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Campfire Audio IO

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  1. jaydunndiddit
    These are measurements of the MD+ (RED) overlapping the ER4XR:

    And this is the old FR for the MD+ before it went through retuning:

    I feel like the IO matches this FR quite closely except their peak in the upper highs is situated closer to 7-8k hz and that dip isn't as large, similar to what I hear from the Lyra II. I don't find them to be slightly V-shaped at all, personally. They sound pretty forward throughout the mids IMO and I'm willing to bet have a similar rise in the 1.5-3k hz region.

    I normally use the vocals by Kelvin Swaby from The Heavy as my sibilance test as his 'S' and occasionally 'T' sounds are usually triggers. Try the track "The Apology" to get an idea of what I'm talking about. It still isn't bad enough to really bother me, but it is present to those that may be more sensitive to it than I.

    Otherwise, I pretty much agree with everything else you stated as well.
  2. ExpatinJapan
    Still listening. Saying its a ‘bit of a v shape’ might be a bit off as you say.
    Comsidering the relaxed and polite bass.

    Maybe xxX signature (to be basic)
    But with a smooth, linear finish of sorts?
  3. cardeli22
    As someone who has the Massdrop+ already, do you recommend still getting the IO? Thanks for your impressions.
  4. Lv100Pidgeot
    I got my IO today! I've only had ~2 hours listening to them, so don't put absolute faith in my words here or anything. Here's a short stream of consciousness:

    The first thing I want to talk about is the cable. It's *way* nicer than the older litz cable that came with my Orions. Not only is there no memory wire, but the rest of it is a tighter and lighter weave on par with my Shozy BK. On my Orions I always use spinfit tips, the IO comes with some Final Audio E type eartips instead (as well as your standard foams and silicons). I don't think I like them as much as Spinfits, but I haven't played around with the different sizes much yet so we'll see. As far as my audio chain goes, I was listening to Spotify Premium through my Sony Xperia XZ phone, no audio enhancements or EQ with music quality set to very high. As far as how they sound, the first thing to jump out at me was how forward vocals sound. The more I listened, I think this is actually an artifact of the wide soundstage. I'm used to IEMs putting the whole band inside my head, and these are more like vocals and guitars are in my head, other stuff is off to the sides. As I'm adjusting to it, I actually think the FR is fairly balanced. They're well extended (compared to Orion), but the sub-bass is pretty thin- not for bassheads. The treble is nice, not the smoothest I've ever heard, but very airy. Overall it comes across as pretty balanced, if a little shy on the low end.

    All that being said, again this is two hours played via phone with one set of eartips. Big ol grain of salt!
  5. jaydunndiddit
    Yeah, that seems similar to what I'm hearing. I'd almost say xXX, with the highs a bit behind the mids but above the lows. Still smooth overall. Mostly neutral with some energy up top. I'm really not picking up on any weird peaks except the occasional sharp edge to some male vocals (more of an exception than a rule).

    This is tough for me to say. I'm still early in my listening with the IO but I can outright say due to the boost in the sub bass for the MD+ they add the rumble I miss. But, the IO has the tighter, snappier lows and drums and other instruments have a nice "pop" sound I don't get from the MD+. It'l really determine which you prefer: tight bass or some rumble. Other than that, the MD+ feels smoother, a bit more laid back by comparison. The IO sounds as if they have more energy to vocals and instruments as guitars and the like sound pretty dang wonderful. Horns and cymbals too. Both image well, but I think the IO has the wider soundstage but this isn't a huge difference (I'm nitpicking here). I'll be curious to see the distortion plots of the IO as they do sound cleaner overall to the MD+ which can sound grainy/hazy at times. I really don't mind this but for those looking for that extra treble energy and clarity, I think will enjoy the IO more. Those that prefer a more laid back sound that isn't horribly rolled off and subdued should still find enough added energy in the MD+ to be satisfied. Treble heads need not apply here, but I think all others wouldn't find any qualms here really. They sound more similar than you would think but have enough differences and technicalities to warrant both IMO.

    I didn't go into build and accessories or fit as I enjoy both, but the IO edges out the MD+ here as what's on offer feels more durable and premium, especially the new cable and case for the IO. The housings are small and light enough that I don't think many will complain about fit of the IO compared to some of the previous generations. I wore them all day today at work for 8 hours and experienced absolutely no fatigue, so that's a plus too.
    dhm78, cardeli22 and ExpatinJapan like this.
  6. cardeli22
    Damn it. LOL. Between you and Headpie I'm going to end up owning these. Trying to keep the stable of audio gear to a minimum. But they look amazing and a slightly different sound might be nice. I went from the double flange tips to JVC MS spiral dots (on the MD+) and I feel the bass went up noticeably. It was a welcome change when I used them out of my LGv30 (using them now with a Fiio Btr3 and iPhone XS) because that phone just sounded bass shy in general to everything else. With the Spiral Dots and the iem port on my RME ADI- 2 DAC the MD+ still has quite a kick.
    ExpatinJapan likes this.
  7. showme99
    That cable is absolutely gorgeous! :yum: Well done, Campfire Audio.
    cardeli22 and audio123 like this.
  8. audio123
    Agreed. The cable is supple too.
  9. JustJoseph
    There is a solution to the BA problem. They can replace the "oversized woofer BA" with the dynamic driver from the Atlas. This will allow the bass to extend very very low and growl.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  10. Space_Wadet
    They already did, that's the Polaris...
  11. Wheel Hoss
    Atlas uses a diamond-like carbon-based driver with ultra high stiffness and very low density.

    I doubt Polaris has as sophisticated a driver.
  12. hsdw
    This isn't a problem, instead, this is a bless for someone like me.
  13. JustJoseph
    Or maybe, they can use the 2 bass drivers of the andromedas. The Andromeda's bass is a perfect example of BA bass, it extends low and is fast. My only qualm is maybe they could add more subbass, but that is just my personal opinion.

    Anyways I think the IOs are already going to be so worth it, because they are built of the same materials as their most expensive brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, and they use the same tech like the TAEC chambers. The cable is already so expensive and good on its own! With 24k gold plated screws to boot! Sadly, I google it online and it say gold is a good conductor of electricity, which mean I cannot use them while my laptop or phone or charging, or my ears will be electrecutoued. They already have the build quality of a 1k iem at the price of 300USD! I cannot think of any other iem at that price range that has build quality close to it. As long as it doesn't have major flaws like the orion, they will be amazing.
  14. ExpatinJapan
    The MMCX connectors have now got insulation.

    *Due to people plugging them into gear and dodgy electrical circuits in the past
    cardeli22 likes this.
  15. jaydunndiddit
    If it did, they would be much more expensive. Ken has talked about how the ADLC driver is made and what makes it so pricey. I don't even think the Polaris has the beryllium driver in the Lyra either. This one seems to be a different size than those in the past as well.
    cardeli22, Wheel Hoss and Mike-WI like this.
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