Carolina CanFEST 7 2019 Impressions
Mar 31, 2019 at 5:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

DannyB

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We had a terrific meet even though no fights broke out which would’ve made it more interesting. Regardless, there were a LOT of headphones for all to check out along with great sources and amplifiers. Pictures and comments Will be posted by others.

Thank you iFi and WOO Audio for their generosity in supplying some fantastic equipment for us to try out.
This includes the iFi iDSD Pro, the X Can Pro, the XCan and finally the WOO Audio WA 11

A special thank you to Justin Wilson, of HeadAmp, for making the effort in joining us all the way from Charlottesville Virginia in addition to treating everyone to lunch.
 
Mar 31, 2019 at 10:38 PM Post #3 of 25

Mshenay

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Really loved this shot of @justin w. s table, really great spot and some excellent sounding gear!

I too enjoyed my self and the spoiler below features the impression videos I uploaded mid meet. I'll follow up here tomorrow with some more detailed impressions/pictures







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I always love to see @fatcat28037 K1000 and his lovely bust, also the WA 22 sounded excellent, I was most impressed with the low frequency detail and overall impact I heard with it and my HD 800

An the K1000 always strikes me as a punchier but equally resolving compliment to the HD 800 I have, one of these days I need to get an amp to do them justice and finally own a pair for my self!

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Phi with the new Pads didn't impress me as much as previous models have, may have been the noise or the lack of a dedicated system for it but I didn't quite get the same sense of space nor texture in the lows. Though I imagine my hm901/PB2 were the limiting factors there

Still Got to hear the Verum 1 @Garuspik it sounded excellent! Very nice work, I really like the tuning direction you choose to go with. This time I felt the HM901 an PicoPower were a nice compliment to the somewhat dark but still quite rich & detailed overall sound of the Verum 1

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This was another really awesome listen! Got to hear the Chili Peppers at a level I've never experienced before! That and I always enjoying listening to a DNA Amp plus learned that despite the brand no longer being manufactured they are still being serviced in a fairly timely manner!

I've always appreciated the really delicate balance the DNA amps strike between exceptional clarity and timbre/tone, still can decide if I enjoyed the HD 800 more or the K1000 from this set up.

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Sadly I still found my self disappointed with the Meze Flagship, build quality was exceptional but it was too rich tonally for me, and this was from a very dry/cynical solid state portable stack that can push upwards of 2w into a 32ohm load!!!

But the bass was too meaty and didn't quite have the definition I'd like, plus the lower mid range was just excessive thick. I imagine if you'd like a really "romantic" sounding headphone this would be the way to go!

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Overall though I think the real highlight was hearing @DannyB Moth 2A3 amp, I mean I've heard some terrible stuff before but this takes the cake! Seriously Danny I'd be happy to take that thing to the scrap yard for you

But in all seriousness the legend behind Moth and this original build didn't even begin to measure up to how it actually sounds! With the Cary Audio SACD source I felt this combo was exceptional and I enjoyed it most @zach915m Auteur! I've never heard a double bass as natural and powerfully as what this system produced a genuine "feels like I'm there" moment for sure and if I'm being honest I liked the Auteur on this system more than my own HD 800!
 
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Mar 31, 2019 at 11:09 PM Post #5 of 25

jazzk

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Thanks all for a great time! Thanks Justin for lunch. Thanks Danny for putting meet together. Everyone was super nice and there was some exceptional gear to listen to. Very enjoyable
 
Apr 1, 2019 at 1:24 AM Post #7 of 25

Mshenay

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@Afghan Vet I always admire how intently you listen at meets! An you've always got some really awesome music on your own system. I know you spent some time the the Shangri La SR so let me ask, how did you like it VS the SR 009 and SR 009S?

An also again shout out to @justin w. who had two awesome table's of gear! Hearing the Focal Stellia was the biggest surprise for me, while listening at his table. It was certainly much more cohesive than I had thought it would be, I always enjoyed hearing the SR 009 from his systems.

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Happy to see @Army-Firedawg sportin an Audio Technica wood back but I thought you had a W5000 too?

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Apr 1, 2019 at 10:51 AM Post #9 of 25

minibox

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I know Jason loved the Shangri-La with some Dave Matthews but I'll let him tell you more about that. I'm glad Jason gave me some time the evening before to demo the iFi gear. Solid stuff and a lot of fun to try the various settings. The venue, collection of gear and a good crew of guys made the day so enjoyable. It was good to hang out with Tom, Vernon and Jason, the group who got me into the head phone side of hifi and sent me down this crazy rabbit hole. There were so many different flavors and combinations to try but time and good conversation prevented me from even scratching the surface. Thank you to Justin for showing up with a lot of gear that I wanted to try and will probably get myself in trouble with at some point. Big thanks to Graham for taking the time to walk me through Roon and getting me familiar with the platform before I take the plunge with it. The highlight for me was the Moth with the Susvara. I loved it with Danny's Cary cd player and the Blu/Dave. Truly endgame stuff.
Thank you Danny for organizing. You lived up to the extensive lore surrounding your personality and charisma. Nobody told me about how impressive your hair would be though. That alone was worth the drive. Hope we can all get together again soon.
 
