CanJam London 2022 Impressions Thread (July 30-31, 2022)
Aug 1, 2022 at 5:09 PM Post #196 of 343

Deferenz

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I thought I would rank the IEMs I listened to at Canjam on Saturday from my most to least favourite. This is based solely on my own enjoyment of each one and is not intended to be a ‘what’s best’ type of list.

Kr5
Elysian X
U12t
Supermoon
Storm
Xe6
EXT
U18s
Sultan
Kublai Khan
Forte
Thummim
Thieaudio Divinity
Nio
Elysian / EA project
Jomo GT600


There was so many more IEMs I wanted to try but I just didn’t have enough time in the day. Next year I think I will book to go to Canjam for the two days it’s on rather than just one.
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 5:12 PM Post #197 of 343

ThanatosVI

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Huge price difference between the two plus the weight may be a factor for many including myself. We are talking 490 Gr + for the ZMF, were 109 was very light, sorry I don't know the exact weight.
Pretty sure the weight would be no problem.
Yes the price difference is quite noteable, but the 109 has been mentioned as star of the show(s) quite often in the last few months, which might mean that it punches somewhat above its pricetag.

Nonetheless I expect the Atrium to ourperform it, but some comparisons in tonality, bass impact and quantity, mids, treble, soundstage etc would be of interest.
Obviously Show setups, but If one is a lot warmer thsn the other for instance it should still show
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 5:25 PM Post #198 of 343

Kentajalli

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Can I get a few impressions of the audeze mm-500 please
At Audeze stand I listened to LCD XC, LCD 2 and the MM500.
I was new to Audeze, never seen one up-close let alone heard one.
I used my own Hugo2 to drive the headphones, which Hugo2 (500mW) had no problem driving them. Audeze had a Burson Conductor 3 Reference on the table, which frankly did not sound as good as Hugo2 with LCD XC.
The MM500 sounded very midrange-centric to me. Like a upside down u-shaped sound! don't get me wrong, it sounded very good indeed, the midrange was very full bodied and well resolving. I liked the MM500's better than LCD2 infact.
But for me the XC was the king at Audeze. The speed and authority of it and complete lack of distortion as I pushed the volume up.
What really sold the XC, was its poise and power on Anne Akiko Meyers rendition of Four Seasons - Summer (24/96).
No two notes got mixed up, nothing got masked, everything came through effortlessly.
In contrast, the MM500 not having the same bass nor crispness, it sounded a little flatter, even midrange was not as clear, at higher volumes things got smeared up a bit - but only compared to XC!
MM500 costs more than the XC - so for me the choice is clear.
I am saving up for one ( @ £1250 basic).
 
Last edited:
Aug 1, 2022 at 5:54 PM Post #199 of 343
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Back home now and had time to compose some thoughts. I don't want to bore everyone with a wall of text so will keep it to the highlights:

1) Debut to e-stats and going all in
Some of you may know that I write for TechPowerUp in the Headphones and Audio categories, among other things, for the last year or so. I've been a predominantly dynamic driver over-ear headphones guy most of my life before trying out IEMs and planar headphones of various types, and have been lucky to experience some of the very best in the planar world today that better matched my music preferences too. But there still was a question remaining about whether electrostatic headphones would be my true end game (if there is one), and I was even offered a few different e-stats to try out and review. I went in to CanJam aiming to get my first e-stat experience after having already talked a bit with Audeze, Hifiman, and a couple of other headphone and amp makers, and that led to this:

20220729_233950.jpg
20220729_233958.jpg
20220729_234019.jpg
20220729_235025.jpg
20220729_234152.jpg

20220730_102044.jpg
20220730_102310.jpg
20220730_103140.jpg

After numerous hours with three Audeze CRBNs, the Stax SR-X9000 (and bonus Lambda Pro), twoHifiman Shangri-La Srs and a Jade II, as well as sources including the Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition, the Eksonic Aeras, the Stax SRM-700S, and the Hifiman Shangri-La Sr. amp, I made a decision and got in touch with Headamp. Thanks to both @Makiah S and @justin w. I went back home with that very BHSE above and then Hifiman loaned me the available Shangri-La Sr. headphones to take with it. This will be a fun weekend coming up, and now I am prepped for e-stat headphone reviews too!

