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Head-fi Austin 2013 Impressions - Page 2  

post #16 of 208

Here are my pictures I took at the meet.

 

I'll type up my full impressions soon, but my personal favorites include:

1. HE60/Liquid Lightning 2

2. Omega 2/ Blue Hawaii

3. SR-009 / Liquid Lightning 2

4. HE 6 / Liquid Glass

5. HD800 / Eddie Current S7 or Liquid Glass

 

Overall, I came out feeling satisfied with my current rig. It helps that anything noticeably better is well out of my current price range. I expected to like the LCD 2's more than I did. And after my first experience tube rolling, I left amazed at the difference swapping tubes can make.

 

Thanks to all who brought gear, and especially to maxvla for organizing this meet.

post #17 of 208

So my goal for this meet was to find out exactly which headphones I want to pair with my Leben. Even though I've got nice speakers now headphones will be necessary sometimes.

 

That being said I tried (on my system):

LCD 2.2

LCD 3

HD650

HD800

TH900

 

Didn't need to try the HE-6 or T1 as I knew I didn't care for them already.

 

That all being said the HD800 kicked the snot out of the others on the Leben. It didn't distort at all (even with the +5db bass boost engaged) and was just that same wonderfully primordial sound I remember from before. Guess they stay king of dynamics in my mind. 

 

This was the first time I was hearing the T1 and I really wanted to like it but it was much too sibilant for me. Too much SSSSSSSSS. Tried it on 2 different rigs one of which had a sub par amp, but the other had tubes and should've been ideal for the T1. 

 

Vinyl + Tubes. I was really hoping that'd do it, but no such luck. 

 

The TH900 was a treat once again, but unfortunately sounded like absolute crap on my Leben rig. The bass was extremely uncontrolled and just ruined the presentation. 

 

One piece of gear I was extremely disappointed by was the Musical Fidelity M1HPA. It was extremely dry and sibilant. I originally thought it was the T1 but when I switched to the TH900 (which is super smooth and great) it was still sibilant. I was also listening to a great master of Peter Gabriel's 'So', so I know it wasn't that either. 

 

Once again I gave the 007 mk1 a chance and once again it disappointed in a major way. The best they can be just wasn't good enough. Coming from the (wonderful) BHSE it still didn't move me. Not enough physicality to the sound to make it engaging. 

 

The 009 sounded just as wonderful as I remember it from the LL. PWD source still isn't up to snuff, IMO. Joe's Garage sounded fantastic. I didn't listen much as I knew it would be good but out of my reach due to the new direction my system is taking. I will say that Alex has greatly increased the build quality with LL 2 and it's now more than up to snuff. Props for that. The increased features are great as well. More ins and the loop out. 

----

Basically it comes down to this...I gotta get another HD800 as my headphone to compliment my speakers, and maybe a Concero DAC on the off chance I play digital music in my analog system. 

 

I hope people enjoyed my turntable and while it will make another meet appearance my huge box of records will not. Toting 80lbs of vinyl was definitely a chore. Maybe a bit smaller box next time. :D

 

...I think that's it. 

post #18 of 208

The main problem I've found with the T1 is that it sucks.

post #19 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The main problem I've found with the T1 is that it sucks.
LOL
post #20 of 208

Gonna have to agree. 

tongue.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The main problem I've found with the T1 is that it sucks.

post #21 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The main problem I've found with the T1 is that it sucks.

 

I was on board with that based on the first time I heard a T1. Hated them. Later I heard a different set and it was vastly different - and actually sounded good. Check out the measurements on two models HERE and HERE and you can see how different they look. 

 

Nice collection of gear at this meet - looks like fun. Interesting to hear some validation on the quality of the Resonessence Concero and Matrix X-Sabre units. 

post #22 of 208

Didn't fondel the Concero, but I certainly did fondel the X-Sabre. no visible seems at all is lovely, and it sounds great. 

 

Build quality is basically similar to the Calyx 24/192 (which is to say probably the best I've ever experienced, you can't really go wrong milling your case from a solid block of aluminum).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I was on board with that based on the first time I heard a T1. Hated them. Later I heard a different set and it was vastly different - and actually sounded good. Check out the measurements on two models HERE and HERE and you can see how different they look. 

 

Nice collection of gear at this meet - looks like fun. Interesting to hear some validation on the quality of the Resonessence Concero and Matrix X-Sabre units. 

post #23 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post

Fell in love with the HD800 all over again... [cut] 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.

