Moondrop in-ear monitors Impressions Thread
Mar 5, 2019 at 7:14 AM Post #1,411 of 10,667

yuriv

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Thanks for this! I was also curious to try out crescent and mod it and Your end result looks pretty good. Though, I would still find it just tad bassy (mid-bass) as You do and I would miss the "sparkle" and details from up-top highs, though, I`m very sensitive to 6.2-7.5kHz (which is great You got rid of). Waiting for more measurements and tuning from You before I take jump on it (if ever). Like my KPE sooo much atm ;P

The resulting midbass was reduced quite a bit from stock. Now it’s only 3-4dB higher than the level at 1 kHz. It was 5-6 dB before, with the gap growing wider at lower frequencies. I suppose, if you want even less bass, you could decrease the rear volume even further. BTW, it reminds me of this measurement of the Moondrop Aria:

Moondrop Aria FR from the earphone blog.png

Source: https://blog.naver.com/gre_nada/221335908106

When I compared the sound with the Comply Sport Pro tips to the stock tips or the Sony hybrid tips, I found that they don’t sound that different from each other. They retain the Crescent’s overall sound. It’s not as big a change as the bass cut. Try it with a parametric EQ: Add that 7 kHz peak to a system that doesn’t have it and compare the sound with it bypassed:

Parametric EQ 7k peak.png

The peaking filter: f = 7,017 Hz, amplitude = 7 dB, Q = 4.0​

I tried it with the Crescent with Comply foam. With most music it’s not that noticeable unless you’re looking for it. At worst, it sounds like some hollow whistling. As for missing sparkle, I’ll take smooth and honest over fake sparkle resulting from the tall resonant peak at 7-8 kHz.

If you look at the response resulting from the Comply tip, you’ll see that it actually has a stronger response from 4 kHz to 12 kHz except for the spike. After 12 kHz, it’s definitely softer. So compared to stock, it’s missing air. But what’s really up there? I can still hear up to 15 kHz clearly, but 16 kHz is faint. When I EQ back that 15 kHz spike, making sure frequencies below 12 kHz aren’t affected by the peaking filter, I don’t hear that much difference with most music.

Moondrop Crescent, modded - stock.png

Difference: modded - stock​


So close to Harman target, except for the air! I'm getting comply tips and i'll try and post a compensated measurement once they arrive :)

Here’s what I have for Comply foam:

Moondrop Crescent with Comply S400, Sport Pro, TS400 tips.png

Moondrop Crescent with Comply foam tips, left channel shown
Red: S400
Green: Sport Pro with Smart Core
Blue: TS400 from UE600vi​

The S400 is more durable and washable, and it seems to damp those resonances more aggressively than the others. I also tried the T400:

Moondrop Crescent with Comply T400 tips.png

Moondrop Crescent with Comply foam T400, left channel shown
Red: T400 tip not pushed all the way down
Green: T400 tip pushed all the way down the stem​

Predictably, the less surface area the foam has in the ear canal, the less it absorbs sound and the less it dampens the ear canal resonance. The graph in green looks like it’s halfway between silicone and foam.

The annoying thing about these foam tips is that they start out with a shiny glaze coating which gets worn out with repeated use. It changes the acoustic properties of the foam, making it more absorbent. The S400 doesn’t have the glaze coating. It starts out rough and stays rough.

Another thing to consider is that maybe the Comply 400 series isn’t the best fit for the Moondrop Crescent. T500, S500, etc. might work better. The only one I have that slips on easily is the universal-fit Sport Pro model with Smart Core. Comply foam is relatively expensive, especially since they wear out. I should experiment with cheaper foam tips. We’ll see.



