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H3 Meet Impressions LA 8/18/2012 Thread - Page 5  

post #61 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald North View Post

IPodPJ: I had NO idea you were doing a double-decker combo of the HD800 with HD650. That would have been fun to experience. Again, next time...

Yes, we'll do another local one soon. Your Stratus sounded terrific by the way, I forgot to mention that earlier. I don't think I've ever heard the DT770 sound that good. Though I'm sure someone buying it won't likely be using those phones, likely much better ones. Nice work!
post #62 of 191

Awesome meet.  Thanks purrin and all the guys who helped organize everything, you did a great job.  As others have said, this was one of the quietest meets I've been to - especially for the size.  Even the big room was quiet.  It was nice having all that space behind our tables.

 

I did most of my listening at a micro meet the night before.  Some quick impressions:

 

Shure 1840 - Not as bad as I thought it'd be based on the measurements.  It sounded pretty good tonally, but there was certainly detail missing.  The drivers are kinda far back behind the ears, which resulted in a pretty unique soundstage.

 

Beyer T1 - Didn't like this headphone at all at the small get together.  The highs were piercing, the mids were scooped out, and it was quite poor at resolving detail for the price.  Supposedly this was a 'bad' T1 though.  It was the first time I've ever even seen this headphone as it seems not many people have them in Socal.

 

Ultrasone 780 - One of my least favorite headphones I've ever heard. :p  Like a way worse version of the T1 - scooped mids and resolution that rivals my Logitech headset.  

 

HEAudio Jades (modded) - I really didn't like the stock Jades much when I heard them at CJ LA a few years back.  This set had some mods done to it and sounded quite nice.  Sounded kinda like the HE90 but less refined and with less impressive soundstage/imaging.  Overall I enjoyed it though and the mods are definitely worth it.  

 

DIYT2 - Heard this with the Jades at the small meet and then purrin set it up at my table for the main meet so I got to listen to it quite a bit.  Incredible amp, the best I've ever heard.  It's similar to the Blue Hawaii but a step up.  Jades/009/007 all sounded their best through this amp.  Throws out a large soundstage.

 

Cavalli LL - A/B'd this vs the DIYT2 the night before with the Jades.  Listened to the DIYT2 first so this was a little underwhelming.  It sounded considerably less detailed than the DIYT2 and also had a smaller soundstage.  I think all 4 of us agreed on those two points at least.  Overall good amp though.  Not as light as I anticipated based on people's comments, but those jacks are tight as hell!

 

DNA Stratus - I think this was the first thing I listened to at the meet.  blubliss hooked his R10s up to them and they sounded sublime.  He has the best sounding R10s I've heard still but they can be really picky about amps.  Usually Donald's stuff sounds pretty tubey, but the Stratus sounded really, really clean this time around.  I think Donald mentioned this was due to a certain brand of tube he was using.  I've been to a handful of meets with Donald and have enjoyed his setup every single time.  

 

EC Electra - I'm kicking myself for barely listening to this.  I was a table away and only managed to listen to this amp once even though it was at the top of my 'must hear' list.  I wasn't able to draw many conclusions about the sound of this amp, but it sounded a bit different from the LL which sounded a bit different from the DIYT2.  I plugged my 009s into the Electra and did notice some veil on strings compared to the DIYT2/BH, but overall I enjoyed it.  Wish I woulda listened longer. :(

 

HD800/HD650 piggyback mod - This was another thing I really wanted to hear at the meet, if even just to look kinda goofy for a bit. :)  I did like that it helped fill in the mids of the HD800 (I don't care for stock HD800 mids at all) and also threw out a larger soundstage than the HD650.  It sounded kinda muddy though - I could definitely hear some blurring of transients that resulted in a slight echo/reverb kinda effect.  I didn't listen to binaural, only normal stereo tracks.  Beautiful B22!

 

Stax SR-003 - Surprisingly I've never heard this headphone, but this little guy kicks ass!  Not quite as refined as I thought it'd be, but a very enjoyable listen with great tonality and lots of speed.  A bargain for the asking price, I didn't know these were so affordable.  I might have to look for a set now, thanks anetode. :p

 

 

Was nice seeing all the Socal regulars again in one place.  It's been a while since we had a large meet like this.  Marv and the team, you guys rock!  Thanks to the people that volunteered their time to man the registration tables and helped people load up their stuff.  Thanks Alex for grabbing lunch for some of us, much appreciated.  Was great to see some of the old schoolers there that don't post much anymore.  gilency/Frank/anetode, had fun talking to you guys about electrostats. :)  Hope everybody had a good time and hope the new people were able to get a good idea of which way they wanna take their systems in the future.

post #63 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

FYI, I've got your headphones. Will feed you data in the next week or so.

