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post #3226 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzman View Post
 

It's really more about the authentic timbre of (acoustic) instruments.  A tenor sax and a flute can both play A=440Hz.  They have different overtone structures, and specific instruments will have slightly different sounds, when played by different musicians.  Overtone structures involve multiple frequency ranges, so in a multi-driver system, more than one driveer is contributing to the "sound" of that instrument, playing that note.  This is where all those little differences add up to a big deal.  Our ear-brain systems are pretty sensitive, and can detect these differences, i.e. when the speaker, headphone, or iem is changing that delicate overtone structure.  This is what people refer to when they use the term 'coherence'.  (Or, at least, iin my opinion, what they should mean/be referring to).  

 

Single-driver B.A.s, or most headphones, have an advantage in this coherence race, so long as their drivers are not sufficiently non-linear to mess it up.  Lots of so-called full-range drivers either sacrifice bass or treble extension, in order to maintain that univocal coherence across a broad mid range of frequencies- typically these are the ones with the most natural and organic timbral performance - the instruments really sound like themselves....  (This is my personal Holy Grail, as if that isn;t obvious by now).  What is also interesting is that, pyschoacoustically, if the phase response is good - i.e., the overtones line up properly, the brain will fill in the missing fundamental, or upper harmonics... In other words, it's almost as if you can hear bass that's not there, and it makes the 'speaker' sound fuller.  

 

I have also noticed that musicians often "listen" to gear differently than audiophiles.  Musicians listen for technique and hear through the filter of knoowing the mechanics of playing (that) instrument, what it takes to make those sounds.  Authenticity of tone is less important, since the sound is just a jumping-off point to hearing technique/chops.  (This is neither bad nor good-it just is.)   At the end of the day, the gear is there to create pleasurable cognitive states in the listener, and whatever brings you bliss is wonderful.

Right. The characteristics of each frequency is what makes everything so different. Kind of like how a voice or instrument could be the same frequency but sound very different from another. Harmonics and resonances within both the instrument and ear canal can change so many aspects. There's no doubt that multi driver systems the reason why people desire for multi-BA systems. The idea as you mentioned is one of the advantages for going with said solution. By splitting up the work between multiple drivers you could effectively produce more vivid and realistic tones while producing more clean output. However, as you also mentioned, crossover systems are quite difficult to make perfect and I am willing to bet tolerances for such are quite strict.
However, single driver systems automatically claim the outright advantage because of the reason you mention. What is interesting is you see the same with audio as with visual. We don't view everything perfectly but its our brains that predict and fill in missing information assuming there is enough to go about it.
I guess if you wanted to, in a perfect world scenario, the multi-driver system will win. But the problem is that achieving that is much harder said than done. I have no clue about how to build crossovers so I can't say much about that, though I do enjoy learning about this stuff.

I'm a musician/audiophile hybrid so I guess its why I am so conflicted. Nah, but I'm a musician as I have been playing instruments since I was very small. I presume, its why my hearing tastes and experience varies so much from other audiophiles. Regardless of which is better, both are relatively excellent systems when implemented well. In this case, which is these high-end IEMs, you really can't go wrong with either systems or the hybrid. For me, I feel DD is better than BA as for whatever reason I "feel" the music. It sounds different than any of the BA drivers I have owned and I find it more my tastes. Good exchange of info though!

post #3227 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyville View Post
 

 

 

 

Your comments on attending live performances are interesting in this too. I have never attended a live performance, but I hope I get an opportunity to visit the Albert Hall at some point. It would be very interesting to get a sense of how I respond to that compared to listening to a recording.

 

It's like this. I hardly listen to classical music with headphones or speakers... I like classical music, but that's it. I listen to EDM more often. However, when it comes to live performances, classical music is something else. If the venue is good as well (think Wien Staatsoper) the music touches your soul and time flies by. My most expensive headphones were Noble K10s and they did sound damn great but no, nowhere close to a live performance of classical music. 

