New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Nor-Cal Feb 11/2012 Impressions Thread - Page 5  

post #61 of 345

I had a great time at the meet learning about headphones. That said, I may end up being the only person to come away from a head-fi meet, in the history of head-fi, having decided to *reduce* the value of my headphone collection! Why?

 

I own the AKG K702s and the Sennheiser HD595s - the AKG's being a recent purchase. And fact was, to my ears, the AKGs only started sounding superior with expensive amplification. I loved the sound of my K702s out of Clayton SF's amps (the Leben and the one built by 2359Glenn). In fact, the one built by Glenn sounded, to me, just as good as the Leben with my K702s (how valuable this newbie's impressions are...I don't know). The HD595s certainly sounded different than the AKGs, but I couldn't say I strongly preferred the AKG sound to them until I hooked up the AKGs to tube amps and the (SS) Beta-22. So either I need to find a very inexpensive tube amp that approaches the sound of the $450 amp by 2359Glenn...or I will be selling my K702s. I don't think finding such an amp is going to be possible, since Glenn's amp is already a relative bargain. Hrmm...

 

That said, I had a great time at the meet. Thanks in particular to ClaytonSF, Shipsupt, particleman14, calaf, and EpicPie. I learned a lot both listening to your rigs and talking to you! Also, my favorite rig at the meet, bar none, was easily ironbut's reel to reel setup. Of course, the fact that the tape was a jazz album that I adore didn't hurt my estimation of this setup's quality, but I now know what I'd do with the salary I'd earn should I manage to land tenure in, oh, 15 years. :)

 

And thanks Cee-Tee for making it happen! 

 

- Zach (the redhead!)


Edited by Rockofeller - 2/12/12 at 5:26pm
post #62 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogators View Post

Thanks for n3rdling for letting me hear his headphones for quite a while ( sorry, Doc B wink_face.gif). The Orpheus is still the ONE, the sound is just beautiful. This is not a 100% faithful rig, but the sound is just lush, smooth with something magic going on there. Time stops when putting these on. n3rdling told me the orpheus is still his go to system now even with 009 sitting aside. It is also great to know that O2 is still his favorite phone for Rock because of more bass and other quality. The comment quenched my desire for a 009 system and probably saved my marriage gs1000.gif.

 

Bang for buck system in my opinion is the Lyr/HE6 combo for modern music, pop, hiphop, rock... the extension is superb to both high and low ends. The presentation is energitic at both ends too.

 

The LCD3 is another story, even less comfortable than already very bad LCD2. The sound might be over all a little bit more smooth than LCD2, but the difference is quite subtle. I think these headphones are just rushed out to compete at the high end price range without being competent. I choose HE6 with a Lyr any day over the LCD3.  


Couldn't agree with you more re: LCD-3. There is more depth in middle and a pinch at each end, but not $900 worth. 

 

post #63 of 345

cee-tee, thank you for organizing such a tight, well run event - and thank you squeezing me in at the last second (with my meager rig!).  The meet was fantastic, the gear stellar, and everyone was just great.  It was really nice to have some face time with some of the folks whom I've gotten to know in this august forum.  That said, I didn't get to meet everyone I wanted, and certainly only got to hear but a smidgen of the gear I wanted to hear!  Next year.  Indeed!!

 

cee-tee, many kudos for job well done, and my warmest thanks!


Edited by sarals - 2/12/12 at 4:49pm
post #64 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogators View Post

Thanks for n3rdling for letting me hear his headphones for quite a while ( sorry, Doc B wink_face.gif). The Orpheus is still the ONE, the sound is just beautiful. This is not a 100% faithful rig, but the sound is just lush, smooth with something magic going on there. Time stops when putting these on. n3rdling told me the orpheus is still his go to system now even with 009 sitting aside. It is also great to know that O2 is still his favorite phone for Rock because of more bass and other quality. The comment quenched my desire for a 009 system and probably saved my marriage gs1000.gif.

