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Florida Again. Dec 5th 09.


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DISCLAIMER: The below is a joke. A bit of parody, if you will. We would never put such insane requirements on something as simple as a Head-case post.

Please, when posting impressions follow a few simple rules.

If you attended this meet, please place all feedback for it in this thread. Make sure to include your answers to all the following questions in your feedback. If you are the attendee, you only need to answer questions for the first form on the page, "Form 1". When you make a new post for yourself from within this thread, use the "quote" button and then highlight only the top form, Form 1". You can type your answers where it says "PLACE ANSWER HERE". After you leave the meet, I will fill out feedback on "Form 2" and post that in your feedback thread. If you do not have a feedback thread, I will start one for you. Thank you.


Head-Fi member: Tyrion - The Host

Graciously allowed the following to attend his party:



a) On a scale of 1 being worst and 10 being best, how would you rate this entire meet from start to finish? PLACE ANSWER HERE

B) Would you do business with HOST again in the future? PLACE ANSWER HERE


a) ATTENDEE should provide details about any gear listened to, including any information on vintage, possible mods done, and serial numbers.

B) ATTENDEE must describe his or her mood and state of sobriety at the time of listening.

c) ATTENDEE may then give their honest thoughts on the quality of said gear. If the HOST can prove that your praise is a result of 'SHILLING', you may be flogged at a future meet.


a) ATTENDEE is encouraged to post pictures but must post in a resolution that is conciliatory to the thread reading experience. Larger pictures may be posted by the ATTENDEE but thumbnails are mandatory for resolutions over 800X600.

B) ATTENDEE must post a mix of gear pictures and candid shots of the other meet attendees.

c) ATTENDEE is expected to check any potentially embarrassing candid photos with the potentially incriminated party. Blackmail is also an option.


Please leave any additional notes or comments if you would like, i.e. things HOST could do to make the transaction go better in the future. i.e. any additional things you would like to say about the transaction or the HOST. PLACE ANSWER HERE

Thank you very much for taking the time to fill out HOST's feedback. HOST will always reciprocate the same level of detail when SELLER leaves feedback for the ATTENDEE. If ATTENDEE has already paid for the item, HOST has already left feedback (in the form of "Form 2" below) for the ATTENDEE in the ATTENDEE's feedback thread.

DISCLAIMER: The above is a joke. A bit of parody, if you will. We would never put such insane requirements on something as simple as a Head-case post.

Edited by grawk
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Quick hits: Colin broke my amp. JH13s with the Luxman P1 and Exemplar Denon 2900 are amazing. I like the 404LEs, but still prefer the O2s. Ari's heavily modded 780s actually sound good (considering how much I hate them stock) outta his heavily modded Extreme. My Extreme seems to be in good shape (until Colin killed it :) ) and the power supply isn't wallwarts. I'm still liking Gene's Woo 6SE with Senns, but the Luxman with the 800s as well as the HP2s may be my meet favs other than my rigs, which I fortunately still like best. Asr's Woo22 sound great with the 2000s. The HE5 sound full and detailed, but I don't like them enough to consider getting them. I'm pretty excited to get the Slim after listening to it again. Though I like both the ALO RX and the TTVJ portable, the Slim's treble is superior. There's a better sense of "soundstage" with the RX, though it's not enough of a difference to offset what I like better with the Slim. Haven't yet compared the Slim with the TTVJ side-by-side but may try to tonight. That's it for now.

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Listening gets rolling:








Stupid New Guy had the K1000s on backwards.


So we straightened him out.

The Pico Slim made a splash upon arrival and was passed around eagerly all day, except when Mike and Vicky walked off with it for extended auditions. And before people flip out, the "input" and "phones" labels were switched on the prototype but will not be that way on the final model.







But not everybody was inside. Dom and JP were in a fog.


And then this really bad Michael Jackson impersonator came in wearing two gloves. Rookie error. :rolleyes:


It took a while, but Screaming Oranges eventually pulled out much of the history of high-end Grados and set up a killer rig.









Zu Audio were gracious enough to drive their van all the way from Tennessee with loads of cool gear. I failed to take pics of the Zu Room, but they had a second setup in the meet room. Thanks Zu, everything sounded great!





Edited by tyrion
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yes Zu is in Odgen Ut but their east coast marketing person in is Atlanta. The guy from Tn was an amp builder that Zu is working with.

They sounded really good much better in the dedicated room though. Like other single driver speakers I have heard (IMHO) they excelled at small combo jazz and struggled with denser mixes. YMMV as Mike thought they did well with denser rock stuff in the dedicated room that I did not circle back around to.

They have great tone and dynamics and play loud without issue as they were rocking at 98db peaks with averages of 95db for part of the session.

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The room where the red Essence were set up was a piece of the meet room that had a temporary wall that could split it off from the rest of the room. It was about 35' wide and about 20' deep with high ceilings. The speakers were set up on the long wall. The only complaint I had with them in that room was with the highs. This was less of a problem with my Berning amp than with Gene's Accuphase, which seemed to distort a bit at loud volume. I believe that was the issue Jp had with them rocking out. The guys at ZU are all about rocking out and they create their speakers with that purpose in mind.

