San Francisco Bay Area - February 25, 2006
Feb 26, 2006 at 5:32 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 138

clarke68

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Posts
1,088
Likes
10
Had to leave early...I'm sure everyone is still at it! Extra special thanks to Neilvg for opening up his home to such a motley bunch of Headphone nut cases. Had some good talks with some previous acquaintences (got a few real name/Head-Fi name mismatches straightened out) and met some cool new folks. All in all, a great time!

Just a few pics, before anyone starts asking...
orpheus2.jpg

Wins the award for the most amazing volume knob in all of audio!


orpheus1.jpg


earmax.jpg

Just about everything is smaller in real life than it looks online (even the Orpheus), but especially the Earmax and the Scott Nixon Tube-Dac (which I unfortunately didn't get to hear).


stealth-fi.jpg

Strogg's "Stealth-Fi" Cmoy!


Impressions coming later.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 5:56 AM Post #3 of 138

dhp

(formerly known as DieInAFire)
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
1,881
Likes
10
I did not stay long, and came late, but damn... the MDR-R10s through the HR-2 sounded quite nice. Not that I know anything, coming from relatively mid-fi stuff. the soundstage was excellent, the drum hits rapped and i could almost hear the reverberation... the decay on the snaps were nice too. Sigh... the CD3k sounded slightly muddy and compressed after hearing it immediately after the R10.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:23 AM Post #5 of 138

Crimson Tear

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Posts
174
Likes
11
Well, it was a grand old time at the "Long Ranch" of neilvg. The amount of equipment there was staggering, as was the quality of it all. Truely a sight to behold.

God knows what I had this stuff connected to, I was too busy wandering to care.

Pretty much the whole time I was wandering aimlessly, so my impressions will probably be just as aimless. First thing I listened to was, of course, the Orpheus. The Orpheus is a pretty cool experience. The sound is smooth like silk underwear. To me, it was like one of those experiences that are fun, but not really realistic, so when I listened to the setup, it was "cool" instead of "SWEET JESUS!" as it may have been for some people.

I can't really remember the next thing I did, I think it was the K701's, but I don't think they really left too much of an impact on me, so I will go on to the vinyl. After some struggling, we managed to get my turn table set up feeding some Dire Straits into whatever amp neilvg had in that big ass tower of theater stuff which pumped it into the theater room speakers. For a while we listened, tried to change to one of my dad's Santana records but were driven away by the noise from the damaged record. This was a tradgedy, it was truely a fantastic album, one of my favorite from listening at home. Then some more Dire Straits (I think) and then some Cream. Cream was amazing! I stayed and listened to this album even after everyone else left.

Next I went and tried some SR-60's against my DT770's. This was my first experience with the Grado sound. I think the best way I can describe this contrast is that the SR-60's are fun as hell, whereas the DT770's are sexy as hell. The SR-60's are like a sports car, and the 770's are sexy in that Berry White sort of way. Right on! With the taste of Grado still in my ears, I meandered over to some PS-1's I saw. Oh man, these bad boys are sweet. If you like your headphones to punch you in the teeth, you need to listen to some of these. Lots of fun to be had there.

I think next I decided to compare my 770's to some 880's. Having, sometime earlier, tried the 990's and decided that they were most certainly not for me, I wanted to round out the Beyer family tree (unfortunately I never did try out those 531's.) I started with the 880's. When I first put them on I was amazed. Damn these headphones sound good. People always say they're too harsh or too high, that's BS. They sound awesome and have some amazing bass. The bass is not as forward as that of the 770's, but when it hits... DAMN it sounds good. For a while I thought to myself, "Dammit man, you went with the wrong frickin' headphones, idiot." But then I put on my 770's again and just said, "Oh yeah..." My 770's are sooo sexy sounding.

I think next I went over to Voltron's corner, and what a corner it was! I tried out the CD3000's... I love 'em. Those are the most comfortable head piece I have ever worn. They aren't all that light, not that they're heavy, but when you put them on, you can barely feel them. That strap is awesome. Besides the comfort, the sound of these was just pure sweetness. It sounded crisp all across the board. Highs, lows, mids, they all sounded good to me. Truthfully though, I was thinking about the comfort the whole time...