 

Hi Purrin,

 

Big thanks for that.  I'm looking forward to reading your comments and measurement data.  I can use those to further improve my future build.

 

Wachara C.

post #64 of 191

Coming from NorCal, I'm glad I traveled light with just my little transportable system.  Set-up/break-down breakdown was a breeze compared to the table of gear I brought to a past meet.

Big thanks to all the organizers and to everyone who stopped by to listen to the Trends/HE-6 combo.  It was a great meet with a wide variety of interesting equipment and vendors!

post #65 of 191

Did anyone get a chance to listen to the UEPRM?  The UERM is excellent as it is, but there is always room for improvement and I'm interesting in getting a chance to hear them.

post #66 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post

 

^^^ Don't know who had this rig, but I snuck a listen when no one was there.  It was soooo smooth, like buttah.  blink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post

 

 

And to whoever had the ODAC/O2, thanks for the listen.  In the process of building my O2, so it gave me a nice little preview.  smile.gif

post #67 of 191

The above one was my favorite with the Sigmas!

post #68 of 191

this looks like it was a phenomenal meet! labels on the pix would be really helpful, as would some more listening impressions.

 

frank cooter has a history of making the most remarkable looking amps. are there pix of his latest creation?

 

jude, what were the impressions for? did you order the ue personal reference monitors?


Edited by daveDerek - 8/21/12 at 7:58am
post #69 of 191

Huge thanks to Purrin for spearheading the monumental effort of organizing this. Like others have said, the huge amount of space kept things quiet and relaxed for such a big meet. There was sense throughout the day that half the people didn't show up because there was so much room to maneuver, but that wasn't the case after all the badges were tallied. 

 

Thanks to everyone else who chipped in efforts in organizing, as well as all the members who lugged their gear to share with the rest of us. 

 

I didn't listen to a whole lot of stuff, but some random thoughts from things I did hear: 

 

Orpheus + Stats: I was able to hog up the Orpheus and DIYT2+007/009 station for 20-30 minutes. Truly the summit of this crazy hobby we have here. All of them were so involving, they almost force you to turn off the critical part of your brain and just enjoy.

 

R10 + DNA Stratus: I can finally check "listening to R10" off my bucket list. One of the highlights of the meet for me. There was a violin solo playing when I hopped on. I don't listen to much classical, but I just did not want to take them off my head. Strings were so gorgeous out of this combo. 

 

Fostex TH900: A really fun headphone that I didn't want to take off. Lots of bass (but really clean), and a touch too much sizzle but it was somehow enjoyable with all the music I threw at it. If I could find this for half price, I'd be all over it...

 

Denon D7100: Way too bassy and muddy. Seriously sounds like it belongs on the demo stand at the Apple store. 

 

Modded T50RPs: Got to listen to the Mad Dogs (with new lambskin earpads) and the Paradox. It's really impressive what these guys were able to wring out of the lowly T50RPs. They sound absolutely nothing like the stock counterparts. For my tastes, I have to give the nod to the Paradox. They were a bit smoother and more refined, where the Mad Dog was rougher in spots. Both were very clean, though. Kudos to both MrSpeakers and LFF.

 

LFF Remasters: Speaking of LFF, running through a ton of his remasters was probably my favorite part of the meet. I got compare the original songs to his remasters and was amazed at how much richer the recordings sounded. Truly eye-opening (ear-opening?) to hear the loudness wars in effect, and makes me a bit sad to see the direction the record industry is heading.

 

Schiit Gungnir + Moljnir: Schiit had both the LCD-2 and HD800 at their booth (two headphones with quite opposite source+amping synergy requirements), and both sounded VERY good out of them. Very clean-sounding with great control. Taming the HD800 peak is one of the trickiest endeavors in this hobby and this setup does a commendable job. There is the *slightest* hint of glare, but I've run tube combos in my amp that were way worse. The clean, fast sound was especially good with the LCD-2. 

post #70 of 191

Great job guys! Major kudos to Marv, Mike, and all the organizers for allowing  the rest of us  slackers to sit back and have a blast. You guys are what turns this forum a true community.

 

Like many of the older members, I spent a lot more time socializing than listening. Met a number of new people and hung out with a lot of familiar faces. I'm always surprised at what I walk away with. Never been to one of these meets that I didn't get some new idea or constructive suggestion to incorporate into my never ending stream of DIY projects.

 

This time I brought a small, stripped-down electrostatic amp. It was my attempt at a $200.00 parts budget (not counting the zebrawood casework). It was kind of hiding out in the corner of the "D" room. Most  of the time I left it to itself while I wondered around. Hope you guys got a listen. What I really wanted to show around was Chinsettawong's DIY electrostatic headphones. While still under development, these are truly a stunning achievement and offer the promise of putting very high quality headphones into the hands of those with even very modest incomes. I would encourage you all to follow his progress in the DIY forum.

