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NY Fall Meet


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Had a great time spending the day with Nate, Ian, Ari, Dinny, Tom, et al at the NY Meet. To make it even better I brought home HF-1 #10 to match my #10 HF-2. Freshly turned NH style Wenge deep bowls and leather headband make these even better!

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Got to spend some time listening to Nate's new amp, Colin's new amp, Ari's new amp and Dinny's Beta 22 and the 12 DACs he brought to the meet.

Ari took lots of pictures with his new camera so I assume he will be along soon to show all the toys.

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I had a wonderful time meeting all of you people, except for stretch who I didnt meet and missed quite a bit. Its OK, the ceiling in this pace was very low, he would have had to crawl or tilt his head all funny or something.

At this meet I tried out some very impressive gear. In particular Nate's SB-600 flash for my camera. It is quite a nice bit of gear, I will have to get one.

pictars:

look here for more pictures

some highlights:

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jin, he has JH13, it says so on his nametag.

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Nate and the Menace TC lite

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the floats came out, a picture like this had to happen.

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This one had to happen too.

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Ian makes nice headphone cups.

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Stretch,

You were missed. Just made it home, the drive both ways was through some pretty shitty rain but the event made it worth while. Had a good time, did way more listening than usual, and managed to buy some parts at the auction that I have no earthly use for. Yet.

Highlights:

1. Seeing Dinny's beta22 again. F I love that amp.

2. Seeing just how small Colin's spud amp is and hearing just how good it is. It's absurd on both counts.

3. Seeing Jeff, Ari, Colin, Dinny, Kerry, Jimmy, Wayne, Arron and a whole slew of others and just catching up for a bit. And of course meeting a few new folks (Judd?).

But I'm officially wrecked after a 16hr day (8 of which was in the car) so I'm saving more impressions for tomorrow.

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Nice meet, and a big thank you to Erik and the other organizers.

Hadn't seen a lot of guys from the NY crowd for quite a while (since the Fall '05 meet and the National Meet in '06), so it was definitely great to be back. Much warmer than the last time I was here in November, and I wasn't too late to miss all of the Fall colors.

Not so excited about headphones these days, but I really liked the HE-5 and LDC-2 and think both are priced quite well and worth considering in you're in the mood for something a little different (transparent, huge soundstage, and pretty much effortless in terms of delivery).

The other big hit for me was Hifiman's HM-801 DAP which is just a killer deal considering the quality of sound it delivers, along with all sorts of functionality. I'm not too crazy about collecting a bunch of expensive 32 SD cards (about $70 each, so that would add up in a hurry). Other than that, I'd be all over this little critter and say goodbye to iPods, LODs and portable amps.

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Amazing meet. Hung out with Colin a lot, who is awesome. Listened to a bunch of crap. Colin's rig is friggin fantastic. Fang should make Colin's rig THE HE-5 rig. Nate's new amp is very nice and had many nice round holes and the Hertsens dac is as great as I remembered it.

The skipjack is very cool. Meets are a bad place to do source comparisons but the skipjack makes it extremely easy to compare.

As usual, it was great to meet everyone, especially Ian, Dinny, Nate, Colin, Ari and everyone else and :( to Stretch. I hope youre feeling better!

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Really a solid meet. erikzen is a good guy and deserves credit for putting together a well-organized and fun event. The best part, as always, is to see the gang--Nate, Jeff, Ari, Colin, Ian, Jin, Wayne, Aaron, Jimmy, Tom, the Wu Clan, Kerry, Judd...and some new folks. Just an all-around solid crew. I did a fair amount of listening (for me) at this one, so I'll have some impressions later.

'Stretch, you were missed, as was the rest of the New England crew, but we'll hang soon hopefully. And I'm not sure how much 'stretch's vinyl thingy fetched, but it seemed to be much appreciated by the attendees.

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What are those port looking things to the left of the interconnects on the amp section? Space for more tubes to stick out?

Yup. Those are sockets for the optional input phase splitter, as apparently it cant work with a SE source otherwise.

It was a great meet, well worth the 8 hours in the car to hang out with the gang.

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As usual, I did not listen to much at the meet. It was much quieter this year than last at this location so I did try to listen to a few systems.

I spent some time with the Woo two piece single ended amp (WA5?) and it is just as good as I remembered it being.

I listened to the HiFiman little portable thing with my JH13s and if i could get over the size, weight and looks this would really be an excellent portable source. Maybe a carry on amp that can be used as a Hotel system but probably too difficult to carry as a commuter rig.

