Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by dmckean44, Jul 15, 2017.
For the rest: Innersound Eros mk2 w upgrade kit
(RIP Llama img tho)
Nice. Unlikely, really, that I'm going to make it to your continent, but if I did, and there was a meet on... Well, I'm a heap more shy offline than on, and could easily be an awkward turtle. And, even though I'd love to listen to some of that stuff, I'd love to meet you guys even more.
So I'll remember your post, and, maybe.... one day...
As usual, the community meet delivers. Very happy to see everyone and catch up on stuff, or just do the usual tomfoolery a well as listen to some great gear. Hard to do unless you are checking your clock every 20 minutes or so. Props to @brencho for doing the legwork for this meet. Your efforts were greatly appreciated. I'll post more later as work beckons after catching up on home stuff yesterday.
Really small sweet spot that's about 18" wide. Soundstage is part of the advantage of a flat ESL, but it's the imaging that stands out the most. Sound cliche but the speakers disappear from the room. It has that "live" sound that a lot of speakers can't seem to do.
I actually didn't get the upgrade kit. Roger Sanders told me the "upgraded" panels were to increase reliability, not performance. That saved a lot of cash.
Oh @n3rdling, it looks like I work in an ISO 7 facility, which is also known as Class 10,000; we work in biological safety cabinets that are Class 100. Intel works in a Class 10 environment.
Somebody sent this to me:
An S19 in its natural habitat.
Okay, impressions time!
LFF's Code-X: basically my definition of "perfection." Luis asked us to not post measurements and I'll honor that, so I won't post measurements of my pair either. But needless to say... it is fan-freaking-tastic. A hair less impactful and "sharp transient" than HE-6 on the absolute best system (read: super heavy power amps), but Code-X is just one of those special headphones that I like because it gets 98% there but can be driven even from my measly AK120. <- Yeah, @LFF, that actually works! Hahaha. What else can I say? Getting my own pair was the highlight of this meet (haha, sorry, guys, too excited!). Meet conditions and all that didn't give me a good "feel" for the headphone but at home, I can confirm. This is the prime example of a headphone that I will never ever ever "try to do more with" (mod). I won't swap the pads, try to put more damping, or try to remove things. Hell, I'll do exactly what Luis said: "prop a cable on them and call it a day." They are just that good. I can count off the top of my fingers the headphones I won't mod (and some of which are way past the price point of a pair of Code-X marked up to current market value). Honestly, this is a special headphone to me. It gets to be the "best ortho" because it does everything right, and it's sensitive, and it's comfortable (more so than all other orthos to me at least), and freak, it's just an insane value. If you have a pair of HE-5, don't wait to send yours in! And don't hesitate to pay whatever Luis is asking. It's a bargain considering the level of the headphone once he's done. The Code-X easily tops Susvara for me on any random system. Sorry for breaking your pair, @zerodeefex! I have paid tributes to the Gods and I hope they will forgive my misdeed. But I have high hopes that when Luis returns your pair, it'll be even more awesome than before!
On that note, let's talk about Susvara. Honestly, some say it's bad, and I guess I can sort of tell something was a bit off with it on other setups, but on the Aficionado, it was schweet! Craig's amp should be considered cheating for this headphone in that case. On a "regular" rig, it's just... okay. The sound is very reminiscent of how I remember the Shangri-La: thin, somewhat bright, and kinda anemic but with better impact and less harshness than Shangri-La, so I guess at least it's more refined than the "other setup" from memory. But my main beef with this headphone would be the price. Six thousand dollars. Seriously??? I can get Code-X + Aficionado with that much money and then just quit the game! And that "history textbook" in the box... oh God. I was joking about the book being what people were buying, and that the headphone just happened to come with the book, but seriously, now that I think about it, I'd even say that could be true. If Dr. Bian is reading this, I hope he reconsiders his pricing strategy. I get that R&D for something like this costs a lot and that you need to have a "brand image" of some sort but... freak, what happened to the good ol' days when HE-6 was like... bess headfun ever for sub $2K? HE-6 prices will only go up from here, I'm guessing. @ohhgourami probably agrees with me here: HE-6 is still the better headphone than the HE-6000. Granted, HE-6000 doesn't have a gazillion mods done to it yet, but it's much less viable as a modding platform at literally 6x the street price of a new pair of HE-6 now. If this is how the "high-end" market is gonna be, then I feel sorry for the next generation when us dudes have already hoarded all of the good stuffs.
