Official New York Spring Meet - June 10, 2017 - impressions

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  1. bozebuttons
    I had no problem with the Grado driver touching my ears.I thought the Meze 99 had a very tight ,uncolored presentation,Bass could sometimes be a little overpowering but is very tight & hard hitting
    I never heard the woodies.
  2. Maxx134
    Hi , just chiming in to say every year the vendors get more and more impressive and it was great to see familiar faces there.
    I wasn't around long enough for the Auction but it was really great to be there always something new...
    So big thanks to everyone involved and Tom for organizing.

    Those 45 tubes he picked matched your amp better than the existing tubes!
    Much better sound...
    Also like his unique amp has great Soundstage .

    I agree I loved the D5000 with a woody Vshaped sig which sounded better in your rig .
    That was untill the 45 tubes came in and brought more balance.
    Very nice DIY amp you had.
    The Dennon7200 was very neutral and I preferred the Dennon and ZMF Eikon most nn the Woo Wa33.

    I agree, the woo wa33 was the most impressive (non-electrostat) amp i heard there. Really top notch powerful clear sound.
    Also the source gear used was excellent. That helps alot lol.

    There was much to say about all the gear that was there, as everyone had very nice setups this year.

    Surprised at how many electrostat setups as well.

    Was a pleasure
  3. bozebuttons
  4. DiscoProJoe
    Here's the pics I took. Later today I'll post my impressions of some of the equipment I listened to.


    01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg 04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg 07.jpg 08.jpg 09.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg
  5. jpelg Moderator
    So glad I made the trek down from CT for another one of Tom's (bozebutton) fantastic meets. He is probably the most selfless Head-Fier I know, working tirelessly to keep the NY headphone scene at the high level that it has always been.

    Vendor participation was great, with representation by many heavy-hitters in the industry, either directly or indirectly, thanks to Tom's reputation. While member turnout was a little light, if I may say, it is always more about quality than quantity. It also made it easier to get in the queue for listening to some stellar top-end vendor gear. Heck, even Jude was there, just for the meet!

    Admittedly, I didn't listen to everything available due to alot of gabbing with new members I hadn't previously met. You guys are the heart of this hobby, and it's great to see new blood so active around here.

    That being said, topping my list for the day for those who care:
    1. HiFiMan Shangri-La - expertly dialed-in by Bozebuttons for Fang made for a very nice, transparent system that just got out of the way of the music. Super comfortable too.
    2. Focal Utopia - plugged into the Woo Audio WA33 amp made for another transparent system that didn't bug me in any way.
    3. Grado PS2000e - probably held back a bit by the source & amp used this day, my demo still gave a clear indication what it can do (think Utopia with PRaT), deserving to be called Grado's new flagship & play amongst other TOTL contenders.

    Nice to see a few of the older guard still around & shoot the you-know-what with them. Certainly a really pleasant way to spend the day. Thanks to all who came out & let me listen to their gear.
  6. bozebuttons
    Glad you came down for the meet Jimmy,Always good to see you. A little back story ,the first time I met Jimmy was at the first NY meet at Grado labs in 2002.
    jpelg likes this.
  7. DiscoProJoe
    Well, as I said, the meetup gave me a strong sense of validation for the equipment I'm using and for what I'm doing. When Jude visited my table, he told me I'd definitely made the best choice for headphones (i.e., V-Moda M-100s) for the type of sound that I'm trying to achieve with these extreme settings, running through powerful portable amps.

    I was really glad that Kyuuketsuki brought his M-100s with XL pads so I could hear them, and compare them to mine with the standard pads.

    I had always been skeptical that the XL pads would improve the sound to my liking, or that these pads would give the sound "more bass." My assumption had always been that the XL pads would reduce the sensitivity of the sound, and this assumption turned out to be correct.

    I was correct that the treble (i.e., the highs) would suffer the most -- which they did -- but here's the strange part: the reduction in sub-bass sensitivity seemed almost as bad as in the treble! The kick drum at the beginning of Joe Satriani's "Starry Night" was really weak with the XL pads, compared to the standard ones, for example.

