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I'm noticing this too.
Good, so I'm not alone. I think this should be brought to LZ's attention to consider when making new filters. A little reduction near 8khz would be nice.
Cool, is anyone here in direct contact with LZ? (I messaged Jim NiceHSK already)
I finally tested A5 on mojo and the bump in this area was quite noticeable and not entirely nice, I believe this what was the cause of the sibilance issues reported earlier in this thread.
I's say maybe take grey filter as a starting point and dip 2dB around 8kHz?
Update: took too random tracks that sound harsh on A5 and tried to compensate for it, @Nezzad1, you are right on money, I'd say 3dB cut @ 8kHz (as first track has too much of a peak in that area so almost 5dB cut compensated for A5 AND the track itself).
I've been contacting them fairly regularly lately, if you want me to pass on the message. Though I'm sure if you message them on FB, they'll respond quickly. They've been pretty on point with that IME.
Guys, I currently have iBasso IT01, and MEE Pinnacle PX, running through a V30 and at times a Chord Mojo. Is the A5 worth a buy? I prefer nice deep bass.
Nope - last place it needs a reduction (more shortly)
This is actually quite interesting because it shows the power of suggestion on what we "think" we hear.
Post coming very shortly on what will make the greatest change to the A5.
Apologies, but I have to disagree, I observe this 8kHz bump on A5 and quite confident that it's an objective phenomenon, not a result of someone's suggestion.
Sorry, but I don't think that this 8kHz bump case is closed only because of your opinion that the reason is the power of suggestion, so we are still in the investigative stage. With all the due respect.
In the meantime here's the responce from LZ:
Thank you for your suggestion. We can't tell now, but we have heard your feedback and we will try to make it.
Int he middle of writing the review and I've been asked several times for this info, so my apologies.
First the usual disclaimer ....
The graphs I use are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. Ken Ball (ALO/Campfire) graciously provided me with measurement data which I have used to recalibrate my Veritas so that it mimics an IEC 711 measurement standard (Ken uses two separate BK ear simulators, we measured the same set of IEMs, and I built my calibration curve from shared data). I do not claim that this data is 100% accurate, but it is very consistent, and is as close as I can get to the IEC 711 standard on my budget.
I do not claim that the measurements are in any way more accurate than anyone else's, but they have been proven to be consistent and I think they should be enough to give a reasonable idea of response - especially if you've followed any of my other reviews. When measuring I always use crystal foam tips (so medium bore opening) - and the reason I use them is for very consistent seal and placement depth in the coupler. I use the same amp (E11K) for all my measurements - and output is under 1 ohm.
OK - lets look at the graph
Black and blue are very close to identical, so are red and grey. This matched what I'm hearing too. If I use a red and a grey combo in either ear, I get pretty close to a perfect stereo match. Same with the blue and black. The approx 1 dB change is close enough that within a few minutes our brain compensates and the small differences tend to evaporate.
Now a few posts back someone talked about there being too much energy in the upper mid-range. And they were spot on (if talking about the blue and black filters). But its important to note that the upper mid-range is generally regarded to be talking about the area from 1k Hz to 5 kHz. Form 5-10 kHz is generally regarded as lower treble, and IMO the lower treble is pretty good (especially on the red and grey).
So for those wanting to balance the signature out a little - try this ......
For blue and black - try dropping your 30 Hz, 60 Hz and 125 Hz sliders down by about 2 dB AND your 2 kHz and 3Khz sliders by 4-6 dB
For red and grey - try dropping your 30 Hz, 60 Hz and 125 Hz sliders down by about 4 dB
The easiest trick though is to stick with red/grey and simply EQ the bass down a bit.
With all due respect - run a sine signal through your player, and observe where the peaks are.
The biggest difference between the A4 and A5 is not just the amount of drivers or ergonomics, but rather the implementation of it's drivers and the drastically different filters.
For the A4, the DD is cradled in the cylindrical section (where a turbo would spool up) while the 2 BA drivers are pretty much flush against the nozzle filter, shooting sound directly into your ear canal.
