Campfire - Solaris
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I've seen good things about Abyss, but way out of my price range. You add proper DACs and amps on top and you're talking about $10,000, if not more. The Noble Khan I've heard negative things about. Hoping the HD820 would be a good compromise, and disagree on an implication of overly wide and exaggerated soundstages. The Sennheiser HD8**s have much bigger issues than that silly accusation in my opinion. I didn't even find the HD800S that wide, the separation is what stood out. But it was very dry with awful vocals, not to mention something about what I was using made my ears ring very quickly. It was unfortunately a no-brainer return vs an Audeze LCD-X, which eventually was a no-brainer sale vs the HD650, and that's what I was left with.

Curious what are you hearing negative about the Khan? I have not seen negative comments about it. They are very resolving and not thick. They seem to be similar to the abyss sound signature to me.
 
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rutter

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I've seen the Khan being slammed more than any other iems in the set. Tawdry bass, average technicality, outdated and outdone.
 
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Hi everybody, has anyone compared the Solaris to full-size cans? I know full size and IEM are different realms, but top IEMs are really capable these days. I have found myself not using my Solaris a lot, and I thought I should perhaps get headphones for indoor use. But I'm unsure if I can gain something in terms of SQ by switching to big cans. I'm looking at Denon D7200. If anyone could advise something, I'd really appreciate! Thank you in advance.
I found the the Sony MDR-Z1R has a similar sound signature to the Solaris.
 
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I've seen the Khan being slammed more than any other iems in the set. Tawdry bass, average technicality, outdated and outdone.
Ok where are you seeing this. I am curious now. They are more of a reference sound signature. I would not call them average in technicality. They do like some power and shine when driven by a good source. The reviews that I have seen are pretty positive. They don't follow the Harmon curve and if that is what they are judged against.
 
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rutter

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Reviews are always positive. I've seen negative statements in threads of other iems, I think in this one too, and perhaps in the crinacle and toranku threads as well.
 
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Actually, I may be confusing the Noble Khan with whatever Legend X is.

First Impressions: Noble Khan

Perceived signature is neutral with great upper treble boost, thus slightly bright sounding with great extension. The Khan does cymbals in a very special way - cymbals have great shimmer and texture but just lack the brilliance to sound realistic. However this creates a very "sparkly" type of treble akin to the Andromeda, and I even prefer Khan's unique treble over Andromeda's. Midbass is a little reserved, pretty flat. Wished it had more midbass. Speed and slam is great, albeit lacking impact.

Mids are reserved sounding compared to typical "neutral" signatures. Needs more 1k-4k to hit my preferences better, but it's fine. Vocals sound slightly off, it's not quite nasal but it's off. As if vocals are suppressed sounding and sounds like a constant mask resonance is used by the singer, especially when it comes to higher pitched vocals. Attack is sharp throughout, perhaps due to the treble tuning combined with the neutral midbass. Speed is quick as if it's a BA.

Stage does have depth and decent width but lack the height (iems have this issue). I think the Khan makes for quite a detailed listen in lower volumes. Technicalities wise I feel that it's one of the better few iems, perhaps comparable to Sony's M9.
Revisited: Noble Khan

Neutral signature with an mid-upper treble spike. Vocals still remain slight nasal and they can actually get slightly sibilant with the "s" and "t"s. Not enough bass for me, I do find that it rolls off a little (perhaps the louder environment of testing). Midbass is barely there. Definitely clean bass, but it's rather soft and lacking in impact. Needs way more punch. However the overall attack of the Khan is sharp, nothing is smeared. It emphasises cymbals perhaps a little too much. Sounds a little too tizzy with its sharp, defined lines. Treble reminds me of KEF speakers. Cymbals can come off peaky and thin. Exciting to hear, but quickly fatiguing.

If not, pretty darn technical with great separation and layering. Just wanted more bass out of it. Midrange nasality I can overlook.
Meh. I'm just done with iems once I sell the IER-Z1R.
 
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Actually, I may be confusing the Noble Khan with whatever Legend X is.




Meh. I'm just done with iems once I sell the IER-Z1R.


I can understand the comment about bass if it is attached to the legend x. I tried them at axpona and found the bass to be too much and it was also not defined slightly mushy to me. They were also not very resolving either.
 
