The discovery thread!
Dec 28, 2022 at 3:48 PM Post #69,946 of 95,987
—Recap of KZ-Tia

ED4139AA-6C07-4552-B78B-EEA297ED7C76.jpeg

With this somehow 64 audio’s Tia technology

▶︎“open balanced armature”
▶︎single bore design
▶︎tia acoustic chamber

ZAS somehow mimicked 64 audio’s tia timbre into a budget-fi IEM.

Based on the graph, I don’t see how ZAS can mimic 64 Audio TIA. The unique element of 64 Audio TIA design is the “fake air” due to the massive boost centering at 15kHz. I don’t see anything like that.

If you want to see a mimic of TIA, look at this one: https://www.fiio.com/fw5

From the graph, you can see normal behaviour of a DLC dynamic driver. And then suddenly a big bump appears at 15kHz.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 4:31 PM Post #69,947 of 95,987
Based on the graph, I don’t see how ZAS can mimic 64 Audio TIA. The unique element of 64 Audio TIA design is the “fake air” due to the massive boost centering at 15kHz. I don’t see anything like that.

If you want to see a mimic of TIA, look at this one: https://www.fiio.com/fw5

From the graph, you can see normal behaviour of a DLC dynamic driver. And then suddenly a big bump appears at 15kHz.
Haha yea of course I said “somehow” indicated that fake air portion is not the part, the basic idea and structure that kz adoptrd to utilize the best out of Bellsing drivers.

FW5 looks interesting👀
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 4:44 PM Post #69,948 of 95,987
FW5 looks interesting👀
Very. I was shocked when I found myself automatically pack the FW5 in my bag to go out yesterday, leaving my precious M6U and JD7 set at home. Of course, I made the correction immediately, but still, it is good to have a pair of TWS that is not lacking in sound.

The software is annoying though. Will discuss in more detailed in full review.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 5:06 PM Post #69,949 of 95,987
Very. I was shocked when I found myself automatically pack the FW5 in my bag to go out yesterday, leaving my precious M6U and JD7 set at home. Of course, I made the correction immediately, but still, it is good to have a pair of TWS that is not lacking in sound.

The software is annoying though. Will discuss in more detailed in full review.
Haha FiiO software😅
I’m using their M11Pro since it has AK4497x2, with great pricing competitiveness but I’m feeling I should have go with DX160 as it has parametric EQ.
While hardware spec is top notch FiiO’s software could use some help that’s for sure.

Since I’ve been dating with FiiO from their junkyard first amp E3, they are my life long partner, that made up my decision going for FiiO instead of iBasso.
 
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Dec 28, 2022 at 5:25 PM Post #69,950 of 95,987
Ok so I got these things in my ears right now as I am typing. The SG-03s are stunners at their price. Seems more of a w shaped IEM vs the clear V shaped the prior SG-03 was. These are better balanced much like how Reecho did with their follow up to the SG-01 with the OVA edition.

SG-03s%20(2)-700x700.jpg


Former RG-03 was using a stout 10mm titanium plated dynamic with a N50 magnet and believe me even against todays bassiest IEMs it is a sub bass beast. However to get that much sub bass it had to give up on a bit of the lower mids to have it that much focussed.

The new RG-03s now uses an upgraded higher resolving 10mm LCP diaphragm with a stronger N52 magnet. Comes with an upgraded silver plated OFC cable.. And the tips these guys include are awesome. The best part these cost the same as the former SG-03 at $69.. These will easily compete with the best of the best single dynamics sold at double the price. Even without comparing agaist the older SG-03 the tuning is imporved on these. While it is clearly a colored w shaped tuning. These are way more versatile sounding to my ears due to the better tuning these have. For single dynamic fans. These are excellent and is mind boggling what you can buy for less than a $100 spot nowadays.

They most definitley gets a thumbs up from me, to say I am impressed is an understatement. The dynamism of these are just crazy good for the price, giving them a powerful sound with a lovely wide and deep sound stage to boot. Will have much more to say about them once I get them run in a bit but we have yet another serious contender that no one knows about..

If any of you guys are Reecho fans. Don't miss out on this one. These have to be their best single dynamic IEM to date.

