CanJam Shanghai 2018 Impressions Thread (November 3-4, 2018)
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Sifo

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My short auditions with the Flamenco left me disappointed considering I went into can jam with it at the top of my list. Not really sure what it was but it wasn't doing it for me, possibly the sound stage. The Trinity was a treat but didn't completely blow me away (though I found huge differences between balanced and non balanced-not enough time to really give detailed notes at the moment.) The Zeus was as awesome as I expected for vocals but the hiss is too much. I got to try something upcoming from Empire which was really suited to my tastes so I look forward to that release. As well the ACS Emotion had me lose myself in the music twice which no other IEM did.

These were just quick thoughts from my phone, will probably write something more detailed when I settle down, still in full tourist mode. I mostly tried all the flagship IEMs.

Shoutouts to Jack and Dean at Empire you guys were awesome.
 
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Some impressions and constructive criticism:

The show floor was well organized, and the amount of people was just right from a visitor's perspective; I didn't really have to queue to audition anything, when one or two stands were really full I just went to see something else and by the time I was back I was able to sit down.

I auditioned mostly mid-fi products as I was out of a DAC and could only use my cellphone as a source. I was most impressed with the Final Audio E5000, which I found had a very realistic tonality and timbre with the exception of a tad too much sub-bass, and with the Campfire Comet. I liked a lot also the Shanling M0 and the Hiby R3, the latter is probably the best DAP in its price bracket in terms of usability and function.

I also took some time to audition some higher end cans where the exhibitors allowed me to hook up my SD/usb drive to their macbooks, and left impressed by the Focal Elear and Susvara.

Now for the criticism:
  • It's not very clear on the website how to purchase tickets; I wasn't clear if purchasing online would result in a physical ticket being sent my way or not, and also whether I would be able to purchase on-site and at what price.
  • Audeze was listed as an exhibitor, but to my great disappointment they were nowhere to be seen; I understand this was due to their local reseller not bringing the products over (?)
  • The VIP area seemed a bit small, sparse and not well thought out
  • As mentioned, not many stands were able to actually sell their merchandise
  • I can confirm that the Campfire audio guy looked really depressed :D
Overall enjoyed very much and would go back next year for sure!
 
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someyoungguy

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Some impressions and constructive criticism:

The show floor was well organized, and the amount of people was just right from a visitor's perspective; I didn't really have to queue to audition anything, when one or two stands were really full I just went to see something else and by the time I was back I was able to sit down.

I auditioned mostly mid-fi products as I was out of a DAC and could only use my cellphone as a source. I was most impressed with the Final Audio E5000, which I found had a very realistic tonality and timbre with the exception of a tad too much sub-bass, and with the Campfire Comet. I liked a lot also the Shanling M0 and the Hiby R3, the latter is probably the best DAP in its price bracket in terms of usability and function.

I also took some time to audition some higher end cans where the exhibitors allowed me to hook up my SD/usb drive to their macbooks, and left impressed by the Focal Elear and Susvara.

Now for the criticism:
  • It's not very clear on the website how to purchase tickets; I wasn't clear if purchasing online would result in a physical ticket being sent my way or not, and also whether I would be able to purchase on-site and at what price.
  • Audeze was listed as an exhibitor, but to my great disappointment they were nowhere to be seen; I understand this was due to their local reseller not bringing the products over (?)
  • The VIP area seemed a bit small, sparse and not well thought out
  • As mentioned, not many stands were able to actually sell their merchandise
  • I can confirm that the Campfire audio guy looked really depressed :D
Overall enjoyed very much and would go back next year for sure!
I also noticed the Campfire crew didn’t look too happy at the start, I wondered if they’d just had an argument with the organizers or been shafted on their space or something. But I listened to the Cascades shortly after arriving and they were still professional and helpful though! Later in the day they seemed in better spirits, something must have happened to set them off on the wrong foot at the start.
 
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KT88

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2 new pieces of equipment that were on display (or at least I think they were), and don't have any real info about them here on the forum are the Hifiman Arya, and the Topping DX3 Pro. Anyone had a chance to audition one of these and could share some thoughts?
 
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chungjun

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Some impressions and constructive criticism:

The show floor was well organized, and the amount of people was just right from a visitor's perspective; I didn't really have to queue to audition anything, when one or two stands were really full I just went to see something else and by the time I was back I was able to sit down.

I auditioned mostly mid-fi products as I was out of a DAC and could only use my cellphone as a source. I was most impressed with the Final Audio E5000, which I found had a very realistic tonality and timbre with the exception of a tad too much sub-bass, and with the Campfire Comet. I liked a lot also the Shanling M0 and the Hiby R3, the latter is probably the best DAP in its price bracket in terms of usability and function.

I also took some time to audition some higher end cans where the exhibitors allowed me to hook up my SD/usb drive to their macbooks, and left impressed by the Focal Elear and Susvara.

Now for the criticism:
  • It's not very clear on the website how to purchase tickets; I wasn't clear if purchasing online would result in a physical ticket being sent my way or not, and also whether I would be able to purchase on-site and at what price.
  • Audeze was listed as an exhibitor, but to my great disappointment they were nowhere to be seen; I understand this was due to their local reseller not bringing the products over (?)
  • The VIP area seemed a bit small, sparse and not well thought out
  • As mentioned, not many stands were able to actually sell their merchandise
  • I can confirm that the Campfire audio guy looked really depressed :D
Overall enjoyed very much and would go back next year for sure!
Well, about the tickets, some local friends of mine bought the tickets in a local website and not only they saved money, but they also got a free Hifiman IEM.
I bought the tickets online and I received a QR code to be used at the entrance to get the wristband, but no free IEM.
Campfire audio looked depressed for the whole two days and I also do not understand why... It's a pity, anyhow I found their Cascade headphones and the Equinox IEM, very interesting.
 
