:sunrise: Official 2015 SF Head-Fi Meet Impressions Thread
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Jul 22, 2015 at 7:56 PM Post #121 of 192

GoldenGate

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I've searched and searched, I'm trying to find anything I can read about Frank Cooter's amp he had there at the meet. Looking thru his posts, I see other interesting projects he's built, but I don't see the big glorious ones he had there. Can anyone enlighten me? I'd love to just read about them. Is it buried deeper in one of his build threads?
 
Jul 22, 2015 at 8:06 PM Post #122 of 192

TMoney

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  I've searched and searched, I'm trying to find anything I can read about Frank Cooter's amp he had there at the meet. Looking thru his posts, I see other interesting projects he's built, but I don't see the big glorious ones he had there. Can anyone enlighten me? I'd love to just read about them. Is it buried deeper in one of his build threads?

 
Here is a link of a video of Frank explaining his amp to Tyll Hertsens of Inner Fidelity:
 
 
Jul 22, 2015 at 10:05 PM Post #123 of 192

Mr.Tom

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  I've searched and searched, I'm trying to find anything I can read about Frank Cooter's amp he had there at the meet. Looking thru his posts, I see other interesting projects he's built, but I don't see the big glorious ones he had there. Can anyone enlighten me? I'd love to just read about them. Is it buried deeper in one of his build threads?


He's an extreme DIY sort of guy. He's not into it for the money, just his Love of music and electronics. As far as I know, he made the amp for Jude, or Jude heard it and begged Cooter to sell.
 
I believe Cooter only sold the amp to Jude, out of his respect for what Jude has done for Headphone HiFi. I heard it is a one of a kind, and will most likely stay that way.
 
Jul 22, 2015 at 11:48 PM Post #124 of 192

abhishekSPS

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  I feel like I could talk a river about all the ginormously cool audio gear from the 'treasure trove' I got to sample today!!
 
While I'm without my notes at the moment here are the highlights of my initial impressions of the top of my head:
 
I can't stop thinking about that Liquid Carbon! It's was the best sound I heard of any amp under $2,000 - everything is 'out of your head', each instrument laid out in a pristinely placed holographic space. It was paired with a very decent transportable DAC with some TOTL thiiick power conditioning and thick balanced cables, which also must have helped take it to that level. The next amp that impressed me around that price range was the Questyle Q192 DAC with Headphone AMP. This thing was totally within it's $799 value and worth every penny even working for it at hard labor min. wage! It's sound is darn comparable to the LC, but with robust and unique features: Wolfson 8740 chip, adaptive technology that auto-detects the impedance of your headphone to ensure that it's giving it the absolute optimal load - this allows it to drive IEMs to the big cans alike, and I even heard it adjusting to the loads of my cans for the 1 second after swapping each headphone. It really gave me a sound of being in a real moment where the songs were recorded, and I even feel like I have a memory of being on the street watching a street band from one of the songs.
 
All the headphones can try to keep up with the Senn. HD 650 or wimp out trying - IMO the 650 had an edge over the LCD X, XC, EL-8, HD 580, PM3, M100... the only ones that I felt surpassed it were the venerable Stax SR 009, (and the SR 007, HE-6 & MDR-R10 which may not have been present). The thing scales like Spiderman on his good day. As far as $2,000+ amps - I tried some that were what I would consider 2x better than my Ember 2.0 tube amp with a good tube, as well as better than the above mentioned amps. Several amaze-balls tube amps in the $2-4,000 range like Blue Hawaii, and another that I will find the name of for you. Even a newbie first timer said the Blue was her favorite. I was mostly trying gear within a lower budget though.


out of curiosity what headphone did you audition Liquid Carbon and Questyle Q192 with...??
also do u remember what DAC and power conditioning was Liquid Carbon paired with...?
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 1:51 AM Post #125 of 192

DecentLevi

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Hello, yes the Liquid Carbon amp was paired with a "Cypher Labs Algorhythms Solo -db" DAC. It was such a sublime pairing I had to take note of it. This DAC certainly gives you an "all there" sound experience, certainly like nothing sounds missing. Excellent dynamics, detail etc. and this DAC is only around $350... surely a lot of the ground sound of that setup was owed to the LC amp itself though.
 
I first tried the Sennheiser HD 580 that was on the booth with the Questyle Q192 DAC/amp combo, and it sounded totally grandiose! Spine-tingling energy, full bodied and realistic. Then later I came back a 2nd time with my Senn. HD 650 headphones and it sounded a bit better yet: Slightly less bass & more treble, yet with all the other good sound of the HD 580. I then tried my Beyerdynamic DT 150 'cans which left me under-impressed (still sounding dull / muddy as these do with every amp I've tried them on so far). Then I tried my SoundMagic HP 100 cans - and I'll tell you THIS pairing with the Q192 was was brought that experience on - such a realistic sound that it's as if a memory had been implanted to transport me to the location of the music I was listening to! A very great pairing indeed!
 
