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CanJam@RMAF 2011 Listening Impressions Thread - Page 20  

post #286 of 678

Sennheiser talked about the red HD800 in their interview with Headroom.  Seems like it was a limited-edition run to grab attention at shows?

post #287 of 678

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post

 

This was easily the best Friday start in the three years Head-Fi has been at RMAF.  The activity and energy in the CanJam @ RMAF exhibit area today was simply awesome, especially for a weekday starting day--it felt like what I expected Saturday to be like, which makes me really excited to see what Saturday's going to be like.

 

I'll post some photos tomorrow, and more when I get back home.  We may also combine some HeadRoom TV / Head-Fi TV video coverage.

 

Here are some early impressions:

 

  • The Sennheiser RS 220 is amazing.  I do have a unit at home that I lived with for about four days before the show, and the simplest way I can describe it?  Wireless HD 600.  As I said before, given the expected $599 MSRP, the RS220 would be my pick for Head-Fi product of the year (understanding that there's still more than a couple months to go before year's end).Does it raise the bar for the ultimate in headphone hi-fi performance?  No--it doesn't have the resolution and fidelity of the HD 800, LCD-2, LCD-3, SR 009, HE-6, etc.  But what it does do is provide what is essentially the sonic performance of the HD 600--still one of the easiest and best overall headphone recommendations for so many--wirelessly.  And that raises the bar for wireless headphone performance higher than I even thought possible now.This is the first wireless headphone I've used that I'd recommend as a candidate for primary headphone.  Those who want the über-performance, extreme rigs (I'm raising my hand here) would still marvel at what the RS 220 is capable of as a wireless headphone.  Most people, though, would simply marvel at the RS220's performance as a primary headphone, relative to wireless or wired performance, and be happy with it as their prime headphone.Again, the Sennheiser RS 220 is amazing. 
  • Speaking of über-performance, the Audeze LCD-3 is quite possibly the best dynamic headphone ever, to my ears.  Whereas the best Sennheiser HD 800 rigs I've heard have--in my opinion, to my ears--trumped even the best I could wring from the likes of the HiFiMAN HE-6, HE-500, and Audeze LCD-2, the new LCD-3 is now my new top dynamic headphone choice.  And, frankly, I'm going to see if I can side-by-side it with the Stax SR-009 here, not because I'm expecting it to necessarily beat the SR-009, but because I think this is one headphone that could give it a run.  I already know there are some things it does better than the electrostatic headphone I've called my personal choice for best in the world.Lest you think I've formed this impression in louder-than-ideal meet conditions, I want to make clear that I've absconded with the LCD-3 to my hotel room for two nights in a row, in addition to meet listening.  I have now had two nearly sleepless nights with the Audeze LCD-3 balanced out of my favorite full-size-headphone-driving portable rig, consisting of iPod-->Cyper Labs Algorhythm Solo-->Ray Samuels SR-71b, driving the Audeze LCD-3 balanced via a Moon Audio Silver Dragon headphone cable.  I missed dinner my first night here (and so had to make a late-night fast food run), and ordered in room service last night--and, again, I've hardly slept.  Yes, I've been listening a lot.I know--the LCD-3 looks like a modified LCD-2.  It is not that.  It's not just prettier wood and super-soft earpads.  It's a whole new driver.  The diaphragm is a lot lighter than the LCD-2's.  The magnet structure is new.  It has a sound that LCD-2 aficionados might call familial, but the performance is no doubt better, in every respect, to my ears.  Simply put, you buy the LCD-2 and you get the LCD-2 (an outstanding headphone, by any measure).  You buy the LCD-3, you get the LCD-3.  I'm a guy who's purchased four LCD-2's (two rev 1's and two rev 2's), so I think I can say this with some amount of credence.Starting with the bass, the impact and detail is simply otherworldly, and especially where I can't imagine even the SR-009 trumping it.  One of Drew Baird's favorite test tracks is "Company" from Patricia Barber's Modern Cool album, and we were both simply floored by the LCD-3's physicality with Michael Arnopol's bass and Mark Walker's drums.  No other headphone I can think of can wring this level of tremendous low-end corporeality without bloat--the sense of this wrung not only from energy, but detail.  When you sense the finest of textures and timbre down low, combined with this driver's clear ability to convey physical impact...well, that's just standard-setting bass to my ears.LCD-3 midrange performance is similarly stellar, with hints of bloom, but never unnatural, never exaggerated.  And the treble soars, delicate, shimmering, extended.  Whereas some thought the LCD-2 (rev 1) treble needed some lift and more presence, I do not expect anyone to level this complaint at the LCD-3.  Throughout the audible range, the LCD-3 trumps the LCD-2 (and just about everything else) in terms of sheer detail retrieval, so its timbral accuracy throughout is freaky good.  And it does all this in sibilance- and harshness-free Audeze fashion.Am I buying one?  What do you think?  I can't imagine I'll be leaving this show without one, even if it takes an act of larceny to make it happen (which is essentially what I've now committed two nights in a row).

