Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019
Sep 6, 2019 at 9:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

HeadphoneAddict

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WHERE IS EVERYONE!?!?

Half the vendors that come to CanJam every year are missing. What a disappointment! And the venue requires 5x more walking to get to anything outside of HeadSpace.

My son Benjamin and I have been attending CanJam at RMAF every year since 2009, when we went to CanJam LA in May to pick up my newly released HD800 and HF-2 headphones, and then at RMAF that October 2009. We always stay at the venue hotel and got used to seeing favorite vendors who are now missing from the re-named HeadSpace room (still CanJam to me), such as HiFiMan, Westone, V-Moda, Woo Audio, Mr Speakers, TTVJ, Schitt Audio, Audeze, and more.

I see them all on the attendee list from CanJam NYC and expected to see them all again this year. I guess I should have paid more attention.

Ben and I will be visiting everyone here on Saturday and Sunday, and posting impressions in this thread as we are able. I’ll try to do better about getting photos, and about trying products that I’ve ignored in the past.

[EDIT - Schitt was there in the corner, but we were only interested in the Modi/Magni V3 at this time, which wasn't there]
 
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Sep 7, 2019 at 8:16 PM Post #3 of 34

Tjj226 Angel

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What watagump said.

There are a couple more headphone exhibits in the room next door. Its the one with the records and the reel to reel recorders. There is a russian built electrostatic headphone that sounds quite nice.

But I think the people who did show for the headphone event made it worth while. Sennheiser, Moon audio, manley labs, ZMF, and many others. Is it as big as can jam, no. But honestly I think that its kind of nice having it a bit smaller. Im not fighting through the crowds just to listen to a single pair of headphones.
 
Sep 7, 2019 at 11:03 PM Post #4 of 34

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We’re at dinner right now but I got to listen to a lot of stuff today. So when we get back to the room I’m gonna try to hop on the MacBook and type up some thoughts and post some pictures, if we don’t drink too much Japanese whiskey first...
 
Sep 8, 2019 at 5:10 AM Post #6 of 34

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What kills me is that staying at the new hotel this year cost us more than double what we paid in previous years, only to be missing some of our favorite vendors.

This year we got in later than usual on Friday, when I'm usually there by lunchtime and instead arrived closer to 3PM. After checking into our room we only had a couple of hours to say hello to the peeps whom we know in the Headspace room, before they closed the booths down at 6PM. That included the great folks at Sennheiser, JH Audio, Asten and Kern, Moon Audio, and Headamp. We went back to our room at that point and got ready for dinner with my daughter who was celebrating her 26th birthday that night with my son and me.

On Saturday (today since I haven't gone to bed yet) we got a late start and had to wait to get into the buffet breakfast until 9:30AM, and then decided to get the 6th floor out of the way with speakers and 2-channel audio so that we could spend the rest of the show with headphones. We probably visited 12-13 rooms before lunch at 2PM.

There were a few things that stood out for us, including the Revel F226BE speakers that they call "the best $15,000 speakers for only $7,000", and I would tend to agree with them. With the $4500 integrated amp and no subwoofer they sounded wonderful - offering punchy deep bass, rich midrange, and crisp treble combined with nice cohesive soundstage in depth and width. I didn't have the heart to tell them that other than soundstage that a $1,300 - $1,800 Westone or JH Audio custom IEM on a $400 DAC/amp can match the rest of the sound.

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We visited another room with Moon by SIMAUDIO gear, and I wasn't as impressed, although the sound was very nice.

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Technics also had some nice sounding digital players with DAC and amp, and some multidriver speakers with co-axial tweeters that stayed physically aligned within the voice coil of the larger drivers to improve phase relationships (Ottava S?). From across the room we couldn't tell whether the sound was coming from the mini tower speakers or the single driver speakers until I got close enough to find the sound source. However, they sounded pretty neutral and nothing outstanding, so were not as exciting to listen to as the Revel.

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Project Audio Systems had a nice setup, looked great, but also didn't blow us away.

