First off, I really want to thank all of you for coming. It was a wonderful meeting and it was wonderful meeting fellow headphone enthusiasts, especially since our little hobby is pretty damn unique and it's relatively hard to find people with the same passion for audio. It was great to talk about gear instead of type about it! I loved seeing everyone have a good time (and eating my soup). The whole experience was very rewarding.
A funny phenomenon I noticed was that words I am so used to writing down, like "sibilance" and "impedance", are words I don't think I ever actually pronounced in real life. Made for some hilarious pronunciation: "Dude these HE-6's are really sibilili... sibibib.. siblinan... those trebles are brutal!"
I ended up being way too busy with making sure everyone had everything they needed, getting everyone food, drinks and power cords to actually focus on listening to all the gear on show. There were some things that stood out for me though:
Just incredible. Lifelike, realistic, balanced, gorgeous design, heavy, solid, nothing to complain about. If it wasn't $700 I'd pick one up immediately.
Disappointing. I tried it on several amps and sources, from tubes to SS, but it was just too harsh for me. It only sounded amazing with a few recordings but bright instruments like horns, trumpets, guitars etc actually hurt my ears. It's so brutally unforgiving and bright I didn't enjoy having it on my head. I would go as far to say it's not even musical.
Not as much as an upgrade over something like a HD650 as I thought, I'd say a HD650 is about 85% of an LCD-2 (Bring on the flaming guys!). It's great though. Amazing bass and timbre. Very holographic yet intimate. Dark but not in a bad way. Forgiving! It sounded amazing with extreme genres like metal and harsh electronics. Audezes look ridiculous on my head by the way. See photos below.
To me, it sounded like a fuller, more balanced and weightier LCD-2. Overall slightly more enjoyable than the LCD-2, almost perfect in it's execution of every genre you throw at it but not worth the huge price difference compared to the LCD-2. Again, the design is silly yet fascinating. You look like a total nerd with these on. One thing I felt was really strange was that the pads actually create a vacuum that sucks at my eardrums. It's a very uncomfortable feeling and I haven't had a headphone do this to me before. The LCD-3, literally, sucks.
Mr. Speakers Mad Dog T50RP mod
In hindsight, this was my headphone of the day. First, the comfort was incredible. Definitely the most comfortable closed headphone I've ever listened to. Mr. Speakers' pad mod is flawless. Isolation is incredible too. Some of the best isolation I've experienced from a passive design really. Sound quality was stellar. Very realistic, weighty, punchy and holographic. Involving like nothing I've heard from a closed headphone. Everything was there and I couldn't fault it at all. If it didn't look like a modded T50RP (it's pretty rough around the edges with obvious glue marks and the printed branding looks a bit amateurish) I'd shell out the $350 instantly.
One of those players I always wanted to check out but never got around to. Definitely not as bad as people make it seem. The UI is manageable. Flawed, but manageable. Sound was crisp and felt more detailed and wider than my Clip+. I'm going to try and see if someone wants to sell theirs to me. I actually enjoyed it!
Beyerdynamic DT770 Anniversary Edition
This thing was everything Ultrainferno promised me. Such a fun headphone! When A/B'ing between that DT770 AE and my trusty HD25-1 I couldn't help but feel the HD25-1 II was lacking in that essential fun factor and toe-tapping involvement I'm looking for in my perfect portable rock/metal headphone. The HD25-1 was more direct though, with a more intimate soundstage and brighter sound. The HD25 positions you closer to the band. The DT770 AE was more relaxed and laid back but man, it has a lovely signature! Fun, warm, bassy without losing detail. The mids are much better than the HD25-1 II as well. I have a feeling I'm gonna pick this one up soon.
I was looking forward to these but alas, they were rather ugly and definitely overrated. Much smaller than I thought as well. It's fairly polite in it's presentation, with a little kick to the bass when needed, but it's nothing special and absolutely not worth the hype. I would only recommend it to people who need ridonkulous looks but don't want a Skullcandy or Beats sound signature. Nice build quality though.
Hifiman RE0 compared to Hifiman RE-ZERO
Again, one of those things I always wanted to do/compare. Holy Cheese brought his RE-ZERO and he said he could instantly spot the differences between them. He felt like the RE-ZERO was sparklier and more detailed, where the RE0 had more bass. This goes to show how different our ears can be, since I felt they sounded almost identical, where the RE-ZERO had a little fuller mids and less sparkle on top than the RE0. I found them both equally bass-light. I think I'd have a hard time identifying them in a blind test.
Awesome moment of the day
Numerous! But some of the best times were Sepinho wearing the Jecklin Ghetto Floats, Ultrazino banging his head to Machine Head and almost crying when listening to the LCD-3 and people, including me, not being able to blind test their way through a comparison between the $150 Objective2 and the $3500 Auralic Taurus. Think about it guys, what are we spending our money on? Soundconsult.nl for example, experimentally, drove a HE-500 with a CMOY and it sounded pretty damn great. This further proves, to me at least, that a great amplifier doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. The differences between them are just that; differences. Those differences aren't always upgrades or downgrades.
Click the photos for larger images!
The mighty Mr Speakers Mad Dog
Coop and his portable gadgets.
Headphone geeks in their natural habitat.
The same headphone geeks, the same habitat but a different angle.
Ultrainferno and me have changed our stage name to The Audeze Twins.
Give Sepinho a Float and he turns into a viking.
Soundconsult.nl's incredible rigs.
Cookies 'n Cans.
Ardek (of Carach Angren fame) came for me but stayed for the Hifimans.
We even had iPad rigs. I don't trust Apple though so I watched my back when passing this table.
Headsound.de brought, among a lot of other gear, IEMs by Fischer Audio, Vsonic and Meelec.
Sennheiser's Momentum and Amperior. God that Momentum was gorgeous. Those pads... <3
More Headsound.de goodies.
Sepinho talking to Soundconsult.nl about something funny. I think.
Ultrainferno's excellent Violectric V200
Ultrazino making love to the camera.
Alex' beautiful WA6.
The mighty Darkvoice.
Typical Dutch liquorice candy.
My ghetto headphone stand.
Holy Cheese looking fab.
More cable than a prison shower.
Ultrainferno mercilessly judging the Mad Dog.
The wonderful HE-500.
A recabled HD650.
And finally me looking like I'm never taking this Audeze off ever again. ;) See you again next time guys!
Edited by Negakinu - 11/20/12 at 1:34pm