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Official/ New York Spring Meet Sat April 5 2014 - Impressions Thread - Page 8  

post #106 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post

I really enjoyed the meet, as always. I spent most time talking with people, especially Mullett, ESL-1, and Dan. I really enjoy talking about all sorts of things with everyone, even things that have little to do with headphones at all! Pics to come, and thanks to Ari for doing the auction, Tom for organizing, Joe for loaning me cables, Jude for coming to support the community, and all the vendors and members who came to just hangout, it was really an awesome meet!


On to some impressions
N.B. As i said, I didn't really spend that long listening to that many systems for too long. I think I missed a few setups but I did get a quick listen to a lot of gear.

Abyss - First time I heard it was at NYC Audio Show last February. I hated it. I heard it last year at the winter meet, and I loved em. This time, I didn't like them. I think it may have been a fit issue, because I really just can't get a read on these. They are interesting sonically, but I just can't get a read. I think I like them a lot, I just need to spend more time getting a better fit

Teton - was really nice. Quite articulate and punchy I thought. I liked it a lot. But, there was a very apparent, yet quiet, hiss in the amp, but it could have been the song choice. I picked a song I'm very familiar with in Pinball Wizard, maybe Decur was using a different recording than I. However, it was definitely one of the best tube amps I've heard, minus the hiss.

HD800 - I owned a pair, but sold it because I prefer the T1. I still feel the T1 is a more involving, more interesting headphone, probably the best in the world in my opinion. However, the HD800 is certainly better for classical, more laid back music.

Lampizator - As mentioned, it's difficult to "review" a DAC when it's in a system with an unfamiliar amplifier and an unfamiliar pair of cans. I know I like the He-6, but have only heard it on a few occasions. I had never before heard the W4S mono blocks. Overall, the system sounded fantastic. I loved chatting with Craig and the other guy there (sorry I didn't catch your name) for a few minutes. He enlightened me about some DSD stuff, which was quite nice.

K812 - I really enjoyed my Q701, and I think the K812 has a similar tonality. It has better sound staging though, and a much more airy feeling. I really liked it driven from the small fostex portable.

Momentum - The first time I heard them, I didn't like them. This time, out of the HDVD800, they were pretty nice, I listened for a bit, but wasn't my preference on music, so I couldn't get a good feeling, but they were definitely usable.

HDVD800 - I want this amp badly. Really badly. I want to compare it to my Burson Soloist pretty bad, too. This amp just seams so clean, and coming from Sennheiser I can expect great things. I actually did notice a difference between the balanced and unbalanced HD 600's. This is the first time I really heard a noticeable difference. I think the HDV600 is something I want to get, since I don't need the DAC, but it's still out of my budget unfortunately.

Alpha Dogs - I really like the Alpha Dogs, and I think Dan has done a fantastic job in their production. The cups are perfectly finished, the headband distributes weight evenly, and the pads are some of the most comfortable I've worn. I think they sound like an open headphone truly. They have a little darker sound signature than I prefer, being a T1 + Solid State user, but I think they sound spectacular in terms of detail retrieval, balance, and comfort. I also want to say that Dan is one of the nicest guys ever. I got to talk to him for a good chunk of time, and it's always a pleasure to chat with him. We talked about some totally random stuff, as well as some relevant topics such as the foam he uses and why he didn't choose a matte finish. I think he's a great guy, and I always look forward to his attendance of the meets.

Woo WA7 + Power Supply - I really like all of Jack's amps. They are all so clean and articulate. I had a few issues before where I was using poorly matched headphones with his amps, but I now wish I had never sold them. They all sound so clean and are never too smooth. The WA7 impressed me from day 1, with a more solid state sound than most tube amps. I think Jack does a phenomenal job tuning his amps. I listened to the Aloha Dog on the WA7 and found the combo quite pleasing. There is some great aesthetics to the amp as well, which can only help the cause. Jack is also a great guy, and I wish you guys would all leave his station alone so I could a) listen for an hour on all his different amps and b) talk to him for a little haha. He's always so busy I would feel bad starting a conversation. But he's quite a nice guy and really knowledgable too.

W3000anv - I'm quite thankful Maxx134 left these at my table for a while, as my dad and I both loved them. They were pretty awesome! They were comfortable and sounded fantastic. They also looked cool. They had some nice separation and detail retrieval. They also had no noticeable flaw in their frequency response, which I didn't expect for some reason. They were really a treat.

