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Advanced AcousticWerkes W900 Hybrid Flagship Thread

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  1. Mimouille
  2. flipper203
    nice ones, where did you get it and what is the price ? 
     
  3. Mimouille
    I got them from Null Audio there was a discount for launch, now they must be more expensive.
     
  4. crinacle
    Nice! Initial impressions?
     
  5. Fiberoptix
    @Mimouille is this a one-off piece?
     
    Wasn't there a post stating the Universal version wouldn't have the chamber? Chamber looks present in that pic.
     
  6. crinacle
     
    They're using the old low pass filter on the W900 (the one used on the W500). As long as it sounds good...
     
  7. flinkenick
    Can somebody with the custom show on a pic what the filter is supposed to be? Didnt see any module or anything on mine.
     
  8. Mimouille

    Just had little time. Sounds very nice neutral and clear with that dynamic driver punch.


    It is made to order.
     
  9. flipper203
    I don't find it on the null audio website....
     
  10. Mimouille
    Just write to them.
     
  11. crinacle
    ZO6C5B9.jpg
     
     ​
    Some not-so-glamorous glamour shots, along with some choice comparisons.​
     
    Jomo Samba
    gV9qdOg.jpg
     
    I've made my love for the Samba rather public, despite not even owning one. In this match of Singapore vs Singapore, they both excel in wholly different things and are complements to one another than bitter rivals.
     
    Two things that'll first pop out between the two: bass and treble. Being used to the warm signature of the W900 for a few days made the Samba borderline sibilant and harsh on first listen, but nothing a few minutes of conditioned listening didn't fix. The treble of the Samba is airy, sparkly and fast, a stark contrast to the laid-back, smooth and comparatively sluggish nature of the W900's. The Samba has also more energy and edge to its top end while the W900 is dead flat all the way to the top, which can be a little too grounded and lacking in air for some.
     
    Down in the bass, the W900 is easily trumps the Samba, no holds barred. Do not trust the measurements on this; the W900 has more authority and articulation despite objectively measuring lower than the Samba. The Samba admittedly still suffers from "farty BA syndrome" next to the shining, thundering behemoth that is the W900's dynamic driver. Hits are more rounded and 3-dimensional on the W900, while the Samba felt like it was trying really really hard but unable to deliver.
     
    Tonality is another diverging point on both. The Samba is much better balanced, perfectly juggling between musicality and reference, providing the best of both worlds. The W900 strays into smooth-warm territory which is still very enjoyable by all accounts, but I felt that a tonality closer to reference would be better for its neutral tuning. Transients on the Samba are quick and straight-to-the-point while the W900 takes its own sweet time with the decay, which leads to the Samba to be more detail-oriented while the W900 being more laid-back and musical.
     
    Into the soundstage, I'd say while they're on opposite ends of the spectrum with regards to flavour, the W900 has some of the best positioning and spacing that I've ever heard (more on this in my future review). The Samba is intimate and throws everything right at your face, but the W900 takes a step back in staging, diffusing outward with ridiculous width though with somewhat average depth.
     
    64 Audio A12
    pFp42RL.jpg
     
    The A12 and the W900 are, surprisingly, similar in more aspects than they are different. They both shine in the bass, has somewhat laid-back treble and warm in tonality. 
     
    The bass on the A12 is the best I've heard out of a BA system, for sure. Rumble and darkness of hits done so excellently that it sounds almost dynamic. Though the keyword is "almost"; while the difference between the W900 and the A12 isn't as large as the chasm between the W900 and Samba, there's still a lot that the A12 has to concede to the W900. 3-dimensionalness and decay are the A12's biggest losers, but all in all still an impressive showing by the APEX-clad IEM.
     
    Both are smooth and warm in tonality, with the A12 being ever so slightly moreso. There's more mid-presence on the W900, pushing vocals closer to the listener than the A12.
     
    Treble is also similar, both being laid-back and smooth. Speed on the A12 is ever-so-slightly faster, but the detail on the W900 is noticeably higher, picking out easy-to-miss hi-hat rides on certain test tracks.
     
    The A12 handily wins in soundstage depth with its APEX-tuned signature, but is still nothing in width compared to the spacious, open stage of the W900. Instrument placement and spacing is of much higher quality on the W900, easily separating every individual sound from each other.
     
    Empire Ears Zeus-XR ADEL
    dJH7Vt6.jpg
     
    Let's just get it straight from the get-go. The Zeus is the most technically proficient IEM I've heard to date. Its clarity and detail are easily in the top, and soundstage demolishes most of the competition.
     
    No surprises here, the Zeus' weakest point is completely decimated by the W900's specialty. The Zeus' bass is well textured yes, but one-dimensional and inarticulate next to the W900's. I don't need to touch on this too much.
     
    Tonality of the Zeus-R lies closer to the reference/cold side of things, coming back to neutral on Zeus-XIV mode. Not as balanced as the Samba, but definitely going in the opposite direction of the W900. Zeus mids are airy, clear and intense, everything the W900 is not. This all comes down to preference and again, the Zeus has more detail. Though in the summit-fi of things, the differences are still pretty much neck-and-neck.
     
    Treble is also as different as the rest comes. Just like the Samba, the Zeus is sparkly and well textured, though surprisingly not as intense as the Samba. The W900 is the opposite, so it's definitely a question of sonic preferences than technicalities between the two.
     
    As much as I would love to say that the Zeus-APEX destroys the W900 in soundstage and imaging... it didn't. In fact, the W900 in its fully sealed glory held up rather well, even taking a few points off the Zeus. In particular the width, the W900 is amazingly spacious and open, surpassing the Zeus on certain echo-y type tracks. Intrumental spacing and separation are both flagships' forte, and honestly too close to call a clear winner.
     
     
    See the large hole/bore at the tip of my customs? That's where the tuning filter will go.
     
    proedros, ChrisSC, flinkenick and 2 others like this.
  12. jelt2359 Contributor
    Some quick thoughts:
     
    I really like how fast and precise these drivers are. So far none of my other IEMs get even close to its speed; I had to turn to my Focal Utopia to hear a faster driver. I also like how coherent it sounds- very important for a hybrid. Also, the tuning is pretty good for my tastes. For example, my Adel A12 is significantly warmer and has a noticeably softer edge. The W900 is clear, focused, spacious, and smooth. Separation is also very good.
     
    Current chain:
    sOTM SMS-200 Streamer>
    Chord Dave DAC (digital volume control in use)>
    TTVJ Millet Hybrid Portable Amp (volume control maxxed, to take its pot out of the chain)
     
  13. Fiberoptix
    Interesting how some of the impressions coming out are slightly contradictive.
     
    i.e. A12 / w900 Speed and Warmth description from Jelt / Crinnacle. 
     
    Could this be down to APEX v ADEL module bringing out different characteristics on the A12?
     
  14. DWbirdseye

    With sparkly highs and forward mid range?
     
  15. twister6 Contributor
     
    Actually, it all comes down to how many hours of burn in you got.  Out of the box, even after 10-15hrs, Crinacle's comparison is still valid, but after 100hrs - I hear it similar to Jason's assessment.  I feel that it's not just a burn in of dynamic driver, but also cross over components which refine the response of multi-BAs.
     
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