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Astrotec AX60 | Thoughts, Reviews, and Tour Impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 123

o James444 is on the tour, nice!

post #17 of 123

Why are people saying that Astrotec has problems with tuning?  The AM90 is among the top tier in the $40 price bracket for build, sound and cable quality.  The AM800 has received several very positive reviews for the same.

 

Where did the negative press come from? 

post #18 of 123

No idea, but after auditioning these, I am 100% sold, and will pull the trigger upon release in Australia.

I think it's because people just see "AKG CLONE" and instantly start throwing mud? 

post #19 of 123
Uh... I don't see any mud slinging anywhere. In fact, Tom's summary of the phones was that they carried an enjoyable signature but that they wouldnt satisfy those seeking performance as befitting of a TOTL phone (they've fallen short of the mark). He just had high hopes pinned to the Astrotec was all, i.e. "I want them to succeed."
post #20 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post

Uh... I don't see any mud slinging anywhere.

 

It's been around. Not just on head-fi (reddit etc). But I, too, have high hopes for this unit. It was a great article!

post #21 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kova4a View Post  Nah, AKG has the patent for their k3003 everywhere including China. So Astrotec might try to copy them but they are doing it with a different design, so they might be able to patent that design in China but doesn't mean another company can't come up with different stuff to try to copy the k3003 sound. Anyway, Astrotec seem to have issues with tuning and understanding what they are doing as what initially was just vsonic's ceo making fun of them and their lack of knowledge, turned out to be kinda of a consensus between Chinese users and reviewers like Rin. I don't know if really vsonic can't make a different design from astrotec and not infringe on ax60 patents but with their way superior tuning I'm pretty sure they are the only company that can pull off something like a k3003 clone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviltooth View Post  Why are people saying that Astrotec has problems with tuning?  The AM90 is among the top tier in the $40 price bracket for build, sound and cable quality.  The AM800 has received several very positive reviews for the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post  Uh... I don't see any mud slinging anywhere. In fact, Tom's summary of the phones was that they carried an enjoyable signature but that they wouldnt satisfy those seeking performance as befitting of a TOTL phone (they've fallen short of the mark). He just had high hopes pinned to the Astrotec was all, i.e. "I want them to succeed."
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post  It's been around. Not just on head-fi (reddit etc). But I, too, have high hopes for this unit. It was a great article!

 

I don't actually think Astrotec was trying to copy the K3003 sound. I think wanted to take the "basic" K3003 sound, and make it more U-shaped, i.e. "fun" and accessible to mass audiences. The thing about the K3003 is that while it wasn't "scientifically neutral", it was definitely a very classic "audiophile" type of sound. That type of sound doesn't appeal to the more casual listeners. At the same time, the price may have turned off some audiophiles that believe it's not worth the asking price. IMHO, Astrotec was looking to counteract both with the AX60.

 

FWIW, I do also believe that VSONIC is indeed better at sound tuning than Astrotec and would've done a better job with the V(aporware)7007 (but not on account of the CEO's loose cannon-type rhetoric and posturing --- his father, the true founder, is far more conservative and humble --- to me, he's just a rich kid riding on the coat-tails of his daddy) but it doesn't mean Astrotec is poor at sound tuning. Their previous efforts have been excellent in sound tuning from an electroacoustic perspective --- the AM90 has immense bandwidth for an SR driver, which is not known for performing well, and the AX7 managed to wring out a good deal of bandwidth off the TWFK, and also provides sound tuning capability.

 

I have only been a critic of Astrotec on account of their overall design consistency. Their cables, while ergonomically sound, have funky colors all around, their strain reliefs are functional but weird-looking, and their shells never look quite as good as what their renders and concept art inform. They top it off with inconsistent typeface, inconsistent paint jobs, etc.

 

Sound has never been an issue with Astrotec until the AX60, and one can even argue that even with its technical shortcomings, it has an enjoyable sound signature. I imagine my thoughts will be among the most harsh in this entire tour, mostly because I held the AX60 up to a "no holds barred" type of top-tier standard, rather than a budget-restricted assessment. I only very lightly edited my notes, which were made in a very stream-of-consciousness type of recording. Of course it's going to be harsh without the typical rationalization and hedging that basically every review undergoes. That's why I wanted to do this tour. I was curious what others, even people with very pricy TOTL hybrid universals would think upon encountering the AX60. With that being said, even at the under $500 price bracket, Astrotec needs to make some very palpable improvements before I can confidently recommend the AX60 to anyone.

 

Apparently, according to Astrotec representatives I spoke to, they are working on an even higher-end hybrid that improves on the faults of the AX60. I don't know how substantiated this rumor is, or whether they're just blowing smoke at me because I managed to criticize their product, but I certainly hope it's true. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that more casual listeners will take to the AX60 much more than analytical scrutinizers like me, and that it will have appeal for a younger crowd, but to me it's not quite properly high-end. Then again, Astrotec has never strived to be that kind of brand. This is the most expensive product they've ever produced, and it's not even priced at the level of flagship universals from four years ago.

post #22 of 123

It is a bit of a conundrum. Why have a dual armature and dynamic hybrid to get a more mainstream sound. Not the direction you really need to go to get that and not what people expect when they see that set-up being used.

 

I have an idea for the re-worked hybrid. Put the armatures behind the dynamic. If you gonna connect with a tube then you aren't locked in to needing a direct line of fire and can give the dynamic just that which should make it easier to work with and tune.


Edited by jant71 - 9/14/13 at 8:16am
post #23 of 123
Thread Starter 

UPDATE: The tour has begun; the AX60 was just shipped to shigzeo.

post #24 of 123

I suppose I can chime in here. 

 

Firstly, thanks Tom for making this happen. I can say right away that I am impressed. Before I even got into the listening portion, AX60 impressed me with nearly flawless machining, very good cable wiring, and absolute follow through. Yes, these are rather expensive (I recently bought a pair to do a small tour of my own here in Japan) but they actually reflect their price in their build- something I've yet to see in a single Chinese Audio product. Honestly, they look like they were made by Sennheiser. No dollops of glue or extra metal, no breakage in cable seams- sturdy strain reliefs that both do their job and look like they were made with pride. The paint job is a bit sloppy in comparison.

 

The entire earphones are NOT your typical Chinese earphones. They simply don't compare. Of course, the name of the brand, 'Astrotec' is ridiculous and the packaging is quite a few steps back. But the earphones are wonderfully wonderfully manufactured.

 

As for sound, I've only had a full day with them so I don't fee confident in adding anything other than a few points. Firstly, I feel that bass resolution is good but not great. There is lots of bass to enjoy, but the smallest of quakes don't quite make it to the ear. For that, I prefer RHA's 39$ MA350. But space is decent, balance between up and low is good, though I've found that fit can be fiddly. If you don't get a good fit, treble tends to lose out a bit. I've had very few fit issues though. 

 

Do I think it is a sound worth its asking price? Hard to say as I've had only a day with it. It is however an earphone that stands up, finally, in build and polish quality to its European brethren. And that is so rare. I look forward to spending more time with it. 

post #25 of 123

Subed

post #26 of 123

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post #27 of 123

Give us some time here! I'm almost done. Maybe next week.

post #28 of 123

Hey guys,

 

For those of you in Australia and wanting to be on the Australian Tour of the AX60, here's the link:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/687252/australian-tour-impressions-astrotec-ax60-hybrid-3-way-universal-iem-2-x-ba-dynamic-driver

post #29 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post  ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post  Give us some time here! I'm almost done. Maybe next week.

 

Yes, patiience! You can't rush literary genius!

post #30 of 123

Tell me when you find one. 

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