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CanMania 2014: Headamp and the Purple Hawaii

CT6A7357 CanMania"Go big or go home" is what flashed through my head when I saw the Headamp table in CanMania this year. I mean, seriously. "Look at me! I am PURPLE! Ha HA!" Said another way, that is some crazy color on that Blue Hawaii headphone amplifier. If I were queuing up for the 1+ year wait on these bad boys, this is the only color to get it in. Wow. Wired up to the usual suspects from STAX, including the SR-009 everyone but me raves about, this amp set huge points for sound and style, and at over $5k, that is important and I don't care who you are. 

The “other amp” on this table is, I think, equally impressive — the GSX Mk II Frank Iacone reviewed earlier this year. At nearly half the price of the Blue Hawaii, the GSX is one of the finest headphone amps being made and one that will actually drive any (non electrostatic) headphone you care to throw at it, including the beastly Abyss AB-1266.

Shown at CanMania, the GSX was entertaining the full suite from Audeze, HiFiMan and the luscious TH-900 from Fostex.

There’s really not a lot to say about Headamp — their two headphone amps are crazy-good and comfortably laugh at mere mortals from their lofty perch on Mt Olympus. If you can, you really ought to try them out. Either one is a game-ender.

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.

4 Comments on CanMania 2014: Headamp and the Purple Hawaii

  1. That purple is just freakin’ amazing.

  2. wayne patrick // August 18, 2014 at 6:17 PM //

    5k for a headphone amp, thats insane!

    • Part-Time Audiophile // August 18, 2014 at 8:34 PM //

      So, the $9,500 Egoista from Viva Audio is bad? And the Mal Valve, or Crayon Audio ones are pretty much right out of the question, too. Seems … limiting.

      All I can say is this, justifying the price is one thing. Defending it is another. Said another way, if it’s just crazy-expensive to build and support, that’s one thing. But if it’s clearly better than anything less expensive, that’s another thing entirely.

      Who am I to say if the price is warranted on either metric? I have no idea.

      But is $5k a lot to spend (on anything)? Absolutely. Crazy? Well, that depends.

    • Would you rather spend $5K on a designer handbag instead?

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