SuperBAF Can'tJam (Not CanJam / Changfest) 2016 Meet Impressions

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by Draxcer, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

    Sep 27, 2015
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    Ottawa, Canada
    I had two main goals going into the weekend:
    • Hang with the SBAF crew and meet some people
    • Get head time with as much gear as possible but with specific intent to listen to: HD800, Utopia and Elear, CA Vega and Dorado, EC Studio, DNA Stellaris. I wanted to form a picture of what the best equipment sounds like and this meet offered me that opportunity.

    I would say mission accomplished on both counts. :)

    OK lets get the impressions train rolling!

    Campfire Audio:
    • Excellent bass extension but it was slow and kind of blah overall. Based on my experience with the Dorado (up next) I suspect the Vega needs a good amp to shine and my iPhone 6 is not that.
    • The treble peak around 9K that I don’t like in the Andromeda is here and it is worse. I heard it as being quite sibilant and then rolling off rapidly after that which I did not like.
    • Overall did not like mostly because of the treble. Would strongly suggest listening to this before buying.

    • I loved it. In fact I thought it was so good I went back three times during the day to make sure my impression stayed consistent.
    • The signature is bass heavy with very slight bass intrusion to lower mids but in a non offensive way. If I had to put it in a single word it would be “vivid”. As far as I can tell the treble is very similar to Andromeda meaning that I still hear the ~9K peak and it rolls off after that. With the Dorado however, the overall bass heavy balance is mitigating it to the point where it no longer bothers me.
    • Awesome transient performance for an IEM. I think the combo of the DD + BA gives it the best of both worlds. You get the speed and impact of a good DD in the low end combined with smoother BA treble.
    • Seems to retain all the technical performance of Andromeda; resolution, tone etc..
    • The smaller size makes it more comfortable than Andromeda
    • The combo of iPhone -> GOV2A -> Dorado was one of the best things I heard at the entire meet, regardless of price. WTF good.

    • Impressions are still consistent with what I heard from the loaner I had for two weeks meaning I don’t like the treble peak however in all other regards this thing is the real deal.
    • I don’t think anyone who heard these disliked them.

    LH Labs:
    The GOV2A is stupidly good for what it costs. I don’t know exactly what sorcery is involved but as far as I could tell the amp section drives the 650 to full potential. Rock solid bass control and squeaky clean throughout the rest of the spectrum. It was also stupid good driving the Dorado IEM. I briefly had the opportunity to compare the DAC section vs Bifrost Multibit and Modi Multibit and it was clearly the best of the three. This plus a modded 650 is absurd performance for money to the point where I want to shoot it out vs my Yggdrasil/Rag stack at home. I also did a shootout of GOV2A vs V2 and the V2A is better in all areas but especially the amp section. I will be ordering one for use as my mobile setup.

    • Reminded me of a modded 650 without the mid bass hump. I can see why you would be inclined to call it a “Super 650”. It’s better than a stock 650 but not better than a modded one.
    • Doesn’t appear to have the 650 presence dip; I actually heard it as a bit mid forward.
    • Tone was a bit off.
    • Well made but not worth 1K.

    I heard the Utopia in at least 4 different setups. I found it very interesting because I had trouble picking it apart. When something has “no sound” and does not call attention to itself that usually means it’s really really good. In terms of technicalities it for sure is right at the top of the heap. So why am I not super excited? Well… there is a problem and it’s name is bass. In every setup I heard it as lean and lean is really really not my thing. I would really like to get a loaner pair of these so I can listen longer and properly wrap my head around the sound.

    This was my first chance to hear a modded 650. There were at least a half dozen at the meet. Based on what I heard there is absolutely zero downsides to modding your 650 and everyone with a 650 should do the coinmod/spider removal/dynamat on the back of the driver. I will be modding mine ASAP. The mods greatly improve the perceived treble frequency response as well as remove the grain that is present in the stock version. A modified 650 is a world class headphone.

    HD800 and 800S:
    This was also my first opportunity to hear the HD800 and HD800S. There were an assortment of them present. The modified 800 is better than the 800S. I can still hear the 6K peak on the 800S. On a modified 800 it’s mitigated to the point where I don’t find it all that offensive. The technical performance of the 800 is excellent. Super resolving, killer stage etc… Only the Utopia competes. The problem with the 800 is simply that it’s too lean (for me) and this rules it out unless you have a warm amp to pair it with.


