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Totally agreed what he said +1
They sound perfect, just the small matter of being over twice what I can afford right now. Have just shelled out a load on other head-fi stuff so was ideally looking at a max of about £550. If money was no object then totally would get the Katana.
Perhaps @FullCircle can advise, but the Sage should be quite good, or if you would like a less prominent bass and more suitable for acoustic music, then the Savanna might be an option.
I would get the sage in that case
How are you finding them?
Enjoying them a lot, nicely balanced with great soundstage and details, yet a smoothness that makes them really easy to listen to. I really like the fit, but the way only 2 drivers are producing this level of sound quality is what is most impressive, especially since they are BA drivers.
After today try so many other current generation flagship.... there is just something magical to the K10
Kudos to you @FullCircle.... truely something withstand time and can truely consider a classic!
Have you heard the Encore?
I only heard it briefly... It is surely a succesor of the K10 soundstange and resolution department...
If I have the budget, I will surely upgrade to Encore
I doubt I will have the budget so have to be content with the K10. I was interested in your opinion that the K10 is a classic. You feel it has strengths over what you have heard of the Encore?
To my ear the K10 signature is just right..
Encore is worth to upgrade if you have the budget and wanted more resolution, detail, speration, soundstage and sparkle highs
But rest assure that K10 is still holds very strong in its place even now, as Encore is less forgiving to poor made tracks.
Yes. I don't feel too hard done by!
I have been very impressed with Encore both times I have heard it. Still prefer the K10 to anything else that I have heard other than the Encore.
I received a Pair of CIEM Katanas and a Pair of CIEM Dulce Bass' and wanted to share some impressions.
I placed the order around 3-4 months ago. I've had two pairs of IEMs before but never customs. One pair were Noble Savants which I liked the sound of but never felt comfortable wearing. I really had comfort issues with any IEM I tried and wanted to go the custom route. I have a need in my life for some IEMs but if I couldn't get comfortable I couldn't enjoy the music. So I finally bought the bullet and went to order some customs. I decided to go with Noble based on reputation, enjoyment of previous Savants, and physical appearance. I decided with the two pairs I ordered because they seemingly give you a variety of sound as well as the Dulce Bass' where available in Silicon which I really want to try due to anxiety that the acrylic wouldn't be as comfortable as I would hope.
I picked out two Wizard reprints and discussed with Brannen and made my order. Easy. I went to go get my impressions and it turns out my ear canals are very narrow. The lady had been doing this for years and told me it makes sense I couldn't get a good fit. She said there nothing wrong with it, that some people just have narrow canals. I sent my impressions to Noble and confirmed they made it and then I started to wait. Approximately 4 weeks after they got them Sunny emailed me to express concerns that they couldn't use Silicon for the Dulce Bass' and gave me the option of acrylic or to talk to Brannen about a refund. I decided to get them both acrylic but was a little disappointed. I was worried this might happen ever since I saw the impression of how narrow my ears canals were. Another week goes by and they told me I couldn't do the reprint I wanted for the Katanas for the same reason. I was dissapointed but again I understood why it was happening. My canal are really narrow. So I picked another reprint that I also really liked (honestly I could pick 40 reprints I really like) and began to wait again. A few weeks later Sunny said they were ready and going to ship soon. I was very excited.
I got them and went to work listening. I had purchased a Plussound cable that was terminated with a 4.4 balanced connector for my Sony Dap. I think it's good to explain where I'm coming from. I intend to do most listening with my Sony 1Z which I love. At home I have a nice speaker setup which honestly I would listen to most of the time at home if I didn't share a house with anyone. My wife and child object and certain times though which is why I'm into Head Fi. I have a Moon headamp and Sony Z1Rs and LCD3s which show you what time of sound I like. I had a pair of Senn HD800 but they were too fatiguing for my taste. I loved some features of them but couldn't listen for very long. I tried them with Tubes and SS just couldn't dig it. I think I prefer warmer sound. I bought the CIEMs for listening at work and in bed, as well as some travel.
