REVISION 1.2 (May 17, 2012)
As I stated earlier, the ASG-1 was originally targeted at the professional crowd who needed to hear vocals and mid-range oriented instruments above all else. Unfortunately, this midrange emphasis, combined with the materials used to build the shell, created a shouty effect that made some music downright unpleasant to listen to. On top of that, the severe mid emphasis literally colored the rest of the sound, something that is usually attributed to large bass emphasis.
So, to address this, Dale (CEO of Aurisonics) created a nozzle filter and driver dampening material that would smooth out the peakiness in the midrange, and lessen the echo of the shell. He also increased the size of the internal port. Below is the end result:
As you can see, the peaks at ~2 kHz and 4.5 kHz have been vanquished, the bass response has increased (more on that later), and the treble is flatter down the range.
The whole point of the ASG-1 was to address the "faults" of the original version. I am happy to say that every issue I described has been resolved. However, one problem has arisen.
I'll start off with the most glaring fault of this revision of the ASG-1. The treble.
It's refined, it's richly defined with timbre as good, or better, than the GR07 (yeah, I know). The problem is that there's barely any of it. This leads to an overall darker sound that I feel HAS to be EQ'ed to restore some balance to the sound. When I do EQ it, it's the best earphone I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Below is the EQ is use on the Equalizer app for iPhone. As a matter of fact, it's just the "Treble Booster" preset.
My initial intent for this review was to continue the comparison with the Vsonic GR07, but there's really no point in going into detail. I've never heard my GR07 so utterly outclassed. The attributes that I could usually use to stand on a leg and defend the GR07 are simply done better by the ASG-1.2.
The most striking thing to me was the difference in POWER that the ASG-1.2 has over the GR07. I'm not just talking about bass response, but just in the overall sound is exuded by the ASG-1. It's really quite stunning, and makes my GR07 sound positively anemic in comparison.
The next aspect is the soundstage. I went from not hearing any discernable difference between the two, to it being a different story altogether. The greatest part about the ASG-1's presentation is the height of the soundstage. It's an involving, engaging experience that makes me not want to put it down. It's completely 3D, being able to throw cues in ANY direction.
The best part component of the ASG-1's sound, and the nail in the GR07's coffin, is the midrange. Now that the beast has been reigned in, it's become a magnificent animal that is capable of both power, and delicacy. I had maybe my third "wow" hi-fi moment when listening to John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," and Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up," and also her "Last Kiss" (I make no apologies for my music tastes, they are very diverse). Going back to my GR07 was just...underwhelming.
I had trouble recommending the version 1.0 of the Aurisonics ASG-1 due to it's problems. Would I version 1.2 over my previous favorite, the GR07, despite the diminished treble presence? A resounding yes. Reason being, you can EQ up the treble, but you can't add power and soundstage to an IEM.
In short, ASG-1.2 = AWESOME!!!