"Between the STAX SR-X9000 and Hifiman Shangri-La Electrostatic headphones, I lacked nothing. Grand Cayman added heft, power, and a life-like weight to the Shangri-La, unlike anything I've heard previously. With Grand Cayman, I finally found the Shangri-La's massive, detailed, and beautifully layered presentation firmly planted in reality. To get things started, I dove head first into some Eva Cassidy. What I love about "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread" is how much of the room acoustics within Blues Alley is preserved within the recording. Most systems I've demoed Shangri-La with struggle to balance the immediacy of Eva's powerful voice and the band alongside the nuance and depth of the space she's performing within. I either got a well-layered presentation with a slightly thin tone or a full-bodied sound with some slight...
An exceptional thanks to Josh M. for loaning me this DAC for review. The Appetizers COS Engineering is a small team of passionate audio enthusiasts hailing from Taiwan. The COS D1 (Connoisseur of Sound DAC 1) was their first foray into the digital domain back in 2014. Coming in at
"My first couple of dates with the COS D1 were soaked with engagement. I was pleased to listen to album after album with my better half, both of us applauding the DAC for making everything sound good. I heard the DAC as being a couple of degrees warmer than what I was used to, exuding some of the “Brit-Fi” sound signature of my ATC speakers, and creating a cozy canvas upon which sonic information escaped for my ears to feast. The 45/55 mix of dry/wet kind of tone played well for so many albums in my first experience with a high-end converter on my SCM 40 v2 floor-standers. It allowed both of us to get lost in the music, and enjoy a night reminiscing over our angsty years and music throwbacks. "
After more than a decade, ZMF has finally released their own custom planar magnetic headphones. What they have demonstrated shows just how much they have learned since modifying Fostex T50RPs.
"ZMF Headphones as they are currently are likely best known for their wooden dynamic headphones. It would be easy to forget ZMF started as a planar magnetic headphone company. In 2011, ZMF’s first models were modified Fostex T50RPs. As the years progressed, they rehoused the drivers in their own wooden cups and later even modified the drivers for their Blackwood and Ori models. A custom planar magnetic driver seemed to be a natural progression, so the pivot to dynamic drivers may have come to a surprise to ZMF fans in the mid 2010s. However, with the Caldera, ZMF has finally delivered the headphone that people have been awaiting for years. "