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CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report  By Emiko

CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report
Aural adventures and dynamic innovations!
CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report By Emiko





RAAL-requisite The RAAL-requisite ribbon headphones (starting price $3,000) brought the words "calm" and "serene" to mind as I listened to them running through the VM-1a tube ribbon amplifier ($6900). I auditioned several songs in different genres, including "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers and I have to say, that one came to life in a really unexpected but delightful way.



Wells Audio was a blast. Monoblocks into a tube amp with Audeze headphones? This setup brought full energy to life. My track of choice was AC/DC's "Back in Black" and instantly, there was a rock concert in my head. I switched from the Audeze to a pair of Abyss headphones to see about any differences and I'm glad I did. Worlds changed from bright to warm but the clarity and power were still there. Wells Audio brought their A game, there is no doubt about it. (There's a real-time video of my reaction to this floating around on the internet.)



Audeze had a section unto themselves right up front. I was still on my AC/DC kick so I grabbed a pair of LCD5 headphones ($4500) and continued the rock journey. These ran through a Nagra tube DAC and classic PSU. Brightness ensued, but not in a harsh way.



I switched to the LCD4Zs ($3995) and found these to be "respectable and powerful" (literally referring back to the notes I took in real-time). The LCD4Z's offered a much more controlled replication of the music but had tons of great punch. I switched to some female vocal and piano to change up the mood and decided to go with Fiona Apple's "Shadowboxer." The depth of the mix really came through and her vocals were superbly personal.

Whitney Houston and Sia were my choices for the CRBN Electrostatic headphones ($4500) and all I can say is WOWIE! The CRBNs with the LTA Z10e electrostatic amp ($7000) were mind-blowing. Truly.



CrossZone was a lot of fun to visit with. They had three pair of headphones to audition, the CZ1 ($2500), the CZ-8A ($2000 and the newest in their line), and the CZ-10 ($1000). I was equally impressed with each of them. These were paired with a Riviera Labs amp from Italy, a Leben CS-300XS from Japan, and a Line Magnetic DAC with tube output streaming Tidal on a laptop.

Two notes I promised myself I'd include in this report were that these headphones have their drivers out front to emulate speaker positioning so your listening experience is much more full. Additionally, the CZ1 headphones deliver tremendous clarity when it comes to vocals. I auditioned "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones (I AM aware this is not the best recording in the history of time but trust me, there's a method to my madness) and right after Keith's guitar solo, there's a "Hey hey!" that Mick Jagger shouts. Normally, it's buried somewhat in the background and sounds rather half-hearted. But on the CZ1's, all of his energy came through clear as day.




---> Next page of CanJam SoCal 2022 show report.






































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