October 2007 UK Meet Impressions Thread
Oct 28, 2007 at 10:14 PM Post #62 of 244

senny-ftw

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Quote:

I had no idea that the headphone stand, designed and for use with the jecklin floats, had been employed for use with all of those other headphones. Some of them look a little stretched over it, eek.


Me neither - but look on the bright side: now we've all got 10 megapixel pictures of our headphones being stretched to ****!
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Oct 28, 2007 at 10:34 PM Post #63 of 244

vcoheda

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great pics. looks like there was a lot of excellent gear there.
 
Oct 28, 2007 at 10:36 PM Post #64 of 244

Progenitor

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First of all, thank you to everyone for a fun filled evening. MrJoshua did a fantastic job organising this evening, and he was an extremely nice bloke. Personally I have to thank senny-ftw for driving me up to Manchester which was an unpleasant journey traffic wise, and for being great company for the 5+ hours each way. The time spent in the hotel bar in both Friday and Saturday evening was damn fun, and it was great knowing you guys (somewhat) outside of the audio context.

Now onward for my impression!

I arrived pretty early on in the day and managed to get myself set up on one of the smaller table. Immediately my eyes caught the beautiful sight of Fing’s excellent headphone collection. He had 3 phones I always had wanted to hear: AKG K1000, ATH-L3000 and the MDR-10. Throughout the day, I was able to hear all three. He also had in his procession the Darth Beyers which quickly changed into being the pocession of Senny-ftw! Duggeh has bought the mystical TakeT H2, the luxurious Stax Omega II, and his Ergo AMT. Milkpowder’s HE60 (The Baby Os) arrived in the afternoon and was hugely popular (I only had a 5 minutes go on them!). The Audio-Technica W5000 also made a showing, as have several recabled Sennheiser HD650s. My humble self have bought in the Grado RS-2. My RS-2, with MrJoshua’s 325i and Senny-ftw’s MS1 somewhat made up for the weak showing of Grados in this meet. A lot of head-fiers would have liked to compare the RS-1 against the RS-2 and to have the chance to hear the GS-1000. The Ultrasone made no presence in this meet.

We were spoiled for choices for amps. Two GS-1 was available – one by myself, and another one owned by Jules650. MrJoshua has bought in the new Graham Slee Solo Green 2007. Jules650 have also bought in his Heed Canamp. We had loads of fun comparing those mid-range amps. In the high-end corner, a WooAudio 6 made the show, as have the Single-Power Extreme. A Yamaoto, and a Hi-Fidelity also made the show, although I haven’t heard either for a very long time.

In terms of source, the big splash was made by the Medrian G08. That unit was constantly being in used, and was one of the most popular sources in the meet. The Benchmark DAC1 made a huge impression not just by its source quality, but by the strength of its headamp stage. More on this later. The Stellos DA100 was the backbone of Jules650’s setup, and Senny-ftw’s Cyrthus(sp?) was very popular, in no small part due to its size.

The star of the show is no doubt the AKG K1000. A pair was set up to be driven by Duggah’s cheap £100 ebay tube speaker amplifier in “Duggah’s house of fun”. Words do not describe how good they are, so action will have to do: Milkpowder, upon putting them in his head, and upon figuring how to press the play button, after hearing them for 4 seconds simply exclaimed “God they are good”. The K1000 made the greatest impression on most head-fiers in the meet and for very good reasons. I cannot find any flaw with them except they are not a basshead’s headphone. I feel that apart from the quality of the driver, the design itself also lead to a much more natural feel to the sound coming into the ears. Those K1000 were in Duggeh's words: "the Veyron of the dynamics headphone world".

Duggeh’s Stax Omega II is vagina for the ears. They were no doubt the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn. They had fantastic treble (even beating the K1000). They are brilliant for several pieces of Classical. If you want detail retrieval, go for the Omega IIs.

I really need to sit down for an extended period of time in front of the TakeH T2 to form a solid opinion on them. (I was lucky enough to spend around 20 minutes with them during a quiet period in Duggah’s room). I will say that they were the greatest fun I had listening to “Waterloo”, and the Imperial March in Empire Strikes Back.

