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CanJam Singapore 2016 Impressions (February 20-21, 2016)

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  1. UntilThen
    Great event guys. Love the pictures. I hope to be there next year if there's one.
  2. xtr4
    Should do it in Malaysia next time, overall cheaper for everyone (somewhat for us Malaysians); e.g. hotel stay, food, travel. Our economy needs a little boost and it'll benefit overseas travellers because of our "awesome" exchange rates. Hahaha
  3. wildlife2011

    Maybe in the Philippines too? You can go straight vacation as we have the one of the best beaches on earth. Its very cheap to travel here. There is a good and very big convention place near the International Airport that is almost beside the newly build casino/resort hotels. Pilipinos loves music. :)
    raypin and xtr4 like this.
  4. somanydynamos
    Is the audio technica booth always so small?

    I've been to Mook and CJ, and in both events ATH booth is equally small but Sennheiser is on another level.
  5. Semuapunmau
    Am i the only one feeling depress after attending canjam?

    So many toys and not enough money...:sleepy:
    DougD likes this.
  6. darveniza

    Soranic IEM any additional commentary on these
  7. ezekiel77
    My Canjam Impressions, aka "How many times can I listen to Hotel California?"
    Big meet, 2 floors, 2 ears.
    3 years in head-fi, my first meet. I loved it. Shuffled between "let's meet all my friends" and "I gotta try all this stuff!" because my time was very limited. My preferences are CIEMs, IEMs and selected headphones, in terms of desktop and amp setups I'm a total newbie, so I won't go there.
    Was it everything I expected? Yup, that and more. Got to try nearly everything I wanted, met a few industry pioneers and leaders (a certain Mr Jerry Harvey, and Jude as well) and I went home satisfied. Apologies to those I wanted to meet but didn't get to (echineko, audio123, noobandroid, sifu ClieOS), time was just too short. Shoutout to Uncle E1, Tobias89, lookingforIEMs, and IEM sifu jelt2359. Let's do this again sometime.
    On to the impressions. These are my preferences and of course, in a meet I get like 10-15 minutes each. Open-ended headphones' impressions will be way off bcos of the crowd noise. Sources are Sony ZX2 and AK100ii. Headphones I just listen to the system provided. Songs used are (of course) Hotel California, Amber Rubarth's Tundra, Adele's When We Were Young, MJ's Billie Jean, RATM's Guerrilla Radio, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams.
    Dita The Answer Truth edition - Magic in the cables? What sorcery is this? A/B-ing the regular Answer and the Truth confirms that the Truth has better detail, resolution and a wider, deeper soundstage. Even the booth people can't accurately say what cables Van Den Hul uses (SPC? Pure silver?). So magic it is, with unicorn fluff. The Truth has a neutral tuning, with thin notes. You hear every detail and it's very revealing. Just a tiny bit peaky in the low treble but otherwise very well balanced. Bass has adequate slam, with very quick attack and decay. Highlight is the soundstage and separation. Very wide and deep, with a very airy presentation, lots of space between instruments. Love the sound, never heard anything like it.
    Jupiter, Lyra, Orion. Nice naming.
    Campfire Audio Jupiter - This was one of my favorites. It has richer and fuller notes than the Dita, with a very authoritative bass, sweet mids, and sparkly treble. Great tuning, equally wide soundstage. A bit less air than the Ditas but more impact and dynamism. It can hit you with a hammer or tickle you with feathers. Sometimes I noted a bit of mid-forwardness, but it could be due to the eartips (I'm a silicon guy, all they had was foam). This is one of my first choices for purchase later.
    The Music Sanctuary booth had lots of, I mean too many, goodies.
    Empire Ears Zeus - The most 3D presentation I've heard in an IEM. Very addictive. It's warm, with thick notes and hits hard. Stage is not so wide, but very deep and tall. So instead of congestion in the middle you hear very clear layers, one climbing after the other, height and depth fully utilised. Treble is also very well extended with a certain sparkle, and not harsh at all. The thickness of the notes might need getting used to, but the 3D-ness will stay with you for a long time.
    Lime Ears Aether - Another solid contender. A clean, transparent sound. Balanced, sparkly, very pleasant signature. More apparent detail than the Zeus because of lesser note thickness. Soundstage is more conventional, very wide with some depth. There's a subbass switch which makes things very fun, but slightly V-shaped. Only thing for me is the mids aren't very engaging, losing out a bit in vocals to the mighty Zeus. With that said, I wish I could have had more time with this because after listening to the Stax later in the day, I got addicted to air, and this one had it in spades.
    64 Audio Adel A12 - I love this on initial listen. Best mids I've heard so far. Natural, sweet, engaging, great attack and decay, Adele put me in a spell. Also, talking about spells, the separation and imaging is spellbinding. Unlike anything I've ever heard. It presents a wide, vast, semicircular stage, and you can place instruments accurately on slower songs. Gobs of subbass as well, making a vast, detailed, airy (there's that word again) listen. However, switching to my fast rock tracks, it's not fast enough for complicated songs. Might not be the best all-rounder, but for low-tempo songs, it's a fantastic listen.
    I had to take a breather from the IEM overload, digesting all the information that just came to my ears the past hour. So I lined up for this.
    Hello daddy.
    The king daddy circa 1991. Orpheus 1 had a queue, and we were limited to 10 minutes per listen. Two dudes were up before me, and when it came to me, the lady asked "Eagles or 蔡琴?"
    Here we go.
    Sennheiser Orpheus 1 - I've never listened to electrostats before, and this was one of the 4 must-trys of the meet, along with SR009, KSE1500 and Shangri-La. I've come to Canjam to experience what got people addicted to the electrostatic sound, not that I can afford one. So how's the sound? To me it sounded like the naturalness of dynamic drivers and the detail of BAs rolled into one. Attack and decay of each note is not too fast, very natural, but you hear every nuance. Very, very musical and immersive. Is the immersion factor a particular trait of electrostats? I feel like I was placed in a concert hall, with stellar soundstage and imaging. It doesn't sound like the treble was bumped up a bit like the HD800. It just felt very natural and life-like. Like the Eagles were playing live, for me. So the two words that keep coming back to me are natural, and immersive. I didn't want the song to be over. So was it worth the price of a Bimmer? I think not, but it is the best system I've heard so far, with asterisk, in a crowded environment. But isn't the Orpheus good enough to be labelled objectively the best?
    Will be updating with more impressions later on. Stay tuned!
    Part 2 here. http://www.head-fi.org/t/798955/canjam-singapore-2016-impressions-february-20-21-2016/300#post_12365703
    Vader and Luke.
    getclikinagas, zolkis and fnkcow like this.
  8. gyx11
    This made me laugh because no truer words have been ever been spoken
    ezekiel77 likes this.
  9. lookingforIEMs
    Was listening to rap on the sr009 × BHSE till a friend told me that the uncle sitting next to me listening to the he1000 × headamp gsx was listening to my music as it was all hooked up to the same source.

