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?"