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CanJam@RMAF 2011 Listening Impressions Thread - Page 22  

post #316 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post

before I get into show reports I want to address this price aspect that is being discussed then since we are in the RMAF impressions thread maybe we can move on.

 

Over time companies the large companies will release new mid tier phones with technology from the top tier cans, I believe we are seeing that from Beyer right now. Just a few short years ago we had the K1000, Sony Qualia, Grado PS-1, Sony R-10, Audio Technica l-3000 and I am certain I am leaving out a few others and they were all discontinued. We go years without a flagship headphone product from ANY major manufacture and the community is crying out for it. Secondary markets on previous flagship designs skyrocket. When I first got into this you could get a Grado HP-1000 for $600 and the R10 could be had for $1500-$2000. Sennheiser and Beyer release flagship models and they can't make them fast enough for demand. This spurs market space for other players like HiFiman and Audeze to create top tier headphones. I for one hope that we continue to see innovation and companies competing in the flagship market. I also believe we'll that this innovation will begin to find its way into mid tier general market type phones now that the players are investing in R&D again after being shown there is a market.

 

 


Sorry to derail the impressions thread biggrin.gif I do hope you are right. But I can't help seeing the parallels with the speaker and speaker amp history of the past 30 years. Of course, I am happy we have new SOTA products. But we also have products with no discernable technological advances being sold for ridiculous amounts. And I can see the beginnings of the "luxury" headphone amplifier market. Most people equate price with quality, and that is a major reason 2ch. stereo is dying. People look at the hot products right now like the Magico Q5 or Technical Brain amps or MSB Platinum DAC and think  "why would I ever wanna get into that hobby? I might like music, but I'd rather buy a house! I can never afford a good system." Which is sad, because there actually is more great affordable stereo equipment than ever. But there are less people interested in the hobby than ever, and high prices of the "best" gear is a major reason.

 

post #317 of 678

The wood does really look nice with the brown. I like it.

 

I just noticed that they're using an adapter for the mono blocks. I can understand I suppose if they let people bring their own headphones, but if it was just the HD800 why not just use a balanced cable?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Addict View Post

New LCD 3

New LCD-3

 

New Woo Audio CD Player & Monoblocs

New Woo Audio CD Player, DAC and Monoblocs



 

 

post #318 of 678

jp11801...EXACTLY!  AKG is roundly vilified for not producing a new flagship model and having the 702 be the top of their line at 'only' $350. But now when small companies step in and fill a perceived void at the top end...while pushing the envelope on what is truly the state of the art, they are criticized for charging too much. 

 

Here's the thing...if you don't think the LCD-3's are worth $2K...don't buy them. Simple.  If you don't think it's fair that someone else can have the best and you can't afford it?  Sorry..I can't afford a Bentley, but I don't think it's a bad thing that they are making amazing vehicles.

 

Back on topic...

 

Did anyone see and hear the new stuff from Red Wine Audio?  They said they were going to show the Balanced amp without the built in DAC.

 

Also...I've seen lots of comments on the look of the Woo 234, but did anyone listen?  I'm curious how it sounds.

 

Lastly, what about the new stuff from the Bottlehead?

post #319 of 678

I'm interested to hear more as well. The fact they were there intrigues me quite a bit. 

 

...and the tape reel caught my attention.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post

Lastly, what about the new stuff from the Bottlehead?



 

 

post #320 of 678

I apologize for the side tracking. Anyhow, it looks it's fine to pay $$$$ for good sound regardless of "actual" cost, it must be a cultural thing. One day or another, if a company outrageously overcharges for something, someone will come around with a better / cheaper design so it's probably all good in the long run (it will sort itself naturally). In a way, if really the LCD-3 is giving the 009 a run for the money, the fact it's being sold at 2k should make me feel better than if it was 1k, lol :).

 

 


Edited by arnaud - 10/17/11 at 6:55am
post #321 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

Sorry to derail the impressions thread biggrin.gif I do hope you are right. But I can't help seeing the parallels with the speaker and speaker amp history of the past 30 years. Of course, I am happy we have new SOTA products. But we also have products with no discernable technological advances being sold for ridiculous amounts. And I can see the beginnings of the "luxury" headphone amplifier market. Most people equate price with quality, and that is a major reason 2ch. stereo is dying. People look at the hot products right now like the Magico Q5 or Technical Brain amps or MSB Platinum DAC and think  "why would I ever wanna get into that hobby? I might like music, but I'd rather buy a house! I can never afford a good system." Which is sad, because there actually is more great affordable stereo equipment than ever. But there are less people interested in the hobby than ever, and high prices of the "best" gear is a major reason.

 


If there was ONLY high priced gear available, that would be true.  But there is still a TON of low to mid priced stuff that sounds really good. 

 

For <$300, I can recommend a system for n00bs that is better than what 90% of iPod users will ever hear.  For $700 I can put together a VERY musically satisfying system...DAC, Amp and Cans...that can last a lifetime.  As long as that remains the case, I have to fear that the headphone market will collapse because someone makes a 'statement' product.

 

post #322 of 678
Quote:

 

New ALO Audio Rx Mk3B

New ALO Audio Rx MK3-B balanced portable headphone amplifier



Any pricing on that beauty?

