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Tokyo Headphone Festival presented by FUJIYA AVIC, October 26-27, 2013 (PICTORIAL)

  1. Mkubota1 Contributor
    Hi there.  It seems like just the other day I was writing one of these... more like six months.  I'm running out of ways to start these off- so let's just get on with it.

    <  This is the place.
    >  This is the way in.


    I'll come right out and say it:  I love this guy and his IEMs... and tea... and store concept.  I'm a fan boy.  For those not familiar, Makoto Yamagishi is an ex-Sony engineer of almost 30 years.  He is the creator for such oddities like the SRS-N100 active speaker, the SRS-AX10 desktop speaker, and the PFR-V1 headphone.  He is also the inventor of the Acoustic Turbo Circuit (MDR-E252, etc.).
    srs-ax10.jpg srs-n100.jpg pfr-v1_a.jpg

    * * * * *​
    And after leaving Sony he decided to open a shop that encompasses three of his passions:  Audio (of course), tea, and woodwork.  The later is an integral part of his Flat4-Kaede and Donguri-Keyaki IEMs.  At this show he unveiled his latest IEM:  The Donguri-Keyaki which translates to "acorn-Japanese zelkova".

    Having been teased by numerous prototypes, this is one IEM that I've been waiting a long time to hear.  I generally shy away from giving impressions.  But I will say that this IEM has a different sound than the Flat4 family- yet it still has a bit of that Ocharaku house-sound familiarity.
    <  These are three prototype-sample versions of the Flat4-Kuro.  Their connecting tubes are all different lengths.  This was an experiment to see which tuning people liked the best.
    >  After listening to all three, people could vote for their favorite.  This kind of crowd-sourcing seems to be happening more and more at these events.  It's a fun way to gauge what people want to hear.

    If you are ever in Tokyo, you really need to drop by his shop 音茶楽.  He'll pour you some tea, you can listen to some fantastic IEMs, and see the wood crafts of Oak Village with whom he collaborates to make the wood bits of the Kaede and Donguri.

    This is of course the FUJIYA AVIC Headphone Festival, or as they call it ヘッドホン祭り!  This show took place last October and you've probably already seen pictures of it.  The amazing thing about these shows is I've probably seen at least three different rather lengthy reports on it, and all of them show things I either didn't snap pictures of or things that I flat-out didn't recall seeing.  You could say seeing everything at one of these shows is sort of like trying to eat at every sushi restaurant in Tokyo in a year's time.  Impossible.

    Zero Audio
    I've always liked this company for some reason.  In the thick of giants like Sony, JVC, Audio Technica, and so on, there is this little guy.  It's often companies like this where the little surprises come from.  I think their Carbo Tenore (~$40) is a pretty decent IEM for the price- and they're crazy light too!  Their new IEMs from the Carbo-series (Carbo Singolo and Carbo Doppio) have single and dual balanced-armature drivers, brass fittings inside underneath the carbon, and a brass nozzle which reminds me a bit of the FitEar titanium nozzles that inject sound into your earholes.


    TDK is a giant company.  This means they have lot of resources.  In the past few years it seems like they've been putting those resources towards making some good headphones and IEMs.  Their BA-200 is well-regarded and I really like their IE800 (not to be confused with the Sennheiser IE800).

    One trend I am seeing in the IEM market is making different versions of a particular IEM model.  Here you see designations like "Vocal", "Live", and "MegaBass".

    And once again you see them asking show attendees which tuning of a particular IEM they like more.  It looks like "Vocal" is winning on this one!
    >  The ceramic housing on the 
    TH-PVEC600 made them feel cool when initially inserted.  Kind of neat!


    KEF has long been a name recognized by audiophiles for as long as I can remember.  One of my earliest audio memories was back in the early 80's listening to the Model 104/2 speakers at a small local hifi shop.  But if you haven't noticed lately, everybody that has anything remotely to do with audio (and some not even that) are jumping on the headphone bandwagon.  This makes me very suspicious when I approach headphones like these.  But thankfully KEF did not disappoint me!  I really liked the sound and comfort of the M500 headphones.
    17-P1020045.jpg <  While I liked the M500 for its design and sound, the M200 (background) sounded good but was a bit of an ergonomic problem for me.  The nozzles are huge, which will also make "tip-rolling" next to impossible.  Too bad because when I was able to hold them in place, I really liked their sound.


