The Fragrant Zither (TFZ) Reviews and Impressions Thread
Sep 26, 2019 at 10:57 PM Post #1,501 of 2,215

axhng

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Just received these.

tBD4H86.jpg

4EDzO3h.jpg
 
Sep 27, 2019 at 3:07 PM Post #1,502 of 2,215

Mindstorms

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It might sound weird but I haven't listened to them back to back nor have have I listened to either extensively as other IEMs I got at around the same time drew me in much more and got most of my listening time since then. I am afraid you just have to do with the graphs from me and rely on other people's impressions, sorry.
Friend thats why this site exist to share knoledge, if you review my post you will see i got in some nasty fights about people bashing other forum members about how does this sound? question it is subjective but you can share your impresions its helping to others! so dont ever feel bad fo that
 
Sep 28, 2019 at 9:43 PM Post #1,505 of 2,215

superuser1

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Revisited the King Pro recently, a TFZ classic indeed. :)
TFZ King Pro Review

Some better cables are in order as the stock ones are not the best IMO. It hinders with the fit which is a little dicey to begin with because of the weight of the shells. Great pair of iems!
 
Sep 28, 2019 at 10:22 PM Post #1,506 of 2,215

axhng

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Anything to share?
.

I'm still pretty new to this hobby and I've not tried that many IEMs, so apologies if i'm not that great at describing how it sound. This is also my first time trying something from TFZ, so it's probably easier to compare with another IEM I have around the same price range which is the KZ ZSX.

Won't touch on the packaging and all that much since most of you guys probably already know TFZ is so much better at those things, and the cable they've included is so much nicer than the KZ one.

Sound wise I feel like it's a fun, smooth, and a little warm. So more emphasis on the lower mids, and bass. Bass doesn't feel too bloated though, and maybe just a bit stronger than the ZSX. Highs is slightly elevated as well, but it doesn't sound quite as full bodied as the ZSX, and I think the treble are rolled off a bit, so it loses the sparkle that you get from certain instruments. ZSX I think has better treble extension too which gives the sound a bit more air to them. For the mids, I feel like it's a bit recessed on the S2 Pro, but it's probably just neutral and not as elevated the bass and trebles.

It's not as detailed sounding as the multi driver setup on the ZSX, but it's still has enough details to me, while still keeping that smoother sound. Overall, feels like it's a tuning that works better for like EDM, Rap, hiphop, pop, or any track with strong beats or a bass line? It's nice overall, but I don't think it's my cup of tea though cause I listen to quite a wide variety of genres.

Will have to test it a bit more. For now i'm just using my iMac and Note FE's 3.5mm output, and i'm noticing that the S2 Pro doesn't really do well with lower volumes. I need to give it more volume to make it come alive, if not it just sounds a bit lifeless, but I'm not a fan of always blasting high volumes too. Should be getting the Fiio M5 next week, so will test more then. For now I'm still kinda leaning towards the ZSX and the MH755 I have because it sounds a bit more balanced to me. Not like neutral sounding, but like just more balanced in how it present the bass, mids, highs. :/
 
Oct 1, 2019 at 1:42 PM Post #1,508 of 2,215

Assimilator702

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3DBEAED2-6837-4058-9F5E-27BE1321D2AA.jpeg
I just got my pair yesterday and they sounded great out of the box. Initial impressions are VERY positive. The White actually has a subtle pearl sparkle which gives it depth and not as over the top and flamboyant as the white sparkle version. We already have to deal with teddy bears. But at least it’s a nice shiny metal plate. Mine had a bit of glue residue on the bottom of the bear head. It wiped off with a piece of tissue. No scratching at all so it’s a quality plating. I wish the entire shell was the color of the metal plates. We can’t have it all.

