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CanJam 2009 Impressions - Page 22  

post #316 of 636
Great impressions & pics, I especially love the looks of the reel to reel. How did it sound ????????
post #317 of 636
Whew. CanJam went by so quickly. Wish it was longer, yet I'm so glad CanJam is over at the same time.

So awesome to meet friends old and new. And especially meeting the real people behind the usernames I've known for so long.

Need to recuperate, I'm on babysitting duty today, giving my wife a break.

Will post better impressions later, but I really didn't get a chance to listen to as much gear as I wanted.

Thanks so much to all my fellow organizers, volunteers, vendors, family, and members in general.

Wanted to give you all a list of the Organizers that made CanJam 2009 possible.
Along with running around all the time during the meet helping out everyone and everything, we all had our specialties in the preparations and planning before the meet as well:


jp11801 - "THE Man".
Our lead organizer, leading the charge, taking all the big complaints, and adding piles and piles of stress into his life, and deflecting it with a big smile. Helped keep the budget straight, dealt with the hotel and vendors. And made several trips down to LA to scout out the hotels. Every CanJam starts with a single person. A person that steps up as Lead Organizer, and gets the ball rolling.

909 - "The Visionary".
Had a clear vision of the look and feel for this CanJam from the beginning. Without whom, the overall theme, and especially the T-Shirts would never have existed. He also dealt with the hotel, and spent a lot of time negotiating rates and scouting hotels as well. And did I mention he spent a lot of time helping getting those T-Shirts looking so awesome?

velogreg - "The Closer".
Can sell refrigerators to eskimos, and then get them to sign up as a vendor at CanJam. Signed up so many Vendors to come to CanJam, including many first time Vendors that I had no idea what their company made until the show. We had no fewer than 34 Vendors this year at CanJam. Not a single empty table.

Jasper994 - "The Printer".
Did you like that badge you wore around your neck? Or perhaps the brochure map you used to look up where that Vendor and gear you wanted to check out? Or even all those sweet signs in the halls and on the rooms that help point the way for you? Well thank this guy.

Iron_Dreamer - "The Traveler".
Probably logged the most highway miles driving up and down from NorCal to SoCal. Even came down the weekend before CanJam and stayed to whole week to help with logistics, setup, and printing. Also managed the Member table sign ups and layouts.

LFF - "The Ninja".
One of the most understated members of Head-Fi, and amazing music afficionado. Our behind the scenes guy and filled in the blanks to help out, particularly the days of the event.

Thanks also to our Volunteers, who helped out with running CanJam this weekend, and spending time sitting in the Badge Pick Up Registration instead of having extra time to listen to gear.
Thanks you, Morphsci, cetoole, zippy2001, jjhatfield, naamanf, Frank Cooter, grawk, guzziguy, bhd812(Pretty Princess), and all the other "Green Shirts" I may have forgotten.

Also a special thanks to our CanJam Mentors:
Voltron, Tyrion, and immtbiker.
They imparted their wisdom from their experience with past International Head-Fi meets. We, the organizers of CanJam 2009 look forward to doing the same for the organizers of CanJam 2010.


-Ed
post #318 of 636
so here are some more impressions of my trip to canjam:

The hf 2 is amazing...the vocals seem very accurate and no sibilance or trademark grado highness...much more comfortable than sr 80 with the pads that Headphone addict had on them. I think that this is a must buy for any grado fan and its a steal at $429

The HD-800 are like nothing i have ever heard before the depth and soundstage are immense your ears are engulfed by the huge cups.

The PS-1000 stole the show for me..everything i love about grados wre intesfied. The intensity, the closeness. But none of the harshness. The impact of the bass was just right. I definately have a new found respect for Grados and i think i am going to get the HF2 over the HD-650's


Also a huge thanks to everyone that made canjam possible the event was amazing!!
post #319 of 636
I had a blast at this event even though I felt rushed at times since I only had a day there. I'm just easily intimidated by crowds of people. Problem I had was that alot of stuff sounded good ... at the end of the day my ears were fatigued.

