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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 20, 2014 5 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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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 16, 2014 17 comments
If you go to the JDS Labs website and go to either the Objective2 or O2 with ODAC pages and select the configure option, you can configure an O2 with numerous connection options. How does LDS Labs do this without breaking the license? Simple, all the connectors are panel mounted and hand wired to the circuit board. No mods to the board, no lisence broke...but oh-my-goodness, all that hand work is expensive compared to simply modifying the board and using board mounted parts.

Thank JDS Labs for putting in the hard work to make the O2 a better suited amp for folks with varying needs!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments

Caught wind of this just before the show began...and I couldn't wait to get a little ears-on time. Well, this was one of those "I'm not sure I can stop listening moments." Smooth, organic, something so right, was all I could think as I pried the Audeze LCD-3s off my head to begin my chat with Drew Baird.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments

We saw the early prototypes last year at this time, and now the new Fostex TH500RP is available for sale! This new headphone is the latest in the long-lived line of Fostex planar-magnetic designs that includes the much loved by DIYers T50RP. The TH500RP uses a similar driver further refined for this introduction, and also inherits some of it's mechanical structures from from their TH-900/600 series of headphones.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 15, 2014 2 comments
Earlier this year at CES I reported on the Aurisonics Rocket and their Kickstarter campaign. Well the cycle is almost complete with the first production Rockets currently slated to ship to backers on November 17.

The Rockets are built like a tank, and the sound is quite good!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 14, 2014 3 comments

Most headphone enthusiasts have likely not heard of Concert Fidelity, a small Japanese company specializing in high-end home audio gear. Well, this year at a couple of Head-Fi and LAOC Audiophile society meetings, Concert Fidelity has been showing prototypes of a new line of headphone amplifier products to garner feedback on their development efforts. I wasn't there at the time, but Warren Chi told me impressions were quite positive. Evidently, positive enough that Masataka Tsuda, President and CEO, forged ahead to produce pre-production units to show off at RMAF and gain a last bit of feedback prior to their product offering, which should be available by year's end.