Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Jan 31, 2019 at 1:58 PM Post #41,401 of 64,189
Ah
Have to run, so combined posts.


You’re most welcome. The personal side of the listening experience together with the shared love and affection (and annoyance and exasperation) for the headphones and related audio products of this improbably successful Knowledge Zenith brand form a strong and interesting bond among us who frequent or are residents of this thread, that much I’ve perceived in the relatively short time I’ve been here, despite the differences of opinions present, and that by the way run the gamut from the very slight and tangential to contrarian to polar opposites.

It’s noticeable, too, when such bond is weak because the discussions take a turn towards silliness or the ludicrous. But I don’t mind silliness or irreverence—I enjoy it. What I mind is condescension, an attitude that I intensely hate. And which attitude, when you think about it is ironic, misplaced and ridiculous since how we listen to music is defined by subjective impressions, which are uniquely personal, to say the least.

As for the over-reliance on frequency response (FR) graphs, I can relate to how you feel since I was sideswiped with a snarky comment then was drawn into a preposterous running discussion with a fluid point of argument that was ultimately hinged on some graph. There’s nothing wrong with FR graphs; I believe they do have immense value if the measuring equipment used and methods are indicated; or if such graphs were part of a large enough database wherein identical, standardized and carefully calibrated equipment is used. There are at least 2 that I know here in head-fi: its very own slowly growing collection measured through its own SOTA measurement lab and that of crinacle. As for comparison overlays I find them useful where 2 or more of those in-ears measured are known to me, for at least they provide a rough idea of how the one I’m interested in might sound. A solitary FR graph could only give some approximation of the magnitude of a headphone’s reproduction in the audible frequency range; but, if it’s presented by someone whom I trust and whose ears more or less coincide with my own hearing then it’s more than welcome. Ultimately what I hear is paramount. Anyhow here’s the complete quote from the Preface and Introduction to Peter Damaske’s Acoustics and Hearing (Springer, 2008) that I’m currently trying to read and that I surprisingly could now understand, with some help:

However, powerful measuring techniques should not be allowed to mislead us to forget that acoustical quality is basically defined by subjective sound impressions.”

I almost forgot. You have the C10 coming, right? It’s very exciting to read that the enthusiasm for this KZ cousin is growing and that those who have it recognize its abilities, admit that it indeed is a superlative IEM and place it among their top list of favorites. For a while even after I posted my C10 impressions update I thought the AS06 betters it in the bass department but for the last couple of days, going through my music library and listening to my reference songs many, many times, I’ve changed my mind.

The CCA C10 is It.



Welcome aboard! Glad to have some nice company in this wonderful fast-moving sub-$30 realm. :beerchug: :smile_phones:



Well… I could name a few in this thread, mostly transients but where KZ is concerned one very recently gave a valedictory comment and ironically it took someone who’s supposed to have already left to remind that person that what was delivered was an insult. :shrug:

Lately I’ve been spending more time as a guest in the other threads and forums, including the so-called high-end threads in my quest for the perfect gift and frankly I was taken aback with the gradations of shade tossed about when “Chi-Fi” is mentioned. I won’t even talk about the ones my beloved KZ is receiving. I couldn’t help it; precision and the ability to discern nuances and submerged subtleties are crucial in my profession. It does seem that there are more of those stereotypes than are previously thought. :person_frowning:

You are right, though; Chi-Fi should be taken to mean exactly as it should, nothing more, nothing less.



The best one for me is a pair of old, slow-rebound, medium-sized, wide-bore ball-shaped foam tips. The ones I've been using and through which my impressions in my C10 update were obtained. If the foam tips are not the right size and not wide-bore they'll definitely affect the sound for the worse. SpinFits didn't work. I believe BadReligionPunk uses JVC Spiral Dots on his, which I'd like to try but the right size (M or MS) is difficult to get in our part of the world.



Mine:
1. CCA C10
2. CCA C10
3. CCA C10
:ksc75smile:

Also:
KZ ZSN - for those perk-me-up mornings
AS06 - exclusively for cellos, string chamber music and double bass sessions


+1 (Although I wouldn't put it in such terms) :smile_phones:
Ah! So you bought three sets of C10s!
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 8:39 PM Post #41,404 of 64,189
Does anybody knows where I could find 2-pin cables with 3-button remote? I prefer the 3-button one but it's hard to find. Thanks!

3 button for iOS, or 3 button remote for Android?

Because they use 2 different wiring standards, and not compatible between one another (without additional logic circuitry).

