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Seattle/Bottlehead Meet 8/4/2012 Impressions thread - Page 2  

post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortieFish View Post

And I don't remember what they were, but I also enjoyed those really light headphones. They were at the setup right next to mine (if you can call my setup a setup at all, haha), and they were super-light, and red and black in colour. I wish I could remember the name of them, because they sounded pretty good for what they were!

 

Hi!

 

I was the one with the Superlux HD681s, which I must admit are my favorite cans.  If you spring for a pair:

 - make sure you get the 681, not the 681B or the 681F since they have lesser bass (the high end is the same).  All three models cost the same: about $35. 

 - like me, you preferred the brighter stock sound, so the various filter mods on RockGrotto are probably a moot point (the various possibilities were wired inside of the switch box that you operated...) 

 - get the replacement pads off of eBay from seller "wang_yifei" (currently item # 261076791669) - you may need some foam spacers to get the drivers off of your ears.  You may see testimonies that the AKG K241/271 pads fit (they do...) and that they work well (they do...), but a pair of them costs way more than the HD681! 

 

Kevin

post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satya View Post

 

Hi!

 

I was the one with the Superlux HD681s, which I must admit are my favorite cans.  If you spring for a pair:

 - make sure you get the 681, not the 681B or the 681F since they have lesser bass (the high end is the same).  All three models cost the same: about $35. 

 - like me, you preferred the brighter stock sound, so the various filter mods on RockGrotto are probably a moot point (the various possibilities were wired inside of the switch box that you operated...) 

 - get the replacement pads off of eBay from seller "wang_yifei" (currently item # 261076791669) - you may need some foam spacers to get the drivers off of your ears.  You may see testimonies that the AKG K241/271 pads fit (they do...) and that they work well (they do...), but a pair of them costs way more than the HD681! 

 

Kevin


That's a lot of headphone for $35. I may have to spring for a pair just for fun! Can you tell me more about the other models? I personally thought your 681's were a little too bassy for my tastes. Does one of the other models have better controlled, tighter bass with less bloom (much punch and less rumble)?


Edited by palmfish - 8/7/12 at 6:48pm
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

And if you really are interested in my D7000's, don't count them out. I will probably hold on to them for a while yet. Maybe we can work something out in the fall/winter... biggrin.gif

Duly noted, I'll see how the end of the year bonus goes! 

post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

That's a lot of headphone for $35. I may have to spring for a pair just for fun!

 

Woo! Please do!

post #20 of 52

OK time for impressions.

 

As mentioned in the other thread, of the 3 meets I've been to so far, I think this was the most enjoyable one! The terrific weather and the ferry ride added to the positive experience (it has been over 15 years since I last took a ferry).

Relating to the actual meet:

 

My main goal for this meet was to try my Shure SRH940 with other DACs and amps. I'm not quite ready to upgrade my headphones at this point and I figured I should probably upgrade my other equipment beforehand.

Jolida's prototype amp was a pleasure to listen to. It added some nice warmth to my rather analytical-sounding Shure SRH940. It didn't have as much warmth as the Schiit Audio Lyr or Asgard amps, but it was still pretty decent. My only real complaint was the tight 1/4" hole since it took some effort to put in/out a jack. If I were to try this amp in a future meet, I would compare it to other amps more closely.

 

Sachu's Stax SR-007 on the Liquid Lightning....daaang those sounded good. basshead.gif  If I were to pick a headphone of choice from this meet, it would be the SR-007's by far. Everything about the SR-007, to me, seemed balanced. The soundstage was wide, but not too wide as I find to be the case for the Sennheiser HD800. Listening to Joanna Wang's "Lost in Paradise" made me feel, well, lost in paradise. The vocals seemed very clear and up-front, the bass was well-defined, the drum hits had a natural sound to them, and the cymbals had a nice sparkle. With my SRH940, the Joanna's vocals are up-front as well but they kind of blend in with the drum and cymbal hits, not to mention the quiet-sounding bass. Similar to Joanna Wang's song, Lia (Japanese singer)'s "Tori no Uta" was awesome. The thump of the mid-bass was perfect for a vocal pop song and the vocals were, again, put right up-front. Fila Brazillia's "Heat Death of the Universe" was also a pleasure to listen to. Those deep lows, I can't get enough of them on the SR-007.

 

In Doc B.'s office, he was featuring a Blumenstein floor speaker setup. I didn't get a chance to listen carefully to them since I was busy taking photos...but from my brief listen they sounded really good for 3" speakers. At home, my family owns a Boston Acoustics speaker system (just left and right channel speakers) that are 5" I think? The bass seems larger on those speakers, but the Blumenstein speakers definitely had better clarity in the mids and highs. The home speaker system has a treble attenuation that I miss from my SRH940.

