The discovery thread!
Aug 20, 2023 at 10:18 AM Post #85,216 of 96,184
Budget reference in the same vein as the Aria was the king of the $80 IEMs and hyped beyond hyped. You either like or not like.

I owned both and I do not own either today. There are other, perhaps, more polarizing but better to my ear choices. Titan S over the Aria, even with it's over the top pinna gain and The Mecha Warrior C2 over the Waner, if you can handle the lower treble. Yet both of the aforementioned hypebot iems are safe starting points for folks to find out what they like.

As for Crin, I do respect his ratings as they lay out over a possible spectrum, with some ranked really low and some really high but distrbuted in a way that resembles reality perhaps?

So many people here rank lots of stuff 4 or higher out of 5 but find all kind of faults. Kinda like the folk at Beer Advocate rating a beer 4 out of 5 but say they would never buy it again. Kinda makes the reviewer pretty much useless.
A good point.
I have Aria, and while not exactly my favourite tuning, I could clearly see that Aria was (and even now is) a good reference for DD tuning, and under-$100 IEMs.
Not that I expected a lot from Wan'er, and I bought it on positive impressions from Princess Le, but then it is still notably underwhelming relative to all recent budget IEMs that I tried: Hola, JIU, LinLong and even Princess Le. The latter had more tamed treble rather than trying to get more of it in Wan'er and hit the limitations of the driver.
I find the Wan'er absolutely amazing with vocals for the price. Of course it's not the most dynamic nor resolving. It also looks nice and fits well. Stock cable isn't good.
I will test later with Chesky's Spanish Harlem and Correnteza and few different sources.
Well, in current days of the tiers gap getting slimmer and slimmer - aren't they a "scam"*? Or at least most of them.

I pereonally have really hard time in past few weeks telling what is the edge that 2,5 years old flagship UM Mest OG has over 250$ Quintet. Such a stellar set

*not a scam from the dictionary description as you get what you pay for, but a "pseudo scam" in a way that they are completely unjustified in price. I mean based on the tuning or technicalities as compared to lower tier ones which tend to sometimes be tuned or built better or have better "technicalities"



Edit: obviously it is all purely subjective, but I strongly believe that if you strip a lot of IEMs from price tag and premium packaging a lot of tier lists would be shuffled heavily in a surprising ways. Minds and our own expectations and biases play a lot of tricks on us, me included :)
Judging by common experience of changing $1k+ cables to fine-tune the sound with those TOTLs - there must be a lot of scam and a lot of mass-hype to me.
Also, there are people whining about TOTLs worst then about KZ. So I am sure I enjoyed Krila more than many of them their totls.
Then, exactly, sending the same IEM to reviewers, in two different shells - one branded "KZ" and another by their favourite sponsoring brand - would be devastatingly revealing test.
Remember when KZ build authentic sub300$ killers?



Sure! I thought that I would get $600 worth of this deal and bought two :)

On a more serious note, AS12 was the case where the later version has been significantly revised. Earlier copies have brutal treble BAs (never used ever since) strongly dampened (and I removed the dampeners for the ultimate treble experience - my hardcore reference), while the BA bass was really nice.
The later version (changed quietly at some time) came much more refined.
In any case, AS16 pro largely supersedes for $45, at least as a starter all-BA IEM.
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 10:22 AM Post #85,217 of 96,184

Symphonium Audio Crimson​

The Next Standard.
Launch Edition of 30pcs
$1499USD

https://www.symphoniumaudio.com/pages/crimson


Screenshot 2023-08-20 162101.png


367476135_1011794336470129_8946545748310622617_n.jpg
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 10:40 AM Post #85,219 of 96,184
Without starting a war. I have been searching on google for how cables impact iem or headphones.

Is it true that the difference between thr cables for same iem can't be measured? Is that true?

