Originally Posted by spkrs01
Originally Posted by music_4321
I would be very interested if you share your thoughts of the Kaede and the FI-BA-SS.
Sorry for the short delay, but as promised, and after a very short A/B session, here's a few things I noticed:
The biggest differences are in soundstage, layering and tonality. The soundstage is unquestionably owned by the Kaedes with their impressive enveloping sound; add some unique layering and the Kaedes have a more 3-D type of presentation. Tonality, on the whole, is owned by the FIBASS mostly due to the excellent blending of mid-bass, mids & lower treble (upper mids).
- The FIBASS sounds raw, innocent—too innocent perhaps, at times—but very true, with no gimmicks, so to speak.
- The Kaede has a cleaner sound.
- The SS's midrange definitely has the upper hand, being more forward & better defined, with a thicker note weight.
- The Kaedes extend more at both ends of the spectrum and are a little more revealing than the already very revealing SS. The Kaedes, however, don't make such details seem forced upon you (at least not to me), they just fly by 'unexpectedly', in very exciting ways that grab your attention. The SS's details are more 'humble' in how they're presented, they're not as separated from the rest of the instruments as they can be on the Kaedes, and in that sense may often resemble more what we hear in the real world, but not always.
- Lower treble / high-mids is generally more faithful on the SS, but on some recordings the Kaedes sound absolutely right.
- While the SS's bass is impressive for a single-BA phone, the Kaede's bass is clearly a step up: cleaner, tighter and more precise.
- Classical orchestral pieces sound more 2-D on the SS and more 3-D on the Kaedes, but the SS can sound more faithful in a way, as if you were listening to some excellent mono recording as opposed to some new-er stereo / enhanced recording (the Kaedes have a more wow effect here). Depending on the recording I use, I can be drawn to either.
- The Kaedes render rock & pop music more convincingly — drums, some percussion & bass definitely take the cake here as well as making the sound grander thanks to the Kaede's imaging & layering.
- Solo piano, flute & violin pieces are rendered, to these ears, better by the FI-BA-SS (it's mostly the midrange that causes this), with and overall more convincing tone. Rendering of string quartets can vary on both phones, so it's a matter of choice: lower notes sound fuller, powerful, with authority on the kaedes, while mid and higher notes sound more so on the SS — it's the blending of the whole that will depend which phone draws me more.
- Jazz is impressive on the Kaedes and I think, on the whole, I like them more with this genre, but again, it depends which piece is being played, what instruments and which freqs dominate said piece. The FIBASS are no slouch, however.
**Take these comments with a pinch of salt as my A/B'ing was far too brief**
Originally Posted by james444
Sounds great to me with the JVCs too, tight and controlled without midrange bleeding. Too bad my SUIs are on tour and I can't A/B these right now.
Back when I had the chance to A/B the SUIs to my favorite IEMs, their bass consistently struck me as just a tad less defined. Nothing glaringly faulty though, more like a picture that's ever so slightly out of focus, a tiny bit blurred...
Then I sent my pair to Rin for measurements, and when I read his analysis, his description of a "funky after-resonance in the bass" (caused by the rear driver's time delay), I thought, well that finally is the explanation for what I heard. So, either the KAEDE are just different and less "funky" in bass, or some ears perceive their after-resonance as texture rather than a blur (note that Rin actually lists it as a plus!).
Well, I guess in the meantime we should wait for others, who have done / can do a direct comparison, to chime in.
I note R writes (in reference to the SUIs): "The treble is extremely harsh in virtually uncontrollable manner" — definitely not how I hear the Kaedes, unless perhaps 6 months of almost daily HD800 treble therapy has had an affect (read: music_4321 has become immune to harsh treble and maybe hasn't realised the 160Xs are also treble-head phones!)
Then again, there's also the possibility Mr Yamagishi found ways to improve / rectify / tweak the (original) SUIs for the later models / iterations (KAEDE & KURO).
I say Mr Utterly Uncool—in the interest of science, the ever-increasing and desperate (spoilt brat type) needs of some of the wealthiest members of the our community, plus the need to keep fuelling the skyrocketing popularity of Rin that has caused the serious derailment of several threads and given birth to a new religion—could always try to source a pair of Kaedes and see (hear, rather) for himself if they are indeed an upgrade over the SUIs, or if not an upgrade, a slightly different flavour.
Edited by music_4321 - 7/9/13 at 12:25am