IMPRESSIONS THREAD: 2017 Southeastern Michigan Spring Meet at Paulson's Audio & Video

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  1. JEspina456
    Hey! Here's the thread for impressions and pictures from the meet at Paulson's Audio & Video, Farmington Hills, MI.

    Once again, I'd like to say many, many thanks to Dan Paulson and the staff at Paulson's Audio & Video. They provided us a huge, beautiful space with tables and chairs! They provided us with pizza, salad and pop! But most of all, they were very gracious and friendly and went over the top to make us feel comfortable in their "house." We appreciate it x 1000. We also got an opportunity to demo many of the room and pieces of equipment that Paulson's Audio & Video sell. It was great to experience movies and music through the different amps, CD transports, digital servers, etc. The high-end, audiophile/videophile worthy selection is amazing and, honestly, mind blowing.

    As for headphones that I got to try, I was impressed by the Focal Utopia. I got a chance to listen to it extensively. The build quality is solid. The bass isn't too overpowering. The midrange is the focal point (no pun intended) and it is crystal clear, especially with vocals. Of course, I listened to it on Jose's $15,000 chain...

    I spent some time with Sean's Audioquest NightOwl. Easily the most comfortable headphone that I ever donned. Super light, weight evenly distributed and tame clamping. The sound is laid back, and, as Sean says, "A headphone that you can just sit back in your chair and listen to." Easy listening with comfort. I used the leather pads, but the microsuede looked even more comfortable.

    Oh, and I was throughly impressed with the Dolby Atmos demo room. Nothing like the sound of Tie Fighters flying over your head.

    Post your impressions!

  2. JEspina456
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  3. JEspina456
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  4. JEspina456
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  5. JEspina456
    Well, apparently the new site doesn't like photos from your phone. The old site would upload them "right side up." And you can only post 10 photos per reply. Still learning!
  6. canthearyou
    First off Paulsons was awesome!! I felt like a poor kid in a candy store! The staff was great and more than accommodating! Pizza and pop, are you kidding me!!! The store itself is rather large with numerous demo rooms.The staff had no issue with showing off these extravagant and powerful home theater systems. They also had all the high-end TVs on display.

    Now, on to the meet. Great people as always. Gear for days. Got to listen to a few I haven't heard before ie: NightOwl. It was an easy to listen to headphone that didn't seem to sacrifice much to get a smooth sound. Of course the Sony ZR1 are a great headphone IMO, but out of my grasp for a while. What really surprised me was powering my HE-500 from the SONY HAP-Z1ES and McIntosh MHA150 combo. I was completely blown away!!! One of the best things i have EVER heard!!! I'm not sure if it was the amp or the SONY DAC, but I LOVED it!! Everything I listened to was so effortless and clear. Music just appeared inside my ears and tickled my ear drums!! LOL

    And of course I can't forget to mention I was the Grand Prize winner of the McIntosh MHP1000 headphones!!(I was going to put a smiling emoji here but this site is wonky). I am wearing them right now and even with my $1,000 set-up they sound great! Very detailed, with a decent amount of bass also. They have Beyerdynamic designed drivers and it shows. It has a Beyer(ish) sound but with more control of the treble and bass. The soundstage is rather large and spacious for a closed can. What I am finding is all the details are there no matter what volume you listen at. All in all a very, very nice headphone.

    Thanks again for setting up another successful Head-Fi meet.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  7. darkfireblade25
    Great meet. I want to come back to the location just because of just how accommodating Paulson's was to all of us. Free McIntosh gear is a great bonus as well :beyersmile:

    First time hearing a Grado at the meet and I gotta say if the original sounds that good, I can't wait to hear what they did with the newer e versions sometime. Very bright but unlike the Sony MDRV6, it actually made sense in a not suddenly spiking kind of way. I feel like the lack of bass I hear people say is a misnomer of sorts since I got decent extension off of the SR80 though the softness of it I can understand.

    Biggest Surprise was the Audio Technica R70x. Amazing sound staging and balanced sound. Threw a lot of different stuff at it and it all sounded musical and maintained great separation without drowning any 1 instrument out. A bit too forward sometimes in the female vocals but the potential is there. Wish I could have had a little bit more time with it. It also reminded me of the HD800s' signature (save for the too forward female vocals part) which I was blown away by its entirety last meet.

    Biggest disappointment was the ATH-AD2000X. Sounded like an AM radio from what I can remember. Although, it might have been my dac/amp that wasn't good enough.

    Interesting discovery in terms of headphone preferences is that I have a strong dislike for anything dark. Balanced is what I seem to be drawn to. Just realizing that fact alone would be worth it to come. Narrowing down the preferences really helps in the buying process.

    Again, great meet. Hope to have another one soon!
  8. zabzaf
    I'm jealous! First meet I've missed in the past 3 years...

    I really wish I could have heard some of the McIntosh gear as I've obsessed over it ever since I can remember.

