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[REVIEW] Aurisonics ASG-2 (Updated with ASG-2.5 and Tralucent Ref 1) - Page 297

post #4441 of 5201
Quote:
Originally Posted by emusic13 View Post

Ive noticed the impressions on this thread vary quite a bit so If tips make such a big difference in the sound, why doesnt anyone also assume it is their source that makes the ASG-2 have different impressions across the board? Although its a given that the source changes the sound, with the G2, its sound changes immediately and is very apparent depending on which source it is used with, which could explain why it has gotten some not so good reviews.
Ya, do agree that the source plays an important role too. But the good news is ASG2 seems to have very good synergy with most of the players! I've got a creative zen, Cowon j3, Fiio X3 and DX50. Even without amping, all the DAPs I've tried churns out beautiful sound with the ASG2.
post #4442 of 5201
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

Btw, mechgamer, don't feel like your thoughts aren't welcome in here. I appreciate everything you have to say, as it helps me when I'm forming my own opinion, and I tend to look for these flaws more closely. I'm just the type to contest when I feel like something doesn't add up.

I understand. Sorry about the lack of posts, but school has been pretty busy as of late. I'll try and get some impressions done eventually. :)

post #4443 of 5201
Quote:
Originally Posted by emusic13 View Post

Ive noticed the impressions on this thread vary quite a bit so If tips make such a big difference in the sound, why doesnt anyone also assume it is their source that makes the ASG-2 have different impressions across the board? Although its a given that the source changes the sound, with the G2, its sound changes immediately and is very apparent depending on which source it is used with, which could explain why it has gotten some not so good reviews.

Yeah. Well. I also think that the sound signature "range" if you could call it that, is too relaxed or whatever to call it. I've decided to capitalize on the strengths of the G2 and I like it more when I don't try to "compensate" for the "weaknesses" and just live with the mellow sound. I imagine I listen to something that to eke sounds more like the Cardas. But I've come to appreciate the darker sound signature of comply TS and foam stuffed valve. Just makes for a different enough signature to warrant a use vs the to my ears technically superior FA-4E. So I've spiced and coloured my ASG-2 even more to make it a more unique experience instead of trying to lift the upper mids and to boost the treble while cutting the midbass and attempting to lift the sub bass. Just give me the "music all around me, if I close my eyes it doesn't even sound as a recording. It might as well be live".

Anyway my point is that the G2 has a unique tuning that's not for everyone. It all depends on music taste, what you appreciate in the sound spectrum and what you want to hear/where you use them. I think it's both an acquired taste and a love at first sight (listen). A companion that once you like it, you can't really forget it. That special friend you had back in your childhood or the summer fling back in your teens.

Anyway. Some may not like the G2 simply because it's not their preference or they don't feel like it's justified to keep an iem just for some occasions. Now I'm starting to lose myself here..
post #4444 of 5201
Guys, i suppose this discussion will end nowhere because ASG2 is in some way unique IEM which people either love or hate, no compromise here.

like H20 mentioned i call ASG2 a hooligan IEM and i admired many things about it during audition tour (thanks to Eke and James). for me ASG2 were so put of the way and unique that i still keep them under consideration for buying once i am done with DAP saga ... my DX50 has to go and i still go mad about choosing new ultimate DAP so even silly expensive ak240 is under consideration which i hate. but once i am done i will come back to IEMs, gladly my main IEM is 1p2 so no rush.

ASG2 is damn special IEM if you love some aspects of music which make it so special, in particular ASG2 offers some of most interesting in your head magic voice presentation, if not say the best vocals. but IF you are analytical listener then you may hate ASG2 because it will refuse to obey your orders. also ASG2 might be more source dependent. i liked it especially with RWAK100 i have, was good with C3 amped, less good with iPod or iPhone.

anyway, ASG2 is selling your musical soul out, so you better forget your rules and concentrate just on hearing, and if it will grow on you do not be surprised, otherwise forget it and move elsewhere.

