These VSD1 LEs are indeed tricky, so why did I point to the Nutman's review of the Cardas??? This was the response he posted when I asked him to compare the similarities and capabilities of the JVC FXZ200s to the Cardas:
The problem with the FXZs is they have a sound cap to their sound stage even though those have a big sound too and while amping helps in this regard.. The cardas on the other hand don't sound like they have a sound cap. The stage is immense for earphones. Probably one of the biggest and largest scale of sound I have ever heard in any earphones. The Mids of the Cardas takes time for them to sound like the pair I have.. While there is sweetness to the ES700s mids. The mids of the Cardas is more dimensional and warm and fuller in presentation. Now that I think about it. That right there makes the Cardas stand out to me more than anything on the sound presentation.. It is like a highly evolved FXZ in sound..
It is a lot of scratch to throw out for a unique set of in ears.. I think the Cardas are more for guys that add to their collections of fine in ears more than anything.
His comparison made me realize that when compared to the regular VSD1, maybe even the GR07 BEs these LEs don't seem to have a cap to their sound as well. What I mean by this is that these VSD1 LEs, possibly due to their higher impedance and different tuning is able to scale much more beautifully with better sources. So what is the big dealios since I had previously stated that these VSD1 LEs without a Jazz preset EQ (which boosted the bass and treble regions) sounded boring as hell due to their "polite" treble and "rounder" bass??? Burn-in my friend, burn-in.
My VSD1 LEs has been on continuous burn-in with fast bass heavy tracks on high volumes since they arrived. During the 1st couple of days there were no changes and I have documented this in the VSD1 Thread, but last night there was a break through. What I heard last night was EXACTLY what I had desired these VSD1 LEs to be ever since my initial listen.
Hmmm....... these VSD1 LEs are a bit tricky.
From my initial listen on my 5th gen ipod classic what stood out was the bigger/ fuller/ bolder sound. More out of head experience if you will. There was also more emphasis on the bass end as well, though it's of the "rounder", not tighter/ deeper variant. So I was like nice there seems to be some added clarity and that nothing feels lacking although the bass end needs to tighten up in order to sound more right that's for sure.
I was hoping these VSD1 LEs would sound vastly different from all of VSonic's previous offers as it was supposedly tuned by the father of the CEO to sound like their up coming VSD7s, but sadly this is not what i am hearing from my initial listening sessions. I am not really digging the less extended polite treble as well as the rounder/ softer bass texture tuning, but the overall fuller, more out of the head sound is a nice addition since it makes it sound a bit more 3D.
Yes these VSD1 LEs no doubt have VSonic's classic house sound/ tuning (great depth, texture and lushness in the lows and mids with fantastic extension/sparkle to their treble), nonetheless they also sound vastly different in presentation when compared to the regular VSD1 and GR07 BEs as well. This is why they are tricky, cuz initially there was very little texture or extension to their sound.
Let me illustrate how these VSD1 LEs sounded like during my initial listen.
... there are lots of good qualities esp. the big/bold/full out of your head sound with very lush mids, but the overly laid back treble and bass makes for a very disengaged presentation. This dull sound makes the listener lose all interest in the audio spectacle cuz it's trying to avoid the matter at hand, which is to entertain.
This is the VSD1 LEs after a good amount of intense high volume bass heavy burn-in.
... the lackluster "round" bass has gained more weight/ texture and punch as well as speed, which has given these VSD1 LEs a second wind it needs to do battle. Clarity and headroom has also improved hence the increased depth, layering and 3Dness gives these VSD1 LEs the focus to go in for the final blow. All of these nuanced improvements combined with the slightly increased extension in the treble makes these VSD1 LEs a deadly heavy weight sonic champion.
Did he just say Sonic Champion??? Oh yes I did. I affectionately coined the signature of these VSD1 LEs as having an "old man sound" initially cuz of the disappointing treble and lackluster bass and since the old man of VSonic's CEO had supposedly tuned them to sound like their upcoming VSD7s it was pretty fitting; old man tuning for an old sound am I right??? DEAD WRONG!!! As the result of burning these in that "boring old man sound" has turned into a big ol' mean beast that is WIDE awake!!! O.O The old man seems to be a deadly sleeper, once awaken WATCH OUT!!!
