Campfire Audio - Introducing 2 new models Hello Andromeda and Nova
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Got a chance to compare AK SP1000 (2 ohm SE), AK Kann Cube (1.2 ohm SE) and Sony NW-WM1A (unknown OI on SE and all sound effects turned off) on SE operation ONLY since I don't have any balanced cables, and I want to make the comparison with the SE only DAP such as my iPod Touch 7G/6G. All impressions are compared to iPod Touch 7G. One thing I discovered is that I now understand how some say balanced cable and balanced operation have wider soundstage, better imaging, etc. than SE. My ears tell me that the iPod Touch 7G provides much wider soundstage and more space between instruments than WM1A and the Kann Cube on SE operation. It was a tough call for the SP1000 (SE only) since it was similar to iPod Touch 7G/6G in soundstage but cleaner sounding overall thanks to more sophisticated audio circuitry of the SP1000.

BTW, to my ears, the iPod Touch 7G definitely provides a very holographic out of the head soundstage width and instrument placement with Andromeda now that I had it compared to SE outputs of some popular DAPs out there.

Conclusion: If you buy a balanced DAP, always use it with balanced cables to maximize your DAP potential.

I also briefly compared the Andromeda with Z1R and definitely preferred the Andromeda's tonality over Z1R's slightly better technicalities.

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Got a chance to compare AK SP1000 (2 ohm SE), AK Kann Cube (1.2 ohm SE) and Sony NW-WM1A (unknown OI on SE and all sound effects turned off) on SE operation ONLY since I don't have any balanced cables, and I want to make the comparison with the SE only DAP such as my iPod Touch 7G/6G. All impressions are compared to iPod Touch 7G. One thing I discovered is that I now understand how some say balanced cable and balanced operation have wider soundstage, better imaging, etc. than SE. My ears tell me that the iPod Touch 7G provides much wider soundstage and more space between instruments than WM1A and the Kann Cube on SE operation. It was a tough call for the SP1000 (SE only) since it was similar to iPod Touch 7G/6G in soundstage but cleaner sounding overall thanks to more sophisticated audio circuitry of the SP1000.

BTW, to my ears, the iPod Touch 7G definitely provides a very holographic out of the head soundstage width and instrument placement with Andromeda now that I had it compared to SE outputs of some popular DAPs out there.

Conclusion: If you buy a balanced DAP, always use it with balanced cables to maximize your DAP potential.

I also briefly compared the Andromeda with Z1R and definitely preferred the Andromeda's tonality over Z1R's slightly better technicalities.

Have you tried your Z1R cable on the Andromeda? Curious if the Z1R cable would affect the Andromedas impedance curve in any tangible way.
 
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Have you tried your Z1R cable on the Andromeda? Curious if the Z1R cable would affect the Andromedas impedance curve in any tangible way.
I did not unfortunately. I would definitely try it when I get a chance to go back there for cable comparison on SE only. Also, I'd swap the Z1R's balanced cable and SE cable with Andromeda to finally hear the difference between balanced and SE. However, it would be extremely difficult to find a 4.4 mm to 2.5mm plug compare to 2.5mm to 4.4 mm plug
 
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Got a chance to compare AK SP1000 (2 ohm SE), AK Kann Cube (1.2 ohm SE) and Sony NW-WM1A (unknown OI on SE and all sound effects turned off) on SE operation ONLY since I don't have any balanced cables, and I want to make the comparison with the SE only DAP such as my iPod Touch 7G/6G. All impressions are compared to iPod Touch 7G. One thing I discovered is that I now understand how some say balanced cable and balanced operation have wider soundstage, better imaging, etc. than SE. My ears tell me that the iPod Touch 7G provides much wider soundstage and more space between instruments than WM1A and the Kann Cube on SE operation. It was a tough call for the SP1000 (SE only) since it was similar to iPod Touch 7G/6G in soundstage but cleaner sounding overall thanks to more sophisticated audio circuitry of the SP1000.

BTW, to my ears, the iPod Touch 7G definitely provides a very holographic out of the head soundstage width and instrument placement with Andromeda now that I had it compared to SE outputs of some popular DAPs out there.

Conclusion: If you buy a balanced DAP, always use it with balanced cables to maximize your DAP potential.

