Introducing CL2 Planar (Impressions Thread)
Nov 4, 2018 at 10:31 AM Post #946 of 3,137

davidmolliere

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Demo'd this one at E-Earphones a week or so ago. Was quite curious about this since several users here were hyping it up and saying that these were transparent and extremely revealing, to the levels of EX1000 where it absolutely punishes bad recordings...didn't go in too excited due to the track record of the CL1. CL1 was very much trebly to the point that I was hearing nothing but treble.

The RHA CL2 was pretty trebly too. More warmth and slightly less treble than the CL1. The timbre sounded like a 60s radio to me. Not as harsh as the CL1, but I wouldn't listen to them even if they were given to me free of charge.

Since I have heard the CL1... I beg to differ... It sounds like you didn’t have a proper seal or deep enough insertion and/or a unit that wasn’t burnt in because the CL2 is nothing like the CL1, really, it’s like 3 leagues away from it. The EX1000 has harsher treble than the CL2, now upper mids are a different story it’s where it can get harsh with some recordings.
 
Nov 4, 2018 at 4:53 PM Post #947 of 3,137

AManAnd88Keys

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For me the CL2 sounded okay right out of the box. Not great, but acceptable and it didn't take long for them to convince me. Maybe I just got lucky, but I don't find them difficult to like. Not at all, actually, so it's a bit hard for me to understand the issues some people seem to have. My first attempt at "fixing" would be good tips and proper insertion, as has been stated here before.
 
Nov 4, 2018 at 5:15 PM Post #948 of 3,137

Kitechaser

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For me the CL2 sounded okay right out of the box. Not great, but acceptable and it didn't take long for them to convince me. Maybe I just got lucky, but I don't find them difficult to like. Not at all, actually, so it's a bit hard for me to understand the issues some people seem to have. My first attempt at "fixing" would be good tips and proper insertion, as has been stated here before.
I love the CL2. Out of the box, first couple of hours, I wanted to return them. Badly.
So i can see why people have that reaction to them with limited hands on time.
Edit: I think you got lucky with the stock tips. .
 
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Nov 4, 2018 at 5:59 PM Post #949 of 3,137

Carlsan

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Yeah as I posted earlier, they sounded veiled to me out of the box. Did not sound good at all. I'm still burning them in, have about 50 hours on them, and they sound outstanding.
Tip wise, I;m using the symbio wide-bore, and like the sound so far. Haven't tip rolled a lot with these yet, so will be experimenting with my many tips.
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 1:50 AM Post #950 of 3,137

Duncan

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Since I have heard the CL1... I beg to differ... It sounds like you didn’t have a proper seal or deep enough insertion and/or a unit that wasn’t burnt in because the CL2 is nothing like the CL1, really, it’s like 3 leagues away from it. The EX1000 has harsher treble than the CL2, now upper mids are a different story it’s where it can get harsh with some recordings.
I have both the CL1 and obviously the CL2, and I can say that the treble on the CL1 is dialed up a seriously high amount compared to the CL2, they are in no way alike on the treble front.

To counter that though, as I've said in this thread, people that go gaga about the EX1000, to me their whole balance is so thin, and generally off so as to be laughable, doesn't mean the others are wrong, just they're not right for me ..

In fact IIRC my first post on this thread was saying that I hoped they DIDN'T sound like the EX1000 - thankfully, to me - they don't :)
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 4:30 AM Post #951 of 3,137

AManAnd88Keys

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Judging by the posts on this forum so far, a general way of approaching the CL2 could look like this:

1) Burn-in for at least a day or two. The more, the better. A couple of days is also still well within any return period.
2) Find the right tips for your ears, which could even mean using different tips for each ear. Insert the CL2 properly with good and comfortable seal, try it out a couple of times until you start to develop "muscle memory".
3) If you like the sound, maybe consider different cables to improve it even more.

Personally, I have done 1) and 2) and am very satisfied. For 3) I am playing with the thought of buying some OCC-copper cables, but I have different things to deal with at the moment.
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 5:50 AM Post #952 of 3,137

AManAnd88Keys

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About the frequency spike mentioned before, I have noticed that a small difference in insertion depth results in a more pronounced spike and an overall harsher sound. When I pull the CL2 out ever so slightly - about 1-2mm maybe - this breaks the seal and results in a different signature. In this position the CL2 don't sound completely awful, they even seem to have an open and light character, and this could possibly fool some users into thinking that this is how they are supposed to sound - and be baffled at how apparently mediocre the CL2 are for their price tag. By inserting them correctly, I get better bass and a less pronounced spike, giving me a fuller and much better balanced sound.

