"Hangin' wit Tyll" Part 2 - THE ST. LOUIS FILES
Jun 3, 2002 at 5:30 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

phidauex

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Hey hey, I got back from the St. Louis stop this evening, and man-o-man, it was everything I dreamed of and more. I say once again, do whatever possible to go. This tour is for us. Its for lots of things, of course, but we were a driving motivation for them to pack up and drive thousands of miles with a quarter million dollars worth of equipment. You owe it to yourself to take this wonderful opprotunity!!

Tyll is a real character! He knows his stuff too.
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It was a real pleasure working with him, and talking with him, and watching him give the straight dope to all the visitors. Venzuel00 took the Greyhound bus (!!!) all the way from up near Chicago to make the tour (finals kept him from the actual Chicago tour, I believe). He came up on Saturday, crashed at my place, and then we spent the day at the show. As I write this on Sunday Night, he's on the greyhound bus, trucking it back for an early morning arrival back home, to go to class early monday morning. THAT, my friends, is dedication! And he says it was all worth it.
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Anyway, some people have given some great descriptions of equipment, but I'll add a little more commentary (of course).

First off, lets get the big stuff out of the way:

Orpheus vs. Blockhead /w HD600s n' Cardas. Man oh man. When you die and go to heaven, they let you pick one of these setups to go along with your halo and harp. Tyll was insistent that I listen to both, and he feels that the Blockhead setup is superior. Now, I gave them both some good listenin', and I feel he is mostly correct. The Orpheus, when playing female vocals, or a nice acoustic guitar, just sings. Its so lush and sweet and delicious. I felt like Bjork was just whispering sweet music straight into my ears. I thought I could close my eyes, turn my head, and give her a kiss. My god it was beautiful. Plus, the amp just looks staggering. All glass and chrome, it looks like its WORTH every single one of those 12,000$ (Tyll told me an amusing story of a man who purchased THREE of them for his house, because he loved them so much, ask him to tell you about it when you visit the show
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). However, when the man with the upright bass in the corner started to get down, and baritone sax started dropping octaves to hum you a tune, the Orpheus didn't keep up. The man in the corner with the bass stayed in the corner, playing politely. The sax didn't wail and grind, it just played politely. I don't like that. I play bass, and let me tell you, I don't like polite bass. I like bass that really gets in there, that really pumps out a groove to carry the music along on. Thats where the Blockhead took off running. Switch to the Blockhead w/ HD600 and cardas cables, and all of a sudden, that bass player got out of the corner and started to wail, and the bari sax player kicked up the energy a notch, and wobbled your brain with sweet, toneful, musical, DEEP bass. All of a sudden, the vocals still sounded fabulous, but they were surrounded with all the other instruments. But it didn't sound busy, each instrument kept to its own area. Turn on the processor, and things imaged even more realistically. I found that the brightness switches made things too bright, I preferred to leave them off. Now, admittedly, the Blockhead had a bit of an advantage in that it was getting the balanced outputs directly from the CD player, whereas the Orpheus was getting an input off of the distribution amp (a very bitching distribution amp though, remember). But hey, if you've got balanced dual mono-blocks, flaunt it baby.
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Anyway, I would kill a man for either of those systems, but if I had to buy one, I'd take the Blockhead w/ HD600 n' cardas cables.

Other stuff in the hi-end cabinet? Stax Omegas were very nice, but I found them to possess absolutely not slam, which ain't no good. I like punch. They were detailed as all getout though, you could hear Wynton Marsalis's spit valve draining onto the floor. Anyway, nice, but not my style. The Cary amp was nice also, a solid performer, but it didn't really attract me too strongly. A/Bing with the Max and the Blockhead, there is definately a difference. When you take two Max's and slap them together, and make them balanced, its really worth it.
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Other cabinets? Who needs em! Just kidding! The 'all dynamic' headphone cabinet was nice, just comparing headphones, not listening to the amps. Finally got to listen to most of the Grado line. I like the SR-60s, a really solid phone for the price. The rest of the Grado's until the RS-1 were too bright for my taste. The 325 made my eyes water. I suspect they would be great for rock, but I didn't prefer them for my music. The RS-1s tamed down quite a bit though, and they were a real pleasure to listen too.

The HD590/580/600s, well, the HD600s are super duper, of course, they really were nice. But I'm once again confirmed in my enjoyment of the HD590s. They are a bit different of an animal than the 580/600, but I think it sounds very good. The slightly brighter character is definately appreciated by my ears.

Portable land was neat, I was unimpressed by the Grado RA-1, but it definately matches the RS-2s in appearance. The JMT amp was definately nice, it was a bit better than my cmoy amp, but my cmoy has crossfeed, which I like. The airhead and the total airhead are very different. Well, not VERY different, but I think the Total would be worth that extra 80$ for sure. Its a real world example of the drastic change made by just adding better individual components. I now have a TAH as well, for helping out for the day, and for the record, its pot doesn't scratch at all while changing volumes, nor does it noticablely mistrack at lower volumes. I think the build quality on the case is actually slightly less than my cmoy, but the cmoy's case is slightly larger (I'm using a Serpac H-65-9V transparent blue case, its quite solid). The right angle mini-mini that comes with it is also a very nice addition.

Damn its late, I have work tommorow!! More info up tommorow, as well as pictures I took! Venzuel00 will also probably put up some of his pictures, he got some nice ones (there is a great one of him and Tyll studiously comparing the Orpheus and the Blockhead/HD600).
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Anyway, I'm totally stoked up. Thanks Headroom, for doing this for the community. Take advantage of them, people, this **** is for you. You deserve to hear this stuff.