Dinny brought quite a bit of gear and I enjoyed being able to compare the Dodson DAC to the Bryston. For my ears, the Dodson was the winner in Dinny's system. I want one of the little Manley skipjacks!

I listened to Nate and Colin's amps with the woodied HF-1s and found them both to be excellent.

I thought it was funny that while Nate's amp only takes a few tubes he brought 800 spare tubes just in case. Also I have to thank Nate because if he hadn't shown up with a power strip/box I would have had my system on static display only as I forgot mine.

I also listened to the HifiMan HE-5 headphones on Colin's amp and I thought this was a very good pairing, better than my M^3 with these headphones.

I actually listened to some of Colin's music and was surprised to find that it was actually pretty good. Some red head singer that I can't remember. I did not get to hear any Jesus and the Dufuses unfortunately.

It was good to see everyone again and I look forward to seeing many of you again in a few weeks in Florida.

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Thanks for all the impressions, guys! Moar of you should go listen to the orthodynamics.

I actually listened to some of Colin's music and was surprised to find that it was actually pretty good. Some red head singer that I can't remember.
That would be Epica. (I kinda doubt it was Neko Case, but Colin can correct me if I'm wrong.)
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My notes.

High Points:

  • Woo WES + Omega - Wonderful. Plenty of power from the WES. And the Omega is amazing. However, I do think it photographs a bit better than it appears in person. However, the lighting wasn't great in the room.
  • HE-5 Ortho - Very very satisfying. In a way, I feel like this could be an HD800 killer if that makes sense.
  • HiFiMan HM-801 - This player is extremely promising. I thought it sounded great. And it seems pretty modular. Definitely some quirkiness and size issues, but the first seriously high end portable I've heard.
  • Nate's Menace Lite - That is what it's called, right? This thing just sounded (and looked) great. Nate's amps sound good with all phones, but as I've said before, they make most Grados punch way above their weight. John Grado meet Nate.
  • PS Audio PerfectWave DAC - A/B'd with the ULN-2, but tough to volume match so hard to declare a "winner." But I really liked the PerfectWave. It has all kinds of bells and whistles, but it also can easily be a "set and forget" DAC. I'm a little wary of the LCD screen, but this DAC is cool, and more importantly, sounded rich and textured.
  • Ari's vinyl setup & orange amp - Just a pleasure to listen to. I'm finally beginning to understand the differences between analog and digital. But I have a long way to go on that front, and don't have a preference yet. Apparently DACs don't work with turntables?
  • Judd's bang-for-the buck rig - Koss 950, Wadia iPod dock, Assemblage 2.6, Stax SRM1/MK2 - shows that you don't have to spend $5000 to have a truly engaging listening experience.
  • JH13 Universal - Sounds awesome, blahbitty blah blah.
  • New music - Ian let me borrow a great mix, and I listened to some death metal that didn't make me want to not have ears.
  • Luxman P-1 + HD800 - This combo is great. The Luxman gives the 800 the touch of warmth and bass that shows how great the 800 is.
  • Amarra - Sounded good. I love that it will allow you to play hi rez on the fly instead of having to muck around with preferences, quitting iTunes, etc.
  • Swapping impressions with the gang about the Dodson vs. the Bryston. It's cool when you compare notes and most of the ears you trust arrive at very similar conclusions.
  • I thought the auction was fun and Yikes did a good job.


    Mixed Feelings:


    • RSA Shadow - It's tiny, nice build quality, and I like the volume control much more than I expected. But I simply found it too shouty.
    • ULN-2 - Obviously less than ideal conditions to judge a source. Looks good and seems to have a ton of functionality. Just sounded slightly dull.

    Not so much:

    [*] Audio-gd Phoenix - I'll admit that this amp had to overcome my bias against it. It did not succeed. I thought it sounded lifeless and dull with the Denons (not an ideal phone to audition with, but still...). And I absolutely hate the volume control.

    [*] Denon headphones - These continue to suck.

    [*] Meridian CD Players - I think they are a pain in the ass to use and I am not blown away by the sound, especially for the price.

    [*] The guy who outbid Aaron's kid for the turntable.

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My notes.

  • Judd's bang-for-the buck rig - Koss 950, Wadia iPod dock, Assemblage 2.6, Stax SRM1/MK2 - shows that you don't have to spend $5000 to have a truly engaging listening experience.

Wish I could have found some way to hold on to that DAC 2.6..sigh sucks to be a student at such times. Glad Judd's having a ball with it.:)

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