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Australian Tour & Impressions - Astrotec AX60 - Hybrid 3-way Universal IEM (2 x BA + Dynamic Driver) - Page 9  

post #121 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post


..Woah, what are those buds in the first image? They look like earbud versions of the ax60.

 

Astrotec Lyra:bigsmile_face:

post #122 of 187
Details?

(My tail is wagging in excitement. Woof)
post #123 of 187
They look quite interesting indeed!
post #124 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post

Details?

(My tail is wagging in excitement. Woof)

 

not this soon for this one :biggrin:

 

The two budget hybrids are indeed, more interesting!:o Go check at NoisyMotel some time soon!

putting here the fr chart first...although it doesn't help explain much things...:wink:

 


Edited by NLNH - 1/1/14 at 7:56am
post #125 of 187

 

I was taking photos of the AX-60 to finish up my review and this is my wife making things harder than it already is...

post #126 of 187

HYBRID TRILOGY: Astrotec AX-60 vs DUNU DN-1000 vs T-PEOS H-200 Comparison

 

 

 

 

After hearing about the AX-60 Australian Loan Tour, I was quick on my feet and requested to be part of the tour. As a current owner of the Dunu DN-1000 and T-PEOS H-200, I've learned to appreciate and love the wondrous characteristics of the hybrid sound. So naturally, the AX-60 brings forth a lot of interest in me because I want to know how it'll perform against my other two hybrids.

 

SETUP:  Colorfly C3 > Tralucent T1

              ASTROTEC AX-60 + Reference Filter + Heir Tips (average depth insertion) NOTE: Not a pure bass-head so I didn't use the other filters.

               DUNU DN-1000 + Red Rings + Translucent black stock Tips (shallow insertion)

               T-PEOS H-200 + SPC cable + Sony MH1 Tips (shallow insertion)

               Test tracks are all in 16bit/44Khz FLAC format.

 

NOTE: 

The AX-60 sound signature is VERY dependent upon the type of tips. I find wide bore tips allow better extension and resolution in both low and high ends of the sound frequency. Narrow bore tips tend to restrict the airiness and in some cases decreases the width in soundstage.

 

 

BASS

I honestly had a difficult time with the subtle differences in bass when comparing the AX-60 against the DN-1000; as a matter of fact they are more similar in this part of the sound spectrum. I had to listen really closely to nit pick and I've determined that the AX-60 is a little bit more boomy but in a good way. Indeed the AX-60 sounds warmer as a whole but I personally think that it is more of an effect from the rear vent resulting to a slight boomy but natural sounding bass end. What separates the AX-60 is the stronger impact/punch in bass kicks and better texture in the sub-bass with excellent layering. I'm speculating that the dynamic driver used in the AX-60 is just more technically advanced than that of the DN-1000. That being said, I'm not saying the DN-1000 is a slouch in bass; it also has a very capable dynamic bass driver. Compared to the H-200 things become interesting... the punchiness and speed in bass kicks are very similar to the AX-60 except the H-200 is a few db lower and has quicker bass decay. The AX-60 is more similar to the DN-1000 in terms of bass decay - there's a bit of a delay but no worries there because they still sound great even for EDM. The only genre that I prefer the H-200 bass over the other two hybrids is heavy metal.

 

VERDICT:
Based on technical ability, I can conclude that the AX-60 has an edge over the other two hybrids. It is just more revealing and can produce all those layers in the lower frequencies with such ease.

 

 

 

 

MIDS

This is where most of the differences between these three hybrids come into play. In the lower mids where most vocals are heard in their fullness, the AX-60 is a little bit recessed compared to the DN-1000. The H-200 comes third, a little bit under the AX-60 making vocals sound a bit distant in comparison although still excellent in clarity.. The AX-60 may sound a bit recessed when compared to the Dunu but on its own I don't really consider it recessed. I find vocals with AX-60 to be just in the right place creating a perfect setup in creating a space for the rest of the instruments to surround the vocals that is situated in the center. Please take note that because the lower mids is not upfront, the forwardness of the mid bass can sometimes creep in the lower mids resulting to a warmer signature. The DN-1000 being more forward on the other hand, provides more clarity and coldness to the sound signature. This may sound like the DN-1000 is taking the prize but the AX-60 has a wild card: detail retrieval is excellent and a notch more revealing. So, even if the DN-1000 has more clarity and sounds more analytical, the AX-60 wins by pushing more detail upfront.

 

Going up into the upper mids, another turn-over comes up! The H-200 is more forward and revealing than the other two hybrids making this its strength; making guitars, both electric and acoustic sound so edgy and upfront. Guitar crunches are superb and such an excellent presentation with the H-200. The DN-1000 is smoother and laid back in this area thus making its overall sound less fatiguing than the other two hybrids. The AX-60 is right in the middle of the two; tho not as revealing as the H-200, its presentation is still very much in line with the lower mids which maintains its strength in the mids as a whole: TIMBRE in the AX-60 is king! I just love how the cymbals ring... they just sound so REAL! The guitars also sound so good on the AX-60 that its perfect for Jazz, Classical, and Acoustic Rock.

 

VERDICT:
As much as I love the guitar crunches on the H-200 when listening to Rock and Heavy Metal... the clarity and cold sounding mids of the DN-1000... I just can't help but adore how technically capable the AX-60 is in presenting a linear, natural sounding, and detailed MIDS. 