 

post #323 of 678

I did not spend much time in the CanJam room but while there I did hear some really great sound.  My top sounds at the CanJam room were probably:

 

BHSE>SR-009 (Probably some of the best HP listening I have done, ever)

Apex Audio Pinnacle>LCD-3 (By far the best I heard the LCD-3s sound)

Woo Audio WES>SR-009

Eddie Current 2A3>LCD-3 (Not at the Pinnacle level but better than most others I heard)

Apex Pinnacle>HD-800 (Best HD-800 setup I heard)

Woo Monoblocks>HD-800 (This reminded me of the WA-5 which I have always liked)

 

The whole CanJam atmosphere translated pretty well to RMAF though it would have been great to see more of the regulars in attendance.

 

Thanks to JP and Jude for putting all of this together and to the vendors that showed up with such great gear.  The TTVJ table alone was enough to get me shopping for headphone gear again as I did not hear any electronics on his table that I would not buy.

 

 

post #324 of 678

If it out does or is even on par with the 009 as some say it's a bargain at 2k...considering the price of the 009...or even then 007.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I apologize for the side tracking. Anyhow, it looks it's fine to pay $$$$ for good sound regardless of "actual" cost, it must be a cultural thing. One day or another, if a company outrageously overcharges for something, someone will come around with a better / cheaper design so it's probably all good in the long run (it will sort itself naturally). In a way, if really the LCD-3 is giving the 009 a run for the money, the fact it's being sold at 2k should make me feel better than if it was 1k, lol :).

 

 



 

 

post #325 of 678

vpivinylspinner: did you get a chance to listen to the Cavalli estat amp prototype (esp. with the 009)?

post #326 of 678
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

vpivinylspinner: did you get a chance to listen to the Cavalli estat amp prototype (esp. with the 009)?



 

While I'm sure that Jeff will answer, I did get to listen to this combo and is was phenomenal. It is difficult to compare the WES to the BHSE to the Cavalli offerings as they are at different tables using different sources and audio memory is a tricky beast as well. I did however leave with the impression that Alex had produced an amp that has no problem standing along side the other high end electrostatic amp offerings. Out of those three it was my preference but I really would like to hear them side by side with the same music and source.

post #327 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
While I'm sure that Jeff will answer, I did get to listen to this combo and is was phenomenal. It is difficult to compare the WES to the BHSE to the Cavalli offerings as they are at different tables using different sources and audio memory is a tricky beast as well. I did however leave with the impression that Alex had produced an amp that has no problem standing along side the other high end electrostatic amp offerings. Out of those three it was my preference but I really would like to hear them side by side with the same music and source.


To my wallet: QUICK, RUN AWAY AND HIDE!

 

More seriously: thanks a lot for the impression, however brief it is. I am indeed wondering how much the source plays a role in all this (often at meets, one ends up being the most impressed by the rig with a SOTA source, at least it has happened to me a few times). Can't wait to read more about this. Better yet, maybe Cavalli Audio could come to the Tokyo headphone festival in couple of weeks ;).

post #328 of 678



+1 , very interested in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post

Any pricing on that beauty?

 



 

post #329 of 678

i agree totally with you.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

The products here all make me kind of sad.

 

I think the headphone market is moving in the same way as the high-end speaker audio market. Which is higher prices and more outrageous bling for everything. There's no doubt in my mind that in the next few years we will see price and value of high-end headphone gear be entirely disconnected. Just look at the last few flagships that have been released - all at least 2K and Sennheiser even raised the price of their 3 year old flagship just to compete!  I have no doubt that products like the SR-009 and LCD-3 are very good. But are products like the Darkstar, Woo 234, Apex Pinnacle, etc really the best way to go for this hobby? Do we want to keep raising the price bar every year? If we accept $10,000 headphone amps and $2000+ dynamic cans as the new "gold standard" and keep buying them, we are only encouraging manufacturers to raise prices. Did anybody in 2008 imagine that we would be talking about $1000 headphones as "good if you can't get the latest model?"

 

Look at the middle of the market. We are still talking about the 6x0, K701, and RS-1 years after they were introduced. No manufacturer (except HiFiMAN) seems interested in bringing out cans in the $200-$500 range. Why would they, if they can just release a gorgeous new flagship with lots of polished wood and aluminum and price it way over a grand. I have to applaud companies like Schitt for focusing on the mass market before making their high-end stuff. Look, it's up to you. Do you want headphone audio to keep growing as fast as it has been?

 

A major reason so many newbies have entered this hobby is because of the EASE OF ENTRY. In 2008, when Head-Fi really started taking off, it didn't cost a lot to have what was percieved as a "nice rig." High school and college kids saw that if they wanted this stuff, they could easily afford it. And once they were in, they started stepping up to the more expensive stuff. But I'm afraid a lot of newbies will come into this and start posts like I see on AudioAsylum ("I have a 30K rig but it's only mid-fi, I wish I could afford real hi-fi stuff like you guys"). I am already seeing that with electrostats. I've read soooooo many newbie posts that said they were just not interested in stats because they couldn't afford a BHSE. Which we all know is ludicrous. But I've seen people post that, and I'm afraid soon we will see posters saying "I don't wanna get into headphones, I can't afford a LCD-3 and Darkstar." Well, they may not say that out loud, but they will sure think it.



 

post #330 of 678

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