The A5s on the other hand have the 4xBAs hidden deeply in the IEM shell along with the sole DD driver. The sound then seems to reflect inside as they make their way to your ears. To me this sounds more natural and I perceive it as an expanded soundstage. Also, perhaps we are getting stronger sub-bass because the BAs are no longer blocking some of the low freqs, as omnipotently-omni-directional as they may be.
A4 filters vs A5
Right off the bat, I can say that for better or worse, the A4 filters alter the sound more than the A5s. On the A5, the filters are of a fixed bore diameter, with varying densities of a mesh to allow more or less harshness or air from the mid-upper freqs.
On the A4, the filters had a large and narrow bore diameter, with mesh densities ranging from none (blue) to straight up what seems like a circular piece of paper on the red filter drastically taming/filtering the highs for a sound sig that was way too dark for accurate portrayal of vocals. I myself dont miss the A4 filters one bit, but I can see how those of us who like to experiment would enjoy the added filters.
On the A5 the red and gray filters are my preference. I do not detect any sibilance & I would surely be bothered by those exaggerated SSSsss's. I think folks are perceiving harshness as sibilance.
Let me say that that no amount of added EQ to my A4s subbass would get it to sound as juicy as the A5s bass. But if I need to remove some from the A5s upper end I can easily do so. Don't forget its always easier to remove than it is to add EQ.
To add to previous post - if using a parametric EQ, here's a start point
50Hz, Q= 0.5, -3 dB
800Hz, Q = 0.5, +3 dB (this just flattens the lower mid range a bit and brings male vocals a little more into the mix)
2000 Hz, Q = 1.5, -6 dB
3000 Hz, Q = 1.5, -6 dB
That should take the top off the black and blue, and balance things out a little.
I don't see any contradiction between the graphs posted and 8kHz reduction notion, only interpretation of the graphs.
Taking 3dB off at 8k on grey filters will bring this peak to about the same level as 3k, reducing what is perceived as harshness.
I'm still in the process of developing my opinion on these. But I can easily say they are very deep in the bass department. They are one of the few IEMs/headphones I've heard that can do the intro of "Money For Nothing" justice and that can cleanly reach the lowest note in Afterglow by Phaeleh without breaking a sweat (a note which Beats Solo 3s can't reproduce at all, lol). Though they seem to have more mid-bass than sub-bass with the stock black filter (the reason why drums sounds give a solid*THWACK*), it is clear in every track just how deep their sub-bass goes.
I've also noticed that with the red filter, the mid-bass becomes less prominent, and the sub-bass becomes slightly more dominant (still doesn't seem to bleed though). This doesn't change the amount of bass, just the signature.
This was an upgrade from a pair of B&O H3s, which have a very good amount of bass, but very muddy sounding. The A5s are very clear and detailed in the bass but have plenty to go around. Soooo much more satisfying than I heard with the ER4XR, and are not far behind in detail either.
Long story short, yeah, they are good with bass. Not overpowering, very nicely balanced, but really visceral with certain filters. Like other people have mentioned, they are amazing all-purpose IEMs. I haven't found anything that sounds bad through these yet.
At least this is what I've been hearing so far with the stock tips.
Added some foam from earbud tip inside of the red filter.
Definitely tamed highs down, and there was a difference depending on the amount of the foam, so there's a way to influence filters frequency response.
This much sounds about right, that's one side of the tip:
Highs should be just over the top at the loudest parts of Fatboy Slim style breaks with noise FX.
Re-read the graph (and please try the sine method too - there is no peak at 8 kHz.)
And you realise that we are not as sensitive to 7kHz+ than we are to 3 kHz, so even if the SPL is same on both, our sensitivity is different, so we hear 3 kHz as more intense, 7 kHz + less so. Just a quick google on Fletcher-Munson will help with your understanding around this.
I'm not trying to be a prat here - just show you that you're EQing wrong area if you want to control harshness (particularly with black and blue)