The Liquid Carbon had the Mr. Speakers Ether on the booth which is what I first heard them with. To me it sounded very impressive, albeit a little 'darker' than my preferences dictate. But I loved it so much that I came back to also try my 3 other HP's with the LC amp. IIRC, both the DT 150 and HP 100 sounded no better if maybe a bit worse than with the Q192. But it was the Senn. HD 650 that was TRULY and totally a smack-down match made in heaven!!! Out of all the amps I tried the whole day, this sound was second only to a multi-thousand dollar tube amp (I believe that being the Eddie Current Zana Deux with the HD 600). Supremely lush, punchy, dynamic, pleasing FR, and slightly musical but in a good way. And the soundstage was one of the best I've ever heard. So early this week I sure 'nough pre-ordered my LC amp 
beyersmile.png
 . Also I've heard the AKG K712 and K7XX are a very similar sound to the 650's so I recon would sound great on this amp. Another user loved it's pairing with Fostex TH-900.
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 6:38 AM Post #126 of 192

abhishekSPS

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  Hello, yes the Liquid Carbon amp was paired with a "Cypher Labs Algorhythms Solo -db" DAC. It was such a sublime pairing I had to take note of it. This DAC certainly gives you an "all there" sound experience, certainly like nothing sounds missing. Excellent dynamics, detail etc. and this DAC is only around $350... surely a lot of the ground sound of that setup was owed to the LC amp itself though.
 
The Liquid Carbon had the Mr. Speakers Ether on the booth which is what I first heard them with. To me it sounded very impressive, albeit a little 'darker' than my preferences dictate. But I loved it so much that I came back to also try my 3 other HP's with the LC amp. IIRC, both the DT 150 and HP 100 sounded no better if maybe a bit worse than with the Q192. But it was the Senn. HD 650 that was TRULY and totally a smack-down match made in heaven!!! Out of all the amps I tried the whole day, this sound was second only to a multi-thousand dollar tube amp (I believe that being the Eddie Current Zana Deux with the HD 600). Supremely lush, punchy, dynamic, pleasing FR, and slightly musical but in a good way. And the soundstage was one of the best I've ever heard.

thanks a lot for your detailed impressions!
don't want to derail this thread but have u tried hd650s with speedballed crack?... i am in search of an amp for 650s...its said that crack is best match in that price (and may be even a bit above its price range) for them but i really don't want to get into tube rolling...i have 2 amps in my eyes Liquid Carbon(have heard has great synergy with a pretty large number of headphones) and AMB labs Beta 22 (DIY).
i have seen ur disappointment with dt150s from the bloody brilliant dt150 thread...but they they are highly praised cans on that thread...not many people own them though...have u tried dt150s with audioGD amps....i have heard they sound pretty good with them.
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 6:45 AM Post #127 of 192

DecentLevi

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Hello, unfortunately you'll have to wait for somebody else's impressions who has tried the 650 with Crack or Beta 22, and Audio GD amps - haven't gotten to try them yet. You can actually already read a lot about the Crack + 650 pairings on other HeadFi forums as well.
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 6:06 PM Post #128 of 192

longbowbbs

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  I've searched and searched, I'm trying to find anything I can read about Frank Cooter's amp he had there at the meet. Looking thru his posts, I see other interesting projects he's built, but I don't see the big glorious ones he had there. Can anyone enlighten me? I'd love to just read about them. Is it buried deeper in one of his build threads?


 

 

Here ya go!
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 7:25 PM Post #129 of 192

GoldenGate

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Here ya go!

 
 
Thank you longbowbbs!
 
I didn't have my user name written on my tag there at the show. I'm the big guy that talked your ear off about CIEM's at the very beginning of the morning (and DAPs at the end of the day).
 
Ended up pre-ordering the Questyle QP1R
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 8:28 PM Post #130 of 192

longbowbbs

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Here ya go!

 
 
Thank you longbowbbs!
 
I didn't have my user name written on my tag there at the show. I'm the big guy that talked your ear off about CIEM's at the very beginning of the morning (and DAPs at the end of the day).
 
Ended up pre-ordering the Questyle QP1R

Hey! Great to meet you! Franks amp is amazing. He is an artist with his amps. The Questyle is a sweet DAP and imminently more portable than Franks amp...
wink.gif

 
Jul 24, 2015 at 4:03 AM Post #131 of 192

FrankCooter

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Had a great time as always!
 
Thanks and kudos to Warren, Ethan, Jude, and all the behind the scenes crew that put in the sweat so that the rest of us could share a few hours of fun, music, and friendship!
 
