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Campfire Audio - Introducing 2 new models Hello Andromeda and Nova

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  1. NewEve
    On SE or Balanced?

    Do you have the same experience as @BeerNuts @rodel808 on the ZX300 which seem to have been (in summary): on SE it isn't as good as powered by their laptops or smartphones?

    Can't wait to get mine though, they seem rather stellar :)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  2. BeerNuts
    He may have the green or standard andros though. CA really messed up the naming convention because the AG's have 2 extra drivers to power so really we cant say that anything the normal andros worked with will work the same with the AG. They are like a whole new model. I think they only used the andro name because of its fame and popularity. Much easier to sell a limited edition well known iem than to launch yet another one.

    I will say now that i believe that these are something else at this point. They are not OG andros at all. I keep finding small things or remembering reasons i switched to the solaris. There were a few albums on my greens where in the in the holographic-ness of the music the lead singer was center but farther back than i wanted. The left and right instruments were super forward and would often drown out the singers voice. It wasn't a lot of albums but enough i nitpicked it as a reason to keep the solaris and sell the OG andros. The solaris at the time corrected this issue and pulled them more forward. With these new black ones I have not come across that at all. It has been incredibly hard to find anything to nitpick about these.

    I had my original greens and my zx300 for awhile and used the 3.5, then after a ton of reading i switched to the 4.4 because everyone in the forms almost demanded that it was better. At the time of the switch I thought i could notice a subtle little bit here or there. Like yeah i think that is a little better, yeah maybe, so i bought the new extra cable. Why not let's spend money on my new hobby. Then i only used 4.4 because everyone said it was better and hey maybe it was. Very very very subtle differences between cables. I mean most of the audiophile community is always chasing tiny micro changes of that last 5% and hey its fun to buy new toys.

    With these new AG there is no contest and it not subtle at all. Its really kinda pissing me off. Because now i have to worry about a new dap because of a IEM change? They do not like the zx300 3.5 at all. Tomorrow ill have my 3.5 to 4.4 so I can at least listen to them both (solaris and AG) with a quick swap out rather than having to change the cable/iem each time. I know it wont be fair because ill lose the balance but it's as close as i can get now to compare. I am traveling atm so my extra cables are in another city for at least a month.

    Hopefully we get some other people in here with some real reviews soon. I am just an audiophile pleb and i know none of the micro nuances of the hobby. I am some what shocked that this launch as been as quite as it has been. People must just be on andro special edition burn out from years of releases. They had to have thought meh same old andro with just a little more bass and a new color shell. no big deal. It would be easy to assume it was just a money grab to add $300 onto OG andros. I feel like people are going to be quite surprised when they finally hear them. I am honestly surprised myself. I did not want new IEMs at all. I had no expectations of these being better than my Solaris in anyway. I only bought them because of boredom and a very very slight idea of replacing my solaris just for a change. So i am not trying to defend my purchase at all, I 98% went into this with the intention of returning them a week later. So I did not want to keep them. It's a pain in the ass to sell my solaris and take the loss on them. These AGs were supposed to just be for fun.

    All that being said I have not taken these out of my head since i got them. I even plugged it into my laptop and watched nextflix on them in bed. They are incredibly fun to listen to and I have no idea why. Hours of listening and no fatigue at all. Is it that i am lame and i like V shapes? are they even V shaped? Is it because their sound profile is colored in some way or not colored? Maybe it just comes down to the smaller size, light weight, and ear seal? What it is right now i cant say. We need the pros to get theirs in the mail.

    If this keeps up for the next two weeks my solaris are going on the BST forum for sure. Certainly not because these are better than the solaris just that they are smaller and not lacking anywhere that I worry about. They are very comfortable and don't have the flaws that my OG andros had that convinced me to sell them. If anyone wants a mint solaris in usa/ca you can PM me a reasonable offer and tempt me even more to keep these AG's. lol
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    Aslshark, NewEve and ExpatinJapan like this.
  3. NewEve
    Well, the good news is that the Andromeda Special Edition: Gold are, to your ears, sufficiently good that you're willing to change your DAP and flip your Solaris :p

    Now, it seems to clearly suck for ZX300 owners planning to use it with the Andromeda SEG on SE (I'm one of them) as it's either cough up the money for a balanced cable and deal with switching cable or an adapter… but, to be fair, this is hardly Campfire Audio's fault.

