Introducing CL2 Planar (Impressions Thread)
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davidmolliere

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The tuning is such a small part of this package. No one is talking about all the things that this closed 10mm planar does that are simply ground breaking.
So it is harsh in the mids on some weirdly mastered tracks, but Jesus Christ, what it does everywhere else, is so ridiculous to the point of almost disbelief.I feel none of the reviewers outside of yourself and @AManAnd88Keys have even touched on that broad and extensive subject.
Well, there are people talking about it maybe not as many as you'd like but RHA has less followers than other more established brands. I am very confident it will grow and the next IEMs from RHA are at the top of my watchlist as I think the CL2 shows that they can compete with the best and yes more pricey IEMs. They now need to cater to a wider array of signature preferences, the CL2 has the tough job of convincing that it's different than the CL1 for those who had auditioned them although it's not even in the same league and luckily quite a more mature and enjoyable tuning (night and day really).

Yes the CL2 are complex and multi-faceted, I have posted before about how frustrating it was to wrap my head around them so much so that I at last wrote my first review as a challenge to myself... I am not surprised that it's a polarizing IEM, doesn't mean those who love it or hate it are wrong. I for one think the upper mids walk a fine line and this is the key love it / hate it (or in my case both with a few instance of frustration and a lot of pleasure listening but that was just as true of the IE800 that I sold and repurchased after a while... again very liekly that the CL2 has the same fate :D).

And if this iem is not a 5, especially when compared to all the other lesser iems ( which happen to be way more expensive) that get perfect ratings on here, something is seriously wrong with the review process. The last several reviews I have read are stuck on tuning. If I was to only read them, I would walk away thinking that was all there is to the CL2. Especially when the reviewers make it seem like liking the tuning is akin to liking "anchovies on ice cream" and no one in their right mind can ever do that. Mind you, not anchovies on pizza (which is a matter of taste and preference), but "ice cream".
There is nothing wrong, as there is no common scale to rate IEMs so other might rate "lesser" IEM higher for sure. One interesting debate to hold is how we proceed with reviews and how great reviewers do that is of high interest to me.

I feel like you're getting worked up over this but in this hobby people have different ears, different taste, different sensitivities as well as different sources, different listening volume, so many things are so different. Rating always feels a bit artificial to me anyway, and shouldn't ever be taken as objective despite being a numeric value. I don't care about the rating of reviews I read but about how in depth they get about the signature and the tuning. Sure there is technical foundations and without them, an IEM / headphone is messy no matter which signature it features.

But aside from technicalities, the signature and thus the tuning is the name of the game for me! I can prefer a lesser IEM technically but their signature clicks with me... and overall this is going to be the deciding factor especially in terms of complimentary signature in my collection. So this is a very important aspect of reviews to me, getting a feel of which signature an IEM features.
 
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Duncan

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It’s all relative, and I keep reminding myself of that - auditioning the Shure KSE1500 (at the over inflated £2600 price tag) I thought they sounded awful - even the on board EQ couldn’t salvage them, same for the Focal Utopia - to me there is nothing utopian about them - a weird twang to the EQ that I just couldn’t handle, yet people hand over their cash as if they were buying a snickers bar...

We are all wired differently, have had different experiences that have shaped what we perceive sound to be... a simple rule for me, after listening for a while, if when removing the product from my head the outside world sounds unnatural then the tuning isn’t for me. Luckily the CL2 doesn’t suffer from that with me.

Edit: @davidmolliere pipped me to the post and explained it more succinctly than I could, however we said pretty much exactly the same thing at the same time.
 
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It’s all relative, and I keep reminding myself of that - auditioning the Shure KSE1500 (at the over inflated £2600 price tag) I thought they sounded awful - even the on board EQ couldn’t salvage them, same for the Focal Utopia - to me there is nothing utopian about them - a weird twang to the EQ that I just couldn’t handle, yet people hand over their cash as if they were buying a snickers bar...

We are all wired differently, have had different experiences that have shaped what we perceive sound to be... a simple rule for me, after listening for a while, if when removing the product from my head the outside world sounds unnatural then the tuning isn’t for me. Luckily the CL2 doesn’t suffer from that with me.

Edit: @davidmolliere pipped me to the post and explained it more succinctly than I could, however we said pretty much exactly the same thing at the same time.
Yeah but the difference is you are not going over to the Shure and Utopia threads and telling them they like ice cream with anchovies :)
But then maybe we should all start doing that.
EDIT: I am gonna steal that phrase, it's really growing on me. Pretty funny if you look at it a certain way.
 
