Holy cow guys, this meet was awesome. Want to start offby thanking Steve and Billy for planning the whole thing, great job guys!
the highlight of this meet for me was easily the Sr-009. I went wanting to hear it, but I was entirely too sure that i wasnt going to like it. I had never liked the sound of the O2s, they always sounded too soft/polite what have you, regardless of the amp. Even on the beast that is the BHSE that had no bass impact, sure they had plenty of bass resolution, but that wasnt enough for me. The LCD-2s were the loves of my life cause they had bass impact and yet were still pretty good at everything else. Well thinking that this was just a part of life when it came to Stax headphones, I just knew that i was never going to get Stax headphones. Well when the Sr-009s came out everyone was saying that they had mroe impact, and was like "sure ok, but i bet they never have enough for me" which legitimately made me happy cause it would save me tons of money. I was planning on going to the meet, hearing the Sr-009s were too soft still, and then spending the rest of the time comparing the LCD-3s and the HE-6s. Well i put in some Origin, which is a torture test of mine for equipment. and i think Jude can attest to this, the **** eating grin that spread across my face once it started playing. The Sr-009s are truely amazing, they may not have as much bass impact as the LCD-2/3s, but they defintitely have enough, and literally everything else about them just destroys the orthos, like a completely different level of resolution. And as i went through several other demo discs of mine, i just got more and more excited about them. I listened to like half of Aenima by Tool cause it was so mesmorizing. anyways, i guess thats enough gushing about the Sr-009s. the moral of this story is that since i started with them, the rest of the meet was rather anti climactic for me, since i knew i wasnt going to be buying LCD-3s or HE-6s, i would just start saving up for some Sr-009s instead.
But more impressions ahoy!
The next thing i checked out were the LCD-3s and the HE-6s off of Rays Dark Star, since he had both right there, and they were plugged into his amazing Boulder CD player, i assumed this would be about as good as these two phones would sound(more on this later). The LCD-3s im pretty sure have to be one of the veiled pair, cause they didnt sound much like i remembered any of the many pairs of LCD-2s sounding like. They were awful thick, and i felt the treble was shelved lower than before. sure they sounded good, great bass still! just not worth 2k. next i checked out the HE-6s, and the had almost no bass impact and the highs were pretty peircing/harsh. i was pretty unpleased with both phones, and really the Sr-009s were like the best blend of both of them, with highs and lows inbetween the two orthos. Well later on, I brought in the Beta 24 amp that i had brought along(http://www.amb.org/audio/beta24/), and plugged it straight into the Calyx Femto dac, using its digital volume control as a preamp, running balanced into the B24. let me just say that that was the best i heard the HE-6 at the meet. I just dont think that the Dark Star was doing them justice at all. This thing filled out th bass, we had IMPACT all of a sudden, notlike LCD-3 levels, but at least tied with the Sr-009s. and the highs werent harsh or peircing at all. They sounded like a poor mans Sr-009, and if the Sr-009 didnt exist, this is probably the exact setup i would go for(thogh probably with a different dac) and i guess you might say that it was cause they were two different sources, but we later plugged the femto into the dark star to compare it to the boulder, and they sounded almost identical, so im pretty sure it was the amp.
Next up, ill say briefly that the new anniversary flagship from Audio Technica that Skylab brought it mynew favorite phone from their ART line, though that still isnt saying much, i still woulnt pay the 1200 bucks for a pair. though the coloration on them is better than most their other phones.
The only other cans i checked out were the Fostex 900s, and they were good, i listened to them being completely un aware of the price, i probably like them more than any other traditional dynamic can even. They have a bit of a midbass hump that muddles a bit, but not too much, would probably be better on a different amp that i listened on, but then i turned around and i was like "hey Jude, how much are these? i like em" thinking hed say something like 6-700 dollars, he responded "2 grand"...these are good, but definitely not 2 grand good guys!
the last things i listened to were the Audio Quest Dragonfly that Jude brought and then the Calyx Coffee. Both of these are usb powered USB DAC/amps. the Coffee is 200 bucks, the dragonfly is 250. the calyx is about the size of a pack of cigarettes, the dragonfly was the size of a miniscule USB thumbdrive. i was like, there is no way this tiny little thing is going to sound good right? and i figured since the calyx full sized dacs were both awesome, the 24/192 and the Femto, that the coffe would just blow it away. Well, that was certainly not the case. the coffee was very harsh and constricted, and sounded considerably worse than my Audio-GD Sparrow. i then traded it out for the DragonFly, and holy cow! that is one powerful tiny little, very competent sounded dac/amp. it sounded pretty much as good as my sparrow, and while it costs a bit more, its also like a 50th the size. so this is difinitely a little product that more people should be looking at.
Though as everyone else said, the best part of the meet is onversing with all the people there. got to catch back up with a bunch of people i have met in the past, skylab, jude, it was great seeing you both again. Jude im happy i could give you a ride up there from your hotel. Skylab, it was awesome swapping Music with you man! ill probably be sending you a PM with some youtube links with some more stuff you should check out. and meeting everyone else as well, had some great conversationns about music, music production, where we think music is going...everything, it was awesome.
some gear im sad i missed. i would have loved to have checked out the V800/V200 stack, i also cant believe i missed the Balancing Act, which is even one of the things that was on my wish list for the meet -_- i also wish i had listened to dbel's liquid glass, just competely spaced it and he left a bit early. the other thing i wanted to hear was the HD-700s, but honestly im pretty sure i wont like them(though i KNEW the same thing about the Sr-009s) so im not too hurt about it.
and the best part of the entire thing had to be the raffle. I got Dev Avidon's CD Tears of Men, on every avaliabvle format now, CD, Vinyl, and Hi Res on a custom USB stick lol it was good times.
I hope i can make it to the next one in November too.
oh and i really want to thank Ray, dude thanks so much for bringing the Stax Sr-009s, it was an amazing pleasure to get to hear those, and to be able to take up them and the boulder player with metal for like 45 minutes. Im already saving for my own pair, knowing that they will be my end game can.
Edit: oh snap! i cant believe i forgot to talk about the Koss Porta Pros! i listened to them for like 5 minutes, and hot dang, for 40 bucks or so, i can believe why these have been around for like 40 years, they are stellar for the money, and the ones i heard(thanks so much ToddR for bringing them) didnt even have that popular mod done to them, i can only imagine how much better they get. highly recommened to people wanting an awesome cheap can.
Edit 2: damn that was a novel...sorry for rambling so much guys -_-
Edited by SoupRKnowva - 6/17/12 at 2:20pm