Originally Posted by eke2k6
Epic pics, Fly. BTW, those iP4 pics look a lot better than most. The review pics were taken with my own iP4 as well.
I see you don't have the bass port. I don't think you'd have needed it anyway. Looking forward to more impressions.
Thanks! If you look at the first photo, there's a small black port under the driver.. I'm pretty sure that's the bass port (?). Is it elsewhere on the ASG-2?
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan
Awaiting further impressions Flysweep.
More will definitely be coming.
I haven't played with the bass ports yet.. I'm assuming it's fully closed because the bass sounds very tight & linear. If it is closed, I sense a very slight boost in the lower mids which gives male vocals (and vocals, in general) a slight tinge of (welcome) forwardness. If the bass port does what I think it does (and boosts what I think it boosts), I can see why some might want the bass port just slightly open.. it would mix some (midbass) warmth & weight in with the lower midrange.. offering a more lush, but smooth, intimate vocal delivery.
This phone is very very easy to listen to as far as long term sessions go. There's just an incredibly pleasing, natural sound at work. It's neutral for the most part.. but has a delicate warmth that never comes off as sounding thick, stuffy, or ever-present. It's kind of "GR07 MKII"-like in that sense... but more refined. The AS-2 does, indeed, have a 'live,' 'at the venue' feel. It doesn't boast a particularly wide stage stage.. but it's got ample width, great depth, and excellent height. More importantly, I find the overall proportionality in the stage to be excellent. It uses the the space it has with remarkable proficiency to give the sense of a live space quite accurately. Imaging and instrument separation is very clean and realistic. To me, this is much more impressive than phones that boast a ridiculously wide stage.. but lack depth, height, etc. and end up sounding artificial.. and eventually fatiguing.
Eke did a very nice job with the review, much of what I'm hearing reflects what he's mentioned. In regards to Tyll's review, I'm certain something must be off with his pair. Bloated bass? Muffled? Missing treble? I know we all hear things differently.. but what I'm hearing is not even remotely close to those characterizations. This phone sounds clean, well controlled, and balanced.
What's funny is that many of the IF reviewers praised the ES5. I've owned a custom that's said to be almost identical to.. and perhaps even a bit better than.. the ES5: the DreamEarz AUD-7X. Mitch modeled the 7X's signature after the ES5.. but improved the treble response a bit (which the ES5 is often said to lack) and bass. The 7X was nice and reading impression of the ES5, I sensed many many similarities.. but if the 7X is any indication of the ES5, it would be the phone that uncomfortably warm, overtly bassy, bloated, and lacking soundstage space that made for a very stuffy, thick, claustrophobic, fatiguing sound. I'd put money (big money) on the AS-2 running circles around the ES5.. and that isn't hyperbole or exaggeration.
I'm listening to Ottmar Liebert with the AS-2 & my portable rig (ODAC + Meier QUICKSTEP).. the synergy is undeniable. Just. heavenly. sound. It feels like I've got a desktop rig beside me on the patio. I'm in heaven.