SF Bay Area Mini Meet

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by loadexfa, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Anybody up for doing a mini meet at my place in Mountain View? @archer88 was kind enough to allow me to borrow his SFD-2 MK II SE+ for a loaner (https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649872729-sonic-frontiers-sfd-2-mk-ii-se-nos-r2r-dac/) and in exchange for his generosity I offered to get some people posting impressions on SBAF. I have flexibility this coming week (time off work) including Saturday. If not this coming week, normally I could do a Tuesday or Thursday night as well as one weekend day. I want to be mindful of @archer88 's generosity and not hang on to his DAC for very long.

    Additional items I can offer for people to hear:
    • Stratus with popular tubes (not unobtanium stuff but still quite good)
    • Pavane and SFD-1 MK II SE+ (and any DAC you bring) for comparison purposes
    • A Moth (aka Eddie Current) prototype amp that eventually became the ZD. This one is warmer than the ZD
    • Some @rhythmdevils modded headphones (LCD-4, HE 6se, and Yamaha HP1a). You've probably seen the recent hype around his modded LCD-X, the LCD-4 blows it away IMO. I agree with the hype, the LCD-4 is just that good.
    • LauX (for Audeze, much better synergy)
    • Auteur Classic in Blackwood
    • Atticus in Zirocote
    • Clear OG
    • HD 800 + SDR
    • iFi iDSD BL (older version)
    • Perhaps a surprise or two :)
     
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  2. uniqusrname

    uniqusrname Rando

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    I would be interested in meetup, can bring along Elekit TU-8200, Tubelab SE 300B, HD580, Black silk HD650.
     
  3. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    I can possibly bring:
    • Focal Radiance w/ Stellia drivers
    • Focal Stellia w/ Radiance drivers
    • Schiit Bifrost 2
    • iFi iDSD Diablo w/ hookups for DAC-only or amp-only operation
    • iFi iDSD nano and/or micro BL
    I wonder if @Bill-P is back in town since he mentioned wanting to do a meet a few months ago (superceded by some much-needed time off).
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  4. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Could this weekend work? Anyone have a preference between Sat vs Sun if it does? Also my place isn’t super big so we probably shouldn’t bring more than what has been offered.
     
  5. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    I can probably make time this weekend with no preference.

    If available space allows, I'd like to bring along just the Radiance w/ Stellia drivers and the Diablo, since I already know the BF2 pretty well (and the Stellia drivers don't play nice with >3ish ohm amp output impedance, hence the Diablo). Embarrassingly, I haven't been well-acquainted with much on the roster except the HD 800 SDR... :oops:
     
  6. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    That should be perfect! Also the Stratus goes really well with every Focal I’ve tried.
     
  7. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I forgot to mention, I have the HD 6XX in case you want to save the effort of bringing your 650.
     
  8. uniqusrname

    uniqusrname Rando

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    Black silk HD650 actually sounds quite different and preferably better to me than current gen, so worth checking it out. I can leave Tubelab SE as it doesn't have a headphone out and needs HP adapter. Also if interested I can bring Yiggy A1 for DAC comparison, but it will be cold sounding. :)
     
  9. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Alright, happy to hear a better 650 version. I'm not sure the Yggdrasil makes sense due to the warm up time needed.
     
  10. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Apparently there's another meetup happening in Oakland this weekend too, more details from their Discord: https://discord.gg/5ZPWzPjx

    So far the Discord server is really small which, IMO, is a good thing, makes it easier to follow along.
     
  11. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Looks like this will be happening on Saturday at 12:30 in case anyone else is available.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2022
  12. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Oh, wow, I didn't notice this. Sorry, I've been so hammered at work. If it's still possible, I'd like to come by tomorrow too. Will just be bringing one headphone and maybe 2 IEMs.
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I can’t come but @loadexfa will be bringing some gear from me:

    stock:

    LCD-4

    modded:

    LCD-4
    LCD-4z
    LCD-MX4
    LCD-5

    RAAL PDT-1a amp (for orthos and electrodynamics)
     
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  14. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Glad you can make it Bill! Also looks like @Mdkaler will be joining as well.

    Please note space will be tight, my apartment isn’t too big but we should be fine. Looks like 5-7 total are coming. Bringing small items like headphones and IEMs are perfect!
     