I would venture that these are as good as the No. 3 to my ears. I won’t make a final evacuation until I get at least 60 hours of play time. But right off the bat I hear a less thick midbass presentation but very full sub bass that never leaves me wanting more. The bass guitar on all of the Hiromi tracks is very satisfying. Drumset sounds are a YES!! Deep sub bass hits are full but not too much over the top like for example the Pai Audio DR2 or the many OEM variants out there. I have the ones from Fancao Garden store on AE that sell for $22 FYI with the DX on the earpieces for reference. Amazing set that just happens to be $20 and a bassheads delight. Wide Bore tips from Tenmark cut the bass down just right and give all the treble which is clear and not guilty of siblance

Back to the TFZ S2 PRO.....Cymbals are done right. Again as a drummer that plays cymbals on a daily basis I can’t give any set a thumbs up that messes with this. There’s no siblance on the tracks I’ve demoed. A slight lack of extension on the top but nothing bothersome to me. Vocals and guitars are very nicely presented. Sarah McLachlan, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones all sound amazing. Mouth sounds all present. Little kick knack knocking studio sounds all accounted for. Steve Miller Ultimate Hits remastered sounds sublime. I hear many takes from set to set on this collection of tracks and some of them can be offensive. The TFZ S2 PRO is very well tuned for this collection of tracks.

I would say from my initial impressions from 5 to 6 hours of listening these( and I never listen to a new set for more than a minute until they have a good amount of hours on them) is they take the best attributes from each of the three TFZ sets I own and roll them into one best of set. It’s not quite as in your face as the T2 Galaxy and has less bass while still more than adequate for any genre. Less midbass thickness than the No. 3 but still does kick drums and bass guitars very nicely. It reminds me of My Love 2019 without the upper midbass peak and less bight top end.

MirrorBall from Sarah McLachlan which is one of the BEST live recordings ever produced sounds correct to me on the S2 PRO. EVERYTHING is there and it sounds good. The hihats sound better than the Moondrop KXXS. On the Moondrop the hihats are too far back and are very thin sounding with only the top end coming through. The S2 PRO gives me the meat of the cymbal which is the most important. Deep sub bass effects....check. Killer bass guitar tone and impact....check. Sarahs voice.....full and satisfying. Possibly not as forward as the No. 3 but time will tell as I have no serious criticisms with the vocals or guitar presentation. Guitars on Khemmis Hunted are thick, full and in your face but not too in your face. Back to MirrorBall. Sense of space in the arena is also very well done. It’s not as far back as KXXS but a bit closer to the stage. No. 3 you’re on the stage. A nice middle ground and gives the impression I’m at the show. These give a slightly wider stage than many sets I’ve tried lately.

Tool Fear Inoculum on the S2 PRO.......one word......YES please give me more. Opiate remaster.....these were meant to go together.



This is the first set that I popped into my ears out of the box and said......YES this is a good one. I can live with this one for every genre. Wether we adjust to a sound signature or not.....this one felt just right for me. If you lined the S2 PRO up with many budget $50 to $200 sets I’ve tried I wouldn’t categorically say the expensive ones were better across the board than the S2 PRO for what I value in an iem. So yes for me going from the KXXS to the S2 PRO doesnt make me feel I’m missing anything.

I know many people will skip this set due to the teddy bear graphics but don’t let that scare you away. This one is a keeper.
 
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Oct 1, 2019 at 5:32 PM Post #1,509 of 2,215

lgcubana

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I just got my pair yesterday and they sounded great out of the box. Initial impressions are VERY positive. The White actually has a subtle pearl sparkle which gives it depth and not as over the top and flamboyant as the white sparkle version. We already have to deal with teddy bears. But at least it’s a nice shiny metal plate. Mine had a bit of glue residue on the bottom of the near head. It it wiped off with a piece of tissue. No scratching at all so it’s a quality plating. I wish the entire shell was the color of the metal plates. We can’t have it all.

I would venture that these are as good as the No. 3 to my ears. I won’t make a final evacuation until I get at least 60 hours of play time. But right off the bat I hear a less thick midbass presentation but very full sub bass that never leaves me wanting more. The bass guitar on all of the Hiromi tracks is very satisfying. Drumset sounds are a YES!! Deep sub bass hits are full but not too much over the top like for example the Pai Audio DR2 or the many OEM variants out there. I have the ones from Fancao Garden store on AE that sell for $22 FYI with the DX on the earpieces for reference. Amazing set that just happens to be $20 and a bassheads delight. Wide Bore tips from Tenmark cut the bass down just right and give all the treble which is clear and not guilty of siblance

Back to the TFZ S2 PRO.....Cymbals are done right. Again as a drummer that plays cymbals on a daily basis I can’t give any set a thumbs up that messes with this. There’s no siblance on the tracks I’ve demoed. A slight lack of extension on the top but nothing bothersome to me. Vocals and guitars are very nicely presented. Sarah McLachlan, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones all sound amazing. Mouth sounds all present. Little kick knack knocking studio sounds all accounted for. Steve Miller Ultimate Hits remastered sounds sublime. I hear many takes from set to set on this collection of tracks and some of them can be offensive. The TFZ S2 PRO is very well tuned for this collection of tracks.

