CanJam Dallas 2023 Impressions Thread (November 11-12, 2023)
Nov 12, 2023 at 11:11 AM Post #61 of 275
Yep, the stacks were the same except the DAC portion and I went through all three with susvara (I'm most familiar with it since I owned one before.)

The jump from Lina to bartok was bigger than going to Rossini imo but there was still an improvement going to Rossini. Just depends how large your wallet is. Lina almost sounded muddy in comparison even though it's not really.
The Lina amp and master clock were the same in all the stacks, but in the Bartok listening booth, you could also compare the Bartok/Internal Amp with the Bartok/Lina Amp/Lina Master Clock. In all the booths, I auditioned with my DCA Stealth.

In the Bartok listening booth, at first, I liked the amp in the Lina better than the Bartok, since the low end was more pronounced. However, after A/B'ing both several times, I noticed more detail and separation with the Bartok internal amp. The Lina amp sounded a bit smoother than the Bartok, but keep in mind these are hair splitting differences. The room was quiet and I had to listen over and over again before I could come to any conclusion. I didn't spend enough time A/B'ing the Lina Stack and the Bartok to compare the DAC's. However, after doing lots of A/B'ing with the Bartok/Lina amps, and then switching to the Rossini/Lina Amp, there was a noticeable, albeit subtle, difference between the Bartok and Rossini DACS; for example, on the Rossini, I could hear slight vibrations in the violin or the tapping of the keys on the piano that I couldn't hear with the Bartok.

I gave up on poor recordings at the Lina, since all the dCS DACS were so resolving only the best source material took advantage of them. The dCS equipment all reminded me of shooting for perfection in my two channel system, especially when trying to align all the stars with my turntable rig, so source material became more important as I moved up the chain.
Nov 12, 2023 at 11:23 AM Post #62 of 275
the hangover today is real
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Nov 12, 2023 at 12:16 PM Post #63 of 275
My experience at CanJam Dallas was outstanding! Everyone was nice, pretty much all the booths had something wonderful to try out or look at. Some of the highlights include trying out the Mjolnir 3 at the high end of Schiit's offerings, all the way down to their unreleased (for now) Magni Unity--a Magni with a modular dac card; listening to tube amps at the LTA booth; hearing the Meze Empyrean II on a wide range of gear from a full Lina stack all the way down to an AK DAP; finally trying out a bunch of Chord gear (the Dave + MScalar, Hugo, TT, Mojo2, etc); finally trying out STAX gear--I got to listen to their totl headphones and their totl energizer; auditioning various ZMF headphones, etc.

Everyone was nice, everyone seemed to be having a good time, and it made for a really chill atmosphere when waiting to try some headphones. I hope CanJam Dallas is successful for CanJam standards, because I absolutely want to go to another one in Dallas next year. :)
Nov 12, 2023 at 12:51 PM Post #64 of 275
I drove up yesterday from San Antonio and it was well worth the drive. Now I wish I just went to both days, cause there’s a lot I didn’t have the chance to audition. My favorites from the show were the blue Diana TC (I think) on the Wa23 in the abyss/stax room. I also enjoyed the Audeze carbon on the LTA Z10e. My favorite, though, was the 64 audio volur. That set was special to me which completely took me by surprise.
Nov 12, 2023 at 1:43 PM Post #65 of 275
I spent Saturday at CanJam Dallas and had a terrific experience. First, props to Zach and Bevin who are wonderful people and a joy to be around. The ZMF room grabbed a lot of my time and every minute was well spent. Here is a baker's dozen summary of my day's memorable experiences:

