Fujiya Avic Winter Potaken (Portable Audio) in Tokyo 18th February 2017 Every year, Fujiya organises 4 shows, 2 of which are the main ones that most international folks are aware of, the Spring and Autumn Headphone festival which runs for 2 days each. And 2 smaller ones in Winter and Summer that runs for one day. This year the Fujiya Winter festival is somewhat smaller than usual occupying primarily 1 floor (although Fuijya did have some presentations on another floor). Despite the exhibitors squashed into one floor, the show was busy nevertheless with long queues with some new product launches. 1) Kumitate Lab First stop was with Kumitate Lab to look at their new rose gold Trio. The driver configuration remains the same as the original Trio however a different filter is used on the tweeter. I've not heard the original Trio for some time but based on my shoddy memory, the new rose gold Trio seems to have the trebles a little more smoothed out and a -slightly- warmer signature than the former yet retains the energetic sound. However without a side-by-side comparison, take this with a large grain of salt. The rose gold Trio is targeted for a summer 2017 release. 2) Brise Audio Brise Audio has been a brand I've been following somewhat closely as their cables are quite attractive. I have the UPG001 myself. The above is their upcoming 24th March release Brise UPG001Ref. I gather this will be the flagship of their UPG001 range. The cable is still the UPG001 however the regular Pentaconn plug is upgraded to the new OFC Pentaconn plug instead. Further Brise has their own original MMCX plugs, and has titanium reinforcing for the earphone end. It also leverages some of their TotL flagship Murakumo technology around the joints. The OFC Pentaconn plug Brise original MMCX plugs Comparison of the 2x Pentaconns (lower being the orginal and upper being the new OFC) Comparison of their original MMCX vs the regular (Oyaide??) My Tralucent 1Plus2.2 on the new UPG001Ref1. cable. The price of the cable is approx ¥64,000 ex tax. Brise Audio also found that the Technics EAH-T700 connectors work perfectly fine with the Sony MDR-Z1R. Here is their ¥150,000+ (ex tax) cable with the connectors on the Sony MDR-Z1R. This cable was balanced and sounded just holographic with the MDR-Z1R. This is the same cable as the ones for the Sony MDR-ZR but terminated for the Focal Utopia. Another somewhat more immediate release is the UPG001Rh+ which is basically the UPG but with Rhodium 4.4mm connectors. These Rhodium plugs are made in Japan. Brise Audio are taking orders for these limited edition cables for a 4th March delivery. I saw these lying in one of the Brise Audio boxes and asked to give it a shot. They're prototype but UPG001 based. Basically they are UPG001 cables however doubled number of wires/strands. They're more holographic than the standard UPG001. It's uncertain if these will make it to production. 3) ExpatInJapan's iBasso DX200 I met up with ExpatInJapan and took advantage of the opportunity to try his DX200. Very rare it seems. First thing, and maybe I've been too used to the AK380Cu+amp & NW-WM1Z, the DX200 was such a featherweight! It was like holding air!! What a pleasant surprise I have to say. Although I didn't spend too much time with it, for the little time I did try with Expat's tracks and his Vegas first and later with my FitEar MH335DW-SR, the DX200 holds up on its own pretty well. It was more referency than the NW-WM1Z and AK380Cu+amp IMHO although I didn't really compare side-by-side. Unfortunately the FIio X5iii didn't make a show therefore couldn't make any comparisons there. But on it's own, I'm impressed with what iBasso has come up with and more importantly, kept the price pretty much the same as its predecessor. 4) Ocharaku Ocharaku had it's Keyaki balanced out on demo and as with Brise Audio, took advantage of Pentaconn's new release of the OFC version of it's 4.4mm balanced plug. The Keyaki (and Akakeyaki) holds the Ocharaku house sound. It has more neutral to upper frequency focused. 5) Sound Potion Sound Potion had no less than 6 new designs of their portable amps using the new Korg Nutube technology. I ended up taking pix of only one of them above but unfortunately didn't get to try it myself. 