Here's my reasoning behind this revelation extrapolated from what I have stated before:
4th listen today and sound doesn't seem to have change much despite the continuous burn-in BUT their "neutral" less extended/ more outta' the head soundstage make these VSD1 LEs AMAZING sounding with metal music. Was listening to the same Chinese metal band yesterday on my Nokia N9 with my VDS1 Classics and it was a little bit bright/ harsh due to the very well extended treble. The spacing and the head room wasn't as big/good enough it seems so faster/ more intricate passages/ percussion sounded more congested and fatiguing.
Listening to the same album with the VSD1 LEs on the other hand sounded much more spacious, with little to no less congestion and fatigue as the result of the tamer treble, which makes the yelling and screaming much more listenable/ enjoyable. Also i also noticed that the dac/amp of my Nokia N9 has more emphasis on the bass end as well as treble, along with a big soundstage and it works wonderfully with less colored more neutral iems/ cans. So i would imagine sources that has a more colored sound such as the new Fiio X3s would sound pretty damn good with these VSD1 LEs as well.
One last thing, you know what the bass end/ sound signature/ technical capabilities of these VSD1 LEs really reminded me of and is very similar, the new Apple earpods. DEAD SERIOUS!!!
Are these VSD1 LEs "neutral" as I have stated before??? NOPE!!! They sounded more "neutral" cuz of the lack of depth in their lows and extension to their treble when compared to VSonic's previous offerings specifically the regular VSD1 and GR07 BEs. But after some burn-in the bass end has come out to play in spades, and combined with the improved bass quality (more weight, texture, more punch, faster attack) these VSD1 LEs no longer sound "neutral". So my initial "rounder" bass observation of the lows is almost non existent now. Not only that, but the bass almost has this speaker-like quality to them that rumbles which I have yet to detect from my regular VSD1 or the GR07 BEs. These VSD1 LEs are "bassy" sounding for sure, but the bass doesn't bleed nor interfere with the rest of the sonic spectrum, hence the quality of the bass provides a solid foundation for the rest of the sound to build upon.
Along with the solid bass, the big headroom/ staging of these VSD1 LEs effortlessly and effectively envelops the lush forward mids, so combined with the polite treble gives it a very full/bold and layered spacious sound, yet is never harsh/bright/sibilant nor fatiguing even when listening at really loud volumes. A common gripe with the GR07s is that they are not the most 3D in presentation, this is probably due to their more neutral and "flat" sound. These VSD1 LEs however seems to have addressed this exact criticism. The lack of 3Dness in VSonic's pervious lineup no longer rings true for these VSD1 LEs due to this new tuning.
So do these VSD1 LEs still remind me of the Apple earpods as I have stated before??? Yes and no, yes in that prior to burn-in they share a very similar sonic presentation (big soundstage, with a pretty bold/full sound and kinda boxy/ roundish sounding bass). I am happy to say now that after a good amount of burn-in the answer is a resounding NO, cuz these VSD1 LEs has left the earpods in the dust on ALL accounts..... maybe even the regular VSD1 or even the GR07 BEs???
TO BE CONTINUED..... kova style
^ Oh also these VSD1 LEs are MUCH more forgiving and less revealing on utterly schiityly recorded/ mastered low bit-rate junk tracks. It's more true for probably the former cuz it makes the overall listening experience more enjoyable due to less fatigue if you have A LOT of crappy mastered bright pop music. haha
So would i say these VSD1 LE are more "refined" out of all the VSD1 variants??? Nope not by a long shot, but with their more "polite/ old man" tuning you can listen to these all day without ear bleed. The VSD1 Classics are more engaging with its better extension but is less smooth/ forgiving. They all serve their purpose i guess, old man tuning is still old man sound.
In summation, not only is the presentation of these VSD1 LEs MUCH more 3D when compared to the regular VSD1 or even the GR07 BEs, it also has a bigger and more spacious out of your head sound and instrument layering. For me these VSD1 LEs has already best the regular VSD1 due to the changes stated above, so combined with their scalability (better sound as the result of quality sources) along with their malleability (responds very well to simple EQ) makes these VSD1 LEs extremely versatile and refined regardless of it's low price. The very transparent and revealing nature of these VSD1 LE, yet is never fatiguing/picky/ nor peaky has sealed the deal for me cuz poorly recorded pop music has never sounded so good.
Scalability/ malleability baby is what these VSD1 LEs be!!!