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Cardas A8 30th Anniversary IEM Loaner program!

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by Todd, Jul 25, 2017.
  1. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    We are opening a loaner program for the new Cardas A8 IEM. Rules in addition to the normal rules... we will include a bag of extra ear tips. You will be able to use 1 SET for yourself. When your time is done (1 week) you will keep your set of tips and remove them from the A8. Please do not send them to the next person! Only use your one pair of tips so that everyone will have a set before the loaner program is over.



    You can email now to sigh up... regular loaner rules below. Please read them and follow directions so this can roll smoothly!

    Loaner Program Rules:

    Send your name and address as well as a telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

    You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post it here and anywhere else you want - but here first!

    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

    Looking forward to this loaner program and your reviews!

    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  2. AngelaCardas
    Thanks Todd!
  3. ryanjsoo
    Unfortunate that these aren't getting more attention, they're a pretty solid mid-range iem.
  4. gortman
    I received a set of the A8 loaners this past weekend and so far am really impressed. Enjoying them quite a bit and will post a few more thoughts later. To my untrained ears they sound balanced and definitely deliver a nice punch in the bass department.
  5. mochill
    Love my a8 as well
  6. gortman
    Thanks to Todd at TTVJ, I was fortunate enough to spend a week with the 30th anniversary Cardas A8 ear speakers. I went from honestly not even knowing Cardas offered earphones to the point where I wonder why these beauties aren't getting more attention.

    Also, I'm not an audiophile by any stretch – just a guy who enjoys listening to great music on quality gear. Also note that I have some high frequency hearing loss from my time in the Navy, so I can't really comment on how the A8 handles frequencies above 10 kHz.

    That said, here's a quick rundown on my impressions of the A8. I mostly used my iPhone 7 for testing and connected the A8's to it via the Advanced Audio dac/dongle.

    * Good range
    * Great at presenting the fine details in a song
    * Strong separation of sounds/instruments/voices
    * Clear, neutral sound with impressive low end – smooth and dynamic to my ears

    * Noticeable cable microphonics
    * No cable clip
    * Cable not detachable – can't switch between balanced and SE. The loaner cable is SE.
    * Noticeable heft to the earphones, but not to the point they were uncomfortable
    * Included eartips with loaner a little small

    Thoughts I scribbed down for a sample of tracks while listening to the A8's:

    - deadmau5 while(1<2) Seeya – great low end to my ears, clear presentation, decent soundstage.

    - Simon & Garfunkel Bookends – Voices of Old People – Old Friends – Bookends. Excellent separation of voices. Not sure how to describe it, but these earphones brought out for me an emotional connection in that three-song set I had never experienced so strongly before.

    - Diana Krall – Fly Me to the Moon from The Very Best of Diana Krall. Pleasant. Felt voice wasn't forward enough but still a pleasure to listen to.

    - Jane Monheit I've Got You Under My Skin from The Songbook Sessions Ella Fitzgerald – great separation of instruments and brought out details in Jane's breathy delivery of the song.

    - Toto Rosanna from Toto IV – brought out the excellent neutrality of the earphones – level across the range I can hear, felt consistently lush and all instruments were easy to pick out.

    - Holly Cole – Train Song from Temptation – awesome job with bass guitar – holy cow plus the percussion moving across the stage from left to right to simulate the train was amazing!!

    - Steely Dan Hey Nineteen from A Decade of Steely Dan – tight bass great imaging – background voices in chorus seemed to surround me.

    - The Who Baba O'Reilly – synthesizer moving across the stage at the beginning was mesmerizing. Drums a little soft

    - The Coryells - “Sentenza del Cuore” from Allegro – well-defined and spacious soundstage – castanets echoing off walls gave presence to the balanced presentation.

    - Chuck Mangione – Children of Sanchez Overture from Children of Sanchez – Great job handling the wide range in this song, did an especially nice job of handling the dynamic range when the song makes its notable transition from guitar and vocals to multiple instruments. Song felt like it had texture.

    Bottom line: I was extremely impressed by the Cardas A8. Time and again they surprised me with the solid, consistent sound they delivered. In my uneducated opinion, they are definitely worth a listen if you have the time.
  7. ryanjsoo
    Be sure to give them a go with JVC spiral dots, I found that they really wake them up where the stock dual flanges sounded a bit too dark for me.
  8. mochill
    I should try it with the spiral dot tips
  9. buke9
    I have plenty of tips whenever they get to me.
  10. mochill
    I have both em5813 and blue a8, want to know how much better the new a8 might be compared with the blue ones after 500hrs of burn in
  11. ryanjsoo
    This one is just a cosmetic update, Cardas' website states that they sound the same but with an updated finish and longer cable.
  12. mochill
    I think it might be more refined
  13. ryanjsoo
    Possible, hope to hear your comparison with the original model, sounds interesting!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  14. Jmop
    Got the A8 today. I really dig the build of the earpieces, they feel like jewels and are pretty heavy. I like the cable below the split more than the thinner cables above it, but it works well enough. The earpieces also fit nicely and are smaller than expected, though they do urge to break free because of the weight. First impressions on sound are kind of hit/miss for me. I used my Spiral Dot tips and Shozy Alien Gold as a source, as well as my MacBook Pro. Bass made it's impression on me initially. It's fairly dynamic, well-controlled, has decent texture, and has some punch when necessary though not a whole lot of it. Sub bass sits a touch behind mid bass making electronic music a little less stellar than it could've been. Pop music works well enough, and kick drums feel really weighty with the genre. Too much bass for rock in my opinion. Lower mids resonate well, but the bass response can be a bit much sometimes by comparison. Mid band and upper mids take somewhat of a backseat due to the strong bass along with a fairly present lower treble. That said, the mids themselves are not very recessed they just don't stand out. The lower treble can also be a touch grainy with some tracks, thought I've found that adding impedance to the earphones helps a little, and the bass quantity can at times make it seem less apparent. Still, there is decent detail to be had. After the lower treble bump, the treble response drops off pretty quickly. The measurements of the A8 at inearspace.com seem to reflect what I'm hearing. I can sense that bit of air beyond 10khz which probably helps with soundstage size, but relative to the rest of the spectrum it is very recessed. Indeed, soundstage and separation are done well and not lacking in any dimension. Despite the well-rounded stage, however, I can't help but feel a little closed in when listening. Maybe if the lower treble was less prominent or if the treble in general had more presence it wouldn't feel so. I tend to like dark sound signatures, but these need more mid presence for that for me personally.

    I threw my JDS Labs C421(AD8066) in the equation. It made the bass less present and added to the upper mids which was nice. Unfortunately, the amp also boosts lower treble so I wasn't all that thrilled with the combo. I think a thinner sounding, treble focused dap would work best with these, but I'd love to hear it with the Pono.

    Thanks to Todd for loaning it out. I'll post more impressions later on if they change.
    cocolinho likes this.
  15. mochill
    500hrs of burn in required

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