Montreal 14/08 meet impressions
Aug 15, 2010 at 1:55 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15


500+ Head-Fier
Aug 13, 2006
That was an awesome meet! Unfortunately, I don't think anyone took pictures...
Just a quick look at the stuff we had on hand:
Beyer T1 x2
Senn Hd800 x2
Senn Hd650
Senn Hd600 x2
Stax 404
Stax O2
ATH Ad2000
ATH W5000
Grado Ps1000
Grado Gs1000i
Grado Rs1i
Grado Rs2i
Grado Sr-325i
Grado Sr-125i
Grado Sr80i
Grado Sr60i
Denon Md5000
Yamamoto Ha-02
Audio-gd Phoenix
Singlepower Dragon
Stax 007 +another stax amp
Mapletree Mar Ear + HD x2
Einar sound VC-01i
Cayin Ha-01
CEC Hd53r
Grado ra-1
Sources :
Meridian G08.2
Yamamoto YDA-01d
Raysonic cd128
Rega Appolo
Cambridge DACmagic
Denon sd-5900
Music Hall MMF-5
TPA Buffalo
And some awesome music!
More to come, I have to go unpack my things again.
Aug 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM Post #2 of 15
Actually we had 3 HD800 (1 balanced, 2 SE) and you forgot the Audio-GD Ref1 DAC
Very good meet, things are moving forward for the head-fi community in Montreal...more people, more gear, higher end
I didn't listen to everything but spent instead more time ABing cans and amp.
HD800 Vs T1 (on several rigs) : Not night and day. Both very good. Hd800 is more resolving, slighlty more agressive. T1 is as accurate as the hd800 in the medium but loose some details in the bottom and treble. Its sound is rounder, like filtered (or compressed) but without veil, Hard to explain actually. Medium on the T1 have a bit more body than on the hd800
The balanced HD800 on the phoenix was quite impressive and confirmed my preference toward the HD800.
2.Meridian+REF1+Einar Sound,
both with an HD800.
The 1st combo sounded more airy and clearer but the 2nd one was close behind.
Mention spéciale for the Pompom's single power rig. Splendid. Punchy without any harshness, detailled. Really good stuff
2e Mention spéciale for some records I discovered, like the "trio Joubran"... I'm long time fan of Dhafer Youssef... finally another band to alternate a little :) "Graysson Cabbs". I liked it too,
Aug 15, 2010 at 10:52 PM Post #4 of 15
For me, this is a really nice meet and I have some new opinions on these headphones and amps.
1. I prefer HD800 to T1 on the CEC amp (personally). HD800 seems more airy and the base is more elastic. Also, HD800 has some similarity with AKG701 and is like a kind of "base-improved" AKG 701. If I upgrade next time, I'll choose HD800. Furthermore, since I have glassed, HD800 seems more comfortable for me.
2. The RS1i under the mapletree amp is superb though the treble is a little bright (Personally again). The mapletree seems not match with Senn series (e.g., 600).
3. The soundstage of stax 404 was not so large but its sound is very natural and make me very comfortable.
Aug 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM Post #5 of 15
Very nice meet, a lot of nice rigs and friendly people. Thanks to Papomaster for organizing the event.
I was blown away by Pompom's amp : Single Power Dragon. My T1 NEVER sounded so good. Really impressive !
I was also surprised by the Grado Gs1000i. I've never been a big Grado fan but the Gs1000i + MAD Ear+HD is a match made in heaven.
J'ai déjà hâte au prochain "meet" !
Aug 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM Post #6 of 15
Great meet! And yes, thank you papomaster for taking charge of organizing all this, we appreciate!
I had a great time meeting and talking to the people and listening to some of the gear. My quick impressions on the gear:
- Stax 404 setup was great! Listened to piano songs and wow, time stops. Very pleasant listen.
- GS-1000 is really not typical Grado and does not seem all that well suited for Rock. Very detailed, but mids do sound recessed, which seems to play a big role in the large soundstage.
- Denon AH-D5000 didn't really stick with me. Sounds detailed, but something about the bass and the treble together seemed too aggressive and almost artificial. A/B'ed them with the HD800 and it became more apparent.
- Actually didn't even like the HD800 all that much. Sounded like a technical wonder, but emotionally uninvolving. Was on solid state though, maybe tubes would've helped. More time with them would probably have helped too!
- From a brief listen, HD-650 on my MAD Ear+ HD sounded tighter in the bass and seemed to have a better soundstage than my HD-600. Go figure! Would love to make the comparison again in the future.
- ATH-AD2000 on the Ear+ HD sounded pretty damn good, too!
- Vinyl + RA1 + RS1i = mighty impressive. I think the vinyl played a bigger part here.
I wish I had more time to listen to some of the gear present. I still can't believe the guy came at like 5:15 to tell us the room rental ended at 6:00, even though papomaster was told over the phone it was going to be till 9:00! I totally missed out on pompom's rig.

