CanJam SoCal 2021 Impressions Thread (September 25-26, 2021)
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:13 PM Post #361 of 593

Swisstoni

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To elaborate on the Audeze booth questions, here are our CSO Mark Cohen's responses:

1. Did the Weiss have any EQ on?

We made certain that all features on the Weiss were "off."

2. For customer(s) asking what amps are powerful enough for the LCD-5?

We’re all very fortunate that we now have many, many powerful headphone amps to choose from (which was not the case when the LCD-4 was first released). Please forgive this overly long sentence, but some to consider:

Chord Dave
Hugo TT2 (even their portable Hugo2)
Bryston
SPL (we suggest you use the DIP switches for high gain and XLR)
DCS Bartok
Nagra Tube DAC
Weiss 502
Pathos Inpol Ear
Benchmark HPA4
Manley
Luxman 750
Pass Labs (but not if you want to listen really loud

...and probably many others I’ve missed. Apologies to those manufacturers whose amps I might have left out; but I’m certain many Head-fiers have other suggestions that would be welcomed. Perhaps the important thing to note here is that yes, you can plug the LCD-4/5 into a less powerful amp and yes, music will come out. However, if you really want them to “get up and dance,” more power is always the answer.
What's really annoying about this list of amps is that it is completely at odds with questions I have raised through Facebook messenger ( to Audeze ) as to how much power an amp needs to get the best out of the LCD 5's. Who ever is monitoring messenger is telling people that the LCD 5 is easy to drive. That is not what this list of amps would suggest ! How much power do the 5's require to get them to perform at their best ??
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:19 PM Post #362 of 593

ufospls2

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What's really annoying about this list of amps is that it is completely at odds with questions I have raised through Facebook messenger ( to Audeze ) as to how much power an amp needs to get the best out of the LCD 5's. Who ever is monitoring messenger is telling people that the LCD 5 is easy to drive. That is not what this list of amps would suggest ! How much power do the 5's require to get them to perform at their best ??

From the specs, its fairly similar to the HE1000V1 and V2 (not SE) from Hifiman, so those threads may be of use. Also similar to the original HE560. 90db/mw isn't HARD to drive, but it also needs a decent amp for best performance. Though @Currawong did note in the LCD-5 thread that he found the iDSD Diablo, which is 5w into 16ohms with 18db of gain didn't work well. So perhaps its more how the amp delivers its power, vs the specifications rating. I think as time goes on, people will find good matches with the LCD-5. As it is right now, with no one having received their units, its all speculation.

It's not Susvara or HE6 levels of hard to drive, not by any means.
 
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Sep 27, 2021 at 5:23 PM Post #363 of 593

adrianm

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From the specs, its fairly similar to the HE1000V1 and V2 (not SE) from Hifiman. Also similar to the original HE560. 90db/mw isn't HARD to drive, but it also needs a decent amp for best performance.

It's not Susvara or HE6 levels of hard to drive, not by any means.
I think the precise quantification is #mediumtodrive :D
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:36 PM Post #364 of 593

Swisstoni

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From the specs, its fairly similar to the HE1000V1 and V2 (not SE) from Hifiman, so those threads may be of use. Also similar to the original HE560. 90db/mw isn't HARD to drive, but it also needs a decent amp for best performance. Though @Currawong did note in the LCD-5 thread that he found the iDSD Diablo, which is 5w into 16ohms with 18db of gain didn't work well. So perhaps its more how the amp delivers its power, vs the specifications rating. I think as time goes on, people will find good matches with the LCD-5. As it is right now, with no one having received their units, its all speculation.

It's not Susvara or HE6 levels of hard to drive, not by any means.
Ok, if you were to chose between a violectric v550 ( 2 watts at 16 ohms ) or a flux labs VOLOT ( 16 watts at 16 ohms ), would one perform better than the other ?? Or would both get the best out of the LCD 5's ?
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:38 PM Post #365 of 593

ufospls2

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Ok, if you were to chose between a violectric v550 ( 2 watts at 16 ohms ) or a flux labs VOLOT ( 16 watts at 16 ohms ), would one perform better than the other ?? Or would both get the best out of the LCD 5's ?

