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Parisian Meet Impression Thread !

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello there!

 

Thanks you guys for your attendance and for the wonderful ambience!

 

Who was there :

 

Customcoco;

 

MayaTlab;

 

00940;

 

and, last but not least, Lionel Marechal !

 

What was there :

 

EDIT: The wonderful Marais Power-strip. makes the other ones sound like you've stuck your head in the water (blagounette.. :D)

 

Stax Sr-507 and sr323s amp (if I'm not mistaken)

 

2x Hd650

 

Grado Rs-2

 

Sennheiser HD25

 

Resonessence Invicta

 

DIY Gilmore Dynalo

 

DIY dac

 

Audinst MX2 Dac/amp

 

A VortexBox Server 

 

Cardas Crosslink rca cables (which made quite a difference..)

 

Etc... (which means that I apologize if I've forgotten anything)

 

Many thanks to everyone !

 

 

 

More pics are coming (should get them by 2/3 weeks)


Edited by customcoco - 1/22/14 at 3:23pm
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by customcoco View Post
 

sr323s amp (if I'm not mistaken)

 

You aren't. But I would suggest adding to the equipment list my beloved BHV (marais ?) branded powerstrip. It's made of shiny plastic after all, to avoid nasty dielectric current leakage and quantic errors in the power bit stream ! 

 

It was my first experience with a Grado and I believe I quickly understood what's all the fuss about Grado headphones in general with rock music. The voicing is deliberately colourful, but it works IMHO.

 

The DIY stuff is way beyond my limited technical abilities.

 

I believe that we all concluded that the HD650 remains a very, very sensible buy and overall a rather well-balanced pair of headphones, but that it's crucially let down by a lack of decorative wood on the cups.

 

Again, many thanks ! 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
 

 

You aren't. But I would suggest adding to the equipment list my beloved BHV (marais ?) branded powerstrip. It's made of shiny plastic after all, to avoid nasty dielectric current leakage and quantic errors in the power bit stream ! 

 

It was my first experience with a Grado and I believe I quickly understood what's all the fuss about Grado headphones in general with rock music. The voicing is deliberately colourful, but it works IMHO.

 

The DIY stuff is way beyond my limited technical abilities.

 

I believe that we all concluded that the HD650 remains a very, very sensible buy and overall a rather well-balanced pair of headphones, but that it's crucially let down by a lack of decorative wood on the cups.

 

Again, many thanks ! 


Quantic errors are quite a mess indeed.. Now, even though I try to avoid being too pedantic about power, I have to say that my Nordost re-cabled electric meter kicked its own share of ass too.. Even though houses catching fire are quite annoying to say the least I'm willing to part with them to get some more details in the sub-orbital level (42'000 to 420'000 KHz).

 

You should definitely try it.

 

With that said, nordost should really wake up and try to get up to cardas' level. That whole "put it the right way" stuff is very cool.

 

I've added the Marais power-strip to the list of what was there....

 

I love the way those rs2's sounded with Roy Hargrove's Earfood. I've just realized that I didn't try them with any of the high end amps that were there, but they sounded already just fine with the lovely Audinst Dac/amp.

 

I'd even go as far as to say that using John Grado's creations with too sophisticated amps sounds like blasphemy to me. It would be like trying to put a Harley Davidson's engine into a carbon fiber frame. No matter how you say it, it just doesn't seem right.

 

00940's stuff looked and sounded wonderful. Those K340 mids are some of the most expressive I've ever heard.

 

Up to this day, the HD650 has remained my benchmark. I've heard quite a bit of great headphones over the past few years and I've yet to find to find a pair that could please as me as much as them.

 

They walk the line between the wowing effect that some headphones might deliver at the first listen and the new subtleties that you discover everyday. Never boring but never overwhelming in a way.

 

I've got a fix for that wood-ness (or lack thereof) issue : http://www.headphile.com/page4.html

 

Many thanks to you ;)

post #4 of 12

It was indeed a great meet.

 

Personally I was highly interested in listening to the akg k340 and enjoyed listening to them with their good and bad points.

 

However ... the audio bliss came from the Stax Sr-507/sr323s. Previous time I had such an experience was listening to some Stax Lambda pro (something like that) at the first NYC meet. Based on that new experience, next step is to try to listen to the sr207 and see if they sounds as 'obvious' to me as the sr507. That's what it was for me, I was not trying to idenity qualities, defaults, or anything. It was just 'that's it'.

 

Lionel

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lionel marechal View Post

 

That's what it was for me, I was not trying to idenity qualities, defaults, or anything. It was just 'that's it'.

 

Lionel

Then go spend some bucks and get those Stax's..

 

Hi-fi is way too trivial to worry about it. If you can afford it without having to save on the important stuff, do it. Life's too short.

post #6 of 12

Nice meet indeed, thanks again to customcoco who organized it.

 

Some impressions:

 

- darkvoice 336i (+ akg K340 or hd650): a bit laid back for my tastes but that was in direct comparaison to the dynalo. For the price, certainly a good value.

 

- Invicta: certainly an awesome DAC, with all the options one could desire. Sadly in a meeting like this, it's a bit difficult to really evaluate sources, with their subtle differences, when you're under the much stronger impressions of headphones changes. The headphones amp section was fine with hd650, less convincing with K340 or RS-2.

 

- Grado RS-2 : it's been a while I didn't hear a grado (since I sold my sr-225 7 years ago I think). It's quite amazing what they can do for guitars. They're attention grabbers, not sure I could live with them. But for some music, they're very, very impressive.

