Dunu-Topsound Studio?
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scottsays

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I had a run with with all-BA IEMs once and it just didn't vibe with me, but then again, that was 5+ years ago. Maybe technology/better tuning has caught up? The "BA sound" has been such a hit & miss (mostly miss) for me. The SA6 sure look amazing though. Looking forward to reviews as price-wise, they are right in the middle of the range at which I am looking and researching.
 
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DUNU-Topsound

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SA6 available for preorder for $ 549----a little above my budget at this point---sure looks nice though---

https://audio46.com/products/dunu-studio-sa6-in-ear-monitors
Yes, we were originally set to release the SA6 on 8/12 in China, but we had difficulty scaling up mass production because of our all-handmade production process. The feedback from headphone shows and meets in Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai were quite positive, and we had much higher than expected demand from dealers.

This meant that we had to push back the SA6 release in China from 8/12 to 8/25, and so international sales will begin after the first week of September.

We had several reasons for going with a handmade process; the first and foremost is that we wanted to get our "hand feel" for making acrylic earphones back. We were in the CIEM game early on --- we offered a 4-driver custom, the DC4, back in 2012. Since then, we haven't done anything in this realm. So it's about getting our guys back into that mindset so we know what to work on and tinker with. The second is that a handmade process allows us to change things mid-cycle. We can offer additional faceplate and color options if the demand is there.

The main drawback is, of course, what we already mentioned. It takes a lot longer to get sufficient production volume. Contrast this with the 3D-printed SA3, which can be produced in much larger batches.
 
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davidmolliere

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I'll be able to provide some first impressions next week on SA3 and SA6 :)

Excited!
 
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Dunu SA3 Review. The SA3 is a great debut all BA IEM by Dunu. Enjoy & Happy Listening, as always! :)

photo_2020-07-10_18-58-18-4.jpg
Hey it seems this IEM is similar in its presentation to Alpha&Delta KS3. How can do you compare to it?
 
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davidmolliere

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I had a run with with all-BA IEMs once and it just didn't vibe with me, but then again, that was 5+ years ago. Maybe technology/better tuning has caught up? The "BA sound" has been such a hit & miss (mostly miss) for me. The SA6 sure look amazing though. Looking forward to reviews as price-wise, they are right in the middle of the range at which I am looking and researching.
I think technology plays its part and a dynamic still has a distinctive qualities, as well as eStats or now magnetostats and tribrids are highly regarded but... all BA IEMs can still hold their own while tuned right in fact they still do compete with the best IMHO. Tuning knowledge is still of the essence, to me... not that there isn't room to exploit the new driver tech which IMHO is far from the case.

Luna is another example of pushing a known tech well beyond what anyone has done with dynamic drivers.
It's still the most impressive IEM to my ears among everything I have heard in the last two years and I have heard a lot... it's just as distinctive as something very different as the KSE1500 but much more natural sounding. Simply in a league of its own in terms of macro and micro dynamics... right now saving up to buy the Luna which is my next purchase, it could be my last that I would be set for years :p
 
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Hey it seems this IEM is similar in its presentation to Alpha&Delta KS3. How can do you compare to it?
There is more sparkle and crisp.
 
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davidmolliere

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Something came early this morning :)
It doesn't show in the picture but SA6 is quite more compact than SA3.

IMG_3402.JPG

The craftsmanship on the SA6 is quite exquisite both the shells and the internals...

IMG_0460.JPG

The cable that comes with the SA6 is pretty nice as well and came with 2.5, 3.5 and 4.4 plugs :

IMG_6151.JPG

As I also ordered Blanche I'll be able to report on the pairing as well.
I'll make sure to try Hulk as well :)

Now off to a listening session :)
Impressions coming soon...
 
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This morning I am getting the SA3 some time (really superb fit on those 3D printed shells) and I must say the entry offering in the BA lineup is quite interesting as it features a different tuning from the hybrid lineup that Dunu hadn't targeted yet. The SA3 is Dunu's take on reference tuning and I must say it's very impressive at its price point. Resolution is really good, and the stage while not the most expansive is served by very precise imaging and a balanced layout in all directions, a very coherent image. As expected the SA3 features good speed with quick and clean note decay and fast snappy attack. This makes for a "dynamic" reference IEM, with a snappy presentation.

IMG_3547.JPG

The bass is really great reference bass with great control, speed and sub bass extension is better than I expected. It won't get you toe tapping like DK-2001 but those have different tunings. Mids are clear, open and fairly transparent. No hints or upper mids harshness and the SA3 passed my Graceland sibilance test with next to no sibilance. This is a well mastered reference tuning. Treble has very good extension with an upper treble focus, this brings air and resolution while lower treble takes a back seat although sparkle is good and well controlled.

