Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
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Layman1

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Hi, for anyone interested, I've just updated my review of the Eletech Prudence cable ($249) with how it pairs with the EE Phantom vs the stock cable (EA Ares II).

In the review, I'm doing critical listening with a variety of tracks of various genres, recording my observations and then drawing conclusions at the end.
The full review (which also also reviews how it pairs with the Itsfit Fusion and Stealth Sonics U9 and U4 IEMs) can be found here:
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/eletech-prudence.24231/review/23342/

For those who don't want to wade through the entire review (or who have already done so), here's a summary of my findings concerning the Prudence with EE Phantom:

As with the other IEM’s I’ve paired the Prudence with, this excellent cable is offering the following general characteristics, and brings them to the EE Phantom as well:
An increase in sub-bass impact and presence, with more linearly tuned mid-bass.
An extension and smoothing of the treble (but without compromising detail retrieval).
Generally, a taming of ‘peakiness’ and excess energy.
Excellent detail retrieval and vivid presentation.
Increases in soundstage size and separation.

Now, the Phantom is a very unique IEM, that’s somewhat divisive in terms of its sound signature. Personally, I love it although I’ve sometimes wished I could increase the soundstage and separation a bit, and maybe remove that strange feeling I get of a slight veil across the mids. However, what I’ve found so far at least in practice is that such adjustments generally seem to come at the cost of losing something of the unique character of the Phantom.

So, with the Prudence - as with any other good cable – I’d strongly recommend demo’ing it with the Phantom if you get the chance. It’s also wise to consider what it is you are hoping to change/increase/decrease with the Phantom’s existing sound signature.

I found that with the Prudence, it lets the excellent technical abilities of the Phantom really shine. It starts to sound something more in the direction of the EE Zeus, or my Stealth Sonics U9; a (relatively) more reference sounding IEM, with TOTL sound quality and performance.

It does still retain many aspects of the original Phantom sound though, such as outstanding timbre and natural detail retrieval; however, that note thickness, richness and weight and the overall musicality are diminished somewhat.

So, if you’re in love with those specific qualities of the Phantom I’ve just mentioned (note thickness etc), then I’d suggest the stock cable, or one of similar composition might be more suited to your tastes.

However, if it’s other aspects of the sound you’re looking to experiment with, or if the Phantom has been an IEM that you couldn’t quite click with – but wanted to – then I can heartily recommend the Prudence. It basically offers you a different style of TOTL IEM for a relatively budget outlay :)
 
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post-15513243
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Progisus

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Something was bugging me about the sound of my lx. I switched from the Moon Silver Dragon cable and Simbio peel back to the Ares cable and final E tips. The sound was back... for now.
 
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post-15513722
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proedros

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Owners of Zeus XR , you need to save up and get the 1960s 2wire

There are some used/mint that show up or sale here now and then , glad i took the plunge and finally bought it blindly

Zeus is fantastic with 1960s 2w - very musical , with lot of bass , mids are stellar as always and superb imaging/transparency/separation with zero sibilance

I have used many cables with zeus (ares ii 4w+8w , eos , pw5 , lionheart 4w) - 1960s is in another league.

Very impressed.
 
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Barra

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For those interested, I just posted my Valkyrie review: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/empire-ears-valkyrie.24269/reviews#item-review-23407

In it, I admit that it has given me a sweet tooth that makes my other CIEMs feel bland when I try to go back. After hearing the new EST and Sub implementation, I knew I had to have one. I have offered some optimization thoughts as well as comparisons to my A18, LX, and ELYSIUM to offer some insight into its performance. Enjoy!
 
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productred

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Wonder if there're more impressions of the Wraith? There are quite a lot to read about the Valkyrie but not so much about the Wraith. Anyone who had tried can chime in a bit?
 
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tim0chan

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Wonder if there're more impressions of the Wraith? There are quite a lot to read about the Valkyrie but not so much about the Wraith. Anyone who had tried can chime in a bit?
Me no likey, very finnicky with sources (apparently tuned with hugo 2 in mind), not much bass, weird mids and recessed treble to my ears
 
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post-15519003
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leaky74

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I’ve not noticed any hiss with the Valkyrie with any source I’ve tried yet. I’m waiting on delivery of an ifi xcan though and am wondering if an iematch might be worthwhile bothering with?
 