    NAD / PSB
    I'm putting these two together because apparently they're designed by the same people and they were at the same table at the show.  I've heard a lot of good things about these headphones since listening to them and I have to whole-heartedly agree with the positive reception.  Believe the hype- the VISO HP50 and M4U are both excellent sounding cans!

    <  The PSB M4U sounded good.  I just wish their construction was a little less 'Beats'-like with their shiny plastic.  They have really nice comfortable pads though!


    From what I see in the stores, Beyer seems very popular in Japan.  Below, the representative is showing the improved comfort of the new pads on the newly released T51P next to its predecessor.
    21-P1020056.jpg 22-P1020058.jpg


    >  Westone displayed their new 'W-series' IEMs.  I confirmed that the W40 sounds pretty much the same as my W4, which I am happy about.  Unfortunately, they did not have their W50 and W60 at the time. 23-P1020077.jpg


    >  I've heard some good things about the Beats-looking Yamaha PRO 500.  But I did not have time to confirm or deny that. 1-P1020082.jpg

    24-IMG_5139.jpg 25-IMG_5137.jpg

    I thought these HPH-M82s were some interesting looking headphones.  They have a really nice fit-and-finish, but I was most curious about the comfort of those square looking pads.  They sort of reminded me of beignets and made me a little hungry.  They sit on your head with the points facing forward and they're actually quite comfortable!
    >  One headphone they didn't have at their table (or I missed) was the HPH-MT220.  But I did get to hear it at another store on a follow-up visit and they sounded quite good.  They might benefit from some tuning, but they still sounded nice. yamaha-hph-mt220-headphones_a.jpg


    MH audio
    I can't count the times I've passed by this table at previous shows.  (Actually, I can- five and counting.)  They've always had this nice spread of custom accessories for their portable amps.  This year they had their new HA-11 amp.  The build quality on this amp is unsurpassed by anything I've seen on the market.
    26-P1020094.jpg <  The main chassis is milled from a solid block of aluminum and the attention to detail on the amp is very obvious.  I did get a chance on a subsequent trip to Tokyo to listen to the amp.  I liked everything about it except it seemed to have a rather high-ish output impedance.  It's probably not as high as my Fostex HP-P1's z-out, but it was still a tad too high for my very picky UE-RMs (and TripleFis).  Too bad!


    >  The DR.DAC2 is very popular in Asia but not so much in the U.S.  I like to think of it as the Swiss Army knife of audio.  The DR.DAC3 is an improved version of the '2.  It doesn't look like DSD has been added, but they've apparently improved the USB section and improved on some specs like S/N. 27-P1020097.jpg


    A while back these people came to the Head-Fi room we had at the show and asked us to listen to some prototype IEMs that were quite impressive at the time.  But when asked, "How much will these be?" some of us had reservations about a company nobody has ever heard of asking top dollar for a single-driver IEM.
    28-P1020098.jpg <  After hearing and seeing the final product, I think I can say that these are well-worth their asking price (currently $500-$800).  This is a unique product and its quality is equal to or greater than any other IEM I've seen.  Kudos to these newcomers on an amazing product!

    29-P1020101.jpg 31-P1020105.jpg

    The packaging shows just part of the attention to detail that DITA has put into these IEMs.  Whether you opt for 'The Answer' or 'Answer (Truth Edition)', they both come with this classy kit.  Other companies should take notice of this for their own top-of-the-line premium products.
    >  Notice how all of the accessories are custom-made.  Keep in mind this is their first product on the market, and compare it to other top-tier IEMs. 30-P1020102.jpg

    32-IMG_5369.jpg 33-IMG_5373.jpg

    I have to admit my weariness in the 'cable debate'.  A lot of it for me comes from the dubious cost-benefit (if there is any) ratio.  But the application here has me thinking the premium is well-worth the cost in this particular case:  Answer = $500, Truth Edition = $800.  The two IEMs sound like (wait for it...) NIGHT and DAY!  The upgraded cable is the only difference between the two models-  I was assured that everything else (driver, housing, solder, etc.) is identical.  The added bonus of course is the little window that they made in the cable to give you a peak at the silver Van Den Hul inside.  If I remember correctly, the rest of the cable is covered to prevent the oxidation and UV damage that anyone with transparent cables knows all too well.  Some might call this a gimmick, but I call it "attention to detail!"