Personal highlight was being able to hang out with fellow DIYer's Zashoomin and Gepardcv. Both guys are superb builders and brought great sounding systems. Hopefully we recruited a couple of future builders who will pick up the torch.
 
Didn't get to listen to much of the commercial stuff, but there was a huge array of gear for all tastes and budgets.
 
I did spend a bit of time at the Eddie Current table with the new "studio" amp, the Schitt "Yggy", and the HD800's. By far the best HD800 system I've ever heard.
 
 
He's an extreme DIY sort of guy. He's not into it for the money, just his Love of music and electronics. As far as I know, he made the amp for Jude, or Jude heard it and begged Cooter to sell.
 
I believe Cooter only sold the amp to Jude, out of his respect for what Jude has done for Headphone HiFi. I heard it is a one of a kind, and will most likely stay that way.

 
This is pretty much true.
 
I don't usually accept commissions  but this one was special. Jude and Head-Fi have pretty much built this hobby from scratch.
 
On a personal level, Head-Fi has provided me with a platform to show and share my work,  a community of friends, shared technical expertise, and continued inspiration to pursue a series of unusual amplification projects.
 
On a business level, I could not have asked for a more generous and understanding client than Jude.
 
 
Her's a photo of the underside of the 845 electrostatic amp and its' power supply. Power is on the left, amp is on the right.
 
 
:
 
Although this was a very ambitious construction project and involves some rather exotic parts ( Thanks to Jack Elliano of Electra-Print Audio who's custom made transformers made this project possible), it's actually fairly simple from an electrical perspective and there is still room for improvement.
 
Obviously this amp is entirely different from the standard electrostatic headphone amplifier topology. It was a journey to build it. Whether the journey was worthwhile  I leave for others to judge. I had fun building it and displaying it.
 
I'm happy to discuss it further. And if anyone else wants to build something similar, I'm here to help.
 
Jul 24, 2015 at 5:20 AM Post #132 of 192

bmichels

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  Had a great time as always!
 
Thanks and kudos to Warren, Ethan, Jude, and all the behind the scenes crew that put in the sweat so that the rest of us could share a few hours of fun, music, and friendship!
 
Personal highlight was being able to hang out with fellow DIYer's Zashoomin and Gepardcv. Both guys are superb builders and brought great sounding systems. Hopefully we recruited a couple of future builders who will pick up the torch.
 
Didn't get to listen to much of the commercial stuff, but there was a huge array of gear for all tastes and budgets.
 
I did spend a bit of time at the Eddie Current table with the new "studio" amp, the Schitt "Yggy", and the HD800's. By far the best HD800 system I've ever heard.
 
 
This is pretty much true.
 
I don't usually accept commissions  but this one was special. Jude and Head-Fi have pretty much built this hobby from scratch.
 
On a personal level, Head-Fi has provided me with a platform to show and share my work,  a community of friends, shared technical expertise, and continued inspiration to pursue a series of unusual amplification projects.
 
On a business level, I could not have asked for a more generous and understanding client than Jude.
 
 
Her's a photo of the underside of the 845 electrostatic amp and its' power supply. Power is on the left, amp is on the right.
 
 
:
 
Although this was a very ambitious construction project and involves some rather exotic parts ( Thanks to Jack Elliano of Electra-Print Audio who's custom made transformers made this project possible), it's actually fairly simple from an electrical perspective and there is still room for improvement.
 
Obviously this amp is entirely different from the standard electrostatic headphone amplifier topology. It was a journey to build it. Whether the journey was worthwhile  I leave for others to judge. I had fun building it and displaying it.
 
I'm happy to discuss it further. And if anyone else wants to build something similar, I'm here to help.

 
 
Thank you Frank for making us Dream with your wonderful design and technical achievement.  Jude is really a lucky guy !
 
May be you should contact VIVA Audio in Italie.  They already built the acclaimed 845 dynamic amp, and I know that they want to make a 845 Electrostatic amp.  
 
--> May be they could use you design and expertise to bring your Amp to production, so that Jude is no more the only happy owner of your 845 design ?
 

 
 
  
 
Jul 24, 2015 at 5:20 PM Post #133 of 192

NZtechfreak

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Anyone able to compare the QP1R and Questyle's other amps? Sound presented along similar lines? I have the CMA800R monoblocks and love them to bits, never been in the market for a DAP before, as I prefer USB audio with my smartphone, but this one has me tempted.
 
Jul 24, 2015 at 11:46 PM Post #135 of 192

Stereolab42

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  hi guys
i know its two different things but any comparisions between liquid carbon and wa8 prototype...looks like liquid carbon is being more appreciated than wa8.



Not by me... tubes are tubes, no substitute.
 
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