I haven't heard either so I can't say with any sort of certainty. Simply based off of specs, you wouldn't want for more power even with the HE6 with the VOLOT.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:45 PM Post #366 of 593

Swisstoni

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I haven't heard either so I can't say with any sort of certainty. Simply based off of specs, you wouldn't want for more power even with the HE6 with the VOLOT.
I was leaning towards the Violectric but the 2 watts at 16 ohms concerns me !! I've been saving for a year to get the LCD 5s and a new amp and don't want to make a mistake ! Most of the amps listed by Audeze seem to be a lot more powerful than the Violectric !
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:55 PM Post #367 of 593

blaked

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This was my first CanJam, and now I can't wait to do another one! I had a great time. Thanks to everyone, and in particular everybody at The Source AV, Audeze, and Dan Clark Audio for putting up with my repeat visits and requests.

I'll give a few impressions, but I should note a few things about me first:

I'm a low-end guy (at least so far). My most expensive headphones are the Sennheiser-Drop HD 6XX, Grado SR225e, and Etymotic ER4SR, and my current favorites (that I own) cost less than those: beyerdynamic DT770. I find closed backs useful for listening at home with my family around, and the DT770 has a sound signature I find to be a nice balance between the "laid back" HD 6XX and the more energetic Grados. I have a couple of Schiit Modi 3 DACs, a Magni Heresy (living room), a Magni 3+ (bedroom), and a Fulla 3 (work). My experience with high-end audio is limited mostly to this past weekend, although I did have the opportunity to try some higher-end Sennheisers and the DCA Voce last year (and the latter really impressed me since it finally made me understand what people mean by "imaging" when I was able to pinpoint the location of a clarinet in an orchestra!).

Piping up here to offer any impressions at all feels a bit like driving up to a parking lot full of Lamborghinis and Aston Martins and saying, “You need the opinion of this Civic driver.”

Also: I have moderate hearing loss centered around 3-4 KHz, so I tend to favor circumaural headphones that allow me to wear my hearing aids as I listen. I have normal hearing up to about 1.5 KHz or so, and it improves again above 4 KHz. Honestly I can't tell I have hearing loss most of the time; it seems to manifest mainly in having trouble with consonants that can make speech sound garbled if you’re not talking in my direction. Musically, I don't really notice it much. I mention it here so you can be aware of how those characteristics may influence my tastes. Take whatever I have to say with a grain of salt the size of Antarctica. Now that I've disclaimered myself out beyond the orbit of Jupiter, let me get into some impressions.

I didn't have any particular agenda beyond getting to hear some of the headphones people talk about here so much. I wasn't particularly focused on amps or DACs, so I won’t talk about those.

Grado

My first "audiophile" class headphone – entry level though it may be – was the SR125 purchased back around 1999, so I've been eager to finally hear something further up the chain from the SR series. TSAV brought the RS1e, the GS3000e, and the PS2000e.

The main thing I notice with the Grados – and keep in mind the noisy environment when evaluating open backs – is that they remind me of my own Grados. There definitely seems to be a "house sound". I liked them well enough, but I don't tend to break out my own Grados much anymore, and I don't think I'll be pursuing these. I think as my ears have aged and changed I've lost some of my taste for them. One negative I will say about the PS2000e: They're heavy. I'd shy away from them for that reason alone. I didn’t even have them on that long and they were getting uncomfortable.

I would’ve liked to hear one of the new SR series with the “x” driver, but I’m not aware anyone brought one.

Sennheiser

I tried the HD 800s and HD 820 and enjoyed both, which I think have that more relaxed sound Sennheiser is known for, but without the alleged "veil" of the HD 6XX. (By the way, I never really noticed much of a veil until hearing all of this stuff and going back to my home setup, so you're all to blame for that....) I don't think I'm going to pursue these, either, though. While I like them, they weren't particularly "exciting." Maybe if I found the right deal at the right time to want to spend the money, I could see doing it, but... part of CanJam turns out to have been about learning my own tastes, and I think they're leaning other directions.

