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Official 2014 SoCal Head-Fi Meet Impressions Thread  

post #1 of 299
Thread Starter 

 

This was so much fun!!! We had 325 in attendance, including 225 meet attendees and 100 members of trade and their guests. It was so great to see many new faces and people that were attending a head-fi meet for the very first time. It's very exciting to see our community continue to grow!! I want to express a HUGE amount of gratitude to Warren who worked tirelessly for weeks on end and had many sleepless nights (literally) to help me pull this event off. Thank you Warren! Also, big thanks to Terry, Ed, Viet, Carlos, Alam, Andre and Bob for all of your help throughout the day, and especially Currawong (Amos) who made the trip from Japan to SoCal to experience the meet. 

 

LET"S DO THIS AGAIN SOON!

:beerchug: 

 

P.S. If you are not already a member, please join the SoCal Head-Fiers Group!

 

http://www.head-fi.org/groups/show/19/socal-head-fiers-group

 

 

March 28 Update: The Audio360 Show Report by Kevin Venable

 

 

 

The Official 2014 Socal Head-fi meet

 

by kevin venable


The Official 2014 SoCal Head-Fi meet was a most excellent way to spend a Saturday.

 

Held at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California on March 22nd, it was a full day of sonic revelry and community. And I do mean full in every sense of the word. 325 people crowded into the Westin's 2nd floor meeting rooms to roam the halls: 225 attendees and 100 members of the trade.

 

This was my second Head-Fi meet, both of which have been organized by Head-Fi members (and fellow Audio360.org scribes) Ethan Opolion and Warren Chi. These two guys have a knack for topping their previous efforts. So while my first Head-Fi meet remains one of my favorite life experiences, this one topped it in every possible way. I am reluctant to even contemplate what they might have in store for the next one. Though the rumor of a two-day event would be welcome, as trying to get to everything was quite literally impossible.

 

There was plenty of brand new gear to hear, with many pieces being debuted for the first time at the meet. It was like a personal audiophile candy store, with tantalizing and free samples. However what topped even the exquisite gear was the sense of camaraderie that permeated the place.

 

a0023_Preamble_01.jpg
   

 

The community aspect of the Head-Fi forum is something you need to see in action to appreciate. Everyone tends to be laid back and helpful. The day ends up feeling like an afternoon hanging in your friends living room listening to music. In some ways that is exactly what is happening, except your friend invited 27 high-end personal audio companies over, who wanted to share in the experience!

 

It was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones, and though a good chunk of this article is about gear impressions, the main impression left on me was one of connectedness. Connectedness through music and the gear we use to get closer to that music.

 

 

On With The Show!

 

Some notable things are missing from my impressions. I apologize to Affordable AudioBrilliant Zen AudioExit Level AudioJerry Harvey AudioNoble AudioNuForceplusSoundSchiit Audio and Ultimate Ears for not getting enough time at your tables to get something in print. However on the plus side for those companies, the main reason this occurred is because I just couldn't find a place to sit down and have a listen. Well I will get on with it then...

 

a0023_AnalogSquaredPaper_01.jpg
   

 

Analog Squared Paper

 

Head-Fi member Sam Edwards had the portable tube amplifier from Analog Squared Paper in Japan on his table.

 

The system was fronted by an Astell & Kern AK120 feeding a Meridian Director via optical cable and driving a Sennheiser HD 800. It was a bit light in the bass but made up for it with a liquid midrange and clear, sublime highs.

 

 
Apogee Digital

 

Apogee brought the full line of their AD/DA products and were very excited to be there. The table seemed busy most of the day as Head-Fiers ate up the stellar products and down-to-earth price points.

 

Being a long time Duet user for recording, I looked forward to checking out the Symphony... it didn't disappoint. Great sound and up to 32 channels of analog to digital conversion makes it a great fit for any project studio.

 

On the other side of the price spectrum the Apogee One supports recording and playback on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac while sounding superb.

 

 
Astell & Kern

 

The new AK240 was definitely one of the most talked about pieces of gear at the meet.

