DC Area Head-Fi Meet Impressions (George Mason Library) 4/12/15
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Apr 13, 2015 at 3:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

HiGHFLYiN9

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I wanted to kick off the meet impressions thread. It was a great time for sure, and I enjoyed meeting all the new faces. Thanks Barry for organizing, it's a very nice room for a meet, especially considering it's gratis. 
 
I think the real star of the meet for me was the Audeze closed back EL-8. From the sound that headphone provides, they could EASILY charge twice the price (although it might need more wood/leather adornments). I think I've found the new reference travel can! 
 
Other headphones I enjoyed listening to were the:
 
Fostex TH-900 - a little peaky for my overly sensitive ears, but matched with a good tube amp these would be tops. The bass rumbled like a movie theater. 
 
HiFiMan HE-6 with the fancy braided cable - I love the way the bass slams on these, quick, succinct, powerful! If HiFiMan ever gives them a freshening like the 560s, I'd be first in line for a pair. 
 
Enigma Acoustics Dharma - These had a great air and spatial quality that I haven't heard elsewhere. Really did a great job with more harmonic, slow tempo indie and female vocals (think Bat for Lashes). I'd imagine classical would sound awesome too, but I wanted to move on for the next listener. Worth keeping an eye on for the final revision. 
 
 
...it looked like my highly modified TH50RPs with the wood cups made a few rounds around the room. They have a more polite presentation than the many electrostats present, so perhaps they offered a nice contrast. I enjoyed the looks of the Enigma Acoustics Athena amp in its tempered glass enclosure. Very cool to see the long capacitors and tubes extending in both directions. They definitely should win some industrial design award for that. The current feedback amp (CFA-2) was also an intriguing design with plenty of power on tap that should be enough to satisfy nearly every headphone out there. 
 
I took a few random photos...
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
Apr 13, 2015 at 4:33 PM Post #2 of 17

Timestretch

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I posted a bit in the meet thread, but might as well post here for posterity.  
  
There were a lot of things I was eager to hear going into the meet:  
  
Musicinmymind's modded HE-6 running on a very fancy DAC/amp setup: This was great, especially the custom cable for the HE-6 which was very cool. I may mod my HE-6 a little bit (remove the cotton stuffing/stuff from below the grille? Seems like it could be good to do). From what I gather of the amp and DAC paired with Musicinmymind's modded HE-6, that is the real HE-6 big leagues. I'm happy I could compare my setup to his like that.    
  
I was also eager to check out the HD800 and TH900 and SR-007, but I think I ended up most surprised by some of the things I wasn't expecting or anticipating, like the Dharma 1000, a nice Beyer T1, a custom T50RP by HiGHFLYiN9, and all of those new Audeze EL-8's.  
 
Most of all it was just fun as usual to see people trying out so much stuff, and to have so much variety to try out myself. It encourages me to try and get a bigger collection of my own - it is fun to have so much gear available to swap in and out.   
  
All the people I spoke to were pretty cool, too. It's nice to see the humans behind the head-fi names. 
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 5:28 PM Post #3 of 17

Billheiser

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I was impressed with Gandhisfist's EL-8C, and with Grinding Thud's CFA-2 into the LCD-2.  I didn't get around to many other spots, and would have liked to hear the Enigmas, TH900, LCD-X, Auralic, and other great things.  But I enjoyed talking to listeners coming by, including especially newer folks who were enthusiastic about getting into (or back into) headphone sound. So hey to Diego, and the shovel guys, and all the others whose names I asked and then promptly forgot.  The interest in mid-priced high value gear seems strong.  Thanks also to Sheldaze my table partner.
BTW, I'm happily married and not "looking", but can't help notice that headphone meets must be the worst possible place in the universe to meet women.
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 6:32 PM Post #4 of 17

GrindingThud

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There was a small Yulong headphone amp at one corner of the center table that I thought was outstanding....anyone remember what amp that was?
The closed EL-8 sounded good, but not my cup of tea. I'm glad I got to hear them.
Got to compare HD600 to HD650 on both OTL and sand....I found I liked the HD650 over the HD600. Seemed the HD650 had deeper more powerful bass....maybe I'm a closet bass head.
Also, did some listening to the special "device" that Billheiser brought. Tried as hard as I could with several amps, phones, and music selections....it seemed transparent to me.
There was enough good sounding T50RP based cans in the room that now I'm interested in building up something in that class.

