DC/Baltimore regional meet 8/2/08
Aug 3, 2008 at 1:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

NightWoundsTime

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Don't look at me for impressions, I'm just the thread-starter. By doing so I guess I've sanctioned this thing as a Florida meet, being that we have 2.8 members in attendance. I'm usually more strict about these things, but I'm too tired to argue right now. Enjoy those meet credits, they entitle you to a free beer and a lifetime of ruthless heckling.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 2:57 PM Post #2 of 19

grawk

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I had a blast, thanks for coming everyone. Highlights for me:

The desktop rig powering my htd speakers. Nearfield speaker listening is really nice.
The Super.Fi 5s impressed me, and I wasn't expecting to like them
I decided I prefer the UE10 to UE11 sound signature

The headroom ultra micro stack is an awesome little combination, even tho the power supply is massive.

Juan's new cd player and modded tube amp (someone else can fill in those details) sounded great with my hhf1s.

And most importantly, hanging out with friends, new and old. The gear's just an excuse to hang out and have a good time after all.

Thanks to Ultimate Ears and HeadRoom for sending gear, and to HeadAmp (justin) for coming and bringing along the blue hawaii.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 4:48 PM Post #3 of 19

crappyjones123

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i wish i had matts thread starting skillz
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awaiting pictures.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 8:15 PM Post #4 of 19

tyrion

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I've been home since 12pm. Jim got me to the airport early enough that I was able to get on an earlier flight. Jim thanks for the ride both from and to the airport!

Dan, thanks for a great time (especially the whiskey)! The meet was great as was the before and after meet festivities. stevieo was on his best behavior which was nice as I didn't feel the need to threaten his life once during the entire weekend.

It was great seeing the usual suspects as well as meeting new people this trip. I listened to a bunch of gear and for me the highlights were the BHSE/O2 and Juans modded Earmax. I only spent a short time with the BHSE at CanJam. This time I made sure I really got an opportunity to hear what this amp could do and I have to say, I was not disappointed. I was not a fan of the 02 until now. I don't think they have ever sounded so good to me. Justin really has a winner on his hands. If I were in the market for an amp at the price of the BHSE, that would be in my top 3 for sure.

Juan, had a modded Earmax that just sounds beautiful. I have no idea what mods were done. The amp has been recased and preamp outs have been added. I used Dan's HHF-1 and a pair of wood Audio Technica (not sure which). The amp was paired with a Burmester cdp and the combination was great.

I had a chance to hear the Headroom Stereo Amp and I'm hoping that one day, I will have one of them in my office speaker rig.

Those were my listening highlights. I tried the UE10 and 11. The fit didn't work well for me. I a tough time getting them in my ear, even with the small tips and foamies. I was able to get a good seal if I pushed them in my ear and held them there. I am sure they would have been more enjoyable if I had better fit but from what I did hear I don't think would cause me to give up my FreQs, especially when the price is factored in.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 9:42 PM Post #6 of 19

Dreadhead

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This was my first meet and it was a lot of fun.

I didn't get to hear the BHSE (I left just as it was warming up) but I did hear an HE90/ES1 combo that was lovely thought it wasn't being given a worthy source. I believe the souce must have been the bottleneck since my setup was more resolving (and I'm not the only one to hear this). I'm sure that others will fill everyone in on the BHSE. Electrostatic is interesting but I don't see myself going that way.

In the end the meet confirmed for me that I pretty much have everything I need or want in my current setup and I see no reason to upgrade source or amplification. If I can find someone willing to sell my R-10s or Qualias for something resembling a reasonable price then maybe, but I still have yet to hear them so I don't know for sure.

EDIT: THANKS GRAWK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 2:03 AM Post #7 of 19

boomana

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Got home about an hour ago and am zonked. I'll post impressions tomorrow, but just wanted to thank grawk for a great meet. I had a ball seeing everyone again and then meeting some really wonderful new folks. I love headphone meets.
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Aug 4, 2008 at 12:36 PM Post #8 of 19

stevieo

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grawk put together a great meet. thanks grawk for all the prep work. i got to meet new folks & regulars who came from near & far. i spent more time listening than to rigs than i usually do.

i could not figure out how to work the denon cd player when i got around to the es-1 electrostatic singlepower amp at day's end with O2's & orpheus. fortunately, i have heard this champ before & it is still king, imo.

