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ChiUniFi 7.5 - November 2, 2013  

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

First I would like to say thanks to Keith for organizing this meet.  I had a great time.  Always enjoy meeting fellow Head-Fiers.  A few pictures I took with my phone.

 

 

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The new Audeze X made the event and I must say they were just fresh out of the box.  They sounded better than I remember when I heard them at CanJam at RMAF.  Defintely the most comfortable Audeze I have tried.

 

I will comment the more I listen to the Puredac, the more I appreciate it.  I have been breakin it in since it arrived about a week ago.  Right now, I definitely preferred it as a dac/preamp into my RSA Raptor with a prototype WyWires cable for the HD600.  There was great synergy in that combination.  Driving the HiFiMan HE500 balanced while it was enjoyable just didn't keep my attention as much as using it with the Raptor as the amplifier.

 

The Smyth Realizer is a cool product.  Jack brought it and was able to set it in a side room so everyone had a chance to listen to what it is capable of.  The simuluation of the Accoustic Zen Crescendo speaker system was awesome along with the Glen Poor reference Home Theater.


Edited by Audio Addict - 11/2/13 at 5:48pm
post #2 of 26

Dang, I'm sad I missed this!  I've been quite interested in heading the Audeze X for myself.  

post #3 of 26

i posted this on LCD-X thread.

 

i'll post it here as well.  my impressions on the audezes.

 

Quote:

i got to compare LCD-3, LCD-X, LCD-2r2, LCD-2r1 on the Master 8, the GSX MK2, and the Mjolnir/Gungnir stack. it was nice having all the audeze's there.

 

anyways, the LCD-X are great, but its up to you to decide. i felt the LCD-X was more like an upgrade to the LCD-2. the LCD-X definitely had the audeze warmth, it was slightly darker and more neutralish like the LCD-2, but not as dark. the treble is better on LCD-X, its not as colored. and its nothing like the LCD-3, the LCD-3 seemed just a tiny tiny bit more resolving, but its too close to call, mostly, the LCD-3 is smoother, bigger soundstage, slightly leaner in a way i think. but very similar. the LCD-3 is creamy, smooth, more colored, and lighter on the bass than the LCD-X, but more resolving (slightly), and liquidy. 

 

the LCD-X goes more towards the LCD-2 sound. being more neutral as in more treble and less dark and closed in. theres no congestion, but the soundstage is smaller than the LCD-3. the bass, its awesome! its more than the LCD-3, its like the LCD-2 bass, but deeper and more extended. in some ways, i prefer the X and am considering it. its that magic middle i wanted, that more forward, more slam, more attack, less creamy sounding LCD-3, but i also really like how good the LCD-3 sounds, wider, more smooth, more liquid, so "yummy" as Tyll describes it.

 

anyways, its too close to call. i think the LCD-3 is still the flagship, but i kinda like the bass of the LCD-X more, it hits harder with that similar slam and sound of the LCD-2. the LCD-X is much more like the 2 than the 3, but they're all so similar, definitely the same house sound.

 

now as for the rev 1..... its more forgiving, but its also less resolving and a step below the others. it sounded great on the mjolnir/gungnir though. i know people rave about this combo, i think it suits the LCD-2 better than the LCD-3 or LCD-X but thats just imo.

 

anyways, if you are a LCD-3 owner. the X is great, but its too close that its not worth selling the 3 probably unless you like the slightly more LCD-2-esque presentation and are willing to trade some of the LCD3's liquidity and spaciousness for the extra bass and slightly more forward/punchy sound of the LCD-2. performance-wise, the LCD-X isn't better, the LCD-3 isn't better. i prefer both in different ways since they overlap. i like the LCD-3s overall refinement more, but i like the energy bass and neutrality (as in colorations, not neutral as in freq response) that the LCD-X carries. i am thinking of owning both, but they're too close sounding that i feel that i'd be happy with either one. and it'd be silly to own both.

 

 

 

and anyways, this was a fantastic meet! it was small and i had enough time to hear the different setups. the master 8 really surprised me. it is like the GSX MK2, transparent, great clarity and detail, powerful, etc.... there is a clear difference though. the GSX MK2 is slightly laid back in the mids and has a really small hint of warmth. its musical. the Master 8 is more airy, bigger soundstage, more audiophile like i think. slightly leaning towards bright, but not fatiguing, just slight boost in the treble, so your recordings better be good or you might feel slight fatigue. but the sound is fantastic, the bass is great, great mids too. 

 

anyways for the price, the master 8 is a steal considering it costs much less than gsx mk2, and it comes with a cool machined aluminum remote control! 

 

 

also i tried the HE-6 on different amps and found that neither the master 8 nor the GSX MK2 where optimal. nor was a 10W speaker amp that was there. but the emotiva mini-x was fantastic for the price! it was just enough to drive the HE-6 perfectly with no clipping anywhere! the sound was warm and the bass was alot more than the gsx mk2 and the master 8. really punchy and speaker like. however, being a sub 200$ amp, the sound was not as detailed, nor as transparent, nor as controlled and tight as the gsx mk2, but the power was there. still, the emotiva was amazing for how much it costs. amazing!!!