    2 channel stuff:
    The Saga and Vidar clearly improved the sound of Marv’s homebrew Altec horn setup vs the stuff he was originally using. Clean. Would like to see them driving some medium sensitivity full size floor standers.

    I heard it with a Modi Multibit/Wyrd/iPad. The sound was very aggressive; fast with lots of slam with lots of treble and excellent extension on both ends. I would like to hear it with a really good source as I felt the Modi Multibit was really holding the amp back.

    Assorted Yggys and Gumbys:
    I don’t need to tell you these are good….

    DAVE is a very good DAC and that’s about all I can tell you from 5 minutes I listened with a modded 650 and an ECP amp. Too much unfamiliar gear and no familiar music so impossible to even start to get a proper read. Would need to get one in house to properly compare it vs Yggdrasil. (not going to happen)

    Eddie Current:
    Awesome but lean. For my taste it would need to be paired with fuller sounding gear or maybe you can tube roll it for a bit more fullness. Killer resolution, tone, transients etc.. It did it all and it did it really really well. Craig was using a vintage Moth DAC which paired very well. I should have asked Ken Ball to borrow a Dorado from his table and plug that in because I suspect it would have been mind blowing good.

    This was by far the best I heard the Utopia all weekend. A good pairing. With Utopia I liked it better using the -6DB “balanced” setting.

    Subjective “Best Sound” Awards:
    Modified HD650 (coin mod, spider removal, dynamat)
    Notable mention: Focal Utopia

    Campfire Dorado
    Notable mention: Campfire Andromeda

    EC Studio and DNA Stellaris
    Notable mention: GOV2A

    DAVE or Yggdrasil
    Notable mention: GOV2A and Moth Vintage

    Lastly a huge thanks to everyone involved in putting this event on. Shout outs to Ken Ball, Craig Uthus, Jason Stoddard and in fact all the "not vendors" for being super cool and approachable. Shout outs to everybody for bringing their gear to listen to especially the guys with hundreds of lbs of speakers or full vinyl rigs or giant unwieldy amps. Shout out to Marv and all the organizers and volunteers for putting it together and picking a great venue.

    Thanks for a great event and I hope it happens again next year. :)

    (Edit: Nicer formatting, fixed some spelling and grammar)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2016
  2. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

    May 3, 2016
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    A simple USB to SPDIF converter, that's all, wink wink :D

    Looks like you guys had a wonderful time!
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Sep 24, 2015
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    Padre Island CC TX
    Yes. They are totally worth it. In another class, maybe two, above the cheaper Fostex supertweeters.
  4. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    Yeah, and they are a part of @struggles horn system he has, it's a much much bigger system than the BLH one we brought to the show. They can be cranked so effin' loud and don't have an abrasive quality at all, it's uncanny. An amazing piece of gear, a single T500 mkII cost more than both Sigma drivers and the material that built the enclosures. I may go 1 step down on my own system and order the old Fostex super tweeter flagship the T900a and see how it fairs. Hopefully at $500 each, they can be in the ballpark soundwise of their big brother.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2016
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Sep 24, 2015
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    Padre Island CC TX
    I'll post more tomorrow. Home with kids and stuff and need to catch up on some TV shows. I didn't get a chance to hear everything, but will comment on some good rigs I heard and tell a few stories.
  6. TMoney

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

    Sep 27, 2015
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    Sausalito, CA
    First off, I want to say what a pleasure it was to meet/hang out with you guys. I really enjoyed getting to talk with some of the SBAF young-guns. You guys are super smart and I wish I knew as much as you do back when I was starting out. The future of our hobby is in great hands.

    The quality of gear on display was amazing; the best I've seen for a "big" meet. I probably only listened to about 15-20% of what was there and I was blown away by a lot of it.

    Best part of these things is meeting everyone. I knew a bunch of the Bay Area and So-Cal guys from prior meets, but it was great to see and talk to many of the people that flew in for the occasion.

    Big ups to Marv for hosting/organizing! The venue was huge and worked out great. These bigger venues are awesome. People have plenty of space to talk without making it too loud to listen to the rigs.