 

I'll post more impressions and photos from the show later.  For me, personally, this show is off to a great start!

 

Some incredible endorsements. I am looking forward to consensus comparisons of the LCD-3 with the DarkStar and the LF but with upgraded tubes on the LF to make it closer. Personally I am not crazy about the more extreme angle of the cable connectors as my LCD-2 amplifier is situated behind me.

 

As far as the RS220 goes it seems that Sennheiser could have upped the quality even more if they were using the Kleer technology that they have licensed in the past instead of 2.4 GHz RF technology that has inherent limitations for hifi audio transmission.

 

The new Fostex products also look interesting, but I am a bit surprised that their new TH900 flagship headphones are dynamic rather than planar, considering the popularity of the T50 mods.

 

I like the look of the new Woo CDP/DAC stack, and the monoblocks are starting to grow on me but together they probably weigh as much as I do.


Edited by grokit - 10/16/11 at 7:55pm
post #288 of 678

A few pics from the show.

 

i-2VwhkMS-XL.jpg

 

i-B4tdsXr-XL.jpg

 

i-rgDPKrc-XL.jpg

 

i-fTz2dFt-XL.jpg

 

i-wXs9kk8-XL.jpg

 

i-VxB9KpC-XL.jpg

 

i-c4LQ8DP-XL.jpg

 

i-9c3gQDb-XL.jpg

 

i-G4Z3XLM-XL.jpg

 

i-WfXKkd7-XL.jpg

 

i-DdLTbSM-XL.jpg

 

i-NVpLDgh-XL.jpg

 

i-9Zqvrw2-XL.jpg

post #289 of 678

i-3q9RjMR-XL.jpg

 

i-JPJ2sJG-XL.jpg

 

i-D9TwhKC-XL.jpg

 

i-pCsPHSm-XL.jpg

 

i-PHrXZx6-XL.jpg

 

i-CF2p484-XL.jpg

 

i-2WBnHL3-XL.jpg

 

i-NTcHSdS-XL.jpg

 

i-7W7CKQ8-XL.jpg

 

i-9L4Tqzx-XL.jpg

 

 

post #290 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner View Post

A few pics from the show.

 

i-2VwhkMS-XL.jpg

 

i-B4tdsXr-XL.jpg

 

i-rgDPKrc-XL.jpg

 

i-fTz2dFt-XL.jpg

 

i-wXs9kk8-XL.jpg

 

i-VxB9KpC-XL.jpg

 

i-c4LQ8DP-XL.jpg

 

i-9c3gQDb-XL.jpg

 

i-G4Z3XLM-XL.jpg

 

i-WfXKkd7-XL.jpg

 

i-DdLTbSM-XL.jpg

 

i-NVpLDgh-XL.jpg

 

i-9Zqvrw2-XL.jpg


Love the vinyl stuff.  Great, thanks.
 