    It was only a few years ago that Fostex had just come out with the TH-900 and HP-A8.  Before that they had very little to keep audio enthusiasts excited.  Now it seems like they are slowly but surely filling out their line-up with some serious products.  This year the only new item for sale at the time of the show was the HP-A4.  But there are many exciting things in the future for Fostex as you can see from the numerous prototypes that we've seen from past shows that are getting closer to maturity.
    34-P1020119.jpg 35-P1020122.jpg

    I thought the upcoming Fostex T-50rp-based prototype sounded good.  But apparently they've been further tweaking it between demonstrations-  the way they've been doing for a few of their other future products.  With the comfort of the TH-series cans and a build quality that is many, many times better than its driver donor, I seriously can't wait for these to come out.
    36-IMG_5187.jpg <  That HP-A4 sort of looks like a baby HP-A8, doesn't it?  [​IMG]

    38-IMG_5164.jpg 39-IMG_5172.jpg

    On the portable front, the TH-05 IEM sounded great and has been getting some well-deserved praise for their balance and neutrality at such a reasonable pricepoint of ~$150.  Having been out in prototype form for what seems like forever, the HP-V1 tube amp was looking closer than ever to a finished product with its solid casework.  Both the TH-05 and HP-V1 will be on sale (in Japan) next month!

    People familiar with JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) audio know of radius and their DDM-equipped IEMs.  They were one of the earlier companies to have dual dynamic driver IEMs.  While not dual-driver, their latest NEF-series of IEMs tout some sort of "high magnetic flux density system".  It sort of sounds like a Beyerdynamic Tesla thing, but I'm not sure if these have a particularly powerful magnetic field or if that's just marketing mumbo-jumbo.
    >  Having looked at the price of these long after hearing them, I was surprised by how inexpensive they are-  between $20 and $40.  I had the impression they were around $100, so maybe there is something here. 40-P1020130.jpg


    This Japanese giant is continuing to push the high-resolution format on all fronts- both hardware and software.  On the hardware DAP side, we have the NW-ZX1.  It's amazingly light for its size and one friend of mine has already replaced his AK120 with it.  On my last trip to Tokyo during New Years, every store was sold out of them.  Their lesser NW-F887 at almost half the price is also really nice- similar to the ZX1 but with plastic buttons, different analogue innards, and 64GB vs 128GB.
    44-IMG_5122.jpg <  What I like about both of these players (ZX-1 and F887) is that their volume has 32 steps versus the 16 you are stuck with on iOS devices.

    43-P1020485.jpg 42-IMG_5254.jpg

    Just released are also their DSD-capable PHA-2 DAC/ headphone amplifier and their XBA-H1, H2, and H3 hybrid (balanced-armature/ dynamic driver) IEMs.

    When I was growing up, it was TDK and Maxell fighting it out for the cassette tape business.  I guess they're back at it again- but this time not as the main players.  What is good to see is that these companies aren't just making something for the sake of having something to sell.  There is definitely some engineering and innovation in the works here.
    45-P1020141.jpg 46-P1020143.jpg

    The MXH-DD600 has dual dynamic drivers, while the MXH-DBA-700 and 900 have hybrid BA and dynamic drivers.  These configurations seem to be a hot trend now.

