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Spring Toronto Meet - Saturday May 04, 2013 Impressions  

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

A big thank you to everyone who showed up.  I came by car, but I know a lot of you came by public transit, and I can only imagine how hot and tiring it was lugging all that gear over to the meet.  I was kind of worried about turn-out, but was pleasantly surprised by the numbers; I think we safely managed to get over the targeted 30 people.

 

Please post impressions and pictures as they become available.  I didn't end of trying too much gear, so I'll leave the impression stuff to you other guys.

 

My personal contribution to the meet ended up badly with my main DIY amp effort having issues with oscillation.  I spent most of Friday afternoon troubleshooting it, but ended up having to leave that one at home.  I figured I'd make do with a couple of DACs, but my new iPod dock broke during transit so those were also out of commision.  Gotta get some better gear for next years meet...

post #2 of 92

I was very impressed with the quality of headphones we had at our meet! A nearly full catalog of Hifiman, an LCD-2, Sennheieser HD800 + 700, Beyer T1, Koss ESP950, and some very impressive IEMs. Charliex will always be missed when he doesn't attend, but I think we pulled our own weight this time, what do you guys think? ;)

post #3 of 92
I really did enjoy the meet, which was the first such meet for me. Looking forward to the next one.
It was fun trying different gears. Some are truly eye-opening (or should I say ear-opening?)
Thanks again Jeff, for organizing this meet.

Some pictures from this afternoon:


Mr. Organizer, Jeff (greyhorse)


Mark (mickeyvee) and Kenny


Chris (chrisj)





post #4 of 92

It was a nice meet. I was really impressed with Hifiman RE400 and Sennheiser HD600.

post #5 of 92
The Anedio/Woo/T1 rig sounded excellent!
Very punchy, dynamic, detailed and engaging!

Also really enjoyed the Headroom/balanced HD600 rig!

I'm starting to like those Lyrs! Especially with HD700s!

It was a pleasure meeting everyone,
Cheers,
Chris
post #6 of 92

Was definitely a treat that I would love to repeat again biggrin.gif.  Again big thanks to Jeff for organizing! (Hope you at least broke even from donations for the room cost)

 

Brief Impressions:

 

HD 600 Balanced via Headroom Amp: Easily the most surprising WOW treat for me today... definitely see what people mean for the big changes when the HD600/650s go balanced. The soundstage and imaging alone is taken to a whole different level. Listening to "On My Own" from the Les Miserables soundtrack was just so enveloping... could virtually feel the rain =).  Sadly, I still don't think I will go balanced... the price jump is just too much. (literally "double" it seems)

 

HD 800 via Lyr/BF: I expected it to sound great... and of course... it did! Soundstage and imaging king for sure. And as many have said before... "transparent" is my favourite word for these.

 

HD 700 via Lyr/BF: Indeed a "tweener"... sounding a bit like HD 800 and HD 650... However, I'm still a bit on the fence for these... can really pack a punch and be very exciting, yet for some tracks they seem just a bit too harsh and sibilant for my ears (given I'm used to the HD650's laid back sound) but the HD 800 did not have this problem and still stayed true with sparkle, detail, and accuracy when needed.  Would have been nice to try these with my Sophie Milman albums to see how the response to smooth female jazz vocals would compare with the HD 650s.

 

HE 500 via Lyr/BF: Still a solid pair of cans... very well balanced and neutral... excellent resolution, and IMHO very nicely textured bass (though surprisingly, less punch than the HD 700s)

 

DT 880: I had a chance about a month ago to listen to the T1s and was actually sorely disappointed... they were harsh, sibilant, and very dry sounding to me (An extreme V shaped response, which is weird cause the frequency graph doesn't look like that... perhaps problem was amp or source? or just a poor or damaged pair?)... did not leave a good impression on me for the Beyerdynamic sound.  However, these have redeemed my opinion wink.gif, they're more balanced and not as harsh but keeps it nice and exciting
 

post #7 of 92

First of all I just wanted to give a big thanks to Jeff for stepping up and organizing the meet!  We had an awesome turnout and it was great meeting everyone.

 

I didn't get a chance to listen to all the stuff I wanted to, but I really enjoyed chatting with everyone and hearing their impressions of the gear.   I am glad that people got a chance to mix and match the headphones/amps that were there.  Seeing Mark's table  with all those phones waiting to be tested with the Bifrost/Lyr was awesome.

 

The standouts to me were the LCD 2.2's and the Anedio D2-->Custom Woo Audio OTL amp with the HD800s.  I was surprised by how much I liked the Audeze's.  They just produced a great sound.  I wish I could avoid cliche, but they really got my foot tapping!

 

There was a nice variety of Hifiman's and Sennheiser's as well.  I'm not a fan of the HE-500, but the HE-6 sounded nice.  Next time we need to find an amp that will really do them justice.  As for the Senn's their sound is right to my ear's.  I could easily live with the HD600 or HD650 setup's that were there.
 

Anyway cheers to everyone that came out...I am already looking forward to the next meet (I am proposing sometime in the fall)

post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stapsy View Post

 

There was a nice variety of Hifiman's and Sennheiser's as well.  I'm not a fan of the HE-500, but the HE-6 sounded nice.  Next time we need to find an amp that will really do them justice.  As for the Senn's their sound is right to my ear's.  I could easily live with the HD600 or HD650 setup's that were there.
 

 

That balanced headroom amp did the he-6 far more than justice, it's a shame we didn't realize that sooner and have them running off there all day!

post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zida View Post

That balanced headroom amp did the he-6 far more than justice, it's a shame we didn't realize that sooner and have them running off there all day!

Gotta say I was really impressed with the balanced Headroom and balanced HD600.

