What is there to say? This meet was an audiophile's dream! Everything you heard about, but never heard, was present. It was utterly amazing!
The first stop was of course to the BD booth. Had great conversations with the representatives and they had a great display of their products. Actually, had a first listen to the DT880s, and I can see why they are such a favorite around the forums. The Beyerdynamic t5p sounded amazing. Hooked it directly up to an SGS. It had excellent detail, staging, imaging, bass and mids. It is an extremely well balanced can, with more than enough volume directly from a source dap. The t70p is quality model replacement of the DT770. The imaging and detail is the most noticeable improvement. It also has Beyer shimmer. However, it still retains the liquidity that Beyer is known for. There was an issue with one track. The female vocal had, what I can only describe as, sizzle. I listened to another track and it went away, but I haven't heard that before with other gear. I wonder if the t70p is that revealing?
Next visit was Woo Audio. From right to left, it was nothing but an amazing representation! The LCD-3's were SO comfy! The sound produced with the WA6SE was nothing short of a languish experience. For some reason, I wasn't able to formulate a comparison, in my mind, with the LCD-2. I think I was enjoying the music too much and not trying to be critical. It is absolutely amazing how you can focus on sound and the whole world around you seems to disappear. As I moved over towards the left, the STAX and Woo setup invited a listen. It did indeed become the pinnacle of perception. The layout and the sound combined for an extremely impressive experience. I think that is one of the difficult things about these meets. You try to be critical, but after a few moments you are captured by the sound and you find yourself just enjoying the music, instead of comparing or evaluating.
Of course, I had to stop by Ari's rig and give another listen. I do believe that he has captured the best sound possible out of the HD-800s, and perhaps some of us who now want them, from the comments above, can give credence to that setup and the music it produces. An amazing custom built (from the grounds up mind you) amp.
Checking out the JH section and meeting Beth, was a rewarding experience. BTW Beth was the only one who noticed my shirt. I cannot thank her enough for what she did. Free impressions, who does that? She was a pleasure to converse with and I ended up buying a pair of JH16s.
We moved on to the cheesecake factory.... two hours later, with more interest in the power cable auction, we returned to the meet.
Had my first experience with a high end Audio Technica headphone. The W1000X. As another commented to me about her experience, the can was extremely light and comfortable. This aspect can indeed be a critical part of a headphone. Comfort and sound go hand in hand. How can you enjoy music when you feel as though a 10 lb weight is bearing down on your skull.
The meet then turned out to be less about gear and more about people. It is what makes these meets most rewarding. Had an excellent conversation with Jack from Woo. It seems that he has quite an interest in PCs. They had an amazing micro-atx pc, with a small touch screen, that was used as a media source. I wonder if there is a future for Woo in this area. What I wouldn't give for an all aluminum PC enclosure designed by Woo Audio. Watch out Lian-Li!! We had a great discussion of all things nerdy, for a short time, and then discussed everything from the Sony R10 to the Woo transport.
I apologize, but I did not want to spell your name incorrectly. Another partner of this conversation was with the gentleman who brought the prototype Cavalli amp and the STAX. As we were having great conversations, we walked on over to that section. It is difficult to do an A/B comparison vs the Woo Stax SR-009 setup, because both were so darn enjoyable that I forgot to even try! The HE-6 prototypes were even on hand. Listened to a little of those and a little of production recabled HE-6s going through a Lyr. We had a short, but amazing conversation about the HE-6 vs the LCD-2. This is one of those seemingly innocuous conversations about audio that is essentially the heart and soul of our pursuit. Our perception of soundstage comparisons were completely different on the two cans. We both wholly believe that the opposite headphone has more soundstage than the other. This goes to show how you can't let the opinions of others sway your experience. The sound we all hear is a completely unique instance, and there is NOTHING wrong with that! It provides avenues for great debate and passions to arise and be discussed in a friendly and engaging matter.
So time was wrapping up and it was a sad moment. I didn't even have time to experience anything on the now legendary center table. But I was able to walk out with several of the inhabitants and have a short conversation.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the after hours, as I have an engagement to attend today, but overall I would say this was a tremendous experience. Kudos to all involved.