After LOTS of effort by Warren to find help for the UE table (all the way up to the last minute), I was able to spend a good part of the show/meet walking around catching up with people and even listening to a few things!! THANK YOU Warren. (Hafta use some caps myself.) You are seriously juggling lots of meets this year, dunno how you do it...Headphonium and D.C. and Toronto next? Madman.
BIG thanks to Ethan (Third_Eye) too, for an amazing amount of coordination, communication, and keeping the threads going plus everything smooth on the day. From SoCal, no less!
Also a large thank you to Mike Johnson: Michael Mercer's friend who builds speakers stepped up at the last minute to help man the UE table. Maybe we can get more info on Mike Johnson's speaker builds? I have a feeling from spending time with Mike that they are of great quality.
The DoubleTree renovation looks great and the room shapes/sizes (narrow/long) really suit the table set-ups so that you can listen, have some space around each table, and cut down the noise. Nice.
Impressed by the Astell & Kern display- they had all kinds of high-end headphones to try with their players. From full-sized to IEMs, including customs demos from UE and JHA. Brilliant! I need to be more disciplined at these meets, I knew that I wanted to listen to some of the esoteric Final Audio IEMs that they had but just couldn't sit still long enough to finally try them. Next time, I recommend that you ask them what they brought- they may have something on your list to try out and at the same time you get to listen to their players.
One nice Head-Fier (oakie) patiently and quietly waited in his corner opposite OJneg and particleman14/Tmoney. He brought TWO portable tube amps that I have not heard before: the Fostex and the GoDAP. I didn't have my HD600 or HD800 with me but listened with my UERM. They are both bigger for portable amps, but c'mon- too cool. (They actually were cool, they did not get hot.) The Fostex had a higher noise floor, so not good for IEMs. Would have liked to try it with larger phones. The GoDAP was quieter and nice- an "anti-digititus" device. Brought the headstage presentation up a bit higher and closer while smoothing things out a little and widening each source compared to my Leckerton UHA-6S Mk. II. So the Leck was more accurate but the GoDAP was very pleasing and easy to listen to. I have heard the GoVibe PortaTube and liked it with bigger phones. Would be great to read a comparison of the Fostex, GoDAP, & GoVibe in a shoot-out someday- with full-sized phones and IEMs.
Nice Surprise Rig of the Shmeet (Show/Meet): OJneg's PC > Gamma 2 > Dsavitsk/ECP Audio Torpedo Amp w/upgraded caps/tubes > HD600. This combo was immediately detailed and controlled/clean up top for HD600 and had punchy, fun bass that also seemed controlled. You can build a Torpedo for like $300 at Beezar. DAC and amp are DIY. What a great, fun rig. The long form factor of the amp might also sit nicely on someone's desk, we were thinking.
Audio DNYA's modded/re-cabled HD800 and Car Caroli amp. This was a warm, comfy HD800 set-up which shouldn't pierce anyone's ears. After listening to the AKG K812 with stock cable on the same amp (not too bad, little analytical), the HD800 seemed warm/rich/cozy/bigger the way they had it set-up.
After speaking with Gavin from Light Harmonic, I'm more excited to try and grab a GO 100 when they are in full production. Sounds like they will be even better than the prototype that I was already trying to buy. Now I'm more excited about the Wave players too. What they learn from earlier products and delivery should make the units better and get out smoothly by the time we're in 2015. Glad I have a couple of those coming since I like the Geek Outs a lot. There was not a prototype Pulse this time, but there seems to be a possibility that it will make the SoCal meet...
Had fun at dinner teasing Ti Kan of AMB about the new Gamma 3 DAC under development. I asked him if it would help him complete the design faster if we all bugged him every other day for updates. I really like Ti and since the Gamma 2 has had such a long life, I expect the 3 to sound good too!
As much as I do want to try the nice gear that I only see pictures of, I end up distracted- wanting to say hello and talk to members that I only see at meets: tengen, sanjosecanjunkie, Calaf, bobcn, John Williams, jazzfan, Shane55, aamefford, etc. I know I am forgetting some people right now.
Thank you Mkubota1 for bringing back some headphone bags from Japan and also some new revision Head-Fi portable bands! (People at dinner got the new design Mike made with narrow logo version so that when you stretch them, they look "correct" and not "stretched out" around your player rig. All in black too, with an inset logo.)
Until next time...
Edited by CEE TEE - 7/20/14 at 12:44pm