I also briefly compared the Andromeda with Z1R and definitely preferred the Andromeda's tonality over Z1R's slightly better technicalities.
With what music?
 
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twiceboss

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Got a chance to compare AK SP1000 (2 ohm SE), AK Kann Cube (1.2 ohm SE) and Sony NW-WM1A (unknown OI on SE and all sound effects turned off) on SE operation ONLY since I don't have any balanced cables, and I want to make the comparison with the SE only DAP such as my iPod Touch 7G/6G. All impressions are compared to iPod Touch 7G. One thing I discovered is that I now understand how some say balanced cable and balanced operation have wider soundstage, better imaging, etc. than SE. My ears tell me that the iPod Touch 7G provides much wider soundstage and more space between instruments than WM1A and the Kann Cube on SE operation. It was a tough call for the SP1000 (SE only) since it was similar to iPod Touch 7G/6G in soundstage but cleaner sounding overall thanks to more sophisticated audio circuitry of the SP1000.

BTW, to my ears, the iPod Touch 7G definitely provides a very holographic out of the head soundstage width and instrument placement with Andromeda now that I had it compared to SE outputs of some popular DAPs out there.

Conclusion: If you buy a balanced DAP, always use it with balanced cables to maximize your DAP potential.

I also briefly compared the Andromeda with Z1R and definitely preferred the Andromeda's tonality over Z1R's slightly better technicalities.

Truth hurts sometimes. It's hard to believe that some iems synergize better on a cheaper device. Ive been thru a lot of these cases. So far, i cant lie to myself. If it's bad even with a better specs etc, if it doesnt sound good to my ears, im just gonna say my this and that sounds better even it's cheaper.

Same situation with highly praised Fiio M11, all people praise it. So, i bought it and try it bymyself. It sounds narrow. Close sounding. Too intimate? Maybe. So, im just gonna say, why no reviews saying about this? I end up return it.

And now with my silly setup. The pairing of es100 balance to xcan balance is really crazy good. The sound separation and soundstage are outstanding!

Fact, i hate to the looks but cannot resist the sound. Balance on xcan with its own bluetooth is fxking bad. But pair it with es100 balance. Holy, it's just night and day and im not exaggerating.
 
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Truth hurts sometimes. It's hard to believe that some iems synergize better on a cheaper device. Ive been thru a lot of these cases. So far, i cant lie to myself. If it's bad even with a better specs etc, if it doesnt sound good to my ears, im just gonna say my this and that sounds better even it's cheaper.

Same situation with highly praised Fiio M11, all people praise it. So, i bought it and try it bymyself. It sounds narrow. Close sounding. Too intimate? Maybe. So, im just gonna say, why no reviews saying about this? I end up return it.

And now with my silly setup. The pairing of es100 balance to xcan balance is really crazy good. The sound separation and soundstage are outstanding!

Fact, i hate to the looks but cannot resist the sound. Balance on xcan with its own bluetooth is fxking bad. But pair it with es100 balance. Holy, it's just night and day and im not exaggerating.
I come across ES100 being mentioned quite a bit, and I find it interesting given it's not a common brand talked about here (AK, Fiio, ibasso, etc..).

It seems pretty similar to a Shanling M0, and curious why people are attracted this little player. How did you end up deciding on a ES100? Is it due to being the cheapest option with many features like the Shanling M0? I heard a future firmware update would provide parametric EQ and that's a big feature worth looking forward to. Then again, you can get PEQ with Rockbox. I don't understand why companies don't add PEQ for such expensive players.
 
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On the subject of tips. It is quite personal, there is fit/comfort and sound. I A/B compared quite a few and the only one that can stay in my ear for long and sounding full is the Spinfit CP500.
I got to try and it wasn't my cup of tea. I found the silicone a bit flimsy, and doesn't seem secure in terms of seal. I didn't notice any significant improvements myself. I would say these are pretty much the same as Symbio Peel. I turned my Symbio W into Peel and don't like it as Peel. I think the foam insert provides support for the fit, and silicon surface in combination works out well. I need to get a new set of Symbio W, but last time shipping took forever from Hungary. I wish they put it up on Amazon or something for local shipping.
 
