1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

Headphone Festival 2011 in Tokyo May 7th, 2011 PHOTOS (BANDWIDTH WARNING)

2 3 4 5 6
Next
 
Last
  1. Mkubota1 Contributor
    Okay- I finally got over my jet-lag, brewed some strong tea, launched iPhoto/Photoshop, pushed my W4s into my head, threw on some Brothers Johnson, and began to weed through my photos. 
     
    First, let me apologize (make excuses) for the photo quality.  A lot of these were one-handed, over-someone's-shoulder snaps while trying not to drop my DAP and brochures and be polite- all at the same time.  Also, as for listening impressions I did as much listening as I could.  However, the sheer amount of stuff meant either pick 3-4 things to concentrate on while trying not to annoy others by sitting at one station too long, or get to as much stuff that I've never listened to before within those few hours and soak it all in.  I chose the later.  So if you’re looking for in-depth SQ impressions I might disappoint you.  What was interesting though was going through |joker|’s monster IEM thread afterwards and being able to verify what I heard.

    Anyway- enjoy!
     

    IMG_2314.jpg
     
    IMG_2318.jpg    IMG_2321.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2326.jpg
    Here is a dummy head for binaural recordings. 
     
     
    IMG_2327.jpg     IMG_2328.jpg
    The outer ear is apparently interchangeable.  You can buy a similar set-up here in the U.S.: http://binauralears.com/
     
     
    IMG_2331.jpg
    He is giving a demonstration by clapping around the dummy head while the other guy listens through headphones.
     
     

    IMG_2340.jpg      IMG_2339.jpg
    Taket H2 Heil driver headphones with external ‘super-tweeters’.  The theory is that you ‘feel’ the ultra-high frequencies through your skin.
     
     
    IMG_2477.jpg
    Here is a portable version of that 'super-tweeter' that plays in parallel with your DAP.  I think I've seen an ad for this on Head-Fi.  Moving on…
     
     
     
    IMG_2341.jpg      IMG_2512.jpg
    Audio Technica W5000’s sounded good and were really comfortable.  (Note: ALO has a really good deal on these now- I am very tempted!)
     
     
     
    IMG_2345.jpg
    Fostex: Write your own caption.  [​IMG]
     
     
    IMG_2346.jpg
    Did not get to hear the Fostex HP-P1 iPod DAC/Amp.  Darn... maybe next time.
     
     
     
    IMG_2349.jpg      IMG_2352.jpg
    Colorful’s Colorfly DAP (Colorful is the name of the company):  Think HiFiMAN.  It can be used as a DAP as well as a DAC.  It’s a very solid piece.  I particularly liked its clear display and volume slider control which felt like one on a nice mixing board.  It upsamples and sounded really good from my brief demo.  (Personal side note: The rep for this, who also represented EarSonics, was really nice and helpful.  Unfortunately during the course of the day I lost his card and didn’t have time to return to his table.  If by chance he is reading this, please PM me!)
    IMG_2353.jpg
     
    IMG_2371.jpg      IMG_2367.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2347.jpg      IMG_2348.jpg
    They are also coming out with a new, slimmer touch-screen unit (CK4) as well.  It looks very promising!
     
     
     
    IMG_2364.jpg      IMG_2372.jpg
    EarSonics revamped their SM3s- now called the SM3 v2.
     
     
    IMG_2360.jpg
    The outer shell is very Westone-like and it has removable cables.  I was told that the
    drivers are exactly the same as the old SM3, so the sound should be very similar.
     
     
     
    IMG_2376.jpg
    I thought it was interesting how Tascam, better known for pro audio, is putting iPod docks on some of their gear.
     
     
     
    IMG_2378.jpg
    First time I ever got to listen to the KOSS PortaPro!  Now I know why people like these so much.
     
     
     
    IMG_2380.jpg
    This guy is really into his portable sound... no?
     
     
     
    IMG_2384.jpg      IMG_2385.jpg
    Networked DAPs made a good showing.  This one uses an iPod app as a remote interface.
     
