Rockwell's Impressions, Reviews and philosophical discussion thread. Index & Current Favorites on first page.
Jul 21, 2021 at 7:10 PM Post #1,891 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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Thank-you for this thoughtful reply. I thought I'd respond to this here as it feels off topic in the Traillii thread.

I can immediately see how a warm, midbass-boosted source or IEM would benefit all of these tracks.

Yeah a lot of my music is like that :)


Morrissey is a fairly flat recording, zero sibilance, but his vocals aren't particularly weighty either. I couldn't find a decent version of the CCR track on Tidal, unless they're all just older recordings. Quite thin with typical analogue hiss from the era. Not too strident, though I can see where the shout can come in. The One Dove track is cool, must explore more, though I only saw that one album on Tidal. Vocals are set a bit back with this one, instruments more prominent. Quite smooth, no sibilance, but it teeters on bright. Dire Straits definitely the best recorded of all these tracks, typically well mastered, perfect vocal recording, great balance of instruments and vocals. Carmanah also well recorded, vocals much more forward in the mix. Another one I'd never heard of and really need to explore. Can imagine myself getting into this band. Also like the bass on this one - the only track of the five with any real weighty bass behind it, and easily my favourite as a result.

Sadly that is the only album One Dove ever recorded. I have much better versions of the Morrissey and (especially) the CCR album on flac so my perceptions are likewise probably colored by that. Carmanah is actually a local band to Vancouver Island, where I live. I met them in person a couple years ago when they came to my school to sit with our indigenous singing group for a workshop on song writing. The lead singer is also a classically trained violin player. They have a new album that is just being finished up right now actually.

It's funny you mention that the Carmannah album is the only of those tracks with any noteworthy bass. I picked those tracks based on vocals, as you asked, but for me the bass in the Dire Straits as well as in the Morrissey tracks are among the my favorite things about them-- but it's fully in the realm of mid-bass which just goes back to our individual preferences again.
Just goes to show how critical music choice is to our impressions. The differences between our frames of reference is not even night and day, it's a different week! I'm starting to think that unless two people are reviewing the same IEM with the same or similar music, they may as well be reviewing two different IEMs.

100% This is the main reason I rely on so much narrative in my reviews/impressions (in addition to my love of writing)-- it helps paint a clearer picture of where I'm coming from.

The mid-bass vs. sub-bass distinction is something I've been thinking through for a while and it's been actually something of a golden key for me in terms of understanding the differences between people's relative preferences. Typically when people talk about bass they're referring to sub-bass but for me and what I listen to the mid-bass thump has always been my priority. A good deal of my general affinity for CFA's house sound is that their IEMs tend to have varying degrees of a mid-bass bias over sub-bass-- which is the precise reason some people aren't fond of them. I remember politely arguing with you last summer about the bass in the Andromeda-- with you saying it was completely inadequate and me saying wasn't perfect but I could manage. This discrepancy in our respective perceptions stems, I think, from the fact that I was talking about the mid-bass, my general area of focus, and you the sub-bass.

Thanks for sharing and giving an insight into your musical world
🙏🏻

My pleasure sir-- thank-you for taking the time to make a thoughtful reply. It's conversations like these that help us relate to one another and get a better sense of where we're all coming from.

In other news:

My Oriolus Reborn is looking rather dapper in the PW #10 balanced cable I received in the mail this morning:

EC8B2AB6-261B-4A22-A336-5F6F788BC33A.JPEG

In other other news:

flahegfxorb41-2.jpg

I think we're all a little guilty of this at times haha
 
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Jul 21, 2021 at 10:25 PM Post #1,892 of 3,284

superachromat

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We have different words for different teachers I would say?

‘老师’ is in the context of your Maths teacher for example.

‘师父’ is used in the context for when someone is very profecient at particular craft and is more respectful if Im not wrong.