NB: people are different and so are their tastes... for instance i never could like mdr7550 which many love, similarly was not impressed by Final Audio range... but liked a lot AKG3003 and H200, and so what? that's just my subjective opinion. smily_headphones1.gif
post #4445 of 5201

Just a quick side question, 

AK100 or Fiio x5 ? 

best for the ASG-2 , considering i already have the Ak100 but i can sell it and get the X5 soooooo ?  NEED COMPARISONS AND SUGGESTIONS PLEASE

post #4446 of 5201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nukeshock View Post

Just a quick side question, 
AK100 or Fiio x5 ? 
best for the ASG-2 , considering i already have the Ak100 but i can sell it and get the X5 soooooo ?  NEED COMPARISONS AND SUGGESTIONS PLEASE

from what i hear X5
post #4447 of 5201

I just received etymotics ER4S as part of a tour that eke put together. I'll also be receiving the s em6 from eke in the hopefully near future as well. So i'll be posting some thoughts here soon :D

post #4448 of 5201

I posted one of BINKBEATS' hypnotic pieces a while back.. here's his take on some of the gawd J.Dilla's work.

 

 

Speechless.

post #4449 of 5201
Thread Starter 

Added a few more iems to the 2nd post, but also posting here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTL 3-Driver Hybrid Wars

 

AKG K3003 - Aurisonics ASG-2 - Sony XBA-H3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intro

 

These three IEMs represent very different price points, with differing target audiences, and different value propositions. The K3003 stands as one of the very first hybrid design iems to grace the market, coming in for an (at the time) eye-watering price for a universal IEM. As with most things on Head-Fi, it nearly immediately created camps with opposing views on its performance and value. Some say it's the best IEM they've ever heard, while some call it a turd. Naturally, I'm excited to finally hear it for myself.

 

Featured next is the Sony XBA-H3, the latest flagship effort from one of the biggest names in the business. Like with the K3003, there have been aggressive supporters and detractors of this iem. One this is for certain though...it's certainly a far cry in tonality from the company's previous flasghip, the EX1000.

 

In this thread is a pretty solid the ASG-2, so I won't say too much more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misc.

 

All iems are quite impressive in the hand. They all carry the impression that some thought went into their designs, as all are very solidly built and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. No small shop iem aesthetics here. I have to hand it to the K3003 for being the most minimalist, elegant, and modern design. The "i" version does have a reported weak point though, as the remote has been prone to failure on a few sets. Just something to watch out for. Speaking of remotes, the XBA-H3 ships with two cables, one with a remote and another without. I'll be using the non-remote version for this write-up. All IEMs are pretty comfortable, but I'm not sure I'd wear the Frankenstein-ish XBA-H3 out in public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound

 

 

K3003

 

 

 

I honestly don't think I could conjure a better image of the K3003's sound signature than what Soundfreaq did here:

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post
 

 

The K3003 is in the dead of winter. All the greenery is gone, and replaced by trunks and branches of trees everywhere. Fresh, pure snow has been falling lightly for days, and a complete blanket of snow covers the ground and tree branches. In your cabin, you have a large fireplace burning wood you chopped earlier that afternoon. The fire warms your large cabin to a nice cozy and comfortable temperature as you're wrapped up in a cashmere blanket in the loveseat, soaking in the warmth of the hearth. Your cabin is filled with windows. Floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows on all sides of the cabin, and a large glass observation skylight takes up a giant space in your roof. At night, the purity of the snow gleaming in the moonlight, while content and warm, moves the soul. The dark trees, cast long, dark shadows against the brilliant white snow. White/black, cold/warmth, the emotions are heightened peacefully, filled with juxtaposition. A few bright planets and some twinkling stars that peer through, remind you of the size of the universe itself. Life is precious, life is sweet, life is pure, and it's the most beautiful creation this universe can offer. 
 

 

 

Beautiful. But for the more left-brained among us, I'll try to translate.

 

 

The sound signature of the K3003 is reminiscent of a long, straight stretch of country road on an evening that's not quite chilly enough for you to have to wear a jacket. It's nearly completely flat to my ears from end to end of the frequency range. Nothing sounds out of place, nothing seems to be making more effort than it should. It has Etymotic-like clarity and transparency without that annoying spike in the upper midrange, along with detail for days. The midrange carries the same effortless quality I adored in the Sennheiser IE800, but it isn't as inviting as that of the IE800. The bass is exquisitely tight and controlled all the way down. There's certainly nothing lacking in the upper or sub-bass, it's just so, so tight. The treble has this refined quality that lacks any obvious peaks or spikes (to my ears). It's certainly not a powdery type treble though, as it can transmit the brassy quality of cymbals with ease.

