Calgary Meet Impressions (May 31, 2015)

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  1. hakushondaimao
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    Thanks to everyone who showed up to the meet yesterday. This was my first Head-Fi meet, and I had a great time meeting so many other music nuts. With Calgary having relatively few places to try out new gear, it was awesome to have a chance to try some really amazing audio kit.
     
    I'll leave personal impressions and photos later in the thread, but wanted to thank the following for helping make yesterday a great day:
     
    1. @swich401for booking the room. I was on the original "Let's have a meet" thread for several months, and wondered if this thing would EVER happen; pulling the trigger on the room was all it took to get this happening.
    2. Rachel at Grant Fidelity for covering the costs of the room, providing some quality Matrix and Yulong DACs and the "Suzanne" (I've been enjoying that one), and for the very nice USB cable door prizes. Again, if you tried any of the equipment, leave a word or two on the appropriate threads.
    3. Jeremy at CTC Audio for sending some really great portable equipment for us to try, and supplying us with IEM door prizes. If you tried out the Cayin N6 and C5, or the Hidizs AP100 or T-Peos IEMS, or the Cozoy Astrapi, do leave some impressions on the item threads if you have a few minutes.
    4. Noble Audio for providing the Noble 6.
    5. The Headphone Bar in Vancouver for sending up the Audeze EL8s, and @LostInMyDream for playing courier.
    6. Everyone who helped set up the room in the morning, and put things (roughly) back in place at the end of the day.
    7. @mikoss for hosting the small after-party, and providing some cool tunes to listen to and argue over into the wee hours (you'll see that our discussion of the merits and detriments of the R70x vs. HD650 made it in at the end of my R70x review, updated today).
     
    Looking forward to the next meet. Let us know in this thread whether you'd like to see something before Christmas (to help you make gift decisions maybe) or perhaps in Jan/Feb when we're all in need of some warming up and "blues-busting." Perhaps we'll do a hotel next time, with more space, access to refreshments, and help setting up the room before the event.
     
    Cheers,
     
    Eric
     
    LostInMyDream likes this.
  2. I Love BMW
    Great meet everyone! Lots of fantastic gear. Here are some pictures I took during the meet...
     
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  3. slambanna
    I hope somebody told the tanned guy/girl that they're wearing the 560's backwards...
     
    Thanks for the pics BMW.  That's an impressive amount and quality of gear.  I should have booked the meet off from work.  I will next time.  Hopefully that's sooner than later.
     
  4. BobMonkhouse
    I didn't take any photos. I was too busy having fun and enjoying the party. It was entertaining, it was educational and helpful!
     
    I had the opportunity to meet interesting people who shared their passion for music. I want to thank all the participants for the time they spent and for the equipment they brought to the meet. While testing different gear, I had great conversations, gathered insightful thoughts and great pieces of advise which I wouldn't be able to collect on my own. The meet met and exceeded my expectations; it helped me understand my preferences better and to figure out how I could improve my music listening experience.
     
    I'm looking forward to scheduling another event like this towards the end of the year.
     
  5. EdmontonCanuck
    Thanks to all who the great people who showed up with all the great gear. I got a chance to listen to some great systems and the best part is I got to make some new friends to share in this great hobby with.
     
    Special public shout-out to Shannon for helping me with my power bar woes :wink:
     
    Dave
     
  6. SeEnCreaTive
    Wish I could have made it. I live in a bad place, 8 hours from Vancouver, and 8 hours from Calgary
     
  7. LostInMyDream
    Thanks to the organizers and sponsors of the meet! There were a lot of humorous yet serious audio insights.

    Special gratitude to Mr. Mikoss, we'll talk later.

    Gear verdict: I like the Piccolo and Yulong D200. Swich's Yggdrasil-mainline-Anax 1.0 HD800 is the real deal. TH900 is eye-bleedingly beautiful, sonically, aesthetically, and price-wise.
     
