The Marriott Marquis in NYC is one of the finest hotels in which to attend a show in the world. The first CanJam day went by so fast as I was covering the show it left me tired at the end of the day, but it was rewarding, talking with so many community friends and listening to the amazing new products and designs that were being offered. After the show we got ready to venture to La Masseria on W48th Street. Playing next door was Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway engagement and across the street was The Bronx Tale. Walking over to this magnificent Italian eatery in the rain was an adventure as the NY crowd was out in full force with umbrellas, which had me ducking to avoid get swatted on the crowded streets.
Coverage on the second day went by quickly as we started early at the show beginning and breezed through the remainder of the show with some interesting and magnificent new designs being offered by both seasoned manufactures, as well as, some interesting start up companies that had world class design to offer. Once again I had no breaks or lunch and continued on with coverage and was able to wrap up at around 4 PM. The CanJam Global team put on the finest personal audio show I ever attended. The many attendees were all excited and the companies representing their products all were enthusiastic and enjoyed the show. So fold, until our next show coverage, here is my wrap up on my hometown show.
Caprice Audio founder Louis Alberto has been passionate about audio for over 30 years. He created Caprice Audio in 2012 with the idea that music could sound better if you isolated and eliminated noise. The Mosaic Hybrid filter was created to deal with noise, eliminate ground loops and improve transient response. The Mosaic also improves soundstage and imaging. The sound from music streaming can be noisy with a computer and for headphone enthusiast or people with high end systems that noise can be a major distraction. Equipped with three plug and play connectors for three components the Mosaic will be sufficient to handle you amplifier and sources. The sound coming from the Mosaic was quiet and musical. There was no grunge or noise from the Macbook streaming using a Questyle CMA600i amplifier and the music had terrific spacing and air and was quiet and enjoyable. The Mosaic is a terrific solution to finish off your system to extract everything the system is capable of producing with a quiet and clear tonality. Impressive!
Caprice Audio Mosaic with Wave Stream Hybrid Technology The Mosaic is available in two models the Mosaic Black ($1,499 USD) and the Mosaic Silver ($2,500 USD).
Meze and Rina Isodynamic’s were showing their new EMPYREAN Isodynamic Hybrid Array design. The release date still is not announced and the headphone is is going to be somewhere in the $3o00-$3500 range. The sound was liquid and transparent and sounded exceptionally balanced and the prototype was light and comfortable. Look for more information on Headphone.Guru in the coming months for a release date.
The cutout of the isodynamic hyrbrid array driver shown close, the only one designed like this, that I am aware of, in the world. The package has two pads which are interchangeable and have a unique magnetic design allowing for easy switching. The sound with the pad change was significantly different and allows the user to get two different sounds from the same headphone. The limited edition is sure to be a collectors item as the sound was robust, transparent and had a wonderful soundstage and was very comfortable for listening
The Woo new electrostatic amplifier prototype. Price and tube compliment to be announced.
The Woo Audio WA 33 was driving the Focal Utopias easily, the sound transparent and musical. The two piece design starts at $8000 for the base model and $15000 for the tricked out special edition which has upgraded parts and tubes, the 2A3 design was sensational. Kimber Kable was in the room with Woo Audio showcasing their Axios design interconnects and headphone cables. Nate Allen from Kimber was telling me about the new and exciting Axios line that keeps moving forward. Kimber Kable Axios at $798 in copper is pure Kimber quality. The braided design improved the transparency and soundstage of the Focal Utopias. Look for our upcoming review on both the Woo WA33 and the Kimber Kable Axios on Headphone.Guru.
DanaCable was sharing a room with Wells Audio and Modwright. Dana reference quality cables are sensational on every headphone we have tried them on. The soundstage and transparency on the Focal Utopia as well as the Hifiman HE1000 V2 and Susvara was able to extract every last detail and let you hear everything the headphones are capable of producing. If you have not seen the demo, stop by at a show and Vin Vu and Norman would be glad to go over the features on the award winning designs from Dana. The Lazuli reference starts at $999 and the Ultra at $1999. The sound is exceptional and really needs to be heard, so you can see for yourself the improvement in sound quality. The differences are easily heard and are not subtle. If you really want to hear what a high quality cable can do listen to the Lazuli series from Dana.
Wells Audio started in the personal audio market with the Headtrip amplifier reviewed on Headphone.Guru. The $7000 fully balanced designed was being shown with the Modrwright Oppo UDP 205. The Headtrip will drive any headphone and is quiet and musical. The sound is exceptional and with transparency that is rarely found. The solid state design has power and finesse and is one of the best headphone amps currently in production in the world.
