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Seattle meet 12/15/12 impressions  

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Another great meet. Meeting some Head-fiers at Maltby Cafe for breakfast was very nice way to get it started. Doc B was missed, some peeps came in and asked for him. Even did some fuse comparisons with Seamaster. We ended up at Redhook Brewery, that porter float was crazy. Just a few quick thoughts, I'm tired.

post #2 of 37
The lcd-3 was amazing. Nuff said
post #3 of 37

Breakfast was fantaaaastic. My grandma and I are going to finish my cinnamon roll tomorrow morning...


As for the meet, I had a ton of fun, as usual. I met some newer head-fiers, so that was great. I really had fun playing with the little mini-amp-subwoofer-whatever that thing was... what a fun little toy.


I fall in love with the LCD-2s all over again every time I listen to them, oh god. They were simply fantastic, as usual!


Ah... what else... my memory's being lazy, but the whole meet was really great.


My only regret was not having my little amp with me. That would've been super helpful because I kinda feel like a loser with just my Denons and a Sansa clip. As soon as my dad gets a volume control knob (I think that's what we need, mostly) for it, we can fix it right back up and I'll get to play with it again! Hopefully it'll be in working condition by the next week.

post #4 of 37

Yeah, LCD-3 was, indeed, amazing.  My second time getting my hands on the HD-800s, they're probably my favorite of what I've heard so far, but I have wayyyyy more to listen to before that statement can be too strong.


Great time.  Let's try to get that Vancouver trip going!

post #5 of 37

Wow that was a fun meet! Lots of new gear to try and few new faces showed up. I had a pleasant time chatting with some of the newer members and it was a ton of fun comparing the new mid-fi gear that people brought. Sorry, I'm really bad with names, so I already forgot the names of the new people that I met. >_<''

My name is Michael, so if you remember my name but not my Head-Fi username, here I am.


I would have liked to stay longer and do more in-depth comparison between headphones, but unfortunately I had to leave. I'll be sure to bring the JDS Labs O2 and ODAC to the next meet in case anyone wanted to give it a listen (I know one other person at the meet had an O2+ODAC combo).





The Digizoid ZO2 portable subwoofer was a huge surprise to me. When paired with the V-MODA Crossfade M-100, at bass setting "green" or "green-yellow", the bass response was pretty incredible. Surprisingly, the bass increase didn't affect the mids or highs from what I observed at those settings. In short, the ZO2 adds funness to your music without ruining the rest of the sound spectrum on the green/green-yellow settings (I have NO idea how this thing works, but it does and it's amazing).





Though its user-adjustable bass settings are interesting, the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro wasn't very impressive to me as the midrange sounded tonally off to my ears and it was lacking in treble extension. At the highest bass setting (position 4, I believe), the bass was pretty well-controlled and slightly emphasized. In comparison, at the lowest bass setting (position 1), the bass seemed loose and really lacking in extension. Regardless of the bass setting, the instrument separation wasn't very good, so it wasn't very detailed. The soundstage on the other hand was pretty large for a closed-back headphone, especially at position 1. It interesting headphone to say the least. From what I can recall, apart from the AKG K1000, the Custom One Pro is amongst the first headphones to have a physical mechanism to control the bass response of the headphone (as opposed to digitally).





Considering that I'm receiving the K 701 through the mail soon, I was VERY impressed with how well the K 702 and Q 701 sounded out of the JDS Labs O2/ODAC rig. I used to read that the K/Q 701/2's sounded good through the Schiit Bifrost/Lyr, but man do they shine with the O2. I can't describe the difference in sound in words, but I can say that with the O2/ODAC, the K 702's sounded much more detailed than with the Schiit Bifrost/Lyr using the same music (Ottmar Liebert). Comparing the two rigs, the O2/ODAC seemed to have better-defined instruments whereas the Bifrost/Lyr produced a kind of fuzzier sound that made the instruments not as clearly defined. That's how I observed the two at least, and I'm really glad I decided to purchase the O2/ODAC. However, since Schiit Audio just released their new Magni and Modi amp/DAC pair ($99 each), I'm really curious to see how they perform next to an O2/ODAC.


Back to the K/Q 702/701, my oh my was that an impressive soundstage with binaural recordings! I can't wait to try the K 701's with gaming. :)

Comfort-wise, the K/Q 702/701 are amongst the most comfortable headphones I have ever touched. They are very light on the head and the clamping force is just right for me (in comparison, I think the HD800 has a bit too much clamping force or the earpads are too stiff for me). I don't have the headband issue that a lot of people complain about.



