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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. oyobass
    I know we have a lot of electronic music fans in the KZ thread, so I thought I would share another source of fresh material:

    The KVR One Synth Challenge. Competitors are challenged to create the best music they can using a single synth plugin. Prizes are given for the top creations.

    Click on the links in the blue column on the left to access the tunes submitted for a particular month/synth. Most of the tunes are quite good, some are amazing.


    Edit: The tracks have not been added to the first few entries in the left-hand column until the OSC 104: Zebralette entry.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    rayliam80 likes this.
  2. Otto Motor
    Same here! I actually never had a bad KZ earphone, i.e. one that didn't sound as described in reviews or was faulty. In fact, I never had any bad Chifi apple other than a few minor cosmetic flaws (scratched metal housings on a Boarseman and Tennmak). And I always loved my ATR [hey, we agree on this one :)]. Should I try a "fresh" ATE or would it be the same as my mid-2017 ATR?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  3. s2kPanda
    charlescc2 likes this.
  4. Lifted Andreas
    I'm glad that I'm not alone in this. LOL
  5. oyobass
    Like waiting for Christmas multiple times a year...
  6. zazaboy
    just curious but who is gonna buy the kz zs10 before the reviews? or we gonna wait for the big next thing
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  7. DocHoliday
    No reason to fret.

    Just as the HDS3 heads into retirement the ZSR bursts onto the scene. HTB1DhSfnxrI8KJjy0Fpq6z5hVXaR.jpg

    The ZSR "IS" the HDS3 reinvented with improved clarity, resolution, separation and layering.

    I spent the last two hours comparing the two (HDS3 & ZSR) and to my ears it is the same sound signature with better dynamics across the board.

    Thus far:
    the ZSR is the HDS3 sound signature with better dynamics across the board.
    the ZS6 is the ED3 "Perfection" sound signature with better dynamics across the board.

    My hope is....
    the ZS10 will be the HDS1 sound signature with better dynamics across the board as well.
    The sound signature of the HDS1 is as follows:
    2018-03-23 16.13.12.png
    Regarding the ZS10:
    2 high frequency BA's should give high frequencies a rich & forward presentation.
    2 midrange frequency BA's should give midrange frequencies a rich & forward presentation.
    The only ingredient to complete the HDS1 sound signature is the ZST's fast 8mm DD.
    That should mean "no mid-bass bleed" into the lower midrange and a clean presentation.
    2018-03-21 16.34.33.png

    In closing I'll say this. Despite KZ's flaws of not properly identifying modifications to existing models and the occasional quality control issues (ES3...anyone?) I find the argument that claims that "Knowledge Zenith has lost focus by introducing too many models all at once" is an argument without merit. My aforementioned comments about inherited tuning (HDS3-to-ZSR & "Perfection"-to-ZS6) proves focus and planning. Releasing multiple models in short spurts has always worked for Knowledge Zenith in the past, though some models suffered from the lack of attention, but "if it ain't broke......"

    At any rate, I am thoroughly looking forward to the ZS10 and codename YZ49.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    charlescc2, Otto Motor and Slater like this.
  8. themindfreak
    No, even though the cable has same rubbery feel on the older models they apparently managed to remove the stickiness
  9. Lifted Andreas
    But that awesome, tiny shape!

    Why oh why did they not just stick with it? :frowning2:

    The ZSR look absolutely huge, compared to the HDS3.
  10. themindfreak
    1 or 2 people in the last few pages said they have already ordered and they seem pretty active in this thread. I'm still in the midst of considering to buy it :/
    Lifted Andreas likes this.
  11. DocHoliday
    I imagine it has to do with KZ making the best use of their manufacturing facilities.

    To my ears the soundstage is nearly equivalent between the two, but the ZSR's ability to improve resolution, clarity and layering give the soundstage more definition. The HDS3's always had a near holographic presentation to my ears, which was just astounding for such a tiny semi-open $6 in-ear monitor.

    The keys to unlock the HDS3's potential are:
    1) sufficient power/juice
    2) a silicone eartip that is firmly affixed to the nozzle
    3) an airtight seal with your ear canal.

    If you forego ANY of those three prerequisites you will miss the HDS3's brilliance.
    1) Forget about using them with a power-efficient source because you will lose the impact of the lower frequencies and the HDS3 will sound anemic.
    2) If the eartip is loose in any way on the nozzle the HDS3 will sound anemic & tinny.
    3) If you do not have an airtight seal in your ear canal the HDS3 will sound anemic & tinny.

    In my opinion the three most competent old skool KZ's (HDS1, ED3 "Perfection" & HDS3) did not receive as much attention as the "fun" sounding IEMs that KZ released. Some of us recognized their brilliance and as a result have enjoyed them for a few years. The HDS3 was my go-to IEM for a long time. I have multiple pairs because they are tiny and somewhat fragile, like the Carbo Tenore was/is.

    Now that the ZSR is here 'tis very likely that I will stock almost every color when they are finally available. It's my favorite sound signature.

    As I am writing this I am comparing the ZSR and HDS3 with this track:

    By the way, if anyone has a set of HDS2's that you are willing to part with, please PM me and maybe we can work out a trade or sale. Thanks.

    2018-03-23 16.53.35.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    groucho69 and B9Scrambler like this.
  12. Slater
    Yeah, I buy that. Good observation Doc :)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    DocHoliday likes this.
  13. bhazard
    For $12 I'll give the CM5 a shot while waiting on the ZS10.
  14. Lifted Andreas
    "Looks into the future and foresees many CM5 reviews on the horizon." :D
  15. HungryPanda
    I'm for one glad that @mbwilson111 made me aware of the CM5 as I rather like mine

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