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Tokyo, Japan meet at the FujiyaAvic 2011 Autumn Headphone Impressions - Page 3  

post #31 of 81

Did anyone try the new headphones from Final Audio Design? I'm almost definitely going to buy it.... and does it really weigh 1.3kg? jecklinsmile.gif

post #32 of 81

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Level 8:

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post #33 of 81

Wow, that was one heck of a show.  I can't say I have ever seen such a large headphone show.  The attendance look very good as well.  Any new players bringing products to market in the US?

post #34 of 81

Arnaud,  Very nice impressions you've put up, well done! The new Sony BA line is very exciting, Would love to read your evaluation with the EX line someday.

 

And tanks for the in-depth coverage crumpler, It looks like it's been a seriously packed-up event... and very tough on all the open-headphones assesments. tongue.gif


Edited by Amarphael - 10/30/11 at 8:47am
post #35 of 81

Nuforce

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PSAudio

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Shure

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Ortofon

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post #36 of 81

Ear:

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Stax:

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post #37 of 81

ALOAudio

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post #38 of 81

Monster:

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AKG:

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post #39 of 81

Hungry head-fiers in Tokyo

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Randoms:

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post #40 of 81

Wow thats a lot of gear I'll never be able to hear unless I buy them or go to the meets.  Too much money to go around.  I wish there were some held in Hawaii but than again, no one here is into audio gear except a car system.  

post #41 of 81

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My legs are still far from recovered from all the walking we did. Not just on Saturday at the show, but Mike (mkubota1) sorted out a fantastic plan for us involving going to great places around Tokyo the day before. We got back to the hotel at about 11:30 on Friday and caught the last train after midnight on Saturday! I honestly don't know where to begin, so this is going to be in bits and pieces. Friday alone will take me some time to write up.

 

First, the big thanks:

 

Sasaki: He made this happen. He is the Mr Headphones of bloggers in Japan and sorted out getting us in early and introduced us to everyone as well as, very importantly, negotiating the insane subway system (Tokyo alone has at least half a dozen separate subway stations surrounding it and even though I've lived there it still drives me insane).

 

Arnaud: Sorted out the local cuisine for us. I'm vegetarian and eating out is a total nightmare for me, as the Japanese don't get vegetarian seriously at all. He managed to get us all to great places as well as taking care of making sure I could eat something. I'm sure that once Jude and Drew have recovered they will post about the sushi...

 

mkubota1: He knew the places we needed to go and it was his plan that made Friday fantastic.

 

The Fujiya Avic guys: Thanks for putting on a great show!

 

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Edit: In crumpler's pictures in the nearest post above under where he posted the "hungry Head-Fi'ers", that's myself and Arnaud nearest the camera with the Head-Fi t-shirts, Anakchan with the black top and bag and I think it was mkubota1 ahead with the Head-Fi t-shirt outside trying to find somewhere to eat.

 

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Ok, in no particular order:

 

Sony

 

Fujiya Avic Autumn Headphone Festival

 

I often go into the big electronic stores where I live to try universal IEMs as I'm on the lookout for something good for when I travel. I've tried the AT CK-10s and CK-100s and others and I get why they are popular. I haven't tried the mark 2 models yet, but for the serious listener this is obviously a hot segment. Sony had, as Arnaud described, both a 3 and 4 BA driver model coming out. IEMs don't impress me easily and these really did. What's more, one of their distinguished engineers (that's literally what it says on his business card) was on hand to talk about them, Mr Tsunoda. When I pulled out my Pico Slim he was very interested. Like the ATs, the BA-3 is a bit brighter and the BA-4 a bit darker for classical music listeners. I liked the BA-4 as I'm used to the LCD-2s. I'm very keen to get a pair, though I know I'll have to wait as it will be a while before they will be available.

 

What's more, they have a pair of noise-cancelling IEMs in which each individual earpiece has dedicated circuitry. I gave them a quick spin and the sound was unexpectedly quite good, if not as good as the TOTL BAs.

 

Yoshino EAR

 

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Around the corner from the busy ALO table was a single stand manned by a quiet lady upon which was a turntable, an EAR 4 and other things. I've long wanted to try the EAR 4, so I asked the lady if she was the distributor. The answer was an incredible surprise: It was Mrs Yoshino herself. I borrowed back Jude's pair of LCD-3s to show her and have a listen on the EAR 4 with and, suffice to say, that became one of my "best of show" experiences, with such an open and natural sound playing Bill Evans Waltz for Debby, one of my favourite albums.

 

What I hadn't known is that Tim de Paravicini is expanding (or has expanded) into digital CD players and DACs. Not only that, but I gather he will be designing a cheaper headphone amplifier. That will be something to look out for.

post #42 of 81

Did anybody happen to grab one of those SR009 brochures?  If so, could you scan it for us? :)

post #43 of 81

Had an awesome time at the show and got to meet some incredible people who finally do appreciate what the fuss about head-fi is all about.