 

post #291 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner View Post

i-9L4Tqzx-XL.jpg

 


Wow, that's a lot of tubes!  This thread is getting too rich for my blood smily_headphones1.gif  Starting to get really interested in hearing the LCD-3 on the LF.

post #292 of 678
Can you not quote pictures please, especially when it was the last post.

@Mike
post #293 of 678


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

Great stuff, do you know what tubes they used in the Liquid Fire and the LCD-3 combo? 

 

 

They were stock tubes, which BTW are JJ Telsa 6922, matched and then burned in for 50 hours.

 

While I'm posting, here's some random impressions from the show:

 

LCD-3 on TTVJ Butte amp: Well, I can say with great understatement that this definitely didn't suck.  Excellent texture, great bass impact, comfortable though heavy.  The detail was very high but not the slightest bit thin or sizzly.  The LCD-3 is very very good.  Also note that I am not a fanboy of the LCD-2, so I was open minded both directions on the 3.

 

HifiMan HE500: I listened to this on about 5 different amps including my own, and spent roughly an hour listening total.  I'm seriously pondering getting a pair.  The HE500 is my favorite orthodynamic, especially when price is factored in.  It's detailed but natural, not too hard to drive, and just a touch laid back which tends to be what makes headphones (for me) still get lots of listening time after the initial new-toy-syndrome has worn off.

 

HifiMan HE300: Surprisingly good.  Not quite as liquid as an ortho, but airy, fun, and overall top tier.  Extremely easy to drive.  Works with portable amps and probably right from a DAP.

 

HifiMan HE6: Very detailed when driven with crazy amounts of power.  But very hard to drive and not much bass impact.  Honestly I like the HE500 better for less money.

 

Beyerdynamic T50p: Meh.  I thought the mids didn't sound right.  Also not terribly comfortable, compressed the tops of my ears against my head.

 

Beyerdynamic T70 250 ohm:  Great.  If I hadn't spent all weekend listening to orthos, I would be raving about this.  Very enjoyable.  Light on the head, which was a nice change after listening to orthos all day.

 

Grado PS500: Really good.  Airier than any Grado I've heard, good bass and treble, fun to listen to.

 

Speakers:

 

My overall observation this year is that price in speakers seems to no longer have much to do with sound quality.  I'm not just talking about diminishing returns.  I heard $750 speakers I really liked and $25000 speakers I didn't care for.  I heard tiny speakers that sounded better than the same company's towers.  It's hard to judge speakers in a hotel room worth of space, but great speakers should sound at least very good anywhere...  Some specific brands:

 

Eggleston Works: My absolute favorite speakers that I heard at this particular show.  Great frequency balance, texture, and imaging.  Not cheap at $8000, but I liked them better than the:

 

Magico Q1: Amazing texture.  I felt like I could tell what kind of strings were on the guitar.  But the imaging IMO was sub-par especially for the $25K asking price.

 

PSB Imagine Mini: Surprisingly good for the size and price ($750 a pair retail, and there was a 15% show discount).  Very good tone.  Good bass for the size.  Better IMO than the PSB towers in the same room.  (Larry bought a pair.  I might too.)

 

Harbeth 7: My 2nd favorite pair of speakers at the show.  Organic, lush, sort of a woody resonance sound, like a fine guitar.  Great imaging.  Not cheap at $4K, but on par with more expensive speakers. 

 

Harbeth 3: Great for their size, but I liked the PSB Imagine Mini better and the Harbeth 3 is way more expensive.  They are very good speakers, but they (un) fortunately have competitors that are a better value.

 

The (clue): We got roped into this room by a saleswoman who claimed that these speakers are the best value at the show.  I actually didn't agree.  These speakers have lots of extension and probably measure extremely well, but I didn't particularly enjoy listening to them.

