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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Slater
    Yes, there appears to be now.

    I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I suspect it was some point in the last year.

    I can say it was NOT when they added the grey color though, nor was it when they 1st added a nozzle lip.

    The v2 tuning was some point long after that. Because I have a v1 grey pair with a nozzle lip (from when the grey color and nozzle lips 1st appeared) and its FR measures 100% identical to all my old v1 ones (2 black, 1 red, 1 green).

    But a black pair I recently bought sounds totally different than all my other ZS6, which I am not happy about at all. So something was definitely retuned, as the treble sounds different.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily and B9Scrambler like this.
  2. courierdriver
    Campfires Atlas is a DD, with a DLC coating, just like Kanas Pro. KPE is several hundred dollars less than the Atlas. I have to say that my personal preference is for a full range DD, but the KZ ZS10 PRO is a really great set, that I have been spending more and more time with. I'm exploring other inexpensive DD based drivers iems, like TFZ. I'd be curious to see what KZ could do if they ever decided to put out a single DD driver set, with a DLC or Beryllium coated DD, that sounds as good as the ZS10 PRO, but with just a bit more bass speed and warmth in the mids, but with a big soundstage, like the KPE. And then sell them for less than $100. I'd buy a set like that for sure! Meanwhile, I'm gonna keep looking for other brands that offer single DD based sets. I know that the typical trend with DD is a slower, but warmer sound. But I know (based on my experience with the KPE) that so much more is possible. KZ...are you listening? Oh, and they would need to have that comfy shape of the ZS10 PRO. Bigger shells and short nozzles don't work for me.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  3. Zerohour88
    Research and development for DD is rocky at best, even companies like Sony takes years to develop a good DD. We already have brands like Moondrop and TFZ for DD stuff, I'd rather KZ focus on tuning multi-BAs. They're getting to a point where the tuning is acceptable and since the timbre/sonic qualities are mostly dependent on BA quality, its a slow step to either a)use higher quality BA from Knowles and Sonion thus increasing the price or b)wait until Bellsing catches up in quality to the big boys. Option a) is made pointless by the various other brands already making the same products. Option b) is the main reason I'm still following KZ even after moving to higher end stuff. Word around the DIY scene is that while Bellsing have their limitations, their BAs are slowly improving. Quite hopeful for that. There's even a 6BA package by Bellsing that is supposedly TOTL quality (they are also usd$80 a pair, quite pricey). Maybe we'll see a chi-fi company get around to using that.
  4. courierdriver
    Yeah, I agree with a lot of what you said. I think the biggest shortcoming with too many BA sets, is getting the right BA drivers to do the job right. There's so many factors involved...getting the drivers to seamlessly integrate with each other, crossovers, shell materials, shell size, etc. It goes on and on. A DD driver is basically a concentric single driver that covers all frequencies. Yes, its harder to implement correctly, but the results when well done well pay huge dividends. Good all BA iems use sophisticated crossovers and tubing to get the sound right...and that costs big money. So does a good DD set. I think there's alot left in DD driver design to satisfy many audiophiles, and the price of single DD sets seem to be getting lower. Multi driver BA sets that are well executed can run into the many hundreds or thousands of $'s. I'd like to see a day too, when BA's will perform as well as a good DD. Right now though, the best BA sets cost alot, and they still have issues with bass impact. So far, only DD's or hybrids can deliver that. There is something about how a DD makes music sound more warm and organic that I like. Most all BA sets I've heard have a lack of coherency and lack impactful bass. Those that do, cost beyond my means. But, that's just my opinion. Clearly, there are many who enjoy the BA sound as much as I enjoy the DD sound sig. One thing is certain: music lovers are in a great place right now with all the choices available to them.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  5. DocHoliday

    .......and with this proclamation the game is afoot to secure a pair of ZS6(v1).

    I suppose the only way to be certain that one has received the (v1) is to receive a set WITHOUT the nozzle lip. That said, could you describe any losses and/or gains in presentation that you've experienced between the ZS6v1 & v2?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  6. durwood
    Can you share a graph or a subjective impression of what changed? Also any particular seller that you bought a ZS6v2 from if the seller can be mentioned? I might put it on my radar for a rainy day.
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  7. cherylyn
    Yes please!
  8. Slater
    I normally don’t like publicly sharing graphs, because the sub bass in my measurement rig has an exaggerated roll off (in other words, the sub bass portion of my graphs cannot be trusted).