I tried a 3m micropore tape mod on the Crescent. If you hate foam tips, this might be a somewhat viable alternative:



Unfortunately it only really removes treble, doesn't actually get rid of the standing wave resonances. Any ideas about other materials? :)

Yep, the material right at the opening of the nozzle damps the IEM’s tube resonances instead of the ear canal resonances. If we go the other way and remove the grille mesh altogether, we get this:

Moondrop Crescent, grille mesh removed.png

Moondrop Crescent, frequency response with grille mesh removed
Red: Stock tips
Green: Comply S400 tips​

Moondrop Crescent with grill mesh off.jpeg

Unlike the Sony MH1, there’s no foam plug in the tube in this one. It’s not hard to place the grill back in front of the tube when you’re done.​

The ear canal resonances happen when the distance to the eardrum is an integer multiple of half a wavelength. This corresponds to 7 kHz and 14 kHz in the graph. The grille mesh doesn’t damp those as much, but the super absorbent Comply S400 does. What’s left are the peaks at 3 kHz and 9 kHz. Additional damping at the tube opening will reduce the one at 3k and kill the one at 9k. In fact, it’s exactly what it looks like in your graph.

I don’t have 3M micropore tape at hand, but maybe it can be used instead of the grille mesh. I wonder what it will look like with one, two, three layers, possibly with pinholes to tweak the acoustic resistance of the micropore tape filter. A combination of micropore tape and foam tips might get the Crescent a smooth response that still preserves the energy in the top octave. It’ll still counts as a reversible mod because you can undo all of the changes.

If someone hates foam tips, just stick with silicone. As I mentioned earlier, the 7-8k peak is really there, and can be heard in sine sweeps. But the one at 7 kHz at least wasn’t too bad with most of the music I tried when I EQ’ed the peak in and compared the sound with it bypassed. You wrote that you got better results with Sony hybrid tips, and my measurement does show the peak being shorter and fatter. Maybe the Sony hybrid tip retains its slant surface inside the ear, so that the exposed surface isn’t always at the same distance to the eardrum.

Maybe there are silicone sleeves out there that work similarly, like diffusers instead of absorbers. There might be one with an unusual shape that spreads out and blunts the peak even better than the Sony hybrid tip. Another alternative is to find an insertion depth that avoids the problem frequencies.
 
Mar 5, 2019 at 4:42 PM Post #1,412 of 10,667

slapo

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The resulting midbass was reduced quite a bit from stock. Now it’s only 3-4dB higher than the level at 1 kHz. It was 5-6 dB before, with the gap growing wider at lower frequencies. I suppose, if you want even less bass, you could decrease the rear volume even further. BTW, it reminds me of this measurement of the Moondrop Aria:


When I compared the sound with the Comply Sport Pro tips to the stock tips or the Sony hybrid tips, I found that they don’t sound that different from each other. They retain the Crescent’s overall sound. It’s not as big a change as the bass cut. Try it with a parametric EQ: Add that 7 kHz peak to a system that doesn’t have it and compare the sound with it bypassed:


The peaking filter: f = 7,017 Hz, amplitude = 7 dB, Q = 4.0​

I tried it with the Crescent with Comply foam. With most music it’s not that noticeable unless you’re looking for it. At worst, it sounds like some hollow whistling. As for missing sparkle, I’ll take smooth and honest over fake sparkle resulting from the tall resonant peak at 7-8 kHz.

If you look at the response resulting from the Comply tip, you’ll see that it actually has a stronger response from 4 kHz to 12 kHz except for the spike. After 12 kHz, it’s definitely softer. So compared to stock, it’s missing air. But what’s really up there? I can still hear up to 15 kHz clearly, but 16 kHz is faint. When I EQ back that 15 kHz spike, making sure frequencies below 12 kHz aren’t affected by the peaking filter, I don’t hear that much difference with most music.


Difference: modded - stock​




Here’s what I have for Comply foam:


Moondrop Crescent with Comply foam tips, left channel shown
Red: S400
Green: Sport Pro with Smart Core
Blue: TS400 from UE600vi​

The S400 is more durable and washable, and it seems to damp those resonances more aggressively than the others. I also tried the T400:


Moondrop Crescent with Comply foam T400, left channel shown
Red: T400 tip not pushed all the way down
Green: T400 tip pushed all the way down the stem​

Predictably, the less surface area the foam has in the ear canal, the less it absorbs sound and the less it dampens the ear canal resonance. The graph in green looks like it’s halfway between silicone and foam.

