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Zero Audio - ZH-DX200 Carbo Tenore | ZH-DX210 Carbo Basso (Carbon & Aluminium IEM) thread - Page 205

Poll Results: Which one would you order??

 
  • 73% (274)
    Carbo Tenore
  • 26% (97)
    Carbo Basso
371 Total Votes  
post #3061 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waynes world View Post
 

 

+1. Sounds like a WIN WIN deal to me! 

+2

 

Do it!!!

 

That way sfwalcer will finally stop wondering if this thread is all hype and no substance.

 

Unfortunately, once he hears the Tenores, he will make this thread his home...so be ready for them gifs.  :eek:

 

Hahaha. The gif man! I'm not so sure he's going to be happy with the bass on my tenores ;) He didn't like my bass reduction mod on the mh1, did you sfwalcer? ;) hahaha My tenore has less bass than that. :-P

 

I'm still debating. I haven't forgot his offer. :-)

post #3062 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

The Tenore has better sub bass. The ostry has better soundstage and openness. Things stand out a bit clearer on the otry in a direct comparison. Long term listening I find both of them become very very enveloping and details are superb, but in a general side by side, the ostry eeks out more "clarity". However, here's the catch, there is a bit of a mid drop because of this. Very slight, but the ostry are definitely a sort of "M" shape signature compared to the tenore. I'd call them a "V" shape, and they are that overall curvature, while retaining a very neutral sound.

 

The bass kicks a little thumpier and almost more powerfully on the ostry, without being bassier in level by much. However, the tenore is very level from bass into sub bass. For instance a few examples:

 

In Surround by BT and Aqualung, at 2:20 the sub bass drop sounds so great in the tenore. On the ostry it starts off with nice sub bass, but gradually decreases in level as the bass drops so by the bottom half of the bass drop it doesn't sound very impressive. Not that is sounds bad, and you can hear it down to the lowest tone, but it doesn't sound "impressive" like the tenore in that area.

 

 

However, in a song like Sailing by Christopher Cross, the treble and mids of the ostry sound more open and realistic, such as at 2:43. The piano and everything sound like they're in a more realistic space. There is depth between instruments a bit more than on the tenore and things just sound deeper, larger, more spacious in a sense, but not really brighter.

 

 

These two songs really are a good example of the main differences I'm coming to find between the two. If I had to say which I thought was more reference, I'd probably say the tenore, because it extends so far in both directions and is very linear in response.

 

The ostry is a very close second in that regard. However, the ostry has that greater sense of depth, attack, openness, etc. that gives it a very nice edge. So I'm sort of torn between the two. I wish the ostry had better extension on both ends and a touch more mids. Or I wish the tenore had a bit more depth and impact or attack force behind each note.

 

The differences are small compared to other iems. It's like changing a filter on an iem vs changing one brand/model to another. They share a lot in common I think. Some people might not hear it this way, because even though the aren't very different, those differences can have a huge impression upon different listener's based on their tastes and listening habits, etc.

 

I'm enjoying the heck out of both of them and might still get an ostry, but I'm not so keene on letting go of any of my tenores. haha. I'm so selfish! ;)

 

The tenores also provide a bit more isolation. Whereas the ostry don't realy allow much isolation in general due to the way they were designed to fit. I get a very consistent sound upon every listen because of this design, but unfortunately it means very little isolation. And while the tenores may not reveal as much depth and distance between things, I don't really consider them less accurate in that regard. Whether it is a difference in speaker presentation or just frequency response I don't know, but I find that a flat response like the tenore renders depth beautifully when it is recorded well. So does the ostry, but a find a lot of the ostry's depth and whatnot comes from the slip dip followed by a slight mid/treble boost. This is a very common frequency shift that enhances depth and soundstage. Just take a look at a graph of the sennheiser HD800. Exactly that.

 

However, I find personally that anytime you shift the frequencies like this you end up getting at least some masking of frequencies. The tenore for instance will render a guitar in the midrage in a complex passage and it will be as audible as everything else. However, the ostry will make that instrument a bit harder to pick out. But the ostry will make all of the other instruments sound more dynamic, deep and spacious. So one thing takes a little from the other. Whereas the tenore might sound flat and boring on a certain track, but every instrument is easily discerned. While the ostry renders the track more "beautifully", but certain things won't sound as noticeable or apparent. But on the other end of the coin, the tenore might blend everything evenly as mixed, where the ostry might make certain things "stand out" in a way you didn't really notice them before. So they almost sound "enhanced".

