Can Jam Berlin 2017 Meet Impressions

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by Deep Funk, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    This year Can Jam Europe is hosted in Berlin. The venue is a bit smaller but Juliane and Sebastian with their team made everything work out.

    Luckily taking an early train to Berlin paid off and I was able to meet them at breakfast just after 7 A.M. We all needed coffee to combat the lack of sleep. They were setting up the event and I was stuck in second class train seats, discomfort exists in all kinds of variations.

    Later a fellow Dutchie and Lieven from Headfonia joined breakfast. Headsound joined and we spoke about Can Jam, watches, vegan smoothies and cameras. This event is not just for the headphone nerds.
     
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  2. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Impressions Day 1 (04-11-2017)

    Nota bene: often auditioning conditions were not ideal so I kept it short with each headphone for quick impressions. Keep in mind testing a headphone or speaker system at home while listening to some albums over a few days is a better way to "judge" audio gear for yourself.

    What I brought this year:
    Surface Pro with Tidal HiFi
    Fulla 2
    AKG K181 DJ
    Koss PortaPro
    Monk Plus Ear-buds
    Fiio M3 DAP
    Samsung A5 2016 with Tidal HiFi (my phone!)

    Prepare for five pages of notes in candy land for audio nerds...

    Community Table

    Sebastian's Yincrow Ear-bud + Samsung A5 2016 + Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: Grimes' "Venus Fly" & "Easily"
    Impressions: slightly hard to drive, fun listen, a bit bassy, good midrange and lively details -> slightly V-shaped FR.

    Sebastian's Vido (Blue) Ear-bud + Samsung A5 2016 + Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: sounds a bit flatter than the Yincrow, fun sound -> slightly V-shaped FR

    The next headphones are owned by a contributor of the prof X blog and/or website.

    Modified Focal Elear (Brainwavs Protein Leather Hybrid a.k.a. more bass ear pads!) + Questyle CMA 400i + iPhone streaming Spotify through Bluetooth
    Test-tracks: Petra Magoni's "Eleanor Rigby", Tok Tok Tok's "How" & Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"
    Impressions: beautiful vocals, great acoustic bass, that being there feeling, smooth and groovy sounding and it passes my Dire Straits test - that Elear sounds really good.

    Modified HD700 + Questyle CMA 400i + iPhone streaming Spotify through Bluetooth
    Test tracks: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"
    Impressions: almost there, that fucking treble peak is still a problem -> when the intro plays at one point the drums kick in and when headphones have a big treble peak your ears might suffer...

    Sonarworks True-Fi Stand

    Sennheiser HD800S balanced + ADI-2Pro + Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: Animals As Leaders' "Cafo" (intro to 2:01)
    Impressions stock: sounds good, bass line lacks extension, sounds messy yet enjoyable.
    Impressions adjusted: sounds more coherent, bass line has extension, I can track everything.

    Marshal Monitor (single ended) + MacBook + Tidal HiFi
    Test tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions stock: closed sound, messy, bassy, midrange is lacking.
    Impressions adjusted: better instrument separation, clearer sound, proper bass + midrange + highs stereo image.

    Sennheiser Stand

    HD650 + Apogee Groove + MacBook with Audirvana Plus
    Test tracks: Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
    Impressions: sounds fun, my feet are tapping, the HD650 is well-driven.

    HD660 S + Apogee Groove + MacBook with Audirvana Plus
    Test tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: needs less power, sounds like a HD650 with more sub-bass, good headphone but the HD650 sounds smoother and slightly more detailed.

    Additional note: the difference between the HD650 and HD660 S is subtle, what the HD660 S gains in sub-bass it loses a little bit in detail retrieval and if I were to choose between the two I would go for the HD650 because it is more likely to scale better with a better amplifier.

    In the end though the HD660 S is a good headphone. 500 Dollars good is up to you.

    Jan Meier's Stand

    HD800S + Corda Soul Prototype + Marantz CD5004
    Test tracks: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing", the 1996 CD re-issue.
    Impressions - stereo (no crossfeed) no notch filter: almost flawless until the drums kick in and the treble peak hits you.
    Impressions - stereo (no crossfeed) with notch filter: the treble peak is tolerable, this is good.

