CanJam SoCal 2015 That's a Wrap!!!
Apologies to the Vendors
I thought it was really important to feature the members this show, and between participating in four panel talks and doing the member spotlights I just didn't have the time to do any features on the vendors. I know that's, at least in part, why you come to these things, so I apologize, and I will be visiting you in future shows.
While I didn't do much auditioning of vendor gear, I did get sucked into a few displays due to curiosity or people telling me that I just had to hear something. Here's some random comments about things I bumped into while there:
- 1964 Ears - Had a little science demo on their table about the RealLoud technology that's in a number of their new cans. I'm very interested to see, and hear, how this Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens (ADEL) sounds. I've had some issues with the technical information provided me about ADEL in the past, but I do think it has some merit. Way too many IEMs have significantly elevated bass and that needs turning down.
- AudioQuest - Had another listen to the NightHawk, and it did sound a better to me this time around. I was told it hadn't changed since CESgoes to show you one quick listen isn't very reliable. I do still think there's a little something missing in the treble though. No final judgement however as production units may sound slightly different. Still keeping my fingers crossed on the NightHawk, lots of cool technology and the price is so right.
- Cavalli Audio - Alex is reaching out to more of us wallet impaired with a couple of new headphone amplifier offerings: the Liquid Carbon desktop and Liquid Silicon portable amp. Prices are not firm but are expected in the $400 and $600 areas respectively. I didn't get a chance to listen to it, but the buzz around the Liquid Carbon was huge at the show.
- Enigma Acoustics - I was one of the few people who stumbled on these two-driver (dynamic and electret) headphones at CES and I reported very positively about them. Lots of folks wanted to hear them at CanJam, and they too were in for a treat. I can't wait to get these home for a measure. I liked the sound a lot, but I did hear people say they heard something lacking in the driver integration. With a cross-over at 10kHz we're only talking about the top octave here...yeah, I really want to see the measurements.
- HiFiMAN - Only briefly heard the HE-1000 when Anax managed to get one to his table for a brief listen on his gear. The buzz on these cans, like it has been since CES, is strong. The price is very high at $2999, but these might be worth it. Yeah, sorry about your wallet.
- Mr. Speakers - Dan Clark let me know these were coming down the pipe some time ago; so happy to say the Ether ($1499) was one of the big hits of the show. This is the first Mr. Speaker headphone to feature a driver of Dan's own design and, to me, on short listen, they are the best thing I've heard from him. Whether or not they'll stand up to the competition at the price is something I'll have to figure out when I get my hands on them for long-term listening and measurements, but they're contenders, that's for sure.
- RIVA - Who? Yeah, that's what I said, then I walked into their room and heard their TurboX ($349) Bluetooth speaker. Wow! A lot of buzz about this little gem. It's standout characteristic is that it really does seem to fill the room very differently than most simple speakers due to it's Trillium™ DSP software. It was too short a listen to tell if it was a whiz-bang effect that would get tiresome long-term, or if it really was as cool as it sounded on short listen. Good news is one is winging it's way to Montana as we speak. Stay tuned!
- Smyth Research - Was displaying a mock-up of a new headphone audio virtualization system they intend to launch with a Kickstarter campaign sometime later in the year. Their Realizer is one of the few systems I've heard that can actually get sound to appear to come from outside your head, if they can lower the cost of that trick I can see folks pretty happy about this gadget.
More Info on Gear
If you'd like a closer look at the CanJam SoCal 2015 gear, I suggest you check out CanJam SoCal 2015 reports at:
A Big Thanks!
CanJam SoCal 2015 seemed to go off without a hitch. I say "seemed" because no doubt there were bumps in the road, but the CanJam organizing team did an absolutely fantastic job presenting headphone enthusiasts with a terrifically satisfying event. My heartfelt thanks to Jude, Warren, Ethan, Andre, Amos, and all the Head-Fiers that volunteered to help out for the event.
After the show, I pulled Warren and Ethan aside for one last interview. What were there thoughts on the show? What's the future for CanJam? All is revealed in the video.
Oh, and a big thanks to Brian Hunter at Audio-head.com for shooting the video!
Click here if you can't see the video.