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Official 2014 Bay Area Meet - SUNDAY - Feb 16th, 2014 Impressions thread - Page 3  

post #31 of 128

Any rag listening impressions? :)

post #32 of 128

anyone have any more info on that custom 2A3? 

post #33 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post
 

Any rag listening impressions? :)

 

Last time I gave listening impressions on a Schiit prototype / development unit, i.e. the Mjolnir, and mentioned Jason and his crew intended on voicing it (tweaking the sound) further before production, some people got all weird on me, called me names, and said this "voicing" thing I speak of was BS. Therefore I'm not sure I want to say anything before the production or a close to production pre-production unit is out.

post #34 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post
 

Any rag listening impressions? :)


I'm also very interested in any impressions of the Ragnarok--particularly with the LCD-X, but any comparative comments would be appreciated.

post #35 of 128

Thanks to CEETEE, zerodeefex, Questhate (and the others who helped out, i.e. at the front desk, etc) for organizing this meet. I really love the Bay Area crowd. Lots of good setups. I only wished it was longer. I didn't get a chance to talk to as many people as I wanted too; and if I did, it was far too short of a time. Maybe two days next year?

 

Some of you may know both Alex Cavalli and Ti Kan (AMB) as great contributors to DIY headphone amplifiers, particularly years ago when the notion of a headphone amplifier barely existed. Back in the day, both of them collaborated on improving the existing Kumisa III amp to come up with the CK2III. Ti had a CK2III amp there at his table. I got a chuckle when Ti and Alex met each other for the first time. I was sitting at the AMB table and I looked up: "Wow, you guys haven't met each other before!" That was a great moment because it describes the essence of these meets. We finally get to meet people who we have developed online friendships with.

 

More later.

post #36 of 128

Checking in to say thanks to everyone who pitched in their efforts to make this meet possible.

 

@CEE TEE and @zerodeefex for doing all of the heavy lifting into making this the best SF Bay Area meet evarrr.  

The vendors who donated the raffle prizes (Schiit, MrSpeakers, Light Harmonic, HiFiMan, @darinf, Audio DYNA, and Ultimate Ears). 

@purrin for his efforts, especially in renting out that room to share his speaker setup with all of us -- that was huge treat. 

All of the people who donated money to help re-coup the costs of this meet, and all of the members/vendors that lugged their gear to share with us all.

And last but not least, Susan who sacrificed her Sunday to do registration for us. 

 

This may have had the highest attendance of all the SF meets so far. Every station seemed busy all day, and the amount of people in the foyer area for the raffle was INSANE. 

 

The day flew by so quickly, that I didn't get to audition all I wanted. But my highlights were @LFF's new Enigma headphones (best closed headphones, period), the Kingsounds modded by @dBel84 running out of the LL3, and @purrin's speakers.

 

Glad I also got to try out some gear that I've been curious about that I can scratch off my list now as well.

 

All in all, it was my favorite meet so far and has raised the bar for next year. 

post #37 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Some of you may know both Alex Cavalli and Ti Kan (AMB) as great contributors to DIY headphone amplifiers, particularly years ago when the notion of a headphone amplifier barely existed. Back in the day, both of them collaborated on improving the existing Kumisa III amp to come up with the CK2III. Ti had a CK2III amp there at his table. I got a chuckle when Ti and Alex met each other for the first time. I was sitting at the AMB table and I looked up: "Wow, you guys haven't met each other before!" That was a great moment because it describes the essence of these meets. We finally get to meet people who we have developed online friendships with.
beerchug.gif !
post #38 of 128

Sounds like you guys had a blast! Would have loved to have been there myself. Maybe next time...

 


 

Thought I'd get the ball rolling: 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/706262/lffs-enigma-new-from-the-maker-of-the-paradox#post_10283927

 

Anyone who spent time with the Enigmas: your thoughts would be appreciated. Also I've got a pair on their way to me soon, so I'll be doing a full report.

 


 

I can confirm that the modded Kingsounds are indeed amazing, as I spent quite a bit of time with them and took them to some local get-togethers where others seemed impressed as well. Their official unofficial name is The Blackbeard. The next version may have wood cups too.

 

Also I think Alex is calling his tube stat amp the Liquid Silk at this point.


Edited by MuppetFace - 2/18/14 at 10:11am
post #39 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

Sounds like you guys had a blast! Would have loved to have been there myself. Maybe next time...

 


 

Thought I'd get the ball rolling: 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/706262/lffs-enigma-new-from-the-maker-of-the-paradox#post_10283927

 

Anyone who spent time with the Enigmas: your thoughts would be appreciated. Also I've got a pair on their way to me soon, so I'll be doing a full report.

 


 

I can confirm that the modded Kingsounds are indeed amazing, as I spent quite a bit of time with them and took them to some local get-togethers where others seemed impressed as well. Their official unofficial name is The Blackbeard. The next version may have wood cups too.

 

Also I think Alex is calling his tube stat amp the Liquid Silk at this point.

