Earbuds Round-Up
Apr 23, 2022 at 9:02 AM Post #61,006 of 75,053
I have a Kann Alpha that is set to Mid gain most of the time. As specified by Ak’s website, the mid gain amp for this Dap is 4vrms. Does that mean it can drive the Ve Zen 2.0 (320 ohms) on mid gain?
Just looked it up and they dont specify the impedance...so that information doesnt really tell much....


But yes,if you are getting 4 vrms at 320 ohm it is no problem.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 10:31 AM Post #61,008 of 75,053
Just looked it up and they dont specify the impedance...so that information doesnt really tell much....


But yes,if you are getting 4 vrms at 320 ohm it is no problem.
Thank you. The Zen is one of my faves but there are times I just want to plug and play with earbuds.

I pair mine with the Q1 mkii by fiio and its awesome.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 1:29 PM Post #61,009 of 75,053
Apr 23, 2022 at 4:58 PM Post #61,011 of 75,053
Apr 23, 2022 at 5:53 PM Post #61,013 of 75,053
RikuBuds - Berserker 1 and Lancer 1




1650750525395.png


Alright, it’s that time of the year again. The buds are making a comeback in my collection, as I gave most of what I had away to friends and random people, leaving me mostly with my trusted custom DIY Blur PK32.

Earbuds are starting to trend again as two well known chads decided to start selling their stuff: @RikudouGoku and @tgx78. I’m close to both and I could not let the opportunity pass to talk about their work and help it get some recognition, which brings us to this post, which will address 2 RG Buds I got last week and spent some hours with each one.

*Disclaimer: All the listening was done using Tidal Hifi and Flac files. Sources used were mainly Cayin N3 Pro (solid state), Xduoo MT-602 and Xduoo XD-05 Plus with Burson V5i Opamps. I paid for the buds with my own money but was given a big discount. No incentives were given to write anything about these, good or bad. All thoughts and opinions will be my own, despite my close relationship with Riku.*




The house sound

Unless you live under a rock, everyone knows Riku’s target and preferences tilt into basshead territory. Elevated sub-bass with a clean cut into the mids and a not so elevated pinna gain, but giving preference to a well extended upper treble.

These preferences passed on to his work. His house sound revolves around bass, with sub over mid, with fast and tight impacts. His favorite technicality, just like mine, it’s the need for a very open and airy soundstage, which I welcome every day of the week, and his buds deliver just that.

Where we always end up disagreeing is on (upper) mids or lower treble, but I’m confident enough to say that he knows what he is doing and he’s taking a good neutral approach regarding these.

So far, great. Now into specifics!




RG Earbuds - Lancer 1


1650750648533.png


Before I start, I wanna leave a word on driveability and scalability. Lancer 1 has 150ohm and will eat most people you throw at it. The reason I’m mentioning this is that I can’t recommend it if you plan to straight plug it into your phone or apple dongle. Buds scaling is much bigger, closer to open backs than to IEMs. You’ve been warned.

Lancer 1 promises a land of less bass quantity and more emphasis on other regions. If I had to describe its FR, I would say with some certainty that it’s a W-shaped earbud.

Sub-bass is tastefully done and elevated, extending lower frequencies effortlessly, using that mid-bass clean cut to show its claws without bleeding into the mids. This results in a lot of texture, which even a basslet (compared to him) like me claps like a seal. The mid bass is clean but has a lot of impact, despite not being the star of the show. This is the second best bass I’ve heard in any bud, only surpassed by its brother below.

The rest of the mid frequency is pretty neutral to slight forward, and could use more detail, but due to the tuning and my IEM spoiled brain, this is more a nitpick than an actual flaw. What I’m not a fan of, is male vocals, which feel a bit recessed and blurred into the mid chops of a song. The female ones are actually fine where I could use a bit more bite, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Treble is pretty neutral and tastefully done as well. Nothing ever feels sharp, out of place, making you settled to enjoy these for a full work day without any problem. Extension is there but not overly cooked, making you miss no detail and bringing lots of air into the mix.

Now technicalities are absolutely stunning but one part: separation and layering in the mid frequencies. This is the only thing I think could be improved and I have to point out, because every other thing about techs is great to me, including its timbre or resolving power.

Quickly comparing them with my Blurs PK32, the Lancer 1 has straight out better bass and timbre. The Blurs still win from mids to the upper treble, feeling less veiled and better separation thrown into the mix. The stage and imaging are better in the Lancer 1. Overall I think they are pretty different and better at stuff that the other isn’t, which shows incredible value on Lancer 1 when compared directly to a many times more expensive Blur. For those source freaks like me, Lancer 1 also scales better than Blur with power and tubes (directly or pre-amped).

