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Fujiya Avic Spring 2014 (Part 4 – Aurorasound, Vorzuge, TEAC, Denon)

  • fujiya_avic_2014Having original clocked his modded Hiface at the Fujiya Avic store the day before the show, the heat was taken out of my ‘WTF’ reaction upon meeting Aurorasound‘s Karaki-san. He was vague about the goings on inside the box but the addition of a Neutrik USB connector will likely be welcomed by those wanting to stir in a fancy USB cable.

    Karaki-san’s Hiface Two Pro is (yet another!) Japan-only product that sells for around US$330. However, our man is considering export markets for this and the similar-looking USB power supply. Further up the food chain, this effusively polite gent also makes the HEADA headphone amplifier and VIDA phono pre-amp. Aurorasound are emphatically a company to watch.


    Also worth pricking up yr ears for is the latest portable amplifier from Vorzuge. A brief audition of the VorzAmp Pure II (US$565) was enough to secure thoughts of flair and delicacy. Rechargeable Li-on battery for around 10 hours playback, the Vorzuge is smaller and lighter than the ALO Audio International+ and no way near as overtly ebullient. There’s no internal DAC which should be a consideration if and when you investigate further. A good number of Head-Fi-ers I spoke to REALLY rate this natty device.


    In a more general sense, the proliferation of seriously juicy portable headphone amplifiers means their mains-anchored brethren no longer necessarily hold the upper hand.


    Denon were at the Fujiya Avic show to launch a new desktop model that’s due to drop anytime soon…in Japan. I don’t take notes at shows – it spoils the flow of conversation. Instead I rely exclusively on memory and the odd thought pushed out onto Twitter. Sometimes that show MO lets me down. Annoyingly the name and price of Denon’s fully DSD-capable unit escapes me. I do recall that a smaller, cheaper variant is slated for October.


    TEAC‘s booth was staffed exclusively with salesmen who were as humourous as they were informative. The UD-301 is a scaled down version of the ever popular UD-501: a single transformer (as opposed to the UD-501’s two) and only one each of USB, optical and coaxial inputs gets you into DSD listening for around US$500. Balanced outputs too. Also coming to market is the HA-P50 (~US$599) portable that played nice over USB with a Cyanogen-modded Google Nexus 5, one of the few units to do so without qualification.

    Further information: Aurorasound | Vorzuge | TEAC


    [Want to read more Fujiya Avic headphone show coverage? Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.]

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


    1. No write-up on FitEar? I am disappoint, John.
      Only kidding. I know it’s a lot of work putting these reports up, battling jetlag and digesting Munich sausages all at the same time. Hope the long flight was at least bearable.

      Those FitEars in the header photo look like the new prototype universals – supposedly successors to the popular ToGo334. Not too big on universals myself, especially at those prices, but I’m currently saving up for either a MH334 or MH335DW custom fit model. Should be another month or two of saving before I make a decision on which one to get and put an order. The Mh models are among the best head-fi I’ve ever tested, easily besting most of what I’ve tried from Jerry Harvey or Ultimate Ears, or even many full-size flagship headphones for that matter.

      That Vorzuge amp looks sexy as hell in Lucky Strike colours. I always assumed they were only available in black. Also heard good things about them from various online resources.

      Denon tend to perplex me a little these days. On one hand, they seem to be making strides in DAC and DJ/club gear, but on the other hand their new headphones have all disappointed me, both in terms of design and sound. Heck, look at the picture you took. That blue thing on the right seems like a 1:1 copy of a Bowers & Wilkins model. WTF Denon?

      Anyways, take care John. Hope you manage some rest before the Munich show starts. Looking forward to your reports. Also, don’t forget to sample the local beers!!

    2. Any word on the new Astell & Kern models — the AK120II &AK100II? Or will that be coming up in Part 5 of the series? btw, nice review of the Clones Audio 25i over at Tone Audio.

      • Thanks James – visited the A&K booth in Munich today but coverage might not show till next week. I am FLAT. OUT. HERE. Reports will come later.

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