Well, I was only there for about two hours or so, but I got to see/hear what I really wanted to. I didn't meet a LOT of people, but it was nice to meet the ones I did. Sadly DIDN'T get to thank Ray Samuels for the awesome Tomahawk that my wife bought for me, but I did see him pass by a couple times.
Here's some gear impressions:
I definitely like the Micro DAC. I wasn't crazy about the Micro Amp, though. I MUCH preferred the sound of the Micro DAC into my Tomahawk. Better detailing and depth. I found the Micro Amp a little muddy for my taste. Build quality on both was wonderful, of course, though I hated the plastic volume knob on the Micro Amp.
Curiously, I found the HeadRoom Desktop Millett Hybrid Amp to be rather bright for my taste. I didn't try my EM3's with this, though maybe I should have. Given the treble roll-off on the EM3, they might have paired well. It sounded bright to me with the Sennheiser HD650's that were hooked up to it, at least for my taste. Then again, this may be due to being fed from the Benchmark DAC1.
On the other hand, listening to the Benchmark DAC1 directly from it's own headphone out with my EM3 was a delight. Sounded great with the HD650 plugged in directly as well. Marvelous DAC! If only I could afford one!
There were numerous pairs of Sennheiser HD650's around. I LOVED them with everything else I heard them on. If I ever manage to find a good environment for listening to open headphones, these will be on my to-buy list. The AKG K 701 and beyerdynamic DT 990 were also very nice, but a little bright for my ears. There were a few Grados around, but I just didn't find them comfortable enough to pay real attention to the sound.
One of the first things I got to hear was SiBurning's Core Sound HeadLine. It was certainly sturdy, but while the sound was good, it didn't quite "wow" me. I didn't have the right cable to try piping it through my Tomahawk, but that also would defeat the purpose of the DAC/Amp combo.
I also finally got to hear the SR-71 and Hornet. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between either of these and the Tomahawk, sound-wise. They all sounded marvelous. And I was startled by how big a beast the SR-71 is in person!
I tried out a couple of other IEMs, including the V-Moda Vibes. I got better bass with the triple flange tips. I'd say I still prefer my EM3, but I get the feeling that most folks there would consider the EM3 too bass-heavy (even I do sometimes). Most everything else sounded bright to me.
I also got to listen briefly to a Trekstor Vibez. This is a NICE DAP, folks. If you must go ampless, this is definitely worth considering, despite it's funny shape.
That's all for now! Thanks to everyone there for letting my listen to their gear!
It was great fun to meet you all at the NYC meeting today. I had a great time and learned a lot of stuff. I can't believe how incredible all those Headphones and Headphone Amps sounded. When I was a kid, some 40 years ago, I got hooked on the inner world of headphones. I remember buying my first pair of Koss Pro 4as back then. Then with Quadraphonic, I purchased those Koss Quadraphonic 2 plus 2s. that to me was the coolest thing. All of my friends back then were Audiophiles and we thought so much of the old school equipment that we thought was so expensive. I am truly amazed are attending the NYC meeting today how technologically advanced we have become. there is no doubt in my mind that the Headphone Industry has greatly over taken the Speaker Industry. I, so some crazy reason was in the market for so high end mono block amps, preamps and new speakers from two very high end companies that shall go nameless. I recently went to an audition or demostration of some of this equipment including a pair of speakers-not headphones- that I was told were selling for '24,000. Upon hearing them, I was not that impressed; which is why I decided to come to todays meeting. Many of the pieces of equipment I sampled today were far superior in sound quality to much of the stuff that is available in the outer worlds of audio equipment. I therefore, am going to keep my Headphone and Amp collection and forget about all the high end external world stuff. The meeting today set me straight. Thanks for everything. Scottsmrnyc
stayed for a while, and i think i was the first one there! Got to the hotel at 9:20 with my brother
I was the one in the blue tee shirt with "MINEOLA TRUCK TWO" on the back
I tried a bunch of phones but here are my top picks:
unamped - grado RS1, SR125, SR255, and HF-1 - OMG grado kicks so much ass i want a pair NOW!!!
Ultrasone PROline 2500's - these were actually quite good and bright, with a deep, full bass
I used the minibox D that was around (BTW who was selling this? where can i get it for the $69 price he had printed?)
igrado = these were pretty good by themselves, but amp'd they sound so much better! everything came out more and "blended"
AKG K501 - another amazing set, only problems are that they NEED amplification and are not made anymore apparently
Shure e3c - my personal pair, they stood up well to amplification, esp w/ the tri-flange tips
On another note, i seem to have forgotten my bookbag there!
It was a black jansport bag, and thankfully had nothing of importnece in it. If it turns up, can someone send PM me?