 

As far as I know, some audiophiles claim that their hundreds of thousands USD worth sound systems sound good as live performances but I have not had a chance to hear such good systems, yet.

post #3228 of 3360

So I've been having been having issues with the seal on the Vega. No, this is not a Vega issue. I usually prefer the short wide bore silicone UE900 tips with most of my IEMs. However, these tips cause a weird seal that kinda backs my ears up with pressure. I feel like my eustachian tubes can't drain properly and my ears feel blocked even after I remove the earphone from my ear. I'm assuming it has something to do with the shape of the tips and insertion angle, not allowing enough air to escape when inserting the earphone. I experienced the same same thing with the FLC 8S. There's just something about the nozzle design and the UE tips that just doesn't jive. 

 

After some extensive tip rolling, I reluctantly tried the included foam tips for the first time. I never really had luck with foams in the past. Either they felt weird in the ear or altered the sound too much so I usually don't even bother with them. To my surprise, the stock foams didn't really degrade the sound but did tame the treble a bit and bump up the isolation. They're also pretty comfy! I feel like a knucklehead because I know KB tuned these with the foams in mind and specifically said to try them with foams haha.

 

Anyhow, I'm pretty content with the stock foams but I am curious if there are better foam tips out there I should be trying out. If so, what changes can expect over the stock foam? Thanks!

post #3229 of 3360

I had the same issue with Spiral Dot tips — they created a air-tight seal that caused uncomfortable pressure buildup. Since then I've used the CA stock foam tips (ordered extra pairs as well). Tried some Comply tips that came with some other IEMs but they didn't feel as comfortable.

post #3230 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangents View Post
 

I had the same issue with Spiral Dot tips — they created a air-tight seal that caused uncomfortable pressure buildup. Since then I've used the CA stock foam tips (ordered extra pairs as well). Tried some Comply tips that came with some other IEMs but they didn't feel as comfortable.

Yeah, I didn't mention them but I also had the same issue with the spiral dots. I think I'm going to order some extra foams from CA right now!


Edited by MidFiMoney - 3/20/17 at 2:51pm
post #3231 of 3360

Just finished some A/B comparisons with the Rhapsodio Galaxy V2 for an upcoming review I'm writing up against the Lyra II and Vega - these are pretty unpolished at the moment as they are still in draft format, but if anyone is interested in how the two stack up, please see below (for reference, the Galaxy V2 was being run single-ended using the included Rhapsodio copper upgrade cable, vs the Lyra II and Vega in stock configuration):

 

Campfire Audio Vega – the Vega is the current darling and co-flagship of the highly acclaimed Campfire Audio range, sporting a metal shell and single dynamic driver like the Galaxy. In terms of sound, the Galaxy has a leaner and crisper sound than the Vega, with a more emphasised bass presence and weight to notes. The Vega feels slightly warmer in tone than the cool and crispy Galaxy, with a much more emphasised physical impact in the lower registers. Bass extension is won by the Vega, which while possessing only a little better actual extension to my ears, stays strong a lot further down into the sub-bass than the comparatively lighter Rhapsodio effort. “Heaven” by Emile Sande is a good track to quantify the difference between the two, with the Galaxy painting a nice sense of rumble across the inner ear as the into kicks in, but the Vega really rattling the furniture behind your eyeballs at the same volume. In the midrange, the Galaxy again sounds colder and leaner than the Vega, with a similarly level of clarity and resolution. The Galaxy actually feels more resolving than the Vega to my ears on some tracks, but this is mainly due to the thinner sound allowing the brain to pick out the different strands of music more easily – on closer listen, the Vega spits out the same level of detailing across the board, but the meatier musicality blends it all a little closer together on initial playback.

Moving up to treble, the Galaxy definitely feels more “etched” than the Vega, with a cleaner and crisper sounding treble that flirts on the edge of sharpness but doesn’t get sibilant for me in my usual hotspots around the higher mid-range and lower treble. Again, the Vega wins on actual weight, with a more solid feel to hi-hat percussion but less sense of air and sparkle, with more emphasis on the lower-treble - the difference is a little like ringing a thick iron bell (Vega) versus jangling some wind chimes (Galaxy). Soundstage is similar in size between the two, with the Galaxy feeling slightly wider to my ears due to the extra space between the edge of each note, but the Vega presenting a more real and “3D” feeling stage for me. Separation is a draw, with the presentation edging towards the Galaxy but the Vega still keeping everything neatly segmented if you want to pick out a particular instrument in the crowd.

