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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 21, 2014 0 comments

This year's CanJam had Todd and Pete showing off their latest creation: The Spire ($1495). This 12AU7-based hybrid amp has a microprocessor controlled, relay switched stepped attenuator before the tube for volume control, which Pete claims delivers excellent left-right volume matching at all levels. The Spire will be delivered with a a JJ Electronic ECC802S. Other tubes that work include any type of 12AU7 or ECC82, 5814, 6211, 5963, 6680, 7057, and 12BH7 tubes.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 21, 2014 4 comments

It seems like every nine months or so RHA sends me something new. And every time it just gets better and better. This is a company to keep your eye on!

Just before RMAF this year I got a set of RHA T10i in the mail but didn't have time to open it before the show. So, I'm wearing them as I type. I think this is a damned good showing for a dynamic IEM.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 21, 2014 5 comments

Having spent quite a bit of time emailing back and forth about my PM-1 review, it was a great pleasure to meet Igor Levitsky in person at RMAF. Igor is the chief designer of Oppo's planar magnetic headphones and, in my view, has done a bang-up job innovating an unusual driver design and producing musical headphones.

This time around, Oppo was showing of a prototype of their upcoming PM-3—a sealed planar magnetic intended for portable use.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 20, 2014 0 comments

This year, Beyerdynamic brought two new products to CanJam, the T 51 i ($299) and DTX 350 p ($69). I reviewed the DT1350—a similar looking headphone—about three years ago and loved it. After having heard the T 51 i at the show I've come to the conclusion I need to revisit these cans and get a pair in to consider for review. They sounded pretty nice to my ears; gotta see if they'd knock the DT1350 off the Wall of Fame.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 20, 2014 0 comments

Alex Cavalli unveiled his latest creation here at RMAF: The Liquid Crimson ($2850). This pre-production unit is a hybrid amp centered around a single 6922/6DJ8 tube; the stock tube will be a Genelax 6922. A removable grill makes tube rolling fairly easy. This is an unbalanced amp with two sets of RCA inputs, and three headphone outputs—3.5mm low-gain jack; 3.5mm high-gain jack; and a 4-pin XLR for headphones wire for balanced operation. Output is claimed to be about 6Watts into 50 Ohms.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 20, 2014 2 comments

As an audiophile I sometimes find myself slipping into some rather over-simplified assumptions when I come to the Koss booth. "Aren't they the folks that make a lot of the Radio Shack headphones?" Meh, goes my mental interest meter, and I tend to want to walk past.

Well, wait a minute, aren't these the folks that make the classic low-cost Porta-Pro ($49.99) and KSC75 ($19.99)—a favorite recommendation amongst headphone geeks. Or the ESP950 ($999) a long time favorite as an excellent entry-level electrostatic headphone system. And the Koss ProDJ100 ($79) enjoyes a solid fan-base in the headphone world. No, just like Sennheiser, or Beyerdynamic, or even Beats, I think it's a good idea to keep an open mind about Koss—they've made some very good headphones before, I'm quite sure they'll do it again.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 20, 2014 4 comments

Woo Audio brought a prototype of their upcoming W8 portable headphone amp/DAC. Boy, this thing is heavy! I'd call it transportable, the sort of thing you put in your bags and use in your hotel room. Well, that's fine, I sat down for a little listen....which turned into a rather longer listen than I had expected. This is a lush and yummy amp.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 17, 2014 37 comments

Here's something I bet you didn't see coming: A 1200 Ohm impedance planar-magnetic headphone from Audeze.


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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments

The folks at Pendulumic poked their heads in the audiophile door earlier this year at the Newport show. I stopped by the booth for a listen and felt like it was a good attempt, but there were some things needing improvement. I thought the sound was somewhat uneven, and the comfort and fit a bit off. Mike Johnson, CEO, was sincerely interested in my feedback, took some notes, and thanked me for being open with my comments.

I think he was paying a lot more attention to the feedback he got from people at that show than I had expected.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 17, 2014 2 comments

Hey look! Jellybeans!'s a bunch of colorful CIEM samples from Alclair. Sometimes I don't know what kind of rock I'm under, but I don't remember hearing about these guys before. Tyler Folsom introduced me to their line-up of six custom IEMs ranging in price from $299 to $749. Seems pretty reasonable to me.


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