 

My impressions of the K3003 are overwhelmingly positive. My only reservation with this phone comes from the soundstage. Depth and width are great, but it can' portray the height I'm used to listening to. Thus, the center channel is slightly compressed. However, this contributes to an very interesting effect. The overall great soundstage depth combined with the centerstage's qualities creates forward projection that I haven't heard from any other iem. Certain cues seem to project forward into eternity. Listening to "Mayla" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros was quite the experience.

 

Overall, there's truly no way I can fault the K3003's sound. It's just so clean and effortless while being immensely capable. If it were a lady, it would look something like this Southern Belle:

 

 

 

She can appear disinterested sometimes, but she just likes to love in her own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

XBA-H3 (Stock, without taped vent)

 

 

 

My initial impressions of the H3 were overwhelmingly positive. It came to me with a tape blocking the vents, with pinholes in the middle of the vent to let the driver breathe a little (tape mod). Since the first audition, I haven't been able to really listen for the last few days due to lectures. I've removed the pieces of tape for the purposes of this write-up.

 

The sound signature of the H3 starts from the bottom up with large, deep, and powerful bass. Extension is faultless down to the lowest of the lows. Then it rolls up to the mid-bass, which is where the problem is for me. It's larger in quantity than the sub-bass, and isn't very tight. It can make the overall sound cloudy at times. It isn't all bad though, as it lends to a very black, sometimes menacing type bass that isn't very far off from the imagery of Lovecraft's C'thulu. 

 

The midrange is positioned slightly behind the bass, and can sometimes get caught in the wake of the mid-bass. Otherwise, the midrange is very refined and tonally accurate to my ears. No strange pitch variations to be found. The treble is equally smooth and detailed. It certainly does not lack sparkle or extension when required by the song. The armatures used are world class to my ears, only bottlenecked by the tuning of the dynamic. A small piece of tape is all that's  needed to mostly clear up the sound though.

 

Soundstage wise, the H3 is slightly wider than it is deep, so it doesn't quite have a surround your head type of sound nor very much forward projection.

 

Overall I'd say the H3 has a very consumer oriented tuning, a far cry from the very open, romantic, and audiophile tuned EX1000. With the tape in place though, I'd say it's a worthy successor of the EX1000, in that it's more refined and has a more friendly signature without losing too much of the EX1000's open-air stadium presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparisons to ASG-2 (bass port closed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Test tracks

 

 

Cats and Dogs - The Head and the Heart
Lips of an Angel - Hinder
Djobi Djoba - Gipsy Kings
Mayla - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Lakehouse - Of Monsters and Men
Floret Silva Nobilis - Carmina Burana (Jochum 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

K3003 and ASG-2

 

 

These two iems have very different philosophies. To help me draw the image, imagine these two iems were used as the inspiration for houses. The K3003, the clean and modern smart home...perfectly designed to meet every need and want. Nothing is lacking at all. The ASG-2 is an old antebellum mansion, modified to have electricity and modern appliances. The design shows its age and a few boards need to be replaced, but the rooms are grand in size and stepping into the house instantly transports you to another time.

 

 

 

                                    K3003

 

 

                                   ASG-2

 

 

 

 

Like the housing designs, the respective sound signatures are quite different. The K3003's cooler, more distant presentation is countered by the taller, more dynamic presentation of the ASG-2. The ASG-2 is overall warmer than the K3003 as well, but not by much. Detail levels in the midrange are very similar to my ears, with the ASG-2 being able to convey more "sweetness" than the K3K. However, the K3K is technically superior in the treble and bass. The K3K reduces the peak the ASG-2 has in the treble, while flattening and tightening the bass. I also hear the K3K reach into the sub-bass with more authority. It has a flatter FR that lends to greater note transparency than the ASG-2. In return, the ASG-2 carries better dynamics and has a more live feel than the K3K. 

