LZ A7 IEM's impressions and reviews thread
Dec 3, 2020 at 3:52 AM Post #1,066 of 1,725

tgx78

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Trying out the 9038s -> Faaeal copper cable -> A7 (modded blue filter + monitor) combo tonight with a great success. Level of transparency is off the chart great.
 
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Dec 3, 2020 at 4:49 AM Post #1,067 of 1,725
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Trying out the 9038s -> Faaeal copper cable -> A7 (modded blue filter + monitor) combo tonight with a great success. Level of transparency is off the chart great.
^^ This! I also totally dig the 9038s and A7 combo :)
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 9:20 AM Post #1,068 of 1,725

MikonJuice

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Just an update to those having "hissing" problems with the LZ A7 plus a cellphone... well... the fiio btr5 solves it. The sound, as I'm using the gold-monitor setting, does not change much between balanced or unbalanced cables.
It does, however, receive a nice elevation in the treble. So, in this specific setting, the treble is a tad less recessed, which brings a pretty nice balance to the sound overall.

Overall...I think this LZ A7 is something akin to "acquired taste": out of the box it does not impress much, but as you fiddle with the many choices and settings, you do find a sound that will eventualy grab your heart.
In my preferable setting, gold-monitor, the bass is tight and textured, mids are a little bit thicker than normal, which is awesome for guitars, and the treble has a nice spark, although is still a little bit behind the highs and mids.

I really like it!
 
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Dec 3, 2020 at 9:31 AM Post #1,069 of 1,725

Luis1316

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Just an update to those having "hissing" problems with the lz A& plus a cellphone... well... the fiio btr5 solves it. The sound, as I'm using the gold-monitor setting, does not change much between balanced or unbalanced cables.
It does, however, receive a nice elevation in the treble. So, in this specific setting, the treble is a tad less recessed, which brings a pretty nice balance to the sound overall.

Overall...I think this LZ A7 is something akin to "acquired taste": out of the box it does not impress much, but as you fiddle with the many choices and settings, you do find a sound that will eventualy grab your heart.
In my preferable setting, gold-monitor, the bass is tight and textured, mids are a little bit thicker than normal, which is awesome for guitars, and the treble has a nice spark, although is still a little bit behind the highs and mids.

I really like it!

Finally received my A7 after initial unit had a defective connector. Kudos to Linsoul for expediting the replacement. Initial listening impressions are favorable. Interestingly while I consider myself a bit treble sensitive I am using silver filter, monitor setting and find the treble extended but not excessive nor fatiguing at all. Indeed, I found blue and black filters too warm, lacking top end. Cable is Dunu Blanche, tips Azla Sedna EarFit Light, running balanced from FiiO BTR5. Looking forward to more listening in the coming days.
You can try to get rid of the piece of cloth from the black filter if you want a better treble extension. I ended up putting a thin layer of foam pushed all they way up to the top of the nozzle and I'm quite impressed by how big the soundstage has turned out, very very close to the A6 in terms of technicalities I would say.
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 12:45 PM Post #1,070 of 1,725

LoryWiv

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You can try to get rid of the piece of cloth from the black filter if you want a better treble extension. I ended up putting a thin layer of foam pushed all they way up to the top of the nozzle and I'm quite impressed by how big the soundstage has turned out, very very close to the A6 in terms of technicalities I would say.
It would be great to see a photo of this mod if not too much trouble, @Luis1316. Thank you so much!
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 1:32 PM Post #1,071 of 1,725

Luis1316

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1607018911344.png
1607018957066.png

It is quite simple. I removed this piece of cloth, but that led to some treble spikes so I decided to do a good old foam mod on the nozzle, which solved all my problems and kept the soundstage and clarity intact.
A very small piece of foam like this will do. Note that I pushed the foam ALL THE WAY through to the metal mesh; if you let the foam on the entrance of the nozzle, it may end up having the same effect of the piece of cloth.
1607019213144.png

I also encourage people to try out the "chopped foam tips", which enhances clarity and soundstage. This is the most comfortable way to use tips for me, especially with IEM with long nozzles. The best and most affordable foam tips that I have used until now are Tennmak foam tips, which are those in the photos.
It's not a new thing, but I wrote about my impressions on this foam mod on the LZ A6, which totally works with anything; here is my quote from the thread:
There is a good thing with chopped foam tips, and that is that you don't have to prepare thoroughly the tip before insertion. With good chopped foam tips at 1/3 proportion (I use Tenmak foam tips, the best foams I have used until now) you will have a really deep insertion and the IEM shell is not going to stick out like using other tips. There is less tip to ear canal contact, so I feel way more comfortable this way than using any other silicon tips.
Sorry for the weird drawings, but I just don't find any other way to explain this visually xDD:
1599572008891.png - (1/3 proportion vs a whole tip).
1599572185395.png - There's overall way more space with 1/3, and maybe that's why the sense of soundstage is enlarged.
From what you can see in my previous photos, I'm using a 1/3 proportion foam tip. You can go 1/2 or 2/3 proportion if you really miss the bass quantity.
@DynamicEars compilated the results of using different materials as a filter. It may be an interesting thing to experiment in the future with all the filters that we have given.
BLON BL-03 MOD MEASUREMENTS