Jeff Wells CEO of Wells Audio is always fun to see and talk with about design.
The Wells Audio Ultimate system consisted of Headtrip Reference Monoblocks $30,000, the Commander tube preamp $3900, the Abyss Headphones $5500 and the Modwright OPPO UDP 205 using JPS Labs interconnects $3599. Modwright starts at $2499 for the modification the the $1299 Oppo UDP 205. The sound competes with players and DACs priced substantially higher and is one of my reference digital sources. The Wells system was one of the best sounding reference systems and truly the ultimate on listening. The Dana Lazuli ultra at $1999 completed the system. The system was one of the best overall systems at CanJam. If money is no object, this is the ultimate listening system to listen to for the best in musicality and transparency. A true Statement from our friends at Wells Audio!
The Modwright HA300 $7999 was Headphne.Guru product of the year in 2017. The 8 watt 300B speaker-headphone amplifier with a seperate power supply, easily drove my Fritz Carbon 7SE monitors and had a liquidity and musicality found only in 300B triode tubes. The sound is sensational and nails vocals and musical instruments making this one of the best built and attractive designs in the world. Modwright’s automotive paint finish on these hand build designs are striking and the sound is as good as it gets.
The Award winning Tryst headphone amplifier was Modwright entry the headphone market. The beautiful amplifier was reviewed by Eric Neff in headphone.guru and was awarded the amplifier of the year in 2016. The $3000 design uses a pair of 6922 and a quad of 12B4 tubes to put out 3 watts of power. The finish shown above in Blue automotive is striking and the sound is pure reference quality. If you are looking for a magnificent amplifier that delivers the musicality and drives virtually every headphone, Dan Wright’s sensational Tryst may be exactly what your looking for.
Claude Schmidt Marketing Director was demoing the $699.99 Cleer Next and the $279 Cleer Flow wireless noise cancelling headphones. The 40MM drivers sounded exceptional with sheepskin pads and comfort levels not currently available in other designs in this price level. The Next is a comfortable headphone that offers exceptional transparency in an open structure. I predict great things from this comfortable and amazing headphone, priced for everyone to enjoy the sound of Cleer.
Tom Wang of M&O Electronics was showing his products from M&O. The Active Noise Cancelling design is still in development.
The $129 M&O was astonishing, the sound was anything but inexpensive, and the transparency blew me away. The sound had terrific balance and was detailed while being musical. Bowei Zhao is doing a full review on this amazing headphone that is high end sound at a ridiculous low price. Predictions can be tricky, but I feel so confident after listening to this little wonder that M&O will take the industry by storm. Offering exceptional quality at a price everyone can afford. Bravo to Tom Wang an his team for this new rising star.
Cheban Littlefield always smiling is the Marketing Director for Mytek was showing the award winning Mytek products.
The Brooklyn priced at $2195 is an amazing value. The features include a high current mode amplifier featuring 6 watts of power to virtually drive any headphone. The DAC will convert up to 384K PCM, DSD Native resolution to DSD256 and includes the new MQA decoder to convert the new format. It includes a built in analog preamp and phono stage. The DAC can be routed to the computer via USB 2 and has inputs for connecting CD players as well. The Mytek team left no stone unturned in developing the complete solutions for both your analog and digital needs.
The CanJam NYC was an amazing gathering of both manufactures and attendees. The Headfi.org community was out in full force, Ethan Opolian, Jude Mansilla and the Headfi.org team should be commended on producing the best CanJam I have ever attended outside of Rocky Mountain. The record breaking attendance was filled with a mixture of millennial and warhorses like myself who have embraced personal audio. The new innovations from these companies is continuing in this growing segment of high end audio. The CanJams are young and exciting and deal with the new digital revolution with outstanding and portable designs to world class home systems for headphone and lifestyle music lovers. The show for me was exceptional and a chance to hear more products and see many friends. The community to me is and always will be part of my extended family. Lee Shelly and Bowei Zhao worked their butts off to help produce the extensive and complete coverage in NYC and get a big thumbs up and thank you. Lee and I have been friends for 10 year now and we owe that to the Headfi.org community for us meeting. Bowei has been writing for Guru since the beginning and someone who always comes calling for us when needed. Thanks to our amazing team and friends who let us experience and have fun doing this CanJam. Gary Barker our senior editor and friend also did a magnificent job of helping to edit the reports and make sure we were able to get our message across. Till the next show, keep on listening!
Frank started his journey in high-end audio in 1978 and was quickly hooked. Frank’s passion for music and great sound reproduction is stronger than ever. His main focus is with high-end headphones and portable related gear. He is a regular Head-Fi.org contributor and is a co-founder of Headphone.Guru.