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SF South Bay Meet - Saturday, November 3, 2018 Impressions

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  1. jazzfan
    Well, it finally happened, another South Bay Head-Fi meet and we had a FULL house!

    ANNOUNCEMENT THREAD for this meet.

    upload_2018-11-3_20-14-4.jpeg

    I don't think we could have squeezed in another IEM on the table.

    I'd like to take a moment thank everyone who participated to help make this event a wonderful success. Thank you to the two vendors, @DanWiggins with Periodic Audio, and @CEE TEE with Massdrop, who provided sample gear. Although, due to technical difficulties on my part, I was unable to demo the gear from Massdrop. Still, we appreciate you providing us the opportunity to spend some time with your gear. Lastly, a special thanks to @chuckwheat's guest for assisting with the Periodic Audio Giveaway.

    Speaking of the giveaway, a big congratulations to all of our winners below! We're look forward to reading your impressions after you've had a change to audition the gear.

    1st Place Beryllium IEM winner - @calbear
    2d Place Titanium IEM winner - @SomeTechNoob
    3d Place Magnesium IEM winner - @Hobroblin

    Well, I had a great time listening to all of your rigs, and I'm especially glad to have finally had the opportunity to meet and speak to all of you in person. I hope everyone enjoyed getting together as much as I did.

    Now, I invite everyone who attended the meet to post pics, equipment impressions and general thoughts about the meet below.

    Happy listening until the next meet!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    Alcophone and calbear like this.
  2. jazzfan
    More pics...

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    Just WOW!

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    Massdrop THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier and Massdrop Grace Design Balanced SDAC (prototype) gear on static display to the left of the STAX rig.

    upload_2018-11-3_20-52-35.jpeg

    Nice Audeze LCD2 Closed-Back cans.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    calbear and Alcophone like this.
  3. DanWiggins
    That's a lot of gear! Needs more cowbell!

    Congrats to all winners, and thank you to all the SF HF'ers for letting us provide some units for your sampling!
     
    calbear likes this.
  4. jmpsmash
    Thank you everyone, and especially @jazzfan the organizer, for such a wonderful meetup. It was really great to meet with fellow headphone fans. It is truly unique to be able to get together with like minded folks and talk about headphones and audio and just our hobbies in general. Sharing our experiences and knowledge. Everyone was so friendly!

    The density of headphones and amps on that little conference table must have broken a Guinness Record, and don't get me started on all the wonderful sound coming out of it! There was such a wide variety of amps driving all types of headphone. A eye... or should it be ear opening experience for me for sure.
     
    calbear and jazzfan like this.
  5. SomeTechNoob
    Didn't take too many pictures, but here are two which look okay.

    [​IMG]
    The table was quite full.

    [​IMG]
    Cleers look great!

    I'll be sure to write impressions and my review of the Periodic Audio Ti later this week. Thanks again @jazzfan for organizing the event and @DanWiggins and @CEE TEE for the support!
     
    CEE TEE, calbear and jazzfan like this.
  6. jmpsmash
    So little responds here. Everyone are so polite. I will start creating some trouble. :)

    As I said, what an ear opening experience. I haven't heard many headphones before, or at least never more than a couple of minutes and within the same day, that makes comparison rather difficult.

    But Saturday I got to listen to all types of headphones. And from that experience, learned quite a lot. Here are some more detailed post-gathering thoughts.

    I was very impressed with the sound of the Stax phones. So open, detailed, great clarity, fast and effortless bass. Neutral and unassuming.

    The 2 systems with Bottlehead Crack was also very enjoyable. Not the same level in terms of detailed and clarity and as the Stax, but made up with smooth sound and musical tubey mid range. (I am partial to tubes I guess :) ) totally different character than the Stax but nonetheless musical and enjoyable.

    I also listened to JVal's Utopia on my amps. Very impressive as they should be. detailed, fast, effortless, no lack of bass like some would say.

    The system I am most impressed with is the LCD-3 (?) on the Cary 80 + Yggy. It do everything right but nothing to the extreme. Smooth clear high, musical, bass. It does have the advantage that it got the best source of all the systems, once we get to the higher end of gears, having the best source makes a lot of difference in the overall experience.

    The valuable part of the experience in a meet like this is that now I understand what is lacking in my setup. After some more listening I then realize that while it is fun to have some rumbling bass to create a nice bottom end, it is not realistic. Never do I go to a classical concert and the whole hall shakes along when the cello / double bass plays. Definition is more important than volume down there. Also the extension and definition at the higher frequency. airy and openness.

    lots to think about, and probably gonna cost me more $$$. :)

    ps. I didn't get to listen to all the systems (I wish I did!) so these are just some partial impression of the systems during the meet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    calbear likes this.
  7. jazzfan
    Thanks for your comments jmpsmash. It was a pleasure to meet you. I'm sure we'll cross paths again at other meets, if not sooner.

