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IMPRESSIONS: Montréal August 25th 2012 Head-Fi Meet  

Poll Results: Rate your experience! (you can vote 3+2 stars and it becomes a 2.5 stars vote)

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 50% (8)
    3 stars: I had a lot of fun and it was totally worth the time and effort to get there with all my gear! It opened up my perspective about high-end headphones and I met awesome people; I will surely come back next similar time
  • 0% (0)
    2 stars: pleasurable, I met with cool people and discovered new gear, I might attend the next Montréal meet/event or not
  • 0% (0)
    1 stars: was good, but kind of less exciting than I thought, considering all the effort to organize, find a room, and transport my stuff. I have my reservations whether I'll return or not in the future
  • 25% (4)
    Hypothetical 3 stars: I was close to the location but because of work and/or other obligations I couldn't attend; saddens me a bit
  • 25% (4)
    Nothing, I do not even live in Canada nor am located in the same province! I came here to read impressions and possibly see people's photos
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

Oh I so wanted to be here!

 

All impressions of those who attended will be greatly appreciated by those who couldn't make it and possibly more Head-Fier. Also don't be shy to post your pictures and videos :P to show us what it was like!

 

I really hope you guys had fun, found it a worthwhile event and enriching experience, and that you are looking forward to redoing it in the future with other and/or more people!

 

 

(official thread of the meet: http://www.head-fi.org/t/618927/montr-al-qc-canada-incoming-2012-head-fi-meet-saturday-25th-of-august)

 

(first gathering: http://www.head-fi.org/t/606041/montreal-gt-meet)


Edited by devouringone3 - 8/25/12 at 6:45pm
post #2 of 82

LIVE from the meet:

 

 

post #3 of 82

Fantastic meet!

 

Just got back from it, pretty much everyone showed up, we had tons of top headphones and two great systems (along with several misc entry~mid level systems) to drive them from. It was a huge learning experience and probably gave me more insight about some of the best headphones than from all the time on Head-fi.

 

Big thanks to Steve (lappy27) for hosting and having the rooms for us.

 

Looking forward to more photos from Kim as well as the camcorder footage from Gabe!

 

 

-Jerry

post #4 of 82

I'm so disappointed that I couldn't come! I'm happy for you guys that it turned out to be a success!

 

Any more pics? Impressions?

post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazwarth View Post

I'm so disappointed that I couldn't come! I'm happy for you guys that it turned out to be a success!

 

Any more pics? Impressions?

 

I live maybe 15 minutes walk away from the meet location so it was easy for me to just get home and pop in that impression earlier. Most of the guys are probably either still on their way home or just got home and are unpacking all the gear. KimLaroux should have a ton more photos. And GL1TCH3D should have some vids and/or photos a bit later.

post #6 of 82
Can't wait for more pictures.
post #7 of 82
Thread Starter 

YESSSS!, pictures! oh you guys you! It must have been plenty fun judging by this "live picture" and Jerg's impressions!


Edited by devouringone3 - 8/25/12 at 6:21pm
post #8 of 82

So I finally got to hear the LCD3's, and they really impressed me. Was not a huge fan of Audez'e's previous offerings, but this model just got everything as right as possible.

 

Hearing the HE6 through the Bryston BHA-1 also sounded fantastic and the best I've heard them yet. I was always left underwhelmed by them, but this time was not the case. I can't even begin to imagine them amped by something even more powerful; it would probably be better than an lcd3 overall, but unfortunately, it remains finicky to find the proper amp for it.

 

On another note, I'm still extremely happy with the HD800's, and realized they sounded noticeably better with the Q cable 4 pin xlr. However, I would definitely want to complement them with another headphone. I think it's time to sell my HE500 soon and get an LCD3/HE6 to take it over!

 

Other than these impressions on the "crème de la crop", I have to say everyone there was fun and friendly. I enjoyed being able to chill with people who share the same hobby and knowledge.

 

This was a great success!

 

gs1000.gif


Edited by dleblanc343 - 8/25/12 at 10:08pm
post #9 of 82

yup, really happy with the meet. don't think it could have gone any better in terms of the overall set-up for the meet. and of course, the people were great! thanks a lot everyone!