    Immediately changed it to hotel california :sweat_smile:

    And yea shout out to ezekiel77! Hope you like your new IEM! :D
    kid vic and ezekiel77 like this.
  10. xuan87
    I will post my impressions but a heads up first that I probably only had 5 mins to try each item, so I wasn't really listening out for its characteristics, mainly just finding out how much I enjoyed it, so it will not be as informative as the rest. No choice as I was helping out at the Music Sanctuary booth.
    Just a disclaimer: I have no vested interest in any audio products, not paid or given any benefits to give the following feedback whether positive or negative, and basically have no financial link to the audio industry besides being an increasingly poor buyer lol.
    SIDENOTE: Met a local born artiste and she was seated right in front of me testing CIEMS!!!! Definitely one of the highlights of the show and I won't give away what she chose in the end....
    It was weird of me manning a table of Eartech, Hum, Inearz, and Rhines custom demos since I was only intimately familiar with the Hum Pristine, it being my current customs, and only briefly listening to the Rhines Stage 7 on 2 occasions. 
    But one of the biggest surprise of Canjam of me trying out the Eartech Dual out of sheer curiosity and being totally floored at the sound quality coming out of this "entry level customs". Seriously, the only thing entry level about it is the price! It was a very musical, pleasant sound that makes you want to enjoy your music rather than try to analyze it. I noticed that almost no-one asked for it, but after listening to it, gave it rave reviews. Just two of the more memorable reactions that I got:
    Random guy: After listening to it for a while, in all seriousness asked me: Is this more or less expensive than the Shure 846? Because this is many levels better than the 846. He initially pegged the price at $3,000.
    Random girl: Her boyfriend wanted a recommendation of an easy-to listen, mellow customs that won't break the bank for her, so I just handed over the Dual. Her reaction was: Eyes wide opened, jaw dropped, exclaimed loudly "OMG, THIS IS MOTHERF--KING GOOD!". Her boyfriend was shocked and had to get her to lower her voice, it was hilarious to watch. She was dragged away eventually to try other stuff but ultimately came back to get it.
    Visited the Radius booth right next to the MS booth, mainly because I tried their Radius TWF11 many years ago and was one of the IEMs I short-listed (bought the JVC FXT90 though). 
    Listened to their TWF31 and TWF41, the only difference between them is the TWF41 has a layer of beryllium coating on its drivers. Both are very musical and enjoyable and I prefer the TWF41 as I felt it was more refined and with better clarity. The price tag gave me pause though, but that was likely because I'm not looking at getting an iem right now. Definitely worth a listen.
    They have a music app too, the NE player which caught my eye. They did a quick demo for me and I might have considered it for my smartphone had I not switched over to the DP-X1.
    Pop by the Echobox table to check out the Finder IEM and I agreed with one of the previous comments that it sounded weird and has recessed mids. It might be that it wasn't burnt in. 
    At the AAW booth, I tried out the Q, Nebula 1 and 2 and came away impressed with them. I tried the Nebula 1 prototype (at least I think it was a prototype at that time) at Mook last year and was very disappointed at how it was tuned. But the actual production Nebula 1 was tuned much more to my liking.
    While the Nebula 2 was priced slightly more, I felt that it wasn't a step up from the 1, more of a side-step due to their different sound signature. The 2 is more neutral, the 1 is more warm, so you'll likely prefer one over the other.
    The Q is an unbelieveably small unit, I should have taken a photo of it! Seriously, if it was in your ears and the cable broke off, I don't see how you can take it out without having someone pry it out for you. I've listened to a few micro drivers before, such as JVC's and RHA, and was expecting the same sound: Small bass presence, abit thin and lacking in body. But I was wrong. The Q sounded like a full fledged dynamic driver, with fantastic bass and full-bodied mids. Out of the 3, I think the average non-audiophile consumer might appreciate the Q the most. I might get one due to how portable it is but it's still a prototype. At the proposed price, I think it's fair but those who have not heard it because will likely pass it by due to how unassuming it looked. Must hear it to believe it!