Alright so I spent my 2 days measuring the BL-03 with some mods, hopefully these are useful.
In case you don't know, THe BLON BL-03 also using infamous nylon cloth mesh as a damper underneath the metal nozzle grill. Im into simple modding IEM, not into extreme mod or anything else, but from my experience, this kind of damper have more bad effects rather than its goodness.
The nylon cloth mesh dampers are believed by chifi manufacturer to smoothen upper mids region, while that doing good for the purposes, they also came with bad effect altogether, the main issue is bad airflow especially with IEM containing DD. THis will make bass part become bloated, think of covering vents with something, bass become bigger in quantity but sounded bloated. Other bad issues are reduced clarity, and blurry imaging (reducing imaging quality).
Moondrop lately found a way using similar cloth damper but I have yet to know what material they are using (mine still on the way) that sold separately. THeir damper although using similar cloth, may have different effect. Why? because they made a gap between the the damper and the grill. This is a clever way to avoid air flow blockage, but I need to listen myself if they still make bass bloated.
So some of us tried to remove / change the grill to make the IEM sounded better, but sometimes the default tuning without damper are too peaky, so we have to damper them with different way that better than using nylon cloth mesh.

THank you to @Slater that found this BL-03 are using that infamous cloth mesh damper, I didn't think at all that they are using the cloth mesh damper, you can take a look of his great tutorial few pages back (someone help me find the link, i will post here for easier findout)

So I tried to mod with several materials to find which are the best, I mod and measure every materials that i use hopefully this will be useful for the community.

OK, to begin with, here is my rig, using similar rig with @crinacle because I feel his measurement is one of the best in the world, and I used to see his graph among others. I'm using IEC711 coupler copy, with apple dongle, with REW, calibrated to have similar result with crinacle and always try to keep resonance peak as close as 8khz. Crinacle is using wide bore for measurement, but I'm using medium bore that can fit lot of my IEM, and more important stay inside the coupler with proper seal. So slight differences can be caused of eartips being used, unit variance on IEM themselves, unit variance on dongle, unit variance on coupler, mic, cables etc.
20200819_131008~2.jpg

Comparison between My graph and @crinacle 's. His graph as always credits to him with respect.
FR by DynamicEars compared to Crinacle's.jpg's.jpg

Here the default BL-03 FR by Crin :
BL-03.jpg

And here my measurement on BL-03 default :
FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03.jpg
As you can see, my L (green lines) unit have lower bass quantity, i checked everything, holes, vents, tried different cables etc with no dice. I take that as driver unit variance. Too bad i just give my second BL-03 to my relatives earlier this year.

So i will use the R unit as reference since my L unit seems off with that roll off bass (but hey that is tuned better actually i guess?)


This is measurement to compare between default BL-03 with cloth mesh filter and filterless. Brown is default, Blue is filterless
FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless.jpg
To my ears, the bass is a lot cleaner due gone of bloated effect caused by that cloth mesh. On graph they cant be really seen, but its very obvious to my ears. same with bass decat, texture that you can't see from an FR graph.

Right, so the filterless BL-03 have peaky +13db pinna gain on roughly 2.2khz, 5.5khz and 8khz. Scariest peak is on that 5.5khz, that shouty sibilances. We did try several method to tame down that peaks so I try to measure a lot of materials for our curiosity.

FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Alcohol Swab.jpg
Dried alcohol swab (red line) rolled on side of nozzle with no blockage at all on center of nozzle tamed the peaks a little bit, the bass still very clean, fast, tight, like filterless which is great result, but the peaks may a bit shouty to some.


FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Cotton.jpg
20200819_112104_HDR~2.jpg20200819_111653~2.jpg

Rolled cotton (green line on FR), roughly square 7mm put into nozzle, similar to alcohol swab, more like a "C" in the nozzle rather than full circle donut, because its easier. The result tame the peaks as much as the original filter, but of course with no bloated bass, but the cotton absorb too much upper mids and trebles, extension of the cymbals, decay of snares sounded gone too fast, very minimum resonance.


FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs mod soft foam.jpg
Next up is Soft foam (bright red line) , its a foam with very soft density, like almost no power to bounce back if you pinch it. I got them from the hard case for IEM. I cut rounghly 5mm in length, with width and depth lower than nozzle diameter, so they still have plenty space of air. Result is pretty good, Bass is tight, no bloat with litlle bit smoother upper mids but without losing of clarity and treble extension. Can be a little shouty, just occasionally happen, but i like a little bit tamed upper mids, at least below 10db increment from 1khz.



FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs mod Long soft foam.jpg
With longer soft foam (roughly 10mm) (tosca line) the upper mids is tamed down, very smooth result, similar to original state but better bass (no bloated), 8khz treble resonance peak also tamed down. I like this tonality but maybe i want to cut down the soft foam a little bit more for more aggressive and fun signature, just slightly.

20200819_105902~2.jpg
left green foam : animal sponge (capsule animal sponge in 1 dollar store), soft density but not as soft as right one
right black foam : soft foam from IEM case, very soft density with a lot of cavities)


FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs animal sponge.jpg
This time, I was using animal sponge (purple line). What the heck is that? that is a sponge that i found quite good that i use in the past for mod, they can be bought on one dollar store, a capsule sponge animal, put into the hot water and the sponge animal will popped out
s-l300.jpg
something like this, image by google.
Result is very good too, with smooth upper mids but still non bloated bass, but the softer density foam (the black one above) do better job on clarity, remember to cut smaller than nozzle diameter so they can be fit without any force, dont put big cut and pinch to insert, they will be too full and muffled the sound.




FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Micropore full.jpg
Alright so next one is our popular mod tool, the 3M micropore, with full cover, covering the entire nozzle (peach line). As you can see and inline with what im hearing, they produce similar result with default BL-03 with that cloth mesh filter, bloated bass, you can see the bass FR there, back to original state, what you can't see is how bad the bloat, the texture. Upper mids also sounded a little bit veiled.

FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Micropore w 1 hole.jpg
Next is I pinched a hole on that micropore tape, just 1 hole in the center (magenta line), bass is better than full micropore covering entire nozzle, but still have smear, not as clean as other mod.

FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Micropore w many holes.jpg
Then i went crazy, stabbing the micropore on nozzle so they have many holes lol (on purpose) (showed in dark green line), bass become great, non bloated, much better than full micropore or micropore with 1 hole, logically of course make in common sense, better airflow for the DD. The upper mids of course less tamed than full micropore or just 1 hole, as you can see, but this is pretty good result too.


FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Micropore 3 4 cover.jpg
Then I ditch that micropore, changed into new micropore but now I cover only 3/4 of nozzle hole (dark red line), left with roughly 1/4 open, unfiltered. This is a classic mod and now proven this is a very good solution too, and very easy way too for beginner. Bass is clean, non bloated, very nice clean bass like the unfiltered one, the upper mids is similar with micropore with many holes. Great result too!


FR by DynamicEars - BLON BL-03 default vs filterless vs Mod Micropore half cover.jpg
Just to kill curiosity, i reduce the micropore into half, covering only half of nozzle opening (green line). Bass of course great like filterless, but the upper mids also similar like filterless, too shouty. Hence, I didn't bother to try with 1/4 cover nozzle with micropore.



So out of few experiments with different materials, I like the 3/4 micropore cover and soft foam as the best result among all. As a note, sony is using soft foam as a damper, its no joke, they put soft density foam on the nozzle without any grill, but keep in mind that they did their homework, they tuned the Z1R for example with crazy bosst high mids but then put the foam, or the other way, they tune and measure with foam attached.

Conclusion, chifi manufacturer need to stop put this nylon cloth mesh glued together with grill as damper. They will bloat the bass. My H40 have similar effects too, and with the mod, the H40 is crazy, much better result than the BL-03 mod.

I'm sorry for super duper long post, but i feel its necessary to post everything in 1 post. Thanks for reading, sorry for your bandwidth.
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 4:30 AM Post #1,072 of 1,725

sutosuto

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Hi all, after having A7 for more than a week, I like the black filter monitor mode the most.
However, the nozzle is to big and hurts my ear after long hour listening :triportsad:
I am using A6 modded black filter now which is smaller than A7 filter and it sounds like A7 pop red filter.
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 10:32 AM Post #1,073 of 1,725