 

Bang for buck system in my opinion is the Lyr/HE6 combo for modern music, pop, hiphop, rock... the extension is superb to both high and low ends. The presentation is energitic at both ends too.

 

The LCD3 is another story, even less comfortable than already very bad LCD2. The sound might be over all a little bit more smooth than LCD2, but the difference is quite subtle. I think these headphones are just rushed out to compete at the high end price range without being competent. I choose HE6 with a Lyr any day over the LCD3.  

 

I was surprised that there were more LCD-2's at the meet vs. LCD-3's.  Apparently a lot of LCD-2 owners did not upgrade or move to the LCD-3.

 

On the HE-6, yes it's a favorite here as well.  Both with the Lyr and the Liquid Fire.


 

 

post #65 of 345

This was about as close to a real Canjam event i have been to since the one in LA in 09.

Great turnout, masterfully organized by CEE TEE and his lovely colleague Susan. Thanks for all the effort.

 

Was a treat for me to finally put a face to the names that have been so familiar the years i have been active here and meeting seeing some familiar ones. N3rdling, Frank Cooter, Purrin , Anaxilus, Elysian , Clayton, mikeymad, icarium, volition, blessings, iron dreamer, linuxworks, Doc B, particanman, Jrossel, Ti kan, amp head, iron but, asr and last but not least, jude. It was an absolute pleasure meeting you all and look forward to the next meet.

 

Finally, i'd like to say thanks to wiatrob for hauling my rig out with him and for lending me his DAC and macbook pro. Was brilliant finally to have met you. :)

 

For a change I made it to this meet on the dot at 8, and got to listen to a bunch of gear. So here are some brief impressions.

 

I made a beeline to Milos' setup in the morning and got to listen to the SR-009 and the SR-007 on his BH. 

It only took 15 seconds to see that the SR009 was the superior transducer over the 007. I was taken aback by how controlled the headphones were. It was even more surprising since it gave the impression that the 007 were a little bloat in the bottom end. Not by a whole lot but definitely enough to stand out. The O2s are also a little mid centric than the 009. That said, the SR009 did not bowl me over on the 009. I commented to Milos i liked the O2 better on the BH over the 009. There was nothing proving an emotional involvement with the music when i listed to the 009. 

 

I switched over to his HE90 setup, the Orpheus. Instantly made it one of the only two highlights of the meet for me. Someone said it best earlier, time stands still, when you listening to this headphone. The SR009 is still clearly the better transducer technically and it shows this.

 

Then i went around with my wharfed ale thunder pants checking out some of the dynamic gear. The Audio GD stuff one person had didn't cut it. he was rather taken aback by how inefficient the wharfs were. I tried listening to the B22 on Linuxworks station and i don't know if he was running a gain of 2 or more, but it too struggled to drive the Wharfies. I left disappointed.

Then I found Craig Uthus's station int he vendor room. I was tickled to see him make the meet. was a pleasure meeting him. I proceeded to eagerly listen to his 2A3 amplifier first. While i had to turn up the volume past 2 o clock position to get to listenable levels on the wharfs, it was a classic pair up. I loved the presentation on this amp. It made the wharfs sing, very much like my Stacker amp at home. Great authority in the low end of the spectrum.

 

I also saw he was showing off the ECSS solid state amp..i quickly moved over to it form the 2A3 and it too did a commendable job driving the wharfes. The only thing that stood out was it had a little bit of sibilance in the female vocals (diana kraal) and not as controlled in the bass as the 2A3 that was next to it running off the same source. Just a tad bit of flutter.

 

I spotted Clayton's rig in the member room and saw the Leben sitting on his table. I figured this should be a no problem job for the Leben. I was severely disappointed with the Leben. I honestly do not know why folks think this is a good headphone amp, but this was just terrible. Too much distortion, barely able to drive the wharfs. But I guess it must gel well with other headphones that are not orthos. 

