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Seattle 8/20/11 meet impressions - Page 2  

post #16 of 56

Nice bike and views Sachu, looks like your getting some great weather.


Subscribed for impressions. 

post #17 of 56

Nice pictures sachu, it looks like you had a pleasant ride home. It was nice seeing you there the whole 20 min after you decided to grace us with your presence.tongue.gif.


If anybody was wondering why the above photographs were dark, it was because it was a little dark in there since the lights were never turned on I think. There was a lot of natural light.


Doc B was pleasant as always to talk to and always has a host of gear  to try hooked up to his tape rig. He had a balanced amp there that seemed like it had good potential. I should have tried it balanced but ended up going back and forth with the 6sn7 amp next to it so I kept it single ended. My preference was for the 6sn7amp with my lcd2. It was more powerful,(almost too powerful) with a richer, warmer tone to it. Cant wait to build one of his amps myself in the future.


Had a chance to listen to Markj's beta 22. It was a very nice amp with clean clear highs and nice fleshed out mids. I was a little surprised because I thought the bass seemed a little weaker than I would have expected from it. It was fast deep bass, just was expecting a little more quantity.


Speaking of bass, pseudohippy had plenty coming from his lyr and his wa2. I thought both amps had strong bass. I did notice the soundstage was small on both amps and was thinking that maybe his source was holding back the soundstage of the two amps. All in all though. They both powered the lcd2 with ease. The wa2 was thicker and tubier and the lry had the better speed. Both great amps depending on what type qualities you may be looking for. Have to give the guy credit though, attended a meet with a baby strapped to his chest. Cute kid and was a pleasure to play peek a boo with.


Ianone, enjoyed your rig as usual. Love getting to really get into the bass lines on the AIC rooster.


Lets see.... equues. I never noticed how warm and rich the stacker was until i was able to do some side to side comparisons. The liquid fire has much better detail and transparency than the stacker. Nice upgrade. It is a great amp for the price. Will look forward to hearing it more as you play with the tubes and your setup  to get the most out of it. For now though, it gives you all the great attributes off ss while still allowing you to change the sound a little with tubes. Great dynamics, nice highs that werent harsh and solid bass.


I did get a chance to listen to curbfeelers benchmark. Great detail in the mids with strong, tight bass. Made a nice listen to some music that I heard while other music seemed a little to punchy on like the piano lines. It would be interesting to here it and the lavery side by side.


I think that was about as far as I made it on listening. It was great talking to everybody and seeing some new faces. Thanks Poppa for organizing. I am sure I will remember more later.

post #18 of 56

Out of curiosity, how often does Seattle have these types of meetings?

post #19 of 56
Thread Starter 

Just got home, whew what a trip. Had a fantastic time in Seattle over the 5 days that I was there. I stopped by just about every major tourist attraction and even made it to all 3 skyscrapers with a public-access skyline observatory view - Columbia Tower, Smith Tower, and the Space Needle (which I visited a total of 3 times). Even got to stop by Kerry Park for both day and night views. The weather was awesome btw, never rained once which was great and it was actually warm enough to wear shorts too. smile.gif


I'll collect my thoughts and impressions from the meet in another post later on but just wanted say thanks to Gil for organizing and it was great to see the Seattle group again too. I agree that Gil should bring some of his own food to the next meet! That alone might be enough incentive for me to travel out again....

Edited by Asr - 8/22/11 at 12:24am
post #20 of 56
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Out of curiosity, how often does Seattle have these types of meetings?

Probably once every 3-5 months, depending on availability and how busy Gil is, since he graciously coordinates and plans Seattle meets.  We sometimes have some mini meets here and there if someone wants impressions on some new equipment or something.


@Sachu - Nice pics man!  Glad it looks like the marathon ride was worth it!


@Asr - Glad you made it back well.  I'll try to send your stuff out via UPS today or tomorrow.  I'm a little distracted because I may be putting an offer in on a condo this evening.  :P


If I can get a little more focused and get my work stuff out of the way, I'll hopefully be posting impressions today or tomorrow.  It was excellent seeing folks...both the usual suspects and new faces!

post #21 of 56
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Out of curiosity, how often does Seattle have these types of meetings?

Well Gil's just in the planning stage but there's talk of one sometime around Halloween in West Seattle. Obviously at this point anything can change.  Just check back in the meet section from time to time.  Also nice for someone to post link here once new meet time has been posted. 



post #22 of 56

Thanks to Gil for alerting me to the event and to those who helped get my heavy gear in and out.  I had a pleasant time and finally a chance to listen to KingStyle's gear...The EC amp is a lovely sounding unit with the LCD-2 rev.2 and I was definitely impressed by the LA7000 design upgrade over the stock D7000...The HE-500, while neutral and spacious enough to enjoy, didn't evoke the kind of gasp from me the LCD-2 did...but it is definitely close to a HE-6...just not as good...


