Brand New : Tralucent Audio Ref.1 Too & original Ref.1
Aug 23, 2014 at 9:03 AM Post #1,561 of 4,426

Kiats

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Aug 23, 2014 at 9:10 AM Post #1,562 of 4,426

flymetothemoon

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Indeed!
smily_headphones1.gif
Now to burn it in.

any impressions?
 
Aug 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM Post #1,563 of 4,426

Kiats

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any impressions?


Still early days. Or rather hours. But it's a very attractive sig. Refined. Good bass. Impressive soundstage.

Realistic portrayal of music. Unlike some iems where everything is just in your head. Immersive, I believe they like to call that. :)
 
Aug 23, 2014 at 9:23 AM Post #1,564 of 4,426

nazrin313

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Still early days. Or rather hours. But it's a very attractive sig. Refined. Good bass. Impressive soundstage.

Realistic portrayal of music. Unlike some iems where everything is just in your head. Immersive, I believe they like to call that. :)


Once burnt in now we can have a proper matchup with the LAB 1...i think everyone will tune in for that one
 
Aug 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM Post #1,565 of 4,426

Kiats

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Once burnt in now we can have a proper matchup with the LAB 1...i think everyone will tune in for that one


Haha! Right off, I can tell you very different creatures. If not, I would not have picked up the Ref 1.
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM Post #1,566 of 4,426

Kiats

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Once burnt in now we can have a proper matchup with the LAB 1...i think everyone will tune in for that one

 
Naz,
 
I'm vindicated in my initial view that the Ref 1 and the Lab 1 are quite different creatures.
 
I know there has been this thinking that its a zero sum game between the two of them: one or the other. But what I hear is quite different.
 
Whilst the Lab 1 starts with the premise of a warm sig, while maintaining good soundstage and good clarity, the Ref 1 is not a warm iem at all. In fact, when I listen to songs from the Secret Garden and Linda Ronstadt (backed by the Nelson Riddle Band), you would not know what lies beneath: there's great separation and space, excellent soundstage and transparency.
 
In fact, it is so transparent that you can easily tell when you move between DAPs (I tried AK240, HM 901, Calyx M, HM 801 and DX 100). A further observation is that it is when your source file is badly recorded or mastered, the faults are apparent - sibilance, or occasional glare in the trebles. It is interesting that the quality of the chain, or the lack thereof, is quite apparent. If the music file is good, you will be amply rewarded. 
 
Of course, when there is bass in the recording, you will feel it. When there is percussion aplenty in the recording, you will know. Two things are interesting here: firstly, percussion is very realistic with good decay; secondly, when sub bass is called for, it is deep and impactful.
 
The other two observations running through my music collection are firstly, the piano sounds very realistic; secondly, there is wonderful timbre in its portrayal of strings.
 
What I will say is this: whilst the Lab 1 is wonderfully euphonic and musical, while suffering from none of the achilles heel that is associated with a warm sig such as smearing or veil, the Ref 1 is really very transparent while maintaining a very realistic portrayal of your music. It may be a tad daring to say this - but the Ref 1 gives me that sort of enjoyment and aural excitement that only the Abyss has given me in the realm of full sized cans. 
L3000.gif

 
Aug 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM Post #1,567 of 4,426

nazrin313

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Naz,

I'm vindicated in my initial view that the Ref 1 and the Lab 1 are quite different creatures.

I know there has been this thinking that its a zero sum game between the two of them: one or the other. But what I hear is quite different.

Whilst the Lab 1 starts with the premise of a warm sig, while maintaining good soundstage and good clarity, the Ref 1 is not a warm iem at all. In fact, when I listen to songs from the Secret Garden and Linda Ronstadt (backed by the Nelson Riddle Band), you would not know what lies beneath: there's great separation and space, excellent soundstage and transparency.

In fact, it is so transparent that you can easily tell when you move between DAPs (I tried AK240, HM 901, Calyx M, HM 801 and DX 100). A further observation is that it is when your source file is badly recorded or mastered, the faults are apparent - sibilance, or occasional glare in the trebles. It is interesting that the quality of the chain, or the lack thereof, is quite apparent. If the music file is good, you will be amply rewarded. 

Of course, when there is bass in the recording, you will feel it. When there is percussion aplenty in the recording, you will know. Two things are interesting here: firstly, percussion is very realistic with good decay; secondly, when sub bass is called for, it is deep and impactful.