the rig that stood out for me was cd44hi's burmester cdp with modified earmax amp with audio technicha w1000, hf1 & r10. this was a sweet little hardware combo.

there were a other good sounding rigs i spent time listening to. i am not sure what they were or will ever know or how they were configured.

i also heard a few very interesting computer rigs with outboard dacs & sound cards, etc. the apogee duet seems very popular these days. versatile piece of sound hardware. i was pleased to hear scompton's headphone amp with his laptop & sound card & his interesting assortment of unusual cans. i learned a few important technical things about computer audio & a/v. thanks to those who gave me some knowledge about these things.

i see less cdp sources as laptops take over as sources with rooms full of music collection storage. i guess the cdp is practically a dinosaur like me but i did listen to some excellent cdp sources which i really liked. i can drop an lp on a platter or a cd in a drawer easily enough but i have a lot to learn about computers & music. but i did learn how to put cover art onto itunes & a ipod. one chalange completed for someone who is technophobic.

the saturday night dinner a blast & a great choice for a place to start winding down the meet.

hopefully, i'll see you all again at the next one.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 2:15 PM Post #10 of 19

grawk

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I am working on a way to be able to provide an acceptable way of posting pictures here without stepping on toes. Search on flickr.com for "grawk head-fi 2008 summer" in the tags, and you'll get the PC assortment of the photos.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 7:58 PM Post #12 of 19

CD44hi

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Great meet, thanks to GrAwk for organizing it!


Of the rigs I listened:

VPI’s Cary 303/300 (I think), feeding a Rockhooper Audio KGSS to a pair of Omega II MKI. Very transparent rig, good impact and the mids were there! I don’t know, but in my brief listening sessions with the OIIs in other systems, I have felt the mids to be a bit recessed sometimes. In this system, the mids were well represented. I think VPI got himself a good electrostatic combination.

Since I am in the electrostatic area, I heard Tkam’s APL Denon 3910 into a HeadAmp KGSS feeding the Omega II, MK II. Oh man talk about effortless music presentation. The most impressive thing about the whole rig was how natural the detail and ambiance was presented, no sense of artificiality at all.

Ingwe’s Ayre CX-7 Cd player was feeding a Bryston preamp, I didn’t get the model number on this one, then driving directly from the balanced outputs a pair of Headphiled AKG-K340. I think Ingwe mentioned there that the k340’s were not his, but they were hooked in his system when I listened. The sound had nice impact and it had good level of detail. Overall, the sound was too bright for my taste, but not overtly, just a tad bright.

Nautikal, he had a DVD player (that is not usually in his system, I believe his source is a computer bases one.), feeding a Darkvoice (don’t know the model), then driving a pair of re-cabled AKG-K701. Well, this sounded really good, nice balanced sound. I owned the K701 and I got very fatigued after about an hour of listening. I did not listened to Nautikal’s rig for an hour, but it was clear to me that the harshness of the K701’s was gone in his system. I think if you are contemplating an amp that will mate well with the K701 cans, then the Darkvoice should be one to deserve strong consideration! Well done Nautikal that was a nice sounding system.

I listened to Dreadhead’s GS-X based system. Please do not ask me to recall all the details of this convoluted set-up, because it involved several items in chain, but I’ll do my best: Dell Laptop as transport, to a USB/optical converter, to a Sound Processor (which I do not recall the brand) to a Bel Canto DAC3, feeding a HeadAmp GS-X. In this set-up I heard the denon D5000, sony mdr-sa5000 and Sennheirser HD560, all in balanced configuration. My favorites were the Senn’s, followed by the Denon’s and then the Sony’s. Going to try to hook-up the GS-x to my cd player to listen since I am looking for a balanced solid state amp, albeit to my chagrin Dreadhead left early, before I had a chance to ask. Next time!

Got to listen to the UE-11pro and compare them to my UE-10pro. No question, the 11 are much more musical and more punchy. In comparison the 10s are flatter sounding. If I had to start from scratch, I would most likely pick the 11s, but already having the ue-10pro, I am not sure that what I heard from the 11s would justify, in my humble opinion, getting this additional pair. Now if UE had a “upgrade program” or “trade-in” program, I will seriously consider the change.

