South Bay Area Mini-Meet

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by bazelio, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Noodlz

    Noodlz Almost "Made"

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    Still stuck at the work function and won't be able to make it after all :( have fun guys!
     
  2. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    what, no impressions yet?!? haha, can you tell i'm sad i couldn't make it? wife fell asleep with a fever, baby fell asleep without a fever, and i modded my hd650s in the quiet of my office. small consolation, but they do sound amazing now. and i liked them a lot before! so there, first impression from an absentee guy :)
     
  3. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Well I had a lot of fun. Great to put forum names to faces and meet the crew.

    Quick run down...

    Bill-P measured everything in sight. Looking forward to seeing them.

    I did some early T3/Zotl2 listening. T3 had the AlO caps and 7062 (?) tubes, MZ2 had the AMB LPS and tube swaps. I don't think I'd trade one for the other. They have different strengths, and depending what I'm listening to, I could prefer either one over the other. But listening time here was limited as well.

    I lost some love for my ETHER-C last night. The open ETHER is better. And the HD800S walks all over it. Loved the HD800S. Next purchase for me. The super DuPont modded HD800 wasn't quite there for me. CEE TEEs Enignas were really interesting. So even keeled. Comfort would be a concern, though. I do need a closed headphone for work, and would be interested in replacing the ETHER-C, but don't really know where to go from here in that regard.

    Quite a bit more, but gotta run.... One shot of the room:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Cool man! What was missing for you from the 800SD v the 800S?

    Maybe look into some Slants for closed back, especially if you liked the enigmas but are worried about comfort. Slants don't clamp as hard.
     
  5. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    In @bazelio's shot, you can see I did more listening to Will than to headphones. Torpedo III is still my favorite tube amp of those on the table.
     
  6. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    curious about people's impressions are about the 800SD vs. the new 800S, since i only had limited time with the 'S' at the past meet.
     
  7. knerian

    knerian Friend

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    @brencho you should know soon enough i'll mail it out Monday. Do you already own an HD-800?
     
  8. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    yeah, i have a bill modded 800. i really like the tonality, but can't help my curiosity. i picked up a used 800 today at a good price that i'll put the SD resonator in and compare, then sell one of them down the line. however, i still wonder how these mods sound next to the 'S'. haven't had enough time with it really. also, the S is a bit rich for my blood, but we'll see i guess.
     
  9. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    As an HD800S owner, I don't think HD800S is really overpriced compared to HD800. I haven't heard the HD800SD personally but what you get is basically a resonator-modded HD800 perfected by years of R&D technicians at Sennheiser which frees you from the need of modding it yourself--no offense to Sorrodje and his SD mod, it was a huge contribution to this community and I would've bought one too had HD800S never been released--plus an extra high-quality 4-pin balanced cable. You can order an HD800S from Jan Meier at a terrific price.
     
  10. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Alright so I guess the big question seems to be the obvious what is better? Is it the HD800S, HD800D (dupont only), or the HD800SD (dupont + sbaf). The short answer is dependent on the sound you like. I ran some tests and listened for a couple of hours today to try to find the answers that might help anyone who is trying to reach their ideal HD800 situation.

    To me the HD800D is the winner. I feel that overall it produces a clearer sound and also slightly more detailed. The tonal accuracy is good as well as instrument separation more so than both the HD800SD and HD800S.

    HD800SD is interesting because the SBAF mod allows more focus on the mids. This might be preferable for those of you who enjoy vocals and though the instruments are accurate they are more faded compared to the singer I found.

    HD800S though it does provide a much easier listen as well as being more efficient to drive I found this one to be the one I liked least. I find there to be a slight veil to the music almost like things were perhaps rolled a little too much. With a slighter elevation to bass than the HD800D I didn't find the bass distortion to be too bad (very slight if any in most cases).

    Anyway that is my two cents I know it's not much but overall my route is going to be getting the HD800 with the dupont mod only.
     
  11. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    that seems consistent with tyll's view of the 800S, in that it provides nicer tonality and higher bass response out of the box, but gives up some of the details of the 800D.
     
  12. foo_me

    foo_me Friend

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    First of all, thanks to @bazelio for hosting!
    I had a good time meeting people in person and listening to some new gear.

    Fwiw, impressions are -
    HD800S - really liked these as well compared to my HD800. The highs were tamed as many others have found.
    I like the stock HD800 as well but it does get fatiguing after a couple of hours.
    That being said, there did seem to be a small amount veil from the HD800S or less airy than stock so something was sacrificed but definitely a significant overall improvement.
    I believe the modded HD800 had the SBAF mod and not the SDR mod.
    Highs were also tamed but bass was distorted compared to the HD800S.
    Still good but would have to spend more time with it to compare HD800 SBAF to HD800 stock.

    Tried the Ether C and was okay but tended to be a little bright for me.
    Tried I think what were the enigmas and didn't like them too much - felt congested and veiled to me.
    For closed, might be owner bias but I still preferred the W3000anv over it for closed headphone.
    Richer, smoother highs and more balanced.

    Bill-P's HD580 were very nice out of the ZDS for me.
    Great sound for such a lower priced headphone.
    Like an HD800S but music presentation is more closer to you.

    Also thanks to Bill-P for nice tutorial on how headphone measurements are made.
     
