The discovery thread!
Nov 15, 2020 at 2:42 PM Post #51,826 of 61,597

Otto Motor

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All of this Moondrop talk made me reminiscent of the Crescent; I threw them in the drawer of regret, after only a couple of days. I didn’t find the playback to be good enough, to overcome the annoying, cable harmonics.

At the time, I was new to IEMs and was only connecting directly to my Note 4. In your review (of the Crescents) I noted, “hard to drive”; I’ll have to give them another shot, on my Qudelix-5k.
The Crescent are excellent. At the time, I found them sonically more appealing than the KPE. And when it came to the choice which of the two to pass on to the next reviewer, I opted for the KPE...good decision as the newer Starfield are the KPE with a dialled-now low end.

The Crescent may not hold up quite to today's standards by their relatively slower driver, but they have a great timbre and a tall soundstage...rare in budget models at the time...2 years ago...

But what makes the Crescent truly excellent is their timbre and their haptic...great metal shells.

To me, the Crescent have always been a premium model with a sloppy resolution.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 2:45 PM Post #51,827 of 61,597

RikudouGoku

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The Crescent are excellent. At the time, I found them sonically more appealing than the KPE. And when it came to the choice which of the two to pass on to the next reviewer, I opted for the KPE...good decision as the newer Starfield are the KPE with a dialled-now low end.

The Crescent may not hold up quite to today's standards by their relatively slower driver, but they have a great timbre and a tall soundstage...rare in budget models at the time...2 years ago...

But what makes the Crescent truly excellent is their timbre and their haptic...great metal shells.

To me, the Crescent have always been a premium model with a sloppy resolution.
The Crescent sounds similar to the Blon Bl-03 with that description.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 2:55 PM Post #51,828 of 61,597

kmmbd

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DAP Roundup
Since it's weekend and I had some time to compare all the DAPs in my collection, decided to give a brief overview of them all. Do note that I don't care about BT/WiFi and not having Android is a big plus in my book (I need battery life more than Tidal streaming of albums I already got 24-bit FLACs of).

Sony NW-A55 ($200)
It's a Sony. So they won't have the highest output power, nor will they measure that well. Despite all that - they will sound awesome, and the A55 is no exception. There's a caveat: you need to install a custom firmware (easily reversible) courtesy of MrWalkman but then you're all set. Best handling and UI among the lot, also has great battery life.

1605469550246.png1605469611819.png

Questyle QP1R ($800)
The best sounding DAP in my collection and the gap between this and the runner-up is rather substantial. Questyle hit the nail on the head with the QP1R, and then shot it in the foot with that atrocious UI and navigation system picked straight from the start of the century. Battery life is poor as well and there's no balanced out.
Then again, it doesn't need balanced out as the single-ended out wipes the floor with A&K SP1000M/AK380 and a certain Fiio M15 (one of the most overhyped DAPs on the face of the earth, but I digress). It does all that at around half the retail of those. Output can be a bit noisy with very sensitive IEMs but even then once the music starts playing you forget about those minute details.

1605469734109.pngIMG_4691.JPG

Cowon Plenue R2 ($600)
The most versatile DAP in my collection. Got a true balanced out that provides stellar separation on certain IEMs and practically convinced me to get a pair of balanced cables. The display is gorgeous, it's not as bulky as the QP1R and got very good battery life for a device of such class.
Then comes the negatives: a laughable BT 3.0 support (A2DP yay!) and a watered down single-ended output. Also, the output power isn't that ground-breaking and can't drive high impedance cans like HD650 to satisfying levels. Things get loud, but I lose the dynamics, so it's not really properly driven.

1605469840474.pngIMG_8395.JPG

Cowon Plenue V ($140)
It's a cute little DAP that has phenomenal battery life. In fact, it's got perhaps the best battery life in its price-class now. Output is warm-ish which is a welcome departure to the rest of the budget option with ES9218P chipset (most of them are too clinical/sterile in tone). The UI though runs at like 20fps and the display is pretty poor. I find myself picking up the Sony more often than these lately. These also have a memory limit of 200GB so if you have a large collection - perhaps not the most suitable option (not an issue for me).