Mr. Speakers' Aeon: I think something is catastrophically wrong with this pair. I couldn't listen to some tracks for more than 2 secs with it, and the same tracks probably would play very well out of a Koss Porta Pro. Will reserve judgment until we hear more from Dan about whether this is the final tuning or whether there's something wrong with this set. I'm leaning toward "sum fink wong."
Darth HD800 that I and @Marvey molested jointly: wow!!! Makes me wonder why Sennheiser didn't just make them this way to begin with. Looks good (black screens on silver headphone frame, perfect!), anything unsightly is hidden by the stock screen thing (it actually compliments this mod well now), and absolutely no issue anywhere that I could detect. Hell, even my HD580 with HE60 pads sound a bit moar shouty/aggressive/sharp than this. This HD800 is just "it"! Now I'm highly considering getting another pair to rip the silver mesh screen thing off again... ehehehe. No, but seriously, it's just that good! Wow, Marv! Great job, man!!
@brencho's Mjolnir 2 setup + Schiit DAC: your setup needs a Schiit DAC, bro. Sounded amazeballs to me. Then again, I know you listen to vinyls primarily at home so... Dang it, what a "filthy" amount of pleasure! You're making me jealous, and since I have my Code-X now, I think I'll probably go in your direction, too.
Eddie Current Aficionado: should be considered cheating if you have Susvara, HD650 (I'm guessing HD580/600 will also play nice), HD800, or anything along those lines. Wow... Probably one of the most enjoyable listening session I've had for a while. I'd highly consider this as an upgrade if I had a Zana Deux Super, but... since I don't, I guess I'm gonna climb the ladder now, slowly and steadily, until I get to this level.
Donald North's Stellaris: just... stellar! Clean, clear, sharp, proper, but with its own "hints" of sweetness here and there. I can see the clarity will probably work against some headphones, but as a whole, if your headphone fits with the sound of the amp, then they will sound very very very special with this setup. And by "special", I really mean... "why would you even want to consider another amp after this one, seriously?" With the K1000, it is magical! I concur with @ultrabike here. K1000 on this setup is probably the ultimate. If I was in the market for a K1000, I would just buy this amp and call it a day. In fact, the thing is... the K1000 on this setup is just soooo good that I didn't even want to write a separate impression for the K1000.
And that's all I had the chance to listen to at the meet. Honestly, the gears were secondary to me at this meet, and I didn't even bother to take photos. What I enjoyed most were the conversations I was able to have with folks. It was super super fun for me, and it was great to see friends again. Thank you all very much for being my friends!! (and sorry, too many names to list but if you were at the meet, whether we had the pleasure of talking to each other or not, you know I appreciate your company very very much!)
We really should do this more often if/when we can.
The S19 + O2 wasn't too bad with the Aeons, actually. Sound has some dimension to it and the timbre didn't seem to screwed up, either.
Meet conditions, bla-bla...
Same for the Susvara. It just sounds great, overall. Better clarity than the HE-6, better bass pitch and definition, smoother treble but leaner overall tone, which make the voices slightly less meaty than the HE-6 (which is not a thick headphone, per se, but still has a soulful and resonating midrange, on the right amp).
Some peeps seem blinded by the price or their bias against the company and take out any merit from the headphone and make it sound like it's a POS. It's not. It's a great sounding but massively overpriced headphone.
Not quite. It isn't in the toilet yet.