2) Get exposure to more high end gear
Given my relatively recent entry to the >$500 world of headphones (outside of the Sennheiser HD820 I bought and sold quickly), I wanted to listen to more of the higher end stuff that these shows are really useful for. This included headphones from the likes of Abyss, Dan Clark Audio, Focal, Meze, and Spirit Torino in addition to sources from Chord, dCS, Caying, Zahl, and many more. There were also true flagship IEMs from Noble, Vision Ears, 64 Audio, JH Audio, MMR/Jomo Audio, and a few one-off units from brands including Elysian Acoustic Labs and Subtonic in addition to those I've already heard, and this was a lot of fun too. I wanted to see more participation from vendors and more suites too, although DCS came in handy here. Some of my pre-conceptions were thrown away after this weekend, including how well planars can sound off full tube amplifiers too! The Hifiman Susvara off the Feliks Audio Envy in particular was a combination I will keep thinking about, and this is coming from the guy who ran his Susvara demo unit off the Hifiman EF1000 for months too. In general I also felt more likely to pony up the cash for expensive headphones and desktop sources rather than expensive IEMs and DAPs given how quickly the portable market is evolving and a sense of FOMO/feature of the month attached to it.

20220729_230448.jpg
20220729_232109.jpg
20220730_170854.jpg
20220731_112345.jpg


3) Meet people and get to know others
Arguably the most important thing achieved whereby I had faces now to associate with names and email addresses, and also was able to meet many others who partake in this hobby. Some are extremely charismatic (Danny from RAAL-requisite and Mark from HiFiMAN come to mind immediately) whereas others didn't let language barriers get in the way of nerding out on driver composition in headphones/IEMs and electrical circuitry in sources. Likewise, the Head-Fi crew did a great job I thought and chatting to them also provided insight on how guys with years/decades of experience still relate to their guilty pleasures despite having access to basically everything. @jude in particular is way more chill in person than I thought he would be too, and I'll have to look for that Asha Bhosle recording of Ave Maria because of you!

4) Some other things that left a lasting impression
In no particular order:
  • HiFiMAN for introducing a new closed-back that sounds remarkably similar to its open-back twin
  • Campfire Audio Supermoon for a slammy balance
  • Audeze for making a unique e-stat set using headphones drivers very special to me
  • Meze 109 Pro for arguably being the best new <$1k set in a while
  • Elysian Acoustic X for showing me what Sonion EST IEM drivers are capable of
  • Subtonic Storm for actually justfying the hype being built around it
  • Elise Audio for being a bunch of music lovers who decided to start a shop to share their love with others
  • Focal Utopia for showing how dynamic drivers can still hang around, if not best the rest
  • InEar Prophile-8 for providing a musical touch without breaking the bank too much
  • Jomo Audio Prototype F for its unique haptics drivers and provided tactility
  • Spirit Torino Twin Pulse and Valkyria Titanium w/binaural choir recordings for an ethereal experience
  • xMEMs proof-of-concept drivers for keeping the nerd in me happy
  • Cayin HA-300MK2 for showing me how tubes are supposed to really sound
  • Zahl HM1 for getting added to my wishlist of parts for easy A/B testing of various things
  • RAAL-requisite SR1b + different pad openings on the RAAL CA-1a for showing me perhaps e-stats aren't the end game either
  • LETSHUOER Conductor for its wacky tuning most people hated and yet many absolutely love
  • Noble Audio for the honest discussions on how smaller brands in the West have to change their working philosophy when competing against ChiFi
  • dCS Audio for creating a pretty cool DAC with interesting filters and crossfeed tech that I'd like to see implemented in more accessible sources
Some random photos to end this post, including the first few from the night before CanJam London even began:

20220729_211532~2.jpg
20220729_223707.jpg
20220729_224737.jpg
20220729_233454.jpg

20220729_234220.jpg
20220730_103850.jpg
20220730_133421.jpg

20220730_135458.jpg
20220730_141101.jpg
20220730_141938.jpg

20220730_145432.jpg
20220731_112545.jpg
DSC09984.jpg


Whoops I hit my 25 images/post limit so these will have to do!
 