    Additional note: it is fucked up that Sennheiser with its reputation for making the HD580/600/650 made something with a treble peak like in the HD800/800S when they clearly knew better; Jan Meier's amplifier solves many issues of the HD800/HD800S but it can do much more; it also has switches to alter the tonality of a headphone (any headphone!) and you really need to extensively test the advanced (digital!) features Jan Meier built in.

    This Corda Soul amplifier with advanced tone and filter controls can become something really special. If you want to build an end game headphone system, this is interesting.

    That has been part 1. I need a break.
     
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  3. wnmnkh

    wnmnkh Friend

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    I just found out this Corda Soul thing due to this point, thank you very much.

    I am so interested in, since none of companies implement any good crossfeed feature these days.... I really miss Headroom days.
     
  4. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    E-mail the guy. The more people who want to buy it, the more affordable he can make it. With a limited run he is forced to price the Corda Soul accordingly and he really wants to build it. He still has the enthusiasm of a kid.
     
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  5. wnmnkh

    wnmnkh Friend

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    I indeed sent some inquires.

    I think missing out analog inputs is rather bad idea though.... I understand most of effects are done in digital realm but analog inputs give a lot of conveniences.
     
  6. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Impressions Day 1 (04-11-2017) part 2

    MySphere Stand

    MySphere Headphone (balanced) + Violectric HPA V281 + Violectric DAC 850 + Sony Xperia DAP
    Test-tracks: Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" & Madonna's "Who's That Girl" probably in FLAC or WAV.
    Impressions: my feet are tapping; rich midrange, bass groove is easy to follow, fun sound, slight emphasis on vocals and treble that still sounds pleasant, watch out with your listening volume (keep it low/moderate).

    Additional note: the fit and shape of the headphone can be deal breaker, a bit awkward and getting the seal right is a fiddly affair.

    Mal Valve Stand

    Stax SR 009 + Mal Valve Tube amplifier + Unknown source
    Test tracks: the typical audiophile instrumentals to demonstrate the easy listening qualities of the headphones.
    Impressions: the level of detail and the feeling of being there are overwhelming, the music sounds effortless and lively.

    Headphone 5 Prototype + Mal Valve Tube Amplifier + Unknown source
    Test tracks: idem ditto + Metallica's "Fight Fire With Fire"
    Impressions: bassy and open sound, amazing details, smooth yet fun sound, without proper sealing the headphone loses bass and its cohesive sound.

    Additional note: this prototype contraption had no ear pads or basic padding anywhere; putting this thing on was like putting on a 3 part helmet weighing a few kilos and yes it was kind of silly.

    That prototype has a amazing driver.

    Community Table

    HE400i + Questyle CMA 400i (2.5mm plug single ended)+ Samsung A5 2016 with Tidal HiFi (Bluetooth streaming!)
    Test-tracks: Foo Fighters' "Rope" & Kyuss' "Green Machine"
    Impressions: sounds good, midrange is somewhat detailed, fun sound, a bit V-shaped FR, excellent headphone for faster music (particularly Rock and Metal).

    Shure Stand

    Shure SRH840 (single ended) + Samsung A5 2016 + Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: One Republic "Love Runs Out" & Grimes' "Realiti"
    Impressions: needs a bit of power, good vocals, good midrange, isolates quite well, bass bump works, smooth enough highs, warmish

    Shure SRH940 (single ended) + Samsung A5 2016 + Tidal HiFi
    Test tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: needs a bit of power, good vocals, good midrange, isolates less, less mid-bass/upper bass, more present highs, can sound a tad bright

    Additional note: I met a guy telling everybody his Stax SR009 was the best thing ever and after trying the SRH840 he wanted the SRH840 for on the go, besides price he explained that the Shure is so easy to take apart and put together again (the main parts at least) that it is the best value good sounding full-size portable headphone you find for 99-is Euros. (I pointed out my K181 DJ can be had for 80-ish.) So yeah I tried the Shure headphones to understand him a bit better.

    You should know he got his SR009 after collecting and selling a lot of older and lesser Stax headphones and careful financial planning. Apparently he repairs old Stax headphones for money since that is also his hobby. Interesting guy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  7. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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  8. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    More to come. Sorting the pictures is the hardest part. That will take hours...
     
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  9. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Impressions Day 2 (05-11-2017)

    Community Table

    Pepijn's Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 + Samsung A5 2016 with Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" & Kyuss' "Green Machine"
    Impressions: Pepijn my fellow Dutchie told me about how good this headphone sounds; so yeah I gave it a listen and it was worth it, sounds pretty flat and detailed with a slight yet pleasant emphasis on the midrange-to-highs transition, semi-closed sound for a technically closed headphone.

