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    RMAF 2012 CanJam

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    thumb.pngThe first day of RMAF 2012 I spent the majority of my time in the expansive CanJam area. It's always fun to see and hear elaborate headphone systems capable of great sound. I'm also looking for a new pair of headphones thus my interest in this area was even greater than previous years. I spent a considerable amount of time at the Moon Audio booth listening to the Fostex TH-900 Premium Reference Headphones. I like that these phones are closed-back allowing me to listen in areas where the noise from an open-back headphone might be annoying to those around me. Paired with the Bryston stack of BDP-1, BDA-1, and BHA-1 the Fostex TH-900 were very impressive. Maybe a tad bass heavy but that's not a final judgment as I really should listen in a quieter environment. The build quality of the TH-900 headphones is stellar. I've yet to see the beauty of these phones reproduced in any photos. I did my best in the photos below. Another headphone I'm seriously considering is the open-back planar Audeze LCD3. I spent time with the LCD3 at the Schiit Audio booth. The electronics were a Mjolnir headphone amp and Gungnir DAC. I think the LCD3 sounded pretty good but any conclusions made while auditioning an open-back headphone in a loud ballroom would be foolish. As usual I stopped to see Jack Woo at the Woo Audio booth. Jack always has a unique product or two that I photograph as if I'd seen the Loch Ness Monster. This year I was very impressed with the Woo Audio WA7 headphone amp and asynchronous USB DAC. The WA7's can't miss feature is a glass block that rests on top of the amp/DAC. However, this bock is not only for aesthetics, it also serves as a tube guard. Much like the Fostex TH-900 headphones the Woo Audio WA7 looks much better in person. The WA7 looks like a jewel that will fit in nicely on any home or office desk. It was a pleasure talking to several CA readers in the CanJam area as well. Notably the reader from my home state of Minnesota who inherited a friend's Klipsch speakers upon his passing. What could be more powerful than listening to great music and remembering great times with an old friend?

     

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    Moon Audio ex.png

    Bryston ex.png - BDP-1, BDA-1, and BHA-1

    Fostex ex.png - TH-900

     

     

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    Schitt Audio ex.png - Mjolnir, Gungnir

    Audeze ex.png - LCD3

     

     

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    Woo Audio ex.png - WA7, WES

     

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    Head Amp ex.png - Blue Hawaii SE

     

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    Cavalli Audio ex.png - Liquid Fire

    Fosgate ex.png - Signature Tube Headphone Amplifier

    Fostex ex.png - HP-A8C

     

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    Chris,

     

    I've got the Cavalli Liquid Fire shown here and the Audeze LCD2's. An incredible sound. You mentioned the LCD3 and they are spectacular. I will be moving on to those myself. Try and give the Liquid Fire a listen with the LCD3's if you get a chance.

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    THe Fostex's look comfortable. I like my Grado 325i but they are a bit painful after some time. Were the Fostex's ok on the ears for the time you had them?

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    THe Fostex's look comfortable. I like my Grado 325i but they are a bit painful after some time. Were the Fostex's ok on the ears for the time you had them?

     

    I have Grado RS1 headphones and I know what you mean when you say painful. I love the sound but can't stand the lack of comfort. The Fostex were very comfortable.

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    Chris,

     

    I own a Fostex TH900 too, and I personally prefer this over the warmer, darker sounding LCD-3. That being said, did you try listening to the new Fosgate Signature headphone amplifier? You seem to have taken a couple of pictures of it. I was curious about how it sounds, but no one who's been to CanJam this year had anything to say about it.

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    I have recently purchased the Fostex TH900 absolutely awesome headphone - I much prefer the sound signature (more euphonic no nasty treble siblance) over the HD800 which IMO only bests the TH900 in the sound staging area. I used to own the Grado RS2 and had to sell them due to comfort issues despite purchasing new foam cups. I did like the Grado's and thought they were good value sound wise.

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    Chris,

     

    I've got the Cavalli Liquid Fire shown here and the Audeze LCD2's. An incredible sound. You mentioned the LCD3 and they are spectacular. I will be moving on to those myself. Try and give the Liquid Fire a listen with the LCD3's if you get a chance.

    KD, I'm looking at a few amps to drive Senn 650's, spoke with ALO, they just dropped the Cavalli line as they were unable to get product. Emailed Alex Cavalli and he put me on the list for Liquid Fire Rev2 coming in March supposedly. Looking hard at Burson Soloist in the meantime both rated at 4w output, and of course the LF is tube,, How do you rate your LF for jazz listening? I imagine it's great. I'm a little concerned about LF availability as there are none stock anywhere that I could find which is not really a good sign this time of year?

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