Last edited:
Aug 1, 2022 at 7:18 PM Post #201 of 343

HiFiHawaii808

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Back home now and had time to compose some thoughts. I don't want to bore everyone with a wall of text so will keep it to the highlights:

1) Debut to e-stats and going all in
Some of you may know that I write for TechPowerUp in the Headphones and Audio categories, among other things, for the last year or so. I've been a predominantly dynamic driver over-ear headphones guy most of my life before trying out IEMs and planar headphones of various types, and have been lucky to experience some of the very best in the planar world today that better matched my music preferences too. But there still was a question remaining about whether electrostatic headphones would be my true end game (if there is one), and I was even offered a few different e-stats to try out and review. I went in to CanJam aiming to get my first e-stat experience after having already talked a bit with Audeze, Hifiman, and a couple of other headphone and amp makers, and that led to this:

20220729_233950.jpg 20220729_233958.jpg 20220729_234019.jpg 20220729_235025.jpg 20220729_234152.jpg
20220730_102044.jpg 20220730_102310.jpg 20220730_103140.jpg
After numerous hours with three Audeze CRBNs, the Stax SR-X9000 (and bonus Lambda Pro), twoHifiman Shangri-La Srs and a Jade II, as well as sources including the Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition, the Eksonic T2, the Stax SRM-700S, and the Hifiman Shangri-La Sr. amp, I made a decision and got in touch with Headamp. Thanks to both @Makiah S and @justin w. I went back home with that very BHSE above and then Hifiman loaned me the available Shangri-La Sr. headphones to take with it. This will be a fun weekend coming up, and now I am prepped for e-stat headphone reviews too!

2) Get exposure to more high end gear
Given my relatively recent entry to the >$500 world of headphones (outside of the Sennheiser HD820 I bought and sold quickly), I wanted to listen to more of the higher end stuff that these shows are really useful for. This included headphones from the likes of Abyss, Dan Clark Audio, Focal, Meze, and Spirit Torino in addition to sources from Chord, dCS, Caying, Zahl, and many more. There were also true flagship IEMs from Noble, Vision Ears, 64 Audio, JH Audio, MMR/Jomo Audio, and a few one-off units from brands including Elysian Acoustic Labs and Subtonic in addition to those I've already heard, and this was a lot of fun too. I wanted to see more participation from vendors and more suites too, although DCS came in handy here. Some of my pre-conceptions were thrown away after this weekend, including how well planars can sound off full tube amplifiers too! The Hifiman Susvara off the Feliks Audio Envy in particular was a combination I will keep thinking about, and this is coming from the guy who ran his Susvara demo unit off the Hifiman EF1000 for months too. In general I also felt more likely to pony up the cash for expensive headphones and desktop sources rather than expensive IEMs and DAPs given how quickly the portable market is evolving and a sense of FOMO/feature of the month attached to it.

20220729_230448.jpg 20220729_232109.jpg 20220730_170854.jpg 20220731_112345.jpg

3) Meet people and get to know others
Arguably the most important thing achieved whereby I had faces now to associate with names and email addresses, and also was able to meet many others who partake in this hobby. Some are extremely charismatic (Danny from RAAL-requisite and Mark from HiFiMAN come to mind immediately) whereas others didn't let language barriers get in the way of nerding out on driver composition in headphones/IEMs and electrical circuitry in sources. Likewise, the Head-Fi crew did a great job I thought and chatting to them also provided insight on how guys with years/decades of experience still relate to their guilty pleasures despite having access to basically everything. @jude in particular is way more chill in person than I thought he would be too, and I'll have to look for that Asha Bhosle recording of Ave Maria because of you!

