With all the gear being announced lately, at RMAF and elsewhere, I thought I'd draw up a listing to help myself keep track of it all. In general my urge to acquire new gear had been on the down-low as of late, tempered by my desire to downsize along with satisfaction over my electrostat rig. Currently I'm waiting on my Cavalli Liquid Lightning to be delivered once Alex gets back, and I've also put a down payment on a HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE. I'm thinking about picking up a Resolution Cantata to upgrade my current source as well. My primary rig is shaping up to be an even bigger monster now.
So, without further adieu:
Apex Glacier :: Portable amp and DAC designed by mastermind Pete Millett. Like the color scheme, but not so much the casework. Features seem very good. Pete's amps tend to have a rather distinct sound some may like more than others.
Audez'e LCD-X :: The newly revealed closed-back prototype from former head-fi darlings Audez'e. I really like the look of the prototype, personally. From the description of their sound, they seem like a nice compliment to the LCD-2 rev. 1 and 2. No word on pricing, but I'm hoping it'll be in the $1k range. However judging by the gap in the current Audez'e lineup, I could see them situating it at roughly $1400 or so.
Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000X :: Next-to-no info on these yet, aside from some leaked bits and pieces on Japanese forums. Like the W1000X relative to the W1000, this is probably a newly designed and retuned version of the AD2000. The "X" models in AT's lineup have all been fairly unorthodox compared to their counterparts. If anything, this makes me want to get the original AD2000 now before it gets scarce.
Audio-Technica ATH-ESW11LTD :: I'm *super* excited over these. The ESW9 and ESW10JPN are some of my favorite on-ear portable headphones, and I think they still deserve a top spot in the portables pantheon. I was taken aback by their appearance, which seems nearly identical to the ESW9, aside from some obligatory calligraphy on the cups designating them as limited editions. Usually AT's "limited" models have blonde, unfinished wood. This one reportedly uses black walnut. Either way, these are definitely at the top of my list. Saw a post that mentioned a late November released, but I have no idea how accurate that is as these have yet to be officially announced and were part of that leak.
Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold (LAu) :: A massive, fully balanced solid state amp meant to compete right alongside the B22. This is one I've been looking forward to for a while now. The massive, mega input-output solid state amp segment is something of a niche within a niche; it's one I happen to participate in and like. Apparently there is some debate as to whether the finished product will be a two box model or one giant box.
Eddie Current Electra :: Should be ready to preorder soon, with any luck. This thing has been on my radar for ages and has subsequently undergone several revisions. The finished product (or soon-to-be finished product) is going to be amazing from what trusted sources say. I'll be putting my deposit down, that's for sure.
Final Audio Design Heaven VI :: The new TOTL in the Heaven series (excluding the FI-BA-SS, which isn't actually part of the series). Balanced armature. Seems most likely to me to be a replacement for the Heaven S. Looks nice, if a bit uninspiring compared to older FAD. I'm considering picking one of these up this week (along with the FitEar F111 possibly...).
Final Audio Design "Pandora Trio" :: what I've taken to calling their new lineup of fullsized headphones, based off of the Pandora prototype they debuted in Hong Kong. Trusted reports thus far seem positive. More emphasis on higher registers. Bass is described as nice and punchy, but slightly rolled off. Very interested in hearing how they compare to the now discontinued Muramasa VIII.
Fostex TH600 :: Closed, dynamic headphone and younger sibling to the flagship TH900. Most noticeable difference are the cups which are matte black and made from magnesium, giving them an understated and rather sophisticated look. Apparently uses the same diaphragm as the TH900 but has a less powerful tesla rating (which strikes me more as marketing lingo than anything else). I'm hoping Fostex decides to make these flatter in FR relative to the TH900 rather than more colored.
Frogbeats C4 :: Not into customs much, but these have been getting good reviews from sources I trust. Apparently the imaging on these is out-of-this-world. Hopefully they'll have a demo unit available to try at some point.