I'll admit that even though my bothers-in-arms here at Audio360 had given it the huge two-hard-nipples seal of approval, I was still skeptical about it living up to the hype - not to mention the price point.

 

I wish I had a picture of my face at moment I heard this little beast. As the music traveled from the AK240 up the balanced cable to the HD800 and into my ears, I thought if I only needed digital playback this system could be very well be all I would ever need. High marks indeed, and if this what it costs to get this type of sound and convenience you may have to count me in soon.

 

 
Audeze

 

I actually didn't feel the need to stop by the Audeze table at all. Almost every vendor and quite a few of the member tables had at least one of their headphones. I believe that says plenty about the reputation of the company and every time I auditioned an amp or DAC with one I realized that these are just amazing headphones.

 

The new LCD-X is an amazing reference level headphone and the LCD-XC sets new expectation levels in closed cans. I personally still have an issue with the weight of these exquisite sounding headphones but I can't fault their sound or build quality.

 

a0023_Bakoon_01.jpg
   

 

Bakoon

 

Bakoon had two of their current drive amps on display fed by Sony Hi-Res walkmans.

 

The amp sounded very good and in current mode and startled me with the way they brought my Beyerdynamic T1 alive seemingly from the dead.

 

I would like to spend some more time with this product for sure.

 
Cavalli

 

 

a0023_Cavalli_01.jpg
   

 

Dr. Alex Cavalli makes some of the best headphone amplifiers in existence today. The JPS Labs Abyss paired with the the Liquid Gold made a believer out of me... playing back a live version of the Eagles Hotel California with such weight and authority I got shivers.

 

The Liquid Glass is an innovative product that sounds excellent as well. Both of these two products will get their own reviews here on Audio360 in the near future and are quite worthy of all the notoriety they have been getting.

 

In fact, Mercer can't shut up about the Liquid Gold! Considering that his reference desktop amps (E.A.R HP4, ALO Studio Six, Burson Conductor, McIntosh D100) when he claims the Liquid Gold is part of his current "favorite system of all-time" well, I'm not sure what's coming, but I have a feeling it might be a slightly positive review.

 

 

 
Chord

 

 

a0023_Chord_01.jpg
   

 

The Chord Hugo was shown by Los Angeles audio dealer AudioHigh and was fronted by the wonderful Meridian Digital Media System. After a brief listen through the provided HD800 I hurried back to my table and retrieved my Beyerdynamic T1.

 

This tiny and odd looking DAC/AMP made great music with both headphones and with it's feature set has made it on to my further consideration list for my home system, both in my main rig as well as my portable one.

 

The only complaint I heard was about how it looked. People seemed to either love or hate it's appearance. I for one love it.

 

 
Darin Fong Audio

 

 

This table was out of your head and out of control! The Out of your Head software was just insane.

Darin Fong has really achieved something remarkable with its ability to pretty much become a surround sound system on your head as well as sound like different speakers. Only available for Windows at this time, the Mac version is in the works now and I am drooling!

 

 

 
EAR Yoshino by Tim de Paravicini

 

a0023_EAR_01.jpg
   

 

Dan Meinwald, the U.S. distributor for E.A.R., had a wonderful table showcasing the HP4. Both Warren and Michael Mercer have been telling me how ridiculously good this amplifier is.

 

Well, it didn't disappoint.Driving my Beyerdynamic T1 and fed by the E.A.R. DAC4 the sound was dynamic and moving. The soundstage seemed wider than should be possible and the timber and tonality were spot on.

 

Dan played a found sound composition for me that made me feel lost in a city after dark with strange noises all around... intensely beautiful.

 

 

 

a0023_EddieCurrent_01.jpg
   

 

Eddie Current

 

 

The 2A3 MKII was in attendance at this table. It sounded syrupy sweet and detailed.

 

I am not a terribly huge fan of the French music that is often used to demonstrate the Eddie Current amps and cut my visit short as a result.

 

 

 
Fiio

 

 

The only piece of Fiio gear I was interested in was the X5. I gave it a listen with an AKG K702 and found the sound very good. I was however pretty much unable to figure out the user interface. It was decidedly unintuitive. However at the price point it sounded quite good and possibly with the manual it would end up making sense.