I'm a pop acoustic guitar, Clapton, Mayer, SRV, Diana Krall, Thriller MJ kinda guy so thats what I listen to when I sampled stuff from my own CD.

I think with every amp I plugged in my own HD600/Cardas setup because its something I'm familiar with. At the end of the day I still liked my HD600 because I had it for almost 9 years, I'm just too used to the Sennheiser sound signature that the high end sony's and denon sound too different for my comfort zone. For me the HD800 sounded good on a few setups. I kinda regretted not trying the Grado's. On another note electrostatics sound too 'airy' for me.

1. Ray Samuels B52 - super smooth - detailed - resolution - good bass resonance. Ray seems like a very nice guy he was telling us how the B52 is really made as a pre amp for speakers. Some clients liked it so much that they bought 2 sets, one for headphones and another for speakers.

2. Woo Audio WA6 SE - super smooth - detailed - resolution for less money. BTW I never heard tube systems until today. I like them. The Woo Audio has really nice fit and finish, machined black aluminum is a winner. I'm impressed by how cool Jack Wu was, the guy looks like in his mid 20's.

3. HeadRoom's Wadia, Ultra DAC/Ultra Balanced Amp/PSU - I think this was the best HD800 pairing for me. From what I heard this was the 'pre production' model with hundreds of hours. I really liked this listening room it was quiet. But this rig was really nice sounding for the HD800's. The HD800 on Luxman was good but I thought it was just kinda plain sounding for my taste. Only problem is that the HeadRoom Amp and DAC's look funny. I like my boxes to be rectangles not some funny looking curve.

4. Benchmark DAC1 Pre - this thing isn't bad at all better than the amp I have at home and it has a nice DAC.

Kicker is that my friend's B22 and AMB's B22 was a winner for me. B22 is just alot of power and detail and resolution for your dollar ... only problem is that I need to learn how to DIY or pay someone to build one. The designer Ti Kan was pretty cool too. I'll probably practice building a micro3.

Since I like to hit 2 birds with one stone ... the Benchmark DAC1 Pre is the probably something I'll end up buying ... Headphone + DAC combo. At least I can source my Dynaudio monitors and listen to the headphones at the same time. When I get more funds for a better amp I can use the balanced out's.

Portable stuff - I wish I had enough time to sit down with the Predator and the Pico and compare it to my Viper on my SE530's.

After the raffle my ears needed some rest ... Good Times indeed.
post #320 of 636
I didn't spend a lot of time listening to gear. Of the few that I was able to check out, here are my initial impressions:


IEMs - JH13. Jerry Harvey is back. The Head Master Chef of Ultimate Ears now has his own restaurant and has cooked up a new masterpiece (along with his other menu items). He has an amazingly diverse and large custom IEM line up. From a $399 Custom all the way up to his Flagship $1099 JH13. I have serial #1 heading my way in the near future.

Headphones - HD800, got a chance to listen to them again. My opinion is unchanged from January when I first got to hear them. I was hoping to like them less, so I could save a little money by not keeping my preorder. But, alas, I liked them even more. So, my preorder stays.
Magnaplanars were a big surprise to me. Never heard them before. Very electrostatic like in presentation, with plenty of Bass.

Portable Amps - Bye, bye, small analog potentiometers. Precision Digital Volume Control is the new hotness. No fewer than three of our favorite amp builders had their prototypes available for listening at CanJam. HeadAmp Pico Slim and Ray Samuels Audio Shadow were the tiny contenders, while TTVJ had a Peter Millet designed one that eschewed tiny size for extra power and battery life. Precision Digital VOlume control is a boon and must have for IEM users. You get a much bigger range of volume control, and perfect left and right channel balance at even the quietest of volumes.