 

Moving on, I went back to the quiet room and seated myself in front of Purrin's Balancing Act rig. I have had the opportunity to listen to the Balancing Act on a number of occasions now thanks to the brilliant system KingStyles has built around it. I loved this amp before I heard my wharfs on it. I Loved it even more when it could drive them  (albeit like the 2A3 amp need to go high er not the control pot). The Balancing Act was even more spectacular than the 2A3 amp i had heard previously. Possibly because of a better source or just the material I was listening to. Easily among the top 3 dynamic amps I will heartily recommend any day of the year.

 

I moseyed over to Frank's table and tried out his electrostatic amp with the 007. It sound great, but not as resolving or refined as the other amps in the room. Still a nice listening experience. Love the craftsman ship. An eye and ear pleaser from a through and through gentleman.

 

In the afternoon, I got around to do some serious listening with the SR009 on my Liquid Lightning setup, trying to wonder if it would sway me enough to seriously consider it. 

 

Milos was kind enough to let me borrow his SR009 for a good half an hour and again for another 15 minutes when comparing it to the HE60.

 

First the HE60, I liked it, it sounded great, but i liked my 007 far better. I felt the HE60 sounded veiled, especially lacking extension in the highs. Which was totally surprising for me. 

 

I sat down with the 009 and the 007 and ran through the gamut of reference recordings i had brought over with me on my rig.

 

20 minutes passed with the 009. I had doubts whether the 007 + Liquid Lightning combo could be surpassed, sadly the SR009 sounded absolutely gorgeous on my setup. I loved the seamless transition in the soundstage, the attack in the transient sections, the midrange was spot on and the bass..onh my the bass..this combo is my reference for authority and slam now. Who ever said stats can't do bass. Heck, this is coming from a ortho head who owned the LCD-2 for 2 years and heard the LCD-3 for a week on my own rig. The orthos don't hold a candle to the quality in bass reproduction.it was like peeling off the layers of an onion, ever so delicately but determinedly . 

Switching over to the 007 after the 009 on the LL, i noticed the 007 was more mid centric than the 009, a little more mid bass emphasis giving an impression of more oomph but not as extended as the 009. These were similar to the observations i had made on the BH which sealed my impressions between the two headphones. One crucial difference however between listening to the SR009 on the BH and the LL was I preferred the Liquid Lightning by far over the BH. The SR009 wasn't just technically better than the 007 like it was on the bH, it was able to match the warmth of the SR007 to provide a truly world class engaging listening experience.

 

Given that I wasn't even using my own source, a lowly entry level Cambridge DAC Magic sounded so darn good with the 009 and LL, it was quite a revelation. The enjoyment factor was at an all time high and was easily the highlight of the gear listening impressions for me. 

 

All that said, will I buy an SR009 in the future..perhaps if my living situation changed, as in if i can no longer own speakers, I would go this route. As it stands, the SR007 does it for me plenty with the Liquid Lightning and apart from the SR009, is the best headphone setup i have heard  (and owned) in the last 6 years that does it all  for me.

 

Look forward to making the next NorCal meet..Seattle meet in April is next up for me :

 

Till then, I think I am going to head over to a bar or two on Haight and Ashbury and grab a few beers and enjoy SF before i hop back on a flight to Portland. Thanks for having me over gents and making me feel at home.


Edited by sachu - 2/12/12 at 5:35pm
post #66 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by sachu View Post

This was about as close to a real Canjam event i have been to since the one in LA in 09.

Great turnout, masterfully organized by CEE TEE and his lovely colleague Susan. Thanks for all the effort.

 

Given that I wasn't even using my own source, a lowly entry level Cambridge DAC Magic sounded so darn good with the 009 and LL, it was quite a revelation. The enjoyment factor was at an all time high and was easily the highlight of the gear listening impressions for me. 

 

All that said, will I buy an SR009 in the future..perhaps if my living situation changed, as in if i can no longer own speakers, I would go this route. As it stands, the SR007 does it for me plenty with the Liquid Lightning and apart from the SR009, is the best headphone setup i have heard  (and owned) in the last 6 years that does it all  for me.

