Bay Area Micro-Meet Impressions

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by drfindley, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    Hey thanks everyone for coming to the micro-meet! It was great having you all. I'm up too late to write up anything of any worth, but I'll post some more stuff here hopefully tomorrow.

    Here's a couple of quick thoughts:
    - Bill's HD800 mod is great (I waffled, but I'm all in now).
    - Vinyl > Yggdrasil > Gungnir Multibit > Bifrost Multibit/MultiFrost
    - VPI > Technics > Digital.
    - Amps/transducers can affect your opinion of Schiit DACs. My theory is the more resolving the amp/transducer, the more you like the Yggdrasil over the Gungnir Multibit and the Bifrost Multibit
    - Everyone who's came is on the path to buy a turntable, they just haven't admitted it to themselves yet
    - The Abyss is probably my favorite ortho, but I ain't spending $4-5k on it. I'd spend $1.5k, maybe
    - I think we had 6-8 pairs of HD600s/HD650s. I'm embarrassed that we didn't take a photo
    - The Bottlehead Crack is nice, I still prefer my Rag.
    - I really need to get so much better at meet photos
    - Stupid Dodgers

    Here are some pictures! Yes I'm pathetic enough to have only taken these in the last 10 minutes.

    SOURCE OFF! Sorry the photo is all blurry. I'll take a new one. [EDIT: Added a better photo] (Hint: the VPI won handily)
    IMG_8980.JPG

    @Bill-P leaving. What's in the box Bill? Where are all the magical damping materials?
    IMG_8978.JPG

    @T-Money leaving in all black. ALL BLACK. Hmm. What's that he's carrying?
    IMG_8976.JPG
     
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  2. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yeah, impressions. Hopefully no one will hate me after this...

    Sennheiser HD650 with Marv's mod (minus dynamat piece), more open, faster, and more articulate than stock for sure. Bass is still a bit nebulous for my taste, but that's actually better than the Audeze LCD-2. LCD-2 sounded to me like I was hearing my neighbor's stereo... while lying on my bed, with a blanket over my head. Okay, I exaggerated a bit, but seriously, the LCD-2 sounded slower and more blurry to me than before. Granted, it was about on the same level as stock HD650, with the added benefits of extra weight in the bass. Perhaps it'd play well with a thinner D-S DAC? But I don't think it was a good match for fuller/warmer R2R DAC.

    Note: will not state whose LCD-2 it was that I heard, because I'd prefer to leave the owner(s) in pain. |\/|

    Okay, seriously, though, it was just that Marv's mod was better. Other than that, LCD-2 is better than stock HD650 to my ears especially if bass weight is also a consideration.

    HiFiMAN HE-6 w/ knerian's mods which consist of new grills and ear pads, and I think I heard blu tak? Oh, and no fuzzor either in the back or front. To me, this one was a toss up with Marv's modded HD650. On the one hand, it does sound cleaner and clearer across the entire spectrum, with added bass weight (yay!), on the other hand, I think the highs were a bit tizzy? And though bass was indeed better than Marv's modded HD650 to my ears, it was still behind the HD800 (in any state, including stock), which I don't think should be the case? Note that I haven't heard the HE-6 on many setups, and I still have to try it out on one of the higher-end ones to be able to hear this tight bass that HE-6 owners kept telling me about. So... I'm reserving my judgment on that. This one is meant to go against HD800 rather than HD650 IMO. On the other hand, tonality is closer to HD650 w/ Marv's mod (big thumb up!), and it's cleaner across the entire spectrum, so... yay? HD650 w/ Marv's mod still sounded slightly more resolving to my ears, with there being more spatial information, leading to a bigger soundstage. So to me, HD650 was more resolving, either on my setup or on the Rag. But then again, judging from the bass comment, I guess I should hear the HE-6 out of a better setup still. So... will revisit this again later.

