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UK National Meet 2011 Impressions (02/04/11) - Page 2  

post #16 of 91


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

Am going to dribble impressions bit by bit rather than do a huge post. First - LCD-2s - what a wonderful headphone!

 

It was funny seeing people do what I thought of as "the LCD-2 face" - eyes closed or half close, slightly hunched, curled finger over lips - all around the room. 

 

Full bodied, rich, speaker-like authority on the bass. Rolled off treble? Sure, but that was just a part of its character and would make it a great companion in a small collection with a couple of other phones of different characters.

 

Soundstage, as is the case with pretty much every ortho I've heard, is just not part of the nature of those phones. You can widen the walls of sound either side of your ears but you no one has yet seemed to manage real 3D-like imaging or depth yet.

 

They were also very insistent on themselves. I think it was Mr Q who commented that while the beyer T1 has a great transparency and allows the music to dictate the sound, the LCD-2 give you their own unstoppable sound which permeates every track.

 

Of all the LCD2 set ups I heard Mr Q's was the best for me, and was the only balanced one I tried in the room, I've never been certain about whether balanced cables were real or hype, and the jury is still not in as it could just have been the roc he had was the best for the LCD-2 - but out of the balanced out of that amp the LCD-2 (to my ear) were cleaner, more precise in the separation and generally more articulate. 

 

ETA: They also look a lot classier in the flesh than they do in photographs. Up close and personal they reek of high quality build construction, although I maintain that the open cell foam on the headband is a mistake. If I got a pair I would commission a leather worker to make a snap-on leather covering for the whole headband, or at least replace the foam with a velour or leather coated pad.

 

More later...

 

Agree with all your comments. IMHO the LCD-2's stole the show. I ended up loving them so much that I purchased them from Audeze rep and walked away with brand new pair. Much better than waiting for your turn in the pre-order queue biggrin.gif. I still don't have a balanced cable to unleash their full potential but I'm still blown away. As many have said before, they sound like supercharged HD650's. By the way, you were listening to Mr.Q's NFB-10ES and not the Roc wink.gif (the early batches of NFB-10 used Roc's chasis)

 

 

The surprise of the event was the HE-500 prototype. I preferred their sound and signature compared to HE-5/HE-6's. Again IMHO I felt they overall superior in their presentation and much more balanced than the other two.

 

HD800's didn't do much for me. The build quality is awesome and they were deceptively light. Comfort levels were also spectacular but for some reason the presentation was more in your face. Don't know if it was the setup or the music but I just felt a bit overwhelmed by its presentation.

 

HE-6 were again not my cup of tea. Some may call it detailed and balanced, others treble-focussed but there is no denying that it has a love it-hate it treble presentation. I was quite surprised by it bass. Almost felt like it went slightly deeper than the LCD-2's.

 

Stax Omega MK2 were my dream headphones even before ever got a chance to listen to one and listening to it in the meet just reinforced my belief. Nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing comes close to them. The words "life like" are often thrown around when describing headphones but its true meaning dawned upon me when I listened to them. No words can describe what appears to be their unique sound quality/signature. Superb treble, brilliant mid range and surprisingly strong bass representation (I've read about how they are bass light and it was nothing like that)

 

Thanks to the organisers (jr41, nuwidol and EddieE), sponsors and to everyone who were kind enough to let me try out their gear.

 


Edited by hardtarget666 - 4/3/11 at 5:13am
post #17 of 91

^ Thanks for the correction on MrQs amp - I just looked on the front of the amp and noted "Roc"! Got to say I was impressed with the NFB10-ES though - a very solid performer.

 

Agree with your general conclusions of the HD800, actually I come down even harder on it - will post some impressions on that one next...

post #18 of 91

Liking the signature EddieE ;-)

post #19 of 91

One thing about the Senn HD800- I have definitely heard them sounding much better than that( with different sources, amps and listening condition). If you were listening to the HD800 for the first time in yesterdays' meet, you might not be hearing what they can do. I feel they deserve a second chance. wink_face.gif

post #20 of 91

I have to admit to not being a fan of the HD800, but powered by Fing's singlepower supra, they had punch, warmth and authority like i didn't know they could achieve. Very impressive.

post #21 of 91

Photos

 

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Edited by jr41 - 4/3/11 at 6:19am
post #22 of 91

Photos

 

 

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post #23 of 91

Hey Theo, is that the T1 salute? deadhorse.gif

post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post

I have to admit to not being a fan of the HD800, but powered by Fing's singlepower supra, they had punch, warmth and authority like i didn't know they could achieve. Very impressive.


I didn't even get to hear Fing's, I was thinking about the other pair of HD800 in the meet which for various reasons ( listening condition and outside noise included) didn't do them justice. There are lots of laptops and ipods being used in these meets also and sometimes source qualities can varied a lot. I almost always try to listen to a CD to at least get a more standardized listening experience.