 

I'm very close to joining you as an early adopter for the Enigma.  It has all the qualities I enjoy in a headphone: closed design, sweet midrange, good bass response without being excessive, fun to listen to with rock.  


Edited by daigo - 2/18/14 at 10:20am
post #40 of 128

CEETEE

CEETEE is one of Eddie Current's biggest fanboys. Eddie Current Zana Deux on the left and his BA on the right running KR PX4 output tubes. (Also a Schiit Vali on the far left). I think most of you know how these amps sound like. Quite different from each other but still cut from the same cloth.

 

 

 

CEETEE, the UE Rep, and everything else.

I don't know how CEETEE does this. Organize the meet. Bring his own stuff. Bring and show off UE's stuff. Run a raffle. And hang out with a few of us way past midnight. And for two nights in a row too. And no, I won't mention anything about the drinks, although it was much much milder this year than in the past. CEETEE is a respectable family man now.

 

 

linuxworks / Sercona Audio

I got a big kick of out linuxworks' nixie tube display on this beta22 amp. I probably sat there for half an hour turning the volume knob back and forth mezmorized by seeing the numbers change. linuxworks is like the ultimate geek - he always makes the coolest stuff. He also brought a DCX2496 (digital x-over and EQ) which outputs separate SPDIF. This would allow for an ultimate speaker crossover system utilizing multiple DACs and amps. I am seriously interested in this for my future speaker projects.

 

 

Cavalli Audio

Here are some photos of the "Liquid Silk" (working name). This was really nice with the SR-009s. Probably my amp of choice with them.

 

 

 

In succession from the front: "Liquid Silk", Liquid Colbalt, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold. Alex's table was totally packed. I wanted to hear the Glass again and the Cobalt, but i never got the chance. As I've said earlier, this meet went far too fast. I put my priorities on saying hi new friends and catching up with old friends in the Bay Area. Maybe two days for next year?

 

 

That's dbel84 / Don below manning the Cavalii table. It was great to finally meet him after being online friends with him for so long. BTW, it was really neat for you out-of-towners to fly in and finally meet up: Don, Sachu, Anedote, etc. And all my old friends from the Bay Area - too numerous for me to mention all of you. I really felt a strong sense of community here.

 

 

This is my personal favorite from Cavalli, the Liquid Glass (I love tubes). With the meet special insane deal, I almost bought one.

 


Edited by purrin - 2/18/14 at 10:59am
post #41 of 128

Donald North, DNA

I love Donald. I first met him at small meet in Venice, CA years ago. He is the most humble, most non-assuming guy I know. He has such a great sense of equanimity toward others. You would never know that he graduated from CalTech (The California Institute of Technology) with a degree in mechanical engineering or that he worked with Aurasound as a designer of speaker drivers for a number of years. He's now with Audio Design Experts now that Aura is no longer.

 

This is his DNA Stratus. This time around, he's put in a few tweaks which resulted in an incremental increase in sound quality. Blacker blacks, more spaciousness, cleaner bass.

 

 

The OB speakers I brought were inspired by Donald after he told me that I would never go back after trying the open baffle woofer concept. He was right. I had fun sitting down and talking shop with him - discussing elements of speaker design, what drivers we would use or need. We ended up at a point where I asked if there were a certain type of driver in existence for a specific application, and Donald replied "it doesn't exist". Then after a pause, "wait, I think I can design one and make it work". That's Donald for you.

 

 

Music Deadalus / Audio DYNA

This is the Cor Caroli LE. I liked this amp (as I also did last year). I don't know if there were changes to it this year.

 

 

Deadalus roped me into the blind AB test. (Oh no! Is the famous Purrin full-of-**** when he says he can hear differences between amps and DACs?)

 

The blind test comprised two systems. One based on the Woo WA5 with a suite of fully upgrades and good quality tubes (the EML rectifier tube is notable, as I know that makes a difference on the WA5) being fed by the Antelope Gold DAC. The other was Audio DYNA's Loupe (DAC / amp combo - not pictured), which seems to have caused some controversy (haha).

 

Using the Fostex TH900, I could easily pick out the amps, even in poor meet conditions with excess noise (it was fairly loud and the TH900 despite being a closed headphone, does not isolate well.) The Woo had better bass control and was smoother in the treble (just at my threshold of tolerance for treble spikiness). The Loupe was much more strident in the treble (actually just past threshold of pain), didn't have as good as control in the bass, but was actually more euphonic, i.e. tube-like in the mids. (BTW, I've used the TH900 for an extended period, and I always ran that headphone with EQ to correct for its FR irregularities.)

 

Overall, I'd had to give the nod to the WA5 / Antelope setup. Smoother treble, more accurate, better bass quality. But the differences weren't that huge right? taking into consideration the price differential...

 

I think that assessment depends upon the individual. We all know there are severely diminishing returns in this hobby. I tend toward the school of "insanity" or "no reason" where I am willing to spend thousands of dollars more to get increasingly smaller increases in sound quality. Although I still do appreciate good schiit for cheap.


