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Oh they are making a tunable version? awesome!
oh sounds delicious -- can you please describe the mids more?
Hey Alex you reading this
Yep, reading it now, Nic Been overloaded with work at my job, kids at home, holidays, and boxes with products to review.
My universal W900 arrived about 3 weeks ago, went through about 50hrs burn in (DD after all , but need more), and I took some initial impression notes, but then set it aside, it's in my review queue to get to later. For now I can share a few pictures and some early impressions.
I know everybody likes to talk about FR graphs, and you probably aware that manufacturers typically share compensated curves to make them look flatter, not the raw measurements. Here is my "raw" measurement using Veritas coupler, which has been calibrated with a proper correction curve. Keep in mind, these "hobby" couplers can't measure accurately above 10kHz or below 50Hz.
This is how Universal W900 FR looks and exactly how I hear it.
Regarding sound impression, I need to go back and refresh my mind. But going by memory, the first thing that stands out is of course the bass. Not exactly on Vega level, but close to U12 level, more than S-EM9 and Andromeda. The bass had a very analog tonality, and also sounding a little hollow and bouncy. W900 has lots of clarity and details at the top, but at the same time sounds smooth and natural, not congested. But it does lacks some airiness in treble, and as a result the sound layering and separation is just above average, not necessary outstanding. But make no mistake, it has a ton of clear and smooth details, and surprisingly great pair up with included stock SPC cable. Once I'm ready to review, I will definitely include detailed comparison with Vega, Andromeda, U12, S-EM9, UERR, Zeus XRA, W80, Sirius, etc. Maybe we hear things differently or maybe I need more burn in, but I don't hear W900 as having more airiness or better transparency/layering/separation in comparison to Zeus XRA. Of course, take it with a grain of salt since it has been a few weeks since I heard W900.
Oh, and forgot to mention - soundstage is SUPER wide. Above average depth, so overall staging is not exactly 3D holographic, but width is VERY impressive. From my personal experience, sounstage could vary between Universal and Custom shell design due to a distance between eardrums and the driver, and earcanal anatomy, so others might have a slightly different impression when it comes to depth.
Huh, that 7KHz rolloff looks rather disconcerting. I'll not be pleased if it measures the same on my rig as well.
Also, weird how the dynamic driver doesn't have the new low-pass chamber installed. Wonder if it was scrapped.
EDIT: roll-off could be due to insertion depth as well. I've experimented and seen it a lot with my ER4, there's more treble with a "shallow" fit while deep fit has tons of roll-off.
This is Universal version of W900, low-pass chamber or whatever you call that thing only going to be implemented in CIEM version, not Universal.
Based off your original FR captures, assuming before you applied the correction curve, I believe your captured upper frequencies in all measurements were slightly attenuated.
Haha, not even slightly, there's about a 10dB attenuation between 5KHz and 10KHz. Should be a non-issue after my IEC-derived compensation.
No chamber in the universal version? That sounds like it would separate the W900 into two different sound signatures altogether. Did AAW confirm this?
AAW is where I got this info from. That is a reason why I received my review sample of Universal W900 so soon, why other reviewers who requested CIEM version only getting it right now.
Hm, guess your unit could be a "V1" version of sorts In that case the new units should be a tighter increase in bass. In theory.
Not sure what you mean, there is no V1 version. This is what AAW told to me:
"W900 is pre-designed to adapt the feature of tunable filters for all the customized version. However, for the universal version, tunable filter is not applicable because the ear piece is very compact and there is not enough space for the filters."
Oh no I wasn't talking about the tunable filters. The demo unit that I tried had a 3D-printed "chamber" of sorts attached directly to the dynamic driver (refer to my pic on page 1, it's the white thing) while yours doesn't have that. Based off my time with Kevin, the chamber is supposedly a better way to absorb higher frequencies of the driver.
If yours doesn't have it and is representative of the final product, they probably scrapped that.
Just received my W900 today. I'll reserve subjective impressions for the time being, but here are my measurements (raw/compensated):
If you've been following my measuring adventures, the W900 is undeniably the highest extending IEM available today. That almost dubious claim of extension to 20,000Hz is pretty accurate, at least on my rig.
Glamour pics to come once my camera is charged and the sun is up
Is yours with the AHmorph?
Nope, I guess the module would change the sound too much. It's basically adding a resistor that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place, after all.