A meet is a great place to listen to different headphones but is is kind of hard to form a proper opinion about the sound sometimes. I went to the San Francisco bay area meet a few months ago ( great meet by the way). Just like this one, there were LCD-2s everywhere. You wouldn't believe how different they sounded in different set-ups. Some sounded really good and some didn't. We need demo room for headphones in Hi Fi shops just like what they do for speakers!

 

post #25 of 91



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardtarget666 View Post

Stax Omega MK2 were my dream headphones even before ever got a chance to listen to one and listening to it in the meet just reinforced my belief. Nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing comes close to them. The words "life like" are often thrown around when describing headphones but its true meaning dawned upon me when I listened to them. No words can describe what appears to be their unique sound quality/signature. Superb treble, brilliant mid range and surprisingly strong bass representation (I've read about how they are bass light and it was nothing like that)

  


Cant agree more - all the Stax headphones scale so well - particularly the 007's.  As you scale up the amplifier they just get even more impressive.

 

Really disappointed I could not come yesterday, sounds like you all had a great time.  I wanted to listen to a pair of Audeze myself.  
 

 

BTW Someone said there is an Audeze UK rep selling LCD 2's at the meet do we have contact details for him and what is the price?

 


Edited by complin - 4/3/11 at 8:18am
post #26 of 91


Yes, very enjoyed yesterday.

 

I agree with you for "SR-71B" worth the extra money over the iBasso PB2wink_face.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Severanth View Post

Lol how did I not get to hear your hd 650's Bizzel!  was looking for other cables.  Anyways.

 

Great meet thanks again.

 

Have to say thank you to Whiplash for the Beryerdynamic DT990 addition to the raffle. Real treat to win them.  I was so engrossed with listening back home I burnt my dinner to charcoal!   This is after i skipped lunch at the meet as well..

 

Really enjoyed having a listen and a chat.  In general I found background noise a little intrusive to properly audition kit, but it was all good.  LCD 2 rather special cans no doubt about it.  Stax is nothing but trouble as I now know what I am missing. T1's not to shabby either.  

 

Things I learnt from the meet.  

Cable type and quality makes a real difference to my ear no doubt about it.  

I prefer my cans balanced (which my hd650;s are, so my ears are attuned to this sound) think this means sound stage is a important factor to me.

HD 650's are a fine pair of headphones and will do me nicely for the time being.

Have to get upgraded cable asap though ;)

"Edit oh and the RSA SR-71B worth the extra money over the ibasso PB2 for me" L3000.gif

 

Meet was great for learning the above, thanks all.

Great to see so many like minded people, enjoyed getting to know some of you, look forward to getting to know more at future meets.

 


 

 

post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr41 View Post

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My +1 said this: "Well I don't know about the headphones, but that was a delicious sandwich"

(He's on the right, I'm on the left)

post #28 of 91

What a great day, cudos to John for organising everything, I had a great time. Thanks to everyone that brought their equipment along, what a great turnout. I will post my random thoughts below in no particular order. Firstly though, the disclaimer. I’m soooo not an expert, so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. As an ‘outsider’ looking in, this is what I thought:

 

 

HD800: Excellent build quality, so light, so comfortable, terrific looking thing. Courtesy of AmpCity, I heard it on a Hifiman HFE5 tube amp stack thing, can’t remember its name. Awful. It was painful to listen to, no bass to speak of, piercing highs that caused pain, I was so disappointed! This was running out of one of the huge CD players, and I can only think something wasn’t set up right, or wasn’t burnt in, or something.

 

However, later on I heard it on Jing’s monster amp, and WOW. Jing, thank you. Awesome. You really proved ‘them’ all wrong, really thin homemade cables (no offence, I know you spent hours winding it!), balanced by your good self with the help of cheap wires and a shoelace (the secret is out!), and an amplifier that you said was a mess of wires inside. It sounded magical, so much better than I had imagined. Anaemic? Not true, plenty of bass and thump, wonderful! Superb sounding system, thanks for bringing ALL that weight!

 

Justin from Just Audio: Those mini amps you make are something special, very powerful, very nice sounding. The AKG’s that everyone tells me are so hard to drive sounded wonderful, even from the smallest portable one! The difference between your class AB and class A was so small, a credit to how well it has been designed. The smallest one did wonders for my little in ear IEMs, and drove the AKG’s extremely well. Which brings me on to…

 

AKG K702: Wow. Light on bass? Thin sounding? Really… I heard none of those things. I heard them from the same HF5 thing, Justins class A portable amp, and Johns U-Dac. They are excellent headphones, so clear, great detailed highs that didn’t hurt or impede on anything else, these really were the standout of the day for me. Sitting at Johns table, looking out the window, brilliant. I listened to HD800’s, Stax, Hifiman HE6’s, so many great headphones. But I kept going back to that table. I loved how accessible they were, a little netbook and  a U-Dac and you are away. Excellent.

