This was Musicteck’s 3rd CanJam NYC, and they were spread across 4 tables, though it was still not enough for over 60 products they brought to the show. Based on the growing number and the caliber of brands they carry now, it was impressive to see how much they flourished over the last four years, even being exclusive US distributor for some manufacturers. An interesting observation at CanJam NYC is that you will find more desktop audio gear manufacturers attending this show in comparison to portable audio (IEMs and DAPs) companies. I don’t know if this has to do with East Coast geographic location (vs SoCal) or just a bias of US audiophiles, because CanJam SGP in April is a polar opposite where majority of manufacturers represent IEMs, DAPs, and Cables, while desktop products are usually in minority. In a way, you can call Musicteck tables a teaser of what to expect at the upcoming CanJam SGP next month. I will briefly go over products I saw at their tables, including links to my reviews. I didn’t have the need or the time to sit down and listen to everything since I’m already familiar with the majority.
With an exception of Empire Ears EVO and Odin and MMR Thummim SE, the rest of the 19 brands represented across their 4 tables were unique to the show and drew a huge crowd where it was hard to get close to the table. Typically, at CanJam shows the attendees sit on one side of the table while reps are on the other side. After a couple of hours into the show, Andrew (the Musicteck owner) and his team of assistants had to clear the other side of the tables to fit more people around both sides. And there was still not enough room with some visitors auditioning new gear while standing next to the table. I’m not exaggerating, just describing what I saw which I have captured in pictures.
One of the highlights at their table was a highly anticipated Cayin N8ii DAP with a fully balanced Solid State and dual NuTube design which actually made its worldwide debut at the show. I had the opportunity to borrow N8ii a few days before CanJam to share my first look Impressions and soon will finalize the review. Also, visitors had the opportunity to listen to Cayin’s C9 (reviewed) portable amplifier with the same dual Solid State and NuTube design, and their RU6 (reviewed) discrete R2R usb-dac dongle. The only desktop piece of the equipment featured at Musicteck tables came from Cayin as well, their CS-55A Tube amplifier with up to 40W of output power using 4 KT88 tubes in Class AB amp mode. I got a chance to learn more about it while listening to one of the reps describing this amp to visitors at the show. CS-55A output stage could be switched between Triode and Ultra-Linear modes and also switched between KT88 and EL34 tubes. But one thing that surprised me, while being advertised as Integrated Tube Amp, it also has a digital input with USB DAC (AKM). Pretty impressive set of features for $2k piece of desktop equipment. Next to the amplifier, I also spotted a number of SendyAudio full size headphones, including their popular Aiva and the latest Peacock and Apollo releases, which makes sense since I’m sure they will benefit from a tube amp.
As expected, regardless of numerous products across the tables, the latest releases always draw more attention since people are finally able to hear newly introduced audio gear instead buying it blindly. One of those were FirAudio Frontier Series IEMs featuring their latest Xenon 6, Krypton 5, and Neon 4 which I covered in my first detailed look Overview not too long ago. The Kinetic bass design of these IEMs generated quite a buzz, and I think it was a great idea to showcase them at the end table where you have more listening privacy to analyze the sound. That is one of the advantages of having all the products in one place where you can audition and compare everything at once. And I noticed, that is exactly what many were looking for, trying to compare XE6 and KR5.
Another one drawing attention was the latest releases from Vision Ears, their 2DD/4EST EXT (‘extended’ next gen Elysium) and 13BA Phoenix (revival and enhancement of legendary Erlkonig based on its sw#2 tuning) IEMs. Musicteck also had the rest of the VE line up, including Elysium, VE8, and more, some of which I’ve Covered before as well. Btw, I have noticed quite a few people with their own DAPs or usb-dac dongles w/smartphones auditioning and analyzing these IEMs with favorite tracks instead of relying on the selection of sources at the table with music you are not familiar with.
