CanJam New York 2018 Part 2

Campfire Cascade
Campfire Audio, primarily known for their hand built IEMs, debuted the Cascade ($799), their first headphone(!), which uses 42mm beryllium PVD diaphragm dynamic drivers in a compact, closed back design. The Cascade features aluminum cups, stainless steel components, and sheepskin ear pads. From my limited listening session at CanJam, I found the Cascade to be very comfortable, with rich mids and a fun V shaped sound signature.

In this video, Ken Ball, Campfire’s CEO, unboxes the Cascade, demonstrates the custom fit acoustic dampeners, and discusses the challenges of making their first headphone!

Cayin HA-300
Cayin released their new HA-300 statement tube amplifier (around $4000), which is based on the classic and highly regarded 300b tube. It adopts Class-A single end amplification and a balanced output design. The HA-300 uses 2 300b tubes, 2 6SN7 tubes, and 4 22DE4 tubes. The input and output transformers are custom designed and built by Cayin. The HA-300 offers three sets of impedance matched outputs: 8-64ohms, 65-250ohms, and 251-600ohms.

ZMF Auteur
Up until this point, ZMF has only produced closed back headphones. At CanJam, ZMF showed their new flagship open back headphone, the Auteur. “Auteur” is a word with French origins that refers to “an artist who controls so many aspects of a specific work that their influence makes them the ‘author’ of that endeavor.” The Auteur headphone comes with two sets of pads: warm-sounding Eikon pads, and more neutral-sounding Auteur pads. In this sense, ZMF explains that the listener can be the “auteur” of their listening experience. The Auteur features ZMF’s custom biocellulose drive, and is available in Teak ($1599) but will also be available in limited edition hardwood options, with the first run being African Blackwood ($1899; limited to 100 units). At CanJam, the ZMF was paired with an Ampsandsound Mogwai Special Edition tube amplifier.

Mytek Liberty DAC
Mytek released the Liberty DAC ($995), the Brooklyn DAC’s little brother, which is being marketed as a “general purpose” PCM/MQA/DSD/USB2 DAC. It features digital inputs, digital volume control, unbalanced and balanced audio outputs, and a high performance headphone amplifier.

Meze Empyrean
Meze Audio announced the Empyrean headphone (price TBD - est. $3000-3500), their new limited edition flagship, and the first Isodynamic Hybrid Array headphone. The Empyrean is the result of a collaboration between Meze Audio and Rinaro Isodynamics, a 30+ year old company based in Ukraine that works with planar magnetics and isodynamics. Rinaro created the MZ3 Isodynamic Hybrid Array driver exclusively for the Empyrean. It features the first dual shaped voice coil array, combining individual switchback and spiral shaped voice coils, “allowing sound to be targeted with accuracy around the natural shape of the ear.” The goal of the MZ3 driver and the Empyrean is to create a lighter planar magnetic headphone, “putting user-comfort at the same level of priority as audio performance.”

In this video, Antonio Meze (Lead Designer and Founder of Meze Audio) and Pavlo Shymanovych (CEO/Founder of Rinaro Isodynamics) give a brief overview with a prototype of the Empyrean. The Empyrean will be available worldwide starting from May 2018 and is limited to 500 units.

jpelg's picture

Great job Jana. Thanks for bringing a little bit of Canjam 2018 to those of us who couldn't make it this year.

Geoffrey's picture

The Campfire Cascade ear opening is ok for height, but to narrow. Tried a pair and no way would I be comfortable with that. To bad. Otherwise they would have made another sale as need set of portable wired headphones and Cascades appeared well made.

detlev24's picture
Azteca X's picture

I reset my password and logged in just to tell Jana she did a great job on this CanJam and I've really enjoyed seeing her other work here and on AnalogPlanet. Know that it is appreciated and we look forward to your continued contribution.