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CanJam SoCal 2019 Impressions thread

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  1. aaf evo
    I believe the estimated shipping date is august 12th.
  2. mimizone
    Flew for the day for my first CanJam.
    That was a blast.
    Almost all I tried I liked or loved. Problem is they are all almost 2 or 3 times my max budget...

    what I tried:
    - focal stellia
    - focal utopia
    - audeze lcd-mx4
    - Audeze lcd4
    - hifiman Arya
    - hifiman he 1000
    - hifiman sustara
    - hifiman Ananda
    - Raal SR1a
    - Meze emporium
    - Abyss (2 models)
    - STAX
    - grado gs3000 I believe
    - mr speakers ether, ether 2, ether flow
    - campfire Solaris, andromeda, Polaris
    - Akoustyx, prototype hybrid planar/dynamic driver

    I am exhausted :)
    I resisted buying the Arya with the good discount, blaming all the other brands for being also good and Hifiman for not driving the Arya with some serious amp at the booth. I am sure it has way more potential than what you can “hear” on the noisy exhibit. Impossible to listen to quiet classical music at all.

    I want also to listen to music now and not just parts of tracks between 10s and 1min30s max for 7 hours - skipping lunch... :)

    Lot of fun.

    Let’s go back home now and see if the LCD-XC know I cheated on them all day long...
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
    robo24, Sp12er3, sean-xenos and 2 others like this.
  3. CreditingKarma
    If there is a Khan custom coming it would be incredible if we can send in our universals and have the re shelled into customs.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  4. rantng
    Wasn't really expecting 64Audio to get onto the estat train since it competes with their tia driver, but I wasn't really expecting something warmer than A12t.
  5. Giullian
    Universal N8, I guess?
  6. kdphan
    The unknown 64Audio IEM will be universal. That's all they're really telling people at Canjam.
  7. kdphan
    I'm just wondering if the price will be much more than the 18s.
  8. shadowplay0
    First CanJam. Had a blast.

    Zach from ZMF is super nice. Don't recall which cans I listened to, but I wanted to sit there and listen to the whole album I'd selected. Gives me warm fuzzies about the Aeolus I've got on order
    Focal Stellia earns it's price tag. Not likely to buy soon, but sounded great
    Likewise for the Chord Dave(I think)+M-Scaler
    Had fun telling the folks at the Manley booth that it's my last name as well :D Dang, that amp sounded good once I swapped out the HiFiMan cans for a pair of MrSpeakers

    Side note on music. Was a bit disappointed how many vendors had devices only able to access local files, and not stream from the usual suspects. Although most had a nice selection downloaded (props to Chord for their Nick Cave albums), being able to play whatever obscure tracks I wanted was nice where it was available. F'rex, it was "Hey Jane" by Spiritualized that convinced me that I'd only be happy with the Stellia and not Focal's lesser closed backs. Food for thought if anybody in the industry has the chance to see this

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2019
    Sp12er3, THGM, marhol and 3 others like this.
  9. FullCircle
    Noble, historically, has never offered that type of service.
    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
  10. kdphan
    been resisting buying the FiiO M11 and was hoping it wasn't hyped.