Looking at build and ergonomics, this is a close battle, but for me it is edged by the Vega. The shells are lighter and better designed, fitting more easily in the ear without the constant danger of dislodgement I feel with the weightier Rhapsodio earpieces. The Rhapsodio feel more like a handmade piece of high quality jewellery, whereas the Vega look like a highly engineered piece of technology. With regards to cabling, the excellent ALO SPC Litz cable that comes as standard with the Campfire models is usually head and shoulders above mose included cables I have seen yet, but in this case, the Rhapsodio copper litz cable beats it in both ergonomics and aesthetics, being a high end after-market cable in its own right.

Overall, these two IEMs present two very different approaches – they are both definitely TOTL sounding IEMs, with the Galaxy emphasising edge and attack at the (relative) expense of overall thickness, the Vega feeling more muscular and energetic, with a denser feel to the sound. For particularly complex musical passages, the Galaxy is probably easier to follow the individual strands of the music, but loses some of the Vega’s engagement and sheer musical magic as a result. For fans of a more analytical and "lean and clean" signature bordering on neutral, the Galaxy will probably win out here – for people looking for a little more body and soul to their music without sacrificing on technicality or detail, the Vega will pull ahead. If I had to choose just one, I would go with the Vega for my personal preferences, as I feel the unique tuning it offers is just that bit more enjoyable across all sectors than the more clinical Galaxy, but if I could only listen to the Rhapsodio IEM for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t feel unhappy.

 

Campfire Lyra II - The Lyra II are the second high-end dynamic driver in the Campfire Audio range, with the same shell design as the flagship Vega model, but a different beryllium driver diaphragm. In terms of build and ergonomics, the Lyra II shares a slight advantage to the Galaxy (in line with the Vega), just losing out with the more pocketable but far less sturdy Campfire carry case in comparison to Rhapsodio’s far more solid metal mini-attache case.

Sound wise, the Lyra II presents a smoother and fuller sound than the Galaxy, but in a slightly more laid back fashion than the more energetic Vega. Bass-wise, the models are far more evenly matched, with the Lyra II having a shade more substance to the mid and sub-bass, but being far closer in overall tuning. Drum sounds are a little more realistic on the Lyra II, with tom-toms carrying a more authentic weight and feel in comparison to the more emphasised Galaxy. In the mids, the Galaxy comes across as more lean and neutral than the Lyra II, but again to a lesser degree than the Vega. The vocals carry more sharpness and edge in the Rhapsodio tuning, with the Lyra II managing to add a dash of velvet to both male and female singers that makes for a more relaxing overall listen than the crisper Galaxy. In the treble, both are reasonably extended, but the Lyra II is far more laid back than the crystalline Galaxy, so will definitely lose out to fans of a sharper and more present treble, gaining ground with people who prefer their higher end sounds clear and smooth rather than hot and crunchy.

In terms of detail, both have good clarity and presentation of micro-detailing, but the Galaxy feels like the more resolving of the two due to its overall tuning. Staging is again a little wider on the Galaxy, but feels more solid and 3D on the Lyra II, with a more realistic “feel” to the presentation compared to the more hyper-real Rhapsodio.

Overall, these two IEMs aren’t a million miles away in tuning, but serve very different listening purposes for me – for singer/songwriter and more laid back acoustic or downtempo rock music, the velvety smoothness and rich sound of the Lyra is excellent (and even tops the Vega for me with some genres). For more high energy guitar music or uptempo electronica, the crisper and more aggressive Galaxy adds an extra dash of crunch and detail that really brings some tracks to life in direct comparison. Not as simple as the straight win for the Vega above, so I would say the honours are definitely even in this case, with me probably edging towards the Galaxy if I could only have one.

post #3232 of 3360
Good impressions @Jackpot77, I'm glad there will be more Galaxy reviews coming out. When yours is up, please repost it here:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/840076/rhapsodio-galaxy-v2-thread-and-review

I have my own, much shorter Vega vs Galaxy v2 comparison in the review at the start of that thread.
Edited by Kunlun - 3/21/17 at 8:37am
post #3233 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by mashuto View Post
 

Man, you guys and your many totl iems to choose from... the vega is my first high end iem, and I have just been sitting back enjoying it and enjoying the fact that my desire to go out and buy more iems is pretty much dead. I got into this hobby 6 months or so ago hoping to find something mid range I would be totally satisfied with and ended up with the vega, and am pretty much totally satisfied (maybe with the exception of struggling a bit to the find the absolute perfect tips... i am not a fan of foam).

