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Nor-Cal Feb 11/2012 Impressions Thread - Page 6  

post #76 of 345

Thanks to the organizer CEE TEE and also to everyone else who attended and brought gear - making for what was definitely an unprecendentedly-huge meet. It was great to see a bunch of familiar faces from the 'ol NorCal crew (they know who they are) and meet new people - specifically those from SoCal. Most of my time at the meet was spent socializing though I listened to a few setups too.


No pics to post - I think this was the first time I didn't have a camera at a meet. Impressions will follow within the next couple days.

post #77 of 345



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.  

Indeed, the Orpheus was really something. I liked it more than any of the STAX setups I heard. To borrow n3rdling's phrase: "The 009 is more accurate, the Orpheus is more involving." The Orpheus was better able to delineate the darker shades of grey than the STAX.


The LL was a surprise because I had certain preconceived expectations of it. It sounded great with the SR509, SR009, and O2mkI.




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....


Yes, we heard the Manley Neo-Classic 300B pre-amp toward the end when everyone was packing up. I felt threatened enough by this amp to unpack the ECBA just to double-check. 

Edited by purrin - 2/13/12 at 7:37am
post #78 of 345

I guess I wasn't the only person to take a picture of the audiophile grade bourbon :P  I just regret not getting a picture of CEETEE walking around with a glass of bourbon in one hand and his HD800's in the other. 



post #79 of 345


Originally Posted by PANGES View Post

Just curious, who picked up some customs from UE this meet? There was a rather generous discount this year around. :D


I really liked the way the audiologist impressions were run this year also (one at a time.) UE brought quite a few extra people this year also. lol.



I ordered a pair of the reference UEs.   30% off along with the free impressions was too good to pass up.  

post #80 of 345
Originally Posted by mavfan1 View Post

I ordered a pair of the reference UEs.   30% off along with the free impressions was too good to pass up.  

x2. I immediately knew I was out $700 when I heard they were offering a 30% discount.

post #81 of 345

damn it. i went by there first thing in the morning and was told to come back later. I wasn't told the discount (didn't even know there was one in the first place)  else heck i would have bought it right away. bummed i missed out on this :(

Edited by sachu - 2/13/12 at 11:26am
post #82 of 345

Yup,.. that Parker's was really something!


I forgot to mention that I did have a nice chat with Jude. After seeing how he winced at my mention of his appearance on Tekzilla (with Patrick Norton) I thought it was my duty to be sure that everyone has had a chance to see his CES 2012 headphone report themselves.


post #83 of 345

Somebody mentioned Bottlehead amps and reminded me of the HD650 + BH Tube amp i heard at the meet. I've listed to pretty much all the hi-end headphones out there and I may be alone but there is something about a properly amplified HD650 that I love (adding it to my shopping list). I actually preferred it over any of the Stax phones there (not that saying the SR009 and it's siblings sound bad). I just think it's because whatever the signature of its sound is, it more often than not brings out the certain favorite parts of my favorite songs more prominently than other headphones (Even my beloved T1s).


I guess every year these meets make us all open our wallets. Last year thanks to Purrin's modded ATH-W1000X, I had to pick one of those up and them mod it with his help :-))


The LCD family are all great sounding and I really do want one but I think i'll wait until they come up with some better designs for comfort, size/weight before I plunge there.

Edited by dasmodul - 2/13/12 at 11:38am
post #84 of 345

Wow, what a great time.  This is my second meet and both times I feel like I owe Christian a personal debt of gratitude for his work on this event.  I also feel like I didn't learn much last year, being way new to the hobby.  I learned a ton this year.


The highlights for me:

• Hearing the Orpheus.  So pretty to look at and hear.  BUT not my favorite sound that day.  But here's why:

• Hearing the HE60 and what I think was the SR-007, both out of the Liquid Lightning.  Also the Stax out of the Woo.  Such speed, such involvement, such precision.  I'm gonna assume the difference was the recording (I think it was the Beatles on the Orpheus) because I found it slightly less involving.  The music I heard through the other 'stats was pristine.  I didn't even like the music that I heard briefly at mikeymad's rig, but I could not stop listening.  It was like the banjos were kissing my earlobes.  Quite an experience.

• Putting my own headphones on the Manley 300B.  I tried my cans on a few amps at the meet, and here my T50RP pulled something out of that Manley that my Q701 (and the other headphone that was there) didn't, and it made me all funny inside.  I got that same feeling with the Liquid Lightnings, so it must have been good.

• A/B/Cing the different Schiit, with my headphones and theirs.  It's like you have to get them all.  Oh God, this hobby.

• Hifiman orthos.  I had no idea, I'm probably a Hifiman guy after all.

• Getting humbled by Sachu's Wharfedale Thunderpants.  That guy with the Audio-gd at full power and low volume was me.  I did find out that the Clementine app (which I had installed just for you guys; usually I just play FLAC through VLC, but its playlist feature is a bit underdesigned) had its volume set low by default, so I'm screaming rematch.  But I see some pretty serious amps also fell short, so we'll see.  Come back next year Sachu!  I wanted to talk orthos with you.

•  Vintage orthos!!  The YH-1000 and T50 were awesome.  Such a wonderful sound out of those, I feel like that's gonna be most of my audio purchases: vintage orthos, modding materials, and mid-centric music.

• Hearing the HD 650 become a different headphone entirely driven by Clayton's very special homebrew amp.  I'm upset that it was such a big hit hahaha.  Clayton is THE NICEST DUDE by the way.

• Scotch.  Questhate and I joked that everything would be made to sound better and it actually did.

• shane55's music was a huge highlight for me last year.  Hosting his hard drive at my station this year geeked me way out.

• That Jude showed up to our little meet.  Made me feel special.

• The fact that Val Kolton showed up and didn't have a vendor table, so he just sat around with the rest of us and talked headphones.  His stories are surreal.  His headphones are really good (and that iPhone amp!!!).  I still owe him a beer.

• Just being there.  I learn more about my gear by sitting at other rigs that I do sitting at my own rig at night.  It's an educational experience and altogether very exciting.

• You people are nice.




I haven't been to any meets elsewhere, but really I feel like ours is something superlative.  I got out of there thinking, to most aptly borrow a phrase, "Who's got it better than us?"

post #85 of 345


























post #86 of 345






FYI: Frank Cooter's DIY amp specifically voiced for the LCD2/3 running 56 driver and 46 output triodes from the 1920-30s. Sadly, no glowie blue plutonium this year.


Edited by purrin - 2/13/12 at 12:03pm
post #87 of 345
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
Sadly, no glowie blue plutonium this year.

Yeah I was bummed.  Those new copper-and-wood guys are incredible though.


post #88 of 345



This was my second head-fi event and I am blown away with the generosity and friendliness of the community. 

Many thanks to Cee Tee, it was a pleasure meeting you. 

Great to meet Jude, thanks for spending do much time with Stacy and me, we had fun hanging out with you. 


Wish I'd stayed long enough for some whiskey-fi. Next time...


I was blown away by my first exposure to Craig's wizardry with Eddie Current amps. 

I really need to get my hands on one of these. 

The tape project>ZD>HD800 was my best in show sound and I'm not much of an hd800 fan. 


I finally got to hear the woo WA5 and liked the sound but it was much less tubey than I'd expected. 


Very cool to get to listen to the legendary Orpheus, SR009, HE60 and HP1000s. 


I dragged the fiancé along and despite morning protests she had a fun time and became very opinionated. 

I could barely get her to take off these LCD 2s....


post #89 of 345



post #90 of 345

Great meet! Thanks CEE TEE!

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