Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
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oyobass

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Notice another one of the 1+1 hybrids - fixed cable (but kinda premium looking with metal) and probably an earbud type large 13-15mm dynamic driver (that's how it looks to me, especially with the large vent on the top and probably front as well).

Reminds me of a yoyo...
f6d30f69f2e956e095c2d677da70afb8--duncan-childrens-toys.jpg
 
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I have extracted my spare ZST's driver which is very challenging to do...tons of glue everywhere..lol. For the love of the ZS3 shell, I will try experimenting whether the ZST's driver will sound good on zs3's shell. Fitting the 10mm driver requires extra work.,more cutting here and there until you find enough room for it. I'm not technical enough so I'll just do trial and error. Any inputs from experts are very much welcome. Hoping for the best., :)
What was the end result of your swap experiment?

What was the biggest issue (DD size)?

I've considered doing a few myself, but before ordering multiple ZS3's I'd like to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons you've experienced.

No rush and thanks.
 
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£2.50? This leaves room for the EDR2, too. And the HDS3 for another £2.50...all three are similar. The HDS3 have been found superior by headflux.de over Whathifi's perennial favourite Soundmagic E10C at £50 [I can confirm this as I own both].

And in six months from now you will be laughing your head off because all these fantastic cheapos will be gone.
Regarding the EDR2, (A fresh edit for corrected fit-N-ear:)) My initial ootb impression. Don't know what I was expecting, but for the price I am pleasantly surprised how neutral (balanced?) The mids, and highs are. Bottom end needs a little help, I am liking them so far straight out of my ipod touch. Plugged in some Samantha Fish Blues, and Eric Church Rockin Country, changed tip sizes, and WOW, initial comment was way wrong!
 
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CoiL

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What was the end result of your swap experiment?
What was the biggest issue (DD size)?
I've considered doing a few myself, but before ordering multiple ZS3's I'd like to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons you've experienced.
DD size is first problem as it needs to have "chamber"-nozzle in front of driver not just open placement into shells.
Second problem is stock nozzle - it needs to be replaced for larger one, otherwise BA will block too much sound coming from DD (in case BA is installed inside nozzle like with ZST).
You have probably seen my pic about ZS3 nozzle change? I just haven`t had time to mess with it any further. Heck, even my ZS5v1 mod is taking forever due to baby&wife, not much free time -.-
But ZS5v1 is going to look best mod I`ve done I think. Faceplates are almost ready (some fine-finishing handwork to do) but shells mod... oh please almighty, give me more time, sleep & not so "whining" woman, LOL ;D
I really wish to make great-looking and fine-tune version of my ZS5v1 as I like its SQ so much with my gear. I`m still waiting for my IT01 to arrive which will probably replace ZS5v1 in terms of SQ but I still wish another set of ZS5v1 for modding it into ZS3 shell (crazy I know). I already found one unit from aftermarket sales but not sure about posting cost.
Actually I thought about getting v2 ,disassemble it & re-wire into v1 (if drivers are exactly same).
 
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Otto Motor

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Glad you enjoyed it, and yup, unless stated otherwise the pics are mine.

While I understand the value of a scoring system, I personally do not like them. I find people reply too much on the score and not enough on the experience, passing over a good earphone if the score isn't high enough. Maybe one day I'll implement a system that I agree with, but for now my blog will remain free of any sort of rating system, sorry.
I agree on the non-scoring system. It is redundant if the reviews are informative enough, which yours usually are (and so are Hifi Chris'). A good review should give the reader the opportunity to read between the lines and enable him/her to separate observation from interpretation and technicality from taste.

Another problem with a scoring system is the fact that it tacitly involves comparison with all the other reviewed items. In the long run, there will be the need for correction when the sample size increases. For example, audiobudget started out on 5 star cheapos and IMO does not have room for the recently introduced more expensive multi driver models. If such a correction is not done, the whole body of work becomes inconsistent, which renders the scores pointless...pun intended.

In summary, quality reviews don't rely on a scoring system, which also makes life easier for the reviewer.
 
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Otto Motor

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I like them so much I have three of them. Well, two ED4s and a Z1 which sounds nearly the same, if not identical. Looks sick in black regardless.

*Crappy old pic of the ED4/Z1 gang. Need to re-do it and some others.*

You have three ED4s? I thought they came in pairs. Hey, who says I don't like my ED4s. :innocent:
 
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This is one of the best and most useful write-ups I am aware of. Made me order tons of KZ earphones.
I agree. I found the blog and the posts to be well done and encouraging enough to put in my first KZ orders last November.
 
