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CanJam London 2019 Impressions thread

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  1. CANiSLAYu
    Congrats on the upcoming new addition! I have a 16 month old, and from my personal experience I hardly get to use full-size gear anymore. Your time is gonna be monopolized by your little one! So I have been slowly transitioning to the portable side and I'm actually in the middle of debating about getting out of desktop gear altogether. I only really get to listen during work, when traveling or at night before bed. For all of those use cases IEMs are more convenient/practical.

    For you, while the baby is really little and waking up throughout the day/night, listening to music is also impractical because you need to be able to hear him/her cry and spending time in general anyways. So yes, save your money for now and then when little one has a regular sleep cycle you can jump back in (assuming there's anything left after diapers & formula) :p
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    Colors, RCBinTN, MXRaia and 6 others like this.
  2. m17xr2b
    Thank you Head-Fi for organising this CanJam, I've been to all the London ones but this has been my favourite so far.

    My main reason for going was to check out Raal and MySphere with the other flagships.

    SR-009/Woo 3ES

    One of the best combos at the show. I've never heard the 009 sound so full with neutral to warm tonality. Every time I heard stax it was very detail and light sounding with moderate bass roll off. Not so in this case, plenty of richness yes surprisingly punchy with the traditional stax detail tho not to the level of detail of the BHSE but I'd happily take the 3ES over it. The stock tubes surely hold it back a bit. Somewhat similar to the Hifiman electrostatic setup but without the flaws.

    Abyss TC/WA33

    I've owned the Abyss twice and the TC is an upgrade for sure. I was impressed by the jump in quality from the original to the Phi but it sacrificed the crazy low end of the first series. With the TC you have the same sort of low end with even better details than the Phi. There was quite a bit of sharpness I will blame the WA33 for.

    The amp itself is very capable but the stock tubes is holding it back massively. I've listened to the base Psvane 2A3 on my own amp the DNA Stellaris and it's by far the worst 2A3 you can get. I understand their reasoning behind demoing it this way but you should not thing for a moment that's how the amp sounds like. Upgrading will be expensive but at this price point it's a shame and a waste not to.


    To my disappointment 3.1 sounding nothing like I remembered it and the tubes on the WA33 and the topaz dac didn't do it any favours. Heinz gave me a pair to try overnight on my own setup and I'll be forever grateful to him.
    It's my opinion 3.1 need not only a specialised amplifier with the output impedance of 8-16 ohm but also a high quality one and the Stellaris is one of if not the best amps for it.
    Low end is punchy with a slight roll off. Basshead cans these are not and the low end was comparable with the SR1a on demo. The focus and control of the low end is hard to match but keep in mind on loud volume it does start to distort but I don't listen at that kind of volume anyway.
    Superbly neutral, the most neutral headphone I know that also sounds natural across the spectrum. Grain free and able to show the smallest nuances of any recording.
    Treble is present but not as airy as it can be. I prefer the thinner pads that let the headphone breath easier, soundstage increases and while resolution doesn't increase the additional air makes it feel like it.

    Imagine if you could have a bluetooth MySphere...

    I only auditioned 3.2 with the gear Woo had available and while not as neutral or suberbly detailed as the 3.1 you get the best midrange anywhere. Vocal tracks are unmatched. Low end is warmer and not as focused and doesn't sound as airy as 3.1 but with those mids who cares. I'm still undecided which to pick if I could only have one, a question I still have to answer.

    Thanks to the guys at Woo for answering my technical questions about the amps.

    Impressive sound and especially how spacious the low end sounded like, the DCS seemed more than capable to bring the best out of the Ethers but not the Abyss, dynamics were not as they could be but still impressive.
    With the setup I've written off the TC, it's not the sound but the constant fiddling to find the sweetspot that's the major downside. Other adjustable headphones like K1000,MySphere,Raal you can have a different presentation with various adjustments but the Abyss you either have the crazy bass or you don't.

    I'm still not convinced the amp section is capable enough to drive even sensitive headphones. The Empyrean sounded more coherent with the HPA4. I tried my HD650s and it's a far cry from what the headphones can do. Low end wasn't as deep as it can go, the same goes for soundstage. Not enough air between instruments.