    However, the treble is the only thing that appears to be different as far as I can audibly detect. So I’ll consider posting graphs...

    As far as who I’ve bought ZS6 from, I’ve bought of them from many different sellers. Gearbest, the Official KZ Store (or maybe it was the KZ Global Store), some rinky dink Aliexpress seller that was selling off their remaining stock stupid cheap a while ago, and another HeadFi member.

    As far as when I’ve bought them from, at different times over the last 3 years, as far back as the original release date to as currently as 1 month ago.

    I have 7 different pairs, 3 black, 1 red, 2 green, 1 grey. And only the 1 grey and 1 black have nozzle lips. And only the 1 black (that has the nozzle lip) sounds noticeably different than all the others (but only with regards to treble). KZ definitely toned down the treble.

    Anyways, from what I can tell, @DocHoliday is right in that you’d want to find a version with NO LIP if you want a guarantee that you’re getting the v1. If you get one with a lip, there’s no guarantee if it’s the old OR new one.

    Also, be aware that I only have 1 that has different treble. It’s possible that 1 is defective in some way. But I am not the 1st person to comment that the ZS6 treble has changed. I have seen that comment pop up a few times now. So I highly doubt it’s all QC errors. We know KZ has revised the 30095 - they’ve proudly advertised it with other recent IEMs. And the ZS6 has TWO of them right in the nozzle. So it all makes sense.

    Now, does that mean everyone should run out and get a v1? Well, I remember a whole lot of people complaining about the treble (I didn’t mind it though). So the fact that they toned down the treble in a v2 might mean people would want to GET a v2 ZS6. In other words, all those people that complained about the original ZS6 - this v2 could be the ZS6 you wished KZ had made.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  9. LaughMoreDaily
    I heard the v2 took out the piercing treble?
  10. Slater
    Everyone might be interested in this PSA:



    I’m posting this here, because:

    1. The 2-pin version of the cable fits KZs. In fact, using it with a KZ is what I originally bought it for (as I don’t even own a single TRN IEM)


    2. I have a bad feeling this affects other upgrade cables we’ve all been buying (from other manufacturers). If one is doing it, I’m sure others are too.

    I may have to start cutting apart other upgrade cables I have to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes...
  11. Slater
    More shenanigans:


    A LOT of us are using these upgrade cables on our KZs. Many of us own a NUMBER of these cables, and often buy an upgrade cable every single time we buy a new IEM! It’s become second nature now.

    Folks, these are not good developments.

    I am going to expand my testing to include some KZ upgrade cables.

    Unfortunately, I don’t own any of the KZ 8-core copper/silver bi-color cables, only the flat braided ones. So I’ll have to order some of the KZ bi-color cables to dissect and test. I will be testing a KZ flat-braided cable though.

    We need to figure out what upgrade cables we can trust, and which ones we can’t trust. This is total BS.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  12. vegetaleb
    But they are over the ear no?
    I have ZS3 and ZSR for sports but I am searching for casual non over the ear models
  13. LaughMoreDaily
    How easy is it to damage a BA or the innards of a ZS6? I had a pair hanging around my neck today and at one point when I was sitting down they slid off my shoulders and fell on the ground.

    They now sound: 1) bright 2) echoey like in a small mirrored room and off sounding. What else should I look for?

    I'm disappointed on my stupid mistake. :frowning2:
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  14. Slater
    Yes, ZSN, ZSN Pro, ZS10 Pro, C10, etc are all over-ear.

    What kind of sound signature are you looking for? What’s your budget?

    Lots of good choices available for wearing ‘down’.
  15. LaughMoreDaily
    I never trusted TRN cables as they sounded bad. I always laughed inside when people said they were using them.

    I also own the TRN v20 and am not that impressed with the iem. In my personal opinion, I won't be supporting TRN, a low quality brand.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    Dani157 and gourab1995 like this.

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