    Well, lets get to it:


    • If you have a meet in LA this isn't a bad way to start the day.
    • The Breakfast Club (@Ryu, @SoupRKnowva, and @Mikoss) was great company. Thanks, guys for getting up early!

    Darren Fong's OOYH

    • Darren is an absolute gentleman whom I've always enjoyed talking to at meets. He also has an awe-inspiring collection of headphones.
    • I did his demo. I thought it succeeded the best at visualizing stereo speakers. The surround wasn't quite as convincing for me, but what Darren is doing is the future, no question about it. Personalized HRTF DSP is coming, it is just a matter of time. This is very exciting stuff.
    • Darren has the single most "cherry" pair of K-1000 I've ever heard. They looked as if he had pulled them right out of the box that very day. Sounded amazing too. AKG really needs to make these again.

    Donald North Audio
    • Donald was very nice to talk to. We discussed a lot of his design choices on the Stellaris. I can't say the 2x3-pin XLR is really my thing, but he does make a pretty looking amp.
    • I did not love the sound of Stellaris with Utopia.
    • I borrowed Darren's K-1000 and plugged it in to Stellaris and the K-1000/Stellaris paring was quite wonderful to listen to, so I will give it that.
    • The gain on Stellaris really needs some kind of adjustable dial IMO. Even out of the single ended output in "low" mode the Utopia was already too loud to listen to at "2" out of "10" on the dial. The only headphones I can think of that need that much gain seem to be K-1000 and HE-6.

    Campfire Audio/ALO
    • Had a real nice chat with Ken Ball. He seems like a good guy, and I'm happy to see his IEMs are starting to win quite the following around here.
    • I told Ken I wanted to blind test his three best IEMs. I have not been following the campfire threads, so I had no idea what I was listening to. Ken let me borrow his ALO amp/DAC to interface with my ipad for the blind test.
    • When I was done I showed Ken my winner. It was Dorado (over Andromeda and Vega). If I was buying one of these, it would be Dorado. Maybe not as hyper-detailed as Andromeda, but just such a pleasant listen.
    • Big thanks to Ken for letting me blind test. That was fun.
    IMG_0009.JPG IMG_0010.JPG
    Speaker Room
    • Damn, @drfindley, you really took care of my guy @brencho. Brent, you are a lucky man. The setup sounded fantastic. @drfindley's influence is all over this sound, it sounds exactly what you would think and all-analog, all-tube set up would sound like.
    • The Schiit speaker stuff is legit, and is going to be an awesome value. Pretty damn good sound out of a $1,200 amp/pre. I love how you can switch from passive volume control to the active tube buffer on the remote. I preferred the tube buffer easily over the passive.
    • @schiit is always a blast to talk to. I love Jason's candor and only wish I was more knowledgeable with regards to the technical aspects of the gear so that I could have deeper discussions with him.

    @bazelio's Rig
    • Brian is one of the few Bay Area guys I hadn't already met in person before the meet. It was a pleasure to meet you, man!
    • We had a fun discussion about the T3. Brian's is cranked all the way to 11.
    • I think if I had to chose between Brian's ZDS and T3 I still take ZDS. Both sounded great with the HD800S, but the ZDS just has something special to it. I think it is the most interesting amp that EC makes.
    • I'm gonna remain skeptical about this USB de-crapifying stuff until I can do some more focused testing. Switching back and forth with the two Brian had set up I can't say I heard any difference other than one was slightly louder than the other.
    @ohhgourami's HE-6 Monster Rig
    • Damn, I forgot to get a picture of this truly impressive setup.
    • I think it is safe to say you've squeezed everything out of the HE-6 that it has to give, @ohhgourami! Your Krell-rig is bat-shit crazy... in a good way.
    • Of the two pairs of modded HE-6s, I preferred @ohhgourami's. I thought they had the better tonal balance of the two.
    • I'm still not on the HE-6 bandwagon. It is a solid headphone, but I think there are better choices out there.

