CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report from Ultimate Headphone Guide: Part Four

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Categories:
Headphones,
Earphones and in-ear monitors,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs

Trafomatic Audio

The Serbian firm Trafomatic demonstrated three very promising headphone amplifiers, including the Experience Head One ($1,800), the Head Two ($3,000), and the extremely exotic looking and valve-powered Trafomatic Primavera dual-mono headphone amplifier ($15,000), which is based on Svetlana 811.10 direct heated triode valves.

Helping the Trafomatic amps to sound their best was a wonderful Vermeer Two fully balanced LAN-equipped preamp/DAC ($30,000).

A brief listen to the Vermeer/Primavera combination driving a set of Final D8000 planar magnetic headphones convinced me that the big Trafomatic amp has a very firm grasp on sonic excellence.

Viva Audio

The Latvian headphone amplifier specialist Viva showed two very impressive new amplifiers—one targeted toward electrostatic headphone users and the other intended for enthusiasts favouring high-end dynamic type headphones.

For electrostatic headphone devotees, and Stax headphone users in particular, the Viva Egoista STX stands as a statement class amplifier that is typically configured with dual 2A3 output valves, but that can be configured with 300B output valves instead. US pricing for the Egoista STX has not been firmly established, but is expected to at <$10,000.

For dynamic headphone users, the Egoista 845 is likewise a statement class amplifier that is beautiful to look at and even more lovely to hear. The amp provided dual single-ended 6.35mm headphone output jacks, dual 4-pin XLR stereo headphone output jacks, and a pair of XLR mono output jacks. The Egoista 845 is so named because it uses dual 845 output valves. The Egoista 845 is priced at $12,800.

Westone

Westone’s newest offering for CanJam NYC was its lovely entry-level WX1 earphone ($149), which sports a single balanced armature-type driver and an MMCX connector equipped Bluetooth cable.

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