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The CanalWorks Discussion thread

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 

*Pictures, logos, unless otherwise stated, were taken from the main CanalWorks site, e-earphones, or barks.jp*


~~ The Discussion Thread ~~

 

 


*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 :veryevil:). 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 - 

http://www.canalworks.jp/

 

Their blog - 

http://canalworkskobo.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-112.html

 

Their Twitter (for the teeny-booper youngsters) - 

https://twitter.com/canalworks

 

Distributors - 

Within Japan:

 

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) - 

http://www.barks.jp/artist/?id=1000003040

 

 

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
post #2 of 121

About time someone created something on CW! ;)

 

I actually listened to demos of much of the CW lineup a couple months ago, but I've been way too busy to write anything interesting on it.

 

One point of correction: the CW-L05QD uses four Sonion 2354 drivers, not Knowles ED-29689 drivers. In general, CanalWorks uses drivers from Sonion and not Knowles, with the exception being the CW-L51 model.

 

Here are some notes I wrote in private to a friend (who was considering getting CW) a while back:

L01 (not L01P): really similar to the ER4S, like really similar. Maybe a little less composed and more lively up top, and just a tiny bit better bass extension, but in general really similar. The CW-L01 works on the same principle as the ER4, by adding resistance to flatten out the response. In this case, a 100 ohm resistor is connected in series to a Sonion 2354 driver, topped off with a 1000 ohm damper. The CW-L01P is basically the same thing, except with much less resistance, so it's like CW's version of an ER4P.

 

L05QD: I love it. Similar in tone to the L01, but a bit brighter, far better separation, better sense of air/space/openness, not sibilant, and is still relatively accurate in the grand scheme of things. If you only get one CW, get this one. Yes, it's going to have problems with absolute low frequency extension, but who cares? This thing sounds awesome. Awesome! On a technical level, it essentially improves headroom on the 2354 driver by linking two groups of two 2354s in series and parallel, with what appears to be a voltage divider of some sort or some type of circuit that counteracts driver inductance.

 

L51a PSTS: Hmm. I'm not sure about this one. On one hand, switching between the resistors is fun, and there's definitely a massive difference between 0 ohm and 47 ohm. It comes default with 27 ohm, which is a decent neutral-ish balance. It's good, but it didn't blow me away like the QD did. My assumption is that the new FreqPhase JH13 and/or LS6 are better overall as a neutral-ish monitor. Get it only if you want to have fun "resistor rolling". It can range between mid recessed (big dip in the upper mids) to very bright. So in a way, it's like 50 different earphones in one. On the other hand, it's the first earphone I've seen (not the first in existence; the UE Vocal RMs have them too, along with a few others) that obviously has a hand-wound inductor for the low frequency low-pass crossover. That's cool for the nerds like me. Bass is nice and tight, but punchy in the sub-bass, and actually kinda weak in the mid-bass.

 

L12: I really wanted this one to be good, since it uses a very nice new Sonion 1723WT03 AcuPass driver, and is a "reasonable" price, but it's just okay. It didn't amaze me. Bass texture is ho-hum boring. I think it's the 1700 driver, and others in the industry who have experimented with the driver in the lab have told me the same thing. Bass is neutral-ish, but just not that interesting in that there's not much layering. Mids and highs are good, but not amazing. Overall, it's sort of like a mini-L51a with an 18 ohm resistor, so it's sort of unnecessary if one already has the L51a. At the same time, however, for a dual driver, this thing is very good. It's just not TOTL good.

 

Ergonomically, Hayashi makes his faceplates bigger so that there's a mini-handhold of sorts on the top of the faceplate to make twisting in/out easier, which is a nice touch. The new cables are just like the braid on the UE cables and the Magnus-1 cable, four wires all the way down to the bottom. His recessed plugs aren't as deep as UM/Rooth, about halfway recessed only. I guess he can build flush ones too. There are red/blue indicator dots on top of the connector sockets, which are a nice touch.

