my first post in Head-Fi. I have been quietly collecting some IEM's, amps, as well as a DAC, cable, and tips for the last couple of months, and after listening to a few variety of gears, I think I have formed a few opinions to share.
I listened to the Ocharaku Kaede and have compared its sound to Tralucent 1+2 with gold/silver cable and Fitear To Go! 334 with the stock 001 cable.
SOURCE: HP Elitebook 8570p laptop, JPLAY Mini in full hibernation mode (an absolute MUST for best PC-based audio playback)
DAC/AMP: Pico DAC/Amp, connected to PC using a USB A-male Mini-B male adaptor (THE BEST connection -- blows away the amazing Mapleshade Clearlink Plus USB cable!).
Laptop playing in hibernation mode -- Screen goes off. Mouse/keyboard not operational -- Functionality resumes after song is over.
Pico DAC/amp directly connected to laptop using an adapter.
JPLAY Mini Screenshot
(1) When comparing these three IEM's, the Fitear 334 immediately presented itself as dark and muddy and established itself as my least liked of the three. It very quickly became a race between the Kaede and the Tralucent 1+2.
(2) The Tralucent 1+2 is a very impressive IEM, in that it is very revealing, airy & open, and endowed with great dynamics and bass. However, there is a brightness and harshness to the sound that I could never completely shake. I've read that the Uber cable eliminates this, but I find it hard to accept that a $1300 IEM needs a $1100 cable to consumate its potential...
(3) The Kaede is the perfect middle ground, as in just right! After a steady diet of Tralucent, Kaede is a model of balance. Great bass, musical mids, VERY well judged treble (I think maple shell plays a role here), an open headstage. In my system, I do NOT notice the harshness and treble emphasis that people have discussed.
(4)However, removing the hardness (completely from Kaede and mostly from Tralucent) required that I use a DIRECT connection between the Pico DAC/AMP and the PC using a USB adapter. The insertion of any USB cable, even a superb one like the Mapleshade Clearlink Plus USB (compared to $500+ cables) added a bit of bleached whiteness and silibance.
(5)Kaede responded very well to tip changes. I immediately found the stock Comply tips to mute the treble and disliked it. The large Ortofon tips were SO MUCH BETTER that it's essential. I have also recently found that Monster Super Tip (Large Foam) is superb as well, improving upon the bass of the Ortofon (which seems a bit lossy in the bass) yet retaining the treble openness.
Kaede with the standard Comply tips. I must admit the tip's color matches the earphones perfectly. But the sound is not to my liking.
Monster Super Tip sampler kit (XS, small, S/M, medium, and large in both foam and gel versions)
Kaede with the Monster Super Tip (Large Foam version).