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Seattle Meet Off the Chain 9/7

    58E830C2-7736-493F-BBE9-5B28B8FF40FD.jpeg D387E992-17F1-4479-83BD-3315D0AA1204.jpeg 216B8B1D-FACF-4C99-A277-37C751117751.jpeg D0FE58D7-311A-45FF-8E60-1C2B35B57F5C.jpeg 6F3CE51F-2B80-4600-B94F-3FDEAFDDE4F7.jpeg 99F9710A-8934-4E5D-9C94-D02C40B874E9.jpeg 7EB8E3AF-19E5-40A2-9DA8-EA9304B50837.jpeg 6AD502CC-AA64-44DD-859B-25A28AC3C26A.jpeg 58E830C2-7736-493F-BBE9-5B28B8FF40FD.jpeg This meet was mostly tubes and all the portable gear you wanted to hear. There was a couple SS amps in the mix. Kurt Powell brought Tube gear from Coffman Labs and Chuck came in like the cool kid with the Meze Empereans. JJ brought his DIY Tube preamp and his Speaker amp. Thanks to Andrew with the popular Doughnut Rig. And all the peeps from Vancouver BC. And thanks to all the peeps who traveled far to come. It was off the chain.[​IMG]
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  3. Soundsgoodtome
    Fun meet! Loud room, louder headphones

    To me these Stellia phones stole the show! The same tuning as the Utopia but with closed back advantages. With a meet room of ~90db noise floor, one can easily see why something like this would seem best in the headphone land. I really want a pair now.

    Overall shot of the room, plenty of chatter and exchanges going on. What I really enjoy about these meets is being able to lend and borrow gear with one another to test in their own setup.

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    JJ's fun setup, impressively built by the man and friends, these tube amps sounded fantastic with his modified HD800s. I tried a set of HE6se with the speaker amps but the impedance adapter JJ made was for the HD800's 600ohm rating.

    There's @BIG POPPA's Brooklyn Mytek and Cayin IHA6 system, unfortunately it was a closed attraction as JJ borrowed the digital signal for his tube amps.

    And of course @Muziqboy's impeccably timed and battery supplied rig (with the exception of the computer, monitor, and tube amp). This is the clean shot of it, kinda wish I had pics of the power units and batteries with the cabling in the back. But all technicalities aside, this system to me gives full smiles with his Sonarwerks HD800 and great collection of high fidelity music.

    I introduced myself to this gent, who was kind enough to let me listen to his Stellia for ~30mins on my rig which also had others listening in. I'm sold on those phones! Please tag yourself if you're on the forum

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    @atomicbob 's setup is always meticulous. Not just to the eye with it's neatly placed and spaced gear but Bob always comes through with the cleanest sounding rig, a presentation that allows you to be a crowd of one into the room with the musicians. In tow was the one of a kind (one of nine actually) amp and the newly released Schiit Bifrost 2. True wave sine power for the audio goods.

    John's many Grados and headphones along with portable DAPs. Even though our chat was quick, I'm glad to have finally seen you in person after all those years going back and forth on gear through HF. Make sure to come to the future meets and we'll get you mixing with the gears even more!

    @gefski front and center trying out gear with his hot transported YGGY setup. Having set up next to Glen allowed me to demo my ZDT JR and Hugo 2 with his HD800S, a very stunning combination I must say.

    @Ham Sandwich's Cavalli amps and selection of phones. Drove all the way up from Oregon, almost at every meet, he wins the most mileage award to meets. Great sounding rig with the fantastic amps in tow. You can see the pure joy from his face listening to music from other peoples rig, a real genuine dude.