I only managed to spend around 6-7 minutes with the HE60. The test track I used to compare them against the K1000 was Track 1 of The Planets performed by the LSO (The track was Mars btw :p). The HE60 was in the same league in terms of treble against the K1000. However, I felt that the HE60 missed some of the textual in the mid-bass section. The K1000 also had the advantage of not feeling “boxed in” – the sound seems to come out from the room rather than from drivers 2 inches away from me. Overall however, I agree with Milkpowder’s verdict that they are very similar sounding phones.

The R10 sounded very special to my ears. They looked like Darths but they sounded like refined Electro-Stats. Curse my bad memory for not remembering the specific characteristic that impressed me except "refined", but they truly felt high-end. It is however a shame that they are so expensive. I came away feeling that they do not justify their high price-tag.

As with most people in the meet, I did not thought the L3000 was anything special. They did sound very nice coming out of the SinglePower Extreme. However, all phones sounded nice coming out of the Single Power extreme, and nothing about the L3000 leaped out at me saying “I have to buy those” like the above phones. I will say however that I agree with everyone who says that we need more time to understand them. However, for the sanity of my wallet, I am grateful that I did not fall in love with them.

The W5000 again was not anything special to my ears. Visually they looked extremely appealing. I thought they felt hollow, and not able to transmit the feeling of Santana’s Supernatural. However, again I feel that I need to give them a much longer listening session before I can say too much on them.

The great question of K701 vs HD650 has not been settled in my head. The K701 do sound brighter, more aggressive, and are able to make flute sounds better. However, the Sennheiser sound better on the timbre of the music, and trumpet are a little bit nicer on the HD650. However, it is very clear that both phone are in the same class. I slightly prefer the K701 because of the comfort: I unfortunately suffer from the HD650 clamp, and the K701 fits like a grove on my head.

I felt happy that most people were impressed by my RS-2. I was thinking of not bring them because of the potential for wood damages. I felt that the RS-2 was my main contribution to this meet, and that the RS-2 meant a showing by one of the higher end Grados in this meet. Several of us had fun comparing the 325i to the RS-2. They are extremely different headphones, and having the RS-2 does not automatically eliminate the need for the 325i. The 325i sounds brighter and more solid on the mid-bass. I will let other head-fiers at the meet to sing praises of the RS-2 (hint hint Duggah!)

Now onto amps! As mentioned above, we were able to have a very good collection of mid-priced amps. This collection includes two Headamp GS-1, a Graham Slee Solo (Green 2007), a Heed Canamp, and the Benchmark DAC1. The reason I am including the Benchmark DAC1 is because I felt the amp stage is good enough to be within this company.

We started the day by doing something myself, Senny-ftw and Bizzle wanted to do: Head to head of my GS-1 vs MrJoshua’s Graham Slee Solo. The setup was:
Duggah’s no name CD player -> Digital Coax out -> Zhaolu 2.5A -> Headamp GS-1 -> loop out -> Graham Slee Solo.
After around 5 minutes with this setup, I think the Graham Slee Solo sounded more refined, less harsh, more controlled, “darker” and warmer than the GS-1 driving my HD650. The difference were small but noticeable. Around 5 people came to the same conclusion that the Graham Slee Solo was better. Overall, the main complain of the GS-1 was that it sounded harsh. The GS-1 does have the advantage in electric guitar solos. I have to stress however that the difference were small (for example, I fully intend to keep my GS-1). Also, the GS-1 are second only to the Single Power Extreme in driving the RS-2. Duggah has fallen in love with my RS-2 using my GS-1 setup (btw Duggah, I hope you don’t mind me spoiling the fact that the RS-1 was one of the Dynamics you were impressed with!).

