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Review: Fischer Audio's DBA-02

post #1 of 4469
Thread Starter 
Fischer Audio’s DBA-02


*NOTE* This review just represents my opinions and thoughts. I always recommend you personally try something out before buying it. *NOTE*

SPEC’S:
• › Frequency range: 20-24000 Hz
• › Sensitivity: 108 dB
• › Impedance: 43 Om
• › Input power: 60 mW
• › Length of a cable: 1.3 M
• › Color: Clear/Blue

EQUIPMENT USED ON THIS REVIEW:
•Portable set-up: Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed) ->UE Mini2Mini ->RSA Shadow
•Portable set-up: Ipod 5.5G (Rockboxed)-> ALO Cotton Dock -> RSA Shadow
•My mastering rig


BACKGROUND & FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

After reading a few reviews about Fischer Audio I couldn’t help but to feel curious and take the reviews with a grain of salt. However, the temptation was a bit too strong so I contacted Fischer Audio through another reviewer and to my surprise, Fischer sent me a box of their products for me to listen to. I listened to all of them briefly and started to burn them in. The one that caught my attention the most was the DBA-02 and that’s the one I am reviewing first.

On first glance these IEM’s look like some OEM product. The packaging is simple and seems as if it’s there just to do its job.



Once you open the packaging you will find a small vinyl carrying case, the IEM’s, different tips and some over-ear rubber cable holders/cable guides.
The look of the DBA-02’s is nice. The actual IEM’s are made of plastic and look attractive. The cable looks very much like a handmade DIY cable. I actually love the looks of this IEM.






THE MUSIC & THOUGHTS ON SOUND (see my blog as to why I use these tracks):

1.Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al from the album “Graceland”
WOW. Simply wow. Everything I know about this track was there. It’s as if my portable rig disappeared and only the music came through.

2. Paul Simon – Homeless from the album “Graceland”
The voices sounded extremely natural. The ambiance was there. No hint of a veil or too much bass. There is definitely a smile on my face.

3. Nat King Cole – Stardust from the DCC release of “Love Is The Thing”
Nat’s voice sounds very natural, the strings were airy but not stringent or overly bright. The ambiance was there. I would go as far as to say it was on par with my UE-10’s.

4. Danny Elfman – This is Halloween from the soundtrack “Nightmare Before Christmas”
Once again, it’s all there. The soundstage is fantastic, the voices are all articulated well and the music sounds fantastic. These IEM’s can really shine on this track and they shine like few I have heard.

5. Absolute Silence – custom demo track made by myself.
Except for a slight pop the Clip+ added when the track finished, it was completely dead silent for the entire duration of the track.

6. Bach – Solo Cello Suites from the Mercury Living Presence release feat. Janos Starker
The cello sounds exactly like a cello. Moreover, the ambiance and detail is completely present. I can clearly hear Mr. Starker breathe and I can even hear some chair squeaks. Once again, it’s on par with my UE-10.

7. Ella Fitzgerald – Sweet & Lovely from the album “Sings Sweet Songs For Swingers”
This track really shows off these IEM’s. Naturalness, finesse, and just plain awesome sound. Ella sounds alive. The quiet parts come across clearly and the loud parts are breathtaking.

8. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication & Scar Tissue from the album “Californication”
This track has sounded it’s worse on my UE-10’s, HD-600’s, my mastering rig, HP-2’s and now, on the DBA-02’s. The distortion is there as are the clicks. Nothing is added and nothing is removed, something that is very hard for me to say about a lot of IEM’s, headphones and speakers.

9. Lady Gaga – Poker Face from the album “The Fame”
The bass is there and is neither over-powering nor lacking. The vocals are natural while retaining the detail within the track.


OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

You have to consider the fact that this IEM is being compared to some of the most high-end IEM’s on the market that cost a great deal more by a discriminating listener whose job involves analyzing and restoring audio.
As I said before, I wasn’t really expecting much regarding Fischer Audio and took a lot of the reviews of their other products with a grain of salt and attributed many reviews to hype or maybe even shilling. Man…was I wrong. Not only was I wrong but I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality and high value their products have.

The one thing I noticed while listening to the DBA-02’s is that I found I wasn’t listening to the IEM’s as much as I was listening and really enjoying my music. When I have demo’d other IEM’s or written reviews in the past I sit down and listen attentively and usually take notes and click on to the next track on my demo CD’s before the song even finishes. This time I found myself listening through entire albums at a time. I even fell asleep once. They sound that phenomenal. They relax that much.