    The Chord DAVE -> ECP Stack
    • First up, extra special shout-out to the gentleman who brought the Chord DAVE and let us piggyback off of it. That was extremely nice of you.
    • The hype on the DAVE might be out of control at HF, but it sounded pretty legit to me in the limited time I spent with it. It is way out of my budget, but it did sound sublime. I would love to test it more.
    • I'll leave it to others to give a fair assessment of the DAVE -> ECP -> Utopia combo, but in my biased opinion I thought it was one of the best if not the best sounding rig at the show. It also might have been the most expensive rig at the show (non-speaker division).
    • @SteelCannon's modded pair of HD650s were wonderful through this setup as well. Man do the HD650s ever scale up on better gear.
    Last but not least, apologies to all the other people I talked to and didn't mention here. This post is already too long as it is.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  7. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

    Staff Member Pyrate BWC
    Sep 25, 2015
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    Thanks for making it out. We didn't get to have the conversation we wanted to due to time constraints but we'll get a chance to :)

    Enjoy the ECP amp. I thought it was quite good.

    Edit: I'll have to do a write up sometime this week of the event.
  8. ohhgourami

    ohhgourami Friend

    Sep 27, 2015
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    SGV, CA
    Before breaking down, a few of us did a comparison between my Krell and the new Schiit Vidar out of our excellent chain. The Vidar is a great amp for the MSRP but doesn't hold a candle to something worth $11k new as expected. Great budget amp to run those hard to drive headphones! I can recommend.
  9. Kamaka

    Kamaka Friend

    Oct 5, 2015
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    I had a great time at the meet. Many familiar faces as well as numerous new ones.

    Started off at the Campfire Audio table listening to the Vega and Dorado. I've spent time with the Andromeda in the past.
    • Vega: Laid back, "could listen to all day without fatigue" kind of sound. Slight v-shape, detailed. Didn't wow me, but didn't do anything offensive. I could see myself enjoying these in the lab while doing long tests.
    • Dorado: Forward, aggressive. strong bass presence and fairly forward mids. I thought I was going to enjoy this more than I did. Sadly, it fatigued the hell out of my ears in less than a minute.
    I slid over to the LH table next. As a long time wave backer :drunk:, I wanted to see if the new chassis held up to expectations and how it compared size-wise.
    Here are a couple of different angles:
    Wave comparison top-down.jpg Wave comparison side.jpg Wave Chasis side.jpg

    After speaking with Larry and Ravi and listening to the GO2A for a while, I'm feeling pretty excited about eventually receiving a WAVE...eventually.

    Donald is someone I always try to catch at the meets. I end up learning something new or discovering a fantastic song/album from his collection. Great guy.
    The Stellaris is a beast. It's SOOO powerful - maybe too powerful. Didn't get much play on the volume knob regardless of the setting or headphone. I didn't really like it's paring with the Utopia, but found the nearby Flow to be a better choice.
    DNA Stellaris.jpg

    Sadly, I didn't get to spend anytime with the clones. They were a hot item, but I did enjoy the surrounding setups. In fact, one of the favorite listening sessions of the night came from the Rednet rig.
    Rednet rig.jpg

    The same rig also managed to spark my cable management OCD as soon as I went behind the table. Had I a bag of cable ties, they wouldn't have been able to hold me back.
    cable management nightmare.jpg

    Finally, a big shout-out to my favorite pairing of the night, Bill-P's modded HE-5 >> Jotunheim >> GO2(?) >> modded Wyrd. I first listened to it without the Jotunheim, straight out of the GO2(?), and found the bass impact extremely underwhelming. With the addition of the Jotunheim, they began to sing my tune. Loved them. They also extremely comfortable. Comfort is as important as the sound itself for me.
    Here I am forcing other's to listen and confirm that my enjoyment wasn't simply a figment of my imagination.
    Bill's Setup.jpg

    Thanks to everyone involved in making the meet happen and for all the wonderful people that made the meet worth attending. Much love to the many that flew in from all over the country and even other countries. Looking forward to the next one.
  10. Draxcer

    Draxcer New

    Nov 4, 2016
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    Corona, CA
    Our table was a shit storm of stuff
  11. Gravity

    Gravity Friend

    Nov 20, 2015
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    It both sounds and looks like it's been an awesome meet you guys had. I'm jealous! I enjoy reading all the impressions and looking at the pictures taken.
  12. muse

    muse Facebook Friend

    Oct 15, 2015
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    Despite not even being on the same continent, I am jealous as hell and have made it a bucketlistesque resolution to one day attend an SBAF meet.
  13. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Sep 27, 2015
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    Dijon / Burgundy / France / EU
    Okay. Stuck in paris, waiting my train to go back home and jetlag sucks hard.