 

 

Visually, the K3003 is recording studio, technically perfect Miles Davis:

 

 

 

 

While the ASG-2 is this slightly imperfect, but mesmerizing Miles Davis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASG-2 and XBA-H3

 

 

The first track I used to compare these two was Floret Silva Nobilis. It's a test for clarity, detail, bass tightness, dynamic range, black space, and soundstage qualities.

 

This is my first time A/B'ing the ASG-2 and H3, so the next few paragraphs may come off as a stream off incoherent thought.

 

 

1) The H3's soundstage is wider, the G2' is taller

2) the ASG-2 is more refined, details are better fleshed out. Timbre is also better on the ASG-2, the H3 has this slightly plastic timbre.

3) The H3 requires about 20% more power than the G2.

4) The G2 is clearer and more resolving of microdetails. 

5) The H3 has better sub-bass extension, but that is not always obvious because the looser mid-bass can obscure it at times.

6) The G2 has a more mid-forward presentation. 

7) The H3's treble tweeter is marvelous. It's more resolving up there in some fine details and gives more weight to the treble.

 

 

Next track: Djobi Djoba - Gipsy Kings

 

1) Guitars are more realistic on the G2.

2) There's that plastic timbre on the H3 again.

3) Vocals on the G2 are better.

4) G2 mid-bass is more controlled.

5) G2 has greater black space due to the greater soundstage height.

6) ASG-2 + H3's tweeter = goodbye head-fi.

7) Actually, SR-009 = goodbye head-fi.

 

 

Lips of an Angel - Hinder

 

1) See above.

2) I really like this song.

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I wouldn't say the differences are large enough for me to put the XBA-H3 a whole tier below the ASG-2. No, I'd say they're on the same playing field in the superbowl, but the ASG-2 is up by a couple of touchdowns. For the price the H3 is a nooo brraaaiineerrr. A zombie would stop chasing you to buy a pair of these.

 

Ergonomics wise, it's the ASG-2 10 times out of 10. The H3 is comfy when inserted, but I'll be damned if I had to do it multiple times at work or in between lectures. It's large, and the memory wire can be an obstacle to proper insertion.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

 

 

 

None. Make your own :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Bonus: XBA-H3 ASG -2 and K3003 vs Earsonics S-EM6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really dislike the S-EM6. It sounds to me like someone covered the nozzle with thick pieces of wool. Pure, farm fresh sheep wool. 

 

The bass is bloated, loose, and lacks definition. The treble seems to have studied at the school of Houdini, because it's very proficient at pulling disappearing acts. The only saving grace of the entire IEM is that is has very nice creamy lower mids. The upper mids are stifled though.

 

I know I'm being harsh, but this iem should not cost anything close to $1000. The XBA-H3 is a great deal more technically proficient than than the S-EM6, carrying more detail, less bloat in the bass, and and a much larger soundstage, all for a third of the price. The S-EM6 makes my blood boil every time I listen to it and A/B it to other iems.

 

If you want a more technically proficient S-EM6, look into the InEar SD3 or the Cardas Ear Mirrors. Both of them cost less than half the S-EM6's asking price.

 

post #4450 of 5201

The Hybrid showdown is here!!!!! :basshead:

post #4451 of 5201
When you mentioned the K3K being reminiscent of a southern belle, immediately, the antebellum south appeared in my head. Then, you went on to describe the G-2 as an antebellum mansion. Wow. Such strife. So war. Very conflict.

On second thought: your personification of the K3K (as a classy southern belle) blatantly flies in the face of Muzak's observation of "they'll get you all the hot chicks." Perhaps he actually meant hot lesbians or bisexual women? In any case, I fail to see how this doesn't translate into a certain victory for the K3K. /conclusion.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
glad you liked em lol
post #4452 of 5201

Eke, love the picture representation of the sound,  really nails it! 

post #4453 of 5201

^ Great stuff eke, but you know what tyme it is........

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
HOOK IT UP BOI!!! :bigsmile_face:
post #4454 of 5201
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post

Perhaps he actually meant hot lesbians or bisexual women?
 

 

Even better :evil:

post #4455 of 5201
Soon this thread is gonna have a 300 in the title. smile.gif

Great stuff Eke!
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