6) Timelord (Chord & Ultrasone) The Chord TT isn't new however this one off customised Vannuys case is! It makes me wanna buy the Chord TT!! So with the success of the Ultrasone Signature Pro, Ultrasone is releasing a Studio version that's 50% cheaper than the Pro. The drivers are the same (and so are the S-Logic as far as I know). The leather though has not been replaced with (egg?) protein - i.e. pleather. A little less supple than the sheep skin but not bad for 50% cheaper. 7) Num Audio I confess....I stopped by the exhibit 'cos the girl was attractive. Nevertheless I did give the NUM-E1000 a listen. This uses a hybrid of 10mm dynamic driver and a ceramic tweeter driver in the front. I'm surprised the signature was reasonably flat however the shell could have done with a little dampening to mange the internal reflections. The product is priced shy of ¥50,000. 8) Analog Squared Paper I initially swung by Analog Squared Paper 'cos i know Shikada-san well and wanted to try his new upcoming TUR-08. Instead, he popped up with this daughter board with the Korg Nutube as pictured above and below. Last year in Fujiya's Autumn Festival when the Nutube made its launch, he had one which had wires hanging off the pins that he manually plugged into his TUR-06. I loved the sound then and told him he should make a board for it. I actually thought he forgot but 4 months later he did it!! I'm getting my Nutube daughterboard next week . The back of the Nutube daughterboard for the TUR-06 tube amp. The Nutube daughterboard mounted and switched on (as such the neon blue glow). And finally we get to the TUR-08 The TUR-08 is the same size as the TU-05 and uses 4x 3A5 triode tubes. As you can guess it's 2 tubes per channel however 1x driver and 1x inverter per channel. Its a hybrid (as such the "R" to the TUR-xx designation) and has 8 power transistors as pictured below. THe prototype TUR-08 doesn't have any batteries and was driven from the mains AC adapter. However, Shikada-san does plan for the TUR-08 to be driven by batteries. It seems this model is more power hungry than its predecessors as such further design is required for the battery. 9) Final Audio Design FAD showed off their first magnetic planar headphones designed by them from ground up. The sound was pretty much final however the housing is still being decided. The design will be open, however. The driver is 50mm in size and the product is anticipated to have a Summer 2017 release. With the prototype it has a pretty nice full warmish sound. The midrange is a little conservative for my tastes but the upper trebles are extended. I would have liked a little more mids and a little more lower trebles to even out the signature, but that's my personal taste. 10) Onkyo I just realised I never took a front picture of this product but the front is really no different to the Onkyo DP-X1. There was a long queue for Onkyo's release of it's GrandBeat DP-CMX1 product. It is an audiophile DAP and smartphone combined. The philosophy of the product is that it's base is a DAP but with smartphone technology placed above and that's how it differentiates itself from the other smartphones. Onkyo leveraged on it's DP-X1 released last year to build on this product. I understand that Onkyo had this GrandBeat in mind already when the DP-X1 made its debut. So fundamentally there are very strong resemblance to the DP-X1 but there are some slight differences too. The GrandBeat leverages on the ES9018C2M DAC whilst the DP-X1's ES9018K2M (I really don't know the difference between the two actually - seems to be the same just different package size), but both use the SABRE 9601K amp. The board design has also shrunk to make space for the cellular components. Also being a cellular/smartphone, one just needs a camera so a 16MP F2.0 lens camera is in the back. It also has dual nanoSIM for a JP and foreign nanoSIM. Volume dial, and 2.5mm TRRS support Flash support for the camera too. Summary A very big thanks to Fujiya for organising this show. It was more pleasant than expected as it was cosy. Not too many new products made their launch but that also made the queues more tolerable. I left the place buying a few small things like a Vannuys pouch for my MDR-Z1R and some interesting gold plated DC plugs from Oyaide. But what makes shows the most fun is meeting people. I had great friendly chats with Suyama-san of FitEar, Sasaki-san from Stax (esp about their new upcoming amps), Okada-san from Brise Audio, Alex An (met for the 1st time!!) and Sonia from AK, Shikada-san from Analog Squared Paper, and the list goes on and on. Thank you all for being so supportive and friendly.