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We then spent quite a bit of time in the NAD / PSD / Dali room, listening to the new $2700 M10 integrated amp with MQA DAC/amp combo with touchscreen and iPad app for control over wifi. You can sign into about 20 different streaming services with the iPad or iPhone app (android and Mac too, didn't ask about PC), and with the M10 connected to the internet it will reach out to the streaming service like Tidal and Spotify or Amazon Music and fetch the music that you choose on the control app. You can also control it on the built-in screen, or even teach it to use any old remote you have laying around the house to change the volume and skip tracks, etc.

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It has analog and digital inputs, including one HDMI ARC, with 100 watt/ch speaker output with DIRAC tuning to suit the room (using a microphone). With the HDMI ARC you can connect it to a smart TV like a Samsung RU8000 and it can play the audio from the TV while streaming Netflix or Hulu or Apple TV etc, or even if you are sending Airplay 2 to the TV and need sound. Or, the HDMI can output the NAD BlueOS interface onto the TV instead of the touchscreen, while it's decoding your Tidal music stream that you control with the table, phone, or any IR remote. The sound with the Dali mini-tower speakers was pretty good.

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They also had an $899 NAD Powernode, which has a 60 watt/ch speaker amp and most of the features of the M10 except for no touch screen, less power, and no DIRAC. It also has a LFE output for driving a subwoofer. We listened to this on a $1000 pair of Dali book shelf speakers, and a new $549 PSB Alpha 10" Subwoofer which is being released in the next month. The PSB 8" subwoofer was also very impressive for it's diminutive size driver ($449). The NAD MQA Node without speaker amplifier, with RCA or Optical outputs costs $549, but if you use the optical output you need to be sure your external DAC will decode MQA or you won't get the expected benefits of an external DAC and the RCA out would be better.

[Photo to be added]

In my case, I would love to have the Powernode to drive my vintage or Woo electrostatic headphone transformers or my HiFiMan speaker to 4-pin XLR adapter (to use with my HiFiMan HE-6 headphones, are these vintage yet?). I have less need for the regular Node without the amp, because my PS Audio Perfectwave DAC Mk2 with Bridge II in my big headphone rig already does MQA decoding through the Bridge II, and my Pioneer VSX-LX303 AVR already has a native Tidal player built into it for listening with speakers.

The next room we visited was the HEGEL Integrated amp room with Sonus Faber Electa Amator II 6.5" bookshelf speakers, costing $8,500 and really not needing a subwoofer to fill the room with bass (not sure how they did it). The cost is insane for a bookshelf, but it really was performing way above it's pay grade, although I'd still elect for the less expensive Revel F226BE mini-towers for less money (or the Dali towers). Still, they have to be the best bookshelf speaker's I've ever heard.

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We listened to a $4000 Bowers and Wilkins wireless speaker that also sounded quite good, but they had no inputs other than wireless, and so for using with a TV they recommended their soundbar instead. I don't recall the cost, but I think the speaker stands were also quite expensive. These speakers are supposed to support 24/96 audio, and the two speakers are supposed to be synchronized within a few microseconds, not milliseconds, of each other. They support Wifi, Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, Room, and Bluetooth. When we listened I asked if we were listening with a subwoofer and were told no (which we found hard to believe).

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Then we all of a sudden we realized that it was past time for lunch and the Headspace area would be closing in 4 hours! We grabbed a snack and some coffee and pushed on.

Our first stop was at the Sennheiser booth to check out the new Momentum True Wireless ear buds, and the HD800s again. I have been quite happy with my HD800 from the original release in May 2009, with a Moon-Audio Black Dragon cable upgrade. But ever since the HD800s in black were revealed I have been tempted to upgrade and pass my original pair down to my son - but I've not been motivated enough, with all the fine headphone and IEM in my inventory, to spend the $1700. I still wanted to also play with them again on the Sennheiser amp that is designed around them.

