Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
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Deezel177

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I am not one to make assumptions too far, but when you mention "enormous soundstage expansion" I immediately thought of this cable reviewed by Linus in Headfonia.



The Labkable Titan AU.
Nope, this one is all new. :wink: I was only able to hear the prototype, but the real thing will be at CanJam SG. I tried the Titan (forgot whether it was the Au or the Ag), but I found it really underwhelming for the insane price. Staging and precision is nothing special compared to its fellow flagships - like the Effect Audio Horus or the PWAudio 1960s - and it’s off-puttingly bass-y. If you’re into a more mid-focused signature, you’ll be instantly taken aback by the sheer forwardness of the bass compared to the midrange, as well as those sparkly highs. As a flagship, it’s a no-go for me.
 
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ctsooner22

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Pinky, looks like a very very good buy. My Ayre QX5 uses the top ESS chip. They actually got the first batch as they had them make a custom version that has very little filtering on it as Charlie Hansen liked to use very little filtering for digital.

Sad about Cavelli. I heard the Liquid Gold once and was highly impressed. There are some excellent DAC/Amps out there, but it still is all about getting the one that sounds best with your transducer.

I just heard a very good recording of a song that was done in 16/44, 24/192 and then 32/192. I heard the differences on each. Once I got to the 32 bit, I was in shock at how great it sounded. To get any CIEM to hear the difference is amazing. I used another IEM and hear no difference between the 24 and 32 bit versions.
 
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post-14119467
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doctorjazz

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@ctsooner22- I like the Pono balanced, though getting balanced cables at this time is impossible (no one else uses the same balanced connectors-Sony did for a minute, but changed to the current version). For amps, I do like the Cavelli Liquid Carbon (sorry I didn't get a Liquid Gold when they were clearing them out, it is great sounding). I also have a modded (Mojo Audio, who also make a very well reviewed DAC) MicroZOTL2 which is great for driving lots of headphones.

The Yggy seems to have straddled speaker and headphone audiophiles...a good friend (with a $20k Soundlab speaker set up, Krell amp, and other associated gear, down to cables, footers, room treatment), went to a Yggy as his DAC, and it sounds great! Would be considering it myself, fell deep into the LH Labs rabbit hole, waiting on a TOTL server, DAP and DAC from them (if they ever produce anything...signs of life stirring there after 3 years).

Some folks here are old Speaker based audiophiles, some just find headphone listening so much easier...
 
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ctsooner22

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Go Listen to Jeff Beck's "Cause we ended as Lovers'. It's only CD quality, but so well done. Great guitar work by Jeff. Complicated passages. Cymbals and drum kit are real. It's a live recording and done well. The sound space they laid down is excellent. Nice kick drum. His riffs are outstanding and the Phantoms are giving me all the string work in great detail with no harshness. He was always one of my favorites. You can really tell the difference between a floor and mounted tom tom. Just loving the stick work on the cymbals, but I already said that, lol.... wonderful decay and delicacy. Those words just sum up this song on Phantom's. Now it's Angel by Beck.....I'm in Wed snow heaven. It's been a tough few days with MS, so I'm spending a fair amount of bed time. Thankful I have these FO Shooow. Thanks so much Dean and Nic.....
 
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doctorjazz

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Making me drool, guys, just waiting to receive my Phantom...
 
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ctsooner22

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@ctsooner22- I like the Pono balanced, though getting balanced cables at this time is impossible (no one else uses the same balanced connectors-Sony did for a minute, but changed to the current version). For amps, I do like the Cavelli Liquid Carbon (sorry I didn't get a Liquid Gold when they were clearing them out, it is great sounding). I also have a modded (Mojo Audio, who also make a very well reviewed DAC) MicroZOTL2 which is great for driving lots of headphones.

