Head-Fi.org Boston 2005
Head-Fi Boston kicked off slowly and ramped up fast. Both enthusiasts and a few manufacturers showed up including Ray Samuels of Emmeline Audio (left) and Tyll of Headroom (right). Not seen here is Mikhail of Single Power who manufacturers some truly impressive OTL tube headphone amplification. The whole room celebrated Ray's birthday as the Head-Fi guys brought his a cake in honor of the occasion!
Dave (Head-Fi moniker DRP) brought the Mapletree Ear+ HD (high definition) headphone amplifier with source being an Apogee Mini DAC that combined drove a pair of Grado PS-1 headphones.
Another cool setup Dave had was the mini iPod Nano (modified by Red Wine Audio) and the Emmeline Hornet amplifier. Talk about a small setup, to the left is a Telefunken 12AX7 to show how truly compact this setup is! Ray Samuels recently won an Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award for his amazing phonostage as seen here.
Haj (Salt Peanuts) had two pair of cool headphones! The left ones are Beyer 770/80 modified by Headphile.com with wood housing and custom cable. The right pair is Grado PS-1 drivers in a Sony CD3000 housing and custom cable. For amplification we have an Electrocompaniet ECD DAC 192kHz/24-bit and transport was a Sony DVP-S7700 digital disc player. Gilmore Reference balanced headphone amplifier provided the juice.
Rich (Strid3r) was enjoying a pair of Stax SR-404 with SRM-313 box that were hooked to an Apogee Mini DAC with a Philips DVD963SA as transport.
Mark (Voodoochille) had a Kenwood portable CD player hooked to a Peter Millett circuit board available at diyfourms.org or pmillett.com. You then source all the parts and build away. Tubes are 12AE6A low voltage tubes. Coupling caps are non-polar Black Gates while headphones were Grado HF-1. It was great to see the DIY guys at the Head-Fi Boston event as it brings back the interactive fun in this hobby. And once you get the basic kit built, and the honeymoon subsides, then it can be parts tweaking time!
The left large gray box is a PPA with Diamond buffer and ladder stepped attenuator hand made by Mark on an Alma switch. There is an external power supply Mark designed. He also had a Mapletree amplifier that was using a NAD C 541i as source. Both the Mapletree and NAD have lights mods like Burr Brown 627 in the output section for the NAD and silver wire tweak for the Mapletree.
Kevin (ICY006) brought Grado HF-1 with all kinds of pads and SR325 and many, many other headphones. Beyers, some DIY, etc. Pimeta, by Tangent, DIY plan kit for headphone amplification. He had a Dynalo, Kevin Gilmore design, DIY in process of being built. Source was a harman/kardon FL8300 CD player. My eyes glazed over at the possibilities!
Jeff (jar) had a huge conglomerate of computer and mp3 players. Headroom amplification goodies include Mini DAC. Jeff also had a Pimeta amplifier and yes that silver unit to the lower right is a $30 Coby DVD played employed strictly as a transport for S/PDIF output.
Of course Tyll of Headroom had, well... everything. Micro Amp to Desktop Amp and all in-between. Speaking of Desktop, Enjoy the Music.com's $80,000 Equipment contest is giving away a fully pimped out Desktop system! Check it out by clicking here.
Ethan (Yikes) had Exemplar Audio OTL32 modified and an Exemplar Audio 3910 universal player. The OTL32 is a ASL (Antique Sound Labs) unit modded by Exemplar. Various headphones were also present. Silver internal wiring and other goodies highlight Exemplar's work.
Another manufacturer at the event was Single Power's Mikhail. He brought to the show a Maestro, MPX3, and Slam amplifiers as seen above. The craftsmanship is truly outstanding! All models are OTL design. Not pictured is the company's model Super XLR that is a balanced OTL unit. And yes, you have a chance to win an amplifier from Single Power within our $80,000 contest by clicking here.
As for my own contributions, i brought the Skorpion HV-1 OTL headphone amplifier (reviewed here), and my collection of vintage Sony portable CD players (reviewed here) that include the D-5, D-25, and D-555. Of note is that i also brought the original power supply, a tweaked out and nearly double the Amperage Sony power supply, plus the D-25 and D-555 had new Sony batteries. This allowed others to compare power supplies and battery power for sound quality.