The annoying thing about these foam tips is that they start out with a shiny glaze coating which gets worn out with repeated use. It changes the acoustic properties of the foam, making it more absorbent. The S400 doesn’t have the glaze coating. It starts out rough and stays rough.

Another thing to consider is that maybe the Comply 400 series isn’t the best fit for the Moondrop Crescent. T500, S500, etc. might work better. The only one I have that slips on easily is the universal-fit Sport Pro model with Smart Core. Comply foam is relatively expensive, especially since they wear out. I should experiment with cheaper foam tips. We’ll see.





Yep, the material right at the opening of the nozzle damps the IEM’s tube resonances instead of the ear canal resonances. If we go the other way and remove the grille mesh altogether, we get this:


Moondrop Crescent, frequency response with grille mesh removed
Red: Stock tips
Green: Comply S400 tips​


Unlike the Sony MH1, there’s no foam plug in the tube in this one. It’s not hard to place the grill back in front of the tube when you’re done.​

The ear canal resonances happen when the distance to the eardrum is an integer multiple of half a wavelength. This corresponds to 7 kHz and 14 kHz in the graph. The grille mesh doesn’t damp those as much, but the super absorbent Comply S400 does. What’s left are the peaks at 3 kHz and 9 kHz. Additional damping at the tube opening will reduce the one at 3k and kill the one at 9k. In fact, it’s exactly what it looks like in your graph.

I don’t have 3M micropore tape at hand, but maybe it can be used instead of the grille mesh. I wonder what it will look like with one, two, three layers, possibly with pinholes to tweak the acoustic resistance of the micropore tape filter. A combination of micropore tape and foam tips might get the Crescent a smooth response that still preserves the energy in the top octave. It’ll still counts as a reversible mod because you can undo all of the changes.

If someone hates foam tips, just stick with silicone. As I mentioned earlier, the 7-8k peak is really there, and can be heard in sine sweeps. But the one at 7 kHz at least wasn’t too bad with most of the music I tried when I EQ’ed the peak in and compared the sound with it bypassed. You wrote that you got better results with Sony hybrid tips, and my measurement does show the peak being shorter and fatter. Maybe the Sony hybrid tip retains its slant surface inside the ear, so that the exposed surface isn’t always at the same distance to the eardrum.

Maybe there are silicone sleeves out there that work similarly, like diffusers instead of absorbers. There might be one with an unusual shape that spreads out and blunts the peak even better than the Sony hybrid tip. Another alternative is to find an insertion depth that avoids the problem frequencies.

I suspected Comply tips tame treble, but the measurements showing how well they do it still surprised me.
It also explains why I can bear the KZ AS10 and TRN v80 with those tips but not with other ones.

Thanks for the graphs. :)
 
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Mar 6, 2019 at 12:08 PM Post #1,413 of 10,667

paulindss

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I am going to take my moondrop kanas back this week

Was trying a dm6 but i didn't liked the sound.

I will try modding the regular kanas to match KPE bass response, otherwise i am going do try selling them.

@antdroid or @CoiL

Do you guys have any idea, and think It's possible? Is it hard to open the shell and take off and put back the filter? The one that regulate bass.
 
Mar 6, 2019 at 1:24 PM Post #1,414 of 10,667

ryaneagon

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I am going to take my moondrop kanas back this week

Was trying a dm6 but i didn't liked the sound.

I will try modding the regular kanas to match KPE bass response, otherwise i am going do try selling them.

@antdroid or @CoiL

Do you guys have any idea, and think It's possible? Is it hard to open the shell and take off and put back the filter? The one that regulate bass.

The Kanas has more of an elevated bass response correct? With the Pro being more even?
 