    Koss ESP950: special thanks to recarcar for bringing this one to the meet. I've been meaning to listen to it for a while! I talked to OJ a little about this headphone, and... I pretty much agree with him that it sounds like an HD650 but in e-stat flavor. Darker than my and the stock HD600 I heard at the meet for sure. My HD600 actually wouldn't sound too different from stock tonally if put on something like the Bottlehead Crack, which is... good, because I was afraid I made it a lot brighter. Hahaha. But that aside, this one sounded faster than my modded HD600. It had the characteristic e-stat ethereal and effortless smoothness. I think either FR has a dip somewhere (really?) or it may just be that it sounds so fast that certain highs that would otherwise show on the HD600 would be brushed over. The resulting sound is simply one that's fatigue-free and totally soothing to listen to, whereas the HD600 sometimes would flare up, borderlining on but never quite sibilant. On the other hand, the HD600 does sound just a tad more "dynamic" (haha, pun not intended!), where it gives more bass, more impact, and there is more of a sense of sharpness to certain vocals. I must say... I do prefer the ESP950 for those super hot recordings (of which there are like... 3-4 tracks in my library), and the HD600 would be better for the rest. Also, for some weird reason, I feel my modded HD600 was more resolving, with there being more "details" that I can hear from the recordings. But then again, I could just be hearing the "dynamic grain" and/or "distortion" from the HD600. The ESP950 is markedly smoother after all, though it is quite a bit reserved. If I have to describe them fairly, ESP950 was like a beautiful maiden... so delicate, so soft-spoken. HD600 is like a sexy woman... who is more rough, but at the same time, she just knows how to seduce men with her charms and explosive ways. As OJ said, and I kinda agree, ESP950 is like a side-grade to HD600 rather than an upgrade. I think I should give it another try if I get the chance to try it on a better amp.

    Bifrost Multibit vs Gungnir Multibit vs Yggdrasil vs Vinyl: the ranking IMO was exactly in that order from decent to best. To summarize what I heard:

    Bifrost Multibit (Bifrost Multibit): smooth, relaxed, kinda tubby on the bottom end. In fact, it sounded a bit too... tubby even for my taste. Bass sounded woolier and kinda invaded into the lower mids more so than Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil from what I could hear. On the other hand, highs are smooth, not sibilant, and definitely very easy to listen to. It sounded to me kinda like the HD650 of modern-day DACs. Resolution wasn't up to par with Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil, either, and I felt that the gap between Bifrost Multibit to Gungnir Multibit is kinda... huge. So much so that I think Gungnir Multibit at twice the price is actually the better value even for someone who owns only HD600/650. Then again, if space constraints, budget, and an easy listening experience are important considerations, then I think Bifrost Multibit fits the bill quite nicely. I'd pair Bifrost Multibit up with something bright... perhaps even a stock HD800, as it does sound that warm. Marv's DAC chart is kinda accurate in this sense

    Gungnir Multibit (Gungnir Multibit): disclaimer before I say anything: I do own this DAC and I love it. Now... compared to the Bifrost Multibit, I feel the jump is quite huge. Higher resolution, more neutral tonality, tighter, more impactful, more detailed bass, no intrusion into the lower mids, better high frequency articulation, bigger soundstage, etc... you name it. It was just better across the entire board. The only thing Gungnir Multibit was losing out on was size, but I think the sound quality more than makes up for that. With that said, I think Gungnir Multibit is a bit on the relaxed, laid-back side compared to Yggdrasil. Sibilance is less exaggerated on Gungnir Multibit, and vocals tend to be more subdued/less shouty? Note also that I am used to Gungnir Multibit by now, and I had the chance to plug my daily setup into Yggdrasil (thanks, TMoney!) while I was doing a comparison with the ESP950 above. The same tracks that I didn't notice any sibilance before with Gungnir Multibit sounded... surprising with Yggdrasil.

    Yggdrasil (Yggdrasil): and that brings me to... Yggdrasil. Personally, I didn't think that Yggdrasil was that much better than Gungnir Multibit. Maybe... 5 - 10%? Depending on personal preferences and priorities here, me thinks. Yggdrasil does sound... more aggressive than Gungnir Multibit. Perhaps not in a forward way, as both Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit throw a huge stage. What I heard was essentially that Yggdrasil had a bit more contrast... both in the micro and macro terms. Certain things in a recording stand out more from silence, and I could notice that this contrast extended all the way from the bottom to the top, so... say, if cymbal was hit, then it'd go from 0 to about 90% volume on Gungnir Multibit, whereas on Yggdrasil, it'd go from 0 to 100% volume. That's not to say Gungnir Multibit sounded more compressed, but that... to my ears, Yggdrasil sounded more... intense? Bass was more impactful, vocals were more shouty and chesty at the same time, and highs were more... piercing. If I have to describe it, the effect essentially made Yggdrasil sound to me, overall, more V-shaped, though that's not really the case since details-wise, I feel Gungnir Multibit does pull out about the same things, just that they are more polite, subdued, and not thrown in my face like with Yggdrasil. In this regard, Yggdrasil is like the HD800 to me. Aggressively seeking out details and throwing them at my face regardless of whether I like it or not. On the other hand, Gungnir Multibit is like the... HD850 (if that even exists, hahaha), which is less aggressive, less intense, more relaxed, while still presenting the same details. I was glad that I purchased Gungnir Multibit, not because it was the better value, but because it was better-suited to my ears. Perhaps Gungnir Multibit's slightly "compressed" or "rounded" presentation is a euphony that shouldn't exist, but to me, it makes my setup (shitty DIY amp and HD600) more pleasing to listen to, whereas Yggdrasil could be a bit hotter with worse recordings. Honestly, I'll admit that the difference to me is really not that big, and Yggdrasil in general sounds more... V-shape, or otherwise brighter to me, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Wyrd does help Gungnir Multibit get closer to Yggdrasil while still retaining the slightly more laid-back tonality, though, so... who knows? Maybe I'm just being a loving owner, and I'm refusing to admit Yggdrasil is significantly better than my dear Gungnir Multibit. Hahaha

