CanJam NYC 2024 Part 2

Metaxas & Sins

Easily the most visually striking amps at the show were from Metaxas & Sins.  The Ethereal (Electrostatic, $32,000) and Marquis Memento More (Dynamic) look as amazing as they sound.

The Ethereal features dual volume knobs…yes…where they look like they are. Kostas Metaxas has stated that this is an amplifier for those who are looking for simplicity and the ultimate sound quality. There will be future options for a DAC and even a full streamer. 

There is currently an option for an extremely limited number of Ethereals with a built-in L’ Eppe torbillion clock inside the head. 


Michal Jurewicz was on hand showing his Brooklyn Bridge II ($3,995) and Empire ($24,995) Streaming DACs. Both can act as preamps as well as Roon Cores (not just endpoints). 


Qobuz was giving out free trials to their outstanding streaming service.  In addition, many of the booths were using Qobuz as their streaming source for listeners. If you’re looking for high-resolution streaming, Qobuz is the audiophile’s go-to.


The outstanding Pre-Box S2 Digital (still available at $400) has become a common sight on desktops and nightstands everywhere, but there were 2 new items from Pro-Ject at this show.  

First was the updated Pre-Box S3 ‘edition 23’ ($500) with higher resolving capabilities and a focus on upgrading the DAC. 

Also on hand was the Head-Box S2 Digital ($450).  This is a DAC/Amp that is more headphone focused with a beefier amp and a DAC capable of up to DSD 256. 

I listened to the Head-Box S2 Digital and was impressed by what I was hearing from this very affordable DAC/Amp!


HiFiMan was showing three new amplifiers at the show.  

First is the EF 499 ($299). This DAC/Amp features a true R2R DAC and 4,35 W/Ch at the balanced outs. In addition to acting as a traditional DAC with Coax and USB inputs, the EF499 can act as a network streamer for your NAS or mobile devices. 

The EF 500 DAC/Amp ($449) has a similar feature set but features dual Hymalaya LE R2R DACs and 4.5 w/ch at the balanced-out. 

Last is the EF 600 ($649).  This DAC amp offers coax and USB inputs as well as high-res Bluetooth with the latest codecs. The DAC employed in the EF 600 is the Hymalaya Pro R2R and the amplifier uses a high current design with a toroidal transformer in the base of the unit and delivers a full 5w/ch to the balanced out. 

All three designs have a small footprint thanks to the vertical design.  This also allows each amp to be used as a headphone stand. 

I took some time to listen to the EF 500 through the excellent Arya Organic headphones and found the sound to exceed all expectations for a $449 DAC/Amp. 


I had the privilege to be invited to the Audio-Technica suite on the 47th floor to hear the new Narukami amplifier and headphone. Narukami refers to the God of Thunder in Japanese culture. The amp and headphones are highlighted in Kurogaki wood. This is a wood only found in a certain area of Japan.  It has a unique spalting pattern that is absolutely stunning. 

Under the hood, the amp uses top-of-the-line components that include Lundahl output transformers, ECC83S input tubes, and Takatsuki TA-300B output tubes in a fully balanced dual mono configuration. 

With 3 inputs and pre-outs, the Narukami can also serve as your preamplifier. 

Pricetag for all this? $108,000…including the headphones. 

I was able to listen to several very familiar cuts and can say without hesitation that it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had while listening to headphones.

Stay Tuned for Part 3.

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