In the hotel room, where there were some acoustic treatments set up, the rocked out without a problem with both the Berning EA-230 and the prototype 6AS7 mono blocks. They also sound nice with the Peachtree Nova. This room was probably 12' x 15' with the speakers about 7.5' apart and the listening chair about the same distance. Ron Williams, from ZU, spent a great deal of time setting up the speakers using laser measurements. He said they recorded the bass down in the range of 25hz in this room. Unlike the Druids, these speakers produced substantial bass. I believe they are rated to about 30hz. These speakers had about as natural a tone as I've heard in a while. They reproduced what was on the recording without adding much to the sound. When you sat in the sweet spot, the image was as dialed in as anything I've heard. The question for me is whether they will work in my room which is smaller than the hotel room that was used. Fortunately, ZU has a 60 day in home trial period and Ron made it clear that if I don't like them to send them back. He added that if he sells 4 or 5 pairs in the area, he will come back and personally set the speakers up for the owners.

I probably should have started out with this but I wanted to thank the ZU guys for driving down from TN to entertain us with their speakers and knowledge. They were truly just nice guys who are into the music. They also said that we were very different from their typical crowd and had a great time. They are looking to do more events with us in the future. I am putting them in touch with Jim to set something up for CanJam.

I started an impression thread on HF as well. Please post impressions and post pics there as well. In particular, post comments on the Zu speakers. Al, I borrowed some of your pics and post on HF.

Edited by tyrion
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This I have absolutely no trouble believing! :D

The funny thing is we were pretty well behaved. I didn't make it to the meet until about 1:45 am where the crew was going strong. I proceeded to catch up by about 4:30 am and paid for it dearly the next day.:palm:

The Zu guys were impressed with out knowledge and enthusiasm. They are used to the typical audiophile crowd that would rather argue about gear than actually sit and listen to music.

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Big thanks to Mike for hosting yet again another great South Florida meet, and mostly for getting a bunch of good friends together again. It was, as usual, too short.


Qualias: I'd heard these a few times, but only really had a chance to listen to them at last year's CanJam when Dreadhead was kind enough to let me walk around with his size small pair (the others are waaaay too large for me). I was impressed with the detail, but they didn't really do anything for me. Got a chance to hear the same pair (new owner) again, but in my rig (Exemplar modded Denon 2900/SP Extreme Platinum) this time, and was pretty blown away. Though I'm set as far as headphones go, these are the only dynamic headphones that I'm seriously interesting in acquiring. Absolutely wonderful!

HP2: Yes, I've heard these a few times, and as with the Qualias, I had respect for the sound, but nothing to make me drool except when in a one-time rig, Frank Cooter's now non-existant GM70 home brew amp. Alex (screaming oranges), seems to have cornered the market on HP2s with a couple gorgeous examples, and out of his Exemplar Denon 2900/Luxman P1, I was totally taken by these. The same Luxman rig was also my favorite HD800 amp at the meet, and my JH13s never sounded better.

Good stuff:

asr's Woo22 with the AD2000 (clean goodness)

asr's Stax 404LE outta my APL modded Phillips SACD 1000/BHSE (the only other Stax I've liked enough to want outside of the original Omegas and O2s

agile_one's Woo6SE with the HD800s (forgot how nice the soundstage was on these)

nikongod's seriously modded HFI780s and even more seriously modded orange SP Extreme (turned garbage into really good sound)


HE-5: Really nice headphones, and maybe a good lesson in poor memory, but I listened to these at CanJam and was quite impressed. I'd read that the ones now out were "better" than the prototype I so liked. I seem to remember there being an airier feel to the ones I'd heard. I tried these out on a couple rigs here, and the sound was really fat, but with excellent detail. They seemed to be missing the top end, and though the detail was definitely present, the sound was too thick for my taste. Don't know if I can explain it any better. I loved the speed and detail, but would need to hear them again in different rigs before coming to any kind real judgment. Nice headphones, but maybe not for me.

Amps Wars:

Spent a good deal of time comparing the Pico Slim with the ALO RX, and also with the TTVJ Pete Millet portable, though I spent less quality time with the TTVJ. The only headphones used were my JH13s, and with my ipod classic. The RX brought out superbly detailed mids and decent bass, with the best sense of soundstage of the three. I did not like the build at all, and wasn't overly fond of the volume control. It had the poorest treble of the three amps. I really liked the build of the TTVJ portable, as well as the size. It had better top-end extension, than the RX, but in comparison to both the Pico Slim and the RX, it seems to have a softer, almost gentler tone (yes, I know that doesn't make much sense, but I'm not great at describing these things). I didn't pick up on any "softness" when just listening, but only after switching back and forth between the amps, so it's a very minor observation. The Pico Slim had the best sense of treble (clean, clear and detailed), with quite good mids and bass as well. It didn't offer the same sense of soundstage that the RX did, but, like with th TTVJ point, it's a subtle observation. The volume control is absolutely the best of any portable amp I've seen and heard. You can listen with perfect clarity and channel balance at nearly inaudible levels. Justin also added a feature where if you turn it off with the volume turned up and turn it back on, the amp slowly increases the volume up to where you'd been listening before rather than just hitting you with sound. Nice safety feature. It also makes a tiny little squeak when you turn it off, which I rather liked, both because I know the amp's off, and it reminds me of my cat when I pick him up. It had the best build of the three amps, though I'm not as fond of the small size as other people seem to be. I do like the leather case quite a bit.

