DC Area Head-Fi Meet - Capital Audio Fest 2017 - Nov 5, 2017

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  1. PropelledWolf
    Was supposed to go yesterday, but going tomorrow, I can''t wait to be at Canmania, see some old faces and see some new ones. I was wondering how the past two days have gone. Hope everything is going well at Schiit @sheldaze @kendavis
  2. GrindingThud
    Will be at the meet Sunday. Was there today to check,out the speaker setups - wicked cool!
  3. schneller
    I was there today from about 1-4 today. I spent most of my time in the speaker rooms. Came away loving the speaker products from TAD and Pure Audio Project.

    I stopped by and said hello to Ken and played with Loki. I definitely enjoyed having it in the stack and being able to tweak my audio. Turning it off revealed just how much I liked it there. Very cool.

    A big big shoutout to @kendavis for manning the Schiit booth with such little support. What a labor of love for the brand and the community. I really want to make sure he (or whomever else) next time has more reinforcements. Thanks so much, Ken.
  4. kendavis
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  5. SuperDuke
    Thanks Ken for the opportunity to help out.

    I was able to audition the new Mysphere 3.1 ($4K K1000 update) at the Woo Audio exhibit. I thought it had more bass and better resolution than the K1000 (from memory). I could not decide what to make of it though - it seemed like the sound stage was very much in my head or way back and at times almost behind me. I tried shifting them and different placement of the drivers - could be they take some time to adjust properly. Wish the Mr Speakers Ether E had been there. Supposedly it will be in the $2700 range. I hope Mr Speakers ups the competition for this $4-6K HP trend.

    VK music had the Elekit TU8600 300B speaker/headamp which sounded great w/ speakers. I did not hear it w/ HPs but based on their El34 amp I built I imagine it would be really nice and relatively inexpensive way to have a 300B headamp.

    PS one of the Mytek folks said he had an idea for a Speaker amp, dynamic and electrostatic headamp all in one box. probably a spin on the new Brooklyn amp.
  6. yage
    I must admit, it was a lot of fun being surrounded by piles of Schiit. <rimshot>

    Anyway, I was interested in the Shindo stuff, so I headed over there. The speakers were a single-driver full-range design and a turntable served as a source. Quite a lovely, natural sounding midrange and no piercing treble (unlike the Benchmark / Martin Logan room). The bass was pleasantly plump, almost sounding a little overdone at times, but it was a small room to begin with.

    The Volti / BorderPatrol room also sounded excellent as always, but the price for the fully decked out amp remains eye-watering (at least to me).

    The Classic Audio room with the Atma-Sphere amps and ginormous horn loaded speakers was playing Led Zeppelin way too loud. I couldn't understand how all the folks seated and listening intently could stand it. I had to leave after about five minutes. And that was with me off to one side perusing the marketing materials.

    I quickly compared the LCD-4 and the LCD-MX4. I think the LCD-4 is still the better headphone with a slightly warmer, more musical sounding midrange.

    There was definitely something wrong with the Wells Abyss setup - I could detect clipping occurring at times. The Milo sounded ok, but I felt that it was being held back by the DAC.

    The HeadAmp table was sounding mighty fine and I discovered that I preferred the SR-007 to the SR-009. (See, saving some money already.) Unfortunately, the Gilmore Lite mk 2 setup was suffering from some noise issues. My guess was that the player or the music files were causing problems - most noticeable on the first track of the Star Trek Into Darkness soundtrack. There was a low-level buzzy / fuzzy sound at times. Other albums / tracks were normal.

    All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
  7. pelliott123
    I also do not understand why these vendors play there systems so loud that they distort. How can you trust someone that thinks that the screaming tweeters sound good
  8. GrindingThud
    It's a sign of the times. Most of the systems / rooms were set up poorly imho. It's hard to imagine high end systems like these sounding bad. Props to Synergistic Research, Odyssey Audio, and Bricasti for being on their best game - I thought they shamed the competition. I love Zu, but I thought the sound was off this year. One of these days I'm going to break down and get a ZOTL..love those amps. :)
  9. GrindingThud
    @gandhisfist - The franken-woo has an output impedance around 50 with the ccs loaded 7802 in there. :)
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  10. gandhisfist
    Thanks! Impressively quiet and well controlled despite the impedance being higher than my headphones, really enjoyed the combination.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  11. Billheiser
    I liked that room also.
    And agree about Martin Logan array (5 speakers = Quintereo?) -- I found that room unpleasant.
  12. Billheiser
    Enjoyed the CAF; sorry I never made it to the Madison room for “our” meet - am I right that it happened, but was fairly small?

    I dropped by the Schiit show to greet @kendavis, and listen to some fine gear. Really enjoyed the Ether open models; my first time hearing them.

    Was impressed by the Abyss headphone in the Woo Audio room. I listened to a few headphones there, but kept coming back to the Abyss, which (to me) was overall better than the HE1000, which in turn was superior to the others I tried there (the TOTL Sony, and the Klipsch HP-3).

    The million-dollar system (Van Schweikert, VAC) was underwhelming to me. For the price, they should sound great, and bear my children too, so they’re only batting .500.
    I sat one seat to the right of the central sweet spot, and it seemed I could only hear the right speaker. I noticed Michael Lavorgna of Audiostream come in while I was there; he left after just a few minutes, and so did I.

    I’ve never heard Vandersteen speakers sound anything but excellent. The Channel D room had Vandersteen 5’s; however, there was something not right in the system. The speakers spread a wide and deep soundstage, but the recording (or the amps or something) sounded poor. I hope that was an aberration; I left that room, also, after just a couple minutes.

    Lots of good sound at the CAF, I won’t expound on them all, but one my favorites was GT Audio Works, with the large ribbon/panel speakers, and the even bigger subwoofer towers. Excellent sound on a variety of genres.
  13. ribosradagast
    Whatever room was right next to the Woo Audio room on the first floor was obsessed with blasting their music as loudly as possible, lol. Those poor people trying to listen to headphones and $5k amps in a quiet space...
  14. pelliott123
    Jack did not want to be in CanMania. We showed him another space far removed from the hubbub. He is thinking about it for next year
  15. schneller
    I spent most of my time walking into all of the speaker rooms. Pretty sure I hit most of them.

    #1 for me was the "high-end" TAD Room: TAD Evolution Pre C2000/Power M2500 + TAD Evolution One speakers ($85K without cables, power conditioning, etc.)
    #2 for me was the "mid-end" TAD Room: NAIM Nova + NAIM NAP 250DR + TAD Micro Evolution One speakers ($27K without cables, power conditioning, etc.)
    #3 for me was the Pure Audio Project Trio15TB ($3500 for the speakers alone)...easily the best value I heard.

    The most beautiful speakers I saw were the TIDAL Agoria ($120K/pair) in what was probably easily a $500-750K setup.
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