Then again I did not have a good opportunity to use Mandarin properly since 13 so 🤷‍♂️

That is accurate enough. :beerchug:
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 12:07 AM Post #1,893 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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Loving this 90s classic on my Reborn:

 
Jul 22, 2021 at 1:54 AM Post #1,894 of 3,284

endless402

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Listened to the percivali on my aurender/Dave setup for the first time. Overkill for sure. Not an ideal situation given the setup is for 2 channel so I’m hunched over to listen.

even wider soundstage, more bass punch, and transients are crisper and more detailed.

vocals are more neutral than the Hugo though, so I don’t find the vocals drawing me into the music. Sounds amazing with instrumentals though. Therefore I think the percivali pairs best with a warmer source.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 8:17 AM Post #1,895 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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Listened to the percivali on my aurender/Dave setup for the first time. Overkill for sure. Not an ideal situation given the setup is for 2 channel so I’m hunched over to listen.

even wider soundstage, more bass punch, and transients are crisper and more detailed.

vocals are more neutral than the Hugo though, so I don’t find the vocals drawing me into the music. Sounds amazing with instrumentals though. Therefore I think the percivali pairs best with a warmer source.

Are you still loving the Percivali overall?
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 9:34 AM Post #1,896 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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graph-4.png

I've been really curious about graphs of the Reborn, which as far as I know don't exist anywhere-- but I did find graphs of the MKii which by all accounts is sonically identical, or very close, to the Reborn. I'm showing it against the Solaris because graphs of Isa aren't available and prior to Isa the Solaris represented the closest thing to my ideal FR. It's also helpful that Reborn & Solaris have very similar hybrid driver configs. What I'm seeing here is pretty much very close to what my ears tell me. In Solaris there is mid-bass emphasis over sub-bass, vice versa on the Reborn. In my initial impressions I described the Reborn has occasionally lacking some mid-bass oomph and also having upper mids that are borderline too strident at times without ever coming off as shouty-- this also is reflected in this graph. One thing I appreciate about Oriolus IEMs is how they tend to have their global maxima around the upper mids before gradually sloping down into the highs. This seems to really work for me and based on this (and some advice I was given in another thread) I think I will try EQing Reborn up a dash around 2K and possibly also around 3-400.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 9:45 AM Post #1,897 of 3,284

8481

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Best mid-bass is still Thummim IMO.

Understanding mid-bass vs sub-bass thing was also what led me to understand what people mean when describing their thoughts.

On the Odin for example, I now realise I did not really gel with it cause it didn’t have much mid-bass. I also think this made upper mids sound shouty as there wasn’t enough ‘thump’ elsewhere to hold it back a lil. On the other hand, Odin’s subbass is absolutely delicious.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 10:06 AM Post #1,898 of 3,284

Tristy

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Gotta thank @Rockwell75 for this latest acquisition and making me aware of Amazon Japan. The medium Crystals sound unbelievable with the Z1R's so far, making them sound very natural (like a foam tip might) yet not sacrificing detail and comfort. Seems like a combination of the Earfits and the Xelastics to my ears... possibly one of my favourite tips so far given my very short listening impressions.
 

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Jul 22, 2021 at 10:32 AM Post #1,899 of 3,284

endless402

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Are you still loving the Percivali overall?

Yup it’s working great on my desktop setup! Ely got sold in two days. Just the Solaris left to sell.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 10:46 AM Post #1,900 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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Yup it’s working great on my desktop setup! Ely got sold in two days. Just the Solaris left to sell.

Nice. Were it not for the steep price tag I'd be all over it. For the moment though the Reborn, especially after applying the EQ profile suggested by @Bitsir in the thread, is presently fulfilling all the wishes of my heart.

Best mid-bass is still Thummim IMO.

Dorado is pretty special to me in that department. The solidity of the ceramic gives the bass response a density and grip that I haven't seen to the same extent anywhere else. That said, as I have remarked to @RTodd on a few occasions, if I were ever looking to one-up Dorado and budget wasn't a factor then the Thum is the first place I'd look.

Understanding mid-bass vs sub-bass thing was also what led me to understand what people mean when describing their thoughts.

Yup. I've never heard Thummim singled out for its mid-bass response before but in retrospect it makes perfect sense given the tastes of the folks I've seen most critical of it. This makes me want to hear it more than ever. Damn you. :p

On the Odin for example, I now realise I did not really gel with it cause it didn’t have much mid-bass. I also think this made upper mids sound shouty as there wasn’t enough ‘thump’ elsewhere to hold it back a lil. On the other hand, Odin’s subbass is absolutely delicious.