1) The ZMF VC still reigns supreme in my ZMF book. I tried everything ZMF makes. And certainly on some level it is down to just what you "like" once the technical performance meets your needs. Calderas were notably impressive, but not superior to the sound I like from my VCs. I took my VC pair to every other room I went to, sampling lots of electronics and available cans with A/B comparisons. I never once felt gee--I wish I had those headphones and not my VC. Is it gauche to want to be buried with my VCs? If it is, I don't care.
2) I spent time with the Decware/OTL amp. I liked it a lot, but did not fall in love as I had hoped. Midrange is gorgeous, but the low end did not gel to a level I wanted. I heard not quite enough impact, tautness and slam for my liking. I also found myself making lots of small volume adjustments with it as songs played. On the other hand, I did really like the Homage amp that Zach was demoing. For the price, it's on my list for a fun own.
3) Big listening happiness with the Ferrum stack in the ZMF room. I had not heard it before. I thought it was terrific and recommend anyone try it.
4) Listened to the Holo Bliss/May stack. Another treat. I wish I had more time because I think I really could have felt a unique connection, but the room was crowded at that point and I wanted to give others a seat. But in a pick-em if I was simply being gifted the Ferrum stack or the Holo stack, I think I would choose Ferrum.
5) Upside surprise was the Cayin Ha-3A. It was sitting right next to the Decware. Really groovy little tone machine. I am left to wonder what tube rolling level the amp could achieve, but at its price point I was very impressed. I liked it better than the HA-6A, by a small amount. Ha-6A also a bit noisy from the microphonics. HA-3A not.
6) Heard the DCS Lina stack. I had sky high expectations given the price point and they were not achieved. I got up and moved on.
7) 64 Audio Volur's were impressive. The tuning modules made an audible difference and the overall listening experience was energetic and bassy, but with nice mids and highs too. I considered buying them, but probably would want to hear other products as I am not terribly familiar with IEMs.
8) The Empire Ravens did nothing for me. Got up after 5 minutes and said thank you.
9) The Chord Dave and M-scaler got 15 minutes of my time. On max the m-scaler makes an audible difference and I was impressed. That said, I am a happy Qutest owner and I really did not leave the table thinking I had to save up for a Dave. More importantly, the Chord people are first class. Really enjoyed my conversation with them, and it just increases my owner satisfaction of my Qutest. Rob Watts was fun to talk to and I learned a lot about his design philosophy in his seminar.
10) Audeze LCD-3s sounded really good. Focal Stellia was better than good and had lots of energy and "musicality". Focal Utopia 2022 very much deserves a listen too. If I was forced to buy a non-ZMF over the ear can at Canjam, I would have bought the Utopias.
11) Listened to the Burson Voyager. I own the new gen Soloist GT...which they had right next to it. Man that Voyager gets hot with no fan. I think the Voyager is a slight step up on blacker blacks and micro details...but the GT already does that so well. I would not pay the difference just to get a Voyager, and the GT's fan never bothers me. I am still very happy with my GT and the op-amps I have rolled into it. Personally I think Burson should slow down with the new product intros until they can create more performance space between units. Otherwise it just annoys existing customers.
12) Listened to the Feliks Envy. Sounded lovely, but my goodness was it prone to picking up noise in the room. Microphonics off the hook when no music playing.

No number does it justice) Saving the best for last....the Woo WA33 listen changed my life. I have never heard any amp that does what that amp does. Stage, dynamics, details, transients, low end grip, and a bit of treble sweetness...all were a triumph. It's also glorious to sit in front of and just admire all those tubes rising from the top of the amp. Yep, I heard the ABYSS headphones that were associated with it. I liked my VCs better, but then again you see #1 above. The WA33 is a pure endgame headphone amplifier for me. I can live with one kidney, right?

I hope the Dallas venue stays in the rotation. I would absolutely go back. Friendly people. Excellent options from vendors. If there is a way to make the wifi better, please do. Some of the rooms really struggled with streaming. Thank you CanJam/head-fi!

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Nov 12, 2023 at 6:04 PM Post #66 of 275
First time hearing about Verdandi. Does anyone else have impressions on this one?

So could you tell the difference? Any favorite?
The Kinera Verdanti wowed me. I loved the abundant, detailed bass and the clarity of treble at the same time. If I could have bought the show prototype I would. Credits to @Sebastien Chiu for outstanding table experience.

I went to Canjam ready to buy the Campfire Bonneville but ended up with Noble Viking instead. The detailed and accurate bass, the clarity of mids, treble and female vocals that capture the decay…siren’s song for me. The table and service experience for @NobleAudioMKTG left me impressed. Noble wasn’t on my radar at all before Canjam, but now the Viking will take its seat as the IEM complement to my Audeze LCD-5.