Next, we had the Medrian G08 plug into the Benchmark DAC1, and then outputting to the Heed Canamp and the Graham Slee Solo. The Solo were still the king in this setup, but the Heed Canamp were not far behind. The Canamp were warmer than the Solo, and had more “fun” colouration. Overall however, the Solo had more authority and put up a more convincing performance. The Benchmark was the real surprise. They sounded comparable to both of those amps, and although inferior to both, the Benchmark is not far behind. I would be very happy to just use the Benchmark for my amp unless I was a perfectionist.

The king of the amp was the Single Power Extreme. This amp is able to make everything sound nice. HD650, L3000, HD650 recabled, HD650 with pad squashed, RS-2, W5000, A900; no matter the headphone, it will sound great on those baby. The Single Power was simply better at everything: Detail retrieval, treble, mid-range smoothness, and bass booms. The only weakness is that they ever so slightly lean towards the bassy side, and that may not be your preference. However, everybody I have spoken to on the meet said that the Single Power was the best amp in the show.

I did not care too much for source so I did not looked at the difference in source too much. However, I was in the room when Duggah did his Audigy vs G08 impression. Duggah has spent an extensive amount of time in heavy concentration in the comparison. That’s all I will say for now except that I have full faith in Duggah’s method and his ears (Duggah should speak more on this issue when pressed
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).

I came away from this meet with a lot of lessons:
  1. Headphones make the most difference in sound, followed by amp. The big boys of headphone immediately sounded good without having to subtly listening for differences.
  2. Money should not be spent on small upgrades. In order to get a marginally different sound, going high-end or different technology is the way to go. Spending money on incremental upgrades is going towards the path of wasting money. However, if the small upgrade removes an irritation with your system, then the money is sensibly spent.
  3. Electro-Stats: Love them. They have a more refined sound which made up for the fact that they are not bass heavy.
  4. Tube amps do not magically mean smooth sounds: the WooAudio 6 sounded harsh and just too aggressive.
  5. Duggah + Alcohol = Long Political Rant

Thank you for the great time everybody! Also, thank you for reading this far.

PS: Whoever coiled my A900’s cable: I know you had good intention, but you are a wanker. My A900 were my first love – they were not inexpensive headphones and there is a reason why the cable was nice and straight when one would let them run freely at the meet. I naturally uncoiled them at the first instance I've noticed them but the damage was done. Now they are a mess to manage at home on my setup. I hope you are happy for ruining a small part of my A900 now. Also whoever put my RS-2 in an angle on top of the sharp edge of the CD-player: I hate you for putting a dent on my previously near perfect RS-2.
 
Oct 28, 2007 at 11:35 PM Post #65 of 244

milkpowder

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Superb write-up! Haha, did Duggeh give you a lecture in politics over a gin and tonic? BTW, it wasn't a no-name CDP, but an Arcam Alpha! Also, I believe it was a WooAudio 4, not 6. I'm pretty surprised that people came away thinking it as a harsh-sounding amp. Didn't get a chance to listen to it though
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Did you by any chance compare your RS-2 to the ALO-modded SR-80?

Hah! Coiled up A900 cable. I must say you're pretty pedantic (in a good way), but a dent on your RS-2? Ouch
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I had a couple on mine. Don't worry though, your RS-2 still look very nice
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I managed to not listen to a pair of Beyers despite a couple pairs constantly within my reach. I mean, who could blame me when I had a pair of R10 on my head, L3000 on my lap and W5000 resting on the chair next to me?!
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I do regret passing up on the Darth Beyers though... Maybe next time.

One more thing... the LSO Planets recording is top notch. It sounds quite close-mic'ed using multiple mics instead of two or three in the middle. Purists might not like it much because it sounds nothing like what you'd get in a live concert. Audiophiles would, I imagine, tend to like it because of the superb clarity and detail, not to mention the huge dynamic range.
 
Oct 28, 2007 at 11:47 PM Post #66 of 244

Progenitor

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Hey Milkpowder! It was really great meeting you yesterday
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I am not just saying that for your Baby O but you were great company over lunch as well. Next time you have to stay overnight and talk in a pub over some gin or vorka!