 

though I am a bit saddened by the fact that I don't know if I am going to keep my AH-D5000 that I just got, as I just got home and went back and forth between those and my in-ears (ATH-CK100) - totally different sound signature, and I think I like the latter better... redface.gif

oh the woes of hearing all these other amazing headphones, too.

 

just some quick notes:

the HD800 I must say really impressed me a lot, especially with the HiFiMAN EF6 amplifier + Bifrost DAC setup.

HE-6 are mindblowingly fast! super detailed, and nicely aggressive sound.

Audeze LCD-2... that bass! really smooth sounding mids too. treble was a lot more detailed and not as rolled off as I thought. very surprised by these, as I usually tend to not like a lot of bass.

LCD-3 - damn, just an improvement on all points of the LCD-2. treble was a bit nicer on these, and I like good treble. veryyyy nice.

HE-400 (rev2?) were quite a nice surprise too - as I found them to be very dark sounding last time I tried them, but according to dleblanc343 it is due to the others I tried being rev1.

Fostex T50RP modded ones were amazing too, though I have not heard the unmodded ones. but they sounded really nicely balanced and just good sound quality overall.

Koss KSC75 modded ones were really eye-opening, 15 bucks for those is quite a feat! really great smooth mids and treble.

 

the amps and DACs I have a bit of a hard time commenting on, but in short I found the Bryston + Wyred4Sound combo to really bring out the details of most headphones - really clean power there.

EF6 with the Bifrost was I think a bit warmer sounding, from my short time with this. huge fan of that combo.

FiiO E17's and the O2/ODAC were also very cool performers for the price and size! I actually really liked both.

 

CAKE was amazing too!

 

tldr - awesome meet. would go again for sure.

post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

So I finally got to hear the LCD3's, and they really impressed me. Was not a huge fan of Audez'e's previous offerings, but this model just got everything as right as possible.

 

Hearing the HE6 through the Bryston BHA-1 also sounded fantastic and the best I've heard them yet. I was always left underwhelmed by them, but this time was not the case. I can't even begin to imagine them amped by something even more powerful; it would probably be better than an lcd3 overall, but unfortunately, it remains finicky to find the proper amp for it.

 

On another note, I'm still extremely happy with the HD800's, and realized they sounded noticeably better with the Q cable 4 pin xlr. However, I would definitely want to complement them with another headphone. I think it's time to sell my HE500 soon and get an LCD3/HE6 to take it over!

 

Other than these impressions on the "crème de la crop", I have to say everyone there was fun and friendly. I enjoyed being able to chill with people who share the same hobby and knowledge.

 

This was a great success!

 

gs1000.gif

 

Oh hey btw could you link me some info about the mysterious new Senn electrostats to be announced in October, that you mentioned at the meet yesterday? I tried googling but nothing turned up.

post #11 of 82
T'was a good day had by all.
I really enjoyed hearing different setups and models that I've never heard before
(namely the RE272, ESW9, LA5000, A900x, LCD3, HE-6, HE-400, HE-500, CK100 and some customs that I jammed into my ear)

I think my favorite setup would have to be the Bryston amp with the dac that was hooked up along with the LCD3.
My favorite universal is still the se535.
I also now want a mechanical keyboard...

I think my least favorite setup was the HD800 + Bryston. Far too harsh.

As for videos, I have to find a way to get the video on the mini-dv tape to my hdd before I can upload it...
post #12 of 82

Well since nobody else dared pulling their cellphone out of their pocket to take pictures, I uploaded all of the pictures I took with my cellphone. I didn't even bother to sort them and filter out the low quality ones, since it's all we've got. They are all found in my gallery. These are actually in chronological order. To respect everyone's privacy, and since some people were clearly not comfortable with pictures, I will refrain from commenting the content of each picture.

 

2012 August 25th Montreal Meet

 

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post #13 of 82

Nice pics, lots of really nice gear. Just a question though, but what was the size (roughly) of the room? The pictures make it look pretty small.

 

Lots of suitcases!

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazwarth View Post

Nice pics, lots of really nice gear. Just a question though, but what was the size (roughly) of the room? The pictures make it look pretty small.

 

Lots of suitcases!