Other show standouts:

The ZMF Caldera is a truly exception listen and will be me on list for future purchase.

Campfire Bonneville stood out in the wrong way. Love the clear color, but the sound was muddy. I hope it was the tips I used. The Campfire Cascara, Ponderosa and Supermoon all excelled in different ways better than the Bonneville. If I didn’t already have Solaris, I would consider Supermoon.

Spirit Torino Titanium sounded exceptional. Weight is a bit much. Price is too high at present for my budget.

Metaxes amplifiers are a sight to behold. Truly audio art.


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Nov 12, 2023 at 8:14 PM Post #68 of 275
Just back from CanJam. I didn't get to go Saturday, but I made the most of today.

I got to meet Brian, Jude, Rob Watts, Jim Moulton from Noble Audio, Phil of PhilPhone fame, and Jacob from LTA. It was a lot of fun to chat and see the people I've read so much about.

I also got to try lots and lots of gear! I also learned why people say "of course it was floor conditions"...(so I have no idea how they might really sound).

Some listening notes from me:

  • DCS Rossini Apex & Susvara: big standout for me as this just sounded unlike anything else. I liked the presentation. I wondered if this were all the Susvara (first time I heard it) or the Rossini. By the time I left the show (and heard the Susvara on another rig) I figured out that it was mostly the Rossini, but the Susvara sounded great as well. The Rossini is definitely something I'd buy if I had the money. Sounded great.
  • PhilPhones. Later in the show I was looking to connect with some fellow head-fiers and walked up to a table and asked what the best thing they'd heard at the show. They said "these!" and pointed at what looked like some Audio Technica headphones on the table. Later I found out these were PhilPhones. These sounded like many of the other flagship headphones at the show. They were super lightweight and comfortable, and Phil was there and told me how he got started and how he'd crafted these. I was super impressed at how he had created these and with how they sounded. These were very detailed with plentiful bass and probably the best ergonomics of everything I tried at the show.
  • The ZMF room was packed to the gills with great people and great gear. Everyone there was super helpful and engaged with the visitors, me included! I got to listen to the Caldera on a Lina stack, with the Lina DAC and Feliks Audio Envy, and with the Holo Audio May & Bliss combo. The Caldera sounded good on it all, but on the Holo Audio Stack it sounded particularly well grounded. I think it was due to there being less noise in the room at the time I was listening to it. I didn't get to listen to the Ferrum stack or the T+A system they had there, they were always occupied. I ran into my local hifi dealer in this room, Audio Concepts (Dallas), and they were also smitten by the Caldera.
  • The LTA Velo: I'd already had my eyes on a microzotl preamp, and this just might be it. I have been thinking of putting a tube amp between my Lumin X1 and XA25 and this might fit the bill. It delivered on bass and sounded very detailed. It's hard to say with show floor noise, but I liked it. I listened using an Meze Elite which I am unfamiliar with, which also made it hard to judge, but I really enjoyed the listening experience.
  • The guys at Bloom Audio let me have a listen to the Fir Radon 6 out of the A&K HB1. Along with the Rossini, this was a wow listening experience. The space conveyed by this one put it on par with some headphones. Definitely thinking of shelling out the bucks for this...but then there's that LTA Velo, too.
  • Noble Audio Viking and Noble Audio Ronin -- both of these were on par with the Radon 6. I didn't get to hear them side by side. For now, I have to give the edge to the Radon 6, but this is after listening to maybe 2 songs on each of these. They were all spectacular. Nothing else made me want an upgrade from my LCDi4 or KSE1200.
  • At the 64Audio table I listened to A18tU18t's, the Volur, and the Fourte. The Fourte were interesting, but the U18t's and Volur were more to my liking. The A18t's reminded me a lot of the U12t's that I have. The Volur were more heavy in the bass region. The guys here were super nice. When I reached into my bag to put my tips back onto my U12t, they saw that I had the older cable and on the spot handed me one of the cables they're currently shipping with! This type of customer service makes for lifetime customers!
  • Warwick Acoustics: I got to hear the gold Aperio! Unfortunately, show floor noise was such that I couldn't differentiate it that much from my Bravura. I have to say that I absolutely love my Bravura. They bring superb timbre and a fatigue-less listening experience that make them the favorite of all that I have.