Duggah bought two CD players with him. One was the Arcam Alpha, and the other one was in his words "a £5 DVD player". It did the job very well and I noticed that my table was a quiet retreat from the main table for a few people
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You laugh about my coiled up A900 but they are *really* coiled up! They now are all over the place mingling with other stuff on my desk where previously they were very easy to put out of the way on my headphone stand. I am going to try straightening them out tomorrow.

Regarding the Darths, post your Baby Os to Senny-ftw and I am sure he will be happy to post you his Darths :p Seriously, you should pop down South sometime...it turns out quite a few of us are in the south. I will keep an eye out for a cheap function room to rent for events like this!
 
Oct 28, 2007 at 11:56 PM Post #67 of 244

milkpowder

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Nice meeting you too! Would've loved to stay for a gin 'n tonic or cherry coke, but I really couldn't stay any longer. I left at 5:15 and my train was at 5:28!! I made it in 6 minutes flat
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Didn't think the train station was that close by.

Ah! "£5 DVD player" can sound rather good. I've got an AIWA one and it sounds pretty darn decent both as a transport and a standalone CDP!

I was there for such a short time (2 and a bit hours) I didn't even know there were A900s around until pictures got posted!
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There was so much to listen to
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I am currently facing a dilemma: send my HE60 back for repairs (horrendously expensive: shipping will be at least £80-120, repairs another £40-300 depending on complexity of repair), or save up and buy K1000 + cheapo Class-T amplifier... Judging by how my Baby Os are sounding, they don't really need to go back to Sennheiser just yet. No one noticed any buzzing right? I think my tape-mod will hold for a while
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Anyhow, which bank should I rob? I need money for the elephant ears
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Oh, and I nearly bid for the SR-404 that was on eBay.co.uk just now... Luckily, common sense prevailed. I didn't need it, but the SR-202 sounded pretty darn good at the meet and reminded me of the SR-404 *sigh* seller's remorse.
 
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:12 AM Post #68 of 244

Progenitor

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Those Baby Os sounded ever so lovely in the short time I listened to them
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I really doubt they need to be repaired yet.

You don't need the K1000 - they are crap and your ears were just playing tricks on you (secretly looking for the cheapest amp that can drive the K1000 and looking at how much money is in the bank). How much it would annoy Duggeh if you've got a pair first >
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Anyway, I am now on Amazon.co.uk for some CDs after this weekend - one of which is that Planets recording! Expensive times for me!
 
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:23 AM Post #69 of 244

milkpowder

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Haha. My thoughts exactly. I'm listening to Paganini 1st Violin Concerto just now and boy does it sound good. Nothings broken, so I ain't gonna fix it. The perfectionist in me wants to get the grille properly glued back on, but I guess that's a fairly trivial matter.

Cheapest K1000 rig would be K1000 + one of the micro-sized Class-T amps, eg Trends Audio TA-10.1 (10W/ch into 8 ohms, 90GBP + delivery from http://www.desktopaudio.co.uk), Sonic Impact T-Amp Gen 2 (15W/ch into 8ohm, $79 + delivery from http://www.si5.com), Super-T (15W/ch into 8 ohm, $159 + delivery from http://www.si5.com) and Firestone Audio (8W/ch into 8ohm, $210 + delivery from http://www.firestone-audio.com). Pick your poison
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Quote:

Originally Posted by enjoythemusic.com
With a nominal 74dB for 1 mW (free field), the AKG needs a full watt to generate about 104dB , and using the usual rules of thumb, and allowing for the 120 Ohm impedance of the K1000 which will tend to depress the output voltage of most amplifiers, you should be aiming for somewhere around the 10 Watts/channel mark.


 
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:25 AM Post #70 of 244

Duggeh

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Oi, it's Duggeh. With an E.
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Honestly who would call themselves Duggah?
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Well now that I've got a CD playing (the cheap Wharfedale player is now on my rack) and I've got this large icy cold Gin & Russchian poured I can sit down and try and put some thoughts to, well, not paper, but certainly the bright shiny technological marvel that passes for paper in this day and age.

Smirnoff%20Russchian.jpg-for-web-normal.jpg

*glug*


Where to begin then?