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  4. ruthieandjohn
    I particularly was inspired by sharing a table with @Wooglish and his top flight Sony gear...great time doing detailed, extended comparisons.
    • I DID hear an improvement of his Sony NW-WM1Z over my Sony NW-WM1A... there IS a difference — however, I did not prefer his 1Z to my Lotoo PAW Gold;
    • I preferred his Focal Stella closed headphones to his Sony MDR-Z1R closed headphone, which I preferred to my Ultrasone Edition 8 closed headphones, my best closed;
    • I was not excited by the Focal Utopia, though I found the Focal Elear with the Utopia pads that @Soundsgoodtome brought to be surprisingly (and excitingly) good;
    • I think I preferred the Shure SE846 IEMs to my relatively brighter AKG-K3003i IEMs, though in a way that was a special SE846, as @joshnor713 had modified them slightly to improve their treble (treble roll off is a concern for the SE846);
    • The Sony DMP-Z1 was really special... I spent a lot of time comparing it both to my Sony NW-WM1A (Z1 better) and my Lotoo PAW Gold (not sure I preferred the Z1 to the PAW Gold, though the PAW Gold was brighter and the Z1 was smoother);
    • My AKG-K3003i IEMs (my clear favorite of my IEMs) sounded almost shrill when compared to the Sony IEM-Z1R and JVC HW-FW10K IEMs of Wooglish...not sure which I liked better, though;
    • I almost could not tear myself away from the high black box with near-femtosecond stable timing equipment and powered almost all by lithium ion batteries (to stabilize power), listening to Lorena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” on Sennheiser HD800 headphones... I cannot get that song out of my head and I have been playing it on many of my home systems, seeking to recreate that magic...who WAS it that brought that system?
    • I really liked the Sennheiser HD6XX that was at the first station as you entered the room...I had not previously been excited by the Sennheiser HD600 or HD660.
    • I was surprised to find that I preferred the SE846IEM’s Ou Chinese to the more refined Shure KSE1500;
    • I MISSED the Son NW-ZX300 that was there...just plain forgot to look. I wanted to compare it to my Sony NW-WM1A, both for sound and portability. Oh well..
    I have a few target items to aspire to, save for, and sell stuff for, the first of which is the Focal Stellia. A great meet for me...my first since moving to Seattle area. Thanks, to all who organized, publicized, and brought stuff!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
    Panohm and joshnor713 like this.
  5. joshnor713
    Glad you liked the SE846! It's not the "best" in my collection but a special one that I can't get rid of :wink:. Thanks for letting me listen to your WM1A. Been eyeing it for a while. Sounds superb and stands up with my Mojo+Poly quite well. Not sure which use case I prefer. May just have to have both! Or hear the new ZX500 first...

    I did also appreicate @Wooglish 's collection. It's the collection I would have if I had the funds!! Interestingly to your impressions, I much preferred the sound of the Utopia (not that the Stellia was any slouch!). It was audio perfection to my ears.

    Regarding impressions the event itself, I felt like the room was somewhat small. All the space was quickly taken up. And it was pretty hot as a result. Hope we can grow in the future.

    It leaned more on full-sized gear than portable. A little bit of a downer for us portable guys. Enough there to still have fun though! Again, hope we can grow in the future to even out the playing field :)
  6. antdroid
    Hi folks! I was the one who brought the boxes of IEMs and half the ZMF gear. No we don't work for ZMF. (got asked that by a few people haha!)

    Really enjoyed meeting everyone and trying out a lot of stuff I've read about but never had an opportunity to listen to. I was surprised by the HD800's bass response, listening to it a couple times. I hadnt listened to it in many years and it was only briefly then, but I don't see how people find it bass anemic as it keeps getting presented as!

    It was nice to chat with @Wooglish as well and try out his Sony gears. Your DMP-Z1 is awesome. Glad I finally got to try one in the wild and not a store demo unit locked behind a glass case. :)

    Finally, nice to meet some of you that I've chatted with online over the past several months to years and never met before!

    @BIG POPPA thanks for setting this up!
  7. Muziqboy
    Big thanks to @BIG POPPA for organizing as usual. I also appreciate the MOT's that attended and shared with us Seattle Head-fier's the products that they brought.

    Also, Thanks to Andrew @Soundsgoodtome for bringing donuts which is even better than pbnj. lol

    @johnjen 's Purp-Amp sounded amazing and the Big Iron Amp is what blew me away with 7watts of pure tube power pumping deep bass into the HD800, which I can feel in my chest!
    Nice work on a DIY tube amp! Now if only my tube amp have that much power.

    @atomicbob 's ECP T4 amp paired with the new Bitfrost Unison usb running the HD800 was impressive and sounded very clean/detailed even in a very noisy room.

    @ruthieandjohn I'm glad that you were still able to enjoy the high black box that I brought to the meet given the noise present in that room. I might just have to type up a sheet that explains how the Dante system with all the clocking and power supply mods that I did resulted in what you heard in the rig. Whenever somebody ask me how the rig works, I have to pause and take a deep breath before explaining it all. lol

    Overall, it was a very successful meet.
    For those who don't know we do these meets for free. We use the available space to keep it that way. This was the 1st time in this space and was not optimal for this time of the year. Like West Seattle, this is a better space for the winter spring meets. Was blown away with all the portable stuff. It is coming back with a vengeance. I do have a portable rig , M9 and Mojo, periodic carbon Iems so it was awesome to see where to go from there. The Kaan cube is an effin' beast. And the DIY tube amps that showed up were nothing to sneeze at. These guys showed some amazing talent putting these together. If everyone went table to table and really check out the gear that came. It was a lot of really amazing gear that everyone had something to look forward to at this meet. If there was a pair of Rosson Audio design, that would have been the cherry on top.
    Ham Sandwich likes this.
  9. wenbinbin2010
    Those chocolate-covered donuts caught my attention more than any of the gear...
    antdroid likes this.
  10. Wooglish
    Really a fun time yesterday; I enjoyed sharing my gear and trying a number of items I have not had a chance to encounter before!