    Kyuuketsuki also brought his on-ear V-Moda XS, and I compared them to the M-100 as well. I was expecting the XS to have a decent "slam" sound that's similar to the Beats Solo3, but with my extreme settings, the XS didn't seem to have that at all, and the XS doesn't seem to be a basshead can. In spite of the Solo3's lack of clarity in the mids & highs, I'd definitely choose it over the XS.

    Anyway, this reinforced my confidence that the M-100 (with the standard pads) is an epic set of basshead headphones, because...

    A. It's over-the-ear
    B. It's closed-back with a really good air seal around the ears (as long as your big hair or glasses don't break this air seal)
    C. It has a small enclosure space around the ears
    D. Your ears sit close to the drivers
    E. The drivers have excellent power handling and maximum excursion capability (i.e., X-max)
    F. And, of course, the M-100 has decent mids & highs to go with it

    Letter C is very important, because if you increase the size of the enclosure space around the ear, then it's like taking a subwoofer system out of a small car, and transferring this same system to a big SUV. Bye-bye sonic sensitivity! You're gonna need a lot more subwoofers and amps to fill up that bigger interior space of the SUV, just to get it to hit and throb as much as it did in the small car.

    Anyway (moving on), at Tom's recommendation, I checked out the Meze 99 Classic with my portable rig, and was quite impressed with it. I only checked out two songs with it, but it handled really well and sounded great. On one of those songs, the M-100 sounded better, but on the other tune, the 99 Classic seemed to have a slightly-better sound.

    I'd have to spend more time with it to see what I think, but I would certainly prefer the M-100's style, build quality, and portability, though. The 99 Classic was definitely my 2nd-favorite headphone at the meetup, and one I can totally respect.

    It was especially interesting to hear Monsterzero describe and compare the sound of my portable the JVC SZ-2000. I've never heard those before (and still haven't, but am really curious about them), but he used to own a pair for about 10 days, and said my portable system hits and throbs just as hard as those, but with sound quality that's a million times better. He said the midrange on the SZ-2000 sounds like it's "in the next state," and that the treble on it is just a one-note wonder around 10 kHz. (ha) I've always wanted to hear the SZ-2000, but might not like it.

    Earlier in the morning, I ran my portable rig and one pair of M-100s through a Schitt Audio desktop amp to hear what it sounded like. Had my portable Cayin C5 amp at max volume (while controlling the volume from my Rockboxed iPod Classic) as I always do, with it running through the desktop amp with a pair of RCA cables plugged into the back. Surprisingly I had to set the volume on the Schitt amp at maximum as well for it to sound the best for me, but when I did, it sounded great. Played the song "Let Her Go" by Passenger with the EQ preset I always use for it. For some reason, the kick drum in this song requires a lot more amplifier power to hit really well with it cranked up, and when running directly off the Cayin C5, I tend to get amp clipping on this tune if I'm not careful. But with the Schitt amp powering it, this song did awesome.

    But, of course, the obvious problem with a desktop amp is that you can't take it outside when you go walking, which is when you psychologically want to crank it up more -- and with more bass -- to "fill up" the wide-open outdoor space! (In your mind, at least.) So it's a catch-22: you need the extra power when you can't have it, and can use a desktop amp indoors when you don't really need its extra power. Oh well....

    Moving on,...heard the Sennheiser HD 800S. It was running though a display setup on a table and not through my rig, and I didn't really put it to a big test. Its biggest strength seemed to be its highs, which sounded really clean, clear, and detailed, but its bass probably won't cut it for an extreme basshead. (ha)

    Biggest disappointment (sorry, guys) was with the sound of the electrostatic headphones, which I had never heard prior to Saturday. Cranked it up and got a lot of distortion, and thought there was something wrong with the system. Quickly found out that electrostatics are designed just for low and medium volume levels, aren't meant to be cranked up, and don't have very much bass. If people like electrostats, then that's great, but extreme bassheads should look elsewhere for satisfaction.