After some component swapping with this rig, I didn't think the E7 and Decware were all that different when the Concero was the common denominator. TWIFOSP's Lavry D11 DAC contributed the greatest difference to the sound signature with more energy and snap on the high end (which was a wee bit much for me, but more to you and T's liking). Just another 2c. smily_headphones1.gif
post #24 of 208

Great meet all.  Again thank you to Chris for putting together such a well organized meet.  

 

Here are some of my impressions from the notes I took.  These notes aren't meant to be a review, just what I wrote as I was listening.  Usual meet caveats apply.  What I look for in headphones are accurate sound stages.  I like the sound to be centered and out of head as possible.  If it sounds between my ears, I won't like it.  You'll hear me mention cymbals a lot.  I don't know why but I think they are some of the hardest sounds to reproduce and they reveal flaws, so I tend to focus on them sometimes.  Please remember that these listening stations are a complete chain, and not liking something about the chain doesn't reflect on any one piece of equipment.  

 

Cutting to the chase, my favorite rig of the meet was hard to pick but I might have to go with the Ayon to LL2 to HE60.  This is especially true for vocal music.  The he60 handles tool surprisingly well.  I didn't get to listen to any electronica with it, so I don't know if it could be my only headphone (I listen to mostly classical and electronica).  For heavy electornica (infected mushroom), I still liked my setup better.  That said, I might be shopping for stax sometime soon.

 

Liquid Glass with HD800 out of Oppo source.  RCA Tubes.  Started off with Tool 10000 days.  Initial impression is excellent.  Very fast, keeps up with Dana Carey well.  Sound stage is great, but there is a bit of fuzziness at the center.  On Rosseta Stoned there is a part of the track where there is intentional guitar feedback, this can be harsh on any headphones, espeically the hd800, compared to speakers, because it's close to your ear.  On the LG it was not harsh, but had a smooth quality.  Again, center is not quite complete.  Cymbal shimmer decay is fast.  Guitars are energetic and really nice mids here.  Nice power.  This track can be muddy on tube setups, and it is not here.  Switched to the Hifiman HE6.  These are not for me.  No bite on the guitars.  Drums sound distant and boring.  No natural sound or tone.  Thin and airy.  Switched back to HD800 with Joes Garage.  Only complaint here is center vocals.  

 

Moved over to the SR009 out of the Liquid Lightning 2.  Still listening to the Oppo and Joes Garage.  Center is noticeably better. Faster, but I preferred what I heard with the HD800 and LG.  

 

(about an hour later) Back on the LG with HD800 on Slyvana tubes.  Sound is flatter but more impact.  Tool guitars bite nicely.  A bit muddier than I remember it with the other tubes.  Fast sections are tripping up.   Switched to Eric Clapton You make Me Happy.  Had just listened to this track on the HE60 and 009.  Both Stax had a nicer sound than the 800, but the 800 had the better sound stage; with an out of head sound.  

 

Switched to HE6, same track.  Again not for me.  Snares sound low res.  Bass is lacking, no texture.  

 

XSabre Dac with my own system (In place of DA11).  HD800 (alo cable) and Super7.  Listening to Infected Mushroom Vicious Delicious.  Sounds very similar.  Might be smoother with a tad bit of resolution trade off, but hard to tell.  Appalachian Spring.  Sound stage sounds a bit far off to the sides, almost behind my ears.  Other than that, sounds very close.  Switch to Dire Straits Brothers in Arms.  Bass guitar sounds nice.  Good texture.  High hat is sharp, but not harsh.  Vocals are centered.  Might be a tad veiled compared to the DA11 but nit picking.  Switched back to DA11.  High hat not as sharp, but close.  Shimmer decay however is less stepped.  Less gradient to it.  What I heard as veil might just be that the Sabre is brighter. 

 

Ayon CD player to Liquid Lightning 2 with HE60 and 009s.  On he60s.  Nice.  Accurate, but slower than the 009s.  Bass guitar has more texture than 009s.  However cymbals sound perfect on the 009s.  Best cymbal rendering I've ever heard.  Pretty much perfect.  Sound stage is wider on the 009s but also has more air.  Instruments just kind of sound like they are out there.  The 009 renders every single instrument very life like when you focus on that instrument, but somehow falls short when trying to listen to the whole song.  I might be trying to focus too hard on the sound. I think I like the HE60 more here.  They sound like they are trying to render the song instead of each instrument.  Hard to explain.  Both are superb with this combo.  Ayon to LL2 to HE60 is my favorite system so far.