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LG G7 ($250)
This is a phone, but it's also a very capable DAP. The signature is a bit too sterile for my tastes but it does pair well with warm IEMs. Good output power for the most part, immensely more usable than any DAP on the face of the planet and you can also make proper phone calls! It's very good even as a phone btw, so it might even convince you not to buy a DAP.

1605470042610.png


Fiio M6 ($140)
Nothing but a dumpster fire. One of the worst DAPs I've ever used. Buggy UI, unusable music player app, poor battery life, slow operation, middling sound quality... a complete mess.
I hate myself for buying this. Will probably sell it down the road once I'm done with the review.

1605470074229.png
 
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Nov 15, 2020 at 2:55 PM Post #51,829 of 61,597

Otto Motor

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We have to personally experience qualties. Yes the graph is representative and means something, but you can't listen to a graph. The qualities, very many people will comment on, and they are based on the experiential. I thank you for the review, but I need to get my personal qualitative impressions and then 'listen', to the consensus.....but thank you for being a first user and reporting your views.
Sure, but looking at MANY informed opinions is cheaper than forking out $40 :relaxed:...and this over and over again. I was lucky enough to get my units from Moondrop free of charge...in exchange of many hours of video production and review writing...and LISTENING. Interested to see whether you will find out the same.

Now on to the KBEAR Believe, a $159 single DD with a pure beryllium diaphragm....imported form Japan...and expensive...and difficult to implement. Very stiff material, the beta sounded like a lawnmower...driver speed way to fast. Anxious to try it out.

Only the Dunu Luna and the Final Audio A8000 sport pure beryllium divers.

IMG_2059.jpg
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 3:01 PM Post #51,830 of 61,597

RikudouGoku

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Sure, but looking at MANY informed opinions is cheaper than forking out $40 :relaxed:...and this over and over again. I was lucky enough to get my units from Moondrop free of charge...in exchange of many hours of video production and review writing...and LISTENING. Interested to see whether you will find out the same.

Now on to the KBEAR Believe, a $159 single DD with a pure beryllium diaphragm....imported form Japan...and expensive...and difficult to implement. Very stiff material, the beta sounded like a lawnmower...driver speed way to fast. Anxious to try it out.

Only the Dunu Luna and the Final Audio A8000 sport pure beryllium divers.

IMG_2059.jpg
Dont forget about the Periodic Audio BE!
It sounds.....like crap...yeah forget about it lol. :joy:
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 3:13 PM Post #51,831 of 61,597

dharmasteve

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Sure, but looking at MANY informed opinions is cheaper than forking out $40 :relaxed:...and this over and over again. I was lucky enough to get my units from Moondrop free of charge...in exchange of many hours of video production and review writing...and LISTENING. Interested to see whether you will find out the same.

Now on to the KBEAR Believe, a $159 single DD with a pure beryllium diaphragm....imported form Japan...and expensive...and difficult to implement. Very stiff material, the beta sounded like a lawnmower...driver speed way to fast. Anxious to try it out.

Only the Dunu Luna and the Final Audio A8000 sport pure beryllium divers.

I agree Otto... many viewpoints. On the Moondrop thread many did not notice the peak on the SSR. Some thought it was a really really good IEM some did not like the peaks. Those that hear the peaks are telling the truth, those that don't hear the peaks are telling the truth.
 
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Nov 15, 2020 at 3:20 PM Post #51,832 of 61,597

FreeWheelinAudioLuv2

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All of this Moondrop talk made me reminiscent of the Crescent; I threw them in the drawer of regret, after only a couple of days. I didn’t find the playback to be good enough, to overcome the annoying, cable harmonics.

At the time, I was new to IEMs and was only connecting directly to my Note 4. In your review (of the Crescents) I noted, “hard to drive”; I’ll have to give them another shot, on my Qudelix-5k.

The Crescents are indeed hard to drive, but on a good quality DAP/AMP, they deliver some really quality sound with excellent soundstage.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 3:36 PM Post #51,833 of 61,597

FreeWheelinAudioLuv2

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The Hiby R2 and LZ A7 are not friends. :triportsad:
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 4:09 PM Post #51,834 of 61,597

Otto Motor

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I agree Otto... many viewpoints. On the Moondrop thread many did not notice the peak on the SSR. Some thought it was a really really good IEM some did not like the peaks. Those that hear the peaks are telling the truth, those that don't hear the peaks are telling the truth.
That's interesting...in my SSR review I cited all the "hot shots" in this respect...

