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Audio Video Club of Atlanta / Headroom Computer Audio-specific Meet(ing)


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This was a bit different kind of shindig than your usual Head-X.org meet. These were "old farts" (their term, not mine), while "we" were the "young farts" (again, their term). Ingwe was particularly thrilled with that, as he's old. ;) They had Tyll come out to Atlanta for a meet/greet + presentation on computer audio. I arrived around 60% of the way through the 2 hour "set-up" time, which was really about the only time one had to listen to music in a reasonable environment (more on this later). I pulled in and got out of the car and saw TomB pulling in. I went over and caught up a minute before heading into the hotel where we were greeted by two friendly ladies with the AVCoA. We signed in and were pointed to the room, which, upon arrival, was a little disappointing. It was FAR too small of a place for the amount of people who wound up showing up, which, I'm glad to say, was "a lot." I would guess 30-40 people associated with either the AVCoA or HF, or both.

The "Meet(ing)" was schedule from 2pm-5pm, and there were probably 10 rigs spread out over maybe 6 people. The President of the club introduced Tyll and everyone grabbed some chairs and sat for a nice little presentation and Q & A round, and then the "Presenters" (the HF/C guys who brought the rigs) went around telling about their gear. It started with Ingwe telling the story his audio journey going back to the great Chicago Fires of 1871 through the selling of high end gear to the present and his various headphone rigs. With this presentation, seeing someone who'd been in the, we'll say, "stereotypical audiophile" or "speaker" world who has now delved into headphones, I believe it helped some people better relate to we "young farts" and our headphones. Then on to Fitz, who had brought two rigs, iirc. He had the K1K and Epos speaker rig (using AKG flight cases juxtaposing Tyll's uber-stands across the room) along with his custom built fan-less file server. Fitz fielded quite a few questions as there were definitely some techie guys there from both old-school DIY and new-school computer/tech arenas. Next was a change of pace for the audience, as Matt (mwallace?) took the stage with his 4 year old PC with optical out into a number cruncher then a PPA to some MS-2(i)s. Then we were back to the realm of Q&A when TomB was up to bat with his 2 laptop setup. One went from a Bantam dac to a Minimax, while the other fed an Alien Dac in a Penguins tin. There was also a prototype board with built-in dac designed by our very own Colin Toole (who SHOULD have been working on grawk's Denon instead...). Since it was my rotation in Screaming Oranges' generous GS-1000 loaner program, and I didn't really have a computer rig to speak of, I gave a brief demonstration on what turned out to be "Grado Pads, a Retrospective." I explained the significance of the HF-1 and showed the Flats v. Bowls v. Bagels in a side by side manner. The audience was in awe. ;)

I'm breaking out a new paragraph for the next presenter, as it was Purk. Exemplar Audio 5910, Larrocco Amp, H120 into the AT digital amp, Acer Aspire netbook into a pico dac with a 320gig usb hdd attatched. R10s, L3ks and HD800s (loaners from Tyll) adorned this rig. A beast, as always.

Finally, for the non-headliners, we had a rig I am sad I didn't get a chance with. Hortonm (iirc, and a new member here at HC), brought his iWadia -> Benchmark DAC-1 -> HD800. Tyll made sure to go check his pair to make sure they didn't creak... they didn't, and a collective sigh of relief was released by the four people in the room who knew what Tyll was talking about.

Then the lights dimmed, the fog poured in from smoke machines, the laser light setup stolen from Stone Mountain lit up the wall with pictures of Tyll's topless dancing and HD800s. Then, through the fog, Tyll brought out the uber-pimp HD800 balanced uber rig that were... well... you know that rig.

Sadly, however, the small room which held the 10 or so rigs, and 40 people, had a max capacity of 50. WAY too small for proper listening, and the background noise was HIGH. The presentations + meeting (very active club, btw. There is talk of taking another trip to I believe the Meridian HQ in the ATL area, that would be fun!) went about 2 hours, leaving only about 30 minutes of listening time... as we all know, not enough time to let everyone cycle through everything, or even half of it. Ambient noise was a light roar, so Grado listening was out, and HD800 was "ok", and R10s were still listenable, but no shot with the K1Ks.

But there was something else... a great comraderie with the folks (for the most part).

After the meet, it was on to one of the member's BBQ joints, the Hickory House, iirc. There was a cooler full of beer waiting on us (complimentary), and we had the entire back room to ourselves. We wound up having a great discussion, as myself, ingwe and Fitz were at a table with the owner of the place and a few of the AVCoA, along with the understanding wives. ;) We had some really good BBQ, some great discussions (and some a little skewed). Brought up alternate forums, fleshed out some topics, and had a great time. When things were winding down, David - the owner - was asked to the side by a member to see if our server (very helpful, btw) could bring out the checks. He quietly replied "it's taken care of." Entire thing... Comp'd. Tip your server, please. What a guy.

There is more, and very few pictures (my cam got stuck on the other side of the room for 2 hours :( ), but the AVCoA had a guy with a D300, so there are pics SOMEWHERE, but all-in-all, this was probably my fav event I've been to so far. It was ok for me, as I'm not one to really listen to GEAR as much at meets as meeting new people and seeing old friends (and fiends).

250 miles round trip... well worth it!


One thing that that was conveyed over the course of the day was that there are still audiophiles and audio enthusiasts out there.

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Last person I expected to make a write-up like that, good work. I don't really have much to contribute beyond what's already been said.

Really, I am both shocked and impressed. :)

Nice write-up, Brent. Who knew you had it in you? :)

Such little faith you have, my fiends. ;)

Heh, I'm actually surprised at the responses I've gotten from people over writing things... maybe I should actually do something with my life one day, eh? :)

So, on a real note (probably a Bb), I'm not sure I mentioned it, but one thing I enjoyed seeing, as I believe the AVCoA guys (and gals) enjoyed seeing, was that everyone there got to see that it wasn't "speaker guys" and "headphone guys", but people who were into audio, audio reproduction and on top of it all, music. I think some eyes were opened and I know quite a few brains were picked on "both sides" of the fence, which is really more of an imaginary zig-zagged line that wove it's way through the room.

It's all the same hobby, boys and girls... all the same.


P.S. I enjoyed talking to Tyll for the few minutes I had him to myself on and off throughout the day. Interesting character, he is. I think he enlightened more than a few people this past Sunday (though I didn't agree with him 100% on the computer audio front), but as the great Mr. Robert Barisford "Bobby" Brown once said... "That's my prerogative".

Tyll did a great job with the meet, and I really do like the idea of having a speaker bringing in multiple audiences together at a meet. Had this been on a Saturday, and been a 6 hour affair, with 2 hours of talking and 2 hours of listening as bookends, it would have been a GREAT meet.

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