    ALO / Audeze
    I put these two together since they share the same table at these shows, as they are both distributed by Mixwave in Japan.
    52-P1020177.jpg 47-IMG_5390.jpg
    48-P1020153.jpg 51-P1020160.jpg

    The LCD-XC and the LCD-X were on-hand.  Both sounded really good-  I've always liked the way these cans sound.  I just need to workout my pencil neck a bit more to support the weight of these beauties.
    >  LCD-SP?  I doubt we'll be seeing these anytime soon.  Although you never know.  I can't imagine how fun it would be to dampen all of those small bits and pieces. 49-P1020159.jpg

    50-IMG_5404.jpg <  Lipovitan (リポビタン) is a Japanese energy drink that was invented back in the 60's long before Redbull.  I'd imagine a lot of the ALO and Audeze crew needed these to help fight off their jetlag.


    This company is first and foremost a custom IEM maker.  But since I do not live in Japan, my main interest with them is with their universals:  The 'TO GO! 443' and Parterre.  I finally got to listen to the later at the show.  For me, the FitEars have this quality or tuning that doesn't impress me the first few minutes like many other IEMs do.  However after listening to a few tracks, they are hard to put down.
    53-P1020187.jpg 54-P1020185.jpg

    >  It's always neat to look at the titanium nozzles on the universal FitEars. 55-IMG_5397.jpg


    These gorgeous headphones from this new upstart company had to be some of the more memorable ones at the show.  And I didn't even get to listen to them!  Words cannot describe how beautiful these are.  Aside from a few Ultrasones, the Sony MDR-R10, and maybe a few of the Audio Technica Anniversary cans, I can't really think of anything that matches the beauty of these.  And as the cliche goes:  Pictures don't do them justice.
    56-P1020196.jpg 57-P1020199.jpg
    58-P1020200.jpg 59-P1020206.jpg

    The P-10 comes in three different iterations:  'Standard', 'ArtCase', and 'CustomMade'.  They are supposed to be out this spring (2014) so perhaps I'll get to hear them at the next Headphone Festival.  The only thing I know about them is that they are individually hand-built and take about two months to make one.  Needless to say, they won't be cheap.

    62-P1020216.jpg <  Beautiful, beautiful headphone.  That's all for now.


    Here is (another) good example of technology crossing into art.  The KM01 amp comes in basically two versions:  One that is all solid brass and limited to 300 units of production, and one that is hand-painted in Tsugaru, Aomori in a distinctive lacquer finish that changes appearance depending upon the lighting.  I think the hand-painted ones are all sold out.
    63-P1020223.jpg 64-P1020226.jpg

    The artistic aspect of this amplifier does not surprise me.  We've seen this with GEM (IEMS), ORB (amplifier), and Fostex (headphones).  What I thought was interesting was the fact that KOJO implicitly states that the finish on the brass version is not treated and will oxidize in time.  Also, the surface is relatively soft for a metal and will also show scratches.  This is all said to give this piece an aged appearance over time.  The implication is that this is something that will be used or kept for more than just a couple of years.  Wouldn't it be nice to inherit audio equipment as family heirlooms?

    65-P1020228.jpg 66-IMG_5106.jpg

    Despite its custom IEM-like price, the SE846 seems to be doing well as the uber-universal IEM market rapidly expands-  for better or for worse.  I personally find universals a bit more comfortable than actual customs, and I like the idea of being able to listen to the actual units before buying them; especially when spending that kind of money.
    67-P1020230.jpg 68-IMG_5090.jpg

    Admittedly not a huge fan of their headphones, this one might change that opinion for me.  The sound of the SRH1540 seems far more neutral (read: not super-bright) than their other cans, they're super-light (or that's just the carbon placebo...), they have super-comfortable pads, and their overall construction is very nice.  I want to spend more time listening to these.

    69-P1020240.jpg 70-P1020243.jpg

    I somehow managed to miss their eQ-8 (it's right there in the photo on the right), but saw this cute little tube amp-  the Ta-Q7.  I did not get to listen to this headphone/ speaker amp.  But it has me thinking of bringing my own full-sized headphones to these shows so I can do some demo-ing of this stuff.

    Aka Alpha Design Labs, aka Furutech.  Mostly known for cables and accessories, they have a decent set of headphones as well as a new dual dynamic driver IEM.
    71-P1020247.jpg 73-IMG_5103.jpg

    72-IMG_5100.jpg <  The EH008 has a 5.8mm and 8mm driver.  I found them to sound very similar to my TDK IE800s, which share the same driver configuration.  The ADLs look nicer though!

