Originally Posted by james444
Shigzeo, who has heard a lot more phones than me uses a trance track called "Mainstage" (Markus Schulz) for his tests. There's some deep low bass rumble in this track. He once said that in his experience no BA phone can produce this rumble. I've repeated his test with my phones and found his claim true.
Shigzeo also said that CK10 bass was rather like a knock on the door more than anything else. I actually likened the kick drum in Hotel Cali to a tap on the door, so I totally agree with him about the bass (and lack of impact).
I tried listening with no EQ for a few hours, but to be honest, I hated it. The bass is just too quiet for me, and without the quantity and impact, I feel like half the music's missing.
As for bass quality, well, I get confused about this. It has no reverb to speak of at all (to my
ears. It's there and it's gone, which doesn't sound natural to me). In some tracks with deep rumbling bass, there is still no reverb even with EQ on - so boosting it doesn't change its nature, it just makes it louder. I actually prefer the CK100 bass to the CK10, but the e-Q7 is better than both in my opinion, with a less inhibited and more realistic presentation of how drums and bass guitars actually sound.
Having said all that, I really do like the CK10's glass-like treble, which I can certainly imagine isn't everyone's cup of tea. It's definitely the dominant frequency, and on brightly-recorded albums like some Ryko remasters I have, it's a little too shrill to listen to without wincing. Fortunately, I don't have many of them so it's not really an issue, just pointing out when the treble can be 'too much'.
But... I do love the clarity of the overall sound signature, possibly more than the e-Q7's. I think I've been gradually veering away from a smooth sound to something brighter and more aggressive, and the CK10 are definitely not as smooth as the UM3x, IE8 or e-Q7. I'm still in the honeymoon period at the moment though, so my thoughts might change
Oh, and it seems almost sacrilegious to bring this into the equation - but I tested the CK10 and e-Q7's on my Nokia E52... yes, a lowly phone... and I was amazed at how different they both sounded. The E52 is very warm sounding, and it made the e-Q7 and CK10 sound much fuller but with with a smaller soundstage. It took any 'edge' off the CK10 treble too. If I hadn't known I'd changed source, I would have thought I was listening to different gear! I'm going to test with my other Sony daps for no other reason than mindless curiosity