 

 

However, it should be said that the Fiio table, which was hosted by TekFX, was highly entertaining. The person who was sent to man the table was really never around, he was staggering around the entire meet seemingly extremely intoxicated in some manner. Truly surreal.

 
Grace Designs

 

 

Grace sent event organizer Ethan Opolion the new m920 to show on his table. Paired up with the DNA Stratus driving the HD 800, HD 700 and T1 the sound was remarkable. A full featured studio monitoring control solution, the Grace has a myriad of features that we will delve into in a full review here soon.

 

 
HeadAmp

 

 

HeadAmp brought both the GSX and the Blue Hawaii. The GSX was anodized in a beautiful red though I regret I accidently deleted the picture I took. It was stellar with the LCD-XC.

 

The Blue Hawaii with the Stax SR-009 set a new standard in resolution and dynamics for me. I would love to own this set up for sure. Both the SR-007 and the SR-009 sounded so heavenly on this amplifier I can understand the reference to paradise in the name.

 

 

 
Light Harmonic

 

We have probably all heard the Light Harmonic Geek Out crowdfunding story. It is a good read and shows that the general public is really interested in better sound if approached properly. But how awesome is the headphone awesomfier?

Let's just say it defines it's class. In fact it may just be in a class of it's own.

 

It is a stellar piece of kit, driving both the Audeze LCD-XC and the Beyerdynamic T1 I tried with ease and pure musicality. Our own Michael Mercer will have some reviews on the Geek Out out by the time this is published; Read them and believe them!

 

a0023_MrSpeakers_01.jpg
   

 

Mr Speakers

 

 

I went to the Mr Speakers table excited to hear the Alpha Dog as I had been putting off buying another closed headphone until I had heard it.

 

Well, hearing it on the Cavalli Liquid Glass showed it to be every bit the knock-out people have been reporting it to be.

 

Dan also showed me his new Dog Treats: small "biscuits" of industrial grade craft foam that are used to reduce the high frequencies above 4 kHz without affecting the resolution of the headphone.

 

a0023_MrSpeakers_02.jpg
   

 

A quick demonstration later and I was a believer. I actually liked the headphone equally well with both the highs intact and reduced. Dan joked that this was headphone rolling!

 

The big news at the MrSpeakers table though was the introduction of the new Mad Dog Pro: a headphone that sits comfortably between the Mad Dog and the Alpha Dog in sonics and price. I actually really liked the Mad Dog Pro and think I may be getting one.

 

 
Pendulumic

 

 

a0023_Pendulumic_01.jpg
   

 

Pendulumic was the surprise of the show for me. The new company was debuting a $199 dollar Bluetooth AptX capable headphone that also has an active and passive cabled mode.

 

My girlfriend and I stopped by the table mostly to get our stickers for the raffle and I decided to let my girlfriend try the headphone. Thirty seconds later she asks me to get it for her. I decided I needed to hear it for myself.

 

In Bluetooth mode the sound was full and musical, taking full advantage of the lossless ALAC files on my iPhone. I really enjoyed it's presentation in both active modes, and found the passive mode to be decent with my phone as well.

 

If used as intended this is a wonderful headphone with a full feature set for being out and about with a great sound. Full review to come here on Audio360!

 
Reference Sounds a.k.a. Paradox Audio

Reference Sounds a.k.a. Paradox Audio

 

Luis Flores (LFF on Head-Fi) is a legendary member of the community well-known for his extraordinary modding skills. This was my first exposure to Luis's work and I think the Enigma was a great introduction for me.

 

The sound was clear and dynamic and very linear in the mids and highs with a slight boost in the bass that made for very fun listening. This sound signature - if done correctly (as it was in the Enigma) - is one of my favorites. And after my short visit with the headphone I was ecstatic to learn the we are going to be doing a full review of the headphone here at Audio360.