    >  I'll be you thought Jude had his own camera and sound crew.  Think again! 74-P1020448.jpg


    75-P1020257.jpg <  STAX has had their same line-up for as long as I can remember coming to these shows.  Actually to be fair, the 009 came out the first time I attended and I think the portable 002 is newish.  And it wouldn't be a Japanese headphone show without them! 


    Monster / Etymotic
    76-P1020262.jpg 77-P1020264.jpg

    I don't really have anything to say about them other than they were situated across from each other and looked like they were ready to have a food fight.

    Oyaide /  Zephone
    Speaking of Etymotic, I FINALLY FOUND AN AFTERMARKET CABLE FOR MY ER-4!!!!!  Sorry for the all-caps. 
    78-P1020069.jpg 79-P1020071.jpg

    The Silver Seagull (gotta love that name) comes in two versions- one for the ER-4P and another that will turn your 4P into a 4S.  I was looking for a cable with a better behaved wire below the 'v' of the silly stock one, and found it.  One word of caution:  Though pretty and easy to coil/handle, this wire is microphonic beyond belief.  I don't move much when I listen to it so doesn't bother me too much.  And at least it didn't cost more than the ER-4 itself-  around $70 (show price) if I remember correctly.


    HD800s and HD650s are all lined up.  One thing interesting that I noticed at these shows is they seem to display the HD650s a lot more than the HD600s.  This also goes for other vendors (amplifier, source, etc.) that use Sennheisers-  they seem to pick the HD650 almost unanimously over the HD600.  I wonder if that's just about preference or because the '650 is perceived as a higher model?  I myself see them as a lateral move rather than one being better than the other.  Maybe that's just me.

    There weren't any anniversaries to celebrate this year.  Too bad because I love their 'ANV' stuff!.  But AT still had a lot to introduce.
    83-P1020280.jpg 84-P1020282.jpg

    Among the new items were these Sonic Fuel IEMs.  I didn't listen to them, but I liked how they were displayed!  [​IMG]
    85-IMG_5282.jpg 86-P1020291.jpg

    These Limited Edition ATH-A900X LTD headphones sounded nice.  But I think they were no different from the standard issue A900X other than their color.
    97-IMG_5291.jpg <  AT also had this new AT-HA22TUBE hybrid tube amp.

    Okay, admittedly I didn't come here to see all of that.  What did get me excited was their new line of multi-BA driver IEMs.
    95-IMG_5328.jpg 87-P1020380.jpg
    88-IMG_5266.jpg 90-IMG_5322.jpg

    My general thought is that they all sounded good, but I definitely need more time to listen to them to wrap my head around what I was hearing.  There is certainly some 'flavor' to their sound-  nothing radical, but something that will take a bit more time to analyze.  The shells get bigger and bigger as you go from the IM-01 > IM-02 > IM-03 > IM-04 (single, dual, triple, and quad-driver).  The IM-04 is almost as large as some customs.  I didn't have any actual trouble getting a good fit, but I knew they were there.
    89-IMG_5313.jpg 91-IMG_5304.jpg

    The connector for the removable cables is the same on all four models and looks proprietary to me.  So it doesn't look like cable rolling will be available at least in the short-term.
    92-IMG_5308.jpg 94-IMG_5280.jpg

    The transparent shells are a nice touch.  Other new IEMs they introduced included the more entry-level IM70 (right, red) and IM50.  Both have dual dynamic drivers.  I thought the IM-70 sounded really nice and comes in at around the $100 range.  There already seems to be a good following for this IEM on Head-Fi already.

