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FIDUE A83 impressions and discussion thread

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  1. Midgetguy
    You just want your A83s to put on more size lol. I don't blame ya, the Tralucent shell was quite nice, I just have smalls ears so they weren't so comfortable for prolonged periods. But it's a good comfortable shell if you're ears aren't small like mine.
  2. Darren Cotter
    I'm not a fan of Comply memory foam type tips. Does anyone know where you can get tips like the ones that came with it originally within the EU?
    Thanks in advance.
  3. HUM24H
    Not sure if you're not a fan of foam type tips all together but I hated Comply tips personally. But I then purchased foam tips from a company called INAIRS, they have three ranges AIR1, AIR2 & AIR3. For the Fidue A83, you want to pick up the AIR2 model and then pick what size you like; Small, Medium & Large.
  4. Darren Cotter
    Thanks for the heads up. Just bought 5 medium pairs for £9.95. Pity the postage was £4 though! Still better value than Comply. Had seen other memory foam tips, but no-one has ever recommended any.
    Have used the 400 Comply's on my Fidue A83 IEMs, so will report back on the performance.
  5. HUM24H
    No problem :)
    I found the Comply tip hard to install and not so comfortable for me but the INAIRS were easy to install and for me are very comfortable.
    Hopefully you enjoy them.
  6. Darren Cotter
    They arrived today and I to say I agree. Very easy to install compared to Comply, comfortable and look very good quality. Getting 5 sets cheaper than three of the "Other" brand can't be bad. Need to put my FiiO i/c back in between my X5 and E12A to get an accurate impression of any difference compared to the medium tips from Fidue, but it's looking good.
  7. HUM24H
    Glad to hear you are enjoying them :)
  8. HUM24H
    How are the INAIRS tips? Still enjoying them?
  9. Darren Cotter
    They are great. Convinced they are much tougher than Comply's. Put them in a new Fiio hard case and crushed then. Five minutes after taking them out, they were perfect.
    Sound good as well.
    HUM24H likes this.
  10. HiFiChris Contributor
    I cannot deny at all that I thoroughly love the QE80. During my critical listening phase, it even happened quite often that I was just sucked into the music and totally forgot to take notes or compare it.
    Reviewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/products/upq-q-music-qe80/reviews/15744
    IMG_1226.jpg IMG_1233.jpg
    Though it is not the technically best compared to the DN-2000J and FLC8s, I personally find it the overall most harmonious and a heck of fun.
    FLC8s: extreme versatility, excellent midrange, bass speed and separation
    DN-2000J: the most "magical" with fast yet tactile bass and a really good soundstage
    PRIMACY: the smoothest and most easygoing, with a quick bass response
    A83/QE80: extremely enjoyable, v-shaped with bright yet very even treble
  11. twister6 Contributor
    This is a mini-review of Special Edition Fidue A83FB 3-way hybrid IEM - Fixed connector with Balanced termination.  I received this pair from Extreme Audio in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Fidue A83 doesn’t need any special introduction.  This well established 3-way hybrid has been around for a few years, and I reviewed it over 1.5 years ago.  Actually, if I’ll go down my memory lane, there are many IEMs I have reviewed, but only a handful that stays in my constant rotation.  A83 is definitely among those I keep dust-free, and I probably clocked at least 600hrs of listening time with them.  Just like a fine wine, it got better with time where the low end became more textured, more articulate, and even more extended, the mids gained a little more body, and upper mids and treble became a little smoother while still retaining their analytical retrieval of details.
    Sometime these changes are hard to spot since you can’t freeze the time for a/b comparison or erase brain burn in.  Plus, majority of people will not go out of their way to buy a new pair of A83 a few years later just to compare it to their well burn-in set.  I wasn’t planning to do that either, but did get an opportunity for such comparison when I was asked to look into the updated Fidue A83FB model.  I don’t think it’s even available for sale yet, and I will certainly update this mini-review with a link once it’s on-line.  But I still wanted to share with you about this update from Fidue.