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I come across ES100 being mentioned quite a bit, and I find it interesting given it's not a common brand talked about here (AK, Fiio, ibasso, etc..).

It seems pretty similar to a Shanling M0, and curious why people are attracted this little player. How did you end up deciding on a ES100? Is it due to being the cheapest option with many features like the Shanling M0? I heard a future firmware update would provide parametric EQ and that's a big feature worth looking forward to. Then again, you can get PEQ with Rockbox. I don't understand why companies don't add PEQ for such expensive players.
ES100 is not a DAP. Parametric EQ is via an app, though the EQ settings remain in the ES100 without using the app repeatedly. As for what the ES100 is, from Amazon:

EarStudio ES100-24bit Portable High-Resolution Bluetooth Receiver/USB DAC/Headphone Amp with LDAC, aptX HD, aptX, AAC (3.5mm Unbalanced & 2.5mm Balanced Output)
 
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ES100 is not a DAP. Parametric EQ is via an app, though the EQ settings remain in the ES100 without using the app repeatedly. As for what the ES100 is, from Amazon:

EarStudio ES100-24bit Portable High-Resolution Bluetooth Receiver/USB DAC/Headphone Amp with LDAC, aptX HD, aptX, AAC (3.5mm Unbalanced & 2.5mm Balanced Output)
Ok, then it seems an attractive option for those looking for an inexpensive device to use with their phone's interface.
 
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Ok, then it seems an attractive option for those looking for an inexpensive device to use with their phone's interface.
Yep ... or pretty darn good with a Shanling M0 ! (or any device with LDAC BT output)
 
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I come across ES100 being mentioned quite a bit, and I find it interesting given it's not a common brand talked about here (AK, Fiio, ibasso, etc..).

It seems pretty similar to a Shanling M0, and curious why people are attracted this little player. How did you end up deciding on a ES100? Is it due to being the cheapest option with many features like the Shanling M0? I heard a future firmware update would provide parametric EQ and that's a big feature worth looking forward to. Then again, you can get PEQ with Rockbox. I don't understand why companies don't add PEQ for such expensive players.
My first goal was only making my go to audio as portable as possible. So i bought es100. It sounds good. Basically fuller than my s10plus even it's bluetooth. But sometimes i prefer wider soundstage when i connected to s10plus straight even it doesnt have rounded sounding like es100.

Also, ive tried xdsd, doesnt sound good on bluetooth. The bluetooth tech of ifi is really lacking. Returned it. And then ive read a lot comparison between xdsd and xcan. XCan is superior in terms of SQ. So, i jump to it just for the sake of SQ to pair with bluetooth sometimes and line out. After having xcan, since it has balance 2.5mm line and ifi also provide 2.5mm to 2.5mm cable, i try to pair my es100 to xcan. Playing fully balance via bluetooth. And yes, it beats everything. Really detailed sounding, sound separation is superb, fuller sounding, wider soundstage.

The only thing that i can think of right now is designing a 3D printed case for both es100 and xCAN pairing so it doesnt look like some underground experiment lab lol.
 
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With what music?
The preloaded AK demo music they have and I have compared it to the Apple Music stream from the iPod

Hotel California from Hell Freezes Over
Adele 25 and 21 albums
Nirvana - Come as you are
Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Well, music choice isn't just what determines the soundstage. The IEMs and how sensitive they are to impedance swings and output impedance matter. Plugging in the IER-Z1R on my iPod Touch and it sounds lifeless and anemic while it sounded full bodied and much wider soundstage with the AK Daps and WM1A on SE.
 
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The preloaded AK demo music they have and I have compared it to the Apple Music stream from the iPod

Hotel California from Hell Freezes Over
Adele 25 and 21 albums
Nirvana - Come as you are
Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Well, music choice isn't just what determines the soundstage. The IEMs and how sensitive they are to impedance swings and output impedance matter. Plugging in the IER-Z1R on my iPod Touch and it sounds lifeless and anemic while it sounded full bodied and much wider soundstage with the AK Daps and WM1A on SE.
Tbh, andro is the hardest iem to find a good synergy. Comet has some distant swing of sound signature between source too but comet is less sensitive to hiss resulting that iem is easier to try out on balance etc. Andro will hiss like hell on the same source of balance xcan.
 
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