 

Again, I believe this is all a matter of frequency response and not any magically specifications or sound properties that people usually cite as the cause. If I boost my tenore in the 2-8khz region in a certain shape, they bring out just as much detail and depth and whatnot as the ostry, and even sound better in my opinion, because of the overall smoothness otherwise in response. So it appears to me these iems are very very capable and very similar, but with slightly difference frequency responses and different fits, isolation, appearance, etc.

 

Lastly, the tenore sounds smoother in every way. I don't just mean response, and I'm not saying the ostry is "grainy" or anything. It's just after listening to the ostry for a minute and then putting the tenore back in, it's like everything is "cleaner" in some way. I don't think it is distortion level or anything. Perhaps it is micro variations in frequency response. I'm not sure. But it's a noticeable difference as much as the depth of the ostry is a noticeable difference to me.

 

I'm still not sure which I actually prefer when it simply comes to enjoying music. Part of me says the ostry, but then there are songs where the sub bass and airiness of the tenore are just so nice.  Hmmmmmmmm.

 

EDIT:

 

A quick pro/con list:

Tenore Pros: very neutral (with reference set), very small, comfortable, lightweight, excellent sub bass and high treble extension

Tenore Cons: Not much. :-P A bit less than ideal in depth/soundstage, less than ideal fit consistency.

 

KC06 Pros: a nice gentle V shape that enhances overall depth, etc. comfortable, easy fit consistency

KC06 Cons: Lacks perfect sub bass linearity, V shape is slightly more than neutral (might not be a con), bad isolation

 

I can hear now how some people might find the ostry a bit more resolving in fine details. I do find things "stand out" more with texture and clarity in certain ranges, while not really detracting from the mids. Very nice signature in that regard. And despite having more general bass and treble in that V type signature, the ostry's sound a touch darker to me overall. The tenores have more airy treble and more mids, which give them a sort of flat to 'light' sound. The ostry have slightly more powerful bass and the boosted treble region, but they almost have a more tilted downward treble slope above the main section of the treble, this lends itself to a bit darker sound in a way, but only slightly.

 

And there we have the definitive Tenore versus KC06 comparison. Great stuff luisdent!

post #3063 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by waynes world View Post

 

And there we have the definitive Tenore versus KC06 comparison. Great stuff luisdent!

 

:-P I wouldn't exactly call it definitive. :) I feel like I need a lot more listening to give more details. And sometimes impressions change, but that's what  got right now!  hehe. My advice? Buy them both and still save hundreds of dollars compared to other iems! :-)

post #3064 of 5960
Just got my Tenores. Must say, for the price these are pretty damn awesome. Great in terms of sound, ergonomics and material.

Would be great if the Bluetooth wireless bud makers reference this design. Don't think the size to quality ratio gets any better than this.
post #3065 of 5960
The Tenore is so damn sensitive to insertion...a single mm change will even change the sound. I'll have to get it adjusted a couple of times before I get the right sound every time and then my mobile starts ringing.....frown.gif
post #3066 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francisk View Post

The Tenore is so damn sensitive to insertion...a single mm change will even change the sound. I'll have to get it adjusted a couple of times before I get the right sound every time and then my mobile starts ringing.....frown.gif

 

Agreed. I think that the driver shell should have been a couple of mms longer, there would be no need for shallow insertion then.

post #3067 of 5960
Thanks for great write up Luisdent.

Do you think the new KC06A with its extended low & highs could narrow the sub bass gap between it & the Tenore ?
post #3068 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiesOfAzel View Post
 

 

Agreed. I think that the driver shell should have been a couple of mms longer, there would be no need for shallow insertion then.

 

You're right SkiesOfAzel, the Tenore will probably benefit with a few mm longer shell...well looks like we're back to tip insertion adjustment every time we use it

post #3069 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francisk View Post
 

 

You're right SkiesOfAzel, the Tenore will probably benefit with a few mm longer shell...well looks like we're back to tip insertion adjustment every time we use it

 

Long tips are a good solution to that problem. The Meelec biflanges offer me consistent sound every time but they don't work for everyone unfortunately...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by archy121 View Post

Thanks for great write up Luisdent.

Do you think the new KC06A with its extended low & highs could narrow the sub bass gap between it & the Tenore ?

 

From what i've read the highs and lows are boosted, not extended. That's why i ordered the regular KC06s. The only V i like is the one from the comic book ;).


