usually i hate such comparisons but since this is never ending talk i decided to take pain and do side by side audition.
so as promised, here is a show off - ASG2 vs. 1+2
the song listened - Pavlov's Dog / Julia
gear: RWAK100, Tralucent T1, Uber IC
ASG2 cabling: Tralucent gold silver
1+2 cabling: Tralucent gold silver
listened: 3 times on each IEM swapping back and forth, total listen to single song 6x times... my poor ears :-(
my observations during audition:
first of all i must tell a few things:
a) this is very difficult comparison like between apples and oranges. ASG2 was a well rounded like an Apple, shiny, glossy, tasty and sweet, 1+2 was an Orange, crisp, well balanced sweet & sour, sparkling, juicy and refreshing my inner flesh.
b) this is silly to describe stage between these two, all i can say is 1+2 is Woodstock stage and ASG2 is Copacabana
c) both IEMs bring music to live to so well that i am hard pressed to tell which one here, still they render music very differently
and now lets figure what and why:
stereo imaging, black space and instrument separation: 1+2 takes the lead here, it conveys very airy and seamless 3D stage, stereo images are so strong that you literally feel air movement sensations, i told you for once 1+2 acts more like a proper loudspeaker. ASG2 creates a smaller but very intimate stage, singer moves so close to you, mid centric bias helps guitars and small percussions to recreate a very special atmosphere of a good club. both IEMs do very believable portrayal of musical performance but they do it sooooo differently that i am unable to tell you which one you will prefer. it will be a matter of personal tastes here rather than detail nitpicking.
trebles: here 1+2 outshines ASG2 easily, 1+2 cymbals and upper notes on piano sound so smoother and better extended, huge amount of air flowing around, flutes project seamlessly into space... you literally travel away to leave your room for live venue. ASG2 trebles are just good but i can feel some notes hitting walls of the imaginary club stage, cymbals are slightly congested and on aggressive passages become bit smeared. 1+2 wins easily here.
mid-tones: a very tough call, ASG2 shines incredibly well, voices are close and so intimate, tonal richness is insanely good, singer's voice gets creamy and airy, you literally can hear singer whispering lips and tongue moving, amazing work. mid bass works very well and guitars have amazingly realistic bite and believability, strings sound rich and meaty, i can feel them physically almost like touching with my own fingers. percussions have good air and punch too. Now 1+2, i disagree with those who say voices on this sound thinner or less intimate... no, what i hear are very live like voices and very true presentation, what you lose however is some element of warmth and intimacy, singer moves a bit away from you in a large stage, still singer voice remains very sweet and tonally spot on, there is no sibilance at moderate volume, i receive all vocal information and there is no note i am missing in the song. guitars have slightly less lush sound to them but ramble more crisp and overall better, airy space feels enormous which allows notes to project very naturally and die slowly into the air. drums are just superb, better than on ASG2 in every aspect despite less hard punch, huge stage and razor sharp separation allow you to hear percussions in very natural yet very unobstructive way. you literally can see the whole percussions set at work while on ASG some percussions are unduly taking a back stage. still this was perhaps the hardest part because ASG2 mids presentation is so special that i would pick them for some material over 1+2, but for overall usability and coherency 1+2 will be my choice.
bass: huh... what can i say, ASG2 makes bass big, rich and enveloping, mid bass and percussions sound so punchy and real, ... what i miss on ASG2 is some more air and lower bass extension which smears some transients and cuts a bit from bigger drums air. 1+2 comes much closer to realistic and accurate bass, it is simply better, well better that i even do not want waste much time on this section, 1+2 bass is very airy, drums and percussions receive great separation and are projected very well in seamless stage, PRAT remains superb, one of the best out there i ever heard. despite sometimes slam on 1+2 feels more polite it remains much more appreciable than on ASG2 which can become a bit messy with complex songs and music.
so how i would describe these two IEMs?
a) ASG2 is different from 1+2 in many aspects, so different that you might want to own both
b) 1+2 is more universal all rounder and first class IEM which will make you forget about small plastic pieces inserted into your ear, it is like going out on a fresh windy morning from your ocean house
c) ASG2 is more like an expensive club in which you date a girl, cozy, rich cigar smelling and expensive whiskey, singer dancing in front but your girl keeping a jealous eye on you, very intimate and romantic but once in a while you want out for a breath of fresh air.
so which one is a winner you may ask? guess what, i am not going to tell you, for me both 1+2 and ASG are winners because they are different and appeal to different music type listen.
if you want razor sharp presentation, live like believability, seamless stage and insanely realistic images then 1+2 is for you, 1+2 is also a better all rounder believe me.
if you want rich voices, vocal splash emotionality, creamy guitar bites and grand slam percussions then ASG2 is your friend, it will breath sweet and live into your music and you will be put to lay on stage while singer will be singing only for you.
uhhh.... i am done.
Edited by Gintaras - 8/18/13 at 3:38am