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[Mini Shootout] Vsonic GR07 MKII vs Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS - Page 4

post #46 of 93
Thread Starter 

From NC regarding volume:

 

 

 

Quote:

Contrary to what may seem to be, to quote from my impressions:

The SS, as you know, is at times too efficient, and when comparing it to anything else (with the exception of my FitEar 334), volume matching becomes quite difficult. Having gotten relatively used to my own SS, however, I was able to volume match fairly quickly...

When I volume matched the SS to the MK II, the latter was already at the brink of my tolerance, which means that all throughout, so was the SS. If I had pushed any one of them any further up, it'd have been (quite literally) unbearable for me to listen to.

I ask this because the FI-BA-SS is king at very low volumes, but its 'flaws' really start to show at higher volumes.

Agree to disagree, my friend. As mentioned, the SS was already at the brink of tolerance for me, and if I were to push any IEM past the brink of tolerance, it'd be very difficult for me to critique, since, again, it'd be unbearable for me to listen to.

 

I believe what it boils down to is that we hear things differently, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Neither one of us is right/wrong, and just as you've done, I'm merely telling it as I hear it (naysayers welcome). smile.gif

 

From what I can tell, it just seems NC and myself hear things differently. I guess we'll wait for James' tie-breaker. biggrin.gif


Edited by eke2k6 - 9/2/12 at 12:15pm
post #47 of 93

First of all, I already PMed him, but will gladly repeat it here: many thanks to NC for taking the time and effort to do such a detailed evaluation and writeup, I really appreciate it!  smile_phones.gif

 

Second, while I agree that source is a vital ingredient to the SQ-equation, I don't believe that it's a possible explanation for the outcome of Eke's shootout. In my book he used sufficiently well recorded tracks and a very respectable source. In fact, he even repeated his test with a second source at my (PM) request.

 

A tendency towards high listening volume sounds more likely to me and, of course, overall personal preference. That said, don't let yourself be fooled by almost unanimously positive postings in the FAD thread, the FI-BA-SS sure aren't for everyone. I've had feedback from much more experienced head-fiers than Eke, who basically said they couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. The FI-BA-SS are definitely a polarizing pair of IEMs and as such a typical FAD product. Needless to say, it's always interesting for me to read the unfiltered thoughts of someone like Eke, who didn't have to shell out a grand in order to hear these things. After all that's one of the main reasons why I'm doing loan tours.

 

Last not least, since NC and I seem to hear the SS very similarly, his assessment should also give me a good idea of what to expect from the GR07 MK2. Hope I'll get them soon enough to update this thread with some listening impressions next weekend.

post #48 of 93
I found ekes impressions well done and a good attempt at an objective comparison. Fwiw I found the FI-BA-A1 to sound a bit veiled as well but not due to sound signature. I hypothesize that it has a slow driver but I'm not at all sure what is causing the lack of detail in that iem, especially with complex music. Of course the A1 is different from the SS, but it is very similar technology.

There are other very experienced head-fi GR07 fanboys and fangirls that post as much regularly.

Iems do perform more or less accurately depending on the volume level. I found the GR07 mkI to lack upper frequency response at low volumes. Is this issue debated?
Edited by gnarlsagan - 9/2/12 at 5:00pm
post #49 of 93

How many db is -17 on a Clip+ on these?

 

Reading some posts here makes me fear for my hearing o.o

post #50 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

I found ekes impressions well done and a good attempt at an objective comparison. Fwiw I found the FI-BA-A1 to sound a bit veiled as well but not due to sound signature. I hypothesize that it has a slow driver but I'm not at all sure what is causing the lack of detail in that iem, especially with complex music. Of course the A1 is different from the SS, but it is very similar technology.
There are other very experienced head-fi GR07 fanboys and fangirls that post as much regularly.
Iems do perform more or less accurately depending on the volume level. I found the GR07 mkI to lack upper frequency response at low volumes. Is this issue debated?

 

 

Thank you. It's quite obvious that he didn't objectively read through NC's own comparison.

 

 

 

Quote:
As compared to the MK II, the SS has a noticeably fuller sound, and I do mean NOTICEABLY fuller, across the spectrum. I'm trying best to avoid the use of the term thicker here, as I perceive it to carry a negative connotation, more often than not. Hence, the term fuller seems more appropriate. By no means does this hinder the performance of the SS, and I personally prefer it to the comparatively less fuller (again, avoiding the use of thinner here, for similar reasons) sounding MK II.

 

We just happen to disagree on which one is more enjoyable, with him being more intimately acquainted with the SS, and I with the MKII.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emospence View Post

How many db is -17 on a Clip+ on these?