Lancer 1 reminds me a lot of a Blur MX64 STE, but with much better timbre and less fatiguing, maybe giving the impression of coming out as a hair less resolving. I would take Lancer 1 over it, anyway and I consider it an upgrade to that pair, and costs half the asking price.

Value rank: 5/5; Personal Rank: S+




RG Earbuds - Berserker 1

1650750695914.png

The bassy brother. “*** you, bass” as Crinnacle would put it.

L-shape with upper mids recession, the Zerker is the dark coffee of your morning. I was only going for Lancer 1 but I caved and got the brother as well. It was surprising since the first track. Despite its bass elevation, it's more immersive and less in your face replay… Unless you blast the volume knob! Scales pretty well, let me tell you.

Sub-bass heavy, clean cutted transition into the mids, the star of the show. Tight, fast, detailed and textured, taking over the replay. It’s so well that that makes some IEM’s sub-bass cry. It’s the best earbud bass I’ve heard, period.

Mid-bass is more tucked in, just enough for warmth and presence, and giving a great replay of male vocals.

The upper mids are a bit recessed, making it not the best suited for extended female vocal replays or piano concerts, but still well done and not offensive.

Treble is on the darker side, despite a little bit of extension. If it was an IEM, we were talking about EJ07 levels of upper treble or less (WTB EST buds, by the way). Cymbals and guitars feel somewhat recessed and tucked in, missing some of that upper harmonic detail and giving it a sense of a faster decay, but again, nothing offensive to the replay. I get a feeling it is not its focus anyway.

Technically speaking, just like its brother, the stage and imaging are great, but the Lancer is more detailed and with better timbre. Resolving power feels less due to not having as much treble fake sense of details, but given its low end, I will have to say the details are still pretty good.

Even though it’s not my usual tuning, I pretty much love it in its specific genres. I have no doubt in my mind that the Berserker 1 is a top notch contender for bassheads or the usual X6/Qian39 upgrade searchers.

Value rank: 5/5; Personal Rank: S




Conclusions

These two earbuds will be kept in my daily rotations. Lancer 1 is closer to my tastes but the Zerker has earned its own spot due to its stellar bass for an earbud.

Each of these two buds retails for 50 Eur + shipping, putting it in a strong contender spot for endgame in the earbud world, without breaking the bank. @Rikudou_Goku's work gets the Cult seal of approval. If this is the start, sky might be the limit. Cables lack some quality but are more than fine, and I know it’s something he’s trying to work around. If you're ever looking for buds, talk to him and let him guide you on his offers (when he has stock). The guy deserves the support.

Touché. Can't wait to hear @tgx78 's Serratus.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 7:03 PM Post #61,014 of 75,053
I have a Kann Alpha that is set to Mid gain most of the time. As specified by Ak’s website, the mid gain amp for this Dap is 4vrms. Does that mean it can drive the Ve Zen 2.0 (320 ohms) on mid gain?
It will drive them, but I suspect it would be a bit warm and/or muddy sounding in the lower end lacking clarity, and you might not have much headroom, if any (the louder you turn the volume, the further away from intended sound it will have, though whether that sound is good to you is to be seen). It looks as though that 4vrms they listed is with no load. If it were me, I would switch between the high and med and let your ears be your guide.

This is one of those situations where it can be driven, but to be driven well... well again, your ears can be the judge here.

Edit: Much like graphs, a calculator can't give you the full picture here.
 
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Apr 23, 2022 at 8:57 PM Post #61,015 of 75,053
I've been curious about Shozy Gold but no impressions out there yet.
During the recent Linsoul Spring sale I ordered the Shozy SG, so I was expecting this:

Shozy SG.jpg


Instead I received this:

Shozy SG - Gold.jpg


So you can imagine my surprise and confusion because the Shozy Gold 3.5SE version looks exactly like this. Compare the picture above of the Shozy SG 3.5SE I received and the picture of the Shozy Gold 3.5SE from Penon site below.

SHOZY G35.jpg


I would say that from outside appearance they look exactly the same. So the question about the shell. The Shozy Gold is supposed to have a metal shell, well guess what the Shozy buds I received also have a metal shell. The only thing that I found which is different is that I only received one set of installed donut foams, whereas the Gold comes with several sets of both donut and full foams. The storage case is the same for both Gold and SG.

The SG come with thick donut foams installed, the sound was very bass heavy, the midrange and treble were present, but it didn't sound balanced at all. I switched to thinner full foams. The black and white foams you see in my picture above. That single change really helped to balance out the bass, midrange and treble.

Quick compare of Shozy BK vs Shozy SG. The Shozy BK has enough bass presence, but I would say more mid-bass focus, while the midrange and treble shine.
The Shozy SG has solid bass with sub-bass kick. Midrange and treble is good, but sound a little rolled off (but better balanced to the bass with full foams). The bass of the SG definitely adds depth and feeling / impact to the overall sound.

