First all, thank Dr. B for hosting the meet. Everything went smooth, and thanks for everyone's great effort to make this happen. There were a lot high end gears.
Dr. B's studio:
Edited by Seamaster - 4/28/14 at 8:01am
Here's my mega post with images:
First off though, huge thanks to Bottlehead for hosting the meet, Big Poppa for organizing the meet, Girl's Generation for the ride there, and Lugia for the ride back to my dorm. Also big thanks to everyone there who let me listen to their gear and photograph it!
Big poppa chatting with someone from Bottlehead:
Bluefish's headphone loadout:
Uhh, alpha421's setup? (Sorry I forgot your username)
This was what the restroom sign looked like:
The glorious pictures that greet anyone who enters the bathroom:
Didn't get a chance to listen to any of these headphones, hopefully next time!
I got to listen to this setup. The HE-6 driven from that speaker amp sounded pretty sweet, but I'm not sure if the 6 is worth twice the price of the 500. I also thought it was still a little too sharp sounding (like all the Hifimans I've heard/owned) unfortunately. I didn't like the Beyer DT880 at all; it was too bright for my tastes.
Sweet setup! I really liked the keyboard too.
I listened to the Fostex TH900 with the 2A3, I enjoyed the bassy sound signature, but I think the midrange might be a bit too sucked out for my preferences, and it's a wee bit too expensive for me to consider buying.
Girl's Generation enjoying the 009.
To reciprocate, he took my photo as well when I was listening to this 009. With the KGSSHV, it sounded a bit too warm. Not a "lush" warm, just kind of a lifeless warmth.
Girl's Generation's friend (I forget your username, but I remember it's the one with all the random letters) looking at some IEMs.
Big Poppa talking with Alpha421(?)
Another picture of Bluefish's setup, with my crap to the right.
I listened to the D2000s and really liked them! Even though the isolation is a bit lame, I liked the sub-bass boost and the general kick it had from the bass, and I didn't really find the treble harsh or offensive at all. Once I see a good deal on these on eBay and have some money, I'll probably buy them.
I also finally got a chance to listen to the Airbow SR-SC22. Out of my SRS-212 amp, I didn't notice a huge difference between this and my 202 with 507 pads, except that the Airbow sounded a bit harsher and brighter.
My 202 (background) and the Airbow (foreground)
Just the SC22
I liked the connector.
The Alpha Dog and an HD800. I didn't spend too much time in this room so unfortunately I didn't get to listen to either of these.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to listen to any of these either.
Lugia962's massive setup. I didn't actually bother listening to any of this either, because I made a trip down to Tacoma a few weeks ago to listen to all of it at his apartment. Pity I lost all my notes for that journey though. I'll try to summarize them here.
I really like the SR-Sigma. Someday when I have money I'll try and get one. Even They're actually pretty dark sounding, with a pretty large bass bump that rolls off quickly, almost like when I hold my SR-202's drivers a few inches from my ears. Despite being so dark, they have a really weird and awesome soundstage, and they maintain an amazing amount of clarity for being so dark and old.
I liked my 202 with 507 pads more than the 404, Lambda Nova Signature, and Lambda Signature that he had too. One of the Signatures is really forward and harsh in the mids, and the other one's just bright. The 404 is less bright, but still brighter than my 202s, to the point that the treble would probably start annoying my ears after a while.
The W3000ANV sounds okay, but I don't necessarily like its "euphoric" sound signature, if that's even the right word to use.
Some ATs (W5000s?) and the MDR-SA5000. I agree with Lugia that the Sony sounds good with vocaloid (artificially synthesized vocals) music, but just sounds a bit off with any real human voices. Also bright but not unbearably so. There IS some bass there too. They also have a certain effortless similar to STAX, except probably brighter.
If those are in fact two W5000s, the two sound totally different. One that Lugia's friend (dunno his H-F username) bought a while ago doesn't sound too bad, but Lugia's that he bought more recently sounds more nasally and weird.
The AD1000PRM is a very specialized headphone. It sounds great with approximately three songs from my library, and bad with the rest. Lugia will know exactly what I'm talking about here.
