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Fukuoka Japan mini-meet  

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 


The guys, my rack and boxes of goodies.


I had told bayac before the Tokyo headphone festival that I'd have a mini-meet at my apartment a couple of weeks later and that he was welcome to invite the locals. While not their first mini-meet, it was the first at my apartment. I managed to clear out the mess, toys and small children and in 3 hours we managed to work our way through quite a bit of gear:



ALO Panam (with Mullard tubes).

Woo Audio WA7 (upgraded tubes and my Vaunix hub supplying power for the USB DAC).

Stax SRM-007t

Pico Power

Various other portable amps, most modded.


DACs and sources:

Audio-gd Master 7


iRiver AK100 (Mezzo mod)

2 MacBook Airs and one MacBook, all running Audirvana Plus.



Stax SR-009

Stax SR-007A

Audeze LCD-3 (with Norse Skuld cable)

Symphones Magnums (V4 with VX drivers and Norse Skuld cable)

AKG K3003

Sony XBA-3 and XBA-30 (with micro-fibre cloth mod)

Shure SH1840

Sennheiser Amperior



PS Audio Power Plant Premier ("PPP") supplying everything.

Various portable amps.

Misc exotic cabling. You know you're a headphone audiophile when you have more ICs, LODs, USB cables and whatnot than you own headphones amps and sources all combined. Meh!


My impressions:


The Mytek DAC is very good. Having not been as impressed with the Benchmark DAC2 in Tokyo as I was hoping, the Mytek was a surprise. I compared the USB input with my Audiophilleo through the S/PDIF and was surprised that the improvement using the Audiophilleo was only small.  I didn't get around to trying the in-built headphone amp, however. The downside was that the USB2.0 input wasn't recognised by my Mac (only the USB1.1 port) and the menu navigation is a bit confusing. Still, if I was in the market for a good DAC around its price, I'd get one. I hope to try it again using DSD files in the future.


My LCD-3s + re-cable out of the Phoenix versus the 007t + SR-007A was interesting and a pretty close match, noting that the PPP improves the Stax amps with their basic internal power supply a bit more than it does the Phoenix with its overkill and separate power supply. With the Master 7 having multiple outputs, it was easy and quick to switch headphones mid-song. Between the two Stax and Audeze, I liked the 007As best for the kind of music I listen to which is more acoustic, which is what I felt a couple of years ago as well the last time I had the chance to compare them. Both rigs resulted in utterances of amazement and discussion of violent wallet bleeding and death when anyone attempted to figure out the total cost...


AKG K3003 with default filters from the Mezzo AK100: I've been wanting to give these a good listen for a while now. They make my XBA-30s sound like mud, but are rather harsh in the mids and treble, despite the bass being about right for me. Perfect for me would be their sound with the and the clear sound of the Sure SH846. I can't help wondering if it isn't the cable (yes, can of worms but...) as back when I had TF10s, I had an issue with harsh mids and treble that was fixed by switching to a Null Audio cable. Now if I could battle off these, the Shures, FitEars....


The guys all seemed to like my AK100/Pico Power/Magnums rig. It probably helped that I fed them Amber Rubarth's binaural album and most of my regular listening fodder consists of music that is well-recorded and not compressed.


The Shure SH1840s were as bad as I remembered them to be. Harsh and unpleasant with a frequency response that makes no sense with any music I tried. The guys seemed to like them with the PanAm. 



So, all in all a fun few hours and something I hope to do again in a couple of months. 


I'm going to give the guys permission to post their impressions in Japanese if they want. 

Edited by Currawong - 5/26/13 at 6:10am
post #2 of 14


post #3 of 14






Power Plant Premierが欲しくなりましたw。





また、時間作って是非皆で楽しみたいですね!!  4ck

post #4 of 14

When we have a local meet their's always someone who has a new piece of gear. Sometimes it's something bought or sometimes it's a DIY project.

We get all excited auditioning and chatting about them and have fun.

This time was a bit different. Almost all of Currawong's gear were new to us and his rack full of gear was a sight to behold.


What wasn't different was that I got into talking with the guys and forgot to try some of the gear. Sadly again. Why don't I learn?

So I'll post my impressions on the not-many gear that I did try but the other guys will probably post their impressions so I hope in all it will cover everything.


Before I start, the SRH1840 was mine and I pair it with the CEntrance DACmini at home so you can see my taste is on the brighter side.