    >  The only reason I put this here is because I've noticed in the past that despite them being fairly ubiquitous in the U.S., I hardly see these DACs at the Headphone Festival.  Instead I see the Grace m902/3 everywhere. 99-P1020305.jpg


    >  Here is another JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) amplifier that I've seen at every one of these shows and I'd like to listen to someday. 102-P1020318.jpg


    I had to do a bit of post-show research to figure out what the deal was with this table.  (I actually learn quite a bit after the fact when writing these posts!)  Apparently it's a small store in the heart of Akihabara that specializes in vintage tubes, selling a lot to overseas customers as well as domestic.  Just go here and drop that into Google translate-  you'll get the idea.
    103-P1020322.jpg <  I have to admit, just looking at this table left me a bit intimidated to ask for any information.  However I read that the owner speaks English quite well.  So I will definitely be visiting this table if it's at the next show!

    105-P1020330.jpg 104-P1020327.jpg


    I've gushed over the appearance of this stuff in earlier posts.  I still haven't gotten a chance to sit down and listen to it.  Okay, next time I will bring headphones.  They actually have a cafe (no, seriously... this is Japan) called Cafe Triode that I want to go to before I die-  just out of sheer curiosity.  Judging from these pictures, it seems like an amazing place!
    108-P1020346.jpg 107-P1020344.jpg

    I hope nobody accidentally sat on those headphones!  [​IMG]

    116-P1020423.jpg <  Ultrasone's latest 'Edition', the Edition 5.  This was the feature for this show.

    118-P1020422.jpg 117-P1020427.jpg

    119-P1020435.jpg 120-P1020440.jpg

    Ultrasone also had their Edition lineage on display, from back in the days before headphones cost $5k.

    Snow White
    >  Ahhh, it's not a Headphone Festival without...


    John Lee Jeongkyu is based in Seoul, Korea but makes frequent trips around Asia and speaks fluent Japanese and English.  I first met him a few years back when he was helping EXS (also Korean and maker of some pretty good IEMs) at the Headphone Festival.  He had some prototypes and personal projects including some really nice all-metal earbuds that I'm hoping he'll someday finish.
    <  His latest creation which just came to market is a balanced amplifier- the LZIO HAV3-SE  Small, light-weight, and powerful is what he was aiming for with this amp.  It is entirely handmade with extreme attention to parts choice, design, and detail; and runs off of one 9-volt battery.


    This is a new company I first came across at the last show.  They described themselves as being a Hong Kong-based company that designs their (amplifier) circuits in Japan and manufactures their products in China.  At the time they had a prototype amplifier with a processor which simulated a "tube sound" that I thought was well-implemented and sounded nice.  Now it looks like they are coming closer to completion of their portable amp.  It's a very stylish amp as you can see!
    123-IMG_5128.jpg 124-IMG_5135.jpg


    Final Audio Design
    129-IMG_5331.jpg <  Their long awaited headphone- the Pandora Hope VI.  If there is another hybrid BA/dynamic driver headphone out there, I don't know about it.  Whether it's this unique driver combo or just its tuning, this headphone does live up to its claim of having a huge, expansive soundstage.  It's a bit of a mixed bag for me tonally though.  And it does feel a bit heavy on my head.  Nonetheless, it's definitely worth a listen because it is so unique.

    >  You simply cannot walk past the Piano Fortes without taking a picture of them.  It's just not possible. 130-IMG_5338.jpg


    132-IMG_5409.jpg < As difficult as the FAD Piano Fortes are to fit in my ears, this one from Skullcandy gave me even more trouble.

    133-IMG_5412.jpg 134-IMG_5416.jpg

    This is another enlarged version of one of their headphones- the Crusher.  If you haven't tried these... well, you simply must try them.  The idea is that there is a motor/servo inside of the earcup that vibrates along with the bass notes of the music you are playing.  The effect will leave you laughing out loud-  guaranteed!  On a different note, despite their 'youthful' appearance, the Mix Master headphones from these guys are actually quite good.  I have to say I was a bit shocked, especially coming from a company that has this much fun.

    135-P1020490.jpg <  ...hello again.  (Second day's outfit)

    By the way, the Autumn Headphone Festivals more often than not fall on the weekend close to Halloween which they do observe to a degree in Japan-  especially the adults.  I sometimes forget this when I'm walking around there at night.

