Campfire Dorado 2020
Jan 8, 2021 at 6:43 AM Post #331 of 556

Tristy

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I have to add the IKKO Zerda ITM03 to my Best Of 2020, if anyone here has the Dorado 2020 and SR25 (@Tristy ?) and is inclined to test a small DAC/Amp, I suggest the ITM03... I also want to ensure I'm not crazy... the ITM03 is very close to the SR25 using it with Vox on an iPhone XR... too close for comfort to be honest :sweat: Sure they share the same DAC but, still... More power on the ITM03 perhaps? Or the fact that the ITM03 is impedance adaptive? IDK but I find it excellent.



Yes, they pair really well.



I concur (this also answers my ? mark above).

I already have the BTR5 as a dongle DAC so I won't be buying the IKKO unfortunately, thats good for desktop users though! At a fraction of the cost. The DAC chip is pretty old I think so you should see quite a few competent implementations of it.


Was really on the verge of getting a custom MEST blind, then I read ans saw things like "12k peak, bright, and thin" and have decided against it.

These Dorado 2020s on the other hand really have my interest peaked. They may be the iem I was waiting for campfire to make. I'm looking for just a few more impressions here before taking the leap.

For those who are enjoying the Dorado 2020 what cables are you using?

I am using the PW Audio Loki with it atm, its a clarity focused cable and seems to tilt the Dorado ever so slightly less warm but boosts things like separation and layering. Really like this cable, a much better pairing than the pure copper I had paired with it previously.
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 8:57 AM Post #332 of 556

Rockwell75

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Some people aren’t lucky enough to try every IEM and instead have to rely on reviewers they trust as a supplement. Of course it takes some inference from what I have heard but it’s not always that easy.

I think "some people" is pretty much all of us who don't live in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore etc. During Covid here in North America it's hard to even have meets and no longer possible to go to shops to demo gear. The only shot I have at trying something new I am interested in is to luck out and have access to a tour or pick it up on the used market with an aim to sell it right away I don't like it. All of this, as you suggest, makes it all the more important to find reviewers/sources of info that we trust. For me personally I don't trust any reviewers or, for that matter, anyone to takes it upon themselves to be an arbiter of truth and audio purity. There is a lot of disdain for "paid shills who give everything 10/10", but just as often people replace that with simply a new agenda or bias of their own. At the end of the day people will cling to sources of information they trust and ignore those they don't. I personally hope this hobby takes off a little more here in North America so demoing more gear becomes more readily feasible. Until then we'll all be crying in the wilderness to some degree.

I don't know if this has been posted in this thread yet but here is Headfonics' review of the Dorado:

https://headfonics.com/campfire-audio-dorado-2020-review/
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 2:50 PM Post #333 of 556

Mikelowry

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Just ordered . Will do my best to give impressions once I get them.

I'm not such a great writer and my expierence over $1000 is limited to only 3 iems but I'll do my best to explain what I hear as it may help others considering a purchase.

I think the joy/eagerness in waiting for the new toy to arrive is one of the best parts of this whole iem experience
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 2:55 PM Post #334 of 556

Rockwell75

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Just ordered . Will do my best to give impressions once I get them.

I'm not such a great writer and my expierence over $1000 is limited to only 3 iems but I'll do my best to explain what I hear as it may help others considering a purchase.

I think the joy/eagerness in waiting for the new toy to arrive is one of the best parts of this whole iem experience
Right on man can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 3:23 PM Post #335 of 556

Tristy

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Just ordered . Will do my best to give impressions once I get them.

I'm not such a great writer and my expierence over $1000 is limited to only 3 iems but I'll do my best to explain what I hear as it may help others considering a purchase.

I think the joy/eagerness in waiting for the new toy to arrive is one of the best parts of this whole iem experience
Which three IEM's have you heard over $1000 can I ask? The more impressions the better! You don't need to be a pro just compare them to what you've heard and people will be able to gauge from that based on whether they have listened to your selection or not.
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 5:12 PM Post #336 of 556

boneburglar

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I think "some people" is pretty much all of us who don't live in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore etc. During Covid here in North America it's hard to even have meets and no longer possible to go to shops to demo gear. The only shot I have at trying something new I am interested in is to luck out and have access to a tour or pick it up on the used market with an aim to sell it right away I don't like it. All of this, as you suggest, makes it all the more important to find reviewers/sources of info that we trust. For me personally I don't trust any reviewers or, for that matter, anyone to takes it upon themselves to be an arbiter of truth and audio purity. There is a lot of disdain for "paid shills who give everything 10/10", but just as often people replace that with simply a new agenda or bias of their own. At the end of the day people will cling to sources of information they trust and ignore those they don't. I personally hope this hobby takes off a little more here in North America so demoing more gear becomes more readily feasible. Until then we'll all be crying in the wilderness to some degree.