    Vinyl: we got to hear DrFindley's vinyl setup, and... though the back of my mind couldn't help but suspect some sorcery or trickery involved, I had to admit this one thing: vinyl was much better than whatever Gungnir Multibit or Yggdrasil were able to do. There was a marked difference in dynamic, resolution, soundstage, smoothness, and surprisingly, even overall tonality. Vinyl stroke a nice balance between technicality (as mentioned), and musicality. So... if there was no sorcery or trickery involved, then I think DACs still have a good way to go before matching a nice vinyl setup. On that note, Findley did let us listen to some vinyl rips on the Yggdrasil, and the rips were somewhat like a different presentation of the digital masters rather than being able to match the technicality of the actual vinyl setup so... take that for what it's worth. I just wanted to say... we didn't just compare digital vs vinyl masters of some recordings. Just for kicks, we pitted Bifrost Multibit against Vinyl, and the gap was insane. It was like listening to MP3 at 64-128kbps versus listening to FLAC/WAV. Again, sorcery might have been involved in here somehow, but that'd mean that either some sorcery can be added to make Yggdrasil better, or vinyl is really just that much better. On the other hand, this didn't make me want a vinyl setup more. Why? Because I think... we're moving more toward digital contents... what with Youtube, iTunes, Spotify, etc... rising. I spend more time listening to digital contents (Youtube, iTunes, etc...) than I do to analog contents, so what I'd be looking into is more sorcery to improve my DAC/amp setup rather than a vinyl setup. But at least I know there is still room to grow even with a TOTL setup, and that's always a promising thing. So... thank you very much, Adam!! \/

    There, now I'm done writing up those horrible words. If you would like to murder me, send me a message, and I'll let you know "my" address. :D
     
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  3. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    I agree with most of what Bill said here however I kind of feel like there is more to the story that people need to understand. Bill's mods are indeed amazing what he is currently working on honestly makes some of the headphones he mentions (modded) sounds leagues beyond what the original sounded like and in a lot of ways sound so much better to a point that the HD-600 he is tweaking sounds similar to an HD-800 (not in detail retrieval but in tonal accuracy). Honestly couldn't argue that they sounded amazing but these headphone mods on the HD600 keep in mind have been gutted and totally changed (pictures of the headphone would help understand this).

    One thing to mention is the type of music listened to as being a factor (because to me that is important and will make you really think whether or not modding is right for you). Bill's modded sound really brings forth the vocals as Bill's focus is bringing a more natural tone to the vocals (that to me is what I heard and I made sure to ask him about his music preference prior to listening or forming opinions). So for me the vocals sound rich and lush, but I enjoy a little more bass slam (tight, punchy, impactful) which I felt was a little lacking for my taste in music. The other thing his mods do is greatly increase the sound stage with what seemed to me helped prevent treble and bass peaks that may be present in some songs/recordings that you listen to with the stock headphones.

    Like I said the difference in opinion is only because of musical preferences and I just wanted to point that out and hopefully not take away from anything Bill is doing. Honestly what Bill is doing is something so beyond what I personally have seen it was just amazing seeing all these mods done by him. I kind of feel like he is a mad scientist and is literally just a step away from another big breakthrough. One of the most interesting things he said is he could still do more to make the headphone more tailored to your preference of music. This to me honestly speaks volume on the type of dedication and work ethic he has towards bringing the mod community to the next level.