 

i also got to hear the hd 600 on the ray samuels raptor, that was pretty good too.

 

the lyr/bifrost was nice too, warmer sounding than i thought. those amperex tubes really take it to another level!

 

there was also a magni modi with HE-400s. sounded great considering this setup costs $600. huge bang for the buck here as well. but the magni was just enough for he-400, im sure its not optimal for he-500 especially for quiet recordings/louder listeners, etc.

 

theres was also the new BMC PureDAC. that was pretty nice. love the aesthetics. would definitely consider that if i didn't have the mytek 192 already. 

 

more impressions as i think about them, but nice seeing everyone!! 

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post
 

the master 8 really surprised me. it is like the GSX MK2, transparent, great clarity and detail, powerful, etc.... there is a clear difference though. the GSX MK2 is slightly laid back in the mids and has a really small hint of warmth. its musical. the Master 8 is more airy, bigger soundstage, more audiophile like i think. slightly leaning towards bright, but not fatiguing, just slight boost in the treble, so your recordings better be good or you might feel slight fatigue. but the sound is fantastic, the bass is great, great mids too. 

 

anyways for the price, the master 8 is a steal considering it costs much less than gsx mk2, and it comes with a cool machined aluminum remote control! 

 

 

also i tried the HE-6 on different amps and found that neither the master 8 nor the GSX MK2 where optimal. nor was a 10W speaker amp that was there. but the emotiva mini-x was fantastic for the price! it was just enough to drive the HE-6 perfectly with no clipping anywhere! the sound was warm and the bass was alot more than the gsx mk2 and the master 8. really punchy and speaker like. however, being a sub 200$ amp, the sound was not as detailed, nor as transparent, nor as controlled and tight as the gsx mk2, but the power was there. still, the emotiva was amazing for how much it costs. amazing!!!

nice impressions, thanks for sharing. are the amps all compared on the same DAC? very interesting to hear that the emotiva mini-x had a lot more bass than the master8 and gsx, cuz its not like the m8 or gsx is lacking power... each of them put 6W or 8W into the he-6 or something

post #5 of 26

an aside for those of us who went for a drink afterwords.  Patrick82 came up in conversation.  here is a link to some of his threads.  hours of entertainment here.  I'm still looking for the videos.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/newsearch/?search=&advanced=1&sort=lastupdate&order=descending&type=35&createdbyuserid[]=4933

post #6 of 26

Great review!

 

I didn't spent long on the  lyr/bifrost but my initial feeling was my gungnir/mjolnir were no better than them. The Lyr used special tubes that you can tell from outside.

 

I really got dazzled at the Realizer, especially with 5.1 recording. AMAZING! And that doesn't pair with a nice DAC/Amp.  

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wenyuanalive View Post

Great review!

I didn't spent long on the  lyr/bifrost but my initial feeling was my gungnir/mjolnir were no better than them. The Lyr used special tubes that you can tell from outside.

I really got dazzled at the Realizer, especially with 5.1 recording. AMAZING! And that doesn't pair with a nice DAC/Amp.  

Great to hear that the Realiser demo was well received. If anyone has questions about the Realiser, feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to help in any way possible.

Thanks to Keith for making the meeting possible.
Hope to see everyone at the June Chi-Uni-Fi smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 26

the realizer was incredible. it actually fooled me into thinking the speakers where playing, i had to check to make sure the speakers weren't turned on or anything! its quite impressive how it can actually give you a speakerlike presentation with all the spatial cues of the room, the staging, and the positioning. it feels like you're right there with a multi channel system that fills the room with music.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

nice impressions, thanks for sharing. are the amps all compared on the same DAC? very interesting to hear that the emotiva mini-x had a lot more bass than the master8 and gsx, cuz its not like the m8 or gsx is lacking power... each of them put 6W or 8W into the he-6 or something

 

The master 8 and GS-X were both fed from Mytek DSD 128s.  The Emotiva was fed by a Xonar Essence One, I think?

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogodei View Post
 

 

The master 8 and GS-X were both fed from Mytek DSD 128s.  The Emotiva was fed by a Xonar Essence One, I think?

if thats the case then comparisons between m8/gsx and emotiva is not really fair

post #11 of 26

the emotiva did sound warmer than any of the better amps, and it didn't clip, and it was bassy and fun.

 

but it also didn't bring the resolution of the-6 out, the detail, transparency, tightness, control, weren't nearly as good.

 

the point is, you can get alot of performance from a sub 200$ amp, and the he-6 really need a good speaker amp to sound their best. and the emotiva is 25W and it sounded like thats the minimum to get a full range of volume and dynamics with no clipping anywhere.

post #12 of 26

Well that was a fun meet indeed.  we had a nice medium sized group, so everyone really did get a chance to listen to everything, and there was plenty of time to chat with old friends as well.