Edited by SkiesOfAzel - 6/24/14 at 4:46am
post #3070 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiesOfAzel View Post

From what i've read the highs and lows are boosted, not extended. That's why i ordered the regular KC06s. The only V i like is the one from the comic book wink.gif .

If that is the case than thank the value in KC06A is not great as I imagined. Nothing Equ can't fix.
post #3071 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by archy121 View Post


If that is the case than thank the value in KC06A is not great as I imagined. Nothing Equ can't fix.

 

Depends on preference really. I care more about extension than quantity so the KC06A doesn't seem like a better option to me. There were KC06 owners that simply wanted more bass though, and the A version covers that. It might even be a little more extended as well, but as i've said i don't like fr boosts, especially V shaped ones.

post #3072 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

A good pair of ears just posted some detailed comparison impressions between the UERM, ER-4 P&S and Tenore on another site. I don't think I'm allowed to post the link, so don't ask... Aarrr Matey.

This is not my post, but I found it and copied and pasted for everyone's reading pleasure :)

 

UERM v ER4P/S adapter v Zero Audio Carbo Tenore DX200 v Klipsch R6 R

Notes and gear used:
Listening level probably around 90dB (+/- 2dB)
My references and degrees of magnitude in differences could be more extreme than some others.
Leckerton UHA6S w/ 4627brz opamps
ODAC
Jriver/Win8.1 Pro (ODAC Kernel streaming)

Drum Improvisation-Sheffield Labs
UERM
Timbre between toms, snares, cymbals, hats are just spot on compared to the ER4.  Bass bloom and reverb is present and can be heard even in reflections in the studio.  Once again, bass pop and impact is better and necessary for this track.  Background blackness and clarity is also superior.  No issues with coherency on this track.  Beautifully and realistically rendered is all I can say.  The rendering of the busy passages between the Toms, high hats and stick work on the rims is just superb. Resolution and presentation is somewhat comparable to my modded HD800 rig here which is a complement in my opinion.  
   
ER4P
Drums sound too plastic once again.  Timbre is one note.  Snares, Toms and kick drum sound relatively similar.  Ultimate micro-dynamics are compressed.  Bass once agains sounds very clean and clear but is missing ‘bloom’ to round out the bass body and presence.  This track really shows some of the weaknesses of the ER4 is you are well aware of what to listen for.  In the past I have often criticized the older Shures for having this overly plastic and smooth texture which bothered me, I never quite noticed it on the ER4 before until now.  I think the difference is that those Shures have more of what has been called a ‘liquid’ presentation.  Think Michael Jackson before and after the facelifts.  But I digress…

ER4P with S adapter
Timbres sound a bit more dynamic and correct differentiating a high hat from a snare from a Tom and kick drum.  Overall timbre is much less plastic and more realistic sounding.  Imaging is sharper. Clarity is much improved and background is blacker but still has a hint of greyness that exceeds the UERM clearly.  Overall macro and micro dynamics sounds improved and cleaner.  Resolution is improved as well, hearing deeper into the background noise and artifacts.  Bass bloom is more present and am getting the necessary harmonics.  I can actually enjoy the ER4 much more for both casual and technical listening now.  Overall, with the S adapter, the driver just sound much more ‘stable’ and composed.  I would not listen without it.  All this improvement also helps to build on the inherent strength of a single driver IEM.  

Zero Audio
Superb clarity and better than the ER4, just hair below my UERM.  Bass is too bloomy and slow, decay won’t stop in time before the next notes get going.  Treble on the hats has a nice smooth and natural splashiness to the high hats that I really like, sounds very very accurate.  Crash is a bit muted and dull however, as does the rain/thundermaker.  Beaters on the skins sound too blurred and microdynamically compressed as well.  TOO MUCH KICKDRUM FFS! At least it’s not as brain shattering and fatiguing as the IE800.  I like the smooth and natural lower to mid treble on these.  If only they could get a bit more sibilance from the crashes.  Maybe EQ the low to mid bass down a 3-5 dB.  Wood on the sticks sound just right as well. Good snare impact and pop.  Wish it was faster.

Klipsch R6
Most veiled, grey and blurred here.  Low-fi.  Macro dynamic details like snares and stick can sound small and tinny or too delicate.  Bass is faster than the Zeros I suppose.  No real redeeming qualities except angled bores from the driver housing and Klipsch oval silicone tips to match your ears.