 

On to BIG POPPA's Sennheiser HD650 + Woo Audio WA3 rig. I will probably get dinged for this, but I'm still not a big fan of the HD600/650. I can't quite put my tongue on it, maybe I think they suffer from that "Sennheiser veil" (too much warmth, not too much treble energy). I am fine listening to the HD800 on the other hand, which is odd.

Ironically, even though my goal for this meet was to try out other amps, and there were two Woo Audio WA3 tube amps at the meet, I didn't try one. blink.gif

 

Back downstairs, I briefly tried m2man's iPhone 4 + HP-P1 (+ Schiit Mjolnir?) + Ultrasone PRO 900 setup. I wasn't familiar with the track being played so I couldn't tell you an accurate representation of those pieces of hardware...

I did try the Ultrasone PRO 900 on my own rig on the other hand. I can see why these would appeal to bassheads. The lowest of the lows were booming! Fila Brazillia's "Heat Death of the Universe" and Massive Attack's "Teardrop" songs were club-like when listening to them through the PRO 900. Impressive "V-shaped" headphones I must say. Personally I wouldn't pay for such a headphone, but many bassheads would say otherwise in a heartbeat.

 

Upstairs again, I tried atomicbob's Audio Technica ATH-M50. I did try the M50 at a previous meet (Queen Anne Library), but it wasn't on my gear, nor my music tracks, so I couldn't quite give it a good listen. This time around, I was able to use it with my own gear and I must say, I am impressed with how they sound considering they only cost $150 nowadays. The bass (all regions) seemed to have a nice "oomph" to them and the mids were really lively, though very slightly recessed. The treble was good, but they didn't have the sparkle that I was looking for. Nonetheless, I can definitely see why Head-Fiers readily recommend these excellent-sounding cans for its price.

 

Right next to the M50 was the well-received HifiMan HE-500. Atomicbob's setup wasn't quite ready so I decided to give them a try on my rig...which is not adequate to power the HE-500. I did give them a brief listen, and they were like my SRH940, but with an open-back sound characteristic and more impact from the bass. Some people have recommended the HE-500 as an upgrade for the SRH940 and I can see why. Since the HE-500 was a really popular headphone in this meet, perhaps I will try it on proper equipment in a future meet.

 

Ham Sandwich's Schiit Lyr and Asgard rig was fun to listen to. The AKG K701 pairs well with the Schiit amps, and I can see why the SRH940 would too. Both the K701 and SRH940 are known for their light bass, so the warm-sounding Schiit amps can really make them sound much fuller and more balanced overall. The SRH940's highs were tamed quite a bit, and the warmth from the tubes was clearly audible, making the SRH940 less fatiguing and much more enjoyable for listening to bassier music genres in general. I couldn't tell the difference between the Asgard and the Lyr from my testing though. Theoretically the Lyr should "sound better". Perhaps in a future meet I can try to compare them with different music tracks.

Speaking of Ham Sandwich, thank you for bringing the binaural classical album over. I haven't listened to a binaural classical album before and it was quite the experience (I listened to Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra, Saint Saens - Organ Symphony"). I swear the Also Sprach Zarathustra sounded like I was in a movie theater.

 

Now to the LCD-2. I have tried it before in prior meets, and it still doesn't give me the same "wow" factor as the Stax SR-007 does. I think Equus put it the LCD-2's presentation in words that I couldn't describe earlier.

I'll probably get pinged for this too. "What?? how could you NOT like the LCD-2?!"

The LCD-2 has a pretty closed-sounding soundstage for an open-back headphone, much unlike that of the SR-007 or the HD800. Listening to Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" the kids' voices seemed very clustered and claustrophobic to my ears. Even with the SRH940, the voices seemed more realistic to my ears, having much more air between the people's voices. I think the oddly closed soundstage making vocals (male and female alike) seem congested is what I don't like about the LCD-2. Other than that, the bass and treble extensions seemed fined to me. That darn soundstage though...I just can't get over it. >.>

 

Finally, Palmfish's rig. I was actually mighty impressed with the Denon AH-D7000. Usually people bring up the D2000 for a balanced sound, but the D7000 was pretty great-sounding. The bass was more on the soft side, having less bass impact/punch than I thought it would be, but there was decent bass extension. Continuing to talk about the soundstage, the soundstage of the D7000 was massive for a closed headphone. I was pleasantly surprised! There was a lot of air between instruments, more so than my SRH940. Like the ATH-M50, I think the D7000 was lacking the kind of sparkle I like to hear in higher-pitched instruments. The treble also seemed to have an early roll-off as cymbals didn't quite have the "ringing" sound that I heard in the ATH-M50, but for the average listener, I think the D7000's are a fantastic pair of headphones.