    JH Audio
    I'm not sure if this is saving the best for last, but I was pretty impressed by the sound of the latest creation of Jerry Harvey's-  the Roxanne.  From my brief listen I wasn't able to fully digest what I was hearing, but I walked away with a favorable impression overall.  The build, kit, and inline bass control all added to the appeal of this new custom IEM.  I would very much like to listen to them again.
    136-IMG_5433.jpg 138-P1020168.jpg
    139-P1020170.jpg 140-IMG_5426.jpg

    137-P1020172.jpg <  As always, Jerry flashes a big smile and positive vibe at these shows, even though this was taken towards the end of a two-day event.  I'm sure he and all of the other U.S.-based exhibitors were battling jet-lag.


    Well, there goes another one.  I'll wrap it up with this last group photo taken just after the close of the second and last day of the show.  You'll probably recognize a few of these faces from other events as well as right here on Head-Fi.  As with all of these shows that I've attended, BIG thank you to Sasaki-san (Head-Fi contributor who always comes through with providing us early access to the show) and Makoto Ishizone of FUJIYA AVIC.  And I guess I'll keep going to these and reporting until I run out of PTO, money, or both.
    Cheers!  [​IMG]
    jude, joe, Beagle and 8 others like this.
  2. Mkubota1 Contributor
    The next Spring Headphone Festival will be May 10-11, 2014 at Nakano Sun Plaza.
    These shows are held twice a year- once in May (usually the 1st or 2nd weekend) and once in October (usually the last weekend).  In terms of climate and weather it's generally in the 60°F range.  For the last several shows it has been at 'Stadium Place' in Aoyama.  But for this upcoming one it will return to Nakano Sun Plaza, which is a brief walk from the FUJIYA AVIC store in Nakano Broadway mall.  Most importantly, the event is free of charge for all to attend.  The show hours might vary, especially for the times it runs for two days.  But generally it will open at around 10am and close at around 6pm- probably earlier on the second day.  Some English is spoken by many if not most of the vendors.  But in any case it's not hard to get around.  They know what you're there for.  :wink:
    This show is generally for looking and listening- and meeting!  Items for sale are limited to accessories such as cables, LODs, and those kinds of things.  FUJIYA AVIC will likely have a selection of pre-owned and new gear specially marked down for the event on a first come, first served basis.  They will usually hand out a flyer with a list of these special items as you walk in.  But if you are interested in these items, be warned that people arrive early (a few hours before the show opens) and wait in line so they can have first dibs on these sale items.
    If you really want to stay on top of this, you can go to FUJIYA AVIC's website as the show draws near.  They will post the latest promotional poster similar to the ones below on their homepage, and you'll be able to read the date and time of the event.  And of course keep an eye open here on Head-Fi because there will usually be a thread that starts a few weeks before the show- sort of an interest check to see who will be flying in, possible mini-meets, etc.
    Here are a few posters from the last two Headphone Festivals:


  3. AnakChan Moderator
    Awesome coverage! I never really pay attention to the Audio Technica tables and didn't realise about their amp. I should try to find a demo of their amp in the shops one of these days.

    As for the Ortofon eQ-8, it seems they've used silver inside the IEM too. At least when I tried it, it sounded very very detailed.
  4. CEE TEE Contributor
    Beautiful again, Mike.
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  5. gmahler2u
    Where can I get the donguri?  Since i'm a outsider, i can't find the donguri from PriceJapan.com or musicaacoustics.com...
  6. audionewbi
    I think for zx1 its GB not MB. Cant wait to read this later tonight thanks
  7. Mkubota1 Contributor
    I would drop the folks at musicaacoustic.com a message and ask if/when they will have them in.  It was released officially back in October, so it should just be a matter of time, I'm guessing.
    Good catch (fixed) and thank you!!!
  8. Mussicc
    nice pictures!
    how do you compare the 334 to the roxanne? [​IMG]
  9. tattoou2
    An absolutely great report!!  
  10. vlenbo
    Those were some awesome impressions of the festival, I love the pictures and your thoughts on some of the headphones.
    I'm pretty curious though, is that all they had in the audio technica booth?
    No other audio technica products like this?  
    Did you get to listen to the zero audio doppios and singolos? Even for a brief minute?
  11. Mkubota1 Contributor