HeAUDIO / HiFiMan Jade 2 :: Oden-tier electrostats with potentially improved build quality. Please release these, Fang. Please.
Jecklin Float Quad Atelier :: The spiritual successor to the original Floats, a project long in the making which has seen creative input (but to what extent remains a mystery) from Dr. Jurg Jecklin. The assembly has evolved quite a bit since their first unveiling and now features a rather curious headband / head harness. I've had a set reserved for some time now. Hopefully it will be ready soon.
JPS Labs Abyss :: I conjured up some thoughts on that other forum about these. Seems like I've actually written quite a lot about these so far, maybe more than any other piece of gear in recent memory... and I haven't even heard 'em for myself! In this sense, it's the latest in a succession of ridiculously priced (and thus controversial) headphones which bring to mind the Edition 10 and Muramasa VIII. At nearly $5k, I'd like to think I'm enough of a rational creature to avoid procuring them, especially without hearing them first. I'm rather intrigued by a few comments, however. Namely that they sound like horn speakers (not *vintage* horn speakers, colored a la FAD's dynamic earphones, tho). While I disagree with the business side of things, it seems JPS has produced a truly exceptional driver. More orthos are a good thing! I'm sure more impressions will be forthcoming.
Sennheiser HE80 :: What I've taken to calling Sennheiser's electrostatic vaporware. LOL. No one wants these to be legit more than I do. Stories as to their whereabouts and the befuddled and bemused responses of interrogated reps abound, and there seems to be little consensus beyond a unified front of disunity and tightly sealed lips. Hopefully by CES they'll be announced in some official capacity. So looking forward to these.
Sennheiser IE800 ::The upcoming flagship IEMs from Senn. I'm still fond of their Aliens look and design cues. Plan to get these when they're available.
Stax SR-003 replacement :: The new portable amp and earphones from Stax. Don't know much else about them atm, but I love my SR-003 and consequently find these very appealing. Having some Stax IEMs while out and about on campus is an enticing prospect. On the subject of Stax, I'm wondering if there's any truth to the speculation of their releasing a new flagship amp. Given the growing state of the electrostat amp market, the re-entry of Stax back into their own game with a statement amp would be awesome.
Ultimate Ears PRM :: Sonically customizable customs. Not really interested in these, personally. Interestingly enough, I heard from a few folks that there isn't much variation in how you can tune these to sound; the "default" option is said to be an overall improvement on the original UERM.
Ultimate Ears UE900 :: UE stuff has been consistently good in my opinion. I'm planning on picking these up as soon as they're readily available.
Ultrasone Edition 8 Romeo & Juliet :: Same old Edition 8, but this time displaying a triumphant new level of garishness for Ultrasone. I actually kinda like the look of the Juliet. The concept is also equal parts endearing madness and cringe-worthy exploitation.
Ultrasone IQ :: Their extraordinarily gaudy IEMs. I'm actually somewhat intrigued (read: morbidly curious) to give these a go. Their form factor looks exceedingly awkward, but I imagine they've gone with an OEM of some sort rather than make them in-house, so there's no telling what they'll sound like.
Ultrasone Signature DJ :: The newest in Ultrasone's Signature line. Lord help me, but I find their overall look appealing. Priced at $1k, the idea of their being "DJ headphones" short circuits and becomes a matter of disjunction. Still, the Signature PRO was similar to the Edition 9, albeit with a more controlled bass. I imagine that these would be the revitalized Edition 9s people originally assumed the Signature PROs to be.
Unique Melody Platform Pure 6 :: More interested in these from a technical standpoint. Wouldn't really want to own them, personally.
VMODA M100 :: Reports from trusted sources as a little mixed, but overall these seem rather good. Bassy, but good. They seem like a fun option for on-the-go use. May get them as a partner for the Paradox when I want something less "correct."
Woo Audio WA7 :: Very interesting weighted companion cube boxy amp / DAC combo. Seems perfect for a desk in an office. I don't really care for Woo's products, however this one in particular caught my eye.
Edited by MuppetFace - 10/15/12 at 7:33am