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Got the Solaris yesterday. I wanted to check the "speakers in a room" claims I always hear, so I'm AB'ing in my listening room.

Initial impressions suggest this is true. Nothing that hasn't been said before; soundstage is wide and tall, and doesn't sound like music is coming from two drivers pointed into my skull at close range. Much closer to a pair of point-sources emitting in the distance.
Previously I had owned the Andromeda S and found that to be quite speakerlike, but nothing like these.

It's a shame though, because while this is likely the best IEM I've ever heard, it's also the most uncomfortable by a wide margin. Not sure I can live with the comfort issues, but I'll give it a couple of weeks.

20190601_232240.jpg
 
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I am pretty confident that portable audio does not produce the same sonic result/listening experience as does a high-end, 2-channel, speaker-based system (nor require as many hyphens!). Of course portable audio does not have the sheer size, weight, cost and power requirements of 'home 2-channel gear either. (Probably won't get you thrown off a bus or a train either!)

That said, it can still be quite good, but one needs to set proper expectations. (and here I do mean a specific one, who shall remain nameless.) The situtation reminds me of someone who lists a litany of reasons why they cannot put things in their eyes, cannot maintain proper cleaning and storage procedures, and has very unusualy correction requirements, then goes on to offer scathing criticisms of contact lenses, comparing them to glasses and 20-20 vision. DOH!

I own speakers, headphones and iems and ciems. I have several of each, and work in high end audio retail. I've heard lots of stuff. I think the truth is that, once you weed out the junk, much of what remains is more than good enough to use to greatly enjoy your favorite music. Some combinations may fit together better than others, and having some awareness of what's possible, and how different things sound, can make it easier to come up with good combinations, es[ecially ones that fit your specific 'taste'. For me, many of those synergistic combinations involve Campfire iems, my current go-to being the Solaris. My Solaris allow me to hear the subtle sonic differences between my daps, but work pretty well with all of them. No, they don't make all of my recordings sound the way that I want them to-but my recordings don't all sound the way I want them to in the first place. I do not blame the messenger. They are pretty easy (but not cheap-lol) to drive, but are really sensitive to positioning in the ear. Insertion depth, angle, tip and seal are more crtical for these than some other iems I have.

KB's iems all honor the timbre, tonality and authentic sound of acoustic instruments. Campfire iems are coherent, dynamic and natural sounding, some with more bass than some like, but my big ears love them. I use Azla tips, size L, and they work equally well on Andromeda, Vega, Atlas, and Solaris. Comparing to other totl or upper end iems, I find the Campfire stuff more timbrally acurate than many others, which are often either hyper-detailed, or bass monsters, neither of which sound like live musical events (at least to me). I hope lots of people love them, so KB can saty in business and continue to provide them, since I could never afford to have him make them just for me. Other than that, I will like them whether anyone else does or not.

Too much?
 
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Sort of an odd reply to my claim that the Solaris gets *close* to the sensation of a 2 channel setup.

If the marketing materials imply this as a benchmark, then fair game for comparison in my book.

Of course, if you've spent enough time on Audiogon, you'll see the strangest stuff from the guys who burst into the threads like the Kool-Aid man through a wall to authoritatively declare that they "work in high-end audio".

*puts glasses on upside down*
 
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I am pretty confident that portable audio does not produce the same sonic result/listening experience as does a high-end, 2-channel, speaker-based system (nor require as many hyphens!). Of course portable audio does not have the sheer size, weight, cost and power requirements of 'home 2-channel gear either. (Probably won't get you thrown off a bus or a train either!)

That said, it can still be quite good, but one needs to set proper expectations. (and here I do mean a specific one, who shall remain nameless.) The situtation reminds me of someone who lists a litany of reasons why they cannot put things in their eyes, cannot maintain proper cleaning and storage procedures, and has very unusualy correction requirements, then goes on to offer scathing criticisms of contact lenses, comparing them to glasses and 20-20 vision. DOH!