Edited by purrin - 2/18/14 at 5:35pm
post #42 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post
 

WOW!!

Looks like I missed one mutha' of a wonderful event. I missed seeing you all, and experiencing all the amazing looking goods!! (But I just couldn't be there...)

Anyhow, even though I wasn't there, thanks to CEE TEE and zerodeefex and all my good friends for putting on what looks like an amazing event. My hope is, of course, to be there for the next one!

 

Keep them pics and impressions coming in!!

 

Cheers, all.

 

shane55

 

I checked on the forums on the ride up with Anax and LFF to find out you couldn't make it. We were bummed you couldn't make it. Maybe next year.

post #43 of 128

Frank Cooter

 

I always drop by Frank's table to see what he's cooked up. This time around, he brought up a SET amp with 46 (not 45) output tubes and EP OPTs. He did some interesting work to the power supply this time around. Solid-state rectified, but tube regulated.

 

Ever since someone popped the glass out of its socket of one of those famous radioactive blue glowie mercury vapor tubes, Frank has been worried about the risk, and therefore stopped making amps with those tubes. Those mercury vapor tubes do have a sound to them - one which is highly dynamic. I'm glad Frank came up with this design, because it really bridges that gap now that he isn't using those mercury vapor tubes.

 

As we can see, the woodworking and design are top notch. A great amp to go sonically and aesthetically with the LCD3 pictured below.

 

 

photo credit Ti Kan: http://www.ibiblio.org/tkan/audio/chang20140216/#

post #44 of 128

My first meet. Highlights:

 

1. Alex Cavalli's new electrostatic amplifier paired with SR-009 headphones is simply stunning.

 

2. HE-6 paired with a Yamaha DSP-A1 through a hand-made connection to the speaker taps. Incredible bass impact, never heard anything like it from headphones before.

 

3. A system with the original Stax SR-Omega headphones. Just lovely.

post #45 of 128

This was definitely a wonderful meet and my first one ever. The last time I was at the California Audio Show but there wasn't much there, although the Head Phone room was quite cool. It was great to meet and hang out with everyone and listen to everyone's headphones. People were all so nice, generous and understanding.

 

CEETEE - Big thanks for saving me a table and organizing this thing. We should organize another one SOON in a couple of months maybe? I think once a year isn't enough... Funnily enough I saw someone I knew through mutual friends there and met someone who's in the Golden Gate Lotus Club (where I am President).

 

Walfredo - Thanks for being the only Audio Technica guy there with all those great big cans. I was most impressed with your W1000/W1000X and W3000ANV. Now I want a pair myself for listening to at work. They are highly underated and a lot of people don't like them, but I loved those AT's. You brought a certain flair to the event. 

 

Bill P - Thanks for letting me listen to your modified ES10s, they were quite fun and different. I still prefer my ES10s over all the other headphones I have combined and that's quite a statement considering... It was fun hanging out too. Post some photo's when you can!

 

Anedote - Thanks for letting me listen to all your wonderful STAX. My favourite headphone company. I wish I could afford a pair that I could listen to in the office without disturbing my neighbors. No closed cans can compare unfortunately.

 

Uzi & the guy I shared the table with - Thanks for being such accommodation neighbors. The sock trick seems to have made my Denon AH-D950's slightly more bearable, although they are too bright for my taste in general and prefer the D750's as they are less bright, but for the price ($50) they are the best value headphones out there.

 

The headphone I found most impressive (besides the STAX 009 which is the best headphone ever made) is the modified T5P. It was probably the most comfortable headphone I wore that day, the driver looks super futuristic, the build quality is excellent. Best of all it had amazing bass and it wasn't bright like other Beyer's (in fact it was a bit dark). It was probably the only non-bright headphone I heard that was that revealing. The T1, T70P (I had) and the T770 Pro (I have) are all way too bright for my liking... I'm thinking about trading my Edition 8s with somebody for the T5P's... I like the build and look of the Edition 8s a lot more, and they are way more portable than the T5Ps, but the T5Ps did have a better sound (although I heard they don't have much bass stock)...

 

I am glad I joined because people got to try some headphones at my stand that they wouldn't have been able to try. Overall on the forum I think people aren't very keen on Ultrasones in General. I've always wanted to try the Signature Pro and Signature DJ and of course the Edition 7 or Edition 9 but nobody seems to have those... I heard they are more neutral and better than the Edition 8s in some ways (although less comfy and less isolating perhaps). In some ways I became even more confused, after the event, some of the headphones that weren't that bright, are now really bright for me... Even the ES10s, but I don't like the ESW9s that much either now because even though they are warmer, they are far from neutral and lack the bass of the ES10s (which have the minimum bass I want) and have so much sibilance. 

 

Anyway I hope people enjoyed my collection of ESW9, ES10, Beyer T770 Pro 32ohm, Ultrasone Edition 8, and Denon AH-D950s... I couldn't sell my T770 Pro 32ohm Limited Edition at the show but if anyone is interested PM me. I would be willing to trade for the W1000 or W1000X or maybe to partial trade for some other headphones.

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