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CanJam NYC 2018 Impressions (February 17-18, 2018)

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  1. K1030
    The Cascade is the best. Can't say enough. Just wish they were a lil cheaper retail. And those proprietary cables are just as expensive. And I loved the Cayin stack, and it loved me back. IMG_20180218_141131641.jpg
    DumbassFreak and tenedosian like this.
  2. K1030
    They guy working the booth enjoyed the pairing of my modded HE-500s too. IMG_20180218_142000698_HDR.jpg
  3. gloco
    First time at CanJam. A friend and I hit up the event on Saturday and came back with the following impressions:

    The Good:

    Dan Wright had the best rig hands down with the HiFiMan HE1000 fed into his amp, the HA300 and a tube modded Oppo 205 with an outboard PSU serving as the DAC. Very clean sound with the right amount of bass, treble and midrange one should expect from a rig that runs over $10K.

    iMore triple driver IEM's for $100 are an absolute steal. Loved them...they did everything right and were quite comfortable.

    Many vendors were friendly, willing to answer questions and engaging/make small talk. Didn't get any hard sales pitch which was a relief. Having so many vendors showing their wares is a wonderful idea...and I don't want anyone to think I just went to come back and complain so here are my thoughts on the minus':

    The Bad:

    One line to enter? I arrived at 11:10 and there was about 30-40 people ahead of me. It took 30-40 minutes to get my badge. This should not happen. There should have been two lines and frankly, they need more staff to get people in.

    Set-up of the main room. What's with the dead zone in the middle of room with the chairs and sofas? What a waste of space...and I'll explain: The outer ring of vendors was tightly packed and quickly became choked with people. Which leads me to bring up....why did most vendors only have one table? Many vendors had multiple rigs set up, but only 2-3 chairs which lead to a lot of visitors clustering around tables waiting their turn, especially where the Beyerdynamic table was setup with 6-8 live headphones.

    Lack of signage for the side rooms. I just happened to wander around and stumble upon them. This is where the most critical listening could be accomplished as the rooms were not crowded.


    Many rigs sounded anemic and lifeless to me. I tried the HiFiMan HE1000 at the HiFiMan table plugged into some fancy tube amp (not the Shangri-La, it was out of commission). The price tag thrown around by one of the reps? $8K. Sound? Where's the bass? The cans just sounded thin and lifeless. If I didn't try them again at Dan Wright's booth I would've left with a negative impression of the HE1000's.

    Focal - Tried the Elear's. Thin bass.

    Schiit - Tried the two higher end rigs with Mr.Speakers & Audeze cans (I believe). Thin bass with both rigs.

    McIntosh table - Tried their amp with some cans...thin bass.

    See where I'm going with this? And No, I'm not a Beats guy. I have to believe it's a lack of synergy with these rigs. Plus, it didn't help that the ballroom was quite noisy and not conducive to listening to open back headphones.

    Portable sources...barf. I found them to have sluggish menu's and clunky interfaces. At least the vendors that used laptops as source were fairly easy to use, minus the ones that were using some app called Room (i think). I found the app to be confusing to navigate (even after a rep attempted to show me how to use it).

    In conclusion, Dan Wright's set-up made the show worthwhile. Even with all the issues laid out above, I would still be interested in attending CanJam in the future.
    Liu Junyuan, jpelg and audiofrk like this.
  4. Mboom
    I went saturday.

    Audeze : Finally got to try the iSine 10 and LCD-X (want both). The 10 seemed good, but i need another listen as it was loud around me. I see the $2.5k lcd i4 and realize theyre nicer in person and give them a shot. Nope, cant tell a difference, and talked to the CEO about them. LCD-X was now in my hands and feeling light. No weight issue with them on my head. The othe guy working there said theyre replacing all headbands with the newer version. Ive got them hooked up to the chord mojo (first time using it, very small and those rolling ball buttons sold me haha) and my phone and click on dan terminus newer album; Im hearing sub levels of sub level bass. Holy crap! and the clarity of everything. Not sure on terms but, it was letting me hear the music how i pictured that particular album.

    The Headphone Annex : Tried out i think was the LCD-Xc through some amp ( should have been logging everything i used ) jazz was playing and it was glorious. After 10 min, i swapped headphones and connected my phone to another amp. Ive got the Aeon Flow Closed playing and immediately want them, sound and comfort wise. Design is a added bonus.

    Hifiman : HE1000 v2 , sounded good. Really good. Next was the Shangri-la jr; sounded alright, liked the v2 alot more. Forgot to try the Edition-X, id probably get these out of the others i mentioned. Really off putting by the middleman/woman behind the table. With $6000 headphones on my head, maybe a more technical explanation on why these electrostatic headphones should sound different/better.

    Advanced audio : tried the accessport and liked it, usb-c model was the prototype model. Didnt get warm, the buttons on the side felt good. Next was the alpha, and it seemed good; should of tested it more. Registerd for the raffle and stuck the ticket in my pocket...Realized yesterday it was suppose to go in the box haha.

    Earsonics : Velvet v2 was considered the neutral model iem i was told. Sounded good and liked the design. Nobody mentioned each moniter has a adjustable screw to change the sound, so im not sure what they were set too. I like the modularity.

    Sennheiser : this oblivious, self centered dude who worried too much about taking a 5 minute photo of the HD820, puts them on his head...and proceeds to take another 25-30 min to test these flipping back and forth to the HD800S. Line is growing , im groaning. He takes off finally. The HD820 is a closed back headphone that sounded like a open back headphone. Took me 10 minutes to compare both and i left really wanting the HD800s. The second time i came around, another 10+ minutes was spent with those. Hotel California sold me. HD660s souned good, and the HD569 sounded really good for a closedback. I could hear a small difference.