    Unboxing and Accessories.
    Obviously the exterior of the packaging box has been updated to reflect the new functionality of this FB version.  In A83FB the FB stands for Fixed connector and Balanced plug termination – no more mmcx detachable cable, connector is fixed now, and the headphone plug is terminated with 2.5mm TRRS balanced connector (A&K style wiring).  You will also find a mentioning of genuine Comply eartips included with A83FB and there was “Extreme Audio” sticker on the box.  Extreme Audio is a well known US distributor of many popular Chinese and Korean DAPs, Dignis cases, various cables, and some headphones.  I’m not 100% sure if this model will be exclusive to Extreme Audio, and I hope it will be available for others outside of US.
    When you look on the back of the packaging, you will find an identical spec carried over from the original A83, suggesting that we shouldn’t expect any sound changes.  Inside of the box, there is a familiar Otterbox storage case with a foam insert and cutouts for a secure placement of A83 with the cable wrapped around it.  Don’t throw away this foam insert – it’s not just for a packaging purpose but also makes a great cable winder for A83FB storage so they don’t bang inside of the carry box.  It’s especially useful since it keeps memory wire portion pre-shaped without bending it.
    A separate accessories box was included with eartips: S/M/L silicone pairs, M/L double-flange pairs, Comply medium T400 pair, and balanced to single ended adapter.  Airplane and 1/4” adapters, like those found with the original A83, were not included and I don’t miss those fillers.  BUT, I was SUPER excited about 2.5mm TRRS (balanced, female) to 3.5mm TRS (single ended, male) adapter that was designed with the same quality silver-plated cable (SPC) and matching connectors as the main A83FB cable.
    Just recently I reviewed Fidue balanced cable with mmcx connectors (here), the same SPC quality detachable cable with 2.5mm TRRS termination and 3.5mm TRRS adapter.  The problem with that cable, you can use it with any DAP that supports balanced 2.5mm TRRS connection but not with regular 3.5mm TRS because its adapter was 3.5mm TRRS balanced to support HiFiMAN wiring.  Here with A83FB, Fidue made a smart decision by including 3.5mm TRS single ended adapter so you can use these hybrids with any DAP.  Of course, this makes a perfect sense because you no longer have a luxury of a detachable cable and otherwise will be stuck.  Also, keep in mind, this 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter can be used with ANY cable since we are talking about a universal 2.5mm plug.
    fidue_a83fb-01_zpsoln3zdwg.jpg fidue_a83fb-02_zpsolvhejvl.jpg
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    Design and sound.
    In terms of a design changes, I found the shell of A83FB to be a carbon copy of the original A83, down to a color shade of red/blue used to distinguish Right/Left sides.  All the changes start at the cable joint to the shell.  The original A83 had a detachable cable with a special mmcx connector modified with a tab to prevent these hybrids from spinning around the cable.  As a result, you can use A83 with any aftermarket mmcx cable, but you can’t use A83 cable with any other IEMs (like from Westone or Shure or UE).  Fidue redeemed themselves with a new balanced replacement cable which used a universal mmcx connector without a tab, but to be honest, after awhile I realized that I miss non-spinning cable.  Of course, this is purely a matter of a personal taste.
    With A83FB model you won’t even notice a difference.  You still have a thick and secure pre-shaped strain relief, a non-spinning cable, and a quality memory wire.  The only difference – you can’t detach the cable now.  This will be an issue for those who are paranoid about reliability of the cable joint (even so it has bulletproof design) or others who like to swap cables.  Personally, I’m a cable believer and have about a dozen of aftermarket cables, everything from pure silver to pure copper and silver plated or gold plated pure silver.  After my cable rolling with A83, I always came back to Fidue’s original cable because SPC here offers a perfect balance of revealing sound without crossing harshness threshold and low end warmth without sound becoming muddy.