Strangely enough, whether it be the cable, or the "Quincy Jones button", I did find the Q 701 to be slightly warmer-sounding compared to the K 702. The treble of the Q 701 was also less sharp/piercing to my ears when listening to rock tracks. I'm not into cable modding yet, so I'll be sure to keep this in mind for when I do get into it. ;)


^ I've seen a lot of photos of the Q 701 on the internetz; they look significantly more beautiful in-person in my opinion. The matte finish on the plastic pieces is really sleek-looking.




The HD650 sounded really good with the Schiit Mjölnir (mee-ohl-neer; I still like to say meh-johl-ner :p) setup. I can't quite compare it to the WA3 setup I heard at the last meet in Bainbridge Island, but this setup sounded pretty darn good. Four words for the HD650: silky smooth, warm, relaxing. There is nothing about the HD650 that jumps out at you, so it's a very smooth and relaxing headphone to listen to. Comparing to what I remember in the past, the HD650 on this setup was more airy and the treble presence was more than what I can recall. Jamming with Metallica was really nice as I did not detect much of a "Sennheiser veil" with this setup, so it was a nice surprise for me.


^ that purple HD800 cable...looks so awesome!




The AKG K550 sounds somewhat similar to the SRH940 to me but with a smoother treble response and a much better bass response, both in terms of extension and quality. For those of you who don't know what the SRH940 sounds like, it's a very analytical headphone with a forward midrange and is very fast. Unless it was only this specific K550 unit, I can't really recommend the K550 as you should really try it before buying it. I just COULD NOT get a good seal on it...I literally had to push the earcups into my head since the bottom of the earpad would not get a good seal on my head whatsoever (there was always a gap between my head and the earpad). I don't think AKG designed the K550 to conform to a human head. On the other hand, I have a friend who owns and loves the K550, so evidently it does seem to fit the heads of some human beings. >.>

Fit aside, I actually really like the K550's sound.





I will just say this right here, right now: the Ultrasone PRO900 is the worst headphone I've ever heard and I would rather listen to a Beats Solo over it...yeah it's that bad in my honest opinion. I literally could NOT listen to the PRO900 for more than 1 minute because it was so harsh and sibilant (I couldn't even enjoy Lindsey Stirling or Tiësto with them frown.gif ). The PRO900's earpads were really large for my head...similar to the earpads on the HD800 or K/Q 702/701 (my face is being swallowed by the velour earpads!). I really wish I could enjoy the PRO900's, but the super sharp midrange and sibliance, combined with tons and tons of treble energy just couldn't cut it for me.





I didn't get much of a chance to compare the different Fostex T50RP's head-to-head, but I got to compare the Mad Dogs and the Mayflower to the Crossfade M-100's.


Mad Dogs vs M-100:

The M-100's have more bass in terms of extension and presence, the treble is more rolled-off, the mids were about the same in terms of presentation (laid-back), but M-100's midrange and treble sounded tonally better to my ears, especially the upper-midrange (female vocals, violins, upper piano notes, etc.). On the other hand, the Mad Dogs sounded much more balanced, the soundstage seemed much wider than that of the M-100's, and the noise isolation was really really great. I put the Mad Dogs on my ears on and the background noise was pretty much gone...amazing.



^ that red V-MODA audio-only cable looks really nice in-person; photos don't do it justice


Mayflower vs M-100:

The Mayflower's midrange sounded tonally better than Mad Dogs to my ears, but I still think the M-100's midrange had better tonality. In terms of presentation, the Mayflower had a midrange that was ever-so-slightly more forward than that of the M-100's. On the other hand, the bass and treble of the Mayflower sounded messy to my ears. The Mayflower has nice bass extension, but the bass seemed a bit loose, especially for Massive Attack's Teardrop song. Likewise, the upper-midrange and treble seemed somewhat sibilant and harsh respectively compared to that of the M-100's. The prominent "sssss" sounds in Teardrop's lyrics were definitely sibilant to my ears and the higher-note "drum" sounds in the background were fatiguing for me.





I forgot to mention the Audio Technica ATH-W3000ANV. Maaaan those are beautiful! That cherry heartwood is absolutely stunning to see in-person and they even included some of that wood on the 6.3mm jack. Words cannot describe how strikingly beautiful their appearance is.

Oh, right, about the sound, to me they weren't the most impressive headphone as I found the midrange to be a bit laid-back and warm-sounding. Usually I hear about Audio Technica headphones being well-praised for their rendering of voices/vocals, and I do think they sound good, but the laid-back presentation of the mids seemed like a detraction for me and I didn't feel very engaged with Beth Orton's voice.


Edited by miceblue - 12/16/12 at 12:47am
post #6 of 37
I had a great time.

I really enjoyed swapping out cables, headphones, interconnects and what not after everyone got settled in.

