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Zero Audio - ZH-DX200 Carbo Tenore | ZH-DX210 Carbo Basso (Carbon & Aluminium IEM) - Information,... - Page 195

Poll Results: Which one would you order??

 
  • 69% (129)
    Carbo Tenore
  • 30% (56)
    Carbo Basso
185 Total Votes  
post #2911 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post
 

Just got these and am comparing them with my TDK IE800s. So far I think they sound a lot like how I remember the RE400s. Smooth and musical, but lack a little separation, soundstage, punch and dynamics. I prefer the TDKs so far, which I suppose is no surprise given their original 150 dollar price.

 

Great for 50 dollars and probably worth double but I can't imagine they best $300 IEMs.

 

Fit is great.

 

 

I've been waiting and waiting, hoping that someone who has the TDK IE800's would compare them to the tenores.  I love the IE800s and would be most grateful if you could give more feedback about how the two compare.  Specifically, how well do the tenores isolate compared to the IE800 and which pair do you find more comfortable? 

post #2912 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Other than being an "old" sounding recording, the instruments are pretty balanced with eachother on my tenores. The bass sounds more dry and in your face, but not bassy, the piano sounds more in the distance, the drums sort of somewhere in between but all a similar volume.


Can't..... hold.... tongue..... bah!  This is definitely not true. With good recordings, absolutely you are correct. But with overly compressed recordings, as I was referring to, this is not the case. As an audio engineer and fervent warrior against the loudness war I must disagree. When "most" modern CDs go through their mastering phase there are a few common things done to the sound. The main change is to dynamically compress or "brick wall" the audio signal so that the mastering engineer can pump out as much volume as possible. Large amounts of dynamic compression make a song sound dull and lifeless. As there is no sense of attack, the apparent details suffer and even bass impact is ruined. The result is a muddy mix of all the complex sounds with no good level of distinction.

The irony is that so many people seek out amazing gear to listen to this stuff. Don't get me wrong, there is some excellent music that unfortunately suffers from bad mastering. Nonetheless, you have two possible end results. First, you have an audio engineer that realizes this dull outcome of the sound. They are under pressure to get the most volume, so they compensate the dullness by using various plugins and tricks to give the frequencies a shift into a more V shaped signature. Anything from greater pre-compression EQ compensation to exciter-type plugins and even adding distortion in certain bands and all sorts of other various "trade secrets" are used to try and give the impression of more detail or "life" to the sound.

On the other hand, a lot of engineers simply don't do this and compress the final audio signal with no aural compensation. The result would be the same exact final mastered sound, but now it has added compression that results in the dull lifelessness with greater volume. When this type of music is listened to on a reference earphone or headphone, I'd argue it still sounds the best and most accurate, however, most people would find it dull and lifeless (as much as the compression affected it that is). The easiest way to compensate for this is with a V-shaped phone. The added treble peak gives extra energy to the treble and the same for the bass peak. Most people that become familiar with a flat signature will realize that these peaks might temporarily give the illusion of added detail, but ultimately they usually just add fatigue, possible sibilance, etc. While the added bass simply masks the other frequencies more and can end up sounding bloated and "slow" as some people describe it.

I haven't even taken into account noise reduction which further reduces details, clarity and airiness. Let alone poor stereo width in a mix and other mix pitfalls. Needless to say, everyone has their own opinion on sound and there's no "right" way to listen to music if the goal is enjoyment. It's your choice. However, from an accuracy standpoint this is all going in the wrong direction. Instead of fixing the problem at the source, users are forced to try and fix it at the other end. Ironically, well recorded music suffers with these non-neutral phones, because they might contain more treble energy to begin with, so the boosted treble causes more noticeably peakiness, harshness, sibilance, etc. And with these V-shaped earphones, people usually do consider them to sound more dynamic because of the things i just described. When a drum snare is hit hard, a compressed track on a neutral earphone will represent that snare hit as blending in with the other instruments in terms of volume and dynamics. So it won't sound very snappy. On a treble boosted earphone, that snare drum will snap in a frequency that is boosted. This gives the impression that the snare drum is hitting louder than the other instruments in the lower regions, thus the impression of more dynamics. Unfortunately, this isn't actually recording dynamics being accurately portrayed, it's somewhat of an illusion.