Dan Clark Audio

As I said, I'd heard the Voce before and was really impressed, but everything else was new. I see the Stealth is polarizing, but I'm coming down on the side of loving it. I think the Harman curve just forms a good baseline for my tastes... maybe not perfect, but close. I really enjoyed these. I'm not about to be able to afford them anytime soon, but that brings me to their other products.

Can I just say how impressed I am with the Aeon RT? I was pretty blown away by these things for the price. I resisted temptation to buy one of the demos, but I think I may end up ordering a new one soon anyway. I really liked it a lot and kept coming back to it. The stealth certainly sounded more refined -- I'd say that about the Aeon 2, Aeon Noire, and Ether, too -- but the Aeon RT really did get me most of the way there. As someone not yet looking to get into the four-figure models (because I'd like to stay married!), these feel like a good step in that direction.

I also felt like the DCA closed backs do a good job of sounding pretty open. That’s especially true of the Stealth, but by accident I found it to be true of the Aeon RT, too. I was going back and forth between two Aeon RTs because I was getting really critical and trying to figure out if I was hearing a very slight channel imbalance between the two, and I finally did a double-take and realized that one of them was the open-back variant! I hadn’t noticed from the sound, although that probably explained the perceived imbalance in combination with the mix of what I was listening to.

I just love the feel of these, too. Great build quality, as others have mentioned, but really light and comfy.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have some Aeon RT Closed soon.

HIFIMAN

I had a weirdly mixed reaction to these. I've heard a lot about HIFIMAN, of course, but this was my first time actually hearing any of their products. The first day, I tried the Arya and either the HE-R10P or HE-R10D (sorry; I forgot to note it). I didn't care for them, but I think I may owe them a re-evaluation at some point. One thing I started to realize by Sunday is that I can acclimate to a headphone's sound after a few minutes, and if I go to another model, it may sound so different that I'm turned off by the contrast rather than the actual characteristics of the audio. I have to learn how to palate-cleanse. With the closed-back particularly, though, I was getting that "listening in a can" feel that was taking me out of the music.

The next day, though, I went back and listened to some other models which I enjoyed more (HE400se, Sundara, Shangri-La Jr., and Susvara). Maybe I was just more receptive. That said, the HE400se and Sundara, while both sounding good, I think were maybe a bit too forward in the vocals/upper-mids for my tastes. But I'd like to try them again at some point.

Susvara: I didn't spend a lot of time with this, but my overall impression was one of airy transparency. It sounded lovely, but, in a strange way I can't explain, I wasn't really bonding with it. I felt myself analyzing the music more than feeling it. Might've just been my mood in the moment.

Shangri-La Jr.: Similar experience on steroids. It sounds beautiful, but I think maybe I'm drawn to a somewhat different sound signature.

I think I owe HIFIMAN some additional listens at some point, though. There was a lot to like.

Audeze

Oh, wow. I'd never heard any Audeze headphones before, but it turns out I might be an Audeze guy? I really loved everything I tried (LCD-3, LCD-4, LCD-X, and, the next day, LCD-5, LCD-XC, LCD-2 Closed, LCD-GX, and CRBN). The impression I get from most of the stuff I tried is that it has a fun energy while not going so far as to be fatiguing. I don't want to say much comparing the various models because I didn't really take notes on them for that purpose. I was just listening and enjoying what I was hearing. A lot.

I will say that, between the two closed versions I tried, I preferred the LCD-XC. The LCD-2 Closed was a little warmer and smoother, but I think I liked the slightly punchier feel of the LCD-XC. If I continue in closed backs, I could see myself working my way up to that. I could see being happy with the LCD-2 Closed, too, though. It was like picking a favorite topping for a dish you know is going to be delicious either way.

About CRBN: If I had to pick one word for these, I think it would be “intricate.” I wish there’d been a much larger playlist, but the Wi-Fi problems are what they are. That said, the gentleman manning that station recommended “Calypso Blues” by Youn Sun Nah, and wow. It was like I could hear the texture of her vocal cords. I was pretty amazed. These might be the closest I got over the weekend to feeling like I was in the room with the musicians.