This is all with the stock cable which is silver plated copper. I always find cable rolling interesting with reference IEMs because just like sources they can be great chameleons and you can tweak them while not breaking coherence. I tried Null Audio Arete copper cable and it gave me a bit more lower mids adding a tad of body to the SA3 that was not to displease me as it doesn't change the fundamental character of the SA3 but it does bring more heft down low and more body overall. It does tame the upper treble a bit but also I find the tone to be more natural with a slight warmer hue where the stock cable would be slightly on the colder side.

Last I rolled to Dunu Hulk and Blanche although the pairings don't make sense budget wise, just to get the picture of how far I could take the SA3... Hulk does bring even more heft down low and body to the mids but keeps the upper treble intact with a spot on tone I loved this combo. Blanche is an interesting silver cable, it will take your highs to new heights (pun intended) but it's not a thin sounding cable. The bass has less authority and impact than Hulk, but more detail with richer textures... the mids are more transparent and the most open of all cables with also a tad more bite, on the flipside there is less body. Last but not least Blanche helps the SA3 to the next level treble wise : there is a bit more lower treble energy and upper treble packs more details while at the same time featuring a smoother presentation than the stock cable. Again, unfair comparison and budget wise not the most common combo people will run it with. Still, this shows that a 140$ 3BA IEM from Dunu does scale and that's interesting.

For my review I'll use both my AAW Capri lightning cable (a good pairing by the way, more on that later) and the Lotoo PAW S1 as main sources.

Stay tuned for SA6 impressions :)
 
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So next on to SA6... first one thing that suprised me is how smaller the SA6 next to the SA3, I promised pics to illustrate better here they are :

IMG_6638.JPGIMG_4514.JPG

Now on to the sound...

IMG_0228_2.jpg

The SA6 is a very refined IEM, first it has flawless technical foundations : it's really downright impressive at this price point to me it competes with IEMs 2 or maybe 3 times the price (yes, really). Resolution is excellent this stands out even more with a pitch black background providing fantastic contrast, extension is superb both ways providing tons of fun in a balanced way. Mids strike a great balance with a very engaging vocal presence, enough lower mids to provide body yet remain transparent, articulate with just the right touch of bite. Treble extension is nothing short of superb and this helps the SA6 provide a lot of air opening the soundstage and helping the imaging precision with great separation without this being overdone. There is more sparkle than SA3 but at the same time the delivery is smoother with "wetter" notes as well, there is more body to the treble and it's delightful. The tuning coherence is superb and the SA6 is very natural sounding. SA6 is both technically impressive and highly engaging, a winning combination in my book and a rare one at that.

This is with switch to off. Turning the switch from default (OFF) to "Atmospheric Immersion" (ON) is more subtle than most bass switches. It's also much easier as you can switch with no tools while keeping the IEM in your ears, kudos Dunu for this! The switch is really done right in my opinion and on bass light tracks turning it on will have a limited effect while on bass rich tracks you will get some pretty nice kick in the bass department! Not that the SA6 is bass light with switch to OFF you still have plenty of bass kick and good sub extension, what you do get with switches ON is just the extra sub and mid bass to get into serious toe tapping territory (but not into bass head one either). On the flipside one might make a case that the switch to OFF position is a bit more articulate with bass detail easier to perceive, that's my first take but I need a bit more time to elaborate.

Now all this is out of LPGT with the very nice stock cable. Let me tell you what happens when you switch to Blanche... you gain a level of refinement that only great upgrade cables will provide, the bass textures are richer and provide more detail and a tad better control, the mids are a tad more open with more bite and the treble is taken to new heights with a more natural delivery and more nuances as well as a tad more sparkle.

Where I feel the SA6 with its stock cable is up there with IEMs 2x the price like say Rai Penta, with Blanche it really scales even further and competes with one of my favorite IEMs in 2019, the Tansio Mirai Zodiac 3x the price (where it should be compared to the TSMR-5 which I'll include in my review)... granted the Zodiac has the edge on soundstage and transparency but the SA6 is punchier. I wouldn't say it stretches to QDC Anole VX with its 3 switches system but the resolution is not far behind and I dare say the SA6 is more natural sounding. This is honestly unexpected and a good thing for all of those who are on a budget and want to get a top tier performance IEMs for a reasonable price which comes in scarce these days.

A strong entry into the full BA market!
 
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DUNU Join the tour for our beryllium rolled foil dynamic driver flagship, LUNA! Check it out on our official website! Stay updated on DUNU at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/DUNU.FANS/ https://twitter.com/DUNU_Headphone https://www.instagram.com/dunu_topsound/ https://www.dunu-topsound.com/ int_ops@dunu-topsound.com, support@dunutopsound.com https://m.me/DUNU.FANS
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Unfortunately, I haven't had much listening time with the SA3; the shells are a little big for my small ears. Surprised to see SA6 is smaller.
 
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