R10 - I have heard them plenty of times, but I'm still always amazed at how great they are. If I could own one headphone only, any headphone, it would be the R10. They are so airy and spacious, but still articulate and involving. The best listening experience of the meet was Eric Clapton Unplugged on the R10's, simply sublime.

TubesUSA - George was a really friendly guy, and tested and graded my tubes for me, which was very helpful. I think I'm going to end up buying some tubes from him, and it's nice to have a more personal connection to some extent.

T5P - I really wanted to like these. They sounded a bit closed in. It could have been the amplifier, I'm not sure how good the Beyer amp is. I did like the T90 a fair bit though, and Pete and his partner (Sorry again for forgetting the name!) helped me find the earpads for my T1. They are really nice guys, and their help is greatly appreciated.

LCD X - I think it has some good qualities, and some not so good qualities. I expected it to be a bit brighter than it was, which was a little disappointing. I heard them before, but I just expected a different result this time and I'm not sure why. I think they are quite comfortable, but not as sonically preferable as the LCD3

LCD XC - I heard a prototype last year at the NYC Audio Show and was absolutely blown away, granted they were running off some ridiculous CD player and Amp that cost together I believe $20k. I hadn't heard them again until the meet, where they really shined off of the GSX-2. I think these are my favorite Audez'e headphones for sure, and I wish I had the funds to buy a pair, as their slightly darker signature would compliment my T1's well.

Lambda vs. Lambda Pro - Tyler, Joe and I compared Joe's Lambdas with my Lambda Pro's using his Stax SRM-T1 amp. I think the Pro had a bit more bite to it, and the original maybe had a little more extension, but I don't think anyone could pass a blind test, as they were much more similar than different without a doubt.

Amp Product designed by Doug (Don't remember the name) - this was the amp with the green plastic glass casing. I don't remember what topology exactly it was, or what the price will be, but the amp sounded pretty good with the HD800. I think I need to know the price to ultimately judge the value and performance of the amp, but it would definitely say it performed well enough to warrant further investigation.

LCD 2 - I actually liked the LCD 2 a little more than I thought I would. They sounded pretty dark, but at the same time, they had some nice extension and treble presence. They were a little laid back in the treble region, but they were still good for the music that was there. I was pleasantly surprised by these.


Final note, the winner for best demo music goes to Dan (Mr.Speakers), with a close second going to Jack. Third is a tie between Frank and Skullguise. They all had ample music samples that I liked, especially AC/DC, which is great for testing the attack of headphones. I think Dan wins because I also got to listen to some B-52's, which really showed off his headphones well. Jack had a lot of interesting albums too. Frank for his plethora of generally known artists, which was fun, and Skullguise for his epic Sony media center. That thing was sweet!

If I think of anything else, I'll add it.

dutch-

the teton has no hiss,  i have the album "the who" "tommy" with pinball wizard on 16/44 standard redbook and "24/96" purchased hi-rez from hd tracks, and the hiss you heard is on the hi-rez 24/96 hd tracks but completely dead silent on my 16/44 original cd ripped to my computer!

funny,i never noticed this until you mentioned it!

you have some good ears

post #107 of 163
Quote:
W3000anv - I'm quite thankful Maxx134 left these at my table for a while, as my dad and I both loved them. They were pretty awesome! They were comfortable and sounded fantastic. They also looked cool. They had some nice separation and detail retrieval. They also had no noticeable flaw in their frequency response, which I didn't expect for some reason. They were really a treat.

R10 - I have heard them plenty of times, but I'm still always amazed at how great they are. If I could own one headphone only, any headphone, it would be the R10. They are so airy and spacious, but still articulate and involving. The best listening experience of the meet was Eric Clapton Unplugged on the R10's, simply sublime.

 

I, too, would own the R10 over any headphone I've ever heard. However—the one piece of equipment I was hoping to hear was the W3000ANV, and fortunately Maxx134 brought his (with Alpha pads installed). I spent some time listening to it on various amps, and I liked it so much that I left the meet with it, having traded Maxx my HD800 with a Cardas balanced cable. I have to say that I'm in love—I think in terms of euphony, richness, presence and sheer enjoyment, the W3000 is second only to the R10. Like the R10, it just makes me want to listen. Through it, music sounds as though the color saturation is turned all the way up, offering buckets of tone. And the details that grab my attention are musical, not sonic. Whereas with the HD800 I was noticing that the microphone captured the singer taking a breath before singing, with the W3000 I notice the way the singer bends a note or drops into a different register. Also, it is remarkably revealing of the texture and timbre of specific instruments—I've never heard cymbals sounds so much like cymbals, or was able to distinguish the sound of Blue Mitchell's trumpet so clearly from Clifford Brown's. An incredibly special and capable headphone—what a shame that AT only made two thousand units.

