Not sure if this is the correct place for this thread...maybe I will ask to move it o put another link in another thread so it gets some viewing.
I thought I would go over some thoughts about HI-fi in general.
Obviously we are trying to assemble systems that please us..... and if it can be done within or under budget that is great (guffaws- keeping in mind my original budget for a near state of the art stereo to last a lifetime was $1500 back in 1978).
Ok. so headphones are great because of portability which relates to manageability.
It is a quick mix and match exercise to get great sound! and the cost is typically lower for many things. And for the most part...the acoustic issues are minimized compared to other audio endeavors.
Car audio testing is a major PITA- fitting speaker installations EQ time delay..the list is endless.
Home audio gear is heavy, expensive and scattered amongst dealers that are geographically far too spread out and exists mainly in affluent areas (perhaps Hong Kong, and singapore have good dealer density I haven't been there... or NYC ). Hell even when I tune at a show- it's a pain to try and substitute gear from a few rooms down on the fly.
Of course in headphones... shipping is cheap (headphones are cheap enough soooo you could buy say.... 4 pairs and return the ones that don't work - ...not so hot for dealers) , and it size makes it easier.. but a meet is still the best.
So let's try to optimize the meet scenario. I'm not even saying I have experienced the best formatted meet. I just think we need to give some thought to the format helping ...not hindering, our ability to discern the correct choice quickly with a great degree of certainty.
One of the best meets I went to.... did not have a ton of gear... it was a Denver meet I think in 2007 or 2008. we were in one hotel room- the tables were set up around the perimeter with another perimeter ring in the middle. I was new there- no one had met me in person to engender trust as yet.
Easy line of sight to the whole room- so there was little apprehension about loaning something out to someone to walk across the room to plug it into some part of someone else's rig. You could see your loaned out item, see it was being handled properly, and that it did not leave the room.
THIS LEADS TO FAST EXPERIMENTATION.
I went to this meet to look for a snowboarding rig expecting to buy a PICO DAC/AMP or perhaps a RSM Predator DAC/AMP with Sennheisers HD 650 or HD600. If I had ordered things online... I would of perhaps ordered these two well reviewed items, and bought...and NOT been as happy as with what I "Discovered" at the meet. now I am sure the RSM Predator would not have made me unhappy at all... I still like those units... (and would still but a Predator today and still looking for a used one) ...but I was happier with what I decided upon.
I tried all of the what I was interested in,a nd fellow head-fiers pointed me to Ultrasones. I heard a pair stocka nd one with a APS V3 recable. I heard my first Imod. I heard a bunch of ALo docks and other docks. I went away in a single day knowing EXACTLY what I wanted to buy.
Since then I only changed from a Ipod Classic 6th gen to an Imod 5.5 Gen and changed a docking cable but I had it all in my hands in 2 weeks...and boy was I happy.
I wanted to do this again at the recent SoCal meet. (Which was very well organized... )
I failed completely in finding my "new" "improved" rig.
The meet was set up more like a regular audio meet like T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. I was not "new" there- many people recognized me because I organized 2 LA meets. I had trust. But I could not get a rig assembled from our "LIBRARY" of choices.
1. The layout (spread in multiple rooms)
2. No line of sight to everyone and everything.
3. Hard to find people
5. Hard to find people who loaned you things to give them back
In short... for me... the meet was not good use of my time. I left....completely empty handed.
The matra of head-fi
"Welcome to Head-fi, sorry about your wallet"
-was not fufilled. I bought Nothing.
HEAR ME VENDORS? I BOUGHT NOTHING! My credit card balances are now getting paid down.
(now some vendors did crisp business like Astell Kerns 240's were racking up sales.... but to them... IT COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN BETTER!!!!! There could have been greater sales, more purchase glee.
To someone who had never experienced the earlier meet style... and this was their first meet- they were a kid at Disneyland... but for me... it was like trying to DEMO headphones, amps ,cables from multiple vendors at CES.
I'd hear something in one room- and not know what else was around to pair it with until i went into another room. I got introduced to very little new gear as a result. instead of assembling a rig in 2 minutes it took like 20-30 minutes.After 3 rigs..I just gave up.
bad layout.... fantastic Meet socially though...well organized. Don't get me wrong...nothing negative about it... it was an EXCELLENT meet. I just found it difficult to do which came easier to me before- i.e. pick a rig and know it is the best sounding rig I can get for my ears for the money- and leave with zero doubt.
I did have a great time talking with people- so it's not that it wasn't fun.. in fact it was in a way more fun when I gave up and just got a chance to talk to people more. But in the end - I couldn't say with certainty that I had optimized anything towards a new rig.
So I am looking into securing a better venue (I figure if you want something done - you may have to do it yourself- though I hope to have help) .
one with security control of who comes in and out,
one with a reference soundstage for newbies
A place for vendors.
A place where you can feel secure in loaning gear to an unknown head-fier.
Just a better way to do what was done before EFFICIENTLY ... Like of the old Denver meets were head-fi 1.0 and so was RMAF 2009 (I helped run the head-fi table there too) I want to make sure that people can get there- try as many rigs as possible and get to audio nirvana faster (ahem... don't expect cheaper...you just end up going further than you thought....though you might get cheaper if you set an audio quality standard IN STONE and then look for bang for the buck ).
THE GOAL IS TO FIND AUDIO HEADPHONE NIRVANA in a single meet. and if possible BUY IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE hello vendors????
(we might have to make some sonic concessions for the wallet nothing new there......we can't all have Stax 009's....I found a good compromise to settle on...and you should be able too...IF YOU CAN TRY ENOUGH RIGS IN THE ALLOTTED TIME. It helps to have everyone accessible for good advice -and to easily pass on good rigs with great system synergy to others and share our findings. Audio is really a team effort, with your ears as the ultimate arbitrator.
So i am sketching the layout- I found a place.... and I'm meeting to get permission. The goal is to come with your gear and be able to buy what you want...and possible be able to sell what you have to BUY WHAT YOU WANT THAT DAY!
Edited by Golden Ears - 4/16/14 at 10:59pm