Unfortunately, I did not avail myself of the chance to listen to the AT-706...perhaps someday.  Now that I've had a chance to sample several AT units, I notice there is a definite AT sound signature...I can live with it, but the bass presence is wanting.  But I can imagine ATs and other higher sensitivity cans would be a wonderful match for Doc B.'s new headphone amp.  I think it is a wonderful addition to the Bottlehead line and congrats on upping the bar.


Toivo: it was good to talk to you...the warm HK 430 has me looking around for a Marantz 2275....or Sansui Au-717....



post #23 of 56

Some quick impressions before I head out to look at a condo...mmmm...tasty mortgage debt.


Anyway, Wharfrat's Pioneer SX-1250 was a pleasure to listen to.  It's a behemoth, to me sure, but I liked the tone and weight that it had.  The soundstaging is slightly narrower than through some of the upper end dedicated headphone amps, but it was still separated enough that the sound didn't become congested or muddy with the LCD-2s.  Really does show how vintage receivers can do one heck of a job with LCD-2s at a potentially budget price.  The EF-5 I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about.  I honestly am not recalling why, exactly, nor do I even remember what I was expecting when I listened to them.


It was nice to have a chance to listen to pseudohippy's Lyr again.  It still strikes me as a little loose on control, but has a fun timbre and weight to it.  I noticed this time that vocals didn't seem to be imaged in a very focused way, sounding a little more like it was sound coming into my ears than really being imaged by the LCD-2's in front of me.  Thinking back on it, I should have seen about swapping it into my rig to see what it sounds like with a transport and source I'm familiar with.  Despite what I hear as potential shortcomings, it's hard to argue at the price point it's in, so definitely a potential option for LCD-2 owners.


Josh's setup is, as I totally expected, a blast to listen to.  There was every now and then the faintest hint of brittleness or etch on some of the upper frequencies, but it wasn't very prevalent on the majority of the tracks I listened to.  I also didn't remember the BA being quite as warm sounding before, but then again my reference had been the Stacker (which is really REALLY warm) and has recently changed to the Liquid Fire, so my basis of comparison is a little changed now.  Overall, a great sounding system with nice transparency across the spectrum and very nice impact on the low mids, all without sounding forced or artificially induced.  I also had a chance to listen to the HE-500's on the Liquid Fire for a little while, and they are some pretty nice headphones.  They seemed a little more V-shaped in frequency response in comparison to the LCD-2 on the tracks I used, so the vocals and mids were a little less forward and distinct, but for certain genres I can see how they would be a nice go-to can.


I'll have to see about maybe getting another transport for meets in the future.  Sachu mentioned how the SB Touch can be a little quirky beast that some might not feel comfortable using, so I may see about getting a used CD transport or something for future meets.  That and it took me almost an hour to get the **** thing back on my home network, and I don't even know what finally got it to work.  Irksome beast of a unit sometimes.

post #24 of 56

"WELCOME TO THE CHURCH OF HEAD-FI" That is what the venue felt to me. Equus and KingStyles on center stage. The pews were way cool to have at the meet. Very nice to listen to music and chat with with Head-fiers. Sachu made a hell of an entrance being fashionably late. Doc B's new amp "Smack" is a great amp going balanced. Really liked Dr Stangeloves rig. I "got it". Very fast, kept up with every note. Had to take a spin on iamoneagain's ATH rig. Very nice. Psuedohippy had the baby whisperer (Mrs Bottlehead) help with babyhippy. Can't wait to see Asr's pics. Even Ced "tha playa" (poetik) made it. Good to see tink, markj, Curbfeeler, squirrelrepublic, barra, Wharfrat and all the new headfiers that made it. The aftermeet was at Ozzies. Perfect place. Had food, beer and enough space for us with no problems. Hell of a mushroom burger. LOL. had to be there. Just a few thoughts.

post #25 of 56
Thread Starter 

Ok so here are my equipment impressions:


I pretty much spent all of my listening time at the meet on KingStyles' and Equus' rigs with the three different LCD-2s on three different amps - an old r1 on the Stacker II, a more recent r1 on the Cavalli Liquid Fire, and an r2 on the Balancing Act (sourced by an Ayon Skylla). I was primarily interested in KingStyles' rig specifically though since I barely listened to it at the last meet and I really wanted to hear his combo of the Balancing Act with yet another PCM1704-based source component (my Plinius CD-101 uses the DAC as well).


Between the two r1 LCD-2s, I thought both sounded really good but found it hard to tell which I thought was better than the other due to lack of time and meet conditions. It seemed to me that the Stacker II delivered slightly more bass quantity but I wasn't completely sure. In any case, the two r1's sounded really close to each other, enough that it was a wash for me.