Apr 1, 2019 at 11:16 AM Post #10 of 25

Afghan Vet

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First and foremost......a HUGE Thank You to Danny for arranging the entire event! Though I took a bunch of crap during all of this (as knucklehead #1), it was all worth it! He is so good at this (I know...Stop It!), and he has such great connections.......he should be the designated organizer of all Carolina CanFests! But.......we will have to see if he made enough profit on this one to overcome all of the effort / time involved :ksc75smile:

I thought the venue was perfect, and I truly appreciate all the efforts Danny made to make sure this venue worked perfectly for our needs.

As has been stated already - thank you Justin for bringing such amazing items for us to experience. It is a very different thing to actually hold / listen to a set of headphones than simply see them / read about them on the forum and in sales publications. But.....it is always a blessing / curse kind of thing. I think that is why I kind of left abruptly - basically needed to distance myself from all things HiFiMAN :anguished: So.....apologies to Danny for not helping to clean up / etc.

That 'experience' of the Shangri-la headphones on the BHSE was 'other-worldly'. A truly remarkable audio performance. And then....enjoying the Susvara out of the Status and the Moth was amazing as well......putting me into a little bit of a funk :disappointed::laughing: - not your fault Justin.......

Anyway - there seemed to be a consensus within our little tribe that these couple headphones represented a 'next' level kind of experience with the appropriate source and amplification (especially this).

The Focal Stellia was a wonderful headphone to listen to and compare to the Utopia. There were many similarities, and I personally like the aesthetic.

The PrimaLuna was an excellent tube amp that I enjoy very much - and so enjoyable talking to Alan.

I took some cell phone pics that I'll share - not nearly as good as the ones posted already.

The Venue:

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Of course - it was an amazingly beautiful day - too nice to be indoors, but if you are going to be, at least listening to good music on incredible systems makes it better.

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Tour around the room:

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Shangri-La........

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This one sums it up......this is what it is like to be ushered into another level.....Chord Blue mkII + Chord DAVE + BHSE + Shangri-La. Of course, as stated above, the Susvara with the Cary Audio SACD + EC Moth was incredible as well!!!

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Apr 1, 2019 at 7:23 PM Post #11 of 25

vc1187

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Carolina CanFEST 7 was an absolute blast. I enjoyed seeing and catching up with old friends as well as meeting and making many new ones.

Hats off to Danny for planning and securing such a perfect venue for us to geek out on this hobby.
Much appreciation to Justin for sponsoring our meet and providing lunch, but also for taking the time to answer the many technical, personal, or non-hobby related questions we all had.

Now for the hobby itself... some of the things that come to mind that I enjoyed:

- Alex's mannequin, which now has a necklace
- Todd's old iPod that had me scrolling for 5 minutes just to get to the artists that began with the letter 'T'
- Justin's demonstration of the Shangri-la's poorly engineered headphone connector
- The color of Justin's Blue Hawaii
- Andrew's many adapters for every situation
- Discussions with Eric and Todd about Spotify vs. Tidal vs. Google Play Music vs. 320 kbps vs lossless vs DSD
- John and Tom's intense focus when listening
- Jason's healthy lunch
- Alan(Allen?)'s Lotus
- Mshaney's enthusiasm about the hobby
- Luke's story and info about the audio shop - 5 minutes from my house, thousands of records and vacuum tubes... I never knew it existed
- Patrick
- Danny's really really bad jokes... think like... corny dad jokes but exponentially worse

Impressions on headphones and equipment to follow. I spent very little time and effort taking these pictures, but I will share them anyway:

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Apr 4, 2019 at 6:31 AM Post #12 of 25

fatcat28037

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This was a great meet, thanks Danny for the time and effort spend to put this together. Also thanks to Justin at HeadAmp for a wonderful pizza lunch.
The number of headphones I'd never heard before was astonishing, I wish I could have gotten to all of them.
 
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Apr 10, 2019 at 11:29 AM Post #13 of 25

DannyB

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Off topic but does anyone have tubes they would like to sell?

I have a tube dealer in China who is desperate to purchase tubes with whom I have been working. He pays via PayPal so the money is guaranteed. If you do not have a PayPal account no problem. You can use mine. He prefers European tubes but will consider others. Let me what tubes you have and the brand.
 
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Apr 10, 2019 at 12:06 PM Post #14 of 25

Mshenay

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I like we do I'll have to update you slash him on what I have once I get off the road
 

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