RMAF 2019

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by AllanMarcus, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    Few quick pics I know people will be interested in. New Schiit, a gaming amp and a direct drive for the Raal.

    SR1A so far has crushed anything else, it’s awesome. The Jot R to drive it apparently should be around 800 or 1000 with the dac.

    D9A269BC-1334-44E6-8AEB-F580257270F9.jpeg 173180B3-44CA-45DD-BC0A-6BB231CF8296.jpeg F53BA265-5D83-41CC-BF65-8389BC929CD7.jpeg
    7AAA08AB-B82B-4AD5-8360-044BEC0605B8.jpeg

    The Fostex TH-909 was also a fun headphone, I like Fostex sound in terms of being enjoyable, but not as a daily driver. A little much on the low end for me.

    Edit: I’ll fix that awful photo of the sign later
    Edit: Fixed
     

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Did you get any ears on time with the little Schiits?
     
  3. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Friend

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    ^oooo That is awesome they added a mic in to the Fulla. I might have to pick up a couple and make some inexpensive gaming audio setups for friends.
     
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  4. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    I havent yet. At the time they had a headphone I wasnt familiar with at the set up. Some Dekoni Fostex mod, so I wanted to wait until I could use something I knew. I’ll hold back from other pics and impressions until the show is over except for one other unexpected surprise. I thought the Noble Khan was amazing. Apparently they figured out piezo drivers. And I did not like Katana or Encore at all. This was massively unexpected for me.
     
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  5. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Any comments on the venue?
     
  6. Zerousen

    Zerousen Rando

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    Nice place, yesterday wasn't too incredibly crowded and I was able to try everything I wanted with relative ease.
     
  7. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    this may help

     
  8. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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  9. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    Oh it’s fairly stunning. Gorgeous hotel. Damn shame Canjam didn’t come the venue is incredibly pretty.

    It’s got indoor water features and massive windows along all hallways near the main rooms. The suites for bigger companies are beautiful rooms. Easily the best show venue I’ve been to. Most of the best areas arent really conference related necessarily. But it’s clearly a new higher scale hotel than past RMAFs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Anybody went to IFI booth? I'm curious what their Zen dac was really like, hoping a more affordable version of pro idsd.

    Of course welcome if @iFi audio chimes in.
     
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  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Kind of hard to call something “do all” for gaming these days if it isn’t loaded with software features, good virtual surround, etc. I think those are critical, though I can’t say no to a solid mic input if these do it well. For example, the Sound Blaster G6 is really nice for gaming, but the mic in is kinda poopy.

    Nonetheless, they look like solid products in their own right if you strip away the gaming marketing.
     
  12. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    But of course. We had our usual stuff showcased, but the representative of the Zen family was also there. We won't say a word about its performance, but several key things to point out are as follows:

    1. internally balanced and co-developed by none other than John Curl
    2. el'cheapo stuff aimed to not put holes in any wallet. REALLY.
    3. Small desktop sized unit with some of our usual twists found in costlier products.

    We'll tell more in due time once we have the green light to do so.

    For now several pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    Yeah. They were prototypes and sounded a little wonky. The Fulla 3 was very good but wired backwards, and the Hel sounded kind of darker and muddier. The Fulla 3 issue is no biggy and we had a laugh about it, the Hel I’m not sure. I asked a friend to check them out without saying what I thought and he had the same conclusion. Maybe it has some other gaming advantage.

    I’ll post full impressions tomorrow once I’m done with travel. I was concerned because Canjam didn’t show but I had a great time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  14. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    So I'll preface my impressions with what I was looking for at RMAF. Timbre. I've got Utopia, Andro, and Focal Twin6 studio monitors that I do most of my listening on and Andro and the Twin6's have always been great. But recently I've been getting a little tired of the metallic tinge Utopia adds on vocals etc... I should also say I'm a Chord guy since I know many here aren't. I have a DAVE + M Scaler for my source for my Utopia and Twin6's.