I already talked about FAudio Mezzo IEM, that one caught me by a surprise, and their Dark Sky (reviewed) was next to it for audition and comparison as well. Oldie but goody, 10BA qdc VX was at the show next to their not-so-oldie 10BA/4EST V14 available for auditioning and testing with its 4 switches, to check out how they shape up the sound. SoftEars (reviewed) drew a crowd as well with their popular RSV, RS10, and Cerberus IEMs, but the main attraction here was their newly introduced and more budget friendly Volume ($300). I had a brief listening to Volume and really enjoyed its neutral detailed tuning with a clear natural tonality and slightly elevated low-end. Furthermore, and I’m not even sure if Musicteck is planning to carry it in stock, but I also spotted a special edition Softears Turii Ti demo. And last, but not least, straight from Ukraine there was a demo set of updated Ambient Acoustics MAD16 and MAD24 IEMs.
Of course, at Musicteck table you should also expect to hear the almighty Bird, Oriolus Traillii, along with their other releases, such as updated Mellianus JP and Isabellae. I have covered various Oriolus IEMs in my Reviews before. Traillii is not cheap, which makes sense why so many people want to audition it before making the investment. Also, making its debut at the show was a full line up of Aroma Audio IEMs which is very hard to find for sale outside of China, but now available from Musicteck which carries their flagship Jewel and ACE. Though not listed on their site, Andrew also had at his tables other Aroma models, Thunder, Duet, Shock, Witch Girl W6.2, Witch Girl W5, and Star. Just a speculation, but I think he was probably collecting the feedback to find out which one people would be interested in buying.
Unique Melody line up was another highlight of Musicteck tables, including their top-of-the-line flagship Mason Red Halo and FE, Mason FS, and FuSang, and other popular and more budget friendly releases of Indigo, Mest MKII, MEXT, and 3DT, Covered already as well. I had to come back multiple times to the table, to get a chance to hear Red Halo, and only got 5min at the end of the day to listen and to compare it with Traillii. The Red Halo already had First Times Shielding cable connected, so, I didn’t bother switching it. In comparison to Traillii w/First Times regular cable, I found Traillii to have a stronger bass punch and thinner vocals with a smoother treble. Red Halo with its new Bone Conduction driver had a little less weight in bass, fuller body and more forward vocals, and more sparkle in treble.
And speaking of cables, Effect Audio (many cables reviewed) also debuted their new Chiron cable with an exotic combination of gold-plated silver and gold plated silver-gold alloy wires. It features Titanium hardware and new cable jacket material. There were other EA cables at the table, including flagship Centurion, and even their latest modular IEM Axiom (reviewed). Cables are always a controversial topic of discussions, while here you had the opportunity to find out for yourself with your own ears if you hear a difference between various wires. In addition to EA, Musicteck also had a big selection of PWA cables (reviewed), including their well known Orpheus, First Times, 1950s, Metropolis, Monile MKII, and August Fun. As I already mentioned, you don’t have to be a cable believer, but this is a priceless opportunity to decide for yourself if you do or don’t hear a difference in sound between cables with your favorite IEMs.
Cayin N8ii wasn’t the only DAP at the table, there were many other audio players available for audition. I saw the full line up of Lotoo DAPs (reviewed) including LPGT and LPGT Ti, PAW6000, and their S2 usb-dac dongle. This was a great opportunity for people to hear and to compare the original LPGT vs its Ti version. Then, you had Luxury & Precision (reviewed) showcasing their flagship LP6 Gold and P6 Pro DAPs that feature R2R DACs, and also W2-131 usb-dac dongle. Shanling (reviewed) products were there as well, including their latest flagship M9 DAP, and other releases such as M8, M6 Pro 21, M3x, and UP5 Bluetooth wireless dongle. Plus, there was also a Hiby section (reviewed) with their latest RS6 DAP featuring discrete R2R DAC, and as well as a popular R6 2020 DAP. And as surprise, Hiby also previewed their upcoming R5ii DAP, the next gen R5 with newly updated chassis that follow the same design outline as R6 2020, R8, and RS6.
Page 1 – Intro.
Page 2 – Grell Audio, Dunu, Meze Audio, Empire Ears, 64 Audio.
Page 3 – MMR/JOMO, Eletech, Bloom Audio, Lunch break.
Page 4 – SoundCore, InEar, Linsoul/ThieAudio, FAudio.
Page 5 – CEntrance, HiFiMan, Chord, JH Audio.
Page 6 – Musicteck (Cayin, FirAudio, EA, VE, Oriolus, UM, Aroma, SoftEars, Lotoo, and more).
Page 7 – Final thoughts.