Pulled my post forward from the other thread:
Pretty busy meet and and noisier than most. Didn't stop me from enjoying hearing different equipment, lots of interesting stuff this time. I liked the Taurus Auralic a lot and was also impressed with the Crack. I'm going to have to mod the WA3 to have direct coupled drivers...they sounded really good in the Crack. I've also got a new appreciation for the Lyr. :)
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 7:37 PM Post #5 of 17

Billheiser

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The $300 Synergistic Research "HOT" device was tried by about 5 people, and most said they heard no difference or, similarly, were not sure if they heard a difference.  Analog Savior heard a slight difference, but not a beneficial one.  I am sending the HOT back to Steve Eddy in California who will try to sell it to benefit a charity there.
 
Apr 14, 2015 at 2:52 PM Post #6 of 17

HiGHFLYiN9

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As I was very curious what was inside, I found the HOT device was discussed at length in another thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/741043/some-hot-science-from-synergistic-research. Apparently silicon dioxide is the only component inside that affects sound. 
 
Apr 15, 2015 at 12:15 AM Post #7 of 17

coletrain104

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I was really happy to find that I enjoyed my 400i quite a lot, especially against headphones of a similar or slightly higher price. I also found that I didn't love any of the Audezes, though the X was quite nice. It would've been cool if there were more solid state amps for me to hear. It seems we have some tube fans in the area  
tongue.gif
 
My surprise at my own enjoyment of the HD800 and T1 was very real. I figured they would be no fun, and something that I wouldn't enjoy. Needless to say they've been the subject of most of my internet searches for the past few days.
 
Apr 15, 2015 at 1:01 AM Post #8 of 17

Timestretch

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  My surprise at my own enjoyment of the HD800 and T1 was very real. 

 
In that vein - I was surprised at how much I was interested in the T1 despite never looking it up online, but also I was surprised by how much I just didn't "feel" the HD800. I'm not sure if the HD800 is an acquired taste, or I need more time in quiet with it to really get familiar with it, but it didn't seem to do anything particularly interesting to me. Every other headphone I tried did something to some extent that drew in my attention while listening to it, but somehow the HD800 just sounded "plain" and I'm not sure what that means to me. I am again fascinated by how subjective these things can be, where there is truly no "best" headphone for everyone. On the other hand, my friend Chris who also came enjoyed the HD800 a lot. 
 
Apr 22, 2015 at 3:34 PM Post #9 of 17

Byrnie

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I liked the Taurus Auralic a lot and was also impressed with the Crack. I'm going to have to mod the WA3 to have direct coupled drivers...they sounded really good in the Crack. I've also got a new appreciation for the Lyr.
smily_headphones1.gif

I'll be bringing my Taurus to Capitol Audio Festival (that's assuming they're also having a headphone meet as well) in case anyone wanted to listen to it.
 
Apr 22, 2015 at 8:11 PM Post #11 of 17

Byrnie

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Fantastic, I was hoping to check it out at the last one but got caught up in other stuff and didn't get a chance.

Well I couldn't stay long either as my daughter got bored quicker than expected.
 
Aug 7, 2015 at 8:38 PM Post #14 of 17

sheldaze

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Aug 7, 2015 at 8:39 PM Post #15 of 17

coletrain104

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Yeah, it seems like that thread has been quiet for quite a while. I'm interested in going, but I need to make sure it actually happens
 
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