    I'll try to give my Impresssions . Maybe I'll update later if I forget something. Don't forget those are meeting impressions. Grain of salt mandatory.

    Let's say first it was a great and funny day for me. Meeting all people was great. Many of you are like Rockstars for me :) so to see people for real was really exciting. I was really like a kid. That's one of the reason one I failed to listen all what I wanted to listen to. I definitely need to come back.

    The Meeting itself was great. Kinda good conditions for such a big meeting and some great gear was exposed. Both by vendors and Community members. And for sure, there was some stellar sounding stuff down there. Here's my selection :

    Best of the best : Milos Orpheus Clone. Let's say I'm a bit biased on that one because as a Stat Lover (Especially Sennheiser ones) and I'm really interested in @n3rdling 's work. He let me borrow his baby for a couple of days before the meeting and I listened to it at my place with my gear and my music. Utopia and my own HE60 was my reference I compared the Clone to. Thks to @3X0 I had the chance to have a good Session with the Original HE90 the Saturday 29/10 as well. I'll provide more impressions & measurements in the dedicated thread opened by @ultrabike buuut... this damn thing is the read deal. Period. #VoteMilos. ;)

    Besides the Clone I enjoyed immensely a few rigs , those're my "Holy shit" moment of the show

    @ohhgourami 's HE-6 monster Rig. Honestly I wasn't convinced that all those monster speaker amps could do such a difference for the HE-6 , a headphone I already consider to be amongst my 2 or 3 favs. Boy... it took me only 10 seconds to get what the fuss is all about . Never heard a HE-6 sounds as good before. NEver heard such a staging/layering from a planar before. Definitely a great sound. I preferred @ohhgourami 's He-6 to @Clemmaster one. That one was a bit too forward for my taste maybe. Very good sounding system :)

    Blue Hawai Special Edition.
    N3rdling brought that beast and I was really interested to listen to it. It's not a mistery I have a love/hate relationship with Stax. I love something in their sound ( speed, clarity, uber clean sound mostly) but I'm not than fan of what I consider their inherent coloration . I know a lot of people here know what i'm talk about. I wouldn't say plastic sound but still something a bit unnatural to my ears. I much prefer my HE60 to Any Stax for example. @Arnaud and @Ali-Pacha told me the BHSE could do wonder for the midrange shout I'm kinda allergic to and considering how they're such Stax fanboyz , i was not that convinced the BHSE could really save a SR009 for me.... so I plugged this damn SR009 and... "wtf!?" ... @Arnaud and @Ali-Pacha told the truth ! this amplifier really does wonder with both 009 and 007. To my ears , it lifts the midrange enough to make (almost...) disappear the midrange shout. Moreover, the sound was immediately and noticeably more open, more layered as well. Great great Synergy IMO but I know some people will disagree and preferred the 009 on my own DIY SRX+ . Honestly, I still prefer my HE60 to 007 and 009 but I have to admit 009/BHSE is a great combo.

    DNA Stellaris + HD800SD. THks to @CEE TEE who let me borrowed his HD800 newly SD modded by myself, i have been able to give a serious listen to @Donald North 's last amp. I'm a long time customer of DNA's product. I had the Sonett 2 (@thegunner100 bought the last one ! at the show) and now the Stratus and I am already a DNA fanboy. Milos , Donald and I had a dinner a few days ago and we listened to the Stellaris with my Utopia ( the one that was on Donald's table at the show) and the K1000 but it was not my source nor my music nor headphones I was really accustomed to. HD800SD is another story and I brought my Laptop with my GOv2 to Donald's table to listen to some music.... worst idea ever... worst for my poor wallet at least. Now, i want one. I went to Craig's table before and listened to the Studio. It was a great experience but I found it maybe a bit lean for me and my HD800SD with a tiny bit too much sharpness in the sound. I own the Stratus and it's definitely on the opposite side. Kind of slightly bloomy tubey sound. Masterfully done but still not a technical beast, right ? So , In my opinion , the Stellaris is THE sweet spot for my HD800SD. Perfect balance of liquidity AND clarity, texture. Think to this magic DNA slightly euphonic sound with forward mids, push all buttons up for technical points and you get the picture. Stellar(is) pairing with the HD800SD.

