Feb 21 New York meet impressions

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by thegunner100, Feb 21, 2016.

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  1. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Hey everyone!

    Just got home and finished plugging everything back in. I'm pretty tired, so I'll save my audio impressions for tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for making it to the meet. I think it was a pretty great success for our first one. Special thanks to @speedracer1 and his family for hosting us and feeding us, @bozebuttons for picking up/dropping people off, and @sphinxvc for picking up and bringing the CIEM demos. Also thanks to @zach915m for the ZMF loaners and Julie Glick for trusting us with ~15k worth of CIEMs.

    It was great seeing familiar faces again and meeting new ones. For those who couldn't make it, I hope to see you guys in a future meet.

    Please post pics and impressions when you guys get around to it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  2. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Many thanks to @speedracer1 for hosting the event, @thegunner100 for organizing, and to everyone else that attended. I had a really great time.

    For some quick notes, the highlight was definitely listening to @bozebuttons Qualia 010 (and all of the varieties of HD800) on Cradon's amazing Lampy Lite 7 -> EC 2A3 rig. Phenomenal soundstage & resolution.

    I haven't heard an Audio Zenith PMx2 yet, but I think the modded PM2 that @Maxx134 created could give it a run for it's money.

    I really enjoyed the ZMF lineup, I much prefer the Blackwoods over by Vibro v1, and the Omni's were extremely pleasant. Excellent craftsmanship on all of them. My only concern is the pricing in a world where the TH-X00 exists.

    The biggest (and only) disappointment was unfortunately the UERR demo. The only noticeable traits were the muddy boosted bass & rolled off highs, but if I didn't know what I was listening to I couldn't fathom that it's in the same class or family as the UERM. Seemingly mid-fi clarity & resolution. I tried two different sizes of comply tips with my familiar sources (ragnarok & leckerton from Yggdrasil) and a GOV2, all with the same result. I'm really hoping that I was getting a consistently terrible seal, or that the demos were broken to some extent. Unfortunately I didn't get to compare them with my UERMs directly, as I just sent them off for repair last week.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  3. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

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    The best part of the meet was hanging out with awesome people. The equipment was secondary to that. Thank you everyone for a great time.

    Overall my favorite setup was my torpedo 3 with dr.higgs Yggdrasil and thegunner100's modded hd650. Resolution, soundstage, dynamics and tonal balance were all spot on. The bass on the modded hd650s is noticeably cleaner and more linear than stock, I did not notice an improvement in clarity however.

    The Yggdrasil is a big step up from my gungnir ds. With the torpedo 3 the differences in resolution and staging were imeditaely apparent and way more pronounced than I expected.

    Uerr were the biggest let down for me as well, they had a significant drop off in the highs. I would not call them neutral.

    He1000s are like a well aged japanese whiskey, super smooth, lacking attitude and damned overpriced. I dont see the point. Ill take some ardbeg 10 or laphroaig quarter cask any day.

    The sonnet 2 was a surprise to me, while not as resolving as the torpedo or rag it was a great match with the hd600 with good staging and an enjoyable although slightly warm and gooey listen. Quite moving with some tracks.

    With the Lampy + ec 2a3 the hd800s soounded more tangible and of this earth than with the Yggdrasil/rag. Not thin and freakishly wide like they normally do. More intimate but much realer sounding. There were a lot of tweaks and mods going on in that setup and on the hd800s themselves, so it was hard to tell what the 2a3 or lampy sound like. Resolution was over 9000.

    The qualia 010 were like Arya stark's sword, needle. Incredibly nimble and precise with ample tight bass given a good fit. cold as a dagger in the winter, but still enjoyable. Also beautiful. Faster than hd800 without treble issue, but I found the hd800, modded hd800 and hd800s overall more cohesive.

    I've heard them before, but maxx134's modded pm2 were a highlight for me. I preferred them to both the modded ether and lcd 3 by a wide margin. Extremely dynamic, great slam and details. The starburst of headphones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  4. speedracer1

    speedracer1 Rando

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    Hi guys,

    It was really great meeting each and every one of you yesterday at my home. I think overall the meeting went very smoothly and I would like to thank Jimmy for his consistent flawless execution and pre-planning, @sphinxvc for picking up and bringing the CIEM demos and his willingness to help with anything we needed and Tom for his constant support including tables, chairs, additional extension cords and taking many folks to/from the LIRR and for bringing some very beautiful equipment. Speaking of beautiful equipment there was so much equipment at the house at one point I was sitting at the kitchen table while listening to Cradons setup with the EC2a3Mkv lampi light7 and their were at least 5-6 pair of headphones available within arms reach including, HD-800, HD-800-s, HE-1000's, Sony Qualia 010, and the Foxtex cans. Really just amazing with an amazing group of audiophiles!