 

Look forward to making the next NorCal meet..Seattle meet in April is next up for me :

 

Till then, I think I am going to head over to a bar or two on Haight and Ashbury and grab a few beers and enjoy SF before i hop back on a flight to Portland. Thanks for having me over gents and making me feel at home.


Yes, a great job by CeeTee and the lovely Susan once again.

 

My listening experiences were similar - the LL sounded like a better match with the SR-009 than the BSHE to my ears.  I was also very impressed by JazzFan's SR-009 + SRM-727II setup - impressive detail across the soundstage plus weight in the bass there.

If you're thinking of going without speakers, you may have to consider picking up a Smyth Realiser as well.  The Realiser + the SR-009s would be quite a combination.

 

Topping it off with some Sourdough French Bread and a visit to San Francisco.  Sounds like a great weekend on many levels !

 

 

 

post #67 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by olsonc84 View Post


Totally agree with this. Didn't hear all the Audio Technica stuff, but heard the L3000s and they blew me away. Also, thanks to Mikey for selling me his K1Ks smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

 

       icon_thumbsup.gif

post #68 of 345

Great meet CEE TEE and Susan.  It was great to see familiar faces again and meet new ones.  We enjoyed ourselves and hope everyone, who partook, enjoyed the sweet and savory snacks we provided.  Thanks to UE for their participation and the discount that our son took advantage of when he ordered his IEM's.  Can't wait for the next one.  Oh and the raffle was rigged!  LOL


Edited by Bigguy - 2/12/12 at 8:19pm
post #69 of 345

I'm glad that so many attendees enjoyed listening to my tape rig. I'm always happy to share what I feel is "audio heaven". But sometimes I assume that everybody knows what it's all about. There were a number of folks who had questions and I promised that I'd post a link to The Tape Project's home page.

 

http://www.tapeproject.com/

 

Unfortunately, I was just getting over a head cold so I didn't do as much listening as I might have.

 

I enjoyed the sound that my pal Doc B was getting from his prototype tubed DAC. I've heard a few versions of it during it's growth(with Amara) and this one sounded smoother and closer to analog. Maybe it was the other prototype that he was running it through (300b preamp) but I thought it sounded great. Considering the great prices he sells his kits for, I think this is well worth keeping an eye on.

 

My table mate Frank always has something great up his sleeve and this year was no exception. Beautiful stuff and the sound was excellent too. I just wish he lived a little closer so I could pick through the garage sized parts bin he's been telling me about.

I gave MikeyMad's L3000's a good listen this time too. It's been a while since I've listened to a pair and I can see why it's so loved by their owners. Nice low bass extension but it's also well integrated into the overall sound.

 

I was impressed with the sound of the Manley 300b preamp. Very nice set up with the Stax. I'm always keen to see new ways to drive electrostatics and that's a great thing about these meets and the folks that are into this hobby in general. Everything is wide open as far as I'm concerned. And it doesn't cost a fortune to experiment.

 

A million thanks again to CeeTee! A great, great meet!

 

 

post #70 of 345

This was something Voltron brought and one of my favorites at the meet. It was right with the Eddie Current amp and Apex Pinnacle. It's a Parker's Heritage Collection bourbon whiskey. If someone could help identify it more precisely, I would appreciate it because I would definitely like to pick this up.

 

bourbon.jpg

--

 

As with these things, it's all very much subjective and according to personal tastes. CEE TEE brought this which I found to be very complex but utterly wierd. It must be an acquired taste similar to Audio Technica cans.

 

yuck.jpg

 

--

 

However, never one to completely dismiss something based on a single meet impression, Anax and I felt that something similar would be a good match for the complex spices we were tasting at our Indo-Paki lunch at Pakwan in Fremont, CA. Indeed, this worked quite well (albiet in small doses.) It really came down to a matter to component matching.

