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!
Thank you for the very kind words! It's impressions like this that make lugging heavy amps and coming to a meet worthwhile.
In fact I was surprised by how much interest I was getting as I was unpacking my amps and I'm glad a few people got to listen to HD800 balanced on an american 'muscle amp'.
I had a much better time than I expected and people were really friendly and I think I recognised a few faces from the last meet I went to up in Manchester. Things have changed a bit since then and I got to listen to some new kit that had been talked about here on the forums.
The Audeze LCD-2 is an excellent headphone, no doubt about it. I would have liked to hear it balanced as single-ended I preferred my HD800 to it, though this is probably more due to the fact that I am used to how the HD800 sounds. As it is, I found that the treble was more present than I was used to, a characteristic that ironically I found with the HD800 at first. As I was telling the Audeze rep, I'm not a great believer in burn-in, but in this case, this could have been the difference between the LCD-2 and my very well used HD800.
I thought the Thunderpants out of the Darkvoice 337SE were very startling. Incredibly dynamic and impactful. It was only for a few seconds and I could have had a bit longer with this combo. Trying the Thunderpants out of my Supra Toaster was a much more mediocre experience. Another headphone I'd like to try balanced.
Hearing the HD650 balanced on my Supra XLR was also a great experience. I can see why the SDS-XLR is a popular choice, as it is a very fun combination. The HD800 is a bit more resolving and exerts greater frequency control, especially in the bass, so I think the HD650 would have its place on music that hadn't been mixed to a very high standard.
I enjoyed the opportunity to try the JH13pro with universal foams - nice but not blown away, which is not surprising given my very modest source (Sony portable MP3 player). However, this is my 100% use case for such a pairing and I doubt I can justify the price increase over my current Shure SE530's with custom molds. If I could, I would probably opt for JH16's instead as I felt the bass was a little recessed.
The Ampcity representative did a great job introducing the Audio gd stack to me and I tried it with the Denon D7000. I think the setup was well matched and the music was very smooth and involving. The D7000 sounds quite a bit like how I remember the D5000 to be and it was well driven. The system does have a signature, something I confirmed when I tried the HD800 with it. Listening to the first track of Viva La Vida by Coldplay, when the music starts to kick in after the minute or two, I was hoping my feet would start tapping but alas, perhaps I'm too used to my own setup.
I had some very fun chats with many people and it was great meeting you. Thanks to the organisers, sponsors and everyone's equipment I got to try out - I had a really great time!