    Sincerely,
    Your friend in audio
    -Speed
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
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  5. Jessica Owen

    Jessica Owen Rando

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    Did anyone else experience the same thing?
    I have placed my order on hold until I can demo the UERR.

    Disappointing indeed.
     
  6. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    I mostly socialized at the meet, so I didn't get to hear too much. Here are my impressions on what I did get to hear though.

    UERR - As the other UERM owner at the meet, I found the UERRs to be a disappointment as well. Setups used were dx90 and Yggdrasil + Leck. I tried both the foam complys and the silicon types and preferred the complys. Like Higgs and Steelcannon said, the bass does seem to be boosted over the UERM. The treble also seems to be shelved in comparison. I think for those who found the UERM to be too bright will probably find the UERRs to be just right. But for those who want a UERMv2, the UERRs are not it. I think a lot of people will still enjoy the UERRs, but UERM owners probably won't.

    DNA Sonett 2 - This is a pretty good amp for the Senns. I enjoyed my modded h650s out of it and the Yggdrasil. It has a bit of a wet sound to it and a slightly laid back nature.

    Liquid Carbon - Sounded pretty good with the hd600/650 but I didn't get to listen to it too much.

    HE-500 - Out of my virtue one.3, this headphone was very enjoyable. Not as resolving as the hd650 but has a non-fatiguing sound.

    HD800S - It sounded a tad bit less bright than the original hd800 but it is still a hd800 no matter what. When maxx applied his resonator mod to partially modded hd800, it sounded pretty close to the S.

    Sony Qualia 010 - We got to hear this rare headphone thanks to bozebuttons! It's special in the way that it portrays spatial cues and attacks. The fit on it sucks though, and it's hard to position it on my head to get the right sound. I tried my best, but still found it on the bright side.

    Now... for some pics! These were taken by speedracer and/or his wife. I forgot to bring my DSLR this time, so someone remind me next time.

    FullSizeRender 2.jpg FullSizeRender 3.jpg FullSizeRender 4.jpg FullSizeRender 5.jpg FullSizeRender 6.jpg FullSizeRender 7.jpg FullSizeRender 8.jpg FullSizeRender 9.jpg FullSizeRender 10.jpg FullSizeRender.jpg

    Continued on next post.
     
  7. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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  8. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    For any attender who's interested in getting a pair of CIEMs made, please contact me and I will get you in contact with Julie to have free impressions made. The offer lasts until 3/11.
     
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  9. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Awesome deal, I wish I would have listened to more of the demos now :(
     
  10. Ziva

    Ziva Friend

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    I second the hearty thank you to speedracer (and family) for having us, gunner for setting everything up, and sphinxvc for bringing the IEMs.


    I, too, spent much of the meet talking to people, so I'm a little light on impressions. It was a great group. The set ups were all very good.

    A few things stood out to me:

    This was the first chance I got to hear the Torpedo, and it's a great piece of gear. Doesn't pair with everything, but the Yggdrasil-Torpedo-stock HD 650 combo was the best I've heard the 650s sound. I normally prefer the 600s, but the 650s slight darkness was eliminated on this setup. I also quite liked the Gungnir DS-Torpedo set up. The T-X00 sounded very nice with that pairing - a little less U shaped.

    Gunner's modded 650s with the Yggdrasil-Valhalla is excellent. Made me question the conventional wisdom of spending more money on an amp than a DAC.

    I second what others have said -- the HD800S is the HD800's brother from another mother. The modified HD800 sounded very similar to the HD800s to me. I still can't find an amp pairing that solves the HD800's (stock/modified/S) issues for me.

    Maxx134 - whatever you did that PM-2 - wow. It doesn't sound like the same headphone. Powerful, incisive and well balanced.

    Boozebuttons you have a very cool headphone collection. Thanks for sharing some of it with us. Cradon, this is the second time I've heard your rig - it's amazing to hear what headphones are really capable of.
     
  11. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Looks like an awesome meet, glad to see we have an East Coast presence :)
     
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  12. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Ha ha! Hell yeah!



    I liked Dr. Higgs' HD800S out of his raggy/Yggdrasil A2--that was a highlight of the meet for me. I mean, it's an hd800, sure, but a bit smoother and it just sounded pretty great. If someone liked the hd800 but didn't have one yet, I'd recommend the S. I also heard a modded hd800 out of the same set up and it was very interesting with some added warmth or something in spots and a little bit of the stock brightness here and there peaking through. The S was overall my pick of the two.
     