Cool shells. I’m a sucker for all metal housings.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 5:40 PM Post #69,951 of 95,987
Kiwi Ears Cadenza
Based on it's tuning/graph I thought I would really like it in stock form. Surprisingly, I don't.

AS pointed out some flaws of it before. It feels like the dynamic driver is limited in it's performance. I also felt like the treble was uninspiring.... because it is. Things fall apart between 8-10kHz and makes it sound very generic. nothing special.

To correct things a bit, I add a bit of subbass and midbass and then try to flatten that treble region. I also switched the tips and cable like I always do.

HBB 2022 Target AutoEQ
Preamp: -6.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 28 Hz Gain 1.0 dB Q 1.200
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 140 Hz Gain -0.4 dB Q 0.600
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 770 Hz Gain 1.1 dB Q 1.200
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -1.2 dB Q 2.000
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain -3.2 dB Q 1.400
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 7800 Hz Gain -5.7 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 10000 Hz Gain 8.1 dB Q 1.100

With this applied it sounds much better, but the treble gets a bit too hot (driver can't hang/too much correction). Drop 10000 down a bit more, but you lose detail fast.
For $35 it's hard to complain, but there are two "Zero's" that compete in that price range and perform better.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 5:41 PM Post #69,952 of 95,987
Cool shells. I’m a sucker for all metal housings.

Its a good looking IEM. Chrome plating on an all metal surface. Seems hard as nails too. It is a fingerprint magnet but that should be a given due to the finish. The shell shape is the closest to a univeral custom shape for IEMs I have ever used. It looks a bit wonky but it fits great in my ears. Solid blocks of metal. Most importantly Reecho did a fine job with improving this vs their former SG-03 model. Less sub bass but better balanced overall.

Gotta hand it to these folks. They seem to be improving with each and every release of their IEMs. Thats always a good sign for an IEM manufacturer. Unlike some companies that make numerous versions of the same thing. These folks seems to be very deliberate in their releases and has a clear tuning angle for their IEMs. They know their tech as well. Definitiely worth getting a set. Solid all around if not just outright surprising.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 5:44 PM Post #69,953 of 95,987
Kiwi Ears Cadenza
Based on it's tuning/graph I thought I would really like it in stock form. Surprisingly, I don't.

AS pointed out some flaws of it before. It feels like the dynamic driver is limited in it's performance. I also felt like the treble was uninspiring.... because it is. Things fall apart between 8-10kHz and makes it sound very generic. nothing special.

To correct things a bit, I add a bit of subbass and midbass and then try to flatten that treble region. I also switched the tips and cable like I always do.

HBB 2022 Target AutoEQ
Preamp: -6.0 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 28 Hz Gain 1.0 dB Q 1.200
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 140 Hz Gain -0.4 dB Q 0.600
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 770 Hz Gain 1.1 dB Q 1.200
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -1.2 dB Q 2.000
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain -3.2 dB Q 1.400
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 7800 Hz Gain -5.7 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 10000 Hz Gain 8.1 dB Q 1.100

With this applied it sounds much better, but the treble gets a bit too hot (driver can't hang/too much correction). Drop 10000 down a bit more, but you lose detail fast.
For $35 it's hard to complain, but there are two "Zero's" that compete in that price range and perform better.
Great, another hardcore headfier verified “ok, not bad. Actually pretty good, but hmmm is this all Cadenza has to offer against Truthear Zero? Cadenza is slower than $23 Lea and $20 Chu” Type of imperfect combustion🫠
 
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Dec 28, 2022 at 5:57 PM Post #69,954 of 95,987
Dec 28, 2022 at 7:15 PM Post #69,956 of 95,987
Nice looking graph. Seems like the FW5 uses the same Knowles RAD high frequency BA as the Yume 2. That RAD driver in the Yume 2 sounds fantastic,

FW5


Indeed Knowles RAD 33518 deserves more attention to IEM brands the treble handling by RAD is very precise and nice feeling.

RAD is very famous in Custom IEM scenaries of which probably was ex-qdc See Audio engineer’s expertise.

Bravery also use the RAD for its one of a kind “lively air” that other IEM hardly offers.

