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7/26/14 Seattle Redhook Meet impressions

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  1. kawaivpc1
    Wow... this is a wonderful meeting. I wish I had known about this earlier so I could go there.
    When are you guys going to meet again?? 
    Count me in!
  2. KyPeN
    That was my setup.  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  I really enjoyed your T1s as well.  I agree with your assessment of the post mod AKGs and think it really makes them a lot more fun.  The K701s (or their brethren the Q701/2, etc.) can be had for about $200-$240 in the for sale forums pretty regularly.  Here is the bass mod and here is my little tutorial on re-wiring the K701s which includes removing of the grill to perform the mod.  Have fun!
  3. Barra
    1964ears Impressions:
    Please take these listening impressions with a grain of salt as I could never get a proper seal with any of the 1964ears demos, but I wanted to post what I could given the unique opportunity. It is my hope that others will join me with their listening impressions given the large volume of Head-Fiers that visited the demos. I also wanted to thank 1964ears again for giving the Seattle Head-Fiers the opportunity to listen through their lineup. My listening notes are listed below:
    1. Move to CIEMs: The reason that I moved to CIEMs is because it is so difficult to get a proper seal with a typical IEM so they never sounded good. Of all I tried, I only got a good seal with my Coppers and an intermittent seal with the TF10 (reverse mod) as long as I didn’t move a muscle. After getting my Hidition NT6pros, I can no longer stand to listen to either so I sold my Coppers and have my TF10s up for sale. Now I am looking for a backup CIEM for the NT6pro.
    2. Improper Seal: The provided demos were rather small, no larger than the typical IEM with large stems of varying lengths so the seal depended solely on the tips ability to lock to my ears. Unfortunately, trying every tip I could find, I was never able to get a good seal with any of the demos and had to resort to pressing my palms into my ears to get a seal. With previous demos, I had been able to use the larger body of the demos to press against my ear to get a good approximation of the sound, however, cupping my ears makes getting a proper seal a moving target with varying pressure and angles so I can only approximate the bass response. Unfortunately, I feel that fantastic bass is one of 1964ears signature characteristics that makes so them fantastic.
    3. Bass: When I could get a proper seal, bass is what shook my soul. The whole lineup from what I could hear had very impactful and deep headphone like bass. Too bad I couldn’t get a lasting seal to be able to judge it past that.
    4. Clarity: The whole lineup had massive clarity. Gone was the muddiness of the typical IEM like my TF10s or Coppers. Voices and words never sounded muffled or removed.
    5. Thick: The V3 and V6 were much warmer than the others providing a thick note and more prominent bass. These were the hardest for me to judge given my improper seal, but those are the breaks.
    6. Balanced: The Quads and the Stage stood out as the most balanced of the group and had the most sparkle up top. The Quads seemed wider and airier with the Stage retaining more of the thick note. For my preferences, these where to two stand out models for me that I would choose between.
    7. Full Sized: The V2 and V3 were excellent and easily put the TF10s and Coppers to shame, but seemed distant to me as if at the back of the audience. The Quads on up felt like full sized headphone performance putting me up in the action with front row or on stage like details. They did feel like a substantial jump in performance from the V2 and V3, but that could be my signature preferences.
    8. Quads: The Quads stood out as the dark haired kid in a family of only blonds. It was very different in signature from the rest. It seemed to have the largest soundstage with the best instrument separation. While it retained a thicker forward note, it also was more airy. However, it was the brightest of the group which might turn some people off.
    9. V8: I have no way to judge this one personally given the improper seal, but the feedback I was getting is the two favorites were the V8 or the Stage with the Quads coming in behind them. In other words, you either love or hate the V8 bass.
    10. My Favorites: If you are an HD800 fan, go for the quads, if you are an Audeze fan, go for the V6 Stage.
    11. NT6pro: My Hidiition was almost double the price of the V8 and has a 5 way crossover vs. the V8 3 way. Plus it is a custom fit to my ear verse a universal demo with a poor seal. It also tops both AJ and Tupac’s lists in SQ just below the SE5 and they own or have reviewed the majority of the major CIEMs. So this was not a fair fight. But when it comes to value, the 1964ears Quads on up sounded like TOTL headphone quality starting at $550 so at some point you have to say good enough.