    In regards to the vinyl at DrFindley's I will say this. I am now a believer and after I get my desktop setup up and running I am definitely going to work on getting something setup. After listening to Miles Davis Kind of Blue on the vinyl I really didn't want to ever leave.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  4. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Haha, thanks, velvetx.

    You flatter me too much. I do would like to see more impressions on my modded headphones to know where I can improve them. My philosophy is closer to Marv's, where I also believe that a truly neutral headphone should have enough of everything for most recordings.

    So on that note, please be as merciless as possible. I would love to tailor my mods to as many folks as possible (or at least provide as many alternate mod paths as possible) for different folks when I do a writeup.
     
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  5. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Bill, if you are ever able to listen to a quality reel to reel setup like people involved with The Tape Project have, and the associated software (master copy tapes), you'll see yet another level. The unfortunate problem there is astronomical expense and very limited library.
     
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  6. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yeah, I don't doubt that would be the case.

    But it's also the reason why I'm not considering going the vinyl route, as my choices would be limited. Instead, it seems somewhat more logical now to improve (or wait for improvements) on current DACs and see how much better they can deal with digital contents.

    After hearing Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil, I suspect we still haven't extracted everything there is inside 44.1KHz music yet...
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Did you guys use Ragnarok? If so, you guys haven't heard what the Adam's VPI table can do yet. (Adam knows this.)
     
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  8. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Yes, we used the Rag.
     
  9. TMoney

    TMoney Shits on SBAF over at Head-Case to be cool

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    Rag into KEF LS50s is a little on the bright side of neutral.

    Vinyl -> EC Studio -> ________ is going to be the s(c)hi(i)t.
     
  10. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yeah, we kinda got the idea that things could still scale a bit more. I think it was TMoney that discussed with me that the Rag had its own character that we both noticed... that somehow kind of interfered with its resolution, and somewhat with its tonality.

    Are you perhaps alluding to this? (teaser alert????)
     
  11. TMoney

    TMoney Shits on SBAF over at Head-Case to be cool

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    So, time for some impressions. I better get these down before I start forgetting things.

    There is always so much information you gather at these meetups that takes a bit of time to process. My biggest takeaway has me rethinking how we determine the "quality" of a particular piece of gear. This one is bit of a rambler.

    --

    System synergy matters more than I'd like to admit. After my last mini-meet I was convinced that I liked Gungnir MB more than Yggdrasil. It sound-staged larger and it has a slightly more laid back sound that I quite liked.

    Our latest Schiit DAC shootout on Adam's Rag -> LS50s has me re-thinking things. On Adam's rig the Yggdrasil was an easy winner over Gungnir MB (and Bifrost MB). While Gungnir sounded like an excellent match for Larry's big full-range tower speakers, I thought it sounded too laid back and easy going on Adam's LS50s. On Adam's rig Yggdrasil had the right blend of presence and detail. It was the clear winner. I think everyone who participated in the test feels the same way. We didn't test blind, but I'm 100% sure our results would have been the same.

    I'm kind of annoyed with these results
    . So with one rig Gungnir MB sounds better and with another Yggdrasil dominates. Why does this matter. Well for one I like ordering things. I find that in this hobby we naturally want to compare one piece of gear to another in the abstract on a one-dimensional scale. We'll say things like "DAC X is a better than DAC Y."

    The problem with those kinds of statements is that "quality" in this hobby is not a one dimensional measure. I'm increasingly coming to learn that you can't just make an ordinal chart of gear "quality" as if it were some kind of number line. "Quality" in the audio sphere isn't a one-dimensional measure. Rather it is made up of a number of additional dimensions. Things like individual sonic tastes, system synergies and a myriad of others all combine to make up something's "quality."

    This complicates things. As much as we'd like to keep things simple and say "DAC X > DAC Y" it just doesn't capture the whole picture.

    Now don't get me wrong, I do believe in ranking gear. I just think that the ranks do not wrap things up quite as neatly as we'd all hope. I think most here would rank Yggdrasil above G-MB. I would probably do so myself. However, I now do so with the caveat that in certain systems G-MB will sound better.

