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Westone W4 vs. Audio Technica ATH-CK10 - Page 9

post #121 of 153

Yesterday and today I did some tests.

 

Certainly I can confirm now that the sibilance isn't present always. There is a tendency of the phones to push trebles really forward, but as there are a lot of tracks where I can hear sibilance and harshness, there are some others in which I don't have issues, and many others in which they touch the limit, but it's acceptable for not too much listening sessions. Generally I can find much more "S" or "F" or "TH" sibilance than cymbals harshness. The firsts are much more present, and I think that this is the only really issue that this phones have for me. I like anything of them, but this is a problem for me, they pierce my ears after a while.

 

I tried them with my Dacport, and the sound became more amazing than it was already, but any sign of loss of sibilance in tracks in which this was evident without the Dacport yet. 

 

I got my hard drive in which I have my lossless collection, and had a confrontation with the same mp3 converted files that I have. 

 

John Lee Hooker - The Healer - with Carlos Santana & Band, Flac: no sign of any harshness or sibilance, really enjoyable, with great soundstage and imaging, almost a perfect reproduction smile_phones.gif

 

Alter Bridge - Blackbird - Ties That Bind and Before Tomorrow Comes, Flac: as analytically I can hear anything and enjoy seriously this really congested album, I can analytically hear a quite amount of sibilance too.

 

Dire Straits - Six Blade knife, Flac: some harshness and some sibilance. Some harshness in guitar too.

 

Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Gentleman, Ogg: Sibilance in s, g, t, d. Too much for me. Trumpets are harsh too when go up.

 

I used VLC and Songbird. 

post #122 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post

No Sir. I've never heard any harshness or sibilance with the DBA-02.

Well... that's not entirely true... I should say, none that were not in the original recording. My source files are very good and never lossy. Not that yours are the issue, but obviously I couldn't know. Also your rig, MBP, iPod, whatever... Though, at the levels I listen, I've never had sibilance from my iPod either, so it could just be a sensitivity / volume thing. Hard to say... different ears, different sources, etc.

 

Some have complained of sibilance with the DBA's, but again, I've never heard them 'create' it. The Brainwavz B2 that I'm reviewing are slightly, very slightly strident, but not sibilant. This is supposed to be fixed in the production models,,, I hope so. They'll be virtually identical to the DBA's if that's the case.

 

I'm sure there are some folks in these fora that have A/B'd the DBA and CK10. I have a pretty good suspicion you won't find the bass much more full on the DBA than you do on the CK10. The DBA runs a tad lean.

We're getting product at reasonable price ranges that are vrey revealing of source and kit used. When appropriate, I use full bit files via wavelab as a player, asio through a TC Konnekt
as dig out into an multi $k dac for files I need to work with but I still prefer other methods for getting those files to the DAC for listening to music at home. ie: lose the computer and use something dedicated to the purpose.

 

A lot of the opinions on some of these IEMs can be attributed to source which is fine because one needs to use what they got but unless there's some very well known top kit involved, we shouldn't be talking absolutes. The spectrum isn't divided into three freq, ranges. It should be taken as whole even though using range descriptions to describe balance can be useful. I still prefer a description like lean or warm over specifics that are often wrong describing frequencies though it can be useful if pointed to correctly. There's no question that a bassy phone tends to sound better with a bit of extra treble to cut through and offset. Not really my thing but slightly V shaped is probably preferable to one exteme or the other. A good sign of a neutral phone is if it changes character by source. Say slightly warm to slightly lean etc. but there's a lot more to good sound than balance. How do you describe that you get the sense of a musician actually holding and playing the instrument while telling you a story instead of just what the instrument sounds like? Why do we listen? I know for some it's dance boogie etc. but for me it's the occasional goose bump from a soaring sax or vocal. Maybe a radiohead crescendo. Both are fine but the second probably more demanding. Any way rant over. The point was to take all this with a grain and that what folks are hearing is actually what it is even though their opinion varies. It can often be source related. With good files and kit, the electronics sound more different than many are aware of.


Edited by goodvibes - 5/14/11 at 8:00am
post #123 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post



The point was to take all this with a grain and that what folks are hearing is actually what it is even though their opinion varies. It can often be source related. With good files and kit, the electronics sound more different than many are aware of.

Well said.
post #124 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Any way rant over.