I would say from my initial impressions from 5 to 6 hours of listening these( and I never listen to a new set for more than a minute until they have a good amount of hours on them) is they take the best attributes from each of the three TFZ sets I own and roll them into one best of set. It’s not quite as in your face as the T2 Galaxy and has less bass while still more than adequate for any genre. Less midbass thickness than the No. 3 but still does kick drums and bass guitars very nicely. It reminds me of. My Love 2019 without the upper midbass peak and less bight top end.

MirrorBall from Sarah McLachlan which is one of the BEST live recordings ever produced sounds correct to me on the S2 PRO. EVERYTHING is there and it sounds good. The hihats sound better than the Moondrop KXXS. On the Moondrop the hihats are too far back and are very thin sounding with only the top end coming through. The S2 PRO gives me the meat of the cymbal which is the most important. Deep sub bass effects....check. Killer bass guitar tone and impact....check. Sarahs voice.....full and satisfying. Possibly not as forward as the No. 3 but time will tell as I have no serious criticisms with the vocals or guitar presentation. Guitars on Khemmis Hunted are thick, full and in your face but not too in your face. Back to MirrorBall. Sense of space in the arena is also very well done. It’s not as far back as KXXS but a. It closer to the stage. No. 3 you’re in the stage. A nice middle ground and gives the impression I’m at the show. These give a slightly wider stage than many sets I’ve tried lately.

Tool Fear Inoculum on the S2 PRO.......one word......YES please give me more. Opiate remaster.....these were meant to go together.



This is the first set that I popped into my ears out of the box and said......YES this is a good one. I can live with this one for every genre. Wether we adjust to a sound signature or not.....this one felt just right for me. If you lined the S2 PRO up with many budget $50 to $200 sets I’ve tried I wouldn’t categorically say the expensive ones were better across the board than the S2 PRO for what I value in an iem. So yes for me going from the KXXS to the S2 PRO does t make me feel I’m missing anything.

I know many people will skip this set due to the teddy bear graphics but don’t let that scare you away. This one is a keeper.
I pay no mind to the "jewel" in the TFZ MyLove 2019. But there is no way in the world that I'm going to get caught in public with a teddy bear in my ear, from the TFZ S2 PRO.. People might think I have a "Furry" fetish :ksc75smile:
TFZ vs TFZ.jpg
TFZ Teddy.jpg

or I'm using my child's earphones
 
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Oct 1, 2019 at 8:49 PM Post #1,511 of 2,215

baskingshark

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I just got my pair yesterday and they sounded great out of the box. Initial impressions are VERY positive. The White actually has a subtle pearl sparkle which gives it depth and not as over the top and flamboyant as the white sparkle version. We already have to deal with teddy bears. But at least it’s a nice shiny metal plate. Mine had a bit of glue residue on the bottom of the near head. It it wiped off with a piece of tissue. No scratching at all so it’s a quality plating. I wish the entire shell was the color of the metal plates. We can’t have it all.