    --

    Some other quick hitters:


    • Vinyl is king, full stop. Adam's vinyl setup sounds astonishing. If you are willing to put up with the quirks (and cost) of going vinyl then it absolutely sounds better. I'd guess most of this is due to the better masters on the vinyl side.
      • That being said, going down the vinyl path really is "chasing the dragon". I can't help but think of the South Park episode where they start playing "Heroin Hero".
    • Bifrost MB is nice, but its not the right choice for me. In our Schiit DAC shootout Bifrost MB sounded nice, but I liked both of the other DACs more. Yggdrasil in particular feels like it takes what Bifrost MB does and just does it better. Hell, for 4x the price it had damn well better.
    • I am a Senn HD800 mod believer. The mod Bill made to the HD800 sounded fantastic and it was great to be able to compare it to Adam's stock pair. If I owned a pair of HD800s (and I may in the not too distant future) I would definitely mod it. I really wonder what Sennheiser thinks. I have to imagine they've heard a few modded pairs by now.
    • If you have HD600/650/800s you owe it to yourself to give the Bottlehead Crack a listen. The Crack sounds absolutely fantastic at its price point when matched with the high-impedance sennhesier phones. It is one of the best values out there in our hobby. I liked the crack so much I went home and ordered a kit for the new Crack-a-two-a for myself. I'm very much looking forward to breaking out the iron and getting to work on it.
    • I like but don't love the Rag. The amp is clearly proficient as hell, but it has a bit of a cold, clinical feel to it that doesn't quite do it for me. I listened to it with the HD600s, 650s, 800s, HE-6s and the Abyss. Of that group I think my favorite pairing with Rag was the HD650s (when used with a balanced cable). The 650s can sound a bit on the sleepy side on some amps but I found the Rag kept them nice and peppy.

    Finally, it was wonderful getting to meet and talk with everyone. I had great conversations with everyone at the meet. I only hope that you all learn as much from me as I do from you.

    --

    Adam, you are a fantastic host. Thanks again!
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    I can't pick on the Ragnarok specifically because all amps I've heard have a sound. I have never heard "wire with gain". All amps suffer from sins of omission and sins of commission. I will only say that Ragnarok is not resolving enough for Adam's VPI (which is a better version of my table). I actually moved my own VPI table from the Ragnarok/speaker setup to my EC/headphone setup because my headphone setup yielded much more gains in terms of resolution.

    On Gungnir MB vs. Yggdrasil, I'm not surprised at all the Yggdrasil started to pull away more on the headphone rig. Headphone rigs are going to be more resolving because of fewer (and higher quality for cost) amplification stages and no crossover circuits compared to speakers.

    HD800 modded or not (hopefully modded) is too dry from the Ragnarok. I think some resistors in series might do the trick.
     
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  13. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yeah, that's a fair judgment. Thanks, Marv!

    And yeah, Yggdrasil does seem to give a bit more contrast (I don't think I need an HD800 to hear this?), and overall more intensity compared to Gungnir Multibit. Personal preference has me liking Gungnir Multibit more, but I could be in denial.

    That said, Wyrd does help get Gungnir Multibit ever so slightly closer to Yggdrasil from what I'm hearing. Though not actually close enough to say I'm getting a cheaper Yggdrasil.
     
  14. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    @Bill-P
    I can identify with your impressions of the Koss 950. I listened to them at a mini-meet in August. While I liked the overall clarity, the sound seemed rather plain, lacking some emphasis, impact and dynamic. Most likely a different amp would make them more capable and alive.

    Regarding HE-6 vs HD 650, I feel you might gain more insights with a different system. At the same mini-meet, my mod HE-6, driven by Vega and Taurus MK II, impressed more than a few head-fi'ers. Technically, the HE-6 has iron-clad, authoritative command of the strength and speed of sound across the extensive bass to treble ranges. In comparison, the HD-650 is slower and fall short in both low and high ends in range and power. The HE-6 also does imaging better than HD 650. But, the HD-650 wins more users with agreeable tone profile and smoothness. I also reach the 650 more often. For tracks with exceptionally good trebles or bass, however, I would use HE-6 for careful listening and more immersive enjoyment.

    Looking forward to having your mods on my HD-800.
     
  15. knerian

    knerian Friend

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    I should clarify on my HE-6: I removed the original jerg fuzzor mods (felt covering the magnet array on the ear side of the driver) that I had applied quite a while ago. Also I never applied the Ohhgourami vegan pad fuzzor (felt on the driver facing side of the pleather underside of the Vegan pads). Also I removed the original 1/4 circle of felt covering the ear side of the driver, and also cut out the dust cover from the Vegan pads, so actually the treble should be a bit harsher than stock. I am "in between" mods so to speak.
     
  16. knerian

    knerian Friend

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    I didnt get to hear Adam's vinyl setup, and I've been whining about not being able to hear vinyl for a while, so I will have to give it a try if there is another opportunity.

    But I have to say the most impressive piece of gear I saw yesterday was definitely CEE TEE's tube watch.
     