Moondrop SSR _Super Spaceship Reference_ Earphone Review I - Walking On The Moon • Audio Reviews.jpg


And while I fully agree that a graph has limited to no value of actual sound quality (timbre, dynamics, soundstage, driver speed..., but on quantity only), certain peaks can be a warning sign: too much is too much. For example, I would be inclined to give the earphone in the below graph a pass without lining up too long for a listening experience. And surely, different strokes for different folks, that's why a reviewer should write for all preferences and not just for their own.

And there is also that aforemented Fletcher Munson curve that creates different perceptions at different volumes.

Last but not least, sound perception relies a lot on mood, too, imo.

P.S. Typo in the red section has been corrected in the meantime.

image.png
 
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Nov 15, 2020 at 11:45 PM Post #51,835 of 61,597

FreeWheelinAudioLuv2

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i've gone back to my Hiby R5. The Hiby R2 was purchased for outdoor use and working out anyways, so it's loaded with music and ready for that type of use, but the R5 is so superior soundwise and plays so much nicer with the LZ A7, it was nice coming back to it. My ears are very happy.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 11:45 PM Post #51,836 of 61,597

Turbulance

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FC868AA0-AB2C-49FF-ADDC-7844E7E636BB.jpeg


I have just received my new Smabat Black Bat IEMs.

I thought I would share my unboxing with the group.

The IEMs are extremely comfortable and fit firmly in my ears. I doubt they would fall out. They have a single dynamic driver but with some form of graphene coating. The IEMs also have an acoustic tunnel. I gather this is similar to the ST-10 earbuds.

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Whatever Smabat is doing here I can say they done an excellent job because I was instantly impressed with the sound. I’ll wait for others to review these IEMs but I think Smabat have a winner with these Black Bats. I’ll just add that they have far exceeded my expectations, especially considering their price.

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Other than the IEMs the only other accessories supplied are a set tips (small and large, the medium tips are factory fitted on the IEMs) and a very nice cable. There isn’t anything else in the box, not even a QC certificate.

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Nov 16, 2020 at 12:23 AM Post #51,837 of 61,597

FreeWheelinAudioLuv2

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So are the Black Bat's the new budget basshead kings? from the reviews and comments, it sure sounds like it is.
 
Nov 16, 2020 at 10:12 AM Post #51,839 of 61,597

Cheaplad

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@Cheaplad How's that 3DT?
I would rather give it more time to burn-in. But allow me talk about some initial thoughts:

- The transparency is very good;
- It is with a rather balanced tuning with a slight emphasis on the high. I like how it handles female vocals and as well as cymbal sounds;
- On the other hand (end), it is not bassy at all. The bass is detailed but the extension of sub-bass is just wanting. I hope the burn-in would make it better later on;
- The fit is to me perfect. I actually couldn’t hear much from the outside world when I rode the tube;
- It is not easy to drive. Using high gain on my Cayin N3Pro tube UL mode is a good choice;
- It is cable-dependent, or, in other words, the cable choice would change the sound in a more discernible way;
- The stock cable is called “just forget about it” - the soundstage is rather narrow with the stock cable;
- Using my ALO SXC-8 cable, the soundstage has widen quite a bit;
- The metal nozzles are too short which could not hold the Final Type-E tips;
- the look is unbelievably gorgeous!

Suitable for violin / female vocals / drum and bass music.
 
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Nov 16, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #51,840 of 61,597

RikudouGoku

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Got my Koss KSC75, awesome sound and they are very comfortable (barely feel them). I am just 16 years too late in discovering them lol.


Also went and ordered my last purchase of 2020 (hopefully....):

Sony XBA-N3
Sony MDR-1AM2



So I got these coming:

Yincrow RW-9
Blon Bl-01
Tri Through (6x)
Toneking Dendroaspis Viridis
Shuoer Tape Pro
Sony XBA-N3
Sony MDR-1AM2
 

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