So, what do you think? Did I receive a set of the Shozy Gold, or did I receive a set of the SG? For now I'll just call the ones I received Shozy SG "Gold".
 
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Apr 24, 2022 at 12:22 AM Post #61,016 of 75,053
During the recent Linsoul Spring sale I ordered the Shozy SG, so I was expecting this:

Shozy SG.jpg

Instead I received this:

Shozy SG - Gold.jpg

So you can imagine my surprise and confusion because the Shozy Gold 3.5SE version looks exactly like this. Compare the picture above of the Shozy SG 3.5SE I received and the picture of the Shozy Gold 3.5SE from Penon site below.

SHOZY G35.jpg

I would say that from outside appearance they look exactly the same. So the question about the shell. The Shozy Gold is supposed to have a metal shell, well guess what the Shozy buds I received also have a metal shell. The only thing that I found which is different is that I only received one set of installed donut foams, whereas the Gold comes with several sets of both donut and full foams. The storage case is the same for both Gold and SG.

The SG come with thick donut foams installed, the sound was very bass heavy, the midrange and treble were present, but it didn't sound balanced at all. I switched to thinner full foams. The black and white foams you see in my picture above. That single change really helped to balance out the bass, midrange and treble.

Quick compare of Shozy BK vs Shozy SG. The Shozy BK has enough bass presence, but I would say more mid-bass focus, while the midrange and treble shine.
The Shozy SG has solid bass with sub-bass kick. Midrange and treble is good, but sound a little rolled off (but better balanced to the bass with full foams). The bass of the SG definitely adds depth and feeling / impact to the overall sound.

So, what do you think? Did I receive a set of the Shozy Gold, or did I receive a set of the SG? For now I'll just call the ones I received Shozy SG "Gold".
Looks like the gold 😯
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 5:40 AM Post #61,017 of 75,053
RikuBuds - Berserker 1 and Lancer 1




1650750525395.png


Alright, it’s that time of the year again. The buds are making a comeback in my collection, as I gave most of what I had away to friends and random people, leaving me mostly with my trusted custom DIY Blur PK32.

Earbuds are starting to trend again as two well known chads decided to start selling their stuff: @RikudouGoku and @tgx78. I’m close to both and I could not let the opportunity pass to talk about their work and help it get some recognition, which brings us to this post, which will address 2 RG Buds I got last week and spent some hours with each one.

*Disclaimer: All the listening was done using Tidal Hifi and Flac files. Sources used were mainly Cayin N3 Pro (solid state), Xduoo MT-602 and Xduoo XD-05 Plus with Burson V5i Opamps. I paid for the buds with my own money but was given a big discount. No incentives were given to write anything about these, good or bad. All thoughts and opinions will be my own, despite my close relationship with Riku.*




The house sound

Unless you live under a rock, everyone knows Riku’s target and preferences tilt into basshead territory. Elevated sub-bass with a clean cut into the mids and a not so elevated pinna gain, but giving preference to a well extended upper treble.

These preferences passed on to his work. His house sound revolves around bass, with sub over mid, with fast and tight impacts. His favorite technicality, just like mine, it’s the need for a very open and airy soundstage, which I welcome every day of the week, and his buds deliver just that.

Where we always end up disagreeing is on (upper) mids or lower treble, but I’m confident enough to say that he knows what he is doing and he’s taking a good neutral approach regarding these.

So far, great. Now into specifics!




RG Earbuds - Lancer 1


1650750648533.png


Before I start, I wanna leave a word on driveability and scalability. Lancer 1 has 150ohm and will eat most people you throw at it. The reason I’m mentioning this is that I can’t recommend it if you plan to straight plug it into your phone or apple dongle. Buds scaling is much bigger, closer to open backs than to IEMs. You’ve been warned.

Lancer 1 promises a land of less bass quantity and more emphasis on other regions. If I had to describe its FR, I would say with some certainty that it’s a W-shaped earbud.

Sub-bass is tastefully done and elevated, extending lower frequencies effortlessly, using that mid-bass clean cut to show its claws without bleeding into the mids. This results in a lot of texture, which even a basslet (compared to him) like me claps like a seal. The mid bass is clean but has a lot of impact, despite not being the star of the show. This is the second best bass I’ve heard in any bud, only surpassed by its brother below.

The rest of the mid frequency is pretty neutral to slight forward, and could use more detail, but due to the tuning and my IEM spoiled brain, this is more a nitpick than an actual flaw. What I’m not a fan of, is male vocals, which feel a bit recessed and blurred into the mid chops of a song. The female ones are actually fine where I could use a bit more bite, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Treble is pretty neutral and tastefully done as well. Nothing ever feels sharp, out of place, making you settled to enjoy these for a full work day without any problem. Extension is there but not overly cooked, making you miss no detail and bringing lots of air into the mix.