 

- Stax sr507+srm323s : I wish... compared to the hd650 on the invicta, the soundstage feels so much more natural and extended.

 

- Some self-congratulation: ok, I've no urge to go buy anything, my diy gear is decent enough as it is. :evil:

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Those staxes were mighty good indeed.

 

I'd buy them in a heartbeat, but I'm not sure that I want to go that route yet. Now, based my memory, they sounded much like electrodynamics than the omega's. Which is a good thing to me.

 

I really love the RS2. I've always been all in for quirky cans, and these sure are. If I can find a set for +- 300 euros then I'd go for it. I'd certainly not pay the french street price though.

 

Now, I realize that I haven't compared the amps with my hd650. I haven't even tried your lovely dynalo with them. Which is incredibly stupid. 

 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
 

- Invicta: certainly an awesome DAC, with all the options one could desire. Sadly in a meeting like this, it's a bit difficult to really evaluate sources, with their subtle differences, when you're under the much stronger impressions of headphones changes. The headphones amp section was fine with hd650, less convincing with K340 or RS-2.

 

Frankly I wouldn't be so enthusiastic. I do think it's the best DAC I've heard yet, but I believe one really has to fully utilise all its capabilities to make it worth the asking price. I know I absolutely love its operational qualities (possibility to control playback via the remote control - totally brilliant, especially since Apple decided to get rid of the IR sensor on new MacBooks gqfzeylkzegfcqbfqkledxkhkhfcuk, quick and precise volume control, independent volume control for headphones, activate / deactivate HP output with a button, no pops when switching it on / off, etc.), but I'm not too thrilled by its sound quality.

What I really want to see is a Lavry DA12. My DA11 still remains the least digital sounding DAC I've heard. If somehow Dan Lavry manages to keep the DA11's qualities with the Benchmark DAC2's finesse, resolution, and soundstage, and add on top of that the Invicta's operational qualities, including 32bits digital volume control or internal jumpers (right now using the DA11 with my monitors is a bit of a pain, the gain is too high and I have to turn the analog volume control way down - not ideal), there you go, that's my dream DAC. Right now the Invicta is a DA11 which best qualities are a bit worse + a DAC2 which best qualities are a bit worse.

The HP amp though, easily is the best integrated amp I've heard.


Edited by MayaTlab - 1/25/14 at 2:17pm
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

What do you think of that dac guys?

 

That's the Parasound I've talked about at the meet...

 

 

One review and some more pics : http://www.head-fi.org/products/parasound-d-ac-1100/reviews/8347


Edited by customcoco - 1/25/14 at 3:36pm
post #10 of 12

Ok, about that DAC. I'm not too enthusiastic:

 

- The only real good point is the digital chips. They were top of the line in 1995. But the good ICs from TI, Wolfson, AD or ESS of today (or yesterday) are probably just as good. The spdif receiver chip is not that good though.

- The power supply is overkill. I don't see the point for the digital section. Ok for the output stage.

- The PCB layout bugs me a bit. It's not exactly how we'd do it today.

- The output stage, as said in the review, is running hot without being that good. As a diyer I'd replace everything after the DAC.

- Then, you need to add an external usb interface if you want an usb input.

 

And finally, an ex-owner said he likes just as much his zdac, which is quite cheap at 359€. And offers most of the advantages of the big one in a much smaller package.

 

But of course the diyer in me tells me that, for 300€, we can do much better today.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
 

Ok, about that DAC. I'm not too enthusiastic:

 

- The only real good point is the digital chips. They were top of the line in 1995. But the good ICs from TI, Wolfson, AD or ESS of today (or yesterday) are probably just as good. The spdif receiver chip is not that good though.

- The power supply is overkill. I don't see the point for the digital section. Ok for the output stage.

- The PCB layout bugs me a bit. It's not exactly how we'd do it today.

- The output stage, as said in the review, is running hot without being that good. As a diyer I'd replace everything after the DAC.

- Then, you need to add an external usb interface if you want an usb input.

 

And finally, an ex-owner said he likes just as much his zdac, which is quite cheap at 359€. And offers most of the advantages of the big one in a much smaller package.

 

But of course the diyer in me tells me that, for 300€, we can do much better today.


Thanks for your honest feedback. RudeWolf (the reviewer) told me exactly the same thing.

 

Thanks for the link to the Zdac, I'll read more about it tonight.. I also thought of the stello dac100 which can be had for the price of the zdac (just as some Cyrus' dacs...)

 

What would you recommend to someone looking to spend less than 500 euros (I could spend more but that's were the diminishing returns start to kick in imho)?

 

That said, I don't fully understand your last sentence :

 

Do you mean that a capable DIY'er could build something much better than the dac1600, or than the Zdac?

 

BTW: Has anybody lost a SD card at the meet? 

post #12 of 12

To explain my last sentence. For less than 500€, a diyer could get:

 

- an amanero usb input board (70€)

- an spdif receiver from Twisted Pear (75$)

- an OTTO switch from TP (30$)

- an opus board (75$)

- a pair of lundahl ll1527 transformers (120€)

- a nice case (40€)

- connectors, power supply, etc (50€)

 

With shipping and stuff, you're right at 500€, with an extremely robust line-up and no Chinese stuff. 400€ if you just need either usb or spdif but not both.

 

That's only an option among many others I can think of.

 

The sd card is mine. You can keep it (there might be some test files on it).

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