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My friend did quick and dirty preliminary impedance measurements of the KZ ZS5, KZ ZSR, and EDR2: plotted are frequency [KHz] vs. impedance [ohm].

The single-driver EDR2 shows a flat response.

The triple-driver ZSR has rather high impedance that drops above 3 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get a drop in the treble on your frequency response curve.

The quad-driver ZS5 has a rather low impedance that starts climbing beyond 1 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get increased mids and treble on your frequency response curve...that's what Coil always tried to tell me with his setup for the KZ ZS5.

My iPhone 5S has an output impedance of...hmmm...either 1 ohm or 2.3 ohm.
Putting my audioquest dragonfly in front of it yields an output impedance of 0.3 ohm.
I'll have to try both on my ZS5, but they are still with my friend.


IMPEDANCE FOR DUMMIES (including myself)
I really had problems understanding the read-ups, therefore here in simple terms...I hope it is understandable.

1. The output impedance of a player determines how much voltage arrives at the earphones.
2. A low output impedance is desired, which means a high voltage arrives at the earphones.
3. A single-driver earphone has a flat impedance across the frequency spectrum and the player's output impedance does not influence the frequency response curve.
4. Multi-driver earphones have funny impedance-frequency curves.
5. For any given output impedance: the higher the earphone's impedance at a certain frequency, the louder the signal will be at this frequency. If the source is 100 ohm, then the voltage (loudness) in the earphone will be higher at, let's say, 600 ohm on the curve than at 300 ohm.
6. If the output impedance of the player is increased, there is less juice entering the earphones and the voltage (loudness) drops, but less so at 600 ohm compared to 300 ohm.
7. Points 5 and 6 appear to not make any sense: if the earphone's impedance (resistance) is increased, this should result in a drop in voltage/loudness, but the opposite is the case...the trick is that the resistor is BEHIND the earphones' coil and not in front of it. The innerfidelity graphic below shows this quite well.
8. This can be compared to a bathtub. Water (voltage) comes under pressure out of the faucet (player). The plug in the bathtub that keeps the water in can be compared to the impedance in the earphone. The better the plug seals, the more water (voltage/loudness) there is in the earphone/bathtub. And all the fun is in the water...


3 KZs impedance-1.jpg


innerfidelity-1.jpg
 
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guys I have the kz es3 ... will the kz zs6 be sidegrade or a upgrade what do you think guys btw I like the bass of es3 a lot.. hope kz6 red is even better with upgrade cables getting them soon
 
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SomeTechNoob

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Honestly I think I would wait for KZ's newly announced lineup first as the ZS6 might be a bit too sizzly for some.
 
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My friend did quick and dirty preliminary impedance measurements of the KZ ZS5, KZ ZSR, and EDR2: plotted are frequency [KHz] vs. impedance [ohm].

The single-driver EDR2 shows a flat response.

The triple-driver ZSR has rather high impedance that drops above 3 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get a drop in the treble on your frequency response curve.

The quad-driver ZS5 has a rather low impedance that starts climbing beyond 1 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get increased mids and treble on your frequency response curve...that's what Coil always tried to tell me with his setup for the KZ ZS5.

My iPhone 5S has an output impedance of...hmmm...either 1 ohm or 2.3 ohm.
Putting my audioquest dragonfly in front of it yields an output impedance of 0.3 ohm.
I'll have to try both on my ZS5, but they are still with my friend.


IMPEDANCE FOR DUMMIES (including myself)
I really had problems understanding the read-ups, therefore here in simple terms...I hope it is understandable.

1. The output impedance of a player determines how much voltage arrives at the earphones.
2. A low output impedance is desired, which means a high voltage arrives at the earphones.
3. A single-driver earphone has a flat impedance across the frequency spectrum and the player's output impedance does not influence the frequency response curve.
4. Multi-driver earphones have funny impedance-frequency curves.
5. For any given output impedance: the higher the earphone's impedance at a certain frequency, the louder the signal will be at this frequency. If the source is 100 ohm, then the voltage (loudness) in the earphone will be higher at, let's say, 600 ohm on the curve than at 300 ohm.
6. If the output impedance of the player is increased, there is less juice entering the earphones and the voltage (loudness) drops, but less so at 600 ohm compared to 300 ohm.
7. Points 5 and 6 appear to not make any sense: if the earphone's impedance (resistance) is increased, this should result in a drop in voltage/loudness, but the opposite is the case...the trick is that the resistor is BEHIND the earphones' coil and not in front of it. The innerfidelity graphic below shows this quite well.
8. This can be compared to a bathtub. Water (voltage) comes under pressure out of the faucet (player). The plug in the bathtub that keeps the water in can be compared to the impedance in the earphone. The better the plug seals, the more water (voltage/loudness) there is in the earphone/bathtub. And all the fun is in the water...




