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CanJam London 2016 Impressions Thread (August 13-14, 2016)

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  1. third_eye Moderator
    The CanJam Karting Grand Prix was super fun! Congrats to @jude and @moedawg140 for a very tight 1-2 finish!
  2. surfratt
    Someone get on the AR m20 and give impressions :)
  3. Ra97oR
    Finally beaten London traffic and back home now. Looking forward to tomorrow!
    ClassicalViola likes this.
  4. ClassicalViola
    Didn't do much listening yesterday, was volunteering the whole morning and socializing with old and new friends. Did manage to visit the Flare Audio booth to try their "Isolate" ear protectors and upcoming IEMs, the Sennheiser booth to try the HD800(s) and HD650/Groove combo and spent quite a lot of time at the IEM corner outside. Ended yesterday with an amazing listening experience on the Sennheiser HE1 with several other fellow volunteers. Will do more listening today! See you guys in about 2 hours. [​IMG]
    p/s: Still have some classical CDs that I unfortunately have to get rid of before leaving the country so if anyone's interested do look for me somewhere (I have a 1996 Philips portable CD player for you to listen to the CDs!). Thanks to those who took a few off me yesterday!
  5. krismusic Contributor
    One of the main things I am going to hear. Free bucket of salt with all impressions though!
  6. Duncan Moderator
    might well have a look, sorry, I know you did post in the other thread as to what you have, hopefully some Vivaldi lurking on there :)
    ClassicalViola likes this.
  7. frank2908
  8. Jobbing

    Did you manage to get a listen to the R2Pro or just the new ones. If you like you can have a listen to my pair. I remember seeing someone at the iem table with a portable cd player.....
  9. ClassicalViola

