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
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Official 2014 SoCal Head-Fi Meet Impressions Thread - Page 3  

post #31 of 299
Quote:


I love this pic! Warren looks like the cat that ate the canary!
post #32 of 299

Hello!

 

Looks like I'm one of the first to check in with my overall meet impressions. Firstly, a huge thank you to Ethan, Warren and all of the people who made this possible. Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay for a Head-Fi dinner as my friends in LA claimed me for the night, but I had a fantastic time and flying out from Dallas was absolutely worth it! You'll have to excuse the craptastic quality of my pictures, tons of people brought professional cameras but I'm a iphone kinda guy. Everything stated is IMO. I listened to a huge amount of stuff, but I'll probably only talk about things that really stood out to me and surprised me, for better or for worse. Let's get cracking -

 

Noble Audio - I arrived very soon after the meet started and managed to snag a seat here before anyone else. Got to try the Noble FR and PR, which had a very neat universal switch toggling between two different sounds. You can find more information on the Noble site here: http://nobleaudio.com/products/universal/switch/ The FR was more to my tastes - fun and did well with contemporary songs. The switch made a significant difference in the tuning, much more so than I expected. You can really think of it as having two different sound signatures in one earphone, very neat stuff.

 

Also got to demo the Kaiser 10!

 

 

Initial impressions - Very cool piece of gear. Fleshed out in the bottom end and well extended into the highs. A very involving sound that invites you in. Immediately captured my attention. Played well with a wide genres of songs I tested. Won't commit to saying it's absolutely my cup of tea with just my 10 minute demo but I liked it quite a bit.

 

JH Audio - Their booth was swamped, but I got a chance to play with the Roxanne universals paired with the AK240 and my iphone.

 

 

I was expecting to be wowed and blown away, but surprisingly these didn't really do it for me upon my first listen. The range is there, but the sound as a whole wasn't what I was looking for. The AK rep mentioned that it could possibly be because they weren't tuned to the right iphone settings, and that's a valid possibility so I certainly won't throw these under the bus quite yet. However, I will say that both the CIEMs I brought and the AK202 (I believe?) sounded better to my tastes out of the exact same AK240 that the Roxanne was supposedly tuned with. Hopefully I'll get another crack at these.

 

Light Harmonic - Geek Out

 

Finally got to hear the Geek Out for myself and am glad I did! Really cool concept to have crowdfunded, and I'm guessing they certainly won't disappoint the backers. Definitely a USB amp/DAC worth considering at the price range - I will say that it's not something you probably want to plug straight into your computer as it's a little large. Probably a good idea to get yourself one of those USB extension cables (as the booth had, bravo!) so you don't accidentally put pressure on it during a listening session and snap it off.

 

ReferenceSounds - Enigma

 

Very cool to finally meet Luis in person and hear some of his masterings. The dynamic range was an absolute treat to listen to.

 


I really liked what Luis did with the Enigma - it's a more fun version of the Paradox to my ears. I think the earpads were a fantastic choice - they really helped the isolation and were incredibly comfy to boot. I'd give these the nod over the Fostex TH-600. Less strident in the treble and a bass that doesn't really tinge the lower mids. If you listen to music and want to toe-tap, this could be your cup of tea. This was one of the earlier booths I hit, and I went back to it later on to give it another go after the crowd had died down.

 

Mr. Speakers

 

I have to admit that I came in with a bit of a negative bias on Mad Dogs. At a Dallas mini-meet with some Head-Fiers, I heard a revision of the Mad Dogs that didn't sound very good to my ears. Then I heard a one that sounded rather good. When I asked why there was a difference, I was informed that they were different versions of the headphone, that Mr. Speakers had updated the headphone and that one was the latest revision. This didn't necessarily sit right with me, as I thought it was very unfortunate to the earlier adopter that he received a product that wasn't as "complete". I think after talking with Dan, my viewpoint has softened a bit. He explained how he wanted to stand by his products and to continue trying to push their limits and improve them, as opposed to abandoning the product entirely and starting a new line. As a commodity manager in supply chain for a huge corporation, I can definitely appreciate the idea of continuous improvement. I liked what I heard in the Alpha Dogs, but the treble might be a bit nagging to my ears. Dan seems to be aware of the potential concern sensitive-treble people may have with the stock product, and has developed a quick-fix mod to tone it down a notch. I really wish this company all the best in the future, and hope each revision leads to significant improvements on the existing product.

