MINNESOTA: First Meet 5/22/05 Impressions
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Old Pa

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It's a little after 0700hrs here and the anticipation of seeing Tyll again and getting the first MN meet going is building; thought I'd start a thread for everyone's impressions. It's a beautiful sunny Sunday morning after weeks of cold and wet; what is referred to locally as "regular nothwoods resort weather".
Car is packed and in 3.5hrs it's off to the races. Hope everyone has a pleasant and safe drive in!
 
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elrod-tom

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I moved this here, as it's an impressions thread. Wish I could have come along for the ride through the Chicago and Minneapolis first stops after the Detroit meet. It was a very good time, as I'm sure your meet will be as well.
 
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Old Pa

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HeadRoom's tables in the "Shrine of the Valve" before the herd


HeadRoom's Wadia sources Max and Blockhead on the "Table of Great Envy"


Lippy's rig (before the herd)


Old Pa's Rig (before the herd) except for amp on left


Edit: Pix were from my PalmOne Treo 650 in exsiting light. This gives a reasonable snapshot picture for posting, but shows its limitations as well.
 
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Tyll Hertsens

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Oh my gosh! If you ever make it within 200 miles of Minneapolis, go to the Pavik Museum of Broadcasting. What an increadable place. Joe, Jamey, and I were like pigs in poop walking around in there. Some of the coolest old school stuff I've ever seen. I wish I had more time to post.

So, thank you Old Pa. You have as allways done your duty (as you see fit) and drummed up one of the finest venues for a meet and a huge croud of audio cum headphone entusiasts that I could possibly imagine. I'm not worthy.

This was a rather special meet because the local Head-Fi folks and I had our meet hosted by the Audio Society of Minnesota. So we had lots of audio pfreaks who knew not much about headphones. Here the close nit Head-Fi geeks were mixed with normal audio nuts and you know what happened? Nothing, they were just the same kind of folks that loved music and good reproduction and could have a good time where hardware met tunes.

It was a blast. I will post pix before too long, but it's hard between all the driving, fast food, the gas stops, and filling the car with fuel. (Yeah, the gas stops are something different than the fuel fill ups. Joe has us eating more salami and chili than we can stand.) Thanks ever so much, John and all you frost backs from the great white north, it was a blast.
 
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PTheD

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It was a great event. I had a lot of fun, but it went too fast. I enjoyed listening to Tyll go into the details of some of the propertys of the HeadRoom amplifiers & his vision for the future of portable listening is visioinary to say the least, you could just see him light up with energy & passion when he got talking about it. I wish we all had more time to stick around and have a good discusion about...well...just about everything, but everyone had places to go and get back to. So many cans and so little time! We need to do this again. I also need to make it out to HeadRoom's facility some time and check it out, maybe talk to the guys/gals there for a while about their visions/expereicnes/careers and everything else, if thats alright?

A wonderful real life realisation of this virtual community. The best part by far was the place where it was held. The Pavik didn't get enough of my attention, a truely remarkable place! I look forward to meeting & talking with all of you again, hopefully a little more in depth, in the future.

P The D

P.S. I can tell my humor & sentiment is not well translated through this forum, I'm deffinitly going to have to change something about the way I convey humor here!
 
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PTheD

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A thought, next time I go to a meet I would love to be able to have the tables at a level that everyone could sit down and listen to the rigs! Sitting is good! Makes for less stress on those feet which translates to less tension all over the body you know.


I would also like to thank the crew from HeadRoom for the coffee mug which I forgot to get them to sign...darn, don't spose I can ship it to you guys & have you sign it do you? Also thanks for just showing up and visiting. Also thanks for the BitHead give away, I didn't see who got it, but I know they got a superior piece of equipment. A most generous offering on the part of Tyll & the gang. Can't say enough about them, great group!
 
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RickG

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I posted this question in the amp forum but I thought maybe you guy's would have more info since you've actually seen the new HeadRoom stuff.

I'm thinking about ordering the HR Micro stack sometime in the near future. However, I've got a question in regard to the amp.

On the Micro Amp page...

http://www.headphone.com/products/he...-micro-amp.php

...you are given a choice of the "Micro Module" or the "Desktop Module".

What does this refer to? I can't find any other reference to these options on the site.

BTW, it sounds like you guy's had a great time!
 
