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.
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.