    As far as I am concerned I'm split — so far in theory, since I'll get them on Monday (but I don't except anything different than what you posted):
    1 - The Andromeda SEG seem to only take issue with the ZX300 SE and getting a balanced cable in order to get their full potential on my ZX300 seems like a hassle;
    2 - However, for the price of that cable — as long as we're talking about the Smoky Litz Cable in 4.4 which is the one I am planning to get — it is far cheaper than the alternative;
    3 - Indeed, I *love* my ZX300, it's UI, feel, look and pretty much everything. I also invested so much in music that I want it to be my main source. $100USD even with shipping and customs is a better investment than the equivalent of 4 months of Tidal Hifi subscription. I want to own my music and do whether I want with it. I prefer liberty to convenience but that's just me.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  4. BeerNuts
    Id say the one thing right now that is going to swing this at all is the comfort to sound ratio. I have a tiny head, even when I was in Japan i wore a S size hat there. I do love the solaris they sound amazing, I am still going to say they are better than these AG's and once i get my cables again to swap out I am sure ill be able to tell exactly how they are better. But I have also rolled through 6 different eartips designs in the year I have had the Solaris trying to get a good seal. If i go for deep insert I get the weight on them in my inner ear, if i go shallow then they just wiggle and fall out just sitting at a desk. I can use nothing with any foam at all. Now they sounded so good i was able to tolerate this, i don't need to wear them for hours on end so these are minor issues but still nitpick level issues. If it came loose it just takes a sec to poke back in no big deal. Minor annoyances.

    The new AG andros are seemingly giving me much of my solaris and removing the OG andro flaws while giving the very easy to wear comfort. What that ratio is i don't know yet. Maybe they are 80%? 90%? of a solaris. But it says a lot that i could just grab the AG's throw on the finals and they go in my ear and stay there. 4 hours of netflix binge in bed and i never adjusted them once. You don't even feel these things. So maybe it is right for me to choose to sacrifice some audio quality for comfort. I did not expect that at all. My solaris were used like a full stack headphone in the house/office. I never wore them outside, while doing anything, never for movies, tv etc. They were a portable audiophile listening station. The AG's feel like i could wear them anywhere opening up a lot more options. The small black nature of them also feels like I might not get robbed on the subway wearing them. If i keep them I am going to write to CA as ask to buy the black screws from the Polaris. So i will be black on black.

    I agree with the ZX300 i love mine and I absolutely do not want to sell it. 99% chance i wont. My solaris is 99% 4.4 so no problem if the AGs do the same. Spent $200 on a fancy 4.4 custom cable so might as well use it. The only issue would be the super tiny nitpick of owning something as a set IEM/DAP and I wouldn't be able to use half of it if i ever had to. It means you cant stay on the 3.5 and go from laptop or phone to dap and back again without an extra step. Not really an issue at all especially with adapters, but highly annoying to feel like you don't have the "perfect" setup anymore. Like ugh really, it has a 3.5 why cant I use it! Not enough to sell the zx300 at all, but bleh what an annoyance. Ill be in Osaka in November so i will hit up e-earphones if I keep the AG's. I can at least demo all of the daps and see if anything can pull me away from the Sony. The 3.5 to 4.4 adapter should give the AG the power it needs and solve this problem.

    Oh and regarding your second worry with 4.4. It is a bit of a hassle, and if you do get one then you will need a 4.4 to 3.5 adapter to go back to your laptop/phone. I own two now, I bought mine from China before anyone had any of ebay and amazon. But they are easy enough to find now. $20 to $40 usually. If you had another DAP you would have a 2.5 and still have the same issue so unless we get adapters or swap cables all the time (not good for mmcx connectors) it will always be an issue. If i changed from the zx300 i would need yet another adapter to make my 4.4 to 2.5! So you can never win. The things we do for love.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  5. NewEve
    The Cowon D2 seem to be an interesting alternative apparently powerful enough for big cans and NO noise on sensitive IEMs. Battery life similar if not better than the Sony.

    2.5 balanced though, not 4.4. Not the same gorgeous build or UI but... if it works, it has the benefit of not being the most expensive DAP out there.

    DSP isn’t as clever or fancy as Sony’s aforementioned settings but BBE’s DSP on Cowon DAPs is really really really good.