  8. loremipsum
    Took some photos yesterday (complete with obnoxious instagram filters). I did most of my listening with my SD2s just because they're what I'm familiar with. I'm not very good at writing about sound but I'll give it a shot.
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    Astell&Kern AK Jr: Sounded a bit congested to me. The UI was also a bit cluttered. I think the font was too big for the screen size. 
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    Cayin N6: A bit smoother and more natural sounding than my DX90's headphone out. Not a fan of the interface and form factor, would prefer to carry around DX90+amp.
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    ALO Audio Rx and Cypher Labs Piccolo: Both sounded great out of the DX90. The Piccolo had great soundstage and sounded very clear, the Rx had great body. I think I'm going to have to pick one of these up soon.
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    Resonessence Labs Concero HP: Sounded good, but a bit underwhelming. There wasn't really anything wrong with it, but nothing stood out to me. Seems like the type of gear that takes more listening time to really appreciate.
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    Yulong D200 and Matrix Mini-i Pro: The two Chinese ES9016 units sounded very similar, nice and full bodied. The D200 sounded cleaner, but it's also almost $500 more expensive.
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    Matrix X-Sabre -> Cypher Labs Piccolo: Best thing I heard all day. The clarity and resolution of the X-Sabre was extremely impressive. The unit itself was also very heavy and solid feeling. Unfortunately there was some weird interference while I was listening to this setup, I think it might have been from the coax cable feeding the X-Sabre from my DX90 and the myriad of power cables around this stack.
     
    Gear I tried but didn't take pictures of:
     
    Noble Audio 4U: Great resolution. Tonally very similar to the SD2, but brighter. A bit too bright for my liking, though I only tried them with the blue stem tips which I was told give a brighter sound than the red stem tips.
     
    Audio-Technica ATH-R70x: My first time really listening to a pair of open headphones. A loud meet definitely isn't the best place to do that, but from what I could tell they sounded good. Nice full body.
     
    Sennheiser HD600: Ditto the R70x on not really being able to tell because of the environment. Sounded very "meh". I think maybe the Island was too weak for them, should have tried them with a different source.
     
    Thanks to everyone who made this meet happen.
     
  9. mikoss
    Great pics. Fun meet and nice to share in the enthusiasm with everyone. The Yggy blew me away even more than I could have imagined. Really enjoyed hearing all the setups! HD-800's modded vs stock was also a revelation. Our little Audeze comparison from 2.1 to 3C to 3F was also excellent. Never had so many laughs hearing someone describe gear as I heard from Mr. IEM's; LostInMyDream. Very blunt and very funny. ($300 at best, hahaha)

    Very special thanks to swich and hakush, as well as GF. See you all at the next one!
     
  10. jhum
    I missed a local meet?

    I didn't even know this was coming to town! (I guess I don't feel TOO bad, as I was working in Canmore for the day)
     
    I guess I will have to be more active so I don't miss out the next time.
     
    Looks like it was a lot of fun. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves and heard something new.
     
  11. Malfunkt

    Post Meet Impressions

     
    That was quite the marathon of headphone listening. I think the most surprising thing is that in the 6 or so hours I was there, I didn't really listen to too many headphones. Instead, I managed to get some quality time with a handful. Looking back and seeing the pictures there are many I wish I got to try.
     
    Was really impressed with EdmontonCanuck's pre-fazor LCD-3 and WA7 rig. It sounded so smooth. Compared to my LCD2 rev1s everything sounded more relaxed and the bass was even better. 
     
    Clem24 had another great setup. He let me steal away both his Denon AH-D7100 and TH900. Both of these I was looking forward to listening to at the meet. Both I would need to spend considerable amount of time before making any real statements on. I wasn't technically blown away by the TH900. But I kept coming back. It was a seriously fun headphone. If it wasn't so damn expensive... It's hard to think of a headphone that is like it but that won't cost me so much. I was surprised by how light and comfy it was. The 7100 reminded me of course of my old AH-D600 which I absolutely loved. Again, the
     
    I also managed to listen to quite a few of hakushondaimao's collection.The KXX and R70X were both great and very capable - both recommendations for a more project studio orientated sound. The MSR7 I found a bit sharp, and was hoping for more bass. The ESS RLM-713 had a signature that was quite bass heavy. It still sounded clear and I didn't listen to it for long-enough. It was certainly mid-tier, but offered a much different presentation. Oppo PM3 was excellent, but lacked some of the refinement of higher end. I've been hearing that it was preferred over the PM1/PM2 by some. To me the PM3 is an excellent portable. HD598 - again, a fine headphone and probably a top recommendation for the low prices they sometimes go for. I quickly listened to the SHP9500 to know that they were good considering the price they go for - a fine offering by Phillips.
     
