CanJam London 2023 Impressions Thread
Aug 19, 2023 at 5:47 PM Post #61 of 463
So - I'd planned to try some stuff and replace my old (but spouse disturbing) HD600 with something simular and not go to far ...

Yeah so with thanks to Kevin on the NAIM/Focal table i've come away with a pair of Stellias and a Uniti Atom Headphone edition (fairly substancial show discount too) ...

Was nice to play with the ZMF and love the mix and match - but Naim/focal pairing just blew me away to be frank.

Late to the party but happy.
Spent some time with the Stellia on the Uniti atom today and agree it's simply superb. Preferred it to the Utopia on the same set up.
Congrats on the purchase
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 5:54 PM Post #62 of 463
To those that heard the Heddphone V2, did they manage to fix the crazy subbass rolloff?
Yes! They have indeed. I wait praising the guys at HEDD (very nice folk btw) about the weight improvement on the headphones and I can safely say, I think I have a future headphone to go for.

Sound signature was similar to the v1, but the v2 felt like it had more linear treble and improved subbass. Still a rolloff, but its an open back so its difficult to master that. Either way, my favourite at the show.
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 5:59 PM Post #63 of 463
They were unfortunately my last stop and I had to rush to my train, so I only got to spend a few minutes with them.
The second iteration is a definite improvement! The whole headphone is smaller, and about 200g lighter. While the v1 feels Ike some huge and heavy 'thing' on your head the v2 actually feels like normal headphones. 700g vs just over 500g as I was told. The sound has improved too, although the change is less drastic than physics and comfort. In my brief test the v2 sounded better balanced, especially in the bass. Price will be somewhere around $2000.
Thanks so much for swinging by, great summary :-D
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 6:02 PM Post #64 of 463
Some quick hit thoughts for the day

Biggest wow moment Subtonic Storm. Wanted to not like these as several kilo buck iems I’ve heard suck. These were the absolutely best IEMs I’ve ever heard and possibly beats all or most comers in the traditional headphone space as well. Bonus points the gentleman from Subtonic was 100% pure class. If you’ve not heard these take ten minutes with them to have your mind blown.

Best item I’m extremely likely to buy - this goes to Symphonium Audio Crimson. At the asking price it beats all I’ve heard save the Subtonic. Great sound and nice form factor to boot.

Biggest meh moment was QDC Tiger and VX. Wanted to love these and was left wanting. Super nicer vendor but the tonality on these is just too far from reality for me.

Coolest new vendor - my previous mentioned Soundz iems. Great sounding products and very very cool folks.
I’m also thinking about the Crimson but I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet.

Would you mind sharing a quick impression on it? Doesn’t have to be too in-depth.
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 6:22 PM Post #65 of 463
So my collected first day impressions. I am not an IEM person, so I didn't check any IEMs, it is all about HPs and portable sources.

HifiMan Organic: For me the star of the show. I would like to confirm what I have heard today but it is an excellent HP. Next to it, there was the HE1000 Stealth, which sounded to me too V shaped with bloated low mids, reducing the mids clarity. Organic, on the other hand had cleaner mids tuning but not analytical. It was noisy so I need to confirm it tomorrow, as I couldn't do some of the treble specific test I wanted to do.

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FiiO FT5: The hidden gem of the show! I am very positively surprised but I was expecting this to happen at some point. It doesn't have its final tuning yet which is currently a V tuning (again, the noise might have effected my perception), so be sure to check it out on the second day and pass your opinions to the FiiO team. With its current tuning, the piano in the piece below sounded a little far in the back (or I couldn't hear due to the noise). I was told that the price will be below $500, and will be released end of the year. Be sure to check it out on the second day. As always, FiiO team was busy listening to the customers, noting the points they make down, always ready to listen. I told them also my opinions about having a system level EQ/PEQ for R7 (and also other players), as it is important for driving powerful speakers in an acoustically imperfect room, and that most people would want to deal with the bass boominess to some degree with an EQ.

