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Quattro de mayo Seattle meet impressions - Page 2  

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

Thanks guys for all the kind words. But props to Tyll Hertsens for the HD800 foam and felt mod. I just copied his work verbatim. The balanced cable however was my own deal and I think it was contributing a bit to the better sound too. It was simply Mogami mini quad, which is the only thing I could find that would even begin to attach to those completely arcane HD800 connectors that Cardas was kind enough to replicate. Don't take on making a cable for HD800s unless you are very proficient at cursing.

How much money is your new amp/DAC(its a combo, right?) going to be? Any ideas on it yet? 

post #17 of 62
The headphone amp and DAC are separate units. The Mainline headphone amp will be around $1K. I'm not sure about the DAC yet, as digital designer on the project has just found a new DAC chip that he says sounds better than the prototype I showed yesterday. On top of that it might make the price a bit lower than we initially thought it would have to be (the PCM 1704 DAC chip in yesterdays' prototype is getting to be quite expensive). I'll have a better idea of the DAC pricing in a month or so.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

How was the upcoming BH amp!?

It was actually pretty good for a $100 portable headphone amplifier. It didn't quite have a flat sound from my listening (it had a slight emphasis on the upper-midrange and mid-bass), but it paired nicely with the V-MODA Crossfade M-100. The ability to customise the sound is also a nice addition for when it works. I liked it with the M-100 over the FiiO E12 that I have since that has more of a smooth, laid-back sound with a treble roll-off that doesn't match the M-100's treble response.

 

I liked the overall sound of the HE-500 compared to the LCD-2, especially the airy presentation of instruments, but to me the LCD-2 nailed it with the tonality of instruments and had a very smooth sound signature. If only the treble spike of the HE-500 wasn't there I might like it even more; and if only the LCD-2 was less heavy I might like it more. The sound of the HE-500 can be compensated with amps, mods, and sources though.

post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

The headphone amp and DAC are separate units. The Mainline headphone amp will be around $1K. I'm not sure about the DAC yet, as digital designer on the project has just found a new DAC chip that he says sounds better than the prototype I showed yesterday. On top of that it might make the price a bit lower than we initially thought it would have to be (the PCM 1704 DAC chip in yesterdays' prototype is getting to be quite expensive). I'll have a better idea of the DAC pricing in a month or so.

Damn, $1kfrown.gif Will it have both 1/4 and balanced plugs?(the things you plug your cable into, never have known what there called) if it does have both, I will consider the ampbiggrin.gif

post #20 of 62

I just got back to Portland and also wanted to jump in and say thank you for all the effort coordinating the event! Another huge thanks to everyone who brought equipment.  This was my second meet -- It was great to put more names (handles) with faces and listen to some stellar gear!  Damon Coffman and I both had a lot of fun and appreciated the chance to meet everyone.

 

Cheers

Rob

post #21 of 62

I had a really awesome time at the meet! Although I will admit to spending most of my time with the vintage Pioneer amp and LCD-2s... Madeliene Peyroux sounds just heavenly in them!

 

I'd write a more thorough review, but I have to get to school, so I'll do it later tonight...

post #22 of 62
@wolfetan44, yes both 1/4" TRS single ended and 4 pin XLR balanced outputs, and the amp has a switch for low or high impedance headphones. The socket holes are all standard "D" size so if one wants to put in a different type of D style connector it's an easy swap. For example one could change a pair of the input jacks to XLR, or make both output jacks TRS, or whatever. Neutrik makes a lot of different jacks that fit the D cutout.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

@wolfetan44, yes both 1/4" TRS single ended and 4 pin XLR balanced outputs, and the amp has a switch for low or high impedance headphones. The socket holes are all standard "D" size so if one wants to put in a different type of D style connector it's an easy swap. For example one could change a pair of the input jacks to XLR, or make both output jacks TRS, or whatever. Neutrik makes a lot of different jacks that fit the D cutout.

Your making this too difficult of a decision, Doc!

post #24 of 62

DOH! I missed it .. I had to work the weekend, closing down the business I was working at.  Hopefully they'll reopen in a new location before July 4th.

post #25 of 62
Thanks Big Poppa for setting up the meet, even though you missed most of it. It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of new faces and new equipment there.

I did get to listen to quite a bit this time. I did miss hearing docb table. I was waiting for the chair to be empty, and when it was finally empty, I wandered over to find that he was putting his stuff away. I will have to catch that modded hd800 and your new dac/amp at the next meet. Thanks for hosting the next one and I look forward to going.

The fostex th900 is a really nice closed can. t reminded me of the LA7000. It was a fun can with a lot of energy. The bass was strong but still fairly controlled. The lower mids seem to be a little recessed with is one of the reasons it is probably more lively and less warm sounding. The upper mids and highs seemed about neutral and balanced. I listened on tube gear though so I would imagine the highs probably might have a little more energy than I perceive with my setup.

I enjoyed curbfeelers setup. I mention this because I usually dont like the dac1, but paired with the lcd2 it made a nice combo. Its shelfed highs and warm nature took off some of the edge and analytical nature that the dac1 can exhibit resulting in a nice balance. It was also good to talk to stan about future turntable plans.

The wa7 was a cool little setup. If I had a desk job, I would pick one of these fireflies up. A dac and amp packaged in such an small and easy to use/setup package makes this a cool product. It had quite a bit of power for a small box. It was able to power orthos pretty easy, but did lose control of the bass as it was a little loose. Overall a pretty even signature. Is it worth a $1000, I dont know because I am not sure what other dac/amp combo is in that price range, but if you need something small, cute and compact to hide on a shelf with some bambo and a beta fish, I am all in.

