Ummm...listening to the EC/BA as I type, damn you craig the sound is just too gorgeous. Bass is dead perfect, drum kicks are fantastic. Wonderful layering in the soundstage, top end is awesome. I have found what I plan on doing for the rest of the meet that is for sure.
as a warmup test for CJ010, everything went perfect except
for the machine that validates the parking tickets
(and thus the reduced price) some of us had to try 3 or
4 times to get the tickets properly validated. Will make sure
that is fixed for next time.
asr's rig is fabulous, too bad no Blue Hawaii, though! I was able to compare his balanced HP2 with recstar's single ended HP2 on asr's Woo WA22/Ayre DAC. Where else would I be able to do this? Both sounded absolutely terrific, balanced just a bit cleaner, articulate, better imaging. But I'd take either in a heartbeat.
My big miss, and my punishment for showing up so late and talking so much - the Eddie Current Balancing Act. I really tried, but every time I looked over, there was someone on it. And when it was finally free, it was because the meet was over, and everyone was packing up. I must show up on time from now on! But at least I got a picture!
I always enjoy hearing absorbine_sr's Zana, sounded great as always, esp using recstar's HP2. I think those are my favorite headphone and headphone amp right now.
Kevin Gilmore - thanks for the tips on speaker pre-amps! And don't let sanity stop you from getting those Wilson subs! Why let it stop you now?! And I forgot to ask - were you teaching Gen Chem in 1983-4? Maybe I took a class from you way back when?
Audioaddict - great talking to you again!
I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of stuff. But I've got to run. Hope you all had a great time at the after meet get together. Skylab, we missed you!
Initial Impressions (To be expanded when I recover):
Thanks to Billy (bhd812), Ryan (Recstar24) and Bryan (Aura) for an excellent meet
and to Steve (audio_addict), Todd R and Soundearphones.com for providing some of the raffle prizes. A big thanks to Ryan (birchre) for providing a lot of help and insight into the behind the scenes workings of power, lighting and environmental issues we are likely to be dealing with in the not-so-distant future.
Head-direct HE-5 >>> Audeze LCD-1 - First, the fit and finish is really good on the HE-5 so it definitely looks the part. The sound has definitely been improved since they were debuted in LA. Part of that may be due to the fact that they also seem easier to drive than I remember in LA. Listening impressions are on the balancing act. The treble was very clear with no sibilance on anything I listened to but did not seem much different from the LA pair. The midrange was much better integrated with the treble and provided a very cohesive sound with no apparent large peaks or valleys, at least to these tired old ears. The bass was very well controlled with no boom. Didn't really seem to have the extension of the O2 but I would have needed to turn it up beyond where my comfort level is to really hear it. It was relatively quiet for a meet, but it was still a meet. Thanks again to Steve (audio addict) for allowing me to monopolize these for a bit of time on my rig. These are likely to be my next phones.
PerfectWave DAC has not been overhyped. It is the real deal. Luckily, we had some smokin' wireless access due to the physicians in the next room and I was able to download the manual for the Perfect Wave DAC. First off the connectivity options on this DAC are very impressive and will be even more impressive when the network bridge is available. They definitely spent some time working on their filter selections as well as the overall software interface. This DAC provides a great deal of control for both oversampling (including totally defeating it) and the specific filters. The difference among the filters in the sound is fairly easy to hear and I was definitely leaning towards the apodising filters on most of the things I listened to. I noticed a lot less difference between raw 44.1 and any upsampled rate compared to the Musiland SRC-10 upsampler I use at home. I do not know for sure but my guess is that may be a function of how good the implementation of the digital filters are on this unit. The overall sound was very pleasant and it really held the line between clarity and smoothness very well. I did not fell I was losing any of the detail, but the clarity also did not sound artificial. Granted the amplifier was not mine so further ravings will have to wait for an in-home audition. Likely to be high up on the list for "The Year of the Source".
"The Crusher's" DIY amps are sonic works of art. Some of the best sound I have heard out of Grados. Even though Doug was right next to me I did not get to spend enough time on these amps. They sounded very clean and will totally dash any preconceptions you may have regarding "tube sound". Definitely reinforced my growing realization that good tube amps and good SS amps share more in terms of sound than I originally thought.