    So going to RMAF my order of the things I wanted to try was basically SR1A -> LCD-4Z -> explore.

    I first have to shoutout @schiit For bringing SR1A and Jot R to the show in the first place. No one else had an SR1A so you da real MVP. Chord also brought the 4Z which was good because I'm using a similar set up so I was grateful for that too.

    Anyway into impressions (some pics spoilered at the end)
    My favorites are underlined

    SR1A - These may be the worst headphones ever to try at a show considering how open they are, but they still sounded awesome. The detail was very very impressive and they had a fuller sound than most electrostats. The soundstage also had a very big and lifelike presence with fairly precise imaging. The pad game should probably be improved to make them more comfortable, but they really stood above everything else except maybe the SR-009 set up running of an M Scaled TT2 and Blue Hawaii. It was a far cheaper set up and still better sounding. I'm waiting for Jot R but I want these pretty bad.

    LCD-4Z - I wanted to hear these since my DAVE can actually power them unlike the 4. They sounded fairly faithful to the 4 and just like the 4 had great timbre and vocal quality vs my Utopia. They seem like a great TOTL planar option for people who don't have or want a beefy amp.

    RAD-0 - So this is the new planar magnetic for Rosson Audio Design from Alex of Audeze fame. I thought these were also excellent planars. The tuning wasn't quite the same as something like LCD-4 but they were very clear and musical. Since it was a show it's hard to be more specific but overall I thought they sounded better balanced and rivaling TOTL planar flagships despite the price being less than most of them.

    QDC Anole VX - These were very interesting iems worth an audition for a lot of people. They contained 3 switches to configure boosts to the sound to customize it how you like and they were quite resolving. Overall they could compete with Andro depending on preferences. I think Andro still has a more friendly tuning and a bit better timbre but I was losing in resolution.

    Alclair Electro - I had never heard of Alclair until now, and was actually quite impressed by their Electro. It has 4 BAs and 2 electrostatic tweeters with transformers (so you can power them normally) and they sounded excellent. The mids weren't what I would want with rock n roll music but in classical and vocal genres I actually really really liked these guys for $1500.

    Empire Ears Wraith - Uh... 7 BAs and 4 electrostats with transformers but... I hope it was broken. The highs sounded very wrong and everyone I know who heard it said similar. This is Tia Fourte level money at 3500 but at least Fourte does a few things incredibly well. The highs had this really weird and bad hollowness that made everything sound wrong.

    Swan Song Headphone - Like a home made Grado. I'm not really sure what was up with these but the tuning and 1900 dollar price made no sense to me. I don't want an 800 dollar home made cable on something like this either.

    Final D8000 Pro - Color me surprised. They had the original D8000 which I put on and as before still strongly disliked. But the Pro was actually quite a good planar. Much better tuning and the detail level also seemed improved. I'm not sure how it would stack up directly vs LCD-4 especially for the price but I liked how it sounded this time around.

    Senn HD820 - A pretty good closed back adaptation. It loses a bit of quality and width of course, the real problem is it shouldn't cost more. It sounds worse than 800 and 800S (though not by much) so I wish it was more like 1500.

    Schiit SOL - This is the Schiit section. There's no built in way to level the tonearm which seems kind of important. There's also no grip on the "queue" arm so it's hard to actually lift the arm above a track to properly queue it. It would slide around so you'd miss where you were aiming. I think it sounded alright otherwise, I can't weigh in too much since it was on like an Ether non flow through a Rag 2 neither of which I have much experience with.

    Fulla 3 - Sounded quite nice to me. A rather pleasant and compact solution that I think will be a nice entry level option.

    HEL - This sounded worse... It was muddier and darker. I'm not sure if that's because that offers some gaming advantage or anything but it wasn't what I expected. The mic port also didn't look to support dynamic mics, only condenser or electret? Correct me if I'm wrong there but that was what I thought it looked like.

    Jot R - This is awesome. Please make it and get rid of the resister box from the SR1A. That is all.