 
Sennheiser

 

Confronted with a huge three-table setup, I was overwhelmed by Sennheiser's appearance at the meet. As they were incredibly busy, the only thing I stopped to check out at the Sennheiser table was the the HDVD 800 powering the HD700 via the new balanced cable.

 

The HDVD 800 was stellar with the HD700 as I expected it would be, but in balanced mode this combo was a beast! I was very, very impressed.

 

 
SPL

 

 

I stopped by the SPL table to say hi to my old friend - the SPL Phonitor 2 - which I had just returned a few weeks earlier after reviewing it with Michael Liang here at Audio360. I tried it with the LCD-X and wished I had that headphone during the review as it was a fantastic pairing.

 
Woo Audio

 

 

a0023_Woo_01.jpg
   

 

John Wu over at Woo Audio sent Warren Chi a full table of gear for our perusal. Most notable were the just announced WA7D and the prototype of the WA7 tube power supply.

 

The extra optical input on the WA7D is a nice addition and worked seamlessly with the Woo Audio CD transport. The tube rectified power supply is a huge sonic upgrade to the WA7. Vocals and horns seemed more alive and instrument separation seemed better in comparison to my personal WA7 which was just a few tables away. This was despite mine having a better source and better output tubes than the Woo demo unit.

 

 

The 12AU7 rectified power supply is going to be huge!

 

 

 
WyWires

 

a0023_WyWires_01.jpg
   

 

After a seven month design phase, that a few of us at Audio360 where involved in on some level, Alex Sventitsky released his Red Wire series of headphone cables at the meet.

 

These cables are sonically excellent, reasonably priced and look devastatingly cool! I have been living with my HD700 prototype cable for a few weeks know and I love it.

 

I can't discuss this table without mentioning the DAC. The system used to demonstrate the cables was The Audeze LCD-X, Schiit Mjolnir and a Lampizator Level 5 DAC. Having heard all of the components except the Lampizator before I realized that a big part of how blown away I was by the system was the DAC. It quite simply may have been the most musical DAC I have ever heard.

 

So while I need to thank Alex for the most amazing headphone cables (and other cables as my system is wired mostly by Wywires cabling), I must also give him my gratitude for introducing me to a DAC that will most likely empty my bank account.

 

 

All Good Things...

Michael Liang of Audio360 said I should title this article: "If you weren't here your life sucks." Well, he would know about that, as he missed out on it! I may have to rub that in for quite some time.

It was a wonderful day full of music, gear, and community and I am glad I was able to attend. Thank you to everyone who was there; industry people, Head-Fi members and the organizing team!

 

Editor's Note:  For more impressions of the meet (and the gear), check out the Official 2014 SoCal Meet Impressions Thread at Head-Fi.org.

 


 

Original content from http://audio360.org


Edited by third_eye - 4/4/14 at 9:45pm
post #2 of 299

First of all, I have to say how awesome it was to be able to meet so many people face-to-face whom I’ve only talked to on the forums or via email. I wish I wasn't quite so jetlagged as I was wandering around in a bit of a zombie-like state at times.

Second, a huge thanks to Warren, Ethan (third_eye) and John (jw111) for not only organising an incredible meet, but, despite being so busy, respectively took the time to pick me up from the airport and drive me around town.

 

Also a special thanks to Mike Dias, Phillipe and the crew at Ultimate Ears and Kwon, Jimmy and everyone at iriver/Astell&Kern, Frank Cooter, Rastafarian, Mark @ Audeze, the Schiit guys and I'm sure there's someone I've forgotten for everything they all respectively did while I was here.
 

Here are some brief impressions with photos:

 

HeadAmp had a red GSX on display. I was susprised how small and neat the amp actually is, probably helped by the separate PSU.

 

 

 

The Blue Hawaii with its stunning sound that brings 'stats to life.

 

 

 

 

Exit Level Audio had a huge amp which I unfortunately missed trying.

 

 

Eddie Current had his amps on display. The latest one was on Purrin's table (where he had two Audio-gd DACs and his Off-Ramp to compare them.)

 

 

 

WyWires had their first headphone cables on display, the headphones powered by a Mjolnir and a Lampizator! That DAC I've always wanted to try and the whole rig made music sound so effortlessly enjoyable.