Let me start by expressing my profuse thanks to MrJoshua for organising this meet, a true gentleman and scholar as friendly and enthusiastic as you could hope for any head-fier to be. Bravo! May your loins be ever full of fruit!
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Also a great pleasure to put faces to the names, and names to the nicks. I did forget the names of a whole bunch of you over the day however there is something rather condescending about sticky name tags imo.

It was not of any importance of course because "OI YOU!" is a universally recognised mode of communication.
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I was pleased with how much people enjoyed my gear, the Omega 2 got pretty universal love from the assembled masses. The TakeT H2 a lot too. I didn't get a lot of feedback from people on the Ergo AMT and Float Electrostatics, although the Floats spent the first while "charging up". It turned out later of course that they weren't in need of panel charging but that the CD player lead to the Quad 34 preamp was faulty, resulting in the super quiet volume. Gave a good reason to make it the dedicated vinyl amp!

Several people wanted to try the Sennheiser Surrounder and to you all I again express my humble apologies for bringing the wrong mains brick. Sadly we could not even plug them in. A big slap on the wrist for me because I was very keen for people to experience their unique merits.

A great meet and great company. I've had an absolute hoot this weekend. The educational and social experience well worth the trip.

Chears chaps!
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To the Headphones Impressions!


I think that just so I get it out of the way, I'll now go with what I didn't like, which was only one thing:

The Darth Beyers. Too much bass there dudes, just plain too much, gobs and gobs and gobs of it, blooming and wobbling right up into the lower midrange and beyond, bass that flapped its way right up into the treble and beyond into the subsonic, it was like having a couple of passive Argos subwoofers strung around my skull with duct tape. Not a bad headphone, it somehow still managed to have a midrange and treble and some detail in behind all of that boom. It's just utterly incompatible with the kind of sound I want. As close as any modern headphone I have heard comes to the 8-ohm paper cone "fart in a damp cardboard box" sound. I'm pretty sure that I winced. Maybe you could get away with that FR curve in a planar, but even then its doubtful.

I also wasn't hugely impressed with the SR-325i. However I only had a short time with it and the CD playing at that time was a jazz number with a vast amount of cymbal activity to it, it was like tuning in a television: SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I never got around to trying them with something else and so I reserve judgement on them rather than passing it.


Which brings me onto a revelation I had.

One of many on which I will now at-length and with dull prose now articulate, and this one more of a firm confirmation of suspicion rather than a revelation. And that is that moving coil dynamic headphones, with a couple of notable exceptions, simply aren't for me.

I tried (not mine)
The HD600, HD650 and 2 recabled HD650s (Zu Mobius and Equinox IIRC)
The Darth Beyer DT770, the DT990 (with dodgy driver)
A K271 Studio, K701 and a recabled K701 (I forget the cable) and the K1000
An A700, L3000 and W5000
The King MDR R-10
An MS-1, SR-325i and RS-2

Headphones I didn't manage to get on my ears were the Modded SR-80 and HF-1, which I would have liked to hear, the vintage DT990, which I did want to hear a lot but forgot about and the HD595, which I refused openly to even put on out of general principle.

I listened to these in various orders out of the Heed Canamp, the Slee Solo, the X-Can 3, the Headamp GS-1, the DIY Millett Max and the Singlepower Extreme. Most of the time the source was the G08 (although my thoughts on that later). Also the Wharfedale/Wharfedale+Zaulou DAC, Squeezebox 3 and a CD player I forget the model of on a couple of times and combos.

Of these amps, the Singlepower was by orders of magnitude better than the others. Of the others I preferred the Heed Canamp by a small margin although it was difficult to rate it terribly well vs the X-Can 3 because of distance and time and different headphones used.

However, so much of this listening just left me cold. Its not that any of it was bad, there was some awesome music being played, and indeed, there were a few times where I just spaced out to the Steely Dan and went into eyes closed head-bobbing mode. However every experience had me wanting something more. I still like the HD650, but for the money, a planar headphone buys you so much more sound.

