So it's been a few days since the announcement of the ATH-CK100Pro and ATH-CKW1000 (limited woodies version of the CKM1000), although I have already posted some of these information below in one of my local community forums (HardwareZone) that Randius and I are both regulars of, I thought it wouldn't harm to post a translation copy of the japanese article reported by AV Watch Impress
below, as there was a very vague listening impressions shared by the japanese reporter done on-site at Audio-technica's press event last week, of their latest CK100Pro universal IEM flagship.
Definitely very nice to finally see an updated successor to their currently flagship CK100 IEM model after 3yrs. Ironically the ATH-CK100 was actually introduced back during Nov 2008, so to actually set the actual release date on the Nov 18th this yr, I suppose in a certain way it's also to commemorate the success of the previous CK100.
I would also like to add-on something observed from reading the related japanese articles coverages of the upcoming CK100pro. According to the press media this model although is again based on a triple-driver armature design (I can see many who's looking forward to a Quad sighing now), the cross-over design implementation is actually based on a true 3-way design now, to cover the whole frequency spectrum range. If you actually check AT's product webpage
for ATH-CK100, it's stated pretty clearly on their website that the CK100 uses a 2-way cross-over, 3-driver design. So apart from the removable cables, this is considered quite a substantial change/improvement IMHO though of course it still remains to be seen/heard how the overall sound sig has being improved upon, so I guess I will have to buy and listen for myself.
The event reporter at the event did mentioned from his on-site listening impressions, that the overall sound from the CK100pro does sound pretty natural and has a wide dynamic range in its overall presentation, and lower-end frequencies doesn't seem to engulf/swallow over the other frequency range, and he personally feels that this is a serious BA universal monitor that can also be used for reference monitoring since it has a monitor-like balanced sound signature as well. (his comments doesn't surprise to me considering it has the 'Pro' denotation for it's product name, meaning it can be used for professional monitoring usage)
Sounds like according to the event reporter's vague listening impressions, this could be an overall "balanced" sounding IEM similar like Westone's very own UM3x or W4, meaning it won't be a mid-centric focused IEM anymore like the previous CK100. I'm still quite interested in its sound presentation though, wondering whether it has a clinical/analytical approach, or is it just an improved ver over CK100's sound traits.
Hopefully I will be able to buy it from JP and give you guys a short review before X'mas this yr, as I'm quite interested myself to A/B it against my own pair of CK100, and see where the CK100pro's sound direction is heading towards. We definitely have some pretty interesting times ahead of us, as there seems to be a surge of new and upcoming BA universal monitors coming out over the next few mths, like the Sony's upcoming multi-armature XBA series as well.
By the way, unveiled at the same event earlier today was also a wooden-LE edition of the CKM1000 model, to commemorate Audio-technica's 50th anniversary which is next year in 2012. The wooden-LE edition will be known as the CKW1000ANV, and only 2500 sets will be made available for retail sale. So I suppose for those wood-lovers, time to save up and try procure one when it's out? (perhaps it might prove to be a good competitor to the JVC FX700s?)
More pictures below.ATH-CK100pro
Overall cabling design remains the same as CK100. I don't quite agree with what FatalethaL (a forum member on HardwareZone) had commented saying that the CK100pro has thin cables as from what I had observed it remains largely the same as CK100, from the Y-split cord part down it's still based on a thicker dual-design as you can see in the first pic I uploaded above, and so far in terms for CK100 there's actually not much cable problems being shared by existing owners including myself, as it's fundamentally a much robust cabling design compared to the CK10/CK90pro, even for the housing strain relief part.
The removable cables design is obviously quite a welcome change for many ppl I believe, though I personally think from observing the implemented wiring design Audio-technica is making this IEM model more of a worn over-the-ears design, rather than straight down for it's previous flagship CK100. (meaning it will look quite ugly when worn normally down, as seen in the 2nd pic above)
The FR specifications for the CK100Pro has remained largely the same, although the impedance rating has being increased.
CKW1000ANV Limited Edition
- Driver Technology: 3-way, 3-driver Balanced-armature Design
- SPL sensitivity: 109dB/mW
- Frequency range: 20Hz ~ 18kHz
- Impedance rating: 39ohm (compared to 23ohm on ATH-CK100)
- Weight: around 9grams
- Cable Length: 1.2m (similar cord length as ATH-CK100)
(wooden ver. design of CKM1000, driver diaphragm design remains the same)
- Driver Technology: 14mm Dynamic Transducer
- SPL sensitivity: 103dB/mW
- Frequency range: 5Hz ~ 30kHz
- Impedance rating: 17ohm
- Weight: around 11grams
- Cable Length: 0.6m