Now technicalities are absolutely stunning but one part: separation and layering in the mid frequencies. This is the only thing I think could be improved and I have to point out, because every other thing about techs is great to me, including its timbre or resolving power.

Quickly comparing them with my Blurs PK32, the Lancer 1 has straight out better bass and timbre. The Blurs still win from mids to the upper treble, feeling less veiled and better separation thrown into the mix. The stage and imaging are better in the Lancer 1. Overall I think they are pretty different and better at stuff that the other isn’t, which shows incredible value on Lancer 1 when compared directly to a many times more expensive Blur. For those source freaks like me, Lancer 1 also scales better than Blur with power and tubes (directly or pre-amped).

Lancer 1 reminds me a lot of a Blur MX64 STE, but with much better timbre and less fatiguing, maybe giving the impression of coming out as a hair less resolving. I would take Lancer 1 over it, anyway and I consider it an upgrade to that pair, and costs half the asking price.

Value rank: 5/5; Personal Rank: S+




RG Earbuds - Berserker 1

1650750695914.png

The bassy brother. “*** you, bass” as Crinnacle would put it.

L-shape with upper mids recession, the Zerker is the dark coffee of your morning. I was only going for Lancer 1 but I caved and got the brother as well. It was surprising since the first track. Despite its bass elevation, it's more immersive and less in your face replay… Unless you blast the volume knob! Scales pretty well, let me tell you.

Sub-bass heavy, clean cutted transition into the mids, the star of the show. Tight, fast, detailed and textured, taking over the replay. It’s so well that that makes some IEM’s sub-bass cry. It’s the best earbud bass I’ve heard, period.

Mid-bass is more tucked in, just enough for warmth and presence, and giving a great replay of male vocals.

The upper mids are a bit recessed, making it not the best suited for extended female vocal replays or piano concerts, but still well done and not offensive.

Treble is on the darker side, despite a little bit of extension. If it was an IEM, we were talking about EJ07 levels of upper treble or less (WTB EST buds, by the way). Cymbals and guitars feel somewhat recessed and tucked in, missing some of that upper harmonic detail and giving it a sense of a faster decay, but again, nothing offensive to the replay. I get a feeling it is not its focus anyway.

Technically speaking, just like its brother, the stage and imaging are great, but the Lancer is more detailed and with better timbre. Resolving power feels less due to not having as much treble fake sense of details, but given its low end, I will have to say the details are still pretty good.

Even though it’s not my usual tuning, I pretty much love it in its specific genres. I have no doubt in my mind that the Berserker 1 is a top notch contender for bassheads or the usual X6/Qian39 upgrade searchers.

Value rank: 5/5; Personal Rank: S




Conclusions

These two earbuds will be kept in my daily rotations. Lancer 1 is closer to my tastes but the Zerker has earned its own spot due to its stellar bass for an earbud.

Each of these two buds retails for 50 Eur + shipping, putting it in a strong contender spot for endgame in the earbud world, without breaking the bank. @Rikudou_Goku's work gets the Cult seal of approval. If this is the start, sky might be the limit. Cables lack some quality but are more than fine, and I know it’s something he’s trying to work around. If you're ever looking for buds, talk to him and let him guide you on his offers (when he has stock). The guy deserves the support.

Touché. Can't wait to hear @tgx78 's Serratus.
Thank you very much for your feedback and congratulations to @RikudouGoku for his adventure.
Since you are talking about cables, a balanced version to move 150 Ohms with dongles using that output would be nice. Besides, balanced sources are almost always better.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 5:51 AM Post #61,018 of 75,053
after changing the line and burn gently for a long time Today, I would like to give you the nickname Sennheiser Omx 90 that HD800 Jr. It has the aura of HD800 is quite good, both in detail, wide sound stage. big music piece Surrounded by Fullsize, but different in the sound scale This depends on the system used as well. Mine tried to plug in a big amp that I used with HD800, the sound really came in the same direction ☺️
20220330_163302.jpg


P.S. Removing the body to modify must have a certain level of expertise. Because the body can't be drilled or adjusted to increase the size of the strap like general earbuds and most importantly, the driver is easy to break like MX985😄
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 5:58 AM Post #61,020 of 75,053
after changing the line and burn gently for a long time Today, I would like to give you the nickname Sennheiser Omx 90 that HD800 Jr. It has the aura of HD800 is quite good, both in detail, wide sound stage. big music piece Surrounded by Fullsize, but different in the sound scale This depends on the system used as well. Mine tried to plug in a big amp that I used with HD800, the sound really came in the same direction ☺️

P.S. Removing the body to modify must have a certain level of expertise. Because the body can't be drilled or adjusted to increase the size of the strap like general earbuds and most importantly, the driver is easy to break like MX985😄

If it sounds like Senn HD800, there is little to modify there....
 
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