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Chinese / Asian Brand IEM Info Thread

  1. earache Contributor
    Been on this Chi-Fi journey for a few months. Started with KZ ZSN, followed by TRN V80, and now CCA 10. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses but pretty happy with the C10’s. I have never had the chance to hear totl iems but am thinking about taking the leap. I don’t want to waste money however so a little hesitant to drop huge money. Looking for recommendations on the next set. I have this urge to just order CA Solaris or similar but don’t want to be disappointed in the marginal improvements. Anyone here taken the leap and never looked back? Thanks.
  2. paulindss
    Info on T3

  3. Otto Motor
    Too big of a mid-bass hump and a pronounced upper midrange plateau peak make me stay away from such an earphone. A graph is all about quantity, and what's too much for me is too much. But quantity may give you indirect information of quality: for example, a huge upper midrange hump is typical for low-quality drivers trying to compensate for a weak lower midrange. This may result in firmer but also harsher and fatiguing voices (The KZ ZSN is a good example). Another example could be the rather pricey single DD Campfire Atlas: there are tons of reviews and fancy photos around but I have not found a single graph (could be my fault). According to one listener, its bass is hugely exaggerated (the goal of an expensive earphone should be accurate and natural reproduction). A graph would give ample evidence. On the other hand, the JVC FD01, arguably the best single DD on the market, has an FR appealing to me (after a simple mod). This information paired with the reviewer's description of the tonality (while knowing their personal preferences) makes it very attractive to me.

    When you create your own graphs from earphones you listen to, you develop a certain feeling for extracting the right information from them. Or simply, a graph tells you right away whether an earphone would NOT fit your listening preference.

    And in terms of quality, well I listened to a cello concerto with a cheap single DD and a 6 BA this morning...the 6 BA resolved much better and the single DD made the cello sound like a...cello. So, no, a graph does not tell us anything about timbre.

    In summary, the fact that a graph does not give us the complete information is no reason to ignore it completely. It is useful data in the big puzzle and a great early warning system.
  4. FastAndClean
    not necessary, some people like colored earphones depending on their music preferences, for example the so called "Japanese" tunning includes forward upper mids, that is not because they use low quality drivers but because their music shines with that kind of coloration
    trellus and BadReligionPunk like this.
  5. Otto Motor
    Sure, but as you say, your statement applies to higher-quality drivers. I was talking of low-quality drivers.

    But then again, a good earphone is one that reproduces sound accurately and naturally...which is independent of preference...any colouring will taint a natural sound such as produced by a symphony orchestra. If one needs a different earphone for each genre, then marketing has worked...

    Here my latest Japanese earphone...and a good one...without a pronounced upper-midrange hump (see also JVC FD01).

  6. silverfishla
    CCA C16 loosens up a bit, while starting like a tight fist. Big bold sound with a neutralish bass. HULK SMASH!!
    eclein, 1clearhead and toddy0191 like this.
  7. Otto Motor
    And speaking of getting different earphones for different musical genres: imagine one needs 20 pairs of loudspeakers in their home for exactly this reason. My wife would tell me a story...

    This could be my living room:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    ShakyJake, 1clearhead, Slater and 3 others like this.
  8. paulindss
    Off topic, the weekeng is going off and i have a gift to all of you over the world.

    Meet one of the finest Jazz pieces i have ever had the pleasure to listen, from a very unpopular - even in his country, african american jazz conductor, writter, musician, etc...

    Conheçam o mais incrível maestro brasileiro, moacir santos!

    I have a feeling you will like this @Otto Motor

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  9. HungryPanda
    Well that was a great piece of music, very well recorded and sounded great in my K's K300 pro earbuds
    paulindss likes this.
  10. Otto Motor
    Coming soon…but man is Wordpress a cumbersome affair…

    Disclaimer: I won't be reviewing/writing stuff as ToasterBob342, Bangstergride, or Otto Motor...no, it will be under my real name: Jürgen Kraus ("JK"). The blog will also offer information on modding, sound science, measurements, subversive stuff, etc.). And I will ask for return envelopes...wonder whether any respectable company can afford a review without a free "sample" :) -- and I even measure their stuff for free!

    JK_s Audio Lounge.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    ShakyJake, DrBrawler, eclein and 10 others like this.
  11. Zerohour88
    taken a leap and never looked back? I for one still love playing with chi-fi and other low-priced IEMs and gear even if TOTLs are my "end-games". I'd avoid Solaris for now (variance issue and not a lot of solid reviews out) and try out the Andromeda first (though you will need a low-impedance source with no hiss or an IEMatch for it). I'm kinda shilling for the Andro, but it definitely deserves it (plus you can get B-stocks or used units for cheap). Unless you need DD bass, then look elsewhere.

    Talking strictly chi-fi, there's qdc with their high-end stuff like the Gemini and 8sh (but I've not had the chance to test any of them, sadly).

    Ibasso IT04 was quite good, even when being compared to the Andro, so that's a possible choice too.
  12. superuser1
    Have you come across the Vi-fi NCM NC5v2? Thats something you should listen to if you can. For the price its most impossible to beat!
  13. chinmie
    i have some friends who actually do just that
    HungryPanda likes this.
  14. Carlsan
    I venture to disagree with you on the Solaris, there are a few reviews out there and they are all positive that I have seen. As for variance issues that has not been verified.
    I recommend that if you are thinking of the Solaris, to go to the Solaris thread and see what people are talking about there.
    Here's one review.
    I agree with the Ando's, they are quite exceptional, but I find there is room for both pairs in my collection. They both have a different take on the sound, with the Solaris having the more lively take, and the Andro's the more neutral. Still when one hears the two together, it is obvious that the Solaris is the better of the two, and in the next league.
    Anyway, not meaning to derail this thread, just putting in my 2 cents from the prospective of someone who owns both.
  15. hiflofi
    My journey in hi-fi started when I joined HF earlier last year.
    First IEMs were the KZ ZST and ZS6. After a while, I found audio stores nearby which carried a huge variety of high-end IEMs and headphones, which I spent a huge amount of time demoing. Soon after, I sold off my chifi and bought the Katana, with the ER3SE as a backup pair, followed by the Andromeda S and I've been out of the chifi game ever since.
    I can tell you there are huge diminishing returns but you won't want to go back to budget chifi once you've upgraded. Too many flaws in budget chifi that I can't ignore.
    As for the Solaris, there are varying opinions. I think it's a great TOTL hybrid. Priced generously. Flaws are valid. Nothing is perfect but Solaris is great.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    HungryPanda likes this.

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