  13. bozebuttons

    bozebuttons Friend

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    First off special thanks to Speedracer & family for hosting & putting out a great spread for all.

    Thegunner100 for stepping up to the plate & organizing the meet I should have tried your modded 650 to my unmodded one.next time.

    Sphinxvc for picking up & bringing all the iems from Julie Click

    Great to hang out with everyone.

    There was a lot of differant gear at the meet.

    The Liquid Carbon was able to drive all the headphones I plugged into it,great amp for a desktop setup well worth the price of admission.

    The torpedo 3 with the TXH 100 was a good pairing as well.

    I listened to Cradons setup with the EC2a3Mkv lampi light7 & compared his modded hd800 to the 800s
    The modded 800 was more open sounding & resolving then the 800s.The first thing I noticed with the 800s that it seemed more closed in,smoother/warmer sounding with a little more bass . Listening to Hotel California when Don Henly was singing I felt the 800s where slower little sounding then the modded 800.

    I don't know how many hours where on the 800s, I was thinking of picking up a pair ,but I don't see the point as I have the Sony Qualia O10 with the proper fit
    sounds more resolving with pinpoint imaging.
    .
    These are meet impressions so take it with a grain of salt, A great day just hanging out & socilizing & listen to differant gear.
     
  14. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Like everyone else, I spent most of my time chatting and eating, but here are some impressions:

    DNA Sonett 2 — I really liked this amp. I was listening to this with @Ziva's HD600s and Adele hasn't sounded better. I usually find myself turning the volume down on my Liquid Carbon a bit when she hits the high notes, but the Sonett's smooth sound let the natural raspiness of her voice come through without the harsh edge. Awesome. I'm also a big fan of the industrial design. That blue casework – is it powder coated? – looks great in person. Easily recognizable from across the room.

    HE-500 — @bozebuttons handed me a pair of these and told me to listen to them on the Carbon. It was my first time hearing them, and wow, the bass hit like a ton of bricks. Very powerful and seemingly limitless depth. I could get used to the laid back sound of these, but I was missing a bit of detail. Switching over to the TH-X00 showed just how capable they are in the bass. I hear them has having 95% of the quantity as the planars with more tightness and clarity. Pretty great for $400.

    JH16 — I'd never listened to a quality IEM before, so it was nice to get a sense of what these can do. I liked how they sounded, but I prefer the fit of traditional cans. The isolation was scarily good. I could definitely see myself getting hit by a bus while wearing these.

    HE1K — These were great. Extremely natural, effortless presentation. The detail is there if you want it, but the whole range sounds balanced. Very comfortable to wear too. Too pricey to be worth it for me ultimately, but I can see why people love these. @thegunner100 said these were prototypes and not the final production tuning, for what it's worth.

    Yggdrasil — I didn't get a chance to actually listen to any of the Yggdrasil's at the meet, so here are my aesthetic impressions: this thing is huge and ungainly. I really like Schiit's bent/brushed aluminum cases – I've got a Gungnir Multibit that I love – but I don't think the design works at this scale. There is a cartoonish quality to it, especially when stacked on top of the Rag.

    Great hanging out with everyone, and looking forward to next time.
     
  15. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Thks for all those great anf insightful impressions. :)
     
  16. Maxx134

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

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    First off, a thanks to speedracer1 for hosting the event and him & his family for recieving everyone with such great hospitality & food.

    Thanks thegunner100 for organizing the event as this was a great meet balance,
    as we had time to both converse and hear most everything.

    Thanks bozebuttons for coming up yet again with something to make my mouth drop in awe(!)
    Last time it was the Grado HP2,
    and this time it was his Sony Qualia.
    Proving that "new" doesn't necessarily beat out "old"..
    He is like the " super jedi master" of headphones knowledge.
    :)


    So my impressions so far:

    First off the Sony Qualia:
    I consider it easily superior to the HD800 in every way yet am undecided about bass levels due to the fit on head..
    I always thought the hd800 was original till I was shown these.

    That being said, the HD800 still my favorites.
    I never mentioned that I had placed a resonator mod in Craig's HD800.
    ;)

    Most members mentioned how similar it was to the HD800S(!),
    And I agree with that statement...
    Plus visually it was all black as well.

    I did notice a difference, which "theGunner" aludes to, and which makes me still prefer Craig moded HD800.

    The HD800S still has not solved all of the "diffused soundfield" issue,
    So you will still need a mod to give it the more pinpoint accuracy it "needs".

