Synergy is a stupid word for what I'm hearing
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carlo

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As I type this I'm listening to PJ Harvey's Stories From The City/Stories From The Sea.

System:

Cary 306/200 w/ upsampling engaged
Empirical Audio powercord
PS Audio P300, multiwave at SS5
PS Audio The Lab powercord
the wall

Cardas Neutral Reference

The Maestrobator
Mullard gold pin 7308
Empirical Audio powercord
the wall

Grado HP-1

I was planning on doing stuff today, but instead I'm staring at this keyboard typing away, foot taping to a stuttered bass line and my thoughts flying. It's been one of those weeks - where I wished I had more money and former friends and less ****. Which, of course, is everybody's life. At least some of the time anyway.

I've lost track of time, there's a stack of CDs on the desk and Rolling Stones' Out Of Our Heads seems like a distant memory. Right now all I hear is Polly Jean telling me "its the best thing" and I feel myself drifting from the thoughts unspoken to this keyboard. Just drifting.

The audiophile in me is scribbling notes somewhere: "Jesus Christ those cymbals shimmer"...
and I just lost myself to it again.

"It." The reason we do this. The promised land. A connection to the music.
Understand I had limitations on what this aspect of Hi-Fi would offer me: Headphones are a hobby to me. Speakers are where its at, if I had the space my reference system would be my primary setup. Instead its in storage.

I want to write the limitations of headphone setups, but I just hear the texture and body of the system and they're forgettable. Yeah I miss the soundstage but this is a soundstage. Completely different from what I've heard through any headphone system combination. Hell different from anything I've heard before. I keep wanting to say "but..."
but nothing.

These guitars are special. The swing and speed of transients, the dynamics. The drive, feeling like the recording and the music is part of the here and now. Losing myself to it.
My foot hasn't stopped tapping. Polly Jean is whispering dirty secrets and I hear the hall...
and nothing else matters.

This system will be together for a very short period of time, then some of the components will go back to their homes and mine will be in their place. My normal headphone system is very good.

This is it.
 
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ai0tron

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Damn Carlo, your system is all tricked out and way happy. My system is like a forgotten fart on some dirty terd by comparison. Who wants to trade there HP-1's for a pair of HD600's??
 
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andrzejpw

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Carlo: I know the feeling where everything is perfect. I like to go to bed, and just listen to the music. Sure, my system may not be perfect. But its damn good. Its simply amazing to hear the cymbals decay, or the air around the piano vibrating.
 
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kerelybonto

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Wow. You can tell he's impressed -- he even used capital letters in his post. (No, seriously -- is that the first time?)

carlo, you sound like you've found something really amazing. I've been putting off my amp purchase until after the meeting at Hirsch's place, but I'm really regretting passing on pigmode's Melos SHA-1. How does the 'Maestrobator' (that's a modded SHA Gold Reference, right?) compare to that classic?

By the way, you still (considering) doing Melos mods?

kerely
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by carlo

"It." The reason we do this. The promised land. A connection to the music.
Understand I had limitations on what this aspect of Hi-Fi would offer me: Headphones are a hobby to me. Speakers are where its at, if I had the space my reference system would be my primary setup. Instead its in storage.

I want to write the limitations of headphone setups, but I just hear the texture and body of the system and they're forgettable. Yeah I miss the soundstage but this is a soundstage. Completely different from what I've heard through any headphone system combination. Hell different from anything I've heard before. I keep wanting to say "but..."
but nothing.


Carlo, yep. I'm a speaker person by nature too. But when everything clicks just right in the headphone setup, the distinction isn't there any more. By whatever route you take, the equipment goes away and leaves you with the music. If I can hit that state, the strengths and weaknesses of the audio equipment is just about the farthest thing from my mind.
 
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tanfenton

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I, too, am new to that feeling. Joe's 'phones did it for me. Now--everything else--the tide took it out. Hot damn, it feels good.

