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Seattle 8/20/11 meet impressions - Page 3  

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

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.

 

 


Sadly, this is how I really got to hear your current system.  Got all excited about hooking up the K1000 to your setup but they really had no bass.  I briefly heard your LCD-2 and he500 when I first got there and it was just long enough to determine I liked the LCD-2 better.

 

Only other thing I really tested was the hd800 on two Bottlehead amps.  They were the 2 on the right.  Think it was a Crank on the very right and the newest Smack next to it.  I thought they sounded nice on the Crank but it was a more upfront sound without a huge soundstage.  On the Smack, very big soundstage, airy, effortless presentation.  It was the best I've heard the hd800.  My opinions of the hd800 vary meet to meet but think it has to do with amps and type of music.

 

I did get to hear Strangelove's setup again but wasn't as impressed due to song choice.  Last time listened to soundtracks and Philip Glass and it sounded great.  This time tried Decemberists and felt closed in and not that dynamic.  Went back and tried same song on my setup and was much more dynamic but still suffered from closed in effect due to recording.

 

Keep in mind I probably didn't spend more than 5 minutes on any system.  It's weird how I get to these meets and usually don't feel like listening to music at the time.

 

post #32 of 56

Thanks to all for arranging the meet.  It was my first one, and it definitely was valuable.

 

I think I've concluded that I definitely want to sell my AD2ks, and that I'm on the fence with the T1s.   I really liked the way they sounded out of Doc's Crack with tape rig, although I have no other way to compare them and my Miracles sounded equally awesome out of the variable output setup.

 

I can see what people like about the LCD2.  On the Liquid Fire setup for me it was a toss up between my Miracles and the LCD2s as to what I liked better, although the two were quite different sounds, and my T1 was a very distant second.  

 

For whoever it was that had the audio tehnica amp and leatherbacks, can you let me know what model that amp was?  I was really impressed with that amp, and my gear (as well as the leatherbacks)

 

I also really liked the Phonitor / T1 combo.

 

To Poetik ...

 

No probs on the demo, glad to see other enthusiasts for the custom.  As I said, and this meet helped confirmed, I'm very impressed by the Miracles, and the fact that they just seem to work for me with just about any combination.  

 

To your comment on imaging / soundstage, I figured out when I got home why the question so perplexed me.  I had an issue when playing around with the Smeggypants and T1 on my Nexus S with VoodooSound just prior to when we tested, and cranking the volume where I thought I had damaged my phone.  (I had a drop in volume and sound quality)  At any rate, I tested the ie8 vs my Miracles on the Nexus S after that state, and what I realized when I returned home is that while fiddling with the settings, I had accidentally hit the "mono downmix" option in VoodooSound.  As a result, I was having no imaging to speak of at the time on either headphone, and couldn't thus detect any differences :)

 

However, I believe the sound signature differences I noted would not have been affected by this setting.

 

 

post #33 of 56

I got some Miracle Headphones for ya right here -

 

http://www.themiracleschool.net/index.php/connecting/distancework/miracletools/miracleheadphones/

 

This link actually googled up on the page above the Unique Melody web site. Reminds me of the Machina Dynamica teleportation tweak.


Edited by Doc B. - 8/24/11 at 5:43pm
post #34 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

 

For whoever it was that had the audio tehnica amp and leatherbacks, can you let me know what model that amp was?  I was really impressed with that amp, and my gear (as well as the leatherbacks)

 


Yeah, that was my setup.  It's a AT-DHA3000 Digital Headphone Amp.  It's a DAC/amp combo.  I believe they were a limited run and can only be found on the used market.  I have no idea what they sell for now days.  In past seen anywhere between $1600-$2400.

 

http://www.audio-technica.com.hk/index.php?op=productdetails&pid=240&cid=22&sid=1&lang=eng

post #35 of 56

I also was impressed with the sound signature of the AT-DHA3K, but felt that with the closed ATH woodies there was less air around the upper mids and treble compared to the ATH-AD2K.  But the bass presence with the enclosed cups was more 'righteous'.   

 

The only AT headphone amps I have seen coming up for sale on the forums are designed to be paired with the Raffinato headphones and that might be a cheaper alternative if one does not want a DAC....but I believe a dedicated DAC design included in the DHA3K is superior to onboard DAC chips that are simply there to do the conversion duties. I believe it might be because it is powered to act as a pre-amp of sorts and sends out a stronger analog signal to a stand alone analog amplifier.  For example, the Lavry gives more musical presence to my tube headphone amps, especially in the bass and midbass areas than the tube amps do alone.  Surely that "presence" is nothing to sneeze at.