Gloria (Missa Sancti Spiritus)
UERM 
Good bass reverb harmonics on cello.  Good vocal clarity.  Clear and clean guitar plucks and articulation.  I can actually notice more evidently a guitar is being used on this track (and a bassoon!) compared to the ER4.  Violins have a nice progressive scream for the violin strings and rosin.  Good space and imaging, nothing overly wide or compressed in SS.  Imaging is precise and rendered fully with good holography on each performer.  Each vocal is rendered more fully, correctly and cleanly here than the ER4P/S can ever manage. 

ER4P
Images much more blurred.  Vocals seems to be too present in highs in the highest octaves making it a bit fatiguing when the chorus hits those notes.  Also there appears to more strain in these extreme harmonics, distortion from a single BA perhaps? Less clarity than IERM.  Background is greyer, images don’t pop as well.  Dynamics are flatter along with SS and imaging.  More ‘radio’-esque type listening experience rather than the live performance feel of the UERM.  Things just sound flat and like you know you are listening to a recording.  Definitely a lower resolution experience.  Bass actually sounds very clean but could use a touch more body perhaps.

ER4P with S adapter
Definitely improvement here but with the combination of greyness and vocal smearing, the benefit is less pronounced and beneficial for this track compared to some others.  I do not enjoy this track with the ER4P/S, just sounds too low-fi in this case.  I think this track calls for a blacker background and multiple drivers to handle all the vocals going on at the same time.

Zero Audio
Better clarity than the ER4, just hair below my UERM.  Vocals still trip up over each other, but not as bad as the ER4P did.  Much better bass rendition (body and bloom) than the ER4P/S and perhaps the UERM.  Perhaps a hair bit too much lingering reverb on the Cello.  Good resolution of the guitar, sounds more effortless and natural than the ER4. 

Klipsch R6
Most veiled, grey and blurred here.  Low-fi.  No redeeming qualities.


Vivaldi Aston Magna RV513
UERM
Good speed and clean articulation on busy passages.  Good resolution in both picking up background artifacts and resolving instruments completely.  String timbre is very good, they scream as they should in real life.  Both violins are cleanly rendered in their own left/right space.  Sounds great and the mental images of rosin flying are hard to ignore.  Bass doesn’t seem as clean as the ER4 but better fleshed out. I don’t get as much sense I’m listening to a recording as the ER4 provides, the strings are just there and they sing effortlessly as they would in a live performance by comparison.

ER4P
Harpsichord and Violins are tripping all over each other, they lack their own space and the harmonics are blurred over.  Here, there seems to be a gap between the strings sounding too flat as they build to crescendo and then getting too unnaturally bright (not harsh or digital sounding mind you).  The UERM is much more linear as the strings build and sound more natural all the way through.  This disconnect really hurts the ER4s timbre for strings in my opinion.  Grey background is again hurting the proper imaging and rendering of this track.  This is where I recall the DBA02 having superior clarity to both the ER4 and UERM.  Strings sound rather plastic, you never get the sense of rosin flying off the horse hair.

ER4P with S adapter
Strings are more linear as they build up in the highs.  Violin timbre is much improved and correct giving a better sense of the horse hair and rosin effect.  Strings and harpsichord have more air and are not tripping over each other as before.  Cello and Harpsichord are still a bit blurred into each other though, could be the single driver catching up with itself.  Less flat sounding in imaging and dynamics certainly, not to the extent of the UERMs or ES5s superb 3D holographic imaging though.  ER4 still lacking in the needed bite and natural shrillness in the higher octaves the UERM provides however.  In this case, it’s too polite to sound right.  Heh.

Zero Audio
Better clarity than the ER4 again.  Resolution is good, but not quite up to either the ER4 or UERM.  Timbre is much closer to the UERM than the ER4 which is a good thing.  This is good enough in my mind to help compensate with any resolution deficiency to a relative non-issue versus the ER4. Sounds slower than the ER4 and UERM but not by much and not enough to really be distracting, the tonal balance and clarity are big enough strengths to forgive here as well for my tastes.  Strings just flow and sing here.  I’d say there is tonal trade-off here between the bite of the UERM and smoothness of the Zeros.   

Klipsch R6
Most veiled, grey and blurred here.  Low-fi.  No redeeming qualities.