Case in point was the venerable antique Yamaha orthos belonging to MrJoshuas mother. They were the HP-3 model IIRC, and aside from the colour (black instead of brown) looked identical to the pair of YP-50A I used to have. They also sounded very similar, although the pads were knackered. Those orthos though I would pick with about 2 seconds thought over almost all of the moving coil/amp combos I heard. I guess that the Stax Mafia brainwashing has me completely hooked now.
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The exceptions were these (In order of precedence)

K1000 (With the ARIA EL84)
R-10 (main listening done on the X-Can 3)
RS-2 with the Singlepower Extreme
L3000 with Singlepower Extreme
Jecklin Float 2 with Singlepower Extreme


To move backwards up that list in my comments, somewhat like a chart countdown:

The Jecklin Float 2 is not as good a headphone as many of the others there. Its old, its dated, its not in excellent mechanical condition and its uglier than all holy sin. However, it by some flabbergasting quirk of fate just gets on so well with my ears. It is this inexplicable phenomenon which has lead me to keep it around while so many other more accomplished headphones have been and gone from my sweaty paws. The Singlepower Extreme had it going as best as I've heard since the Ergo Amp 1, and better than that.

I do not thank that anyone else was particularly enamoured with them at all. Good, it might help to stop the eBay prices for them from rising the stupid and ridiculous levels that they have reached over the last couple of years.

The L3000 started off very disappointingly for me. The first thing I had them plugged into was the Slee Solo, they sounded nice, better than the Senns and AKGs certainly but where was this fabulous sound that other report? Well the Solo wasn't a mighty amp sure, but could that be the issue? Swapping it over to the Heed Canamp right next door and there's a bit more low end there, "Oh!", think I, "I think this thing wants some nuclear power."

Plugged into the Singlepower Extreme and KABOOM!... err, nothing much more. But about 30-60 seconds afterwards.... then, then my brain re-tuned and I realised what was going on.

Oh it was so very sweet and so very very rich and so very very Hugh Heffner expensive thick carpets of very fine fabric and tailor made dressing gowns and really ridiculous aftershave. This may be the gentleman's headphone, the headphone for the man who in the evening, likes to sit down in his wing chair by the roaring log fire with a large glass of single malt and a copy of "Tweed Jackets Monthly" magazine. Really, I would have loved say, 2 or 3 days with these a real extended audition with music all of my choosing and at my leisure.

I sniffed potential in them, "I could learn to love these." I thought, then I remembered the price they go for in today's market, and my enthusiasm was damped, as I say, I'd want more time with them, but for that sort of money I think I'd pick something else. Maybe get my bedroom redone in that carpet I mentioned.
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On The RS-2:

I used to have an HF-1. It left me cold. It was until yesterday my only Grado experience and I was happy to simply leave Gradoland behind at that, ears not going for the sound old boy lets have some more of those helmet things eh?

However Progenitor (who was probably the most like a small child running around the house on Christmas day than any of us) had a set laying on his table. I'd spent a short while with the HD650s at that time, looked down at them and basically thought "Well why not?" So down went the gain swtich on the GS-1 and in went the RS-2 with flat pads.

Well lets start by saying they were comfy. No vice on the ears or sandpaper on the skin. Lightweight and comfortable.

They also sounded pretty nice, dare I say, they were better than the Sennheisers? yes, I do dare, because they were. They had a lesser degree of the richness that the L3000 would give me later and a more prominent high midrange lending a degree of bite to the sound which was I am sure the sound which so many describe as the "fun" part of the Grado signature. Plugging the RS-2 into the Singlepower Extreme (Well, I didn't do it, Progenitor did and not long after these was this call from over the room "Doug! Doug! Come listen to this!") Listen I did and pleased I was, a lot more energy to the sound, better and further extension in the bass and a better sense of resonance in the midrange. I was very very surprised by how much I liked them and they rate over the L3000 because of only one reason in practical terms.

They are cheaper!
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Still, one of the best moving coil headphone I have heard behind...