4) Some other things that left a lasting impression
In no particular order:
  • Campfire Audio Supermoon for a slammy balance
  • Meze 109 Pro for arguably being the best new <$1k set in a while
  • Elysian Acoustic X for showing me what Sonion ESTs IEM drivers are capable of
  • Subtonic Storm for actually justfying the hype being built around it
  • Focal Utopia for showing how how dynamic drivers can still hang around, if not best the rest
  • InEar Prophile-8 for providing a musical touch without breaking the bank too much
  • Jomo Audio Prototype F for its unique haptics drivers and provided tactility
  • Spirit Torino Twin Pulse and Valkyria Titanium w/binaural choir recordings for an ethereal experience
  • xMEMs proof-of-concept drivers for keeping the nerd in me happy
  • Cayin HA-300MK2 for showing me how tubes are supposed to really sound
  • Zahl HM1 for getting added to my wishlist of parts for easy A/B testing of various things
  • RAAL-requisite SR1b + different pad openings on the RALL CA-1a for showing me perhaps e-stats aren't the end game either
  • LETSHUOER Conductor for its wacky tuning most people hated and yet many absolutely love
  • Noble Audio for the honest discussions on how smaller brands in the West have to change their working philosophy when competing against ChiFi
  • dCS Audio for creating a pretty cool DAC with interesting filters and crossfeed tech that I'd like to see implemented in more accessible sources
Some random photos to end this post, including the first few from the night before CanJam London even began:

20220729_211532~2.jpg 20220729_223707.jpg 20220729_224737.jpg 20220729_233454.jpg
20220729_234220.jpg 20220730_103850.jpg 20220730_133421.jpg
20220730_135458.jpg 20220730_141101.jpg 20220730_141938.jpg
20220730_145432.jpg 20220731_112545.jpg DSC09984.jpg

Whoops I hit my 25 images/post limit so these will have to do!

Nice review. Now we know which post is going to make the front page. Well done.
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 7:22 PM Post #202 of 343

wazzupi

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Back home now and had time to compose some thoughts. I don't want to bore everyone with a wall of text so will keep it to the highlights:

1) Debut to e-stats and going all in
Some of you may know that I write for TechPowerUp in the Headphones and Audio categories, among other things, for the last year or so. I've been a predominantly dynamic driver over-ear headphones guy most of my life before trying out IEMs and planar headphones of various types, and have been lucky to experience some of the very best in the planar world today that better matched my music preferences too. But there still was a question remaining about whether electrostatic headphones would be my true end game (if there is one), and I was even offered a few different e-stats to try out and review. I went in to CanJam aiming to get my first e-stat experience after having already talked a bit with Audeze, Hifiman, and a couple of other headphone and amp makers, and that led to this:



After numerous hours with three Audeze CRBNs, the Stax SR-X9000 (and bonus Lambda Pro), twoHifiman Shangri-La Srs and a Jade II, as well as sources including the Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition, the Eksonic T2, the Stax SRM-700S, and the Hifiman Shangri-La Sr. amp, I made a decision and got in touch with Headamp. Thanks to both @Makiah S and @justin w. I went back home with that very BHSE above and then Hifiman loaned me the available Shangri-La Sr. headphones to take with it. This will be a fun weekend coming up, and now I am prepped for e-stat headphone reviews too!

2) Get exposure to more high end gear
Given my relatively recent entry to the >$500 world of headphones (outside of the Sennheiser HD820 I bought and sold quickly), I wanted to listen to more of the higher end stuff that these shows are really useful for. This included headphones from the likes of Abyss, Dan Clark Audio, Focal, Meze, and Spirit Torino in addition to sources from Chord, dCS, Caying, Zahl, and many more. There were also true flagship IEMs from Noble, Vision Ears, 64 Audio, JH Audio, MMR/Jomo Audio, and a few one-off units from brands including Elysian Acoustic Labs and Subtonic in addition to those I've already heard, and this was a lot of fun too. I wanted to see more participation from vendors and more suites too, although DCS came in handy here. Some of my pre-conceptions were thrown away after this weekend, including how well planars can sound off full tube amplifiers too! The Hifiman Susvara off the Feliks Audio Envy in particular was a combination I will keep thinking about, and this is coming from the guy who ran his Susvara demo unit off the Hifiman EF1000 for months too. In general I also felt more likely to pony up the cash for expensive headphones and desktop sources rather than expensive IEMs and DAPs given how quickly the portable market is evolving and a sense of FOMO/feature of the month attached to it.



