Cardas A8 IEM
Apr 21, 2017 at 12:13 AM Post #393 of 429

frashed

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They sound fantastic... but what is with the build quality?. A defective left speaker and discolouration on the housing all within 7 days of purchase. What a disappointment. 

Any other IEM's similar to this? Shure SE535 or Westone W40 maybe?

I love the bass on these, such a shame.
 
Apr 21, 2017 at 2:27 AM Post #394 of 429

MadMusicJunkie

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I haven't had an issue with these other than small cosmetic ones.  Other options:
Earsonics Velvet
FLC8s
K3003i
Kinera BD005 (my guilty chi-fi pleasure)
CA Dorado
AAW W500
 
Get your credit cards ready :)
 
Apr 21, 2017 at 10:14 AM Post #395 of 429

elnero

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  They sound fantastic... but what is with the build quality?. A defective left speaker and discolouration on the housing all within 7 days of purchase. What a disappointment. 

Any other IEM's similar to this? Shure SE535 or Westone W40 maybe?

I love the bass on these, such a shame.

 
I'd say there's a bit of similarity with the original Oriveti Primacy. The Primacy's bass isn't quite as a pronounced but it's faster and has great detail. The Primacy also has a bit more emphasis in the treble region but is not bright by any means. Overall the Primacy feels like it's a little better balanced top to bottom but is a bit drier sounding.
 
May 7, 2017 at 1:22 PM Post #396 of 429

doctorjazz

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I was initially listening to them on a Pono, balanced, didn't think they sounded as good as some of my other in ears. I recently got the Pioneer XDP-300R, and an adapter so I could use my Pono balanced cables with it, like it much more. Synergy is EVERYTHING! (the balanced cable is starting to fray, though, after just 2 months or so. Really disappointing; no adverse sonic effects noted, though. Just figure, coming from Cardas, the one thing I shouldn't be worrying about is the cable...)
 
May 26, 2017 at 12:43 PM Post #398 of 429

kennyb123

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I broke the cable on my A8's. Emailed Cardas, no reply. Asked my dealer to get a replacement. Three+ weeks later and they've had no luck. Pretty annoyed at this point.


I received great support from Cardas. Something went amiss with one channel on my A8s so I simply followed the directions on their website. I used their form to obtain an RMA, mailed in my A8s, then received replacements back fairly quickly at no charge as they were under warranty.

Here's the RMA form:
http://www.cardas.com/ra_contactform.php
 
May 26, 2017 at 12:50 PM Post #399 of 429

doctorjazz

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I contacted Cardas about the fraying cable, they sent me the information for RMA as well (but I haven't gotten around to doing it).
You'd think cables from Cardas would be the last thing you'd worry about, though.
 
May 29, 2017 at 11:53 AM Post #400 of 429

docjohnny

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I had to return mine as well. Left channel died within a week of ownership. Amazon took them back without question.

Overall, the sound quality was good, but a bit over-rated. My reference point is the Earsonics SM-9, so I know there is no way it will approach that level of sound quality, but even on a curve, it is a 7/10 earphone. The issue is that the sound is just a tad too warm. The bass is like a warm bath that the rest of the sound floats in.And those sounds unfortunately float just below the water's surface. This veiled sound is not fatiguing in any way, and can be quite enjoyable for some more aggressive sources. In my mind, it is just a finer "Monster Cable Turbine". It has smoother highs, that are set far back from the stage compared to a Turbine, and the bass is a step less boomy. But they are surely cousins.
 
Jun 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM Post #401 of 429

Bryan T

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Via my dealer, Cardas replaced my A8's. Breaking in the replacements now. I was really surprised that they just swapped them out, but happy to have a working pair again. I use these for a few hours a day and really missed them.
 
Sep 5, 2017 at 5:48 AM Post #402 of 429

ryanjsoo

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Just posted my review of the 30th Anniversay Edition A8 in the Headgear section, I did confirm with Cardas that this new model has slightly improved sound over the original both through subtle tweaking of the driver in addition to a continuous cable. In return, the cable is now fully fixed but the black chrome finish shouldn't suffer from the peeling paint issue of the original A8. Sonically, I don't remember the original A8 too clearly, but the revision I received is easily among the best $300 earphones I've heard. Their bass depth, power and soundstage in particular, really blew me away though those looking for a lot of detail and balance should still look into something like the Oriveti New Primacy or even the Rose BR5 MKII. Still, as far as bass goes, the A8 outpaces plenty of earphones costing a LOT more and the rest of their sound is pretty darn good too. Since I do prefer dynamic driver bass, I've enjoyed A8 far more than I thought I would, it's a real shame that, like the Oriveti and Rose, the A8 hasn't received too much attention because these earphones have possibly the highest price/performance ratio I've come across in this hobby.

dsc04595.jpg

dsc04590.jpg
 
Sep 5, 2017 at 7:32 AM Post #403 of 429

doctorjazz

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Nice Review, Ryan! I have the older A8, have to say I found it too dark and warm, fuzzy, less detailed than I like, but I have to pull it out and listen to it again (maybe it will mate better with my more recently acquired Pioneer xdp-300r than the Pono I was using at the time). I suspect the metal body and tweaks of the newer version DO make a difference.
 
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Sep 5, 2017 at 8:08 AM Post #404 of 429

ryanjsoo

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Nice Review, Ryan! I have the older A8, have to say I found it too dark and warm, fuzzy, less detailed than I like, but I have to pull it out and listen to it again (maybe it will mate better with my more recently acquired Pioneer xdp-300r than the Pono I was using at the time). I suspect the metal body and tweaks of the newer version DO make a difference.

Thanks! I can't quantify the change (and pretty sure the original A8 is also brass), definitely benefits from a good source and I found that some tip rolling helped to open them up. I had a good experience with JVC Spiral Dots and the X7 II which is a more neutral source, they were too dark on the X3 and Mojo and my more mediocre sources had a lot of that fuzziness that you describe. Great to hear some more impressions, hopefully someone better versed with the original can provide more concise comparison.
 

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