CanJam London 2022 Impressions Thread (July 30-31, 2022)
Aug 6, 2022 at 10:55 AM Post #271 of 343

Hanesu

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Campfire Trifecta: I am clearly not the intended market for this set - probably superb with some styles of music but not the ones I listen to - very full, textured bass with absolutely no slam at all - this might have been another source impedance/matching issue.
By that you mean that to your ears they had lots of sub bass but no mid bass?
 
Aug 6, 2022 at 12:36 PM Post #273 of 343
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By that you mean that to your ears they had lots of sub bass but no mid bass?
No need to guess, I measured it having borrowed a loaner during the show:

graph.png
 
Aug 6, 2022 at 1:22 PM Post #274 of 343

Hanesu

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No need to guess, I measured it having borrowed a loaner during the show:

Thanks! 😊 But, well, subjective impressions can differ from measurements, so I am interested in both! Interestingly enough some have stated in this thread they are bass cannons and others have not 😅
 
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Aug 6, 2022 at 2:09 PM Post #275 of 343

SteveK27

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Thanks! 😊 But, well, subjective impressions can differ from measurements, so I am interested in both! Interestingly enough some have stated in this thread they are bass cannons and others have not 😅
It seems that the majority of "negative" impressions that I've read used lower/mid tier sources (such as Fiio m11+), which probably did not provide enough amplitude to power up the trifecta properly.

Source compatibility is a very real thing and drastically changes how one perceives an iem through their source alone. I'd assume that the trifecta needs a good amp to do any justice. Judging by the frequency graph alone, they are not "bass-light" by any means.
 
Aug 6, 2022 at 2:13 PM Post #276 of 343

illumidata

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By that you mean that to your ears they had lots of sub bass but no mid bass?
More like not enough upper bass and some rolloff at the very bottom, it was hard to put my finger on but it contrasted strongly with everything else I heard that day, including Supermoon - even though it had less bass overall, kicks have more attack.

Edit: just seen the graph - that first big scoop would be the reason.
 
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Aug 6, 2022 at 4:57 PM Post #277 of 343

miT

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CanJam was great, it was missed for sure (3 years since the last London one).

A big thank you to Head Fi, all the sponsors and all the exhibitors.

I was there helping a buddy and could only make Sunday.

I actually spent most of my time speaking and interacting with people (audiophiles and manufacturers), I saw quite a few familiar faces.

I really needed 2 days to hear the gear and cans but I’ve heard most before anyway.

Elise Audio had a world exclusive demo of the Subtonic Storm, it was impressive for sure.

Fantastic resolution, great sub bass texture and definition, lovely decay too.

The Lampizator Horizon was an absolute beast of a DAC.

I quite liked the upcoming Meze 109 Pro and the Audeze MM-500 too.
If this is the Sayed I am thinking of, it was really good chatting with you too. Nice to speak with someone who also understood speaker systems.

I will organise a visit to see you as soon as I get some breathing space at work...
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 4:19 AM Post #278 of 343

technobear

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A bit late but a huge thank you to the organisers of CanJam London 2022. It was a very useful show.

While I’m handing out thanks, I’ll make a special shout out to dCS for supporting the show in such a major way. Not only a large number of identical and very high quality systems to listen to and in a somewhat quieter environment than the main hall, but also for bringing so many different headphones. This made it really easy to assess the performance of all those headphones. I can honestly say that without dCS my time at this show would have been much shorter and somewhat disappointing as hearing all these top tier headphones was exactly what I wanted to do.

Another big thank you goes to Dekoni Audio. On the Saturday I managed to lose a tip from one of my SoundMAGIC E80. The guys at Dekoni sorted me out with a pair of their memory foam Mercury tips. I didn’t realise until I got home and looked at their website, how much these tips cost. Service indeed! Thank you guys and I will be sure to buy more Dekoni tips as they work really well – better than the tip I lost! It would have been a very long ride back to Somerset without them.

I brought my own music source to the show in the form of the Plenue R2 with an optical cable. Most exhibitors were only too happy to let me plug it in. A big fat black mark to the guy at Hifonix for which the simple act of putting a plug into an already vacant socket was too difficult and he ‘wasn’t going to change any of the setups’. This same chap also said that the T1 was completely lacking in emotion. My opinion obviously differs on that! This doesn’t inspire me with any confidence in ever using Hifonix as a dealer.