3) Meet people and get to know others
Arguably the most important thing achieved whereby I had faces now to associate with names and email addresses, and also was able to meet many others who partake in this hobby. Some are extremely charismatic (Danny from RAAL-requisite and Mark from HiFiMAN come to mind immediately) whereas others didn't let language barriers get in the way of nerding out on driver composition in headphones/IEMs and electrical circuitry in sources. Likewise, the Head-Fi crew did a great job I thought and chatting to them also provided insight on how guys with years/decades of experience still relate to their guilty pleasures despite having access to basically everything. @jude in particular is way more chill in person than I thought he would be too, and I'll have to look for that Asha Bhosle recording of Ave Maria because of you!

4) Some other things that left a lasting impression
In no particular order:
  • Campfire Audio Supermoon for a slammy balance
  • Meze 109 Pro for arguably being the best new <$1k set in a while
  • Elysian Acoustic X for showing me what Sonion ESTs IEM drivers are capable of
  • Subtonic Storm for actually justfying the hype being built around it
  • Focal Utopia for showing how how dynamic drivers can still hang around, if not best the rest
  • InEar Prophile-8 for providing a musical touch without breaking the bank too much
  • Jomo Audio Prototype F for its unique haptics drivers and provided tactility
  • Spirit Torino Twin Pulse and Valkyria Titanium w/binaural choir recordings for an ethereal experience
  • xMEMs proof-of-concept drivers for keeping the nerd in me happy
  • Cayin HA-300MK2 for showing me how tubes are supposed to really sound
  • Zahl HM1 for getting added to my wishlist of parts for easy A/B testing of various things
  • RAAL-requisite SR1b + different pad openings on the RALL CA-1a for showing me perhaps e-stats aren't the end game either
  • LETSHUOER Conductor for its wacky tuning most people hated and yet many absolutely love
  • Noble Audio for the honest discussions on how smaller brands in the West have to change their working philosophy when competing against ChiFi
  • dCS Audio for creating a pretty cool DAC with interesting filters and crossfeed tech that I'd like to see implemented in more accessible sources
Some random photos to end this post, including the first few from the night before CanJam London even began:






Whoops I hit my 25 images/post limit so these will have to do!
Those pictures looked like No one was there or you shoo’d everyone out of the way hehe

Great review ! I agree front page nominee
 
Aug 1, 2022 at 11:13 PM Post #203 of 343
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Sure, that was the first thing I tried out after CanJam officially started and was chatting with the Audeze team about it and the CRBN. I understand why Audeze isn't yet sampling these around to reviewers who cater to our crowd, it's the headphone equivalent of a neutral Etymotic set but with less pinna gain from my listening. There's not much elevation going on and it got darker quicker than my LCD-5 from recent memories, but was quite close in resolution and also took EQ like a champ when paired with the Weiss 502 DAC they had. Monitors first, audiophile listening maybe after tuning to your preferences. LCD-X is what I'd recommend to most people here, although the MM-500 is a good first entry to a new lineup for a new market that I understand will have more entries coming up sooner than later.


@vsg28, it appears that tales of your adventures have regaled others far and wide.

a_guy_in_headif.png


By the powers vested in me, I hereby dub thee Sir Guy in Head-Fi.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 12:38 AM Post #204 of 343

Sunstealer

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There was so many more IEMs I wanted to try but I just didn’t have enough time in the day. Next year I think I will book to go to Canjam for the two days it’s on rather than just one.
I was looking out for you on Sunday but figured you'd only come for one day. With the volunteer stint aside on Sunday, I only heard another handful but I'm glad I went back to 64Audio and Elise Audio for repeat listens. I listened to all of Jomo Audio but only liked the GT600. The flagship was...OK but again I think my ears were done at this point.

Next year I can leave certain models from the various manufacturers alone and concentrate on my favourites. I didn't do any research beforehand (could argue for or against that) but perhaps that reduced my bias towards driver types/counts? I know I don't want an all-BA setup but I did like a couple of sets.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 3:39 AM Post #206 of 343

ShadowHolder

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Loved it yet will there be videos? These seminars are so informative!
+2 I only managed to attend Headphones 101 and would love to hear some of the others, especially the ones on hearing simulation and these new silicon µSpeakers

At least at headphones 101 the seminar was being recorded on an iPhone so there is hope they will be published.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 5:47 AM Post #207 of 343

Knee Deep In Epoxy

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xMEMS was also a huge highlight of the show for me. Absolutely astounding. Etymotics are my personal reference sound (I'm a 4SR person) and the xMEMS demo unit did not suffer in comparison. And the xMEMs bass had noticeably more authority – when the drums came in on the Hell Freezes Over version of Hotel California, it was truly eye-opening.