So even if you find a 3-button 2-pin cable, you’ll want to verify with the seller or manufacturer that it is 100% compatible with whatever phone standard you’re using.
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 5:25 AM Post #41,405 of 64,189
Lol! Your top three reminded me of the 60s when the top five in the charts were occupied by the Beatles!

Ah
Ah! So you bought three sets of C10s!

They come in different colors for a reason, right? :wink:

LOL! Would that it were so.

My C10 is the one and only. Actually No. 3 was when I first started to listen, which was right after it arrived. No. 2 was when I found the best eartip so far (wide-bore ball foams). No. 1 was when I used that tiny rubber band that my daughter sometimes uses for her ponytails, as chin strap.

If there is any flaw in the earpiece of the C10, for me it would be the thick stubby nozzle with its angle of projection, making it quite difficult to get that ideal fit and seal. You see, even with my foam tips, there would come a time when the C10 would lose its seal and the change in sound is immediately evident. This would happen when, after listening for some time, I'd talk, laugh or just open my mouth. Apparently any movement of the mimetic muscles and/or the jaws would result in a corresponding movement inside and around the opening of my ear canal which over time would be enough to break the seal. I would then wipe the eartips and the entrance of my ear canal with wet tissue, and after drying try to rotate the earpieces forward and a bit upwards to re-secure the seal. It's a bother.

So here’s a tip:

I suppose there are those among us who, because of our unique ears have a really hard time of finding the right eartip. Sometimes even when we do find the best one that works, we still have that nagging feeling that the fit is not optimum, because when we place just the slightest amount of pressure against the outer shell of the IEM we could hear the bass attain that fuller sound without affecting the other ranges.

In my case I'd very lightly push that top part of both earpieces next to the connectors downwards and recreate that effect, indicating that the seal achieved is not perfect and the IEM nozzle axis may not be aligned with my ear canal. A simple chin strap solves that issue. A chin strap introduces tension on the cable from that point which pulls on the connectors from behind the ears, that in turn ever so slightly tilts the earpieces backwards and somehow makes such seal and alignment possible and holds it for a long time. Of course at first it was uncomfortable especially when I have to turn my head to the side but I’ve adjusted and now don’t mind it as much. With the strap in place against my chin I have come to realize that as regards bass, the C10’s DD more than holds its own against the AS06’s BA in accuracy, resonance and presentation of texture and detail.
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 5:37 AM Post #41,406 of 64,189
Hello boys!

Is there someone who tried to paint his IEMs?
I mean.. i really wanna make a very little paint on my KZ ZS7 with a tiny brush, but dunno if it's safe and if it will keep visibile without using sandpaper
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 5:48 AM Post #41,408 of 64,189
LOL! Would that it were so.

My C10 is the one and only. Actually No. 3 was when I first started to listen, which was right after it arrived. No. 2 was when I found the best eartip so far (wide-bore ball foams). No. 1 was when I used that tiny rubber band that my daughter sometimes uses for her ponytails, as chin strap.

If there is any flaw in the earpiece of the C10, for me it would be the thick stubby nozzle with its angle of projection, making it quite difficult to get that ideal fit and seal. You see, even with my foam tips, there would come a time when the C10 would lose its seal and the change in sound is immediately evident. This would happen when, after listening for some time, I'd talk, laugh or just open my mouth. Apparently any movement of the mimetic muscles and/or the jaws would result in a corresponding movement inside and around the opening of my ear canal which over time would be enough to break the seal. I would then wipe the eartips and the entrance of my ear canal with wet tissue, and after drying try to rotate the earpieces forward and a bit upwards to re-secure the seal. It's a bother.

So here’s a tip:

I suppose there are those among us who, because of our unique ears have a really hard time of finding the right eartip. Sometimes even when we do find the best one that works, we still have that nagging feeling that the fit is not optimum, because when we place just the slightest amount of pressure against the outer shell of the IEM we could hear the bass attain that fuller sound without affecting the other ranges.

In my case I'd very lightly push that top part of both earpieces next to the connectors downwards and recreate that effect, indicating that the seal achieved is not perfect and the IEM nozzle axis may not be aligned with my ear canal. A simple chin strap solves that issue. A chin strap introduces tension on the cable from that point which pulls on the connectors from behind the ears, that in turn ever so slightly tilts the earpieces backwards and somehow makes such seal and alignment possible and holds it for a long time. Of course at first it was uncomfortable especially when I have to turn my head to the side but I’ve adjusted and now don’t mind it as much. With the strap in place against my chin I have come to realize that as regards bass, the C10’s DD more than holds its own against the AS06’s BA in accuracy, resonance and presentation of texture and detail.
Have you tried Spiral Dots? I find they are perfect with the C10, the short nozzles need larger, shorter tips. The seal is very good.
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 7:20 AM Post #41,409 of 64,189
Finally got to listen to C16

Out of the box is...wow the vocal is prominent here...but it doesn't stop there...