So what did I think of all the headphones on offer? Most of them were planar magnetic and left me feeling the same way as my LCD-X does. I just don’t find them very musical or involving. Some were better than others but I wouldn’t take any of them over my T1.1. This included the LCD5, LCD4z, MM-500, RAD-0, Empyrean, Elite, Abyss 1266, Abyss Diana, Ether 2, all the HifiMAN range. I guess I just prefer dynamic headphones.

The T1 gen 3, was in the dCS room and I did enjoy those but only with certain genres. With anything already strong in the bass, they were just overpowering. I think they might make a great complement to my T1.1 but they are not an all rounder. The ClearMg and Utopia were wired to a Naim Unity Headphone Edition and didn’t quite hit the spot. The upper mids were a bit too present for me. This is an area of the spectrum I am very sensitive to. It has to be smooth and clean and not too loud. The Utopia was present in a couple of other systems but didn’t fare any better. Sadly I didn’t pack the Hugo2 as this might have told a different story. Note for next year!

That was about it for dynamic phones – OK the HD800 was there in various guises but I already know I don’t like them. I really wanted to hear a ZMF Verité but ZMF seemed to be entirely absent. Shame on them as they have a dealer in south-west London.

So with time to spare, I lighted upon the Raal|requisite table. I wasn’t expecting to like these. I had preconceptions from what others have written about the bass and about comfort and practicality. Tut tut! These were amazing. The only headphones at the show to make me cry. Twice! Oh my goodness. Such speed and so clean and so musical and just amazing. I really like these. The SR1a/b? with the valve amp was truly special – annoyingly as I really don’t want a room heater! I can’t justify that price for a winter-only amp. Even the solid state amp is more than I was thinking I might spend on a headphone amp. It is also a low powered speaker amp so if I still had high efficiency speakers then I might be able to make a case. My current speakers are only 90dB/W. These headphones (or should I say ear speakers?) have particular amp requirements. If I just bought a pair of SR1a/b with the amp adaptor, I could use them with my Arcam A32. This is a more affordable proposition and brings the price into line with other flagship headphones. Further investigation will be needed to determine if the Arcam is good enough. It sounds great with my speakers. I’ve never tried the headphone socket so I must get around to that but the Raal would connect to the speaker terminals anyway so who knows. Unfortunately the only UK dealership for these is Hifonix (see my comment above). Oh dear!

I shouldn’t talk about ribbons without also mentioning the HEDDphone. I was curious to see how these would feel on my head given their legendary weight but actually I found them quite comfortable and they didn’t ponderously flop about like the LCD-X does when I turn my head. The HEDDphone sounds very good but just like the LCD-X it crinkles when you put it on. However, unlike the LCD-X, it continues to crinkle with every movement of you head. The HEDDphone then sounds great if you listen with a still head. Now with planar magnetics that is easy to do as they are not a very involving listen (my ears, etc…). Not so the HEDD. It is very musical and joins in with a crinkly background as soon as you start moving to the music. Shame as it sounds good otherwise and is rather more affordable than the Raal (which doesn’t have this issue). Perhaps HEDD should take a look at the new Raal headphone, the one with the semi-open ear pads and try something similar.

There was one other item at the show that got me excited and that was the xMEMS microspeaker prototype IEM. These sounded really good in spite of the rather basic (in audiophile terms) dongle DAC that was being used to drive them. Very fast. Very low distortion. These microspeakers are relatively cheap and have the potential to turn the IEM market on its head. I can’t wait to hear some commercial products based on these. I’m putting off buying any more IEMs until these are available.

While I’m on the subject of IEMs, why were the xMEMs the only wire-down set of IEMs at the show. I have tried very hard to get used to the over-ear or wire-up style of IEM wearing and I just can’t. I wear glasses a lot, mainly sunglasses as I have sensitive eyes. I also like to wear a cap. I find over-ear wiring very uncomfortable. I own the iBasso IT01 and love the sound but just can’t get on with the fit. They don’t stay in my ears very well either, even with foam tips. Why have IEM makers moved almost entirely to over-ear except for the very cheapest models?

Anyway, enough from me. I now know where I need to go for my next headphone fix even if I don’t want to go there. The Raal|requisite system was the sound of the show for me.
 
