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Campfire Audio Vega (and Dorado and Lyra II) - Head-Fi TV

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  1. NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.
    Today, Campfire Audio is announcing three new in-ear monitors to their lineup: The Vega, Dorado, and Lyra II. In this episode of Head-Fi TV, we focus on the Vega universal-fit in-ear monitor -- Campfire Audio's new flagship piece.

    Products mentioned in the video:

    1. Campfire Audio Vega universal-fit in-ear monitor
    2. Campfire Audio Dorado universal-fit in-ear monitor
    3. Campfire Audio Lyra II universal-fit in-ear monitor
    4. Campfire Audio Andromeda universal-fit in-ear monitor
    5. HiFiMAN HE1000 planar magnetic over-ear headphone
    6. Abyss Headphones AB-1266 planar magnetic over-ear headphone


    Campfire Audio Vega (and Dorado and Lyra II) - Head-Fi TV produced by Joseph Cwik, Brian Murphy, and Jude Mansilla


    We will occasionally post Q&A episodes of Head-Fi TV.  If you want to submit any questions (or comments), you can do so via email to tv@head-fi.org.

  2. mscott58
    Thanks Jude for the great video. The Vega’s sound awesome, and congrats to Ken and the rest of the ALO team for the great work on these new IEMs!
    While I haven’t had the chance to listen to the Vega’s yet (they’re on their way) I have had the honor of trialing/testing the Dorados for the past several weeks, both in pre-production and final-production forms. And to get the TLDR out of the way – the Dorado’s are in my opinion an awesome IEM, and the voicing in my experience is almost exactly what Jude talked about in the video – amazing impact and resolution and a whole lot of fun. They really are like being there in the music, with great realism to my ear. And at $999 they’re IMHO an awesome value for a UIEM.
    Here are some of the specs. The Dorado is a hybrid design, having both a single dynamic driver and 2 balanced armature drivers. The dynamic driver is 8.5mm in diameter and uses a 9 micron-thick Beryllium PVD diaphragm. The two BA’s handle the high frequencies and they’re combined with the dynamic driver in a tubeless resonator box. Frequency response is quoted at 5-27KHz with an SPL of 102 dB @1K and impedance of 17.5 ohm @ 1K. Connector is a Beryllium Copper MMCX and the wire is a silver-plated copper Litz. Ken is not stingy with his tip selection either, including three sizes of foam tips, four sizes of SpinFit tips and three sizes of standard silicone tips. Finally the Dorado uses the same LiquidMetal housing as the Vega and Lyra 2, which is quite small, good looking, and appears to be rather sturdy in my use so far (and I find quite comfortable). They’re also not as heavy as I remember the Lyra’s being when they had the ceramic housing. And the packaging is great, with Ken including one of his “fake shearling” lined boxes, that is really useful and very well made.
    More on the SQ – as that is what really matters the most, right? The Dorado’s to my ear (as mentioned by Jude in regards to the Vega) get the balance of resolution, impact, dynamics and frequency response almost perfect. Nothing individual stands out, and that’s a huge complement IMO. The music is just “there” and as a result as a listener you are “there” as well – as Jude said like in a live performance. They’re clearly not ruler-flat or neutral, but that’s not what I like personally. I want fun in my music, I want to tap my toes and be pulled into the music. And the Dorado’s do that in spades. These UIEMs to me project what I told Ken was a “transparent sphere of aural crystal” – that being a highly resolving, immersive experience where the music just flows and you forget you’re even wearing IEMs.
    Now be aware that to me the bass is really there, but these are not going to blow your mind if you’re a bass-head (said with all love and admiration as I love me some low frequency energy as well). Similarly on the higher end, they’re really resolving, but not too sharp or bright. And in terms of soundstage, they’re not huge, but they’re not small – I frankly even forgot to think about the size of the soundstage when I got immersed in them. I would agree with Jude that the Andros have a larger soundstage, but I wouldn’t put that as a dig on the Dorado’s. Maybe you could think about it as being in a recording studio or more intimate jazz club than being in a larger venue or stadium.
    Now the interesting part is that I’ve known Ken for a while now, and when he sent me the first set of Dorado’s he told me I know you’re not a big dynamic driver user or like'er” but he still wanted to get my take on the Dorado’s. Well, call me a convert. I know I’ll likely lose some friends with this next statement, but at this point I am picking up my Dorado’s much more frequently to my Noble K10’s. Now clearly they are different animals, especially since my K10’s are customs, but in terms of pure musical enjoyment the Dorado’s are my current cup of tea. The K10’s, like my LCD-3F’s, I consider a bit “dark”, not in a bad way, I love them both dearly, but they aren’t as focused on the higher frequencies. The Dorado’s are much more balanced to my ear, and I’m now used to having more treble present. This transition has also been partially due to my bringing the Ether C 1.1’s into my home, and getting used to them compared to the years I spent with the LCD’s.
    A few comments on how I’ve been using the Dorado’s. The vast majority of my listening has been done with my portable stack, which consists of an AK100 feeding the bits optically to a Chord Mojo that is patched with an ALO SXC 22 to an ALO Continental V5 (utilizing an 6832 dual-triode tube). I have to say that the CV5/Dorado pairing is made in heaven, with amazing synergy. I highly, highly recommend this pairing. And the Mojo as a DAC is unsurpassed in its price-point IMHO, and feeds the CV5 beautifully. The best way I’ve been about to imagine this is that the Mojo brings to bear all the brushstrokes of a fine painting, the CV5 pulls those brushstrokes into the third dimension (like seeing an amazing painting in person at a museum versus a picture) and then the Dorado’s are like the perfect prescription glasses that allow you to see all of the art as it was supposed to be, fully detailed and coherent – and beautiful.
    Oh, and one important note. The tips on the Dorado’s really matter. I would highly recommend that everyone use the foam tips included, or possibly Comply’s. In my use the SQ of the Dorado’s drops precipitously when using silicone tips, even the SpinFits. So please don’t make any judgments on the Dorado’s SQ until you’ve tried them with good-fitting foam tips. There’s a reason that’s what they come fitted with from ALO/CA.  
    So much more to come, as I still have to get a 2.5mm TRRS to MMCX cable to play the Dorado’s through my ALO CDM in balanced mode and also will be putting the Dorado’s up against the Vega’s soon as well. And given how much I love the Dorado's, I can't imagine what the Vega's will sound like. But wanted to get this out now to help complement Jude’s video which focused mainly on the Vega’s. 
    Cheers all, happy listening and once again well done Ken and team!  
    PS - Almost forgot to add one of the highest complements I can think of that I could pay the Dorado's. From my notes to Ken: "On my reference tracks that I've heard thousands of times on hundreds of pieces of gear I was finding elements I've never recognized before." [​IMG]
    ExpatinJapan likes this.
  3. shotgunshane Contributor
    jude, Will you be measuring these? I would like to see measurements compared to the Andromeda to see if any meet my preferences.
    imackler, miceblue and twister6 like this.
  4. Zojokkeli
    Vega does seem it might be right up my alley. Waiting for impressions and reviews. [​IMG]
  5. jeffri
    Is that a bass port/vent on the housing that I'm seeing?