 

Audeze

 

These guys don't need any introduction, and you all probably have seen millions of pictures of their headphones so I won't even bother. Got to listen to the whole family and have to comment on how fantastic their reps were. Very friendly and open to questions, really impressed with the customer service. As much as the headphones drew interest, it was the great staffing that kept people there, and I saw many a person spend quite the while chatting it up. Big kudos! The LCD-X was probably my favorite of the bunch. I have concerns about the weight of the headphone, but I'm mulling purchasing one and listening to it with my own setup.

 

Ultimate Ears

 

Another booth that really outdid itself - all of the reps were very knowledgeable about their products and how each of the CIEMs differed, and they had a cool "black box" that simulated the sounds of all of their CIEM offerings so you could listen and see which ones matched your preferred sound signature. A big thanks to Vincent for patiently fielding my questions and teaching me quite a few new things about CIEMs as a whole. I was seriously considering picking one up, but arrived just around the time the audiologist left. Perhaps it's something in my future though, as the UERM and UE18s both made a favorable impression on me.

 

Pendulumic

 

I'd never heard of this company before, and the sale reps informed me that this meet was their Head-Fi debut. They made quite a splashy interest with the bluetooth-capable Stance headphones! The fidelity was quite good for wirelessly connecting to my iphone, and honestly made a favorable impression on me, especially at the price ($199). I do wish they were a bit more comfortable though, the earpads were a bit stiff and the structure was a little rigid. However I think the company is off to a good start, and I'll be very curious to see where they go from here.

 

Darin Fong Audio

 

Software that simulates speaker settings, and does so quite convincingly. Right on! Watched a movie with it, and the variety of speaker settings available to choose from was impressive. After I head back to Dallas, I plan on giving the trial a shot with my own gear. Fingers crossed it plays nicely.

 

Headamp

 

 

Great. Really great. Paired with an Ayre DAC, probably the best I've ever heard the Stax 009 sound. 100 units are set to ship out soon and are all spoken for. Was told there's currently an 8-month lead time, so Justin certainly has his hands full.

 

 

 

Standout Member Setups

 


Macbook Pro -> Centrance HiFi-M8 -> Marantz Amplifier -> Fostex TH900

 

Sorry to the Head-Fi member, I actually can't recall the name (started with a K). If it's you, please let me know so I can properly credit your great taste. The TH900 has a special place in my heart for being the headphone that always makes me headbop along to the music. I wonder if the user specifically tweaked the amp to synergize with the TH900, but it was a real treat. The vocals are actually better than I remember, and didn't sound sucked out and distant as other setups I've heard. The member actually had a selection of music quite similar to my own, so I picked out a few songs that emphasize peaky treble points and was thrilled that my ears weren't offended. Wonderful stuff!

 

Purrin

 

 

Purrin's entire setup was stuff I've never heard before. An Empirical Audio Off Ramp for USB, 2 Audio-GD DACs you could toggle between, and an Eddie Current 4-45 amplifier with an Abyss.

 

Recently I've been thinking that so long as you have a decent setup that plays nicely with TOTL headphones, it's all just a matter of taste and trade-offs, with synergy just a nice afterthought if you have the patience and the $$$ to try everything out. I've been really content with my own stuff for a while and thus have been rather inactive on Head-Fi in recent months. Damn. This is the first time I've had setup envy in a while. The saddest thing is that apart from the Abyss, everything else was new to me so I don't even know what each piece of the setup was responsible for what I was hearing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

Fantastic meet, made that way by the fantastic people of Head-Fi. Got to talk with some really experienced Head-Fiers, and likewise give recommendations and opinions to others who are just coming into the hobby. I'll show myself out with a picture of a purchase I made at the meet.

 


Yup. It's the AK240. Yup, I thought people were crazy for purchasing a portable system that costs $2500. Yup, I ended up buying it after realizing I might be one of those crazy people. To be honest, I'm not 100% convinced that this is endgame, or that it will be endgame for me. One thing's for sure though - I have a lot of happy listening to do on my flight back to Dallas. Cheers all, hope everyone had as enjoyable a time as I did.


Edited by HideousPride - 3/22/14 at 8:29pm
post #33 of 299

Thanks everybody. I had a great time!

post #34 of 299

It was a nice experience especially for a first timer. I met a lot of people (unfortunately I'm bad with names) especially Mr Jude Mansilla, and heard a lot of amazing gear. The ones I liked the most among all the ones I've auditioned are the over the ear and on ear Sennheiser Momentums, IE800, , HD800, Audezes, AKG K701, K204 Mark II, HE800, and Noble RF iems. I'm already looking forward to the next meet! Thank you Head-fi and head-fiers!

post #35 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Edwards View Post

Thanks everybody. I had a great time!
Same here!
post #36 of 299

Great impressions everybody!

post #37 of 299

A big thanks to Warren and Ethan for arranging the meet, awesome job. We really appreciate everyone who came by to say hello and spent some time listening to our gear, thanks for all of your support!