 

A big revelation for me was that if I really want to get to the next level of sound that I like, I have to spend a good deal of money.  I did not find a mid-fi offering that would really be worth the investment for me.  spent some time listening to the he-400, 500, and 6.  and while the 400 and 500 do some things very well, they are not for me.  I thought the 6 was really amazing, although you could tell that it was slightly underpowered.  even that being the case, the highs and upper mids had a clarity I want that the 500 and 400 couldn't match.  again, for ME.

 

 Listening to the LCD 2,3, and X, I got the same feeling.  There was a clarity in the X that I did not get from the others.  Also a warmth in the mids and lows that I REALLY liked.  I also found that I like the lcd 2 better then the 3.  the 3 was a bit shouty.

 

I wish I could have finished my bottle head crack w/speedball for the meet.  the one headphone I haven't been able to spend much time with is the hd800.  I got that chance at the meet, but I found that "most" of the setups gave me a bit of a thin sound.  I regret not spending enough time with fragglers hd800 setup.  I don't know how I forgot to do that.  oh well, maybe I can borrow one from someone for a while?????

 

I'll post more later, I have to let the guys in now to measure for new carpeting.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogodei View Post
 

The Emotiva was fed by a Xonar Essence One, I think?

 

No, worse...  This was something I really regret about being so slow to remember the sleep signal switch & finally get it working - by the time it was fixed, we had already unhooked the Essence One and were trying off of the E17 via Toslink & the L7 line-out.  Nearly everybody that tried the Mini + HE-6 combo was listening off of the E17 (at least ogodei, Dubstep, and a few others I saw), which I feel really bad about because I switched it back much later on and the difference / step-up in overall quality was immediately obvious.  I think this accounted for a decent chunk of the apparent control/handling disparity that Dubstep points out, so opportunity lost to present the Mini as best I could and lesson learned on showing up w/out first properly configuring new gear, not to mention arriving earlier instead of midway through.  That said, I'm still really glad I followed a hunch & brought it as the interest level was much higher than I expected.

 

This morning, I finally side-stepped my indecision about how to re-terminate a balanced Canare cable and compromised with a temporary soldering job - have been testing for a few hours with the HE-500, switching back & forth between the E1 and E17 for source.  While the change is a little less glaring at the lower dial level (can't go beyond 8:30/9 o'clock here, whereas the HE-6 was near 11-12), it is still pretty apparent.  I'll report back later this week once I've finally received the new lower-efficiency planars & have built a balanced->SE adapter for adding the E1's HP-out to the comparison.

 

All in all, I am really glad that I attended and got to meet everyone there - a really great group with some incredible gear to match.  I was pretty humbled by the number of high-end cans and sharp-looking stacks brought together in such a small room.  If I'm still in the area for ChiUniFi 8, I'll definitely make a better point of being there start-to-finish and try out more gear.  Thanks again to Keith & others for their help in hosting & setting up - much appreciated!


Edited by raspiguy - 11/4/13 at 7:14pm
post #14 of 26

I'm grateful to Keith for arranging 7.5 and really happy to have met you all.

 

The Realiser is an exciting experience: it has to heard to be believed. Thanks, Jack.

 

The auditory high point for me was listening to Audio Addict's HD600 set up. I was moved by what I heard. I forgot about sound and heard music.

 

I also enjoyed comparing the FraGGdog with my stock Fostex.

 

See you all soon in good health and with more to share.

post #15 of 26

Thank you Keith for arranging this, my first meet and I'm sure to come to more.

 

My impressions:

 

HD800 with anaxilus mod on the GS-X was a beautiful combo, hard to describe but had a tube like smoothness with solid state precision. 

 

The differences between the LCD-2, LCD-X and LCD-3 were a lot less than I had anticipated.  To me, the LCD-3 was still the best overall but the LCD-X had a little better bass weight.  I would almost put the X's as a blend between the 2's and 3's, taking the best traits of each and combining them.  The X's had the vegan pads and headband, while my 2's and dubstep's 3's had the leather pads this could have accounted for something but there wasn't a leather set to compare to. 

 

Fostex TH900 or TH600 are on my must own list now, the weight & comfort are out of this world.  For a closed can, it was surprisingly wide and open sounding.  Everything was smooth and detailed, and even when switched between multiple sources and amps it had a pretty consistent sound (even from a Samsung galaxy S3!)

 

Audio GD master 8 was a sight to see, this thing is massive.  Tons of power and is a great sounding amp, should really get consideration for an end game solid state build.

 

HE-6's are even harder to drive than I had ever imagined, don't even think about it unless you have a healthy sized home amp.

 

I forgot how wonderful the HD600s are, I'm tempted to buy a set to just listen to music without analyzing it.

 

The Realizer blew me away, it fooled me into thinking I was sitting in front of loudspeakers.

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