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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Assimilator702
    Have you tried the brother of the ZS10 PRO? CCA C10? They make very nice companions to each other. Kind of like an HD600 and HD650.
    courierdriver and 1clearhead like this.
  2. 1clearhead
    I also received my CCA A10 and agree that though it has incredible and accurate deep bass the treble is very active to the point of sounding sibilant. This kind of reminds me on how so many people here either liked or hated the KZ ZS6. :point_right: Sounds exactly like the same story! Can someone compare the CCA A10 with the KZ ZS6 (only if you own one)?
    ...I have a hunch they can be more similar than different.:thinking:
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  3. xxAMAROKxx
    With AS16, I like silicone tips more. Sound is darkened a little and has better details (compared to foam tips). These tips are also very comfotable.
    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41+jZ-XIZ4L._SX425_.jpg (on TSMR)

    I tried also KZ "Gold + Silver" cable with AS16. It adds some brightness to the sound and it is too much for me. Pure copper is better here.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  4. archdawg
    ZS Pro10 - 24h later

    Regarding my comparison to the ZS7 from yesterday I need to clarify that the "league above" only refers to the spatial accuracy of the 10Pro, nothing else. When I got back home I started to compare the 10Pro against the ZS7 on my mobile rig (Xiaomi Max2 > Sonata USB DAC > UAPP) using my trusty test tracks as usual and boy, how different they sound. First things first: as much as I like the ZS10 after the first couple hours I really miss the fast, dry bass and the speedy impulsiveness of the 7s, especially obvious with all kinds of percussion. The 7 hit me like a brick - TOCK! TOCK!, whereas the 10 sound more like a rubber hammer tOM tOM with a less cohesive attack phase and less impact, no matter on what source. Fast impulses are rendered distinctively slower with more decay up to the higher mids, no matter if it's more LF based percussion like congas, bass drums or toms or perc. without lower frequencies like claves, cowbells and the like. Heck, to me the speed (attack/decay) of the 7s is so addictive that I start to miss it on any of my other IEMs.
    When it comes to cymbals and higher pitched instruments like violins though I slightly prefer the more natural timbre of 10Pro; right out of the box their highs already sounded a tad more natural to my ears (after more than 200 hours on the 7s that distinct ~7.9 kHz peak still spoils the experience a bit on some tracks).
    Now, after I went through a number of test tracks with their stock copper cable I hooked the 10Pro up to my silver-grey 8-core Kinboofi (lower impedance) and couldn't believe how much effect this had on their sound. The bass got much stronger and dominating to a point that the balance and spatial aspects started to fall apart. I've never experienced a more significant sonic change after a simple cable change and so I spent a good while switching back and forth between those 2 cables (2 for a start) with the same sonic effects - again, hard to believe .
    BTW, with the stock cable that came with the 10Pro I noticed a lower volume on the left earpiece (~5-6dB); on the Kinboofi or my ZSN Pro cable both earpieces sound equally loud.
    I've already ordered an 8-core silver/gold KZ cable; can't wait to hear what difference it makes.

    More first impressions later (space, mids, vocals, whatever, ...).
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  5. SenyorC
    I am looking for a couple of cables and I have tried to make my way through the thread in search of answers but I come out slightly more confused than I go in!!

    I am wanting 3x balanced (2.5mm) cables, one with MMCX connectors, one with two pin connectors to fit KZ B type and one with two pin connectors to fit C type (I think I got that right :wink: )

    I am not looking for anything super expensive, it is only to be able to compare SE vs Balanced on the IEMs that I own.

    Could one of you cable guru's point me in the right direction?