I'll say again, I'm not saying anything bad about V-shaped signatures. In fact, some can sound very nice. But a lot of the sound and results are dependent on the recordings and what a user expects the end sound to be. For most people, that expectation is based on current mastering trends (because they're not aware of anything else) and thus dictates the listener's impressions to some degree. If you watch a bluray on a super reference HD TV it looks amazing. If you take an old 1960's color film that has not been restored in any way and has faded over time, most people would want to increase the contrast of their TV to give the image more  seemingly dynamic "pop" and vividness. Same idea with audio. If they went back to the source and cleaned up the old film so it displayed the vibrant colors as it was originally recorded, you wouldn't need any boost. If engineers went back and mastered the audio to CD so it sounded the way it did before being compressed, you wouldn't need to compensate for these flaws. Obviously, there are still personal tastes that will always dictate what a person will like, but I think a lot of times people don't realize "why" they don't like something. And if you only listen to modern, highly compressed music, by all means, enjoy a V-shaped signature. There's nothing wrong with that. That's most likely why they are so popular and companies continue to pump out model after model of similar signature phones in this regard. People like the way it makes their music sound. However, if you were to hear the same modern recording uncompressed, the difference in depth, soundstage, details etc. would be very noticeable. No earphone signature can restore these qualities from a compressed song. Compression can't be undone. They can only give the false impression of something "like" these properties. But to a experienced ear these don't easily fool.

Personally, I don't listen to recordings that I find are poorly engineered. Or at least very rarely. I will go out of my way to find a well mastered version of a CD, and I won't buy a new CD if I find it to be very compressed dynamically out of principle against the loudness war or noise reduced. Sorry for the long post. You can blame silverears. wink.gif moohoohahaha

Interesting (and long smile.gif ) post. Maybe this will start the path to the explanation I'm looking for. What would be the reason for the opposite of what you're describing, where literally nothing sounding "dull" through my Tenores?

(While that sounds like a positive, it really isn't to me.)
post #2913 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post


Interesting (and long smile.gif ) post. Maybe this will start the path to the explanation I'm looking for. What would be the reason for the opposite of what you're describing, where literally nothing sounding "dull" through my Tenores?

(While that sounds like a positive, it really isn't to me.)

 

He already mentioned compensation for compression. Added distortion on the low end, peaks at the treble area etc. Those of course apply to all phones, not just the Tenore :p


Edited by SkiesOfAzel - 6/19/14 at 9:40pm
post #2914 of 4267
Ahh. Not a positive thing? Perhaps you have a basslight variant? Or what skiesofazel said. :-)
Edited by luisdent - 6/19/14 at 9:45pm
post #2915 of 4267
Holy burn in on my doppios , made that bass so balanced and in line with the rest of the frequency and the vocals 😋😍.. Soundstage got slightly deeper and wider😋 treble got natural as well , just a perfect natural reference monitor 😇
post #2916 of 4267
Tomorrow morning is the tenore turn to be in my ears but with the doppios tip small size 😃
post #2917 of 4267

I'm looking forward to your findings on the Doppios Mochill. Hopefully it doesn't have quality control issues like the Tenore.

post #2918 of 4267
Its a balance armature drivers so no issues😃
post #2919 of 4267

Thanks for the info Mochill....any elaborate review of the Doppios coming our way?....maybe in a new thread.

post #2920 of 4267

I'm skeptical of the Singolo and Doppio.

 

Notice how ZA rates the treble extension lower than the Tenore, capping at 16k, knowing very well that's the limit of most single BAs, I'll say it's quite accurate. Note, the Doppio doesn't improve on that 16k extension. Sure one can argue there is little info past that range, but IME that's what constitutes stage depth and airyness in an IEM. 

 

Bass extension and slam is almost always lacking in BAs. I find either it has to be a quad-driver with at least two woofers for it to match a dynamic, or be vented like the FADs or Sony XBA series. These ZAs do supposedly have Molex drivers which will be vented, so it may be just fine, but what I also know about Molex drivers is that they're high distortion, but maybe ZA found a way to get rid of that. 

 

Also, I know shotgunshane tried the Doppio after the Tenore and found it too laid back and more dull


Edited by Inks - 6/19/14 at 10:51pm
post #2921 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


Man now I'm quite interested in hearing the KC06. I find your impressions of the mids most interesting. The Tenore (reference version) has mids quite nearly as forward as the ER4S. There may be a 1-2dB difference, but with red filters they are very close.

In fact I've been listening to the ER4S for the past few days and just received my seventh Tenore, this one from Amazon. The mids are very close to the ER4S with red filters in emphasis and tonality, with maybe a bit less high-mid emphasis. After a few songs it seems to be a reference pair just like my other pair and luisdent's four pairs. So I feel more confident that this sound signature is Zero Audio's desired tuning, although we do still have a small sample size. Maybe we could start a "is my Tenore reference?" service lol.

Also your description of the lower mids is very interesting to me. The KC06 has more mid-bass, but the Tenore is slightly more veiled? Perhaps you could translate that for a FReak like myself lol. I wouldn't be surprised if you hear the Tenore differently due to different ear architecture, but I'm also still just a little curious as to whether your Tenore sounds like ours do. I think it does, but your above descriptions of the mids and lower mids seem a little different. Always appreciate your impressions James.

Edit: I can see someone finding the mid-bass to be slightly lacking in the Tenore if one is used to the UERM or JH13. Those are both more lifted in that area compared to the Tenore, which is more ER4S-like in the mid-bass. I don't recall the K3003 as well in the mid-bass area, but that might have a little more emphasis as well. Seems like more totl models go for a little more lift throughout the whole bass region rather than just low bass. The Roxanne and Kaiser 10 did this as well iirc. It's a much different presentation, and can make the Tenore sound leaner in comparison.