Your comments are well received.

The language of describing audio is far from rigorous... half the time when I read a review I have no idea what a person is trying to convey. Or rather, I think I do, but in the back of my mind I know that all I have are my subjective impressions of what the author meant by their subjective impressions... often using language that even they don't really understand.

Still, it's frightfully expensive to try all these headphones for oneself. biggrin.gif
post #125 of 153

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBaconGod View Post

Still, it's frightfully expensive to try all these headphones for oneself. biggrin.gif

 

Believe me... I know. wink.gif

post #126 of 153

I recently got to listen to a friends w4 and ck10.... i found the W4 more enjoyable to me.... the CK10 seems a little bass anemic and lean for my tastes

post #127 of 153

The CK10 is one of those earphones that are quite good with a few very specific annoyances.  The nice thing is it only takes a couple minor tweaks to fix the hot treble and slightly light bottom end.  The very strong peak at 10kHz is a moderate issue.  It's narrow at least but it's moderate, 9dB from my perception and toying with EQing, which is significant enough to be a bit annoying.  The bottom end is lean.  The note simply doesn't carry quite the fullness needed to really give that heft and body we expect.  It also rolls off below 50Hz and can benefit from EQing at the very bottom which can help fill out the low end a little.

 

I will agree that the CK10 isn't one of the more enjoyable earphones I've used, but they have been one of the more correct.  The level of realism is better than basically everything else I've used.  I've preferred other earphones, but I can't say I've specifically used another earphone that is more technically correct.  I would personally prefer the CK100, RE252, RE262, e-Q7, and others over the CK10 for normal listening.  I guess I have certain preferences that seek different things.  I still try to find realism and value it highly, but I also like a presentation that is engaging, immersive, and enjoyable to listen to.  Other products tend to offer that.  The CK10 is somewhat of a...passive...listening experience.

post #128 of 153
Thread Starter 
I've just spent a good long while listening to "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd with IE8 (EQ'd to reduce the mid-bass hump), CK10, SE215, and GR07 (the last one not being burned in yet).

By far, the most vibrant rendition is with the CK10. The instruments simply come alive. The separation between instruments during the busier passages is so much better. The bass is more balanced than the other 'phones, and there's plenty of it. The other 'phones, especially the SE215 sound bloated and slow, and muddy comparatively. The detail in the highs is breathtaking, without feeling unbalanced in strength.

FWIW, the second most enjoyable 'phone was the IE8. The bass is a whole different experience, and while it comes in behind the CK10 in terms of clarity and speed, it presents the song in a very powerful and evocative manner.
post #129 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBaconGod View Post



FWIW, the second most enjoyable 'phone was the IE8. The bass is a whole different experience, and while it comes in behind the CK10 in terms of clarity and speed, it presents the song in a very powerful and evocative manner.


So would you say  if someone was seeking a IEM that had the detailed expression of the CK10's but also had more sub bass presence the IE8 would come close,Closer than the westone 4 for example .

 

One of the issue I'm having with the CK10's is comparing them to other I.E.M's or headphones .For example after I've listened to music with the CK's for a while I will then listen using HD25's and the HD's sound almost muddy .  Are the CK10's really that detailed or are they a blast of high frequencies which sounds nice for a while but then becomes tiring  .

 

So to recalibrate my ear's I turned down the high frequencies with a eq and listened only to the sub bass for 5 minutes or so with the HD''s .Then once the high frequencies are restored the HD's become nice and clear again .

 

I think listening with the CK10's for a while could make other I.E.M or headphones sound muddy in comparison simply because they are overly tuned @ the high end .I have been informed by a reliable source , what gives them there "Clear air" sound . Which  is nice for a while . But then for me it gets fatiguing . Then my westones  sound like all the detail that I know I heard with them has gone..?.

 

CK10's have too much treble . That can be a listening preference .But for people trying to turn up the volume to hear the bass could also be a health hazard .

 

So if you listen to music that by it's very nature has as much if not more bass content than treble maybe CK10's are not for you .

 

If you listen to music like Rock ,pop , Jazz and especially classical CK10's may enhance those genres nicely .

 

 

 

 

post #130 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBaconGod View Post

I've just spent a good long while listening to "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd with IE8 (EQ'd to reduce the mid-bass hump), CK10, SE215, and GR07 (the last one not being burned in yet).

