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ChiUniFi 2013 impressions????? - Page 2  

post #16 of 48

Huge thanks to Steve and everyone else who helped make this happen.  Was also great to have Michael with CEntrance, as well as Ray of Ray Samuels, Dan of Mr Speakers, and Arnold of Tweak Audio there as vendors.  All really nice guys with great products.

 

Also a special thanks to dBel84 for his table of extreme goodies.  He had the Cavalli Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold, and Liquid Lightning.  But even better, he had an LCD-3, an Abyss, and an SR-009 to listen to. I will say that as much as the SR-009 is so effortlessly detailed and nuanced, I just haven't been able to get into them. I feel like I am missing something in the lower end that helps create emotion.  This is all within the context of this headphone costing near $5K and needing an amp that will add another several $K at least. Amazing headphones, but I'm not sure I will ever want a pair.  While the Abyss didn't have quite the smoothness or effortlessness of the SR-009, it had a better balance of sound for me.  I couldn't quite get used to the fit, though.  I understood that they weren't supposed to clamp like most headphones, but the way they hung off my head like the AKG K1000 did seem right, as I didn't get anything close to a seal with the earpads like some others were.  Still.  I thought they were tremendous headphones, but not $5K+ tremendous.  IGood first try. The LCD-3s in direct, fairly immediate comparison to the SR-009 and Abyss felt like it was just too in my face.  While I like an intimate, closer presentation at times, I just want a bit more than the Audeze line can give me right now in airiness and soundstage.  I find it tough to compare amps at a busy meet, but I have to say that my HD800s sounded darn good out of the Liquid Glass. Really, really good.  It was fed by a Mytek DAC.

 

Also a good match for the HD800s was the Eddie Current Balancing Act, courtesy of driver8.  This paired with a NAD M51 was so good even my girlfriend was impressed. Normally, every thing beyond a certain level sounds very good to her, but even she noticed that there was something special with the setup.

 

I also finally got to listen to a CEntrance HifiM8 that I have had preordered since last November. I am happy to report that I am not disappointed in the slightest. I have more impressions in the HifiM8 impressions thread, but in summary, it was clean, powerful, and packed with excellent features like tone shaping, impedance and gain switching, along with full sized output connectors, including balanced XLR.  Digital extraction from iDevice and 24/192 capable USB DAC. Can't wait for my production one to get to me.

 

Ray Samuels Lighting balanced amp is a marvel of power coming from such a small package.  Crazy gain. Hard to get a handle on detail and nuance at a meet, but it was a touch behind what I'd want.  Then again, it was being played out via an analog LOD from an Ipod. Maybe a better source would let it shine better.  Still impressive.

 

It was cool to hear Cardas' first attempt at an IEM, courtesy of ToddR.  It sounded pretty good to me, though I struggled to get a good fit (not surprising since I always seem to have problems with fit in my left ear).  Pretty well balanced sound. I only have low-end experience with IEMs so it was impossible for me to compare to others in its price range.

 

Finally got to hear the Mjolnir/Gungnir stack from Schiit, courtesy of MrSpeakers. Very exciting setup. Worked well for a short bit, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a bit much for my tastes after a while. It was definitely a good match for the balanced Maddogs on display.  It was really fun to hear these since I have modded a couple pairs of T50RPs on my own before. They sounded great, and are a testament to these amazing Fostex drivers.   Good detail, solid across the spectrum.  Would be a fantastic pair for anyone looking for a good closed can in the $300 range. Probably one of the best. The Alpha pads are beautifully soft and well made. There was a pair of Paradox at the meet, too, but embarrassingly, I forgot to listen to them.   I am still happy with my own modded pair of T50RPs (my go to's at work), but the Maddogs are impressive.

 

I finally got to hear a Bottlehead Crack, and it definitely lives up to its reputation of being one of the best fits for the HD800s regardless of price.  I feel like the Liquid Glass and the Balancing Act gave me a more expansive sound, but the Crack as beautifully lively and energetic.  If I didn't already have a Bottlehead S.E.X. (that I think is just as good a match for the HD800, but with more versatility and power), I'd order a kit immediately.

 

Someone asked me what my least favorite in show was, but I don't know if anything sounded wrong enough to me for me to say I didn't like it.  Possibly the LCD-3s, which I feel is an incredibly absurd statement to make, but in comparison to other setups, the LCD-3s I heard were just too closed in sounding for my liking.  

 

Favorite setup was a toss up between the Mytek/Liquid Glass/HD800 and the NAD/Balancing Act/HD800.   Best part of the meet for me, though is figuring out that I am happy with my personal setup. Is it as good as my two favorite meet rigs?  No.  But it is gives me an enjoyable sound that is close enough.  It would take me thousands of dollars at this point to take a meaningful step up in sound quality.