 

 

 

 


HIGHS

The H-200 has really good treble; bright and airy (brighter than the DN-1000). There is just a very little hint of the grainy texture or metallic tinge at a high listening volume; BUT this is only apparent in crappy recordings and some singers' voice characteristic. On a positive note, the H-200 sounds really natural in the treble region that the cymbals, high-hats, and percussion instruments are such a pleasure to hear. There's an occasional peak in the upper treble that may affect one's listening experience but I personally, am not affected by this in most of the songs I listen to. Please NOTE that this will vary depending on your source, song quality, tips, and depth of insertion. I personally use the large Sony hybrid tips, SPC upgrade cable, plus shallow insertion which to my experience have greatly reduced the peak problem. A foam filter mod will completely nullify the peak but at the expense of the airiness which is a unique characteristic of the H-200 that I truly love.

 

The DN-1000 is quite impressive in the treble region. Everything sounds so natural and airy. Micro-detail is just as good as the H-200 and best part is: there is almost no trace of grainy texture or metallic tinge even at high volumes. Very transparent and just as good as the H-200 in revealing artefacts in crappy/compressed recordings. There is a peak around 6.5 kHz which I managed to identify through Accudio's parametric EQ. It is ONLY apparent in certain songs/singers. You usually hear this in the "SSSSs", especially from female singers/vocalists. VERY IMPORTANT--The intensity of this peak will depend on your tips and depth of insertion. I discovered that wide bored tips coupled with shallow insertion are very effective in reducing this peak to a point where it is negligible. Narrow bored tips tend to increase the peak to the extent of sibilance.

 

The AX-60 can be a bit piercing in some recordings especially when they are badly mixed/mastered. I do commend it for its micro-detail/resolution retrieval. Definition in the treble region is definitely one of its many strengths; you hear so many different instruments popping here and there when listening to well recorded tracks. Again, cymbals and other percussion instruments just sound so real and timbre is just superb! In spite all of these, I still find the H-200 and DN-1000 to be a bit more airy in the highs. Not that its a huge deal but I personally do prefer airiness in presentation.

 

VERDICT:
This is very hard to conclude because each of the three hybrids have their own strengths that are highly commendable. Because of this, I'll base my decision to my preference and that is the smoothness and airiness of the DN-1000 treble.

 

 

 

 

DETAIL/SEPARATION

Hands down, detail and separation are just a couple of the many strengths of the Astrotec AX-60. This hybrid is really capable of retrieving details that you don't normally hear in other average IEMs. You may hear the details with the H-200 or DN-1000... but the AX-60 just presents them effortlessly. Instrument separation is the best I've heard yet in an IEM. Please take note that this is the most  expensive IEM I've heard as of: 02/01/14.

 

 

 

 

SOUNDSTAGE

The AX-60 is the first IEM I've heard that comes really close to a full-sized headphone in presenting a decent soundstage. I thought the DN-1000 is awesome... but after hearing the AX-60 I realised that it's one of the widest possible for an IEM. If the DN-1000 can present a soundstage from ear to ear; the AX-60 can reach up to the back of your head depending on the song. That's how good it is.

 


CONCLUSION:

 

I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity of reviewing the Astrotec AX-60 because it is such an AWESOME hybrid. This experience made me realise that in spite how good an IEM like the DN-1000 is, there is still something out there that can out perform it. It comes at a price tho... Now I just wonder, how much better can a TOTL IEM be? I guess I'll find the answer very soon... You can check my other reviews here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/694003/d-marc0s-journal-my-head-fi-journey-for-the-love-of-music-new-hybrid-trilogy-astrotec-ax-60-vs-dunu-dn-1000-vs-t-peos-h-200-comparison

 

Special thanks to @H20Fidelity for notifying me about the loan tour and @billymav of NoisyMotel for making this happen!

 

 


Edited by d marc0 - 1/3/14 at 10:04pm
post #127 of 187
Excellent write up d marc0, possibly the best one I've seen in this thread. You seemed to really like the AX60, reading your review makes me want hear it again.
post #128 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Excellent write up d marc0, possibly the best one I've seen in this thread. You seemed to really like the AX60, reading your review makes me want hear it again.

 

Thanks mate! Surprisingly yes! I initially thought I would end up liking the DN-1000 over the AX-60 but apparently the latter performs really well with most of the songs that I constantly listen to. I was shocked to hear it perform really well in playing Pantera's Domination! There are certain tracks tho that the clarity and coldness of the DN-1000 just sounds better...

post #129 of 187
Great write up, of course, now I have another headphone on the rediculous list of "must haves…"
Thanks
post #130 of 187
Great write-up!
post #131 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjazz View Post

Great write up, of course, now I have another headphone on the rediculous list of "must haves…"
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post

Great write-up!

Thanks guys! One thing I just realized, the ax-60 is a great phone for bass guitarist/lovers.
post #132 of 187
Man im telling you these kind of writeups tempts me like hell to own these......but not now. Cheers marco.
post #133 of 187

An interesting hybrid indeed, might be worth seeing reviews against the UM Merlin

post #134 of 187
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Excellent write up d marc0, possibly the best one I've seen in this thread. You seemed to really like the AX60, reading your review makes me want hear it again.


I totally agree!  Great write up!

 

PS - Happy New Year guys! :bigsmile_face:

post #135 of 187
Hey Billy, I know I've heard the AX60 before and briefly written my thoughts, but all these posts on the thread have really made me want to try it again. Do you reckon I could go on the tour and write a more comprehensive review?
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