 

In short, I had a great time—thank you, Tom. 


Edited by mink70 - 4/10/14 at 1:27pm
post #108 of 163
On the Grado PS500 auction win, don't forget they will benefit greatly from 50 to 100 hours of break in.

Enjoy, I know you will.

smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by ESL-1 - 4/10/14 at 5:37pm
post #109 of 163

Ok a total newbies experience here....  Here is a quick back story. While I am only active on the this site about 8 months, I am no stranger to everything audio.  As you can tell from my avatar I am a true blue deadhead and have been since 1980. I started collecting live recordings almost as long.  Music is everything to me... I started recording live shows in the late 90's...  I have way more music than any one human should be a allowed to have.  Surprisingly the one set up I didn't have was a "deadicated"  headphone listening system...  I became active on this site and decided on a bang for the buck system.    I went with a set of DT990pro and a ZeroDac opa627 version....  Just to hold me over till I could do some more research... I live in NEPA and missed the headphone meet in philly a few months back and it bummed me out.  So when this New York meet was announced there was no way I was going to miss it... now for my impression.

 

First off let me say the meet was amazing.  Thank you to all those who organized it.  It had a real communal feel to it.  It reminded of those Dead shows I miss so much.  Everyone was supper cool and inviting.  Everyone I spoke with was very approachable and answered all my questions.  The assortment of gear was awesome!!!  everything for entry level to full tilt off the hook crazy....  It surpassed by my expectations.  Just as in speaker audio and recording audio it is clear you don't need to spend a lot to get quality gear.  However if you want to go nuts you can....  The following in my humble opinion of a review.  I  understand everyone hears differently, has different tastes, styles of music... there are just so many variables that go into hearing, take my review with a grain of salt.   

 

Regarding the headphones I heard...

 

1. Audeze LCD2.1....  I thought these sounded amazing on the EC2A3MKii... I was listening to Dark Side of the Moon.  The dimension of the recoding was stunning.  The air, the tonal quality, the way the music just seemed to float blew me away.  If this is what tubes do I am in trouble...man the wife is going to be pissed.

 

2. DT880...600ohm version.  I was curious to hear these since I own the DT990pro's.  I wanted to hear them with tubes.  And esl1 hooked me up... He had a WooAudio WA3.  Again I was blown away.   While owning the EC would be awesome... it simply isn't practical for me right now.  But the WA3.... yes now that's a amp I could really enjoy and it won't hurt the wallet to much. The warmth tubes give to these phones with the ever so slight roll off the highs is what I am totally after.   I am no prophesier but I see a tube amp in my future, possibly the WA3.  I was disappointed that a Schiit Valhalla wasn't there to try... I would love to see how they compare because the winner will be purchased. 

 

3. Audeze LCD2.2...  I really liked this headphone too.  The best set up I heard running the 2.2 were to gentlemen in corner running a Schiit lyr from the dac out of a burson conductor.  Again I was listening to Floyd and while it didn't give quit the dimension of the EC I could tell it was a rock and roller.. not as open but supper clean, fast but just enough tube warm to make it fun. 

 

4. Audeze LCDX...  I really wanted to like these headphones but there just wasn't enough bass for me.   While the treble was slightly better than the LCD2.2, the lower region just had me wanting more.  I was using the Woo Audio WA7 with the Tube power supply proto type.  While I thought the amp was cool it just didn't give me enough. I am wondering if the lyr would give me more...

 

5. Senn. HD-800...  Ok these got my vote for the most comfortable headphones I have ever tried.  However. I don't get the hype.  While I understand everyone hears differently I expected more from these.  I found them super accurate, too bright, over analytical and soft in the bass.  I tried many different pairs but none of them did anything for me.  Looks like these particular senns aren't for me.

 

6. The Abyss AB-1266...  interesting..  I  want sure if it was some type of ancient torture device, antique electric chair head piece or some type of old medical traction device for the skull.  I wasn't sure what to think about the sound.  While I listened to ACDC on a the Woo Audio amp...it sounded nice, just not 5495$ nice.  I don't think I got a good enough seal to hear the bass.  However my wife thought these were fantastic headphones...even for the price.