    Thanks in advance!
  6. nicksson
    I have bought the silver-plated KZ super-cable and (like you) I have switched it with the stock cable of my ZS10 Pro and AS10 for 101 times, but never noted big differences (except perhaps the placebo effect). Maybe your ZS10 Pro stock cable is defectuos?
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    PhonoPhi likes this.
  7. hakuzen
    check my lists..
    DocHoliday, archdawg and SenyorC like this.
  8. archdawg
    Like I posted above that cable has an issue with the balance between the left and right channel - ~5-6dB difference at the output and I already replaced it.
    Back to cables in general me thinks that for anyone who ever wasted serious time on designing and tuning amps or crossovers and the like it should be pretty clear that any link in the signal chain effects the output signal to some degree. In case of earphone cables some quick glances over @hakuzen's excellent lists (Kudos!) shows that just their LF impedance can vary by several 100%! Now, in connection with the output impedance of the source, impedances and transfer functions of the crossover circuit and the sensivity and impedance curves of the different drivers it would be impossible for such a change of impedances and even less than that NOT to have an objective, measurable effect on the acoustic output of those drivers - audible or not, especially on low-impedance sources - your average DAP for example.
    What I don't get is that generalized ubiquitous non-sense on the 'sound of materials' or cables (and more often than not more expensive cables get the better reviews). How a cable objectively performs in a specific signal chain always depends on its complex impedance and its relation to the parameters of that one specific chain from the source to the drivers as well as the signal and its levels and can't be generalized.
    hakuzen likes this.
  9. hakuzen
    +1, yup.
    aiming to lowest impedance you can is a must, specially if using BA iems, like we do, but also in general.
    i didn't believe in sophisticated and expensive materials either.. until i tried some neotech up-occ wires. materials do matter; maybe it's a 5-10%, and the prices are not justified to get such improvement, but perfectionists with plenty wallet will surely feel glad with them
    archdawg likes this.
  10. archdawg
    Aiming for the lowest impedance cable can be a pitfall for example if any specific IEM in question has been tuned for optimum performance on the end of a different signal chain (source > cable) e.g. to sound best with its cheap, usually relatively higher impedance stock cable hooked up to a smartphone with higher output impedance or if you aim for a different FR response (individual preferences) or not to forget optimised cohesiveness of your IEM on your individual sound rig(s).
    Now if I were to design an IEM I'd certainly want it to perform 'best' (technically) at the end of a low-impedance chain but I have no idea how much of a role this plays in the design and tuning phases e.g. of an average chi-fi IEM, if at all, lol.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    hakuzen and gourab1995 like this.
  11. gourab1995
    Absolutely correct. After wanting to believe that lower impedance cable always makes the sound better, I was fooling myself. I tried the zs7 with the lower resistance cable from kz themselves (silver flat). It sure does make the signal clearer, but it boosts the bass and treble to such a degree that the mids are crawling for support often. I also tried jcally 8core silver cable thinking that, oh kz must make mediocre cables let's try something else. On the jcally the soundstage was clearer but imaging took a big hit, also the bass was overpowering things. In the end, the stock cable still sounded the most pleasing (smoother) with the most amount of cohesiveness. Out of the three, despite the stock cable being the least conductive. I think it is best to stick to the cable that comes along with the original ear pieces unless and until there is a complete necessity to change the cable.

    If one really has to alter the sound. It is better to look for better eartips. After all that experimenting that is what I have learned. Also the vent mod fortunately turned out to help a lot as well.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    LaughMoreDaily and archdawg like this.
  12. nicksson
    And what if the sound rig stay unchanged and the only changing item is the cable? I doubt that a 0,2/0,3 ohm (!!!) or even a 0,5 ohm difference between cables can produce noticeable differences in sounding. Maybe that can be measurable with your highly capable measurement device, but are you sure that for a human that difference will be more than the placebo effect? Am I'm not thinking here to the ears of Mozart, who maybe would have sensed the difference ... :)
  13. gourab1995
    I don't have or use a measuring rig. I do refer graph measurements from various reviewers. I let my ears do most of the work. And yes I did notice the differences between the cables with my ears. Not immediately, but over 4-5 trials with each one of them for a long duration of time (avg. 3 days). Cable measurements were provided by @hakuzen. Big thanks to him. After you do notice the difference it is hard to unhear them.

    As far as Mozart is concerned. The person making his instrument probably would have a better idea of sound than him... :L3000:
    hakuzen and archdawg like this.
  14. archdawg
    Let's stick with relations. On a source with 0.1.Ohm output impedance a change from a 0.1 to a 0.5 Ohm cable translates to up to a 300% !!! change in current, depending on what follows behind that initial part of the chain. No need to mention what an effect this change of cables has on a source with an even lower impedance.
    hakuzen and gourab1995 like this.
  15. nicksson
    The first sentence seems to be the perfect definition for the placebo effect, isn't it? :p
    As far as the second sentence is concerned, the reference to the ears of Mozart was a joke, but the person who made his pianos was a very highly qualified sound engineer with tons of graph-measurement devices and installations, all powered by steam-machines... :D

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