The Sony MDR R-10 was interesting, and I do not use that word as a diplomatic term to try and brush over poor features as being somethign else I use it because it was really a very careful listening session I had with it. Aside from the Omega 2 (during source comparisons) I think I spent more time with it than any other headphone. Most people had gone off to stuff their faces full of Manchester's finest cuisine at lunchtime. I however had the fortuitousness of my hotel room being filled with home-made scoff and so I was fed and watered in a fraction of the time
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.

I listened to a variety of my own music with them, Jean Michel Jarres Teo & Tea, Hank Shizzoes Low Budget (Any Head-Fier owes it to themselves to have a copy of that CD, Peter Cincottis On The Moon and Crash Test Dummies Songs Of The Unforgiven. My main listening with the R10 was with the X-Can 3, the Singlepower was in popular use and I didn't want to hog it up for the time I wanted to spend with one of the few headphones that I still have a great deal of curiosity about.

I liked them, a lot. This pair was not in a fabulous state of repair (if I owned an R-10 and one of the pads was falling off id be biting my fingernails down to the cuticle about it but Fing's attitude was on the lines of "This is my beat around pair."

The sound was fast, very very fast, detailed, with massive micro detail and separation capacity, loads of treble energy without a sense of aggression to it, a less coloured midrange than the L3000, no wobble in the low mids or high bass and a tight fast and punchy low end to them with both extreme electronic beats and also with the church organ resonance.

Hang on just a second, that means I like the R10 because...

... It sounds like an electrostatic. The R10 had not one single one of the things that make me shun coils for planars, music -> ears, no intermittent crate shipping through the cotton fields of coil land.

They cost an arm and a leg, or depending on how your health is, a kidney, but they do sound fantastic, and I can understand why there are a few head-fiers out there (like Fing or Hirsch) who have more than one. One with the lower bass like this one (I didn't find the bass quantity lacking however with a sound that good, more bass would simply have been different, not better or worse) plus another of the higher bass sets and you're laughing.

Your bank manager might be crying, but you'll be laughing.
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the K1000 is with the R10 the case for why the best dynamics are regarded as the best, its because they pick up, or emulate or strive for or whatever terminology you wish to use, traits from the planar headphones and the K1000 does it with aplomb. I was the first person to put them on after they were plugged in (just making sure my amp didn't make them explode or anything of course
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) and it took me about, oh must have been as long as 7, maybe 8 seconds before I took them off again and went into full flabbergasted mode.

My eyes shone like the glazed windows looking down into the halogen bulb factory, my jaw hung, limp and agape from the rest of my skull, my legs freed for the first time in decades of any kind of input from my brain decided that they both wanted to see the world, but wanted to see different bits and so didn't get very far. My arms, once the K1000 was placed, trembling, back onto the table began to wave like someone had stuffed hot coals into my shirt and acid in my hair. I was Jeremy Clarkson in full flowing praise, I was Martin Luthor King, I was Ghandi, I was Jesus. No earthly power could possibly stop me from gabbling incoherently about how fabulous that short exposure had been. And that was only Dido for the love of God. If it'd been Donald Fagen I might have passed out.

That was the greatest singular moment of headphone listening I have had since I first got my Stax 2020 system. Not since then have I been so immediately and completely floored by a sonic presentation and, unless there is a legandary headphone out there (HE90, SR-Omega, Qualia 010 or Sigma perhaps) which offers me the same epiphany, I shall never have one again.

I actually spent some time with the K1000 a little later, once my blood pressure had regulated itself back to what with my Scottish diet passes for a normal and healthy level. I compared it a bit with the Ergo AMT out of the ARIA and it came out on top in that shoot-out but with strings attached to its victory, principle of these being 1) that I was filled to the brim with revelation and excitement about it, and 2) it loved that ARIA amp, and the AMT does not.

The K1000 also sounded superb out of the QUAD 34/405-2 rig with the vinyl. I listened to Jean-Michel Jarre's Zoolook (another album any head-fier owes it to themselves to have) and enjoyed it very much.