 

And I decided that since I had a nice big tax rebate that I would just go ahead and get the ref 8 cable. Not balanced, but I am not a huge fan of 4 strand cables (always worried they are going to unravel on the mmcx side) and figured if I can get a small amount of extra treble and bass extension along with better ergonomics, I will be happy. Just ordered today, so hopefully ill see it before the end of the week.


I meant to comment on this earlier. You definitely picked a good one to enter the TOTL game with. You could do a lot worse haha. I honestly don't "need" any other TOTLs but variety is the spice of life or something like that. Having something a little more even to accompany the Vega works well for me. That being said, I've been torn between the Kaiser Encore and Katana. I'm thinking I will keep the Katana and let the Kaiser go. The Katana pairs better with the DX200, IMO.

 

As for tips, I've been struggling with that myself. I just tried the Noble silicones (translucents, blacks, and double flanges). I actually like them all but the double flanges are working out great at the moment. The fit and isolation are nice. I typically don't like double flanges either. I'm sure they sell them on their site. I'm gonna hold off on high-end cables for a while. I'm really enjoying the Fidue A83 balanced silver plated copper cable. Probably the best $60 I've spent in recent times.

post #3234 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidFiMoney View Post


I meant to comment on this earlier. You definitely picked a good one to enter the TOTL game with. You could do a lot worse haha. I honestly don't "need" any other TOTLs but variety is the spice of life or something like that. Having something a little more even to accompany the Vega works well for me. That being said, I've been torn between the Kaiser Encore and Katana. I'm thinking I will keep the Katana and let the Kaiser go. The Katana pairs better with the DX200, IMO.

As for tips, I've been struggling with that myself. I just tried the Noble silicones (translucents, blacks, and double flanges). I actually like them all but the double flanges are working out great at the moment. The fit and isolation are nice. I typically don't like double flanges either. I'm sure they sell them on their site. I'm gonna hold off on high-end cables for a while. I'm really enjoying the Fidue A83 balanced silver plated copper cable. Probably the best $60 I've spent in recent times.

I didn't mean to imply there was anything bad about having a bunch of totl stuff, it's just that some of you guys are playing in a league here that I just can't quite imagine. Mainly just that it was hard enough for me to justify the Vega to myself even though I can afford it.

But yes I am quite happy with the vegas. Maybe not the most technical or neutral, but I just know that when I listen to them I really enjoy what I hear to a level I haven't gotten from anything else I own (all $250 or less, though still waiting on a few pairs).

As far as the tips, I think I saw your post above about getting some weird pressure issues. That's the same issue I am having with some of them.

I usually like spiral dots on my other iems, but I get that pressure issue with them and they do seem to shift the sound a bit in a direction I don't like. I tried the large included silicon tips, but still have some of the same pressure issues and they are slightly on the large side. I tried some mandarines symbios hybrid tips, but found the foam was too hard and ended up hurting my ears.

The spinfit mediums seem to be the best, but my ears are slightly different sizes and it's almost like I need a size in-between the medium and large for my right ear. It always feels slightly loose. And since it's a deeper insertion, they kind of make my ears itch. Really wanna try out the new double flange spinfits.

I really just don't like foam tips, especially having to replace them. I have a big bag of tips that I might start going through and see if I can find some better fits.
post #3235 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by mashuto View Post


I didn't mean to imply there was anything bad about having a bunch of totl stuff, it's just that some of you guys are playing in a league here that I just can't quite imagine. Mainly just that it was hard enough for me to justify the Vega to myself even though I can afford it.