Sypro Gyra-Groovin’ For Grover
UERM
Timbre and imaging is much more fleshed out between instruments versus the ER4.  Piano is much more accurate, so is the crash and bass.  Though Bass can sound cleaner on the ER4, the UERM just has more impact and hits harder.  The ER4 lacks this visceral quality in the low end by comparison.  This track in particular however, does show off the inherent signature of a triple driver IEM such as the UERM.  There is a distinct lack of coherency in how the track is rendered compared to the ER4.  To give a better mental picture, imagine a comparison along the lines of how an interlaced screen is rendered versus a progressive scan.  The interlaced screen has a flicker.  Even though the eye might not be fast enough to see it, the brain actually picks up on the discrepancy and can lead to fatigue or less enjoyment.  Here, the UERM is more like pieces of notes popping in and out, whereas the ER4 just renders the picture seamlessly.

ER4P
Drums and bass sound very clean, second time I’ve had this impression.  However, I think part of it is from missing critical harmonics which are on the track.  ER4 really shines on this track because of the relatively slow and easy tempo.  Everything sounds very clean, coherent and well placed amongst all the instruments.   However, the rendering of images is still hurt by the grey background/absence of ‘blackground’ and missing harmonics and micro dynamics that help to complete the air and imaging of instruments in their individual space and make them sound ‘real’ or believable.  Alone one would likely never notice anything missing if these are your reference.  However, next to something like the UERM, there is an obvious night and day difference.  Have to say, this track is where the strength of overall coherency from a single driver really shines.  On the previous tracks it was a weakness, here is it at an advantage.

ER4P with S adapter
Crash at the beginning still sounds a bit tinny and artificial.  Once again, imaging and articulation is improved.  Instruments sound more correct and better placed.  There is still a bit of plastic timbre noticeable on the Piano here, bit too much in fact for my tastes in Piano.  As usual, the greyness is improved a bit but still ever present.  


Zero Audio
Better clarity than the ER4 of course.  Zeros sound particularly laid back (tempo, not soundstage is sometimes confused by some foreign readers unfamiliar with quirky American vernacular) on this track which is itself relaxed in tempo.  Could be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes.  This is somewhat enjoyable listen because of what the Zeros get right.  However, I think it’s just a bit too slow and has a touch too much lingering bass decay to get the most out of the track.  In this case, the relative strengths of the ER4S and UERM here make the zeros seem clearly like the odd man out to my preferences.  Everything just kind of lingers on a bit too long and blurs itself together too much for my tastes here.

Klipsch R6
Most veiled, grey and blurred here.  Low-fi.  No redeeming qualities.


Notes

1-The next time someone spouts off about how superior and great the ER4 is, they better be listening to the ‘S’ version or be using an adapter because the difference is night and day based on my ears, preferences, references and methodology.  Anyone claiming how great the ‘P’ sounds compared to the best IEMs out there loses all credibility with me.

2-Intrigued by the performance of the Zeros, I decided to run some other vocals at it versus the UERM (Madonna and Gloria Estefan).  This confirmed my suspicion that while the mids and vocals of the Zeros are pleasing, they are ever so slightly recessed and a bit unresolved at the highest level, though they are smooth and not dry or crispy as is one of my pet peeves with some IEMs and phones that can’t do vocals.  By comparison, the UERMs just pull out so much more information on vocals like lips and deep breaths, stuff down in the throats and lays it out in a very smooth, natural, resolving and textured presentation.

3-Clarity-Window versus distortion.  Marv’s clarity is clean but can still sound grey in the blackground.  I attribute a bit of tonal balance to clarity so it sound like a crystal clear piece of glass when notes pop forth.


Edited by Grayson73 - 6/24/14 at 11:50am
post #3073 of 5960
Grayson are you sure that the ER4P with the S adapter has more bass bloom???....I agree with better clarity but more bass bloom....confused.gif
post #3074 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francisk View Post

Grayson are you sure that the ER4P with the S adapter has more bass bloom???....I agree with better clarity but more bass bloom....confused.gif
In my listening the er4s creates a more accurate sense of bass overall, and the bass otherwise is almost identical between the two. I'd have to know the definition of bloom in this context, but if you mean the way it erupts from no sound into a round thick bass note, i would say the er4s is more present in that regard because the treble only serves to add more detail to the existing bass, giving it more texture and detail while remaining the same in level otherwise..
post #3075 of 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francisk View Post

Grayson are you sure that the ER4P with the S adapter has more bass bloom???....I agree with better clarity but more bass bloom....confused.gif

Sorry, I'm not the author of the post.  Just copied and pasted it for your reading pleasure.

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