Chicago mini-meet on 8-2-08 Impressions
Aug 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 39

Skylab

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[size=large]Chicago Mini-Meet on 8-2-08 Impressions[/size]



Germania, thanks for hosting an excellent meet. Sorry I had to leave a little early, and like a numbskull, I didn't bring my camera. But I had a great time. Billy, Bryan, Mike, Ray, and Stacy - nice to see you all again. And nice to meet some new folks too! Joe thanks for turning me onto some new Metal
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Ray Samuels' new SR71A prototype sure sounded great! And I always love getting head-time with Ray's R-10's (this time on his Raptor).

This meet featured a LOT of Denon headphones!

Bryan's recabled and super-amazingly woodied D2000's sounded GREAT.

It was interesting to compare Elrod-Tom's (nice meeting you, sorry it was so brief) Markl-modded D5000 versus my stock pair. My time was brief, but for me the jury is still our on which is better. I am glad I will have more time with a Markl Mod pair, and in my own system, soon.

I sure enjoyed it! Looking forward to ChiUniFi in November!
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 12:51 AM Post #2 of 39

omendelovitz

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impressions, people, please!

I was thinking of driving down from T.O. for the hell of it, but IIRC, it's about 12 hours each way b/w my fine city and yours, and the meet was kinda short (6 hours?). Did anyone take some photos?
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 1:50 AM Post #4 of 39

xnothingpoetic

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Quote:

Originally Posted by the_eleven /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Please tell us more!

Is he saying when it will be available for sale?



It is going to be limited he said, due to hard to obtain chips.
I'll let Ray speak for it though. But you can be sure it sounds damn great.
----------------------
But once again, thanks everyone for such a great time.

Stacy- I appreciate the pick-up and your hospitality. Without you I would have missed out on soo much amazing gear.
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Billy- once again, you are a great guy for giving me a lift not once, but twice. Seriously, I owe you one big time.

And Bryan- it was great to see your woodied d2000's in person. Truly professional work!

It was nice to see some old faces and some new today. I had a great time and hope to see you all in Nov.


Enough blabbering from me- let's see some pics
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Aug 3, 2008 at 2:23 AM Post #5 of 39

Aura

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Very nice gathering we had today. An relatively equal amount of new faces and old, familiar ones
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. I took a few dozen pics and three relatively short videos - will try and get them up tomorrow morning.

Rob isn't lying about the representation for Denon. As far as I know, we had:

- one D2000 that was woodied and recabled
- one D2000 that had been Markl'd
- one stock D5000
- one D5000 that had been Markl'd and recabled

For some I thought there was a stock D2000 as well, but I might have just been imagining it.

Perhaps the most interesting note for me was that both Billy and Joe preferred my modded D2000 over my DX1000. I got back home and immediately ran both through a few songs with the most direct comparison that I've done yet. Honestly, I can see why they would prefer the D2. The midrange on the DX1000 is indeed dry and feels a bit odd if you are not used to it or have not acclimated to that particular type of sound. As far as overall transparency and refinement goes, I still prefer the DX1000. I cannot truly say that the DX is a flat-out superior headphone though, so ideally I would keep both of them.

~~~

What I liked:

- Tom's Sextett. Great separation, fairly balanced, treble/mid/bass were all solid.

- Ray's R10. Being allowed to take it over to my Singlepower rig was about as good as it gets for me. Opeth sounded absurdly good out of this combo (Joe and Rob will concur).

- Rob's ESW9. Yeah, it's expensive. But it is the best "true" portable I've heard yet. This thing was absolutely rocking from one of Rob's iMod rigs.

- The K1000. Awesome presentation that is unlike anything else out there. I could see myself with one of these in the future.

- The SR71A. For a portable amp, it was pretty astounding. I listened to Rob's Caliente afterwards, and I think I preferred this new RSA amp. I meant to run it heads-up against one of the few Predators that Ray had brought but got distracted at some point and forgot about it.

- Rob's Mind-Da. Just a nicely built and sounding amp all things considered. I thought it was quite a bit better than the Darkvoice 336 that I listened to.

- Joe's (actually Zanth's) GS1000. Lovely presentation that has very impressive bass for being a Grado. I don't think I would pay the full grand for it, but perhaps if one fell in the $700 range it would be worthwhile.

~~~

Stacy - thanks so much again for graciously hosting. It could not have been better than the way it turned out
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.

Rob, Ray, Mike, and Billy - Awesome to hang out with you guys again. There's nothing better than talking and experiencing hi-fi with this group.