All of this, mind, from a hand-assembed demo unit in a basic 3D-printed shell, with a pretty nondescript USB driver electronics package (because the xMEMS drivers require different excitation than standard analog drivers do). But it still amazed me. I'm very eager to hear what these will do once more established earphone makers start using them.

My other top hit was Etymotic where I listened to both Evo and to an upcoming prototype quad-driver. Evo is great. I had been skeptical of Evo since it was said to hew more to the 4XR sound than the 4SR, and the XRs are just not my thing. But Evo surprised me by sounding, to my ears, mostly like a just better and cleaner 4SR with just a little bit of warmth and richness lift. A little comparable to 3SR, actually, but better, more open-sounding, cleaner.

...and then I heard the prototype quad-driver, in a very similar shell design. This was absolute magic.

I remember the feeling when I first tried Etys, that goosebump feeling of at last I can hear what it really sounds like. That was quite a few years ago and I've been an Ety-centric listener ever since. And friends, let me tell you: coming to the new prototype quad-driver Ety gave me that same goosebump, coming-home-at-last feeling all over again. It is that much of an upgrade. I am very, very eager for these.

At both booths I said the same thing: When can I get some?

So: my wallet isn't lighter, because both the things I really loved and coveted are just prototypes right now. But it will be.
Was that the one that was 3D printed with a half-white shell and stem?

I saw it but didn't realise it was quad BA. We talked more about the short stem and how that improves fit and isolation... As well as the thicker cable.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 6:30 AM Post #208 of 343

tiagopinto

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Well that was fun.

I took along my iBasso DX300 DAP with a modded amp12 and Andromeda 2020 as the baseline.

I had a couple of questions I wanted answers to
- what would it take to get better sound overall
- is there any point getting full sized headphones if I have good IEMs (as has previously been pointed out, IEMs give you more versatility of use than headphones)

I don't have means to describe in detail the sound impressions. This is an entirely subjective review.

While waiting to try the Thie Audio Monarch mk2 I tried the V16 Divinity which I've seen get some plaudits, particularly for the bass. It's true they have a lot of bass, but I found the bass overwhelming and the overall sound was unbalanced.

Then it was the Monarch Mk2 which I have to say are outstanding value. They are well balanced with more bass than my Andro2020s. I would recommend the Monarchs and had I known of them at the time would have bought them in preference to the Andros for less money.

I also tried the Symphonium Helios which sounded quite similar to the Monarchs for more money.

Then it was on to 64 Audio and the u12t. It was immediately clear that they are a distinct upgrade from the Andros and the Monarchs. Everything (IMHO) was better, smoother, and the bass was really strong. Slightly too strong even, but I put my name down to get the show 20% discount. They'll be in touch during the week to sort it out. It made me feel that the Andromedas are a bit harsh, which I'd never of dreamed of calling them before. It's just that the u12t were so good, it had that effect.

Before I left I tried out the u18t. All the reviews of that compared with the u12t preferred the 12 - but I like the u18t better, which put the cat among the pigeons, as they are about £1k more expensive. They retained all the plus points of the u12t whilst sorting out that over-strong bass, giving more emphasis to mids and uppers. I decided though that I couldn't justify the extra cash and would either get used to the extra bass or EQ it down.

I tried a couple of the Jerry Harvey IEMs. It's not a brand I'm familiar with. First I tried the Layla, on which I liked the bass but overall found it way too bright, and I thought I'd find it fatiguing over time. Then I tried the Sharona which swung the other way. Still good bass but lacking in mids and upper.

Late on I was tired and thinking of leaving, but thought I should make the most of it. I tried the Vision Ears VE8. This gave me another problem as I really liked them and they were cheaper (again at show price) than the u12t. I went back to 64Audio for another quick listen which did confirm me on the u12t, but if I'd needed to save that difference in price I wouldn't have complained at getting the VE8.