I really had a fun day here. Thanks to everyone that I met and to everyone that made this show what it was! Absolutely love that I got to hear so much gear. Very sad that I don't get to audition gear like this all the time.
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Nov 12, 2023 at 8:30 PM Post #69 of 275

It was my first canjam

I run the Dallas Ft Worth Audiophile club. I have amassed near 100 members locally, we meet every month or so. I brought about 10 to canjam.

My highlight was the HE1. Bar none. It was as close to my speaker system as I’ve heard at the show. It was a fork in the road for me, I have a new journey to consider now.
Nov 12, 2023 at 8:30 PM Post #70 of 275
Cross posting from the Watercooler thread:

What a fun weekend at CanJam! I am now sat here at my gate waiting to board my flight. It’s a long journey back to Houston at roughly 40 minutes of travel time.

I didn’t take many pictures but I captured enough memories that I’ll hold onto forever.

This was my first CanJam experience and I can’t imagine it having gone any better, and it makes me VERY excited for New York in March. Everyone I met there was so welcoming and friendly, it was as if I had met these people before. It was very warming and I couldn’t have asked for more. Special shout outs to @HiFiHawaii808 and @wazzupi for introducing me to everyone and having some great chats at breakfast, as well as @Subtonic Ken for accommodating my request to demo all the NightJar cables and help find what I was looking for, although that proved to be a very costly hour 😂. It was also a pleasure to meet @Andrew DiMarcangelo from bloom audio, what a nice guy.. and thanks for letting me steal a Kit Kat 🤤 I know I am missing some people. 😭

I got to hear SO many pieces of gear but I’ll mostly just talk about what grabbed my attention the most, which was the Kinera Loki Emerald, NightJar Dual DD prototype, NightJar Blue Hour 2 and 4 wire cables, 64 Audio Nio and U18t (yes, i know they’re old but I loved revisiting them), Noble Spartacus, and Kinera Imperial Verdandi prototype (?).

The Kinera Loki Emerald immediately “wow’d” me upon first listen which doesn’t happen to me often anymore. It’s a U shaped sound signature with clean and excellent sub bass rumble, a bodied mid bass, and thinner more revealing mids with a fairly elevated treble response that isn’t overly smooth but has enough bite and excitement to stop it from sounding too flat. The special sauce in this IEM came from its fantastic bone conduction imaging. Picking out placement of notes on the Loki stage was about as easy as I have ever heard, with each note getting its own “highlight” on the stage with incredible precision and spaciousness. I’m not sure this is a set that I’d want to listen to for long periods of time but it sure left an impression on me within my multiple demos of it.

The Kinera Verdandi prototype was also very unique with its staging and imaging, it sounded so incredibly open and massive but almost to the point of just being far too diffused and disjointed. I think this will make it divisive amongst the community based on library and preferences but I thought for the price, the overall well executed and inoffensive tuning, and the “fun” presentation it had that it’ll be quite popular if/when it is released. I believe the suggested pricing is about $1099 and it’s in prototype stage at the moment?

I’d like to see Kinera offer their IEMs as customs, if they did I might have bought a Loki Emerald on the spot.

I spent about an hour at the 64 audio booth listening to Volur and revisiting older IEMs that I had once owned and sold off. The U18t still impresses me and I probably made a mistake selling my A18t. Going back to that flatter/reference sound did feel like a nice palette cleanser and I was reminded quickly of how far ahead of their time 64 audio was back when these IEMs came out. I’m not sure it’s something I’d want to listen to anymore at this point for enjoyment but I still find the 18t very relevant even all these years later. The Volur didn’t work much for me at all, I couldn’t really tolerate the treble tuning being so zingy and spicy, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me on my electronic tracks and just made it unenjoyable. I much preferred the cheaper and less technical Nio tuning.

