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i came home with this... and never been happier...
courtesy of the man...
Hi guys, it's been a long time since I posted. Got dragged by my friend (can't remember his head-fi username) to come down today. Haven't been following the developments in the past year and a half so it was really nice to try out all the new stuff lying around today.
Generally, I felt that in terms of full-size flagship headphones, the progress has been limited and mostly incremental from my current setup. Still didn't find anything that can beat the HD800 for high end value. I actually preferred the HD800 sound to the HD800S, although to be frank it's almost a wash between the two. That being said, that Orpheus soundstage... I can't imagine how it would be like if it was in a quiet environment. The Shangri-La was nice. Then I heard about the expected price tag. That was... nice too I guess.
What I was generally impressed by was the progress made over the past few years in the IEM department, especially the universals. Even the relatively cheap ones actually sound really good. On the customs side, the Rhine Audio Stage 7 was the most refined of all the IEMs I tried although it felt a bit too mid-centric for my tastes. The AH500 from AAW was quite good, since my last listen was a prototype with excessive treble tuning. What I was absolutely floored by though, was the Jomo Audio 6R. That seemed to come out of nowhere. Sounded almost like a HD800 in CIEM form. I suppose I should be glad that Singapore-based audio companies are beginning to make their mark in the audiophile industry, that locally produced CIEMs can swing with the world's best in both sound and build quality!
Hope I win something at the contest! BTW, can a mod give me the canjam badge? For proof, look below.
Here's some photographs I shot, from an X-T1 with 35mm f/1.4:
Apologies for the few photos from me, I got lazy midway through the event and stopped snapping amidst the sheer amount of stuff to try.
Booths inside the main hall.
Something I was really looking forward to: Schiit Yggrasil and Ragnarok.
This is what we Singaporeans call "poisonous": Headamp Blue Hawaii amp with Stax SR-007 and SR-009 ear speakers.
Lovely Mullard EL34 tubes on the Blue Hawaii.
A great pairing: Headamp GS-X mk2 and Hifiman HE1000.
Lampizator Big 7 DAC, gigantic beast.
Hifiman HE1000 with EF6 amp and HM901s player.
The prototype Hifiman Shangri-la electrostatic headphone and amp.
4x 300B amps inside the Shangri-la amp.
The one to rule them all: the Sennheiser Orpheus.
Budget Stax with big sound: SR-L500 ear speaker with SR-353X amp.
Bigger guns from Stax: SR-007 MK2 Omega II and SR-727II amp.
Enjoying the Stax equipment.
Hello Dave: Chord Dave and Hugo.
Fostex HP-AV8 amp with other Fostex headphones.
Inside the HP-AV8 amp: KT88, 300B and E88CC tubes.
Impressions to come later.
Thanks tassardar, appreciating taking your time to post the pics and impressions.
Looking forward to more impressions from the lucky ones attending CanJam Singapore...
Some rough impressions:
Schiit Yggdrasil and Ragnarok
I was told that the Yggdrasil requires a few days to warm up, and it was only powered on at 5am that day, so I expected a somewhat rough presentation with my HD800. Yes, it was a little harsh and rough at the higher frequencies, but the speed, detail retrieval and bass slam were top notch even with only a few hours of use. Yggdrasil is something I'm seriously considering as my next upgrade after hearing what it's capable of when it's not fully warmed up.
The Might Electrostats (Sennheiser Orpheus, Stax SR-007 and SR-009 with Headamp Blue Hawaii, and Hifiman Shangri-La)
The Orpheus needs no introduction. The Stax headspeakers and Blue Hawaii have a formidable reputation. And there's plenty of hype and expection over the upcoming Shangri-La. All them sound utterly natural and real sounding - no overpowering bass, no exaggerated treble, no peaky midrange. Just sweet, beguiling music with great tone, smoothness and imaging. Between the three, the Orpheus edges ahead slightly. But when comparing the Stax and Hifiman, it became a case of splitting hairs and I just could not decide which was better, so I'm calling it a draw for now.
The "Budget" Electrostat - Stax SR-L500 ear speaker and SRM-353X amp
Yeah I know, "budget" and "Stax" don't really go together, but this combination (<USD1500) pretty much impressed me, most of the goodness of the bigger Stax flagships at a cost that is actually not outrageously out of grasp.
I've owned my HD800 since 2010, and I've preferred it over many other flagships that have come since. So I was very eager to try the new HD800S, and it is tempting me to change over. It is noticeably darker with slightly boosted bass and slightly tamed treble. Soundstaging and detail retrieval is about the same as the older model. It seems more suited for a wider range of genres, and those who are critical of the brightness or harshness of the HD800 should really give the HD800S a chance.
Overall, day 1 has been a great experience, and I hope to try more stuff like the Woo Audio WA-8 and a bunch of IEMs for day 2.
Thanks for the pics and impressions.
I know the WA8 is single ended only but can it still compete with the CDM's balanced output sound?
The Fostex HP-V8 is HUGE! Those who've tried it say the sound is incredible. Looks like a very simple yet powerful design
I'd take one but too bad about the $8K price:
Great pictures guys! Even sitting at home I can't help but feel excited just looking at all those summit-fi devices.
Were any of the seminars filmed and if they were, when and where will they be available.
The first and the last was, will need the headfi team to comment on availability, though.
Was very impressed with the new iFi Ican pro at the iFi/Noble booth at level 1, very musical. Too bad I went level 2 first and by the time I reach them it was already closing time so only managed to listen for 20mins. Talk to the Wizard though, cool!
Going down later for another round of listening especially all the custom IEMs...
An hour and fifteen minutes till day two. Who's excited?
Guys, don't miss a chance to listen to Klipsch x20i they are very good, one of the best sounds from uIEM you'll find on CanJam.
try the rha 750i, i was impressed by it and i felt i love it among all that i tried in the expo
Has anyone had a chance to listen to the Custom Art EI.xx?