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Nor-Cal Feb 11/2012 Impressions Thread - Page 10  

post #136 of 345
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post







Milos is actually 6' 9".  biggrin.gif

post #137 of 345

Holy crap I look tired in that pic!  I probably should have slept more tongue.gif

post #138 of 345

The setup I brought didn't get enough love, haha. Got a chance to test a pair of Audeze LCD2's on my mixer, they didn't sound bad at all though I believe they require some proper amplification to sound their best.

post #139 of 345

Another bunch o' pictures


Kind of going in order from the 'Quiet Room' > Vendors > Members.  Please don't ask me how stuff sounded.  I didn't get to listen to a fraction of what I wanted to; and even if I did I probably couldn't tell you much.  wink.gif


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The 'Quiet Room'                                                                                                         


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wiatrob's table


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Sennheiser HE60s / Alway love listening to bobcn's K1Ks w/Red Wine.


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calaf's table / Pretty impressive what Macbooks can drive these days.  ;-)


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Gzon3lement / purrin's vintage Sansui


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Eddie Current 'Balancing Act' / n3rdling's Orpheus-Sigma-009 table of joy


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Honestly, if you had the Orpheus, would you take it out of the house? / I had signs made for some of the ES set-ups because spilling on these things might restyle your hair.


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'Just another set' of 009s at the meet! / jazzfan has dual Lyrs to make it easier for him to roll tubes and enjoy different flavors- great idea!


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Frank Cooter and his out-of-this-world creations / If I'm not mistaken, the Technics R-R was the only analog source this year.


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Eddie Current 'Zana Deux' / mikeymad's WA5


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The Vendor room / Bottlehead


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Last year Doc brought the Nagra open-reel kit.  This time we have a nice blend of old and new... OS X > tubes.  =)


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DNA's new Stratus built with the K1000s in mind.  I thought it smoothed out the AKGs nicely and he showed me the beautiful point-to-point wiring underneath.


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Schiit Audio / Ultimate Ears


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UE's custom samples / No need for DBT when it comes to testing the effects of single malt Bourbon on equipment.


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The $10k Apex Pinnacle / The Eddie Current table


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Eddie Current's new Super 7 / AMB Labs


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AMB Labs / The Members (less quiet) room.  Don't let the lack of people in these photos fool you- they were taken early in the morning before most people arrived.


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I almost wish it were that empty so it would be easier to hop from table to table.  But in reality, it's the people that really make these kinds of events. / Lurumaural & Questhate


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One of the coolest headphone stands I've seen is actually an IKEA-hack! / AKGs all in a row.


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That's my stuff. / This was partially CEE TEE's stuff.  It was setup so that the source was feeding both DACs and amps simultaneously, so you could switch between (Apex) tube and SS!  (*Note: Right next to my table was the coolest collection of vintage headphones brought by gogators (Technics and Yamaha orthos to name a few) and like an idiot I forgot to take pictures!  Grrrrr...)


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shipsupt kindly (or naively?) offered to setup both his gear and project86's.  You could've seriously held a meet at just these two tables.  Two very generous guys.


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shipsupt continued / Clayton SF's table


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I really enjoyed the sound of the Leben w/DT990-600s. / This Decware amp for me was the prettiest amp at the meet.  I can only imagine what it looks like in a dark room!


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daigo- darn, I wanted to listen to your Elekit. / linuxworks & particleman14


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linuxworks & particleman14


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EpicPie was using this Behringer digital mixer as a DAC to demo some Jaben portable amps. / V-MODA showed up and was generous enough to donate to our raffle.


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V-MODA, Thinksound, Bottlehead, and Ultimate Ears sponsored our raffle. / The grand prize was indeed grand- custom UE Reference Monitors.


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Oh, in case I forgot to mention- the Orpheus was there. / If I brought an Orpheus, I'd probably make people take a shower first before getting near it.


IMG_5377.jpg  And yes, we did give away Head-Fi amp straps!  Woo-hoo!



Big huge thanks to CEE TEE for organizing this.  It takes big ones to put on something like this, especially after the success of last year's meet.  And of course huge thanks to everyone for waking up early, schlepping your gear over (some driving 7+hrs!!!), and trusting everyone with it.  And thank you Jude for of course having Head-Fi to begin with and your support for these events.


Edited by Mkubota1 - 2/17/12 at 5:37pm
post #140 of 345

Some great pics there. Any impressions of the Anedio D1 DAC as a source?

post #141 of 345

Many thanks to all for the impressions, and especially the labeled pics! It's always funny to discover people's face you've interacted through the web only. It's rarely what I imagine people look like ;).