You may notice I am being exceptionally silent about the Woo WA22. Steve (ASR) travelled from Colorado to allow us to hear this amp. It is a very well-built creation but I will leave my listening impressions until later. Steve's generosity is allowing me to directly compare the balancing act and the WA22 in my system at home. More to follow ...
Ram brewery serves an excellent home-brewed hefewiezen. This was a very nice aftermeet location for dinner and chilling out before my long ride back home. It is located in easy walking distance from the hotel and the entire area is very-well supplied with eating establishments at a broad range of prices which was great to see.
As usual spent way more time talking than listening. My only regret was not being able to spend more time with some of the people I did not know as well and the new attendees. People are the best part of meets and seeing new members in attendance is always a great thing.
Nice job guys, I'll be there next year come hell-or-high-water.
This is the first meet at which I did not take a single picture, so I apologize in advance. Kevin and possibly Steve should be able to suffice I think.
To start it off, let me just say that in the wake of this meet I want CanJam to get here so badly it is almost painful. The gear has become such an afterthought for me that I wonder if I should feel badly about it . Hanging out with the guys is my main interest now, no doubt about it.
But... here a few gear thoughts:
1) AD2K on Jim's rig (BA, 840C, Mac Mini). Only afterwards did I find out from Jim that Craig uses the AD2K most frequently on the BA (or at least he did at CJ). I can understand why. Excellent, excellent match. The dry midrange of the AD2K takes that slight warmth of the BA that we all generally agreed it exhibits and puts out some very damn musical tonality. Imaging was a little bit better than on my GLite, which I still think is good, so that surprised me a little. Overall wonderful match.
2) Qualia on Jim's rig. I was more impressed with the AD2K tbh. I had a decent fit with the Sony, not quite perfect seal at the bottom of the cups but it was pretty close. It does remind me of the AD2K in a few general ways but with more of a metallic sound, like it's almost too treble-happy. I didn't find it too bass weak but I can certainly see why people would be bothered by the low end. It is very different from many of the current production headphones. Overall I liked it and definitely want to hear it again.
3) Shure SRH840 from Chris' rig (Rotel cdp, Gilmore V2-based DIY). I was pleasantly surprised by this headphone. I'm not quite sure I'd pay retail for it but it is a decent closed headphone that offers something different from Denon or AKG, no doubt. Good isolation, very comfortable (more so than Denon imo because it has a little grip in it which I like). Another I'd like to spend more time with.
After the meet 6 of us went to the Ram restaurant and micro-brewery for dinner. Good food and supposedly better beer (19 days away from legality damn it); overall solid pick Ryan. It's times like these that I really become totally satisfied with what this hobby can provide.
Mike - I wanna hear those HE5's as soon as you get 'em. Wish Debbie the best from me, she's great.
Billy - Will try and remember to call you after Thanksgiving for the bar crawl
Ryan - Get that amp finished as quickly as Doug can manage, I wanna hear it
KG - You have a quick trigger finger with that camera sir O_o.
Jim - You are most bestest, hope I made the trip a little more interesting for you.
Chris - Finally got to meet you! Really dig your Rotel sources, unique stuff dude.
John - Dude we need to hang more. Great to see you.
Steve - Very glad you could make the trip and that John could get the flange outta dat earhole
. Enjoyed your company sir and thanks again for letting me listen to the Qualia.
Rob - Good times will be had next time as well, I assure you that.
As always, great to spend time with everyone. I know I said thanks a lot already, but thanks again to everyone for the best Saturday I've had in a while.
I just wanted to say thanks to Ryan and Bryan for organizing the meet.
Also, I would like to thank Michael M at Sound Earphones.com for the generous gift certificate for the raffle, which unfortunately I didn't win, but was won by Mike. Have fun spending it.
Spent most of the time talking and not listening, like always. I must say the space that will be available CanJam 2010 will be enormous. We were in 1 room but they reserves two entire floors in the same area as our room. WOW!! I can't wait for June to roll around.