Oh well, there's always next time. Can't wait!
Aug 17, 2010 at 4:11 AM Post #7 of 15
Great choice of gear you had available. Sure hope you all had a nice time!
Too bad nobody brought a camera though.

Aug 17, 2010 at 12:14 PM Post #8 of 15
Sorry guys I missed the whole thing, I had an incredibly busy week-end and just coulnd't find the time. Nice selection of gear you had there! :cool:
Aug 17, 2010 at 1:06 PM Post #9 of 15
I brough the camera, bur unfortunately, I forgot it.....

thanks you so much, papomaster for organizing such an amazing meet. cannot wait for another one either...
Aug 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM Post #10 of 15
What a piss off! I had everything packed and the lift didn't come. When I decided to drive my bike at the Meet I was told that it was over.
Better chance next time and I'll bring a camera.
Aug 17, 2010 at 9:34 PM Post #12 of 15
And what a meet! The room was pretty cool for the time we had it (just wish we have more power outlets next time) and the music was terrific through most setups.
Thanks again to everyone who came, especially M. Furon from l'Atelier-Audio, M. Girard from Audiogroup and M. Sareault from Audioshop. They gave us the opportunity to hear an extensive amount of gear and also had some great talks about hi-fi in general.
Now, some impressions:
My biggest surprise was the Mad Ear + HD. It produced some gorgeous music through every phone that was hooked to it. It worked really well with T1s, Ad2000s, RS1 and Hd600, having really good soundstage, dynamics and detail on all of them, using the Denon as a source.
Another surprise was how well the whole grado lineup sounded on various amps. I loved the RS1i on my einar just as well as on the MAD Ear, and the GS1000i and PS1000 sounded pretty good as well on the einar. I would have wished for a tighter bass on both (balanced maybe?) but overall a very loveable sound, especially on vinyl.
I happened to loooooove the T1 on every rig. It seemed to me like a better ad2000, but with much better clarity. It has smoother upper mids, with every quality I love about the ATs: speed, air, tightness without being dry. At ~1100$ vs 600-700$ for the ATs, you indeed get more, and I think this might be my next move anytime *soon*. Especially if they can be re-wired to balanced without too much trouble.
More to come but I gotta go to bed,
Aug 19, 2010 at 9:50 PM Post #14 of 15
Because we're all lazy $?#%$?erds...
Now for more impressions:
Biggest disappointment by far: W5000. Maybe I wasn't feeding them right (on the yamamoto ha-02) but there were flat, lifeless but VERY colored in the upper midrange. I feel my AD2000 are colored but the W5000 bring that to an upper level. Not my cup of tea.
Singlepower Dragon: very, very good amp indeed. If you happen to make a singlepower amp work as promised you're in for a treat. Snap, snap, snap and lots of snap, PRaT and dynamics were hands down the best of the day.
HD800: not my cup of tea. I like them more than my own headphones, but I would take the T1 instead. I have far more fun listening to them.
Yamamoto setup : I should have tried it with RS1 to put some balls into it. It was a very smooth amp+dac combo but sounded pretty flat on the w5000 and T1. However with classical it was great.

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