    Some food for thought : I should add at this point that I noticed something fishy in the list above. DIY headphone, Community modded headphones, DIY amplifier ( you can build your own BHSE )... Most of the best stuff I heard come from hobbyists.

    Special mention :

    - .HE400i with Ether C pads this thing sounds Really good. affordable way to get some good balanced , slightly fun & bodied sound but still wtith great clarity. I thought " wow Utopia light ! " . kind of easy to enjoy and "straight to you heart" sound . I don't remember what are the names of the two guys who had this headphone on their table . sorry !

    - Darin fong's "out of your head" stuff . Really interesting and funny experience. First time I hear sm DSP at work and it's really something i would like to explore more. Thks for the discovering !

    - THX00 ( I don't remember who's table it was. Sorry again) purple something. easy to listen and balanced but quite warm. Good souding closed back headphone, even compared to the HD600 on the same table. I liked the Amplifier as well. Matrix HPA3 (?) . Warmish but still good with the HD600.

    - @Audio Zenith . Alex was the first to come at our table in the morning and we had a great time to talk about sound, music, voice and such other things. Alex is really an intense enthusiastic guy . we agreed to disagree on some points but I always like when people do have some strong opinions and love do defend them. best thing is we finally shared some good music. opinions, good sound, good music .. that's what all good meeting should be.

    - Utopia : I picked that one during my trip. I enjoyed it a lot during my evening in my place in SF or LA during the week. Straight out of my GOv2 , it sounds already good and makes all my music so easy to enjoy. but... imo it does not compete with the greatest stuff at this show. it's very good, technically impressive, it sounds good but conveys a kind of "hifi" colouration to make all the recordings more enjoyable. Compared to a neutrality monster like @n3rdling's clone it's sooo obvious. Compared to Ohhgourami's HE-6 , it lacks ballz and Soul. Compared to a properly amped and modded HD800, the Utopia just sounds like "hifi" bookshelfs and lacks some "grandeur" . I know I'm not fair with this headphone. It sounds very good. Really. and I enjoy it and will do so in the future but imo it's not the promised best headphone of the world. And I think I'm not alone to think that in the crew. I'd say it's maybe the best jack of all trades ever and it beats the HEK for that purpose ( Relaxing , easy to enjoy headphone, tastefully tuned... blablabla) .

    Huge fail :

    I forgot to listen to so many things and didn't take the time to see so many people. Such a shame. it was too short.

    Personal thoughts :

    I think that, as exhibitors, we all try to bring the best we can to show to other people our best attempt to have great sound. We're all used to build our system at our place, alone and use our own ears to tailor the sound during hours and hours. Meetings are the place to check if what we did is really good or not. I know first hand than sometimes we come to meetings and discover that our beloved rig is not that good compared to what people can bring. I think many people lived that at least once at some point. But this time. I think that with my HE60/SRX+ and my HD800SD/Stratus I 'm not that far from the best I heard this last saturday. At least, what I built is not completely wrong and it's somewhat a relief for me because there were there a lot of people i respect and trust.

    Last but not least , i would like to thank @Marvey again. he choosed the date accordingly to my preferences and it's was fuckin damn cool to be able to be there. all my week in the United States was a great experience, thks to all friends who took a bit of their time to meet me and make me discover good and nice things here or there . Kudos to you all !
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  14. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

    Pyrate BWC MZR
    Sep 28, 2015
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    near Munich, Germany
    Damn, still kicking myself over not being able to make it. Especially seeing the friday night pic with Jimmy and Christos and thinking that I could have been with them :(.
    Looks like such an awesome meet. The speaker room looks huge. Looking forward to even more impressions.
  15. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

    Sep 27, 2015
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    Please, please, copy this post to a thread of its own.

    Quite apart from being the best speaker-build story I ever heard, I'm sure there is lots more to say about these.
  16. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    OK, done. I added it to the SET and Fostex BLH thread. Posted a few more pic's of build plans and links to help someone looking to tackle a similar project.