I listened to the Katana's first. Balanced out of the Sony 1Z. I put them through the paces of the variety of music I listen to. I played some Modern Jazz recordings as well as older ones. I played Banda Magda, Jack DeJohnette (Hudson), Christian Scott (Ruler Rebel), Avishai Cohen (Into the Silence), Myra Melford (Snowy Egret), as well as others I can't quite remember. I played some older Jazz; Miles Davis (All of You, the 1960 Europe Tour), Mingus (Mingus x6), Jimmy Forrest, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, and much else. I played some rock; Allman Brothers, Lou Reed, Kraftwerk, Grateful Dead, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, etc. Some other stuff as well; Feist (Pleasure), the new Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan... I listened to some Bootleg recordings of Woody Shaw, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Joe Henderson, the Meters...
These titles were on a mix of mostly CD rips and some DSF files.
The conclusions I can draw are this. The Katanas are amazing and very satisfying on Good or Better recordings. I mean, they give a highly detailed, fast presentation which has less bass only when compared to my bass heavy arsenal of headphones. I mean, I only noticed them having less Bass with head to head comparisons but did not ever miss anything. The soundstage is nice but mostly the tone is beautiful and accurate. A lot of what I read about these headphones painted them like I have read about the HD800 but I didn't find this to be accurate. The level of detail is very high but never distracting, with the Sennheisers I found that it was. On Good and great recordings the sound maintains the tonality I am used to with my other gear with a faster presentation focusing less on Bass Slam which is highly enjoyable.
I had more reservations about the Katanas but really the only thing bad about them is they don't sound good on bad recordings. On recordings with noise, some HF distortion, or generrally just mediocre the Katana's do not cover up the things that make them bad. My copy of Lou Reed's Transformer is a CD from the early 90s or so. I don't remember when I bought it. It has a HF glare and generally sounded unpleasant. The Katana's do not mask this. On some FM Woody Shaw and Joe Henderson recordings from the late 70's the sound was good sometimes and less pleasant although listenable at others. I listen to a variety and don't always only have good recordings but other than that these things are great and I have a lot of trouble taking them off.
The Dulce Bass' sound is pretty different than the Katanas. I thought they would resemble my Z1r's and they are closer than the Katana's but not really. They also have been described pretty well on boards and reviews and my view of the sound is similar. Most people note that the Bass on these IEMs is not all about slam and more about sweetness(as the name suggests). I definitely agree. The main problem I have with these is that they aren't the Katana's. When you play them back to back the difference in level of detail is quickly missed. But I have put this to good use. Firstly, on the bad and Mediocre recordings the Dulce Bass allows them to be listenable. Also, on Rock recordings where detail isn't the name of the game the presentation is quite welcome. On mp3 recordings they glaze over the mediocrity of the recordings much better than the Katana's. I listened to a Dave Douglas radio show with variety of Jazz recordings on his Greenleaf podcast. Sounded good, on the Katanas I feel it would've been annoying. Lou Reed's Transformer sounded fine. I really should seek out an upgrade on that recording.
I've settled into mixing and matching this way. I listen to the Dulce Bass on my iPhone and the Katana's on my DAP. I listen to the decent and better recording on the DAP, and listen to Music podcasts, mediocre bootlegs, and other stuff on the iPhone. I see them as excellent compliments and am happy with both of them. The Dulce Bass' are only not impressive when compared to the Katana's.
But most importantly to me the comfort of these CIEMs (both of them) is great. I get the occasional ear itch or something but never really feel discomfort from them. This was why I couldn't use universals and part of me had the thought that I spent all this money and they would be uncomfortable. Not true at all.
And the appearance, you be the judge. I am very happy all around.
Very good, insightful impressions. I'm impressed that you are able to enjoy the strengths of a lower tier model rather than bemoan it's shortcomings.