    Additional note: for about 200-ish Euros retail this headphone regarding sound and build quality is very tempting, a pleasant surprise.

    Pepijn's Fiio F9 in-ears + Samsung A5 2016 + with Tidal HiFi
    Test tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: fit is fiddly, almost flawlessly smooth, very detailed, slight emphasis on the highs, fun listen but watch out with the listening volume.

    Beyerdynamic Stand


    Beyerdynamic Amiron 250 Ohms + Beyerdynamic Impacto DAC-Amp + Tablet with Hi-Res files
    Test-tracks: Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" 2015 remaster, Foo Fighters' "The Pretender" & Miles Davis' "So What"
    Impressions: vocals could be better, good midrange, overall sounds good, the trumpet in "So What" sounds smooth and on point, not bad.

    Pro-Ject Stand


    Meze 99 Classics (single ended) + Pro-Ject Pre-Box (DSD64) + Laptop with Roon (FLAC files)
    Test-tracks: Bonobo's "Black Sands" & David Bowie's "Suffragette City"
    Impressions: this headphone sounds very right, as in neutral-ish yet fun.

    Chord Stand

    Audeze LCD3 (single ended) + Chord Hugo 2 (flat profile/filter & no cross feed, just stereo) + Laptop feeding tablet with JRiver
    Test-tracks: Awolnation's "Sail", Machine Head's "Message In A bottle" (cover) & Rise Against's "Collapse (Post-Amerika)"
    Impressions: the LCD3 sounds powerful and on point, that Hugo 2 is effective, not the most detailed headphone but certainly engaging.

    Audeze Sine (on-ears closed version) + Chord Mojo & Poly (for streaming 16 bit 44.1K + Tablet with Tidal HiFi in off-line mode (probably FLAC files)
    Test-tracks: Mad Season's "Wake Up" & Mastodon's "Crack The Sky"
    Impressions: the Sine reminds me of the Meze 99 Classics, kind of similar with more bass, very well tuned.

    Additional note: the Chord Mojo is neat, also the Chord guys knew their Rock and Metal -> Mad Season is a band I am going to look up ;-)

    Shure Stand

    Shure KSE1500 + Dedicated DAC-Amp unit + Tablet with Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: Daft Punk's "Give Live Back To Music" & Kyuss' "Green Machine"
    Impressions: Sebastian kept telling me about how good this thing sounded - an in-ear electrostatic (if I am corrrect) - this sounds flawless, I could just be happy with this if it was my preference and I would not be into tubes.

    Additional note: for about 3000 Euros retail this can be your pocket-sized end-game rig and it is good, Shure did something very right.

    Sonarworks True-Fi

    Audio Technica ATH-M70X + MacBook Air with Spotify
    Test-tracks: Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" & Animals As Leaders' "Cafo"
    Impressions stock: sounds quite flat but that treble peak almost hurts, keep the volume low.
    Impressions adjusted: smoother, more even sound, flawless for a closed headphone.

    Additional note: why do headphone manufacturers keep creating treble peaks?! Fuck it is annoying...

    Ulrasone Stand

    Context: I have mostly read and heard bad things about Ultrasone and their S-Logic technology and/or technology; I was curious so I tried a few headphones.

    Ultrasone Edition M Plus Black Pearl + Fiio M3 DAP with FLAC files (16bit 44.1K rips)
    Test-tracks: Lykke Li's "I'm Good, I'm Gone", B.B.E.'s "Seven Days And One Week" & Grimes' "Easily"
    Impressions: sounds good initially, something is off, midrange is lacking, vocals sound pushed back, Grimes' vocals sound less present (which is bad).

    Ultrasone Editon 8 EX + Fiio M3 DAP with FLAC files (16bit 44.1K rips)
    Test-tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: sounds better, more coherency in the music.

    Ultrasone Edition 15 + Fiio M3 DAP with FLAC files (16bit 44.1K rips)
    Test-tracks: idem ditto.
    Impressions: open headphone with bass, good coherent sound, lovely midrange-to-highs transition, Grimes sounds right, with open headphones S-Logic seems to work better.