    Regarding the sound, this was my golden opportunity to do an actual a/b comparison between A83FB with about 50hrs of burn vs my original A83 with over 600hrs of burn in.  And just like I expected, my original pair had a deeper and more articulate low end, fuller body lower mids, and smoother upper mids/treble.  No surprises here, and I’m pretty sure with 600hrs on A83FB I will hear the same changes.  Also, it was great to have a flexibility of being able to use A83FB connected either to 2.5mm or 3.5mm ports of my DAPs, such as Opus#1, AK120ii, N5, L3, and PAW5k.  The difference between 2.5mm HO and 3.5mm HO will depend strictly on your DAP performance.  Balanced output typically offers more power and some level of soundstage expansion, and A83/A83FB will not be a limiting factor in here.
    fidue_a83fb-09_zpsowvnuebl.jpg fidue_a83fb-10_zps7aw0o3ve.jpg
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    A83 vs A83FB.
    Balanced vs Single ended.
    So the big question now, should you upgrade or not?  If you already have a well burn-in A83 and don’t have a need for a balanced pair up, keep it as is.  If you want to upgrade your original A83 with a balanced wired connection, you can do that with any aftermarket or Fidue’s balanced mmcx cable, though keep in mind – you will need to invest into a separate 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter to have all your connections covered.  But if you have been thinking about getting A83, now you have a choice between their special edition A83FB or the original A83 version.  I haven’t seen the official listing for it yet and not sure about the pricing, but I know that mmcx connector in the original version contributed to a noticeable additional cost.  That was also one of the factors why their A73 dual hybrid model was released with a non-detachable cable.
    Another thing to keep in mind, mmcx based connectors have a bad reliability rep.  Metal gets oxidized, specks of dirt get inside, and the connection can get loose over time.  That is why it’s common to read about sound cutout issues with some mmcx IEMs, and many CIEMs manufacturers use only 2-pin connectors.  As a matter of fact, VSonic went through re-design of their VSD3 series by switching to non-removable cable.  In case of the original A83, the connector was over-engineered, and I don’t recall reading any complaints related to a cable.  But nevertheless, now you have an option for either removable or non-removable cable version of A83, including balanced wired termination.
    HiFiChris likes this.
  12. sciroccor
    HI..this is my first post.  Sorry if it's not in the style of most posters.  It's not a review.  I bought a pair used from someone on the board and am quite pleased with their sound.  They are replacing westone 4s which i lost.  
    one thing i found very annoying as far as sound on these is that even walking would cause intermittent loss of contact on the removable cable. the cables on these are not rotatable as they have a tab on the connector which inserts into the earpiece preventing rotation.  while i appreciated the ergonomics of this, i found that torque applied between the earpiece and the connector would cause some lifting of the connector from the earpiece causing an open circuit.  
    i filed off one of the tabs on one of the connectors and wore them for a day like that.  it made a tremendous difference.  --no lost contact, no interruption of my music on that side.  now, both of the tabs are gone and it sounds the same but it's always there.  much, much more satisfying.
    hope you find this useful if any of you have the same problem.
  13. Midgetguy
    Glad to head you're enjoying my old set! I didn't want to try what you did which is why I bought that extra cloth-braided cable. It didn't sound quite as nice as the stock cable though, so I'm glad you solved that problem of cutting out!
  14. sciroccor
    so, it's been long enough.  
    this modification, which makes them A LOT better, still doesn't wholly fix the problem.  just so you know.  i wrote to Linum about their BAX cable, if they're going to ever put a mic on it.  their answer was yes; but, not for a few months.  i'll wait.
  15. flinkenick
    Hello everybody. For anyone interested, this is an article I have been working on for quite a while - an attempt to describe what the difference is between mid-fi and flagship iems. It's a multicomparison review featuring the A83, Primacy and DN-2000j vs the S-EM9, Zeus and Galaxy. I hope it is enjoyable.
    HUM24H and twister6 like this.
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