 

 

The front table.

 

 

One of the meet rooms. I liked the layout of a bunch of small rooms over one large one personally.

 

 

Audeze's table. The funny thing was how almost every table had the LCD-X, XC or 3 as the demo headphones, alongside HD-800s.

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Cavalli had his latest amps on display, including the Liquid Silk 'stat amp. It was more mellow-sounding than the BHSE. Due to noise being the enemy of 'stats, I didn't really have a time to get a great impression of it, but liked what I heard powered by the Cantata DAC. It seemed to do a better job with the 007s than I remember the Liquid Lightning 2.

 

 

The Liquid Silk is a hybrid.

 

 

 

Ultimate Ears had their new demo system on display. Rather than tediously setting up tips on all the IEMs for each customer, the black box has a UE18 demo connected with a special crossover that allows it to simulate the entire UE custom range. By clicking on one of the models on the computer, it will change the FR and switch drivers on and off as required to simulate that IEM. It made choosing a model incredibly easy.

 

 

Member tables. I was slack and only bought the Symphones Magnums with me on my table, which I shared with Rastafarian. Next year, if I can make it, I'll bring a lot more and do a proper rig. I also forgot to bring my flash down for half the shots.

 

Insidious Meme sitting at OJNeg's table:

 

 

...with Ultrabike.

 

 

Purrin's table with EC 4-45 (awesome) and OR5 feeding either a Master 7 or SA-2. I picked the sound difference between the DACs, but got which was which backwards!

 

 

Frank Cooter showed up with some of his awesome-looking amps. I tried the first one and enjoyed the old-school tube sound (when relaxing and listening was important over cavernous sound stage and hyper detail). Frank was great to talk to as well and I'm very glad I could meet him and he gave me some great tips on tubes for my Studio Six.

 

 

 

Warren's table with Woo amps.

 

 

John (jw111) at the Woo table.

 

 

Someone at Iron Dreamer and Edwood's table. Those guys brought a bunch of portable gear, mostly HM-901s. They very kindly helped fix another member's amp too.

 

 

John (jw111) with Rastafarian's Sigmas. Rastafarian is behind to the left.

 

 

Holy Schiit! The Ragnarok almost didn't make it to the show, but thankfully the guys fought through frustration to get the prototype working. The sound was very good, very no-amp-there-just-music, effortlessly powering the LCD-X and HD-800s. I had a long chat with the guys who had put in a lot of effort to set up a bunch of tables with gear.

 

 

LFF had his headphones on display. I liked the wide soundstage of the Paradox. His full headphones were more forgiving-sounding and intimate though. 

 

 

Brannan from Noble Audio was there. I didn't get around to trying his IEMs though.

 

 

 

The guys from Iriver / Astell&Kern were there. They had a balanced HD-800 with FBI copper cable there. I put on a Fiona Bevan binaural track from the Accidental Powercut series of albums (Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound download) that was on my microSD card and I couldn't believe what I heard. I think I swore repeatedly in disbelief. I passed that rig around with that track and got equal looks of shock from various people. The streaming server was also the real deal -- they had all their demo AK240s streaming without hiccup or loss of quality from a single Mac. 

 

 

 

The local E.A.R. distributor (whose name I need to recall) had a stunning CD or DAC to EAR 4HP rig. With select high-quality tracks and a pair of LCD-X the sound was phenomenal. 

 

 

 

Plussound Audio was there with their first aftermarket Roxanne cable (the purple one on the table at the front). 

 

 

Recognise these electrostats? No? That's because they are Kingsound's latest model (and I forgot to photograph the amp). 

 

 

Apogee were present with their range of iPhone, iPad or Mac-compatible recording devices.

 

 

That's all I took photos of. I'll write up some more impressions later.

post #3 of 299
Thread Starter 


Busy!!
post #4 of 299

Hope all goes well for Organisers & all attending... looking forward to seeing some great photo's... :bigsmile_face: 

post #5 of 299
Unityispower at vendor both.
post #6 of 299

Admittedly I almost don't wanna look at these - 

as I wanna be there SO bad.

