CanJam SoCal 2019 Impressions thread
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Watagump

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@Watagump before meeting you at CanJam, my impression of you is that you an A**:ksc75smile: but after meeting you, you the nicest and fun guy to be around, glad to meet you

Thanks? I think, lol. Even here my goal from the get go has been to help people and try and make it fun and friendly. Sometimes it may not come off that way, but from my heart, its always been the way I am. Piss me off, then yeah, the other side can appear.
 
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twister6

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Thanks? I think, lol. Even here my goal from the get go has been to help people and try and make it fun and friendly. Sometimes it may not come off that way, but from my heart, its always been the way I am. Piss me off, then yeah, the other side can appear.
Sounds like your mission gets accomplished, regardless if you are can-jamming in NYC or SoCal :wink: Looking forward to next year CJ NYC :D
 
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Wow! What a blast this weekend was. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Empire booth to try out the new and the old! We had a great time discussing everything with you all, the head-fi community is such a cool one!
Thank you to all that made it happen, the head-fi crew, you rock!

If you didn't get the chance to hear the Valkyrie or Wraith, be sure you are at the next show.
And please, if you have never met us, or listened to what we have, stop by, take a listen and hang out. We love to meet new people!
If you missed SoCal, definitely try to make it out next time. The area is gorgeous, and everyone is really cool.

I’m wondering where the Valkyrie is priced. In terms of complexity it’s more like the Vantage than the X, but it seems like a different tuning than Empire’s previous hybrids.
The Valkyrie is $1599 for both the Universal and Custom models!

Huh. This mockup shows 4 speaker-like objects, with the fourth apparently being a toaster oven:

That fourth item is the Transformer for the Estat as @ThomasHK mentioned.



I’ve just ordered a pair myself! - Austin at the EE booth was super helpful and discussed the details of several of their iems with me. Highly recommended to stop by there.
Great to meet you!


Empire Ears Legend X ($2299) - These are now in my Top 5 List of TOTL IEMs! These are legit fantastic. What impressed me the most about them was that they pull off the seemingly impossible task of sounding both ultra-revealing while at the same time being totally fatigue-free. And their bass is deep and powerful without overdoing it. I have no idea how they pulled off this magic trick but they did and they sound amazing.
Thanks for stopping by to hang out and listen! The Legend X will always be my favorite IEM.

- Empire Ears Valkryie - thought this was a great IEM. For me, it sits in between the Phantom and Legend X for bass, but adds slightly more on the treble as compared to the Phantoms. BTW, I used a SPK1M and listened to Phil Collins, Def Leppard, Candy Dulfer, Hans Zimmer and some Star Wars soundtracks for my impressions. Thanks to @Jack Vang and @ajyagle for the friendly banter.
Great to meet you Jim! Until next time!
 
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Skyediver

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Love reading everyone's experiences from the show, especially the more experienced folks. Now that I've gotten a taste, I can see myself going down the rabbit hole (ZMF's are calling my name!). Maybe this is covered in other threads, but how does everyone manage ALL of the things they want to hear/have heard, and cross reference that with various pairings, etc? I like the idea of getting into the hobby, learning slowly, etc. but my mind is spinning on the idea of tracking pairings to methodically review potential purchases. Is this a simple spreadsheet, or have folks developed some other techniques for this part of the process?
 
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Watagump

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Sounds like your mission gets accomplished, regardless if you are can-jamming in NYC or SoCal :wink: Looking forward to next year CJ NYC :D

Hey Alex, on a few occasions I wondered if you were going to come say hello like you did in NY. I know you don't hop around from show to show, but hey, it was in the back of my mind. Not sure what the next year will bring, part of me wants to try something new. Jack has been trying to get me on board for a while now and give the EE booth a try. I wont lie, you never know. :wink:
 
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CANiSLAYu

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I like the idea of getting into the hobby, learning slowly, etc. but my mind is spinning on the idea of tracking pairings to methodically review potential purchases. Is this a simple spreadsheet, or have folks developed some other techniques for this part of the process?
That sounds like more like work than a hobby :)

I won't be much help, but my two cents are to take your time, save up and buy the best you can afford that fits your preference. If you buy something as a compromise or to save money you're going to just continue to lust after what you really want and end up spending the money anyways. So cut out that interim step that might cause you to lose a few bucks. Been guilty of that more times than I'd care to admit.
 
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how does everyone manage ALL of the things they want to hear/have heard, and cross reference that with various pairings, etc?
At shows I cannot distinguish subtle differences, so I just listen a track that I know how it sounds and then I just evaluate if I like or not how it sounds. Then based on how that compares to my memory of the track I play other tracks to find where it excels or fails. Subtle differences are going to be hard to evaluate in a show (too much noise), open back headphones are also hard to evaluate. Anyway, I don't need to cross reference all the gear I've heard, I just look for what I like, so at the end I mostly only remember if something was good or not, and any major characteristics that I might have noticed. Also, in some booths you cannot use your own music, so you end up trying with unknown gear and unknown music and sometimes unknown headphones. For example the Raal booth, they were controlling the music, in amps I've no experience with, with a DAC I'm not familiar with, and sharing the volume control with other people that were listening at higher volume levels than I'm comfortable with, so at the end it sounded nice, but I had zero reference.
 
