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!
Edited by ngyu - 5/6/13 at 8:09am