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Advanced AcousticWerkes W900 Hybrid Flagship Thread

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  1. SoundArtillery
    Who else is pumped to finally see this thread?  I love my W500 AHMorph and cannot wait to try the W900.  



    Developed and enhanced based on our acclaimed hybrid system, W900 is at the summit of our ideology of fusing the best traits out of dynamic and balanced armature drivers. Instead of creating high order RC crossover network, which usually causes chaotic phase shift and scrambled arrival timing, AAW uses a complete new approach called TrueXross to solve the classic coherence issue in hybrid earphones. The dynamic driver is proprietary tuned diaphragm wise and by further utilizing a physical low pass filter, it is to only function in minimal overlapping frequency range as opposed to the balanced armature driver. Coupled with delicate positional arrangement and front acoustic chamber design, AAW is able to achieve improved coherence, minimized phase shift and optimized arrival timing of music signal.


    W900 is designed to be true reference equipment, it offers powerful yet natural sub bass which you will never find in a full balanced armature CIEM. The 4 way crossover network configures dedicated woofer, mid, treble and super tweeters. Inherited AAW's highly praised musical imaging, instrument separation and realistic sound stage, W900 steps up the game by offering extended treble and superior detail retrieval. The end result being a high-end speaker like performance condensed in a tiny footprint of CIEM.


    AAW worked with the best balanced armature maker in the world to develop the bespoke super tweeter drivers used in W900. It ensures non-compromising sound pressure all the way up to 20kHz and further extends to 40kHz. 


    Suitable for stage performers, recording studio, audio engineers and the most critical audiophiles. Every AAW custom is customised to fill exact cavity of your ears. The CIEM experience is started with a trip to audiologist to have ear impressions taken and AAW will carefully craft the monitor shells mirroring their shapes. Delicately tuned and matched transducers are then mounted into the shells to create a one of a kind earpiece for you and you only. Universal shape for W900 is also available.

