably not true.

 

post #4 of 54

Mini-meet impressions:

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.

post #5 of 54

Looks like a fun meet. :)  Who went?  I see a lot of familiar faces from the meet a month back but can't remember who is who.

post #6 of 54

Wish I was there.

post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 

It was a handful of people, I think I mentioned all of them in my post.  Funny enough, you were our honorary guest, n3rdling, as we were definitely talking about your rigs at our meet.  I would have invited you if you lived a bit closer!  Guess we'll just have to wait for the next big meet:)

post #8 of 54

Oh, if you look at image #5 in Ti's image gallery (link didn't work, I typed in the address) you can see particleman14 and Horio siting in front of a BIG stack. 

 

On top with 4 tubes is particleman14's Cavalli EHHA with power from an AMB PSU.

 

I was a bit intimidated by that set-up and will have to listen to it next time, but congrats to particleman for successfully finishing the build on that!

post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 

well, I wish that EHHA was mine:)... but it's actually Horio's. A really awesome sounding amp and super clean build.  You can check it out in the DIY section.

post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

Oh, if you look at image #5 in Ti's image gallery (link didn't work, I typed in the address) you can see particleman14 and Horio siting in front of a BIG stack.


The link didn't work because there is an extra space character at the end of the url.  Here is a working link for your convenience:

Bay area Mini-meet March 26, 2011

 

post #11 of 54

@particleman...sorry, I was really confused! 

 

Was there another amp that you had built or were working on?  blink.gif

 

Anyway, I feel really sad after trying a bit of soldering a few months ago and now deciding I'd rather just purchase a mini3 so it works!

post #12 of 54
Thread Starter 

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Edited by particleman14 - 3/30/11 at 3:42am
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 

Hey, it was my Beta-22 sandwiched between the EHHA and its PSU.  I also had my Soha-II to the right of the big stack... mini3 is a great choice (I love the size).  check the for sale forums, there are always some floating around..

post #14 of 54
Thread Starter 

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post #15 of 54

We were all waiting for particleman to break out a pair of Orpheus headphones from under his chair toward the end of the meet, but it just never happened...wink.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by particleman14 View Post

It was a handful of people, I think I mentioned all of them in my post.  Funny enough, you were our honorary guest, n3rdling, as we were definitely talking about your rigs at our meet.  I would have invited you if you lived a bit closer!  Guess we'll just have to wait for the next big meet:)



 

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