 

notsoyuck.jpg

 

--

 

I also had a chance to sample a cask strength BlackAdder Caol lla from Islay (how does one pronounce this?). This was very bold and BBQ smoky that just kicked my ass. Anax had already added a few drops of water to my glass, and I had to add even a few more. I believe this would be shane55's kind of stuff.

 

[no picture]

 

--

 

There was also a Lagavulin single malt. (Can someone help me on the specifics of this.) This one I could handle and was a little bit more to my tastes.

 

[no picture]

 

--

 

This is one I brought which was a little bit more my tastes. A little smoky, but not too much. Lots of fruit and more complexity.

 

springbank.jpg

 

A big thanks to CEETEE and it was cool to finally meet lots of people in person. Everything went super smooth and efficient. I only wished I had more time to meet more of everyone.

 

 

P.S. If any of you heard the LCD3 near Frank Cooter and Ironbut's station, it was TP modded. Just an FYI.

 

 


Edited by purrin - 2/12/12 at 8:38pm
post #71 of 345

I would like to thank CeeTee for arranging this superb meet. It was fun to see old friends and meet new ones.

 

Purrin: I saw that bourbon at BevMo for $90. It's 10 years old. Cheer to Voltron for bringing it beerchug.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

This was something Voltron brought and one of my favorites at the meet. It was right with the Eddie Current amp and Apex Pinnacle. It's a Parker's Heritage Collection bourbon whiskey. If someone could help identify it more precisely, I would appreciate it because I would definitely like to pick this up.

 

bourbon.jpg

 

 


 

 

post #72 of 345
Quote:

Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

<snip>

 

I also had a chance to sample a cask strength BlackAdder Caol lla from Islay (how does one pronounce this?). This was very bold and BBQ smoky that just kicked my ass. Anax had already added a few drops of water to my glass, and I had to add even a few more. I believe this would be shane55's kind of stuff.

 

[no picture]

 

--

 

There was also a Lagavulin single malt. (Can someone help me on the specifics of this.) This one I could handle and was a little bit more to my tastes.

 

[no picture]

 

 

 

 



purrin... correct. The Caol Ila is one of my faves. Islay is pronounced I-luh.

Here is my favorite:

 

CaolIla-1974.jpg

 

 

And that Lagavulin was kindly brought by none other than Anaxilus. It is their Limited Edition (was it #46 of 760?). You are correct, it was excellent!!

 

(Oops... sorry for the hijack)  redface.gif


Edited by shane55 - 2/12/12 at 11:02pm
post #73 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob N View Post

Anymore impressions of the EC Super 7?

 

Yes, I'm pleased to report it's even better than the prototype I sampled.  Running stock current production cheapie tubes I was surprised how close it sounded to the BA whereas I had spent months tube rolling to get the best out of the prototype.  I can't wait to start tube rolling the production the unit.  In the end, the BA still gets you that last tenth of resolution with more open and spacious ambient cues but obviously not without greater financial cost.  There simply isn't anything in the price range I can think of the I would pick over it and many amps more than double and triple the price fail to match it's transparency tube or no tube.  IMHO.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

However, never one to completely dismiss something based on a single meet impression, Anax and I felt that something similar would be a good match for the complex spices we were tasting at our Indo-Paki lunch at Pakwan in Fremont, CA. Indeed, this worked quite well (albiet in small doses.) It really came down to a matter to component matching.

 

I seem to recall all the odd looks I got when I suggested pairing it w/ meat last night.  wink.gif

 

There was also a Lagavulin single malt. (Can someone help me on the specifics of this.) This one I could handle and was a little bit more to my tastes.

 

[no picture]

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQvL-unrFOUdGf_5gqeOQAKqru44wFecJ6eIC1lSWZ45K9JhiHx

--

 

A big thanks to CEETEE and it was cool to finally meet lots of people in person. Everything went super smooth and efficient. I only wished I had more time to meet more of everyone.

 

x200 quadrillion!  Great to meet and hang out w/ all you unsavory characters.  You know who you are.  That includes even you Jude!!  Mr. Oscar Mike.  wink.gif


I actually agree w/ many of Sachu's impressions wrt the 009/LL combo and the Leben.

