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Head-fi Austin 2013 Impressions  

post #1 of 208
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to get a thread started. Got some dinner and will be getting some rest before returning home tomorrow. Had a great time and was nice to meet new people and see friends again.

I'll post some impressions when I get home.
post #2 of 208
The RK Audiologist was a great opportunity, I got to listen to the whole Westone line-up, and I'll be stopping by their office one day to review some IEMs for their YouTube channel.

I also planned my purchases, I will return my Alpha Dogs and get the HE400s, then buy the LCD2.2s, then Omega IIs, then the SR-009s.
post #3 of 208
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

The RK Audiologist was a great opportunity, I got to listen to the whole Westone line-up, and I'll be stopping by their office one day to review some IEMs for their YouTube channel.

I also planned my purchases, I will return my Alpha Dogs and get the HE400s, then buy the LCD2.2s, then Omega IIs, then the SR-009s.


The RK Audiology team are great people. I got impressions from them for my JHs.

post #4 of 208
Originally Posted by GrumbleFish View Post

The RK Audiology team are great people. I got impressions from them for my JHs.
Glad to hear, I'll most likely do business with them later.
post #5 of 208

Their prices on ear impressions are slightly higher than the alternatives, but I didn't have to send in my customs for a refit. Better to get it right the first time in my opinion.


I would also like to say that I really enjoyed talking to Patrick from Nice Cans and Justin from HeadAmp. Both were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.


I spent a while listening to Justin's GS-X paired with some balanced HE-6s. I would pretty easily say that this was the most impressive thing I heard all day. I had never heard the HE-6 before today, but I will surely be thinking about them for some time to come. If I had $4000 to spend on a whole setup, I'm pretty sure I would have bought that setup off him right then and there.


Other equipment that I enjoyed more than expected were the HD800s. For some reason I had convinced myself that I wouldn't really care for their sound signature too much, but that was just plain wrong. Those sounded pretty fantastic. I especially liked them with the Cavalli Liquid Glass. Tamed the some what sharp treble.


Super bummed that I didn't get a chance to hear the Centrance DACmini or LFF's Paradox. I guess that's just more to look forward to in the future.

Edited by GrumbleFish - 3/2/13 at 8:22pm
post #6 of 208


Edited by pabbi1 - 3/2/13 at 8:29pm
post #7 of 208

Thanks for sharing the pics ..dB

post #8 of 208

Damn you guys. Seriously making me consider Stax...Seriously what the hell. 


Jk. Was a great meet, much better turn out than last year. Liked the place better too. 


Loved the Hifimans, both the HE-6 and HE-400s. The HE-6 with Justin's GSX was just unreal, near electrostat sound to me. The Omegas though were simply awesome, no other word for it. So much so im considering selling my setup, and buying a good setup with them.


The HE-400s were very well done, treble wise they were as good as I expected, but the bass was shockingly good to me for open headphones.


I was also impressed by the HD800s, in terms of overall quality of build. Sound was expected, but they were incredibly light, and comfortable.


Was kind of bummed that I couldnt get to hear the HE60s.  


I also think I managed to convert to others today. One is heavily considering selling his gifted beats, and buying the HE-400s. The other is looking at the 400s, 500s, or the LCD-2. 

post #9 of 208
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post


Thanks for the pics, pabbi1.  Good for reminders.

post #10 of 208

I think we all must give a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! to maxvla for the all the work he did in organizing this meet.  It seemed to be a great success and lots of fun.  Thank you, again, Chris.

post #11 of 208

Yes, I completely agree. Many thanks for Chris for putting this altogether. It wasn't easy to handle the logistics of this from Oklahoma City, but the entire event was extremely well done.


It was great to see friends again. Most from the Texas/Oklahoma area and a few, like Justin, all the way from Virginia. smile.gif

Dr. Cavalli gained notoriety with his first DIY amplifier projects. His success has blossomed into Cavalli Audio, a world leader in amplifier design.
post #12 of 208

I certainly want to echo all the thanks to Chris.  He did a great job in setting it up.

post #13 of 208

Twas a good time indeed & great to meet so many folks in person.


Attending an audiophile meet is risky. One will either leave depressed (OMG I need more/better/different stuff!) or elated (my rig holds up pretty well as-is). In my case I was happy the latter held true during this visit. $2700 is not a "modest" price in absolute terms, but it does represent a significant value-for-the-money proposition relative to Summit-Fi performance.


My rig consisted of a stock HD800 + Resonessence Concero + Decware CSP+ amp. Similar to Maxvla's approach with the Bryston / X-Sabre DAC and sounded very much like it (largely due to both DACs utilizing the same Sabre chip). X-Sabre is an excellent DAC for those needing a relatively affordable balanced option. Otherwise the Concero is an absolute bargain at $600 for what you get.


The LCD-3 from Jazzerdave's Taboo was a very nice rig and my first experience of the Audeze house sound. As expected, it delivered lovely textured bass and engaging performance top-to-bottom. One thing I noticed after demoing the Beyer T1, Fostex, and other top-tier cans is how the differences between them begin to narrow the closer one approaches "Summit-fi". The decision process begins to revolve around which primary "perk" one prefers. In my case, I realized I wasn't willing to relinquish the HD800 "soundstage king" for what the LCD headphones offered, though they were quite lovely and noticeably more comfortable than the Hifimans to my ears.


Speaking of which... HE-6 wasn't my thing. Peaky treble & relatively recessed midrange = frustrating. Even via the megabuck amps. I don't understand the overall Hifiman sound signature and will leave it at that. *shrug*


The standout headphones were the Stax 007 and 009, driven by the Cavalli and Blue Hawaii electrostat amps. Very, very nice setups. I preferred them overall but the asking price doesn't scale well enough for my semi-casual listening needs.


Glad to see the Head-fi momentum is gaining speed. When the next Dallas meet happens, I'm sure we'll see more north TX folks in the mix. Cheers all!

Edited by Nick Dangerous - 3/3/13 at 8:52am
post #14 of 208

MY Impressions:


Fell in love with the HD800 all over again...not enough to put aside the he-60. Driven by the Eddie Current S7, just great synergy. NOT a fan of the 6sn7 generally, esperially the GTB, but this combo was crazy good.


Speaking of 6sn7, since I'm not a fan, the Liquid Glass does a great job for evaluating what you do and don't like in tubes... especially if the tubes aren't quite settled down. Learned this back in the day with the vaunted Wheatfield HA-2.


LCD-3 is better than the LCD-2, but don't like it as much as the HD800


Like the SR-009, but not enough to put aside the he-60. Somehow I have avoided GAS with the SR-009


Really liked the Ressonessence Concero DAC as a bang for buck small solution, and it was really well driven by the Decware CSP+.


Loved the X-Sabre DAC. Gungnir was pretty good.


BIAS Alert warning.


I own a Liquid Lightning. In my opinion, with my source (or the PWD) with my phones, he-60 (or the SR-009), the Liquid Lightning 2 is the best electrostatic amp I have ever heard.


That is all I can remember.

post #15 of 208

I'd also like to thank Chris for bringing the new Matrix X-SABRE DAC around to many different setups to let people hear it with their own gear.  If I were using a balanced setup, I'd be seriously considering it.  I didn't quite have enough time with it personally on my setup, but several others did (I didn't really listen to my setup much).  I certainly liked it better than my $99 Modi, but I'm not much of a computer audiophile (yet).  I still use optical (Toslink), so that's probably it's only negative for me.  Since I mainly listen to physical media without using any outboard DACs, I'm not running out to purchase this any time soon, but it will certainly stay on my short list for the future.

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