NEW - Campfire Comet and Atlas
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talmadge

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If your cable is terminated into 3.5 trs, i dont recommend getting such adapter, might cause a short circuit.

You can go from balanced to unbalanced using an adapter but not the other way around.
While I’m not disputing your point I have used such an adapter for over a year with no problem
 
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kingdixon

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While I’m not disputing your point I have used such an adapter for over a year with no problem
Well, i have stumbled upon this question like countless times on the forums, i think from all the replies i read, it is more of a general consensus to avoid doing so.

Iam not super technical but if i can remember the reasons correctly, first to get benefits of balanced the whole cycle should be balanced inputs/outputs/cable.

In addition, single ended 3 pole share ground for left and right, while balanced 4 pole (say 2.5) have a separate ground (L- R-) for each signal , so there might be a risk of shorting the 2 (L- R-) together and cause damage.

this was mentioned by experienced guys here on the forum and even some vendors.

So if there is no benefit sound wise + added risk, not worth it.

As for why its been working alright for you , thats beyond my knowledge i guess :D

You can try to search the forums for more info though.
 
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Rockwell75

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Well, i have stumbled upon this question like countless times on the forums, i think from all the replies i read, it is more of a general consensus to avoid doing so.

Iam not super technical but if i can remember the reasons correctly, first to get benefits of balanced the whole cycle should be balanced inputs/outputs/cable.

In addition, single ended 3 pole share ground for left and right, while balanced 4 pole (say 2.5) have a separate ground (L- R-) for each signal , so there might be a risk of shorting the 2 (L- R-) together and cause damage.

this was mentioned by experienced guys here on the forum and even some vendors.

So if there is no benefit sound wise + added risk, not worth it.

As for why its been working alright for you , thats beyond my knowledge i guess :D

You can try to search the forums for more info though.

I emailed Travis at Headphone Bar in Vancouver to get his perspective and he replied effectively the same thing:

"Balanced means there is a separate ground for each side from the plug to the earphone. The 3.5mm cable you have has a shared ground. The plug has L/R/ground rings on it.

The 2.5mm plug has L/ground/R/ground. The whole reason they do not use a 3.5mm plug for a balanced connector is to prevent people from plugging in the wrong type. You need a new cable that is balanced.

If you found an adaptor and tried it you can easily pooch your device or your earphones.

Its like boosting a car battery with +/- reversed. whoomp....dead product
." Emphasis mine.

Suffice to say, while there's no guarantee, I'm going to take his word for it and not try it. He also said: "We sell an affordable balanced cable on our site - the Brainwavz candy cane cable. It will get you the better amp output from your M9, but the cable does not sound as clear as your $300 silver 3.5mm cable, so it might be a bit of a wash." Which leaves me wondering if anyone around here can vouch for how much of an improvement in sound quality I would get if, say, I picked up a balanced cable of the same quality as the silver cable that comes stock with the Atlas.
 
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Lookout57

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The SXC 8 is an excellent choice for the Atlas that won't break the bank.

I found over the stock Silver Litz you get fuller bass, more details and a larger more 3D soundstage.
 
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Rockwell75

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The SXC 8 ...won't break the bank.
Lmao it's like $400 Canadian...or 20% of the Solaris I'm currently contemplating as a complement to the Atlas.
 
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Luisonic

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The SXC 8 is an excellent choice for the Atlas that won't break the bank.

I found over the stock Silver Litz you get fuller bass, more details and a larger more 3D soundstage.
This is what the impressions of others have lead me to think... I think I'm gonna have to get it!
 
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Luisonic

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Good to know thank-you! Though that still leaves my original question about whether going to a balanced cable (over the pure silver stock) on the Atlas is worth it.
And the reason I'm getting the 2.5 SXC 8 is that, from everything I've read, the balanced output in my sp1km really does sound better than the 3.5, so for me it's definitely worth it.
I do understand that, again from the many hours of studying I've done (had we studied like this other things...) it seems to very DAP dependent, meaning that some DAPs sound very (too) similar from both outputs, while others vary substantially.
Mine is of the second sort, so I'll take the leap on the cable, and wait (me too) to get the Solaris, maybe end of the year, or maybe even a nice pair of closed backs for my commutes... :wink:
 
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subguy812

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Can you describe the improvement in SQ with customs? Not only characteristics of improvement but amount of change? Thanks
Hey man...I am sorry for not replying sooner, but life has been happening here. The sound is more balanced, whether it because you are obtaining a near custom seal or the sound not being altered by a foam tip or a narrow bore, as an example. The amount of change is very subjective. If you notice, I state many times I currently have Final Audio or JVC tips on my Atlas, for example, it is because I enjoy that signature as well. To my ears, the custom tips seem to provide a more balanced sound across the board. For example, when you use a narrow bore tip on Atlas the bass is stronger as it slightly constricts a bit of the treble extension, it is that treble that keeps the bass in check. On the contrary, the wide bore tip allow for the treble extension to sparkle, to some sensitive folks almost a peaky treble. I am not a foam tip dude, but I would have to think it would be a bassy combo.
 
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subguy812

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I only have 2-pin upgraded cable so I cannot jump into the cable discussion. I would question the goal. Are you looking to change the sound? Are you looking for better ergonomics? I think the Atlas stock cable is one of the better stock cables I have used. I am not a huge cable guy anyway. I have a limit as to what I am willing to spend and actually don't enjoy reviewing cables so my supply of cables is slim. If you want to gain more from your Atlas, I would look at your DAP before I would look at the cables. IMO you will get more bang for your buck, if you invest the $250-350 and put it toward a quality DAP. The Atlas is a quality IEM with a quality cable, that combination makes it a great plug n play investment.
 