Joe, Tom, and the other new faces - It was great to meet all of you. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and will come back for more good times in the Chicagoland area. Try not to spend too much money as you get back in Joe
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.

~~~

Onward to November!

- Bryan
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 3:28 AM Post #6 of 39

elrod-tom

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Just got online for the first time since the meet...it was fun. Enjoyed meeting everyone, and it's always fun to catch up with old friends like Billy and Ray.

I will be posting pics and impressions tomorrow (probably late)...we had an interesting selection of gear today. Everything from nice DIY amps and modded older vintage cans to some of the best stuff available...and I enjoyed listening to all of it.

Thanks to Germania for being such a gracious host to all of us.
smily_headphones1.gif


See y'all tomorrow PM
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 6:08 AM Post #7 of 39

krmathis

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Sounds like a lot of fun!
Now we just need to pictures...
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Aug 3, 2008 at 7:10 AM Post #8 of 39

guyx1992

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Sounds that you had a lot of fun
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UPLOAD PICS
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Next time, each person will donate a few bucks and we will all buy myself a flight ticket :]
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 5:07 PM Post #9 of 39

digger945

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WOW, I think the only thing better than all of the great gear, is to meet the real people behind the names you see on Head-Fi every day. I can't say enough about how cool it is to hang out with the people of the Head-Fi community. Germania was absolutely right about the Head-Fiers who come to the meets to share gear and knowledge of the hobby, they are the best!

What can I say that hasn't already been said, Ray's R10's through the Raptor, listening to CD's on a Meridian 508, it's goodness I won't soon forget.

Meeting Skylab was an honor. His electric/magnetic personality and love of the hobby is unique and unparalleled.

The new SR-71a prototype, wow, this is about as close as your gonna get to having a home amp in your shirt pocket. All I can say is I want one
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!!!

Bryan's beautiful woodied D2000's and the Grado's Joe brought, cans I probably wouldn't have a chance to listen to if they hadn't taken the time to bring them
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I met a lot of new people and I can't even begin to remember all the names, but I would like to personally thank each one of you who attended for making my first meet as a noob a great one that I will not forget.

It was cool to meet a Head-Fi moderator, elrod-tom, and get an 'insiders' take on how things work at Head-Fi.

Of course, this meet was held at the most kind and beautiful Germania's home, where we sat at the bar and ate the most awesome pizza pie while she demonstrated her truly talented singing ability
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Thank you so much Germania, for a perfect day.

I thought I snapped a couple of pics on my phone, but they didn't save to the memory
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I am sure the others will have pics up sometime later today or Monday.

Thanks again all, and look forward to ChiUnify in November!

EDIT: I have discovered someone's (Joe?) 24" Outlaw RCA to RCA interconnects upon unpacking my gear. They look like cotton in teflon. Please PM me and I will put in the mail first thing in the morning.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 10:30 PM Post #10 of 39

Aura

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The variety isn't great because I ran out of room on two different cards within the first hour.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 10:41 PM Post #11 of 39

Towert7

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Looks like it was a very fun mini-meet (though not too mini). Nice pictures. Makes me feel like I was there.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 11:14 PM Post #12 of 39

digger945

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The 14th pic from the top is a shot of the new 71a ( lower right), it has rubber bands holding the two 9-volts in and is hooked up to Ray's iPod. Pic #7 is (sorry I am terrible with names) listening to Ray's R10 plugged into the 71a.
Awesome, thanks Bryan.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 12:59 AM Post #13 of 39

-=Germania=-

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Hey guys,

Thanks for being Awesome and driving out to a haven in the cornfields...literally.I know that everyone had a great time and Billy, if you need any help for November I am totally up for it.

GREAT SHOW OF PEOPLE AND GEAR!

Took Ray's ever so gracious advice on the Millet Min on improvement in certain areas.

However, I switched the 50k Pot for a 100k (after trying a couple...got logarithmic - no more of the obscenely loud!

I ended up putting in a 1000uF Cap across the Power (instead of the 470). Not too bassy at all.

Both lowered the noise floor quite a bit. Actually, it is barely audible at the highest volume - much better than yesterday! Now, I am ordering parts for the new power supply I am going to build to match the amp.
Very punchy now! Sounds soo much better than my Home XP.
Added a nice big knulred aluminum knob and placed the LED's back where they are supposed to be.

The first turn on after the full mods was a heart stopper because it took about 30 seconds to start up. Luckily, I have LED's that flash until it is started up. Whew!

Running beautifully now - just need to make a new PS. I have a strong feeling that this thing is going to end up costing me $150 by the time I am done with it. Meh.


