F1 Audio Chicago area head fi meet 3/23 Impressions thread
Mar 23, 2019 at 9:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

CreditingKarma

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2017
Posts
1,081
Likes
874
Location
USA
Thank you to F1 Audio for hosting.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and impressions of the meet below.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 1:26 AM Post #2 of 7

deonild

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Posts
14
Likes
2
Location
Chicago, IL
First meet up for me, was a great time. Fun meeting others and talking about equipment. My best set of cans so far is Beyerdynamic DT990. It was great to be able to hear cans I have only read about. First time hearing planar magnetic and electrostatic, and all-BA iems. The Stax were amazing, and found I really like Fostex. Came with purpose to try campfire iems... I'm less sure of what I want now, I want a bunch of them :)
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 9:47 AM Post #3 of 7

Rayvolution

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Posts
64
Likes
23
Awesome meet, loved the DAVE -> Headtrip -> Abyss 1266 Phi TC combo.

The RME DAC was mesmerizing. Love the visualization of the music, but think it's better as a pure DAC than an amp/dac combo. Would be interested to hear it in a speaker setup.

Thanks again to F1 and Jamie for hosting the event!
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 9:54 AM Post #4 of 7

NEXTLEVEL5

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Posts
114
Likes
54
Location
Chicago, IL USA
The dave dac really stood out to me with the utopias. I also got to listen to the empyrean headphones and I have to say they sounded very smooth and detailed. I definitely want more time with them. Everything sounded good from the Dave/Headtrip combo especially the Susvara. After using Roon yesterday when I left and got done with work I went and purchased Roon for myself. Really amazed at what it can do streaming to multiple devices and a really cool interface. Amazing gear to listen to yesterday. It was great!
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 10:01 AM Post #5 of 7

Rayvolution

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Posts
64
Likes
23
jopsgTF
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Mar 25, 2019 at 9:56 PM Post #6 of 7

CreditingKarma

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 6, 2017
Posts
1,081
Likes
874
Location
USA
20190323_152906.jpg 20190323_175908.jpg 20190323_153456.jpg 20190323_153459.jpg





Sorry for the horrible quality of the photos but here are a few from the meet. There were quite a few standouts from the meet. The sound of the Stax SR009s out of the blue Hawaii feed from the dave and blu mk2 was really good I found it nearly perfect only if it had more bass then it would be a truly perfect headphone. The Susvara feed from the Headtrip level 2 was incredible. The susvara is indeed a great can when it is feed proper power. The new Abyss 1266 tc driven from the same amp was great too if only they could find a way to make it more comfortable it is just too small for my head. The real treat was to hear the Raal ear speaker I know that stat is know as an ear speaker but this is the real deal. It was being feed from a D'Agostino integrated and I can say that it was something that you must experience. I am not sure how many people have ever gotten to experience it driven by such a world class amplifier and yes it needs power at least 100watts to be precise.

We also had an opportunity to a/b two HD800s our of the auris nirvana. It was interesting and a few of us did agree that there was a difference between the two on sounded a bit more laid back with a smaller soundstage. they were both feed from the same amp at the same time so it was interesting to be able to switch with no need to unplug and plug them and not worry about volume matching as well. We also had a chance to listen to the LCD 4 vs the LCD 4z. I found the LCD 4 to be a bit darker and more laid back while the 4z had a bit more air and more present treble by a bit. The weight difference was noticeable as well. With that in mind the Empyrean was much lighter than the 4z but when going between the two i found the Empyrean to be a bit thinner I think that is due to the more forward mids in the LCD 4 and 4z. The Empyrean sounds great and was very balanced and if i had not been comparing them back and forth i don't think that I would have missed the mids that much. I preferred both over the new Mr. Speakers Ether 2 which was nice but was not in the same level as the Empyrean or LCD 4 and 4z. I must say though if others can find a way to get their planners that light it would be incredible the Ether 2 is supremely light and comfortable.

Having a listened to the Utopia again I am still Like the Clears more and find them more enjoyable. The Clear might be the best value to performance in headphones at this time. I do like my LCD 4z more than them but am just as happy to sit down with the clears 80% of the time. I just miss the mids and bass of the 4z after a while.

I hate to say anything bad but if there was a golden raspberry to award it would go to the Crosszone CZ-1. This is the first time that I have put on a pair of higher end headphones and immediately took them off after about 30 seconds of music. I have to say that I would rather have to listen to beats for the rest of my life instead of them. It is an interesting concept but they do not sound good. Hopefully if they release another can it is much better. In fact they should offer all of the folks that bought them in the first place the new version at a very steep discount for being guinea pigs with the first model.

It was a great meet and was great to meet some new folks there too. I hope that we can start more regular group gatherings in the Chicago community and perhaps bring some newcomers into our hobby. We are few and far between and it is great to have a local shop like F1 Audio where you can listen to great gear so you can make informed purchases. Without local shops and us supporting them we will all be left to buying with out every having heard the items. I watched as all of the local guitar shops went out of business due to places like guitar center, big box stores, and online ordering. I will step of my small soap box now.

I will say it again thank you again to Jamie and Jameson for hosting this at the store. Hope to see everyone at Axpona. If you are going and want to meet up there let me know it is always more fun with a few people to walk around with and share ideas.

By the way I am James for those of you that I didn't connect with.
 
Last edited:
Mar 25, 2019 at 11:52 PM Post #7 of 7

TubasInTheMoonlight

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Posts
12
Likes
0
Location
Chicago
Sadly was delayed in posting, so I'm sure that I'm forgetting plenty that I should have brought up. (And as an aside, I'm John the one who brought the Bottlehead Crack and prefers more bass-forward sound signatures.)

Really enjoyed meeting some new folks and discussing a whole range of gear. Got to try and re-try some equipment and confirm that I still have horrible taste, haha. I was glad that some other folks were not negative regarding the MDR-Z7, now that it's in a much more reasonable price bracket than at launch.

The Empyreans were fun to compare with the different sets of pads. I wound up enjoying the sound signature of the ones I found less comfortable, but I wasn't planning on buying a set anytime soon so that probably doesn't matter. Both were thoroughly enjoyable, though! When A/Bing the HD800S, I was one of those who found them to be a bit different (most notably in one having particularly uncomfortable highs) but I didn't love either one. I'm in the same camp as CreditingKarma in that I still enjoy the sound of Clears and would go for those in that general price bracket.

I'll also echo the sentiment of appreciation and say thanks to Jamie and Jameson, as it was a great spot for a meet of this size and awesome to try out some of the gear available there. Definitely looking forward to making another trip out there, and hopefully I'll remember to wear a more interesting watch.

And I'll be one of the folks at Axpona who's probably going solo, so I'd absolutely be down for wandering with a group to talk it over.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top