THANKS to everyone for answering my questions, helping me out, letting me try their gear, and just generally being a great group of ppl! I had a great time, and i'll be at the next MYC meet most defiantly
Hi everyone! had a blast today! (In case you didn't know, I'm darkangel1985's brother
I had a great time learning new things, meeting new people, and of course, trying out some awesome gear. i really loved tower7's collections of beyers, esp those skybeyers! i also really liked hydrocities k501s, i really want to get a set for my self now. i was also really surprised by the sound of all the grado headphones, however, i really didn't like how comfortable they were, except for the GS1000. All of the grados sounded great though, amped or unamped (even the igrados, which now i must pick up a pair because i really liked them). all the electrostatic rigs sounded really cool as well(esp k1000's they things fell so weird
). I also, really liked all of the stuff ray samuels brought, esp that B-52! (wish i could afford even the HS-2) although im not an IEM guy, i was really surprised by the PK1s, didn't know they sounded so good.
though i liked most of the setups, i couldn't find myself liking the akg 701 at all. the highs seemed to be overemphasized. i also didn't like the dt700's stock, they just seem to sound muddy. I was also a little disappointed by the HD600/650, they just seemed to be lacking a lot of life and sound really dull and distant, even amped.
Deff attending the next meet in the area, i had a blast!
I just got home and the meet was great. I set out to do a few things, which I never got around to finish. Time just flew by and all of a sudden, it was time to go.
First off, unlike the meet in November, there were only 5 portable amps of my knowledge at this meet. Ray brought his whole line up, Jinp had a MisterX XP amp, and Hydrocity had a portaphile. One of my goals was to see if I could find an amp that will make me really enjoy my Meizu M6 and E500's. I spent a bit of time outside of the meet with all amps, except the Hornet-M and SR-71, as it was quieter, even though I had IEM's on.
Ray Samuels Audio Tomahawk - Tiny. I listened to it in November, but my god I don't remember it being this small! I knew it wasn't for me simply from the volume knob alone (too small). It brought out alot of bass through my setup. Definitely too much bass for me. It openned up the top end slightly, but not as much as I wanted it to. I didn't pay much attention after a slight listen as I knew it wasn't for me.
Portaphile Maxed - I found it to sound more balanced than the Tomahawk. Tight bass, clearer highs, but still not enough of what I wanted. If you can't tell by now, I was in the market for a portable amp with a little treble emphasis, at least more attention to midrange and treble than mid bass and bass. I did enjoy the Portaphile with many tracks on my M6, but at the same time, there were many that just didn't sound right.
MisterX XP amp - After spending some time with the other 2 amps, I had a few tracks that just wouldn't perform well. So the first thing I did after hooking the XP amp was to try those few songs. Wow, this amp was exactly what I was looking for. I don't know what this little wonder does for the rest of you guys, but it gave me what I was missing in my portable setup. It does sound a bit forward with a much smaller soundstage than the previous 2 amps I used. But it did so much right that the few things that were just alright were negligable for me. So I guess, WTB? =]
Here's a firt. Thank you Head-fi for saving my wallet.
I'll post pictures when I get home tonight and the rest of my thoughts on the other amps and headphones. The Beta22 was a pleasure Nate. Thanks for making it and bringing it for us to hear.
I r winnar!
*FYI - The Meizu M6 is a warm sounding DAP, and with the midbass hump and recessed treble on the E500's, I was looking for an amp to basically balance it out. So don't take what I said as the Tomahawk and Portaphile are bad, it's just not what I'm looking for.
Well, it was quite a nice turn out with so much eye candy it was simply intoxicating. I finally got to listen to a pair of RS-1s and I am in love! Also, listened to a pair of GS1000 - quite nice and uber comfy. Modded K340s - nicest set of closed cans I've ever heard. Woodied SR225s from a DAC1 - sweet. Ray's B-52 is quite the unit to behold. Yuin PK-1 - really surprising but those little buggers need to be amped! It is so unexpected the sound those earbuds produce that it is almost funny. Balanced Headroom desktop - me want! Nikongod's HP-1s - jaw dropping sound. I don't know the classical piece that was playing but it was incredibly 3 dimensional sounding. Cowon A2 - impressive screen. I mean you could easily watch a movie on that unit along with some nice sound. SWT61's stands are simply beautiful. LDII+ - fun little bugger!
And of course - the people are what really makes this hobby so enjoyable and fulfilling. Everyone was terrific and I got to have some interesting conversations and learned some things.
Here are my pics. I know one of you out there will recognize which one is my set up.