     
    IMG_2382.jpg      IMG_2389.jpg
    I can’t help not to look inside of the Chord DAC everytime I pass by one.
     
     
     
    IMG_2391.jpg
    Fiio was moving some product at the show!
     
     
    IMG_2397.jpg      IMG_2401.jpg
    Their upcoming E3/E5 DACs, as well as the new E11 amp only.
     
     
    IMG_2398.jpg      IMG_2400.jpg
    The E11 is small and much lighter than I thought.  The volume knob is nice and solid and is also the power switch.
     
     
     
    IMG_2402.jpg
    The new dual-driver JVC HA-FXT90 sounded okay.  For around $100, it’s right there with the competition.
     
     
    IMG_2404.jpg
    I guess I wasn’t as impressed by the T90 because I had just listened to the HA-FX700s.  OMG.  I almost bought these.  I still might.
     
     
     
    IMG_2405.jpg      IMG_2406.jpg
    Zero Audio: One of a few claiming to be the ‘smallest IEM’ in the world.  They are quite small- reminded me of the UE700’s form factor.
     
     
     
    IMG_2409.jpg      IMG_2410.jpg
    Another ‘smallest earphone’.  q-JAYS do sound quite nice.  I can see why people like these.  (In a lot of these photos, you don't see the IEMs because I'm wearing them.)
     
     
     
    IMG_2411.jpg   Radius HP-TWF11:  Lots o’ bass.
     
     
    IMG_2412.jpg   Radius HP-TWF21:  Not as much bass, but still a lot.
     
     
     
    IMG_2414.jpg   Klipsch
     
     
     
    IMG_2419.jpg   Phiaton
     
     
     
    IMG_2425.jpg
    Nice little DAC/headphone amp/speaker amp by Venetor Sound.  It seems like these are gaining popularity.  Everytime I see one of these combo boxes, I think how nice it would be to run my K1000s and ‘regular’ headphones off of one.
     
     
     
    IMG_2426.jpg
     
    IMG_2428.jpg
    The attenuator on this Audio Design amp was a joy to play with: The center knob (blue) has about 6-7 clicks while the outer knob has many finer indents.  It might have been the most solid volume knob I’ve turned in a while.
     
     
     
    IMG_2431.jpg   PreSonus
     
     
     
    IMG_2432.jpg   Sennheiser
     
     
     
    IMG_2433.jpg  
    Fanny Wang was there, and did not skimp on their source.
     
     
     
    IMG_2439.jpg
    This RME reminds me of the Apogee Duet.
     
     
     
    IMG_2442.jpg   Conisis Gizmo DAC & Amp
     
     
     
    IMG_2447.jpg      IMG_2443.jpg
    ORB Jade-1 and Jade-2
     
     
     
    IMG_2449.jpg
    This Phase Tech headphone amp ran ice cold (pushing HD-800s)…
     
     
    IMG_2450.jpg      IMG_2460.jpg
    …while these Phasemation MA-1 amps could easily melt candles (running the Edition 10s). 
    And I thought Doc B's dual-monos running K1000s was extreme.
     
     
    IMG_2452.jpg
     
     
     
    IMG_2456.jpg      IMG_2457.jpg
     
    IMG_2458.jpg   Ultrasone Edition 10
     
     
     
    IMG_2462.jpg      IMG_2465.jpg
    I don’t have an iPhone4, but this Go-Dap is a sweet little device.  Build quality is first rate!
     
    IMG_2467.jpg      IMG_2468.jpg
     
    IMG_2469.jpg      IMG_2470.jpg
     
     
     
    IMG_2473.jpg
    The CEC HP-53FBs (balanced) sounded quite nice running off of CEC electronics.
     
    IMG_2471.jpg      IMG_2472.jpg
     
     
     
    IMG_2475.jpg
    Blossom BLO-0299
     
     
    IMG_2476.jpg
    Blossom BLO-0299 and BLO-0169EW
     
     
     
    IMG_2491.jpg
    This was a local headphone club.  I think they could’ve used a few more tables.
     