But yes I am quite happy with the vegas. Maybe not the most technical or neutral, but I just know that when I listen to them I really enjoy what I hear to a level I haven't gotten from anything else I own (all $250 or less, though still waiting on a few pairs).

As far as the tips, I think I saw your post above about getting some weird pressure issues. That's the same issue I am having with some of them.

I usually like spiral dots on my other iems, but I get that pressure issue with them and they do seem to shift the sound a bit in a direction I don't like. I tried the large included silicon tips, but still have some of the same pressure issues and they are slightly on the large side. I tried some mandarines symbios hybrid tips, but found the foam was too hard and ended up hurting my ears.

The spinfit mediums seem to be the best, but my ears are slightly different sizes and it's almost like I need a size in-between the medium and large for my right ear. It always feels slightly loose. And since it's a deeper insertion, they kind of make my ears itch. Really wanna try out the new double flange spinfits.

I really just don't like foam tips, especially having to replace them. I have a big bag of tips that I might start going through and see if I can find some better fits.


I didn't take your comments in a negative way. However, I do feel guilty from time to time, most notably when someone points out my excessive behavior haha. Of all the Higher-end IEMs I've heard, the Vega is the most unique and I suspect it will be around for quite a while. It looks like quite a few people dealing with pressure issues. Tip rolling is definitely required here. The stock foams are not a bad alternative but they do rob the sound of a little bit of air. They also insert deeper than I care for. Since I switched to the Noble double flange, I've been pretty content. Comfortable, great seal, and no pressure-related problems. However, your mileage may vary. I ordered a set of the Comply T400 Comfort series just to test them out. 


Edited by MidFiMoney - 3/20/17 at 10:01pm
post #3236 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidFiMoney View Post
 


I didn't take your comments in a negative way. However, I do feel guilty from time to time, most notably when someone points out my excessive behavior haha. Of all the Higher-end IEMs I've heard, the Vega is the most unique and I suspect it will be around for quite a while. It looks like quite a few people dealing with pressure issues. Tip rolling is definitely required here. The stock foams are not a bad alternative but they do rob the sound of a little bit of air. They also insert deeper than I care for. Since I switched to the Noble double flange, I've been pretty content. Comfortable, great seal, and no pressure-related problems. However, your mileage may vary. I ordered a set of the Comply T400 Comfort series just to test them out. 

Whilst I'm waiting to buy the Vega I've kept several tips from a couple of Monster earphones I had in the past (MD Tribute and Gratitude) as I did find them quite comfortable (gels and mixed rubber and foam tips). I wonder I they will work with the Vega...

post #3237 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerbi View Post
 

Whilst I'm waiting to buy the Vega I've kept several tips from a couple of Monster earphones I had in the past (MD Tribute and Gratitude) as I did find them quite comfortable (gels and mixed rubber and foam tips). I wonder I they will work with the Vega...


It's definitely a good idea to hold on to tips. I don't have any experience with those tips so I guess only time will time tell. My UE900 tips work great on just about everything except the Vega and FLC 8S.

post #3238 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidFiMoney View Post
 


It's definitely a good idea to hold on to tips. I don't have any experience with those tips so I guess only time will time tell. My UE900 tips work great on just about everything except the Vega and FLC 8S.

These are the ones I've kept

In particular I was fond of the memory foam with rubber sleeve. The others on the right have a gel insert and they are firmer.

 

 

post #3239 of 3360
Received my Vega yesterday and.... those things are hard to describe to me how unique and impressive they sound. My IEM history went Westone UM2 - Sennheiser IE80 - iBasso IT03 and now Vega and they are a different league for sure to my ears. And i am saying that after using them out of my IPhone for a quick listening last night. Receiving my Fiio x5iii today and can't wait to test them with that source!
post #3240 of 3360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zixpk View Post

Received my Vega yesterday and.... those things are hard to describe to me how unique and impressive they sound. My IEM history went Westone UM2 - Sennheiser IE80 - iBasso IT03 and now Vega and they are a different league for sure to my ears. And i am saying that after using them out of my IPhone for a quick listening last night. Receiving my Fiio x5iii today and can't wait to test them with that source!
X5III and Vega is a match made in Heaven.
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