 

But I hope the day stays as busy as this photo guys...

 

You deserve to have a TERRIFIC EVENT

 

:beerchug:

post #7 of 299
Place is packed. Like, mad packed. Tons of really cool things to demo, so many cans and setups and everything. I loved the IEMs they had demo versions of every one, tons of high end cans everywhere.

Everyone seems to be using Audeze lcd3, audeze lcdxc, or sennheiser hd800 for demo sets. Not that I'm complaining, except for the fact that I can't afford them frown.gif

Did take up JH on their free impressions + 20% off to get me some 16s ordered.

As for impressions, things I noticed

HD650s bassier sound seems more lively to me than my 600s
I love the lcd2s a lot. Kinda heavy though.
The Alpha Dogs and Mad Dogs were excellent, a bit heavy as well but mrspeakers is a cool and friendly guy. Very informative.
post #8 of 299

cool cant wait to see some pictures and impressions.

post #9 of 299
More pictures:





post #10 of 299
And more...


post #11 of 299
Very easy to get to this event. Easy parking at South Coast Plaza across the street (if you see the parking cops, just continue on to a restaurant or far away spot and park, then cross street). Convenient setup on 2nd floor, easy access to all rooms. Well done! Very happy with the amount and range of gear here to listen to all day long =D Definitely one of those events where 4-5 hours listening to everything isn't because you're slow.
Everyone very friendly, happy to show gear. Relaxed despite the numbers present. Morning from 9-11am was the best time to arrive - not a lot of people, easy to get time with everything then. Bunched up after that with everyone showing up.

Note: Lots of people talking, thus, not the ideal environment for listening to these pieces of equipment at lower sound levels you'd normally use at home. Good for testing the performance at louder volumes. Inability to test personal music tracks of known playback quality on all gear also limits the ability to discern differences between various pieces of gear, but genres of music are available and can be used to A/B.

Personal notes only - your ears will tell you something different, so take this as the experiences of only one listener at one point in time, in a noisy environment.

Cavalli Tube Amp + 6N7/6SN7/6GU7 tubes + Resolution Audio Contata DAC + Audeze LCD-3 headphones

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD. Personally, blows everything else out of the water and is THE Reference setup for me here. Mindblowingly rich, able to handle very high volumes without break ups in the sound or soundstage, never a bit of harshness, dimensional, handles the whole slew of music genres skillfully.

A Bargain at the ~$3k level when you think about it. Heck, even makes the $1K range Audeze seem 'sensible' when pared with this setup. LOL... Aspirational setup, something you seriously think of saving for just because it's so damn awesome. One of those setups where I just kept coming back, better than a warm blanket ,) Yeah, and crazy physicist behind this all, thus the neurotic detailed design of the entire amp. Makes a fellow researcher very, very happy toys like this exist on the planet Earth =D Volume knob alone makes this amp a dream to use - very smooth, just enough friction to give it a touch of resistance, easily adjusts from 0 to max. Explorations in Space & Time, Phrases (binaural) is one of those tracks you must try out on these!

---

Ultimate Ears

If you hate In-Ears, you'll still hate these using the foam tips. Drives me nuts! Fits easily due to the compressible foam tips. UE7 - wide, bold, no soundstage, a touch flat/lifeless and tough on some vocals. UE8 - Nicer than UE8 initially, but then becomes a bit shallow later. Better than UE7 on vocals, a bit smoother. Neither my favorites (esp. vs. the Audeze LCD's), and price point makes no sense vs. the regular Sony MDR-EX in-ears I've had before.

---

Fong

7.1 virtualizer software. Almost 'binaural'-like in how it creates the soundstage in software. Not WTH is in my head?!? like the Cavalli above playing binaural music, but a nice 7.1 soundstage like you'd expect with a nice home theater 7.1 setup or movie experience. Can make the vocals a bit more recessed than the standard stereo original, so it's not 'perfect'. One of those pieces of software that works well with expensive headphones and even the $40 Koss on demo, enough that it's even make me want to seriously test it and buy. Worth looking into, perhaps not for music, but definitely for movies and video games.