 

Reading some posts here makes me fear for my hearing o.o

 

I think you're good as long as you can't hear the music out of the IEM when you don't have them in your ears. I know some people who could use theirs as mini loudspeakers when they have them around their necks.


Edited by eke2k6 - 9/2/12 at 8:48pm
post #51 of 93
I haven't heard the mk2 gr07 and its been a long time since I heard both the mk1 and the SS. I'm assuming this is the same SS I originally heard. I can say at the time, the gr07 and w4 signatures were among my favorites and while the SS was not, it was definitley far from veiled. I think anaxilus called it the gamma knife of clarity. I'd have to agree. Now that my tastes have been changing, I'd love to hear the SS again.
Edited by shotgunshane - 9/2/12 at 6:40pm
post #52 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

I haven't heard the mk2 gr07 and its been a long time since I heard both the mk1 and the SS. I'm assuming this is the same SS I originally heard. I can say at the time, the gr07 and w4 signatures were among my favorites and while the SS was not, it was definitley far from veiled. I think anaxilus called it the gamma knife of clarity. I'd have to agree. Now that my tastes have been changing, I'd love to hear the SS again.

 

Shotgunshane, when I say veiled, think back to the ASG-1 version 1.0.  While the effect isn't nearly as drastic on the SS, I find them to have the similar trait of being raw, yet warm. I'll stop before I handicap myself with jargon.

post #53 of 93

I have to ask --- why is there a shootout of such anyways? The point of comparing the GR07 MK2 to the FI-BA-SS is lost on me.

 

Whenever I think of product 'shootouts', I think of products that are either direct competitors or analogous products to each other. I find it rare that people considering the GR07 MK2 will also be considering the FI-BA-SS as well. A person who buys an FI-BA-SS may very well buy a GR07 MK2, but not necessarily vice versa --- mostly because of price. The GR07, back when I had it, was almost the epitome of practicality. It eschewed style for simplicity, and opted for a nozzle that could fit just about any ear out there. On the other hand, the FI-BA-SS is completely impractical. It's chromed stainless steel body is designed for cosmetics and sonic purity, rather than the wear and tear of the ABS plastic of the GR07.

 

Furthermore, not only are the target audiences completely different, the sound signatures are as well, by virtue of the target audience. The GR07 is designed to be the everyman's high-end IEM; it should suit the listening tastes of far more people than would the FI-BA-SS. I just simply don't understand why the two need to be ranked by technical capability. If we want to talk personal preferences, sure --- I'm quite positive that many people would prefer the sound of the GR07 MK2 over the FI-BA-SS. It doesn't make either one superior or inferior.

 

I was one of those people who gritted my teeth and risked financial solvancy to get the FI-BA-SS; it's clear I love it. It's a variant of the FAD signature sound that suits me. I also find the GR07 an excellent, excellent product. Would I ever replace my FI-BA-SS with it? Never. Peoples' sonic needs are met in different ways, and these two earphones are clearly looking for different audiences. I just don't see the point in comparing the two.

post #54 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

 

I did it for two reasons.

 

Firstly, I'm very good at procrastinating. There are times when everything else seems far more appealing than carrying out my school related duties.

 

My second, and more noble, reason is that I got an opportunity to hear the FI-BA-SS, an IEM that resides on the Mount Olympus of earphones. Not many other head-fi'ers can say that. I figured I could compare it to one of the better, and more accessible, iems I own in order to demystify the SS to some extent. This mystique has been caused, IMO, by several posts on the Final Audio thread that wax excessively poetic about them. This does not mean I put the SS on my hit-list. Rather, one of the things that's been hammered into me via education is an emphasis on reporting my observations without bias, then adding personal conclusions later on. 

 

You are/were a medical student, so you understand what I mean having sat through those bio and chem labs, and staying up late writing lab reports.

 

For what it's worth, my girlfriend seems to hear things similarly to how I do. I used her as a sort of blind test, without telling her the price of the SS.


Edited by eke2k6 - 9/2/12 at 10:58pm
post #55 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


Excellent, thanks for clarifying that eke, it really helps in understanding the review more. If you have the time I would love for you to try the experiment I have just done and see if it makes a difference for you as that would than either validate or contradict my thoughts that way folks could get a more balanced view.
Just to let you know two of the CD's I did this with are the Ry Cooder, VM Bhatt meetting by the river CD which is simply and beautifully recorded and Janos Starkers Bruch, Kol Nidrei from the perspectives album.