 

7.  Mr. Speakers....  I had a interesting and informative session with Dan.  I listened to a great Rob Wasserman recording with the mad dog pro's.  These sound fantastic... wait a second these are closed headphones... your lying... nope they are closed.  Wow again this was a headphone I could get into...  The combo of the schiit uber bifrost and the lyr was perfect.  The warmth but perfect tonal balance between the highs and lows is something I could possibly use for mixing my live recordings.  Then I tried the alpha Dog's I am not sure if it was the recording or what but I thought the Mad Dog pro's were better...  I couldn't put my finger on it there just wasn't enough there for me.   

 

8.  Stax SR-009...  Now understand I am a newbie here and this was the first time hearing a electrostatic headphone.  Now if I had the disposable cash these would get my nod for "I will be buried with these" headphones.  While I saw some commented the Head Amp BH wasn't the best match for these phones, it brought one question to my mind... "You mean these can sound even better" "Holy Crap!!!"  I look forward to hearing these at the next meet I hit.

 

9. V-modda  XS, M-80, M-100...  While these seem to be targeted towards the hiphop listener, I couldn't see myself owning a pair, however these are totally up my son's alley.  Oh youth is wasted on the young.

 

10. The Hifiman HE-6 These were great sounding headphone. Reminded me of the LCD2.2 but the bass was a little rolled the highs a little crisper. They were a tad laidback sounding.  While I enjoyed them, I liked the LCD2.2 better.

 

 

While I could go into equal detail about each amp I heard I will keep this section short...

 

1.  The Eddie Current 2A3MKii...  my favorite amp of the meet.  Again what this amp did for the LCD2.1 is what a paint brush did for Picasso.  Simply stunning.  Hopefully this amp will still be in production when I can afford it.  It was absolutely luscious!!!!

 

2.  The Woo Audio WA3... This got my vote for best bang for the buck.  While it didn't quit give me everything the EC did... it gave more than enough that I could be really happy with it.  Again I want to hear a Valhalla before deciding but I will own a tube amp.

 

3. Schiit Lyr... If I ever get the LCD2.2 I will get the Lyr!!  enough said!!! it is a match made in heaven.

 

4. The Bottle head Crack.. honorable mention. I love to hear how my beyers sound on this amp....

 

 

In conclusion I had a great time... so did the wife.. I will definitely hit another meet or two and then the buying will begin...  Some one said to me not long ago "sorry about your wallet", lets just say I understand now.......

 

Peace Otheronek.....OOK for short...

post #110 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESL-1 View Post

And don't forget they will benefit greatly from 50 to 100 hours of break in.

Enjoy, I know you will.

smily_headphones1.gif

 

It was nice to meet you ESL-1, you had some nice stuff with you!

let me know if/when you feel you don't need to have that SR-3 anymore :L3000:

post #111 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat6man View Post

It was nice to meet you ESL-1, you had some nice stuff with you!
let me know if/when you feel you don't need to have that SR-3 anymore L3000.gif

Same here, glad you enjoyed the "smorgasbord", wanted to mix it up from my table in the Fall.

Maybe for the next meet I will go it bit more into the past, original Sennheiser 2000 ohm HD414, the HD414 Anniversary reissue, Koss ESP6 and ESP9 electostatics could head up the list. For your listening satisfaction I could also bring the Stax SR3. I am sorry you missed when I did have a second set but I promise to give you first right of refusal should I ever decide to part with mine. In the meantime I will keep an eye out for any for sale.

If you think you might enjoy, PM me your email address and I will send along some photos.

Best regards....

rolleyes.gif
post #112 of 163

Sorry for the delay in responding, but I’d first like to thank Bozebuttons and others who were involved in putting together this fine meet, and of course to the members who selflessly lugged some fine gear over so that the rest of us could partake.  And to have international man of headphones, Jude, fly in (and boy were his arms tired – har har) with a suitcase full of goodies was icing on the cake.  Very nice of him to do so – thanks very much, Jude.

 

One thing that impressed me, as a consequence of the large size of the room, was the relatively low noise level, making it much easier to hear the various headphones and systems.  I felt that overall quality continues to improve to a very high level.

 

Others have already provided a lot of specific detailed impressions so I’ll just add a few other comments. 

 

First, re the Oppo planar magnetic, I was only able to hear some cello classical music – but I was very very impressed with the clarity and tonality of the headphone.  But, given the limited music that I heard, I had no way to judge its capability with other genres.  I didn’t notice any deficiency in soundstage that others have mentioned, though I wasn’t paying particular attention to that characteristic.  I’d like to hear more music on the Oppo because what I heard sounded excellent.  Another member mentioned to someone that he thought it was one of the best at the meet.

