Separate names with a comma.
Just posted thread to getthings rollin.... Will post more in a bit. Great meet.
Hope you guys had a great meet. Wonder what others think of Uncle Phil's e-Phi tube prototype amplifier. I had it on a loaner for awhile and it was a very sweet sounding amplifier.
Big thanks to Gil for organizing this meet and UE for the prize UE900's.
I got to hear a lot of really great stuff. Thanks everyone for making it so enjoyable and to Gil for organizing. Some of my personal impressions:
HD-800: Exactly what I expected from reading. Incredibly detailed and analytic with incredible bass depth and wide sound stage. That, combined with them being one of the most comfortable cans that have ever graced my giant mellon made them highly desirable in my eyes. Only running off a Bottlehead Crack too. Very exciting.
Abyss: Wow. First of all, these are monsters. Huge and, ultimately, uncomfortable. Not a great first impression. While listening through a DAC-2, I understand why people covet these $5500 beasts. They're fast, aggressive, and very resolving. I would love a pair of the headphones with entirely a different band. I'm excited to see what the company does in the future, but at this price point and the lack of comfort, they are definitely not for me.
HE-6: What happened? They sounded boring and, ultimately, not much better than my HE-400s. Sad. I wanted so much more. The brief time I had with the HE-560 was MUCH more pleasant and what I expect. The 560s sounded like LCD-3 lite. I would love to compare them to LCD-2s in a more controlled listening environment. Both great cans. I'd avoid the HE-6, IMO.
Philips Fidelio X-1: Didn't see this coming. Great bass response, fast can, treble forward, and very clean. A little recessed in the mids, but overall, very impressive. Very comfortable as well. At $260, very impressive. I would recommend these to friends and lovers of classic rock any day.
Beyerdynamic T1: I wasn't expecting much here. They get a lot of love, but so do lots of FOTM and, in general, I don't really like the BD sound signature. I was wrong. Resolving, clean, and very airy. I really enjoyed these and consider them a strong competitor in their price bracket. I prefer my LCD-3s, but if I was looking at the LCD-2s, I might do a double take and have to look at these again. Very impressive.
Stax SR-202: Apparently, these can be got for $400 with amplifier. If that's actually even half true, these are a steal. Light, comfortable, BASSY, and incredibly fun. I was dumbfounded as I went in with relatively low expectations given the older look of the cans, they feel relatively cheaply made, and the lower cost. $400 for these is a steal. I'll be trolling the for-sale forums looking for these for a secondary home system.
UE-11 pro and UE-900s: Both sounded very similar in my listening time. Warm, soothing, and would never be fatiguing, which is what I expect out of IEMs. I want to be able to listen for 12 hours and never want to stop and these deliver. Even without a custom fit, the UE-11s fit my genetically deficiently formed ears well and provided more comfort and a WAY better seal than the 900s. I want customs. Damn you, UE. Damn you to the depths of my empty wallet.
Oh, and I still really want a FiiO X5. I didn't realize the wheel physically turned. It's so psychologically satisfying to scroll through lists.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the meet yesterday. It was a nice crowd, I counted around 35-40. Queenie and I had a great time seeing old friends and making several new ones. Big thank you to Atomic Bob for the loan of HE-500s to demo our new amp with. I continue to be impressed with the HiFiMan house sound.
Our top secret research facility that looks like a brewery still seems to be fairly well under wraps, as many newcomers were surprised to hear they could come to our shop on Bainbridge Is. for a listen. The meet environment has the great advantage of being able to hear a passel 'o' gear in one shot, but it can be a little noisy. We're happy to set up a time for anyone who would like to come over and have a more in depth listen in our 'SHHH' room.
Thanks for setting it up again Gil, had a great time as usual and appreciate the time you put into these meets.
Edit for more detail and pics:
Thanks Gil for organizing another fun meet and thanks to all that graciously made their respective listening equipment available.. The UE presentation on hearing conservation was particularly good. Loved hearing Glenn's WA6 with my HD800. Also spent time with Doc's quicksand and mainline. And of course a big thank-you to Andrew for bringing the ec 2a3x2.
OK, will try to keep this simple. There was so much going on getting this meet together it kept me very busy keeping everything straight. All the stuff with Noble Audio, hopefully they will plan to come again in a future meet.
Ultimate Ears, these guys are wired tight. It was very easy working with them. Their Ambassador's from Mt Hood Hearing Aid Center were very professional and personable. They even made it to the Redhook Brewery.