I asked before but looks like it was totally missed during the meet: comparisons of the Stax 727 amp with the BHSE & LL, anyone apart from Elysian (great post BTW, many thanks for this!)?

post #142 of 345




Many Shouts to Cee Tee for an impeccable job hosting! After more than a year's hiatus, it's great to see that the hobby/addiction is still thriving!  Loads of great gear and music,  rigs with a lot of thought and not just $$$ invested in them, and stellar folk made this the best meet I've been to.   I really enjoyed getting to hear the latest round of high end cans that have come to market while I've been 'away'


Great to meet Anaxilus, Purrin, n3rdling, ironbut, Frank C, cfjrbw, Larry,Doc B,  Saachu (Finally!) and everybody else.. Seeing Jude and ASR was quite a surprise!  Special thanks to Alex Cavalli for  giving me the opportunity to showcase his fine gear, and Pabbi1 for parting with the HE-60s for a week so they could go head to head with the SR-009's.


While I didn't get as much head-time with the various setups, I really liked the HE-6 driven by the LF, Tthe SR-009s were amazing and the 507s were great ('stuck' as I was on the LL.) 


In my immediate vicinity, Frank's craftsmanship was stellar.  Ironbut's tape rig was a highlight as well, sounding stunning and looking damn sexy. have to say that it inspired me to take a look into RTR, until I saw the price of admission! Sachu, I'd have loved to have heard the Wharfie's on something with more sauce, I think the Woo just didn't have enough. The Manley was nice with dynamics, but I'm not as fond of trafo boxes with my Staxen.  And I got NO time on the Orpheus, oh well... Thanks to n3rdling for bringing it out in all it's glory.


 Guess it might be time to review all my gear (still in boxes from my move) to see if I will be dipping my toe back into the water... or is that very expensive Kool-Aid





Originally Posted by sachu View Post

Wish I could have had my source shipped down as well cause that would have been quite the leap over the lowly cambridge DAC and the OPPO (which was quite decent). 


For wahtever reason, the Cambridge wasn't receiveing 24/96KHz material when i was playing a fair few material which are 24/96 native.. Don't know if that was a problem on the MacBook pro or on the DAC, but it was stuck at 44.1kHz.

I prefer the descriptor of 'humble' to 'lowly' when describing the DACMagic as it performs well above it's price range (and I like the Wolfson chips), but that's a topic for another thread  wink.gif .  You should've let me know @ the bitrate, probably an easy fix.

post #143 of 345
If it was connected via USB 16/44.1 is the maximum a DACMagic (standard model) will do. 24/96 is only via spdif.
post #144 of 345
Yeah we had a toslink. Going from MacBook pro to the dacmagic.

Only noticed it to the end and so did not bother bill. And yes humble is. :)the better term.
post #145 of 345

Totally our drove up and then I asked you to set-up Friday night so I could squeeze i some listening.  Didn't let you sleep...but THANKS, I owe you!!!

Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

Holy crap I look tired in that pic!  I probably should have slept more tongue.gif


post #146 of 345
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

Totally our drove up and then I asked you to set-up Friday night so I could squeeze i some listening.  Didn't let you sleep...but THANKS, I owe you!!!


But it was soooooo worth it. L3000.gif  That setup gave us a great opportunity to listen, compare and sit uninterrupted.

'Mini meets' rock too! Thanks to all who helped... especially those who traveled long distances, from strange lands. wink.gif


post #147 of 345

Ok here are my gear impressions. There was plenty of other unlisted gear I would've liked to check out as well but I didn't have a whole lot of time as I ended up leaving the meet early in the afternoon. I specifically wanted to hear the LCD-3 to see if it differed from my recent experience with it at home but didn't get a chance to.


- Audio-Technica W3000ANV (source: HiFiMan HM-801): I wanted to check these out since they've gotten a lot of positive impressions by other Head-Fiers, and they were pretty good, but at the same time, the more I listened, the more I could tell that I'd be disappointed if I owned one. I kept mentally comparing them to both the AD2000 and Stax SR-007 even while I was listening. I can agree that they're very nice-sounding, and they did have more bass/mid-bass than the AD2K, which definitely helped out with electronica & metal.


However, I don't think I'll be buying one now - for every type of music that I listened to, I found myself disappointed in at least one aspect. I did think that these were just about as versatile-sounding as the LCD-3 though as they seemed to handle various genres well enough. Overall they were mid-range focused, with a fair amount of treble, bass, and soundstage. They didn't particularly remind me of the typical highly-colored AT "woodie" sound, which is a good thing.