64 Audio

As I said, I wear hearing aids, so I wasn’t particularly planning to listen to IEMs. I have a couple of Etymotic models I’ll break out when I’m in the mood to hear something with lots of detail, but I don’t tend to do that much. But people here kept raving about 64 Audio, and I had the time, so I paid them a visit (and thank you to them for being really helpful, too!).

Okay, as surprised as I was by my apparent love of Audeze, I think the 64 Audio U12t and Trió were the biggest surprise of CanJam for me.

BLOWN. AWAY.

That was probably the point of the weekend where I felt myself getting the most lost in the music. I just had no idea IEMs could sound like this, especially with so much bass presence. Just mind blowing. It was like I could have fun energy and analytical detail at the same time. I’m not sure which of the two models I prefer. I tried the U12t first, and I thought I wasn’t liking the Trió as much for the first 30 seconds, but then I just got so lost in the music that I forgot I was trying to analyze anything. It was like being in the music (for both models).

I also tried the Nio (good, but a bit bass-heavy for me, although swapping modules helped it) and the Fourté, which I didn’t care for (not enough warmth and even a bit sibilant for me).

Given the choice right now, I’d go with the U12t, but I’d like to try the Trió again.

Wrapping up…

Reading the feedback here is making me realize how much I missed despite trying so many things! I clearly missed out on hearing some additional things I now wish I’d made time for. I actually did get to hear the Meze Empyrean (not the Elite) and the ZMF Vérité Closed, and I really liked what I heard of both of them, but I don’t feel like I got to spend enough time with them to say much otherwise.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out and gave people like me the chance to hear all these amazing products! It was a great time. I’m looking forward to another one!
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 6:06 PM Post #368 of 593

DarginMahkum

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RME recently switched to ESS due to the AKM shortage.

Note: I don't own an RME.
Only for the consumer model, ADI-2 DAC. Pro will still be AKM. Sonically they will not be different, RME developers say. ESS chip allows to implement custom filters, so they added the filters that are missing on the ESS chip. So, same baby poop for you guys.

Nice work, HeadFi vocabulary is growing. 😉
 
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Sep 27, 2021 at 6:12 PM Post #369 of 593

qua2k

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Looking at the pictures... the booth set ups, and listening tables are atrocious for such a high-end industry. Companies really need to work on their trade show experiences.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 6:22 PM Post #370 of 593
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Obviously not the ideal use-case, but any other portables you've found that do the job reasonably well (specifically the iFi or Centrance trans/portables)?

I have a CEntrance HiFi-M8 V2 here, and a Hugo2 as well. Once the LCD-5 gets here, I'll give them a go after I establish a baseline with desktop gear.

because they look so pretty...

🤣

Would be nice if you'd also throw the M-scaler in there for relevance (most people end up finding it a considerable improvement, not to mention there's a new one coming soon ) .

Thanks for the suggestion! I've heard the same as well. That said, I don't have an M Scalar here at the moment. I can make a request for one, but would be at the mercy of unit availability. We'll see!
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 6:32 PM Post #371 of 593

Wildcatsare1

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This was my first CanJam, and now I can't wait to do another one! I had a great time. Thanks to everyone, and in particular everybody at The Source AV, Audeze, and Dan Clark Audio for putting up with my repeat visits and requests.

I'll give a few impressions, but I should note a few things about me first:

I'm a low-end guy (at least so far). My most expensive headphones are the Sennheiser-Drop HD 6XX, Grado SR225e, and Etymotic ER4SR, and my current favorites (that I own) cost less than those: beyerdynamic DT770. I find closed backs useful for listening at home with my family around, and the DT770 has a sound signature I find to be a nice balance between the "laid back" HD 6XX and the more energetic Grados. I have a couple of Schiit Modi 3 DACs, a Magni Heresy (living room), a Magni 3+ (bedroom), and a Fulla 3 (work). My experience with high-end audio is limited mostly to this past weekend, although I did have the opportunity to try some higher-end Sennheisers and the DCA Voce last year (and the latter really impressed me since it finally made me understand what people mean by "imaging" when I was able to pinpoint the location of a clarinet in an orchestra!).