I was disappointed with the K1000 also. I frankly expected more from the toed-out position. The degree of replication of a speaker rig I had hoped for simply wasn't there. It was closer than most headphones but compared to sitting in the armchair in front of my Quad 21L, sorry, no dice, fabulous imaging yes, but the increase in the bass leanness and the difficulty I had with channel balance (particularly if the drivers were set to anything other than all in or all out) cut the edge off the experience for me a lot.

Meet conditions not ideal, as is the case with any setup, but the K1000 is in my future at some point. If the R10 were the same price as the K1000, then that'd be a different matter of course.
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K1000 money buys a lot though. And I think that great though it is, it would in my rig still play a trusted lieutenants position to the Omega 2, alongside the AMT.


Thats enough typing for the minute. I'll make my points regarding sources next.
 
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:32 AM Post #71 of 244

Duggeh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Haha. My thoughts exactly. I'm listening to Paganini 1st Violin Concerto just now and boy does it sound good. Nothings broken, so I ain't gonna fix it. The perfectionist in me wants to get the grille properly glued back on, but I guess that's a fairly trivial matter.

Cheapest K1000 rig would be K1000 + one of the micro-sized Class-T amps, eg Trends Audio TA-10.1 (90GBP + delivery from http://www.desktopaudio.co.uk), Sonic Impact T-Amp Gen 2 ($79 + delivery from http://www.si5.com), Super-T ($159 + delivery from http://www.si5.com) and Firestone Audio ($210 + delivery from http://www.firestone-audio.com). Pick your poison
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Theres no way I'd fork out nearly £100 for one of those trends audio amps.

As I mentioned to people I had to dance with the devil in order to get that working ARIA chinese amp I have. You play dice with any of those poor quality control ebay things and I was fortunate to get lucky in the circumstance I had.

The K1000 was magic out of the Quad 405-2 and thats where I'd be looking for a better quality slightly higher price option for a K1K rig if I didnt have the ARIA or the NAD. I'd be looking at a Quad 77 integrated (theres one on eBay now for £200 buy-it-now atm which is the lowest BIN ive ever seen on one. Or slightly older but not as expensive as a current dumping option, the 306 power amp, although youll need a pre amp function of some kind. I'd also sooner go with a vintage marantz recieveer in good nick, but horses for courses.


I think that my own hesitation over a K1000 comes from just thinking about it in pure money terms. K1000 money + sell the 21L = well enoguh money for electrostatic loudspeakers and since I got the 21Ls my listening has more and more become speaker centric.

Certainly not a decision to be made lightly.

I will be selling the Jecklin Electrostatics after I've re clothed them and I'll also be selling my theremin, although I'm not sure if anyone actually had a go with it during the day.
 
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:44 AM Post #72 of 244

Progenitor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duggeh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The K1000 was magic out of the Quad 405-2 and thats where I'd be looking for a better quality slightly higher price option for a K1K rig if I didnt have the ARIA or the NAD. I'd be looking at a Quad 77 integrated (theres one on eBay now for £200 buy-it-now atm which is the lowest BIN ive ever seen on one. Or slightly older but not as expensive as a current dumping option, the 306 power amp, although youll need a pre amp function of some kind. I'd also sooner go with a vintage marantz recieveer in good nick, but horses for courses.


Luckily I have the GS-1 which I have heard acts as a perfectly fine pre-amp.
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Thanks for those suggestions Duggeh and Milkpowder! I love you guys
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Oct 29, 2007 at 2:50 AM Post #75 of 244

jules650

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bizzel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Duggah’s Stax Omega II is vagina for the ears.


How on earth did you guys let this statement slide for the last few posts? I loled.

Thanks for all the photos and impressions. I'm having my break during a busy night shift and it's made me feel so much better.

I really I'd spent more time with the K1000. I was very impressed after spending a few minutes with them but it was about 2pm and I couldn't wait to get out to lunch. There were a few hardcore head-fiers who missed lunch to spend more time with the gear. Thanks for guarding our stuff.

We need that group photo with arrows indicating who is who. I've already forgotten all your head-fi handles. Also, who's got the photo of me rescuing an Ety triflange from someone's ear?
 

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