I would venture that these are as good as the No. 3 to my ears. I won’t make a final evacuation until I get at least 60 hours of play time. But right off the bat I hear a less thick midbass presentation but very full sub bass that never leaves me wanting more. The bass guitar on all of the Hiromi tracks is very satisfying. Drumset sounds are a YES!! Deep sub bass hits are full but not too much over the top like for example the Pai Audio DR2 or the many OEM variants out there. I have the ones from Fancao Garden store on AE that sell for $22 FYI with the DX on the earpieces for reference. Amazing set that just happens to be $20 and a bassheads delight. Wide Bore tips from Tenmark cut the bass down just right and give all the treble which is clear and not guilty of siblance

Back to the TFZ S2 PRO.....Cymbals are done right. Again as a drummer that plays cymbals on a daily basis I can’t give any set a thumbs up that messes with this. There’s no siblance on the tracks I’ve demoed. A slight lack of extension on the top but nothing bothersome to me. Vocals and guitars are very nicely presented. Sarah McLachlan, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones all sound amazing. Mouth sounds all present. Little kick knack knocking studio sounds all accounted for. Steve Miller Ultimate Hits remastered sounds sublime. I hear many takes from set to set on this collection of tracks and some of them can be offensive. The TFZ S2 PRO is very well tuned for this collection of tracks.

I would say from my initial impressions from 5 to 6 hours of listening these( and I never listen to a new set for more than a minute until they have a good amount of hours on them) is they take the best attributes from each of the three TFZ sets I own and roll them into one best of set. It’s not quite as in your face as the T2 Galaxy and has less bass while still more than adequate for any genre. Less midbass thickness than the No. 3 but still does kick drums and bass guitars very nicely. It reminds me of. My Love 2019 without the upper midbass peak and less bight top end.

MirrorBall from Sarah McLachlan which is one of the BEST live recordings ever produced sounds correct to me on the S2 PRO. EVERYTHING is there and it sounds good. The hihats sound better than the Moondrop KXXS. On the Moondrop the hihats are too far back and are very thin sounding with only the top end coming through. The S2 PRO gives me the meat of the cymbal which is the most important. Deep sub bass effects....check. Killer bass guitar tone and impact....check. Sarahs voice.....full and satisfying. Possibly not as forward as the No. 3 but time will tell as I have no serious criticisms with the vocals or guitar presentation. Guitars on Khemmis Hunted are thick, full and in your face but not too in your face. Back to MirrorBall. Sense of space in the arena is also very well done. It’s not as far back as KXXS but a. It closer to the stage. No. 3 you’re in the stage. A nice middle ground and gives the impression I’m at the show. These give a slightly wider stage than many sets I’ve tried lately.

Tool Fear Inoculum on the S2 PRO.......one word......YES please give me more. Opiate remaster.....these were meant to go together.



This is the first set that I popped into my ears out of the box and said......YES this is a good one. I can live with this one for every genre. Wether we adjust to a sound signature or not.....this one felt just right for me. If you lined the S2 PRO up with many budget $50 to $200 sets I’ve tried I wouldn’t categorically say the expensive ones were better across the board than the S2 PRO for what I value in an iem. So yes for me going from the KXXS to the S2 PRO does t make me feel I’m missing anything.

I know many people will skip this set due to the teddy bear graphics but don’t let that scare you away. This one is a keeper.

Nice review, what's the difference between the TFZ S2 Pro and the non pro version (other than the teddy bear LOL)?
Seems coming up with Pro versions is all the rage now for the CHIFI companies.
 
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Oct 1, 2019 at 10:12 PM Post #1,512 of 2,215

Assimilator702

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Nice review, how does the TFZ S2 Pro compare to the non pro version (other than the teddy bear LOL)?
Seems coming up with Pro versions is all the rage now for the CHIFI companies.

I never had the non pro S2. I DO have the T2 Galaxy which according to Zpolt on YouTube are a bit better than the S2. The main difference being the S2 had a wide soundstage but not as good sub bass extension, forward mids and clear well balanced treble. So the T2 Galaxy is a slight improvement across the spectrum and it should considering the T2 Galaxy is the refinement of the Series 4 which was a peg higher than the Series 2.

I will say the S2 PRO is less bright than the T2 Galaxy and maybe not quite as dynamic. The bass isn’t as pronounced while still being very capable. It’s like a T2 Galaxy with a bit of the rough edges smoothed over. Some of those “edges” give the T2 Galaxy it’s exciting and engaging sound one of which is an emphasized upper midrange area which can get a bit painful with female vocals There is one track that can show a sets integration of all frequencies. Glass Animals Black Mambo off the Zaba release. You have the bass drum which is slightly hollow but with a nice solid impact along with a slappy head impact sound. Many sets give the “thud” but not the slap of the beater on the drum head. The S2 PRO does a respectable job of this. Also in the first segue there’s a low bass note release along with the vocalist opening his mouth and it’s represented respectfully. Not as detailed as CCA A10 but that set is tuned so bright it’s almost cheating when presenting small details.Those types of music details are all over the Charlotte Cardin BiG Boy EP and the S2 PRO is a great match. Deep bass, intimate female vocals with very clearly recorded Electronic percussion sound effects. All presented in a controlled and slightly reserved manner great for longer listening sessions.

