CCA in ear monitors Impressions Thread
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reddistic

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Any comparison between cca c16 and kz zs7. I have zs 7, and i like it.
Thanks
I got both, and zs7 is more fun to listen for me. C16 lows are fast but less than zs7. C16 has more detail but also has some disturbing peaks. Maybe my ears are so sensitive. I think wait for C20 or put some more money and buy kanas pro instead of c16.
 
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Promethus

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Quick impressions.

Received my C16 2 days back.
Source Imac to Grace Design M902. Shanling M3 Low gain.

First thing to note, drop the volume, SPL is quite high.
Stock cable sucks, pretty sure a lot of the treble and shouty issues were caused by it. Ergonomically sucks too.
Threw on a pair of NICEHCK 16 core OCC Copper on them and instant cure.
Turns them into a musical pair of iem than analytical.

Either shell size / weight or diameter / length of nozzle is off.
My usual M/L sized Spiral dots keep getting pushed out for deeper insertions.

Ended up using blue foamies from T2pro and now Medium stock starline.
 
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Slater

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Quick impressions.

Received my C16 2 days back.
Source Imac to Grace Design M902. Shanling M3 Low gain.

First thing to note, drop the volume, SPL is quite high.
Stock cable sucks, pretty sure a lot of the treble and shouty issues were caused by it. Ergonomically sucks too.
Threw on a pair of NICEHCK 16 core OCC Copper on them and instant cure.
Turns them into a musical pair of iem than analytical.

Either shell size / weight or diameter / length of nozzle is off.
My usual M/L sized Spiral dots keep getting pushed out for deeper insertions.

Ended up using blue foamies from T2pro and now Medium stock starline.
I too noticed the volume. Turn it up and blech. Turn it down and niiiice.

That’s why I was asking about the nozzle filter. I think it’s causing too much restriction for all those drivers at higher volume. I just need to do a search and find the posts about it, as I am 98% sure it was the C16.

I also put the NiceHCK cable on, but the 8-core version.
 
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Promethus

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I too noticed the volume. Turn it up and blech. Turn it down and niiiice.

That’s why I was asking about the nozzle filter. I think it’s causing too much restriction for all those drivers at higher volume. I just need to do a search and find the posts about it, as I am 98% sure it was the C16.

I also put the NiceHCK cable on, but the 8-core version.
I think i will get an 8 core version to try out. They make nice cables. Although the gauge is not as thick, even cheapo TRN cables are thicker. But they are comfortable to use and so far the quality seems good.
 
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Promethus

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I too noticed the volume. Turn it up and blech. Turn it down and niiiice.

That’s why I was asking about the nozzle filter. I think it’s causing too much restriction for all those drivers at higher volume. I just need to do a search and find the posts about it, as I am 98% sure it was the C16.

I also put the NiceHCK cable on, but the 8-core version.
I just threw on a 200ohm resistor on my grace design. Had to increase volume by 30+%

You can get bigger bass and dynamics without getting too hot or shouty.

But there are detail loss. Maybe my resistor have not been burnt in yet might play around with this if the quality improves after burn in.
 
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CA4 has now had over 24 hours burn in and I can't remember another IEM which has been so transformed by the process. Although the powerful bass remains, the mids and treble are now coming through and producing a more balanced sound. They resemble the ZS7 but with less separation in the mids, not surprising when the ZS7 has two extra midrange BAs. The CA4 is a very entertaining IEM but more V shaped than the C10 and C16.
 
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Which cable?
I think i will get an 8 core version to try out. They make nice cables. Although the gauge is not as thick, even cheapo TRN cables are thicker. But they are comfortable to use and so far the quality seems good.
NICEHCK 8 Core High Purity Copper Upgrade Cable

https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/zUu4eRI

@hakuzen thinks highly of them. He maintains a huge database of cables, and tests the conductivity, figures out who supplies the raw cable, etc. He’s like a walking encyclopedia of the <$100 ChiFi cables. It’s cable #060 in his database.