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My experience this year wasn't as good as prior actually. I felt like there were more impatient people and some were just downright rude. It was a little disappointing too, especially the booths on the back all, where there were many non-English speaking people representing the company and some booths shared a translator and the translation didn't seem to go well when asking specific questions. I already knew most of the products but my friend whom I brought with me who didn't know the products very well ended up getting a bit of a bad taste with some of the brands due to what seemed like a lack of wanting to help from the reps. Otherwise, it was nice to see some familiar faces and some new. If you said hi to me on Sunday, I apologize for not being very accommodating. The hotel I stayed at, Wyndham, had no AC the night before so I didn't sleep well at all so I felt hazy all Sunday.

Anyway, some key highlights and thoughts are as follows:
  • Kaldas RR1 - blown away with the performance. It was something I did not expect which is why I really enjoy these events - coming across something amazing when you least expect it. Build quality maybe a bit of an issue from my observation but IMO, I will current take these over Stax in a heartbeat. I like the Voce better but it's also way more pricier.
  • Raal - everyone is raving about it - I felt like it was still in it's preliminary stages. It has a lot of potential but this may have been my biggest disappointment.
  • Fiio - stop coming out with so many products... I stopped buying your products because you buy something and then 3 months later, you come out with something better. not cool! Love your products, but you're confusing me.
  • Grado - still feeling that "meh"...
  • ZMF - ya'll need a bigger booth!
  • Lastly - Enjoyed all the seminars.
I can't make it out to RMAF this year so looking forward to CanJam SoCal next year already. hahaha. Cheers
 
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(ZMF's are calling my name!). Maybe this is covered in other threads, but how does everyone manage ALL of the things they want to hear/have heard, and cross reference that with various pairings, etc? I like the idea of getting into the hobby, learning slowly, etc. but my mind is spinning on the idea of tracking pairings to methodically review potential purchases. Is this a simple spreadsheet, or have folks developed some other techniques for this part of the process?
I'd suggest picking a headphone or thirty that you really like,get that,and then find out which amps it has good synergy with.
If its a ZMF(great choice) I'd begin looking into a good OTL amp.

If you buy something as a compromise or to save money you're going to just continue to lust after what you really want and end up spending the money anyways. So cut out that interim step that might cause you to lose a few bucks. Been guilty of that more times than I'd care to admit.
+1
 
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Thats exactly how I imagined the valkyries as you described them. I wonder how it compares to the new audio 64. Did you had a chance to hear them?

Any thoughts on if valks could have better or higher sub bass vs phantom?
Unfortunately I didn't try the new 64 Audio gear, every time I went by their table it was always 2-3 people deep.

Bass wise, I think the Valkryie brings more sub-bass and associated rumble than the Phantoms, but the bass is still controlled, but with a little bit of a roll-off. From a physics perspective, I would expect this due to the differences between a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver.

If I was buying today, I would go with the Valkyrie over the Phantoms as I think it's a great all around IEM for my preferences and music, but I already own the Phantoms.

Be careful with that Jack Vang guy, he went to Panda Express and didn't bring us any. Someone better not come say he was doing us a favor, its delicious.
Sam Woo Seafood vs. Panda; no choice here, the shrimp and scallops in garlic sauce served on a sizzling cast iron plate wins hands down! :fried_shrimp::fried_shrimp:


  • Empire Ears Bravado:
    • 1 dynamic + 1 BA
    • Great sound and great bass! (I love bass.........)
    • Comes with really nice Effect Audio cable. Had show special 15% off and free impressions for custom fit… Been a bad boy, and made an impulse buy! :grin:

@Watagump in partial
defense for @Zachik it didn't help that he had a devil telling him to " Just buy it! Just buy it! You'll love it!" :ksc75smile: :smiling_imp:
 
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Unfortunately I didn't try the new 64 Audio gear, every time I went by their table it was always 2-3 people deep.

Bass wise, I think the Valkryie brings more sub-bass and associated rumble than the Phantoms, but the bass is still controlled, but with a little bit of a roll-off. From a physics perspective, I would expect this due to the differences between a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver.

If I was buying today, I would go with the Valkyrie over the Phantoms as I think it's a great all around IEM for my preferences and music, but I already own the Phantoms.



Sam Woo Seafood vs. Panda; no choice here, the shrimp and scallops in garlic sauce served on a sizzling cast iron plate wins hands down! :fried_shrimp::fried_shrimp:




@Watagump in partial
defense for @Zachik it didn't help that he had a devil telling him to " Just buy it! Just buy it! You'll love it!" :ksc75smile: :smiling_imp:

If I like Panda Express and Jack likes Panda Express then it has to be good. Carry on. :v:
 
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If I was buying today, I would go with the Valkyrie over the Phantoms as I think it's a great all around IEM for my preferences and music, but I already own the Phantoms.
Agreed. Something is special with the Valkyrie! :smile_phones:
 
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If I like Panda Express and Jack likes Panda Express then it has to be good. Carry on. :v:
Had I known my new upcoming CIEMs are the result of eating Panda Express...... :thinking:
 
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