Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
Jun 10, 2021 at 2:33 AM Post #55,531 of 55,602

baskingshark

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So far, loving Believe single DD beryllium and superb technicality in mid tier LZ A7.

I have yet gone to high tier... I am assuming the rate of return or enjoyment decreased by the increased of dollar?

Midfi gear, IMHO is where the best price to performance ratio is.

Ballpark I would say moving from midfi to summitFI (TOTL), u are probably only getting 10 to 30% improvement in sound, but may be paying more than 10x for that diminishing returns.

For example, quoting your KBEAR Believe and LZ A7:
- KBEAR Believe can hit about 70% sound of the TOTL Dunu Luna (both purported beyllium single DD).
- LZ A7 can get to about 70% or so of the TOTL QDC Anole VX (both are multi driver sets that have tuning options).

Even TOTL gear have weaknesses, eg Dunu Luna has rolled off subbass and treble, QDC Anole VX has BA timbre and can be a bit hot in upper mids/lower treble.

Well at the end of the day, just spend within our means, if we can get audio nirvana with a sub $10 set like the sony MH755, some people are happy with that. But I understand some folks wanna chase that last 30% sound fidelity in summitFI at all costs, so as usual, different strokes for different folks.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 9:47 AM Post #55,532 of 55,602

AmericanSpirit

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Midfi gear, IMHO is where the best price to performance ratio is.

Ballpark I would say moving from midfi to summitFI (TOTL), u are probably only getting 10 to 30% improvement in sound, but may be paying more than 10x for that diminishing returns.

For example, quoting your KBEAR Believe and LZ A7:
- KBEAR Believe can hit about 70% sound of the TOTL Dunu Luna (both purported beyllium single DD).
- LZ A7 can get to about 70% or so of the TOTL QDC Anole VX (both are multi driver sets that have tuning options).

Even TOTL gear have weaknesses, eg Dunu Luna has rolled off subbass and treble, QDC Anole VX has BA timbre and can be a bit hot in upper mids/lower treble.

Well at the end of the day, just spend within our means, if we can get audio nirvana with a sub $10 set like the sony MH755, some people are happy with that. But I understand some folks wanna chase that last 30% sound fidelity in summitFI at all costs, so as usual, different strokes for different folks.
For which I’m hoping Moondrop’s Blessing EST will be the best price to performance as it uses Aria’s LCP for bass, blessing2 /dusk’s mid range Softears MID BA, and Sonion EST for silky treble.
2121799D-A5A8-4F8B-9610-0386C3006CA0.jpeg
 
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Jun 10, 2021 at 10:54 PM Post #55,533 of 55,602

CT007

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Initial impressions.... using Chord Mojo w/stock cable(love it!)+tips.

It sounds like ZAX with A) slightly smoothed treble(no more bothersome peaks!), B) HUGE BASS BOOST, C) fantastic, full-bodied vocals.

I hear only a very slight amount of hiss/noise when plugging into Mojo. Most IEMs I've tested produce about twice as much noise/hiss. They actually fit pretty well, so far. It's a weird fit, kuz they are so huge, so it feels rather unnatural, but snug enough. And that adorable little yellow bag..? To die for!

I can't believe how much bass this has lol... ZAX has about 53:47% treble:bass balance; AST is like 43:57%! Easily the most bass I've heard in an IEM so far. This thing is nuts. Imagine your ideal bass level, then add 25% bass boost ontop. The clarity is still quite sharp like ZAX, how I like it, but it's definitely being overtaken by the bass a bit. The treble is very, very pleasant/enjoyable... I have nothing but love for this treble! A smoothed out ZAX - exactly the treble I wished for. I can throw bright content like The Killers, Weird Al, P.O.D. or Mech at AST and the treble is acceptably smooth compared to ZAX. This bass, though... Damn. They really dialed it up to 11 here. (o_o) This has MORE bass than VK4!!!

Because of the tremendous, underlying bass throughout the mids, and the excellently/perfectly honed-in treble(I could listen to this treble all day! I am shocked. The texture & space/separation/air is so good. FD5 you failed me!!!), these also have the best vocals I've ever heard, very likely. If not, the dull Oxygen has the best. Rather addictively good. Yes, I've never heard Weird Al sound this good & smooth before... The problem would be the building-shaking bass these have. Let's see if IEMatch+ can soften it up... Yep, the bass tones down a lot on ultra mode, but so does the treble. Have to EQ that bass down manually, to get rid of this extra bass warmth & power.