    Clear Tune Moniters : davinci IX, CT500 elite, and CT400 pro all great. Id buy the CT500 elite. Connected to the sony player; pearl jam sounded perfect. Good product and people

    DitaAudio : Listened to two neutral based iems, and talked a bit. New products in the u.s. Hope more people visited that table. Had alot to choose from.

    64 Audio : Tia Forte... Im trying to untangle $3.5k and handle these iems correctly. Finally get them in and i put Pathology, and Anaal Nakrath on. Impressive. I cant think of what stood out. Just another iem, but it sounded good to me.

    Cable company next to Empire Ears : Nice cables and very expensive. He showed me his personal setup with empire ears. I go to empire ears.

    empire ears : i tried out one of the models on the left end of the table, the black colored ones. Gave a 10-12 minute listen and liked them. Told the guy that handed them to me they sounded better than the tia forte. He smiled and thanked me. I meant it. I will purchase from your company in the future.

    Earasers : Purchased one of the earplug holders for holding iem tips. Also tried their iem with the mojo. Collective soul sounded good.

    ZMF : I didnt like the cables they used, didnt know what was left/right. Tried the eikon and sounded like my music was noise. Static noise almost. One pair of the headphones also had no indication of left/right. Im 50/50 with ZMF right now.

    Viva : That blue tube amp and those headphones were very good.

    Cardas : tried the iem.

    Periodic Audio : Neat amp, he explained that im not double amping if using it with my phone. Phone would be consideres a preamp. Iems sounded alright, tough hearing a difference. I got my Tin Audio T2 tested. Havent got a email yet for a copy of the results.

    Campfire audio : Didnt care for the over ears. Tried the Andromeda with cannibal corpse, craven idol, and seemed alright. I hated the fit, weird trynna put them in. Sound wise, i felt like there could be more to the sound. Again, probably a fitting issue i had. I thougt one the two smaller nozzle holes looked a bit bigger.

    Schiit audio : I tried everything. Really liked the Aeon Flow Closed through the $850/$850 amp/dac setup. That behemoth setup to the left and the ether flow with pantera "drag the waters" sounded exactly how music sounded on my Canton CT90 speakers. I was getting the impression of floor speakers on my ears.

    Mr Speakers : Aeon open had extended bass ? Definitely more than the closed. But i thought the closed sounded better when i put on Ulcerate and blood,sweat and tears.

    Left wanting iems, lcd-x, hd800S, Aeon Closed, and a chord mojo. Also another listen of the HE1000 but no sound was coming out, nore anybody paying attention.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2018
  5. Oscar-HiFi
    Unfortunately the 1 table thing is due to companies budget, it costs nearly double to have 2 tables...
  6. bozebuttons
    That amp was a complete surprise I listened to it on Sat & again on sunday It did no wrong, very musical I never heard the SRoo7MkII sound that good.
    Only thing was it could use more gain Which will be addressed in the final production unit,Not a problem if you have a high output source.
    I Want one:beyersmile:
    jpelg likes this.
  7. bozebuttons
    I also was Impressed with the He1000s with the dana cable on that setup ,It really showed what the HE1000s can do.
    I also enjoyed Talking with Dan,he makes some fine products,
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  8. mrspeakers Contributor
    Had a great weekend, thanks to everybody me who stopped by!
    MrSpeakers Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on MrSpeakers at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    @funCANS MrSpeakers https://www.mrspeakers.com/ info@mrspeakers.com
    thebkt, kubig123 and Ray3rd like this.
  9. esimms86
    Did anyone get to hear the talk by Chord’s Rob Watts? I wasn’t at CanJam NYC this year and I’d be really interested to hear comments about what he had to say.
  10. GarageBoy
    Running headphones with a low power single ended triode amp (that utilizes pretty good transformers) - why didn't I think of that? That set up was the text book definition of liquid and airy. I didn't even have the HE1000 on the radar until I heard that set up. Wanted to try it again with the ethers, but I was a bit fatigued

    Really sad I completely missed the mrspeakers room, would have loved to try the ether flows
  11. TSAVAlan
    Hehe, that is Andy Kong...
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
    Wilashort and kubig123 like this.
  12. Zachik
    I will write up my impressions later, but for now I am curious:
    The most time I have spent was at the CTM table. Cesar and Sandra (I believe I got the names right) are VERY nice people. Very patient and knowledgeable!
    Anyhow, I spent an hour going back and forth between the CT400 Pro and CT500 Elite trying to decide which to order... I am very curious to know what difference did you hear between them. Both sounded great (way better than the CT300 and for some reason a little better than the CT-6 to my ears), and I do not think one can go wrong with either, but I am still curious what did YOU like better with the CT500 over the CT400?
    Clear Tune Monitors likes this.
  13. icefalkon
    Had a great weekend!! Thanks to everyone who came by the iBasso booth!
  14. Mboom
    I think the extra driver and 5-Way crossover in the CT500 is what made the difference. When I connected the CT400, the sound was kinda reduced from what I heard compared to the CT500 ? Something was different. But when I was done I also had a tough time deciding. I just kept thinking of that pearl jam song on the CT500 sounding Fuller ? Compared to the CT400. I'm probably using the wrong words for describing. But there was a difference. Looking at the sheet with the prices, its only $100 difference. So I picked the CT500 because of what I heard and the price difference.
  15. Zachik
    I ended up choosing the CT500 also! To be honest, I was not even sure I can hear a difference, but was thinking maybe with better source / amp I would be able to hear a difference, and price delta was $80 (show special 20% taken into account)... I would rather splurge on extra $80 than thinking I might have missed something for not taking the more technically advanced IEMs :wink:
    Clear Tune Monitors likes this.
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