AKG K3003 — Impressions, Reviews & Discussion
Sep 19, 2012 at 4:54 AM Post #136 of 212

music_4321

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subscribe. a very interesting and intelligent debate, you make a very good laywer defending the K3003i. Cheers..

 
My intention is not to defend the K3003 (or any other IEM), but I've been a Head-fi member long enough to know when people express genuine, unbiased views, regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

My favourite IEM, in fact, is the Piano Forte IX, yet I know many people would not like it that much (or not like it at all, for that matter). I even said it could be said that it's somewhat flawed sonically, and I'd only recommend it to very, very few people. On top of that, the IX offers virtually no isolation, and there are no strain reliefs at the housings.

The FI-BA-SS is sonically on par with, if not just a tad better than, the K3003 for my taste. I'd still recommend the K3003 first as I do believe it's more versatile, a better all-rounder, excellent sounding IEM.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 6:23 AM Post #137 of 212

james444

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My intention is not to defend the K3003...

 
Considering it's not even your intention, you do an awesome job.
wink.gif

 
Sep 19, 2012 at 6:41 AM Post #139 of 212
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The Piano Forte IX & TG334, by contrast, have less prominent treble (though you must bear in mind you yourself were using double flange tips on the 334s which makes the FitEars quite bright [not my cup of tea as also both mid & low freqs were negatively affected], while I use the single-flange silicone tips which makes the treble considerable less bright).

 
I was using single-flange tips FYI, but they extend a little past the end of the IEM. That is the initial reason I suspected the treble was disagreeing with me, but I still had that issue using Sony tips, which don't extend at all. In the end, the 334s disagree with me, as I'm now used to a more mid-forward FR. I would have loved them back when I owned Markl-mod Denons.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 6:54 AM Post #140 of 212

tinyman392

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Music, I'm curious to why you think that he made unbiased statements. What part of his tone conveyed this.

Explaining this part to any writer is far more important than literally invalidating his opinion (which you are basically doing and defending). It literally reads like your bias is towards the K3k3 (based on tone, word choice, and structure).

All the guy did was state that he thinks the crossovers areas don't have smooth transitions. And right there you begin invalidating his opinion which I didn't read as unbiased (by tone, word choice, structure, etc).
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 6:56 AM Post #141 of 212

music_4321

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I was using single-flange tips FYI, but they extend a little past the end of the IEM. That is the initial reason I suspected the treble was disagreeing with me, but I still had that issue using Sony tips, which don't extend at all. In the end, the 334s disagree with me, as I'm now used to a more mid-forward FR. I would have loved them back when I owned Markl-mod Denons.

 
Judging by your post below (on the 334 thread some 3 weeks ago), I thought you only had the stock double flange tips:
 

 
 
 
Quote:
 
... I only have the one set of tips that Anakchan sent with them. They extend a couple of mm beyond the end of the plastic and I've found that tips that have anything like a tube extending beyond the end of the IEM body can make for an irritating treble, so that could very well be the reason for my impressions. I'll see if I don't have some other tips that fit more flush.

 
Sep 19, 2012 at 7:01 AM Post #142 of 212

music_4321

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Music, I'm curious to why you think that he made unbiased statements. What part of his tone conveyed this.
Explaining this part to any writer is far more important than literally invalidating his opinion (which you are basically doing and defending). It literally reads like your bias is towards the K3k3 (based on tone, word choice, and structure).
All the guy did was state that he thinks the crossovers areas don't have smooth transitions. And right there you begin invalidating his opinion which I didn't read as unbiased (by tone, word choice, structure, etc).

 
I don't want to go there (again), as already one of my posts has been removed. I could give you several more examples why I see it that way—and it is all very clear—but this thread would then get seriously derailed and there might be some rather unpleasant exchanges which would only make matters worse.
 
Please don't ask me to PM you as I don't want to discuss this via PMs, either.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 7:48 AM Post #143 of 212

shotgunshane

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@currawong, if you tip roll the k3003, make sure you don't cover the vents at the bottom of the nozzle. It will negatively affect the bass.

As to the treble, it is twfk bold but I I find it fantastic in its brassy tonality and one of my favorites I've heard. Also, contrary to some quotes copied from a head gear review, I found the k3003 excellent with all sub genres of rock music that I listen too. It's also the best low volume iem I've heard so far.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM Post #144 of 212

james444

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I think you may have misread my post.
wink.gif

 
Quote:
All the guy did was state that he thinks the crossovers areas don't have smooth transitions.

 
I actually don't think the crossovers are the point, this is rather about the strengths and weaknesses of different driver technologies being combined inside the K3003, dynamics vs. balanced armatures. As I mentioned in my own impressions, it's not hard to hear that the K3003 use DD for bass and BA for mid/highs, if you have a bit of experience with driver characteristics. The point is that some obviously don't dig the hybrid design and cry "incoherence!", while others think that AKG managed to combine the best of both worlds.
 