---

Orks Audio + HiFiman 500 + Braissimo Amp

Good, a touch smooth. Gets brittle when volume is very loud, thin knob is hard to adjust easily in fine steps.

---

Mendvan Prime Headphone Amp

Eh. Nothing to say here, from my ears. Moving on.

---

Bakoon HPA-21 + Audeze LCD-X + Maddog MrSpeakers + NW-ZX1

Better than Mendvan. A step above average consumer level sound, NW-ZX1 is a nice player. Good at various sound levels, otherwise, moving on.

---

Exit Level Audio w 20B tubes, Mirus DXD DSD, Sennheiser HD800

Nice sound stage. Notched Volume Knob. A nice Amp, but with the HD800, a touch harsh and brittle like most Sennheiser's. Choice of headphones mostly, probably would do better with Audeze's. Soft warmth of the amps, thus most music plays nicely up to very high volume levels.

---

Sennheiser

Plugged into A&E or personal player: Momentum - Nice for a light, small cup OTH headphone. Warm performance, rich bass, nice overall for consumer level players. HOWEVER, does not work with some MP3 players and cell phones due to the 4-ring design on the 3.5mm jack!!!!!! Needs a standard 2-ring model or adapter, but they don't make it. on a Senn. HDVA 600 amp: HD800 - crisp, perhaps pulls out too much detail and vocals always 'harsh', IMO. HD650 - mellow. HD700 - hollow

---

NuForce to HD800 Senn...

Ok. Crisp sound (due to the HD800), not full.

---

Apogee Sympony I/O or Quartet + LCD-XC/X

Flat, dull performance. Nothing inspiring here. Digital.

---

Grado SR325 + Magni + Mooi + Copper PlusSound cable

Good performance, nothing wrong here at this price point. Nothing to A/B with cable-wise, so who knows what is the true difference based on cable alone.

---

Noble 4 - touch harsh, loud volcals result in a touch/whipser of brittleness.

6 - didn't even bother. Tips were impossible to attach.

--

WyWires + Mjolnia + Esoteric + Ampigator + Senn 600 headphones

Smooth. Neutral, lively, nice bass & soundstage. Nothing to A/B with cable-wise, so who knows what's the true difference between stock cables?

--

A&E players

Okay, slow interface, uninspiringly poor LCD display on the lower-end model (poor off angle). Volume knob takes forever to adjust from low to high volume, could be far better. Otherwise, moving on.

--

Fiio X5?(latest model with black scroll wheel) + AKG K702

Nice, rich, smooth, good bass. Interface is nuts - took even a techie a few minute to figure it out. Otherwise, the pick above the A&E due to lower price point and better sound, IMO. -------------


Edited by adorable - 3/22/14 at 7:22pm
post #12 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by adorable View Post
 

Cavalli Tube Amp + 6N7/6SN7/6GU7 tubes + Resolution Audio Contata DAC + Audeze LCD-3 headphones OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD. 

 

 

Thanks for your report.  I will again look a this Cavalli Tube Amp.   are the 6N7/6SN7/6GU7 tubes the stock tubes ?

 

Did you also heard the CAvalli liquid gold ??

post #13 of 299
Liquid gold....amazing.

Really liked the way the Alpha Dogs sounded on the Cobalt prototype.

That whole table was just sweet. Probably spent too much time there.
post #14 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakahah View Post

Liquid gold....amazing.

Really liked the way the Alpha Dogs sounded on the Cobalt prototype.

That whole table was just sweet. Probably spent too much time there.

 

- will the Cobalt replace the LIQUID GLASS ?  any pictures ?

 

-which Cavalli did you prefered:  Liquid gold or the tube amp ?


Edited by bmichels - 3/22/14 at 4:24pm
post #15 of 299
The Ragnarok is a beaut. Really frickin big though.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Meets, Get-Togethers, Factory Tours › Head-Fi Meet Impressions, Trade Show Reports, Factory Tours › Official 2014 SoCal Head-Fi Meet Impressions Thread