The HD800s still impress me with their transparency and soundstage, reminding me why I thoughts they were the closest dynamic headphones in sound signature to my Sennheiser HE-60 electrostatic or my previous Stax SR-009 headphones that I sold in 2014. My favorite are probably still my HiFiMan HE-1000se, but those and the HD800 and HE-60 (with HEV-70 amp) might be the last headphones I sell.

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With the proper amp synergy the HD800 can be quite amazing even 10 years later. And with the wrong amp they can be bland and adequate, so I always want to remind people - be sure to pick an amp with good synergy and you can skip the cable shopping to tune your HD800. A better amp will benefit ALL of your headphones, and a better cable is only going to benefit the one headphone.

We were all duly impressed with the Sennheiser HDV 820 amplifier, but our portable CEntrance HiFi-M8 V1 was also able to drive them quite well, feeding it with a iPhone lightning cable and iPhone Xs Max. The HDV 820 is a great combo DAC/amp that doesn't take a lot of space or get blinding hot like some tube amps, with four, yes 4, headphone jacks (1/4", 4-pin XLR, and a pair of 4.4mm pentagon).

There are also many budget headphone amps with good synergy with the HD800, including my Schitt Audio Magni V1, HiFiMan EF-2 hybrid amp with upgraded Raytheon tube (see my review), HiFiMan EF-100 tube amp, Millett Starving Student hybrid, my previous Woo WA6 and Dark Voice 336i, and even the discontinued Nuforce Icon DSD DAC (not the older Icon with speaker amp). We still have all of these amps at home except for the WA6 and 336i, for a reason.

One of my other favorite portable amps to drive the HD800 is actually the Ray Samuels Audio F-35 lightning with a 4-pin RSA balanced plug cable - a little tiny amp that blows you away with it's warm organic sound signature, and scales up when fed a balanced analog input signal. The RSA SR-71b balanced portable amp was a little bright with my own HD800 at times, but that's also the nature of the amp itself. I still need to try the 4.4mm HD800 cable with my HiFiMan R2R2000 DAP soon, when I have my HD800s here at the end of the week. I bought a Moon-Audio adapter to plug the 4.4mm plug into any 4-pin XLR jack as well.

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The Momentum True Wireless buds sounded pretty good too, and were a lot of fun with strong bass and high volumes achieved. I would not call them audiophile earbuds, but more like a rock out buds that make you smile, while still maintaining good detail and isolation. My AirPods would always fall out, and these Momentum were pretty secure with a good seal. I gave my son my AirPods and bought Powerbeats Pro to stop my buds from falling out, thanks to the ear hooks. But I can't get a good seal with the Powerbeats also thanks to the ear hooks. The Powerbeats ear hooks are located in such a way as to prevent me from getting them deep into my ear canal to seal, and if I do manage to do so then the hooks and odd fit ends up slowly pulling the buds back out of my ears. In my case this is helpful in a way, because I can hear what's going on around me while wearing the Powerbeats Pro, and the extra powerful bass of the Powerbeats makes up for the fact that I don't have a seal, so the bass doesn't totally disappear on me.

While the Sennheiser True Wireless bass is extremely strong, I would not call it excessive. Although it's quite a bit of punch, at it is least well controlled and not sloppy. Tight bass like this can go up and up and not ruin the sound, but sloppy bass can make or break it. Since they seal so well, isolation is high - having the "Transparent Hearing" feature will allow you to hear what's going on around you if you prefer, to listen or chat without having to remove them. I forgot to try out this feature since they were paired to the Sennheiser rep's phone, and you need to use the Sennheiser app to control this feature - I think the Momentum 3 also does active noise cancelation through the app settings. So, I could happily use these on an airplane, while my Powerbeats not so much.

When I want a fun sounding wireless IEM with good isolation the Momentum would be a great choice. But they also have great detail and ambiance, that might negate needing a hifi BT IEM, if you really want to cut the cord entirely. They're a no brainer over the Apple AirPods, and while they don't have a Apple chip to pair with all iOS devices, they can pair with 9 devices, and drop the one that you used the least when you try to add #10.