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Duncan

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Yeah but the difference is you are not going over to the Shure and Utopia threads and telling them they like ice cream with anchovies :)
But then maybe we should all start doing that.
EDIT: I am gonna steal that phrase, it's really growing on me. Pretty funny if you look at it a certain way.
Even that is relative - I like mature cheese and strawberry jam together on toast... maybe the CL2 was designed with me in mind!
 
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By the way what got lost in the tuning debate is that the CL2 has less distortion than the shure electrostats, and are just as quick.
Pretty impressive.
 
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csglinux

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By the way what got lost in the tuning debate is that the CL2 have less distortion than the shure electrostats, and are just as quick.
Pretty impressive.
Be careful not to put too much faith in random graphs you find online. Those THD measurements might be flawed :wink:

Also, the KSE was measured with silicone tips. Silicone doesn't damp the resonance modes and stronger resonance peaks = more THD. I don't know what the story would be if I'd used foam tips on the KSE like I did on the CL2. I'll revisit it one day when I get time...
 
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Be careful not to put too much faith in random graphs you find online. Those THD measurements might be flawed :wink:

Also, the KSE was measured with silicone tips. Silicone doesn't damp the resonance modes and stronger resonance peaks = more THD. I don't know what the story would be if I'd used foam tips on the KSE like I did on the CL2. I'll revisit it one day when I get time...
You can measure my set. When we meet up, if we are still meeting up on the 22nd :)
By the time we get together I'll have 900 hours on it.
 
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Ughhhh. I'd been waiting for my shanling m5s for a couple months now. Finally got it, what a disappointment. I have a new appreciation for my hiby r6.

It only sounds good with the EQ off and has no DSP option. The EQ adds significant distortion at any level....

Back in the box this one goes...

Do the Sony players have good EQ/DSP options?
 
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Cheese and jam on toast is awesome

My grandad introduced me to this when I was a mere 10 year old many moons ago, Scottish miners favourite derived from cheese and jam sandwiches that they took to the pit - sweet and savoury all in one.
 
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Ughhhh. I'd been waiting for my shanling m5s for a couple months now. Finally got it, what a disappointment. I have a new appreciation for my hiby r6.

It only sounds good with the EQ off and has no DSP option. The EQ adds significant distortion at any level....

Back in the box this one goes...

Do the Sony players have good EQ/DSP options?
I think the EQ is fine and works well.
There are some open box WM1A's on amazon, I would swoop one up if I was you.
Watch some @Hawaiibadboy reviews onYouTube. He loves eq, and absolutely rec'ed the WM1A.
He goes by bad guy good audio on YouTube, I think.
 
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By the way what got lost in the tuning debate is that the CL2 have less distortion than the shure electrostats, and are just as quick.
Pretty impressive.
This is no joke, I can tell the limiting factor for distortion has nothing to do with the IEM, it has to do with the quality of the recording, the quality of the source file and the DAP/DAC/Amp.

In years long ago I felt like that might be the case, but with the stuff I've used in the past couple of years, I felt like the weakest link in the chain was the headphones/IEM. Source material is now the weakest link for me, followed by DAP then by the IEM. If you hear distortion in these, it's almost always from the material itself, or the DAP (such is the case with an EQd m5s.)

Ive never had trouble with 256-320kbps mp3s in the past, but they just don't cut it now, I can hear slight distortion, especially in vocals, versus FLAC files. Never heard that before...
I think the EQ is fine and works well.
There are some open box WM1A's on amazon, I would swoop one up if I was you.
Any DSP options? Or just the EQ?
 
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This is no joke, I can tell the limiting factor for distortion has nothing to do with the IEM, it has to do with the quality of the recording, the quality of the source file and the DAP/DAC/Amp.

In years long ago I felt like that might be the case, but with the stuff I've used in the past couple of years, I felt like the weakest link in the chain was the headphones/IEM. Source material is now the weakest link for me, followed by DAP then by the IEM. If you hear distortion in these, it's almost always from the material itself, or the DAP (such is the case with an EQd m5s.


Any DSP options? Or just the EQ?
He has a 30 minute review on it. Watch it.
 
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I do sometimes think that the CL2’s issue with certain tracks is a weird issue.

The Ziggy Stardust album is an album I’ve used for testing DAPs, Dac’s and earphones for over 15 years, never have I heard an earphone struggle with the highs like the CL2, I’m starting to wonder if it’s something to do with the remastered version I’m using of the album.
 
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I do sometimes think that the CL2’s issue with certain tracks is a weird issue.

The Ziggy Stardust album is an album I’ve used for testing DAPs, Dac’s and earphones for over 15 years, never have I heard an earphone struggle with the highs like the CL2, I’m starting to wonder if it’s something to do with the remastered version I’m using of the album.
Just listened to a bit of it, I can spot compression and raised volume.
Victim of the loudness bug 100%
Everything is pushed up front.
 
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