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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. mbwilson111
    cool... what do you think?
  2. Leo-rume
    I posted my impressions about them some pages back, specifically comparing them with the regular ZS3(slater mod). I'll search for it and link it.
  3. mbwilson111
    found it ... I should have searched. I always get annoyed when others don't. LOL
    zedbg, djmakemynight and Leo-rume like this.
  4. Wiljen
    ZST lineage in comparison.

    Zst Lineage.jpg

    Red = Zsn Pro
    Blue = Zsn
    Black = Zst
    (All run back to back on same date)
    ShakyJake, 1clearhead, requal and 7 others like this.
  5. Slater
    Wow, the ZST is roll off city.

    That ZST BA driver doesn’t even look like it’s working. That whole ZST FR graph could all be from the dynamic, as the ZST doesn’t have a crossover.
    ShakyJake and loomisjohnson like this.
  6. nxnje
    Uuuuh i really wanna do that with my edr1 as well, i hate EDR1's cable but i even love the EDR1 itself.
    How did you do that?
  7. Slater
    Very carefully haha

    Yeah, those sticky KZ ‘gut’ cables were the worst, weren’t they? If you breathed on them they tangled.

    So how comfortable are you with micro level stuff? It is not a mod for the faint of heart.

    On a difficulty scale from 1-10, I’d rate this a 7.5.

    There’s a number of challenges you have to overcome:
    1. Seeing what your doing (ie magnification)
    2. Getting the shells apart without destroying them
    3. Modifying the shells for the mmcx jacks
    4. Soldering everything without botching anything up

    For doing most of the work, clearly seeing what you’re doing is a challenge (especially soldering).

    I don’t own a soldering microscope (I wish I did), as it would have made the job so much easier (at least the soldering).

    For seeing what I was doing I had to use a combination of reading glasses, jeweler’s optivisors, and a magnifying glass (the kind attached to soldering ‘helping hands’.

    Getting the shells apart was a big challenge. 1 shell did pop apart with nothing but my hands exerting moderate force. The rest (80%) were put together so tight, I had to use 2 pairs of channel lock pliers to grip each half of the shells. And even then extreme force was required to just barely loosen them at the seam. Then I spent about 5 minutes of careful prying and leveraging with an iSeasamo.

    It’s also difficult to prevent cosmetic damage to the shells. I used rubber tubing to protect the shells from getting marred by the grip of the pliers, but even with the tubing I still chewed up the shells in a few spots trying to pry them apart. At least the eartip covers up the plier marks I made on the nozzle.

    Heat did not help loosen the shells either; they’re mechanically pressed together (not glued).

    As far as modifying the shells for the jacks, that’s fairly straightforward. You just enlarge the hole that the stock wire goes though. I tried 2 different types of mmcx jacks and they didn’t work at all. I ended up using a threaded jack which did work, but it’s some sort of ghetto mmcx jack that only works with a small # of mmcx cables. I ordered a 4th style of mmcx jack that I am hoping might work better, but it hasn’t arrived yet so I have no clue if it will work or not.

    The next hurdle is soldering. You have to have a fairly good soldering iron (or soldering station), with a really small tip like for SMD work. Otherwise you may as well not bother. A cheap 30W eBay/Radio Shack pencil soldering iron isn’t going to cut it. Something like a Hakko FX-888D is fine.

    Soldering the wires to the mmcx terminals is extremely difficult, as you can botch up the jack or even solder the terminals together. You can’t imagine how small these wires and jacks are. Imagine gluing a 1” piece of dental floss to the tip of a pencil. That’s how small this stuff is!

    I have the utmost respect for our friends in China that assemble these multi driver IEMs every single day. I know we all get irritated when there’s a little QC defect with our $25 budget IEMs, but I can only imagine perfectly soldering and assembling 10 drivers, jacks, and crossovers into an IEM. Making sure everything is wired in phase, soldered perfectly, mounted properly, sealed up, etc.

    Anyways, you also have to keep the wire pieces as short as possible, or else everything won’t fit back into the shell. My wires were about 0.75” total, and you have to hold everything in place while soldering with helping hands and/or tweezers.

    There’s no room for error, and you have to have very steady hands. If your hands shake worse than a meth addict, you’re gonna have a difficult time.

    Of course you also have to be careful not to overheat the drivers (which will damage or destroy them). That’s why you need a really good soldering iron. You have to be done soldering in a fraction of a second (like 0.5 second max).

    You have to watch your wire phase to make sure you solder everything properly. On the mmcx jack, the center pin is + and the outer terminal is -. For the driver, it varies between drivers. Most manufacturers put a red mark on or near the + terminal, or you can usually go by the colors of the stock wires. You can also use a multimeter and check the wires in the stock 3.5mm cable to figure out what wire is what.

