Jan 2019 NYC Meet Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by thegunner100, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for coming to the meet! Always nice to see familiar faces and meet some new people. I started organizing these meets about 3 years ago and for me, it's always been about getting people together with similar interests and hanging out. The gear is important, but not so important in the overall context of these meets. I'll post some pics later this week when I get the chance.

    Sandra and Tim aren't on the forums, but big thanks to them for enabling access to the building, helping out, and providing us with water and snacks.

    I'll run an interest check sometime in the future to see if we have any interest for a second meet sometime during the second half of the year.
     
  2. Overkill Red

    Overkill Red Friend

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    Really enjoyed the meet! It's always nice to put faces to names, and it was great hearing all the gear.
    Some quick scribbles:

    EC ZDT (laptop w/ foobar2k WASAPI -> Yggdrasil A2 Gen5 USB -> ZDT's XLR inputs / Pendant's RCA inputs)

    Listening to @thegunner100's ZDT was a great treat. I'd always read about how EC amplifiers are some of the deepest and widest sounding out there, and if I didn't believe it before I definitely do now. The ZDT had a much larger sense of space than the ZMF Pendant, and paired with the HD800 the staging was unbelievable. While I feel the Pendant isn't a small-sounding amp, the ZDT simply blew it out of the water width-wise, while being noticeably deeper but not by that much IMO. I did find the ZDT a bit drier sounding than the Pendant, coming across as less exciting/more reference. It was also more balanced than the Pendant, with the mids being more in line with the rest of the sound versus the Pendant's slight mid forward tilt. The ZDT also has less bass and treble quantity. Can't really say which was more resolving as there wasn't enough time, but they didn't seem very far off.

    Overall though, the experience made me realize how the performance gap between gear of this price (and above?) has narrowed significantly. Choosing between the Pendant and the ZDT would really be a matter of preference. Now I'm really interested in hearing the AF & other larger, more expensive amps to see if the price difference really justifies the price jumps. Uh oh.

    (EDIT: IME, meet conditions make it hard to make very accurate comparisons. I probably compared the two for a total of about 30-45 minutes. YMMV...)

    Liquid Platinum

    It sounded very lively and punchy, though it sounded closed in compared to the Pendant and ZDT. However, considering its price (and my lack of experience with similarly priced amps), I really find it hard to fault the sound that much. One thing I didn't like was the gain being too high IMO; it got really loud really quickly, and I always took extra time fiddling with the volume knob to get it to my preferred volume.

    Cradon's setups

    I was told by many at the meet that @Cradon always brought good shit to the meets, and I was really impressed. The Yggdrasil A2 -> Mjolnir Audio KGSSHV Carbon -> SR009 combo really impressed everyone that heard it. One of the most comprehensive, high-resolution setups I've heard so far. I also really liked the alternative setup: Yggdrasil A2 -> Gilmore Lite Mk2 -> HD800. Definitely very warm and punchy sounding, and it paired with both of our HD800s well. Definitely considering getting one for my home away from home.

    HD650

    Can't remember what mods @thegunner100 had on his HD650. It was my first time hearing the HD650s on a proper desktop setup, and I can see why many people like them. They had a very resolving and relaxing sound that definitely scaled well to the setups I tried it with. Not as technical/resolving as the HD800 for sure, but at the price I'd say everyone should own a pair.

    ----------------

    Wish I could remember more and definitely wish I had listened to more stuff (Auteur, PMx2, etc.) , but it was difficult to fit everything into 4 hours, especially considering the nice chats I had with the NY gang. Would definitely be up to more meets!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  3. bozebuttons

    bozebuttons Friend

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    Sorry I missed the meet ,turns out I have the flu looking forward to reading more impressions
     
  4. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    These meets are really a good time, sorry to all those that couldn't make it (fell better @bozebuttons, the flu sucks).

    I didn't get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked there (long trip for me) and consequently didn't spend a ton of time listening. I was much too caught up listening to conversations & conversing with others.