I own speakers, headphones and iems and ciems. I have several of each, and work in high end audio retail. I've heard lots of stuff. I think the truth is that, once you weed out the junk, much of what remains is more than good enough to use to greatly enjoy your favorite music. Some combinations may fit together better than others, and having some awareness of what's possible, and how different things sound, can make it easier to come up with good combinations, es[ecially ones that fit your specific 'taste'. For me, many of those synergistic combinations involve Campfire iems, my current go-to being the Solaris. My Solaris allow me to hear the subtle sonic differences between my daps, but work pretty well with all of them. No, they don't make all of my recordings sound the way that I want them to-but my recordings don't all sound the way I want them to in the first place. I do not blame the messenger. They are pretty easy (but not cheap-lol) to drive, but are really sensitive to positioning in the ear. Insertion depth, angle, tip and seal are more crtical for these than some other iems I have.

KB's iems all honor the timbre, tonality and authentic sound of acoustic instruments. Campfire iems are coherent, dynamic and natural sounding, some with more bass than some like, but my big ears love them. I use Azla tips, size L, and they work equally well on Andromeda, Vega, Atlas, and Solaris. Comparing to other totl or upper end iems, I find the Campfire stuff more timbrally acurate than many others, which are often either hyper-detailed, or bass monsters, neither of which sound like live musical events (at least to me). I hope lots of people love them, so KB can saty in business and continue to provide them, since I could never afford to have him make them just for me. Other than that, I will like them whether anyone else does or not.

Too much?
This situation strangely reminds me of someone who works in "high end audio retail"... you know, DOH! Let's put it this way, while you deliver your spiel I'm trying to clarify what exactly proper expectations are, and how worth entertaining they are. I'd agree nothing beats listening for yourself. For the record, while I avoid contacts I don't leave scathing reviews of them. That I can understand better, and glasses as alternatives are actually transparent as corrections of your vision whereas expensive headphones pretending to be transparent mediums of the source sound somehow all manage to sound differently. How do you pitch that one to your customers?

PS

My family thinks I'm a complete idiot after I let them listen to most of the things I bring in from "high end audio" knowing what the prices are. They also prefer the HD650 over the Solaris, and the IER-Z1R over the Solaris. Don't think they'd agree with the speaker claims either. But do tell me again how I just have unreasonable expectations without mentioning my name for whatever reason. Maybe it's a genetic illness shared with most of the general population?
 
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Sort of an odd reply to my claim that the Solaris gets *close* to the sensation of a 2 channel setup.

If the marketing materials imply this as a benchmark, then fair game for comparison in my book.

Of course, if you've spent enough time on Audiogon, you'll see the strangest stuff from the guys who burst into the threads like the Kool-Aid man through a wall to authoritatively declare that they "work in high-end audio".

*puts glasses on upside down*
It was not you. I use doors-can't stand all that dry-wall dust in the air.
 
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.......

PS

My family thinks I'm a complete idiot after I let them listen to most of the things I bring in from "high end audio" knowing what the prices are. They also prefer the HD650 over the Solaris, and the IER-Z1R over the Solaris. Don't think they'd agree with the speaker claims either. But do tell me again how I just have unreasonable expectations without mentioning my name for whatever reason. Maybe it's a genetic illness shared with most of the general population?
My suspicion is that they are not alone in this regard! You may take that as you see fit.
 
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Got the Solaris yesterday. I wanted to check the "speakers in a room" claims I always hear, so I'm AB'ing in my listening room.

Initial impressions suggest this is true. Nothing that hasn't been said before; soundstage is wide and tall, and doesn't sound like music is coming from two drivers pointed into my skull at close range. Much closer to a pair of point-sources emitting in the distance.
Previously I had owned the Andromeda S and found that to be quite speakerlike, but nothing like these.

It's a shame though, because while this is likely the best IEM I've ever heard, it's also the most uncomfortable by a wide margin. Not sure I can live with the comfort issues, but I'll give it a couple of weeks.

Welcome...
what comfort issued do you experience?
 
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azeral

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Welcome...
what comfort issued do you experience?
I guess this has to do with the way I usually wear IEMs, which is with a very shallow insertion of the tip. I find that IEMs that are often labeled as too shallow work beautifully for me because of this.

This completely does not work with the Solaris. With deep insertion there is incredible pressure even with small tips.

This is the difficulty with designing a universal product, you simply can't cover all corners of the human anatomical distribution, and I totally understand that. It's just heartbreaking because of how good these sound.

I'll probably mine this thread for tips (pun intended) on increasing comfort for those with tight canals, and failing those suggestions, I'm headed for the listings page :frowning2:
 
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