     
    IMG_2493.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2483.jpg      IMG_2481.jpg
    Suddenly I feel a wee bit more sane.
     
     
     
    IMG_2494.jpg
    This guy takes one IEM, the A.T. ATH-CKM55, and mods them by putting in this corkscrew-like filter/core inside of them.  According to him this changes the path that the sound has to travel to your ear drums.  This tuning comes in nine flavors: A combination of “long/short”, “clear/mild”, and “neutral”.  Here is a translated link to read up on the methodology: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Focharaku.jp%2Fsound%2Ftechnology-1%2F
     
     
    IMG_2497.jpg
    Here is an enlarged model of the filter that goes into the tip of the IEM...
     
     
    IMG_2498.jpg
    ... and these are the different 'flavors' that you can order.  It's roughly $50 for the stock IEM and $60 for the mod.
     
     
     
    IMG_2504.jpg   Grado PS1000 for 2011
     
     
    IMG_2505.jpg
    The guy polished these for me just so I could take the picture! 
     
     
     
    IMG_2509.jpg
    Canal Works Custom IEMs
     
     
    IMG_2508.jpg
    Interestingly, although Westone and Ultimate Ears were at the show, they were only showing their universals.  I guess it’s too much of a pain to deal with custom IEMs overseas.
     
     
     
    IMG_2522.jpg
    STAX  Just so you know what you're listening to.
     
     
    IMG_2523.jpg
    For Stax impressions, please read arnaud's post:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/548917/headphone-festival-2011-in-tokyo-may-7th-2011#post_7457238
     
     
     
    IMG_2436.jpg      IMG_2531.jpg
    And finally (pun intended): Final Audio
     
     
    IMG_2539.jpg
    Oh yes.  The Final Audio Piano Fortes VIII (I think).  If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to wear these, so am I.  Still.  I always thought you were supposed to put tips on them (and I suppose you can?).  But nope.  You wear them just like that.  And they fit just like you imagine they would.  Which means they don’t.  Not me anyway.  For reference, I fit medium tips on every IEM I’ve ever tried.  So it’s not like I have freakishly small ears.  Looking at their website it seems like you’re supposed jam the whole thing into your ear within the confines of the auditory canal.  Ouch!
     
     
    IMG_2538.jpg
    The Piano Forte X-CC (Chrome Copper) is definitely the prettiest of them all.  If only they would fit me.
     
     
    Additional Coverage:
     
    Due to the sheer size of this show I was missed a lot of things.  In fact, about half-way through the show (time-wise) I realized that I had only covered 1/3 of the exhibitors.  So I ended up rushing through much of the rest.  And quite embarrassingly I missed our very own Sasaki's booth! ごめんなさい!!!  Here are his notes from the show:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/555379/headphone-festival-2011-spring-in-tokyo#post_7492499
     
    There is also video coverage of the show here.  It's mostly in Japanese, but you can still see some new products and it's just like being there!  It is proceeded by the promotional video of the Headphone Festival, and you can even catch an interview with Sasaki.  (He appears at about 4:40 into the video.)
     
     
    In summary:
     
    It was quite an amazing show!  These last photos were taken towards the end of the day.  During most of the show it was packed shoulder to shoulder and the relative humidity got pretty high- maybe not ideal conditions to do any critical listening.  But there are few other places to see so much in one location and talk with so many passionate people.  It’s a shame it was only for one day.  But apparently they hold these bi-annually, so I may consider going to the one in the fall.
     
    IMG_2501.jpg      IMG_2502.jpg
     
    IMG_2526.jpg
     
    IMG_2529.jpg
     
    IMG_2514.jpg      IMG_2515.jpg
     
     
     
    Fujiya AVIC:
     
    IMG_2036_avic.jpg
    Fujiya Avic is the store that sponsors the Headphone Festival.  This is a promo video they put up on YouTube
    for this show.  The store (in Nakano) deals quite a bit with used gear.  All of their goods seem well cared for and
    you can get some pretty nice stuff at significant savings.
     