The presentation on Hearing preservation was great
. UE donated a pair of UE900's to the raffle and labrown from Olympia won
. Did get to listen to the UE gear. Once you get used to the house sound (to me they are silky mids) you just take and define your sound from there. Hearing the UE 900's and then the UE 18's. Heard the same silky house sound but the 18's were more polished and seamless. Beautiful sound reproduction. One thing I noticed is the acrylic is dense and very smooth. Very comfortable to the touch.
1964's sent gear up to audition. miceblue was a busy beaver. I asked to audition them miceblue put tips on and " Motherboard "by Daft Punk. That was a pleasant surprise. That is one of the Seattle Head-fi's reference tracks. Great audition.
Bottlehead, what can you say about Doc B? He heard, he came, he brought the new Quicksand amp, and yes we hooked up the Abyss Headphones. Like a champ. And Congrats to Nameless Microsoftie for winning the Quicksand. He was one of xtreme4099's coworkers...
And then Curbfeeler had to bring the Abyss... Listened to it on the Benchmark, the Quicksand, and then M2Mans's EC 2A3. Another reference track up here is AC/DC "Back in Black" . The Abyss can rock, and rock it did. Not like Grado's. They are not that warm. The sound out of the Abyss is fast and very polished. I really liked them. The jury is still out for some peeps.
Xtreme4099 brought a new amp from Phill Larocco. Want to listen to it more
All in all it was a great meet. Caught up with old faces, met new faces and had a great time.
Okay, I'm back in Walla Walla and I processed all the photos I took.
God, what a beautiful drive it was up and back... Perfect weather. If only I wasn't driving and the windshield was clear, I would've been snapping pictures of the entire drive both over there and back...
Starting out with breakfast: (Man, that meat lover's omlet was delicious! Thanks again to Big Poppa for treating me!)
1964 Ears' lineup:
The 1964 V3 I tried. As I was afraid of, the treble turned out to be a bit too sibilant for my tastes.
iBasso DX90. I didn't try it out, but I'm sure miceblue and others will have impressions of it.
Abyss: This was a letdown for me. The treble ended up being too harsh and grainy for my likes, and the headband is just ridiculous.
Doc trying out the Abyss.
One of the two sets of DIY electrostats brought to the meet. Seems I forgot to take pictures of the other set, but I did see someone else taking pictures of me with them on...
One of the UE reps at the meet:
The entire lineup (minus the UE18 which was being used at this point)
Miceblue loving the UERM:
Me loving the UERM:
Getting ready for the presentation on hearing loss:
Vlad (the other UE rep at the meet) speaking about the various types of hearing loss, and what we can all do to prevent noise induced hearing loss:
Barra and the UE rep:
Spoiler: I was told not to show this to Barra's wife...
Winner of the UE900 raffle!
Tried these for a bit, they're the new JVC S2000 or whatever they're called, with aftermarket pads. Lots of bass, but they sounded pretty good overall.
Didn't get to listen to any HD800s, just took a photo of this setup:
Finally tried the ED8. It's not as bad as people make it out to be! That being said methinks I wouldn't ever get one for the price...
HE-560 and Project Ember setup. There were two 560s in attendance, one with pre-production pads and felt removed from the rear grilles, and the other was stock with post-production pads. I preferred the pre-production pads since they smoothed everything out, but unfortunately they still had the typical hifiman harshness in the treble, so these are a no-go for me. Much lighter than the old ones though.
Doc B's tape rig:
And here are some general meet pictures. I couldn't get everything in one shot with the 35mm lens, but I tried to get most of it in a few photos!
Edit: Yay, what an epic accidental 8000th post!
Just for the record, that was my setup, and you usually can't find the system going for quite that cheap on the classifieds. I was able snag my set for $250 from yahoo auctions in Japan via buyee. By the time I added in all the extra fees, replacement pads, etc, it ended up costing about $400 though.
Yes, many thanks to Gil for putting together a great meet!
First, hats off to Big Poppa for coordinating these Seattle meets. It went smooth from start to finish. The meet location is kind of special in that it's the same location of my very first head-fi meet 4 or 5 years ago where I recall the gear setups were flooded with the Beyerdyamic T1, Senn HD-800, and Audeze LCDs' flagship headphones.