 

Vandersteen: I've never loved these when I've heard them before, but one of the cable vendors was playing Tool on them, and they were quite good.  It may seem strange that an audiophile brand speaker that is always demoed with classical music actually sounds better with hard rock.  But yeah, they were a heck of a lot of fun to listen to Tool on.

 

Zu Definition MK3: I really liked these.  They are not as organic as the Harbeths for example, but they are very coherent and do everything well.  The only disadvantage of the Definition is that I think I like the Soul Superfly just as much.  Also, Zu's entire line has a house sound.  So if the Zu sound is your thing, comparing the price/performance of the whole line is worthwhile.  (As a side note, I own Zu Druid Credenzas as my main speakers, and am a fan of the company and their house sound.)

 

Wilson: I heard 2 or 3 different pairs of Wilsons at the show, and wasn't terribly enthralled by them.  As a general comment, I think RMAF is a tough show for vendors because the competition is fierce.  It's like a girl that would look totally hot at the beach on a Wednesday in the fall, might not be noticed as much on a Saturday in the summer. wink.gif

 

That's all I can think of at the moment.  Please note that my opinions are my own, and are just opinions, and my apologies if I was too blunt towards your favorite speaker or headphone.  Like I said, the competition was fierce and there were things I liked better than others, totally irrespective of price tags.

 

Also, the show was a heck of a lot of fun from a social perspective.  It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and having great conversations.  The two days I was there went by in a flash.

 

Cheers,

 

Harley.

 


Edited by barleyguy - 10/16/11 at 8:56pm
post #294 of 678

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Grats on your purchase danmagicman. I came to the same conclusion and ordered a set of UERMs as well.


Thanks, you too.  Still deciding what I should get for my artwork...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post


Contradicting with other impressions/reviews where the RM had some of the largest soundstage among the top tier customs. o.O Very interesting...

 

To be honest, soundstage is one of the last things I hear for when reviewing...I thought the JH Audio's had a bit more ambience because of the sharper highs and extra drivers.  Again, I didn't really concentrate extensively on the soundstage except on two particular tracks, I just noticed it was a little smaller from my memory's ear (from the last time I was at the JH audio booth).

 

I would not classify them is closed in as all, it is just the only thing I could pick apart. Gotta have a weakness somewhere...they can't be perfect :)


Edited by danmagicman7 - 10/16/11 at 9:06pm
post #295 of 678
Wyred 4 Sound music server picture is up:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/574685/new-products-from-wyred-4-sound-at-rmaf#post_7827718

danmagicman,

Interesting because soundstage is the first thing I listen for and most important for me, specifically the center image.
post #296 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

danmagicman,
Interesting because soundstage is the first thing I listen for and most important for me, specifically the center image.



Soundstage is important to me also since I wanted the playback to reflect the room that the recording take place like a church, concert hall or a small room.

 

post #297 of 678

P1000169.JPG

 

 

 

P1000159.JPGP1000157.JPGP1000165.JPG

post #298 of 678
Those speakers in the Acapella room were one of few I actually listened to and they were awesome. They had classical music playing and I really felt as if I was in a concert hall with incredible depth. I have no idea how much they are, but they are worth it.

--

By the way, I've started my comprehensive review of all 69 (nice number eh?) rig combinations I auditioned at RMAF. May take a couple days to finish.
Edited by Maxvla - 10/16/11 at 10:50pm
post #299 of 678

Wow, bookmarking o_o

post #300 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Those speakers in the Acapella room were one of few I actually listened to and they were awesome. They had classical music playing and I really felt as if I was in a concert hall with incredible depth. I have no idea how much they are, but they are worth it.
--
By the way, I've started my comprehensive review of all 69 (nice number eh?) rig combinations I auditioned at RMAF. May take a couple days to finish.


Yes I bleive that is the High Violoncello II model with a list price of about $80K best horn system I ever heard in a long time.

On the other hand the BottleHead have tube amp kits starting at $220. It was interesting they were using large open reel as a source.

 

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