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Fischer DBA-02 MKII - Impressions and review thread: CK10 threatened!

post #1 of 379
Thread Starter 

I've been away awhile. I can't remember who it was, but someone told me that I'd be back. Well, after being fed up with my favourite earphone of all time, the Audio Technica CK10, I've decided to plop some dosh on something new. Despite not posting here, I do still follow some threads. 

 

James and Joker have my reads as do a few other renowned HF'ers. That's how things go. Anyways, I found a number of people saying that the DBA-02 is in some ways similar to the CK10. Well, I love the CK10 and have since 2008 when I bought one without ever checking reviews. Fit, build, everything is as good as they come. The one problem is the titanium plate which rubs my ear wrongly. Every three or four days, I have to take a few days break. Not good for commutes.

 

So, after looking through these threads, I decided that I'd try a DBA-02. Well, in Japan, Fuji-Avic are a seller or distributor. And then of course, there is Musica Acoustics. I found out through a bird that V2 of the DBA-02 is coming out. Maybe it's called DBA-02 2, or DBA-02 MKII or something. Sounds like a camera. 

 

I'm going to dive in. It looks like I've a long commute to take every day and well, I don't want to hear people's phones or conversations about last night's drunken business meeting where Mr. Mitsubishi hung himself with his neck tie and it was so funny.

 

I found used DBA-02 MK I for 7000¥ which is like 80$ USD or so. So, what does one do when faced with a new version, or a cheap used version? I'm going for the new version. Evidently, Fuji-Avic will have the new version soon. Fuji-Avic charge in Japanese yen and Musica Acoustics charge in US dollars. Both have similar numbers, which means that Musica Acoustics is cheaper. The numbers are 17.800¥ and 178$ for the MKI. I don't know who else sells these, but if you know, please tell me. 

 

Pricing?

Evidently, the DBA-02 MKII will go for a bit more than the MKI, I think around 200$, so up by about 20$. Musica Acoustics and Fuji-Avic will have them in early February, I think. Anyway, I'm going to take the plunge and try them out next to my all time favourites, the CK10. Wish me luck as this is my first plunge since deciding that I am all good. Ho hum.

 

Dimitri confirmed that these will be shipped and bought for a total of 200$. I think these are are very well priced for what you get. 

 

My thoughts will go here in this thread.

 

Availability:

Evidently, Musica Acoustics, are the distributors in the North America. I am getting my DBA-02 MK II from them. To clear up some confusion, Musica Acoustics' website shows the MKI version, but evidently, they only sell the MKII version, the version pictured below. Thank you, Dimitri, for the sample.

 

HPR-Fischer-DBA-02MKII-box.jpg

 

HPR-Fischer-DBA-02MKII-case.jpg

 

HPR-Fischer-DBA-02MKII-earpiece-guts.jpg

 

HPR-Fischer-DBA-02MKII-sleeves-accessories.jpg

 

Other reviews/impressions:

Kiler's impressions and review 

TouchMyApps DBA-02 MKII review

lJokerl's DBA-02 MKII review


Edited by shigzeo - 3/29/12 at 7:35am
post #2 of 379
Thread Starter 

Obviously, it is much too early for a review. I've had these things in my ears long enough to give me earache if these were the CK10. Thankfully, there is no metal plate anywhere that sticks out. These are VERY comfortable in the ear, very small, and very light. Overall, a bit lighter than the CK10, a bit thicker at the housing, but a smaller footprint in the ear. 

 

As you know, I've not used the MKI before, so I'm not used to Fischer. In fact, before I got these from Musica Acoustics (thank you Dimitri!) today, I'd never used a Fischer product before. 

 

Sound bites:

Very smooth, powerful if slightly understated bass. Understated as in detailed and powerful, but gives air to the mids equally. Very very lovely sound. I'd think that people who have the SM3 but want something brighter might like these though they are not as warm as the SM3. 

 

For classical: Mozart Symphony No. 18 in F

Great reach up top, but not abrasive. Good space and powerful, moving mid section. Bass comes in enough to bump in the bottom, but gives support to mids. Violins are beautiful. Here, the MKII bests the CK10 for sure. Where the CK10 borders on shrill, the MKII rifles in speedily, but without attendant screeching. I find this a more comfortable (long listening) earphone for classical (so far) than the ER4S or the CK10. 

DBA-02 MKII: Grade: A

CK10: B+

 

For electronic: Frank Molder Firefly

Overall impression is competent, at times genius. Genius is the very smooth, extended highs that melt into their surroundings. Better presentation than CK10. Bass is adequate, even oomphy at times, but again, the melting of mids and bass smoothly is the kicker. Many spacey sounds wrap around the head perfectly in wide arcs. Very trippy for IDM and slower electronic music. A thicker mid-oriented bass (like that found in the ACS T1) would be killer. As it is, I find these very good, but not excellent for all types of Electronic. 