- Stax OII MKI, SR-Omega, & SR-009 on spritzer-built BH & Accuphase DP-75: I was highly interested in n3rdling's setup for one reason alone: to find out what sort of difference his Accuphase CDP made, as I also own a SR-007, with BHSE. A disclaimer here as I don't know what sort of sonic difference can be expected from a spritzer-built BH versus the HeadAmp BHSE, so I kinda just ignored that factor and assumed the two amps would sound nearly identical. And if the 2 amps are nearly-identical sounding, well then the only major sonic difference in my experience could be attributed to the Accuphase vs my Plinius CD-101.


So I put in a few of my highly-reference CD tracks (and I mean my best references) and tried to mentally focus as much attention on what I was hearing, because there was substantial meet noise while I was listening. I concluded that the Accuphase was really awesome-sounding too - it was definitely different from my Plinius, but awesome in its own way. There was slightly more touch to the mid-range on it versus my Plinius, and somewhat less treble quantity. It didn't have the sharp, edgy, semi-metallic character that my Plinius can exhibit - but I consider that a good thing on my Plinius, as I perceive it to be more accurate. In other words, I thought the Accuphase detracted from the treble a bit. The Accuphase's mid-range was very nice though and had a kind of "sweet" burnished character that made violins in particular sound extra "woody" (as they're wooden instruments, obviously) and really, really "warm" & affecting.


The soundstage also seemed a bit smaller than usual on the Accuphase, and I also got the sense that it limited the dynamics and clarity a little bit too.


So for those who thought n3rdling's SR-007/BH/DP-75 system was awesome, well I have only one thing to say to those people: the SR-007/BH is capable of sounding even more awesome. Specifically, I think my own system is better (for my sonic preferences, I mean - not objectively). Not that it's the best that can be attained of course - I think there are probably plenty of even better sources out there that I haven't heard. Not to take anything away from n3rdling's sytem - it was really, really good. But I think mine shows off the capability of the SR-007/BH a little more.


I also heard the SR-Omega on the system, which was also really good, but the headphones fit way too loosely on my head and were way too big. I thought there was a general similarity between the SR-Omega and SR-009, in that both were relatively treble-tilted and very clear-sounding. But after spending time with both headphones, I wasn't compelled to buy either of them. Specifically the SR-009, which just didn't have the "magic" of the SR-007 for me. I was able to re-confirm my suspicion that the SR-009 did have more treble and a larger, more open soundstage than the SR-007, but I didn't really think it was all it's cracked up to be. If I owned one, the SR-009 would sort of be like an electrostatic version of the Qualia 010 for me - meaning very limited use to only a few music genres, nowhere near as many as the SR-007 for me.


- ironbut's tape reel system, Eddie Current amp, & HD800: ironbut knows that I've never really listened to his tape reel system despite the number of NorCal meets that I've attended that he's brought it to, so he finally sat me down to check it out. tongue.gif While I would've preferred headphones other than the HD800 for the jazz music, it sounded really good, and very real. I have almost no experience with analog so it was a great experience for me. There was just something inexplicable about the sonic texture that made instruments sound more authentic, even on the HD800.


I suggest that at the next meet, ironbut should have his tape reel hooked up to a SR-007/BHSE system. Now that would really be something!

Edited by Asr - 2/15/12 at 1:43pm
post #148 of 345

Hey Steve, my BH is a bit different from the Headamp BH or Headamp BHSE.  Here's a little writeup from the man (spritzer) himself:



"Classic Blue Hawaii setup with full bias on the output stage (deep Class A). All transistors/diodes hand selected and matched over both channels. Exclusive use of PRP resistors on both channels, both in the signal path and the various constant current sources. All resistors matched to 0.1%. Volume control is a special TKD 2508 audio grade pot with each phase shielded from the rest. Amp is fully dual mono with Neutrik input hardware, silver input switches and Belden teflon wiring. The chassis are Modushop but the front and top on the amp are handmade replacements. Power supply is a standard Blue Hawaii design but with 4 transformers, two oversized Plitrons for the high voltage sections, a smaller toroid for the low voltage and large Hammond Ei core to supply the EL34 heaters. Powersupply has a time delay to protect the EL34's and all the parts are hand selected and matched."


My understanding is that my DIY BH is kind've a mix between the Headamp BH and BHSE: on one hand my BH has the older 2sa1968 CCS found in the Headamp BH, but on the other hand mine is biased deep into Class A like the Headamp BHSE.  I don't know if Justin hand matches everything or what transformers he uses but it's probably not quite as over the top.  One other possible difference is that I was using the Mullard XF2's.  The other quad of EL34s I have are SED's which are a little brighter from what comparing I've done.  Not sure what your unit shipped with or if you're also using the Mullards.


