CCA in ear monitors Impressions Thread
Oct 6, 2021 at 1:31 PM Post #3,079 of 3,134

InvisibleInk

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Posts
606
Likes
1,106
Location
Reality
What's your thoughts on it?
Fantastic, everything that's great about the AS10, but in a much less comfortable shell. I love being Ironman or Darth Vader, but wearing those guys' IEM ends up hurting the outer edges of my ears.
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 1:43 PM Post #3,080 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
Fantastic, everything that's great about the AS10, but in a much less comfortable shell. I love being Ironman or Darth Vader, but wearing those guys' IEM ends up hurting the outer edges of my ears.

"I'll be Bach!"

--grabs coat
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 2:11 PM Post #3,081 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
It's my belief the NRA harshly reproduces recordings that are naturally sibilant, but that normally won't bother you when: the source music recording is of high-quality (originally mastered with care, not or minimally dynamically compressed); when your audio reproduction chain is also of high quality and well-engineered (very low noise and distortion; but not necessarily state-of-the-art or crazy expensive); and when your transducers (speakers or headphones) are also well-designed and well-tuned.

Much ado over a $15 pair of in-ears? Probably, but to those following the KZ/CCA threads and are invested in the brand because it formed or still forms a significant part of their journey in their pursuit of musical enjoyment, it is a topic. It's also worthy of note as to its potential—further iterations of the NRA may yet find that sweet spot of great value, great design and great tuning. There's its very recent half-sibling, the KZ ZEX, for one.

As a first effort into this class of drivers ("electrostatic" or whatever the cognomen), at this price point, the NRA is already something. Many, including me, have noted its wonderful bass and midrange, its treble for me only marred by its sibilance and a shrill presentation of certain instruments—that btw can be remedied by subtractive EQ, and/or the use of warm-sounding amps.

As a further illustration of the NRA's capabilities and inherent characteristics, allow me to direct you to this post of archimago (one of those who over the years I have followed with attentiveness, together with solderdude and the now happily retired Tyll Hertsens, to name a couple off the cuff), entitled Archimago's Musical Performance Track (AMPT):

https://archimago.blogspot.com/2021/08/ampt-test.html?m=1

This is a relatively short post, done in archimago's usual interest-piquing style, which essentially tells that he made a test track he recorded off his RME ADI PRO Analog-to-Digital Converter from certain recordings he considers "reference" quality (save perhaps for the last one), for listener evaluation of source playback.

However, this test track can also be used to evaluate speaker or headphone response characteristics. Which is what I did with the NRA. And the rest of my headphones.

It's respectfully suggested that the post be read in its entirety, paying particular attention to his notes. Then, you can tap/click on the provided link therein and in the interests of fair use, download said test track as a Zip file and try it on the NRA, and on your playback gear and headphones.

Nice post, @SybilLance. I am burning my ears in with GK10 first on the test track and will try out NRA afterwards. I compared a couple of these tracks to Spotify and am reminded what garbage it really is. LOL! I am really tempted to just start collecting CDs again and look for one of the old carousel players from the early oughts.

cheers
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 2:51 PM Post #3,083 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
Has anyone tried using the NRA on a hybrid amp? This seems to calm the treble a bit down.

I'm lusting really bad for a Cayin C9. Maybe next year. Or maybe I buy an orange LED, hook it up to a AAA and insert into an inverted and empty 250 ml coke bottle and make soft, wet buzzing noises in the dark while listening to my FiiO.
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 3:13 PM Post #3,084 of 3,134

ExTubeGamer

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Posts
130
Likes
225
Location
Germany
I'm lusting really bad for a Cayin C9. Maybe next year. Or maybe I buy an orange LED, hook it up to a AAA and insert into an inverted and empty 250 ml coke bottle and make soft, wet buzzing noises in the dark while listening to my FiiO.
A little Xduoo mt-602 amp was enough for me :wink:
 
Oct 6, 2021 at 5:10 PM Post #3,085 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
A little Xduoo mt-602 amp was enough for me :wink:

Indeed. Douk Audio / Nobsound have so many to choose from that it's difficult to tell what's what. The Little Bear D4-X is like a Wish version of the Cayin C9.

Nice post, @SybilLance. I am burning my ears in with GK10 first on the test track and will try out NRA afterwards. I compared a couple of these tracks to Spotify and am reminded what garbage it really is. LOL! I am really tempted to just start collecting CDs again and look for one of the old carousel players from the early oughts.

cheers

well, this was weird, too. The quality difference to Spotify was really limited to the first track from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. It sounds like it's horrifically compressed for some reason. The other tracks had very minimal if any difference.

@SybilLance

It's respectfully suggested that the post be read in its entirety, paying particular attention to his notes. Then, you can tap/click on the provided link therein and in the interests of fair use, download said test track as a Zip file and try it on the NRA, and on your playback gear and headphones.