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Aug 7, 2022 at 4:54 AM Post #279 of 343

deafenears

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So with time to spare, I lighted upon the Raal|requisite table. I wasn’t expecting to like these. I had preconceptions from what others have written about the bass and about comfort and practicality. Tut tut! These were amazing. The only headphones at the show to make me cry. Twice! Oh my goodness. Such speed and so clean and so musical and just amazing. I really like these. The SR1a/b? with the valve amp was truly special – annoyingly as I really don’t want a room heater! I can’t justify that price for a winter-only amp. Even the solid state amp is more than I was thinking I might spend on a headphone amp. It is also a low powered speaker amp so if I still had high efficiency speakers then I might be able to make a case. My current speakers are only 90dB/W. These headphones (or should I say ear speakers?) have particular amp requirements. If I just bought a pair of SR1a/b with the amp adaptor, I could use them with my Arcam A32. This is a more affordable proposition and brings the price into line with other flagship headphones. Further investigation will be needed to determine if the Arcam is good enough. It sounds great with my speakers. I’ve never tried the headphone socket so I must get around to that but the Raal would connect to the speaker terminals anyway so who knows.
There's their new transformer interface box, TI-1a, which you could use to connect to a headphone amp - https://raalrequisite.com/new-ti-1a-ribbon-amp-interface/ & https://raalrequisite.com/product/ti-1a-ribbon-amp-interface/.

Unfortunately the only UK dealership for these is Hifonix (see my comment above). Oh dear!
Just wanted to point out, you can also order directly from RAAL-requisite. They do ship internationally. Danny from RAAL-requisite is also quite active here on these forums (under the nick SageM), feel free to ask in the RAAL thread - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/raal-ribbon-headphones-srh1a.890603/
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 8:09 AM Post #280 of 343

563236

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I was surprised that the clock changed the sound so much though. I wasn’t sure it would do anything.

Thank you for this comment, it brought a tear to my eye. I'm a 99% lurker since my C-19 projects are complete and on fire, so everything else besides clock chatter is noise for this year. I'm like Aricebo just listening for Alien signals and ignoring everything else. I'm so glad dCS is bringing light to what clocks can do in a system. So I'm really glad someone gets it with high quality clocks. It's really difficult to explain the improvements as they are subtle.

Basically, the higher quality of clock the more timing errors are eliminated. Since I'm using the best clocks, timing errors are completely eliminated in my system. This eliminates any fatigue as I can listen to a track 25 straight times without it triggering me to change the track. I can also listen to albums straight-thru as no timing errors just makes it so smooth and fatigue-free. It can be similar to how Mr. Watts mentions how timing errors affect the brain, but I don't think about it too much as timing errors are completely eliminated in my setup so I just shut down.

The right bit at the wrong time is the wrong bit. Just because a bit registers as a '1', if the timing is off, it's bye-bye to re-create the original signal. I get details I never heard and the super low noise-floor (No timing errors to trigger any type of discrepancies). It's like the detail was always there in the track, but without the super high quality clocks eliminating timing errors I would never noticed them with such clarity.

Also, thank God (maybe just a alien programmer/architect) for UK Hi-Fi. Without, I would exit this hobby as it would just not be worth the time and effort without UK Hi-Fi as the backbone.

EDIT: I have a slight memory of Mr. Watts mentioning the brain is sensitive to timing errors.
 
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Aug 7, 2022 at 9:22 AM Post #282 of 343

technobear

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There's their new transformer interface box, TI-1a, which you could use to connect to a headphone amp - https://raalrequisite.com/new-ti-1a-ribbon-amp-interface/ & https://raalrequisite.com/product/ti-1a-ribbon-amp-interface/.
Yeah, I saw that on the table and read up about it. Looks like it needs a headphone amp that can turn out a good 2 Watts into 32 ohms. The Hugo2 can't muster that kind of power (about 0.75W I think) and my only other headphone amp is a micro iCAN which gives about 0.4W.

Just wanted to point out, you can also order directly from RAAL-requisite. They do ship internationally. Danny from RAAL-requisite is also quite active here on these forums (under the nick SageM), feel free to ask in the RAAL thread - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/raal-ribbon-headphones-srh1a.890603/
That makes it a personal import though which is a pain with taxes and also a pain if it ever needs service.

It's on my list to read the Raal thread. Not enough hours in a day at the moment.
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 9:24 AM Post #283 of 343

netwiz

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It's a week on from Canjam and it's helped to pull together some thoughts that I thought I'd share FWIW.

My journey with better quality IEMs started with Shure 530 some years back in the days before MMCX connectors. Eventually the wire broke, so it was a few hundred down the drain and I got the 535. I was never really satisfied with the bass, although I've seen much religious fervour online debating whether the 535 are bass shy or not. As ever, the big lesson is that while we all read the reviews and opinions we're way better off listening for ourselves if we can.