 

Overall, I was most impressed by the CW-L05QD --- its combination of detail, instrumental separation, openness of soundstage make it the closest thing I've heard to an earphone mimicking STAX. There was definitely sub-bass roll-off, but not horrible. BARKS.jp's review of the CW-L05QD essentially called it an ER4S on steroids, and in some ways it is. More accurately, its CW's own CW-L01 on steroids, and the CW-L01 itself was most likely modeled closely after the ER4S.

post #3 of 121
Thread Starter 

You're right - I think I found the ED29689 reference somewhere in the ER4S thread (suprisingly one of the only search hits in English about the QD), but then I took notice to your BA chart, got confused, then ended up putting the EDs because it would've made more sense. 

 

...whoops :P Well someone had to start the thread, even if it was someone as numbskulled as me.

 

I'm also more or less sold on the QD at this point, and am willing to sell many, many things in order to fund it. The big pull was the less hassle-involved process of impressions-taking over the FitEars. And the prospects of distribution. 

post #4 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post  I'm also more or less sold on the QD at this point, and am willing to sell many, many things in order to fund it. The big pull was the less hassle-involved process of impressions-taking over the FitEars. And the prospects of distribution. 

 

Yeah, it seems like more places are able to distribute CW these days. Mingo-HMW in Hong Kong picked them up first, followed closely after by JM-Plus in Taiwan (which is where I heard my demos), and now apparently, Null Audio in Singapore is distributing them over there too, or at least the distribution agreement has been signed, no idea about when they actually accept orders. Perhaps even more places will get them now that the doors have been thrown open.

post #5 of 121

Wow, nice ! Not very often a customs company offer a bundle deal, let alone their flagship. :) (is the price above for 2 sets of monitors?) 

post #6 of 121

Very interesting. Nice find Twink :).

post #7 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 

Yeah, it seems like more places are able to distribute CW these days. Mingo-HMW in Hong Kong picked them up first, followed closely after by JM-Plus in Taiwan (which is where I heard my demos), and now apparently, Null Audio in Singapore is distributing them over there too, or at least the distribution agreement has been signed, no idea about when they actually accept orders. Perhaps even more places will get them now that the doors have been thrown open.

Apparently JM Plus is the only one taking overseas impressions? 

 

I do hope so. Now's the best time to ride that Japan-exoticgear wave, after seeing the success that FitEars has managed to pull off. The waters have been tested, which makes it a slightly less frightening venture I suppose.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilosxdd View Post
 

Wow, nice ! Not very often a customs company offer a bundle deal, let alone their flagship. :) (is the price above for 2 sets of monitors?) 

The TWIN option? When I first saw it I though it was some radical new upgrade but it turned out to be just a two-fer. Serves me right for not reading. 

 

The idea that they could possibly take two sets of impressions from two different people for the TWIN system occured to me, but then I thought better and realized that they probably wouldn't allow people to exploit it like that. But who knows.

 

It also happens to resonate quite well with my username so I'll have to begrudgingly endorse it whether I like it or not, even though I'm still rather clueless about them.

 

   Quote:

Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

Very interesting. Nice find Twink :).

Apparently they've been around for a long-ish time. It's just that FitEars sort of overshadowed them to the point where discussion was sparse. I saw mentions of them on the forum from as long ago as 2 years.


Edited by TwinQY - 9/10/13 at 12:56am
post #8 of 121
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

The TWIN option? When I first saw it I though it was some radical new upgrade but it turned out to be just a two-fer. Serves me right for not reading. 

 

The idea that they could possibly take two sets of impressions from two different people for the TWIN system occured to me, but then I thought better and realized that they probably wouldn't allow people to exploit it like that. But who knows.

 

It also happens to resonate quite well with my username so I'll have to begrudgingly endorse it whether I like it or not, even though I'm still rather clueless about them.

