CanJam SoCal 2022

Who are those fools? It’s a motley crue! :+1::sunglasses:

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solid crew wish I lived closer to that event.

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That’s correct! Crin took this.

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Hope to see you next time! We really do have a dream team.

What a wonderful event. Thanks to all of you who made it and stopped by our booth!

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It was super fun meeting the Headphones.com crew, many starry-eyed attendees, and other personalities I see are quite active and informative on here like @SleepyRhythms , @Grover , and many others I’m still learning the usernames of :joy:
I’m stoked to chat more about all the CanJam gear in the coming weeks. And always a pleasure chilling with @SebastienChiu :wink:

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Utopia 2022 on the Feliks Audio Envy was great last weekend.

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I bet! That amp would certainly be an endgame choice of mine :+1: :sunglasses: I’d want the walnut one.

Would love to hear that combo there

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Nice pic!!! Very cool

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Based on what some people are saying about the previous Utopia and revision, I can’t say there’s much of a difference but oddly on those headphones I think the og version seemed to sound better to my ears. They had both at the upscale audio stop to test. Then again I say this with caution as equipment may produce variable results.

Used that strange darth vader looking amp or an amp darth vader would use xD

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Wish I could be part of said dream team.

Maybe in another life baby :fire:

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Canjam SoCal this year was absolutely amazing and I have had a truly phenomenal week.

This is my first time going to Canjam SoCal (even though I lived in San Diego for a couple years!) and I am already incredibly excited for next year.

I’m not going to be making a video about this trip as for me, this was about spending time with friends who I very rarely get the opportunity to see, some of whom I’ve known for years but had not had the opportunity to meet in person before at all. So you’ll have to excuse the mediocre photo quality as I just took my phone with me.

Pre-Canjam:

Myself, @Skedra and his girlfriend Magda took an 11 hour flight across the pond for the event, and we stayed with a bunch of friends at a house on the beach in Newport rather than getting hotel rooms, with another 5 of us in another house just up the road.

Not a bad view to wake up to in the morning! And watching the sun going down over the ocean each night was a real treat too.

We stayed in SoCal together for a week, spending a few days either side of the event doing some stuff together, including going to see Kendrick Lamar and the Big Steppers tour on Day 1, and hiking up to the Hollywood sign on Day 2.

And of course, spending plenty of time on the beach, having some great food, and being a bunch of crazy audiophiles, enjoying some of the awesome gear that had been brought along.

Danmellinger received the first HM1 unit in the US on the friday, so we were also able to spend some proper time with that over the next few days.

SpeleoFool also upheld his title as ‘King of Roon’, outdoing his previous camping setup:

And instead constructing what I think technically qualifies as the world’s largest DAP. Fully portable and on wheels, with a built in roon core, display, optional battery backup and both tube and solid state outputs! (Disclaimer: May not actually fit in your pocket)

Canjam Day 1:

At last though canjam day 1 arrived. And unfortunately I personally did not get to spend all that much time trying out gear as I spent the entirety of the morning speaking with people and catching up with friends. Time flew so fast that seemingly as soon as we got in, we were heading out for lunch again.

On the way back I had just enough time to go to Headamp’s private room to try out their excellent (and wonderfully quiet!) setup upstairs away from the noise of the show floor.

This was my first time hearing the DCA Expanse and wow, those are a big step up over the stealth in my view. Fixing the dynamics issue I had previously and turning them into a SERIOUSLY good headphone. So good that Danmellinger bought a pair about 30 seconds after listening!

Definitely something I’m looking forward to spending more time with and hopefully reviewing in future.

Once that was done, I headed to the “Digital Audio 201” talk given by Rob Watts which was excellent. And afterwards had the fantastic opportunity to chat with him for a good hour and a half over coffee. It was brilliant to get his insight into so many areas and I have to thank him for so much of his time. Absolutely one of the highlights of my week and I’m incredibly excited to see what comes from him in future.

After that, the first day of canjam was already coming to an end, but our group still had some fun to be had. We’d planned a private get together with just shy of 40 people coming. Renting out a venue, getting in some catering (big props to @eskamobob for the recommendation, the tacos were AMAZING), an awesome lineup of gear, and a far more awesome group of people.

I’m not going to share any videos/photos of the event with people in it (besides one) as it was a private event and we’d asked people not to film. We wanted people to be able to unwind and not be on camera, but gotta show some highlights of the cool stuff we had there.

Though I’d be lying if I said the Tacos weren’t the highlight of it!

