For most of Fujiya Avic’s latest headphone show I was busy camera whoring. As a result I removed just ten memories from the event with my Leica, four with an iPad, and four with an iPhone. Of the photos I took with my Leica, just seven are safe for work. And because I’m not a great iPhoneographer, I came away with just two usable mobile images.
Let’s start with the girls.
Ultrasone’s new Tribute 7 fits like all pro-leaning Edition models. It won’t fit on thin heads or high-mounted ears without the aid of a Moleskin crowning your crown. Bugger. I enjoyed its sound, but with a few questioning tilts of my rail-thin head. It has a good sense of 3D space, but confused bass placement and stereo cues can throw you off. It is pretty in a plastic way. Miss Ultrasone is pretty in a pretty way. She fielded questions regarding the differences between last decade’s Edition 7 and the new Tribute.
Eight floors up was the attractive combination of a shiny Yamaha speed bike and a buxom beauty. I’m sure that 95% of show attendees would have no idea what to do with either. Evidently there are headphones in there somewhere.
Speaking of buxom, check out this stack:
The coolest amp I saw at the show was this old thing: the Marvalve. It’s twin pentameters spin a full 360º for each numeric volume bump. This means you can nail left/right balance even with the most sensitive of earphones. Which is exactly what I was able to do with my Ultrasone IQs, through which - and with the caveat that it was under meet conditions - I heard very little hiss from its dedicated 3,5mm jack. Under the load of Ultrasone’s IQ, treble doesn’t drop off but there appears to be a darkening of the upper midrange. Or that’s the mar in the valve.
After I told him that the V2 (or V3) pre-tab Summicron-M 50mm has the softest, uniquest OOF rendering of all Summicron-M 50’s, Ken Ball snapped the above image. With the announcement of Andromeda and Nova, you can imagine how packed in Campfire Audio were. I didn’t get a chance to listen to either Nova or Andromeda, but will be writing about both in the neardom.
Finally, FitEar’s newly tuned MH334 Upgrade Service. Unwieldy name, but great sound. Very wide stage with phenomenal stereo detail and space in the highs. Bass is super clean. The transition to mids from bass is a congested for trance music, but only just. Vocals are rich and forward and just above them there is a slight dead spot where I prefer to have sparkle. Great earphone.
Finally, you can wirelessly rip your CDs to your iPhone with this I-O Data badboy. You’re stuck using their stock app, but from what I understand, it plays by gapless rules and automatically connects to Gracenote.
And that’s it. If you want fuller coverage, Digital Audio Review have got a full page of articles.