Basically agree except Crinacle literally labels himself as just one guy - if anyone is to blame, it's that some people do take his word as gospel against his wishes and repeat what he says as if it's their own opinion.

At the very least, Crinacle is doing an immense favor for the hobby by providing measurements for us all to use, essentially carrying the torch that Tyll left off on. I can't think of anyone besides maybe RTings that provides as many measurements, but Crin at least provides measurements for more hobby-relevant models. In the event I don't get value from a review, I can at least gain something from my own interpretation the data he collects.

I think some reviewers are fine, but there is no one reviewer I agree with on everything. Trying things is best, but also I think many readers just get butthurt when a critic doesn't like what they already bought, which is definitely the reader's fault over the reviewers. To give a relevant example, I like the Andromeda, but know many people who don't, and I think that's fair - they aren't really biased or paid shills to my knowledge at least, it's fair to criticize it. And if you put any weight in measurements, I can just see why many people wouldn't love Campfire's current lineup - very niche tunings. I have limited access to models to try, so when I have the chance to try something, I am always open to giving it a chance, but in the event that I have a choice between something that measures close to my preference and something that doesn't (which has happened), I think the choice is clear.

Last thing of note - There are many review sites, but has Headfonics ever given a score below an 8/10? They baffle me every time. Maybe the Dorado is legitimately good to them but they might be the most suspicious review site on the internet. EDIT: I get that sometimes they do abstain from giving a personal score though and only display the user aggregate which I totally get will be generally positive
 
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Jan 8, 2021 at 7:09 PM Post #337 of 556

Mikelowry

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Which three IEM's have you heard over $1000 can I ask? The more impressions the better! You don't need to be a pro just compare them to what you've heard and people will be able to gauge from that based on whether they have listened to your selection or not.
I have the OG Solaris, The OG Vega, and the third would be the Dorado.

I had a brief listening session with the Andromedas and they are not to my liking, they dont match my preferences at all because of the lack of bass. I've heard the IE800's and Shures 846 also.

I would say I like plentiful bass, rich mid range/vocals and Sparkly highs that arent sibilant. I prefer warm signatures, although that can change as I havent heard many TOTL level iems. Maybe there is one that may change my preference slightly
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 8:43 PM Post #338 of 556

Rockwell75

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At the very least, Crinacle is doing an immense favor for the hobby by providing measurements for us all to use, essentially carrying the torch that Tyll left off on. I can't think of anyone besides maybe RTings that provides as many measurements, but Crin at least provides measurements for more hobby-relevant models. In the event I don't get value from a review, I can at least gain something from my own interpretation the data he collects.

Indeed...I use that resource all the time and find it invaluable. It is an IMMENSE boon for people trying to find their way in this hobby.

I think many readers just get butthurt when a critic doesn't like what they already bought

This is absolutely true but it's a fundamentally human phenomenon, and a universal one at that. "Let him who has never gotten upset when someone criticized their favourite gear cast the first stone."

I like the Andromeda, but know many people who don't, and I think that's fair - they aren't really biased or paid shills to my knowledge at least, it's fair to criticize it. And if you put any weight in measurements, I can just see why many people wouldn't love Campfire's current lineup - very niche tunings. I have limited access to models to try, so when I have the chance to try something, I am always open to giving it a chance, but in the event that I have a choice between something that measures close to my preference and something that doesn't (which has happened), I think the choice is clear.

