Myself and Grancasa had a mini meet tonight. We Had HD 600/Cardas, HD580/Clou Blue, Ety 4P's, Grado RS-2, Headroom Max, MG Head OTL, JMT portable META and iPOD. I Think we both agree how amazing the META is. It really held it's own against the Max. I really liked the pairing of the Grado RS-2's with the Max. Also the MG Head sounds great with the Black Plate RCA Three Mica tube. And the Grado's even sounded good with the Head and this tube. We both love the iPod. Great guy and a lot of fun.
I had a great time as well. Lextek was a great guy, and he had an impressive collection of equipment.
I really enjoyed the Max(with the right phone). I liked the look and feel of it, and the sound had a low end unlike the other amps I had heard, but when the crossfeed was switched on it became too sloppy and bloated, at least when I was listening on the 580's. But when paired with the RS-2's, the sound was much better in the low end. I thought the RS-2/Max combo was really a match made in heaven.
I also decided that a solid state amp is an addition I need to my collection. I love the sound of the MG Head with the proper tube, and Lextek said that in some cases he felt the Head kicked the Max's butt in overall quality. But for some of the more dynamic, "fast" music, we both enjoyed the sound of the Max or the META42. And while the Max does sound better than the META, for the price the META is one hell of an amp.
I've also got to get myself an iPod. That is one piece of incredible engeniering. The scroll "wheel" is the coolest thing I've seen in a while. I could just navigate through the menus for hours.
And the sound, especially when linked with META, was very good. I din't think it matched up to the sound of a quality CDP line out and META, but it was close enough for me to make the switch. Of course, these were MP3s that Lextek had ripped himself at 192, so any ole MP3 would probably sound, well, like an MP3.
We're going to meet up again sometime soon, and I'll bring my digital cam and take some pics for all to see. Lextek has a beautiful custom wood front panel for his MG Head OTL, which I bet all would be impressed to see.