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gnahra

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post-15519739
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Looking to upgrade my FLC 8s. Any thoughts on the mid-range universal models, Vantage, Nemesis and Valkyrie? Also considering Meze's Rai Penta.

I mostly listen to classic/death/melodic/progressive metal, hard rock, classic rock and blues. I listen on the go (if the lockdowns are ever lifted...), and I like solid, but not overpowering bass. My sources are either a smartphone with a dongle DAC, or I might get a Sony NW-A105 Android DAP.

Valkyrie sounds like it's hard to drive so might not be a good fit with my gear. Nemesis seems like a good fit to my gear and music tastes based on reviews. Haven't found any proper reviews of Vantage.
 
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Loke13

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Looking to upgrade my FLC 8s. Any thoughts on the mid-range universal models, Vantage, Nemesis and Valkyrie? Also considering Meze's Rai Penta.

I mostly listen to classic/death/melodic/progressive metal, hard rock, classic rock and blues. I listen on the go (if the lockdowns are ever lifted...), and I like solid, but not overpowering bass. My sources are either a smartphone with a dongle DAC, or I might get a Sony NW-A105 Android DAP.

Valkyrie sounds like it's hard to drive so might not be a good fit with my gear. Nemesis seems like a good fit to my gear and music tastes based on reviews. Haven't found any proper reviews of Vantage.
Nw-A105 may haven't enough power to drive Nemesis / Valkyrie / Vantage well. W9 need power ,and otherwise it gets sloppy. In my opinion nemesis are what you are looking for. They have the most extended treble , fast and strong bass, and very good mids but like I said nw a105 may be bot strong enought . Vantage may be too dense in mid bass/ lower mids
 
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mwhals

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Looking to upgrade my FLC 8s. Any thoughts on the mid-range universal models, Vantage, Nemesis and Valkyrie? Also considering Meze's Rai Penta.

I mostly listen to classic/death/melodic/progressive metal, hard rock, classic rock and blues. I listen on the go (if the lockdowns are ever lifted...), and I like solid, but not overpowering bass. My sources are either a smartphone with a dongle DAC, or I might get a Sony NW-A105 Android DAP.

Valkyrie sounds like it's hard to drive so might not be a good fit with my gear. Nemesis seems like a good fit to my gear and music tastes based on reviews. Haven't found any proper reviews of Vantage.
I would suggest a headphone amp that you can feed from your smartphone if you don’t have enough money for a more powerful DAP.
 
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gnahra

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I would suggest a headphone amp that you can feed from your smartphone if you don’t have enough money for a more powerful DAP.
Quick word of caution on this...I tried to drive a Valk from a DF Cobalt and it was a no-go. Valk's impedance of 3ohms doesn't jive with the Cobalt (since flipped from the Cobalt to a proper DAP - no problems with the Valk). Not sure what dongle DAC you have, @Metalomaniac but consider yourself warned! :)
 
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kubig123

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Looking to upgrade my FLC 8s. Any thoughts on the mid-range universal models, Vantage, Nemesis and Valkyrie? Also considering Meze's Rai Penta.

I mostly listen to classic/death/melodic/progressive metal, hard rock, classic rock and blues. I listen on the go (if the lockdowns are ever lifted...), and I like solid, but not overpowering bass. My sources are either a smartphone with a dongle DAC, or I might get a Sony NW-A105 Android DAP.

Valkyrie sounds like it's hard to drive so might not be a good fit with my gear. Nemesis seems like a good fit to my gear and music tastes based on reviews. Haven't found any proper reviews of Vantage.
Did you check the Itsfitlab Fusion?
 
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Wonder if there're more impressions of the Wraith? There are quite a lot to read about the Valkyrie but not so much about the Wraith. Anyone who had tried can chime in a bit?
there's also crinacle's take

spoilers—he does not like the wraith
 
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