    I spent a good time with Dale's HD800 and HE560 setup. The HD800 is undeniably good, and I'd love to have that kind of precision high-end detail at hand. I think I prefer the warm tilt and sumptuous bass of the LCDs though, wish there was something that combined both (HE1000? HE560 perhaps not quite). Either way, the HD800 was excellent and its bass is still very good, just rolled off. The HE560 was very very good, and I would need to spend some real time to form an opinion of these. They didn't wow me, but they were certainly quality. They had a bit more punch than the HD800, not as liquidy as Audeze. 
     
    Enjoyed hanging out with BobMonkhouse and discussing the LCD2s and O2/ODAC with him. He had a solid collection. I found the Fidelio X2 very surprising, while it didn't have the refinement of higher end cans, it offered pretty close in amount of enjoyment. I found testing many cans in its tier to lack bass, and the X2 has plenty of lower end weight and a very nice sparkly high-end - all this in a very smooth presentation. Nice build and very comfy. Another win for Phillips. These are cans I'd recommend without reservation to many. Denon's new AH-MM400 were good, and a contender to the PM3s for a quality portable. Was hoping for a bit more bass from the AH-MM400. I guess if one wants that Denon still has the AH-D600 in offer. 
     
    JonJeffman's Stax SR-007 MKII and Stax amp setup were sheer class. They had a characteristic signature and the whole sound was high-end. Very comfortable too, one of the standouts of the meet for certain. Sound like they were less than a week old and I'm sure Jon is tucked away somewhere listening to these right now. First time I've heard a Stax, and if the SR-009 is better - wow.

    Mikoss LCD3F setup was pretty killer and we had a LCD3F/3/2 showdown running off my Mayflower O2/ODAC listening to Coltrane at fair volumes. They were all good, Mikoss told me to hang-on to my classics and hope my drivers never fail. Cautionary praise :)
     
    Swich401s HD800 I've heard prior, but I didn't get a chance to really spend enough time with his rig nor discern the quality of the Yggdrasil or Mainline. 
     
    Lastly, was excited to hear the Audeze EL-8, but...  was underwhelmed - but only because I'm so impressed with my LCD2. The EL-8 was very good, it just didn't have anywhere close to the low-end of the LCD or its texture. That said, it was very comfortable, and even though the wood gives it a bit of a '80's VHS player vibe, the overall design, comfort and construction is top-notch. It does offer something different, but it is a bit pricey - might as well make the jump and get something higher-end IMO. Still this is just a quick impression. 
     

    Conclusion

    I'm not going to be racing out to buy anything as yet. As much as I liked many of the headphones that I sampled, I can rationalize I don't need a KXX, R70x, HDxxx, Fidelio X2, etc. All of those headphones are good and offer something but I'm happy to have the LCD - it just does what I'm looking for. Even the TH900, didn't seem to offer up technically the same level though an irrational/obsessive part of me is craving to have this 'ultimate fun' headphone. Sensibly speaking, I might just call it a day - but I said this to myself not long ago when I owned the HD650s. I'm not sure if my desire to own a pair of HD800s is killed off, but I think I'm going to hold out.
     
    Hoping to hear the Hifiman HE1000 and Sennheiser's latest HD630vb (hoping its another polished, closed and 'fun' can).
     
     
    btw - The Schiit Yggdrasil was kept powered on all the way to the meet!
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    hakushondaimao likes this.
  12. remwang
    I suspect a stax amp there, any info about the phones? 
     
  13. I Love BMW
     
    I believe they are the Sr-007 MK2 model (somebody correct me if I am wrong). I didn't get a chance to take a picture of them but I listened to one song on the setup and it sounded amazing!
     
  14. remwang
    sounds right, matches the amp! certainly makes top-of-class performance. 
     
  15. EdmontonCanuck

    They were very good. Amazingly quick, tight bass, and extremely detailed. I found them a bit bright though. I think the whole setup was fairly new though and they were still being broken in.

    Makes me really want to hear the 009's!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
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