I can test this very well with a piano track by Fred Hersch ("A Lark" from Live at the Bimhuis), where a small change in insertion depth made the high piano keys unbearable to listen to, while with proper insertion they sounded sharp and aggressive as they should without being annoying. It's the same experience with a track by Johnny Griffin (saxophone): if there is no full seal, the sound is open and light with apparent spikes. Not something I would enjoy.

So to quote myself: insert the CL2 properly with good and comfortable seal. Demoing the CL2 with the wrong tips and/or inserting them like other, less deep IEMs will most likely leave a mediocre impression.
 
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Nov 5, 2018 at 5:55 AM Post #953 of 3,137

davidmolliere

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So to quote myself: insert the CL2 properly with good and comfortable seal. Demoing the CL2 with the wrong tips and/or inserting them like other, less deep IEMs will most likely leave a mediocre impression.

That's why I intend to revise my review as with the UE900 tips (one size down to my usual) I get a seal with deep insertion and I noticed it boost the bass response even if I had a proper seal before.
So yup very tip dependent and full insertion is key.
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 6:34 AM Post #954 of 3,137

toranku

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Tried the CL2 again today. In terms of technicalities I do think the width and separation is great. While the tone changed with better fitting tips (I used Radius tips as they fit way better than the default and spiral dots), I still think the tone is extremely odd. Everything just sounds....wrong. Certainly less "off" than CL1 but it's still not my cup of tea.

No matter how many times I heard it during my time in the store, many other iems had a superior and more correct sounding timbre to my ears. I wouldn't describe the CL2 as metallic...but it's somehow grainy even though there's an obvious treble lift.

Good thing though was that their fit was similar to Shure. Good fit and seal with the right tips.
 
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Nov 5, 2018 at 8:29 AM Post #955 of 3,137

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Tried the CL2 again today. In terms of technicalities I do think the width and separation is great. While the tone changed with better fitting tips (I used Radius tips as they fit way better than the default and spiral dots), I still think the tone is extremely odd. Everything just sounds....wrong. Certainly less "off" than CL1 but it's still not my cup of tea.

No matter how many times I heard it during my time in the store, many other iems had a superior and more correct sounding timbre to my ears. I wouldn't describe the CL2 as metallic...but it's somehow grainy even though there's an obvious treble lift.

Good thing though was that their fit was similar to Shure. Good fit and seal with the right tips.
That would be the cable you are hearing most likely. It sounds off.
OCC Copper makes a big difference, fixes the tonality.
 
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Nov 5, 2018 at 8:57 AM Post #956 of 3,137

AManAnd88Keys

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That would be the cable you are hearing most likely. It sounds off.
OCC Copper makes a big difference, fixes the tonality.
To @toranku "defense", it's RHAs job to pair the CL2 with a cable of acceptable quality. Assuming that the cable is responsible for what he - or she? - has heard is a stretch. There's also the possiblity that the CL2 is simply not a good option. Why go so far as to try out different cables, when there are other choices that are apparently better without any tweaks? Im happy with my CL2s (stock cables by the way...), but there's no guarantee for other audiophiles that they experience what I do.
 
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Nov 5, 2018 at 9:05 AM Post #957 of 3,137

Kitechaser

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To @toranku "defense", it's RHAs job to pair the CL2 with a cable of acceptable quality. Assuming that the cable is responsible for what he - or she? - has heard is a stretch. There's also the possiblity that the CL2 is simply not a good option. Why go so far as to try out different cables, when there are other choices that are apparently better without any tweaks? Im happy with my CL2s, but there's no guarantee for other audiophiles that they experience what I do.
Very true. RHA should respond to feedback and switch out cables.
I always intended to use a 4.4mm cable, so for me, an upgrade was always factored into the price.
We all have different ears, and expectations.
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM Post #958 of 3,137

Tragic

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Very true. RHA should respond to feedback and switch out cables.
I always intended to use a 4.4mm cable, so for me, an upgrade was always factored into the price.
We all have different ears, and expectations.

I’m sure RHA would say both the provided cables are high quality. I’m also sure there are plenty of folks like me that are perfectly happy with the cables and tips. I’m just easy to please I guess.
 
Nov 5, 2018 at 11:10 AM Post #959 of 3,137

Kitechaser

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I’m sure RHA would say both the provided cables are high quality. I’m also sure there are plenty of folks like me that are perfectly happy with the cables and tips. I’m just easy to please I guess.
After listening to an all copper cable for an extended period of time, I just have to say that SPC cables sound off, period.
If and when I buy another iem that comes bundled with an SPC cable, that will be my first automatic upgrade.
On my other iems, recently purchased DM6, I am hearing the same thing, it is not just a CL2 issue.
And that might just be all my preference, and how my ears perceive sound.
 
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Nov 5, 2018 at 11:17 AM Post #960 of 3,137

Kitechaser

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Having said all that. The CL2 is the best money I have ever spent, and I would buy this again in a New York minute :)
 
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