    Finally, I've saved the funniest "paper tiger" flop for last, which gave me quite a big belly laugh at the meetup. This is a headphone that's listed at #5 on Hawaiibadboy's "Hardest Hitting Headphone" thread, which is one of the most popular topic threads on Head-Fi. (By contrast, my beloved M-100s are relegated to #10 on his list.) This supposedly "fierce" basshead competitor: the Fostex Massdrop TH-X00! I was anxious to check this out, so I found the proper plug adaptor at a nearby table, and plugged it into my portable rig.

    The first problem I noticed before even beginning to play music...was the lack of a proper air seal around the earcups.

    So I played a couple of tunes, and heard the delicious sound of Rice Krispies. "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" went the paper-tiger drivers as they simply could not handle the power and excursion that's required for DiscoProJoe's Rockbox EQ Presets. And this was without the slightest bit of clipping from either the portable Cayin C5 amp, or from the EQ. So I quickly turned the volume back down so as not to damage the drivers.

    Ha ha, well,...there you have it, everyone. An extreme basshead's impressions of various equipment at his first Head-Fi meetup.

    Anyway, it was fun meeting everybody and I had a wonderful time! I look forward to attending more Head-Fi meetups and events in the future when the chances come.
    Monsterzero likes this.
  8. Kerry
    Thanks so much Tom for another great meet! If this was your last meet then what a nice swan song :)

    It was nice as always catching up with the everyone.
  9. vertical

    I had a really great time at the meet!

    I’ve been really busy since Saturday. For example, a ton of “honey do’s” Sunday given I was away at the meet most of Saturday. Plus my wife was a bit frazzled after misplacing her car keys while on the road Saturday (that’s why I left before most). Also, my youngest daughter’s 21st birthday was Monday. I’ve included a picture of the gift sent to her by her older sister below ‘cause it really gave me a chuckle (glad they’re close).

    Anyway, 1st up, a big thanks to Tom (Bozebuttons) for organizing the meet and reserving the hall.

    And another to Jude for doing the airport / hotel thing in order to join our meet. (Thanks for the moral support, Jude)

    It was also nice to see members that I met at my first meet 4 years ago (hey Tyler, best of luck with your EE studies!); and to meet some others (hey Steve/M80 and Todd/Talan7).

    Things that stuck in my mind that I was impressed by / really liked:
    · Talan7’s cool ifi stack
    · M80’s HiFiMan HE1000 v1 (very smooth and amazingly comfortable)
    · Schiit Fulla 2 (a future potential for listening at work)
    · The Focal Utopia at the HeadAmp table
    · The Stax SR-007 at the HeadAmp table (preferred its signature over the SR-009)
    · Bozebutton’s HiFiMan Jade (a very early offering from HFM as I understand it)
    · Zach’s Eikons

    Wish I had made it over to check out the FiiO table as I may be in the market for a DAP later this year.

    Anyway, time to hit the sack.

  10. Kerry
    I was talking to someone about magnapan speakers and the SS Dynalo and lost your contact info. Please pm me. Thanks.

    I'd love to do a mini meet too:)
  11. bozebuttons
    I am listening to Shangri-la with WE300bs,alternating between Susvara driven by EC studio VSE level 5 sony DVP9000es
    Not a bad way to spend fathers Day
    Maxx134 and Kerry like this.
  12. m8o
    Say, so what your address? :D (j/k)
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  13. Maxx134
    You need to comare the Susvara with your Cary 300SEI
    Which I believe I heard with the HEKs, and was impressively vivid to me .
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  14. bozebuttons
    I just got the Cary back from getting it repaired,Not sure it will drive the susvara,,,The Shangri-La/susvara went back with Fang yesterday but I did have it for a week & I bought a new susvara ,Its still in the box
    Maxx134 likes this.
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