DAP - Without a doubt the most hotly anticipated Digital Audio Player was the HiFiMan HM-801. I was surprised at how lightweight it was in person. I was expecting a pretty heavy brick, given the sheer amount of goodies crammed inside. There was unfortunate shipping mishap that caused damage to both prototypes, but fortunately, different parts were broken in each one, so overall, there was two halfway functional HifiMan HM-801's. I got to hear one with it's USB input as a DAC hooked up to my portable computer using Foobar. I also used the built in player with FLAC files loaded up on an SDHC card. And, yes you can browse folders. The overall UI will be familiar feeling to anyone used to Rockbox. Overall, the sound quality was not a let down. I'll reserve final judgement until I get a chance to hear the final product, but it's off to a fantastic start. Is up to quality of my Pico DAC I had there to compare to, if not even better in some regards.

The HM-801's hardware will be done towards the end of June, with the software possibly being finished then, or a bit later. One thing I talked to Fang at Head-Direct about was the possibility of having other Amp builders making their version for the modular Amp bay. Imagine having a HeadAmp, Ray Samuels Audio, or other Amp built into the HiFiMan HM-801? Now that would be THE ONE portable I would carry. Period!

Smyth Research - They came to the show again. And now their little black box of awesomeness is in production. Still amazing. I got a chance to get a custom measurement profile with something you can't do with regular speakers. I put the center channel speaker right up to the front/middle of the TV screen when doing the personalization/calibration sequence, so that the center channel would line up with the left and right channels. Not how you'd watch TV with a speaker blocking the view, but with the Smyth Research box, no need for speakers at all. They were saving out profiles to an SD card and giving them away. I took the card to their other smaller set up they had in another room, and had them load my profile. It worked perfectly on the other setup. I played some COD4. They had other people's profiles there, so for fun I switched back and forth. It's amazing how completely different the other profiles sounded like. Diffferent people's ears really are very different, and effect the way we hear things. (anyone with Custom IEM's will attest to this fact.)



Overall. I really wish I had more time to check out all the gear. But it would be a one week event.

-Ed
post #321 of 636
Didn’t really feel great either Sat or Sun, but I met some peeps and pretty much got to hear what I wanted. I’m not gonna bother with impressions of sources or amps, because the setups were so varied.

Winners:
HD800 – duh
RS1 – vintage or not, they were gravy
AD2000 – these things scale like mofos, and they are arguably the best bargain under $1000
Random orthos – ranged from decent to very good
Electrostats other than O2 – I already like most Stax and I tried the Jade and liked it
balanced stuff in general – made a big difference to me

Losers:
O2 – not for me, even with BHSE or Cooter amp or Singlepower or whatever
HD650/DT880/K701 – simply not on the same level as the more expensive RS1 or AD2000 imo
DT48 – gave these a listen out of curiosity… pretty awful, even though Uncle Erik had a nice little setup otherwise
Grado bowls – just sound weird/hollow/soulless/whatever

Jury still out:
Audeze – mixed results and couldn’t get much time with them
Head-Direct ortho – only heard them with EF1… nice but not spectacular
HF2 – didn't listen much... weird with bowls and muddy with flats, but I assume they’ll clean up nicely with source/amp/reterm/burn-in… I bought flats on the spot for myself, though
PS1000 – good, but I can’t say for sure that it’s any better than the cheaper HD800
HP1000 – see above, but even pricier
PS1 – see above, but even pricier
W10VTG – I brought some to test different source/amp combos, but ended up listening to other headphones the whole time… the little I listened to was nice, though
post #322 of 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Looks interesting "Amp3"... it is a new mp3 player made mainly for better sound quality than normal mp3 players or what is it?
post #323 of 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post

Smyth Research - They came to the show again. And now their little black box of awesomeness is in production. Still amazing. I got a chance to get a custom measurement profile with something you can't do with regular speakers. I put the center channel speaker right up to the front/middle of the TV screen when doing the personalization/calibration sequence, so that the center channel would line up with the left and right channels. Not how you'd watch TV with a speaker blocking the view, but with the Smyth Research box, no need for speakers at all. They were saving out profiles to an SD card and giving them away. I took the card to their other smaller set up they had in another room, and had them load my profile. It worked perfectly on the other setup. I played some COD4. They had other people's profiles there, so for fun I switched back and forth. It's amazing how completely different the other profiles sounded like. Diffferent people's ears really are very different, and effect the way we hear things. (anyone with Custom IEM's will attest to this fact.)

