Going to headphone meets for the past ten years has made me realize the importance of a real community and camaraderie. Jude Mansilla has been rightfully recognized as the pioneer of personal audio, surrounding himself with a star studded cast of dedicated employees, he has propelled CanJam Global into the king of all audio shows worldwide. With the extraordinary talent of show producer Ethan Opolion they have managed to grow the shows and the second year NYC show, done a week after the Superbowl, saw a shattering attendance of 2400 attendees with over 80 companies showing and some of the most exotic personal audio gear in the world on center stage.
Our team of Lee Shelly, myself and Bowi Zhao managed to cover in the entire show. Seeing many old friends from the New York headphone meets and having the excitement of Manhattan the weekend flew by, and I departed Sunday with complete exhaustion from the hours of coverage, but the smile on my face when leaving was of the enormous amount of personal friendship I had created over the last 10 years. The feel of the show was like coming home. True love and friendships in high end audio are rarely found as those we have come to experience in personal audio.
Over the next two weeks we will share our coverage and give you insight in to what is now possible in headphone design and a potpourri of fabulous audio tours that will wet you appetite. Folks it is a great time to be a headphone geek and to see what has transpired in high end audio. Headphone.Guru is proud to sponsor one of the greatest audio shows for personal audio in the world and without any further delay we present the Guru coverage of CanJam Global.
iFi was showing their reference PRO iDSD DAC with quad Burr Brown DSD chips. The DAC priced at $2499 does DSD 512 natively and can do DSD 1024. The fully balanced Pro iCAN headphone amp priced at $1799 and the $1499 Pro iESL Electrostatic headphone amp completed the stack.
The fun and friendly exciting iFi team were responsive and helpful and always a pleasure to speak with.
David Teng the CEO of OBRAVO was showcasing his new air motion headphones. He has three different models being shown priced from $3000-$6000
David always has a smile on every time I see him. A Taiwan native, it is always a fun talk with the king of air motion transducers.
The new HAMT Signature was priced a $6000. The soundstage was wide and engulfing. The transparency of the unit was refined over previous models and had realism that is common with air motion technology. The design was stunning.
Legendary designer Paul Barton was showing his new PSB M4U 8 and NAD HP70 wireless designs. He also was presenting his room feel seminar which was based on experiments which I was a part of, with Jude Mansila and Joe Cwik and a few other leading personal audio journalist in Ottawa. The headphones created were in part a result of the test Paul conducted in the research center with us in Ottawa.
The NAD HP70 has a slightly different tuning than the PSB model. Both designed by Paul Barton, the sound and tonality with the room feel effect brought with it an uncanny realism. The sound coming from the HP70 was musical with exceptional room feel and tonality, amazing priced at $399 and an affordable solution for whether your traveling or listening anywhere.
The M4U 8 priced at $399 has musicality and tonality which was tuned a little differently but still maintained the exceptional musicality we have come to appreciate from any Paul Barton design. The two models will be contenders for the best wireless solutions for the music lover. Listening to the two headphones I was amazed at what Paul was able to achieve with the sound quality and I am looking forward to spending more time with these two sensational headphones.
Schiit was Happening for sure with the team from the California based company we have all come to love and admire. The East Coast team was present to present all the Schiit they could.
The Ragnarok amplifier and Yggdrasil DAC Schiit stack had a few surprises. The new board for the $2399 DAC made a significant improvement over the previous boards. Noticeable was an improvement in musicality and transparency. The Yggy has exceptional tonality on instruments and the Ragnarok priced at $1699 also will drive most any speaker and provide hours of musical enjoyment with your headphones.
Then Jotunheim $399 with the upgraded $150 DAC was making exceptional music folks. Amazing prices and sound, NO Schiit!
The New AKG N90Q tuned by Quincy Jones made its NY debut and is priced at $1499 and had the tonality and musical sound AKG is known for. The Austrian based arm of Harman International has these designed in China but the AKG sound is clearly evident in the nicely finished design.
Mark Lefkowitz , Regional Sales Manger for Harman, was showing all the Harman new line of products from JBL and AKG. Harman has been on a roll with the introduction of new products and continuing the tradition of building world class personal audio products for both the consumer and pro markets.