In my earlier posts referencing a grudge against CFA I'm not referring to the fact that there are (inevitably) some people who just don't connect with their gear-- this will always be true of any brand and any gear. I am referring instead to the continuous flow of anti-Campfire sentiment that has flowed, primarily out of Discord, in varying degrees since about the final stretch of 2018. I don't know precisely who, what or exactly why, but having spent much of 2019 there in a variety of servers this sentiment was tangible and unmistakable and quite often spoken of openly. And it wasn't just about their not liking their gear, it felt as though there was something deeper and more personal about it. Again, I don't pretend to know precisely who or how many or why this is a thing, and I suspect there may be a few different factors...but it's unmistakably there. I even almost fell victim to it once myself-- one summer after an extended couple weeks being bombarded by the drumbeat obbligato of disdain for Campfire and praise for Sony that was emanating from the place I bought a Z1R (I was thinking of it anyway and this pushed me over the line) and considered selling my Solaris...the spell eventually wore off and I did not end up doing that....but the influence and orientation was tangible. Another thing is that I interact with people who like different gear than me all the time, and I know that, even when I like something a lot more (or a lot less) than someone it's generally always possible to deduce from our relative impressions that we're describing the same piece of gear, and trace the disparity in opinion back to personal preferences. When I am not able to do this, when it sounds like they're talking about a fundamentally different piece of gear, I consider that a mystery and file it away in my file of things I don't understand, or don't know all the variables to. All of this added up leaves me unable to take some reviews/impressions of CFA gear at face value. For what it's worth at the end of the day I don't really care what guys like Animus (or anyone else really) says or thinks-- he can meme around in his own thread all he wants and if people enjoy it or derive benefit from it then great. In fact, as I've already indicated I'm sure much of the content he produces is of very high quality. But if someone is going to share his thoughts on CFA gear in a CFA thread as though they somehow represent some form of objective journalism, then I will present my perspective and let anyone who comes across it make up their own mind.

There are many review sites, but has Headfonics ever given a score below an 8/10? They baffle me every time. Maybe the Dorado is legitimately good to them but they might be the most suspicious review site on the internet.

To be quite honest I find any kind of summative grade or mark borderline useless and ultimately the most subjective part of an inherently subjective enterprise. What I'm really interested in is what someone says in depth about an IEM. Earlier in this thread I explained that people will gravitate to reviewers that they resonate with-- well Marcus from Headfonics is just such a one for me. He is someone whose reviews I have consistently resonated with as long as I've been in this hobby and I'll try and explain why. Since you brought him up I'll include Crinacle in this analogy as he is someone whose tastes and preferences are genrally quite different than my own. To illustrate my point I'll cite the reviews each person did for my current favorite IEM, the Vision Ears Elysium.

Following is much of the body of Crin's "Cliffs Notes" on the Elysium:

"The Elysium’s sound came as a total surprise to me, in that… well… there was treble. And not only that, it was actually pretty decent treble too, no weird spikes or dips that are all too common in EST implementations that ruin the tonality and timbre of hi-hats. The Elysium sounded… like a regular BA-tweeter IEM. And with my previous experiences with similar types of IEMs, that’s the greatest compliment I can give to it right now.

The Elysium has the interesting tuning choice of using the dynamic driver as a bandpassed midrange driver as opposed to the traditional woofer, much like the JH Lola. That means the Elysium uses BA woofers instead, and while you would think I would lambast it for being so since I’m a “BA bass” hater myself, it’s pretty alright. Definitely would’ve preferred a DD presentation, but I’ve heard worse. Cough Lola cough.

Technicalities and tonality are great and fall in line with what I’d expect out of a $2,000 IEM. But of course, this is Vision Ears. If you’ve already decided to buy one, I’m pretty sure “saving money” isn’t on your bucket list.

Anyways, to conclude. The Elysium is the IEM to show me that the Sonion ESTs do have a place in the market in that, when it is well-implemented, it can be just as good as the standard BA tweeter array. But at the price it’s more a luxury concept than anything concrete, but that’s simply how the market goes. You just need that one product to show everyone that no, this new-fangled toy driver can, in fact, do some great things. And it’s with the Elysium that I hope more companies would realise that EST hybrids are not doomed to a life of poor treble response and even poorer treble extension, and instead trickle down to similar implementations but for cheap."


All in all a pretty respectable review. He focuses primarily on the e-stat treble and the bass, and proceeds to give it an above average mark. Nowhere in this report is even a word on what is, to me, the utter standout feature of the Elysium, its midrange.

Following is an excerpt from Marcus' review of Ely on Head Fi:

"What the Elysium does have and possibly the best “have” I have heard to date is how it delivers on timbral richness and texture, especially in the vocals. The use of a dynamic driver for the mids is a complete masterstroke for me. It sounds pure, a shade to the euphonic side even but oh so incredibly refined and an absolute joy to listen to....