 

My listening impressions are very limited. Mostly I hang out with the top end stuff so I can glean information for my own DIY projects.I find it difficult to make any more than very rough judgements under meet conditions, especially where you're listening to unfamiliar music on unfamiliar sources. It is rare that anything actually sounds bad unless it is flat out broken. The higher end the system is, the more problematic the judgement becomes Still, there are always some standouts. On the "value" side, I was very impressed and surprised by the "Mr. Speakers" modified Fostex orthos. They are not that far off from the "big boy" orthos and at their price, I'm not sure I've ever heard anything better. On the other end of the scale, I was wowed by the T2.  My opinions  echo those of  N3rdling. it may partly be the source, but the T2 seemed to have just a touch of (in my opinion) needed warmth while not sacrificing any of the detail and resolution Dr. Gilmore's amps are famous for.  Undoubtedly the best headphone amplifier I've ever heard.

 

Not much DIY activity, which always saddens me a bit.  The only other DIY amp I saw (besides Andy's awesome T-2, which I still have a tough time convincing myself was his FIRST DIY project) was Enrique's KGSSHV.  I almost passed this by as his construction was so polished and professional that it didn't even look DIY. I listened a bit and was very impressed even though I'm hard-core tube guy. I'm usually the first person to take issue with the cold, sterile, flat sound that characterizes a lot of modern audiophile equipment. There was none of that here. Congratulations on a wonderful looking and sounding project. I rarely build other peoples designs anymore, but  If you ever want to build a T2, keep me in mind for a joint project.

post #71 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

^^^ Don't know who had this rig, but I snuck a listen when no one was there.  It was soooo smooth, like buttah.  blink.gif

 

That looks an awful lot like eggil's KGSSHV - perhaps he and gilency are the same?

post #72 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post

Orpheus + Stats: I was able to hog up the Orpheus and DIYT2+007/009 station for 20-30 minutes. Truly the summit of this crazy hobby we have here. All of them were so involving, they almost force you to turn off the critical part of your brain and just enjoy.

It was awesome getting to switch between the three on the same source. I think I favored the Orpheus due to it's amazing involvement, but the 009 and 007 were also amazing out of the T2.

 

 

Quote:
R10 + DNA Stratus: I can finally check "listening to R10" off my bucket list. One of the highlights of the meet for me. There was a violin solo playing when I hopped on. I don't listen to much classical, but I just did not want to take them off my head. Strings were so gorgeous out of this combo. 

I really enjoyed this combo as well. I listened to so much gear at the meet, but I remember this one really stood out. 

post #73 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

That looks an awful lot like eggil's KGSSHV - perhaps he and gilency are the same?
Yup.
Frank, I think I will go for the Megatron when there is a board run.
I did like Chinsettawong's headphones, although they did lack a little bass maybe. Nevertheless, impressive feat for a DIY. Would love to listen to them again as they continue to evolve.
Edited by gilency - 8/20/12 at 12:11pm
post #74 of 191

Thanks to all the organizers for putting this meet together. It was pretty different from the meets I've been to before, but very good for actually listening to gear and a lot of fun. The room I was in seemed like it had less traffic so I spent a lot of time going around instead of having to babysit my own gear. I really enjoyed talking with Jason from Schiit!

 

LFF's table was a treat for me. His Paradox headphones are really great! Neutral, clear, great soundstage and very comfortable. They helped to highlight how amazing his remasters are as well! Really enjoyed listening and LFF is a great guy.

MrSpeakers Mad Dog headphones are also very good, and a good price at the meet as well. A little different from the Paradox though.

Got to hear the HE-400s and was really impressed at their performance for the price. Though with all the Hifiman, I find them a little uncomfortable for longer sessions. 

UERM lived up to their billing for me. Flat response, but still musical and with the discount I couldn't pass them up. Can't wait to get them in.

 

Denon 7100s were odd to me. Really bassy, but without any warmth you normally get from that. Mids were very dry as well. Odd looking headphone, but still comfortable.

Shure 1840s were another odd one. Decent tonal balance, but lacking clarity to me.

 

As an aside, for anyone that listened to my Lyr with the hum it was just environment. I got it home and it was silent again, so I'm guessing I just had a ground loop or something going on at the meet.

post #75 of 191
First off, I'd like to say that working with rock stars must be rubbing off on Jeanette Coffey from UE, because she is herself a rock star.  She's friendly, helpful and communicative... and I'm not just saying that because I won the UERMs in the raffle at the Bay Area meet six months ago. (In fact, UE as a whole were very easy and friendly to work with.) That said, now that I've had a good amount of time to spend with the UERMs, I'll have to pitch in my thoughts that I love everything about them.  The fit, isolation and neutral sound to them are everything I could hope to have out of custom earphones.
 