I'm interested to hear the different recordings but am out of time. Comparing like for like with what I have (GK10's piezo drivers vs. NRA's magnetostatic), I just don't hear any resonant sibilance issues from the FLAC based test track on the NRA. I've dedicated 2 hours to this exercise and am over my time allotment, unfortunately, because I'd wanted to compare the dac chips from his recordings.

The NRA are more revealing than the GK10 without EQ, but there's not that much in it to be honest. Whether the extra resolution is from being on a balanced cable and source vs single ended output (same source, BTR3K) for the GK10, I'm not quite sure. I've been using the GK10 single ended at my desk for the most part and didn't want to swap the cables.

The closest to sibilant vocals in the test tracks is Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy, and I don't hear any difference between these two sets on the esses. Without EQ the GK10s are certainly not as bright. With a touch of EQ they have about equal levels of detail retrieval from their piezos and sound remarkably similar to the NRA. The NRA is cheating with its balanced cable, but they have faster bass than GK10 and a more forceful impact. Mids are virtually the same for these limited test tracks. There's a bit wider sound stage from the NRA on balanced cable, but it's just a touch. It mainly shows up on the second track, which sounds like a binaural recording with lots of tapping and castanet type noises strategically placed in the distance. I think that's the dual amp circuits more than the phones ...

cheers
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 3:20 AM Post #3,086 of 3,134

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Posts
2,148
Likes
5,279
Location
Sussex, England
Indeed. Douk Audio / Nobsound have so many to choose from that it's difficult to tell what's what. The Little Bear D4-X is like a Wish version of the Cayin C9.



well, this was weird, too. The quality difference to Spotify was really limited to the first track from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. It sounds like it's horrifically compressed for some reason. The other tracks had very minimal if any difference.



I'm interested to hear the different recordings but am out of time. Comparing like for like with what I have (GK10's piezo drivers vs. NRA's magnetostatic), I just don't hear any resonant sibilance issues from the FLAC based test track on the NRA. I've dedicated 2 hours to this exercise and am over my time allotment, unfortunately, because I'd wanted to compare the dac chips from his recordings.

The NRA are more revealing than the GK10 without EQ, but there's not that much in it to be honest. Whether the extra resolution is from being on a balanced cable and source vs single ended output (same source, BTR3K) for the GK10, I'm not quite sure. I've been using the GK10 single ended at my desk for the most part and didn't want to swap the cables.

The closest to sibilant vocals in the test tracks is Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy, and I don't hear any difference between these two sets on the esses. Without EQ the GK10s are certainly not as bright. With a touch of EQ they have about equal levels of detail retrieval from their piezos and sound remarkably similar to the NRA. The NRA is cheating with its balanced cable, but they have faster bass than GK10 and a more forceful impact. Mids are virtually the same for these limited test tracks. There's a bit wider sound stage from the NRA on balanced cable, but it's just a touch. It mainly shows up on the second track, which sounds like a binaural recording with lots of tapping and castanet type noises strategically placed in the distance. I think that's the dual amp circuits more than the phones ...

cheers
If you like the Firebird Suite, this version puts IEMs through their paces!
+1 for Eva Cassidy as well!
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 6:17 AM Post #3,087 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
Oct 7, 2021 at 6:58 AM Post #3,088 of 3,134

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Posts
2,148
Likes
5,279
Location
Sussex, England
Oct 7, 2021 at 7:43 AM Post #3,089 of 3,134

SpaceOperaVillain

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Posts
317
Likes
876
Location
EU
I have the CD, and many others on the Reference Recordings label. The Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances is another good one, and also "Ports of Call" which I enjoy very much.

Yes, great site! I just spotted Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 for Organ in their catalog. This could be dangerous ...

I only have a handful of FLAC recordings, actually. I've lost so many over the years (read decades) that I'm nervous to collect them. I have setup and managed several organizations now that were compliant to ISO 27001 standards including routine audits for disaster recovery, but I can't seem to keep track of my own digital photos and music. It's a bitter irony.
 
Oct 7, 2021 at 8:06 AM Post #3,090 of 3,134

Nimweth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Posts
2,148
Likes
5,279
Location
Sussex, England
Yes, great site! I just spotted Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 for Organ in their catalog. This could be dangerous ...

I only have a handful of FLAC recordings, actually. I've lost so many over the years (read decades) that I'm nervous to collect them. I have setup and managed several organizations now that were compliant to ISO 27001 standards including routine audits for disaster recovery, but I can't seem to keep track of my own digital photos and music. It's a bitter irony.
I rip my own FLAC files from CD and keep them on an external drive. Another one I can recommend is "Reverie" which has lovely versions of Sibelius's "The Swan of Tuonela" and Ravel's "Alborada del Gracioso", fabulous dynamics on that one!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top