Yeah I really want to hear Odin but I would never take the blind on it because I'm not really into detail monsters as a rule and Odin's mid-bass/uppers-mid FR is a pretty much a scarecrow for me.

Gotta thank @Rockwell75 for this latest acquisition and making me aware of Amazon Japan. The medium Crystals sound unbelievable with the Z1R's so far making them sound very natural (like a foam tip might) yet not sacrificing detail and comfort. Seems like a combination of the Earfits and the Xelastics to my ears... possibly one of my favourite tips so far given my very short listening impressions.

Cheers man. Sednafit tips in general revolutionized the Z1R for me.
 
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Jul 22, 2021 at 11:01 AM Post #1,901 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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also think this made upper mids sound shouty as there wasn’t enough ‘thump’ elsewhere to hold it back a lil.

This comment warranted a second response. I heartily agree with this and it's one of the factors I'm identifying in the genius of Master Rao's tuning. As you indicate I think it is indeed true that upper mids need to be balanced by a certain parity with lower mids or mid-bass to attain maximum presence and clarity while avoiding being shouty and one of the things I think is masterful about Isa in particular is the way it finds a perfect parity between upper mids and mid-bass in that lovers of both get everything they need without anything being sacrificed.

On the other hand, Odin’s subbass is absolutely delicious.

I bet. The bass (and treble for that matter) on the Bravado MKii are deceptively excellent considering the price tier they're on.

Edit: Bit of trivia in light of my applying EQ to Reborn-- there have only been 3 IEMs I've ever owned that I felt no desire to EQ and they were: Andromeda 2020, Elysium & Isabellae.
 
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Jul 22, 2021 at 11:15 AM Post #1,902 of 3,284

HiFiHawaii808

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Wow lmao...it's funny how differently we can hear things. The comparative lack of mid-bass oomph (to my ears) is one of the Z1R's only drawbacks. This is the first thing that struck me when I'd go from the Solaris to the Z1R. Z1R sub-bass though is fathomless in extension and so liquid, powerful and smooth. YMMV etc.

In other news my PW #10 is out for delivery :D
I am wondering if we are just defining midbass and subbass differently. I was just going by my ear and not by a frequency range. So, I looked it up.

Subbass is typically between 20-60 hz
bass is between 60-250 hz

https://www.teachmeaudio.com/mixing/techniques/audio-spectrum#sub

Typically when I talk about subbass it is what I am eqing which is usually less than 100 hz. I love creating a subbass shelf of 100 hz. To me, midbass is between 100-250 hz.

If you look at the FR curves for the Z1R and LX, you see that in the 100-250hz range, the Z1R is relatively elevated and for less than 100hz, LX is elevated.

I actually did not look at the FR curves before I made my claim as I did it just by listening. But, the FR curves are consistent with how I hear it.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 11:15 AM Post #1,903 of 3,284

8481

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Yup. I've never heard Thummim singled out for its mid-bass response before but in retrospect it makes perfect sense given the tastes of the folks I've seen most critical of it. This makes me want to hear it more than ever. Damn you. :p

It's kind of wild after I realised VE8 has more subbass than Thummim but less mid-bass.

Which is also why I'm kind of looking for a classic DD iem with monster subbass l while having that good thump in the midbass.

Solaris was really close to that but I wanted more or both. The Penon Volt has been on my radar recently but I've been dragging my feet on getting them lol.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 11:52 AM Post #1,904 of 3,284

Rockwell75

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I am wondering if we are just defining midbass and subbass differently.

I don't think so (see below).

I was just going by my ear and not by a frequency range.

This is actually kind of funny for me to hear because for my first couple years recently doing this I was one of those guys who avoided looking at graphs so I could try and train my ears first. It's only comparatively recently that I've really attempted any serious analysis involving graphs.

Subbass is typically between 20-60 hz
bass is between 60-250 hz

https://www.teachmeaudio.com/mixing/techniques/audio-spectrum#sub

Typically when I talk about subbass it is what I am eqing which is usually less than 100 hz. I love creating a subbass shelf of 100 hz. To me, midbass is between 100-250 hz.

If you look at the FR curves for the Z1R and LX, you see that in the 100-250hz range, the Z1R is relatively elevated and for less than 100hz, LX is elevated.

I actually did not look at the FR curves before I made my claim as I did it just by listening. But, the FR curves are consistent with how I hear it.