By far, the most vibrant rendition is with the CK10. The instruments simply come alive. The separation between instruments during the busier passages is so much better. The bass is more balanced than the other 'phones, and there's plenty of it.


Hehe @ plenty of bass with a original pink Floyd song .

 

I'm almost tempted to Check out some 0f those Classic Rock songs from my past just to hear how sweet they'd sound on CK10's :-) .

 

 

post #131 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ib1dance View Post





So would you say  if someone was seeking a IEM that had the detailed expression of the CK10's but also had more sub bass presence the IE8 would come close,Closer than the westone 4 for example .


I'm afraid I haven't heard the W4, so I cannot comment. But I will say that the IE8 isn't at the same level of clarity and speed of the CK10 to my ear.

As for the rest of your comments, I think it is subjective. I don't see the CK10 has having an exaggerated high end, but rather a pretty neutral one.

The thing is, from what I can tell, a neutral high end is hard to come by. In ear stage monitors reduce treble for the sake of the musician's hearing, and the more commercial consumer stuff focuses more on emphasized bass and warmer tones than neutrality with treble. So people perceive the CK10 as having too much treble and not enough bass, but really, it has neither property. It is, nowever, somewhat rarified with its balance.

I value a balanced response curve, quite a lot. So the CK10 is pretty ideal for me. But don't get me wrong: certain music can be very exciting listening with 'phones which are coloured in a complementary way. In other cases, a neutral 'phone brings out all of what's wrong with some songs, and the result is very unpleasant. In those cases, coloured 'phones do wonders to keep the music enjoyable. There's nothing wrong with any of that.

TLDR: I disagree with the premise that the CK10 has thin bass and over emphasized highs.
post #132 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by ib1dance View Post





 

I'm almost tempted to Check out some 0f those Classic Rock songs from my past just to hear how sweet they'd sound on CK10's :-) .

 

 

Very sweet indeed.smily_headphones1.gif
post #133 of 153

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ib1dance View Post

Hehe @ plenty of bass with a original pink Floyd song .

 

I'm almost tempted to Check out some 0f those Classic Rock songs from my past just to hear how sweet they'd sound on CK10's :-) .

 

 


I'm in the very same boat. Having read ABG's impression, I immediately went back to my Pink Floyd FLAC collection. With regards to the CK10's, as I mentioned during my own listening, they are so brilliantly forward in nature, their in your face presence holds true with every genre I tested them with. I love the CK10's, definitely worth their weight, but they just aren't for me. I prefer the balanced, centered sound signature of the W4's, which don't at all predominate one area of the spectrum, and thus IMO, aren't very susceptible to sibilance. For the treble enthusiast, the CK10 is a no-brainer IMO. It's a blast to listen to, and puts you there, as if you were on stage, during a live performance! The CK10's soundstage is also evidently wider than the IE8's (though the IE8's soundstage is more than fitting for my taste). Hence, what it boils down to is the genre of music the listener prefers, and whether the genre(s) sounds best with prominent highs. In my opinion, for those that prefer to "feel" the low frequencies, and not just hear them, the IE8's practically have your name written on them; for the ones that want an all around balanced sound signature, with respect to the full spectrum, the W4 does it all; for the ones who want that "live performance, in your face" feel, the CK10's will not dissapoint. Nonetheless, the only advice that truly matters, and isn't susceptible to subjectivity or bias is to simply buy/borrow and try. Let your ears, and not mine or anyone elses for that matter, decide for you! etysmile.gif

post #134 of 153

You're not wrong but your source is brighter/leaner than some others and something like Sony Hybrid tips can often change the sig quite a lot. I also haven't heard CK10s so I certainly can't complain. Should get a good cross section of tips for your journey.bigsmile_face.gif


Edited by goodvibes - 5/14/11 at 5:22pm
post #135 of 153

My impression is that they don't reproduce the vocals as they naturally are. The vocals are a little bit adulterate. 

The trebles are pronounced, but they don't bother my listening. The voices sibilance yes.

I think that my ears are used to some cymbals harshness I found some days ago.

The electronic music is wonderful with these. With metal and rock I can distinguish any instrument easily. I find the bass really good for my listening, as I hate pumping bass when I use earphones, too much bass puts under pressure my eardrums...

 

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