I agree with you ianmedium regarding the WAV files. I've found this to be the case as well. If anything I really think this steam from the music players unzipping the files on the fly which is affecting the sound quality. In those instances I'll use cPlay which fully unzips the FLAC files to WAV first, then stores them in Cache before playback. So it is playing back a pure WAV file and not doing the conversion on the fly like most players do. I even find this to be apparent on my Studio V and Rocoo BA player. Certain tracks will literally distort (seems to be on very dynamic tracks where a lot of things are going on, in particular with bass lines). Once I blow those certain tracks to WAV the problem completely vanishes. Once storage becomes reasonable I'lll be unzipping all my FLAC files to  WAV on my players as I do believe in the sound quality difference warranting the space. Plus you'll save battery life as well.

 

.

post #56 of 93

I didn't take the opportunity to hear the SS when offered (Thanks James) but I see nothing wrong with how this review was done. My personal opinion that the minor lack of low level info retrieval and top end of the GR07 being a bit too unrefined and peaky to be best at IEMiness not withstanding. I did think them VG for the price if you get on with the highs. Opinions are welcomed as should other opinions that may disagree. We all have bias and favorites.

post #57 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


I agree with you ianmedium regarding the WAV files. I've found this to be the case as well. If anything I really think this steam from the music players unzipping the files on the fly which is affecting the sound quality. In those instances I'll use cPlay which fully unzips the FLAC files to WAV first, then stores them in Cache before playback. So it is playing back a pure WAV file and not doing the conversion on the fly like most players do. I even find this to be apparent on my Studio V and Rocoo BA player. Certain tracks will literally distort (seems to be on very dynamic tracks where a lot of things are going on, in particular with bass lines). Once I blow those certain tracks to WAV the problem completely vanishes. Once storage becomes reasonable I'lll be unzipping all my FLAC files to  WAV on my players as I do believe in the sound quality difference warranting the space. Plus you'll save battery life as well.

 

I just downloaded cPlay, but it's asking for ASIO drivers. Is that possible for me since I'm running Win7? I thought ASIO was a WinXP thing.

post #58 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

I just downloaded cPlay, but it's asking for ASIO drivers. Is that possible for me since I'm running Win7? I thought ASIO was a WinXP thing.


You can run the asio driver on Windows 7.

post #59 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


I agree with you ianmedium regarding the WAV files. I've found this to be the case as well. If anything I really think this steam from the music players unzipping the files on the fly which is affecting the sound quality. In those instances I'll use cPlay which fully unzips the FLAC files to WAV first, then stores them in Cache before playback. So it is playing back a pure WAV file and not doing the conversion on the fly like most players do. I even find this to be apparent on my Studio V and Rocoo BA player. Certain tracks will literally distort (seems to be on very dynamic tracks where a lot of things are going on, in particular with bass lines). Once I blow those certain tracks to WAV the problem completely vanishes. Once storage becomes reasonable I'lll be unzipping all my FLAC files to  WAV on my players as I do believe in the sound quality difference warranting the space. Plus you'll save battery life as well.

@ eke. Nothing new there eke. Music has always been very confrontational in his posts. He also posts that he doesn't take offense to peoples comments regarding his favorite IEMs. That's a load of horse-shi# and we all know it. One reason why hes not liked much at all is his arrogant attitude and disregard for others. I generally don't take his points of views seriously either. How could I trust someone with such a smug and pompous attitude. It just shows that he is ugly inside and has to attack others to make himself feel better. Its pathetic. I'll leave it at that.


Thanks Lee for confirming what I am hearing, just one thing. I have been in the process of going through my CD's re ripping to Wav, are you telling me that I don't have to do tha but instead simply convert the AIFF's I have and the few remaining ALAC's to WAV? Please tell me this is so as it will save me a massive amount of time over deleting the old file and re ripping my CD collection to WAV (currently over 800!)
post #60 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


Thanks Lee for confirming what I am hearing, just one thing. I have been in the process of going through my CD's re ripping to Wav, are you telling me that I don't have to do tha but instead simply convert the AIFF's I have and the few remaining ALAC's to WAV? Please tell me this is so as it will save me a massive amount of time over deleting the old file and re ripping my CD collection to WAV (currently over 800!)


Well if your songs were properly ripped and verified I don't see why you can't just expand them back to WAV. You are not suppose to lose quality going from WAV to FLAC and FLAC to WAV. They're all  lossless codecs. As long as the encoding was done properly you should not hear any difference. At least according to science ;)

 

Now what happens during playback and the unzipping of these files is what really has my attention. I feel the differences are stemming from that alone.


Edited by lee730 - 9/3/12 at 7:42am
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