 

Personal Faves:

 

1-Orpheus.  Best Headphone rig I have ever heard w/ the most strengths and least weaknesses.  All in a technically competent but musical and natural (to my ears and tastes) package I've yet heard in any headphone.  Fixes the two major flaws I have w/ the stock HD800 (treble tonality and bass distortion with gain).  But...sacrifices low bass and impact as a consequence making it a tad soft for more modern genres and material that require a heavier hand in the lower registers.  Audeze still has the best combination of bass impact and clarity when they fire on all cylinders but it's not perfect either and they don't always fire on all cylinders IME.  

 

2-Modded HD800 and Osram PX4 rolled BA.

 

3-009+Cavalli LL.  For me, 009 was always too cold, soulless and lacking in weight and presence from most amps I've heard it paired with.  The Liquid Lightning changed all that.  Warmth, weight, low end presence!  Why third?  Because I believe it could benefit w/ a tube implementation like the BA, BH and HE90 setups.  Until I can hear the 009/LL combo resolve the same ambient micro-detail #1 and #2 can, I won't be sure.  I'll also have to compare HE90 speed versus the 009 as the 009 lost on my speed/separation test when paired w/ the Blue Hawaii compared to the Orpheus.  I know not whether the LL will flip that result without pairing the HE90 and the LL.

 

Biggest Surprises:

 

1-Manley 300B-For those that fancy themselves fans of the Apex/Millet sound from Arete, Peak to Pinnacle, I recommend checking out the Manley 300B.  Biggest surprise for me and perhaps even purrin at the meet.  Apart from discovering bass on the 009.  Sorry n3rdling.  tongue_smile.gifwink_face.gif  We had to go back and A/B w/ the Balancing Act to see whether a future upgrade would be in order.  The BA is safe, for now....

 

2-Zana Deux-Finally go to hear an OTL Zana w/ the HD800.  Very impressive and much better than I expected from an OTL amp.  I thought it was actually the better amp compared to the WA5 (I previously adored) next to it.  Source was a Marantz CD player I believe with my tracks, not the reel-reel deck most heard it with.

 

3-Hifiman 801 DAC-Sound alone feeding my Leckerton UHA6S amp section was the most impressive 'portable' DAC/player/transport I've yet to hear via UERMs.

 

4-A good sounding Beyer T1.  Third times a charm.  Still not quite up to HD800 levels when fully deployed in all its glory but much better than the previous two T1's I've heard.  Also not sure whether it would still measure better than even the DT880/600 but certainly would compared to other T1's I've heard.  Buyer beware.

 

Biggest Disappointments:

 

1-Leben+HD800.  WTFreak?  Umm.....blink.gif

 

2-Also missed hearing the Bottlehead stuff and B22. frown.gif

 

3-Hifiman 801Amp (non GAME card).  Really?  That's perhaps the worst amp implementation I've heard even compared to the Fiio E5!  Think opposite of transparent.

 

 

Special shout outs to some very special craftsmen in attendance.

 

Frank Cooter, Craig Uthus, Mike Moffat, Jason Stoddard, Donald North and Val Kolton.  

 

Val, If you're listening, my Leckerton UHA6S was unaware of your prototype DAC/Amp in attendance.  It want's a throwdown!  Only if youz thinkz it can handle it.  tongue.gif

 

 

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 2/13/12 at 12:16am
post #74 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

3-Hifiman 801Amp (non GAME card).  Really?  That's perhaps the worst amp implementation I've heard even compared to the Fiio E5!  Think opposite of transparent.


Are you referring to the sound of the HM-801 with the standard amplifier installed?

post #75 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post


Are you referring to the sound of the HM-801 with the standard amplifier installed?


I'm assuming that's what it was.  It could have been bubblegum for all I could tell.  The owner wasn't sure exactly as he prefers not to use it except as a digital transport mostly to desktop rigs as I recall.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
This thread is locked