:beerchug:

Brannan Mason

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

post #38 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

ME TOO.

 

HAVE A GREAT TIME GUYS

 

I wish I was there.

But Alexandra needs me.

Dude, you were mentioned by many and missed by all. I had a ball and learned a lot, so now we can talk without you having to work as hard as usual! :etysmile:

 

Great job by Warren, Jude, Russ, Carrawong (and a whole bunch of really nice folks whose name slips my addled brain at the moment) to put together a really fun day, but nobody who knows you can say that it burned with the full Mercer intensity. Next time! Give Alexandra my best wishes.

 

Thanks, everybody, this was a great experience for me, even if I didn't win anything at the raffle besides a crumpled up red ticket!

post #39 of 299

Currawong. And I had looked it up, and still spelled it wrong. What a dunce! My apologies (I know how it is to have someone bungle your name). 

post #40 of 299

What a great meet!  Winning a pair of UE900s was certainly a cherry on top.

 

Thank you to everyone putting it on and the wonderful vendors.  So much amazing gear... am I crazy or were there literally a few dozen Audeze X/XCs throughout?  Seems like every other vendor had some for test.  

post #41 of 299

Good to see everyone, new faces and old friends.  Well done, Warren and Ethan.

 

Highlights of the day for me:  Marv's EC 445, which is just ridiculously good, and the Bakoon HPA-21, which I am now officially lusting after.

 

Was really surprised by how much I liked the LCD-XC.  They are waaay different from the LCD-3s I briefly owned a couple of years ago.  Much better balanced across the FR, and instrumental timbres are spot on.  They seem easier to drive than past Audezes, as well: I got them as loud as I would ever want with iPad/Herus/iCan Nano.

 

The bad part: I van Gogh'd my UERMs.  Yup, somehow managed to lose one of the earpieces (the left one).  Put them in my pocket to listen to the Momentums, and when I took them back out 45 minutes later, no left ear.  If you found a stray custom earpiece with a white UE logo on a black background, please PM me; it's probably mine.

post #42 of 299
post #43 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
 

Good to see everyone, new faces and old friends.  Well done, Warren and Ethan.

 

Highlights of the day for me:  Marv's EC 445, which is just ridiculously good, and the Bakoon HPA-21, which I am now officially lusting after.

 

Was really surprised by how much I liked the LCD-XC.  They are waaay different from the LCD-3s I briefly owned a couple of years ago.  Much better balanced across the FR, and instrumental timbres are spot on.  They seem easier to drive than past Audezes, as well: I got them as loud as I would ever want with iPad/Herus/iCan Nano.

 

The bad part: I van Gogh'd my UERMs.  Yup, somehow managed to lose one of the earpieces (the left one).  Put them in my pocket to listen to the Momentums, and when I took them back out 45 minutes later, no left ear.  If you found a stray custom earpiece with a white UE logo on a black background, please PM me; it's probably mine.

yeah the XC's and X are far more efficient than the 3 and 2!!

When I first got the X Alex Rosson asked me to plug it into my iPhone (knowing how much I loved the 3, and not knowing about the better efficiency) - 

and I said dont f__ with me

 

but he got me!!

 

I wish I was there w/ all you guys!!

post #44 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlducks35 View Post
 

Alright, pics are now up.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nhlducks35/sets/72157642773230473/

great pix!

Thanks-

post #45 of 299
This was my first meet and I loved it! Thank you everyone who helped put this together.
That big wooden amp from Exit Level Audio sounded great with the HD 800s. The new Schiit Ragnarok was also very impressive. The Abyss cans sounded great but I just couldn't get over the comfort (or lack thereof) and not worth the asking price IMO. The LCD-XC was great, still don't know how they got that kind of sound out of a closed back design. Had a great time at the JH Audio table.

Oh and big thanks to Headamp for forever ruining my headphone enjoyment with the Blue Hawaii and Stax SR-009 combo :P I have a new life goal of owning this setup! That was absolutely unbelievable!
I'll try to post a few pics tomorrow.
Once again thank you everyone, this was a great day. Lots of friendly people and some awesome gear
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
This thread is locked  
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