Overall. I really wish I had more time to check out all the gear. But it would be a one week event.

-Ed
Incredible words there. I especially like the part about how we all hear different. I can't wait to experience the Smyth unit for the first time.
post #324 of 636
thanks for all the impressions/pics, everyone. looked like it was a great meet with ever-increasing products and raffles and people. i know patrick norton (of techTV "screen savers" and currently of "tekzilla" fame) is a fan of head-fi and attended canjam. hope y'all recuperate well...
post #325 of 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
They can be purchased now from TTVJ under Headphones -> Head-fi Specials.

Thanks for the impressions people by the way. I regret so much that I couldn't go.
Thanks for the info!
post #326 of 636
Last year I was really too new and didn't understand how large CanJam is, nor the impact it has on our community. This year my daughter's wedding took all my disposable income and I wasn't able to make it ... not even with some super cheap air fares.

Thank you to everyone who has posted (especially during CanJam), is posting and will post. Your posts have allowed me to see and "hear" what you saw. Greatly appreciate it. Hope to make 2010 CanJam.
post #327 of 636
well im sitting at the airport in philly waiting for my connecting flight. I have to say, this was really one great show. Lots of good people, lots of good times....lots and lots of great gear.

Was a pleasure to finally meet some of you guy in person. We talk alot on the boards, trade alot and its nice to see that person who you trade/talk with.

I want to thank the organize group for putting it together. Also thank the guys that help me get out there on 1 day notice. I actually didnt know i was going to come to LA till thursday afternoon at like 2pm. I rushed home, got clothes cleaned and begun to pack. By the time i was done it was already 2am. I had to get up and meet Mike (Tyrion) at his office at 515am...so i got up at 430ish. So thurs and fri just melded into one really long day. Also add to that the jet lag. However, even though i was tired and hurting...i still partied like a rock star all weekend. Even had alittle after party last night when others were asleep or otw home.

Saturday was crazy, so many things i couldnt even find the time to listen to all. I was really really impressed with the JHS customs. Jerry (who was a SUPER nice guy) was the original designer of the UE11s. I have to say, i did get a chance to listen to both the UE11 and the UE10. I indeed like Jerry's version much better. Granted i know the UE will sound better when they are custom to your ear. Same with the JHS.

I have to say..the few best rigs i heard...

Headrooms Ultra DAC/Balanced Max Desktop/DPS really really sounded incredible. I couldnt believe how alive and musical it sounded. Its rich and detailed, but still have a slightly laid back presentation. I think was the way to go as most tend to be edgy sounding. This i could listen to it and just enjoy pure audio bliss. Hats off to Tyll and the Headroom crew. Was great to meet the guys behind Headroom. Travis was extremely nice guy and i look forward to chatting with him again at other meets. Jorge, congrats on your songs =)

The next best rig i have to say was pretty much ALL of bluebliss's gear (Andy). HE90s were in great shape and his R10s just ROCKED when he bought some new tubes from Jack woo. His amps were AWESOME, really top notch setup. Besides that, Andy was such a nice guy. Very Friendly and ready to help anyone that needed.

As for headphones...

Of course the HD800 were nothing short of fantastic. I was speaking with Eric from Sennheiser (canjam 08 Vet) and he was really excited about the vibe on the 800s. They are super comfortable..built quality looks good...however the sound is AMAZING. It really shines with proper amping. I have to say that some day i will for sure own those.