Mar 6, 2019 at 1:27 PM Post #1,415 of 10,667

paulindss

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Mar 6, 2019 at 2:23 PM Post #1,417 of 10,667

Nabillion_786

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Kanas are fine for me with back vent blocked, I am now using them much more than KP.

I understand @paulindss can't hear a difference between opened and closed back vents.
So what is the difference between back vent blocked regular kanas and the pro? Also which cable are you using with the regular kanas?
 
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Mar 6, 2019 at 2:45 PM Post #1,418 of 10,667

spion

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I tried it with the Crescent with Comply foam. With most music it’s not that noticeable unless you’re looking for it. At worst, it sounds like some hollow whistling. As for missing sparkle, I’ll take smooth and honest over fake sparkle resulting from the tall resonant peak at 7-8 kHz.

...

If someone hates foam tips, just stick with silicone. As I mentioned earlier, the 7-8k peak is really there, and can be heard in sine sweeps. But the one at 7 kHz at least wasn’t too bad with most of the music I tried when I EQ’ed the peak in and compared the sound with it bypassed. You wrote that you got better results with Sony hybrid tips, and my measurement does show the peak being shorter and fatter. Maybe the Sony hybrid tip retains its slant surface inside the ear, so that the exposed surface isn’t always at the same distance to the eardrum.

I agree with you the peak is definitely there. I will update my review accordingly. Yes I still maintain that it manages to be quite inoffensive but yes it colors the music with some sparkle (Which I kinda like :D)

yuriv said:
Maybe there are silicone sleeves out there that work similarly, like diffusers instead of absorbers. There might be one with an unusual shape that spreads out and blunts the peak even better than the Sony hybrid tip. Another alternative is to find an insertion depth that avoids the problem frequencies.

I think I'm getting really good results with my Sony MH1C tips partially inserted

upload_2019-3-6_19-28-32.png

uSound target compensated:

upload_2019-3-6_19-29-15.png

Indeed it seems these tips act a little bit like diffusers spreading out that treble energy over a larger area. They now sound like they maintained their brightness without being crispy. These do require a bit deeper insertion to get the peak at 7K, with slight discomfort... I'm not entirely sure I like :)

This is with Comply sport, usound compensated:

upload_2019-3-6_19-41-59.png

With them comfort is greatly improved, however there is some loss of significant treble around 9K. Which I could live with if foam tips weren't so bothersome to deal with :)

EDIT: Small breakthrough in modding the crescent! Squishing the tip spreads out treble energy further:

unknown.png


vs unsquished:

unknown.png


So a tip with a conical core, or a front mesh with a conical surface would probably result with very smooth and mh755-like treble :)
 
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Mar 6, 2019 at 3:06 PM Post #1,419 of 10,667

chickenmoon

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So what is the difference between back vent blocked regular kanas and the pro? Also which cable are you using with the regular kanas?

They are less unforgiving of thin mixes than KP. I use the stock/default cable.
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 12:54 AM Post #1,421 of 10,667

CoiL

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I will try modding the regular kanas to match KPE bass response, otherwise i am going do try selling them.
@antdroid or @CoiL
Do you guys have any idea, and think It's possible? Is it hard to open the shell and take off and put back the filter? The one that regulate bass.
I think it`s possible but why do You need to open shell? I have done it and tried different tricks with driver back venting and it doesn`t change anything!
I didn`t remove back vent fabric tho but tried using different materials and completely block it - no noticeable change to my ears and imho back vent of driver is tuned perfectly.
All the tuning is done by nozzle venting hole/fabric and unless someone opens up both and proves otherwise - I think they even use same drivers.

