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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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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 16, 2014 14 comments

I had barely arrived at the hotel Thursday when I ran into Dan Clark, Mr. Speakers himself. Well aware of the fact that he'd be bringing his brand new new $999 Alpha Prime to the show, I asked how he felt about his newest addition to the line. Really good, he said, but since he has to voice each by ear he complained that his ears were pretty worn out from getting the batch of Alpha Primes ready for the show, and he was headed to his room to double check them all.

"Say, Tyll, would you like to come up for a listen and to help me double check the tunings, I'd value your opinion."


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