If I get these I'll probably use my Powerbeats Pro with ear hooks for activities where I run a high risk from the bud falling out or getting WET, like riding my bike or on a boat or raft. And I'd likely still use my Westone Bluetooth V2 cable with my W60 or W80 when I need audiophile quality wireless listening.

I also have the option of my Audeze iSine 10 with their BT cable, which is quite transparent despite the rolled off treble, and which was my go to wireless when I wanted little to no isolation. But since the Momentum TW can also let outside sound in through the microphones, they can fit that category too.

pmOZ5UI2j


I'll talk about the HD660s and Momentum 3 in my Sunday Day #3 post.

Then we stopped at JH Audio and we got caught up at their booth for the rest of the day. We just got lost in everything. We did some listening to the soon to be released Bluetooth cable for 4-pin and 2-pin connector IEM, using my JH Audio Roxanne (4-pin) and my son's JH Audio 16 Pro freqphase (2-pin). I normally use my Roxanne with a Moon-Audio Black Dragon cable upgrade, with 2.5mm balanced connector and an adapter to use it with 3.5mm single ended amps. I mostly use them with the 2.5mm balanced jack on my CEntrance BlueDAC (wired and wireless) and they sound great amplified. So, the new JH Audio BT cable is amplified, and it's got more power than the iPhone lightning adapter too!

I don't listen with the Roxanne bass attenuator knob turned all the way up, and with the BT adapter cable that they were demoing it basically has all the bass drivers at max. This way people can use EQ to remove the bass if it's too much, since that's usually better than not having enough and trying to EQ the bass upwards - that usually leads to the risk of clipping or amp distortion from pushing it too hard.

I found that with the iPhone volume level at 40% or less that I didn't need to use any EQ, and the bass hit quite hard but with good control and speed. this was way above what the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless was putting out. I could go much higher volume without distortion, but then felt the bass was getting to be a bit much. Not sloppy or loose, just massive impact that was unsettling.

Setting the iPhone iTunes EQ to "bass reducer" when listening at any volume (especially above 40% iPhone volume level) brought the bass to a very good balance vs the mids and highs. That allowed me to play at insane volumes without clipping or too much bass. And even with bass reducer the impact and punch was very strong - the BT cable just didn't want to run out of steam - it was insane (they didn't know why I was giggling during the demo). I'd say the power output is a bit higher than the power output of the Westone BT V2 cable, although the Westone BT V2 cable can drive the W80 a bit louder than the W60).

My son tried the 2-pin BT cable with JH 16 pro Freqphase and he felt that it was simply too much bass vs the midrange and treble, and the bass reducer EQ on his iPhone 8+ wasn't helpful enough. He spends about 95% of his listening time on the JH 16 Pro with a Moon-Audio Silver Dragon 2.5mm balanced cable into CEntrance Blue DAC (wired and wireless). So, on Sunday I plan to bring my JH 13 and JH 16 to their booth to try the 2-pin BT adapter, and see if my impressions match his.

I suspect that if I got this 4-pin BT cable that I might just want to pay the $$ to convert my JH 16 and JH 13 to the 4-pin connector, so that I'll have a more secure cable connection (no lost earpiece while carrying them over my shoulders) and be able to share the BT adapter with all of my JHA customs. I don't believe that the 4-pin and 2-pin cables are tuned differently.

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I then took some time to listen for the first time in a long time their Layla and Lola universal fit demos, and to the Angie for the first time ever. We used a new upgraded JHA cable that they will make optional, which sounds better and is pretty much tangle free vs the cable that comes with them. I forget how much they will be charging for the cable, sorry, but I think it was between $150-300 (I'll check). And I didn't really get to do an in depth comparison with the original cable other than to note that it really was an upgrade over the stock cable, and quite similar to my Moon Audio Black Dragon 4-pin cable. When I tried the Moon-Audio Silver Dragon cable last year, it wasn't really an upgrade in sound like the Black-Dragon was, and so I bought the Black-Dragon. However, on the JH 16 pro the Silver Dragon was a better choice (my son got that one).