Last thing I did was compare a Hornet to a Porta Corda MkIII-USB to one of the Mini³ prototypes through a A/B switch with my 770's. The Hornet simply couldn't keep up with the Mini³. The low end was deeper and more satisfying from the Mini³ and the mids were cleaner, more crisp, and richer. I didn't get much time with the Porta Corda before its card was pulled to leave. I am inclined to say that the Mini³ was more satisfying, though I wasn't able to determine why in the amount of time I had. I am anxiously awaiting the coming of the Mini³. I may even learn to solder PCB's so I can make one. Needless to say, I loved the sound of this amp. Morsel and AMB did a fantastic job with this project.

After determining that I want a Mini³, it was time to go. I crammed my car out through the tangle, slightly nicking a corner of some plastic asthetic crap on the side just behind the door on someone's bumper. No damage, no worries.

Thanks for hosting, neilvg, and thank you everyone for the great time and amazing aural experiences.

One suggestion, next time we should put people's real names on the tags aswell as their screen name.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:23 AM Post #6 of 138

PATB

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 11, 2004
Posts
1,145
Likes
42
Location
San Jose, CA
Meets are definitely not the best way to sample gear, but here are my quick impressions anyways.

Firstly, thanks to Neilvg for hosting the meet. Great host. I also finally had the oppotunity to meet the NorCal and some of the SoCal crowd. Looking forward to see you guys and gals again.

HE90/HEV90 Orpheus System -- The best headphone system on the planet. Period. Not too cold, not too warm -- just right. Understandably the holy grail of headphone listening. Neilvg is one lucky headfier.

HE90/Blue Hawaii -- The Meridian G08 drove the Blue Hawaii on XLRs and the HEV90 on RCAs at the same time for some side by side comparisons. The BH seems a touch crisper and livelier than the HEV90. The HEV90 is definitely the warmer of the two. I thought the HEV90 is the better match to the HE90 as it is more "musical" (whatever that means these days), but two other head-fiers doing the same comparison picked the BH as the winner. If you have an HE90, try to get an HEV90 if you can
very_evil_smiley.gif


AT L3000, W11, W5000 -- I love the darker and bassier presentation of the L3000 compared to the W11 and W5000. The W11 and W5000 sounded like bad Sony R10 wannabes. However, as much as I like the L3000 sound, I find the AT pads pressing on my ears uncomfortable. I guess this is something that I can get used to.

Sony R10 -- I loved this headphone before but it didn't do it for me today. I listened to the R10 with the HR-2 using the Meridian G08 and couldn't detect the supposed R10/HR-2 synergy today. Perhaps it was a mistake to listen to the Orpheus system first.

K701 -- I can see why some HD600/HD650 lovers are switching to this. To me, it sounded like the HD650 with a touch more high end extension, a touch less bass, and a touch thinner sound. Almost like an HD650 with Zu Mobius but not quite. Need to spend more time with this headphone. I can sense the potential.

M3 -- I was really impressed with the M3 and actually preferred it to the Dynahi using a Qulia 010. I love the smooth top end and black background. Sounds very similar to my low gain HR-2.

K1000/Cary SLI -- Love this combo. The K1000 didn't exhibit any brightness or harshness at all. Warm without being syrupy.

Oritek X-1 v. Grover UR4. System was Meridian G08/HR-2/Qualia 010. The X-1 is smoother with more bottom end extension, while the UR4 is more airy and detailed. To my ears anyways.

Balanced Dynahi/Balanced Qualia 010 -- The Qualia doesn't seem to scale much when driven balanced. I really love the sound to begin with but I expected it to scale like an HD650. I was somewhat disappointed it didn't. There is some improvement in soundstage but not a dramatic change.

---Pat
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:26 AM Post #7 of 138

vo328

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 14, 2005
Posts
780
Likes
11
I was talking to my wife about all of the awesome equipment there. I wonder what the total $ amount was of all of the equipment in the presentation room. What do you guys estimate?
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:28 AM Post #8 of 138

Crimson Tear

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Posts
174
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by DieInAFire
I did not stay long, and came late, but damn... the MDR-R10s through the HR-2 sounded quite nice. Not that I know anything, coming from relatively mid-fi stuff. the soundstage was excellent, the drum hits rapped and i could almost hear the reverberation... the decay on the snaps were nice too. Sigh... the CD3k sounded slightly muddy and compressed after hearing it immediately after the R10.


Oh man, I almost forgot about the R10's. These things were awesome. Definately agree with the CD3000 comment, though I still loved the CD3000's aswell.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:30 AM Post #9 of 138

Crimson Tear

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Posts
174
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by vo328
I was talking to my wife about all of the awesome equipment there. I wonder what the total $ amount was of all of the equipment in the presentation room. What do you guys estimate?