 

Anax Modded HD800 (modded by one of the vendors at the meet) on my own system.  Sounds harsher than my own HD800s.  First time listening to this mod so I'm not sure how it is supposed to sound.  Not going to comment further, I didn't like it.

 

Oppo to GSX-2 with my HD800.  Listening to Gustav The Planets.  Harsh trumpets.  Winced when they came in.  Upper register too energetic.  Otherwise this has a good center and sound stage.  Sounds nice but may not be my thing.  Could be the source, or could be that I have the volume up way high to counter back ground conversations.  Not fair to call the amp harsh without comparing it on my own source and at regular listening volumes, but I don't like this at the moment.

 

Oppo to GSX-2 LCD3:  Comfortably Numb.  Vocals aren't centered on the recording on this track, but they should still sound as one.  Here they sound as they are coming from 2 different directions.  Resolution seems low.  Decay is slow and no bite.  Very laid back.  Tone on guitar is excellent.  Bass guitar is missing texture that the hd800 had.  

 

Oppo to GSX-2 with HE6:  Restarted comfortably numb.  Better resolution than the LCD3.  Brighter. Bass guitar is poor.  Almost zero texture or presence, it's just kind of a low note rather than the instrument.  Sounds anemic.  Volume is at 10 oclock, so the amp has plenty of power.  Turning it up gives more, but now it is harsh and unpleasant.  Switched to Young lust.  Bass guitar at opening again is missing texture.  Guitar sound like they are coming from two sides instead of a single source.  Not a fan.  Switch to Gustav Holst Planets.  Sound stage too closed in for my tastes.  Instruments sound sort of close to where they should be, but not right.  Trumpets harsh.  Trumpets sound like they are above and inside my head rather than out in space.  Cymbal crash is harsh and sibalant.  Percussion is dull.  No texture on strings, very whiney sound. 

post #25 of 208

End up getting any sleep last night, Nick? lol

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post


After some component swapping with this rig, I didn't think the E7 and Decware were all that different when the Concero was the common denominator. TWIFOSP's Lavry D11 DAC contributed the greatest difference to the sound signature with more energy and snap on the high end (which was a wee bit much for me, but more to you and T's liking). Just another 2c. smily_headphones1.gif
post #26 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post


After some component swapping with this rig, I didn't think the E7 and Decware were all that different when the Concero was the common denominator. TWIFOSP's Lavry D11 DAC contributed the greatest difference to the sound signature with more energy and snap on the high end (which was a wee bit much for me, but more to you and T's liking). Just another 2c. smily_headphones1.gif

 

With slower music our setups were very similar.  Where I could hear the differences was very high energy music, specifically electronica.  That said, I thought your setup was great and especially when you consider what the relative costs are.  I still think the streaming was holding it back a bit, but I have to say on value alone yours is a top system.

post #27 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

The 009 sounded just as wonderful as I remember it from the LL. PWD source still isn't up to snuff, IMO. Joe's Garage sounded fantastic. I didn't listen much as I knew it would be good but out of my reach due to the new direction my system is taking. I will say that Alex has greatly increased the build quality with LL 2 and it's now more than up to snuff. Props for that. The increased features are great as well. More ins and the loop out. 

 

 

Gotta agree here.  I wasn't impressed by the 009 until we swapped out the PWD. The PW sounded airy.  

post #28 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrog View Post

Here are my pictures I took at the meet.

 

 

 

Thanks to all who brought gear, and especially to maxvla for organizing this meet.

Thanks for the nice pics.

post #29 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post

Fell in love with the HD800 all over again... [cut] 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.

After some component swapping with this rig, I didn't think the E7 and Decware were all that different when the Concero was the common denominator. TWIFOSP's Lavry D11 DAC contributed the greatest difference to the sound signature with more energy and snap on the high end (which was a wee bit much for me, but more to you and T's liking). Just another 2c. smily_headphones1.gif

Nick, did you mean the S7 rather than E7? Just making sure I understand the comparison.

 

Thanks!

post #30 of 208

What were people's general impressions of the LL2 compared to the BHSE? It seems some people did like the LL2 more.

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