The Yggy seems to have straddled speaker and headphone audiophiles...a good friend (with a $20k Soundlab speaker set up, Krell amp, and other associated gear, down to cables, footers, room treatment), went to a Yggy as his DAC, and it sounds great! Would be considering it myself, fell deep into the LH Labs rabbit hole, waiting on a TOTL server, DAP and DAC from them (if they ever produce anything...signs of life stirring there after 3 years).

Some folks here are old Speaker based audiophiles, some just find headphone listening so much easier...
DJ, we are cut from the same cloth as you already know!!! Audio Arts made me a Pono headphone cable that I love with my Ori's. I have spoken to them about this and they don't seem to want to change. I will push it with them though.
 
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doctorjazz

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Using an adapter to play Pono balanced using an EA balanced cable, not the best solution, but it works OK.
Curious about the Audio Arts cable, have to check it out.
Pono leans to the warm side, wondering if it is a good partner to the Phantom .. I'll find out at some point.

So, I checked out Audio Arts site, they don't even list headphone cables...
 
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davidmolliere

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Making me drool, guys, just waiting to receive my Phantom...
There are worst things :wink:

One thing for sure, the Phantom is trending and seems on its way to become a classic, this is quite refreshing to see a product "going against the current" - drawing inspiration on the likes on the 5-way... for all the greatness of recent products that get more and more complex (and, shall I say pricey) there is something to be said for knowledgeable tuning and elegant implementations vs complex - cutting edge tech (not to discount the innovation of SynX and A.R.C tech, of course!).

I am so stoked by the idea behind the Phantom, that the gear "disappears" to make it all about the music :clap:
 
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noplsestar

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Wow! The Labkable Titan AU is so expensive $2300. Is it worth the money?
Nope. Haha.
But to be more precise:
I think the PW #5 or the Ares II (or Eos) are worth the money.
Also I don’t think a Chord Dave is worth the money, but a Jotunheim is. And a Susvara isn’t in comparison to a Senn HD600/560, and some fancy oBravo IEM isn’t in comparison to the Phantom.
I could go on with this list. You see the pattern?
When the diminishing return kicks in I‘m out. I wouldn’t even buy them if I had the money ... ok, that’s a lie, I would buy everything and more :wink:

What I mean is: the first thing would be to get a very good IEM (or HP) that suits your listening preferences. Then get all the tips you can get for tip rolling (except you go the CIEM route of course), then get a decent DAP ... and then get a good cable (maybe even balanced) that matches your IEMs and DAPs sound and „completes“ it to your liking, if I may say so. Oh, and then there‘s the most important thing: buy great music and support those musicians and composers and producers and engineers etc. without their songs and work all of this would be for nothing ... oh, I like this hobby :)

Edit: But you probably have all this already. Nevermind, I was just speaking to myself.
 
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jeffhawke

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When the diminishing return kicks in I‘m out. I wouldn’t even buy them if I had the money ... ok, that’s a lie, I would buy everything and more
Diminishing-Returns.png
 
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fiascogarcia

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More like this, right? I was so happy with my first cheap portable stuff until I started learning about the more expensive stuff, suddenly I wanted more and more.....LOL
Diminishing-Returns.png
 
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jeffhawke

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More like this, right? I was so happy with my first cheap portable stuff until I started learning about the more expensive stuff, suddenly I wanted more and more.....LOL
Theory vs. reality :ksc75smile:
 
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Rin1990

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Nope, this one is all new. :wink: I was only able to hear the prototype, but the real thing will be at CanJam SG. I tried the Titan (forgot whether it was the Au or the Ag), but I found it really underwhelming for the insane price. Staging and precision is nothing special compared to its fellow flagships - like the Effect Audio Horus or the PWAudio 1960s - and it’s off-puttingly bass-y. If you’re into a more mid-focused signature, you’ll be instantly taken aback by the sheer forwardness of the bass compared to the midrange, as well as those sparkly highs. As a flagship, it’s a no-go for me.
Ah, sounds promising then. I'll have to keep myself posted then since I can't attend to the CanJam SG.

Which make was the cable that you tried the prototype on? Effect Audio? PWAudio? Han Sound?
 
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