    Looks like a great turnout with lots of familiar as well as new faces.
  9. AxelCloris Administrator
    Man, it looks like I missed out on a fun one. I'm sad I had to be in Cincinnati this weekend. Loving those photos, thanks for sharing John. Thankfully, I shouldn't be selling a house during the next meet (at least, I REALLY hope I'm not...) so hopefully I'll be able to make it next time around. Jude was bummed that it coincided with the Japan show this weekend, and I know he would have loved to come too. Next time!
  10. wolfson
    This was my first Headfi meet, first dedicated headphone meet for that matter :wink:

    Thanks to Paulson's for hosting and food! My first time at Paulson's, too. Awesome venue with great theater demo rooms, as HT is my primary A/V hobby. NIce to have my first look at an Epson laser projector with BIG B&W's up front, and the Atmos demo room with GoldenEar surrounds- thanks, Shawn! Paulson's expects to have the Sony short throw laser (I assume the $50K model)

    in a month or so- I'll be back to check that out!

    Apparently, I was the (unintended) “budget” table- Koss Porta Pros and KSC75’s (which impressed some members for value), new Sony V6’s, playing CD rips from a Chromebook and Muse USB DAC. Since this was my first meet of this type, I didn't know what to expect, and thought there might be a mix of noobs and high end.

    Nonetheless, it was nice to hear everything from my Portapro’s to Sony Z1R’s and Focal Utopia’s all in one place.

    Audioquest, B&W, and of course HiFiMan and Grado’s were all represented.

    Wish I could've stayed longer and auditioned most/all of the 'phones, but I got a good taste of the top tier with the Sony Z1R's and Utopia's, so a good roadmap as I sell/gift away my "starter" 'phones (Sennheiser 201's, 202's, maybe a few others, but I'm keepin' my PortaPros and KSC75's :) ).

    I'll plan to attend another and focus on auditioning all the headphones/dacs/amps vs being distracted by HT stuff :)
  11. updated
    Hi, I had a great time at the meet while there someone took a ****t on my table, o well make lemonaid out of lemons:)
    Asgard2, lyr2, valahalla2, bifrost4490, wyrd, modi what a pile. Thanks to everyone for stopping for a listen I enjoyed rollin the amps! It is nice to compare the sound so effortlessly. Thanks for letting me demo your rigs too.
    I think the focal is very good especially paired as it was. The mac amp is very pleasant as well. The Mac headphones sounded pretty good too.. wish ah well.. enjoy canthearyou! Bye for now:wink:
  12. sealykojac
    Thanks to Dan and Paulson's AV for hosting the group. Definitely a great space to host such a gathering and talk audio with other enthusiasts. For me the two headphone's that really stood out of the pack were the Focal Utopia and ZMF Eikon. I listened to the Eikon at RMAF last year and wasn't that impressed but at the meet I got listen to it on a better suited amp and they are now on my wish list. I would gladly take the ZMF over the Sony Z1R that was on hand every time. The biggest surprise to me was that I really enjoyed the McIntosh MHP1000 headphones where historically I've never been a fan of the Beyer sound. All in all had a great time and those 5 hours flew by.
  13. sassywhat
    I won the B&W P5 which I've been listening to mainly now. The fit and finish is wonderful and it feels very luxurious. They seal and isolate very well, which is surprising since looking at them I wouldn't have expected that at all. The sound is bass heavy warm dark V shape which works for some music and not for others. Most EDM sounds pretty good, however female vocals tend to be kinda muffled/veiled. Going on shuffle through my library, I'm generally happy to okay with how the P5 handles most of my music, however there are some songs (e.g., April Loop by Nekobolo, Alice by FurukawaP, Little Scarlet Bad Girl by HachiojiP) that sound kinda muddy on the P5. Overall, I'm definitely using it as my daily walking around headphone instead of my old Sony V6 and 10RBT.

    On the topic of female vocals, I thought the AD2000X was good for female vocals but not much else. I want a pair, but even though I listen to a lot of music the AD2000X does very well, it's kinda hard to justify spending so much for a very single purpose headphone. It's sound is even more niche than the AD900X. I wonder if the AD1000X would strike a good balance between female vocal rendition of the AD2000X and every other genre of music.

    The HD800s were great, but somewhat disappointing. They are definitely great sounding headphones, but I really expected to be blown away. If I were to sit down in a quiet environment and listening critically, I'm sure the true greatness of the HD800 would show itself, but for casual listening I'm pretty sure I can get 99% of the way to the HD800 with EQing up the treble on my R70X.

    The Koss KSC75 was a big surprise. It sounded great for its price, and stayed on my ears a lot better than I thought it would. Probably picking up a pair for running and stuff.

    This was my first meet and I had a great time. Thanks everyone!
  14. wolfson
    Nice that *somebody* appreciated the cheap seats :)
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  15. JEspina456

    Hey, I commented on the nice blue glow of your Bravo tube amp!
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