  2. Cecala
    Yes indeed, I'm stoked.
  3. proedros
    what a FR chart [​IMG]
  4. crinacle
    Alright, just came back from the audition event @Jaben for the W900. A very solid addition to the pantheon of TOTLs, that's for sure.
    MSRP: SGD$2999 SGD$2850
    Here's the general consensus around the table:
    1. Soundstage is HUGE. Very, very wide.
    2. Treble extension is top notch.
    3. Instrumental separation is excellent, definitely one of its selling points.
    4. It's surprisingly flat and neutral.
    5. The bass is not as satisfying as it was on the W500.
    6. The tonality is a little on the dry side.
    Here's my impressions of them. I think I spent the most time on the W900 compared to the rest of the patrons.
    The W900 uses a different physical low pass filter to the W500, and the difference is quite apparent. Sub-bass retains the W500's legendary note articulation and rumble, and I think the lowest notes hit darker in comparison. Coherency is improved a lot; decay transition from bass to lower mids is much smoother and less abrupt than on the W500.
    Mid-bass speed is greatly improved, making it snappier and more detailed. Rumble is better limited to the lowest registers, which makes for better pacing and rhythm compared to the relatively boomier W500.
    Perhaps a little cut-and-dry with just the tiniest hint of warmth from the dynamic's bass. Kevin mentioned that AAW made a lot of effort in separating the driver's influence from one another and it was achieved to great effect, perhaps at the cost of musicality. The W900 excels in instrumental separation and resolution and has a very neutral tonality to it. Male vocals do benefit from the added heft of the low end, but certain female vocals tend to stray into the analytical side of things.
    The upper midrange spike of the W500 has been rectified on the W900, though comparatively speaking it cuts the energy from its midrange, making the W900 a little dull and boring. It's definitely less fatiguing though, and a whole lot more detailed and resolving.
    AAW seems to have gotten greedy. It wasn't enough to have best bass, they had to have the best treble as well. The W900's upper frequency response is immaculate, being polite yet far reaching at the same time. Jelt praised the W500's treble for being flat and grounded; well the W900 achieves this to a even higher degree, with treble extension rivaling that of the Jomo Samba and the UERR.
    It's not really the most energetic treble, in fact it almost touches on the "laid-back" line. However, it still manages to sparkle, and it sparkles all the way up into the stratosphere. Rarely do I hear IEMs reach past the 13KHz mark, and the W900 confidently blasts past that barrier with ease.
    A lot of people praised the W500 for its imaging and soundstage. I personally wasn't as wowed by it like the rest; sure it had great outward diffusal, but it was honestly a little congested and smoothed over for my liking. I mean, I listen to the D2000 whenever I'm home, so a CIEM's "soundstage" wasn't going to raise any eyebrows on me.
    The W900 was a different case. Every single person around the auditioning table said the same thing. The soundstage, it's so big! So wide! I was a little skeptical. There's not a lot that a mere IEM can do with soundstaging, right?
    The issue with the W500 was twofold. Relatively congested midrange and treble extension. It wasn't exactly top-echelon material in those regards, and thus while it held the title for imaging, it's not exactly the cream of the crop for wide soundstaging. The W900 extends far out into both ends of the spectrum, and along with its elite separation made for an extremely wide stage being presented to you. That's not to say that the outward diffusal was sacrificed for it; decay control was still very well managed, allowing for extremely realistic 3D imaging on top of its wide stage. I won't say too much for now, but initial impressions have finally wowed me this time.
    It's flat with a bass bump. It's very flat with a bass bump. Some people will hate this. It's neutral and flat to a fault, and coupled with the bass boost makes for a very niche signature. The tonality is leaning towards the dry side though neutral for the most part. Detail isn't as in-your-face like the Samba is, but it can be considered a detail-oriented IEM per se. 
    Moving back to the W500... man, I shouldn't have. By itself, the W900 wasn't really that impressive, but jumping back to the W500 or even greats like the 64Audio A12 felt like a downgrade. Mids are thick and muddy. Treble is comparatively non-existent. Bass not as well controlled. The faults I never knew existed popped out to me.
    Of course, I'm not saying that the W900 is better than the A12 just yet. That's a topic for when I'm writing up a full review.
    i bought one
    proedros and EagleWings like this.
  5. Tobias89
    Sounds like the W300 based on your descriptions, with more bass and treble yet retaining a similar signature! [​IMG]
  6. Cecala
    Judging by some very early impressions they have gone down the boring flat curve and removed or tamed the bass portion, I've lost interest.[​IMG]
  7. Mimouille
    Wait for my impressions, in general everyone else is wrong :D
    headwhacker likes this.
  8. MadSounds
    That price jump though... maybe null will be lower then the stated AAW price (they are for most models). If its really going to be 3000 SGD or 2100 USD I just cant do it. I decided to hold off on black Friday hopping for a budget friendly giant killer, but this just sounds like a giant.
  9. Mimouille
    I think at Null Audio preorder price is 2399SGD
  10. crinacle
    At any case, the W500 is still a very solid even though it's knocked off its "flagship" status. It still produces some of the best bass in an IEM for an extremely low price, and as a whole is the best performance-for-value in terms of TOTLs.
    The W900, if you like the tuning, is a league ahead of the W500 in technicalities. Detail, separation, articulation, soundstage...
  11. MadSounds

    Thanks! I just sent an e-mail to null. This is going to be a hard choice to make.

    some early impressions here on what promises to be an epic thread
  12. SlightlyNoob

    Hey there! New here! Could you elaborate on that? Is it because of the sound signature of the Jomo? Or is it just that the Jomo manages to squeeze out more detail?
  13. crinacle

    It's partly due to the sound signature. The Samba has a small treble emphasis which gives a perceived clarity boost throughout the spectrum. The W900 is flatter (perhaps slightly laid-back compared to the rest of the frequency response) which makes it more grounded but also less energetic.

    Both are what I consider to be "intense" sounding IEMs (a relaxing IEM would be the CA 8.2 for instance) but the Samba a little moreso due to the added energy. It pushes out details closer to the listener than the W900 does, though technically both are revealing the same amount of microdetail, just presented differently.
    markie likes this.
  14. SlightlyNoob

    Thanks for the clarification! Would you consider the extension on both ends better on the W900, as compared to the Samba?

    Also, how would you rate the coherence? Could the "intensity" be attributed to the coherence, or lack thereof, of the W900's drivers?
  15. crinacle
    They're all very coherent IEMs. The W900 being an interesting case since it's a hybrid, but from my first impressions the transition from dynamic to BA is very seamless. Better than the W500 which I thought had was a tad too abrupt in transition.
    There are two kinds of the "intense" sound signature; one is due to coherence or poor acoustics which results in a lot of unwanted peaks or dips, the other is more common in detail oriented IEMs. To put it simply, the sound on the W900 is very fast with harder note impact, while the less fatiguing IEMs tend to have a more lingering sound with softer note impact. There's a tradeoff in this, mostly in the smoothness vs separation aspect.
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