    Thunderous low end, this will be the bass king of headphones for sure, the weight and body is simply unsurpassed while not bleeding into the mids. A little overbearing and might need less quantity.
    Midrange was weird, bit muddy with a not so pleasant tone. Treble was fantastic, one of the most natural representation of delicate cymbals I've heard, better than the SR1a for me.
    Didn't pay much attention to the soundstage as all my focus was on the low end. Wish I had more time with them.

    Very heavy but still comfortable due to the thick pads. Not an issue for me but for others it may be. You could heard the membrane moving while putting them on when the seal was made, not sure how good that will be for reliability. Audeze has some sort of venting holes in the pads to avoid this. Stax fart I believe it's called.

    I do wish they tone down the low end and trade quantity for even more quality, deep lows couldn't be heard but that might have been the hugo. The mid range needs to be fixed, it will be a mistake if they release it as is or close to as is.

    Very fast sounding but the muddiness in the mids somewhat overshadows it.

    This has only a few steps to the volume, like 10 max. Runs uber hot but sound good. Very good actually, TOTL for sure. There wasn't a proper source and I only had my WM1A to work with. Very rich and detailed, a bit dense but not overdone, controlled the crap out of my HD650 and made it sound word class within the limits of the dac.


    Fast, lush, plenty of detail, too warm for my tastes but impressive.

    The closed Verite looks like a work of art.

    Had a nice chat with two legends, the highlight at CanJam for me.

    Focal Stellia

    Very well done low end, plenty of punch and growl with a great sense of spaciousness for a closed headphone. It didn't sound closed just a smaller stage and rolled off detail compared to the Utopia. Couldn't fault it for what it is.

    Rupert Neve
    A disappointment, and I blame the use of USB for it. In my system if I use USB directly to the Pavane all the magic is gone and sounds only half as good. Hard to tell good it actually is. Looks great.

    As I remember it when I had it, very lush mid range to a fault, extremely deep low end with fullness but lacks focus. All the detail of a recording is there but due to the roll off it doesn't sparkle. It was a TOTL headphone in its time but not anymore.

    When I asked if they had the T1 I was told that's too oldschool. The DT1770 and DT1990 are good headphones, punchy, 7/10 detail but mid-fi, not the focus for me.

    Hifiman Electrostats

    A very expensive sounding setup, not neutral but fun. Similar low end to the 3ES/009, lively with great punch and extension but on the warm-ish side for the increased richness. Treble sounded enhanced somehow, fun to listen to at first but compared to a true reference it doesn't resolve detail as well. A perfect setup for the non audiophile who wants the best.

    Headamp GSX mini
    More than enough power to drive the Susvara buy maybe not to their full potential, warmer than the GSX MK2 with less treble emphasis. I prefer the original for something like the LCD-4 and this for an allround solid state amp.

    Raal SR1a

    I've must have had over an hour total over multiple sessions with the Raal setup. The headphones are great but Danny the CEO is a fantastic guy and always a pleasure to see the top man invested.

    The big question about bass, yes they are bass light but not impact light, a crucial difference. Massive Attack doesn't sound as it should nor did any other bass heavy track. Everything else was superb, impact, quantity and quality wise.
    Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is one of my default test tracks and I was 100% satisfied low. Rock was fantastic with Sabaton being a clear success with impact that could be heard and felt not just to satisfaction but impressive levels.

    Tilted towards bright sounding without exaggerating peaks or overemphasising treble for the sake of sounding detailed.
    Midrange has the biggest presence I've heard in voices, partially due to the sheer size of the soundstage and the tactility of textures. It does lack richness, it's not lean sounding in the slightest but doesn't present all the subtle nuances of a voice when they are partially opened as was my ideal position. Closing them so the ribbons are parallel to the ears I got some of the nuances back but bass tends to bleed and the whole bottom left side of the frequency becomes congested.

    Top end is detailed, very detailed, maybe the most. Unforgiving on bad recordings as expected, microdetail to Stax levels is so easily heard without sharpness, harshness and again richness.

    What does concern me, even if it doesn't sound sharp or bright overall is the fatigue I got after using it. Could be the glare from the Jot or the ribbons themselves, I don't know and until I'll audition one on better gear I won't be pulling the trigger.

    Also I wouldn't take it in this setup over my home one, it does most things to new levels but the lack of richness is kind of a dealbreaker and very hard to relax into. A laid back listen this is not.

    If I wasn't knee deep in SET with some interesting experimenting going on now I would have got one but I'll most likely wait for a V2 and see where HEDD ends up as that thing has potential.