    Anyway, congrats for the new product Campfire Audio! The Vega sure looks really interesting.
  6. alffla
    OMG! MORE CAMPFIRE PRODUCTS! And even a hybrid! My favourite. @KB Congrats on the launch and I can't wait to hear these!
  7. WayneWoondirts
    great news! 
    especially the somewhat comparison to HE-K and the Abyss makes Vega very interesting...
    congrats @KB and team ALO! 
  8. musicday
    Are they smaller then Andromeda? Smaller equals better comfort for longer periods of time.
  9. mscott58
    From my memory of the Andromeda and it's prototypes, yes, the Vega and Dorado are smaller and I believe lighter. 
  10. KB Contributor
    Thank you Jude and Head-fi for that piece, we hope to meet the high expectations of all our customers. We are ramping up all our operations here but are going though some growing pains, please bear with us :wink:

    Liquid Alloy Metal from ALO Audio on Vimeo.
    Ken and the whole Campfire team. 
    ALO Audio Stay updated on ALO Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  11. Subhakar
    Could Beryllium drivers automatically mean better sound reproduction a la those in Focal Utopia?
  12. Sound Eq
  13. mscott58
    I wouldn't say automatically, but it is a good material for this use given it's properties, as shown by Focal's selection. Diamond is theoretically better, but will have to wait for the Vega's to arrive on my doorstep before I can independently verify Jude's observations. Cheers 
  14. audionewbi
    Long live dynamic drivers, thanks ken for pushing the boundaries while keeping the prices low.

    I am glad to read finally a flagship mentality was put in making a dynamic driver IEM.
    wormsdriver likes this.
  15. snk8699
    Vega added to shopping cart and order complete.  This was a no brainer.  There is really no IEM technology substitute for an incredible dynamic driver.  Thank you Ken for letting me give you my money!
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