CanJam NYC 2020 Impressions Thread (February 15-16, 2020)
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YtseJamer

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7) ZMF: To be honest, I have heard little about ZMF, being new to the game on hifi headphones. Their room setup was perfect, though; their own space, lots of staff on hand, and exceptional listening stations with a plethora of amps and DACs. This was THE SPOT to be at CanJam! I had phenomenal time in this room. The main station I demoed most from was a Schiit Yggdrasil DAC feeding a tube amplifier, the Bigger Ben, by brand ampsandsound. Damn, what a combination; exceptional musicality was to be heard through this (quite pricey) setup. I demoed pretty much all the phones ZMF had to offer, but I'll highlight my favorites:
Atticus (special edition wood and comphor) - A few hits of my go-to sources in and I knew this was a winner. An entirely different sound than I heard all day; this was WARM. A frequency response that seemed thick in the low-mid and mid range, very nice soundstaging from closed-back cans, and just exceptionally enjoyable musicality to it all. I can see these working exceptionally well with Rock and Metal music. Possibly my favorite experience of the day.
Aeolus (Sapele wood) - These phones sounded similar to the Atticus and LOOKED even better! Beautiful phones, truly. Nice comfort level, as well. Sound signature was similar to the Atticus but more open (no surprise since its not a closed-back), better soundstaging, at the expense of a little less warmth. I really loved what I was hearing from these; just the type of phones that you can never be fatigued from. It was hard not plunking down $1,000 and walking out with a pair!
Thanks for the great report :wink:

The Atticus and the Aeolus are my 2 favorite headphones.

Did you also have the chance to hear the Verite Closed?
 
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5) HIFIMAN: Having heard the HE560 in the past and thought it was a solid pair for the price, I was excited to demo the Sundara and Arya. The station I was at was setup with a small portable headphone amp, I can't recall the brand but it wasn't a Fiio or other major player. Unfortunately, this amp just wasn't cutting it; on the Arya, it could not generate enough volume...
You should have went to the Cardas booth. They had a $4.5k Manley Absolute hooked up to a Sundara and it was mind numbingly good. I brought along my Arya's which Cardas nicely let me demo with their setup and after I was thinking about what I could sell to buy a Manley during the next Massdrop lol. It was soo nice and I am currently gung-ho on finding a well-priced non-OTL tube amp to drive my Arya's :thumbsup:
 
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Thanks for the great report :wink:

The Atticus and the Aeolus are my 2 favorite headphones.

Did you also have the chance to hear the Verite Closed?
Thanks!

I did! First thing I listened to at ZMF was the Verite Closed. Definitely enjoyed it, although I was cognizant of it being a tad out of my price range so I wasn't quite as critical as I would have liked in my listening. It reminded me of the Focal Stellias; probably a little less defined than the Stellias, but more smooth. They were a touch bright for my taste but very listenable, enjoyable. The thickness and warmth of the Atticus and Aeolus really stood out to me and drew me in over the Verite, although I felt like I was sacrificing a little bit of the extra detail that the Verite was able to retrieve.

You should have went to the Cardas booth. They had a $4.5k Manley Absolute hooked up to a Sundara and it was mind numbingly good. I brought along my Arya's which Cardas nicely let me demo with their setup and after I was thinking about what I could sell to buy a Manley during the next Massdrop lol. It was soo nice and I am currently gung-ho on finding a well-priced non-OTL tube amp to drive my Arya's :thumbsup:
The Manley Absolute looks like such a monster of an amp! Wish I tried it. I've heard great things and walked by Cardas and saw that beauty sitting there. I imagine I would have had an entirely different impression of the Sundara and Arya if I had listened to those two through the Manley. Disappointing I missed out on that.
 
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The Manley Absolute looks like such a monster of an amp! Wish I tried it. I've heard great things and walked by Cardas and saw that beauty sitting there. I imagine I would have had an entirely different impression of the Sundara and Arya if I had listened to those two through the Manley. Disappointing I missed out on that.
I see you're in NYC. If you're in the market for headphones Audio 46 in midtown will let you demo just about anything. They let me try half a dozen $1k+ headphones before I settled on the Arya.
 
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I got a Dunu Hulk for my CL2 and it turns out my Valkyries sound better with the Hulk than the Cleopatra. I paired my Cleo with the CL2 and it sounds fantastic...
How did they change the sound of the Valkyries. I purchased the Valkyries at the show...... absolutely fell in love.