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wharfrat View Post

I also was impressed with the sound signature of the AT-DHA3K, but felt that with the closed ATH woodies there was less air around the upper mids and treble compared to the ATH-AD2K.  But the bass presence with the enclosed cups was more 'righteous'.   

 

The only AT headphone amps I have seen coming up for sale on the forums are designed to be paired with the Raffinato headphones and that might be a cheaper alternative if one does not want a DAC....but I believe a dedicated DAC design included in the DHA3K is superior to onboard DAC chips that are simply there to do the conversion duties. I believe it might be because it is powered to act as a pre-amp of sorts and sends out a stronger analog signal to a stand alone analog amplifier.  For example, the Lavry gives more musical presence to my tube headphone amps, especially in the bass and midbass areas than the tube amps do alone.  Surely that "presence" is nothing to sneeze at.

 

 

I love my L3000s but if I had one area that I'd like improved is having more air, which is probably impossible due to it's closed nature.  But these are one of the few closed headphones that I don't feel closed in.  Before this, I owned the Grado PS-1, which provided that air and had a somewhat similar sound signature to the L3000.  It just lacked in comfort and soundstage was little more shallow.  I've tried the new PS1000 and it just had a completely different sound that I didn't care for.

 

I've never heard the amp designed for the Raffinato but believe it's a total different amp from the DHA3000.  So it's not just the DHA3000 without the DAC.  It also think all of the processing on the DHA3000 is digital including the volume and eq settings.  So it's only converting to analog at the very end.

 

One the things I forgot to do was try the LCD-2 on my setup.  They are probably my favorite current production headphone.  Also would like to try my L3000 on the Bottlehead amps and Kingstyles' setup.
 

 

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post


  Also would like to try my L3000 on the Bottlehead amps

 

 



I'd like to hear the L3000s. You are welcome to come over and give some amps a try at Bottleheadquarters.

post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 

First batch of pics below. Will post the rest tomorrow night.

 

Forgot to post before that I discovered some nice new female-vocal music on KingStyles' rig. Anyone into female vocals might want to check these out too:

- Audra McDonald - Build a Bridge

- Christina Perri - Lovestrong

- Hayley Westenra - River of Dreams

 

Oh and I forgot to add this on to my previous impressions of the LCD-2 w/ Skylla & Balancing Act: I went into the meet expecting to be blown away by either the Stacker II or the Liquid Fire (with either of the LCD-2s that were plugged into them). However, I have to say that neither amp overly impressed me and definitely did not change my opinion of the LCD-2 (which is to say, my opinion of the LCD-2 is relatively neutral - I think it's great-sounding compared to lesser headphones but ultimately not as good as certain discontinued headphones). I was sorta hoping that either one of those amps would change my opinion of the LCD-2, but that ended up not happening. The Liquid Fire in particular didn't impress me nearly as much as the Balancing Act in KingStyles' rig. It's possible this was due to other variables though (like maybe source component, or music, etc).

 

KingStyles' rig w/ Ayon Skylla, Eddie Current Balancing Act, and Audeze LCD-2 r2

sea11_01.jpg

 

Sony XA5400ES and SPL Phonitor

sea11_02.jpg

 

Pioneer SX-1250 vintage receiver

sea11_03.jpg

 

Cayin SCD-50T and HiFiMan EF5

sea11_04.jpg

 

Schiit Lyr, Woo Audio 2, and wood-ified Grado headphones (Headphile-modded?)

sea11_05.jpg

 

RWA Isabellina and Harmon/Kardon 430 receiver

sea11_06.jpg

 

Assemblage DAC-2.7 and Rega DAC

sea11_07.jpg

 

 


Edited by Asr - 8/25/11 at 11:49pm
post #39 of 56

ASR,

 

Beautiful pics...I assume there will be more?

 

We never did have a chance to meet, but I was not actively asking for you despite bringing a pair of ATH-AD2ks for your Gilmore Lite amp.  What were you wearing...the clothes, ya know, so I can put a head with a face on the bod....and recall where i might have seen you in the crowd....

 

I spotted a Gilmore Lite on the same table next to Curbfeeler's rig...but no one stationed there...was that yours?

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

First batch of pics below. Will post the rest tomorrow night.