Metal, jazz, Chili Peppers, Buckethead, Pink Floyd and all elec guitars sound great. This fast, detailed, clear, wide open, non-peaky treble is killing it. Imaging and depth is quite impressive, too, with very nice sense of space, but most of the time the bass overpowers it, so you will notice it more the less bass there is(ambient & orchestral sounds just gorgeous/intoxicatingly smooth & engaging). I see ZAX having slightly flawed(peaky) treble + satisfactory bass, and AST having overkill bass + perfect treble. Pick your poison. I think ZAX is still winning, for much better balance, unless you EQ the AST bass down, then you have a serious winner. Maybe tips with holes in them, to eliminate a seal, would cut the bass? :thinking: Or going tipless? :thinking: (Is that even legal anymore..?)

Too much bass never hurt anyone, Grandma always told us younglings at the hifi battlestation. OK, Grandma; I have to make a small exception here ;P

photo_2021-06-10_22-52-18.jpg

AST - ZAX - FH3
photo_2021-06-10_22-52-13.jpg


So many songs sound great on these... but here's one that works well with their Turbo Bass. Full note weight, all the way through the whole FR, I love it!
 
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Jun 11, 2021 at 12:37 AM Post #55,534 of 55,602

requal

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Initial impressions.... using Chord Mojo w/stock cable(love it!)+tips.

It sounds like ZAX with A) slightly smoothed treble(no more bothersome peaks!), B) HUGE BASS BOOST, C) fantastic, full-bodied vocals.

I hear only a very slight amount of hiss/noise when plugging into Mojo. Most IEMs I've tested produce about twice as much noise/hiss. They actually fit pretty well, so far. It's a weird fit, kuz they are so huge, so it feels rather unnatural, but snug enough. And that adorable little yellow bag..? To die for!

I can't believe how much bass this has lol... ZAX has about 53:47% treble:bass balance; AST is like 43:57%! Easily the most bass I've heard in an IEM so far. This thing is nuts. Imagine your ideal bass level, then add 25% bass boost ontop. The clarity is still quite sharp like ZAX, how I like it, but it's definitely being overtaken by the bass a bit. The treble is very, very pleasant/enjoyable... I have nothing but love for this treble! A smoothed out ZAX - exactly the treble I wished for. I can throw bright content like The Killers, Weird Al, P.O.D. or Mech at AST and the treble is acceptably smooth compared to ZAX. This bass, though... Damn. They really dialed it up to 11 here. (o_o) This has MORE bass than VK4!!!

Because of the tremendous, underlying bass throughout the mids, and the excellently/perfectly honed-in treble(I could listen to this treble all day! I am shocked. The texture & space/separation/air is so good. FD5 you failed me!!!), these also have the best vocals I've ever heard, very likely. If not, the dull Oxygen has the best. Rather addictively good. Yes, I've never heard Weird Al sound this good & smooth before... The problem would be the building-shaking bass these have. Let's see if IEMatch+ can soften it up... Yep, the bass tones down a lot on ultra mode, but so does the treble. Have to EQ that bass down manually, to get rid of this extra bass warmth & power.

Metal, jazz, Chili Peppers, Buckethead, Pink Floyd and all elec guitars sound great. This fast, detailed, clear, wide open, non-peaky treble is killing it. Imaging and depth is quite impressive, too, with very nice sense of space, but most of the time the bass overpowers it, so you will notice it more the less bass there is(ambient & orchestral sounds just gorgeous/intoxicatingly smooth & engaging). I see ZAX having slightly flawed(peaky) treble + satisfactory bass, and AST having overkill bass + perfect treble. Pick your poison. I think ZAX is still winning, for much better balance, unless you EQ the AST bass down, then you have a serious winner. Maybe tips with holes in them, to eliminate a seal, would cut the bass? :thinking: Or going tipless? :thinking: (Is that even legal anymore..?)

Too much bass never hurt anyone, Grandma always told us younglings at the hifi battlestation. OK, Grandma; I have to make a small exception here ;P

photo_2021-06-10_22-52-18.jpg
AST - ZAX - FH3
photo_2021-06-10_22-52-13.jpg

So many songs sound great on these... but here's one that works well with their Turbo Bass. Full note weight, all the way through the whole FR, I love it!
How they compete to BGVP DM8? I see them in your signature. Can you compare both?
 