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FiiO M15S: Another wonderful player from FiiO. I don't have much to say, as always sonically clean, light weight, but still powerful. Hold switch, buttons to control pretty much everything click based. I am thinking of getting one. Again, I passed my comment about the SD card slot and asked if they can make a spring system next time. Maybe the current system is more robust, I don't know but it is not always easy to find a pin to take the SD card tray out.

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HEDDphone 2: Nice surprise of the show and nice to see them back in the game! HEDDphone one lost 200g, earned a much more flexible headband with a wonderful clamping force adjustment mechanism. Mini XLRs are gone and replaced with 3.5mm connectors. Great move! The tuning sounded neutral, nothing sticking out, most probably very similar to the first one. Now the cups can rotate and the HP can be placed in the carry case. HEDD is a pro-audio company, and the HEDDphone V2 sounds like one. I liked it very much and can't wait to see it hit the shelves. Well done HEDD! If you liked the first one but were bothered by the weight, you will love these.

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HifiMan Audivina: Unfortunately this one fails the mids, it is wonky. It could otherwise be a great HP. If you don't care about mids, if you like mostly rock or other non-acoustic non-natural sounds, it is a great HP. Treble was OK but 1kHz down needs reconsidering. It definitely needs some EQ. It is very efficient, more efficient than Arya Organic- @TeamHiFiMAN, please go back to the drawing board for reconsidering 1kHz down. You are one of my favorite HP companies, so I am sure you can do better than that.

RAAL SR-1b & CA-1a: My first time trying these out. Sonically was an interesting experience. Especilally SR-1b, but I just wasn't fully comfortable with it. Even after flexing the headband, it didn't feel fully comfortable for my head. Clamping force is not applied on the cups (if you can call them) but two smaller cushions above them. Even after taking them of, I felt like they are still sitting on my head. Though, it was a speaker like experience. On one of the pieces I tried, I first time heard the bass so distinct and clean. It wasn't a thick punchy bass but a plucked, subtle double bass. The piece is below (check the first minute). It was like it is being played in the room. Nice one! But comfortwise needs reconsidering. CA-1a had a better tuning on my ears than I expected. I would like to try it again tomorrow, but it shares the same DNA with it older brother.



Chord Mojo2: Well, another nice surprise. I tried it with my favorite HP, DCA Stealth, I loved the Mojo2. It sounded excellent. The subbass even with loud volumes superb for such a small device. EQ was limited but still great to have. Nice one Chord! But please, stop that color code non-sense! I don't want to check a color manual while using such a device. It just doesn't make any sense. If you are going to bring this to Hugo3 please bring a proper indicator for what I am modifying, doesn't have to be fancy, a simple display of 16×16 pixels of the oldest technology. Color codes look nice but they are far from being user friendly. @Rob Watts Humans don't read and write in colors, but shapes. People don't use a color based alphabet and please don't force your buyers to learn one, as it has no added value to their life. That is the conclusion of a thousands of years of civilization growth all around the planet. Anyway, if you want to hear how wonderful it sounds, be sure to connect it with the DCA Stealth at the Chord table, and put this on...



xDuoo XD05 PRO: The below photo is actually a weibo photo I got from here, as I forgot to make a photo. It is an amp (analog input), preamp and a DAC / amp w/ Bluetooth. A big and powerful one, but still not too heavy. I actually liked it very much. It has replaceable DAC module, and the opamps can be replaced, which is nice. If you are looking for a portable all in one unit, look no further. Priced at GBP700, I think it is well worth it.

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Cayin N30LE: OK, it is a nice fancy brick. Massive size, massive weight and massive price. I went through the menus to check if they at least implemented some useful DSP features, like a PEQ but couldn't find one. It looks nice, and the one that buys it will definitely feel lucky for having such an ultra-luxury unit. This one costs 4000 pounds and the ultra-mega-giga luxury one costs more than 10000 pounds. I am sure there are malls in Dubai that would be interested in such products. All that for a 480 mW into 32 ohms. Nice one, but I pass(ed).