Anyway, the upshot is that all three are really nice amps and mate well with the JH13s. I've spent much more time with the Pico than the other two amps (at previous times), and am now even more excited to be getting mine when released. Hurry up, Justin! I also could see myself happy with the other two. I've heard the TTVJ with the HF2s and even HD800s before, and think it deserves far more buzz on the forums than it does. The RX has the best soundstage, but I wish they'd pay a more attention to the build. I'd actually need to live with all three for awhile to feel confident about any impressions, but for a first shot at things, this is it.

Biggest Relief:

Thanks to the DIY guys (colin, frank, ari), who kindly opened up my amp and power supply, I now know that my SP Extreme Platinum is in good shape and will hopefully continue to bring me enjoyment for at least a few more years. Thanks, guys!

Edited by boomana
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Thanks for the quick portable comparo, Viki, many have been waiting for more information on these three new offerings. Was glad to read that the Slim has the best treble of the three, as my 52+ year old ears are a bit rolled off at the top end; can use all the help they can get. Can you comment on how the Slim

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It was a long travel day back home - woke up at 7 AM after a mere 3 hours of sleep, caught a 10:30 AM flight, stopped in Atlanta for a 2-hour connection back to Denver. Tried to sleep on both legs but got only a little actual amount. When I landed in Denver it was snowing and 14 degrees out (and getting colder) and I ended up waiting over an hour out in the cold for a delayed 1-hour bus ride home. (Though I was prepared for snow on the way back I wasn't anticipating waiting that long in the cold.)

In other words I'm beat and will not be posting anything until tomorrow night. But I will add this: you know a SoFla meet has been a resounding success when you wake up with a pounding headache (from the copious amounts of alcohol consumed) and for a moment forget where you are. :) Big thanks to tyrion for this absolutely fantastic shindig, the rest of Team Florida for all the entertainment, and the travel team for what was a smashing good time. Though I'd set out to get 100% smashed at this meet, I got only about 90% smashed - but it was still fortuitous enough anyway. :D

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I'm back home safely. Big thanks to all the great people staying at the hotel, everyone was highly enjoyable to be around and it was great seeing/meeting with you all. Special thanks goes to Alex for the hotel room and picking up the tab, I owe you; to Jeff for buying pizza (I think Al also pitched in for a drunken pizza run [literally]; to Colin for the loan to get my truck out of parking tonight, that was a real lifesaver (money sent BTW); and last, but not least, Mike for providing the enormous preparation and top notch beverage (Matt too, another big thanks). I'm really sorry if I left out anyone. I'll save my impressions for after I catch up on my rest, for right now, suffice it to say that it was a spectacular meet.

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Ok... This was a killer meet. The NKOTTT (New Kids On The Travel Team) I think payed homage to the FL Travel crew.

I have to be up for work in a few hours, so this will be quick. A big thanks go out to Mike, Alex, Al, Matt, Jeff... wait, let me just put who not to thank. __________

I want say that my fav rig was Alex's Exemplar 2900 -> Luxman P1 -> Grado HP-1 (I dug the one with switches over the other two... not sure if it's "coolness" factor of the switches or the "shrunken bowls" (they seemed to be about 80% size to me).

Vicki's rig is sick. Matt's vinyl rig sounded REALLY good on the HD800s. That was really enjoyable.

One big thing I'd like to do is mirror Mike's sentiments and really really send a heartfelt thanks to the Zu guys. I spent a solid half hour listening to them over the two rooms, and I did like them for some things, others it was harder to make an opinion of as I wasn't familiar the music, but it I can kinda understand why you wouldn't throw on "standards". Anyways, these guys brought a ton of gear a long long ways (drove from about 1.5 hours further away than me, passing my place along the way just off the interstate. I though the 5 hours I spent going through airports and planes was bad!) The Zu guys were really passionate about what they do, and you could tell they enjoyed it, even when they were winding down.

Oh, before I forget, :( @Dash for getting sick and having to back out. I missed seeing him there and hanging out.

OK, I've fallen asleep at the keyboard thrice now, so let me just say I'll be adding some more to it later. Thanks to all who made it happen, and for giving me yet another great weekend with friends.


P.S. On our way out to the airport we got behind a cab... just though I'd post up one of the last pics I grabbed.


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