    Asgard 3 - Didn't hear it because I had SR1A on the brain but it's new and I have pics of it with its specs.

    Noble Khan - The surprise of the entire show for me. I actually bought them. I said at the top that I was on a hunt for timbre. These things sound incredibly natural in that regard. The best I've ever heard. I put them on and my eyes were like a York Peppermint Patty commerical. They're the first iem using a piezo that I thought did a good job, then have 4 BAs and a dynamic for bass. And I've never liked any other Noble flagships, I wasn't impressed by Katana or Encore even remotely. So this was a big upset for me.

    The actual sound is almost very well tuned. The lows and mids are solid, incredible detailed, and clear. The treble is just a bit overly so. It's rather hot on the high treble which is kind of new for me, only cymbals and very high strings really felt its affect. However, the other aspects of this iem are so incredibly good I took the risk on their show pricing. Vocals sound phenomenal, acoustic instruments sound phenomenal, imaging is fantastic, resolution is inline with Tia drivers but better in timbre. I really really love the sound of these. If you like iems and are willing to EQ definitely give these a chance. I've already experimented with some EQing on them and they sound incredible. Apparently I now feel the Wizard. And all I can think of is this from Robot Chicken now haha.

    Beyerdynamic T1 and T5 - T1 I thought sounded shrilly and over the top. T5 I thought was actually significantly more pleasant and neutral and not actually terrible for the price as a closed back.

    Beyerdynamic Xelento - Also fairly pleasant. Resolution isn't great but the tuning is pretty decent. I think they're kind of like a bit less clear Dita Dream but with a bit less of the Dream's metallic sound. Not too bad, but still a bit pricey.

    Spirit Headphones - These were in series dynamic driver headphones. Rather weird. Like the guy said they did indeed have bass for days but I think the rest of the frequency response suffered.

    Fostex TH-909 - It keeps the Fostex bassy sound bit with an open back. I liked them. Fostex is too bassy for me to want as a daily driver but I've always thought they have very clear sounding drivers that are fun to listen to with modern music. They have their own sound and they're the best at it.

    Sony IER-Z1R - I didn't get these. They sounded bassy and uneven. I've read a few very positive reviews but they're not something I thought sounded very coherent or appealing. The DMP-Z1 walkman is hilarious and has an awesome volume knob. The price is crazy but it feels very premium.

    iFi Zen Dacs - This is their new entry level dac. I listened to it with a pair of Clears and thought it was quite good. At 150 it also seems like it could be a compelling entry level option. @iFi audio We also probably talked although I'm not sure who you are haha. But iFi saved the day for me with an iEMatch testing out the Khans with a DragonFly Cobalt. They also showed another up and coming product in the same form factor that they can let me know if I'm allowed to mention.

    iFi iEMatch - It worked! Noise disappeared from the Khans and I didn't notice a drop in sound quality so I was happy.

    iFi Pro iCan - I really like this amp. For the price is offers so many different options while still sounding excellent. It's a great center piece to a diverse set up with plenty of i/o and options.

    AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt - The Khans sounded fairly bad out of my iPhone and the Dragonfly Red. They sounded great of a Marantz amp and also sounded great out of the Cobalt. So I'm a pretty big fan of the Cobalt it sounded like a step of for sure and a great compact dac amp those who don't want a large portable dac/amp or dap.

    Speakers - Most of these rooms were not super well treated... But the main downside was also the volume. Everyone in those rooms is so deaf that the speakers are blasting to levels have make them sound uncontrolled and boomy in these rooms. I'd have loved to hear most of them at more reasonable levels. That said the best I heard were Borresen little two drivers with an electrostat and dynamic driver. The guy talked a lot of psuedoy science stuff before finally playing them but they sounded great. Probably not worth 30k though, and check out that ferrite core in the pic I took lmao.


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    My smartphone camera is now old and a bit beat up so sorry some of these are fairly ass
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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  15. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Thanks for this feedback. We're glad our iEMatch did the trick for you. I wasn't there, but our USA/UK crew was.
     
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