Nashville Meet 04-01-06 ...
Apr 2, 2006 at 1:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 41

archosman

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Just a few pics...

AKG 701 and Aria. Unimpressed with FOTM 701s. Sennheiser 600/650s remark "Is That All You Got?"
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RKV/AKG K1000/Philips 963 patiently waiting...
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Aria
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NightWoundsTime's MPX3, Cyrus CD and Denon Turntable
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Wadia 830 CDP with Balanced 650s and Zu Cabled 650s
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Woo3 and NAD 541i
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Oldies but goodies...
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utarch00 wants a pair of HF-1s...
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Alwayswantmore and Dr. Picker contemplate...
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NightWoundsTime and Brother-In-Law checking out K1000s...
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Apr 2, 2006 at 3:53 AM Post #2 of 41

DevilDog

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Wow! What a great meet! Thanks for hosting it, Archosman. You did a great job.

My impressions. The AKG K701 was exactly as what I had read about it. I was disappointed. To me the remarks that it is cold are spot on. It just wasn't musical to me. But I'm sure a lot of folks will love. I suppose that's why they make all these different kinds of headphones.

Alwayswantsmore's balanced Wadia was fantastic. Balanced is just better. (Thanks for explaining it to me, Kent) It made the HD-650s fast. The bass was the tightest I think I've ever heard anywhere. Funny though, it went lower on the unbalanced side.

NightWoundsTime's vinyl setup was so nice. Vinyl just gives better separation and soundstaging. Better highs and tighter bass. I'd hate to have to choose between this and the Wadia setup. They were both great in their own ways.

I really went to check out the K701s which I've already commented on and to internally justify my decision to get some RS-1s. What can I say? The RS-1s are RS-1s. I can't find anything wrong with them other than soundstaging and they're a bit shy on bass. I suppose I need them. The HF-1s that were there sounded to me like an MS-1 1/2. What I mean is there were between an MS-1 and an MS-2. Ph3arful (sp?) had yellow pads on them and I really didn't like them. We but bowls on them and they sounded ten times better. On a par but not the same as the SR-225s. I'd still prefer the SR-225, it's just more raw and upfront.

The biggest surprise to me was comparing my MPX3 toaster with NightWoundsTime's full production version. I really thought mine would be inferior, it wasn't.

We all had a great time. As always, for some reason Head-Fi members are such nice, wonderful people. In the end, that's what makes it worth going to these things.

Congratulations on getting the HF-1s, Chris. I really am happy for you. Really. No, really.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 4:08 AM Post #3 of 41

Alwayswantmore

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Thanks archosman for being a gracious host -- making my first head-fi meet an enjoyable / fruitful event. The NICE PEOPLE and having a chance to listen to a variety of notable gear made the two-hour drive all worthwhile.

Because this was my first exposure to most gear represented, I’ll leave critical review to others with more experience. But using broad and general strokes, here’s what I took away from the event:

1.) K701s: I had the chance to listen to K701s on my Wadia (single-end), MPX3 / Denon TT, and Woo3 / NAD 541i. While they were certainly more forward than the Senns, IMO they fell short of my balanced 650s (with the biggest shortcoming IMO being a smaller soundstage). While not an apples-to-apples comparison, at least this short exposure provides comfort that my decision to forgo K701s in favor of 650s/balanced was the right call.

2.) AKG K1000s via RKV / Philips 963: While the speaker-like experience immediately stood out as a benefit, based on my short listen, female vocals (Diana Krall, All For You) appeared to be sibilant and imaging a bit vague. But to be really honest, I would need more time with the K1000s to render a meaningful opinion.

3.) MPX3 / Woo3: Ahhhh yes, tubes! I have always wanted a tube amp, and today’s experience only reinforces my impression for how lush and warm they can sound. Maybe if I’m a good citizen today, in my next life I’ll have a chance to be enveloped by the lush warmth that only tubes can provide
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!