Just superb mids, the best I have heard on a custom hybrid electrostatic monitor to date. Hats off to Vision Ears for the HALC dynamic driver mids configuration. Instruments sound so natural, rich in texture and detail and incredibly solid in timbre and tone.

There is nothing lean about the Elysium mids delivery from the lower-mids instrumental note to the vivid yet smooth sounding vocal delivery. And it is the vocal delivery that will leap out from you from the minute you try them."


Here Marcus captures perfectly what I feel is the most enduring quality of the Elysium--its dynamic textured mids. I am not here to say one review is better than the other-- but they clearly speak to different preferences and ideals and one definitely resonates more with me and my preferences than the other-- but that's totally fine. There is enough great content and gear out there for everyone to find their own way and what is perfect for them.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 9:29 AM Post #339 of 556

Tristy

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Jan 10, 2021 at 6:57 PM Post #341 of 556

Mikelowry

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20210110_182553.jpg


Just got these beautys in.

Rough first hour impressions with Symbio W peeled tips and stock cable out of Paw S1 on high gain :

Addictive bass and bass texture! Seriously Satisfying Mid Bass Knock I have been longing for. Bass is the star but doesnt completly steal the show.

Full bodied vocals, lush and weighty midrange.

Slightly sparkly highs.(with xeslatec tips treble was a bit too "spicy". Foams and symbios tamed that to a pleasing level)

The cable is much thinner than previous campfire iems offered but I dont see that as a negative. They actually add to the comfort. I would even say these are the most comfortable Ive ever used. They fit me slighty better than the orginal vega with the similar shell because of the new spout. The combination of the small shell and super lightweight cable make them nearly unoticable in my ears.

I do not like the case provided with these. It feels flimsy and not very masculine. Also doesnt feel like it would protect the iems as well as campfires previous offerings have.

Soundstage isnt as large as say a solaris but I am not sure that would make me enjoy these more. I quite enjoy the more intimate sound. I prefer the larger out of head stage of the Solaris on some songs but prefer the more intimate feeling the Dorados provide on others.

Whether this is my favorite CA iem so far? Not sure, need more time to decide that. But I would say the Dorados are everything I wanted the Orginal Vega to be.

I will follow up later with specific songs and further comparisons once these get some burn in and I get to know them better.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 12:17 AM Post #342 of 556

Rockwell75

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Campfire's cases as of late are all over the map...they range from sleek, stylish and classy to looking like something my grandma copped a tupperware party in 1968.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 12:50 AM Post #343 of 556

CANiSLAYu

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Last thing of note - There are many review sites, but has Headfonics ever given a score below an 8/10? They baffle me every time. Maybe the Dorado is legitimately good to them but they might be the most suspicious review site on the internet.

And therein lies the rub and why you have to take nearly every review with a grain of salt. First we’re talking about sound, which is subjective and dependent on so many factors, including physiology and anatomy. Secondly there’s often an agenda, whether conscious or not. A site that relies on a continuous stream of free review samples in order to generate content to draw eyeballs for ad impressions and/or use of affiliate links to generate revenue are incentivized to say only positive things to keep said stream flowing. They can’t bite the hand that feeds them. Best to use it for what it is; a single data point.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 11:54 AM Post #344 of 556

feverfive

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^^ Yeah, fwiw, I decided long ago to treat reviewers/early adopters as merely BREAKING NEWS sources. It's how I become aware of new stuff. But as with breaking news, more facts come out as times passes. Making decisions based off early subjective evaluations of undeveloped facts is a quick way to disappointment. I appreciate the heads-up, and objective info these sources sometimes provide, but I give pretty much zero weight to the subjective (and franky, often conclusory, other times circular) opinions. Each consumer bears responsibility for their own decisions. If jumping into deep waters to have the latest hot thing is what gives you joy, go for it!
 
Jan 12, 2021 at 12:06 AM Post #345 of 556

Rockwell75

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You can't reduce anything to an absolute rule-- just because someone receives review samples does not mean they cannot also provide a meaningful helpful analysis. Similarly, just because someone eschews review samples for the sake of "objectivity" doesn't mean they don't also have their own biases or agenda that renders their analysis just as useless as a hype job motivated by a "free sample". Everything needs to be judged on its own individual merits.
 

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