Official 2014 SF Head-Fi Meet Impressions Thread
Jul 19, 2014 at 1:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 127
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Post them pics and impressions fellas! 
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Jul 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM Post #2 of 127

aamefford

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I haven't even gotten there yet! Here goes:
(I'll put some real impressions here and ditch my breakfast photo tomorrow...)


OK, I've got my laptop out, so here are my impressions:

Aha! / OMFG! / "NOW I get it" moments:
This goes above 1) 'cause it's the most important - Meeting up with the nicest bunch of like minded people in the Bay Area, and a few geographic imports as well. A well spent day for sure!

1) UERM - Now I get it. I'm saving for a pair. Detailed without being obnoxious, lush mids without rolling off the treble or the bass, and good bass response. UE's interpretation of neutral, without being boring or fatiguing. As I said - "now I get it".
2) Chord Hugo - OMFG! - This thing is amazing. It also costs more than the blue book value of my car. I want one. I'm probably not getting one anytime soon….
3) Audeze LCD2 with Fazor - Aha! So this is what "Fazor" is. I finally like the LCD2. Note that I've loved the LCD3 since first listen.
4) LCD-X and XC - the X is probably either my favorite or second favorite Audeze. The XC is lovely, but not completely my style. Translation - I probably won't own an Audeze unless I find a deal on an LCD3 someday.
5) Noble Audio - Really good, really beautiful hand crafted by artists IEM's. Maybe not for everyone, but great.
6) Schiit Lyr2 - I'll have one of these eventually. The gain switch solves my issues with the original Lyr.
7) Mike Mercer - OMFG! If you know him, no explanation is needed. If not, find a way to meet him. A great guy, and definitely one of a kind!

Wow! Cool! moments:
1) Pendulumic's blue tooth headphones - Surprisingly good, $199, no wires. Cool!
2) Voxoa's little prototype bluetooth/Dac/Amp dongle. Make your own headphones bluetooth capable. Cool!
3) Darin Fong's "Out of your Head" software - I have a mac, own the software, which is PC only until Darin gets the Mac version released. Darin says "see the Schiit Yigdrasil/Ragnorok story regarding releasing announced product…" Funny. Still, very cool software, and Darin is a really nice guy.
4) The AudioNerd guys and the Geek stuff.
5) Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 - Emil Gilels / Zubin Mehta - this probably belongs up in the OMFG stuff above - very beautiful piece of music.
6) Oppo PM-2's. They would go in the OMFG, except I own the PM-1's, so I've already been through the OMFG reaction. The PM-2's are tuned to tip the bass and treble up very slightly over the PM-1's due to many comments on the forums. They sound great! The PM-1 pads will (eventually) be available for those that prefer the PM-1's more (refined/subdued/boring choose your adjective) sound. They forgo the shinny luxury of the PM-1 for a more matte finish and a several hundred dollar lower price. I'd buy a pair if Oppo hadn't given me the PM-1 as a thank you for being part of the beta testing. (Caveat - see the previous sentence - I LOVE these guys!)
7) Mr. Speakers Mad Dog Pros. It is either the steroid version of the Mad Dog, or the Alpha Dogs after they've had a few drinks and let their hair down. FUN but sophisticated headphone. Wow! Cool!

Meh, I still don't get it moments:
1) HD800. This time out of Justin's Headamp GSX MKII. I still don't like them. I understand they are the most resolving, open, detailed headphone made, and have the most expansive sound stage. Still, they are bright and fatiguing to me. They are like a surgical scalpel and forceps for music. That's great and all, but I'm not surgeon, I'm a card carrying hedonist. I prefer to enjoy my music with a steak knife and fork, thank you!
2) AKG 7xx. See above, but less of the "good".
3) The raffle. Why you ask? Because there is a disturbing trend where none of the numbers called are the one on my ticket! Seriously - the treasure hunt was a blast and made sure I saw some vendors I otherwise would not have visited, the prizes donated were fantastic, and it was a great way to cap the day.

To all the organizers and volunteers, thank you! Another fantastic day!
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 6:08 PM Post #3 of 127

gepardcv

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The BHSE and SR-009 at the HeadAmp table. Looks almost as good as it sounds. Also enjoyed listening to TMoney's KGSSHV. Thanks for bringing it!

The AKG K1000 at the Cavalli table. Eye-opening. It really is like listening to miniature (but terrific) speakers.
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM Post #4 of 127

digitalzed

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Great day. Time went by fast! Loved getting some real face time with Gavin from LH/Geek and Michael Mercer. Auditioning some other great product. Woo Audio, Cavalli amps, and getting a chance to listen to the Abyss headphones was great. Good job to all who organized the meet.
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 8:16 PM Post #5 of 127

rubenpp

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Last minute decision to come , and I'm glad I did. 
 