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tlcocks

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Hey man...I am sorry for not replying sooner, but life has been happening here. The sound is more balanced, whether it because you are obtaining a near custom seal or the sound not being altered by a foam tip or a narrow bore, as an example. The amount of change is very subjective. If you notice, I state many times I currently have Final Audio or JVC tips on my Atlas, for example, it is because I enjoy that signature as well. To my ears, the custom tips seem to provide a more balanced sound across the board. For example, when you use a narrow bore tip on Atlas the bass is stronger as it slightly constricts a bit of the treble extension, it is that treble that keeps the bass in check. On the contrary, the wide bore tip allow for the treble extension to sparkle, to some sensitive folks almost a peaky treble. I am not a foam tip dude, but I would have to think it would be a bassy combo.
Thank you. Very informative. I consider myself somewhat of a treble expert over the years, having paid a lot of attention to it given my belief that good quality treble extension in hi fi is crucial to the music not only sounding “right” from a hi fi perspective but also exciting. Having said all this, the Atlas does NOT have pesky treble, so long as the seal is good. If seal not good, treble can sound peaky.
 
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OG10

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I have now used my Atlas for a few days, and one tip for those who get it second hand or those who scuff the mirror like polish, is to use a bit of cape cod polish on the surface, it'll get it looking brand new.

Now.. sound. I only received my spiral dot tips today, until today I was a bit underwhelmed by them. The bass through Final E was way too much, and sounded like I was a in a horribly tuned club. The E's work great on the Solaris, but sound positively awful on the Atlas.

So after the Spiral Dots arrived, I am happy to say I will not be flipping these.. I will keep them with my Solaris. The Solaris is more holographic and far better for picking up tiny details from tracks, but for Punk / Metal music the recessed mid-bass sounded very weak. The Atlas picks up on this and makes things sound really good. I tried Idles - mother, and did an A/B Comparison, I can barely feel the thud of the kick drum on the Solaris, where as the Atlas is very clean and the right amount of weight is attached to the kick drum slam. It is also correctly laid back for this type of track. I also tried some DeadWeather and few other rock tracks, and in all instances the sound for the types of records was better on the Atlas.

The previous owner only had about 30hrs on them, so going to burn them in some more and shall come back impressions if there is more change.
 
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Rockwell75

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I have now used my Atlas for a few days, and one tip for those who get it second hand or those who scuff the mirror like polish, is to use a bit of cape cod polish on the surface, it'll get it looking brand new.

Now.. sound. I only received my spiral dot tips today, until today I was a bit underwhelmed by them. The bass through Final E was way too much, and sounded like I was a in a horribly tuned club. The E's work great on the Solaris, but sound positively awful on the Atlas.

So after the Spiral Dots arrived, I am happy to say I will not be flipping these.. I will keep them with my Solaris. The Solaris is more holographic and far better for picking up tiny details from tracks, but for Punk / Metal music the recessed mid-bass sounded very weak. The Atlas picks up on this and makes things sound really good. I tried Idles - mother, and did an A/B Comparison, I can barely feel the thud of the kick drum on the Solaris, where as the Atlas is very clean and the right amount of weight is attached to the kick drum slam. It is also correctly laid back for this type of track. I also tried some DeadWeather and few other rock tracks, and in all instances the sound for the types of records was better on the Atlas.

The previous owner only had about 30hrs on them, so going to burn them in some more and shall come back impressions if there is more change.
I really liked the Final E tips on the Atlas and found they sounded the best out of the 3 sets that came with it. I'm getting some Spiral Dots in the mail soon and I'm looking forward to trying them out. That being said I found that the bass becomes a little subdued and more disciplined as you get to ~60 hours and up. Curious to hear your experience on that. The more I read about the Solaris the more it seems that they would be the perfect complement to the Atlas and I'm hoping to invest in a pair one day.
 
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Lookout57

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I really liked the Final E tips on the Atlas and found they sounded the best out of the 3 sets that came with it. I'm getting some Spiral Dots in the mail soon and I'm looking forward to trying them out. That being said I found that the bass becomes a little subdued and more disciplined as you get to ~60 hours and up. Curious to hear your experience on that. The more I read about the Solaris the more it seems that they would be the perfect complement to the Atlas and I'm hoping to invest in a pair one day.
The Atlas is the perfect compliment to the Solaris. The Atlas for good time rocking music and the Solaris for the immersive musically experience.

Previously the matches were the Vega and Andromeda.
 
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Zabens

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You Atlas fanboys are making my life more and more confusing every day! Here's the deal. I currently own the Comets and the Cascades and I'm looking for a high end pair of iems. Of course I'm sticking with Campfire because my experiences with them have been nothing short of fantastic. I'm really torn between the Atlas and the Solaris. I listen to all genres of music, electronic, rock, blues/jazz, classical, hip hop, rap... so I need something that plays well with everything. Anybody have a good argument for either one? What'll be the better compliment to my current stable? Also going for the ZMF Aeolus for some open back goodness. Ideally I'll probably just try making the 4 hour drive up to Portland and demo everything if I can get away for a couple days, but I'm worried that might make my decision more difficult!
 
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