 

It was two side-by-side rooms actually, each one the size as shown in the photos (enough to fit 4 office table setups plus a side bench), most of the gear as well as the two monster dac/amp combos were set up in the first room and everyone just ended up just hanging around there. The second room had some stuff too.

post #15 of 82

There were two rooms of this size. My guess would be around 3 by 6 meters each. Most of these pictures are from the "main" room. The first people who arrived installed themselves in this room, while those who arrived later installed themselves in the room next door.

 

The high point of my day was actually in the second room. There was a working setup, comprising of the ODAC, O2 and HD800. Since everybody were in the first room, I was alone in this room for a good 15 minutes, enjoying the HD800. There was one of my favorite Symphonic Metal album on the computer, so it was a good reference test. I have never heard this album like I heard it on this setup, it was simply amazing. The way these headphones present the music is just unbelievable, and I cannot find the words for it. They just don't sound like headphones. They place you in a bubble with music coming from everywhere, with the same level of details and precision for every instruments. Let's just say it was a real pleasure to try these headphones.

 

On a different note, I tried my Q701 with the ODAC + O2 combo, and it was a pain. I can now understand how so many people hate these headphones. The combination made them sound harsh, sharp and overly painful. It was as if someone had set "treble +20dB" somewhere in the chain. I should have tried them with the high end setups, but I forgot about it once I had the HD800 on... One thing I learned though, is the Q701 sounds a lot better with my NFB-12 than with the Objective duo.

 

I also got to try the HD800 with the Bitfrost + EF-6 combo, this time listening to the hits of Dire Straits. What a treat! My mouth still hurts from the grin this put of my face. biggrin.gif

 

The first headphones I tried, with my setup, were the HE-400. The first impression was "wow, so this is the bass I'm missing from my headphones". But I found these headphones to be preferable for electronic music. With Rock and Metal, I quickly identified a thin treble spike that amplified only some cymbals and guitar notes. This was too distracting to make the overall experience pleasurable. I then tried the HE-500, and noticed a clear improvement of this treble spike. These were much smoother sounding. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, these are a lot heavier than I expected!

 

I got the chance to listen to a pair of Grado, finally getting a feel of their famous "Grado sound". I can totally see why these are loved my Rock and Metal lovers! They really place the guitar center stage, and have just the right amount of bass for kick drum and bass guitar. With them, it's all about mid-range.

 

A pair of modded AH-D5000 were also present, which picked my curiosity. After a few songs, I concluded that these were the opposite of Grado: Lots of bass and treble, with the mid-range buried in between. I think a pair of Grado with a pair of Denon would complement each others quite well. They were also lighter and more comfortable than I expected. I often read that the holes inside the pads were too small to be really Over-Ear, but my ears fit inside without issues.

 

I did not get the chance to seriously listen to the higher end headphones, as these were always busy, and there's just so many things you can do in 5 hours. I'll try to make this a priority for my next meet. Since this was my first meet, I really wanted to try all the lower priced headphones, mainly to satisfy my curiosity and finally get to hear each company's "house sound". Surprisingly, the only Sennheiser present were the HD800, which do not really classify as "Sennheiser sound". Maybe next meet...

 

It is no secret now that this meet was a total success. We had no incidents, everything went smoothly. Many thanks to Lappy27 for being such a good host, and for preparing the rooms before we arrived. I would also like to personally thank each and every person who showed up to the event, no matter what you brought. Your presence was key to the success of this meet. Thank you, Sonomax, for your presence at the meet, and to have not one, but two free gifts to offer as draws to the people present. That was kind of you, and I'm sure those who went home with a new pair of CIEMs will feel the same. Oh and I almost forgot: Thanks PretentiousFood for the cake! 

 

If I had one thing to fix for the next meet, it would be that this one was too short. 5 hours was just not enough, both to try every setups and to get to know each others. I know I forgot most of your names. I would recommend that we start earlier next time, so that we have the place open for at least 8 hours. No need for everybody to be there the whole time, but at least it will give more time for those who want to.

 

Not that I want to end this on a bad note. This meet as a success, and I'm very glad it worked out so well. I'm looking forward to the next one.

 

beerchug.gif

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