    IMG_2034.jpg      IMG_2032.jpg
     
     
     
    Special thanks to Arnaud for giving me headphone tourist tips before my trip, meeting me there and having a burger with me!
     
     
     
    chrislangley4253, CEE TEE and 166848 like this.
  2. Mkubota1 Contributor
    It's not really related to the Headphone Festival, but here was a store in Tokyo (Akihabara) that I visited during my trip that had a rather extensive selection of headphones compared to anything I've seen in the U.S.  They are also very accommodating for demos as you can somewhat see from the photos.  In fact, even the large department/ electronics stores in Japan (think Best Buy or Fry's) have most of their headphones and IEMs on display to listen to.  They even have alcohol wipes at every listening station for your sanitized IEM listening protection.
     
     
    IMG_2260.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2254.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2255.jpg
     
     
    Dynamic Audio is primarily a high-end home audio shop, so I would be remiss not to include a few shots of their listening rooms:
     
     
    IMG_2209.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2221.jpg
     
     
    IMG_2237.jpg
     
     
    I can't wait to visit there again!
     
     
     
    peaceful1 and CEE TEE like this.
  3. Mkubota1 Contributor
    I probably won't need this space.  What a waste.  Oh well.
     
  4. donunus
    One word... AWESOME!
     
  5. cOSteLLo
    Holy Moly,thank you so much for this! was an awesome Read (and see :)
     
     
  6. kite7 Contributor
    Amazing, looks like a lot of fun.
     
  7. BoyNamedSue
    Very enjoyable read. Loved your comments as much as the pictures.
     
  8. arnaud Contributor
    Mike, very nice pictures, it's a pretty cool report you made here! You should be paid for this man :wink:. I hope to see you again in the fall!
     
    cheers, arnaud
     
  9. blitz-dice
    that looks epic
     
  10. Mkubota1 Contributor


    Quote:


    Thanks!  And on the contrary, I would pay to attend something like this again!  I hope to make the fall show too- or at the very, very least next year.  Hopefully as I attend more of these I'll be able to focus on a few select items.  Cheers!
     
  11. HONEYBOY
    wow, thanks for these pics! I'd be pretty overwhelmed with such an eclectic array of audio products. If there is one in the fall, there's a good chance I might be able to attend.
     
  12. CEE TEE Contributor
    WOW.  WHOA.  OMG.  AGOG.  GOO GOO GAA GAA.
     
    Crikey!
     
    Japan is ALWAYS mind-blowing.
     
    BUT:
    1. Your Photos/Editing
    2. Your Coverage
    3. Your Captions
    4. Your Sense of Humor
     
    Just made me do what I DID NOT WANT TO DO...I was at Post #777 and wanted to keep it there for a while.
     
    (But, I just had to post how awesome this thread is.)
     
    It's like we have our own Engadget Reporting Staffer covering headphones for us!
     
    BIG thanks!
     
    Drop Stay updated on Drop at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/massdrop https://twitter.com/massdrop https://www.massdrop.com/?clickid=3QR3Ib27lyA-VkBRJwyGuQJeUkhUQvX5r0tLzQ0&utm_term=252901&utm_content=VigLink&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=impactradius&irgwc=1
  13. Mkubota1 Contributor


    Quote:

    That's okay.  You can post another 9 times and have '787'- the new Boeing Dreamliner.  [​IMG]
     
    Screenshot2011-05-19at10.38.16AM.png
     
  14. jr41
    Many thanks for posting this - looks like it was a great show.
     
    I was lucky enough to go to Tokyo a couple of times when I was a bit younger, it's an amazing place - I would really like to go back some day
     
  15. nonsupremous
    Fantastic post my friend! 
     
    BTW, did you get to listen to the Edition 10?
     
2 3 4 5 6
Next
 
Last

Share This Page