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Lippy

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Hey all,

What great fun after all of these months of virtual internet interaction and solitary headphone exploration to finally meet some of the people who make this hobby worthwhile and finally give some headphones I've only read about a listen.

My thanks to the primary organizer of this event - Old Pa - for a terrific opportunity, a great meet and enjoyable headphone conversation.

Hearty thanks also to Tyll and the whole Headroom gang for taking the time and effort to visit us in the Twin Cities and for their great array of headphones, amp and related gear. Tyll, I found what you had to say quite interesting, loved the opportunity to chat about headphones and was pleased to give you the opportunity to take a listen to my modest set-up. I also enjoyed picking-up the Headroom coffee mug and the great luck of getting my name drawn for a new Headroom T-shirt - tre cool.

Thanks to the Audio Society of Minnesota and the Pavek Museum for serving as primary hosts for the event. It was nice to get together with fellow audio enthusiasts, and the Pavek houses a truly unique collection representative of the evolution of the Mass Communication Age from its infancy on the airwaves.

Now on to my brief impressions of some of the phones I was pleased to audition.

Sennheiser HD-650
This was one of the two phones I was most psyched to hear for the first time and it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed the 650 with both a Cardas and the Zu Mobius recabling (thanks Old Pa). I was suprised to hear how sweet they were on my set-up with rock and alternative, as well as Coltrane. I think I can now say that this phone will very soon find its way to my home set-up and may even replace my MS-2 as my one-for-all can. Such a liquidy, warm sound with fabulous resolution to boot. Very nicely driven with my Gilmore Lite with Dedicated PSU.

Grado RS-1
This was a fancy-shmancy recabled version that Headroom had hooked up to one of their Cadillac Uber-Amp/Source set-ups at the meet, at the time with some Big Band tunes playing. Does an amazing job of portraying the instruments. I didn't get to try it with my rig because of the cable connection incompatibility, but I will put this on my future wish list.

Sony CD-3000
A cool-looking, comfy can that actually sounded better than I expected, with a very nice soundstage and not nearly as sharp a high end as many on headfi have reported.

Audio Technica AT-W1000
Very nicely put together with the gorgeous cherry wood cups and comfy pleather pads. Unfortunately, the sound hit me as instantly over-bright for my tastes. I also suspect it would sound better on a warmer, more colored amp than the transpartent GL that I have.

Well - I think that's enough for the time being.

Thanks again to all who made this meet possible and fun to attend.
 
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Old Pa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RickG
...you are given a choice of the "Micro Module" or the "Desktop Module".

What does this refer to? I can't find any other reference to these options on the site.



Any of the HeadRoom guys can answer this better than me, but here goes anyway. We talked about this quite a bit, mostly in the context of sound quality and battery life; the better HR makes an amp circuit sound, the more juice it goes through. I understand the micro module goes through 4 D cells in about 20 hours, while the reference module does it in 4 hours. I am looking at the desktop module myself because that should balance the two off just about as finely as can be done. I will run it mostly on mains power, but I can run it on batteries without being too foolish. I've got to read some more, but right now I am favoring the smallest desktop amp for my application. And I got to listen to it for awhile this afternoon and it is sweeet!
 
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RickG

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Thanks for the info, Old Pa.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Pa
And I got to listen to it for awhile this afternoon and it is sweeet!


Ok, now I'm salivating...
 
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PTheD

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Old Pa, when you say that you are thinking of getting the smallest of the Deskteop line of amps do you mean the Desktop Portable Amp? I am thinking of getting that one as well. It is about $400 more than I want to spend though! What kind of portable aplications will you be using it for, if I may ask & if it is the amp you are actualy conisdering?
 
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Old Pa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PTheD
Old Pa, when you say that you are thinking of getting the smallest of the Deskteop line of amps do you mean the Desktop Portable Amp? I am thinking of getting that one as well. It is about $400 more than I want to spend though! What kind of portable aplications will you be using it for, if I may ask & if it is the amp you are actualy conisdering?