    Before you close to the shells you’ll want to test the mmcx jacks of course. I used a multimeter to check for continuity, proper +/- connectivity, and electrical shorts. If all that is good, you’re almost home free. I would not connect a mmcx cable until after you close the shells.

    Putting it back together is fairly straightforward. You carefully tuck all the excess wire in with tweezers and close up the shells. I gently and evenly pressed the 2 halves of the shells back together using a small mini vice made for working on watches and jewelry.

    The whole process took me about 2.5 hours, but a lot of that was trial and error and solving problems by winging it as I went along.

    Just like anything, practice makes perfect and as I do it more often I’ll get better and faster. My goal was really to start practicing on cheap EDRs before I attempted progressively more expensive or harder IEMs (like MH755, ED9, Moondrop Crescent, building my own IEMs with Knowles BAs, etc).

    Whew! That’s about all I can think of. I hope that’s helpful!

    P.S. I forgot to mention...when you’re pulling apart the shells it’s a tricky balancing act. You have to pull apart the shells with enough force to pop them apart, but the instant they loosen you have to dial back the force or you will rip the wires right off the driver. This is easier said than done, especially when you are prying and twisting with all your might using 2 giant pairs of channel lock pliers.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  8. LaughMoreDaily
    I find the TRN cables crap. Stock KZ cables are light years better. I dont know why people change their cables. KZ cares about the quality of their products.
  9. LaughMoreDaily
    The C10 do sound slightly boring but they make it up by sounding really amazing. :wink: Thanks for your ZSN Pro comment.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  10. Jeb94
    my main reason is basically looks. for me the stock cable have this dark brown + black plastic look and i don't like it

    EDIT: It has arrived looks really nice i love it.
    BUT, holy **** dude u called it lmao. i got the faulty one. left cable not working lmao

    in the end i asked for KZ mixed upgrade cable for the replacement. tha kfully the seller is willing to do that
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    HungryPanda likes this.
  11. Leo-rume
    KZ has released a new upgrade cable. 8 core gold and silver plated mixed cable. Lol.. Yes, gold plated. Anyways, from the pictures it seems to be a lot thicker than the initial copper silver mixed cable and I think same thickness as the Trn 8 core cables. 1682109338-138892572.jpg -2044784397725910304.jpg 132906539-1785551083.jpg IMG_20190418_091600_200.JPG

    Also with added support for C type ZSN, ZSN pro and ZS10 pro connectors. But no type A support. Not yet at least.

    Available only in gold colour for now. I really hope they make a black, silver colour variant like the Trn or just anything dark.

    (Mobile) https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/wIncm0s

    (Web) https://m.aliexpress.com/item/33002045848.html
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  12. Makahl
    KZ if you're reading it... it's time for a lightweight cable like the Linum with your special price. :p
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    HungryPanda and Slater like this.
  13. nxnje
    That is very detailed.
    I think i'm ordering one or two pairs of em in order to try doing something like this.
    I have to ask if my father has got a micro-soldering unit so i can make it easier.
    You're always kind!
    Thanks a lot!

    I feel the same thing about the C10.
    I think they're master in tonality and coherency and they're even so natural and non-fatiguing, but their very peaceful and smooth nature just makes me think sometimes: "am i listening to music?"
    Sometimes i do not even realize i've passed 20-30 mins listening to some dubstep. That's why i love more aggressive thinks like the ZS6/ZS7.
  14. Jeb94
    i love how versatile C10 is, man this is really a step up from MH755 and ZST Pro.

    I can listen to Metal track (but not the hardcore one, not the one with tons of bass that makes it sounded messy. i can listen to Queen easily, prolly my fav for now for listening to classic rock music. then i can play some electronic music like Justice/Daft Punk. it can handle pop pretty well too altho i didn't listen to it that much. then Orchestra stuff is really detailed i love how it sound and how detail it gets. from orchestra to opera, overall its really amazing. (especially since i diving deeper into all the music i listen too).

    My next one is probably gonna be Moondrop Blessing (since i don't really care that much about bass) people say the mid and treble in those are pretty good. i really want to try it. (thanks to c10 i think i can skip on Kanas Pro)
  15. loomisjohnson
    i am truly envious of your skills--the foregoing epitomizes the difference between someone who can actually build something and someone like myself, who struggles to change batteries on the tv remote. on a certain level, it seems like overkill for a $3 iem (like putting a mercedes grill on an old vw), but that's probably just my jealousy.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019

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