So, naturally, my first destination at the LA meet was to say hi to Jeanette.  I didn't play with the UEPRMs, but I did do some listening to the UE-11 and UE-18.  I imagine the extra bass to the UE-11 would be welcome on my daily Bart rides, but I found it to be too bass heavy for my tastes in general.  The UE-18 was another story.  I *love* the sound from them.  Very detailed and full. Also very cool of UE to once again offer a 30% discount and free impressions.  If not for my little ones (day care/preschool is expensive), I'd have more money to blow on this stuff.  Hopefully UE will continue this practice 'til when my finances free up again.
 
Between my HD650 (as full-sized open cans) and the UERM (for in-ears), I feel free well settled in those camps.  I still feel like my full-sized closed headphones and my amplification are lacking.  That said, my primary goals from this meet remained similar to the goals from the SF Bay Area meet: 1) see if there are full sized headphones that I love more than the HD650, 2) check out amplification for said HD650 and 3) check out full sized closed headphones.
 
Due to aforementioned budget contraints, I've had my eye on the Schiit stuff for a while.  I'm bummed they didn't know they had a second table, so they only brought the Lyr+Bifrost.  I've had my eye on the Valhalla since hearing it at the Bay Area meetup.  Now with the mods that allow tube rolling (and moreso that Jason says that it sounds even better), it's even more tempting to go that route for my HD650.  Buying an Asgard to go with it for the other headphones I own is also getting tempting, per my discussions with Jason and Rena (who were both great to discuss with and get ideas from).  The Lyr did sound really good, but it might not be the best match for what I'm looking for in particular.
 
I did spend some time with Donald North listening to the his Stratus and Sonett amps.  A bit beyond my price range at the moment, but we did listen to the Beck "Sea Change" and Santana "Abraxas" MoFi CDs through them with my HD650 and with a few cans he had with him. The sound and detail was amazing... he's doing some really good stuff. The more expensive Status was the clear winner between the two for the HD650, but the Sonett was no slouch.  In addition, I plugged my UERMs into the Sonnet, which also sounded phenomenal.  As an added bonus, I learned that the Beyer 770 80Ohm is a very good headphone (one of the ones he had on his table).
 
Did some playing around with tubes with CEE TEE.  We started with his setup for his HD800 with the Super 7 and started changing tubes to play with the sound to brighten things up and add details to the HD650.  I'd call it a success.
 
I have the Denon AH-D2000, which I like (but don't love).  Had a listen to the new Denon AH-D7100, which I found too bassy sounding (wasn't impressed) and the Fostex TH-900.  The Fostex was pretty much a perfect version of the AH-D2000.  They still had the really comfy fit, and the sound was great.  They pretty much fixed everything I don't like about the AH-D2000.
 
Meanwhile, I had a listen to the Fostex T50-RP, which quite frankly sucked.  Then I listened to a pair modded by LFF with HM5 pads, and *WOW*.  A world of difference.  The modded T50-RP sounded fanstastic and were very comfortable.
 
So, to sum things up on the closed headphone side, I found that I liked the DT770 80 Ohm (~$200), the modded Fostex T50-RP (parts plus ~$350) and the Fostex TH-900 (~$2k).  I'll be pondering things and considering one of the first two in the not-too-distant future (as $2k is a little out of my range at the moment).
 
Now on to open headphones, and I'll keep it brief.  I did not find another pair of headphones that I clearly liked more than the HD650... and certainly not for the price.  For my tastes, only the LCD-2 and LCD-3 seemed to slightly best the sound of my HD650, but at many times the price and with less comfort.  The sound signatures of the Audeze cans were very similar to the HD650, so I still feel that the HD650 is the headphone to get... especially if you can get 'em for $350 new, like I did.
 
I did listen some to the Hifiman HE-400, which sounded quite different.  And while there were some aspects of the HE-400 that I liked a lot, I'd still choose the HD650 over them.  The HE-400's bass was very smooth and impactful, but it felt like the drums got buried.  The HD650's felt active and lively in comparison.
 
One more aside is that I saw someone strolling around with the Audio Technica ATH-M50 around his neck.  I recently picked them up and found them somewhat uncomfortable until I put the pads from the Shure SRH-840 on them.  Not only does it make the ATH-M50 way more comfortable, but also more comfortable than the SRH-840.  The guy tried them on and basically said that he felt that he didn't have to replace the ATH-M50 anymore... just add more headphones to complement them.  That felt pretty good.
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