The NightJar Dual DD prototype is a bass lovers dream. Jesus Christ this thing has gobs of bass and it’s very high quality bass. On top of that there’s impedance adapters (done in pigtail form) to tilt it even more “bass head” levels if that’s your thing. When I pushed play and went through one of my bass test tracks the grin I had on my face was something the Grinch would have been proud of. The physicality behind the low end was something that just has to be experienced to understand, and on top of that it has fairly decent detail to offset it too! It wasn’t the most technical thing I’ve heard and at the price point they’re aiming for (I believe somewhere between $2k-$3k) it may not be enough for some people but it’s clear as day this isn’t what the IEM is aiming to achieve. I don’t know how well this set would fare for long term listening or if the novelty would wear off after time but I loved it. For me this was something like Legend X successor, I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.

Another NightJar product(s) that I loved straight away was the Blue Hour 2 and 4 wire cables. I tried both on my Fei Wan in preparation for my CIEM to arrive shortly. These were the first copper cables I’ve tried that haven’t been from PW audio that I felt were actually good. The 2W gave Fei Wan a much more deeper sub bass rumble with excellent dynamics and control. It was quite staggering how different the lows sounded from the stock cable. It was an immediate improvement for me and on top of that the ergonomics and weight of the 2W are fantastic. It’s incredibly light and supple. Moving from the 2W to the 4W I felt that same excellent bass control and dynamics but with a richer and more analogue sounding mid range, with smoother yet equally detailed treble and extension. The entire stage felt so cohesive and well pieced together, it was perfection and Ken from Subtonic could tell from my “listening face” that it was an immediate positive reaction from me. I placed an order then and there for the 4W Blue Hour cable and I can’t wait to receive it.

The Noble Spartacus was surprisingly good and I thought was very competitively priced at what it offered. It’s a 4BA 2 BCD IEM with the BCDs covering the mids. It’s a new Sonion BCD driver that’s not similar in appearance to the typical disc-like drivers we are used to seeing from UM and EE. The tuning was fairly neutral in mids and treble but with a very generous bass boost done from 2 BA drivers that brought a sub bass rumble that would fool inexperienced ears to thinking they’re DD lows. Technicals were slightly above average in terms of detail and resolution with the main highlight being the spacious mid range and imaging. I preferred this to the Canpur 622B which is over 2x the cost. I was also told they can be made as a CIEM for a small up-charge over the universal MSRP. Jim and Kai (?) from Noble were incredibly pleasant to chat with and I enjoyed learning more about their products.

A couple of “honorable mentions for me”:

AK SE300 - loved the r2r tonality and smoothness but lord have mercy this DAP is painfully slow and it boggles my mind AK thought that SoC was acceptable at that price point and in 2023. Stop being cheapskates.

Eletech Plato - loved it with Fei Wan but the wire itself just felt too stiff for me compared to Sonnet of Adam or the NightJar cables

Campfire Ponderosa - for that “warm & muddy” sound I thought it was fairly decent and easy to listen to with nice imaging that campfire is known for. It was my favorite from the new releases.

List of things heard this weekend:

Noble Damascus Viking (the most incredible IEM I’ve ever seen and held)
AK x VE Aura
Subtonic Storm w Sov Symphony
Noble Ronin
Noble WM1X (i don’t remember the model name, but 1 DD 1 xMEM driver, powered through USB C)
64 audio U4s, Nio, Volur, U18t, U18s
FiR e12
Campfire Ponderosa, Cascara, Bonneville
NightJar Singularity & dual DD proto, Vanguard, Blue Hour 2/4 wire, Bifrost, Mira
Kinera Loki Emerald & Verdandi
UM Red Halo
Noble Spartacus
AK SE300
Eletech cables
Nov 12, 2023 at 9:57 PM Post #71 of 275
Huge thanks to HeadFi team for bringing the event close to home and hope they return next year. Appreciate all the vendors and effort. Everyone was great and a pleasure meeting everyone.