Jun 11, 2021 at 12:51 AM Post #55,535 of 55,602

CT007

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:thinking: :thinking:
How they compete to BGVP DM8? I see them in your signature. Can you compare both?
Can't compare directly now, my Mojo just ran out of battery :< But from memory, I feel DM8 also has perfect treble & mids also, but in comparison to AST they are thinner, dryer, less engaging, no real wow factor(s), and a less interesting soundstage shape & depth. Of course much, much less bass, about half of my ideal, though I could say "it's alright for BA bass" still. Fit, build and overall quality better on DM8, but both are perfectly acceptable to me. Treble on DM8 is probably a touch smoother, but also lacking the engagement/connection that AST has so, so much of with that little bit more treble sharpness, more body/fullness and space/depth/separation/air.
 
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Jun 11, 2021 at 1:15 AM Post #55,536 of 55,602

requal

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:thinking: :thinking:

Can't compare directly now, my Mojo just ran out of battery :< But from memory, I feel DM8 also has perfect treble & mids also, but in comparison to AST they are thinner, dryer, less engaging, no real wow factor(s), and a less interesting soundstage shape & depth. Of course much, much less bass, about half of my ideal, though I could say "it's alright for BA bass" still. Fit, build and overall quality better on DM8, but both are perfectly acceptable to me. Treble on DM8 is probably a touch smoother, but also lacking the engagement/connection that AST has so, so much of with that little bit more treble sharpness, more body/fullness and space/depth/separation/air.
Thanks a lot. I like this KZs bass boost from BA. Dm8 as you said have less quantity, but texture is quite good.
 
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Jun 11, 2021 at 1:21 AM Post #55,537 of 55,602

voicemaster

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Initial impressions.... using Chord Mojo w/stock cable(love it!)+tips.

It sounds like ZAX with A) slightly smoothed treble(no more bothersome peaks!), B) HUGE BASS BOOST, C) fantastic, full-bodied vocals.

I hear only a very slight amount of hiss/noise when plugging into Mojo. Most IEMs I've tested produce about twice as much noise/hiss. They actually fit pretty well, so far. It's a weird fit, kuz they are so huge, so it feels rather unnatural, but snug enough. And that adorable little yellow bag..? To die for!

I can't believe how much bass this has lol... ZAX has about 53:47% treble:bass balance; AST is like 43:57%! Easily the most bass I've heard in an IEM so far. This thing is nuts. Imagine your ideal bass level, then add 25% bass boost ontop. The clarity is still quite sharp like ZAX, how I like it, but it's definitely being overtaken by the bass a bit. The treble is very, very pleasant/enjoyable... I have nothing but love for this treble! A smoothed out ZAX - exactly the treble I wished for. I can throw bright content like The Killers, Weird Al, P.O.D. or Mech at AST and the treble is acceptably smooth compared to ZAX. This bass, though... Damn. They really dialed it up to 11 here. (o_o) This has MORE bass than VK4!!!

Because of the tremendous, underlying bass throughout the mids, and the excellently/perfectly honed-in treble(I could listen to this treble all day! I am shocked. The texture & space/separation/air is so good. FD5 you failed me!!!), these also have the best vocals I've ever heard, very likely. If not, the dull Oxygen has the best. Rather addictively good. Yes, I've never heard Weird Al sound this good & smooth before... The problem would be the building-shaking bass these have. Let's see if IEMatch+ can soften it up... Yep, the bass tones down a lot on ultra mode, but so does the treble. Have to EQ that bass down manually, to get rid of this extra bass warmth & power.

Metal, jazz, Chili Peppers, Buckethead, Pink Floyd and all elec guitars sound great. This fast, detailed, clear, wide open, non-peaky treble is killing it. Imaging and depth is quite impressive, too, with very nice sense of space, but most of the time the bass overpowers it, so you will notice it more the less bass there is(ambient & orchestral sounds just gorgeous/intoxicatingly smooth & engaging). I see ZAX having slightly flawed(peaky) treble + satisfactory bass, and AST having overkill bass + perfect treble. Pick your poison. I think ZAX is still winning, for much better balance, unless you EQ the AST bass down, then you have a serious winner. Maybe tips with holes in them, to eliminate a seal, would cut the bass? :thinking: Or going tipless? :thinking: (Is that even legal anymore..?)

