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CanJam at RMAF October 2013 Impressions Thread - Page 6  

post #76 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post
 

They have the same driver technology and the same general level of detail, but different sound signatures.  Personally I thought the Pro was more neutral and balanced, whereas the Classic had slightly more bass impact.  The Pro was more immersive for me, because the balanced sound signature gives me more of an emotional connection to the vocals.  But some people prefer the classic.

 

In short, they are both on equal footing technically but are voiced differently.  "Balanced" versus "Fun" for lack of loaded terms.  IMO.

I agree. Out of the 3 Focal headphones I liked the Pro version better over the other two. It was clearly more neutral sounding and that helped providing a sense of more openness and bigger soundstage. At their price I think they are a pretty good option IMO.

post #77 of 353
Thread Starter 

Great summary, thanks Frank.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
 

October 2013 CanJam at the RMAF Denver

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Liang and Michael Mercer show the opening Banner for CanJam 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Woo Audio was showing in the CanJam room and also had a private room to showcase the new Woo Flagship 234 Monoblock priced at $16,500. The 234 uses the 300B,2A3 or 45 Single ended triode tubes and will also drive speakers. Jack Wu was using the Abysss Headphones from JBS Labs and the sound coming from the  Mighty Woo was very detailed with magnificent transparency and deep and wide front to back layering with  a huge defined sound stage with pinpoint focusing.

 

 

 The WES  Electro static  Headphones driving the Stax 009 and the Stax 007 MK11

 

 

 

 

The Woo 6SE

 

 

 

Woo WA6

 

Woo WA7 with the new WA7 optional $300.00 power supply that uses 12Au7 to fine tune the sound. The transparency stepped up a huge notch with the additional tube regulated power supply.

 

 

Astral  & Kern was showing the Final Headphone with their outstanding AK120 portable player.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyerdynamic  showcased  the new A20 Headphone Amplifier. The A20  is a fully discrete design priced at a very competitive $649.00

 

 

Jerry Harvey and his team at JH Audio were showcasing the newly designed Roxanne IEM riced at $1695.00 and scheduled to begin shipping November 21,2013. The Roxanne is a 12 driver IEM that can be specifically tuned by the individual to adjust the sound to your individual preferences.

 

AppleMark

 

 

Justin Wilson Headamp was showcasing the GSX balanced amplifier and power supply priced at $2600 with the $5000 Blue Hawaii Electrostatic Amplifier and  the Power Pico $475.00 portable amplifier

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

Hifiman  was showcasing their complete Headphone lineup including the new RE600 $399.00 IEM and their HM901 portable player priced at $999.00 . The new HM901 also has optional amplifier balanced modules that can be installed by the user easily. The module is a $200.00 option

 

 

Centrance was showcasing their new HI-M8 $699.00 portable amplifier and DAC that was designed by Headfi users. Michael Goodman used all the input form Headfi member and developed the M8 based on what the community wanted.

 

 

AppleMark

 

Ultimate Ears was showing their portable headphones and IEM line and was represented by Headfi Member CEE TEE . Christian was working hard at the event showing the excellent Ultimate Ear lineup.

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

Mr Speaker was showcasing his excellent 3D printed Mad Dog priced at $599.00 and the completed production model was very detailed with improved comfort and very transparent with excellent bass and making it a contender for the best in its class closed headphone.

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Audio had the Bryston triple Stack Music Server, DAC and the Balanced Headphone amplifier plus the Burson Conductor and his full lineup of headphone and IEM cables that were hooked up to every major flagship and portable headphones..

 

 

 

 

Todd the Vinlky Junkie sponsored the Saturday Night Beer Social . The event was swell attended and went overtime. The tunes were being played by Alex Rosson CDEO of Audeze  and Michael Mercer.

 

 

 

 

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 
post #78 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post
 

Great summary, thanks Frank.

thank you

post #79 of 353

 

Drew Baird and I were out with the Music Hall guys . The food was phenomenal in this Chinese cuisine and Roy Hall ordered for 5 of us. We had a blast there in West Denver

post #80 of 353

Great photos Frank! (especially of the seafood :tongue:)

post #81 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by DairyProduce View Post
 

Great photos Frank! (especially of the seafood :tongue:)

thank you and it was delicious also

post #82 of 353
Anyone that couldn't be at the CanJam event this year should definitely check out the stuff Michael Mercer did with Dub Bot. Some super coverage of CanJam!! I really enjoyed the great info provided, from the very knowledgeable and trusted source that Mike is. If anyone cares about getting the best setup for your music it's Mike! Check out the Dub Bot coverage at http://enjoythemusic.com/rmaf_2013/
post #83 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxlink View Post

Anyone that couldn't be at the CanJam event this year should definitely check out the stuff Michael Mercer did with Dub Bot. Some super coverage of CanJam!! I really enjoyed the great info provided, from the very knowledgeable and trusted source that Mike is. If anyone cares about getting the best setup for your music it's Mike! Check out the Dub Bot coverage at http://enjoythemusic.com/rmaf_2013/

Thanks for the link!

post #84 of 353

MORE IMPRESSIONS:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by onlychild View Post

Did you get a chance to use the bass adjust on the Roxxane? Any impressions on that?