    Additonal note:
    While listening to the Ultrasone I asked the lady at the stand to explain S-Logic to me and she explained two aspects to me. First the headphone driver is not placed (as often happens) dead center on the ear canal opening but below it under an angle and second the S-Logic aims to create a speaker like sound in a headphone; for me it seemed as if there where walls between the bass, midrange and highs at the cost of a coherent sound and it sounded wrong to my ears.

    In certain applications the S-Logic technology and/or philosophy is valuable and useful. Then you hear the retail prices and are reminded that everything is hand-made so hey that price tag reflects something. I finally kind of understand the appeal of Ultrasone but it simply is not my thing. This was quite educational.

    Community Table

    Sebastian's Oppo PM3 + Schiit Fulla 2 + Surface Pro with Tidal HiFi
    Test-tracks: Grimes's "Kill V. Maim", Grimes' "Venus Fly" & Animals As Leaders' "Cafo"
    Impressions: easy to drive, sounds good, good mirange and vocals, sounds quite open for a closed headphone, bass extension is good.

    Additional note: I now understand why Sebastian has this headphone; it is well-tuned and almost flawless in sound.

    Headsound Stand

    Brainwavz HM5 + JDS Labs Element + Laptop with Foobar 2K (320 kbps files)
    Test-tracks: Prince's "Musicology" & Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer"
    Impressions: smooth sound, good midrange, great ear pads, this headphone sounds right.

    Additional note: the JDS Labs Element is pretty nice and powerful enough for desktop duty, a bit bulky though and I prefer my Fulla 2's form factor.

    P.S. I bought the Brainwavz HM5 because the tonality was simply great, I liked it instantly. They gave me a good deal and everybody was happy. This does not happen often.

    These were my impressions. I did not really have a plan. I simply had fun and discovered new things. Can Jam Europe/Berlin was great as old friends could meet again and talked about hobbies instead of daily issues. The past two days have been serious fun.

    Juliane and Sebastian, thanks for everything. You are awesome!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  10. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    [​IMG]

    The new one sounded better. So, I guess - yay, Sennheiser?
     
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  11. Dotard

    Dotard Acquaintance

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    Thanks a lot of the Corda Soul impressions. This is one I'm keeping my eyes on. Do you know if the crossfeed features will work if using the balanced XLR in, or is it a DAC-only DSP thing? Any word on the DAC chip he is using?

    I believe Jan is targeting about 2000 euro.
     
  12. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Pardon my ignornace, but what do we have here?
     
  13. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Facebook Friend

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    Looks like the Sennheiser HE 1 on the left and the older Sennheiser Orpheus HE90 on the right.
     
  14. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    According to Jan Meier the Soul is a digital solution. I am not fully informed of all the settings. If you want more information ask him and otherwise check Headfonia because the Belgian dude there might write a proper review about the Soul. There were some rumours going around and this is all I can say for certain.

    Back to sorting the pictures...
     
  15. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I totally missed that. That said I was having way too much fun with Sebastian and co. The Professor X guys with their modified headphones, impressive.

    Did you like the HE1 system or was it simply interesting for you?
     
  16. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    It was interesting to get to hear them. The HE1 did sound good, but not 55K good. I think a good Stax setup would yield better results, especially when calibrated.
     
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  17. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    In which aspects did the HE1 beat the HE-90 and in which aspect do you think a Stax would beat the HE1 in? Guesswork leads me to believe Stax aims to really push the pros of stat tech (low mass, uber-thin diaphragm) while Senn tries to solve its cons (stator, amps incorporated into cups for better power delivery).
     
  18. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Two things. HE1 had less of an upper mid peak and resolution was noticeably higher.

    Price/performance, of course. Also I think the 009 had deeper bass, but that's hard for me to judge, by long term memory alone.

    For one - Stax actually make their headphones semi-affordable, whilst the HE1 is more of a tech/art statement. For me it's quite hard to imagine the HE1 being an actual product and gaining market penetration beyond meet impressions.
     
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  19. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Half-way done sorting the pictures, still working on the rest. The last few weeks I had to work a lot so it took a while to figure out how to do this. The pictures will be on my blog and in a later stage on 500PX. To manually put them here one-by-one is too much work. Updates will be in this particular post.

    CanJam Europe Day one: https://radjahs2cents.com/2017/11/23/canjam-europe-2017-in-berlin-day-1/
    CanJam Europe Day two: https://radjahs2cents.com/2017/11/24/canjam-europe-in-berlin-day-2/
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  20. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Very nice!
     

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