Moving over to KingStyles' rig was ear-opening - it took the LCD-2 a whole bunch of steps towards the OII in terms of everything that I think the LCD-2 falls short in compared to the OII (which is just about everything). I can't be sure but I thought it almost fixed the LCD-2's lack of dynamic range and intensity. Oh and btw, this rig had a lot of music that I was familiar with - looks like Josh and I share plenty of musical preferences. wink.gif It was definitely the best I've heard from the LCD-2 - well I haven't heard many LCD-2 configurations, but out of the few I've heard this was easily the best - maybe even beating my own previous B22. Granted I could still detect the areas in which the LCD-2 still didn't come close to the OII, but this setup took everything up several notches for it to get quite a bit closer.


I do have to say that after listening to all three LCD-2s, I wasn't sure about re-buying one though (sold the previous r1 model that I had a while back). Primarily because when I listened to them, in some ways I was hoping for either an AT AD2K-like sound or an OII-like sound, or even a JH13-like sound. IMO, between all four of those, there's a sort of sonic amalgamation as they sort of sound like they could all come from the same parent but each has its definite unique signature as well, sort of like sonic relatives, loosely. Makes it hard for me to pick which three I'd want most out of the four and if I even need that 4th one, but that's just me.


That's all I really have to offer in the way of equipment impressions. Will post my pics later on, maybe in a few (or more) days, depending on how quickly I can sort through the hundreds of other pics I took over the weekend.

post #26 of 56

Hey Asr - Just a quick note, the LCD-2 that was hooked up to the Liquid Fire most of the time is a revision 2 (actually purchased only a little while after Josh's pair, I think).


In hindsight, I probably should have put the Tungsrams in the Liquid Fire instead of the Siemens tubes.  The Siemens are on the more delicate and refined side of sound, which doesn't play well, I think, in meet conditions.  At home with the LCD-2 I don't usually have to turn the volume up past 9 o'clock to have really good volume, but at the meet I often came back to the LF and noticed it was well past 1 o'clock and often in the high impedance output.  The punchiness of the Tungrsams would probably have sounded better under those kind of circumstances.  Ah well...first meet with the amp and learn.

post #27 of 56

Hey everyone,  I had a blast at the meet. The room was awesome for being able to walk around and listen to the different setups.  Thanks Big Poppa for organizing everything.



post #28 of 56

A couple of more thoughts. The k1000 didnt sound good at all on my setup. Not only that, they totally dont fit my head. I am glad I didnt purchase one.


The he500 seemed to be hit or miss with people. The impressions I gathered were some loved it, some hated it, and a lot of people thought it sounded nice but wasnt worth buying since it was almost the same price as the lcd2 which are a little bit better.


Thanks for the impression equus. I agree that occasionally there is a slight glare on the highs. It comes with those silver cables. The benefits of the silver IC out way the  negatives though. I might experiment with different ones though.


Glad Asr was able to find something to listen to on my rig. Thanks for the impression. I havent had a chance to hear stax much, so the comparison was nice to know. I might experiment with stax next summer. Curiosity kills the this case the wallet. frown.gif


I missed out on hearing strangeloves ath again. I enjoyed them last year and wanted to hear them again but time ran out.


had fun talking with everyone and look forward to the next one.

post #29 of 56

If I may suggest Josh,


Try out the Crimson RM-Music Link interconnects. They aren't horrendously expensive at 360$for a 1m pair. The most neutral interconnects I have heard thus far. I use them in my speaker rig (also use their speaker cables) and Ethan likes and uses it too in his main system now :)

Edited by sachu - 8/24/11 at 10:48am
post #30 of 56


Posting my brief meet impressions.
I arrived only with an hour and half left in the meet. GOt in some listen time with the Liquid Fire and the B22, Lyr and then the balancing act setups. Also did a brief listen to the stacker 2.
All impressions are with the LCD-2
The B22 was a let down of sorts. I expected more ffrom it. Just didn't seem like it had the authority in the low end of the frequency response which was all the more surprising. 
The Lyr was decent for the money, can see the appeal at that pricepoint and the fandom it enjoys cause of it.
The Stacker 2, that particular red stacker 2, remains the best iteration of the stacker 2 I have heard to date. Surely is like listening to a proper triode SET amp and remains one of my favorite amplifiers. 
LIquid Fire, with the siemens it had a delicacy and detail to it that i've never heard before. Solid extension on both sides of the frequency range, nearly spot on mids with a sprinkling of warmth.
The balancing act was superlative in nearly every way, but for a slight etch in the highs and then some bass notes didn't sound as full as i recalled them at the time. Still a very well put together system. The care that Josh has put into getting that system together is clearly visible and audible. 
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