I'll give everything you said a Carlo-sized word.
Word.

NGF
 
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carlo

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tron,

man when my regular system is back in place i'm sure i'll miss the hp-1 (on loan). other members said the hp-1000 would be a foolish audition because once heard they're desired, but i thought it was exaggeration. i was very wrong.

andrzejpw,

exactly. but the fact is cymbals have never really sounded like cymbals through headphones before (in any of my systems), and while its not the real thing this system makes it sound close. the shimmer doesn't decay in space like it does through the best speaker systems i've spent time with, but *******ed it they're shimmering. its freaky to me.

kerely,

the capitalization moment has passed, it comes and goes

the sha-1 and the maestrobator are very different sonically, the basic character is there on the sha-1 (the speed, the underlying texture in the notes especially double bass) but modifying it just brings that detail out and eliminates the flaws of the stock parts - they sound like different amps in terms of dynamics, decay, and inner detail. there'll be a lot to come on this topic.

re: melos mods - yup, have two SHA-1's here now (one for heavy modifications, another for repair and possible mods - i'll let their owners speak up if they chose to be known). there'll be a mall-fi ad up with details of the mods and prices when i'm ready to accept other amps.

hirsch,

exactly man. this system sounds very different from any that really got out of the way (of the music) for me... its listening in a different way than i normally do, but i'm right there and the music is all around me...

i love this feeling. the fact that its coming from a headphone setup is something that i find is throwing part of my world in whack. ie: do i really need a resolving speaker setup? can i live without the traits of a properly positioned speaker setup (treated room) in favor of the things a high resolving headphone setup have to offer? i'm on the fence right now, then the next track creeps through the system and i don't want to think about it anymore.

tanfenton,

man i can only imagine what your grados sound like, but these make the current line up sound like a joke. while i like the sr-225 and kind of like the rs-2 (as well as several of their cartridges) there was always a grado sound. now its obvious that sound wasn't grado's at all. not the first one anyway


word.
carlo
 
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ai0tron

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In light of all these new findings it is my honest opinion that we should all write Grado labs and beg for a reissue of the famed HP-1000. I'm not sure about the phase switch, that always seemed ridonkulous to me. Maybe the phase switch should be left off. Well, that aside, we should all write Grado Labs and beg for a reissue, even if it's just a limited run of say 1,000. I'd pay up too $800 for it. We should all mention the ludicrous amounts of money we would pay for it in our letters as well since money talks.
 
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kerelybonto

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There were only 1000 produced originally, ai0tron. We discussed this a bit in the 'Grado 50th Anniversary' thread around here somewhere and basically the consensus was that Grado would never/could never reintroduce the HP-1000. But it is definitely something that should be asked of John at the NY meet.

kerely
 
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The Quality Guru

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Quote:

In light of all these new findings it is my honest opinion that we should all write Grado labs and beg for a reissue of the famed HP-1000.


For the record, John Grado very recently and explicitly said that he will not produce any more HP-1000 series headphones. So, please don't write him because I can already tell you what the answer will be and always has been.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by The Quality Guru
For the record, John Grado very recently and explicitly said that he will not produce any more HP-1000 series headphones. So, please don't write him because I can already tell you what the answer will be and always has been.


He can change his mind.

Everything is negotiable.
 
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markl

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carlo,
Please define exactly what is the "Maestrobator"??

Mark
 
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Hirsch

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Carlo,

The EAR/R10/Creek/Virtual Dynamics setup finally put it all together this evening. You know what I mean. I can't even begin to describe it. I was too overwhelmed experiencing it. I don't know if that system can hit that peak every time out. If it can, I'm home free. I've finally got my headphone setup.
 
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Zanth

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carlo man, I am really pleased you have had the opportunity to have a listen. Also, I am really pleased to hear this system has caused a yiccup in your otherwise firm stance on speakers as superior to headphones outright. Enjoy while you have them!
 
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