When the Shure 846 came out I jumped at those. I didn't at the time make much comparison with other brands and the reviews were good. I didn't listen in advance and I lived with them for several years and very much enjoyed them.

The 846 got stolen a couple of years back so it was my excuse with the insurance money to see if I could find something better for not a lot more - or get another pair. Reading the reviews at the time the Sennheiser IE900 had come out and was getting good reviews. I found what seemed to be the only place in the UK that had the Shure 846 and the Sennheiser 900 in stock to listen to and went along (it was the excellent Audio Sanctuary in New Malden, Surrey). It was the first time I'd properly auditioned IEMs. I ended up buying the Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020. It just liked it more and utterly lack the analytical powers and vocabulary to explain why. Kudos to those who do such good reviews.

What was really interesting once I settled in with the Andros was that whilst I'd been so happy with the se846, I realised that I was getting a lot less fatigue from the Andros and could listen to them forever without needing a break. I'd never realised at the time the fatiguing effect of the se846 (ymmv). So there was another lesson.

We're never satisfied though are we? Always wondering if there's something (subjectively) affordable that could be better (where we define 'better' for ourselves). I did want more bass still. Hence Canjam.

My listening targets based on reviews were the THIEAudio Monarch mk2 and the 64Audio u12t. I think the Monarchs are astounding value (better than the more expensive Andros), and I think the u12t are better if you can afford them, although I found the u12t bass a bit overwhelming. What I wonder now is whether that overwhelming feeling would persist, or whether it was a reaction based on a comparison with the Andros that I was living with. I don't know, but it's another lesson for me. Listen more than once, if you can. I had decided to buy the u12t at the show price and listened to the u18t out of curiosity. I'd read a number of reviews before the show where people prefer the u12t to the u18t which is about £1k more expensive. I was hacked off to find I preferred the u18t as the bass wasn't overwhelming. It seemed to retain all the pluses of the u12t and to be more balanced across the spectrum. I couldn't justify the extra cost though.

I only went to Canjam on the Sunday. If I go again I think I'd like to plan for both days. By the end of Sunday I was feeling tired and punch-drunk with listening. It would have been good to go back the second day to re-validate what I'd heard. Also, I wish I'd had the benefit of all the comments in this thread. there have been many interesting suggestions and comments that would have encouraged me to listen to a wider range of products, and ask different questions of the vendors. For one thing I don't know which APEX modules were in the 12 and 18. And I would have liked to have paired my iBasso DX300 with a Chord Mojo2 just to see (or hear). If I do go for 2 days I'll know to read this thread on Saturday evening.

I bought the u18t online - an ex-demo set for about the same price as the u12t would have been. Bargain. So am I in happy end-game heaven now? Not a bit of it. I haven't had the more or less instant 'right' feeling with the u18t as I did with the Andros. I've seen the u18t described as 'revealing', a term I've read many times and I've never understood what it means. I'm wondering if that's what I'm hearing and it doesn't fit. I'm hoping that things will settle down. I'm also highly conscious that we're here discussing esoteric sound quality at prices that could feed some families for some time. It's not a comfortable feeling.

Nevertheless I've learned that listening (when you can) is really important, and so is time for reflection, and listening again, and listening to more devices, even ones you're not interested in, just for comparison. Some people may be in situations where they can't audition and are dependent on reviews and discussions. Even if you can audition the reviews can help to develop a shortlist and focus you on what to listen for, what questions to ask, what options to try.

And whilst some find their endgame for many of us there's always that nagging feeling that there could be better. Roll on next year.
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 9:25 AM Post #284 of 343

technobear

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It's not very clear if you're talking about the SR or the CA-1A
Both were very good. Both made my eyes water. I preferred the comfort of the SR1. I could forget I'm wearing those. I also think they look fantastic, not that you can see them when you're wearing them.
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 12:41 PM Post #285 of 343

TheAttorney

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Unfortunately the only UK dealership for these is Hifonix (see my comment above). Oh dear!
I don't know who from hifonix attended the show, but I've auditioned headphones/amps a couple of times at hifonix. The proprietor does have strong opinions and is sometimes not shy in stating them.
However, once you book a demo, you will be left alone for as long as you like to compare as many headphones/amps as you like, with no sales pressure or undue influence. Also, highfonix has the widest range of high end headphones in the UK (along with HighEndHeadphones near Cambridge).

So I wouldn't let one poor experience put you off from getting the opportunity to properly demo the widest variety of high end headphones - even if your tastes are different to the proprietor.
 

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