2015 NY Fall meet impressions

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by thegunner100, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    It was a pretty interesting meet this time around, as I actually ended up staying the whole duration. I ended up hanging out and chatting with people more so than listening to gear. I'm already dead set on my endgame setup, so there wasn't any need for me to try things out with an intent to upgrade. I finally got to meet some of you NY SBAF people!

    @Colgin - Well I've already met you outside of meets but we finally got to talk DURING one! You can't go wrong with either the hd600 or hd650. I'd sell the K7XX cause it's probably the least interesting headphone that you have. I can't really tell you if it'll be better to go Gungnir Multibit/mj2 or Bifrost Multibit/lyr 2. Personally, I'd go Gungnir Multibit + Valhalla 2 and save up for a EC amp :)

    @sphinxvc - You're a true pyrate! I'd love to hear your speaker setup one of these days, especially with a Gungnir Multibit or Yggdrasil. I'm glad you got to listen to my valhalla 2 and Yggdrasil. If you decide to go the Gungnir Multibit route, we can try to work something out with my DS gungnir!

    @jmcmasterj - Didn't expect to find another pyrate since you don't really post much. Since you're eventually going to get an EC studio, it just makes more sense to get an Yggdrasil over the Gungnir Multibit imo. Thanks a ton for giving me the idea to plug in our UERMs into the 2A3 MK IV setup. Please let me try out your EC studio if you ever get it. It was a blast! I hope you'll post more in the future.

    @zach915m - Great seeing you again! I love that I can joke around with you about the audio industry and @Hands distaste for treble without holding back. I would have loved to have gotten lunch/dinner with you. Maybe next time!

    @Maxx134 - Your modded little dot amp always gets all the stares and pictures! Would love to hear it more some other time in a quiet environment.

    Now onto gear impressions. Everything was listened to using the EC 2A3 MK IV fed by either the Yggdrasil or Lampizator Lite 7 w/ some fancy expensive Sophia Electric tubes.

    Mr.Speakers Ether - My friend, Crag's pair. I believe that Dan sent him this pair for evaluation and for a possible purchase, so there's a good chance that he got a good pair. Sounded pretty good overall in terms of tonality, soundstaging, and detail. While it does a lot of things well, I don't feel like they excel in any particular area. It's a headphone that's easy to just plug into any system and enjoy, without having to worry about the system. Still overpriced at $1600 when the hd650s does most things better on a high-end system.

    Mr.Speakers Ether C - I listened to these briefly and found them to be fairly similar to the open Ethers in general, but not as good. Not bad... but again, I didn't find anything that really stood out in a good or bad way. I'm not sure if I heard the same pair as Colgin did, as he disliked what he heard from the Ether C at the Woo table with the decked out WA5 + Yggdrasil(?). I didn't check if there were any treatment pads or whatever inside the cups. Even more overpriced than the Ether as better closed headphones are available for cheaper via ZMF and LFF's t50rp mods.

    ZMF Omni (cherry) - One of the best "new" headphone that I've heard thus far. An improvement over the prototype that I heard from the Spring meet. It has the typical warm and thick sound of Zach's headphones but still retains good soundstaging and clarity. If you're looking for a pair of semi-open laid back abd bassy headphones, definitely consider this one. A great value and performer at about 1/2 the price of the Ether C. Plus, Zach won't be a douche if you complain to him about his headphones.

    enigmacoustics Dharma D1000 - Pretty coherent sounding, and the first multidriver full sized headphone that I've heard. Treble was a bit rough though, and I can't really remember other details about the headphone.

    Pioneer SE-Master 1 - Listened through the Airist Audio Heron 5 amp and prototype discrete ladder dac. This is probably the biggest loser of the meet. Sibilant highs (More pronounced than on the hd800s), and wooly bass that bleeds into the mids. Complete garbage at 2000 euros, especially since I had my modded hd650s and craig's hd800s to compare on the same system.

    Airist Audio Heron 5 amp and dac - I'm not quite sure what to say about this setup. The Heron 5 amp is priced at $2000 and one was sold at the auction for $750. There was way too much classical music in their library for me to determine anything about the setup. There wasn't enough power or gain for high impedance headphones like the hd650 or hd800s. I found myself having to turn the volume knob almost all the way up to get some decent volume. I question their decision to showcase their setup with a new pair of headphones like the Pioneer SE-Master 1 and some other headphone (I forgot, but it's not a well known one).

    Eddie Current 2A3 MK IV - Craig has had this amp for sometime, so I've had some pretty good impressions of it from the start. This amp drives every headphone out there, save for e-stats of course. Sounds amazing with the headphones that I've tried on it: HD800, HD650, HD600, HE-6, Ether, Omni, UERM (yes!!!). Extremely clear and resolving, HUGE dynamic swings. Excellent soundstage renditioning and imaging. Beautiful treble renditioning without any harshness or etch. There's nothing bad I can say about the sound of this amp. But then again, this is the best amp that I've ever listened to and I have many opportunities to listen to it by just driving over to Craig's house.

    UERM - I've owned my pair for about 2 years now. But the Lampi Lite 7 (my Yggdrasil was being borrowed at another table) and the EC 2A3 MK IV took them to another level. HOLY SHIT. I had absolutely no idea the UERMs could scale so much. Macrodynamics, bass slam, soundstaging and clarity were taken to another level. Plus the 2A3 had only a tiny bit of hiss with them and generally isn't audible with music playing. If you guys have an EC tube amp (minus the ZD) and UERMs, try plugging them in. CEE TEE wasn't kidding when he liked the BA with the UERMs.

