CanJam NYC 2024 Part 3

Spirit Torino

Andrea Ricci was on hand showing off three over-ear headphones and a new IEM. 

The first on-ear was their flagship Valkyrie Titanium ($12,000). These have been their top-of-the-line for a few years and are astounding. 

They were also showing the new Pulsar Limited Edition at $6,000/pair. 

Also on hand, both in their booth and in the Viva room were their new Centauri planar magnetic headphones ($2,800). These are open back and much easier to drive than their other offerings. They feature detachable cables. I listened to these for quite some time and found them to be a Basshead’s dream.  Deep, tight, and powerful. 

Also on hand were their IEM Twin Pulse. They are machined from a block of aluminum and feature beryllium, treated membranes. They come with 3 screw-in filter options for +3 dB bass, neutral, and -3dB bass. 

Campfire Audio

Owner Ken Ball suggested I try their new Fathom IEM ($1,049). Another machined aluminum IEM body (third I saw at the show). Playing them through my A&K DAP, it became quickly evident that they are more efficient than some of the other offerings at the show. The aluminum shell was lightweight and comfortable. The sound was tuned into a bit of a V-shape with a slight emphasis on the bass and treble, but never badly so. The included cable was very nice. 


The 2nd generation of the Liric headphone ($2,000) was the hot ticket at the Meze booth. This beautiful closed-back design uses their Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array MZ4 which changes the shape of the traces to enhance tonality. The cups are made from Macassar ebony wood. Listening through the Linear Tube Audio Vero/Aero combo, the bass timber was excellent, the imaging was very good, while the treble was a tiny bit aggressive for my personal taste. Acoustic guitar was very well reproduced with just the right amount of decay. All in all, and excellent headphone.

Astell & Kern

A&K were on hand showing off two very exciting new products. 

First was their AK-3000T DAP ($2,999) which offers you the opportunity to use 2 built-in tubes…yes, tubes!  You can choose to have the tubes in the line or to switch them off…or run in a hybrid configuration. It’s run by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU which was very responsive. The case is stainless steel with a pure silver plating. 

Also on demo were their (you guessed it) machined aluminum IEMs called the Novus ($4,999).  These were designed in conjunction with Empire Ears. They feature a 24k gold and sapphire glass faceplate. They each have 13 drivers including bone conductors. 


While Audeze didn’t have anything new headphones at the show, they were showing some very cool advances for the professional (or amateur) mastering in Atmos. The Maxwell headphone, using its head position sensor, allows the Atmos mastering to be done using headphones rather than a multi-speaker array,  Now you can reduce the cost while mastering at home or in the park! 


On display in the Mimic Hi-Fi booth were the Modhouse Tungsten headphones. These beautiful headphones offer interchangeable outer covers to customize the aesthetic. More importantly, they sound exceptional.  But they are not for the faint of amp. They need big power to get the most out of them.  But when powered well, they are fantastic. 


Alex Martin was on hand showcasing their brand new (as in unreleased) Vali3 headphone amp offering the higher power demanded by many of today’s headphones in a diminutive tube-based package that costs just $149. That’s not a misprint, $149. The tube provided is a 6N3P, but it can be rolled with 5670, 2C51, ECC42, CV4013, and even WA 396a…although that last one will likely cost more than the amp!

JPS Labs (Diana/Abyss)

Joe from JPS Labs was on hand demonstrating the Abyss Diana MR with a JPS Labs cable and Abyss AB1266 Phi TC headphones through Woo Audio amplifiers. 

The Diana MR are possibly the most comfortable headphones I’ve tried…in stark comparison to the Abyss AB1266 Phi TC…which sound amazing but won’t win any awards for comfort. 

The Woo WA33 is majestic to observe and astounding to listen to.  It drove the notoriously hard-to-drive Abyss AB1266 Phi TC to perfection. 

But the talk of the room in amps was the new Woo Audio tube DAC/Amp dongle, the Tube Mini ($499). Yup…it’s a bus-powered tube DAC/Amp. Don’t want to use the computer’s power? They make a base ($249) that plugs into the wall and gives you a boost of power. I was very surprised to hear it driving the Diana MRs with relative ease (in the power base).

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