So, question.... Why do some players have high output impedance at all, ie hiby r6? Does it reduce noise ? There has to be a reason for it other than "bad design".
 
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My friend did quick and dirty preliminary impedance measurements of the KZ ZS5, KZ ZSR, and EDR2: plotted are frequency [KHz] vs. impedance [ohm].

The single-driver EDR2 shows a flat response.

The triple-driver ZSR has rather high impedance that drops above 3 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get a drop in the treble on your frequency response curve.

The quad-driver ZS5 has a rather low impedance that starts climbing beyond 1 KHz. This means that, if you increase the output impedance of your player, you get increased mids and treble on your frequency response curve...that's what Coil always tried to tell me with his setup for the KZ ZS5.

My iPhone 5S has an output impedance of...hmmm...either 1 ohm or 2.3 ohm.
Putting my audioquest dragonfly in front of it yields an output impedance of 0.3 ohm.
I'll have to try both on my ZS5, but they are still with my friend.


IMPEDANCE FOR DUMMIES (including myself)
I really had problems understanding the read-ups, therefore here in simple terms...I hope it is understandable.

1. The output impedance of a player determines how much voltage arrives at the earphones.
2. A low output impedance is desired, which means a high voltage arrives at the earphones.
3. A single-driver earphone has a flat impedance across the frequency spectrum and the player's output impedance does not influence the frequency response curve.
4. Multi-driver earphones have funny impedance-frequency curves.
5. For any given output impedance: the higher the earphone's impedance at a certain frequency, the louder the signal will be at this frequency. If the source is 100 ohm, then the voltage (loudness) in the earphone will be higher at, let's say, 600 ohm on the curve than at 300 ohm.
6. If the output impedance of the player is increased, there is less juice entering the earphones and the voltage (loudness) drops, but less so at 600 ohm compared to 300 ohm.
7. Points 5 and 6 appear to not make any sense: if the earphone's impedance (resistance) is increased, this should result in a drop in voltage/loudness, but the opposite is the case...the trick is that the resistor is BEHIND the earphones' coil and not in front of it. The innerfidelity graphic below shows this quite well.
8. This can be compared to a bathtub. Water (voltage) comes under pressure out of the faucet (player). The plug in the bathtub that keeps the water in can be compared to the impedance in the earphone. The better the plug seals, the more water (voltage/loudness) there is in the earphone/bathtub. And all the fun is in the water...




Good write up. This explains why I don't experience the troublesome treble that others experience on the ZSR, ZST, ZS5(i) or ES3. My Fiio X3(i) has an output impedance of 0.3 Ω (32Ω)

In addition, it makes sense that, although the ZS6 does have emphasized treble, it is well within reasonable limits through the X3i which tends to lean toward a warmer musical presentation as opposed to a colder analytical presentation.

I'll be picking up a Fiio X5ii soon which has an output impedance of 0.2 Ω (32Ω) and it is reportedly a DAP that tends to lean toward a more neutral and analytical presentation and I'm looking forward to the slight differences.

X3i - Wolfson WM8740 DAC
X5ii - PCM 1792 DAC
 
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DocHoliday

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DD size is first problem as it needs to have "chamber"-nozzle in front of driver not just open placement into shells.
Second problem is stock nozzle - it needs to be replaced for larger one, otherwise BA will block too much sound coming from DD (in case BA is installed inside nozzle like with ZST).
You have probably seen my pic about ZS3 nozzle change? I just haven`t had time to mess with it any further. Heck, even my ZS5v1 mod is taking forever due to baby&wife, not much free time -.-
But ZS5v1 is going to look best mod I`ve done I think. Faceplates are almost ready (some fine-finishing handwork to do) but shells mod... oh please almighty, give me more time, sleep & not so "whining" woman, LOL ;D
I really wish to make great-looking and fine-tune version of my ZS5v1 as I like its SQ so much with my gear. I`m still waiting for my IT01 to arrive which will probably replace ZS5v1 in terms of SQ but I still wish another set of ZS5v1 for modding it into ZS3 shell (crazy I know). I already found one unit from aftermarket sales but not sure about posting cost.
Actually I thought about getting v2 ,disassemble it & re-wire into v1 (if drivers are exactly same).
Thanks for the followup Coil. I just can't help but wonder if the ZST drivers in the ZS3 housing would sound and feel incredible. Even the ES3's with that 10mm DD and BA combo might bring a welcome upgrade to the table for the ZS3.

Any ideas on what I could use for metal nozzles wide enough to accommodate the BA being in the nozzle?
 
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