 

I wish I had more time, as I didn't get to hear some of the other gear available due to socializing.  Hopefully, it won't be too long until the next meet. 

post #17 of 48

Did anyone else get surprised by the CEntrance Masterclass 2504 speakers that were there? I was curious about them so I sat down in front of them and when Michael Goodman turned the volume up on his amp i was like "wow!". I thought they were single driver speakers which is interesting enough. Michael informed me that they were dual driver speakers ('coplanar'). very cool! I expected the nice bass response by looking at the cabinets and good sided port, but the way the highs came through loud and crisp was the part that caught me off guard. I am very curious how these would sound powered by a simple t-amp (they were paired with their counterpart amp from the AudiophileDesktop package they sell.)

 

I did not expect to find speakers at the heaf-fi meet, but I find myself wanting to add these little guys up high on my wish list. Currently i am trying to figure out a way to 'need' these for work somehow, maybe I can get the boss to pick a pair up for me (not likely). :)

 

 

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Huge thanks to Steve and everyone else who helped make this happen.  Was also great to have Michael with CEntrance, as well as Ray of Ray Samuels, Dan of Mr Speakers, and Arnold of Tweak Audio there as vendors.  All really nice guys with great products.

 

Also a special thanks to dBel84 for his table of extreme goodies.  He had the Cavalli Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold, and Liquid Lightning.  But even better, he had an LCD-3, an Abyss, and an SR-009 to listen to. I will say that as much as the SR-009 is so effortlessly detailed and nuanced, I just haven't been able to get into them. I feel like I am missing something in the lower end that helps create emotion.  This is all within the context of this headphone costing near $5K and needing an amp that will add another several $K at least. Amazing headphones, but I'm not sure I will ever want a pair.  While the Abyss didn't have quite the smoothness or effortlessness of the SR-009, it had a better balance of sound for me.  I couldn't quite get used to the fit, though.  I understood that they weren't supposed to clamp like most headphones, but the way they hung off my head like the AKG K1000 did seem right, as I didn't get anything close to a seal with the earpads like some others were.  Still.  I thought they were tremendous headphones, but not $5K+ tremendous.  IGood first try. The LCD-3s in direct, fairly immediate comparison to the SR-009 and Abyss felt like it was just too in my face.  While I like an intimate, closer presentation at times, I just want a bit more than the Audeze line can give me right now in airiness and soundstage.  I find it tough to compare amps at a busy meet, but I have to say that my HD800s sounded darn good out of the Liquid Glass. Really, really good.  It was fed by a Mytek DAC.

 

 

 

That was sorta how I felt about those three phones, except that I could get into the SR-009 pretty well. You're right though, it's not a real emotional headphone. Going straight to the LCD-3 after these two did feel like a huge shock because they are so different. But I wasn't into the LCD-2 3 years ago either. It was definitely an awesome table and I'm very grateful to dBel84 for setting it all up. 

post #19 of 48

Glad to be able to share and listen to other peoples gear too. I had been wanting to hear the HD600 - Crack for some time and enjoyed the combination as much as i had anticipated I might. The HE500 synergy with the Allnic was special. The mad dogs sounded much better on Dan's rig than they did on my own. On Dan's stack with his mac, they sounded incredibly smooth and balanced , great choice of music too. I learned also to check all settings on demo gear as the initial centrance impression was marginal until Michael checked the back of the amp to find that all the equalization has been maxed. Things got much better after that.

 

Not sure I am up for such a major haul again as my car was jam packed, luckily my son was otherwise occupied or he would have had a windy ride clinging to the roof ..dB


Edited by dBel84 - 6/24/13 at 1:46pm
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joedotcom View Post

Did anyone else get surprised by the CEntrance Masterclass 2504 speakers that were there? I was curious about them so I sat down in front of them and when Michael Goodman turned the volume up on his amp i was like "wow!". I thought they were single driver speakers which is interesting enough. Michael informed me that they were dual driver speakers ('coplanar'). very cool! I expected the nice bass response by looking at the cabinets and good sided port, but the way the highs came through loud and crisp was the part that caught me off guard. I am very curious how these would sound powered by a simple t-amp (they were paired with their counterpart amp from the AudiophileDesktop package they sell.)

 

I did not expect to find speakers at the heaf-fi meet, but I find myself wanting to add these little guys up high on my wish list. Currently i am trying to figure out a way to 'need' these for work somehow, maybe I can get the boss to pick a pair up for me (not likely). :)

 

 

 

As of this morning, CEntrance still has a demo pair listed for only $299.  I'd love a set, but I already have some Audioengine A2's, A5's, and Energy RC-10's for desktop/bookshelf listening.

post #21 of 48
I came away from the event secure in my belief that I was correct in telling my wife that a pair of Stax SR-009s would be the perfect gift for my 50th birthday.

It was great meeting everyone and I was so impressed with how friendly everyone in the community is. Great group and a great collection of gear. I'm already looking forward to next year!
post #22 of 48

the Allnic amp took the HE-500 to a whole new level, it was insanely good. this was probably the most impressive combo i heard since i couldn't imagine these headphones to ever sound this good.