Peace,
phidauex
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 10:01 AM Post #2 of 14

Flasken

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Among other things, like lower taxes, cheaper cars and better wheather, this is one of the things that makes me **** my pants about being stuck in lousy europe.
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THanks for the colorful discription, it sounds totally awesome. Wish I were there.

OT: Is it "I wish I were there" or "I wish I was there"?? My teacher keeps telling me it's "was", but "were" just sounds more right to me. I would love to prove my teacher wrong.
Also, my old teacher agreed with me that there is a rule that if "I" was not actually whatever i was doing, it's "were".
Let me know once and for all, thanks.

Kristian
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 10:29 AM Post #3 of 14

gaineso

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All of the above.

I haven't had time to sit down and really write something up, but Phideaux pretty much sums up my feelings from Orlando.

Again, Thanks to Tyll, Amethyst and everybody at Headroom.
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 6:24 PM Post #4 of 14

eric343

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Flasken: Alas, your teacher is right. It's was. English is totally confusing... It's "I was there" or "I was here" but "I wish you WERE there" or "I wish you WERE here..." Maybe it has something to do with preceding verbs
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Who knows.
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 6:44 PM Post #5 of 14

eric343

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You know, these comments about the Big O being lackluster in the bass department have got me thinking... Maybe it needs some tuberolling! In all the pictures I've seen of it, it looks like it has generic Chinese tubes under those cages...

What tubes does it use, anyway?
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 7:19 PM Post #6 of 14

andrzejpw

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nick? YOu wanna go for that?
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Tube rolling teh Big O?

I can imagine the title: Tube rolling the Orpheus and Shopping for a Mortgage: by Nick Dangerous."

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Jun 3, 2002 at 7:21 PM Post #7 of 14

phidauex

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You could be right, eric343
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I have no idea what tubes are in it underneath those cages.. It would be a fun and expensive proposition to tube roll the Orpheus
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Someone needs to post a bunch of 'orpheus tweaks and mods' that we can all try out on our orpheus's. Dear god, we are NEVER satisfied
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along comes the pinnacle of engineering and design by one of the world's greatest headphone manufacturers, and we banter back and forth about how we are gonna improve it
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peace,
phidauex
 
Jun 3, 2002 at 8:31 PM Post #8 of 14

eric343

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Oh come on. Pinnacle of engineering, with the DAC that they stuck in there? Pshaw. I'd like to see it after aos sticks *his* DAC in there, maybe with some good NOS tubes...

ROFL!

But seriously,
Quote:

along
comes the pinnacle of engineering and design by one of the world's greatest headphone manufacturers, and we banter back and forth about how we are
gonna improve it


Tuberolling just lets more of the pinnacle shine through, thats all! How'd you like to be Michaelangelo and stuck with MS Paint? Tuberolling just gives it Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop/Whatever...
 
Jun 5, 2002 at 11:18 PM Post #10 of 14

gaineso

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Quote:

Tuberolling just lets more of the pinnacle shine through, thats all! How'd you like to be Michaelangelo and stuck with MS Paint? Tuberolling just gives it Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop/Whatever...


NO!!!

It's more like Mike just completed the Sistene Chapel, and now you want him to change some of the smallest details.

Damn it Jude!!! I need a speell checker.
 
Jun 5, 2002 at 11:56 PM Post #11 of 14

eric343

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LOL! I think it's more like having a way to retrospectively give Mike some super-l33t paints to paint the Sistine Chapel with. Because you aren't actually changing anything about the *design* of the amp, just improving the components.

Heck, speaking of which, I wonder if one could upgrade the caps and resistors in the Big O
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Jun 6, 2002 at 12:13 AM Post #12 of 14

Nick Dangerous

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Tuberoll the O? Nah. It doesn't matter which tubes it has... the Achilles Heel of electrostatic technology is in the rendering of bass octaves. Thin electrostatic panes have difficulty delivering a satisfying amount of slam. Without a bass unit or matched subwoofer, much of the music is missing. The Audio Asylum contains years of archives discussing ways to overcome this problem. Search for "maggie" and "sub"... you will find an overwhelming number of posts. Electrostats also sound comparatively thinner (less 3D) due to their flat, 2-dimensional nature.

Does this mean I hate electrostats? No way! Electrostats have many merits, and for some people they are the only way to go. They are as fast as lightning and can render many sounds with alarming, laser-like accuracy. I like listening to them, but they aren't quite the right match for my personal tastes. This may explain why the Orpheus, while very impressive, was not my personal "Best In Show" choice at the Headroom meeting. It was fun to look at (and touch) though.
 
Jun 6, 2002 at 9:55 AM Post #13 of 14

gaineso

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Quote:

Originally posted by eric343
LOL! I think it's more like having a way to retrospectively give Mike some super-l33t paints to paint the Sistine Chapel with. Because you aren't actually changing anything about the *design* of the amp, just improving the components.

Heck, speaking of which, I wonder if one could upgrade the caps and resistors in the Big O
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Yeah, but that "improvement" is still a good bit subjective. One persons "improvement" is anothers "disaster".
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 1:09 AM Post #14 of 14

kerelybonto

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Well, I missed it. I wasn't really in any state to be driving across Missouri this weekend anyway. Woo ...

By the way, Flasken, you were right, not your teacher -- it's one of the few remnants of the subjunctive left in English. Any contrary-to-fact or optative statement uses 'were,' regardless of person, number, or tense.

kerelybonto
 

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