That's the one. First off, I like the way HeadRoom designs amps, both for sound and for longevity; you can expect incremental upgrades and not to have your amp orphaned. My application is for travel, both for the Spaniels' Spring and Fall Vacations and for other longer trips where mains power will be available. The current cabin stereo in an oversampled Ahh! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 playing through a Cambridge Model 12 satellites with subwoofer; very nice and musical, but with no real headphone capacity. The HR Desktop Portable Amp would give me that headphone capacity. My regular source is good enough to legitimize an upgraded module. It would give me flexibility without outmoding my current Panasonic 470>Porta CORDA>HD580/Ety 4S light weight portable system. The mix-and-match I envision would eventually include another HD650 with a Silver Dragon. You see how this sickness grows?
 
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Lippy took the words out of my mouth - i killed too many brain cells out at the bars last night to form much of anything resembling a coherant idea/thought
. i would also like to thank everyone that brought their own gear as well. so when are we getting together again? i seriously had a lot of fun. i now have another reason/excuse to ski Montana this year and visit the super cool dudes from HeadRoom - the first couple of rounds at Molly Brown's are on me!

Pace/Skoal,
Corey
 
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Old Pa

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Sunday was the nicest day for weather we've had around here in a month, and despite this we had between three dozen and forty people (outside of HeadRoom staff, ASM admin, Pavek staff, and yours truly) show up to spend the afternoon inside communing with cool headphone gear and each other in the Pavek Museum "Temple of the Tubes". Tyll and his posse showed up forty minutes after their 1100hr ETA and then spent most of half an hour walking the Pavek with their mouths open. The Pavek is a shrine to broadcast and recording technology from the golden age of radio through, let's say, the early 60s. Literally thousands of old radios and other pieces of electronic gear from when the transistor was not even a twinkle in the eye of some guy from Western Electric. Bing Cosby's original tape recorder, playing full track mono at over 30ips through monstrous antique double horn theater speakers sets the tone; did I mention most of this stuff is operative and ready to go? Kind of like an electronic participatory version of the old Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on steroids. I was pretty sure the Pavek was where we wanted to be when I first saw it four months ago.

Since this was my first real meet (sorry, Tyll
), I have no points for comparison; but that's never stopped me yet.
It's fair to say individual curiosity did away with polite self-control within the first twenty minutes. Soon an orgy of age regressed males were stomping between stations, switching first headphones, then amps, then sources, then cables, now interconnects (and, of course, CDs) to fully investigate what all this neat stuff might mean to their individual applications. It's a wonder everything eventually got back in order and not broken or lost, but such was the case and I commend all participants for that.

I had a lot of fun watching Henry, current ASM president and an area cardiologist, falling deeply into the abyss of headphone upgraditis. Henry came with a pair of stock cabled HD600s and that little tube amp you see on the left side of my rig in the pictures above. We sourced Henry's amp with NordOst ribbons from the second output of my Arcam FMJ 21T and it was off to the races. Henry was particularly interested in dealing with some playback anomolies he was running into with old Miles Davis horn recordings, so his remaster of Sketches of Spain became thre grail. He asked what I would recommend, and I told him I would first be thinking about recabling the HD600s with a Zu Mobius and then thinking about HD650s. Henry spent the rest of the afternoon confirming this with my Cardas cables, Zu Mobius, and HD650s. His eyes kept burning brighter and his pals from ASM, who know him for his soft spoken self restraint, were really knocking themselves out. Then, Henry checked out the entire new HeadRoom line through Zu-ed HD650s. Sorry about your wallet, Henry.

Around us, the other meet participants continued to age regress precipitously. I was happy to see the number of people who brought their own sample CDs and headphones and were making efforts to limit the other system and software variables as they ran down their next system "improvements". All were impressed with the new HeadRoom amps and the way they had been put before us for comparison. Folks who know Tyll and HeadRooms design and sound philosophy were not disappointed in the incremental improvements towards natural, neutral, liquid sound in solid state equipment with a sensible range of adjustments and improved design and technology. The HeadRoom amps in the new line have clear focus in application and, while they may constitute no reason to necessarily throw over a present amp you are pleased with, do constitute the place to go for an improvement when the time comes, IMHO.

The meet ended too quickly, and by 1640hrs we had packed up Tyll, Jamey, and Joe (ie. got out of their way while they packed up) and got them aimed at the highway. Cheerful trio of high energy guys just doing the work of the Lord. If one of the future dates is anywhere near you, you just gotta go and check it out. It is impossible to tell you just how much you will learn and what a great time you will have. I'm already talking with ASM and the Pavek about making a headphone meet a regular feature of ASM's ten event annual calendar. While we may well be seeing ASM members coming into Head-Fi, to a man they declined my offer to help select their new user names.
 
