CanJam NYC 2024 Part 4


Another of the larger private rooms was inhabited by dCS where they were showing the LINA system of products. This is comprised of their Streamer/DAC/Preamp ($13,650) which uses the same DAC as the outstanding Bartok Apex, the Lina Master Clock ($7,750) which, when paired with the Lina DAC, allows the DAC’s internal clock system to be locked to a master signal for even greater precision and enhanced audio performance, and the Lina Headphone Amp ($9,750) designed to drive even the most demanding headphones to their full potential. 

Each product is designed to work as a stand-alone device or in conjunction with the others in a complete digital system…just add source. The cases for the Lina’s are machined from single aluminum billets and finished for consistency.  They are now available in either black or silver.

These were all displayed on the beautiful HRS stand made just for the Lina system. ($2,000/shelf)

I listened to the full system through the Meze Liric IIs and was blown away by the dynamics. This was by far the best I heard the Lirics sound. The music came through in beautiful clarity without any sense of etch.  The imaging and soundstage were precise and wide. 

I then listened to the same tracks on the same headphones on the Bartok through its headphone out and found it excellent, but it lacked some of the detail retrieval and dynamics.  When adding the Lina Clock and HP amp, the punch returned as did the fine microdynamics, 

ZMF Headphones

The buzz in the ZMF room was all about their soon-to-be-released Caldera Closed Back Headphones. I spent a bunch of time listening to them through the always excellent Benchmark HPA-4 amp. 

My notes included “Very Natural and not fatiguing.”, “Not as bass heavy as other offerings…in a good way”, Imaging great for a closed back, but not expansive” and “Image placement was narrow but very precise.”

I listened to the open-back version and found the tonality very similar. Deep, but not bloated bass, smooth but not bright treble. The soundstage was wider, as you might expect from an open-back can. 

Dan Clark Audio

Dan Clark was on hand, along with Andy and Sue Regan, showing his full line of headphones through a vast variety of top-notch amplifiers. The most intriguing new product was the E3 headphone.  This is a closed-back design that actually sounds open, with a wide soundstage. Several booths around the show were using them as reference headphones to show off their amps in the noisy environment of the show. I personally found them very open for a closed-back headphone…and pretty close to what I’d expect from an open-back can. The shape and weight made them comfortable for all-day listening. 


Along with the venerable Blue Hawaii, Justin Wilson was showing two new amps at the show; the CFA3 and the Grand Cayman. The CFA3 ($TBD) is the next generation of his Gilmore-based circuit designs. The CFA3 is a relatively compact design (it’s actually smaller than his GS-X mk2 with PSU) that is built to drive even the most difficult headphones on the market. I listened to it through the very hard-to-drive ModHouse Tungstens and felt no strain whatsoever…just stunning clarity and ease. 

The Grand Cayman ($TBD) is the 300B tube-based flagship of his electrostatic headphone lineup. 

STAX/Woo Audio

The last of the ‘Big Rooms’ was filled by STAX headphones and more Woo Audio amps. Two systems really stood out in this room.  First was the diminutive Woo WA7e.  This is their cube-shaped tube DAC/amp ($1,399) revised and made ready for electrostatic headphones. I listened to this amp through the STAX SR-009s headphones ($3,999) and was pleasantly surprised at how well this relatively inexpensive amp drove the 009s. 

The 2nd system was the Woo ES8 tube amp ($2,999) driving STAX’s flagship SR-9000s ($6,200). This was, frankly, one of the best sounds at the show. Fast, detailed, and with solid bass…no small feat among e-stats. Highly recommended.

Retailer was showing off their new super-limited edition amp from Feliks Audio…the Envy 25th anniversary edition. Feliks is only making 50 units worldwide and 25 of those are coming to the US exclusively through The amp uses Elrog 300B tubes and will set you back a cool $17,000.

Also in their booth was Warwick Acoustics.  Director Martin Roberts was on hand demonstrating their $50,000 all-in-one amp/headphone system, The Aperio in gold. 


Danny McKinney was in the booth with two brand new headphones based on his pure ribbon tech just being introduced at the show.  The first is the dual ribbon MAGNA, clad in etched 3-phase stainless steel and coming in at $6,300.  The 2nd is the gold, triple ribbon IMANNIS ($9,300). 

The MAGNA gives you a total surface area of 16.8cm2 and has a max SPL capability of a whopping 115db…careful kids! It has an impedance of 0.038ohms. The IMANNIS takes the total surface area of the ribbons up to 25.2 CM2…this is 50% more than MAGNA and double the size of the original Requisite CA-1a. It also gives you 3db more max spl. 

The included RCD interface (which doubles as a very nice headphone stand) allows you to drive the RAALs with an appropriate standard amplifier.  Their site can guide you to make sure your amp will be compatible, but suffice to say you’ll need a stable powerful amp to get the job done!


Lachlan Brennan was kind enough to walk me through two new introductions at the show. First is the Momentum True Wireless 4 IEMs. These have an outstanding 30-hour battery life and their new optimized ANC. These are also what they are calling ‘future proof’ since they are already set up for the coming of Auracast. This will allow Bluetooth broadcast to a wider range and to multiple headphones at the same time.

They were also showing their Momentum 4 over-ear headphones with hybrid ANC, This uses mics both inside and out to give you the ideal noise canceling for your environment.

This concludes our coverage of CANJAM 2024. We’d like to extend a special Thank You to HiFiMan for sponsoring the coverage of the show.

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