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I think the Layla sounded more neutral than the Roxanne and wasn't as exciting to my ears, although possibly a better reference IEM for recording? And the Lola was a little crisper in the treble region and also a little brighter in the 8K and above region - it totally avoided the sibilance range which was good, but I still prefer the Roxanne. Maybe in 10 years as I lose more of my hearing I'll need the Lola. The Angie I did love - the midrange was more present and lush, and more forward although not really in your face. They're voiced closer to the Roxanne and JH 16 Pro, with just a little fuller midrange, and some other magic sauce to make them sound more exciting than the Layla and Lola - making these 3 my favorites of their IEM. I also recall that every time I have listened to a universal fit demo and them bought the custom IEM that the custom sounded better in the end. So, I need to listen to the universal fit Roxanne vs my custom fit Roxanne on Sunday.

On Sunday we plan to visit with Astell and Kern, Moon-Audio, Schiit Audio (I missed seeing them Friday), Fostex, and Headamp, and then also try to hit 2-3 other custom IEM companies. Sorry this was so speaker based this first time. It's late and I hope I don't have too many typos. I'll fix them, but if you quote this long post then the errors will be preserved forever. We won't get to see this pretty atrium at night again, so wanted to share what it looked like right outside of where we ate at the hotel...

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Sep 9, 2019 at 2:01 AM Post #7 of 34

HeadphoneAddict

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I'm still working on my Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Day #3 Sunday impressions in the meets forums, but wanted to briefly throw out that I compared my R2R2000 with JH Audio Roxanne custom IEM to the Astell and Kern SP1000M with dual AK4497EQ DACs today. That's about a $2400 DAP and since it's in the same price I targeted that one. I'll start by saying both sounded very nice.

Zl1X4A.jpg


I was using my JHA Roxanne with my Moon-Audio Black Dragon 2.5mm balanced cable, and I don't have my adapter to use it with the pentagon jack yet. But I do have the Black Dragon V3 pigtail to use the balanced cable on the R2R2000 3.5mm SE output. In my listening, I found that the R2R2000 was every bit as good with lossless music via the SD card as the A&K, with subtle differences in their character. I actually thought the treble on the SP1000M was slightly more stiff sounding while the R2R2000 was a little more organic and smooth sounding, without giving up any detail.

I was disappointed that while the A&K and R2R2000 music library's shared about 20 different artists, that in every single case I didn't have the same albums and songs on my R2R2000 as the A&K had. So, I had to find similar songs, in genre and style, to compare.

With careful listening I could likely identify which player to which I was listening blindfolded, 8 out of 10 times. But the differences weren't enough to make me dislike one or the other. Both are quite capable, and enjoyable. But I think in the end the R2R2000 would be less fatiguing, or not at all, with long listening sessions. Obviously I could not try the A&K for a long listening session at the show.

I have not used the R2R2000 as a BT DAC for several months, since my CEntrance BlueDAC weighs about 1/3 what the R2R2K weighs, and therefore mostly use the BlueDAC if my iPhone will be the source. Instead I mostly use the R2R2K as a DAP with microSD card, or as a USB DAC for my Macbook, saving the battery on my iPhone or BlueDAC. The R2R2000 vs A&K SP1000M is hard to describe, other than saying the R2R2K just sounds real to me. In other words, the R2R2000 sounds closer to being a musical instrument than something that's used to recreate the sound of a musical instrument.

My BlueDAC's and HiFi-M8's tone and character would be closer to the sharp and attentive A&K DAP, but I will NOT use the word analytical, because some people think of that as cold and clinical, which they are not. The A&K SP1000M fell in between the BlueDAC/HiFi-M8 and the R2R2000 in that regard, in terms of character and tone, and they all use a similar DAC as well. So, the others when held in comparison to the R2R2000 made me think of them as being a sharper tool that sheds light on the music's detail and structure, more than making me "feel" a part of the music and lose myself in it like the R2R2000.