    12. Value: At $550, I think the Quads are a great value. They are only $50 more than the V3 or 10 percent and seem to move you up substantially in SQ class. While the Stage is probably the better SQ if I had a proper seal, it is $150 more or 30 percent. Then there is the V8 at $200 more than the Stage with similar signature, but a more pronounced bass impact. I like the V8s the best, but not $200 more than the Stage. Overall, I personally have my eye on the Quads right now as a great value and a different signature from my NT6pro.
    Again, these impressions are probably tainted by the improper seal, but hopefully, they will prove to be helpful in general to interested 1964ears fans. I look forward to hearing what the other Seattle auditioners have to add to my impressions or to point out as wrong if they got a better seal.
  4. Barra
    UE CIEM Demos Impressions:
    Again, I had issues with getting a proper seal, but did get a reasonable seal with the UE-11 and UE-18. The size and shape of the 11/18 were large enough to easily get a seal by pushing them slightly against the ear. Was most disappointed that I couldn’t get a seal with the UERM as this is what everyone was raving about. I thank the UE team for making an appearance and giving us this opportunity. My impressions are below:
    1. UERM: I could not get a proper seal, so impressions are pointless. But I could hear that they have very smooth and inviting mids with a TOTL CIEM 1st row sound quality. This is the pair that everyone was excited about so I must have really missed out.
    2. UE-18: I loved the sound of these with more pronounced texturing that allowed me to feel the music at very low volumes. However, they were too much of a good thing in that I could never dial them in correctly and the texturing was stepping all over the sound stage. This very well could be because of a seal issue because I found the sound inconsistent. However, this was a very big sound with a lot of impact.
    3. UE-11: This was easily my favorite – perhaps because of the easy seal. The sound stage was full sized TOTL headphone like with great instrument separation. The mids were very smooth and rich and not encroached by the bass or the treble. This was a very easy to listen to signature that I could listen to all day without fatigue. The bass was extremely pronounced giving it a fun signature, but only when bass was present in the music unlike other always on bass signatures. As a four BA with 3 way cross-over, it is expensive at $1150, but it does have this level of sound quality. However, at $150 more, my NT6pro will still eat it for lunch making it less of a value buy for me considering a backup CIEM. But man, I loved that bass presentation.
    I look forward to trying the demos again at the new meet to see if I can hear the UERM properly and maybe try the UE900.
    There is a learning curve to installing iems/ciems. You get the twist and tap down with the occasion jaw pop it is a piece of cake. There are angles that need to be learned to get a proper seal. The iems/ciems will move a little wearing them. So sometimes a tap is needed to get them right again or moving your jaw around time to time. I have had Livewires since they first came out and many Iems for years. Just my 2 cents.
  6. xtreme4099
    Fun Meet, also Glad my buddy Linhart made it out and won Doc's Quicksand :) Not bad for a n00b.
    Making its debut here is Phil's OTL E-Phi amp (pictured top), if anyone heard it, feel free to comment :)
    Too bad i couldn't make the aftermeet, these things always fall on a work day so i could only be there for a few hrs, Thankfully my parents place is 2 blocks away so i could migrate there for a nap afterwards :) 
    These meets are always fun :)
  7. Barra
    Sennheiser HD700 Pairing:
    I know that buying a HD700 is heresy in Head-Fi, but I couldn't help myself after a short audition at Magnolia HiFi. It is definitely a detour on my track to getting an HD800, but I am really enjoying it. I have been trying to find a reasonably priced balanced cable for it to listen on my Mjolnir, but cannot find anything under $300 - even through Sennheiser - which is ridiculous. Hearing it on AtomicBob's BH Crack Amp - I don't care anymore. The amp retails for around $300 as well and gives it unbelievable richness. Problem solved. Now I just need to find a way to justify another purchase with my wife.
  8. Barra
  9. gefski
    Quick meet impressions, IMO of course. Great time and as usual, I didn't listen to everything I wanted to. Also as usual, systems with attention to detail, start to finish, are where I want to keep listening