Who would think that a relatively cheaper headphone would sound so good with relatively expensive electronics driving them! biggrin.gif

BTW, many thanks to Jeff for doing such a very fine job pulling this Meet together!
Jeff, a job well done! biggrin.gif
post #10 of 92

Thanks for Jeff to bring us all here.

 

I was expecting trying balance setup, but I think Schiit is the new mainstream now. If I know the Weiss Minerva is going to be there, I will definitely  bring my RPX-35 and try to AB the Benchmark with Weiss.

 

It is good to learn that now all tube amp is warm sounding as I was expected before. Some of the woo audio stuff sounds gives more treble energy to my T1 compare to my current pure SS setups.

 

I really like the AK100 now after I try my custom on it. It seems to be a very good mod and does bring up the low end by a margin compare to my DX100. Although I think I loses a bit more control on the bass, but it fit the music on the player perfectly. (Love ur choice of J-pop)

 

Which we have these kind meet more often, I mean we do not need a very official setup today, I think any plays that we can sit and talk will be good. It feels good to talk to people know what I am talking about. In the end, hifi is still kind of small community here in Canada compare to UK.

post #11 of 92
The woo audio with t1 is very good setup , I like that cable too, the ak100 is very good for the portable ring but the price is too high:p the re400 is a nice iem for the price I think I gona buy one soon. Great meeting many thanks for Jeff give us this chance to get together . Hope next one is coming soon.
post #12 of 92

There was some very impressive equipment present.

 

From what I heard from the ER4P's, it has solidified my decision to go with the ER-4S. I have been eying them for a while and will probably be seeing them soon.

 

The HD-650 or HE-500 are also within my range and may soon follow. It was good know my rig can drive them to a respectable level.

 

Great job Jeff.

post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by happywater View Post

The woo audio with t1 is very good setup , I like that cable too, the ak100 is very good for the portable ring but the price is too high:p the re400 is a nice iem for the price I think I gona buy one soon. Great meeting many thanks for Jeff give us this chance to get together . Hope next one is coming soon.

Hey,
I finally looked up the new Little Dot CD transport.
It is called the CDP ii and sells for $370 plus $45 shipping.
Does that sound reasonable for a CD Transport like that?

thx, Chris J.
post #14 of 92

First off, thanks Jeff for pulling this event together! It was my first meet, and definitely a very pleasurable one at that. I look forward to our next one already!

 

I first tried the HE-500 on the Lyr/Bifrost, I’ve heard complaints about the size and fit of the HE-500, but luckily for me, I have a small head and didn’t have that problem. What I did find is these cans are quite heavy on the head, and the clamping force is quite strong. Not a big fan either of the adjusting mechanism. No matter how good these cans sound, I don’t think I’ll have them on for too long. But gosh these cans sound good: neutral, clarity and sparkle in the highs, oomph and punch on the lows. Very well balanced.

 

And then I tried the HD700s, and at first it was a perfect sound signature to me, especially coming from the HD650s. Less ‘veil’ and more transparency, sitting between the HD650s and the HD800, but the more I listened to it, the more the highs got to me (especially with anything electric, like Lindsay Stirling). It was just too harsh. However, the bass was very, very well done, lots of depth and much tighter than the HE-500. But it was very comfortable, design reminded me of the HD555s.

 

The headphones I was most anticipating to try on were the HD800s. After reading review after review, I just knew these were the headphones for me and would compliment my HD650s very well. But when I finally got my hands on them, I was quite worried they wouldn't live up to my expectation. But the moment I put on Anne Akiko’s Air: The Bach Album, I drooled. Everything I wanted. Neutrality king. Revealing but not exhausting. To all those who say HD800 got no low end: you’re crazy. Sure it doesn’t have the depth of the HD700, but it’s much more controlled and tighter. And the soundstage and imaging on this headphone is amazing... Not to mention the build quality is absolutely beautiful. Despite its HUGE size, it is easily the most comfortable headphones I put on that day. Definitely gonna try and save up for a pair.

 

Sorry to all Grado’s fans, but I’m just gonna fly by these: I tried the RS-2, didn’t like the fit, didn’t like the build, didn’t like the sound. Had them on for around 30 seconds and moved on. Pity, cause I really wanted to see what all the hype surrounding Grado was all about. Nevermind, I’m not sorry.

 

HD600s on the balanced amp: as joebobbilly said, easily the best treat at the meet. He hit on all the points I would, crazy sound stage, simply amazing putting on any symphonies, you can point to where each and every instruments come from. And this was just coming from a HD600!!! I wonder what would happen if I combined the HD800s on a balanced setup……. More drooling….

 

Another treat was the Koss Electrostatics (don’t even remember what model it is). Totally unfamiliar with these phones, only had a few moments to try them right before they were packed up.

 

Another phone I really wanted to hear was the LCD-2, after hearing it’s supposed to be a step up from the HD650. And wow… it’s a step up from the HD650s in ALMOST all regards. It’s definitely not neutral like the HD800, it has that same, dark, smooth signature as the HD650, but with higher resolution and clarity. It’s so… transparent. Something the HD650 can’t achieve. And those lush mids are to die for. If I put these headphones on with Norah Jones singing ‘Come away with me’, I’d be gone with her in minutes. Clamping force is okay, but the ear pads are massive and the headphone is quite heavy. Again, luckily I have a smaller head so the fit is not as big a problem as others have made it to be.

 

All in all, thanks everyone for bringing in your gear, and an especially huge thanks to jeff for organizing to make my first meet so enjoyable! 

 

Cheers all!


Edited by ngyu - 5/6/13 at 8:09am
post #15 of 92
As man I wish life didn't have to happen all at once. Excuse inactivity and absence from here at headfi lately as well as at the meet. I wish I could have brought my M-100 for you guys to try. From the impressions here it seems like I'd have been the only one to bring one.
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