I really want to like the 650's but they are just that little bit of thick and slow in the mids. Someone else's 650's (just not mine) I enjoy though.

The HD-800's were just too bright on my system (with my music at least). Changing the filters on the PWDII helped a lot. They were really nice on the Carver however. Comfy. Too bad you have to wear a Trekkie shirt with them on.

Got to try some interconnects that cost roughly what my whole system cost. Sure enough they were quite easy to pick out, but you would surely want some nice Stax gear for that kind of scratch.

Gil did inspire me to take a Mjolnir apart and put a fancy fuse in it. This couldn't be more of a pain. It's some 20 case screws and then another 15 screws for all the connections before you can even get to it. With no practice trying to pick out fuses you'd be hard pressed to hear the difference, but luckily I could switch back and forth 30 times and then you can pick them out without too much difficulty. It's way subtle however. Now I am forced to mess with some cables and connectors. Blasted!

Btw, my Danish friend pronounces Mjolnir - (myol-near). Not a sound you ever say in English. Mojo amp is much easier smily_headphones1.gif

I can't wait for more stuff to try out next time. I'll have some TH-900's (ordered a while ago) and surely I'll get the Ultrasone Signature DJ's. Moar bass!
post #7 of 37

It was so nice to finally meet with some Head-Fi locals in person and get to speak our native language about all of these expensive gadgets we enjoy.  So many nice, smart and eccentric people with great taste in both music and gear.  Special thanks to Big Poppa for so generously organizing this for us.  I'll see everyone at the next meet!

post #8 of 37
Sorry I wasnt able to make it, but it looks like you guys had fun and had a great meet. Hope to make the next one and meet all the new faces.
post #9 of 37

Looks like everyone had fun! I would love to get a meet in Vancouver BC going. Love to meet some locals and test out my TubeMagic D1 with mods and my modded Xcan v2.


A few nights ago my HD800s finally broke in. :) 

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 

Breakfast was kinda cool. It is in the middle of nowhere, I mean NOWHERE, it wasn't even a one horse town. I think there was 7 of us that made it. The food was as expected.... Just plain GOOD!!!!! We had a little caravan afterwards through the woods. It was Big Foot country through the woods. Big trees, curvy road, very fun. Waited a few minutes in the parking lot catching up with peeps. All the new faces and gear. head-fiers from Whidbey Island, Bellingham, and Portland made the trip besides a couple from Tacoma. Got to listen to some really great gear, Johnjen and his cables. They went on M2man's rig and BAM we are doing some serious tweaking with Power cables and his modified HD800's were pretty effing cool. To the Portlander with those great jazz recordings. I really enjoyed them. How much jazz do I listen to again??? Not much. Stuart360 from Bremerton even made it. He comes on public transit and is blind. Taxi, ferry, shuttle.  His second meet. Discombob you have a very understanding girlfriend. Meet and aftermeet. You owe her big time.... So nice to catch up with seamaster. He was gone a while. miceblue nice to see you again, nice 701q's. Palmfish, we were the only ones playing discs at the meet. We are old school playing CD's. Happy to see you enjoy the HD800'sblink.gif Did shortiefish finish the cinnamon roll? I know we have pic's. It looked liked we all took pictures like a celebrity siting. The cinnamon roll was the celebrity. Was awesome to see in person. The aftermeet did not disappoint. Thinking there was 7 of us again. Ali G you had me rolling. I know that is not your handle but didn't hear it well in noisy Redhook. You know Curbfeeler and I have breakfast all the time discussing meets, giving each other a little grief, just making the meets work. Can not thank him enough, awesome guy. Just some more thoughts.

post #11 of 37

I finished that lovely cinnamon roll yesterday. My grandma helped, but I did it.

post #12 of 37

It was a fun, low key event. Thanks to all for a fun day.  Thanks to Stan for helping me figure out the Mytek operating system a bit more than I did before coming up :-). 


Rich in Portland

post #13 of 37
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post

Another great meet. Meeting some Head-fiers at Maltby Cafe for breakfast was very nice way to get it started. Doc B was missed, some peeps came in and asked for him. Even did some fuse comparisons with Seamaster. We ended up at Redhook Brewery, that porter float was crazy. Just a few quick thoughts, I'm tired.


Nice to see you all putting in time, gathering with each other and enjoying this hobby always do great work, BIG POPPA!


post #14 of 37

The meet was great.  Lots of interesting folks, interesting setups, and differing perspectives on what makes for truly great tunes.


Next time I figure I might just bring my setup so folks can hear a non-overly-bright sound from 800's.  Just as a point of comparison.


Thanks to all for an engaging afternoon.



post #15 of 37

Woah this thread made it to the front page of Head-Fi. :D

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