The other two observations running through my music collection are firstly, the piano sounds very realistic; secondly, there is wonderful timbre in its portrayal of strings.

What I will say is this: whilst the Lab 1 is wonderfully euphonic and musical, while suffering from none of the achilles heel that is associated with a warm sig such as smearing or veil, the Ref 1 is really very transparent while maintaining a very realistic portrayal of your music. It may be a tad daring to say this - but the Ref 1 gives me that sort of enjoyment and aural excitement that only the Abyss has given me in the realm of full sized cans. :L3000:


OoooOOo..good early impressions my friend..things just got a little more interesting now
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 8:38 PM Post #1,568 of 4,426

Kiats

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OoooOOo..good early impressions my friend..things just got a little more interesting now

 
Haha! Well, one thing is for sure - the Lab 1 and Ref 1 will co-exist side by side very nicely. Hmmm... What were you saying about the 1plus2...? 
tongue_smile.gif
 
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 8:55 PM Post #1,569 of 4,426

nazrin313

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Haha! Well, one thing is for sure - the Lab 1 and Ref 1 will co-exist side by side very nicely. Hmmm... What were you saying about the 1plus2...? 
tongue_smile.gif
 

hahhaa...1plus2 is great and perfect for my needs lol. Especially with Uber. The right amount of warmth, bass, details and more importantly 'FUN'ness hehehe, No one can tell me otherwise
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 9:16 PM Post #1,570 of 4,426

ChrisSC

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I think its funny how it seems like opinions are separating into 2 camps with very little in-between:
 
1)  "This is overpriced and beat by an iem (the ASG2.5) < 1/2 the price(" (Eke and others)
2)  "This is the earphone version of a headphone (the Abyss) that costs about $5,500" (Kiats and others)
 
As an owner, I see both sides.  Yes, the asking price is very expensive and well past the point of diminishing returns, but yes this is (to me) completely top of the line and its price is warranted.
 
After spending a lot of time really concentrating on the sound and how it changes depending on DAP/type of tip/amp/cable/mp3 format/ I really think that its one of the more confusing IEMs to wrap one's head around.  I really like this IEM, but it's not for everyone.  It presents the details yet buries them in its musicality, and I personally like that.  The whole, "hearing things that I've never heard" doesn't apply here like it does with the 1+2 and others.  But I'm ok with that.  I'm not an audiophile in the true sense of the term, and would rather get lost in the music than search for and analyze the details. 
 
Ironically given its price tag, (I don't know of a more expensive universal IEM), I don't find it in the same league of reference level monitors in terms of detail retrieval.  But this is my endgame IEM and I take comfort in knowing that I won't be buying a new IEM for a long time (hopefully
biggrin.gif
).  Quite simply, I can't imagine enjoying music more than I would with these.
 
Tomorrow I'm going to ship them off to Colorado to the Westone Factory to get the style #7 custom molded to my ears.  It might be a spectacular failure, but this is the only way I can imagine these IEMs getting better.
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 9:22 PM Post #1,571 of 4,426

sithjedi333

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  Tomorrow I'm going to ship them off to Colorado to the Westone Factory to get the style #7 custom molded to my ears.  It might be a spectacular failure, but this is the only way I can imagine these IEMs getting better.

 
Chris,
 
Please let us know how it turns out, I'm interested in doing the same. How much do they run?
 
Thanks.
 
Aug 24, 2014 at 9:35 PM Post #1,572 of 4,426

Kiats

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  I think its funny how it seems like opinions are separating into 2 camps with very little in-between:
 
1)  "This is overpriced and beat by an iem (the ASG2.5) < 1/2 the price(" (Eke and others)
2)  "This is the earphone version of a headphone (the Abyss) that costs about $5,500" (Kiats and others)
 
As an owner, I see both sides.  Yes, the asking price is very expensive and well past the point of diminishing returns, but yes this is (to me) completely top of the line and its price is warranted.
 
After spending a lot of time really concentrating on the sound and how it changes depending on DAP/type of tip/amp/cable/mp3 format/ I really think that its one of the more confusing IEMs to wrap one's head around.  I really like this IEM, but it's not for everyone.  It presents the details yet buries them in its musicality, and I personally like that.  The whole, "hearing things that I've never heard" doesn't apply here like it does with the 1+2 and others.  But I'm ok with that.  I'm not an audiophile in the true sense of the term, and would rather get lost in the music than search for and analyze the details. 
 