Fidelio X1. Basically a poor man's HD650, IMO, with more bass and treble that's a bit more lifted and rough.
Lots of bottleheads at this meet if you couldn't tell yet...
Mad Dog and HE-4. I didn't listen to the HE-4 though, hopefully next time I can compare this to a stock HE-4 I heard earlier.
Bottlehead's freaking awesome tape machine:
The AKG K-1000. Holy schiit, this thing is glorious. If there's one headphone I really want now, it's this. The tonal balance was pretty dang perfect, even the bass (this is the bass heavy version I believe) with great clarity and an awesome soundstage!
The HD800 with the Anax mod driven from a Mainline amp. I'm not exactly sure what it was about this one, but it kind of sounded dull and veiled, more like an HD650 than what I remember the stock HD800 driven off my O2 to sound like...
The new AKG K812. Holy crap did this thing have gobs of clarity and detail. Comfort was pretty good too. Even with the Crack amp though, it still sounded too bright and harsh for me. It was ruthlessly revealing of the song I played on it, which I thought had pretty good mastering!
The new bottleheadphone. It wasn't bad, but I don't think I can give it a fair evaluation, considering it was on the same table as the HD800 and K812.
Some of the parts in one of the rooms we were using.
Kingstyle's setup. Oh mie gawd, talk about a jawdropping setup!
I briefly listened to the LCD-3 right at the end of the meet. I don't remember enough about the 2 to do fair comparisons, but I still felt it was a bit too warm and closed-in sounding, especially compared to the 009 that was sitting right next to it.
The legendary 009 and 007 together. The 007 MK1 sounded a bit too warm compared to the 009, but I didn't have time to fully appreciate either of them, and Kingstyles did say (if I remember right) that he had some rather warm tubes in the Liquid Lightning to try and warm up the 009.
The 009 was amazing. I loved how hyper-resolving it was, but in a totally different way than the K812, it never really felt fatiguing or painful, and it just felt politely revealing. And the build quality of the cups and pads on both are amazing!
And finally, just for fun, here are a few photos of the ferry ride back:
Ok,I will start with the bad. We were very excited about AKG K812. K812 did sound good but that was it. It did not impress me at all, it can do some nice tight bass but did not go deep enough, the vocal is kind dry, and sound staging is average, certainly is not good at this price range. K812 is VERY comfortable to wear. HD800 on other hand sound much better compare to K812, of course, it is not really a fair comparison since the HD800 was well broke-in and had a after market cable to smooth out the sound. The K812 had a very skinny looking stock cable and we did not know how many hours it logged-in. The comparison was done with Bottlehead Mainline amp with volume left untouched. The mainline does everything right with the HD800 but not so hot with the AKG. I fully aware AKG is rated at 36 Ohm, and I did try both low and high gain with Mainline. As soon as switched from K812 to HD800, I feel the music started to flow again in a stress-free fashion.
Looking forward to impressions of the Bottlehead DAC...
Ummm Miceblue, Cracks and Stax. The other way not so good LOL. Except on shipping day I was told... Stacks of Cracks....... Starting the day of the meet having breakfast with M2man and Curbfeeler at Easy Street records. Catching a ferry with no hold up and making it to Bottleheadquarters quite effortless compared to making the trip in August.
This meet was the best in gear at Bottlehead. But from the last meet in January Seattle Headfiers made a group buy of Stax gear and didn't tell me....
Besides the killer gear it was great the VAN CAN crew showed up, Girls Generation and posse......
The set up upstairs of all the Bottlehead gear is a sight to see....... Nicer to hear. You see the pictures, it is not the same, in person just a great experience.
There was prototype stuff for all to see at meet eyes only.
Headfiers that made it to meets like from years ago made it to this one...CoughMarkjCough and one I have to look up handle.
One thing I really really thought was great to see is a father and son came in to see and listen to what was going on. the kid was not older than 10, but he listened to the gear as much as his dad. To me that is the great stuff that happens at meets.
Will post more later Im beat had to get up at 430 and go to work this morning.