    For me, the biggest surprise was the qdc VX IEMs that @antdroid brought. I've definitely steered away from Chinese IEMs in the past out of QC concerns, but these completely changed my opinion. The build looked every bit equal to other flagship IEMs and the sound was pretty amazing. Very neutral sound, with a wide soundstage and great detail. I'm a bass fan, so "flipping the switch" on the (physical) bass toggle on the IEMs created the perfect sound for me. I would love to play with these and their three switches for a few hours to try and optimize the sound for my favorite music. They have made it to the top of my IEM wish list!
  11. johnjen
    I agree the meet was a very welcome event with so many different aspects of the hobby represented, and in depth.
    From MOT's, to users, to DIY'rs, and from 1st timer's to 'old' timer's, we covered all the bases.

    Yeah trying to explain just how far we can take the mods we make to our rigs, especially our AOIP setups, can be a 'challenge', especially if trying to keep the description 'simple(r)', so as to not see their eyes glaze over after about 1 minute, along with the look around the room to see if anything ELSE is going on AND the internal thought 'WHY did I ask this question?', as the answer dives deeper, ever deeper down the rabbit hole of the technical details… hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    And the amount of time and effort spent on making it all happen, if fully understood, would surely raise an eyebrow or two along with the thought that we MUST be crazy to fuss with all of this, just to hear subtle nuances that surely would seem equally as crazy, to those who don't share our passion.

    And a primary design criteria for both of those 2 amps I brought, (and all the others in the pipeline), was to reach flat down to at least 20Hz if not 15Hz.
    This is what lends itself to feeling the very deep bass in the chest, from headphones.
    I still don't know what makes that happen other than the brain figuring, 'hey lets fill in some of the missing details'…
    But it is a welcome compliment to the experience of feeling really deep bass.
    Now, if only the brain could simulate the feel of our pants flapping, THEN we'd know we had attained audiophool heaven… hahahahahahahahaha

    Next time I'll be a little better prepared with a full stand alone system, one that has been together for more than ≈ 1hr before the meet. hahahahahaha.

    And it was good to see the old crowd along with so many new attendees all experiencing each other's setups.

    A good time was had by all by my reckon'n

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  12. antdroid
    Theres a couple folks I know who have the Rosson or can perhaps borrow from, but they were on vacation unfortunately. Maybe next time! I still want to try it out. Forgot to try it out at a smaller meetup a couple weeks back.
  13. joshnor713
    I have to agree. I didn't know about the Anole VX. When @antdroid proposed I try them after he tested my KSE1200, to be honest I didn't know what IEM he was referring to. But I'm always willing to try anything! I was wow'd at how clean the sound was. Like pristine all the way through - very articulated and detailed but no harshness whatsoever, such a pleasant sound. I could tell I wasn't listening to something lower end. I looked it up afterwards and saw it was a pretty pricey, multi-driver IEM. My ears didn't fail me :). Not a big fan of IEMs packed with tons of BA's but this opened my eyes (ears) at what can be accomplished with them. Thanks!
  14. dave r
    First of all, thanks to Big Poppa for organizing and setting up the event. This was only the second meet I've been to in 6 or 8 years, and must say the amount and variety of the gear seems to be growing. There were a lot of nice systems, and of course didn't have time to check it all out.
    I'm always looking for new music and ran across a couple that I need to add to my collection. ELP/Pebbles, and some Charles Mingus. I heard Eagles/Hotel California (Hell Freezes Over version) on a couple of systems where the big drums at the beginning were not only heard - but felt! (thank you AtomcBob and Musiqboy for that). I still haven't unpacked my gear yet, but I'm going to have a listen tonight to check that out on my set up.
    There was a wide variety of portable stuff. It's nice to see what's available, and what preferences and recommendations that others have found. Time to do some homework on portable (pocket size) h/p amps.
    Lots of tweaks, mods, and improvements. Got some ideas on cables and tube dampers for my amp and headphones.
    And of course, it was great to meet all of the great folks who have the same interest. It's all about good sound - and perhaps the journey to get there.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  15. dave r
    Update: Couldn't wait to try it. My HD600's actually do provide a bit of slam, but not as much as I felt with the other systems (both with modded HD800's) mentioned.
    Happiness, nonetheless. :)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019

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