So, as for the Bluetooth - since I hadn't used it in a long time, I thought why not launch the HiFiMan app and stream Tidal to the R2R2K via the hi-res BT connection, so that I could listen to the same songs on the R2R2K as with the A&K's preloaded music. I connected the R2R2K to my iPhone Xs max via Bluetooth, and launched the HiFiMan app, and... nothing. The app would launch and hang at "Checking Device". I disconnected devices, rebooted, reconnected, and nothing allowed the app to finish loading except launching the HiFiman app without the R2R2000 being connected.

By this time I was out of time (RMAF ending with 5-6 more booths to visit), and had to just stream music from Tidal app on the iPhone to the R2R2K via AAC Bluetooth, and it did not fare well vs the A&K. The only way to really get the R2R2K to sound amazing via BT is through the HiFiMan app, so I'm going to remove the app and re-install it and play with again tomorrow (without the A&K player to compare with).

pl6m58gJj


I absolutely love the smaller size of the R2R2000 and the rich organic musical tone, and absolutely loved the touchscreen interface of the A&K DAP but not the larger size. I could be happy with the sound of both, but would not get rid of the R2R2K for the A&K at this point. The sound is more important I think, and the versatility in being able to use it with the microSD card, with iPhone wirelessly (even in low res mode without SDHC mode), and with my MacBook as a portable DAC.

I'll be spending some time listening to R2R2K with the current Sennheiser HD800s with pentacon balanced jack in a couple of weeks, and I'll post my thoughts. As you know, with the HE-1000se it's like those headphones and the R2R2K were made for each other.
 
Sep 9, 2019 at 4:53 PM Post #8 of 34

Galm

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Honestly this meet was awesome because brands like Moon and Schiit brought all the headphones and it wasn't particularly mobbed. There were enough people there that nothing was empty but the lines weren't that long. The speakers rooms seemed to be much more crowded.

There was some awesome headphones there like the Raal SR1A at the Schiit booth. I also really liked the Noble Khan V2 and QDC iems. It was a good chance to really get to talk for a while with a lot of these companies. And none of the big headphones were missing even though say Focal and Audeze weren't there... Almost all their headphones were.
 
Sep 9, 2019 at 9:01 PM Post #9 of 34

jwbrent

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I'm still working on my Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Day #3 Sunday impressions in the meets forums, but wanted to briefly throw out that I compared my R2R2000 with JH Audio Roxanne custom IEM to the Astell and Kern SP1000M with dual AK4497EQ DACs today. That's about a $2400 DAP and since it's in the same price I targeted that one. I'll start by saying both sounded very nice.

Zl1X4A.jpg


I was using my JHA Roxanne with my Moon-Audio Black Dragon 2.5mm balanced cable, and I don't have my adapter to use it with the pentagon jack yet. But I do have the Black Dragon V3 pigtail to use the balanced cable on the R2R2000 3.5mm SE output. In my listening, I found that the R2R2000 was every bit as good with lossless music via the SD card as the A&K, with subtle differences in their character. I actually thought the treble on the SP1000M was slightly more stiff sounding while the R2R2000 was a little more organic and smooth sounding, without giving up any detail.

I was disappointed that while the A&K and R2R2000 music library's shared about 20 different artists, that in every single case I didn't have the same albums and songs on my R2R2000 as the A&K had. So, I had to find similar songs, in genre and style, to compare.

With careful listening I could likely identify which player to which I was listening blindfolded, 8 out of 10 times. But the differences weren't enough to make me dislike one or the other. Both are quite capable, and enjoyable. But I think in the end the R2R2000 would be less fatiguing, or not at all, with long listening sessions. Obviously I could not try the A&K for a long listening session at the show.