I was gonna ask ironbut if I could hook up the BH or Orpheus to his reel source towards the end but forgot. :p  Maybe next time!


Ceetee it's cool, I wasn't tired whatsoever those days for some reason.  You gotta come down to our next SoCal meet though :D

Edited by n3rdling - 2/15/12 at 2:34pm
post #149 of 345

Thanks to CEE TEE for another great show. With my iPhone > Pure i-20 > Schiit Lyr > AKG K702, I was ostensibly (with notable exceptions) one of the few representatives of budget-fi at the meet. My own selfish reason for bringing my gear was to find an upgrade for the K702’s, and the meet was the perfect place to try as many cans as possible on my own system. For allowing me to do that, I have to thank Purrin, Sachu, calaf, Wiatrob, FrankCooter, bobcn and Questhate for letting me borrow their headphones. For those interested, here are my impressions/opinions.


System: iPhone > Pure i-20 transport/DAC > Schiit Lyr


Playlist: I chose a standard playlist that I used with every headphone. The songs were chosen to represent areas where the K702 is weak (guitar rock, metal, and bass in general), areas where the K702 is strong (acoustic, vocals, and binaural) and songs I like and have listened to a thousand times.


  1. Smashing Pumpkins- Thru the eyes of Ruby: a powerful wall of guitars that sounds that should envelop you in a warm blanket of awesomeness but sounds meh on the K702’s.
  2. Vladimir Ashkenazy- Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3: one of my favorites. Sounds a little cold on the K702’s.
  3. Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra- The River: binaural recording the sounds scary good with the AKG’s.
  4. Pink Floyd- Shine on You Crazy Diamond: another favorite of mine that sounds OK on the K702’s.
  5. Kylesa- Spiral Shadow: Metal song with plenty of grinding guitars and booming bass drums.
  6. Tori Amos- Cornflake Girl: Beautiful song that I know well, but Tori’s vocals can become grating if there’s too much treble emphasis.
  7. Punch Brothers- Don’t Need No: Alt bluegrass at its finest. A perfect match for the K702’s.




HE-500: Good bass and clarity. Much more enclosed soundstage than the K702’s. They do everything well, but there’s no wow factor. I want to be excited about my headphones. There were no goose bump moments with these cans.


T1: Much like the HE-500’s they did a lot of things well, but were not terribly exciting. Better soundstage than the HE-500’s, but not as good as the K702’s.  More mid emphasis than the HE-500, and less bass extension.


HD 800 (Anax mod): Listening to the K702’s for the last year has turned me into a soundstage junkie, and these were the only cans that really fed my addiction. They were very spacious and incredibly detailed (revealing). They had more bass than the K702’s, but not by a lot. However, even with the Anax mod, there were parts of some songs where the treble made me wince. This was especially noticeable with Tori Amos and the banjo from Punch Brothers. On the right system, the HD 800’s sound spectacular and do not have this problem. They sounded particularly good on the TTVJ Pinnacle, FrankCooter/Ironbut’s tape system, and the Balancing Act.


LCD-3 (TP mod): “Musical” would be the best word to describe these. Larger soundstage than the HE-500’s and similar to T1 (maybe a smidge smaller). The soundstage didn’t sound enclosed, it sounded intimate. Every song was completely engaging. The bass was outstanding, but the overall tone was a little on the warm side. Of course, these sounded better (much much better) on Frank’s system.


LCD-2: Same magic as the LCD-3’s, but slightly less. Everything the LCD-3’s did well, these did well, but to a marginally lesser extent. Enjoyed listening to all my tracks. Not as revealing as some of the others, this is good thing to a certain extent, given my system. It is hard to justify paying $1000 more for the LCD-3’s when these do nearly as good a job.  


Magnum (V4): Surprisingly nice. Airy and detailed with great mids. Enjoyed the Smashing Pumpkins track with these. If you can get around the Grado comfort issues, these are a great lower cost option. I can’t get around the Grado comfort issues.  


HE-6: I know that the Lyr is supposed to be able to handle the HE-6’s, but I had to crank it up all the way for the Rachmaninov track. Maybe there’s not enough juice coming out of my DAC.


Thunderpants!: Need more power.


Shure 1840: I listened to these, but not on my system. They are not in the same league as these other headphones. They lack musicality, whatever that may mean. I just didn’t want to keep listening to them.


Of course, these are just one person’s opinions about how these headphones sound on his system with his music.  YMMV. Thanks again to everyone!

post #150 of 345

When it comes the things I miss from California, the NorthCal headfi meet is on top of the list. I miss the occasions and friendly faces (even more so than the headphones!) 

Will try to come next time!

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