CanJam at RMAF 2016: Introduction

Wheeeee! Gonna be an interesting show this year. Lots of good stuff showing up, as usual, but the venue is going to be a little hard to choke down. The Denver Marriott Tech Center has undergone a massive upgrade that was supposed to have been complete by now...which, unfortunately, has run behind schedule.

RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_Construction

So a giant tent....err...pavilion has been erected in the parking lot to house CanJam this year to house CanJam exhibits. And as big as it is (and it is big) it isn't big enough for to house the most exhibitor-packed CanJam to date,. The overflow from the tent will be housed in a couple of the Evergreen rooms inside.

RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_AirconditionersIn addition, temporary trailers have been configured for lecture and exhibit space. I will be participating in two of the panel discussions at the event. On Saturday at 2:45 PM I'll be moderating a panel titled, "Headphones: The Next Evolution of Products." Panelists will be: Paul Barton, PSB Speakers; Dr. Fang Bian, HIFIMAN; Dan Clark, MrSpeakers; Nicolas Debard, Focal; Jude Mansilla, Head-Fi.org. Should be quite interesting prodding these folks for their forward thinking. I think my driving notion will be, "Will we be able to tune headphones toward a good target response acoustically, or will we need DSP on-board to get it right?"
RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_Classroom

I'll be sitting on a second panel moderated by Jude Mansilla of Head-Fi.org titled, "Headphones: Do Measurements Predict Performance?" Panelists will be: Paul Barton, PSB; Dan Clark, MrSpeakers; Tyll Hertsens, Inner Fidelity; Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze; Naotaka Tsunoda, Sony Electronics. My answer will be, "Yes....and no."

RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_GeneratorsSeems likely to me the biggest unknown in terms of sound quality in the pavilion will be the quality of A.C. power. Evidently all the juice for the pavilion and temporary buildings will be run from large generators in the back. I wonder how many folks will be tapping Bill Leebens on the shoulder for some PS Audio power regeneration gear?

Me? Well, there'll be lots of new gear there, but I'm particularly interested in:

  • Audeze's new iSine 10 and 20 planar magnetic in-ear monitors. I'm guessing they'll sound pretty good (I've heard prototypes), but man, what a difficult ergonomic configuration! Gonna be interesting to see if they're comfortable and easy to insert.
  • Wasn't a big fan of the Sony Z1, but I know they've got the chops to do better and I'd love to hear that. Crossing my fingers for the new Sony Z1R.
  • Schiit's new low cost Jotunheim amp and Modi Multibit DAC have me intrigued. If anyone can do low-cost well it's Jason and Mike.
  • The buzz around the new ZMF Audio Eikon and Atticus headphones is pretty strong. Zack's been doing nothing but getting better and better sound out of his cans, and I'm really excited to try his lates creations out.
  • After hearing the new Mr. Speakers Ether Flow and Flow C headphones, and digging what I'm hearing, I can't wait to have a nice long listen to Dan Clark's latest iteration of the ES electrostatic headphone. Some of the things he learned while developing the e-stat was used as a basis for the Ether Flow upgrades...and boy did it do wonders for them.
  • I've heard one of the prototypes for the Sonoma Model One electrostatic headphone and was mightily impressed. This headphone uses a very unusual diaphragm/driver that's made from a multi-layer film. I'll surely do a report on this one.
And, of course, many more.

RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_JudeI stopped by yesterday for a few moments to check up on the progress. Jude was certainly calm and confident. Why not? This ain't his first rodeo. Yeah, it's a tent, so what? Manufacturers aren't going to hold back their hard work just because the venue is a bit odd. Hell, headphone exhibits have ended up in tents in the parking lot before. I remain stoked.
RMAF2016_Intro_Photo_RollerPress hours start right now. All the gear should be out of their boxes, plugged into (hopefully clean) A.C., and ready to rock. I'll be posting daily summaries for my Friday and Saturday experience. Sunday and Monday I'll be driving home. Starting Tuesday I'll be posting up my full reports.

Enjoy!

COMMENTS
OldRoadToad's picture

Have fun! For some it's a business. Actually, it is their business, their livelihood and they do take what they make very seriously (as well they should). But for many of those into this little hobby of ours, it's supposed to be fun.

Sometimes "serious" fun but if one were to agonize over something as pleasure-dispensing as headphones, DAPs, DACs, Amps and the like then they can't see the forest for having their eyes continuously rolled into the back of their head at what they perceive as a fly in the ointment of audio.

I look forward to your words, your photos and most especially, your thoughts.

ORT

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