I literally had to focus my attention back on testing the IEM’s only to find myself enjoying the music more and more as I clicked through dozens of the best tracks I have the privilege to own. I have heard many, many IEM’s and headphones and very few have caught my attention or given me an immediate smile. The last time that happened I was listening to JH-13’s. The next time was when I was listening to the DBA-02’s. While these are not to the level of JH-13’s, they are very, very high up. As far as universals go, I feel they are the very best I have listened to and they completely kill my Shure E500’s/E530’s and demolish the sound of the Triple-Fi’s.

Also, for the very first time, I actually found a universal IEM that comes close to replicating the sense of power, soundstage and full authority of my full size headphones. The sound is full but completely natural and I LOVE that. The sound of these IEM’s really opened up when I plugged them into my mastering rig. The better your source, the better these IEM’s will sound.
Not only do the DBA-02’s sound better that all the universal IEM’s I have heard but I also found them to be more comfortable than others. The DBA-02’s really sound amazing and I recommend them highly, especially considering their price and the high quality sound they put out. These are truly world-class in terms of sound. I can only imagine what these would sound like if you bought them and had them remolded into customs.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

EDIT: See post #120 for more pictures!

 

EDIT 2: If you buy these IEM's read THIS. It takes the performance to another level.


Edited by LFF - 10/21/10 at 6:06am
post #2 of 4469
first! awesome review! great to hear so many positives.
post #3 of 4469
Wow, they look awesome too. only 158 on ebay... I want.
post #4 of 4469
Glad to hear that you like your new toys so much. I can't wait to hear the new FA when they finally come. Any other FA you will be reviewing?
post #5 of 4469
Are these armature or dynamic and how much do they cost?
post #6 of 4469
Oh great, another earphone to try out.
post #7 of 4469
I believe it has a dual balanced armature system, hence the name "DBA". I'd rather not buy from ebay, but they are currently $158+ $10 shipping there.
post #8 of 4469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napilopez View Post
I believe it has a dual balanced armature system, hence the name "DBA". I'd rather not buy from ebay, but they are currently $158+ $10 shipping there.
Makes sense.... Thanks a lot.
post #9 of 4469

.


Edited by ethan961 - 8/16/10 at 5:40pm
post #10 of 4469
Great (and enticing) review! It's exciting to see many new brands with potential to rival the higher-priced encumbents!

A quick look to the Fischer Audio website tells me that DBA-02 is from the Master series rather than the Fundamental series we've heard so much of (Eterna, SB, Equilibrium, Evolution). I take it that the Master series is a higher class of products? If so, is the price difference between DBA-02 and Eterna substantial? (Edit: Nevermind, Napilopez answered this while I was composing this post.)

I see that you used an amp (and quite a good one at that) to test these babies. Does the sound degrade substantially when unamped?

Sorry for the barrage of questions.. But then again you probly asked for it by writing such an excellent (and, again, alluring) review!
post #11 of 4469
Yes, the DBA-02 is part of the Master series, along with their new top cans (stated to be HD-650 competition by some), making it their top class of products.
post #12 of 4469
i should be satisfied with my current collection, but yet i'm interest is still piqued. curse this website..
post #13 of 4469
Thanks, ethan961.. Things are truly getting more interesting in the head-fi world, what with Yuin and Hippo and Fischer and other competitive brands

Seeing as how you use DBA-02 with a setup more similar to mine, could you share insights on how the DBA-02 performs without the Fiios?

Or, to phrase the question more bluntly: if I plan on never buying any amp (for ultraportability's sake), should I still consider DBA-02?
I'm planning on buying a Clip+ as soon as my heap of papers are done (poor student, I am ), if that's of any significance.
post #14 of 4469
I don't use the FiiOs with them, the only noticeable difference IMO is a slight increase in bass, due to the use of the line-out opposed to the thinner sounding HP out of the 1st gen iTouch. I'm not supposed to provide impressions (Member of the Trade rules) so that's about the extent of what I'll say on here, sorry if you're looking for more. Just remember the price of the FiiOs, and that LFF is using a really good amp.
post #15 of 4469
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post
I don't use the FiiOs with them, the only noticeable difference IMO is a slight increase in bass, due to the use of the line-out opposed to the thinner sounding HP out of the 1st gen iTouch. I'm not supposed to provide impressions (Member of the Trade rules) so that's about the extent of what I'll say on here, sorry if you're looking for more. Just remember the price of the FiiOs, and that LFF is using a really good amp.
Ouch.. I missed the fact that you're a Member of the Trade.. Hope I didn't get you into trouble or anything

Thanks, ethan961! Nice to know that the DBA-02 goes ultraportable
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