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@misteral201103 @LazerBear @someyoungguy @Sifo as per my understanding you are based in Shanghai, or at least in China.
I am sure there are other head-fiers in town.
Why don't we find a time to gather together in front of a beer and share our thoughts about the exhibition and or our common passion?
PM me if interested, I offer volunteer to organize, just for fun.
 
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2 new pieces of equipment that were on display (or at least I think they were), and don't have any real info about them here on the forum are the Hifiman Arya, and the Topping DX3 Pro. Anyone had a chance to audition one of these and could share some thoughts?
Yeah, really hoping to read Arya impressions.
 
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Had a great time meeting all the people who make it happen at CanJam Shanghai, here's my brief summary of the show -

1) Smyth Realiser

Screenshot_20181106-155157_Instagram.jpg

This one was definitely eye-opening, as someone who has spent a long time on the theoretical side of localization research, this just changed the game. I'm still not entirely sure how much further DSP is being done and how accurate it really is but honestly, as far as attempts go...this is the best.
An interesting note was when the transfer function was being taken while the Headphones were on, my right side was definitely de-coupled, the MEMS was not seated properly at all. Even though I insisted the staff that the fit wasn't right, they said it's fine. I wonder if a standardized HRTF was being taken instead of the promised individualized for the technology demonstration, I didn't notice any imperfections while listening to the demo after the measurements which led me to the hypothesis of a standardized HRTF and a dummy measurement for the demo. I don't know. I do know that I want it but, Smyth isn't in particularly good shape with order fulfillment, I was keen on giving them a deposit and block a unit but they didn't accept my order. Oh well.

2) Mr Speakers

There are some people you respect even if you have never met them. That is Dan for me, more than the products the people who make it happen is what interests me. A brilliant Engineer and a brilliant person. I had to buy something to support Mr Speakers, so decided to buy an AEON Flow.
The VOCE was fantastic, had one of the best bass responses from an E-Stat, thanks to the large surface area and slightly larger excursion gap compared to STAX, as a result it isn't as efficient but give it power and it's quite a Headphone.
Ether 2 didn't quite do it for me but the build and weight reduction was remarkable to see, I usually stay away from Isodynamics but this looks like a promising future for Isodynamics.

20181103_115607.jpg 20181103_113230.jpg

3) HiFiMAN

The Jade 2 was impressive, a little bland and perhaps a little dry but it wasn't bad. A slightly N-Shaped response, not sure what target they were going for but I oddly enjoyed it.
You can see it gets it's rainbow effect from the Green PET crumpled dust-covers.

20181103_125100.jpg 20181103_125103.jpg 20181103_125536.jpg

Anodizing fail.

4) Miscellaneous

20181103_124001.jpg

Gorgeous but didn't sound any good. Quite forgettable.

20181103_131132.jpg

Peter from HeadAmp was kind enough to loan me his 009S for some time, I've never liked the 009 and this is the same, I'd rather have the VOCE or an old SR-5 (with some DSP) for that matter.

20181104_120208.jpg 20181104_120217.jpg

Interesting iBasso Headphone, did sound alright but I don't think it's the most elegant wear. Pass.

Conclusion -

Will definitely be back for next year. Great show, Shanghai was brilliant.

20181103_140121.jpg

The Man himself.

20181103_175935.jpg 20181104_154128.jpg

The two Headphones I couldn't resist but buy at the show.

20181104_221933.jpg

43914828_463296634196012_5898329303895656597_n.jpg
 

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misteral201103

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@MrTechAgent - So glad you got the E-MU cans!!! Aren't they fun? What a joy listening to them!!!

I'd forgotten about the iBasso full-size. Good sound, same price as the IT04. They didn't threaten anything I already own, but they were impressive nonetheless.

One IEM I'd forgotten to mention was the RHA CL2 - planar magnetic in-ear. Very nice, very much a planar sound. If I remember correctly, they tended towards congestion when tracks got very busy but I might be confusing them with something else (I should have taken notes). I liked them though.

Today I am the very proud, can't-quite-believe-I-spent-that-amount-of-money owner of the InEar PP8s. IEM search is done, they're as good as it will get for me!!
 
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Very impressive impressions misteral. I hope I get to listen to the PP8 at next year's Can Jam.
 
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@misteral201103 @LazerBear @someyoungguy @Sifo as per my understanding you are based in Shanghai, or at least in China.
I am sure there are other head-fiers in town.
Why don't we find a time to gather together in front of a beer and share our thoughts about the exhibition and or our common passion?
PM me if interested, I offer volunteer to organize, just for fun.
Hey, yeah I’m in Shanghai but only visiting and helping out my partner who is here for work. I was at the China International Import Expo yesterday, insane, I swear there was a whole Olympics worth of people in that expo center.

I’m only here for today and tomorrow, then off to Yunnan province for a holiday :) Not sure what the next few days will be like so best not organize anything around me, but if the rest of you arrange a meet-up let me know and I’ll see if I can make it.
 
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Did anyone try NF Audio JD24? I would love to hear your impression. :)
 
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