First and foremost, big thanks and major kudos to Ethan and Warren for organizing a wonderful meet. You guys are the real essence of what this community is all about. I enjoyed myself immensely!
It was a great pleasure to finally meet Jude in person. Your vision of H.F. has provided endless hours of entertainment, education, and comradeship to thousands. You've built a world here.
I think this was maybe my eighth meet. I've heard most of the equipment many times, so my focus is primarily on the people. I always make a few new friends and really enjoy reconnecting with an ever increasing number of old ones.
I didn't do a lot of listening, but I do have a couple of very casual impressions:
1) Highlight of the meet for me was Sceleratus' DIY 300B amp. Anyone who followed his build thread in the DIY forum knows a bit of the hell he went through to pull this off. The results were well worth the effort. All the time, pain,frustration, and money paid off. This is a wonderful sounding amp that looks great. Incredible job for a first attempt. Hope we'll see some more.
2) The "Abyss" orthodynamic headphones. These are the most butt-ugly headphones I've ever seen. At a $5.5k price point, until I listened to them, I thought they couldn't be anything except a very expensive and very tasteless bad joke. Sonically, they are anything but a joke. The frequency response may be a little ragged, but they do things I've never heard in any other headphone. Imagine mating the sound stage of an AKG K-1000, the speed, detail, and imaging of Stax., and the tight, articulate bass and rich midrange tonality of an LCD-3. It's not ready for prime-time yet, but there's real potential to set a whole new standard for headphone performance here. I hope this is just the beginning, and that eventually we see a refined product at a real-world price.
3) The Eddie Current "Electra" electrostatic amplifier. I didn't get a chance to listen much, and the music I did hear was unfamiliar. But despite the handicaps, it was obvious that this was a first-class amp. I'm looking forward to hearing it more and learning a bit more of the circuit, which from my short conversation with Craig, is totally different than any of the other electrostatic amps on the market and incorporates some unusual design features.
4) The Stax SR-009. I know I'm in a minority here, but these are way too bright for me. I've heard them now probably half a dozen times on numerous amps. No matter how much I try to warm up to these I just can't. The original Omegas remain my favorite Stax followed by the 007M1, followed by the 007M2.
5) The "Mr. Speakers" "Mad Dogs". These just keep getting better and better. My favorite headphones for a "real-world" price
5 ) Enrique's DIY KGSS amp. I meant to ask you for a look "under the hood" I definitely want to see your craftsmanship at the next meet.
Thanks again to all the organizers and participants! I had a great time!