Piping up here to offer any impressions at all feels a bit like driving up to a parking lot full of Lamborghinis and Aston Martins and saying, “You need the opinion of this Civic driver.”

Also: I have moderate hearing loss centered around 3-4 KHz, so I tend to favor circumaural headphones that allow me to wear my hearing aids as I listen. I have normal hearing up to about 1.5 KHz or so, and it improves again above 4 KHz. Honestly I can't tell I have hearing loss most of the time; it seems to manifest mainly in having trouble with consonants that can make speech sound garbled if you’re not talking in my direction. Musically, I don't really notice it much. I mention it here so you can be aware of how those characteristics may influence my tastes. Take whatever I have to say with a grain of salt the size of Antarctica. Now that I've disclaimered myself out beyond the orbit of Jupiter, let me get into some impressions.

I didn't have any particular agenda beyond getting to hear some of the headphones people talk about here so much. I wasn't particularly focused on amps or DACs, so I won’t talk about those.

Grado

My first "audiophile" class headphone – entry level though it may be – was the SR125 purchased back around 1999, so I've been eager to finally hear something further up the chain from the SR series. TSAV brought the RS1e, the GS3000e, and the PS2000e.

The main thing I notice with the Grados – and keep in mind the noisy environment when evaluating open backs – is that they remind me of my own Grados. There definitely seems to be a "house sound". I liked them well enough, but I don't tend to break out my own Grados much anymore, and I don't think I'll be pursuing these. I think as my ears have aged and changed I've lost some of my taste for them. One negative I will say about the PS2000e: They're heavy. I'd shy away from them for that reason alone. I didn’t even have them on that long and they were getting uncomfortable.

I would’ve liked to hear one of the new SR series with the “x” driver, but I’m not aware anyone brought one.

Sennheiser

I tried the HD 800s and HD 820 and enjoyed both, which I think have that more relaxed sound Sennheiser is known for, but without the alleged "veil" of the HD 6XX. (By the way, I never really noticed much of a veil until hearing all of this stuff and going back to my home setup, so you're all to blame for that....) I don't think I'm going to pursue these, either, though. While I like them, they weren't particularly "exciting." Maybe if I found the right deal at the right time to want to spend the money, I could see doing it, but... part of CanJam turns out to have been about learning my own tastes, and I think they're leaning other directions.

Dan Clark Audio

As I said, I'd heard the Voce before and was really impressed, but everything else was new. I see the Stealth is polarizing, but I'm coming down on the side of loving it. I think the Harman curve just forms a good baseline for my tastes... maybe not perfect, but close. I really enjoyed these. I'm not about to be able to afford them anytime soon, but that brings me to their other products.

Can I just say how impressed I am with the Aeon RT? I was pretty blown away by these things for the price. I resisted temptation to buy one of the demos, but I think I may end up ordering a new one soon anyway. I really liked it a lot and kept coming back to it. The stealth certainly sounded more refined -- I'd say that about the Aeon 2, Aeon Noire, and Ether, too -- but the Aeon RT really did get me most of the way there. As someone not yet looking to get into the four-figure models (because I'd like to stay married!), these feel like a good step in that direction.

I also felt like the DCA closed backs do a good job of sounding pretty open. That’s especially true of the Stealth, but by accident I found it to be true of the Aeon RT, too. I was going back and forth between two Aeon RTs because I was getting really critical and trying to figure out if I was hearing a very slight channel imbalance between the two, and I finally did a double-take and realized that one of them was the open-back variant! I hadn’t noticed from the sound, although that probably explained the perceived imbalance in combination with the mix of what I was listening to.

I just love the feel of these, too. Great build quality, as others have mentioned, but really light and comfy.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have some Aeon RT Closed soon.