FSTOP

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Hi all, after having A7 for more than a week, I like the black filter monitor mode the most.
However, the nozzle is to big and hurts my ear after long hour listening :triportsad:
I am using A6 modded black filter now which is smaller than A7 filter and it sounds like A7 pop red filter.
Aw, nice to know! So the older filters are smaller but still have same thread to fit a7? May have to find some, as my ears are smallish too. Anyplace to buy the older filters by themself? Are the DMG filters smaller diameter too?
I had a bit of initial discomfort wearing a7 too, but that seems to get better after I wear an iem for awhile. Don't know if the pressure points in my ear get adjusted or what. Put in my old L3 last night, and they seemed quite tight though, compared to A7!
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #1,074 of 1,725

RikudouGoku

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Aw, nice to know! So the older filters are smaller but still have same thread to fit a7? May have to find some, as my ears are smallish too. Anyplace to buy the older filters by themself? Are the DMG filters smaller diameter too?
I had a bit of initial discomfort wearing a7 too, but that seems to get better after I wear an iem for awhile. Don't know if the pressure points in my ear get adjusted or what. Put in my old L3 last night, and they seemed quite tight though, compared to A7!
You can get the A5/A6 filters here: https://penonaudio.com/lz-a5-filters.html?search=lz
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 11:07 AM Post #1,075 of 1,725

sutosuto

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Aw, nice to know! So the older filters are smaller but still have same thread to fit a7? May have to find some, as my ears are smallish too. Anyplace to buy the older filters by themself? Are the DMG filters smaller diameter too?
I had a bit of initial discomfort wearing a7 too, but that seems to get better after I wear an iem for awhile. Don't know if the pressure points in my ear get adjusted or what. Put in my old L3 last night, and they seemed quite tight though, compared to A7!
Yes, A6 filters are slightly smaller, attached the picture (left is A7 filter)

I do not have DMG filters.
20201205_000405.jpg
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 3:03 PM Post #1,077 of 1,725

Luis1316

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My foam filters arrived today from this store: https://a.aliexpress.com/_B00KPt
They are quite expensive but I'm just too tired of cutting uneven chunks of foams by myself, so I decided to give it a try.
1607111365753.png

There's two options: black and white. The white one is actually more like a sponge (less density) and the black one feels like your regular foam.
1607111502339.png

The size actually fits perfectly to the black nozzle. I need near 3 pieces of the white one to make the dampening effect even to the black one. I recommend the black one because of the density; a single little piece of this black foam got the job done instead of using 3 white sponge chunks.
It is actually denser than the foams that I have used previously, and the effect is quite apparent with it. Pushing the foam to the top of the nozzle didn't add an inmense quantity of bass; it only tamed down some high mid peaks. Now I can turn the volume of my Ibasso DX160 on high gain from 35 to 40 without hearing any sibilance, and the soundstage is quite differenciable on black-pop compared to blue and silver nozzle that still has the piece of cloth on the entrance.
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 3:12 PM Post #1,078 of 1,725

Luis1316

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Hi all, after having A7 for more than a week, I like the black filter monitor mode the most.
However, the nozzle is to big and hurts my ear after long hour listening :triportsad:
I am using A6 modded black filter now which is smaller than A7 filter and it sounds like A7 pop red filter.
Did you try out the way I use foam tips? It's just cutting the foam tips and trying with different proportions. You can try this with any cheap foam tips.
I couldn't use A6 because of the long nozzle either so I had to find a way to fit long nozzles into my ear. I hated initially foam tips because they were long, but I found out that nothing was more comfortable than a good pair of foam tips, so I decided to try to cut them. It's not rocket science, but yeah, different level of insertion leads to different hearing experiences, and that got me into experimenting with foam tips because the nozzle was too long.
1607112492626.png
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 4:34 PM Post #1,079 of 1,725

sutosuto

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Did you try out the way I use foam tips?
I did try this kind of modded foam before on A6. It was not comfortable for me. Thanks for the suggestion anyway.
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 8:36 PM Post #1,080 of 1,725

assassin10000

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Did you try out the way I use foam tips? It's just cutting the foam tips and trying with different proportions. You can try this with any cheap foam tips.
I couldn't use A6 because of the long nozzle either so I had to find a way to fit long nozzles into my ear. I hated initially foam tips because they were long, but I found out that nothing was more comfortable than a good pair of foam tips, so I decided to try to cut them. It's not rocket science, but yeah, different level of insertion leads to different hearing experiences, and that got me into experimenting with foam tips because the nozzle was too long.

I use cut down foam tips on some things as well.

I also found these work really well too for T400 size nozzles. De-cored foam tips for apple airpod pro's. The skirt is 2mm or so long, which allows IEMs to go a bit deeper but still have a good amount of contact.
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IMG_20200518_162643.jpg
IMG_20200518_162351.jpg
IMG_20200707_210011.jpg
 

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