I don't dispute any of what you're saying. I think our confusion here is not unlike that of those proverbial 5 blind boys who, when washing different parts of an elephant, were asked what an elephant was. The boy washing the tail said an elephant was like a rope extending to heaven. The boy washing the ears said an elephant is like two giant banana leaves. Their reports were contradictory because they they were each only describing a limited facet of the same thing.

The problem started with me labeling Z1R as "sub-bass king" without any further qualifications. For me this rating is to do with its peerless texture, liquidity and extension and is less about it's positioning relative to mid-bass in terms of quantity. Conversely, I find Z1R weaker in the mid-bass due to Z1R's more pronounced v-shape relative to something like Solaris. This can be seen in the following. For consistency's sake I will take mid-bass as being from 60-250 as you say. With this in mind note how Z1R has a more pronounced local maxima in the sub-bass region before dropping off more abruptly than Solaris which is more linear in general and maintains more presence from the mid-bass. This results in Solaris having more mid-bass oomph and, to my ears, a preferable response in that region which, to my ears, was often comparatively lacking in the Z1R.


graph-5.png

You, as you spelled out, were coming at it from a different angle, praising Z1R's mid-bass relative to something like the Legend X. Ultimately I don't think we're contradicting each other-- we're just looking at (and relatively accurately) describing different facets of the same elephant so to speak.

Which is also why I'm kind of looking for a classic DD iem with monster subbass l while having that good thump in the midbass.

Volt is nice but mids are weak sauce. I would love to hear your thoughts on Isa (and Dorado for that matter)...I think you actually might really enjoy the Honeydew as well.
 
Jul 22, 2021 at 1:03 PM Post #1,905 of 3,284

HiFiHawaii808

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I don't think so (see below).



This is actually kind of funny for me to hear because for my first couple years recently doing this I was one of those guys who avoided looking at graphs so I could try and train my ears first. It's only comparatively recently that I've really attempted any serious analysis involving graphs.



I don't dispute any of what you're saying. I think our confusion here is not unlike that of those proverbial 5 blind boys who, when washing different parts of an elephant, were asked what an elephant was. The boy washing the tail said an elephant was like a rope extending to heaven. The boy washing the ears said an elephant is like two giant banana leaves. Their reports were contradictory because they they were each only describing a limited facet of the same thing.

The problem started with me labeling Z1R as "sub-bass king" without any further qualifications. For me this rating is to do with its peerless texture, liquidity and extension and is less about it's positioning relative to mid-bass in terms of quantity. Conversely, I find Z1R weaker in the mid-bass due to Z1R's more pronounced v-shape relative to something like Solaris. This can be seen in the following. For consistency's sake I will take mid-bass as being from 60-250 as you say. With this in mind note how Z1R has a more pronounced local maxima in the sub-bass region before dropping off more abruptly than Solaris which is more linear in general and maintains more presence from the mid-bass. This results in Solaris having more mid-bass oomph and, to my ears, a preferable response in that region which, to my ears, was often comparatively lacking in the Z1R.


graph-5.png

You, as you spelled out, were coming at it from a different angle, praising Z1R's mid-bass relative to something like the Legend X. Ultimately I don't think we're contradicting each other-- we're just looking at (and relatively accurately) describing different facets of the same elephant so to speak.



Volt is nice but mids are weak sauce. I would love to hear your thoughts on Isa (and Dorado for that matter)...I think you actually might really enjoy the Honeydew as well.
Good analysis. I think you are right about how we are looking at it from a different point of view. I am even more interested in the reborn and maybe even the Solaris 2020 to compare them all to see which bass I like the best.

Just this month, I decided to compare the Hifiman headphones. I already owned the Ananda, which I really love. I saw an HE1000SE deal that was too good to be true, so I took it. Then, there was an Arya deal that was also too good to be true so I got that one, too. So, I am going to do a personal shoot out and keep one of them. Been listening to the Arya over the past 2 days and I like it a lot more than the Ananda. HE1000SE will probably arrive it 2 weeks.

I need to do what you did for the Oriolus IEMs. The way you and others have described their line up, That may be a trifecta of their own with the Traillii, Isabellae and Reborn. I like everything I've read about all 3 of them.
 

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