I did try one DAP while there - the Astell and Kern SP200T, which is twice the price of my iBasso. I took a micro SD card with my comparison tunes on so I was able to make a fair comparison. The SP has a built-in tube (or valve, as us Brits call them), and is switchable between solid state, tube, or hybrid. I couldn't hear much difference between the amp settings (although I didn't spend much time on it), and critically also no noticeable difference between that player and the iBasso (which has now been replaced by the DX320).

Whilst on the A&K stand I also tried out a Focal Celestee headphone. I didn't like it. It sounded cheap and harsh compared to the Andromeda 2020.

Elsewhere I also tried the HiFIMan Arya headphone, and was impressed. I don't want one though. It was about 2/3 the price of the u12t, and in the noisy hall of the show I was getting background noise that you don't get with an IEM. As they're not closed back they also project sound. They'd be great if you only want to listen in a relatively quiet place and have no-one else to annoy. But it did let me know that with the quality I get even from the Andromedas I'm not missing out on anything special by not having some headphones of a similar price range.

I had a quick try of the HE RE-9 which is closed back, but I didn't like that at all. Quite a step down. I also briefly tried the Susvara which I thought was excellent if you have the money, but I'm not sure it's 5x or 6x better than the Arya if you're making price trade-offs. The iBasso could drive the Susvara to a fair level, but not loud, so I also listened on the amp on the stand.

I've been much engaged by the debate on cables so thought I'd give some a try. First it was the Eletech Prudence which cost over £400. I couldn't hear a difference from my cheap Chinese Amazon-purchased 4.4 balanced cable. Then I tried a Parnassus. I could hear a difference although it wasn't huge. More prominent bass and treble, but I wondered whether I could achieve something similar with EQ, and it wasn't £2k better.

Overall the show seemed well organised although some stands were missing. There was hardly any queuing if you went away and came back - I'd expected more, so that was a bonus. We got a glossy program on arrival - it would have been really useful if this could have been published on the website in advance. There's very sparse information on the site about what's going to be available, and that horizontal scrolling carousel of the exhibitors is a UX nonsense.

The people on the stands were all really helpful. I was a little surprised though that they often didn't know much about their direct competitors.

Now I'm just waiting to be able to get the u12t. So looking forward to it. I might also get a pair of Sony XM5 just for when I do need some noise cancelling, although B&W are bringing out a pair of wired/wireless NC headphones in the autumn, so I'll probably wait on those. Mark Levinson have a pair out and the SQ is better than the Sonys but the NC isn't as good.

There's no end to this, is there?

No, there isn’t.

Nice report. I felt like part of me was there. That’s how big the wish that I was.

Though I don't know what his exact plans are, I do know that he'll be in SoCal for CanJam, and that he's a Star Wars fan... so maybe you can entice @Rob Watts (Chord) to join you? 😂

EDIT: I should also mention that, in an effort to limit attendance, Disneyland now requires that park reservations be made ahead of time. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/experience-updates/park-reservations/

Now, this is sounding more and more dreamlike... return to the US, go to CA (visit friends I have there), go to CanJam SoCal, visit Star Wars show (with Rob Watts and Head-Fi folk)... I’m having hotflashes.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 7:01 AM Post #209 of 343

Derivative

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What did people think of the dCS Lina stack? They have invested heavily in marketing this new line.
I heard it using Abyss 1266 and Susvara - but it was very difficult for me to determine what was the headphone and what was the stack, as it was my first time hearing either headphone. Would love to hear from more seasoned enthusiasts their opinion on the Lina.
 
Aug 2, 2022 at 7:48 AM Post #210 of 343

johnnym

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What did people think of the dCS Lina stack? They have invested heavily in marketing this new line.
I heard it using Abyss 1266 and Susvara - but it was very difficult for me to determine what was the headphone and what was the stack, as it was my first time hearing either headphone. Would love to hear from more seasoned enthusiasts their opinion on the Lina.
I listened on my own headphones. I wasn’t blown away like I was with the Dave/MScaler. Maybe I need better headphones (than my HD800S), but couldn’t find something that made me think it worth £18000 more than my current stack.
I was surprised that the clock changed the sound so much though. I wasn’t sure it would do anything.
 

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