    Turns out it's an awesome DAP for $449.
    abirdie4me and NovaFlyer like this.
  11. ThomasHK
    Transformer for the estat.
    Sp12er3, ajyagle, Matthew420 and 3 others like this.
  12. pure5152
    The great:
    • Grado HF-3 blew me away. Sounded like a souped up rs2e, with more extension and better soundstage, and for only $350. Came back multiple times during the day and was always impressed by it. Highly recommend giving them a listen. Talked to the Grado guys, looks like they're planning to start building them right after can jam and have them shipped out sometime July. Insanely good value, just sounds good, regardless of any comparison. I bought one.
    • Raal Audio's headphone I thought looked pretty jank at first - no ear pads, powered by speaker amps??? But no, insanely comfortable because it kinda hangs off your head, so it barely makes contact. It actually felt like listening to speakers, because you felt very little pressure around your ears. Piano sounded amazing. Just wished we could play our own music.
    • Khan - one of the best things I've ever heard, bar none. The highs sounded so crisp, extremely transparent. La Mar from Debussy sounded extremely lifelike, just like I heard it at the SF Symphony a few weeks ago, which I haven't heard another headphone emulate it before. Jim from Noble was super nice and friendly. Had a good time at this table.
    • 64 Audio's new IEM sounds great (unnamed, details released in July). Sounds much better than the forte IMO, with more body to notes and excellent treble detail and imaging. My friend liked the A12T of all IEMs there best, but I didn't get to hear it.
    • LCD-4/LCD-4Z was super banging. It's intense, but has some of the best bass I've heard, and really just sucks you into the music.
    • Voce + Dave + Blue Hawaii pairing at the Mr Speaker's booth, holy crap. That's an emotional experience. I remember checking something on my phone, but kept on forgetting what I was trying to check because I kept getting carried away with the music. You really just have to go try it out yourself haha.
    • The new Ragnarok 2 sounds great! Especially with the ether 2 :wink:
    • Got to meet Bevin and Zach from ZMF in person, Bevin is so sweet! Zach talked about the new "closed-verite" he's working on, going to be available by RMAF probably? Said he's aiming for it to be a more neutral offering, somewhere between the Eikon and Atticus. Super hyped about that.
    • Zircone verite sounded really clear/immediate (more than I remember my pheasant wood sounding). Auteur on Hugo TT 2 + M-Scaler was mmmm <3
    The good:
    • Grado ps2000e sounded excellent, female vocals sounded great, and soundstage was good. But $2700... not the greatest value for me :/
    • CA IO had impressive soundstage and imaging, but for me clarity/resolution lagged behind CA's higher end offerings (like the Andromeda and Solaris). A pretty decent value at $299
    • Comet was surprising with its forward sound. Again, lacked clarity/resolution of higher end offerings. Weight of the chassis causes it to press against your lower ear a little, making it a little uncomfortable. A great deal at its price point.
    • Solaris sounded remarkably good, with great vocal clarity and impressive soundstage. It is a bit big/bulky though. IMO the Noble khan/64 audio options were on another level, but were also more expensive. Good value for the money at $1499.
    • Stellia had a remarkably clear midrange and good treble detail, but the subbass/bass was often a little too overpowering for me, don't think it was worth $3000.
    The okay:
    • The subbass/bass of the Polaris was a bit too much for me, overwhelming the mids/impacting clarity
    • Elegia was a bit too bright/harsh to my ears
    • Hifiman's offerings didn't impress me too much, especially given the price point. I was surprised to find I preferred Drop's HeXX ($599) to the he1000 (~$3,000).
    • Periodic Audio's offerings weren't particularly impressive to me, but their switch-board to quickly A/B their in-ears was a lot of fun.
    • Abyss offerings sounded good, but had a really weird fit (one simply "hanged" from your head, you couldn't adjust it and it stuck-out instead of hugging your ears). Not worth the high prices in my opinion.
    The bad:
    • The interface/music selection at the hifiman booth was a complete disaster for me. Whatever app the hifiman booth was using was absolute garbage to navigate, and had the most limited selection of music at the whole Can Jam. If you're looking to try their stuff, go visit other booths where they have the he1000 - the hifiman booth itself is not worth visiting.
    • Can jam people lied: self-parking was $32, not $10. RIP. (EDIT: some kind head-fiers pointed out you can get a sticker that's worth $22 if you bring your ticket to the registration people, good to know!)
    • Sorry Periodic Audio, but the titanium option was treble murder >_O
    Things I wish I tried:
    • ZMF pendant and the tube amps next to the ZMF booth (my mom said the Eikon + one of the TOTL tube amps there was the best thing she heard)
    • Ampandsound's stuff
    • A/B-ing the M-Scaler vs passthrough
    • A12T (my friend's favorite of 64 audio's offerings)

    I was surprised how many things sounded great at can jam, and it was a great experience overall! Please go check out the HF-3. The Khan, the new 64 audio IEM, LCD-4, Raal Audio's headphone, Ragnarok 2, Voce + Blue Hawaii are must-listens.

    Those are my impressions from the top of my head. Was there the entire day. Feel free to ask me questions if you'd like me to expand on anything! :D
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    aloki, Pink Freud, 12lior12 and 25 others like this.
  13. DecentLevi
    Of four official CanJam's, this was by far the best for me! Avalanche of breakthrough innovations that are bound to be future proof for years to come. Mind blowing fidelity had from numerous open and closed backs with brand new technology and the best amp / DACs and DAPs in existence! I blew through 8 hours there like it was 2, and only got to see half of everything; had completely blew the lid off expectations, and hope I can even finish trying what I want in the last 7 hours!

    You could even save money by finding something cheaper than what you thought
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  14. pure5152
    Here's some random photos by the way (in thumbnails so it doesn't eat up too much thread size haha)






    Sp12er3, sean-xenos, Deftone and 10 others like this.
  15. Doctortre2481
    would love to hear some sp2000 impression and comparison to sp1000 and sp1000m.
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