*Pictures, logos, unless otherwise stated, were taken from the main CanalWorks site, e-earphones, or barks.jp*
*I'll probably re-write the opening spiel into something more substantial later on, depending whether or not this gets any more traction *
I think we've all been exposed, one way or another, to this torrential outpour of discussion and excitement towards more obscure low-profile Japanese IEMs on the forums. Ocharaku. Zero Audio. FitEar. FitEar. A large part of this is due to the success of FitEars - it was inevitable, considering how they've managed to established themselves as this darling of exoticism, intrigue, and fine workmanship. And then you consider their custom IEMs, of which accessibility and distribution remains scarce, and the sense of elusive mystique is elevated to this imperturbable high. But there just so happens to be another exotic giant lurking beneath the shadows of that land of the rising sun. CanalWorks.
It appears that they've been in the business as being one of the big dogs of the local industry, second only to FitEars. Their selections are varied, I've heard good things about their CS on erji, and the artwork is stupendous. Just take a look at their options gallery, and you immediately get a sense of their mastery of this medium. It's simple for the most part, but the aesthetics, simply work. And then you get the crazily elaborate stuff like this -
Those are the butterfly shells option (a rough translation - hopefully they aren't actually harvesting butterflies but hey, if it helps the sonics...I've never cared for insects anyways ). I don't even know what to make of that, or what it is, for a matter of fact. All I can do is wipe the drool off.
To be more specific, those are the CW-LO5QD. That's a 4-driver (all Sonion 2354s) combination lined up, no crossovers. I don't even know where to begin.
On the flip side of their TOTL offerings, there's the CW-L51 - the niche here is that it has this adjustable resistor - I'm sure some one have heard of this one, although they might not have made the connection to CanalWorks.
Otherwise, they've separated their offerings into a consumer line (designated by a "L" prefix before the model number), and a professional line (designated by a "M" prefix before the model number).
It'd probably be better if I used this rough screenshot of a Google Translated page, with a table of the various models and their specifications. (the professional version - although the consumer versions basically share the same model numbers and configuration, it seems). I'm not sure as to whether or not the availability of their Pro line is similar to how FitEar takes their own (i.e. restricted strictly for musicians and professionals)
Anyways, that's it for that. I'll leave the rest for you to discover and discuss.
References and links -
The official site -
Their blog -
Their Twitter (for the teeny-booper youngsters) -
Themselves - http://canalworks.my-store.jp/
e-earphones - http://www.e-earphone.jp/html/page80.html
Outside of Japan:
JM-Plus - (can't find anything other than their facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/CW.JMPLUS.Taiwan)
Mingo-HMW - http://www.mingo-hmw.com/home/brand.php?id=221
Null Audio - (although not yet listed) - http://www.null-audio.com/store/
And more importantly...
A list of reviews for various CanalWorks models - almost all of them -from barks.jp (all Japanese, so please use your Japanese-literate acquaintances and translation software/means at your discretion) -
If anyone has any more reference links to impressions, reviews, etc, please do chime in and I'll add it to the OP.
A few disclaimers -
- As of right now, distribution is limited locally - that means Japan-only. But the only reason I've even started this thread, is that I hear we'll be seeing a way of getting oversea orders in soon enough. So stay tuned! But for right now you may simply drool as these are dangled before your very eyes.
- A cautionary aside, seemingly relevant considering the nature of these threads. I don't live in Japan. I've been there before, but at that time I wasn't even aware of CanalWorks. I'm also not very prolific, nor do I put a lot of initiative with regards to these things. My social skills are subpar, as are my connections. What am I alluding to, apart from the fact that I'm very much an unassuming and underachieving human being? I do not have affiliations, nor have I ever personally contacted CanalWorks. I don't plan to either, apart from perhaps ordering/purchasing something from them. That's it. And let's be fair, if they were going to find someone to shill for them (I'm pretty sure they don't particularly care about Head-Fi anyways, otherwise they would have done something on here a long time ago), they would have found someone far more interesting and relevant. I'm just doing this since I felt bad about the lack of information available, and the lack of discussion around them. This effort is purely voluntary. Just wanted to get that across, as I've seen issues with that.
...Well what are you waiting for? :D
Edited by TwinQY - 9/15/13 at 12:04am