I have done some measurements and comparisons between Purgatorio, Prion 4, and the stock cable of Elite. The result is impressive!
Disclaimer:
1. The cable was a prototype borrowed from Muiscteck,com, I also pre-ordered the cable last night after my audition and measurements.
2. The measurements were done through PC-> Soekris-> US4Pro->Mini DSP EARS. Please be noted EARS is not as accurate as the GARS and other industrial standards. And I am relatively new to the measurements, I just want to throw in my 2 cents.
3. The Prion 4 and the Elite were purchased without affiliation to any company. Prion 4 is about 2yrs old, stock cable never used, Purgatorio 1m old.
To me personally, a TOTL cable may not have to make significant changes to the FR. There are many other methods that can make substantial changes to the sound frequency balance than cable swap, such as direct EQ or ear pad rolling... I am viewing cables as a part of the signal transportation tool(as it should be), so a good cable should have very low distortion and more information delivered to the speakers/drivers. Purgatorio completes those objectives perfectly and surprisingly better than Prion 4.

1. FR comparison--Averaged after 5 tests
Dash line--Elite with Prion 4
Dot line-- Stock cable
Solid line--Purgatorio

Purgatorio stays loyal to the stock cable in terms of the FR balance. Prion 4 has a 2db bump from 30-40hz which cohere with my listening impressions. It is not my personal preference with Elite, since I think sub-bass is enough, and that little range of emphasis does not make a whole lot of difference. However, when pairing my another Prion 4 with Susvara, that sub-bass emphasis is more noticeable. But again FR changes are not that important for cable rolling for HPs IMO.

2. Distortion
Stock cable



Prion 4



Purgatorio



I am mainly viewing 2 lines: The black line--THD and the brown line at the bottom(the second and darker brown line)--Noise Floor.
Here is where Purgatorio surprised me. A lot! The noise floor and THD from Purgotorio are significantly lower than the other 2.

Purgatorio has the lowest average noise floor, and the difference is significant. Similar to THD... It is insane. And again, the measurement coheres with my listening impression. The Purgatorio is deadly quiet, and it is very similar to my Tara Labs Omega Live when it was new. I got the most amount of details from Purgatorio, no doubt. So I knew Purgatorio would win this fight before I did the measurements, but I didn't expect the gaps to be huge like this. Omega Live gone old quickly since it is pure copper. I sent it back to my Tara dealer for cable maintenance. I hope Purgatorio can last longer, I will redo the measurements in a year later. But man, I am going emotional when I see these numbers. Data does not tell everything, but it tells something...

3. Resonance/Decay

Stock waterfall





Prion 4 waterfall



Purgatorio waterfall





I am not an expert in analyzing these two graphs, but based on my experience, the waterfall can tell us the decay and resonance through the FR.

The measurements again cohered with my listening impressions(otherwise, I won't post these). The Prion 4 has more bass decay and resonance over the bass region. It has the most bass impact and sounds warmest and more relaxed. Prion 4 and Purgatorio have better and cleaner resonance than the stock cable, which is very noticeable. The stock cable sounds dry and colorless. The stock cable stops too quickly for cymbals, but with Purgatorio, the beautiful resonance lingered around. It is impossible to make such an improvement through EQ, the only other way I can imagine is to upgrade DAC. Purgatorio has a more evenly distributed energy than Prion 4. At the upper freq, Purgatorio sounds denser and more physical. It is very important to me as I listen to a lot of instrumental jazz and prog rock. The denser upper freq triggered my emotion the most.

I was looking for "the best" cable for Elite which can push the technical performance of Elite to 1266 and Susvara level, but retains the Elite's fantastic modern tuning. Purgatorio is ideal for me. I am thinking of buying two Purgatorio for my system, but my Susvara is in the stupid 2.5mm, and D8000pro is 3.5mm. IDK if HFM has the 2.5mm to 3.5mm upgrade program. That hurts.

