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CanJam London 2017 show – part five

CanJam London 2017 show – part five

In the final part of our definitive multi-part round-up of the best personal audio products on show at CanJam London, 2017, Chris Martens and Alan Sircom feature Stereo Pravda to Westone!

StereoPravda

Who? Micha Kucherenko, CEO, StereoPravda

What? SP5 ‘SPearphone’

When available? Now

How much? $2,000

Description:  The original SP3 and SP7 ‘SPearphone’ designs are now joined by the new SP5. As the name suggests, the five driver balanced armature design has all five drivers sharing the same axis, a universal ‘one-size-fits-all’ silicone tip (not replaceable by the user), custom made cables by Chris Sommovigo, and features a set of audiophile-grade Vischay matching resistors. Unlike most ‘in ear’ designs, StereoPravda’s ‘in the ear’ monitors live up to the ‘SPearphone’ name because they are designed to sit deeper in the ear canal than most.

What are you listening to? Jacques Loussier, Plays Bach

Stax

Who? Nigel Crump, Managing Director, Symmetry

What? Stax SRM-T8000 Energiser

When available? Now

How much? £3,895

Description:  The new Hybrid Reference Energiser from Stax has been a long time coming, and is designed to be used with the top Stax SR-009 Electrostatic Earspeakers. The new energiser features a pair of double-triode 6922 tubes on a separate board made up of vibration-proof damper and shield cover. The additional size of the energiser allows use of larger than usual toroidal transformers, and is the first Stax energiser to include a full external bypass function, for those wanting the Stax system to be used with a traditional audio system.

What are you listening to? Either Norwegian Death Metal, or Gimme Gimme Gimme by The Leather Nun (neither of these are true – my note taking had got to incoherent at this time).

Trilogy

Who: Nic Poulson, Trilogy Audio (Emeka from Trilogy pictured)

What? Trilogy H1 electrostatic amplifier

When available? Now

How much? £4,995-£5,295 (depending on Finish)

Description:  Trilogy Audio always wanted to make an amplifier for the Stax electrostatic, but realised most designs simply use variations on the same circuit as Stax itself. After experimenting with such designs, Nic from Trilogy went fully Tabula Rasa and started with a completely clean sheet, creating an all-valve, zero feedback, fully differential design with a direct coupled output stage. The H1 features high transconductance valves throughout and used remote control only to drive volume, balance, and input selection. The H1 is also one of the first designs not to simply go for high voltage output, thereby potentially creating micro-tears in the stator membrane. In listening tests, both AS and CM felt this is a paradigm shift in performance for the Stax SR-009. Watch this space for a review

What are you listening to? Sibelius Symphony No 1.

 

Ultrasone

Who? Michael Zirkel, CEO, Ultrasone

What? Ultrasone NAOS portable USB-powered headphone amp/DAC

When available? August 1, 2017

How much? €169 or $199

Description:  The NAOS weighs just 6 grams and is smaller than a matchbox, yet it is an extremely compact and very capable USB-powered portable headphone amp/DAC. The DAC section of the NAOS can process PCM files at resolutions up to 24/192 and is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices, plus Mac and Windows PCs. Better still, the NAOS ships with a useful set of four adapter cables: Lightning, Micro USB, USB type A, and USB C. The amp section of the tiny NAOS is said to be capable of driving even 600-Ohm headphones.

What are you listening to? Adele’s ‘Hello’ from 25.

V-Moda

Who? Luca Bolognesi, Marketing Manager, V-Moda

What? V-Moda Crossfade II Wireless headphone

When available? Now

How much? £300 for standard black or white versions; £330 for the special black with rose gold trim edition

Description: The Crossfade II Wireless is a worth successor to V-Moda’s original Crossfade headphone, but one that features improved drivers, a built-in amplifier, and Bluetooth capabilities. The Crossfade II features a 50mm dual-diaphragm dynamic driver with a Japanese-made CCAW voice coil assembly. Inside the Crossfade II is a Micro Vamp amp/DAC/Bluetooth module, which is in essence a condensed version of the firm’s original Vamp Versa amplifier/DAC. There are two standard Crossfade II models (in black or white) or a special up-specification version (in black with rose gold trim) that features a Qualcomm aptX implementation. A hidden mic and one-button SpeakEasy cable facilitates calls on the go, etc.

What are you listening to? The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Slow Cheetah’ from Stadium Arcadium

Westone

Who? Hank Netherton, Westone

What? Westone W80 universal-fit earphone

When available? Now

How much? £1,429

Description: The W80 universal-fit earphone is the brainchild of Westone design guru Karl Cartwright and is the firm’s flagship model. The W80 features a sophisticated driver array comprising four balanced armature-type high-frequency drivers, two balanced armature-type midrange drivers, and two balanced armature-type bass drivers. The W80 ships with premium accessories including two sets of signal cables (one a special audiophile-grade cable source from specialist ALO), a deluxe carry case, and a very extensive set of ear tips of various types. All in all, the W80 enjoys a reputation as arguably the most transparent-sounding and revealing model in the Westone line up.  In fact, the firm has just launched a CIEM that leverages W80 and that is called the ES80.

What are you listening to? Blues Traveler’s ‘Run-Around’, from Four.

Tags: FEATURED

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