  13. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    You are welcome! I think foo_me and I had similar observations and preferences in general. As far as the modded HD800, perhaps - likely even - I have confused which mod is which. But I was referring to the pair that was lined with a material which looked similar to this:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    @bazelio Did the pair also have the SD resonator or just the absorber mod?
     
  15. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    LOL. Ummmm, someone else will have to answer. I just did the listening. Heheh
     
  16. foo_me

    foo_me Friend

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    I think it was the absorber.
    Looked inside and didn't see the SD resonator and no one mentioned having an Hd800 with it at the meet.
    I'll hopefully get mine soon in a few weeks though.
     
  17. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Nick had my pair which had both mods.
     
  18. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I think there should be a consensual set of terminology here at SBAF for the variations of HD800 to avoid confusion. For example,

    HD800: stock HD800
    HD800-SB: HD800 + SuperBAF absorber
    HD800-SD: HD800 + SuperDupont resonator
    HD800-SBD: HD800 + SuperBAF absorber + SuperDupont resonator
    HD800S: stock HD800S
    HD800S-SB: HD800S + SuperBAF absorber mod

    Actually, it's more confusing than I thought.
     
  19. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    Big THANKS to Bazelio (plus SanjiWatsuki, & Foo_Me) for hosting the mini-meet! ;)

    Also a big thanks to Noone411 and velvetx for picking Will & I up from the train and getting me back to my car when I missed my train. :eek:

    Was exhausted from a full week but also VERY excited to meet with people and catch up on gear.

    (I know how much work it is to pack up, set-up, and bring it all home again so I tried to listen to lots of what was kindly shared...)

    Ether-C: I'll have a chance to listen to the Ether-C this coming week for the loaner tour, so I didn't listen to them at this meet. Will post impressions later.

    HD800S: Tried to compare the HD800S to unmodded HD800 to clearly hear the differences. With something this important, I like to audition on more than one occasion and usually in-home too... The HD800S was a little bassier and less bright up top than stock- I need to compare to my HD800 which have partial Bill-Mods and SBAF foam to see which I like best. (Didn't have them with me as I brought other gear to share.) Can see people liking the HD800S better than stock, that's easy.

    Bill-modded HD580: These just show how clean and capable the HD580/6X0 drivers are. Sounded like mini-HD800 and just a bit too bright. Don't want to sacrifice that tight/clean bass, just want more of it in relation to mids/upper mids/treble. Bill already said he thinks he dialed that in. Excellent. I'd like to compare to UERM later.

    SinglePower Extreme with 7N7 used as driver (older 6SN7 equivalent): Actually a bit brighter than I expected, I owned a SinglePower very briefly. The owner said it was tuned back in the day with the darker HD650 and with that in mind. I should have tried it with one, I bet it would be a good match. As it is, my offer stands to lend my 7N7 and 6SN7 tubes to see if the tonal balance can be tuned to current crop of phones. I also have 6F8G adapters if you want to try some of those as well...they are also a 6SN7 equivalent and cheaper than 6SN7.

    MicroZOTL2 tube amp with upgraded LPS and non-standard tubes:
    Clean, sweet, nice balance of tone vs. speed and resolution. Not big and bloomy, not a bass monster. Good footprint in 2-chassis design, it is a nice desktop amp. Sweet and involving, not muddy. (Impressions in meet conditions, will compare a stock unit in home soon to my Eddie Current and Crack tube amps.)

    Torpedo 3: This is the second time that I have heard this amp and I need to compare one in my home system with my other amps. Great amp and better than the Torpedo 2 (which made me upgrade my Crack with the Speedball mod after I compared them). My impressions are that this amp is a bit drier than my tube amps but still with a bigger headstage than solid state amps and with a nice presentation. Cleaner with more resolution than Crack/Speedball for sure. Crack/Speedball is around $400. Torpedo 3 with upgraded transformers at around $700 is at another level and definitely worth looking into.

    Eddie Current Zana Deux Super: Immediately apparent in larger headstage size, impact, tonally rich presentation- it is another beast. I have my original Zana Deux fired up and working again right now as I type this because the ZDS reminded me how addictive and satisfying the sound can be. For a long time, I held to tight/clean/fast sound in my systems and was striving for ultimate "transparency". But sweeter/bigger sound when done well just keeps me up past my bedtime... This sound is what people mean when they say that you "have to hear the HD6X0 on a killer amp" or that they "scale so well".

    Someone mentioned that they wanted a bit more bass & impact than their current amp. After some comparison today, my Moth/Zana Deux EC prototype has even more bass presence than my original Zana Deux (which pushes the mids forward a bit more). This may also be attributed to the tubes used, I haven't rolled that much. The Zana Deux Super has bigger sound all around, with satisfying bass. But I can see the size/heat being an issue if you want to use a big EC amp at work. o_O

    I also want to compare Vali 2, Project Ember, & Valhalla 2 so I can have tube amp recommendations at each price point and find a smaller tube amp for my work desk...

    Biggest takeaway: I didn't get to talk to everyone enough! Need another meet soon. :punk:

    (zerodeefex, get better soon!)
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    The "Moth/EC ZD prototype" can't really be considered a prototype of the ZD. The circuit is bit different, and it also has a completely reworked PS from when it sold on HF. The output impedance is also crazy high at around 100 ohms, hence the bassier sound with the Senn's.

    Also, if that ZDS was running a Philips 6SL7 tube with green labeling, it will more neutral sounding than most other 6SL7s.
     

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