My all time favorite IEM is the Ety ER-4S showing that bass-head would be the last thing you'd call me.

Please keep that in mind and "compensate" what I say about the gear.


Starting with the SRH1840 paired with the ALO PanAm. When feeding the line-in with a iRiver iHP-120/iBasso DB2 the sound coming out was just how Currawong mentioned. Harsh.

But then, when you changed the source to a MacBook with Audirvana, the bass came alive heavy and extending deep. The highs were tamed and no longer had the glare.

I was surprised at how well the DAC inside the PanAm performed. This was the second time I tried the PanAm and both times the sound coming out from this small amp satisfied me.

Oh, did Currawong mention upgraded tubes? Hmm, next time I've got to compare the Mullard tubes with the stock ones.


I met a nice fellow at the Tokyo Headphone Festival who let me try his Mezzo AK100.

The sound was clean and spacious, especially the vocals were so lively and good that I had to literally rip my IEM out of my ears to stop listening and hand the unit back to him. 

This time it was paired with Justin's new Pico Power. Together with the Magnums the sound was even more spacious and three-dimensional. A great compact transportable setup.


The two STAX hi-end earspeakers were there side by side to audition. I had tried both of them in the past but this was my first time to actually compare them.

Which did I like better? SR-009. There isn't a single time these beautiful headphones let me down. The music that comes out of the 009 is exactly how I want it to sound. Especially the treble is outstanding.

Though this time the 009 sounded a little bit thin. It's probably because I tried it with Ray's A-10 at Tokyo last year. How will it sound through other hi-end amps?

The 007 sounded mellow and slow after trying the 009 but I know there will be moments when I would prefer the 007's sound over the 009.


The XBA-3 and XBA-30 IEMs sounded quite similar though the modded XBA-30 sounded smoother and cleaner without any harshness.

The bass was a bit too much for me but all in all both were very well balanced. It's always surprising to find easy mods changing the sound.


While having conversations with Currawong, he showed me the Accudio app. It simulates the sound of various headphones and gives you a virtual experience of how they sound.

I had fun changing the sound while playing music. Now I can know how headphones sound before I buy them;)


Wow time does fly when you're having fun! Before you knew it, it was time to leave.

I can't thank Currawong enough for his hospitality and letting us try his gear. It was so fun and exciting I just can't wait for the next meet.

I know I missed a lot of great gear today but getting together and having conversations is what I love about meets. 

I have friends all over the Kyushu region who he has got to meet. Crazy DIY'ers, veteran audiophiles and potable audio fanatics carrying huge bundles of gear. 

Next time will be even better I'm sure. Hopefully next time I won't forget to try more gear:)



Edited by bayac - 5/26/13 at 12:52pm
post #5 of 14





AK100mod+Pico Power+Magnumセットは最高!程よく締まった低音とよく伸びる高域がクセになりそうでした。





post #6 of 14

Fukuoka Japan mini-meet感想










(Macbook:audirvana plus→wagnus USBケーブル→PunAm→1840)



















post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I wish now I'd demo'ed the LCD-3s on the WA7, which I completely forgot about. Next time!

post #8 of 14
Thank for sharing the impression of ms-ak100

Hope you enjoy it like I am.

post #9 of 14

Sounds like a fun mini-meet.  


With the Mytek, USB 1.1 works natively but 2.0 requires drivers even with Mac.  For installation and setup, page 16-19 here.


I agree that the UI on the unit is pretty terrible.

post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I wish now I'd demo'ed the LCD-3s on the WA7, which I completely forgot about. Next time!
Why next time? You have both in your possession don't you?
post #11 of 14
And after all that conversation I had with you, I too forgot to try the WA7. I really have to stop talking at meets and start listening to gear.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I wish now I'd demo'ed the LCD-3s on the WA7, which I completely forgot about. Next time!
Why next time? You have both in your possession don't you?


I didn't plug them in! They were hooked into my main rig most of the time to compare to the Stax.

post #13 of 14
When is the next autumn Tokyo meet? Whether Head-fi or trade. Am reckless enough to just book flights and fit a holiday around it. Thanks
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post

When is the next autumn Tokyo meet? Whether Head-fi or trade. Am reckless enough to just book flights and fit a holiday around it. Thanks
AnakChan and currawong plan to have Tokyo headfi meet (8-10headfier) this sat 8 June 13. Please check with them if you want to join.
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