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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a week late putting these impressions together, but here it is.

First, the pics:









































~~~

Impressions:

Eddie Current Zana Deux -

I've heard the ZD twice before, but this was the first time I got an extended period with it in a quiet environment, which I've been wanting to do ever since I got my Moth. The verdict - hearing the difference between OTL and Transformer-Coupled was obvious. Mike's (owner of the ZD) amp was more revealing, somewhat more analytical. I'm wanting to avoid using "more detail" to describe it, but it very well might be. I get the feeling my Moth ever so-slightly masks a slight bit of detail in an effort to translate more musicality in the presentation (this doesn't mean though that the Moth is entirely more musical, I believe that is based on preference alone). I will say that I prefer midrange on my amp, it is as natural as I have ever heard. The Zana gave too much airiness to the vocals of a few of my reference tracks, making them seem slightly less natural and a little more analytical. Classical sounded better on the Zana; the classical track I used was as good as I've ever heard it.

TTVJ FET-A -

The FET-A was a beast. It is probably the best SS amp I've heard for under a thousand, with a presentation that was neither warm nor cold, just even. Balance was great, bass was tight, I thought the treble really flourished with my tracks in general. Based off my own rig, however, the mids were not ideal. I guess I've been somewhat spoiled by what I've heard in the middle freq's, so I should not expect the less expensive FET to match it. It's a great amp to be sure, I'd probably buy one if I had cash to burn.

Headamp GS-X -

Wanted to hear this amp for a long time, I was really happy to see Morphsci bring his to the meet. I used his HD650's with his setup, which is less than ideal for my own personal tastes, but I do believe that the HD650 does perform better with solid state over tubes based on what I heard. The sound was clean, smooth, and articulate. I heard very little of the flabby characteristic that is normally present with the HD650, but the low end was still a little much in comparison to the HD580/600. The GS-X is not particularly cold nor super-analytical, two descriptions that Headamp's lower end offerings are often tagged with. I have not heard either the Gilmore Lite or GS-1, but if they exhibit similar traits to the GS-X both models should sound at the very least decent for solid state.

AKG K1000 -

Not much has changed from my November impressions on this headphone. It still images exceptionally well, giving more liveliness to the music and bringing it closer to reality. That is really the #1 advantage of this can, and no other headphone seems to have it. High-end models like the R10 can take standard headphone presentation and bring it to a very enjoyable and engaging level, but the imaging is simply not there when compared to speakers. K1K gets a little bit closer than the rest.

Grado PS-1 -

The little tank that could. I've heard it before, still don't agree with some of common complaints that come with it. It's not that heavy with bowl pads. I can see the metal weight possibly becoming a little much with flats, as that pad provides no support around the top and sides of your ears; it seems like it could simply get pulled down and out of the "sweet spot" with additional weight. The bass on this pair (Ray's pair to be exact) seemed not quite as heavy as the last pair I heard. I believe this resulted from the recable that has been performed on the headphone. It wasn't necessarily better, as the pounding low-end is the major attribute along with speed that gives the PS-1 a crazy presentation to begin with. It was simply different, lessening it gave more notice to treble, seemed to sparkly rather well. I think my Moth matches very well with this particular headphone, the 2A3 midrange settles in very nicely around a bass line that kicks a whole lot of ass. Best rock headphone ever.

~~~

That was pretty much it this time around, didn't get to hear everything I wanted to because social activities distracted me. Oh well, the meet was still absolutely awesome and I did get some pretty thorough listening with the limited pieces of gear that I did check out.
 

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Holy crap!

It's like a LAN party, only for sound!

Makes me ponder weather I deserve to be called an Audiophile...I don't even know what half that crap is!
 

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indeed good read aura and nice eye candy. the cans i can mostly name the amps are lost on me though. i envy you aura.
 

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thanks so much for sharing! good pics
 

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That is awesome. I wish they had some of that here in the Northern California. I wouldn't mind going to hear some of the higher end Cans.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by S2kphile
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That is awesome. I wish they had some of that here in the Northern California. I wouldn't mind going to hear some of the higher end Cans.

Maybe you can make it to SoCal for Can Jam 2009?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments everyone.

The venue was a bank in downtown Champaign, IL. One of the attendees just so happened to be the VP of this bank, so we were given really wonderful access to multiple rooms on the second floor. Combined with the fact that it was a Saturday and the bank was closed, I would say out of the 4 meets I have been to this was by far the best environment for intimate listening.

The gear I wanted to hear but just didn't have time to included a CKKIII (which I've been considering for a pc-based secondary rig), TerriblePaulz' DIY amp, and Morphsci's Cambridge DAC Magic + Monarchy amp rig. Hopefully I'll get a chance to check them out in the future.
 

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+ good post.
 

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Wee for audio porn. Awesome pics of some really nice gear!

What didn't you like in particular about the mids on the FET-A, and which cans/music did you try out with it? The amp looks really promising, were you able to pair them with a RS1 or GS1000i by chance?
 

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I'm new to the headphone scene, just bought a Xonar and some Audio Technica ATH-M20. Low end I know but sound really good to me. I would love to hear how the other half hear. I work in Champaign, invite me next time,lol.
 

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this deserves a bumparoo!
wooaudio 6...drool
p51...yum
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:


Originally Posted by grossebeaver
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Wee for audio porn. Awesome pics of some really nice gear!

What didn't you like in particular about the mids on the FET-A, and which cans/music did you try out with it? The amp looks really promising, were you able to pair them with a RS1 or GS1000i by chance?

Apologies beaver, didn't see your questions until just now.

Just to reiterate, the FET-A is an excellent amplifier overall. I'm a tube guy myself, so if I genuinely like what I hear from a solid state build then it is really performing well for my preferences. The only area in which the FET-A did not quite fit my preferences was the midrange. With my main amp (Moth Audio EC2A3, single ended triode, transformer-coupled, 2A3 output tubes) the midrange that I experienced with Sennheiser HD580's was absolutely dead-on. By this, I mean that the midrange was full, slightly warm in tone, and balanced within the overall presentation but still with some emphasis that would direct my attention towards it at all times. For me, this is an ideal midrange and this is one of the main reasons I own my particular amp, because I feel that I'm unlikely to hear anything better for the money I've spent (which is probably too much already
).

The FET-A gets the balance correct as well, but it doesn't provide that difficult-to-describe emphasis. I felt like it just wasn't stressing it quite enough in the main melodies of the reference tracks I was listening to. The FET-A isn't particularly colored, which is fine, but I've always liked just a tad bit of warmth in the sound (take this how you will, it's a vague term but in general is synonymous with musicality). Similar to the Zana Deux, I also felt that with the Frou Frou track I used, midrange was too airy. It sounds much fuller with my Moth compared to these other two amps. "Airy" can also be substituted for "dry", I prefer a sound that has more body to it, a little more thickness.

The only headphone I used on the FET-A was the HD600, which is essentially the same as the HD580 which I owned for half a year. My friend Mike, who brought the FET-A with him, had a pair of RS-1's sitting right next to the amp but I decided to forgo trying it, since I'm not familiar enough with the RS-1's sound to feel satisfied about using it as a reference.

Hope that explains things a bit better. Glad everyone is enjoying the pics, if you want to see some more check my signature for two other meet impression threads I have posted in the past.
 
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