    Cowon’s D is actually the best DAP I had before the ZX300. I literally changed it because I was naive and focused on form and not function.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  6. Ryokan

    Green Andro's bought new about 10 months ago through 4.4mm jack. Great sounding with ZX300 imo, don't feel a need to upgrade.
  7. nornicle
    Does anyone own both the AG and A12T or U12T and can weigh in on what they would daily if they had the choice?
  8. McMadface
    The AG is like a baby VX. It's not quite as detailed or aggressive, but that might be a good thing as it sounds more natural. The AG digs down deep, hitting the full range of subbass, but it lacks the punch and impact of the VX. Tuning is very similar between the two, and the Z1R, and it's another good example of why FR isn't everything.

    I'd give the advantage to the AG over the VX in imaging. With the VX, instruments sound a little wider than natural, like they're occupying more space than they should. It might be just the way the VX interacts with my particular ear canals, as I have not seen it mentioned by anyone else. AG has pinpoint imaging.

    One thing I've noticed is that the AG doesn't have the coherency issue that I ran into with the Solaris. On certain recordings, certain instruments playing certain notes sounded like the instrument was split in 2, with the fundamental coming from one spot and the harmonics coming from another. My guess is that particular frequency is where the crossover between the mid BA and TAEC treble BAs is, and is the reason why CFA chose to tune it with the Dip. AG doesn't exhibit that issue.

    The AG sounds really, really good with the A&K SR15. The black background and slightly bright tuning of the SR15 is a great compliment to the AG -- I feel the AG could use a touch more energy between 4K-6K.

    Overall, I think a lot of people are going to be very happy with the AG as a lower-cost alternative to the category- and wallet- busting VX and Z1R.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    Rockwell75 likes this.
  9. Rockwell75
    Thank-you for those detailed impressions :)

    I got to hear both the VX and the AG today.
  10. McMadface
    Dope . Did you make it to the HP.Com Meetup?
  11. BeerNuts
    Bloody black andros are picky as hell with their input. I think this was an issue with the OG ones as well?

    So i got this cleaver idea to use the custom 4.4 on my black andros (with 4.4 to 3.5 adapter) and the 3.5 smoke on the Solaris, plug both into the iPhone X. Then i can swap out super easy and write out this big compare test review. Been at this for over an hour. I had a whole ton typed up about the difference which was HUGE in favor of the solaris. Like what a joke, not even close. Solaris was clear and crisp and detailed but lacked bass. The black andro was almost muddy and overly tilted to the low end, lots of bass impact but very little detail. As i typed it all out I went yup thats it totally keeping the Solaris and I will send these back, not even close. How did i even think these were good or even close?

    Then i go ok time to switch source. I take off the adapter and plug the black andro into the 4.4 on the zx300 and play the same song again like a million times (direct source). Once again KABOOM take that iPhone. Everything is instantly improved again, the muddy bass goes away and it gains back detail in pretty much everything but remains very impactful. Highs are back cymbals are better more clear. Like seriously...What. i switch again to the laptop, it's more similar to the zx300 than the iPhone sound wise.

    I go back to the iPhone and add the iEMatch on High and it removes the muddy bass the iPhone had but also removes the impact of the bass. It makes it all more neutral or flat? On this song the drums and cymbals are at about equal impact with the iEMatch.

    So all i have learned here is that the iPhone X with a lighting adapter also sucks for the new black andros. It gives a colored sound heavy on the bass and lacking detail. The zx300 stereo gives a sound lacking in bass and oomph like its being held back. If you go to the 4.4 you gain bass, impact, clarity, and these things fly. Laptop is better than iPhone and 3.5 zx300 but not better than 4.4.

    Of course when i said I was using them nonstop and how great they were in other posts it was when they were in the 4.4 zx300 and then on the laptop. They are very dependent on the source you give them. If you want to test these out or you have already bought them just be aware that iPhone X + Lighting also sucks compared to what they can really sound like.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  12. Rockwell75
    I did!
  13. shadow_shooter
    Someone must've been eyeing them at work. They've been stolen from my work desk. Still mourning... =(
  14. virt
    That's awful... hopefully you'll find it soon. :frowning2:
    shadow_shooter likes this.
  15. rodel808
    It could be that your adapter is changing the impedance and thus affecting the sound.
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