Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
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notorious4163

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I have, comparing with the Phantom which I own. The KSE 1200 generally was really transparent but also very digital, bordering on harshness. If the Phantom is revered for its timbre and tonality, the KSE 1200 could well be on the completely opposite end of the spectrum. There was loads of detail but at a (very huge) expense of musicality. It may be because the KSE 1200 I listened to hasn't fully burned in, or perhaps there was poor synergy with my Chord Mojo. Either way, it was not a sound that I appreciated at all.
i wish i could get a chance to listen to the phantom sigh. i have the legend x right now, i love it but i’m want to see how the phantom compares.

i had the campfire atlas’s before and i actually found the bass in them to be punchier while the legend x sub bass is what everyone’s been raving about. i guess i really need my thor silver ii8 wire to come in
 
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FastAndClean

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i wish i could get a chance to listen to the phantom sigh. i have the legend x right now, i love it but i’m want to see how the phantom compares.

i had the campfire atlas’s before and i actually found the bass in them to be punchier while the legend x sub bass is what everyone’s been raving about. i guess i really need my thor silver ii8 wire to come in
No, you have to stop looking for the new toy and be happy with what you have
 
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Vitaly2017

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i wish i could get a chance to listen to the phantom sigh. i have the legend x right now, i love it but i’m want to see how the phantom compares.

i had the campfire atlas’s before and i actually found the bass in them to be punchier while the legend x sub bass is what everyone’s been raving about. i guess i really need my thor silver ii8 wire to come in

So what is bothering you? It also may be that your source device dont have the synergy and bliss you whant?
Changing cable dont mean improving sq. You simply alter sound signature of what engineeres have intented it to sound like.

My phantom are in transit and once I get them Il let you know whay I think. I will compare them to my hd800s and se846. From hdv820 :)
 
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Audiophonicalistic

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Zeus XR + WM1A + well recorded prog house = bliss (and the R setting gives you that amazing spacious soundstage if needed)

i am gonna leave here a monstrous 4-hour set by the greatest DJ in the prog house genre from 2004

@NaiveSound check this beast out

Have you tried legend x with this music? Do you prefer the zeus for it? Also a lot of this music seems like the only place to buy it uncompressed is juno and beatport. 7digital for some newer stuff
 
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proedros

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Zeus has cured my upgraditis
Have you tried legend x with this music? Do you prefer the zeus for it? Also a lot of this music seems like the only place to buy it uncompressed is juno and beatport. 7digital for some newer stuff

sorry i don't have Legend so i have zero impressions , many people here with Legend so they should chime in
 
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warrior1975

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Have you tried legend x with this music? Do you prefer the zeus for it? Also a lot of this music seems like the only place to buy it uncompressed is juno and beatport. 7digital for some newer stuff
I have both. I definitely prefer the Legend X over the Zeus. Zeus is an amazing iem, but it's not my favorite signature. I'm a basshead and Zeus leaves a lot to be desired for me in that area. I absolutely do enjoy it though.
 
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pali

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don't mean to sound rude , but @NaiveSound asked me for late90s/early00s prog , your names are not really prog house (maybe dubfire is , but he is 1/2 of deep dish which i already mentioned) but more like techno (which i find really boring/minimal) ?

but good call on the soulseek , he will probably find tons of stuff there
haha that you found it necessary to open with "don't mean to sound rude" is funny. Pardon me if I don't have the time to read through all the past posts, was just trying to add more electronic dance music artists and mixes to the lists.

Well, there's techno, and there's minimal techno. Both I think have more subtle story/progression in songs and mixes. Like you said, each one has their preferences. I enjoy all types of music at different times/moods, which is why I went with the Phantoms, needed something versatile.

I was considering the Zeus before but based on impressions that it was bass and subbass light, crossed it off my list, am glad to find that someone who appreciates electronic dance music finds it suitable for the genre.
 
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As we all keep saying (and as the rush to Phantom and Legend shows), Zeus is not for bassheads. It's an incredible iem if you aren't a basshead and favor transparency and detail. I sold my Phantom as it wasn't MY favorite signature and the Legend was way too much for me after a minute of trying it out. I might still like the Zeus if I had the CU version of the SP1000 or the Sony Z, but my SP1000SS did not put enough sparkle into either the Phantom or the Legend. Synergy and personal sound preferences are where it is at.
 