 

Didn't get much time to do extensive listening and basically only auditioned gear i've been eyeing on for a bit or that i've read a lot about. My brief impressions:

 

PS500: Have always been intrigued with grados because of the way they reproduce rock, with plenty of slam and punch and these PS500s are no different. Never got around to actually owning a pair of grados since i couldn't get past the workmanship/quality (or lack thereof) and comfort, since the pads invariably do start biting after 15 mins or so. However, i really did enjoy the PS500s, had the slam that rock absolutely demands

 

Fostex HP-P1: Almost took the plunge with either this or the CLAS but decided to have to closer listen before committing and i'm sure glad i did wait it out. Used it with my iPhone4 and Westone 4 and in meet environment (which is pretty much) daily commuting environment as well, i could hardly detect a change in sound from my iPhone->Westone4 that i use whenever i'm out and about, Suffice to say, it didn't warrant a large enough improvement in sound for me to spend $500 on. 

 

Westone4R: Tried this on for approximately 15mins with music i am really familiar with and try as i might, i couldn't detect a difference in sound quality from my Westone 4 which i use often enough. So unless, you are a firm believer that audio cables do make a difference and are willing plonk a serious wad of benjamins to improve the sound, the Westone 4 should be adequate. I personally won't be upgrading/side-grading.

 

AT W3000Anv: One of the highlights of the Japanese audio festival for me, thoroughly enjoyed listening to this through the HA5000Anv too. Sat for close to 20mins listening to this combo and thought it might be too polite for my tastes initially but boy was i wrong. I've never heard a wooden AT deliver this sort of slam ever. It was airy and crystal when the music called for it and loud and thumping when in full swing. Didn't manage to hear this on its own without the HA5000Anv so i'm not sure if the W3000Anv will be as good if driven from another amp. Couldn't find a downside to this except for perhaps the price. Love the comfort and finish of wooden Audio Technicas and this didn't disappoint on either fronts. Pity about the price tho.

 

LCD3: This was auditioned at ALOAudio, driven by the MK3 Balanced Portable amp. Tried this with both the single as well as balanced connectors, had barely a difference if any, but should be taken with a pinch of salt since this is in noisy meet conditions. Incredible amazing sound. Arguably the best i've out of any headphones. I used my iPhone->CLAS so it was music i was very familiar with and i couldn't find a single flaw in sound. It's worth noting that i didn't enjoy the LCD2R1 when i heard it, it was too dark for my tastes but i loved these from the get-go. Big deep slamming bass and well extended highs. Basically everything the LCD2 should have been in the first place, an improvement on every front except 1, the comfort. It was god awfully heavy, i couldn't tell if they were heavier than the LCD2s but these were still mighty heavy. Oh, and these were attached to a beautiful ALOAudio cable so i'm not sure how much the cable was responsible for the almighty sound since i haven't heard these with the stock cable. Was it worth the asking price of $1945? Not to me, since i wouldn't be able to have extended listening sessions with this behemoth given it's weight, still a no-go for me despite its incredible sound. Pity.

 

SR-009: Had an extended listening session not at the headphone festival but at Dynamic Audio 5555 which is an audio shop in Akihabara. Sat for close to an hour listening to these and these would be my eng-game cans if i could afford it. Retailing at approximately $5000, they were everything anyone could ask for in a headphone. It was perfect in sound, weight, comfort, fit and even looks, all except the price, which isn't even really accurate since an electrostatic amp would have to be procured in order to run these babies. Great typical airy stax sound and wonderful with classical and jazz tunes. Didn't really do it for me with rock or pop. Still abit too polite for my tastes. A little too finely tune and not enough "rawness" in my opinion. 

 

All these are just my very brief impressions, please do post questions if you have any.

post #44 of 81

Thank you Jude, and all comers from USA!!

Next Tokyo Headphone Festival will be held on May 12th,2012 at same place.
We will waiting for your coming!

post #45 of 81

FUJIYAAVIC: Thank you too for a wonderful show. We had an amazing time. beerchug.gif

 

crumpler: I agree that the AT limited edition rig was great -- definitely the best AT woody set-up I've heard, easily. I reckon that ATs work best if you use their amps with them, however as a friend has put in for an order of one, I'll give it a proper run at some point.  I agree with you on the 009s entirely.

 

Oh, speaking of the Dyna 5555 009 rig, I remember it was next to a pair of Ultrasone ED10s. There were quite a few pairs of ED10s at the show and elsewhere so plenty of opportunity to try them with a variety of gear. I thought they were the biggest disappointment. If they had been put on my head while I was blindfolded and I was asked how much I thought they cost, I would have said $300 (retail).

 

Bakoon Products

 

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I want to write up my best-of-the-best of show. There was one rig there that was truly above all else (excluding speakers) and it comes from the most obscure (for us anyway) company, called Bakoon Products. They are famous in Japan for SATRI circuits, which, like Krell and Audio-gd use, amplify and transmit signals in the current domain, which has considerably lower distortion. They had a couple of their amps sitting on this battered old CEC CD player. So I plugged in my cans to the best one, the PRE-7610MK3, and dropped my CD. What I heard rivaled the EAR vinyl rig in a serious way, so much so I dragged jude over with the LCD-3s to try it. 

 

It was, much in the manner of my rig at home, without any sign that the equipment was present at all.

 

Now I'm not an idiot and I know that the CEC player surely wasn't the actual digital source and immediately asked if they'd modded it or there was a DAC under the desk, as the amp was showing that it was using the SATRI inputs. Indeed there was -- not a commercial DAC (most displays had Marantz or similar SACD players for demo) but, as was explained to me, a hand-built discrete DAC! No chips -- just a custom resistor ladder DAC (in the manner of MLB). Clever guys.

 

Unfortunately, it ruined my ability to appreciate anything after that, as nothing else sounded quite so amazing.

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