2012 New York Spring Head-Fi Meet

Bozebuttons (Tom) to the left hosted this terrific meet. SiBurning (Steve) just came to have fun!

What's a Head-Fi Meet?
It's a paradox, I tell ya. The hobby of headphone listening would seem a rather solitary thing, and yet, it's one of the fastest growing hobbies today and has a vibrant community of enthusiasts having a great time together on Head-Fi.org. Their frolicking is more than just virtual, however, and get-togethers in meet-space happen with surprising regularity.

Basically, there's a meet planning forum area on Head-Fi where people start threads to find out if there's interest and then plan for a local meet. Sometimes meets are big, like the New York meet, and sometimes it's just a few guys getting together at someone's house. (These are often called "mini-meets.") You'll usually see a broad mix of gear from high-end electrostatic flagships, to every-day use desktop rigs, to tiny (and not so tiny) portable rigs. But always, the mix of headphones, music, and like-minded enthusiasts deliver a fun time. Simply look through the planning threads to see if one is happening near you.

Once the meet is over, members will start a new thread in the Meet Impressions Forum Area to post their pictures and thoughts about the meet. These threads are fun to rummage through to get the flavor of the events.


Overview of the meet room Bozebuttons arranged at the American Legion Hall.

2012 New York Head-Fi Meet Instigators
120606_NewYrokHeadFiMeet_photo_AaronatFirstNationalMeet organizing duties in the New York area have been shared by a number of members over the years. Immtbiker (Aaron) and Jahn have regularly herded the cats, but this time around, Bozebuttons (Tom, photo at top of page) stepped up to do the deed. Tom has held numerous large meets at the Babylon American Legion Hall on Long Island. Thanks Tom, as always you threw the ball right down the middle.

The New York Head-Fi members have a long history of organizing some of the largest meets in the country. In fact, the First National Head-Fi Meet was organized by Aaron, Tom, Jahn, myself, and a number of other folks in the New York crew. They are not alone in their ability to throw a big party: Boston; Tampa; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Chicago have all had massive meets--and I'm leaving a lot out both domestically and world wide.

Might as well mention there's a big Los Angeles meet coming up on August 18th. You can find out about it in the meet organizing thread here. I'm that close to being in!


I can't resist posting this picture of SiBurning at a previous NY meet a number of years ago. Yes, that was his everyday portable rig at the time.

Honest to goodness, this is a really fun activity, and you couldn't ask for a better group of folks to hang out with for a day of yabber and gear. Search out a meet near you and take the next step in great headphone listening.

I'm not gonna do too much more writing here because the pictures and videos on the next page tell the story much better than I could, but I do want to say these meets are as much or more about friends in the community as they are about headphones. I think SiBurning said it best in the meet impressions thread:


Last thing before we get started, if you do go to a meet please understand there are some rules of etiquette in the community. I've never seen an official version, but I found this in one of Luis' (LFF) posts:

1) Please treat others' gear with the utmost care and respect.
2) Do not unplug headphones without asking permission from the owners first.
3) Do not turn anything on or off without asking permission first.
4) Do not move anyone's gear from their established area without asking permission.
5) Always treat other headfiers with the utmost respect.
6) If a woman shows up - DO NOT GAWK. They are part of the human species and also deserve the utmost respect. Do not fear that this is the only one.
7) Do not bring food or drinks near any equipment, including your own.
8) If you eat, please WASH YOUR DIRTY, GREASY HANDS BEFORE touching other people's equipment.
9) Do not ask the vendors too many questions. They want to have fun too and others may want to ask questions as well.
10) Always follow the rules of the host. He/She/They have been gracious enough to host a meet so he/she/they deserve the most respect and if you don't follow any of the above rules, AT LEAST follow this one.
11) No shirt, no shoes, no headfi meet.
12) Do not put screw drivers in electrical outlets.
13) If it's summer - please wear deodorant.
14) If it's winter - please wear deodorant.

I'll add, if you're a sweathog like me, carry a small towel and dry your head off really well before listening. In fact, I was sweating so much from running around at the New York meet that I didn't put on any headphones at all. (If someone knows of a more official meet rules list please link to it in the comments and I'll update this section.)

Right! Let's look at some rigs!


willmatic's picture

I had a blast last Saturday at my first meet, and looking forward to the next one!

Magick Man's picture

I need to go to another meet soon, I miss hanging out and talking with fellow head-fi enthusiasts. Don't get me wrong, forums are great, but it just isn't the same. We need more meets in the SE USA, maybe I'll gauge some interest for one here in Knoxville.

Asr's picture

Thanks for the report Tyll, wish I'd been there. Forgot you were going to be at this meet and thought you might be at the 2012 THE Show Newport Beach in CA, which I ended up going to.

Just a minor correction: in your "2012 New York Head-Fi Meet Instigators" section, if you were referring only to the National Meets, there hasn't been one in Boston yet, and the one in Florida was in Fort Lauderdale.

ultrabike's picture

Thank you for sharing your impressions Tyll. I attended the 2012 THE Show at Newport. First hi-fi show/meet I attend, and had a very good time myself. Cheers :)

Room40's picture

Hey Tyll, great review considering you are a one man show. You really capture the essence of the meet with your short vids of individual Hedfiers and their gear. Wished you posted a vid of the BHSE though. Do you have one? Would love to do a NY and Tokyo meet some time soon. Regards :)

tds101's picture

I think I should have attended the NY Head-Fi meet,...since "nywytboy68" aka "The DarkSide" from Anythingbutipod.com needs a bit more enlightenment. I see the love and effort put into this, and I think I see myself having a newfound respect for all that is high tech and old skool audiophile.

I don't plan on making the same mistake next year,...

itsastickup's picture

tut tut. Really, Tyll, you are the most clueless photographer. The first photo would be just great except for the fact that the focus is on the BACKGROUND!!!!!

It joins a long hall of infamy of Tyll photos.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I've grown to embrace imperfection in my photos.

(That and I occasionally forget to switch the autofocus back on after going manual for a shot.)

The Monkey's picture
Tyll, Steve has had a few iterations of Meet etiquette pages. Here's one I found that several of the NY group contributed to: http://home.roadrunner.com/~stevieo/members.2009.03.21.html
AGB's picture

Thanks Tyll for bringing the show back to us at home. I could have made it but I think my alarm was set for another century. The last one.

Oh well, I would have brought my direct coupled W4S DAC2 w Moon Silver Dragon and LCD-2 to show doubters that going direct is better than indirect, or better put, I religiously believe in Occam's Razor. Some of you can GOOGLE that one. Never mind that for the better you also save a few bucks.

Some of the products you taped were interesting indeed, the sheer variety of what people listen to is amazing.

The high end industry doesn't get it. Not yet. We are the Fifth Column, infiltrating and ready to take over. Our Time Has Come.

And they said You Can't Take It With You. You can't?