We had the pleasure to unbox the HF2 on saturday for the first time anywhere. There were about a dozen people packed into todds room...we were all wondering all friday if they were going to be wood or metal...or what the headband looked like. I really enjoyed these right off the bat. I ended up bringing my gear just in case. Im really glad i did. We took Raffy's pair and built a small rig with my laptop, Headroom Ultra DAC and PICO DAC plus my headroom Millet. AWESOME setup.

Well time for me to board...so ill have some more when i get home tonight.

Again wanted to thank all that showed up and all that helped to make this possible.
post #328 of 636
not much to say about WES or RSA A10?
post #329 of 636
I attended on Saturday, and wished to return on Sunday but my back wouldn't allow it!

Terrific sounds and components of sound abound:

Thanks to Todd and his Amp Mentor Mr. Pete Millet for the hospitality extended while at the show. TTJV's 307A was sporting the HD800 and PS-1000 form each output. This allowed for some A-B quick tests and I left a puddle of drool on the Carpet. Want a great amp under a grand? TTJV FET-A

Jack Wu and Family shared the same room with Todd and had a host of prototypes. New Tube Gear for Stat' and balanced aficionados and surprise! A new Dac (JackDac?) and Music server slated for later release.

DNA (Donald North) had a fairly priced and sweet lil' Amp for the lovers of high impedance Cans. I was using the 600 ohm Beyer 990's and the Piano Forte was excellent! Right next to Donald was Lavry's new DA11. Nice sound and full features including a functional crossfeed that made good sound with Sennheiser 650's.

The Blue Hawaii was sooo... beautiful and the torrent of sound was equally as tremendous. I was walking buy, and it was right by the door. I stopped so fast as to break my an ankle.

And the winner of "Lightening my Wallet" goes to the Balancing Act! Craig's latest offering was Retro-Beautiful and called my name as I approached. I emailed and called to verify that I'm on the build list for end of June. Several People were disappointed the ZDT wasn't up and running!

The winner for best organized room goes to Headroom! Nice well made gear for every budget!

The A-10 was glowing in Rays room and sounded very good! I like the HE Audio stat'! And I'm not even a stat person. On Rays amp the the glowing, round bottom of that phone was evident. The HE60 was more refined but less emotional.

Head Direct and the HE5 (planar) was making good Music...even on the EF-1. Nice future piece of gear to lust after. Female vocals were splendid but don't know the reach of the bottom as of yet. Pricing is not established but will be in the $800-1000 area. Need a better ear pad than the foam being used on the prototypes.

Gorgeous wood work and choice of woods on Mr. Cooters amps! Nice when sound and beauty meet!

Didn't hear the Trafomatic (was planned on Sunday) Dammit!

And to everyone who demoed, and who's sound was equally as good but wasn't mentioned....Thank You

And Hearty thanks to the CanJam 09' crowd that conceived, planned, organized and executed the event....BRAVO!

And many more thanks to the Vendors who braved the distance, lost sleep, packed and unpacked (just to do it all over again) all that marvelous gear. Three Cheers!!!
post #330 of 636

Fun at the Meet

It was great seeing old faces again...

Our illustrious wise men


The 4 horsemen of the apocalypse


Hey, guys! Check out what she's doing behind this peep hole.


and meeting new members like Voltron Jr.


and some new local members


There's always a good bit of just hanging around at a 2 day national meet, whether in herds...








... taking a bit of a breather to listen to your stax of portables...


... or debating whether it's better to place the bubinga wood in the middle layer vs. the cocobolo wood. Tyll thinks it's a no brainer.


After an exhausting night of setting up


We were open for business.


After checking in with our audiologist to get my hearing checked, and being told yet again to punk off, that's the grossest wax build up I've ever seen


I decided to work up my courage by crashing a wedding


before saying hello to some very dear friends of the community


There were a couple of incidents involving liquids, not all of which required an ID check. Here's a member wringing out the water damage from a couple sets of balanced cables
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