Originally Posted by lee730
I just really enjoy the treble a lot on the stage 4 followed by the bass. I mean the mids are also really good. I don't consider them recessed either. The treble is just so distinct yet smooth. Not overly smooth and well integrated into the presentation. Bass goes very deep and has a lot of quantity while still remaining controlled. It has a lot of presence/authority. The IEM as a whole is simply more refined than its younger siblings and it has nothing to do with its price. I just like it better of the 3. But I also really like the Stage 2. I'd say the Stage 2 is the most neutral of the three. I consider the Stage 3 the least neutral. But keep in mind with the fit things can really go down hill on the Stage 4. The stage 4 is also picky on what it pairs with. I still found it too bassy on the Triad. It paired really well on the AK120 and T1 amp. I would like to see how these sound when I get my AK120 S mod back from Vinnie :).
Like to concur with you in several points:
1. The bass extension of the Stage 4 is really a gem. The quality is on par with the experience I had with an expensive well-tuned stereo set up consisted of the Avalon Diamond, Goldmond, and the Clear Audio Statement turntable with the Goldfinger cartriage. After you were sweating fiddling these big blocks and the room acoustics, then you know how blessed it is to have this quality bass with a simple combo of the Stage 4 and AK120. The bass does not bleed into /mask other frequencies.
2. The mids are kept to a proper distance, indeed, though can be a little bit closer, IMO. This can be done by changing the wires, or the 3.5 mm jacks. Yet, there is a risk of ruining the tonal balance.
3. The AK120 makes a good and simple companion. Yet, the HM901 with IEM is even better, despite the HM901 is quirky in a few aspects.
Stage 2's mids are really attractive and focused.
And the Stage 3 is more on the neutral side to my ears. The bass is leaner, but I am quite OK with it.
Edited by lieberstanley - 11/21/13 at 2:13am