OK, so after buying the CK100 I found out that am trying to find something thats more similar to my eq-7's but with more resolution/clarity on the highs. I really like the airy/tube-like/natural vocals on the ortofons. The spacious soundstage also makes it more engaging and I can get lost in my music. However the treble can sound so unrefined and quite harsh/piercing, especially on high pitched female vocals. Sometimes the treble seems to be more forward than the mids which gets me a bit frustrated since there lows,mids and presentation can really give you that WOW factor. Distorted guitars can also have too much energy and also seem more forward which can be really fatiguing (can be a really bad combination when there are both female vocals and bass/distorted guitars on tracks). I have to turn the volume lower because of this when i'm listening to these type of music which sacrifices the liveliness of the vocals/presentation.
just a recap on my sound preferences :
-Highs with good treble extension but never harsh/piercing/sibilant. I also want the highs to sound airy like the lows/mids of eq-7. I feel the upper mids/highs in the eq-7's are incoherent with the lows and mids because they can sound harsh/piercing and lack the refinement. They also seem to have lost the airy sound as well.
-good soundstage- I want a concert hall type soundstage but vocals/mids still has to be forward as if your sitting in the first row in a concert.
-vocals are centre with forward projection and are more forward than instruments. But the instruments will still have to be engaging.
-good imaging and istrument seperation- able to pinpoint where everything are. Doesn't sound congested in complex passages.
-I don't like too much bass. the eq-7 is fine for my taste.
Some thoughts on the Pros and cons of the iem's I have.
-Natural sounding vocals that are airy/tube-like.
-Quite a spacious soundstage but still having forward vocals.
-Piano and classical pieces sounding realistic and engaging because of the soundstage and the extra oomph.
-Unrefined upper mids/treble that can sound harsh/piercing. More problematic on high pitched female vocals.
-Can have too much energy on instruments at times which can be more problematic on distorted guitars etc.
-Quite a fatiguing sound. Can't get tiresome around 30 mins of usage, sometimes longer depending on the music I am listening to or just how I feel that day.
-Long housing and heavy cables. After a certain time of use it can be uncormfortable.
-Less clarity and instrument seperation than CK100.
-Guitar and strings sounding very realistic and engaging, more so than the EQ-7's.
-More refined highs than the EQ-7
-Non fatiguing sound. Can be used for hours at a time.
-Most comfortable iem's I own. They fit just perfectly for my small ears and they isolate well.
-Better instrument seperation than eQ-7.
-Not as airy as eq-7's.
-Does not have the soundstage for classical pieces.
-Can still sound a bit veiled and metallic.
-Sometimes vocals seems a bit squashed because of the small soundstage.
However, it may be that my Sony Walkman Z doesn't have the best synergy with the CK100. The CK100 pairs really badly on the IPOD Touch 4G. The vocals and instruments are really forward (not a bad thing though), but if you are to present it this forward it must sound smooth and not harsh/agressive. It can sound quite bright/harsh pairing with the Cowon J3 but not as much as with the 4G. pairing with the Walkman Z (using Poweramp, don't use the Stock player as it sounds too digital) has the best synegy and can still sound pretty good apart from the accented vocals (i'm still keeping them though).
Currently looking at FAD Heaven C.
Edited by Love Music - 2/22/13 at 2:42am