HIFIMAN

I had a weirdly mixed reaction to these. I've heard a lot about HIFIMAN, of course, but this was my first time actually hearing any of their products. The first day, I tried the Arya and either the HE-R10P or HE-R10D (sorry; I forgot to note it). I didn't care for them, but I think I may owe them a re-evaluation at some point. One thing I started to realize by Sunday is that I can acclimate to a headphone's sound after a few minutes, and if I go to another model, it may sound so different that I'm turned off by the contrast rather than the actual characteristics of the audio. I have to learn how to palate-cleanse. With the closed-back particularly, though, I was getting that "listening in a can" feel that was taking me out of the music.

The next day, though, I went back and listened to some other models which I enjoyed more (HE400se, Sundara, Shangri-La Jr., and Susvara). Maybe I was just more receptive. That said, the HE400se and Sundara, while both sounding good, I think were maybe a bit too forward in the vocals/upper-mids for my tastes. But I'd like to try them again at some point.

Susvara: I didn't spend a lot of time with this, but my overall impression was one of airy transparency. It sounded lovely, but, in a strange way I can't explain, I wasn't really bonding with it. I felt myself analyzing the music more than feeling it. Might've just been my mood in the moment.

Shangri-La Jr.: Similar experience on steroids. It sounds beautiful, but I think maybe I'm drawn to a somewhat different sound signature.

I think I owe HIFIMAN some additional listens at some point, though. There was a lot to like.

Audeze

Oh, wow. I'd never heard any Audeze headphones before, but it turns out I might be an Audeze guy? I really loved everything I tried (LCD-3, LCD-4, LCD-X, and, the next day, LCD-5, LCD-XC, LCD-2 Closed, LCD-GX, and CRBN). The impression I get from most of the stuff I tried is that it has a fun energy while not going so far as to be fatiguing. I don't want to say much comparing the various models because I didn't really take notes on them for that purpose. I was just listening and enjoying what I was hearing. A lot.

I will say that, between the two closed versions I tried, I preferred the LCD-XC. The LCD-2 Closed was a little warmer and smoother, but I think I liked the slightly punchier feel of the LCD-XC. If I continue in closed backs, I could see myself working my way up to that. I could see being happy with the LCD-2 Closed, too, though. It was like picking a favorite topping for a dish you know is going to be delicious either way.

About CRBN: If I had to pick one word for these, I think it would be “intricate.” I wish there’d been a much larger playlist, but the Wi-Fi problems are what they are. That said, the gentleman manning that station recommended “Calypso Blues” by Youn Sun Nah, and wow. It was like I could hear the texture of her vocal cords. I was pretty amazed. These might be the closest I got over the weekend to feeling like I was in the room with the musicians.

64 Audio

As I said, I wear hearing aids, so I wasn’t particularly planning to listen to IEMs. I have a couple of Etymotic models I’ll break out when I’m in the mood to hear something with lots of detail, but I don’t tend to do that much. But people here kept raving about 64 Audio, and I had the time, so I paid them a visit (and thank you to them for being really helpful, too!).

Okay, as surprised as I was by my apparent love of Audeze, I think the 64 Audio U12t and Trió were the biggest surprise of CanJam for me.

BLOWN. AWAY.

That was probably the point of the weekend where I felt myself getting the most lost in the music. I just had no idea IEMs could sound like this, especially with so much bass presence. Just mind blowing. It was like I could have fun energy and analytical detail at the same time. I’m not sure which of the two models I prefer. I tried the U12t first, and I thought I wasn’t liking the Trió as much for the first 30 seconds, but then I just got so lost in the music that I forgot I was trying to analyze anything. It was like being in the music (for both models).

I also tried the Nio (good, but a bit bass-heavy for me, although swapping modules helped it) and the Fourté, which I didn’t care for (not enough warmth and even a bit sibilant for me).

Given the choice right now, I’d go with the U12t, but I’d like to try the Trió again.