Originally Posted by laxx /img/forum/go_quote.gif Ray Samuels Audio Tomahawk - Tiny. I listened to it in November, but my god I don't remember it being this small!
I forgot about the Tomahawk - yeah, amazingly tiny. And quite the sound from that little guy. I have heard about him before but getting to meet the man in person - Ray is a terrific guy. Open, generous, friendly and obviously passionate about everything headphone.
In General. This was my first meet. It was a great experience. Amazing gear and people. Everyone was very nice and helpful. People were generous with their gear. You could take a phone and walk around with it. Change CDs/phones at will. The atmosphere in general was just very chill and friendly. If you haven't been to a meet before, you really should try to go to one. Also, it was good to finally attach a face/personality to the people you see on the boards on a daily basis. I heard a lot of amps and phones. I don't remember much. Most of the time I was stuck in audio nirvana. But here are some things I do recall.
Balanced Phones. I heard the K701 balanced coming from HR's new balanced amp. I was not overly impressed with these phones as balanced. The separation was better and noticeable, but that was about it. They sounded very similar to my stock version. I also heard the GS1000 balanced and stock. Both sounded very good. Compared to the RS1, the sound stage is huge. It does not sound like a typical Grado phone. The third phone I heard balanced was the HD650s. WOW is the best way I can describe it. The biggest difference between stock and balanced is not only greater detail and separation, but the scaling on the balanced version is incredible. I am convinced that the HD650s is the reason they make balanced amps.
RS v. SP. I tried to do a lot of comparisons between the SinglePower Extreme (stock) and Raptor. I used mostly my RS1s. The end result was that I was unable to reach a conclusion about which amp I preferred. Too many variables (source, cables, songs being played, noise). Sometimes I thought the Raptor was better. At other times, I thought the Extreme was. I think the Extreme sounded more like a Tube amp. As for the Raptor, it seemed to have better volume control and go louder earlier. The Raptor is a lot smaller too. The build quality of both looked superb. Other than that, I'm not sure. I didn't hear anything that I really disliked from either. Both sounded really good. I think at their price range (around $1000), either one is a solid choice. As for the other RS and SP amps, I would say that the B52 is one of best looking (and sounding amps) I have ever seen/heard. I also compared the stock and Platinum version of the Extreme. The latter sounded a bit better, but I think I would be happy enough with the stock.
Omega II and HE90. I listened to an Omega II and HE90. I spent more time with the Omega II (hooked up to a Blue Hawaii). I was blown away by the detail. Everything sounded perfect. The bass seemed a little light. That was my only complaint. That and the fit was not snug on my head. Felt like it was on the verge of falling off. The HE90 (via ES1) was also just amazing. I wish I had the vocabulary to describe how great this phone is. It sounded so airy and rich. Just incredible. I think these two phones are clearly at the very top of the audio chain. Nothing else sounded as good. There was also an HE90 knockoff there (Chinese made). It sounded okay. I don't think it was burned in and the plug did not fit right into the amps. Could be an interesting development though.
Other Phones. I also listened to the L3000, GS1000, K340, W100 (with L3000 drivers), AD2000, K1000 (such an odd headphone, if you could even call it that) and R10. Of the bunch, the R10 and L3000 sounded best. The L3000 I would characterize generally as just very smooth. The R10 in a word was rich. Both would be a killer for any collection. Phones I somehow missed hearing were the W5000s and some of the limited edition Grados. What happened there. The day does go by quickly. Another amp I have to mention is the Zana Duex. Very impressive. Sounded as good as any of the very high end SP/RS amps.
Miscellaneous. I was impressed with how good my LD2++ sounded when compared to other more expensive tube amps. An amp like an Extreme or Raptor undeniably sounded better, but the ++ sounded very good as well. I found that after listening to those two amps and then going back to my ++, I was not as disappointed as I thought I would be. A very nice amp for the money. I liked it as much as (if not more than) a Woo3 and Darkvoice. Also, I won an auction for a brand new Gilmore Lite (sans DPS). I am listening to it right now. This is a very nice sounding amp. It sounded better than a Heed which was right next to it. (But then again, different source, cables, etc.) Was pretty happy about getting it. Plan to order the DPS to ratch it up a notch.
Thanks. I would like to thank everyone that helped to put together and organize the meet (Immtbiker - I hope you got to listen to some music!). It was a real treat. I would also like to thank ASR, who put up some money for me to help get my Gilmore Lite. Real nice guy. Just don't insult his AD2000s. I said I liked my RS1s better and he was quite taken back.
Also thanks to Erik (erikzen) who drove me to the meet. Probably would not have gone if not for you. Jahn was in the car as well. I asked him what his secret was to his high post count. He quickly changed the topic.