    DNA Sonett 1 + PS Audio NuWave DSD - Wow! The DNA Sonett sounded really good to me. In a different way from the EC amps that I've listened to though. With the hd650s on IEC output, there is a lot less driver dampening so it results in a less controlled driver. However... you get some very fun bass with it! Is this what a liquid and organic amp is supposed to sound like? The DNA house sound? Its been too long since I've listened to the Stratus to remember how it sounds like. No comments on the PS Audio NuWave.

    I believe that's all the impressions that I have of the meet. I'd love if we could organize our own smaller meet sometime in the future. Please post any impressions if you have any!

    Other member impressions:

    @Colgin on ZMF Omni
    @Colgin on Ether
    @Colgin on Ether C
     
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  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Assholes talking about me behind my back! |\/|

    Little known secret for SUPER BEST AUDIO QUALITY HANDS STYLE via EQ:

    SUPER BEST EQ.PNG

    :punk:

    (Yes, this is a joke, if you don't know me well enough.)
     
  3. jmcmasterj

    jmcmasterj Friend

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    It was great meeting you too! It was nice to see many familiar faces as well. The 2A3mk4 seemed to be the best rig at the meet as everything sounded great out of it (including the UERM). I did get to listen to a few new things such as the HE-1000 and the Ethers, but I listened to them out of different vendor setups so I didn't get to properly compare. I didn't even realize the LCD-4 and Dharma were there. Next time I'll have to bring a USB drive with music on it and hopefully my own rig. I'll probably end up with a Yggdrasil, but am looking forward to the Gungnir Multibit demo as well.
     
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  4. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    @thegunner100 – was fun hanging out with you as well man. I’ll try to stay on longer next time. Or lets all get together for a pyrate minimeet.

    @Colgin – good hanging with you too! We left everyone on that Metronorth train better educated on the state of the headphone industry. I only feel bad that they have no way to repay us for our kindness.

    Here are my short meet impressions, I’ll try to keep sonic impressions of open phones to a minimum since they aren’t worth much with all that ambient noise:

    I liked the HE-1000, it sounds nimble, but it’s beyond my willingness-to-pay threshold. I can’t understand the price point. The housing build quality is really nice; maybe Hifiman thought the price was justified if they were expected to make a headphone that will actually last. Understandable. In sum, city price, not city build quality.

    The Airist table, bring less guys, and bring more than just classical music and audiophile albums.

    The UE table, the UERM demo definitely has better extension than the Noble 4S I just bought and received. I feel justified judging this one because of the isolation and because I used my own DAP/music. I didn’t hear any brightness. Damn it.

    The Yggdrasil-EC 2A3 and Yggdrasil-Valhalla 2 set up, both of these were really nice. I wish I had thought to listen to the 2A3 with my Noble 4S, I might have heard better some of those things that made the combination special. The Valhalla 2 is such a value.

    The ZMF Omni, I’m pleasantly surprised it’s possible to coax so much out of that Fostex driver.
     
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  5. TMoney

    TMoney Shits on SBAF over at Head-Case to be cool

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    Did anyone listen to Kerry's stat amp? Was it a mini Blue Hawaii?
     
  6. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    I stopped by to talk to him for a bit, but didn't listen, he said it was a KGST. The DAC was something he designed apparently.
     
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  7. bozebuttons

    bozebuttons Friend

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    Mini KGST
     
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  8. audiofrk

    audiofrk Guest

    you hit the nail on the head this headphone isn't number one in anything but comes in second to third in a lot of things. For non-pyrates (jury still out on this after school special) that just want to set it and forget it this is the headphone to get if money is no obsticle, that being said jury still out on the omni for me (it still was a prototype last time I heard it). Once I was having lunch with a headfier and he said he would never mod the hd800 because for the cost it should be perfect (agree with the theory but in practice few things are). Still think that Dan should have sold them for $800 but what do I know.

    sigh... yeah I was really sad when Don said he was cancelling the line. This $1000 amp had a lot of things going for it: true tube amp (transformer output coupled), direct wiring, really nice casework, and a diy community. Saddly it was introduced during a time when opamp amplifiers ruled the land with the second ortho revolution in full swing, too expensive for the masses but not expensive enough for the tubeaholics and couldn't drive the lcd2 to save its life. Don only ever sold 20. In my opinion a modded sonnet 2 would bitch slap the EC black widow using the hd650 but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
     
  9. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Unfortunately the east coast doesn't get much exposure to the super high end gear from the likes of DNA, EC, or Cavalli. I'd love to try a sonett 2 if it's a nice improvement over the first version. It's hard to believe that the sonett 2 didn't sell well at its price point. But hey, at least he's working on two new high-end amps! Not like I can afford any in the near future though.
     
  10. audiofrk

    audiofrk Guest

    Yeah the exposure for these was really low, think he learned his lesson for his speaker company. Didn't like the way the line went ultra luxury but I get it the transformers are expensive. To be honest Don does it for the love of the hobby he doesn't sell many amps but likes the clients he deals with
     
  11. Maxx134

    Maxx134 no one will touch his boy parts without $$$

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    I wanted to listen to it but he wasn't around and there was no music player software on the screen to try.
    :(
     

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