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Meze Elite: On the Expanse thread, I used pretty harsh word the Elite, but I was wrong: "I couldn't get any accurate timbre with any of the pads. Either mids are lost, or they are hollow, or bass is gone, or the highs are shouty. Nothing helped, not manual EQing, not the PEQ profiles you can download." Apparently the Elite I tried had a phase issue and one of the drivers was wrongly connected. I thought it is a tuning issue but the HeadFi'er that bought it noticed that it is actually a phase issue. Today I had the chance to try the Elite, I was very wrong. Though I prefer a slightly different mids balance, I can see why people like them. Also the efficiency is great for driving with a DAP. I stand corrected!

Focal:
Yes, Focal not a product of Focal. I told them that I will never buy a Focal unit they reconsider their decision of using real leather only. Not just because I am a vegan, but also the headband on Stellia changes color after a while. At least make it an option. Many companies either make it an option or use only/mostly non-leather products. At this price point, you should, too.
 
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Aug 19, 2023 at 6:23 PM Post #66 of 463
Aug 19, 2023 at 6:37 PM Post #68 of 463
Amazing day and a little bit of disappointment.

Since I live in Italy, I had the chance to try a lot of IEMs I've just read about. Simply a dream came true.

But now comes the disappointment and it's not a fault of the management team of CanJam, that I can only thank for the amazing work they did.
I thought that everyone had a lot of products available for sale, but unfortunately they didn't (at least the IEMs I was interested in).
There was no Annihilator (ok, they're out of stock worldwide, but you're presenting them in an exhibition for headphone lovers, save some items for that, manage wisely your storage), no Thieaudio Prestige LTD, no 64Audio Trio, no FiR Audio IEMs, just some Kinera (but not today, order it and you'll have tomorrow), just one Viking Ragnar, no VE X.

It's an exhibition for passionate people, I'd like to try, buy and go away with the item I've just fell in love and spent hundreds or thousands of €/$/Pounds.

Plus, a lot of items are imported in EU only in UK and this CanJam could be the chance for we EU customers to avoid duty and double VAT taxes.
But no, I had no chance to buy the IEM that I wanted and I don't know if I will have again the chance in future.
Because I cannot spend almost 2-4k for an item with UK VAT and add the VAT taxes of my country (Italy, 22%), plus duty taxes.

Some companies like 64Audio have an official distributor in Germany, so there's no such problem. But today they had no Trio, maybe if they had, now I'd listen to them right now.
They lost a client.

Maybe all these companies don't need clients, I don't know, but this behavior to me is just absurd. I have my little business and I always treat my clients with respect, I see no respect in this kind behavior.

End of rant.

I thank again all the people that planned and managed this event, for EU people is the only chance to test all the stuff that otherwise we have to buy blindly.
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 7:17 PM Post #69 of 463
So - I'd planned to try some stuff and replace my old (but spouse disturbing) HD600 with something simular and not go to far ...

Yeah so with thanks to Kevin on the NAIM/Focal table i've come away with a pair of Stellias and a Uniti Atom Headphone edition (fairly substancial show discount too) ...

Was nice to play with the ZMF and love the mix and match - but Naim/focal pairing just blew me away to be frank.

Late to the party but happy.

Interesting. I listened to the Naim Uniti Atom HE with my ZMF Atrium. It was a competent, solid mid-fi experience for me. Perhaps a synergy issue with ZMF?
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 7:34 PM Post #71 of 463
What driver configuration does crimson have?
At the moment, according to Symphonium they don't want it to be public yet and just let people enjoy the sound, see what they think. Which, to me is a good decision. There is no specific release public yet but there are plans to maybe reveal it soon.
 
Aug 19, 2023 at 7:39 PM Post #72 of 463
After the T+A Solitaire P, the HEDD headphone is currently my favorite. I love it's timbre, and instrument separation, and not being too bright up top. Really works for my listening preferences (mostly Classical/acoustic). I'm pretty content with the headphone as it is, but I'm glad to see they are striving for improvement. The reduced weight/more flexible design should be a hit with most people.
 

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