 

Didn't realize that it has the same username as yours :veryevil: Well perhaps for the TWIN system, like you said it's only restricted to musicians only, probably they'd only take local orders and proof that they're before they activate the TWIN price ?

 

Tomscy said that Null Audio will be distributing :etysmile: I've just asked them how much would the flagship cost, and the price would be near the 2 grand (Singapore dollars) mark . 

post #9 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilosxdd View Post
Didn't realize that it has the same username as yours :veryevil: Well perhaps for the TWIN system, like you said it's only restricted to musicians only, probably they'd only take local orders and proof that they're before they activate the TWIN price ?

 

Tomscy said that Null Audio will be distributing :etysmile: I've just asked them how much would the flagship cost, and the price would be near the 2 grand (Singapore dollars) mark . 

Yep, not sure how their Professional lineup works. Nor am I sure that the tuning would be the same as the Consumer ones. 

I was doing a bit of lurking on erji and saw a mention about some signup sheet. Not sure what to make of that.

 

Which flagship? The QD is pretty much the odd-one out but I might see some refer to it as a flagship though I guess the properly flagship would still be the L51.

post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post
 

Yep, not sure how their Professional lineup works. Nor am I sure that the tuning would be the same as the Consumer ones. 

I was doing a bit of lurking on erji and saw a mention about some signup sheet. Not sure what to make of that.

 

Which flagship? The QD is pretty much the odd-one out but I might see some refer to it as a flagship though I guess the properly flagship would still be the L51.

Yeah probably the L51, I've not got a confirmation yet though . Have you heard these demos before ? 

post #11 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilosxdd View Post
Yeah probably the L51, I've not got a confirmation yet though . Have you heard these demos before ? 

From the OP - 

 I don't live in Japan. I've been there before, but at that time I wasn't even aware of CanalWorks. 

:( 

I would love to though. Would sincerely love to.

post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post
 

From the OP - 

:( 

I would love to though. Would sincerely love to.

:( just heard that Null will bring in demos, probably next month . Wonder how it'd sound like :veryevil: 

post #13 of 121

I have listened to nearly the full range of the demo Canal Works and if it wasn't the salesperson who said to me "you will need an ear impression for your right ear and one for your left ear" to the question poised by me, which was, "if I order a few pairs, would one set of ear impressions do?"

 

I would have bought a few pairs.....................:blink: 

post #14 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

I have listened to nearly the full range of the demo Canal Works and if it wasn't the salesperson who said to me "you will need an ear impression for your right ear and one for your left ear" to the question poised by me, which was, "if I order a few pairs, would one set of ear impressions do?"

I would have bought a few pairs.....................blink.gif  

LOL . How does their flagship sound ? redface.gif
post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post  Apparently JM Plus is the only one taking overseas impressions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilosxdd View Post  Tomscy said that Null Audio will be distributing :etysmile: I've just asked them how much would the flagship cost, and the price would be near the 2 grand (Singapore dollars) mark . 

 

I don't know if only JM-Plus is the only one taking overseas impressions; my guess is that Null will probably accept them too, but I assume they won't be able to take orders for a while, as I know JM-Plus was under gag-and-ball for a while by CW until they were allowed to officially take orders. Mingo will probably accept international orders as well if you ask nicely? (Hopefully, dealing with a more informed individual than the one Gavin encountered, however...) As for Null, 2000 SGD is quite a bit. Then again, Mingo's margins are pretty high too. JM-Plus may possibly be the most affordable, but I don't actually know their official price for international customers; I do know, locally, they're pricing the QD around 42000 NTD, which is approx. $1400 USD? They have a Facebook page where they list their prices out...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post  I have listened to nearly the full range of the demo Canal Works and if it wasn't the salesperson who said to me "you will need an ear impression for your right ear and one for your left ear" to the question poised by me, which was, "if I order a few pairs, would one set of ear impressions do?"

 

I would have bought a few pairs.....................:blink: 

 

Maybe he was still in training? :o

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