Canjam Day 2:

Day 2 of canjam arrived, and this time I was determined to actually listen to some gear. This show was BIG, far bigger than London Canjam and one day definitely would not have been enough to try everything. Two would have been a stretch still.

Especially when some of the items like the Warwick (which was in a soundproof pod! PLEASE more manufacturers do this in future, that thing was brilliant) had a VERY long queue to listen at times.

Luckily though I’d had the opportunity to listen to most of the items before either at home or previous events, but there was plenty of things that were new in general or new to me and I still struggled to get enough time with all of them.

A few highlights for me though and I’ll do my best to keep impressions brief:

Warwick Aperio/Bravura:

I’ve done a full review of both of these, but I just have to say how brilliant this soundproof pod was. There are some things you just can’t get a full grasp of on a show floor, and this really allowed the listener to get a better impression of both products. I REALLY hope we see more of these at future canjams.

Auribus Acoustics:

I’d been really keen to try this for quite some time and at last I was able to. Man this thing is fun. Simply excellent for the money with great technical performance, a fun, very dynamic and tastefully done tuning achieved with a combination of traditional mechanical design and analog filters that provide a seriously compelling package for the money. I’ll have a full review of these coming.

ZMF Caldera:

WOW. I’m not too sure what I was expecting to hear with these, but whatever my expectations were, these exceeded them.

Take an atrium, give it a deep reaching, flat extension into the subbass, and add quite a significant amount of detail and soundstage, and you’ve got a caldera. Zach has seriously hit it out of the park with these.

I don’t think these actually ‘replace’ the atrium for me, as their more energetic treble does mean they don’t quite fill the same romantic and more laid back yet forceful presentation the Atrium does so well, but boy oh boy are these impressive and I’m certainly going to have to get myself a pair in future.

These were also surprisingly light. I figured given the need for large magnets they’d be heavier than the atrium but to my surprise they were considerably lighter. The concave grille looks beautiful in person in a way that really does not come across on camera too.

We were also lucky enough to try these at home in the quiet on the excellent ampsandsound nautilus which was a simply breathtaking experience.

Woo WA23:

I was a big fan of the WA33, and honestly, I think this is better. This is a wamer, more ‘traditionally tubey’ presentation that seemed to retain absolutely all of the technical performance of the WA33. All the good stuff with some sugar on top, what more could you ask for? How about a visually stunning design that I’d want on my desk just to look at even if it made no sound at all? Oh right…it has that too!

Post-Canjam:

Once the weekend had passed though, canjam was over, though our trip was not. I can confirm that you’ve not truly lived until you’ve been on a wild night out with Gizmo1k and ZeosPantera (which was too spicy for pictures, sorry!), that was worth the trip in and of itself! But many of our group on Monday took a road-trip down to San Diego to visit Hodads, for what is perhaps the best Burger found anywhere in the world. Though be warned, you may not be able to eat for another day or two if you finish it!

How much audio gear do you need to carry before you need an armed escort?

And probably the best part of the whole trip: Surfing dog!

Unfortunately on the final day a few of us were feeling a bit rough, so we spent the last day relaxing at the house and on the beach, unwinding after an eventful but thoroughly awesome week.

We all had such an amazing time, and I’m so happy to be able to spend time with such amazing friends, meet so many awesome people, try such amazing stuff and see such amazing places.

I cannot wait for next year already!

Until then, cheers!

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Excellent, thanks for sharing!

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Phenomenal post dude!

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Lovely write-up! Thanks for sharing!

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Yes sir! In another life!

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Still can’t believe April was nice enough to bring her own Celestee down from the hotel room for me to try. It was a wonderful experience both in sound and being around the Headphones.com team. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Anyone get to try the Symphonium Meteor at CanJam? Honestly thought it was easily an $800 set hearing it. Nope. $500. Very fun listen without bloat. Little bit of a v shaped tuning. Incredibly dynamic and engaging.

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I tried it and liked it quite a bit. Sounded like a dynamic driver with good slam and texture. I thought it was gonna be $700-800 also. For my preferences, this is the best all BA IEM that is priced less than the Helios, which I also liked a lot, but is way to chunky. I owned the DUNU SA6 and as much as I liked those, these are a clear step up in several areas with a more coherent & seamless sound. There was three things stopping me from going home with these: 1. 64 Audio Nio (which I picked up from Headphones.com after the show). 2. 64 Audio U12T (second choice to Nio). 3. The red color of the faceplates is not for me.

These seem like a great value to me, I am so glad I stopped and gave them a listen. Great guys at Symphonium too.

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A truly excellent write up sir.

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CanJam SoCal Headphone Show 2022 Recap!

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