    The reason why I say it still "needs" a mod,
    is because of the HD800S elevated lower mids.

    This area can get confusing in coherence.
    Whereas the original HD800, with only resonator mod,
    will mainly address the upper spectrum,
    This new version headphone has added a new "lower freq spectrum" complexity to this issue.
    *edit*:
    I just noticed member bozebuttons mentioned a perception of "slowness" ,
    And my guess it is related to what I perceived.

    Many will like the added thickness & darkness in this area, as it takes on a noticable prominence.

    I did also note a slightly elevated bass presence with the HD800S.

    So in the end, for me, Craig HD800 (with "Sennheiser" material for it's resonator mod), was still the best HD800 to me.
    It retained all the good qualities without going overboard on the lower mids, as the HD800S did.
    So it was similar, yet more sweeter and delicate to my ears..

    My HD800 had the resonator mod (with Sennheiser material)
    BUT it also had an extra mod for the resonance issues, (giving more pinpoint imaging),
    The problem was my pads are so bad so it reduced the soundstage,
    and in the end not as enjoyable as Craigs.

    Now onto the others:
    I was really impress by both the Audio Technica w2000,
    And the HE500.
    I like them both over my HD650 (unmodded).
    They are solid overachievers.

    I appreciated the HE1K and the LCD3 for what they offered,
    But I was a bid saddened that they didn't impress me overall as anything else .

    I liked my Ethers better than those two.
    The fully modded Ether I felt got no love at the meet, and was surprisingly similar in tonality to the LCD3.
    Yet the LCD still had the more deeper bass at times yet didn't show it as much ..

    I used the liquid Carbon in comparing.
    The portable liquid Carbon was very impressive when running planars off of the balanced out.
    In this sense, it broke away from usual mid-tier stuff, and gave a decent soundstage.
    Resolution is still mid-tier to me,
    But overall really quite nice.
    I may have had it at maximun potential as it was running off my Yggdrasil.

    In contrast, the Torpedo was extremely good sounding,
    Punching high in sonic quality.
    While it did not have the power to drive an LCD, it still remained composed when pushed.

    The DNA that was there,
    was using new production sovtek tubes which to me was a noticable limitation ..
    I was beautiful, but sounded a bit anemic & fragile when pushed.

    I am sure that if it had the old 6n30p-dr it would be amazing.
    Even the "Electro Harmonix 6h30 gold pin tubes would give a noticable weight and power to the bass. .

    Everyone seems to love the new Fostex woody, and I can agree it's a fun can with good mid-tier resolution.
    But to me, it cannot beat a modded th600(!),
    simply because the 600 has greater soundstage.

    The fact that it can be modded rather easily to reduce its "U"shape,
    was also a "not fair" advantage. .

    But when you look at how truly beautiful the wood cups are on those THX00 ARE, everything dissappears and you just want to have one.

    That's what happened when I used to own the Audio Technica woodys, like the 3000anv & the esw10jpn.
    Those had a certain majic in the midrange that was very special and I was fortunate to experience that.
    It gave me the mental tunning that you know when you hit a certain "sweet spot" .
    When I tuned the PM2, I heard that "sweet spot" in the mids where it just sounded great, I knew that was the place to stop, and so that's where I am happy to leave as is.

    There is already a PMx2 for more. critical listening.
    Yet for summer I will be looking into the more portable PM3.
    ;)

    I haven't mentioned the Ragnarok as I never much impressed by it.
    It does very well for what it is,
    But your stepping into another whole level higher playing field when you go into tubes,
    And I absolutely love tube amps and totally convinced no solid state will ever achieve the sonic dimensionality that tubes can preserve...

    In my book,
    That's the bottom line fact that you can never get away from...

    That being said,
    Craig EC2A3 combo with his Lampazator Level 7 is the most beautiful musical setup I have ever been priveledge to hear..(so far)

    What else can be said?
    His setup is an almost speechless level of realism & musicality ..
    Yet I am sure the "Super jedi master" of all things headphone related ( bozebuttons ) can have even more knowledge to impart about these things .
    :)
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  17. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    The funny thing is that everyone love's Craig's setup, but yet he's NEVER satisfied with it. There's always some sort of tweak that he's looking for in his setup.
     
  18. take

    take Friend

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    I think that's just the nature of the hobby, haha. Doomed to forever be looking for improvements.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Wow, looks like you guys had a great time. I should try to make it out there some time.
     
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  20. bozebuttons

    bozebuttons Friend

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    Talk craig into letting you come out for the ny head-fi meet in june as a vendor.
     
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