Author Topic: Headphone Meet / Get Together - Sat. and/or Sun. March 21st & 22nd - Cary, NC  (Read 29567 times)

Offline richidoo

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Very fun!

Cool gear, nice people.

Offline Carlman

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So were the el8's "all that? "
Can folks post some impressions of what they heard in new threads in the headphone section?
It's ok to start new threads!  :lol:
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline Rob S.

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El8's all that?  No, good phones.  Not a slam dunk, but good enough for me & my ears,  I'm hoping lots of break in and an upgrade cable will step them up some.   The xc's are a slam dunk! 

The midrange is not quite as smooth as the top models, signature is a little different. Still open and relaxed, though.    Rich preferred his old broken in AKG's.  Maybe he can add something. 

Rob S.
No new money spent on audio!!  but starting in 2012!!

Offline richidoo

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I like K701s better than EL8s when EL8s were on Fostex amp and 701s were on iFi iDSD amp, with both using iDSD as DAC. I don't remember ever listening to EL8 on the iDSD.

I liked LCD XC thru Shit Lyra tube amp and bifrost DAC. I liked 701s on Lyra too, nice amp. He had Amperex tubes in it.

I remembered Woo A7 sounding better thru LCD3s at Shanes house meet than it did this time on my 701s, I thought it was too tubey for K701s.

I find K701s to be more comfortable to wear than any other headphone I have tried to date. They are not as detailed as LCD3 but detailed enough for me. I like the tonal density and bass power, despite being open back. Apparently they sound bad when new, but I bought them used and mine are used hours a day for video gaming, so they are kept in prime condition. They need a powerful amplifier that doesn't make it shouty, like Fostex amp did, and a few others at the meet too. I don't know why, not enough current, or too low Zo,  I dunno

The iFi iDSD is an amazing machine. So many holes, so little time, makes some crazy hookup options possible. One setup was USB from laptop to iDSD powering one headphone controlled by iDSD's VC, with the iDSDs RCA preamp outputs switched to full volume feeding another headphone amp with it's own VC.  Another setup was laptop USB to iDSD, RCA outs to tube preamp on my speaker system, at the same time the iDSD SPDIF output to another DAC which is also connected to same preamp, allowing comparison of my own DAC to iDSD DAC playing in sync. As a DAC it sounded surprisingly good considering it lists at 40% of the cost of my diy DAC parts, and has commodity resale value tht tha diy doesn't. I did like my DAC better for more tonal texture, more natural tone on acoustic instruments, more realistic bass (iDSD is boosted bass a little even with the EQ buttons off) but iDSD was bigger rounder bolder overall that people will like. Certainly better sounding than most <$1000 DACs I've heard, and it has sota USB input, dejittering, internal battery for portable and many holes to explore. I also quickly compared iDSD to vinyl with Maestro Wood/Vista pre. The iDSD won that one, due to the differences in the mastering of the media. The TT played a 35 year old, thoroughly abused, noisy Japanese pressing of Coltrane's Blue Trane, while the iDSD played a recent CD remaster (Contrane's "Jazz Manifesto" compilation) with more bass, more treble, better panning, etc, the "technically correct by modern recording standards" version of the recording instead of the original RVG version with artistically appropriate bass and treble levels. But comparing midrange tone quality and liquidity of the iDSD to vinyl was very good, and that was playing redbook flac, not upsampled. The night before we used stereofool's older iFi DAC (similar model without DSD) as source for some very pleasant listening on my speaker system. Considering the price of $500 its an impressive bargain.

I also really enjoyed listening to iDSD on my K701 headphones, its a great synergy, clean sound, strong bass, plenty of power to play loud, not shouty.

EL8 has good isolation, and feels comfortable, seems lighter than LCD2-3 but I did not compare the weight. I avoided trying any LCDs at the meet.

Listening to Jasons Aurelic stack was also a highlight of the meet. He has a lot of great music on his "travelling" HDD so I was able to hear some great jazz and classical stuff that I would normally have to bring myself to hear. Bill Evans' Portrait in Jazz, and Rubenstein's Chopin, Elllington Newport, etc. Good stuff. The Aurelic DAC and headphone amp sounded great with my 701. Clean, transparent, powerful, that's it, no obvious personality. I could hear music without sound distraction better than the other demos. The iFi was like that too, but I didn't try that until got home later.

A guy named Rhett had a DX50 portable player that sounded really good with dual ESS 9018 DAC chips in it. That was the best sound with EL8 that I heard over the weekend. But there was an amp between the player and the cans, I don't remember what that was, Rob should know that.

One thing I learned from listening and several conversations at the meet is that some headphones (like mine) prefer a higher output impedance amp. Very low source impedance can make a shouty sound in upper midrange, lower Z (like tubes) removes that. I don't know what the iFi Zo is, but it didn't shout and it is SS, so who knows.

Offline jtwrace

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Hopefully the next meet is being planned.   :D