 

MrSpeakers – The new Pro sounded excellent, deep powerful bass of the Mad Dog combined with some of the Alpha Dog superlatives in the mids and highs.  I still prefer my Alpha Dogs overall, though, as a reference phone.  I tried to compare the Alpha Dogs with the Audeze LCD-XC – both closed phones sounded excellent, but very different, with the AD being smoother and having a more enticing mid range.  In my brief listen, my preference overall was the AD, esp. considering the price advantage.

 

HD800 – The room seemed to be filled with them, on some superlative amps too, esp. tube amps.  I still feel they are incredible for classical music but on other genres like rock, dance, even some jazz, still a bit thin overall, with too much energy on top and not enough down low.  That’s just my opinion, and that’s why I sold mine awhile back.

 

T1 – Beyer guys were nice and helpful.  To me, the T1 had great clarity but still had a bit too much energy in the highs.  Great phones, though.  I also tried the new T51p and compared it with the DT1350 that I had on me.  I felt the T51p provided no improvement on the 1350.  I had hoped the T51p would have some extra treble to make up for the somewhat subdued treble on the 1350, and maybe some additional detail. But no…

 

Jude had the Sony PH-H2 portable dac/amp, which seemed to be a fine unit, beautifully built and fine sound, and ran the Alpha Dogs very well.  But, it doesn’t charge an iPod while being used, and that’s a deal breaker for me on a portable unit.

 

Abyss – I couldn’t get the fit right in my brief tryout and felt uncomfortable, so probably as a result the sound didn’t knock me over.

I always find it hard to judge the various amps at a meet because of the different phones and music used.  But the Woo audio amps seemed to have such positive comments from members.  And they are so gorgeous too. 

 

There was so much great stuff that it’s hard to do the meet justice in a few brief comments


Edited by Skyyyeman - 4/10/14 at 9:00pm
post #113 of 163

Great impressions! Keep them coming.For those who where unable to attend the meet.

I enjoy reading them ,making it worth all the effort in organizing the  meet.

 

 

And for all the newbies Sorry about your Wallet:o2smile: 


Edited by bozebuttons - 4/11/14 at 9:49am
post #114 of 163

Nice writeup Otheronek. I'm a Deadhead who got on the bus in the late 80s. Sorry I did not get to meet you.

post #115 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by VandyMan View Post
 

Nice writeup Otheronek. I'm a Deadhead who got on the bus in the late 80s. Sorry I did not get to meet you.

 

same here..............do we need a separate tapers' section next time?

post #116 of 163

Maybe next meetup we can do a shoot-out to find the best headphone for live audience recordings.

post #117 of 163

Right on Cat6man and Vandyman.....  I would be into that.  Its funny you said that Vandy...  That is what I am going after for listening.  I good headphone for live recordings and one for mastering...  they could be one in the same....  When I retire from recording (which will likely be never) I plan on sitting down, kicking back and reliving all those live moments.  Some I listen to now and still get the goose bumps when I hear them.  I can't wait to try it with some tubes involved.  It will be scary real...........

 

I learned so much from this one meet and from hanging out on the forum.... its awesome. 

 

Peace OOK 

post #118 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozebuttons View Post
 

Herueyes,

           How are you liking the PS500s?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESL-1 View Post

On the Grado PS500 auction win, don't forget they will benefit greatly from 50 to 100 hours of break in.

Enjoy, I know you will.

smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozebuttons View Post
 

Great impressions! Keep them coming.For those who where unable to attend the meet.

I enjoy reading them ,making it worth all the effort in organizing the  meet.

 

 

And for all the newbies Sorry about your Wallet:o2smile: 

Hey boze and ESL-1 been so busy lately with work that the Grados haven't gotten much of a workout... Too many cans and I've only got one head (for listening that is) Sorry just trying to be politically correct in case there are any eunuchs trolling about.... :blink: I still haven't hooked up the SRD-4 yet!!!! & yes my wallet has been hurt but you know the old saying....

 

If you fall off the horse then you get....

 

Peace... will post some pics soon...:L3000:

post #119 of 163
Sounds like an old Deadhead convention, really did need a tapers section (didn't have the characteristic odor I remember so well, though). Many Dead shows since the mid 70's myself, though now I'd consider myself more a music junkie than a follower of any particular tribe. Did my Dead time, though, didn't have the energy to do the taping thing (did actually try it, bought a rig to tape concerts, trouble was, you had to be very still to get a good recording, and I could never sit still with exciting music going on). Sorry I didn't meet all you there, either, next time we can all wear tie-dye shirts. Great impressions.
post #120 of 163
Jerry Garcia was my neighbor when I was a wee lad...
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