 

Forgot to post before that I discovered some nice new female-vocal music on KingStyles' rig. Anyone into female vocals might want to check these out too:

- Audra McDonald - Build a Bridge

- Christina Perri - Lovestrong

- Hayley Westenra - River of Dreams

 

Oh and I forgot to add this on to my previous impressions of the LCD-2 w/ Skylla & Balancing Act: I went into the meet expecting to be blown away by either the Stacker II or the Liquid Fire (with either of the LCD-2s that were plugged into them). However, I have to say that neither amp overly impressed me and definitely did not change my opinion of the LCD-2 (which is to say, my opinion of the LCD-2 is relatively neutral - I think it's great-sounding compared to lesser headphones but ultimately not as good as certain discontinued headphones). I was sorta hoping that either one of those amps would change my opinion of the LCD-2, but that ended up not happening. The Liquid Fire in particular didn't impress me nearly as much as the Balancing Act in KingStyles' rig. It's possible this was due to other variables though (like maybe source component, or music, etc).

 

Nice photos Steve.

 

I would really like to listen to Josh's rig for extended listening side by side a similar front end driven Liquid Fire.

 

It has to be said, Josh's rig is exceptional at first listen, the care and detail shines through. 

 

The difference in source, lack of choice in music (or ability to play your own music) on Ethan's rig and his Squeezebox touch being a less than adequate transport leaves much to be desired (sorry buddy just saying it like it is) . It also spotlights the importance of each and every component in the chain.

 

Truth be said, I myself was underwhelmed by how the Liquid Fire and Stacker 2 sounded at the meet. The Liquid Fire more so than the stacker 2 since the Liquid FIre is just neutral and doesn't call attention to itself which can play against it during meets when properly setup.

 

Having lived with the amp I know what it is capable of.

 

The way the BA and LF were setup  at the meet it was the proverbial comparing apples to oranges.

 

Then again i still think the two amplifiers themselves appeal to different tastes. Nothing wrong with preferring one over the other. Its what makes all f this fun and exciting..not to mention we ain't no COMMIES!!

 


Edited by sachu - 8/26/11 at 9:02am
post #41 of 56

It looks like you were going down my vocal list. I like them all and they all have a different style of singing. Thanks for the pictures. Look forward to seeing more.

 

Probably a better evaluation would of been if we hooked the LF and the BA both up to my setup like we did at the last meet. It fared much better. I know the first time I had my BA at a meet, people werent overly impressed by it. You get a good amp and it takes a while to build a system that will synergize with it to bring out the best in it. Also it didnt sound its best till I had the lcd2 to tweak it to work the best with them.

post #42 of 56

Yeah...missed opportunity as far as hooking up the LF to your rig, Josh.  Especially since both our rigs were right next to each other.

 

So I noticed in the pic of the Rega that it looks like...yuck.  Just so folks are aware, the Rega that I had was on its way back to the dealer regardless because of some weird artifacts and popping I heard (mostly on default filter setting 1, which the DAC was NOT SET TO most of the meet), so I never took off the icky protective film on the front of the unit.  Also, for full disclosure, the Rega is no longer in my possession as I was able to get a full refund on it rather than trying for "third time's the charm" on warranty replacements.  From what I'm told by the dealer, the issue I had with the DAC is not common, and I still think that it's a nice DAC for the price, but given the issues I've had I was able to return it.

 

I'm thinking of auditioning a Berkley Audio Alpha DAC at another local shop tomorrow, in case anyone is interested in hearing that.  I'd be packing up and bringing my LF and LCD-2 rev 2.  Shoot me a PM if you have morbid or non-morbid curiosity on the matter.

post #43 of 56

The BADA is a nice dac. Impressions.

post #44 of 56

BADA is definitely a nice DAC.  That it can double as a preamp, and therefore has control on the analog output gain is kind of icing.  Listened to the unit and it's got fantastic transparency and clarity, but also has a lot of dynamics and musicality.  Super fast and distinct with the Liquid Fire, amazing soundstage and imaging.  I haven't heard it with the Stacker, but I somewhat preferred the signature and presence of the BADA over my memories of the Weiss 202.  Transport at the place was a Lenovo computer running to an Audiophillio (I think) USB to BNC converter, and sounded really nice.

post #45 of 56

And I now own a BADA.  Something to look forward to for the next meet.  Or maybe we can do a mini-meet once I'm not stressed to high heaven on the condo purchase.

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