Wrapping up…

Reading the feedback here is making me realize how much I missed despite trying so many things! I clearly missed out on hearing some additional things I now wish I’d made time for. I actually did get to hear the Meze Empyrean (not the Elite) and the ZMF Vérité Closed, and I really liked what I heard of both of them, but I don’t feel like I got to spend enough time with them to say much otherwise.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out and gave people like me the chance to hear all these amazing products! It was a great time. I’m looking forward to another one!
Did you have a chance to try out the Empire Ears EVO at CanJam? My hearing on one side is impaired, and their Weapon X Bone drive (technology used by the military and LEO for a number of year's) is the real deal. Highly recommended!
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 6:34 PM Post #372 of 593

blaked

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No, I didn't! I wish I had now. I'll keep it in mind for the future. Thanks! I clearly need to be more open to IEMs...
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 6:45 PM Post #373 of 593

Roasty

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A quick note for the people who have inquired here about the Ferrum OOR/HYPSOS. I auditioned my own pair of Susvara through this amp, as well as through the new Enleum AMP-23R. The Ferrum was being fed by a Simaudio DAC (not sure which model), while the Enleum was using the RME ADI-2 DAC. Prior to yesterday, I had never auditioned any of these components. Keep in mind all of the usual caveats about show conditions and the limited amount of time (~15 minutes) spent with each setup.

Ferrum OOR/HYPSOS: These are very compact, well-built components which I find pleasing to the eye. The power supply features configurable voltage levels, so may be used with other components (not sure of compatibility requirements). The amp has a switch to adjust the gain, and for the Susvara I set it to high. I think I had the volume knob set to around 1-2 o'clock and was listening at realistic, but not head-banger, levels. I don't think you'll run out of gain with this amp, in other words. I would describe the sound as very clean and neutral tonally. There was a sense of authority and solidity, like the amp had fantastic grip on the drivers. Excellent PRaT. Unlike a previous reviewer, I felt the bass level and quality with the Susvara was excellent. The one thing I hoped for was more soundstage dimensionality. Depth was pretty good, width was narrower than what I'm used to. This could be partly down to the DAC, for all I know. Minor quibble aside, this was a very impressive amp for the Susvara and I give it a strong recommendation, especially for the price!

Enleum AMP-23R: This is the successor to the much-praised Bakoon AMP-13R, and according to the friendly gent who assisted me at the headphones.com booth, the circuit is essentially the same with a few minor parts revisions. Apparently, the price has also come down. Unfortunately, so has the style quotient. This is a fairly generic-looking black box. So, how was the sound? Coming from the Ferrum combo, the contrast was rather startling! This amp throws a very wide and layered soundstage. Instruments sounded more ethereal compared to the Ferrum's "solidity". The Enleum really offered copious amounts of detail and air, and it's very seductive. It's also roughly twice the price of the Ferrum combo.

So, which would I buy if I were in the market for an amp for the Susvara? Very tough question. Maybe both! If you're into a cinematic soundstage, the Enleum is a no-brainer. For more intimate material, and in a certain mood, I might prefer the Ferrum. These are very preliminary impressions, so please don't give them undue weight. I will just say that these are both superb components that merit serious consideration. I recommend them both without hesitation.

This is valuable info!
You should paste this onto the susvara thread too. But what I really wanna know is would either of these match up to your pre/power combo?
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #374 of 593

chrisnyc75

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From the specs, its fairly similar to the HE1000V1 and V2 (not SE) from Hifiman, so those threads may be of use. Also similar to the original HE560. 90db/mw isn't HARD to drive, but it also needs a decent amp for best performance. Though @Currawong did note in the LCD-5 thread that he found the iDSD Diablo, which is 5w into 16ohms with 18db of gain didn't work well. So perhaps its more how the amp delivers its power, vs the specifications rating. I think as time goes on, people will find good matches with the LCD-5. As it is right now, with no one having received their units, its all speculation.

It's not Susvara or HE6 levels of hard to drive, not by any means.
Based on the specs lcd-5 (14ohms/90db) should be just slightly easier to drive than Arya (32ohms/90db). Agree that I wouldn't call it "hard to drive", but you're not going to be able to run it off a dongle dac either, and you're going to want sufficient power to pull the best out of its low end.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 7:37 PM Post #375 of 593

boxster233

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Looking at the pictures... the booth set ups, and listening tables are atrocious for such a high-end industry. Companies really need to work on their trade show experiences.
You don’t usually see as much trade show investment in niche markets. There aren’t a lot of trade shows, so ROI on that investment is probably limited.
 

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