Almost missed Crashem's setup , luckily I met him on my way out.  The Sprizer built KGSSHv with Stax 009s and the /PS DSD / Lampizator  playing via CAPS
was one of the best I've heard in a long time. Every track I played just sounded right, even with the volume past 12 , it never sounded bright or edgy  nor thin . I heard none of 
complaints i've read about the  009/HV pairing in the past . The EC 2A3 Mkv4 w/ the Hifiman-500 and Grados sounded great as well., 
 
Also heard a Geek out 450 w/ the Beyer T1 which was surprisingly  good.
 
Headamp's BHSE w/ 007 mk1s and Ayre DSD was wonderful . too bad I didn't get to hear it with the 009s . I'm glad they replaced the OPPO.  I miss my BHSE :frowning2:
 
 
Not so good
 
-  the HD800/Stratus with the Chord Hugo. I've heard a few HD800 setups before,  but this was way too bright.
 
Big thanks to the organizers and members !!!
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM Post #6 of 127

Craptaculus XVI

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Impressions..??  I made the horrible mistake of bringing my credit cards.  Walked out with the demo pair of the Mad Dogs Pro.  Yeah, I was impressed...  And I don't even listen to EDM...  
L3000.gif

 
Wasn't as blown away by the HiFiman HE560's (paired with the Burson DAC/amp) as I thought I would be.  I probably need to hear them again with a different combo, when my ears aren't so tired.
 
This was a first hands-on with any of the Astell & Kern models; they were all considerably more compact than I was expecting.  I'd really need to spend more time getting used to the interface and hearing what they are capable of, to justify that kind of $$ for one of their units.
 
I also wanted to thank all the really great folks I got to talk with this time around, some of whom I only saw in passing at the last Bay Area meet in February... Darin, Cee Tee (remember, I am merely CT XVI), aamefford (hope you liked the sammich!), Dan from Mr. Speakers... I know I'll think of more the second after I post this.  Also I'll try to contribute once in awhile, instead of being a chronic lurker.  
 
Thank you to Warren and Third Eye, and everybody who did a great job putting this together...!!
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 9:53 PM Post #7 of 127

Audiowood

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It was a great meet and I too regret bringing my credit card, now there is a hole in my wallet..I want to thank warrenchi and third eye for organizing this event. I will write some review when I recover from my shock of happiness later.

Thanks again guys.
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM Post #8 of 127

doublea71

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Did Light Harmonic bring a prototype of the Geek Wave?
 
Jul 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM Post #11 of 127

Crashem

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Last minute decision to come , and I'm glad I did. 

Almost missed Crashem's setup , luckily I met him on my way out.  The Sprizer built KGSSHv with Stax 009s and the /PS DSD / Lampizator  playing via CAPS
was one of the best I've heard in a long time. Every track I played just sounded right, even with the volume past 12 , it never sounded bright or edgy  nor thin . I heard none of 
complaints i've read about the  009/HV pairing in the past . The EC 2A3 Mkv4 w/ the Hifiman-500 and Grados sounded great as well., 

Also heard a Geek out 450 w/ the Beyer T1 which was surprisingly  good.

Headamp's BHSE w/ 007 mk1s and Ayre DSD was wonderful . too bad I didn't get to hear it with the 009s . I'm glad they replaced the OPPO.  I miss my BHSE :frowning2:


Not so good

-  the HD800/Stratus with the Chord Hugo. I've heard a few HD800 setups before,  but this was way too bright.

Big thanks to the organizers and members !!!


Thanks for the help moving and setting up!

Also BIG thank you to zashoomin for the help soldering.. It was really small and he was able to do it with thick solder. Talent. Hope you find that issue with your beta22
 
Jul 20, 2014 at 12:20 AM Post #12 of 127

fixelexif

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Coming from someone who's rather new to the hobby, I gotta say it was such a great experience for me, that was my first time attending the headfi meet and it certainly opened up my eyes (or should I say.. ears) about audio equipments. Everyone were so nice and friendly, the exhibitors were very kind and helpful answering my noob questions about the gears.
I arrived pretty late in the afternoon and didn't get the chance to try out all the gears (should have avoided that annoyingly crowded ramen festival in Japantown).
On top of that, I was extremely lucky and won the $1000 gift card from WyWires!!!!! shoutouts to Alex of WyWires, I got the chance to talk to him a little bit and he is such a nice guy. He asked about my gears and unfortunately my low-mid headphones might not benefit much until I get some better headphones and gears ( I only have an ath-m50, sennheiser momentum, sony ma900 and a few sub $100 iems). So right now I'm thinking of trading it with someone who might need it more in exchange for my needs. If anyone is interested to trade let me know, I'll probably going to post in the trade sections as well. Overall, it was such a great day, my only regret was not attending the past meets even though I knew about it, oh if anyone's interested, here are some pictures I took at the meet, again I wish I had taken more but I was too busy trying out the gears :p

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ghzw7md83nvjd2v/AACWkVX9Rho08RJGw9gHXyW1a
 
Jul 20, 2014 at 12:26 AM Post #13 of 127

gradofan1

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AAARRGHH.... Had to miss this meet. Stupid stomach flu. (would've been my first meet too..) -- gave all my gear to my best friend who demoed 1/2 his stuff and 1/2 my stuff to fellow head-fi'ers... texted me pics and it looked cool and apparently it was pretty fun and interesting!
 