Presentation is accurate with a touch of fun. Detail is richer here, soundstage goes wide, detail is spot on. Bass has the right amount and has a great definition, mid is full, however electric guitar sound is more laid back on rock tracks due to more prominent vocal. High has sparkle without sibilance and got great extension.

Layering and instrument separation is top notch so far...

I can say with this earpiece I'm able to hear more details than other KZs I've listened to.

No complaints with fit and comfort, although it's heavier than say AS10.
Earpiece goes less deep than AS10 hence isolation not as good as AS10.

Overall sound character is rather flat or slightly V-shaped. I enjoy this more than any other KZs I've own.

I would say first thing you'd be drawn to C16 is its vocal.

Well worth the price when bought back then at US$95

In short, if could describe it in two words, it would be: Accurate & Alive.

Typing this while listening to C16...

Source: V30 + Poweramp Pro
 
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Feb 1, 2019 at 10:12 AM Post #41,411 of 64,189
Finally got to listen to C16

Out of the box is...wow the vocal is prominent here...but it doesn't stop there...

Presentation is accurate with a touch of fun. Detail is richer here, soundstage goes wide, detail is spot on. Bass has the right amount and has a great definition, mid is full, however electric guitar sound is more laid back on rock tracks due to more prominent vocal. High has sparkle without sibilance and got great extension.

Layering and instrument separation is top notch so far...

I can say with this earpiece I'm able to hear more details than other KZs I've listened to.

No complaints with fit and comfort, although it's heavier than say AS10.
Earpiece goes less deep than AS10 hence isolation not as good as AS10.

Overall sound character is rather flat or slightly V-shaped. I enjoy this more than any other KZs I've own.

I would say first thing you'd be drawn to C16 is its vocal.

Well worth the price when bought back then at US$95

In short, if could describe it in two words, it would be: Accurate & Alive.

Typing this while listening to C16...

Source: V30 + Poweramp Pro

Completly agree. But v30 is not enough to have full potential
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 10:18 AM Post #41,412 of 64,189
A stupid question maybe but does the silver/purple ZSN sound different compared to the other two colors as the cable seems to differ?
I personally think they sound better and others that compared them think so, too. But, than again, that depends what type of details you're looking for and if it makes a slight difference for you. Though, the better option seems to be the light-copper thicker cable that comes with the silver/purple ZSN, in my opinion.
 
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Feb 1, 2019 at 10:21 AM Post #41,413 of 64,189
I personally think they sound better and others that compared them think so, too. But, than again, that depends what type of details you're looking for and if it makes a slight difference for you. Though, the better option seems to be the light-copper thicker cable that comes with the silver/purple ZSN, in my opinion.
Interesting, thanks for the info!
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 10:35 AM Post #41,415 of 64,189
Finally got to listen to C16

Out of the box is...wow the vocal is prominent here...but it doesn't stop there...

Presentation is accurate with a touch of fun. Detail is richer here, soundstage goes wide, detail is spot on. Bass has the right amount and has a great definition, mid is full, however electric guitar sound is more laid back on rock tracks due to more prominent vocal. High has sparkle without sibilance and got great extension.

Layering and instrument separation is top notch so far...

I can say with this earpiece I'm able to hear more details than other KZs I've listened to.

No complaints with fit and comfort, although it's heavier than say AS10.
Earpiece goes less deep than AS10 hence isolation not as good as AS10.

Overall sound character is rather flat or slightly V-shaped. I enjoy this more than any other KZs I've own.

I would say first thing you'd be drawn to C16 is its vocal.

Well worth the price when bought back then at US$95

In short, if could describe it in two words, it would be: Accurate & Alive.

Typing this while listening to C16...

Source: V30 + Poweramp Pro
That's great, thanks for your impression!
As you seem to own the c16 as well as the as10, I'd like to know, if the c16 is smaller in size than the as10 (weight and isolation are not such big a topic for me)? If yes, I would indeed consider buying it. As mentioned, I love the as10 sound but it's just too big to fit comfortably in my ears...
 

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