 

 

 

Lastly, I just have to say thank you again to Doc B. and Bottlehead Corporation for hosting the meet, BIG POPPA for organizing the event, everybody who brought food, and sachu for bringing the Voodoo Doughnuts. :)


Edited by miceblue - 8/8/12 at 10:44am
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 

miceblue great impressions after 3 meets.... GREAT IMPRESSIONS!!!!!! You were spot on with my rig. I have tweaked probably every facet of my rig??? Yeah my rig was soft and veiled but not so much by the Senns. It was connected to a Synergistic Research QLS 6 power strip, and the GEC 2523 power tube was part of it too. It is a pretty warm and fuzzy, maybe a syrupy tube? Could go through the whole set up. At my house it starts with an Oyaide R1 receptacle.... Could go on. If I had the Bendix 6080WB and had the Alessandro MS-2's on hand it would have sound a bit different??? Maybe next meet?

post #22 of 52

Great to see someone else enjoying the 007 + LL.  It's a fantastic combo, contrary to the "009+LL or bust" mentality that's been making it's way around the forums...

post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Yes, thanks to Doc B, Gil, and Stan for a fine meet. The highlight for me was the quality time spent with the HE-500 - something I've been looking forward to for several months. Thanks Bob, I ordered a pair of my very own today!

 

Shortie, the lightweight headphones you listened to were the Superlux HD 681. Yes, they were surprisingly decent!

Glad to help. I hope you and Shortie enjoy the HE-500 as much as I. You two had the right idea to focus on a few cans and subject to a lot of comparison.

post #24 of 52
Thread Starter 

One thing I did notice is the gear is changing again at the Seattle Meets. For a while it was a tube nirvana. Still is! Then it had it's turn with the Hd800's then the LCD-2's. There is still a herd. Now all the gear with DAC's, and very good ones. Not just stuff you can go to the big box store and buy! I  Glad to be in the Northwest.

post #25 of 52

A brief tour of the Seattle Bottlehead meet:

 

 

700

Blue Angels directly over the Seattle to Winslow ferry

 

A quick sweep of the room with cell phone camera:

 

700

PalmFish and ShortieFish at their rigs

 

 

700

Riggaberto and his rig

 

 

700

The Jolida on the left, my rigs on the right.

 

 

700

Benchmark DAC1 HDR center and new Jolida tube HPA on the right

 

 

700

Our esteemed organizer surveying the room

 

 

700

BigPoppa's highly tweaked WA3+ rig

 

A big thanks to all and especially our host Doc Schmalle.

post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 

One thing I noticed with those blinds in the pictures is the gorgeous gear behind it. And the sound gets better every time Curbfeeler and I get to listen to it. Doc B seems to refine the sound each time we get to audition it. If you haven't been to Bottlehead and got the nickel tour and a listening to the rig it is something!!!

post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post

One thing I noticed with those blinds in the pictures is the gorgeous gear behind it. And the sound gets better every time Curbfeeler and I get to listen to it. Doc B seems to refine the sound each time we get to audition it. If you haven't been to Bottlehead and got the nickel tour and a listening to the rig it is something!!!

 

I actually got a last-minute photo of those units.


Edited by miceblue - 11/29/12 at 2:55pm
post #28 of 52

Almost 1 week later, I can't believe that I'm still in Washington. I'm in Mt Rainier NP right now and having an awesome time. If I had another week of vacation, I'd be tempted to drive down to Portland to check out Sachu's gear. I'm practically already halfway there. smile.gif

post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post

One thing I noticed with those blinds in the pictures is the gorgeous gear behind it. And the sound gets better every time Curbfeeler and I get to listen to it. Doc B seems to refine the sound each time we get to audition it. If you haven't been to Bottlehead and got the nickel tour and a listening to the rig it is something!!!

Thanks for the kind words. We do spend some time every month tweaking the system. Lately we have been doing some rework of our master attenuator and some internal signal cabling in the amps. The 36 step coarse and fine (1-1/2 dB steps) style attenuator circuit is sounding very good and will end up in our new 300B preamp which we hope to have ready this fall. And our research on cabling came up with one very nice discovery - interconnect cables by Blue Jeans Cable that are made of Belden 89259. Amazing bang for the buck.

 

We would be happy to demo the big system for anyone who might be interested. Just give us a call - 206-451-4275. We will probably plan another open house some time in September.

post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post
 interconnect cables by Blue Jeans Cable that are made of Belden 89259. Amazing bang for the buck.

 

I got an interconnect and a spdif from them I use with my setup - very happy as well!

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