 

hd 800 and balancing act was pretty good, extremely detailed,  though slightly analytical, might have been the tubes.

 

i fell in love with the th-900  as well as the stax 009, the abyss was great as well, though i prefer the stax's presentation. decided th-900 will be next purchase.

 

 the lcd-3 where pretty good too, and i enjoyed listening to the burson as well. 

the mad dogs where pretty good too, i was surprised actually, now i see why all the hype for them. 

 

unfortunately forgot to check out some of the other setups that where there and forgot to check out the new cardas iems. also did not hear lcd-3 out of the cavalli amp.


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 6/25/13 at 8:14pm
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

hd 800 and balancing act was pretty good, extremely detailed,  though slightly analytical, might have been the tubes.

The detail and analytical characteristics of the HD800 lies in the 6khz bump imo. The bass however is a lot cleaner on the Balancing Act and the Woo Audio amp I heard.

post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadFi Fanatic View Post

The detail and analytical characteristics of the HD800 lies in the 6khz bump imo. The bass however is a lot cleaner on the Balancing Act and the Woo Audio amp I heard.

I should have posted a note somewhere that my HD800s were anaxilus modded and were available to listen to. It was on the ECBA for a little bit, but not sure who listened to it. Big difference to my ears.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post


I should have posted a note somewhere that my HD800s were anaxilus modded and were available to listen to. It was on the ECBA for a little bit, but not sure who listened to it. Big difference to my ears.

 

Thanks for letting me try your HD800's!  I was the one trying them with my portable Fiio E17 and was still impressed how clear the separation was even on a portable amp like that.  Your cable work was very impressive as well.

 

That said, I'm in agreement with a lot of folks here that the Bottlehead Crack seems like a match made in heaven for the Sennheiser HD600/650/800.  I'm adding the Bottlehead/HD600 combo to my list for the next upgrade.  And a pretty accessible one too - even though the SR009's blew my socks off, I think they're a bit out of my range until I add a zero to my salary.

post #26 of 48
Hey Joe. I was looking to meet you at the fest. We've talked before about console pulls (not on head-fi) and I saw you were going to be there. Guess I missed you. Next time...
post #27 of 48

  This being my very first head-fi event proved to be a very enjoyable experience. I met a few fellow head-fiers and hopefully will make some friends. I sure am glad that I went. I got to see some woo audio offerings which I have always been curious about. The  woo audio offerings made a good impression on me. I was surprised to see and hear some cavalli amps at the meet. The stax 009 was interesting to hear. I have had some experience with the lambda and the lambda pro before having owned both for a period. I think their dynamic capability have improved somewhat but I still found them a bit short of what the audezes and hifi man products can do in that department. I got to hear the new burson conductor amp/dac for the first time. I found it to be somewhat sterile and analytical in its presentation. Not my cup of tea. I also heard the schiit balanced amp and dac for the first time. They sounded very musical and with good dynamics. They offer very good value for their price. I particularly liked the allnic audio otl tube amp with the hifiman he-500s. The sound was balanced with exceptional dimensionality along with impressive weight.

  I wished I had gotten there earlier I got there at 145 and only got about and hour and fifteen minutes to listen and talk. I regret seeing that there was a balancing act in house that I did not get a chance to audition. Oh well the person who brought it mentioned he would be back next year I will make it a point to listen to it at next years meet.

  I had a absolutely great time and got to see and hear a fair amount of phones and equipment that I would never have had a opportunity to listen to at anything other than a meet. I would like to thank all those people who organized the event and all those who brought their equipment and phones to the meet so others could hear them.

 I hope to meet you again next year and maybe I will bring some of my equipment too.


Edited by buson160man - 6/26/13 at 2:42pm
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbargain View Post

Hey Joe. I was looking to meet you at the fest. We've talked before about console pulls (not on head-fi) and I saw you were going to be there. Guess I missed you. Next time...

Hi Bigbargain, I remember talking to you. Sorry I missed ya. anytime you want to catch up, you know where to find me on AK or here. :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

As of this morning, CEntrance still has a demo pair listed for only $299.  I'd love a set, but I already have some Audioengine A2's, A5's, and Energy RC-10's for desktop/bookshelf listening.

 

This afternoon, I am headed to pick up the DACport (an excellent raffle prize, thanks!!) AND also likely purchase a pair of the MasterClass speakers! I am super excited. for both items!!!! I'll be almost as cool as Ray Samuels who won the Masterclass demo pair right off of Michael Goodmans table at the meet. :)


Edited by Joedotcom - 6/27/13 at 7:27am
post #29 of 48
I really enjoyed the event. Will edit my post with more thoughts once I have access to a computer. Will pm the stuff that was requested at the meet aswell.
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ListeningAura View Post

I really enjoyed the event. Will edit my post with more thoughts once I have access to a computer. Will pm the stuff that was requested at the meet aswell.

 

Could you modify the logo for next year's ChiUniFi 8 or maybe ChiUniFi VIII

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