Again, many thanks to @Eric Chong and @MusicTeck for letting me try and test this cable. I am sure Eric put lots of effort into this cable, and the material is undoubtedly top noche. It is a solid performer and solved my most significant issues with Elite. It is not just a beautiful cable with the classic Eletech hardware design; it sounds amazing too.
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 11:42 AM Post #85,221 of 96,184
I pereonally have really hard time in past few weeks telling what is the edge that 2,5 years old flagship UM Mest OG has over 250$ Quintet. Such a stellar set

The Kiwi ears Quintet is one of the best releases this year! IMO
You guys are slowly making me spend $250 I don’t need to spend…

Edit: Realistically I have no wants with the Canon II. So I’m just adding it to the list for a potential sale in November.
 
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Aug 20, 2023 at 12:42 PM Post #85,222 of 96,184
I sometimes think that iems are a bit like bicycles. you can buy bikes from $100 to $10k, but in reality a $200-300 bike will get you 90% of what the $10k bike does (just less quality and refinement). Then it's down to how healthy and powerful you are...

As you've observed, once the basics are covered, the rest is literally down to personal preferences and how good your hearing is.
Good analogy, but have you shopped for a bike in the last 10 years? I don't even think you can buy an entry level bike from main bike brands like Trek or Specialized for under $300. My last decade ago purchase was a simple one step up from the entry level. It was over $600 for a simple skinny tire Specialized bike path type.
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 12:55 PM Post #85,223 of 96,184
I don't know how to measure resolution or clarity difference :)
Without starting a war. I have been searching on google for how cables impact iem or headphones.

Is it true that the difference between thr cables for same iem can't be measured? Is that true?
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 1:01 PM Post #85,224 of 96,184
Kinera PhoenixCall are absolute stunners in terms of design. One of the most beautiful IEMs I've come across in recent memory, including the flagships. The tubing inside the cavity has similarities with Blessing2. Nothing in this price range looks as good.

2X2A2497.jpg

2X2A2494.jpg
2X2A2495.jpg
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 1:51 PM Post #85,226 of 96,184
Hello Dear Friends,

Today I posted my review for the Celest Phoenixcall. I loved the pair for all the glory, it not only looks beautiful but has a great technical performance part as well. Imaging and instrument positioning is simply top-notch. Timbre is a bit on the drier side, and the Bass could use some more punch, but I am happy with what I have here.

My complete review is here:
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/ki...river-tribrid-iems.26650/reviews#review-31540

9.jpg

8.jpg
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 2:21 PM Post #85,227 of 96,184
seems like the new gen bellsing BAs (29689BA) is already trickling down to more budget IEMs

CCA Pianist,
(1DD + 2BA, sound tube shells it seems)
($29 on discount, $39 normal)

1692491409665.jpeg

No FR graph, not much marketing material but its on sale in, https://www.kztws.com/products/cca-pianist
---



This is what i meant with KZ rep being very combative, but KZ company is oddly listening to feedback.

it seems they listening to feedback from Duo,
with multiple request for 10mm DD + 7mm DD pairing (instead of Duo's 7+7) and what possibly could be Bass EQ to deal with bass-lite complaints.

but it seems at $12 pricing, it seems they'll forgoes the soundtube shell
Sorry, I probably missed it somewhere…. Is the price $12 or is that a $12 discount off of the price?
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 2:35 PM Post #85,228 of 96,184
Me neither, but i believe in things that can be explained. That's the reason i dont believe in God. Il just wait until science prove that cables do matter
It is enough to believe in your own experience and to understand the cause-and-effect chains.
 
Aug 20, 2023 at 3:29 PM Post #85,230 of 96,184
Some surprises on the mail today.

So much time since I've been so exited to test an iem (last one was the MARGARITA)

FEBOS (Hisenior) OKAVANGO and 5P ultra (a SR5 side-grade)

MVIMG_20230820_210426-01.jpeg
Kind of excited to know more about this IEM (Okavango). Please tag me when you post some impressions and stuff.
 

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