I tend to belong to the latter camp and might add that I haven't heard any pair of IEMs, be it universals or customs, that hasn't been a compromise in one way or the other. Therefore I don't think it's appropriate to sniff at those who think that AKG made a damn good compromise with their hybrid design, as if these people were disregarding or glossing over some obvious flaw. It's not like we're not able to hear the difference between drivers being used, you really don't need fancy measuring equipment or golden ears to notice that. The truth is that we don't mind and don't believe it impairs the K3003's sound quality in any way.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM Post #145 of 212

Kunlun

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I actually don't think the crossovers are the point, this is rather about the strengths and weaknesses of different driver technologies being combined inside the K3003, dynamics vs. balanced armatures. As I mentioned in my own impressions, it's not hard to hear that the K3003 use DD for bass and BA for mid/highs, if you have a bit of experience with driver characteristics. The point is that some obviously don't dig the hybrid design and cry "incoherence!", while others think that AKG managed to combine the best of both worlds.
 
I tend to belong to the latter camp and might add that I haven't heard any pair of IEMs, be it universals or customs, that hasn't been a compromise in one way or the other. Therefore I don't think it's appropriate to sniff at those who think that AKG made a damn good compromise with their hybrid design, as if these people were disregarding or glossing over some obvious flaw. It's not like we're not able to hear the difference between drivers being used, you really don't need fancy measuring equipment or golden ears to notice that. The truth is that we don't mind and don't believe it impairs the K3003's sound quality in any way.

That's reasonable. Certainly if people were claiming not to hear any difference that would be different as I think we agree that the difference can be heard. Hearing the difference between drivers and drawing a different conclusion that mine is certainly totally valid, of course, and I meant no offense to you.
 
You do admit that the k3003's mix of drivers is a compromise, even if a damn good one. If it's a compromise, then it does impair the sound, otherwise it wouldn't be a compromise. Not to push the point overmuch, but just to point out that maybe we aren't disagreeing so much as simply giving different values to a flaw we both hear. To you, it's a small problem (a compromise), whereas to me, it's larger.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM Post #146 of 212

tinyman392

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Quote:
 
I think you may have misread my post.
wink.gif

 
 
I actually don't think the crossovers are the point, this is rather about the strengths and weaknesses of different driver technologies being combined inside the K3003, dynamics vs. balanced armatures. As I mentioned in my own impressions, it's not hard to hear that the K3003 use DD for bass and BA for mid/highs, if you have a bit of experience with driver characteristics. The point is that some obviously don't dig the hybrid design and cry "incoherence!", while others think that AKG managed to combine the best of both worlds.
 
I tend to belong to the latter camp and might add that I haven't heard any pair of IEMs, be it universals or customs, that hasn't been a compromise in one way or the other. Therefore I don't think it's appropriate to sniff at those who think that AKG made a damn good compromise with their hybrid design, as if these people were disregarding or glossing over some obvious flaw. It's not like we're not able to hear the difference between drivers being used, you really don't need fancy measuring equipment or golden ears to notice that. The truth is that we don't mind and don't believe it impairs the K3003's sound quality in any way.

 
Ah, I understand a little better now :)  Thanks for the input.  
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM Post #147 of 212

Kunlun

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I think you may have misread my post.
wink.gif

 
 
I actually don't think the crossovers are the point, this is rather about the strengths and weaknesses of different driver technologies being combined inside the K3003, dynamics vs. balanced armatures. As I mentioned in my own impressions, it's not hard to hear that the K3003 use DD for bass and BA for mid/highs, if you have a bit of experience with driver characteristics. The point is that some obviously don't dig the hybrid design and cry "incoherence!", while others think that AKG managed to combine the best of both worlds.

I do want to say that I think a hybrid design could be very successful with a different choice of dynamic drivers than the one used in the k3003. I'm looking forward to more successful implementations. A more detailed, faster dynamic with careful tuning would make for a much better marriage between the two driver types.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM Post #148 of 212

lee730

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I do want to say that I think a hybrid design could be very successful with a different choice of dynamic drivers than the one used in the k3003. I'm looking forward to more successful implementations. A more detailed, faster dynamic with careful tuning would make for a much better marriage between the two driver types.

 
It's already been done IMO and I own it due to that very reason :wink:.
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM Post #149 of 212

Kunlun

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It's already been done IMO and I own it due to that very reason :wink:.


The Tralucent 1plus2? That does sound interesting. The AS-2 will be very interesting as well as the 15mm dynamic is better detailed and quicker than the k3003's dynamic. I will also be interested in the Aurisonics' approach of having the dynamic be full-range rather than just covering the bass. We'll see how that work, I know Kenman loves his set. Of course the UM Merlin--could someone link me to any direct comparisons between the k3003 and the Merlin?
 
Sep 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM Post #150 of 212

Inks

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The issue with the K3003 is that the bass driver is noticeably slower than the BAs. It's kind of to be expected seeing as how BAs are naturally faster, but I think the generic, polymer-based dynamic driver needs to be more than average in speed, the case of the K3003, at least by a dynamic's standard. Use a more rigid rigid driver, with faster transients, less midbass and it will become more coherent. 
 
The K3003's CSD portray that speed difference clearly. 
 

 
The K3003 is still an outstanding performer though, but just as the EX1000 has that 5.5k spike issue, these have this. 
 

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