Thx.

 

When I listened to the Roxxane the bass was turned up, and it was easy to decrease the bass level without affecting the overall sound signature at all, so the bass adjustment didn't affect the lower mids like some bass controls - very nice feature to have for sure!  When I showed up at RMAF I had little interest in improving upon my JH16Pro Freqphase, but I was drooling over the Roxxane after the demo.  

 

In my experience the universal demos of a custom IEM are never as good as the actual custom fit version after I get them.  But in the case of the Roxxane I was surprised with the fit and seal I got with the Complys tips and that they performed as well as I could desire, on a similar level to my JH16Pro FP with a smoother treble.  Because of the level of performance I heard from the demos, I'm fairly certain when I get my own set that the final custom fit version will outperform my JH16Pro Freqphase.  Unfortunately I'm still dealing with house damage from the Colorado flood of 2013, so I'm not sure how soon I can order a set.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post


Definitely apples to oranges. XC sounds more closed, more balanced across the FR, thicker, with greater texture. 900 sounds more open, more "fun" with sub bass emphasis, and has a better treble presentation in my opinion. The 900 has a signature that makes me tap my feet, one that I personally prefer.

 

While the LCD-XC sounded a little more closed than the open X, it was fairly close to my LCD-2 rev2 which has a nice soundstage (but not as huge as the HD800 or SR-009). In comparison to my LCD-2 rev2, the LCD-X struck me as having a similarly enveloping soundstage to my HD800.  I did have to lose time to volume match because the LCD-X a noticeably more efficient than my LCD-2 rev2 that I brought with me.  Still, the XC didn't give that "closed headphone" sound that you get from many others (D2000/5000 or Beyer Custom One). 

 

The Fostex TH-900 have a fairly open sound like the XC, but with richer bass and impact than the XC, and they also sounded more like an open phone but one that was tuned more for the "fun" side of things.  I'd love to compare the TH-900 to the old Sony MDR-10 someday, both of which sound slightly warmer than my LA7000.  The XC seemed tuned more for "studio" than fun, but they were in no way boring or constricted at all.  I'd still likely buy the LCD-X over the XC, unless I didn't have my LA7000 and then I'd want to compare the XC to the TH-900 side-by-side before I bought one.  The TH-900 are definitely a "foot tapper", and much better than at the 2011 RMAF when it was still a pre-production version.

 

Two things I loved the most about the LCD-X were (1) the larger soundstage or outside of head sound, and (2) their much greater efficiency so that they can be powered by portable amps better.  My Pico Slim has to be maxed out to listen to LCD-2 rev2 in a noisy CanJam room, while the LCD-X were too loud at the same volume setting.  The LCD-X make the Pico Slim feel more like a desktop amp.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post
 

I actually prefer less isolation because I use them outside of my house as well... I get uneasy when I can't hear my surroundings or people talking to me, and always have to check. If these don't leak sound that's great! TH900 bleeds quite a bit meaning I can't use them in a library... Now it's just the Alpha Dogs against the XC before I decide.

 

I was going to comment above about the Mr Speakers Alpha Dog 3D, that if one is considering a closed phone to be sure to include the Alpha Dog 3D in the comparison between the LCD-XC and TH-900, as I think these may be the best three closed dynamic headphones currently in production (never heard the Stax 4070, which have much different amping requirements.)  However, the 3D have to be one of the best bangs for the buck for a closed audiophile headphone.  These could be studio monitors or fun phones.  I wish I had tried them with a portable amp though.

 

The XC and TH-900 both let in more sound than the Alpha Dog 3D, but i didn't hear the music leak to the outside when any of them were being listened to by someone else who claimed the volume was moderately high.  My LA7000 are the same way, more sound comes in than gets out.  But the Alpha Dog 3D isolated the outside noise from the listener about as well as an HD25 or M-100.

 

I preferred the Burson DAC/amp at the Mr Speakers table with the Alpha Dog 3D, over the Schitt Audio Mjolnir and Cavalli Liquid Glass that were there at the table (one brought, one bland).

 

 

FOCAL - I listened to the Spirit Pro via my CEntrance HiFi-M8 with lossless music on iPhone 5s, and thought they were pretty good.  They are pretty neutral and detailed, but not nearly as efficient as my V-MODA M-100 which we drove simultaneously with the HiFi-M8 and compared side-by-side.  Nevertheless, the M8 was easily powerful enough for the Focal's lower efficiency, but when set at normal volumes for the Focal then the M-100 were too loud.  