I have not used the R2R2000 as a BT DAC for several months, since my CEntrance BlueDAC weighs about 1/3 what the R2R2K weighs, and therefore mostly use the BlueDAC if my iPhone will be the source. Instead I mostly use the R2R2K as a DAP with microSD card, or as a USB DAC for my Macbook, saving the battery on my iPhone or BlueDAC. The R2R2000 vs A&K SP1000M is hard to describe, other than saying the R2R2K just sounds real to me. In other words, the R2R2000 sounds closer to being a musical instrument than something that's used to recreate the sound of a musical instrument.

My BlueDAC's and HiFi-M8's tone and character would be closer to the sharp and attentive A&K DAP, but I will NOT use the word analytical, because some people think of that as cold and clinical, which they are not. The A&K SP1000M fell in between the BlueDAC/HiFi-M8 and the R2R2000 in that regard, in terms of character and tone, and they all use a similar DAC as well. So, the others when held in comparison to the R2R2000 made me think of them as being a sharper tool that sheds light on the music's detail and structure, more than making me "feel" a part of the music and lose myself in it like the R2R2000.

So, as for the Bluetooth - since I hadn't used it in a long time, I thought why not launch the HiFiMan app and stream Tidal to the R2R2K via the hi-res BT connection, so that I could listen to the same songs on the R2R2K as with the A&K's preloaded music. I connected the R2R2K to my iPhone Xs max via Bluetooth, and launched the HiFiMan app, and... nothing. The app would launch and hang at "Checking Device". I disconnected devices, rebooted, reconnected, and nothing allowed the app to finish loading except launching the HiFiman app without the R2R2000 being connected.

By this time I was out of time (RMAF ending with 5-6 more booths to visit), and had to just stream music from Tidal app on the iPhone to the R2R2K via AAC Bluetooth, and it did not fare well vs the A&K. The only way to really get the R2R2K to sound amazing via BT is through the HiFiMan app, so I'm going to remove the app and re-install it and play with again tomorrow (without the A&K player to compare with).

pl6m58gJj


I absolutely love the smaller size of the R2R2000 and the rich organic musical tone, and absolutely loved the touchscreen interface of the A&K DAP but not the larger size. I could be happy with the sound of both, but would not get rid of the R2R2K for the A&K at this point. The sound is more important I think, and the versatility in being able to use it with the microSD card, with iPhone wirelessly (even in low res mode without SDHC mode), and with my MacBook as a portable DAC.

I'll be spending some time listening to R2R2K with the current Sennheiser HD800s with pentacon balanced jack in a couple of weeks, and I'll post my thoughts. As you know, with the HE-1000se it's like those headphones and the R2R2K were made for each other.

When I first heard about the R2R, I was extremely interested in it due to its use of the famed PCM1704K DACs, but as reports came out about its operation/UI, there seemed to be a lot of bugs. How is your R2R in this regard given I imagine it has the latest firmware?

Thank you for your RMAF info. :beerchug:
 
Sep 9, 2019 at 10:51 PM Post #10 of 34

jwbrent

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Oh, I forgot to mention hearing you talk about your son getting your older gear is exactly what goes on with me and my 17 year old son. He’s now a budding audiophile, and I love it! Music is my greatest passion, and seeing my son following my footsteps assures he is in for a rewarding life of high resolution music.
 
Sep 9, 2019 at 11:57 PM Post #11 of 34

HeadphoneAddict

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When I first heard about the R2R, I was extremely interested in it due to its use of the famed PCM1704K DACs, but as reports came out about its operation/UI, there seemed to be a lot of bugs. How is your R2R in this regard given I imagine it has the latest firmware?

Thank you for your RMAF info. :beerchug:

Oh, I forgot to mention hearing you talk about your son getting your older gear is exactly what goes on with me and my 17 year old son. He’s now a budding audiophile, and I love it! Music is my greatest passion, and seeing my son following my footsteps assures he is in for a rewarding life of high resolution music.

I’m running a probably 5-6 month old firmware, and as my MacBook went in for repairs a week ago and I forgot to update before that. Probably with the latest firmware I’d be back up and running with SDHC again?

Obviously I love a touchscreen interface like everyone else, but the sound and size make up for the clunky interface.