I was thinking somewhere around $120k-150k. Maybe even higher. After we got back from lunch and looked in the room, that is the exact question that came into my mind.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:31 AM Post #10 of 138

dhp

(formerly known as DieInAFire)
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
1,881
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crimson Tear
Oh man, I almost forgot about the R10's. These things were awesome. Definately agree with the CD3000 comment, though I still loved the CD3000's aswell.


have you listened to your own rig after that meet?
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:39 AM Post #12 of 138

dhp

(formerly known as DieInAFire)
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
1,881
Likes
10
With my brief 10 minute stand with the PS-1s, I felt that they had just a little too much bass. Just a little
eek.gif
. It wasn't even a bass heavy passage and I could hear some bass. The slam was magnificent, but yeah, kinda threw me off. Those things are also really heavy and very well built... at least that's how it felt. If i were to drop them off a cliff, I'd be more worried about the state of the earth afterwards than the PS-1s themselves.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:42 AM Post #13 of 138

Crimson Tear

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Posts
174
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by DieInAFire
With my brief 10 minute stand with the PS-1s, I felt that they had just a little too much bass. Just a little
eek.gif
. It wasn't even a bass heavy passage and I could hear some bass. The slam was magnificent, but yeah, kinda threw me off. Those things are also really heavy and very well built... at least that's how it felt. If i were to drop them off a cliff, I'd be more worried about the state of the earth afterwards than the PS-1s themselves.



So true, but I like bass, hence the 770's.

What was really weird to me was the way they felt on my head. They weren't comfortable in any sense of the word. The earpads are rough like sandpaper and not exactly soft. But at the same time, they weren't uncomfortable. They were just kind of there... a feeling on your ears. I may be mixing this part up with the SR-60's though... I can't really remember... maybe they were the same in this sense.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:43 AM Post #14 of 138

dhp

(formerly known as DieInAFire)
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
1,881
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crimson Tear
So true, but I like bass, hence the 770's. What was really weird to me was the way they felt on my head. They weren't comfortable in any sense of the word. The earpads are rough like sandpaper and not exactly soft. But at the same time, they weren't uncomfortable. They were just kind of there... a feeling on your ears.


mm... were there any flats at the meet? I would've loved to hear the PS-1s with flats just to get a kick out of it.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 6:46 AM Post #15 of 138

granodemostasa

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Posts
3,760
Likes
12
i'll let others compare headphones. I'll compare HD650s!
first of all, i used an HA-1 MKII and an M cubed for comparison. they were feed from a benchmark and an M-Audio thing. The CDs were Dvorak's 9th, Mulher's 1st, and Foreign bodies by Salonen.
Cables:
1. Cardas cable makes the 650 sound almost like an Audio Technica-not good, sounded horrible with the violins
2. Stock Cable-sounds better than cardas! at least with classical music. not as smooth, but at least it sounds decent.
3. headfile cable- okay, but it is just about the same as the stock cable,
4. Equinox- excellent cable, the high mids are clearer, the bass is more defined and the highs are amazing-this really came out on Mulher's 1st in the last movement when all the violins race to the top of the sheet, it really did sound great on the equinox.
When Balenced: dont' know the cable, but the balenced rig was from an eastsound and then a bench mark, the amp was a Gilmore
it really is the best before you get to electrostatic range (of course the clarinet in the first movement of Dvorak's 9th made me almost cry on the orpheus), it is actually better sounding than the L3K in my opinion. for a while i did comparisons between the balenced 650 and the Orpheus. it really wasn't much of a competition, but it was an impressive feat for a dynamic phone, at in some parts i actually perfered the 650 to the Orpheus, but that didn't last long. the muffleness of the 650s wasn't there when balenced, it was very clear (not quite orpheus, L3K or PS-1 yet, but very close), the real difference was the speed of the sound- there was nothing boring about the balenced senn.
Amps: i did some comparison between the amps, the Mcubed was excellent, next came the Meier, then the micro-desktop module= this is with the 650.
Woody: i didn't like it, sounded like the sound was trapped, the veil was till there and it was heavy, ugly and just didn't sound natural.

PS: i heard the PS-1 with flats for a while, i actually liked it. but it could have been the fact that it was just more comfortable.
PS: for the record, the woodied HF-1 is funner than any other grado, followed by the HF-1, then the SR60, and way behind is the RS-1.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top