I loved having all of you guys there....and I do mean guys.
The Rosewood D2k's were stunning in sound and appearance - big and beefy!

Loved:
Rosewood Markl'd D2000 - My personal Fav of the showing
Markl D2000
JVC DX1000 - little EQ more on treble *poor man's R10*
AT ESW9
Ming Da
Ray/Billy's Computer-> Predator setup.
*k1000 setup* - super sweet
*SA5000 setup* - super fast , but maybe more low end extention.
Sony R10's are a given.

Jury Still out on the Balanced Jena Markl D5000....not my taste I guess. Then again - most of my stuff is made to play to the neutral or even more tinge to the treble.

I could see myself getting Markl D2000's - doing all of it myself though.
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Jeez, I think that the Millet Min is going to be an ever-growing project.

Unfortunately, it seems that my FreQShows did yesterday - the right channel began to distort horribly. They are headed back.

***I went to Circuit City today and happened across an audio steal to keep me while the FreQ's are gone. The Sennheiser MX55 Twist to fit type earbuds were on clearance for $15 !!!! For comparison, they are very similar toPK3's, maybe a bit more soundstage and more treble detail.*** Very nice beater buds for the gym and such because they don't fall out. You put them on similar to IEM's Alos, they VASTLY improve with the addition of an amp. Otherwise, you will be running your iPod at 75-80% volume and miss all of the improvements.***

Bought more CD's too.

Ray, you are a great teacher and your advice definitely helped. Using the 100K audio taper pot puts the volume where I listen almost dead center of the pot on the k400's and HD580's, little more on the AT701's and SE505's.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 1:36 AM Post #14 of 39

jgonino

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Where to begin....I got home at about 3:30 today, which made it about 6.5 hours of driving (@ 90 MPH
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)

First and foremost, I'd like to thank Germania not only for hosting the meet, but offering me a place to stay for the night. I would not have been to come at all otherwise.

Second, to Ray Samuels, who continues to be one of the best supporters of Head-fi, and who is just an awesome person overall. This is the first time I have had the pleasure of meeting him, and I dare say it will not be the last.

Of course, there are gear impressions:

I had the pleasure of enjoying Ray's R-10's both through his Raptor/Meridian rig, and through Aura's Marantz/MPX3 rig. I enjoyed all of the music played on them, and while they are pretty much the most awesome headphone I have ever heard, both Rob and I agreed that for about 1/6 or less of the cost we would rather have the DX1000.

Oh, and for the record, Metal + Sony R-10 = Schweet! I tried out some Pantera, Opeth (agree with above, absurdly good), Heaven Shall Burn, and Divine Heresy.

I also could not get over how great Aura's woody modded D2000's sounded. I'm not sure I was 100% on enjoying them more than the DX1000, but they did have a very nice sound, and I did prefer them slightly to both the D5000 stock and the D2000 stock.

As for the Markl modded D5000, im going to have to pass. As Aura put it "if that is what neutral sounds like, I don't like it" Both of us preferred other closed cans, and I in particular did not like the cable on them.

The ESW9's are pretty much the best portable headphone I have ever used. The reason I say almost, is because I will wear almost anything outside (DT770, ultrasones, etc.) They are comfy, and sound like much larger headphones.

I have come to realize that I am not ever going to like anything from sennheiser. They are just not my thing. The GS1000's are wonderful headphones, but are not worth the $1,000 price tag, and are very flimsy feeling with that cheap cable splitter.

I also liked hearing the K1000 for the first time. People who say that they have no bass are incorrect. It's there, but its very rolled off after about 60hz. I really enjoyed the speaker like presentation, and will have to try them again.

This meet also made me realize that I am pretty much a tube man when it comes to amps. In particular I liked the MPX3, and the Raptor. The new SR71a prototype was amazing in that it can drive almost any headphones. we plugged the r-10's in, and even they sounded great. I may have to snag one when they come out.

Bryan, Rob and I seem to have similar taste in both music and headphones, and I enjoyed having someone else to talk music with. (Rob, I just picked up that Iced earth CD from Bestbuy, and its a real screamer!)

Thanks to everyone, and I hope to make it out for November with some actual gear! (Please wallet, don't die
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)

Edit: More stuff

More thoughts:

Ultrasone 780: Pretty much just "eh". I like the ES9's more in every way.

Sextetts: I knew I was going to like these, and I hope I get the chance to buy a pair. Great detail, with fun mids and lots of separation.

K340: found that I actualy enjoyed them, but found them to be lacking a bit in the bass depo. I prefer the sextetts.

CKKIII - great little SS amp, but I really prefer tubes. would be a nice one for the office though!
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 2:11 AM Post #15 of 39

Aura

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Keeping the media going with three relatively short videos I shot during the meet.

The first one is my favorite, with Rob busting out some air guitar and Ray really showing off how damn knowledgeable and helpful he is. Again, I had very little space left on the camera and didn't get much of a chance to walk around and get everything in, but I think the gist is there.

YouTube - Chicago Head-Fi Meet @ Germania's - 08.02.08

YouTube - Chicago Head-Fi Meet @ Germania's - 08.02.08 (#2)

YouTube - Chicago Head-Fi Meet @ Germania's - 08.02.08 (#3)
 

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