DBA-02 MKII: Grade: B+

CK10: Grade A

 

What's to love:

Size: tiny.

Cable: build quality is very good, very strong. I won't be swinging from trees off these, but I swear a small person could without falling.

Comfort: very very good both up over the ear, and down, like an earbud.

Accessories: there are millions of ear pieces there! I'm floored. And the case is very very nice. 

Sound: in a word, perfect. As everyone knows, the CK10 has been my benchmark since 2008. For build quality, it still is. The DBA-02 MKII, however, is a smoother, slightly deeper, slightly less fatiguing sound than the CK10. These will grow on me, I'm sure. But, it doesn't need to. I'm sold. I have no idea if these sound the same as the DBA-02 MKI or not, but I don't care. These are lovely. I'll put them in my list of top three for sound preference.

 

What's cause for pause:

Cable: flat cable is microphonic and moves around A LOT. I will need to find a cinch as I don't like the included ear guards. Cables should be round.

Plug: I wish it were L-shaped. It isn't, but it is well stress-relieved, and is very supple. Same with the earphone side stress relief. It could be better, but it isn't bad. 

 

Considering that overall, earphone build quality seems to be going down among all manufacturers for the same prices, I think the DBA-02 MKII is very nice. I can't wait to spend a few more hours before bed with these. Speaking of which, there is NO way, considering the angle at which they enter the ear, you can sleep with them on your side. 

 

Lotsa' love here.


Edited by shigzeo - 2/8/12 at 4:51am
post #3 of 379

Welcome back! I remember your farewell post being one of the very first i read when i joined Head-Fi!

post #4 of 379
Thread Starter 

Well, IMAWolf, I'm glad the circle is complete! Silly me for thinking I'd be gone... 

post #5 of 379

and just like that it sucks you back in

post #6 of 379

dba.png

post #7 of 379

Yay! I've been looking around for more on the MKII; I'd totally buy one myself, but I get stuff slower than other countries do.

 

Honestly, though, from all the pictures, it seems more like a cosmetic revision to improve build quality more than anything else --- not that there's all that much wrong with the sound. I've put my DBA-02s up on the selling block several times, only to retract them almost immediately.

 

They could have made some revisions to the filter as well, though, and that will do a lot in changing the sound. The paper filters in my version look like the ones inserted into the sound tubes of customs.

post #8 of 379
Welcome back
post #9 of 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Yay! I've been looking around for more on the MKII; I'd totally buy one myself, but I get stuff slower than other countries do.

 

Honestly, though, from all the pictures, it seems more like a cosmetic revision to improve build quality more than anything else --- not that there's all that much wrong with the sound. I've put my DBA-02s up on the selling block several times, only to retract them almost immediately.

 

They could have made some revisions to the filter as well, though, and that will do a lot in changing the sound. The paper filters in my version look like the ones inserted into the sound tubes of customs.


The twfk also has the option of venting so there's more that can be done but who knows.
 

 

post #10 of 379

Quote:

Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

The twfk also has the option of venting so there's more that can be done but who knows.


Mmm, forgot about that, but it doesn't look like there's much room for balancing air with those housings. But yeah, who knows... we'll just have to wait. It definitely looks a bit more durable, though, with more of a stealthy chic and smoother edges.

 

post #11 of 379
Thread Starter 

Whoa, do you already have one? I Can't wait. the cabling looks okay so far, but who knows. That is the biggest and best thing about the CK10 for me. Although, of course, I love the sound. The cable never ever gets bad in any way no matter how I abuse them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

dba.png



 


Edited by shigzeo - 2/2/12 at 6:43pm
post #12 of 379
Thread Starter 

Thank you sir, but I'm embarrassed to be back after such a long and tearful farewell.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunlun View Post

Welcome back


 

post #13 of 379

i'm glad they took the all black sleek look, as much as i wanted to try the first version, their braided cable was in a confusing black and white colour scheme, reminded me too much of zebras. Their design seems more ergonomic as well, at least smaller,and the cables look like flat cables ........ it would be great if someone can compare these with the newly released vsonic gr01, another dual armature, i've been trying to decipher chinese translated reviews of the vsonic gr01, and from what i can gather, they were likened to the orignal dba's in terms of sound sig, not the biggest bass, emphasis towards treble and detail

post #14 of 379
Thread Starter 

I like the new look, too, as it looks stronger. I don't care so much for small earphone looks as I hope they barely show up when wearing them like the CK10.

post #15 of 379

looks much better , indeed. hope the build will be better too. so many complains about the first version

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