I started with mine on the earliest firmware that came out when the iOS app didn’t even support the built-in iTunes library due to the iOS 12 update sandboximg. So back then I found it to be easiest if I put my music on the microSD in different folders either by album or artist or genre - then I could treat the folder as a playlist and browse music by folder to choose to play the contents. I stopped relying on metadata after the 1st week with it ages ago, and now it’s habit to continue to ignore it.

I think my son would like to use his upcoming degree in biomedical science with minor in biomedical engineering to work as an acoustic mechanical engineer. He’s wanting to get a job next spring more than having to work on a masters degree, so we’ll see.
 
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Sep 10, 2019 at 12:08 AM Post #12 of 34

HeadphoneAddict

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So, my report from Sunday will include my session at the www.danacables.com table, since I’ve already written up the A&K vs R2R2000.

I’ve always said that cables are helpful, but you must first get the best headphone/speaker that you can afford, then work on the best source, then tackle the best amp you can get, before doing cables. Danacables is the first time I’ve started to question that order of priorities. I was impressed, and you’lol read why.

My son and I went back to Sennheiser on Sunday and tried the Momentum 3 wireless headphones, and I’ll report on that soon, along with the HD660s.

But I’ll also focus on 1st impressions of the 2-pin JH Audio Bluetooth cable with JH13 and JH16 vs the 4-pin adapter that I tried Saturday with my Roxanne. I’m hoping to be able to do a full review when both BT cables are released.

I will definitely have a full blown review of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless coming down line line as well, now that I brought a set home with me. My HD800s should be here Friday.
 
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Sep 10, 2019 at 12:13 AM Post #13 of 34

jwbrent

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Thanks for your reply. Yes, I’m a fan of its small size as well. I have an AK240SS that I don’t want to give up because of its size, the newer AK daps are just too big, except maybe the 1000M, but the 240SS is still smaller, I believe.

Congrats on raising such a bright son. Perhaps one day he will design high end product.
 
Sep 10, 2019 at 1:02 AM Post #14 of 34

phase0

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I never saw any explanation why CanJam withdrew from RMAF and I tried to search for it. I suppose some hush hush back channel reasons for it. I didn't get to go this year so it's nice to read a few impressions. This year also snuck up on me as I assumed it would be first week of Oct again. I already spent enough on gear this year... so maybe it's good I avoided temptation...

Also curious did the Abyss TC show up there any where? That was the one thing I would have found a way to get out there to hear but JPS Labs also decided to skip RMAF. Joe said they had a guy sharing a room and brought the Dianna... Oh well...

So is this a permanent deal now? Canjam RMAF never again? I'm not flying to Cali or NYC just for Canjam... *sigh*
 
Sep 10, 2019 at 1:12 AM Post #15 of 34

HeadphoneAddict

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I never saw any explanation why CanJam withdrew from RMAF and I tried to search for it. I suppose some hush hush back channel reasons for it. I didn't get to go this year so it's nice to read a few impressions. This year also snuck up on me as I assumed it would be first week of Oct again. I already spent enough on gear this year... so maybe it's good I avoided temptation...

Also curious did the Abyss TC show up there any where? That was the one thing I would have found a way to get out there to hear but JPS Labs also decided to skip RMAF. Joe said they had a guy sharing a room and brought the Dianna... Oh well...

So is this a permanent deal now? Canjam RMAF never again? I'm not flying to Cali or NYC just for Canjam... *sigh*

Yeah, I don't what happened either. It was a complete surprise for us. We always stay at the venue, so every June we go to the AudioFest.com website and buy tickets and use the link to the hotel to book a stay. So, that was when I knew more about the new venue and date, but it didn't occur to me that CanJam was in NYC in Feb and not coming to Denver. In 2009 it was in LA in May, and Denver in October. I know RMAF will be October every year after this.

I didn't see Abyss anywhere, but wasn't really looking. I needed about 3 more hours and more energy (a day of rest) to see everything I wanted to see.
 

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