4.) RS-1s: My first and admittedly brief exposure to Grados came compliments of Archosman’s RS-1s. If my Senns in balanced mode represent a Lexus or mid-size Mercedes, then RS-1s have to be the Porsche Boxter S. More dynamic, with a warmer and more aggresive presentation. They did however yield ground to the Senns in terms of soundstage and imaging. If I were to have a second pair of phones –- like that second (or third) car in the garage –- RS-1s would make for welcome breaks from the more reserved Senns.

5.) Wadia 830 (balanced) sans headamp: I have written extensively of my discovery that Wadia CDPs can drive headphones directly (bypassing a headamp), and my trusty 830 appeared to garner favorable praise from those who gave it a listen. IMO, without a doubt, this rig should get the gold star for expansive soundstage, which (IMO) was subjectively 1.5 to double the size of some other rigs I compared. I also had a chance to listen to 650s / Zu and 600s / Cardas in single-end from the 830. Both aforementioned combos were more forward and immediate, but again lacked in terms of soundstage. My conclusion: If you like an expansive soundstage, balanced mode greatly benefits the Senns.

Personally, I take away that my first foray into high-end cans (Wadia / 650 / BDv2 balanced) compared favorably to the other excellent and notable products I sampled at the event. I do however still crave more detail / resolution, and plan to try at least one more balanced cable prior to making a long-term commitment to the BDv2.

Thanks again Archosman and all that attended for making this a great day!
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 5:22 AM Post #4 of 41

zutme

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I really enjoyed my first meet. Thanks for hosting it archosman. Being the resident noob at the meet I feel like I learned a lot from you guys. Unfortunately I think my experience at the meet will lead to some big spending in my future and big changes to my setup. After attending the meet I am really favoring the sennheiser sound over grado.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 2:44 PM Post #6 of 41

tyrion

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Matt, how did you get to Nashville in that car of yours? His vinyl rig is really nice. It gives some of the big boys a run for the money. I love the look of the DevilDog's old school MPX3.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 2:50 PM Post #7 of 41

NightWoundsTime

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Hey guys, great meet yesterday. I'm on my sister's slow dialup so I haven't even seen all the pics yet. As you can almost see in one of them, my sister Lisa and her husband Dan showed up with my 7 month old nephew Josiah in the middle of the day. We made sure to slap some headphones on him and got some really cool pictures. I think he likes the RS-1 the best
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. I'll try uploading a couple of them today but the connection is so slow I'm not sure they'll ever go through.

OK so on to the "business" end of things. I was very happy to bring along the AKG K701 borrowed from Stevieo. Listening to them at home I found several things I didn't like about them but had it attributed to my MPX3 with 6SN7 tubes, and not having enough power. At the meet I tried it with a couple of other amps including an Aria and while that was a better match, I still didn't totally love the sound. I read MarkL's review before the K701 was ever delivered to me and at first I thought maybe I was letting his very strong criticisms affect my hearing. Now I've spent enough time with it myself that I'm certain of my own impressions being close to MarkL's. As far as burnin on the K701 I'm not entirely sure what Stevieo had on them but I ran about another 50 hours before the meet. It might not have been the 200 mark but it should have been at least starting to settle down.

AlwaysWantMore (Kent), had a very cool rig running the HD-650's balanced directly from his Wadia source. Plenty of volume, dynamics, a clean tonal balance, and amazing soundstage from the balanced cans. Going from balanced to single ended was pretty shocking. I've heard the Blockhead and Singlepower SDS-XLR and Kent has probably 90% of that expensive balanced sound. The only place it's really lacking is in a bit of speed, which he's hoping can be somewhat solved by a different cable.

Devildog's toaster MPX3 is sounding great as always and I wasn't surprised to learn that he found his MPX3 and mine fairly similar, even with a totally different tube set.

