I will be attending after hours of deliberation. I really don't have much I can bring..... I just had my k340s headphiled but have no safe means of transporting them since I have to take the train. I do have my JVC s500s.
Thank you Arnold for hosting, and steve for helping organize. Nice little meet today. lots of space, and it was nice to listen to the different rigs. as always, I love the stax 009. there really is no beating that liquid midrange, effortless highs, and bass, depending on which cans you have. lol. I just love the electrostatic sound. Yep, I heard the LCD 3 and the hifiman 500's as well. But its just a different sound. But having said that, if someone forced me to take their 500 or LCD, I would not spit in their faces.
I did get a chance to listen to the guest IEM's that steve mentioned, which I've forgotten the name of. Honestly, I didnt think much of them. kind of rolled off in the highs, and the bass was kind of bloated. I was running lossless with the RSA Hornet. Not my cup of tea. I also got a chance in Arnolds place to compare my RE0 with the top of the line Grado IEM. I still like the RE0. Honestly, and I've said this to many people, the Head-Diriect RE0 (not RE-Zero) is just a fantastic IEM. and its an unreal bargain at its price. It really delivers way past its price point. to me at least.
Also got a chance today to hear a $500+ usb cable. I honestly did believe that I heard a difference. Even in loud meet conditions. But I dont know if it would be enough for me to spend that kind of scratch. Definitely cool to get to compare them though.
So, if we can find a good solution to the Parking nightmare, Tweak is a great place for a HP meet. I hope he does another.
JRivers was the source feeding a Calyx Audio Coffee being used as a DAC by a Downsize Audio USB cable. The Coffee fed my SR71B which drove the HiFiMan HE500s using a balanced Zeus cable. I also brought along the HiSound Audio Studio V - 3rd Anniversary Edition and the HiFiMan HM602. The IEM shown are the HiSound Audio WoodUO that Jack Fu donated for a raffle. The Grado's and the HRT Music Streamer shown on the left were Todd Rs.
Thank you all for making this event happen. Especially thank you to Albert of Tweak Studio for hosting, and for Ray Samuels for giving me a chance to experience pretty much the pinnacle of Head-fi.
Some impression from an admittedly lo/mid-fi guy:
The RS Darkstar is a stunning amp to both look at and listen to. The LCD-3 and Darkstar combo is an amazing one (connected to a Burmeister CD player) and made the most impact on me. Everything sounded like I believed it should, and it felt like I was in the studio with the jazz singer that I listened to.
I also had the privilege of listening to the Stax SR-009 connected to the RS A-10. This will probably get me burned at the stake for heresy, but like the LCD-3/Darkstar combo better. The top end was gorgeous, and the detail retrieval was impeccable, but to me I like a slightly heavier bottom end.
I also got to listen to the not available yet RS Intruder portable balanced dac/amp with a pair of HD600's. There was an incredible amount of power and detail available, but I think the HD600 isn't the Sennheiser for me. A little too much treble for my ears. I am a bigger fan of the HD650, but unfortunately didn't have an adapter to try balanced on the Intruder.
I was also able to try my personal HD650's single ended from the Darkstar and now understand just how good these can sound. They will never be as quite or detailed as the big boy planar magnetics, but something about their sound signature just feels right for me. Also, I was able to compare my modded T50RP's to the LCD-3 pretty extensively on an ALO Pan-Am. I already liked what I heard from my Fostex's, but now I understand the zeal on the modification thread. I will not claim that my $100's spent so far is as good as a $2000 pair of headphones, but they are damn good and are definitely not $1800-1900 behind. Mine are still skewed towards the midrange, but I like that about them. I am not a neutrality uber alles guy. I want warmth to my music. I still have some more tweaking to go, but I am no longer in a rush to upgrade to better headphones.
I think the best part of this experience, besides now understanding what the top sounds like and meeting fellow Head-fi'ers, is I now know where my current system stands with the context of great sound and I can rearrange priorities. I like my cans enough out of good sources and amps compared to top of the line stuff to the point that I don't need new headphones. I am going to work on improving the other parts of the rig.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and shared their equipment.
I wanted to thank Arnold Martinez, owner of Tweak Studio for hosting the event and donation of the raffle prize. Thank you to Larry Smith from Wireworld for making the trip up from Florida and the raffle prizes. Also for those that were smarter than me, going into Tweak Studio's showroom and listening to the speaker based system and the only current system in the country fully wired with Wireworld platinum cabling. Also a thank you to HiSound Audio for the donation of two pairs of their new Wooduo in ear monitors. Finally a special thanks to Ray Samuels for letting our event be the first to see and hear his new Intruder portable balanced amplifier with build in USB DAC. Additionally, Ray brought along his Dark Star and A-10 Thunderbolt to allow the group to hear the top tier headphones like the Stax SR009 and Audeze LCD3 at their best.
I also would like to thank Audio Head for their coverage of our event.
Look forward to see everyone at RMAF this coming weekend.
For anyone interested, we have another meet scheduled. Love to see you there Arnold!! Here's the thread.