Here’s his cable thread:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/low-end-cheap-generic-otherwise-bang-for-buck-cable-thread.891911/

For the price, it’s the best cable available right now in the <$10 segment. It’s even more conductive than the 16-wire version of the same cable.

0BF49878-BFF4-4B5E-AE69-603746138803.jpeg
 
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I don’t think they’re terrible. I think they’re perfectly adequate. You can always get better, which is true of anything.

I can get a Prime Grade A Angus steak from a steakhouse. And that’s perfectly adequate. But if I want the “best” I can get a Wagu or Kobe beef steak. It’s going to cost more. Does that mean the Prime Grade A Angus steak is terrible? No, not at all.

The stock cable is a bit thin, which tangles easily and can be microphonic.

But the stock cable is a million times better than stock cables that were included on most IEMs 4-5 years ago. The current stock cable is similar to what you’d find on high end gear 4-5 years ago. The difference is the bar has been raised nowadays.

The high end stuff comes with REALLY nice cables nowadays, and what was at the level of the old bar has trickled down.

So the current stock cables are seen by many as ‘junk’, only because the bar has been much higher.

You can certainly use the stock CCA cable. There’s nothing wrong with it. Or if you want for $10-$15 more you can get a nice upgrade cable for it. It’s not necessary going to make it sound any better, but it will be less tangly, less microphonic, will look nicer, etc. But don’t feel like you HAVE to buy an upgrade cable, like some people seem to be advocating.
I think sometimes the "upgrade cable" can alter the sound for the worse, changing the sound signature and only improving the looks, feel, etc.. and not the sound... Imo
 
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So isn’t the C16 the one where people are removing the nozzle mesh and running with open nozzles? Unless I’m thinking of a different IEM.
I heard ear wax inside the nozzle acts like dampening foam and makes the C16 sound better. :wink:
 
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It’s surprising to me how many IEMs improve with wide bore tips.

In my younger years, I used to shy away from wide bore tips because I didn’t like the reduction in low end. But as my tastes became more refined and I really started to appreciate the high end (as well as understand how too much low end can overpower and choke out everything else), I started giving wide bores a chance.

And it has always been amazing to me how much the character of an IEM can change with wide bores. It can go from compressed, boomy, metallic, and shouty with narrow bore tips to a more open, natural, cleaner and pleasant treble presentation.

Which makes a lot of sense. When you speak through a small diameter pipe or cardboard tube, your voice sounds completely different.

I have turned many IEMs from meh to wow by switching to wide bore tips. The only disadvantage of them is the fact that the tips don’t fit securely on many nozzles (bad either don’t fit at all, or are loose and fall off). But I always try my various wide bore tips, and can often find one that fits well enough to at least try it out and see if the sound improves or not.

Why the majority of manufacturers include generic narrow bore tips as (sometimes) the only stock tips is sad. Does no one at these companies tip roll in-house and notice the often positive difference?
on the topic of wide bore tips, would the KZ starline tips (size M) considered wide enough?
 
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I read on HFi where a member said the ZS7 is better than the C16? What ya'll think? I believe they mentioned some peaks in the sound profile they didnt like.
 
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I read on HFi where a member said the ZS7 is better than the C16? What ya'll think? I believe they mentioned some peaks in the sound profile they didnt like.
It is possible. But from what I observe, its got to do with listening to the C16 at pretty loud volumes and devices that have poor distortion control. But mostly the former.

If you listen to the C16 at moderate to low volumes, it is really quite the awesome experience. Lush, detailed, and well controlled.
But when you push it above certain volume thresholds (depends on your source) , you start to pick up sibilance in some tracks. (surprisingly, not in all tracks). And usually sibilance is tied to distortion or lack of good damping for drivers.

I can only suggest its a damping issue with its drivers. Not sufficient for higher power levels but excellent below a certain threshold otherwise.

Ask those guys if they still have the same issues listening at "moderatel" sound levels.
 
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