The coffman amps are nice to look at and also nice to listen too. Thanks for coming and sharing your product with us. Looking at the specs before the meet took place, I thought the amp wasnt going to pair good with the orthos. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had plenty of headroom to go when listening at my average volume. There wasnt any glaring weakness. It seemed to have good control of the lower region while portraying a warm pleasant signature to enjoy the music. Can the tubes be rolled and how much effect does different tubes make?....

The hd800 still arent my thing for most types of music. I wish I had the the chance to hear docs modded ones. In stock form, the lack of warmth and
reverb in the bass still keep me from thoroughly enjoying them.

I listened to the psaudio/schit setup but still couldnt come away with any conclusions because I just didnt have any music that I new well enough to really compare too.

I still like the he500. Big soundstage with a fairly neutral signature that has some speed and good detail make it a great can for the price.

It was nice to see some of our neighbors to the north drive down. Thanks to G.G. for arranging and bringing the stratus. Sorry that there wasnt any room/tables to hook it up to my front end as originally planned. That being said, I dont think a better front end would have covered up some of the problems I had with it. The bass was bloated and lacking detail and the lower mids was muddy and congested. It was overally warm for my taste. When listening to Norah Jones, the stratus was forward and and seemed to attack my ear in certain places rather than passing by my ear closely if that makes sense. Overall, I was disappointed in it. I know that with burn in,different tubes, and a different front end, it probably sounds great, I wouldnt recommend buying one if you are going to keep it stock and cant invest some money into doing some tube rolling. I guess for the price, I was expecting it to sound good with stock tubes. The BA with stock tubes sounds good and with different tubes sounds great. I guess I was expecting the same thing from the stratus after reading the hype on its thread. I would love to hear one pimped out with the best tubes. I would be happy to give it another shot. Hey, I didnt like the lcd2 for the first year they were out and now have owned multiple of the 2 and the 3, so there is hope that I will like the stratus too some day.

Thanks to miceblue for the pictures and the videos. The videos were a nice touch.

I guess that is about it for now. I enjoyed seeing and talking with all the familiar faces and getting to know some of the new one also.
post #26 of 62

Hi KingStyles, thanks for sharing your experience with the Stratus at the meet. Which headphones did you use while listening to the amp? If they were using the 1/4" jack, do you recall if it was on the IEC or Low output impedance setting, as this will affect the sound similar to how you describe.
 

post #27 of 62
I was using a balanced lcd3. I didnt try the single ended jack. The tubes might have needed more burn in too. Were the tubes new or did they have an 100hr or so on them to tighten and open them up? I didnt take too much away from it knowing that it wasnt optimized. It was a a pretty amp and the build quality were great and it seems that it has a lot of fans, so I have to think that it can be much better and hope to get the chance someday.
post #28 of 62

Thanks for these comments. The tubes have 100+ hours on them. The stock Shuguang 2A3s are a little rich and loose in the bass compared to the Emission Labs 2A3s, for example, which sound tighter, punchier and have greater definition. In my experience the LCD3s benefit from the EMLs. Of course, to each his own.

I was unable to attend this meet and would love to visit Seattle and attend the next. Hope to meet you and other head-fi'ers then. beerchug.gif
 

post #29 of 62

hello,

and, yes i know, i am quoting myself.smily_headphones1.gif

 

"hello,

 

what a bunch of really nice folks here in the Seattle HeadFi community.bigsmile_face.gif

 

thanks to everyone who let us listen to their gear and answered our (insufferable) newbee questions.

 

highlights for me were the TH-900 (i think i had an eargasim), the Woo Audio WA 7 (looks and sounds amazing) and curbfeeler's exquisite set-up.

 

(we have similar tastes in rock and Van the Man's "Moondance" on this system, took me back to Berkeley where i had the great good fortune to see the tour in support of this release all those years ago.)

 

special thanks to Tess and her dad Brian? (both my spouse and i are terrible at remembering names, sorry. redface.gif) for being very kind to us when we first showed up. the discussion of using a good receiver's headphone out was very thought provoking. and hearing a portable amp for the first time with our iPods was an eye opener.

 

as for the spouse she WANTS a jds labs c5 (thanks micebleue!) and believe me she never gets excited about tech. (remember i am Q.)

 

again, you people rock! (next time we'll book the sitter longer, or sell the kids to the gypsies for whiskey. wink.gif) "

 

for Tessa really liked your Fiio, but loved the c5 (sorry) frown.gif

 

for Stan, thanks for taking me back to Berkeley.

 

for everyone there

 

thanks for letting us in. bigsmile_face.gif

 

(n.b. to Doctor B: with BOD right around the corner, why would you ever drink Tanqueray No. Ten?) evil_smiley.gif

post #30 of 62
I am a non-denominational gin drinker. Way too many great choices these days to stick with just one distiller, each selected for the prevaling mood and weather. This warm weather makes me yearn for the citrusy finish of #10, perhaps with a cube of bacon laced cheedar. Keith's gin with its yeasty nose and sprucey bite makes me want to sit by the fire in a snow storm. In a celebratory mood I follow my dear old dad's que and sip Bombay up with a twist of lemon. In fact all this gin talk makes me realize it's about time I made another batch of my own recipe, an ex-pastry chef's gin with a nice cinnamon bite, a little mandarin ornage peel, and just a wee hint of ginger...thanks for reminding me.
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