This was my first audio meet and I had a great time, and definitely coming back next year! Thanks to Bill P for letting me borrow the use of his Vaio laptop as a source for my Audio-gd gear. Hopefully people made good use of it while I was out and about for most of the day.
I'm new-ish to headphones outside of Grado, so I didn't know what everything was, but I came away with a few impressions.
- Fostex TH900: Great clarity for a closed headphone, nice tonality, and among my favorites for the day. A little heavy on the bass. I played a track by LTJ Bukem with a deep bass note that should sound soft, airy and distant, but it came out hard, loud and forward. I'm guessing the bass has a large component of harmonic distortion ("apparent" bass). This part is the deal breaker.
- Modded ATH-w1000x: Incredible tonal balance and long-term listenability. Also they did a nice job of disappearing on my head. These were a Bill-P one-off, so there's no telling if another pair would come out the same.
- Beyerdynamic (model?) 600 ohms: I had to max out my AGD C-2 amp to drive these puppies to a moderately loud volume! And they sounded excellent, but I didn't fall in love for whatever reason.
- Denon D7000: Impressive at first listen, but not one of my favorites. My ears are sensitive to the tin sound that can result from a forward upper midrange, and if I recall correctly, I took these off when I got tired of that part of the spectrum.
- Audeze LCD3: I was really looking forward to hearing these for the first time based on the reviews I've read. I'm glad I listened before buying them. Amazing clarity and lightness, but I quickly got tired of the aggressive upper midrange I mentioned earlier. Also heavy.
- Sennheiser HD 800: Some of my favorites. They do live up to the hype. However, they look like they're designed for teenage boys and I would not want to be seen with them. I'm shopping for headphones to use at work, so that matters. Back to back, I thought the Fostex sounded better with most music.
I had a cocktail at lunch - whiskey with lemon and orange bitters - which was nice but I regretted it when I started listening to headphones again. My perceptions were clouded for a few hours and I could no longer make reliable comparisons. Should have had coffee instead! Enter the HeadMasters demo room. I listened to the Alpha Dogs from Mr Speakers, and they sounded great I guess, but I just don't know how they would stack up against anything else. I do remember thinking they sounded remarkably open for a closed-back headphone. I wish I could hear them again because I might buy them.
Cavalli Audio: Amazing! The electrostatic setup on the left might have been the best thing I heard all day.
Electrostatic setup at the Woo Audio booth: Close second to Cavalli.
Did anyone tour the home audio rooms? There was a full-height, full range electrostatic system on the 3rd floor set up by Martin Logan that was probably the coolest thing I've seen all weekend. I was also very impressed with the Kef Blades (next to registration), as well as a homemade wood-veneered system with 6 isobaric woofers in each speaker. Amazing stuff! It was a sensory overload weekend for ear and eye candy.
Edited by earthtodan - 8/11/13 at 9:54pm