  15. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    Awesome turnout, looking forward to reading the impressions and seeing you folks next time :)
     
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  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Don’t wear hair products or wear cologne or anything. You can go a half day without looking your sexiest ;)
     
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  17. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Meet is over. Thanks, @loadexfa for organizing and for the great deal on an HE6 modded by the legendary @rhythmdevils!

    Anyway, measurements of the various RD-modded headphones I got to try at meet:

    Modded HE6SE version 1:
    I wrote my impressions on these a while back. Very surprised no one has bought them yet. I'm buying these for myself now. Mine! These are right up my alley with the right source gears.
    [​IMG]

    Modded HE6SE version 2:
    These were good but for some reason required so much more power to drive than even version 1. Both headphones are still quite hard to drive to their full potential. Overall, kinda slightly darker than version 1.
    [​IMG]

    Modded LCD-4: (best of show for me)
    Extraordinarily resolving and airy. Despite the measurement, these don't sound that dark to me in person. Very smooth, relaxed, impactful, detailed, airy and engaging. Easily the best Audeze or heck, planar headphone I have heard up to date.
    [​IMG]

    Modded LCD-5: (mm... okay but needs work)
    I was told these need more work. Let's say... I agree. Graph speaks for itself basically.
    [​IMG]

    Bonus! Stock LCD-5: (these were good, if not excellent!)
    Basically Audeze's shot at a "neutral" headphone. I feel they largely succeeded, but now it's basically an uphill battle with all of the source gears that made the classic Audeze line sound good. Any gear that is even slightly bright will sound insane with these. Conversely, darker source gears like tube amps and DACs probably will sound awesome with these.
    [​IMG]

    And that's about it. It's time for this robot to go on another months-long hiatus. I'll resurface should humans need me again some time in the future.

    P.S.: also, look at that channel matching between... 4 entirely different pairs of headphones! Sometimes I wonder if I'm the robot or if RD is one.

    P.S. 2: robotic assessment of some amps:

    Donald North Stratus: basically end-game material. Why even buy anything else past this point?

    Cavalli Liquid Au X: uhhmmm... yeah, not a good match for HiFiMAN or for anything that has even a wee bit of upper midrange. Bass is solid, though.

    Flux FA-10?: not bad. A bit hissy on high gain at very high volume, but when music is on, it is excellent. It seemingly had enough power to drive version 1 of the HE6 but version 2 was a bit too much for it to handle. Basically sounded good with all of the planar headphones we tried.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  18. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Wow, thanks for posting all those measurements! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I also had a great time. We met a bunch of new folks, ended up having around 10 people show up.

    Strongly agree, these are VERY endgame.

    Because the Stellaris exists. :D
     
  19. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

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    Big thanks to @loadexfa for hosting! It's great to see @Bill-P again and met some new folks. Also, lots of awesome gears, if I post a picture for each of them it will fill up this page.

    Some brief highlights of the meet:
    • @rhythmdevils modded LCD 4 is the shit! It is all the Audeze you can ask for and then some. Very open sounding, and the bass is simply glorious.
    • Okay too much hype there I know... So the stock LCD 4 sounds a little boring to me, a bit mushy and unexciting in both FR and technicalities. The RD modded LCD 4 has great bass impact and sustain, which doesn't bleed into the mids while maintaining the Audeze house sound; mids have decent body, and treble is lively and airy.
    • The beautiful DNA Stratus is as good as always. It is a great pairing with the RD modded LCD 4, more so than the Liquid Gold X. Personally I have always preferred the EC amps over DNA, but this one is more easy sounding and versatile with a lot of headphones, and less picky than the EC Af.
    • Stock LCD 5 actually sounds decent, much less lifeless than stock LCD 4.
    • Bill-P HD800 and Darth Vader HD800 of House Mad Wizard reunited! (They actually reunited some time ago, but my backup phone went bootlooping before I could retrieve the photos...)
    Moth DAC.jpg DNA Stratus.jpg RD LCD4.jpg the 800s of House Mad Wizard.jpg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I think @penguins deserves credit for finalizing my Stratus sound. His post about rectifiers led me to try a vintage Ken rad and that was the finishing touch. The KR I was using previously is also good but still tended towards etchy. This one is perfect.
     

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