    I didn't have nearly enough time to make a definitive judgement on that.  However, if you search around a bit you'll find a lot of those comparisons.  Here is one for example: http://www.head-fi.org/t/684396/new-jh-audio-flagship-siren-series-roxanne/1410#post_10064268.  I happen to generally agree with the sentiments of that post-  that the 334 is more relaxed and smooth like I can listen to it forever, while the JH has that JH house sound which to me is dynamic and exciting.  Both would complement each other VERY well.  But then we're talking $2500 for that pair!  :wink:
    Thanks!  =)  The AT booth was quite large actually.  But I think they only brought out their new stuff; so they didn't have the ATH-W****, the ATH-A***X, or their older but still current IEMs.  Or maybe I just missed them.  Again, at this show you sort of have to pick and choose what you want to see and hear or else you will end up missing most of it!  I'm guessing that's a picture of the ATH-RE700?  I'm only guessing that because I'm looking at a brochure that I grabbed with all of their new stuff (and none of their older/existing stuff) and it's on there.  I don't recall hearing it though.
    I did get to hear the Doppios and Sigolos, but I only took down notes for the Doppios.  They were a bit too warm and dark for me.  To be fair though (and this is the reason why I am very hesitant on giving impressions), I only heard them once at a store.  To me, that isn't nearly enough to reach a firm conclusion- not to make a purchase and not to put out on a public forum.  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard the same IEMs at different times and places and got completely different impressions.  Sometimes the tips are not the ones they originally came with, sometimes the store is a bit loud, and sometimes it's just me!  I have stuff at home that sometimes sounds different from one day to the next.  On my last trip to Tokyo, I told my brother how great the RE400s were and after listening to them he gave me a so-so look.  I went and listened to them myself and indeed they sounded AWFUL at this particular store.  Later on at a different store, they sounded exactly the way I had remembered prior to hearing the bad pair.  So I'm not sure if that was a defect, product variation, or damaged goods.  Anyway, sorry to go on and on like that.  I should probably put this rant at the bottom of my post so that everybody knows where I'm coming from and why I am sometimes vague when describing stuff in these posts.  On that note, I'll definitely go back and listen to the Zeros in May to see if I find them to my liking!
  12. cswann1
    Holly sensory overload Batman!  
  13. vlenbo
    Man oh man would I give to be there, especially since the radius earphones have also gotten my attention, and with your quick impressions, makes me wonder how good they could be for a budget price.
    The audio technica booth is the first I'd stop to though, personally speaking, lol. It's a shame they didn't, it would have been a good comparo, but I guess that's the reason they didn't put the old with the new, people could compare to hear that the old ones sounded better....OHHH!!! [​IMG] Just a dumb thought.
    I totally agree with you on the choose it and go for it method, I'd do the same. IT IS the re700s, and they sound heavenly man, I was hoping you'd get to hear some of that sound and give your own thoughts, but it's cool as every other headphone sounds better anyway. If the magazine did say something about the re700s, I'm confused as to why their marketing department ignored the whole "get your retro beauty at a great price!"
    Okay, from your impressions, it'd definitely be better to hear it somewhere else. It's the same for most of us, thanks for sharing regardless of the skewed sound due to the event. Hopefully a different store would do a lot better for you. It's the same thing with me and my first audio technica portable headphone that I bought. The es700s were generic sounding at best, the mids were just bland, the highs were decent, and the lows were a bit disappointing in quantity, but that's because I was in a loud chatter room of a store...
    Nah, it's good information that we headfiers should enjoy reading. I don't like that people just out and leave some of their opinions behind, as it leaves up to a good debate. Thank you kindly for giving the doppios a chance to be heard from you in may again! Hope everything sounds great for you! 
  14. kahkityoong
    Did you get to check out the Ultrasone 5?
  15. Mkubota1 Contributor
    I did... very briefly as you can imagine how many people were waiting to hear those.  They sound like Ultrasones.  [​IMG]

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