    I will also be giving away my old Madisound BK-16 enclosure's for free to anyone that wants to pick them up in Orange County. I'll drive them to someone's place within reason (can be convinced to go further for beer). They are a little beat up finish wise, but still structurally sound and come with the stands. Just PM me.

    BK-16 enclosure's are spoken for, that was fast!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2016
  17. Mikoss

    Mikoss Friend

    Sep 27, 2015
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    The location of the meet was on point... the west coast is gorgeous. The venue itself was also a wise choice; as others mentioned, the rooms were spacious, with good acoustics. What made this meet exceptional was that it contained the energy of SBAF, and there was just an amazing vibe of knowledge and friendship. I met so many wonderful friends- a huge thank you to everyone.

    My take is brief, as I spent most of my time enjoying the speaker rigs, and meeting others:

    - Focal Utopia - I heard mixed opinions on these; a lot of underwhelmed impressions. I found they had controlled bass, with an overall presentation close to a modded 650, with slightly more finesse and agility. Treble was more extended, and tastefully applied, however I didn't feel the treble was as revealing as the 800. I actually enjoyed the Utopias enough for them to replace the 650's, however I believe an MSRP around $2k is much more realistic. I can happily live without them, especially with the HD-6XX available shortly at $200.

    - Focal Elear - Surprisingly decent as well. In comparison to modded 650's, I was left with an overall bassy sound, with a bit of midrange trouble, and treble sizzle. Minor quibbles that would bother me without fixes, however I would enjoy hearing if they could be alleviated with mods.

    - Andromedas are still my fave IEMs, despite hearing some very good offerings from CFA. Ken Ball has done a tasteful job with FR tuning and presentation throughout their lineup, but the Andromedas just offer superior resolution. The closed prototype cans were well constructed, and seem to be on the right track sound wise. I have yet to hear any closed can that I'd be happy to live with... good luck to Ken with these.

    - EC Studio - The experience of musical details coming from such a black space made this amp. Where the ZD is immersive, the Studio just captures so many fine details with ease, allowing for contrast. I likened it to having a pitch black sky, where stars normally unseen were allowed to contrast bigger, brighter stars. I found older, warmer recordings worked very well on the Studio, whereas more compressed recordings could come across thinner. Overall, glad to experience the Studio.

    - I was thoroughly impressed with Jotunheim. It pushes the 650's so very well, with a chain-revealing resolution that is not forgiving of the source. It sounds sophisticated, detailed and energetic, however it will not make every source sound magically great. I would not run a craptastic source into Jot, which seems counter intuitive for its $400 price point. I also agreed with some of the criticisms... (eg. less involved soundstage/a slight shoutyness), however this was a must have for me, regardless.

    - Chord DAVE - I spent a fair amount of time with the DAVE. I found it resolved tape hiss with ease, like the Yggdrasil, however, I find that its presentation is different. At its best, I heard easily resolved details, with sonic layering that really seemed to work wonderfully for electronic music. I did find that I missed the Yggdrasil's Moffat bass, and would have liked to hear it feeding the ECP amps. I think I heard Chord's intended sound through the built-in SE amp feeding the 650's, and I think it would serve people who enjoy that sound well.

    There was also plenty of other gear, and I do regret not being able to meet everyone, or spend more time in the crazy e-stat room. I hope the next meet will be extended over a weekend, but I am very thankful for being a part of this meet!
  18. ibzrg1570

    ibzrg1570 Facebook Friend

    Mar 24, 2016
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    San Francisco, CA
    That was my setup. :) HPA-3B, I don't remember if that was @Ryu's Bifrost Multibit or my Modi 2U 4396 driving it when you there.
  19. geomaso44

    geomaso44 New

    Oct 5, 2015
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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  20. blubliss

    blubliss Friend

    Oct 4, 2015
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Great meet, probably the best I have been too because the listening conditions were excellent (at least compared to all the other big meets I've attended). It was nice to meet people like sorrodje, TMoney, and doug, and to see old friends, gaurav, craig.

    Milos has a very nice headphone with his DIY HE90. Coming out of the SRX and some tiny dac it sounded great, need to listen on my T2.

    I really loved the sound coming from the ecp amps, wish I had gotten around to listening to more stuff.

    Thanks for organizing Marv and whoever else had a hand in it.

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