Beginning from HE1 appt. at 10am, everything following was sure to be a tough act to follow. I plugged my LCD5 in when convenient.
Marked off bucket list in no particular order.
HD660S2 on HDV820
Empy 2 on Naim Unity Atom
Nutopia on Anni and Qutest
Stellia on Anni and Qutest
Empy on CA1000
Tungsten single and double on CFA3 prototype
Stellia on iDSD Pro
LCD5 on IDSD Pro
D8KPLE on iDSD Pro
Arya on HA200
LCD5 on HA200
Nutopia on Mass Kobo 433 and Eversolo A6
Nutopia on Lina Stack
LCD5 on Mass Kobo 433 and Eversolo A6
LCDX on V590
D8KPLE on Mass Kobo 433 and Eversolo A6
LCD5 on Rossini Apex stack with Lina amp and clock
Elite on Lina stack
HD800 on Lina stack
Susvara on Lina stack
Spirit Valkyria on Shanling M30S
Spirit Pulsar on Shanling M30S
Spriit Centauri
LCD5 on Lina stack
HD650 on HDV820
HD600 on HDV820
Storm on DX320 Max
Philphone on DX320 Max
LCD5 on Dave and Mscaler
CRBN on Z10E and Bricasti M3 I think
CRBN on Z10E and DX320 Max
Caldera on Z10E and DX320 Max
Empy 2 on Lina Stack
Liric on Lina Stack
Grado SA1X on Schitt Syn
X9000 on Metaxas Ethereal
LCD5 on Metaxas Marquis and Musician Pegasus
Caldera on Metaxas Marquis and Musician Pegasus
LCD5 on Schitt stack Yggy More is Less Better?/Loki Max/Mjonir 3
Elite Tungsten on Lina Stack
LCD5 on LTA Z10E and DX320 Max
009S on LTA Z10E and DX320 Max
Atrium on Envy
LCD5 on LTA Velo amp
Atrium on Decware Reference OTL
Caldera on Lina stack
Atrium Closed on Lina stack
Verite Open on Lina stack
Atrium Closed on Envy
1266 Phi TC on WA33
Caldera on Envy
Kinera Loki on Gryphon
Kinera Urd on Gryphon
Odin on Hugo 2
Raven on Hugo 2
Legend Evo on Hugo 2
109 Pro on HA200
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Nov 12, 2023 at 10:06 PM Post #72 of 275
Gonna write up my report tomorrow, was an awesome weekend.
Nov 12, 2023 at 11:09 PM Post #73 of 275
What I learned today:
ZMF- Caldera was very lush and euphonic, Atrium seemed more clear but less special.
Meze- Empy II was way better than Empy I, and rivaled the Elite for enjoyment.
Audeze - LCD5 was my favorite, but required a high end chain to shine
Chord - Dave+MScaler+LCD5 was really good, notes sounded so clear and had emotion, Hugo was also nice with Caldera, I was less impressed wit Qutest/Annie stack+Arya Organic.
Sennheiser - HE1 was essentially flawless, HD800S has potential and better bass than expected, HD820 need more time to assess
DCS - Lina stack with LCD5 and Atrium closed was a similar experience to Senn HE1
Metaxes- Reel to Reel with Estat headphones playing Steeley Dan on the flagship amp was the most realistic sounding instruments of the day
Schiit- flagship stack, MJ3+YGGY_MIB was good but seemed a bit raw, was not able to demo with TOTL headphones.
LCD5 and Empy II were my favorites, Empy II was really good on the W8 and my top pick for MidFi. The Chord Dave+MS+LCD5 top pick for high end.
I also no longer believe in ‘diminishing returns’, all of the kilobuck setups were a different experience from the midfi stuff, next level clarity and emotion. And, this was mostly due the TOTL chains. Pink Floyd on the HE1 was really special, very next level.
Nov 13, 2023 at 2:39 AM Post #74 of 275
Howdy all... Just home from Canjam Dallas. This was my first Canjam since SoCal 2017. It was time to go once again. @warrenpchi it was great to meet you and to share the same space for a moment or two. @jude thank you for the spirited conversation. Nice to meet folks with Michigan roots and that connection always makes me feel comfortable. I miss my home, but Utah it is for now. Thank you to the Head-Fi team for a great time. I will write more tomorrow, but wanted to put some of my highlights up. Eyal, it was also great to see you and to visit with you for a few moments. I am not a member of your watercooler gang, I am not much for joining, but I like that this type of stuff is going on and I enjoyed your seminar.

One of my favorite parts of the show was learning that my system sounds as good or better than most of what I heard. However, I did hear a few things that left a lasting impression.