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Talking about the zeus, took a few close up shots of my CIEM family today. Still processing... but this is one of the mighty Zeus, and if you lack bass, for me i've experienced that the Zeus is quite good at taking EQ, but of course it will never be a Legend X (so good to have both .. :- )
 
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Retouching of the close-up shots continues..

Legend-X
 
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I see you got sony z1r. How would you compare that to legend x? Is it as refined?


Really nice pics by the way
 
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Vitaly2017

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As we all keep saying (and as the rush to Phantom and Legend shows), Zeus is not for bassheads. It's an incredible iem if you aren't a basshead and favor transparency and detail. I sold my Phantom as it wasn't MY favorite signature and the Legend was way too much for me after a minute of trying it out. I might still like the Zeus if I had the CU version of the SP1000 or the Sony Z, but my SP1000SS did not put enough sparkle into either the Phantom or the Legend. Synergy and personal sound preferences are where it is at.

Oh so you sold them cause to shy on treble? I guess you would love the hd800s hehe.
 
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I got this dac amp hsv 820 with upgraded
power cable and high end usb cable + ipurifier 2.

How would the kern 1000 compare to that?

And does it play spotify or tidal?
First off the AK 380 and 1k both stream Tidal. As for sound quality. I have CIEM Phantom's. I play single ended as the AK actually sounds better to me this way. I have the stock cable. I feel that the AK 380 cu with amp is a better fit for teh Phantom than the SS version of the 1k. To me, it's not even close for warmth and natural sound quality. The 1k SS to ME is too hot and not as musical as the cu version.

I finally got to hear a broken in 1k cu and want one and that's why I'm willing to sell my 380 combo, but I'm not sold on it being better. I'm an audiophile and ready to take a hit on the 380 combo to try the 1kcu. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I know a few guys who made the move early and regret it as there is magic with the 380cu/cu amp combo with the Phantoms as well as the X. Bass is deep and touch extra thickness in the mid bass on the 380 gives it an extra boost that the Phantom can use. it's not thick per say, but the decay is really nice, but still tight. To me it has an upper bass to upper mid magic that I'm not sold on the 1k having. I'll see soon enough as I've gotten a couple more inquiries on the 380cu combo.

not sure if that helps or not. Nic knows much better as he's owned both.

Howdy, back again with some more cable impressions. I tried all of the bespoke Effect Audio 8-wire cables yesterday with the Phantom and wrote down some thoughts.

Starting with the Ares II 8-wire, which has received a lot of attention recently. The Ares II maintains a similar tone, but expands the stage a bit further. In addition, its vocals seemed to improve in power, sounding more convincing. The performance and resolution and transparency might have remained on a roughly similar level. Overall, I think the pairing was good, but it was not what I seeked in terms of improvement. The problem is that both my SP1000 Cu and Phantom have a rather relaxed upper treble and lifted mid-bass, so the Phantom tends to mostly benefit from brighter cables that lift the upper treble when paired with the AK. I think I would have enjoyed the full reach of its scalability with my modded WM1Z for instance.

The Eros II 8-wire was a very pleasing combination, that improved its signature to a more neutral/natural sound. I listened to it after Thor II, so there was a slight drop in transparency compared to a pure silver. However, I preferred the tonality of this pairing. For lack of a better word, there's more of a natural 'copper' tone mixed in, without the warmth dominating the sound, while it similarly improves the clarity, without artificially brightening the tone. Silvers as Thor and Leo have a type of 'uncolored' sound which can equally be interesting, but simultaneously don't seem to exactly fit my preconception of natural. The improvement in performance might not be super large, but neither is the shift in signature - in a good way. The airiness of the stage improved, along with its separation, while the imaging became a bit more precise. There was an increase in clarity, while maintaining the timbre. Overall this was of of my favourite combos, even though it wasn't the most technical. But the balance between tone and performance was very good.

The Lionheart 8-wire has a slightly prominent mid-bass, with a slower decay. Most noticeably, this adds a thickness to the note, and a slight veil over the vocals. Even so, its tone is relatively neutral, even though the treble is not enhanced. It's smooth, though not particularly warm. However, while it wasn't bright per se, there was a dryness in its tone; I preferred the tone of Eros II for instance. In addition, its performance was better than the Ares II 8-wire, but not at the level of the silver alloy cables. This was perhaps mostly because the separation tended to suffer from the mid-bass presentation. Altogether, I was not particularly impressed by the pairing with the Phantom, maybe my least favourite.