So the best comparison between the S2 PRO and the T2 Galaxy would be the S2 PRO would be slightly less engaging, less bright overall but a safer listen over longer listening sessions. They aren’t deficient in any part of the bandwidth. And they’re good for every genre especially Electronic bass heavy music. Vocals slightly behind the bass but still full bodied and fairly detailed. The only genre I haven’t tried is classical. Maybe after the 60 hour mark since mine only have 33 hours on them.

All listening was done with wide bore Large stock tips which are one of my favorites on massive amount of Schiit power using mostly 44.1 FLAC or higher and a few 320K.

If my “review” seems disjointed I’m simply pulling note from memory as I performed my initial listening. Formal reviews aren’t my thing as I prefer a more organic flow that sometimes hits a brick wall as I go off on tangents. It’s more fun that way.
 
Oct 1, 2019 at 10:17 PM Post #1,513 of 2,215

baskingshark

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I never had the non pro S2. I DO have the T2 Galaxy which according to Zpolt on YouTube are a bit better than the S2. The main difference being the S2 had a wide soundstage but not as good sub bass extension, forward mids and clear well balanced treble. So the T2 Galaxy is a slight improvement across the spectrum and it should considering the T2 Galaxy is the refinement of the Series 4 which was a peg higher than the Series 2.

I will say the S2 PRO is less bright than the T2 Galaxy and maybe not quite as dynamic. The bass isn’t as pronounced while still being very capable. It’s like a T2 Galaxy with a bit of the rough edges smoothed over. Some of those “edges” give the T2 Galaxy it’s exciting and engaging sound one of which is an emphasized upper midrange area which can get a bit painful with female vocals There is one track that can show a sets integration of all frequencies. Glass Animals Black Mambo off the Zaba release. You have the bass drum which is slightly hollow but with a nice solid impact along with a slappy head impact sound. Many sets give the “thud” but not the slap of the beater on the drum head. The S2 PRO does a respectable job of this. Also in the first segue there’s a low bass note release along with the vocalist opening his mouth and it’s represented respectfully. Not as detailed as CCA A10 but that set is tuned so bright it’s almost cheating when presenting small details.Those types of music details are all over the Charlotte Cardin BiG Boy EP and the S2 PRO is a great match. Deep bass, intimate female vocals with very clearly recorded Electronic percussion sound effects. All presented in a controlled and slightly reserved manner great for longer listening sessions.

So the best comparison between the S2 PRO and the T2 Galaxy would be the S2 PRO would be slightly less engaging, less bright overall but a safer listen over longer listening sessions. They aren’t deficient in any part of the bandwidth. And they’re good for every genre especially Electronic bass heavy music. Vocals slightly behind the bass but still full bodied and fairly detailed. The only genre I haven’t tried is classical. Maybe after the 60 hour mark since mine only have 33 hours on them.

All listening was done with wide bore Large stock tips which are one of my favorites on massive amount of Schiit power using mostly 44.1 FLAC or higher and a few 320K.

If my “review” seems disjointed I’m simply pulling note from memory as I performed my initial listening. Formal reviews aren’t my thing as I prefer a more organic flow that sometimes hits a brick wall as I go off on tangents. It’s more fun that way.

Thanks, if u say it can match the No. 3 then this is something to look out for on 11/11. I find the 8 khz peak on the No. 3 to be a bit painful sometimes, especially with horns or trumpets. If this can dial down the treble, it looks like a good IEM option, and it is much cheaper than No. 3.
I listen to classical music occasionally, but I wouldn't use an IEM with elevated bass (like most of the TFZs) for this genre TBH, but I think other genres will be a good listen with the S2 Pro.
 