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rupertdacat

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I ATTENDED THIS MEETING AS AN ASM REGULAR, AND ONE WHO HAS SPENT LITTLE TIME LOOKING INTO HEADPHONES. THE LATTER IS DESPITE THE FACT THAT I DO USE HEADPHONES QUITE REGULARLY- PARTICULARLY LATE AT NIGHT WHEN I LIKE TO LISTEN TO PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING MUSIC WITHOUT BEING ANXIOUS THAT I WILL DISTURB MY SWEETHEART.

FIRST- I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION, ENERGY, AND ENTHUSIASM TYLL AND THE CREW BROUGHT TO THIS EVENT- THANK YOU. THANKS ALSO TO OLD PA ALSO FOR INTRODUCING HEADROOM AND HEAD-FI.ORG TO THE ASM.

WHAT CAN I SAY- I HAD AN EARGASM! THE CURIOUS THING IS, I DIDN’T REALIZE THIS UNTIL A FEW HOURS LATER. I KNOW THAT SOUNDS TOO WEIRD. I COULD TRY TO EXPLAIN, BUT IT WOULD BE BORING AND OF LIMITED SIGNIFICANCE FOR YOU. THE POINT IS, I AM A LITTLE BIT CONFUSED AS TO WHICH SPECIFIC PIECES OF EQUIPMENT I WAS USING AT THE TIME OF MY “E”.

FOR SURE THE AMP WAS THE FULLY OPTIONED DESKTOP (WITH POWER SUPPLY, STEPPED ATTENUATOR, AND OPAMP(?) UPGRADES). I BELIEVE THE PRICE POINT ON THIS AMP (EXCLUDING THE OPTIONAL DAC) IS ABOUT $1600-$1700. THE SOURCE WAS A MERIDIAN CD PLAYER (MODEL?). THE HEADPHONES WERE EITHER HD600 OR 650 AND THE HEADPHONE CABLE WAS EITHER CARDAS OR ZU MOBIUS. INTERCONNECTS AND POWER CORDS? I COULDN’T TELL YOU.

I LISTENED TO TWO CUTS FROM TWO JAZZ COMBOS (TIGER OKOSHI AND MILES DAVIS). THE PRESENTATION WAS THE TYPE I CRAVE- CLEAN/CLEAR DETAIL- FULL AND NATURALLY WARM- NO UNATURAL TENSION, STRIDENCY OR EDGE. THE MUSIC EXTENDED SEVERAL INCHES BEYOND EITHER SIDE OF MY HEAD. THAT MAY NOT SOUND LIKE A BIG DEAL, BUT I FOUND THAT IT IS. ANYTHING TO HELP GET ONE OUTSIDE OF THEIR HEAD AND LOST INTO MUSIC IS A VERY, VERY, BIG DEAL. I SUSPECT THAT THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WITH MUSIC THAT IS MORE CHALLENGING, AND REQUIRES A LONGER ATTENTION SPAN, THAN WHAT I SUSPECT TO BE THE CASE WITH THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF ROCK AND POP. MUCH COULD BE SAID IN EXPLORATION OF THIS LAST CONJECTURE, BUT …

ANYWAY, THE SETUP PROBABLY TIPPED THE SCALES AT AROUND $4000, OR MORE. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY. CAN ONE OBTAIN AN EXPERIENCE THAT IS IN THE SAME BALLPARK OF SATISFACTION FOR SIGNIFICANTLY LESS? I DON’T KNOW. I AM NOW CURIOUS AS TO HOW THE STANDARD DESKTOP COMPARES IN PERFORMANCE TO THE UBER-MODEL I LISTENED TO. I SHOULD MENTION THAT I DID NOT LISTEN TO THE HEADROOM MAX LINE.

IN SUMMARY, TYLL’S EFFORTS HAVE ALLOWED ME TO HEAR THAT HEADPHONE LISTENING CAN BE A SIGNIFICANTLY MORE INVLOVING AND SATISFYING EXPERIENCE THAN WHAT I HAVE BEEN ACCUSTOMED TO.

“RUPE”

P.S. Sorry about the all-capitals above. My word processing program needs a fix.








 
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