    Looking forward to the next CanJam.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  3. davidcotton
    http://www.custom-inearmonitors.co.uk/ have Empire Ears listed for Customs at least. Maybe they could help out with getting you a universal?
  4. Yassa
    dude that does not help at all u scared the hell out me. Her mother agreed to help for the first 6 to 8 months :)
    so 2020 its dad and Noble Khan. Hopefully, damn formula and diapers
    CANiSLAYu likes this.
  5. Sunstealer
    Thank you. It won't hurt to ask. They also have ex-demo 64 Audio for sale....
  6. FullCircle

    We have more products on the way and one that will be released in a matter of weeks.

    As for your thoughts on a product shares the Khan DNA.

    Jim issued that challenge yesterday. Send a PM so I can keep you updated.

    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
    zach915m and HungryPanda like this.
  7. Giullian
    That got my attention...tell me more about that. :)
  8. Watagump

    Not a lot I have to tell. I gave it a short listen in Chicago. Its very small and sits very flush in the ears. As I said, its suppose to be in the sub $1000 level pricing but I don't want to say exactly what that will be since they may have changed their minds, lets just say even under $900. Should be launching in August some time.
    Giullian and Colors like this.
  9. Wildcatsare1
    Focal vs. ZMF, is like yin and yang, up and down, north against south, unes vs solid state some will be drawn to the bright, detailed Focal, others to organic, flowing, comfort, a zen battle of earth (ZMF) versus air (Focal)! Or I could have said it’s a matter of personal taste :wink:.
    SLC1966, Odin412, HungryPanda and 3 others like this.
  10. Wildcatsare1
    I take your not going to mention Interpol’s red alert and the pub incident?
  11. masterpfa
    headfi.org.PNG Having the Warwick Acoustics isolation Booth to myself

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  12. Vision Ears
    Thanks for stopping by and testing our In-Ears! I guess you mean the ERLKöNIG in this comment. Not to confuse anyone: The ERLKöNIG is the generic IEM with silver shells and the ELYSIUM the Tribryd CIEM.
    Vision Ears Stay updated on Vision Ears at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/visionears.de/ https://www.instagram.com/visionears https://vision-ears.de/ info@vision-ears.de
    Virtu Fortuna and HungryPanda like this.
  13. Jackpot77
    Hi guys - good spot. Spent so long working on the main impressions blog think I went a bit word-blind! Yes, you are right - will edit the original post now.
    Vision Ears likes this.
  14. Vision Ears
    I can relate to that. Better word-blind than deaf :call_me:
    Vision Ears Stay updated on Vision Ears at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/visionears.de/ https://www.instagram.com/visionears https://vision-ears.de/ info@vision-ears.de
    HungryPanda and Jackpot77 like this.
  15. Ra97oR
    Jomo Audio Tornado: Highlight of the show for me, what is it? It's the most consistent ear tip I have used. Good seal with wide bore and less likely to get pressure within your ears when trying to get a deep fit. Easily one of my favourite tip.

    Jomo Audio Trinity SS: The best implementation of the new Sonion E-stat IEM I have heard. Finally one sounds shimmery in the right place and well balanced but difficult to drive with low powered source.

    InEar SD5: I gave it more time this year, a very natural sounding IEM. Works well with a wide array of recordings unlike the PP8 that can be a bit too ruthless.

    64 Audio U18t: Best sounding IEM within their range, a warm neutral tuning with a great balance across the range.

    FiiO M11Pro: Great DAP with the build quality to rival AK competitions at a much lower price, output power on the low side if you are planning to drive full size.

    FiiO FH7: A well built, well balanced hybrid at a reasonable price point. Easily completes with more expensive offerings, amazing value in the current market.

    InEar SD5 Union Jack, JH Audio Sunburst: Joint prettiest IEM shell at the show.

    Benchmark HPA4: Extremely clean and quiet, drives pretty much everything. Including high sensitivity IEMs extremely well.

    Acostune range: Interesting design, very solid and coherent sounding IEMs throughout their model lineup. I would personally pick the cheapest one within the range as it is already very accomplished only separated by minute differences between the models.

    MySphere: Surprising amount of bass but still can't cope with all kind of music. Clipped on heavy EDM bass.

    RAAL: Truly surprisingly capable across the whole range, great dynamics even without any earcups. Did not clip on the same music the MySphere did but overall a bit too bright for me. Might sound smoother at a quieter venue.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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