EDIT: Sorry I misunderstood. But I think it is possible to get it close to KPE.
By @chickenmoon impressions, it seems regular Kanas has littlebit different back filter fabric, if true - can be altered by blocking it more. KPE seems to have VERY tight fabric there that lets only minor air to pass (thus no noticeable difference if KPE back is blocked).
Tho, interesting that @paulindss can`t hear difference.
@antdroid doesn`t have regular Kanas and neither I, pity, can`t help You so well.
Take a look at @antdroid measurements with different materials, tips and venting, it helps You somewhat.
Kanas are fine for me with back vent blocked, I am now using them much more than KP.
I understand @paulindss can't hear a difference between opened and closed back vents.
Me neither, no difference to my ears. All the tuning seems to be done by front nozzle venting imo
Edit: Oh, sorry, You were talking about regular Kanas with back vent blocked vs. KPE.
9939660_l.jpg
 
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Mar 7, 2019 at 2:34 AM Post #1,422 of 10,667

surfgeorge

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Asked again for differences between P1 and KPE I did a comparison and again cam to the conclusion that I greatly prefered the KPE, UNTIL I tested on my newly acquired Sony ZX2 at moderate volume (the zX2 only get's the P1 to moderate levels)
That really surprised me because at that volume the KPE clearly lost against the P1.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mee...eviews-2nd-post.794787/page-213#post-14820464

Anyone else got such an experience that the KPE changes a lot with volume?
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 3:13 AM Post #1,423 of 10,667

Isloo

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Asked again for differences between P1 and KPE I did a comparison and again cam to the conclusion that I greatly prefered the KPE, UNTIL I tested on my newly acquired Sony ZX2 at moderate volume (the zX2 only get's the P1 to moderate levels)
That really surprised me because at that volume the KPE clearly lost against the P1.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mee...eviews-2nd-post.794787/page-213#post-14820464

Anyone else got such an experience that the KPE changes a lot with volume?

I have the Zx2, P1 and KPE's as well. I have to admit, I'm not really hearing what I understand you are hearing. In my view, the P1 are good, but they can't quite match the KPE.

If I don't adjust the volume while changing between the P1 and KPE, the sound is a bit too loud on the KPE for me, but I don't detect any distortion (if that is what you heard). As I hear it the KPE have noticeably better clarity and a bit more detail. Overall, they also sound more natural. That is not to say that the P1 are not good out of the ZX2, it's just that the KPE sound better to me. I tested the P1 both with normal trs cable and trrs cable, with basically the same results. The volume didn't really make much of a difference as the P1 are relatively hard to drive and I find the KPE benefit from a bit more power. Listening to both, I would describe the P1 as a less clear and detailed version of the KPE. I find the sound signatures of both surprisingly similar. I am using spiral dot tips on the P1 and Symbio W peeled tips on the KPE.
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 3:40 AM Post #1,424 of 10,667

CoiL

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Asked again for differences between P1 and KPE I did a comparison and again cam to the conclusion that I greatly prefered the KPE, UNTIL I tested on my newly acquired Sony ZX2 at moderate volume (the zX2 only get's the P1 to moderate levels)
That really surprised me because at that volume the KPE clearly lost against the P1.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mee...eviews-2nd-post.794787/page-213#post-14820464

Anyone else got such an experience that the KPE changes a lot with volume?
Interesting... P1 is ~50 Ohm and KPE is ~30 Ohm - from Your impressions/comparison :
P1 sounds great with the ZX2 at that volume. Clear, detailed, open, sparkly, with tight and solid bass. The KPE sounds mid and bass focused, somewhat veiled and the treble detail is hard to make out.
...I would think that it is impedance related but actually P1 should be harder to drive. How much is the output mA difference with Your sources? I`m not talking about output voltage but mA current.
Maybe that`s one difference along with KPE being very sensitive to source gear differences and sensitivity to different recordings regarding vol. level.
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 3:56 AM Post #1,425 of 10,667

chickenmoon

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Interesting... So have you tried out the kpe cable on the regular kanas? I know a few people have preferred that combo over the kpe.

No, I have not and neither do I intend to.

Me neither, no difference to my ears. All the tuning seems to be done by front nozzle venting imo
Edit: Oh, sorry, You were talking about regular Kanas with back vent blocked vs. KPE.

I also hear a clear difference blocking back vents on KP so either I am imagining things or there is a source issue at play.
 

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