I've decided the "S" stands for the shitty feeling your ears have after listening to it. For you guitar lovers out there, this thing makes an acoustic guitar sound like it has 15-year-old strings on it.
Synergy man. Synergy. The S19 didn't gel as well with @brencho's Mjolnir 2.
Did you try the Susvara out of the speaker taps from any of the power amplifiers there?
Hahaha yeah sorry that was me, I decided the Trash 19 belonged in my back alley. I'll put up a post on HF with the geolocation and a "Free to a good/bad home" sign.
Nope. Tried out of @LFF amp, which drove the CodeX fantastically and exposed the Susvara shameful performance.
The bass distortion and treble dynamic compression were not subtle. Many gave that setup a go to see the performance limitations of the Susvara. Again, it was pretty bad.
One could make an argument about the $6000 market: R&D costs, unique performance, exotic materials, you name it. This is a disaster. I cannot recommend something that passes gas at somewhat reasonable SPL levels with certain music, and compresses with some other.
Well, I thought everything sounded bright and disconnected on this amp - including the Paradox, which is a feat -, too, so there you go.
The Susvara sounded really good on Alex's setup.
This was not a tone or coherence problem. Or I don't like the amp presentation deal. This was the headphone literally passing gas. Severe distortion was heard from the Susvara and not so with the CodeX.
Maybe something else was going on, but bright and disconnected was not the set of issues in question. This was far too obvious a driver capability limitation where the headphone was going into severe distortion.
One thing to consider is that @LFF has some tracks with quite a bit of dynamic range which he may use to stress the drivers and test their limitations. However, I believe a CodeX is based on an older HE-5. That one passed the tests. $6K Susvara did not.
So I think it's less Alex's setup vs @LFF setup, and more a difficult test track + an overpriced and lack luster headphone driver in the Susvara rip off.
Clem, when you listened the pads on all my headphones where super compressed. Amp had nothing to do with it. It was a pad problem from me over-packing my headphones into one box.
As far as my set-up, I have much better amps and dacs that I could bring, but I always try to bring either a low tier or mid-fi set-up to prove that you don't super expensive gear to get great sound.
My set-up was Flac Lossless Music -> Foobar -> Geek Out 450 -> Custom amp (modified Musical Fidelity X-A1 Integrated Amp) -> headphones of choice. Cables for connections were either picked up at the 99c store or found in used bins for free. The headphones used for comparison was mainly the Code-X, but the Slant was also there, as well as another set I'm working on.
Anytime people want to A/B on my rigs, I play select tracks for demo and key tracks for actual evaluations. My top tracks for evaluation are a part of Allegri's Missere and a simple drum and flute track playing a rendition of Yankee Doodle. Few headphones can play both correctly. Hell, few speakers can play both correctly.
EDIT: Also, there were at least half a dozen people who A/B'd at their leisure with other tracks as well as my two evaluation tracks.
*Insert random 4-screw HE-6 vs 6-screw HE-6 comment here*
Hehe, but yeah, Luis' tracks have a lot of dynamic range... and the test tracks that he played for me especially had a lot of clean bass impact that if there was anything "wrong" with the driver, you'd hear it immediately (I'm very glad he chose them to demonstrate to me just how clean his headphones are). Honestly, just having a hair or a particle stuck on the diaphragm during playback of any of those tracks and it'll stick out like a sore thumb. I know because I've heard a lot of that issue with planar magnetic headphones. As for regular dynamic drivers, I honestly think biocellulose is about the only diaphragm tech that has been able to relatively keep their composure there. Everything else just goes to crap. Senn's drivers are good, too, but they also have a slight sub bass roll-off so it's hard to judge.
Even on Aficionado, Susvara sounded to me like it would juuuust tether on the verge of breaking up, but doesn't quite get there thankfully. Stopped just short of going bad. Maybe with the right tracks, it'll distort even on Aficionado.
We need a Luis stress test CD, essentially.
Just stop by my table at any time.
Separate names with a comma.