    Only their upcoming "Flare HDs". Sending you a PM to see when we can meet later today to listen to your R2Pro. And yeah, that might very well have been me with the portable CD player (come have a listen to that too!) Hehe...
  10. musicday
    Tralucent Audio don't go to CanJan out of Asia I've been told.
    I would have liked to listen to Plus5 myself.
  11. episiarch Contributor
    I had limited time on Saturday, and sadly probably won't make it back today (we developed a sick kid last night, sigh).  Some quick impressions of just a few things:
    Etymotic ER4 SR & ER4 XR
    I've been a huge ER-4 fan for literally 13+ years, and using ER-4S amped for 12+ of them.  The ER4 SR is just what I wanted from a new Ety: the same sound, but more so.  Even more clarity, even more realism, and surprisingly strong (yet to me "correct") bass presence and slam.  The SR is an absolute winner, and my next earphone purchase. 
    I am impressed by what's been done with the ER4 XR: I think it's the Ety that many people have been asking for for years: the ER-4 sound but with a bit of a bass boost.  That said, it is not for me.  (But I'm in the minority when it comes to bass preferences.)
    Listened to 16/44.1 tracks out of a Mojo.  Listening straight from an iPhone 5S I found the SR still more than acceptable, but IMO nobody should bother buying this earphone solely for unamped use.  It wants to be fed from a good DAP or DAC/amp.
    I also liked the suppleness and reduced microphonics of the SR & XR's new cable.
    Flare new earphone prototype
    This was great!  It took some work for me to get a good seal (it probably gets easier with practice).  But once properly inserted, it was superb.  Full-range sound, really clean, really clear.  Voices sounded amazing.  All emerging from blackness, by which I mean somehow the Flare seemed to suck away some of the "isolation is great but now I'm just hearing the sound of blood moving through my head" noise (that's not just me, right?) that I experience with other IEMs.
    I was talking with @ClassicalViola, who has the Flare from last year, and it sounds like this year's shares the same sonic character.  Versus Etymotic, I think those that like one will like the other, though the sonic presentations are somewhat different.
    I will be watching for the start of the Kickstarter for this.  (The prototype is sonically finished, but the gent at the booth told me they weren't satisfied with the cable attachment and were expecting a new fitting for that in the next week or so.)
    It really likes the Mojo.  Fed straight out of iPhone 5S, it was honestly a bit ordinary sounding and wouldn't have captured my attention.
    Ether C Flow
    Just, just, absolutely great sounding.  I can't compare it with Ether C, because that's a year-old memory (but from memory I thought it was great, great sounding too).  I guess I'd say this is exactly the closed headphone to get if you're an Etymotic lover.
    Superb out of a Mojo, BTW.
    Warwick electrostatic drivers / Sonoma Acoustics DAC/Amp
    This is the electrostatic technology that can be manufactured in quantity that you may have seen Tyll's write-up of earlier this year, built into a system from Sonoma Acoustics, who seem to be a gang of people with Sony R&D backgrounds.
    It sounded great!  Clean, detailed, full, from high to low (maybe not ultra-low) I felt the whole range was there, beautifully represented and in correct proportion.  They said it was "85% done," so if this is just 85%, I'm sold.
    ...well, I would be sold, but while pricing hasn't been decided yet, it sounds like it's not going to be down where very very good dynamics are.  I guess we'll see.
    But if you have a chance to hear it, do give it a listen, and give them your feedback while it's still only "85% done."
    Meze 99 Classics
    After all I've read about these I was expecting great things.  And they certainly are articulate, and have very good (and not overblown) bass presence and slam.  And the mids were good.  But to me the overall sound was slow and thick.  Not hugely so, but "Sennheiser veil" plus some.
    Meze lovers, help me out:  this wasn't what I was expecting (and I've gone back and reread reviews in case I'd remembered wrong).  Is this just how they sound (and perhaps I was projecting my hopes onto them a bit too much)?  Or was I listening on a pair that weren't broken in?  Or ... ?  (Listening via Mojo, so amplification wasn't a problem.)
    Brainwavz pads and headphone hangers
    I love the Brainwavz angled pads on my K550s.  (If you have a pair of K550s lying around that you never use because of difficulty getting a seal, or insufficient clamping force, get a pair of the angled pads, which really could fix those problems for you.)  Those are now being made in real lambskin as well, and the first of those should be showing up in the UK shortly.  They also have a nice line of headphone hangers in various configurations.
    Brainwavs also have a line of earphones including Bluetooth ones, but unfortunately I didn't get back to listen to those.
    Bendy Head headphone stands
    At the Headamp booth.  They really are bendy, and conform to your headphone band while your headphone band is conforming to it.  A really nice option if you have headphones you want to treat nicely.  http://www.bendyhead.com/
    Focal Listen
    Ending my impressions with this one, which I think may have been passed by by many.
    This is Focal's moderate-cost (they said £149) sealed headphone. (You'll have read plenty of other reviews of Elear and Utopia by now, right?)
    This is a perfect office headphone to recommend to your friends.  Maybe even yourself.  The sound was very nice and very full-range, but a little too thick to be a daily driver for me (again, Ety lover here, but I could almost like it).  Earpads feel like nice plastic leather surrounding comfy squishy memory foam.  Good isolation, very good comfort, with a thin and supple cable that gets out of your way.  It really feels like the perfect office headphone for someone who doesn't want to spend £200 or £300.  IMO a winner in its category.
    Also, thanks much to @ClassicalViola for the meetup and the chance to peruse/buy your CDs!  Looking forward to keeping in touch.
  12. musicday
    Been listening to both Ether C Flow and Ether Flow with the Cavalli Tungsten DAC in balanced mode at the CanJam London today..They both are very good sounding and have raised the bar really high for any headphone manufacturer.
    I like them both very much with the open model being slightly more airy with a bigger soundstage but the other is not far away , while being a very confident headphone in all the respect.
    The Ether C Flow doesn't not sound at all like a closed headphone.
    On the other hand the new related Focal Utopia is a very good headphone also in a good respect but cannot match the speed of the Ether Flow,open or closed.
    Also with the Utopia you notice that is on your head ( weight distribution ? ) But not so much with Mr.Speakers flagships that has a very well balanced weight ratio.
    Listening to Tidal i heard the fastest cymbal player in the world Toni Iordache that can hit the strings up to 25 times/sec and it was simply stunning how the headphone reproduced every single nuance of the cymbals, having a very detailed sound and natural.
    In other words if i were to choose one between the two i will choose Ether C Flow.
    Middy and gr8soundz like this.
  13. henriks
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  14. jude Administrator
    Tim, I'm sorry I missed you yesterday. I was up in the seminar / scheduled auditions area for most of yesterday (one floor up).
    I hope you'll be back today, as I'll be in the big room for most of today.
    Middy likes this.
  15. Jerseyboy
    Great event, well organised, and looking forward to 2017.
    Highlight, of course, was the HE1 audition. A great step forward but very surprised to see a Mac laptop being used as the source. Surely, an Aurender W20, or similar, would help the HE1 reach even greater heights....although to get that sound quality from a laptop is a great achievement all on its own... !!
    Fantastic to hear new technology in action, the Smyth Realiser A16 is going to be a must have - already supported its Kickstarter scheme....thank goodness for the rack mounted design version....!!
    Focal Utopia, great clean and detailed sound, fantastic dynamics but maybe a bit too "forward" for my taste and there may well be better 'phones out there for depth and soundstage, However, that could be due to the source equipment. Always difficult to tell with sources you are not familiar with....
    Quick mention of the Warwick Audio electrostatic prototype, great sound with true potential. At present it appears to be an "all or nothing" design so not interchangeable with other amps or electrostats, also not useable in current form with external DACs - hopefully that will change in the course of further development......
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