 

John: What a great table of stuff, a macbook and some tubes rocking some HD650s to The Verve. A U-Dac and some K702’s (thanks to whoever these were!), and a cracking view out of the window. This was by far my favourite table! Compared to the K702’s, I really heard the Sennheiser signature come through. Definitely a lot darker, hard to explain really, I wasn’t impressed with the bass area coming on a bit strong, this is compared to the AKGs though. I seem to be keener on the signature of AKG. However, one of the acoustic tracks by The Verve was awesome to listen to on the 650’s, so much better than some of the really expensive stuff I heard, I could hear the tubes helping to rock out the music. For the electronic stuff I listen to, the signature just wasn't right and everything sounded 'dark'. Hard to explain. From the Etymotic signature it's probably not a surprise I prefer AKGs.

 

Stax combo and HifiMan series: I heard some really expensive headphones, some really powerfull Shiit amps, and they were great. Not completely wonderful, and certainly not as enjoyable as the AKGs running out of my iPhone and a portable amp. Sorry guys, weird isn't it. As a real newcomer, I just couldn’t appreciate the extra detail, and couldn’t justify the extra cost. Certainly interesting to hear and enjoy the music through, but compared to the absolute bliss of Jing’s setup, I was disappointed in what I heard. I’ll mature, don’t panic….

 

Really interesting reading back what I just typed, if anyone read this far without losing interest... Great photos too, I had a good chat with some really interesting people, looking forward to contributing to the next one!


Edited by tws1 - 4/3/11 at 8:28am
post #29 of 91

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

BTW Someone said there is an Audeze UK rep selling LCD 2's at the meet do we have contact details for him and what is the price?

 

The Chap's name is Simon Griffin. Really nice bloke, but I can't remember the name of his company. I think he's selling them for about £800, I'll PM you his number.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post

My +1 said this: "Well I don't know about the headphones, but that was a delicious sandwich"

(He's on the right, I'm on the left)


I thought this was a great shot and couldn't resist including it smily_headphones1.gif

post #30 of 91

Well could the HD800 sound great out of another amp/source combo? Maybe if the amp was one that had a serious fault in that increased the bass/mid-bass, and the source one which had a serious fault that rolled off the treble, then it is possible the serious faults I found with the HD800 might have been disguised. But a bad source + bad amp + bad headphones, all coincidentally cancelling out each other faults with their own does not make a great rig.

 

This is a reason I am always suspicious when people say a heaphone is great but needs a one in a life time combination of gear to sound so; if it was actually great it would sound great on neutral gear as that is what the headphone actually is.

 

The amps in that room were generally of a very high standard, and certainly did not make any of the other big players sound anything less than impressive.

 

What I found was that the HD800, for my tastes and taking value-for-money as a factor, might well be the worst headphones I've ever heard.

 

Say these were £150-£300 range headphones, I might say that with their impressive sound-staging capabilities there was potential to mod them and make them something special - as a supposed "flagship" and being sold at over a grand they fail miserably in every area besides sound-stage. Even then, I prefer the naturalistic imaging of almost any electrostatic headphone, and find the Q/K/701/2 to be its equal in that area and superior in every other area for a fraction of the price.

 

The bass quantity is not a big issue to me, a lot of my favourite headphones and ear phones have scaled back bass, but the quality has to be there. The bass just did not have any of the things that could excuse its diminutive nature. The PFE112 have slight bass but it is smooth and silky, the Q/K701/2 has bass on the shy side by it is imactful and tight and authoritative, Grados have their impact and crispness. The HD800, just offered nothing - it had all the impact of a wet fart.

 

The mids were thin, reedy and had no body. They did have an ability to suck every bit of heart and soul out of the most moving vocal performance and ultimately reminded me of the sound coming out of a chav's mobile phone on the back of a bus.

 

The highs? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhshshshshhhhhhhhhhhsshhsssssssssssssshshshsssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhshshhshshshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 

No, I'm not telling anyone to be quiet, that is all you are going to hear if you have tracks with symbols, especially brushes on symbals and snares. What a mess. More spikes up top than a hedgehog's arse.

 

Just like you can say from the "right" gear the HD800 might sound nice, maybe the HD800 would sound great with the "right" tracks - ie. those tracks featuring nothing in the upper part of the frequency range which would expose them for the sibilant mess they are.

 

Sorry this is all very harsh I know, and I understand that 10-15 minutes listening does not lead to impressions to be taken too seriously. It shouldn't need to be said its just my opinion based on my tastes and if you love the HD800 it should make no difference.

 

I just think the HD800 got caught with its pants down in a room of headphones that trashed it on every level. Coming out of the box after a £1000 spend, the mental groundwork laid down for these phones is very different to the playing field it found itself in surrounded by such genuine greats as the SR-007, LCD-2, HE5LE, T1 and the rest. It was even made to look shabby by lower priced offerings and there was very little in the room I would not rather have spent time with. 

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