He failed miserably at getting the gear I wanted too. But he picked up an Alpha Dog for himself.... UGH. >.<
 
Apparently a lot of people were interested in demoing my Sennheiser IS850 (wireless version the HD580/600 w/dedicated amp and dac on the headphone itself). For those that did, what'd y'all think? Just curious. He got some comments that it sound akin to a slightly warmer HD600 connected to a mid-range SS amp, but, you know, without the wires. 
 
... and my tummy still hurts. :<
 
Jul 20, 2014 at 1:36 AM Post #15 of 127

Daegalus

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It was my first meetup and I had a blast. I dragged my girlfriend last minute and she had a great time, even though she was unsure if she would have a good time. We stayed 4 hours instead of 20 mins, which means she loved it. And she is not an audiophile or know anything, this was her first foray into quality audio and it really opened her eyes when I showed her the difference.
 
 
I got to try many headphones and tools so I will give some (inexperienced) impressions as I am still a newbie audiophile, these are only the ones that were good, or were worth talking about in my opinion:
 
P.S. I will not be describing the sound for each headphone, i don't remember them all, and still unsure how to describe sound that well. Sorry.
 
Headphones
 
Mr Speakers Alpha Dog - The soundstage on these were amazing. I felt like things were actually around me. My girlfriend thought the clapping was coming from people at the event, and not in the song she was listening to. They were absolutely phenomenal and I never though you could get such a soundstage on a closed back headphone. These were the show winners for me. They had good all-around sound for me, and that soundstage really knocked my socks off. These are going to be my next buy. I will be saving up for them.
 
Mr Speakers Mad Dog Pro - These were really good too, obviously not as amazing as the Alpha Dogs, but they were still quite respectable and had a good soundstage on them. Didn't expect to like them as much as I did, but them alpha dogs.
 
Ultimate Ears IEMs - I was somewhat disappointed with these. Maybe because I was trying to listen to "Custom" IEMs without having them fitted fro my ear, but they sounded very muddy all around.
 
Beyerdynamic T1 - These were great. Amazing sound, good soundstage, and very respectable. Not much I can say about them that wasn't known, just first time hearing them.
 
Beyerdynamic 880 600ohm - These were good. Obviously not as good as the T1s, but still very very good. Gave me a bit of a peak at what my new 770 will be like when they come on Monday. 
 
Audeze LCD2, LCD3, LCD-XC - In all honesty, with how much everyone raves about these, I was not really impressed. They had the sound of an expensive headphone, but nothing really wowed me. I would say the Alpha Dogs were better for me than all of these. The XC came close for me, but even then, it just didn't wow me. Maybe I didn't listen to them right but I went through a lot of these at the show, with various amps and dacs, and nothing.
 
Pendulumic S1 - Wow these are amazing. Never thought I could hear such quality sound from a pair of wireless cans. My girlfriend loved these, and she was the one that convinced me to try them when we split up (I did UE while she did Pendulumic and then we switched). She was so happy with them, after the raffle resulted in us not winning anything (she was hoping for the Pendulumics), she went straight to the booth and bought them. She was very happy with them. I do have to say they were quite wonderful and clear with good sound quality. Sadly my ears were too tall and didn't quite fit inside the holes, so it felt like half on-ear. The guy said they were working on bigger cups, so I might get a pair then.
 
Oppo PM1, PM2 - They all sounded similar, but the PM2 stood out as the better pair for my gf and I. We liked them and they were easy to listen to and had good sound.
 
Noble 4 & 6 IEMs - These were great IEMs, definitely blew the Ultimate Ears out of the water for me. For me, the high notes were too sharp, but the Noble 6 had a bit fuller bass. My GF liked them but I didn't like the sharp high notes. Definitely 6 had as slight ease on the sharpness, but still super sharp for me. Good IEMs, but not for me.
 
Other
 
WyWires - I never thought that cables could make such a difference, but when they demoed the Audeze headphones with stock vs theirs, its amazing how much better it is. My girlfriends eyes opened up when we demoed the difference and she herself was amazing how a cable change could do so much. I might be ordering myself a pair of these for my X1s and future headphones.
 
LH Labs GeekOut 450 & 1000 - These were an amazing powerhouse. Was genuinely surprised you could get such a good Dac/Amp in such a small package. Not much in volume control on the device that i saw in my minor looking, but they sounded great and had a lot of power to power some LCD3s so easily. Very impressed.
 
------
 
Overall I had a great time. Learned some new things, what I didn't and did like from the super expensive high-end headphones, and learned some new things. Thank you everybody for bringing the stuff to the show and sharing with us. My girlfriend left happy with a new pair of headphones.
 

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