DCS: My highlight was how professional, organized, knowledgeable and enthusiastic they were about their products. Without question, the best dynamic headphone system I heard at the show was the Rossini Apex with Lina Clock and Lina Amp. That DAC is just ridiculous. The low level detail is off the charts, and the tone is flat out special. I used my own D8K Pro for this listening session and left with my jaw on the floor. Same went for the Bartok Apex with Lina Clock and Amp. I used my D8K Pro for that session as well had similar feelings, albeit not quite to the same level as the Rossini. That DAC is truly something else. The Lina stack DID NOT blow me away with the Lina running as DAC. It sounded good to great, but so does a lot of other things for significantly less money. If I had the money for something like that I would go straight to the Rossini Apex. That is without question the best DAC I have ever heard.

Schiit: I absolutely loved the Mjolnir 3 with Yggy and the Empy 2 and then the Grado 3000X. The Mjolnir 3 is a proper amp and I will buy one. I loved Jason's comment when I complimented him on its sonics, "now I have to figure out how to make more items that sound like the Mjolnir 3". Jason, I agree. It is definitely a winning formula. I absolutely loved it. It had the perfect amount of wetness, detail and saturation with impeccable pacing. It gets hot, but not so hot that it is dangerous. It just flat out sounds fantastic.

Warwick Aperio: This was the first thing I listened to, and remained the best thing I heard all weekend. It is worth every penny and the sound is full, alive, balanced, subtle and crystal clear. It does none of this without missing musicality. Bravo Team Warwick for one of the best 15 minutes of listening my ears have experienced.

Ferrum Stack with Meze Empy 2 : For those who have heard the Hypsos/Oor you know already that it is a serious piece of kit. The addition of the Wandla was just awesome. There is absolutely no etch, no ESS glare and as a collective whole you will be hard pressed for $6000 to find a better stack. It sounds that great!

ZMF: I would be remiss to not mention my friends in the ZMF room showing off their wares. Having reviewed everything on the table but the bokeh and the new JPS collab amp, I was just happy to see old friends and have them show me around. I did get to hear the MayKTE stock with Bliss hooked to a Caldera which was fantastic. And I got to finally hear the Envy. Which I also loved, but if I am being honest I like my Aficionado more. Customer service was second to none as always, and there is always someone there to help, answer questions or just sit down and visit. Thank you for welcoming me and for allowing me to hear your products. My favorite thing in the ZMF room was Keenan's Aegis hooked to a Cambridge DAC/Streamer with my favorite ZMF the Atrium Open. That was a special listen, and I can see what all the fuss is about. That amp throws a sound stage that is magical while never being out of balance with the low end or treble. This was a definite highlight of the show.

Mass Kobo 433 w/ Chord Qutest: For a supposedly underpowered solid state amp, the combo of 433 and Qutest was special. That amp is coming at you from all angles, with a sturdy foundation and a articulate midrange allowing for soloing instruments to take flight and to enter your space whichever way they want and whichever way they are being played. For $2500 that might be one of the best deals on the planet.

I did hear the CFA3 with the Tungsten double sided magnets which sounded great. But, I must admit that I would take my own CFA3 with my Code X any day of the week. The CFA3 sounds similar to mine, but not quite the same. Which I attribute to mine having an eternal power supply. Nonetheless, I think when they are able to get them into production you will have a lot of happy customers.

One last shout out to the Dunu table who was incredibly accommodating, and I think I will buy an SA6 MK2. I loved the way it sounded, the way it fit and felt it would be a great addition in that price range to my portable offerings.

I will write more later. But for now, this is a good intro into my weekend. The team at Bloom were great, as was the team at Mimic. In fact everyone was great to meet and talk audio with. The only think I was really hoping to like but didn't was the MicroZOTL Electro Stat with the Carbon. I was underwhelmed to say the least. It sounded thin, bass light and not my preferences.

I was bummed to not see some other vendors. JH audio, Headamp, Hifiman, among others. I wanted to hear the Prelude. Another time, I guess... More tomorrow with a full review, although this is pretty complete.

Nov 13, 2023 at 3:09 AM Post #75 of 275
hi friends, anyone happen to have a link for the 64 audio discount from the show? i signed up for the raffle and it said an email would be sent with the discount. i was looking for the email because i was going to buy a u4s, but i can’t find an email. any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated!

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