  17. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I wonder if we gave the Bifrost Multibit enough time to really warm up. It was on for half a day, but as it's rather new, I'm not sure it's broken in. This sounds like what people tend to say about the Yggdrasil when it's cold.

    AAAAHHHHH THESE ARE PROBABLY MINE! Honestly, when I put the LCD-2s on, all I can think about is the bass and I forget why I don't like them. I think it's because they do bass well.

    The HE-6 sound better with more power, it makes a difference. Did you give them a try on my rag?

    One day I will give this a listen. I'd love to get a copy of all my favorite albums on tape, but this delightful absurdity will have to wait for another day.

    Yeah, the Rag doesn't resolve as well and it tends to trade smoothness for punch. It does handle my KEFs alright (and I think speakers sound better than headphones out of the Rag), but yeah, it's still limiting.

    Agreed. Anyone have any high sensitivity bookshelves they'd recommend?

    While I completely agree there is synergy with different things, I bet this is easier to quantify than trying everything. Certain things like having a ton of resolution goes well with the HD800 or the Yggdrasil, which is why I'm getting a studio

    Dude, shoot me a PM/email/text and come over sometime and have a listen.
     
  18. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    Here's meet impressions:

    Bottlehead crack
    I liked the way it rounded out the sound and it has good synergy with the HD650. That said, it had a more limited resolution than I liked. I still want to make one.

    Bifrost Multibit/Gungnir Multibit/Yggdrasil
    I don't feel like I had enough time with these together to form a strong opinion. I think that with a more resolving amp, the Yggdrasil would pull away from the pack. When I get the Bifrost Multibit loaner, I'll do some comparisons on some different Schiit amps (I have a lot) so I can form a better opinion. My initial impressions:

    Bifrost Multibit:
    soundstage: [---]
    resolution and detail: 7/10

    Gungnir Multibit:
    soundstage: [-------]
    resolution and detail: 8/10

    Bifrost Multibit:
    soundstage: [-----]
    resolution and detail: 9/10

    HD600/HD650
    Wow do we have a lot of these.

    Bill's HD800 mod
    When I first heard these, I tried them on my Rag w/my Yggdrasil and my VPI. I thought they took fatigue out of the treble and made tracks easier to listen to out of my Yggdrasil. With the VPI, it took away the piercing bite of the trumpet on Mile's Davis's Blue in Green. The thing is, it's kinda a metalic sounding instrument and a (non-fatiguing)piercing bite is what it should sound like. After the meet I gave these another listen and I have to say the problem was is you can't just A/B a stock HD800 at the same volume level. When you lessen the treble, you get to turn everything up! The peircing bite of the trumpet came back and I was happy.

    Abyss
    I thought the Abyss out of my Yggdrasil/Rag setup had more resolution, more control of it's drivers and more resolution than my HE-6s. This is my favorite ortho headphone. That said, my VPI Classic III (used) with accesories cost roughly the price of the Abyss new. The price is just silly.

    VPI vs. Yggdrasil part 2
    CEE TEE popped over for a bit and we did a comparison of my VPI and Yggdrasil and it wasn't quite as cut and dry feeling as yesterday, but I still feel vinyl wins. We tried Daft Punk's Get Lucky. On the VPI, it was rich and full, with every instrument feeling seperated and well voiced. When we played it on the Yggdrasil (via Tidal), the voices came to the forefront (something I've noticed with my VPI rig, probably an adjustment thing) and the it felt punchier, a bit more danceable. The vinyl didn't hit as hard, but it sustained much better.

    Next we tried Blue in Green off of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. On the SACD/DSD version through Audirvana, it was sounded alright, but was lacking the fullness and metalicness of the trumpet. Instruments were kind of running into each other, the bass was hiding behind the drums and piano. The highs on the piano didn't sing out as quiet counterpoint to the trumpet/sax and one couldn't hear each individual insturment. With the VPI, right away you notice the bass, it's present articulate and clear. The piano, while often quiet, cuts right though and the you can feel the resonance of the bass in the piano through my KEFs. The trumpet not only sounded properly full and metalic, but you could hear slight changes in dynamics as Miles held the note. Just such a more real and viceral experience.

    Once again, it was so great having everyone over.
     
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  19. TMoney

    TMoney Shits on SBAF over at Head-Case to be cool

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  20. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    I'll have to hear a Black Widow some day. I disagree with Tyll's take on the GSX and Rag quite a lot (as you'll probably recall from my review on CS).
     

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