Those headphones were represented well at this recent meet. I must say that the theme of "time flies with not enough time to audition everything" never changes. Among the mingling and waiting turns, I was only able to audition about 1/4 of the setups. The following setups really stood out:
Blownaway's portable setup never ceases to amaze my ears. I first heard his at the last meet. It consists of HD650, HD800, RWAK120-S, Vorzuge Pure II amp. For some, including myself, it can be one of those end-game portable setups. It sounds that good. Everything sounded controlled, transparent, and immersive. Perhaps I'll duplicate his source/amp combo in the future, and sell off a kidney.
Curbfeeler headphone setup sounded equally controlled, transparent, and immersive. I don't know if the magic was coming for his Benchmark DAC2 HGC, LCD2, and/or that $1K LH Lightspeed USB cable, but man, talk about being transported into the music. Minus the $1K USB cable (), I share the same sentiments with Blownaway's portable setup as with this desktop setup. Perhaps I'll duplicate this setup as well in the future, and sell off the other kidney.
The rest of my time was auditioning the UE custom line up, and the Mt. Hood UE reps played it like pros. Their presentation on hearing loss was very informative. For many years, I've been wanting to audition the UERM and I seized the moment - as did my wallet. I had my own source, tracks, and tips and the sound coming from the UERM won me over in spades. Due to my liking with brighter sounding signatures, I wasn't that impressed with the flagship UE18. It sounded too smooth and a little out of phase with regards to instrument placement and spacial space. I felt the same with the only 1964 Ears demo I heard, the V6. On a side note, I did find the UE11 very fun sounding indeed, and a nice compliment with the UERM.
All in all, the meet was a lot fun, informative, and feared by wallets of all types and thickness. Next time, I'll be sure to attend the post event and down a few alcoholic beverages.
Us Seattle Head-Fiers may or may not have have created the aftermeet. We have perfected it. We sure started the Pre meet though. We do have a protocol for everything, We do want everything the same. Curbfeeler and I meet very frequent to wire things tight. There is a lot of work involved putting these meets together. Ask Doc B how many times we been to Bottleheadquarters? We are always working on the next meet. Planning a Portland meet has came up. Have an IC for another Meet in the Middle Seattle/Portland meet.
Congratulations on the success of the headphone meet. It was my first meet and I had a great time!! It was surprising to see so much variety and great sounding gear all in one place! The turnout certainly was impressive.
Everyone's hospitality was very welcomed and made me feel right at home. The fellow with the homemade "Blue Hawaii" amp and his homemade headphones was almost unbelievable! The sound he's getting is tremendous.
Finally listened to the Phonitor 2 paired with the HD-800 as shown in the photos above. I want. The sound is SOOOOO SMOOOOTH through this rig that the HD-800 sounds refined and almost forget you are wearing headphones, just the impression of amazing music all around outside my headspace. WOW.
I especially liked talking to Doc B about the Bottlehead products and his super cool tape deck. There might be a crack in my future! What a gentleman, and the Crack amp with Speedball upgrade sounded very, very nice on my T1's!
It was great to hear the HD-600/650's. Even though they are older designs I have to say they are so very nice and stress free that I could listen to them for hours and hours. Simply delightful. I've always loved that Senn sound!
Tried my T1's on some different amps too and let others try them out that were interested. In particular I was very surprised by the sound of one of the Audio GD amps that were there with a gent that also was running some modded K701's. He was very proud of the bass response he's getting following the mod, which he says increases the airflow. At any rate, his AKG's sounded GREAT!! When I heard my T1 through his setup it was HUGE in it's sound presentation and I loved it!
As for the organizing and coordination of the event...................Big Poppa, you are the bomb.
Keep on Rockin'
Breakfast at Brown Bag pre-meet
My kit with Abyss on loan from Bruce Brown. Not shown is the ifi iUSBPower which is connected to the 5V leg of the Light Harmonic Lightspeed USB cable. I paired the Abyss with the Benchmark DAC2 HGC which had only just enough power to play music at a satisfying level. Because the XLR connectors on the JPS cable are 3-pin and the only balanced amps at the meet had 4-pin connectors the Abyss had to be fed through the TRS connector via the included adapter. The most successful pairing seemed to be with the Eddie Current 2A3 that Andrew brought.
Those are my LCD-2.2 on the right.
Thanks to alpha421 for the kind words about the sound quality.
Praying at the Shrine of the Miracle Melodies
It appears that a good time was had by all. Thanks to Gil for all of his efforts toward another successful meet. Thanks to all who took the trouble to bring their precious gear, and who contributed to the congeniality of the milieu.
Bring your gear to the Pacific Northwest Audio Society event of August 14th at 5:30 pm.