 

The Spirit's bass impact could not match the M-100, but their deep bass extension was still quite good.  The Spirit are probably more accurate than any of the closed portable Sennheiser headphones my son and I tried, including the aluminum HD25 (too bright), Momentum over-the-ear (too boomy), or Momentum on-ear (more forward mids but pretty nice like the smaller V-MODA M-80).  This year I didn't try the Fostex T50RP, DT-1350, or MDR-1, so I can't comment on how they would compare to the Spirit or V-MODA.

 

I can't say that my V-MODA M-100 are studio monitors like the Focal, but they do hit much harder and are more fun most of the time.  The M-100 to me are kinda like an HD650 with a strong amp, and the Focal are more like an HD600 with similar neutrality and balance (but flatter soundstage).  Keith seemed to enjoy them:

 

 

 

post #85 of 353

I FORGOT...

 

The Mad Dog entry level $300 modded Fostex T50RP were much better than last year, but could not keep up with the Alpha Dog 3D.  They'd make a good studio monitor but were not a lot of fun to listen to in the long run.  They definitely have more detail and air than the stock headphones.

 

I went to the Woo Audio room in the south tower (room 574) and had to wait 30 minutes to try the Woo DAC and mono-blocks with the Abyss headphones, because one guy that I thought might be a buyer listened to an entire symphony with them, aiming his back at the door so he didn't see us waiting.  I didn't want to interrupt, but then I only had 2-3 minutes with them before I had to go.  This combo was much better than the Abyss I heard on Friday with an older Cavalli Audio amp (source unknown).  It was more energetic with stronger bass than the more bland rig I'd previously tried, but I didn't think they were all that special.  They had great transparency, i.e. little coloration, but that is all that stood out for me.  They'd be a great studio monitor.

 

While I didn't get to compare the Abyss side by side with anything, they didn't jump out and say "buy me" - while the LCD-X, Fostex TH-900, and Alpha Dog 3D struck me as more enjoyable (even if theoretically less accurate).

post #86 of 353

I have to agree with you on the Focals - pretty much on every point. I definitely preferred the Pros to the Classics, even if just marginally. The Pros sounded a little more open and airy, and were something I could see myself using as part of my home system. 

 

At the show, I didn't have much to compare them to on the Pathos, but I ended up picking up a pair and was surprised at the (low) efficiency of these cans. They actually require that my amp be turned up quite a bit higher than with most of my other cans to reach normal volumes (Grados being the exception). That being said, I have no complaints whatsoever on the sound, build, or feel, and they are definitely one of my favorite cans, especially in their price range (Though I may be a bit biased here). I have yet to compare them side by side to the M-100s, but from what I have listened to at the show at their respective tables, I'd say that your comparison is spot on.


Edited by Makuta11 - 10/14/13 at 10:17pm
post #87 of 353
Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
...

The Fostex TH-900 have a fairly open sound like the XC, but with richer bass and impact than the XC..... The XC seemed tuned more for "studio" than fun, but they were in no way boring or constricted at all.  I'd still likely buy the LCD-X over the XC ..... The TH-900 are definitely a "foot tapper"

 

Good comments here, which echo what I heard as well. Not knowing that the LCD-x line would be voiced 'studio' vs. warm, I was a little disappointed in the XC. 

 

Fostex HP-A4 was a lot better than I thought it'd be. Sounds exactly like a little brother to the HP-A8 - would be a good transportable rig. Also, Fostex had a portable prototype vacuum tube amp that sounded solid as well.


Edited by the-kraken - 10/14/13 at 1:40pm
post #88 of 353

The ladies and gentlemen running the Audeze booth were awesome. After mentioning that I own the LCD-2, they hooked me up with a few freebies like a leather care kit, t-shirt, stickers, 1/4" to 1/8" adapter, and best of all a 10% off a future purchase unique coupon code! LCD-3, LCD-X or LCD-XC? Hmmm...decisions, decisions.


Edited by SpyderRoll - 10/14/13 at 2:02pm
post #89 of 353

I wonder if the "smoothness" of the Roxanne was due to the comply foam tips... IME they round things out and lower the treble a bit...

post #90 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
 

 

Drew Baird and I were out with the Music Hall guys . The food was phenomenal in this Chinese cuisine and Roy Hall ordered for 5 of us. We had a blast there in West Denver

Roy and Leland from Music Hall really know good food, and now they got Denver DOWN!!

and great people!!

 

SWEET job w/ the pics and commentary Frank! 

I'm still sittin' in Salt Lake on a lay-over coming back!!

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