The Thor II 8-Wire has a silver tone that is similar to Leonidas; a clear sound with a smooth, refined treble. It offers great balance throughout the spectrum, while offering a significant improvement in resolution. The Phantom shakes off a bit of its warmth, but retains a relaxed, natural feel. By comparison, it is a bit smoother than the 2.98 and its stage perhaps more spacious. It is also a bit warmer, with the 2.98's brighter upper mids in turn offering a bit more sparkle. As the bass has sufficient power but is not dominating in the sound, the stage is slightly cleaner than Leonidas 4-wire, which offers an impressive impact, but can affect the separation. Altogether, the Thor II provides a cleaner and more resolved sound, while remaining particularly smooth.

The Leonidas 8-wire in turn has a similar tone as Thor, as both are slightly warm silvers, that offer high resolution and increased detail, presented in a relatively smooth manner. There is a slight increase in performance between the two, such as a greater sense of depth, and accordingly, more holographic feel of Leonidas. In addition, Leonidas' bass seemed a bit more impactful. I would need more time than I had to delve into their differences.

I would have liked to A) compare them with the 4-wires, and B) test them with the Legend-X, but my time was fairly limited as is. I will say, that I preferred the type of sound of Thor II and Leonidas with the Legend-X, and the Phantom with the Eros II and Ares II due to the more natural tone. This is partially due to the different types of music I listen to with the two iems: more synthetic-based genres like EDM, pop, and hip hop with the Legend, and easy-listening band-based music with the Phantom. However, Thor and Leo were also very impressive with Phantom in terms of performance, as well as creating a more neutral yet effortless and smooth sound. In the end it comes down to what type of tonality you like for it, besides how much you value performance of course.
Awesome write up. Many you keep upping your game and you are already the best reviewer in this genre! Thanks man.

Ok, Phantom CIEM, AK 380cu/amp or 1kcu..... Janus D or ???? or is there some other cable you like better? Our ears are nearly identical (mine are older, lol)...
 
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First, Astell claims that there is no difference in sound between the CU and the SS. However, at a CanJam a rep told me he thinks there is a slight difference. When I listened to a CU there, I found it to be slightly warmer than my SS. I happen to love the clarity of the SS and I don't want a lot of warmth so the SS is my preference. But if you are happy with your 380 combo and are assuming the SP1000 CU is going to be a lot different than the SS version, I'd hold up. That's $3500 to find out. Consider the Sony Z, which I haven't tried but lots of folks seem to love for its warmth. I think EE was using them at CanJam and I know Ultimate Ears was. Or find someone who will let you try out a CU. I considered getting one to go along with my SS but didn't think there was enough difference to warrant the cost.
 
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First off the AK 380 and 1k both stream Tidal. As for sound quality. I have CIEM Phantom's. I play single ended as the AK actually sounds better to me this way. I have the stock cable. I feel that the AK 380 cu with amp is a better fit for teh Phantom than the SS version of the 1k. To me, it's not even close for warmth and natural sound quality. The 1k SS to ME is too hot and not as musical as the cu version.

I finally got to hear a broken in 1k cu and want one and that's why I'm willing to sell my 380 combo, but I'm not sold on it being better. I'm an audiophile and ready to take a hit on the 380 combo to try the 1kcu. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I know a few guys who made the move early and regret it as there is magic with the 380cu/cu amp combo with the Phantoms as well as the X. Bass is deep and touch extra thickness in the mid bass on the 380 gives it an extra boost that the Phantom can use. it's not thick per say, but the decay is really nice, but still tight. To me it has an upper bass to upper mid magic that I'm not sold on the 1k having. I'll see soon enough as I've gotten a couple more inquiries on the 380cu combo.

not sure if that helps or not. Nic knows much better as he's owned both.



Awesome write up. Many you keep upping your game and you are already the best reviewer in this genre! Thanks man.

Ok, Phantom CIEM, AK 380cu/amp or 1kcu..... Janus D or ???? or is there some other cable you like better? Our ears are nearly identical (mine are older, lol)...

Hmmm I cant say much about AK player I never heard it or tryed. Only know its very expensive lol.
My dac amp is a desktop and is on the warmish side and little bass up also treble slightly reduced. I seem to like that. According to what you say ak380 with a dock module? Is that what is cu means? Is also warm. But its quiet very pricey i dont know how does it compares to fiio x7 mrk2?

How do you play spotify on that it has a store play?

Well I am still loking for a portable solution but that dap has to be very good so it can sound like my hdv820.
 
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