The Audio Technica ATH-EWS9, surprisingly smooth. Out of the ipod touch sounded quite nice. I am getting a pair in the future. I liked them. The sound was the “good” type of AT sound. Like a baby, baby, baby L3000 sound signature. This is a light comparison, just regarding the general tonal balance. I do not think the EWS have the resolution and kick of the L3000, just the same general tonal balance.

Also heard from Justin that he had fiddled with the volume control of the pico to allow for more control on the earlier field of the volume pot (region 6-9). This was my only grief with this great dac/amp as for most of my material the gain was way to high for the UE10pro at my listening levels. Look forward to listening to this.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OK, I feel compelled to make a couple of comments of things I observed during the day:

Saw a few tube amps left ON without any headphones plugged-in. This, in most cases if not all, is bad for the amp and the tubes. Please next time after listening to an amp and deciding to change cans, please make sure to leave a headphone plugged before moving along.

Saw a headphone to which one of the earcups became detached (not mine). The person using/manipulating the headphone at that moment, just put the headphone down and walked away. The right thing to do would be to alert the owner of this development and just have him decide what to do. There should be **no** fear about notifying the owner: This type of unfortunate circumstances do happen and it is just part of life, things brake. I, as an owner bringing stuff to a meet to share, am always aware that things can brake and that the likelihood of accidents may increase due to high traffic, so I come mentally prepared to face this type of situations. However, I do expect people to treat gear with care, and if things brake if just an unfortunate event and not otherwise. I personally think that if there is a piece of gear that one feels could represent too much of a loss if some unfortunate accident were to happen, then one should not bring it to a large meet. I will be the first to admit that this is the primary reason why I never take my qualia 010 out of my premises because if would crush me if anything preventable were to happen. However as an owner, I would very much appreciate that if one of my headphones (or other gear) was to suffer a contingency during a meet, I was told ASAP to deal with the situation and prevent further damage.
Same thing with an electrostatic headphone amplifier that had an issue with one channel being silent. It was my impression that when I noticed this, I was not the first one to be aware of this phenomenon. Electrostatic headphones can be easily damaged if there is some spurious events like arcing, thus the earlier this is dealt with, the best for the whole system.
Saw a few CD/DVD players left with the drawers open. This is a big no-no. The easiest way to F-up a transport is to dislocate the drawer.
So, please in future meets be appreciative of the kindness of other willing to haul their stuff to share with the rest of us. Being a good “meet citizen” will only benefit all and will encourage people to continue to share gear with the community.
I think there should be a sticky on the Meet-Planning section with some recommendations on “what to do” and “what not to do” in a meet. This should be a “highly recommended” reading material for meet attendees.

This was a great meet and this are very minor points albeit important in my humble opinion. I enjoyed the meet very much.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 8:21 PM Post #13 of 19

CD44hi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by grawk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Juan's new cd player and modded tube amp (someone else can fill in those details) sounded great with my hhf1s.


Quote:

Originally Posted by tyrion /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Juan, had a modded Earmax that just sounds beautiful. I have no idea what mods were done. The amp has been recased and preamp outs have been added. I used Dan's HHF-1 and a pair of wood Audio Technica (not sure which). The amp was paired with a Burmester cdp and the combination was great.


The CD player was a Burmester 006. The amplifier is a modified Earmax by Roger Sheker. He added a toroidal trasformer to the power supply, stepped attenuator, Auricaps, audience wiring. The amp uses three equivalent tubes that can be 6GM8, 7DJ8 or 6DJ8, but the requirement is that all 3 should be of the same type. This is in contrast to the Earmax pro where one is a 12 volt tube. Unfortunately (or fortunately in my case!) I bought the unit used, so I have no idea what is the required budget for such mods. The headphones were the audio technica ATH-W1000 and the black Grado that were sitting besides were SR325 with HP-1000 drivers and High-bandwidth reference cable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by crappyjones123 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
isnt burmester that german company than makes those insane 30k cdps? curious to hear impressions on how uber high end stuff sounds.


Burmester indeed makes some very expensive stuff. However the unit present a the meet is a medium-entry level in their line up, just one step above the entry level digital. The ones you are thinking of are the 069 (~35K I believe) and the reference 969/970 transport/DAC, which I think is around the $70K mark.
 
Aug 5, 2008 at 9:32 PM Post #14 of 19

CD44hi

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Question:
Who had a singlepower squarewave at the meet? It was later in the afternoon....
 

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