I see you're in NYC. If you're in the market for headphones Audio 46 in midtown will let you demo just about anything. They let me try half a dozen $1k+ headphones before I settled on the Arya.
Good choice on the Arya. There are my fav
 
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I see you're in NYC. If you're in the market for headphones Audio 46 in midtown will let you demo just about anything. They let me try half a dozen $1k+ headphones before I settled on the Arya.
Thank you, that's great to know, will certainly be heading over there shortly! I need to redeem my experience with the Arya and give it a fair chance.
 
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How did they change the sound of the Valkyries. I purchased the Valkyries at the show...... absolutely fell in love.
The Hulk made the Valkyries come alive! And the Hulk was new, purchased that day, so it's not even burned in yet... The tonality became smooth and coherent, and everything just shone through in a rich, detailed, controlled spectrum of sound. It felt as if the earphones just came into focus, there was a 'richness' too it... The Cleopatra, as good as it is, just makes the Valkyries sound very resolved, detailed, layered and smooth, with enhanced sub-bass rumble, but next to the Hulk, it is perhaps too smooth and subtle... The Valkyries have a vast sound-space, utilizing the lows of the W9, the highs of the es tweeter, and the richness and tonality of the BA mids, the Hulk captures the dynamic nature of the Valkyries in a more exciting way than the Cleo, especially with a richness of tonality the coppers are known for.....
 
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I had a lot of fun at the show on Saturday. It was well-organized and lively with lots of interesting vendors and gear to try out. I was able to demo many of the key pieces on my list: Meze Empyrean, Hifiman Susvara, Focal Stellia, Audeze LCD-X, Abyss Diana, Woo WA33, dCS Bartók, Chord Blu DAVE, Headamp GSX Mini, Mytek Manhattan II, Benchmark HPA4 & DAC3B. Honestly, everything sounded very impressive to me. And the people staffing the booths were helpful, enthusiastic, and very knowledgable.

Standouts: I liked the Empyrean more than I expected, driven by the Bartók. It's lightweight, comfortable on the head, and sounds very smooth. The Susvara and WA33 was predictably sublime. As was the DAVE, with, I think, an Audeze LCD-4. The new GSX Mini is the real thing and a terrific value. The Benchmark stack called my name, as it did last year. Properly engineered stuff with great sound and feel.

Looking forward to CanJam NYC 2021...

Oh, and I actually listened to the dCS Bartók in both silver and black variants. The silver one sounded a bit bright, while the black one had more of a dark character to it. (Ba Dum Tss!)
 
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Any andro owners get a chance to try the Solstice from Campfire?

I demo'd both and found the Solstice to sound a little warmer, though that could just be due to it being a custom in a universal demo shell. I'm kind of interested now that CA is doing customs.
 
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Any andro owners get a chance to try the Solstice from Campfire?

I demo'd both and found the Solstice to sound a little warmer, though that could just be due to it being a custom in a universal demo shell. I'm kind of interested now that CA is doing customs.
I think that is the only way to go with CA. Their universals just fit so horrible in my ears and i dont seem be to the only way who shares that opinion.
 
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arijitroy2

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You should have went to the Cardas booth. They had a $4.5k Manley Absolute hooked up to a Sundara and it was mind numbingly good. I brought along my Arya's which Cardas nicely let me demo with their setup and after I was thinking about what I could sell to buy a Manley during the next Massdrop lol. It was soo nice and I am currently gung-ho on finding a well-priced non-OTL tube amp to drive my Arya's :thumbsup:
I heard the Manley amp with Empreyean last year, it was sooo goood and looks amazing too. Sadly sold the Aryas :frowning2:
 
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the R8 has a sim slot and every sim, even if only for data has a phone number. The only question is the microphone.
I bet anything that can be a phone needs extra regulation / compliance hoops for manufacturers to jump through. I dont need Hiby to do that for me.
 
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I bet anything that can be a phone needs extra regulation / compliance hoops for manufacturers to jump through. I dont need Hiby to do that for me.
I don't need it to be a phone. Probably won't ever use a sim. It'll take a DAP with the same or better features and improved SQ to get me to part with the R6 Pro. None of the flagships interest me right now because they can't match the R6 Pro for features, so hopefully HiBy's new flagship will. That said I'm in no rush, the R6 Pro does everything I need and sounds amazing. Might wait for the inevitable R8 Pro later this year or next.
 
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Pro-Jules

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I tend to agree. It's been a solid workhorse.
 
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