I had my old score kept for Air evaluation lack of air for Bravery, but it was due to improper stock AZLA Xelastec Crystal, and insufficient HRTF personalization. I shifted Bravery’s curve by using PW Audio’s Legend II cable, and coupled it with TRI Clarion.


Now Bravery IS my go-to energetic Anole VX. Neutral-U shape with sub bass boost.

People looking for an excellent female vocal that’s not sticking in your head, Bravery may be your endgame. Bravery is micro-detail oriented with certain excitement added with additional “fake-airiness” and “lively sub bass”

I had a discussion with one of a Japanese IEM youtube reviewer (his review is in japanese but it has english cc if you enable it) who reviewed over 1200+ IEMs and is an IEM shop’s store manager, landed on Bravery as his endgame, after that 1200+ IEMs.


Ref:
Yume 2 vs Bravery OG (both use RAD)
C6A8702F-F178-4DBC-9E80-37AADAE0D485.png


Bravery OG vs Anole VX(default switches)
8A87E665-D656-4B58-BA3E-9EDE26308ADE.png
 
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Dec 28, 2022 at 7:25 PM Post #69,957 of 95,987
Indeed Knowles RAD 33518 deserves more attention to IEM brands the treble handling by RAD is very precise and nice feeling.

RAD is very famous in Custom IEM scenaries of which probably was ex-qdc See Audio engineer’s expertise.

Bravery also use the RAD for its one of a kind “lively air” that other IEM hardly offers.

I had my old score kept for Air evaluation lack of air for Bravery, but it was due to improper stock AZLA Xelastec Crystal, and insufficient HRTF personalization. I shifted Bravery’s curve by using PW Audio’s Legend II cable, and coupled it with TRI Clarion.

Now Bravery IS my go-to energetic Anole VX. Neutral-U shape with sub bass boost.
F70DD001-FDED-41C1-9ADD-7229AC6D39A8.jpeg

Ref:
Yume 2 vs Bravery OG (both use RAD)
C6A8702F-F178-4DBC-9E80-37AADAE0D485.png

Bravery OG vs Anole VX(default switches)
8A87E665-D656-4B58-BA3E-9EDE26308ADE.png
Is 33518 a budget Knowles driver? In my limited experience, Knowles SWFK and TWFK are more capable and refined, and I would even prefer recent KZ treble drivers to 33518. With KZ, the effect can be of using several drivers in a group, similar to the effect of a single violin sounding harsher than a violin section, where smooth silky sound can be achieved.
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 7:36 PM Post #69,958 of 95,987
Is 33518 a budget Knowles driver? In my limited experience, Knowles SWFK and TWFK are more capable and refined, and I would even prefer recent KZ treble drivers to 33518. With KZ, the effect can be of using several drivers in a group, similar to the effect of a single violin sounding harsher than a violin section, where smooth silky sound can be achieved.
I guess RAD 33518 is an old school driver used for 2 to 3 BA composition Custom IEMs. SWFK 31736 and TWFK 30017 are more modern ones defined for multi stack applications due to their low SNR rates. But RAD when applied properly with film capacitors, it could produce a very nice timbre that’s less “solid” when compared to those latest knowles tweeters. And for that, RAD still has its popularity in a very niche sector of IEM.

I checked mouser’s website but it looks like RAD 33518 is either out of production or discontinued…😢
 
Dec 28, 2022 at 7:40 PM Post #69,959 of 95,987
Dec 28, 2022 at 7:56 PM Post #69,960 of 95,987
I guess RAD 33518 is an old school driver used for 2 to 3 BA composition Custom IEMs. SWFK 31736 and TWFK 30017 are more modern ones defined for multi stack applications due to their low SNR rates. But RAD when applied properly with film capacitors, it could produce a very nice timbre that’s less “solid” when compared to those latest knowles tweeters. And for that, RAD still has its popularity in a very niche sector of IEM.

I checked mouser’s website but it looks like RAD 33518 is either out of production or discontinued…😢
33518 is newer, purportedly more automated production. 33518 can be found for $5-6 in AE and around.
It is possible that there may be good implementations of 33518.
From what I heard, starting with older Fiio F1H and F9p, I prefer SWFK and TWFK and their KZ imitations.
 

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