Figured I'd start a new thread for meet impressions if only mostly to post pictures.
First, a big thank you to Julian for organizing the meet. The Head Fi name tags were a nice touch. The size of the party room was probably perfect for the number of people who showed up, and having a view(and access) outside was great.
Overall meet impressions:
The first thing that struck me was how many tube amps were on display. Since my main rig is also hollow-state, I know tube amps can sound great, but I’ve yet to hear any tube amp that plays with the sort of absolute control and ease that a statement solid state amp can have. I’m hoping we see more high-end solid state amps at future meets if only for variety. Maybe it’s just that I own too many tube or hybrid amps, but I think I’m ready to try SS again.
I haven't been too active in audio lately, so I was surprised by how much difference a source can make. Near the end of the meet I was checking out AlanHell’s Benchmark DAC-1/Rudistor RPX-35 setup on the MDR-CD3000s, and mentioned how a warmer source might work better for me. AlanHell was nice enough to swap sources to the Oppo Bluray player, which completely changed my impressions of the Rudistor. Initially the setup sounded detailed but cold and thin, which was odd for a Class-A SS amp, but the Oppo flipped the sound 180 degrees. Another setup I tried with the CD3000s was with zorin’s Discmen feeding an ALO Continental. This took me right back to the great sound I remembered listening to when I bought my first set of CD3000s back in ’92 when all I had for a source was my D-321.
Enough rambling; time for pictures. Oh, and please let me know if I've messed-up the description on your equipment.
Stapsy's monstrous Eddie Current 2A3 mkIVs with the HD-800s. You can see the massive outboard power supply behind the laptop. These interstage coupled parallel singe-ended amps are powerful enough to drive efficient speakers as well. There was an issue with a solder joint on one of the channels, but this setup still sounded great.
ChrisJ's SRS-2170 Stax rig. Very smooth and airy. Definitely need to try more electrostatics if given the chance.
NightFlight's modded Bottlehead Crack driving another pair of HD-800s. The HD-800s unfortunately sounded a lot better than my Crack+HD650 combo.
This better not lead to yet another headphone purchase...
xzez's Aune T1 playing through HE-400s, instead of driven by the Fiio E17 he also had.
This wasn't supposed to mate-up the best, but I actually liked the full-bodied character.
Need to spend more time with the HE-400s in the future.
AlanHell's Benchmark DAC-1/Sennheiser HDVD-800/Rudistor RPX-35 setup.
This was one of the most impressive sounding setups I heard with my old MDR-CD3000s.
I think I have to build a system around the CD3000s in the future now that I know what they're capable of.
EuphonicArin's AKG K240s. This is the second time I've heard these AKGs, and I've liked them both times.
Another shot of AlanHell's setup with balanced Beyerdynamic T1s.
The mids on these headphones always struck me as a bit too forward, but I wonder how these sounded balanced? Anyone know?
happywater's Jeff Rowland Aeris/Little Dot MkVIIIs driving HD-800s. AMAZING presence and clarity.
Burson Conductor driving LCD-3s. Controlled, smooth, and full bodied. One impressive sounding setup.
MickeyVee's Naim DAC-V1/Woo Audio WA6/HD-800 setup. Still quite new and not fully burnt-in.
Another setup to keep an eye on at future meets.
zorin's ATH-W3000ANV/ALO Continental setup. Don't let the Discmen fool you, these were one my favourite setups at the meet.
Discman porn. From back when discmen were real discmen and Sony made some world-class headphones.
This setup with my MDR-CD3000s really brought my old 'phones back to life.
Loved listening to the guitars on Emmylou Harris's "May This Be Love" with this combo.
Clsmooth391's Eddie Current Balancing Act+HD-800. Unfortunately didn't get a chance to hear this combo.
happywater trying out the Balancing Act next to JAG87's Paradigm Studio 20s.
Gozzer trying out Nightflight's HD-800/Crack setup next to my H-650-Crack setup.
xzez tring out ChrisJ's other setup with a Fiio E09K driving DT-880s?
HE-400s on a DIY rig. Anyone know the specifics?
Finally JAG87 shaking one of the many numerous hands offered to him for putting together an awesome meet. Thanks again Julian!