Too much bass never hurt anyone, Grandma always told us younglings at the hifi battlestation. OK, Grandma; I have to make a small exception here ;P

photo_2021-06-10_22-52-18.jpg
AST - ZAX - FH3
photo_2021-06-10_22-52-13.jpg

So many songs sound great on these... but here's one that works well with their Turbo Bass. Full note weight, all the way through the whole FR, I love it!
The bass will tightened up a bit after some usage, but it is still a quite bassy iem.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 5:37 AM Post #55,538 of 55,602

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Hello

Here I include a screenshot testing between ZSN EDX and the linear Soundmagic 11s.
By checking the db differences you can get the meaning.
Original file is a irregular 17 tones of -3db across the audio band



Z E S.jpg
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 5:44 AM Post #55,539 of 55,602

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I m also adding a audio level of the above file in terns of levels . Just compare them
ZSN vs EDX vs Soundmagic E10c
From the above 3 I prefer the more natural E10C, as the remain add to my tinnitus unless i use them for poor audio cases as shortwaves



ZSN-EDX-SM VOL.jpg
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 8:15 AM Post #55,540 of 55,602

Brave Heart

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Is the ZAX any better than the ZSX and ZS10 Pro?
I already think the ZSX and ZS10 Pro are great IEMS for the price, and use them regularly.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 8:46 AM Post #55,541 of 55,602

RCracer777

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Is the ZAX any better than the ZSX and ZS10 Pro?
I already think the ZSX and ZS10 Pro are great IEMS for the price, and use them regularly.
It is a definite step up from them. Think ZSX with bigger soundstage, better imaging, better instrument seperation, slightly better coherency and the fit of the ZS10 pro.

After getting mine my ZSX and ZS10 Pro barely get any listening time.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 8:52 AM Post #55,542 of 55,602

PhonoPhi

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Is the ZAX any better than the ZSX and ZS10 Pro?
I already think the ZSX and ZS10 Pro are great IEMS for the price, and use them regularly.
ZS10 pro and ZSX are great.

ZS10 pro represent KZ-V at its best and most vivid: mighty bass, sparkly treble :)

In ZSX, the bass is more contained, and treble is more refined, but good (not overly polite like in C10 and CA16).

To me, ZAX is a good step forward from ZSX in treble - more refinement, more resolution. As for the bass, it is more subjective: bass of ZAX is more in quantity compared to ZSX, especially in the mid-bass. I would take the bass from ZSX and treble from ZAX, while still ZAX overall. The hope was that ASX would be ZAX with the BA bass, it did not exactly happen due to narrow nozzles. Now the "hype is with AST, but still the same narrow nozzles...

Back from my rant to ZAX, I still listen to ZSX sometimes and value ZS10 pro, but ZAX is a good/decent step forward in refinement and resolution to me.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 9:25 AM Post #55,543 of 55,602

IEMbiker

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ZS10 pro and ZSX are great.

ZS10 pro represent KZ-V at its best and most vivid: mighty bass, sparkly treble :)

In ZSX, the bass is more contained, and treble is more refined, but good (not overly polite like in C10 and CA16).

To me, ZAX is a good step forward from ZSX in treble - more refinement, more resolution. As for the bass, it is more subjective: bass of ZAX is more in quantity compared to ZSX, especially in the mid-bass. I would take the bass from ZSX and treble from ZAX, while still ZAX overall. The hope was that ASX would be ZAX with the BA bass, it did not exactly happen due to narrow nozzles. Now the "hype is with AST, but still the same narrow nozzles...

Back from my rant to ZAX, I still listen to ZSX sometimes and value ZS10 pro, but ZAX is a good/decent step forward in refinement and resolution to me.
Actually, the new nozzle has 2 different bore sizes. ASX(narrow) DQ6(wide) . Both can be exchanged easily.

 

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Jun 13, 2021 at 1:09 PM Post #55,544 of 55,602

PhonoPhi

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Actually, the new nozzle has 2 different bore sizes. ASX(narrow) DQ6(wide) . Both can be exchanged easily.

A ver good point!
Does the picture show the inside part?
The outer part of DQ6 nozzle is still much narrow.
In my experience with clarinet barrels, the sound (spectra, overtones) depends unbelievably on the bore and tapering (really just few hundreds of a millimetee for few-cm opening). In my limited experience with IEMs, any abrupt narrowing of the bores feel constraining.
In ASX, at least one BA guide is firing to the rim of the nozzle, which should not be right.
Hopefully, AST is better. I got them, spare TRNs, to play with the nozzles :) I do have a spare DQ6 as well.
My AST is yet to be shipped though (second ordering attempt...)
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 3:50 PM Post #55,545 of 55,602

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Is the ZAX any better than the ZSX and ZS10 Pro?
I already think the ZSX and ZS10 Pro are great IEMS for the price, and use them
I have only these two models so i can compare them in between with graphics . The result is that the ZSN Pro gives a bright and clean sound in all instruments and voice something that cant be shown in the EDX nor in the Soundmagic , this is something that can be clearly understood from the response curves
 

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