Just for you Gee. I have my CKN70 hooked up with my CKS1000 I have been listening to all day on my Audinst MX2..
I like to think the CKN70 is a mish mash of older and newer tech from AT. What I mean by this is while it is using some state of the art carbon nanotube Micro HD drivers. The way it was tuned is more traditional in approach over the Solid bass offerings by AT. The CKS1000 on the other hand is using older tech in traditional dynamic drivers but also utilizing some new dual chamber tech in combination with a high resolution large 13mm dynamic. Then added to that some really nice balancing that is nothing short of higher end newer tuning by AT.
I noticed AT goes for 2 types of sound that is attenuated on many of their headphones and earphones. For vocals and one for balance. Both these earphones represent some of the newer type tuning AT has been doing yet the the CKN70 has some similarities to some of their older models more so in sound from any of he newer AT offerings.. When doing this A/B I had a realization that the CKN70 has some similarities in tuning to their old flagship CKM99. The forwardness of the mids with a complete and dynamic full bass end of the CKN70 combined with the fact that it is using Carbon nanotubes in Micro HD form means detail is a plenty for the CKN70..
Listening to the CKN70 now on some vocal tracks..Vocals have a highlighted almost brightness to them because of upper frequency attenuation..This of course would make not only vocals stand out but also instruments stand out which is good for some and not for others. Ie Rock, metal. .So while the mids are forward enough to represent the newer AT balancing they are doing on all their recent offerings..These have vocal enhancement. Especially female vocals and make male vocals sound a bit higher pitched than they actually are or lower based on what part of the frequency the vocal hits. So a bit uneven. Many enthusiasts want that instrument clarity and separation and while the CKN70 certainly does this well enough this attenuation is also the negative factor for many guys that want something with a bit less enhancement in that region.
Don't know if it is a carbon nanotube thing or not but the highs seem to reach extension with ease on these which is another negative or positive pending on how you like your highs. Treble energy and extension is as dynamic as the bass end on the CKN70s and guys that love a complete bass end sometimes don't feel the same way about the highs. It is a fine line that guys will either love or hate.. Admittedly it has been a while since I listened to the CKN70 and these do sound great but lacks smoothness and better balance of higher end AT sound. So with that said..
Enter the CKS1000. Vocals have much better fullness as well as the instruments you hear around them vocals. More natural? Yes. Better balanced? Yes. Better more refined treble extension? Yes. One of the best I have ever heard at any price without being peaky or fatiguing.. The highs to mids not only have a better refined presence but also has a greater sense of depth and space not too many earphones can match.. The stage, depth is smaller on the CKN70.. And stage is not one of their weaknesses. Why would you pay this much for a higher end AT? Simple.. More refinement my friend. The scale of music is greater more fuller while actually tuned better on the CKS1000. So while the mids can and does have a bit of brightness on the CKN70 it does have some sweetness and good depth to them as well which makes female vocals sound amazing. The CKS1000 replaces that with warmth smoothness and better more even balanced and deeper mids.
I have been listening to my CKS1000 all day today for a reason. I can listen to classical to jazz to trance to vocals and these don't skip a beat. I absolutely love these earphones. I can't wait to see what AT does next to top these. A new CKM model perhaps. CKM700 or CKM900???
Wow. Thanks for the great in depth reply, Dsnuts I think I'll be purchasing the CKS1000 in the next month or so then
@ ericp - Those T-PEOS H200's sure sound interesting, but unfortunately I can't find them anywhere online here, only 1 obscure Singaporean site has them.