    The listening I did do was far from organized/critical...I just plugged in the Aeolus I had on hand & enjoyed. I should have definitely got ears on @Cradon 's set up, my biggest mistake for sure. Otherwise, my impressions are very close to @Overkill Red 's...we were in tube heaven!

    I was blown away by the ZDT, I could have listened to that for hours, and the Pendant was no slouch either.
    Both were incredibly musical with no loss of detail at all IMO.
    (Sorry to dip into the 'Big Book of Audio Cliches' but it really fits here).

    The Liquid Platinum was a wonderful amp, especially for the price. I think it's performance might have been compromised by the unknown source ( @JayNYC I believe brought it & I can;t recall what it is). I have no idea HOW compromised, but both the Pendant & ZDT were hooked up to Gunner's Yggdrasil, so whatever it was, it was likely at a disadvantage.

    I didn't get to listen to much else, except a minuet or two on the HE5LE & K712 that was there.

    Again I wish I coulda' stayed longer...twas a lot of fun.
     
  5. JayNYC

    JayNYC Friend

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    Just wanted to say thank you to @thegunner100 for hosting the event and permitting me, a mere Rando, to attend. This was my first headphone audio meet up, and wow, did I learn a lot from the NY SBAF community.

    Sunday was the first time I got to hear so many amazing headphone amps that add a wonderful amount of body and emotion to music. To date, I've only heard 'theoretically neutral' solid state amps like JDS O2 and LittleLabs Monotor.

    First, to answer @Jinxy245 's question above, the gear I brought was:
    Lenovo T520, Foobar ASIO-->BJC ethernet-->Micromedia Dante2AES w/ Jameco LPS->Canare 110ohm AES-->Lavry DA10
    (I also have a Yggdrasil A1/G5 at home, but the Dante2AES+Lavry combo was backpack friendly this being my first meetup.)
    • Upon arrival and for the first few hours it fed @GanGreinke 's Liquid Platinum
    • Then for a short bit @Overkill Red allowed me to use the 2nd input on his ZMF Penant
    • And then finally into @Dr. Higgs 's Schiit Lyr till breakdown.
    @GanGreinke dropped a huge amount of knowledge and background that really helped me understand the landscape quickly.

    I think I was most surprised by @Cradon 's alternate system, the Yggdrasil A2/G5-->Gilmore Lite mk2-->modded HD800. I was amazed that solid state could sound that way, and unless someone talks me out of it, I think I will have to buy a Gilmore Lite Mk2 this week. @Cradon also shared wisdom about system synergy and overall system strategy.

    It was 'eye opening' to do a back2back comparison of the ZMF Pendant vs. the EC ZDT from @Overkill Red 's black Yggdrasil A2/G5. I got my first lesson in what deeeeeeeeeeep tube sound can be.

    I took great pride when @Dr. Higgs asked if I had any Pixies and I indeed had Surferosa in my WAV library ready for him on-demand!

    I also tried to return a tiny fraction of the audio knowledge in the room by demonstrating the iPhone app 'Speaker Pop' which can identify correct vs incorrect polarity in both speakers AND headphones when playing their test track of ticking pops. I demonstrated using my AKG K712s and flipped the polarity switch on the Lavry DAC. I think this is a very useful, underrated, and inexpensive tool to make sure one's system is wired correctly (no affiliation with the developer). I joked that the 3 pillars of audio testing are: channel, phase, and polarity.

    Net-net: this was an amazing experience and has irrevocably changed my audio buying patterns for the better....
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  6. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Btw guys, Sandra managed to get us a refund for the reservation because the building didn't properly reserve the room and couldn't locate her check. So if everyone is okay with it, I'll put in the $208 I received towards the next meet that we have. If you'd like your portion of the money back, please PM me with your paypal address.

    Thanks as always for the meet impressions.

    @JayNYC It was a pleasure having you. I Hope you stick around the community! Usually the randos that show up to the meets end up disappearing xD
     
  7. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    Please keep my contribution for the next time.
     

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