 

I seem to perceive the ER4S and Tenores as more different than some other members here. For instance,

- subbass is a lot more dominant on the Tenores

- Tenores sound significantly less in-the-head 

- upper mids/lower treble emphasis is far less obnoxious on the Tenores

 

I've been saying right from the start that my Tenores have something odd going on in the lower mids. They're slightly hollow / veiled / fuzzy sounding in comparison to many of my other IEMs and I have reason to believe that their bass is responsible for that. The KC06 have less subbass and more midbass emphasis and still clearer lower mids in comparison. And when I mod the Tenores to attenuate subbass, lower mids seem to improve. (This is strictly an impression from listening and A/B comparing, I'm afraid I can't translate that for a FReak.)

 

That said, hopefully the two new pairs of Tenores I ordered will help shed some light on where my first pair stands in relation to the others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post

I finally figured it out. It's the macro dynamics. The Tenore is brick walled. It undermines just about everything it does amazingly, which is mostly everything. =(

 

That's how I hear them too. I wouldn't say it undermines everything, but it certainly makes them less suited for certain kinds of music, like classical orchestra.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post
 

In regards to dynamics, it's incorrect how some are mentioning dynamic range loosely. Unless the IEM has high distortion like a FAD (and even then), dynamics should be recording dependant, what may perceived as more dynamic is merely placebo from a more slanted frequency response, like v-shaped responses. 

 

Listening impressions are inherently about how sound is perceived, so I think the criticism is unwarranted.

post #2922 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post
 

I'm skeptical of the Singolo and Doppio.

 

Notice how ZA rates the treble extension lower than the Tenore, capping at 16k, knowing very well that's the limit of most single BAs, I'll say it's quite accurate. Note, the Doppio doesn't improve on that 16k extension. Sure one can argue there is little info past that range, but IME that's what constitutes stage depth and airyness in an IEM. 

 

Bass extension and slam is almost always lacking in BAs. I find either it has to be a quad-driver with at least two woofers for it to match a dynamic, or be vented like the FADs or Sony XBA series. These ZAs do supposedly have Molex drivers which will be vented, so it may be just fine, but what I also know about Molex drivers is that they're high distortion, but maybe ZA found a way to get rid of that. 

 

Also, I know shotgunshane tried the Doppio after the Tenore and found it too laid back and more dull

Thanks for the info Inks...looks like the Doppios' a no go for me....well....all the Zero Audio lineup actually.


Edited by Francisk - 6/19/14 at 11:51pm
post #2923 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post
 

 

 

I've been waiting and waiting, hoping that someone who has the TDK IE800's would compare them to the tenores.  I love the IE800s and would be most grateful if you could give more feedback about how the two compare.  Specifically, how well do the tenores isolate compared to the IE800 and which pair do you find more comfortable? 

 

Well I'm using the same tips to compare the two so the isolation is similar. The tenores are more comfortable because they are much smaller and lighter. The Tenores have a smoother sound, but its a smaller sound and not as dynamic IMO.

post #2924 of 4267

Okay, so I just purchased JVC fxt 90's today and I'm also considering these. How do Tenores or Basso's compare with the JVC's for those that have/had them?

post #2925 of 4267
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

I seem to perceive the ER4S and Tenores as more different than some other members here. For instance,

- subbass is a lot more dominant on the Tenores

- Tenores sound significantly less in-the-head 

- upper mids/lower treble emphasis is far less obnoxious on the Tenores

 

I've been saying right from the start that my Tenores have something odd going on in the lower mids. They're slightly hollow / veiled / fuzzy sounding in comparison to many of my other IEMs and I have reason to believe that their bass is responsible for that. The KC06 have less subbass and more midbass emphasis and still clearer lower mids in comparison. And when I mod the Tenores to attenuate subbass, lower mids seem to improve. (This is strictly an impression from listening and A/B comparing, I'm afraid I can't translate that for a FReak.)

 

That said, hopefully the two new pairs of Tenores I ordered will help shed some light on where my first pair stands in relation to the others.

 

 

That's how I hear them too. I wouldn't say it undermines everything, but it certainly makes them less suited for certain kinds of music, like classical orchestra.

 

 

Listening impressions are inherently about how sound is perceived, so I think the criticism is unwarranted.

I don't know how the bass would cause that, but I've noticed the hollow sound as well and made me uneasy.  The hollow sound can be described as the sound you get from aliasing on the tracks, like the really undersampled.  Like what you hear on extremely low bit rate streams online.  Other phones that I've experienced this with is planar cans that were not properly driven would have this sound.  So I'm guessing at some frequencies in the mids, it wan't performing.  and of course not as detailed as I like.

 

I think people should take other's impressions for what it is, impressions.  

 

I hope you get a so called, "reference pair," and give us a good impression, and end this.

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