    Purely musical -- Stan's rig with LCD-2. The whole chain has a balance of timbre, texture, inner detail and transparency without going too far in any direction. I could easily have listened to the entire Leonard Cohen album.

    Best re-visit -- HD800's (Bob's). They liked my WA6. I could have kept them on my head longer for sure. However, I failed to get ear time on his Concero, dang it. Somehow need to get more usb and dac comparisons in at the meets, maybe plan specific swaps in advance?

    Best buy -- Andrew's SR80s with custom cups. How did he find those?

    Tyler's hand-crafted rig was quite an accomplishment and sounded very good also.

    Biggest surprise - don't remember the name, but the EL34 output prototype amp delivered string tone with great soundstage depth. I've loved EL34s driving speakers for years.

    The Abyss can't really be that hollow & shallow sounding through the upper midrange, can it? Vocals and sax really took a beating through these. No meat.

    I should have put the 6fd7 fatboys in my WA6. The Sylvanias drove Grados, beyers, and HD800s fine, but it was anemic with any of the more demanding cans. I forget about our high ambient noise levels at meets.

    Thanks Gil, for making it happen again. (Since missing the aftermeet I'm gonna have to hit Duck Island this week before heading back to the lake)

    THANKS ALL! See ya next time!
  10. xtreme4099
    Yup that el34 prototype was the E-Phi amp, big grey box looking thing :)
  11. BetterLate
    I registered on Head-Fi just to thank all the friendly and helpful people I met at this, my first (but certainly  not my last) meet.
    It was a treat to meet  Mr. Bottlehead, Doc B, and his wife. I have a standard Crack on order, and was thrilled to be able to try  my new BeyerDynamic 880-600 on the standard Crack set-up kittycorner from Doc's table. Only bad news is the Sennheiser HD600 I decided NOT to buy, sounded better on the Crack than the DT880; oh well, there goes another $350 or so.....
    Vlad at UE was terrific and very patient; it was a treat hearing what really good IEMs sound like (but I'm not ready to spend that kind of money on in-ears).
    I have been skulking on Head-Fi and reading postings for the last six months ago, but just started collecting (spending) ATH M50X, Senn 598, Beyer DT1350 (for traveling wife after seeing Jude's review), DT880-600, Modi, Asgard 2 and Bottlehead Crack - whew! I can see how this could get REAL expensive real fast - but so much fun, and the music sounds so good.
    Anyway, thank you all for being so patient and welcoming to a new member of my new favorite subculture.
    I'm looking forward to the next meet, and more listening adventures.
  12. ImperiumDX
    Why is this? I read positive things about it on the website, didn't get that notion... I myself am considering to buy this exact model.
  13. Barra

    Don't get me wrong, the hd700 is my favorite headphone right now and I proudly recommend it. My portable dx90/hd700 pairing is even sounding better to me than my much more expensive balanced desktop setup mjolnir/lcd2 pairing. At $550 that I got it for at magnolia hifi it was a steal. However, the ongoing joke at headfi is that if you don't start at the top of the line (hd800) you end up eventually owning both.

    Comparing the two at the meet, I can easily say good enough reaching 90 to 95 percent of the hd800 performance at a third of the price, especially through the bh crack amp. But they are different enough that I will probably justify owning both some day when I am ready to buy the supporting infrastructure required to get the most out of the hd800. Without the the added expensive infrastructure there is no point buying the hd800 when I have the hd700. Right now I am enjoying the hd700's forward mids and thicker note.
  14. francopro

    I wasn't at the meeting but already auditioned some of these cans with various setups
    HD800 : you're right
    Abyss: comfort is somehow related with the size and shape of your head ,  regarding the sound quality , the Abyss is very tricky to be paired , at this price point a bad combo can be a real disaster
    HE- 6 : only shines with EF-6 , don't try anything else
    Philips Fidelio X1 : at this price , they're unbeatable
    Fiio X5 , some says that the wheel is loose on early batches , the various reviews did not convinced me to get one as gapless is one my main concern
  15. Ham Sandwich
    I had a great time.  Left from the Portland area at 8:00 am.  Made it back home before 11:00 pm.  The Seattle area meets are always worth the trip.  Much more convenient to go to the meets though when I lived in Seattle.
    I don't try to listen to everything at a meet, or even listen to most of it.  I pick a few things to make sure to listen to, listen to some others that catch me, and just hope that anything I miss shows up at a future meet.  Too many good things around to try to get it all.
    Was neat to get to hear the Abyss.  Got a quick listen on the Benchmark DAC2 and a quick listen on the Eddie Current.  Fun just for the experience.  The Abyss are headphones that seem to be able to rock.  And a planar with some treble extension.  Fortunately I'm never going to need to worry about how to pair them with suitable gear cause they're way out of my league.
    Got to hear the HE-560 (I tried the ones with the new pads).  They're now on my need to buy list.  Could be the right complement to my LCD-2 for classical music and other music where a more balanced sound is needed.  I was never happy with the treble of the HE-500.  The HE-560 seems to fix that problem for me, and seems to be more resolving than the HE-500 (but hard to tell at a meet).  I like the sound, and it worked well with the classical, rock, and vocal tracks I tried.  HiFiMan might have something really good going on here.
    Got to hear two of the UE.  Tried the UERM and the 7 Pro.  The UERM being more neutral and I preferred that one, especially when I tried some classical.  Beautiful easy to listen to sound that is musical and a headstage that was more out of my head than I was expecting from an IEM. Really neat to get to hear what the good ones can do.  If I ever decide to do IEMs I know what to go for.
    Got to hear the Alpha Dog.  That's the best T50RP mod I've heard.  And way way way better than my attempts to mod a T50RP.  Beautiful spacious midrange in a closed headphone.  I like.  Hmmm... (thinking to myself) could they work as a portable headphone?
    For fun I also took an opportunity to listen to one of DSD recordings I bought from Blue Coast Records on Curbfeeler's DAC2.  First time I've been able to hear that recording in real DSD since I don't yet have a DSD capable DAC.  DSD is good.  I've got a Geek Pulse on order.  [​IMG]
    The Bottlehead setups are always a treat.  The HD800 with the Mainline amp was just beautiful with the music Doc treats us with.  So nice.  Makes me want an HD800.  The Quicksand amp with the HE500 was also neat.  An inexpensive amp for orthos.
    The prototype tube amp in the big grey box (the ePhi?) was very good with the HD650.  More energetic than I was expecting for a OTL amp.  Very nice big sound that perked up the HD650.
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