Oct 2, 2019 at 10:06 AM Post #1,514 of 2,215

dontcallmejan

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Willl upload pics once I get home.

I've had the S2 Pro since yesterday and I fking how it sounds. I like it better than the S2, T2, and No.3. I've had the King Pro long before but based on memory, the King Pro sounds more vshape.

I was on the edge to buy the S2 and T2 before but I disliked it because of annoying peaks and very mid bassy signature. I almost bought a No.3 but found it TOO bassy and a bit peaky for me.

My iem list on my profile isn't updated but I've had lots of iems pass through my hands.

The S2 pro sounds warm yet very balanced to be able to handle any genre I throw at it. I listen to a lot of genre from classical to rock to j pop.

Mid bass is slightly north of neutral (compared to the Fiio FA1) with just enough slam to be fun and engaging. The sub bass is deep yet controlled. The no.3, s2 and T2 is definite bassier for me, especially in the mid bass.

The uppper mids elavation is tastefully done without any annoying peaks and sibilance. This sounds a bit smoother than the 3 mentioned above but does not lack in air, extension and resolution whatsoever.

I find this better (sonically) than the no.3. Imo, the no.3 edges out on resolution. That's it.


EDIT: Additional info

They are sensitive. My FiiO FA1 needs 40 steps of volume while this needs only 22. Maybe they trigger the high impedance mode of the V30? But I don't see any indication of it being activated.

Also, they have driver flex.
 
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Oct 6, 2019 at 6:16 AM Post #1,515 of 2,215

Dessyboi

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I have ordered 2 pairs. 1 for myself and another for my mom...because the bear is really cute. I have heard pretty much about TFZ and wanted to try them out. (Bcos I'm a KZ fan wanting to see if TFZ does a better job as some claims to). Unfortunately, I totally forgot about the golden week break in China which would delay my parcel for a week? (Should arrive by the 12th). I was really looking forward to it and coincidentally I saw a dealer selling this yesterday while I was shopping and decided to drop in for a demo.

First impression:
Pretty much as people above whom tested them, the mids do sound really thin. I guess I could say it felt like having a conversation with another person standing say half a metre away from you with music playing at the background? Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that you barely hear anything in the "vocal" region, what I'm trying to say is that it is less pronounced. Which in my opinion is a downside. In fact, the vocals region is where the ears are sensitive to, that might also explain why it feels thinner because our brain might actually be expecting more "stimulus" in the region. With that being said, I didn't try using EQ to compensate the mids so I can't say much as of how it would affect as of now, but will definitely try EQing when my set arrives. The clarity of the vocals is pretty good, not harsh (usually allow happens in the higher vocal frequencies @8-10k? This region in most instances comes from female vocals) and good sibilance. The bass is not as strong as the KZs in my opinion (at least in comparison to ZS10pro), could be an effect from being drier and less punchy. The treble, in general, is nice, nothing spectacular.

The frequency response chart released by TFZ suggested some emphasis in the female vocals with the remaining spectrum to be generally flat, definitely not what I hear. In fact, I would say it is in fact generally falt throughout the whole spectrum. I think this earpiece is more like a "reference" earpiece where its' flat nature reflects the songs accurately as it was composed. Most of the earpieces in the market is somewhat "coloured" to give better audio experience in some genres of songs. So depending on if you are a hard-core audiophile looking at accuracy or hobbyist wanting to have better overall experience, you might like/dislike this.

Because this is just a short demo, I didn't try out some tricks that can improve audio experiences. And judging that it is newly launched and is just a demo, my guess would be that it hadn't been "burned in" or at least operated long enough to reflect its' true capability. I'm not here to debate about the need of the burn-in process, but from my own experience, burning in do make an impact on the DD especially the bass region and I would say hardly or probably not at all in affecting the BAs.

If you ask me if this is worth it base on first impression, yes and no... In comparison to KS 10pro, I would say no. In comparison to ZSN & ZSN pro, probably yes because of the less harsh nature in the vocals.

I will do a proper review maybe after using it for 3 days? One thing to take note of is that I tested the s2 pro with a flat tfz cable instead of the supposedly new upgraded silver-plated copper cable. Not sure how much it affects the experience.
 

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