    At the LMUE booth, I was excited to see the AD02 since I was a huge fan of the AD01 given its low price tag for the performance. The AD02 is even more lowly priced and aimed to be used for sports since it has some form of water resistance. The mids and highs were fantastic for its price when I heard it through a female vocal song, but the bass was too bloated and totally bled into the mids, when I tried it with my bass track. I highlighted this to Teo and the staff which they acknowledged, but they said it was a compromise that they have to make given its low price point.
    Finally got to try the Shure KSE1500 as hearing the widely differing feedback on it. My own experience is: It actually has an electrostatics sound. It was a little bright, the mids were enjoyable and musical and the bass was amazing. While not as good as the best dynamic drivers, the bass out of these were much preferable to the punchy bass from BA. Ultimately though, I would likely only pay $500-$600 for it.
    Managed to track down the Cavalli Liquid Spark and had a listen to it but honestly.... I was disappointed with what I heard through my Hum. Everything sounded a little muddied and the HUM lost the clarity that made me find in love with. It MIGHT just be a bad pairing but.... I guess I'll wait for the final production unit before saying more.
    Lastly, the biggest surprise of the show: A mysterious prototype earphones that look like a normal wood clad earphones you can find at a mall and has a MSRP of under $100. However, the sound quality is so amazing good that my wallet was somehow magically in my hand without me recalling I ever took it out. Even if priced at $200, it might be the best sub $200 earphones I have ever heard, but unfortunately, there is only that one unit in existence so far. DEFINITELY keeping out an eye for it when it's available for sale. The guys at MS know what I'm referring to but I'll refrain from revealing more details for now as I don't want to leak anything I'm not supposed to.
  11. Ritvik
    Will probably get my fair share of stick for this......but I found the KSE1500 quite disappointing and highly overpriced.. They do deliver music in an effortless fashion, great stage and separation but I feel they're quite genre specific. If you were someone who listened classical/orchestral they might be a good fit. I don't find them all that suitable for portable use either and would worry about mishaps with the fixed cables, so much so that I probably wouldn't enjoy my music. Technological feat, yes......but I'd take the DITA IEMs over these. The entry level Stax rigs sound better if your intended use is at a desk. 
    For someone who's better headphones have all been planar based thus far, I came to Canjam wanting to hate the HD800S. Things did not go according to plan and I now want a pair! They sounded brilliant with the HDVD800. It's still quite pricey, but for simple folk like me I would consider that an end-game setup.
    Does anyone have a ballpark figure on the Shangri-La's possible price? I know its going to be exorbitant but I'm curious to know :)
  12. earfonia
    My bro bought AAW Nebula 1 from CanJam, and in my opinion it sounds very2 good! Balanced tuning with good clarity.
    And yes, LMUE D02 is another best band for the buck to go IEM. Very light and sounds great! Mildly bassy but overall quite balance and clear sounding. Great for on the go and sport.
    Me too kinda disappointed with Shure KSE1500. Definitely not my cup of tea. Instrument separation was not very good, and dynamic is still far from satisfying, at least for the asking price.
    I wasn't impressed with Cavalli Liquid Spark either. Sounds ok, kinda beefy sounding, but not very resolving. Detail and resolution was not better than the output of my ifi micro iDSD headphone output.
    +1 on KSE1500.
    Yes, the HD800S tuning is good. I have HD800, and I like the way Sennheiser tuned the new HD800S. It is a better sounding HD800, an evolution, and not a departure for the original HD800 sound signature.
  13. revo17
    No one tried the ultrasone edition 8?

    Listened to it and the vocals are amazing
  14. earfonia
    Tried long time ago. Edition 8 is very good, balanced and sweet.
  15. gyx11
    Where on earth was the Cavalli Portable prototype? I couldn't find it anywhere and I'm pretty sure I visited every single booth.
    Good point about the KSE1500. The bulk of carrying the whole setup would be too much of a hassle. $4500 is insane for an IEM, but ignoring that, the sound rivals any other IEM out there.
    I tried it. The treble was terrible. Artificial and screechy. Cymbals in particular sounded like a newly invented musical instrument. The midrange clarity is indeed fantastic though. It's a crazy expensive headphone though, so that's not nearly enough to redeem it.
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