It's been a while since I really sat down and listened to a K1000. This day was no different
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. I had them on my head for just a few minutes but as per usual for meets, got distracted before I could really get a good listen. I'm happy to say I did spend some quality time with the balanced Wadia rig, the Benchmark DAC1 (compared to a NAD CD player that it was running off of), and the RS-1's off my own rig playing some beautiful vinyl. The RS-1 is a dangerous thing for me to listen to. Thanks guys for all the kind comments about my vinyl rig. I basically consider it to have cost me $300, just the cost of the phono stage. It still amazes me every time I hear it, and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it also. It's funny the more "seasoned" guys here and also down in FL who were into vinyl at one point and migrated to CD for whatever reasons, but still love the sound and will go on all day about how much better it is than digital. I guess I really lucked out getting into it that cheaply.

That's it for now, going to go resize these pics of my nephew and see if I can get them uploaded somewhere.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 5:09 PM Post #8 of 41

Dr. Picker

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Thanks to Archosman for hosting and for investing in all that pizza on the honor system.

I brought my Benchmark DAC-1 and Senn HD 600 (Cardas) and had a chance to do some comparison listening that will guide me on my quest to destroy my wallet.

First, let me second the observation that Alwayswantsmore had the system of the day. And the music he enjoys includes small groups (piano, bass, drums, vocals.) Since I hear those combinations live a lot, I had a good reference.

There were also several HD 600s and 650s, with a variety of cables including Cardas, Zu and a balanced Blue Dragon.

I listened to Alwayswantsmore's Wadia with balanced and unbalanced 600s. I couldn't match cables exactly, but I came away with an impression than soundstage really improved with the balanced setup. Also the low-end seemed nicer on the balanced setup.

Then we took both phones to my Benchmark DAC which was connected by SPDIF to an NAD CD player. The difference between balaced and single end was less pronouced on this setup. Also, the Wadia clearly does a better job of driving the unbalanced phones.

I would guess that the Wadia has the synergy advantage since it is functioning as CD, CAD and Head Amp. Whatever it was, I drove home dreaming and drooling.

I also got to check out some tubes and vinyl just to remind myself how many ways there are to enjoy music with phones. And it was great to spend the day with guys who are into music and gear. If there is a meet near you, it is worth the drive.

John

P. S. My homework assignment:

1) I'm going to do a little research into the Benchmark's balanced outputs. Maybe there is a secret.

2) I'm going cable-shopping for my 600s.

3) I'm not going to shop for a Wadia. I'm not going to shop for a Wadia. I'm not …
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 7:09 PM Post #9 of 41

archosman

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Came back in to clean up and noticed someone left a power strip... a black CyberPower strip. I'm betting it might be yours Matt. It was on the same side of the room as your turntable. Let me know if anyone is missing one so I can get it back to you.

Stephen
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 11:59 PM Post #11 of 41

utarch00

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Archosman

Thanks for hosting this meet. This was my first meet and all I can say is that I wanted at least one of everything that was there.

I was able to finally hear the RS-1, HF-1, 325i, K1000, K701, 650, 600, 595, and what ever else I can not remember. Some were very impresive and some were not.

I also got try play with tubes, which was great fun. I think that is going to my next step with possible a better source. I want to thank Devil Dog for letting me play with his X-can V2 and the "toaster".

I also want to thank Archosman for giving me an internet connection to be able to get my very own HF-1s. Also for taking that great picture of the back of my big fat head.

Thanks to all for welcoming me in and being so helpful.
 
Apr 3, 2006 at 1:57 AM Post #12 of 41

Alwayswantmore

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-
 
Apr 3, 2006 at 2:55 AM Post #13 of 41

Alwayswantmore

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Apr 3, 2006 at 3:12 AM Post #15 of 41

Alwayswantmore

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Quote:

Originally Posted by archosman
You're just going to have to send your Wadia to John!
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Hi Steve, I pulled my comment because I'm not sure if it was accurate. John is welcome to listen if he wants to make the drive. Same goes for you and the other attendees when you get in this neck of the woods.
 

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