Ironically given its price tag, (I don't know of a more expensive universal IEM), I don't find it in the same league of reference level monitors in terms of detail retrieval.  But this is my endgame IEM and I take comfort in knowing that I won't be buying a new IEM for a long time (hopefully
biggrin.gif
).  Quite simply, I can't imagine enjoying music more than I would with these.
 
Tomorrow I'm going to ship them off to Colorado to the Westone Factory to get the style #7 custom molded to my ears.  It might be a spectacular failure, but this is the only way I can imagine these IEMs getting better.

 
Chris, I don't think I quite said the Ref 1 is an IEM version of the Abyss - what I did say that is that it gives me the thrill and excitement which the Abyss gives me in the world of full sized cans.
 
However, I will agree that it shows the true character of your source. And it is enjoyable. 
atsmile.gif

 
Aug 24, 2014 at 9:46 PM Post #1,573 of 4,426

ChrisSC

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@ sithjedi: the price is $177 for custom ear molds by westone a la style no. 7, and I'll definitely report back on how they compare to auvio/ortofon/spiral dot tips when I get them back.. turn around time looks like about 2-3 weeks.
 
@ kiats: sorry to misquote you!  glad we're in agreement that they are source revealing and highly enjoyable 
k701smile.gif

 
Aug 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM Post #1,574 of 4,426

Kiats

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  @ sithjedi: the price is $177 for custom ear molds by westone a la style no. 7, and I'll definitely report back on how they compare to auvio/ortofon/spiral dot tips when I get them back.. turn around time looks like about 2-3 weeks.
 
@ kiats: sorry to misquote you!  glad we're in agreement that they are source revealing and highly enjoyable 
k701smile.gif

 
Agree with Sithjedi: I will definitely want to hear how the ear moulds go. Very intriguing possibilities! 
tongue_smile.gif

 
No worries. Yes, the Ref 1 is very much so! 
atsmile.gif

 
Aug 24, 2014 at 10:18 PM Post #1,575 of 4,426

flymetothemoon

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Naz,
 
I'm vindicated in my initial view that the Ref 1 and the Lab 1 are quite different creatures.
 
I know there has been this thinking that its a zero sum game between the two of them: one or the other. But what I hear is quite different.
 
Whilst the Lab 1 starts with the premise of a warm sig, while maintaining good soundstage and good clarity, the Ref 1 is not a warm iem at all. In fact, when I listen to songs from the Secret Garden and Linda Ronstadt (backed by the Nelson Riddle Band), you would not know what lies beneath: there's great separation and space, excellent soundstage and transparency.
 
In fact, it is so transparent that you can easily tell when you move between DAPs (I tried AK240, HM 901, Calyx M, HM 801 and DX 100). A further observation is that it is when your source file is badly recorded or mastered, the faults are apparent - sibilance, or occasional glare in the trebles. It is interesting that the quality of the chain, or the lack thereof, is quite apparent. If the music file is good, you will be amply rewarded. 
 
Of course, when there is bass in the recording, you will feel it. When there is percussion aplenty in the recording, you will know. Two things are interesting here: firstly, percussion is very realistic with good decay; secondly, when sub bass is called for, it is deep and impactful.
 
The other two observations running through my music collection are firstly, the piano sounds very realistic; secondly, there is wonderful timbre in its portrayal of strings.
 
What I will say is this: whilst the Lab 1 is wonderfully euphonic and musical, while suffering from none of the achilles heel that is associated with a warm sig such as smearing or veil, the Ref 1 is really very transparent while maintaining a very realistic portrayal of your music. It may be a tad daring to say this - but the Ref 1 gives me that sort of enjoyment and aural excitement that only the Abyss has given me in the realm of full sized cans. 
L3000.gif

Hi Kiats,
 
Your impressions between Ref.1 and Lab1 are very similar when comparing AK240 to Tera Player.  Tera is much more rounded (smooth if you should say) and give you a long and lasting easy listening (that's why it pairs extremely well with 1Plus2 to which is highly analytical and both complement each other) and the 240 is much more analytical and sharp.  
 
As you said, that is very much to each's preference and I'm lean onto highly analytical side as I feel a system (regardless of headfi or home system) should play little role in masking how the recording can provide.  A system won't create micro details only a good system could "communicate" good details.  
 
The Ref.1 is a more or less "end game" IEM for me ( hopeful Gavin won't give us another big march in performance in his next new IEM) and it will serve me well for the YEARS to come.
 
Cheers
 

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