    BTW... Welcome to Head-Fi, and as they say, "Sorry about your wallet". :ksc75smile:
     
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  8. morinu
    First of all thank you @jazzfan for organizing the event. It was a wonderful meet.

    Thank you also @DanWiggins and @CEE TEE for the support!

    I want to talk about what I liked. I am not experienced describing sounds with words so please bear with me.

    Focal Utopia w/Norne Audio Draug – Amazing sound. Deep bass with powerful slam. Clear midrange with beautiful vocals. Detailed highs without being harsh. Definitely one of my favorites of the meet. I have the Elear but I have a love/hate relationship with them. I think I will be able to appreciate them more now since the shared DNA with the Utopia but I am considering swapping them with the Utopia.

    STAX SR-009 – The first time I experienced the 009 was at a previous meet in the Massdrop office. In that system the 009 (with the Ygg) had ear piercing highs (at least to me at the time). This time was different. I really enjoyed the 009. The clarity and definition. Every note was like beamed directly to my brain. @jazzfan has a wonderful system.

    Stax Lambda Professional – Another Stax that blew my mind. Easy listening. Every note felt just right. Now I am hunting for one.

    LCD-2 closed back – Out of the Hugo2 and WA8 Eclipse these sounded wonderful. Deep bass, revealing midrange and clear highs without being piercing. Another wonderful system.

    Sennheiser HD800S + Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball – This was a surprise. A couple of week ago I was at Sennheiser store in San Francisco and I tried the HD800S and I was underwhelmed. They are kind of bright and thin to my taste out of the Sennheiser system. But out of the Bottlehead Crack is another story. Full bodied sound and not thin at all. I have the Bottlehead kit sitting in my garage… now I will make the time to work on it. I want to try my HD600 and HD6XX on it to see how they sound… and maybe I see a HD800S in my future?

    Monoprice Monolith M1060C – Bets price to performance planar I have experienced.

    Grado PS500 w/Black Dragon cable – Now I understand all the good reviews! I really enjoyed it.

    ZMF Atticus – Not what I expected and not sure I liked them in the end. I think I prefer my Vibros. They made me realize that I like brighter headphones than I thought. Now I need to try the Eikon or jump all the way to the Vérité?

    Massdrop x THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier – I had only 5 minutes with this amp since we had to leave the room. The only thing I can tell is that it sounded different than my Cavalli Liquid Carbon Gen1. I am intrigued now and I wish I had more time with it.

    The four hours felt like one! I am looking forward to another meet soon!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  9. SomeTechNoob
    Hey all! I've finally found time to write my Periodic Audio Ti review, which you can read here. Thanks to @DanWiggins for providing the Ti!

    I tried a ton of gear at the meet, but like morinu I'll do some quick thoughts on what was memorable.

    STAX SR-009 - Quite spectacular. This was my first experience with electrostatic headphones. The amount of clarity was unprecedented. Sure they looked quite ridiculous on your head, but the sound quality was like nothing I've ever experienced. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much bass they managed to output.

    STAX 3010(I think) - Aside from the whacky loose headband and odd design, this was also an amazing electrostat. Truly a different beast than planar and dynamic headphones. I spent quite a long time listening to these.

    HD 6XX + Bottlehead Crack - I've always heard about this legendary pairing but have never tried it before. The distortion that the Crack brings really is awesome. It widens up the small soundstage of the HD 6XX. If I had the money and desk space, I'd definitely pick one up for my own HD 6XX.

    LCD2 Closed Back - I thought the M1060Cs I had could be killers, but this headphone with the WA8 Eclipse amp were totally different beasts. A surprisingly huge soundstage in a closed back headphone.

    Honorable mentions would be the closed-back ZMF Atticus(which I found more intimate than the Auteur), HD 800/S(that soundstage) and the Grado PS500(didn't expect such good sound from that form factor!). Also really liked the HD 58X - amazing sound quality that shoots beyond it's selling price imo.

    Thanks again to @jazzfan for organizing the meet and @CEE TEE and @DanWiggins for sending over some cool gear!

    Hope to see you all again sometime.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  10. jazzfan
    Nice review and beautiful pics. Thanks for taking the to put it together! Happy listening, until our next meet. :beerchug:
     
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  11. jazzfan
    Recently completed an AudioQuest NightHawk Carbon Mini Review here.

    upload_2018-11-9_19-23-30.png

    AudioQuest Nighthawk Carbon with Protein Leather Earpads pictured.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  12. jazzfan
    calbear, jmpsmash and SomeTechNoob like this.
  13. jazzfan
  14. almostaudio
    Ugh! Missed this one. Can someone tell me how often do meetups happen in South Bay area? I'm new to audiophile world and looking to meet new people and try out different cans before I make purchases. Thanks!
     
  15. SomeTechNoob
    Probably once a year at most - it's pretty infrequent.
     
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