The PENON official thread
Dec 22, 2023 at 2:51 PM Post #11,986 of 13,514
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Quattro vs Volt vs Aurora vs 10th

I’ve been a little busy with real life but Quattro has picked up about 130 hours on it in the meantime. Coming back to them after a short break, all I can say is Penon really know how to end the year with a bang.

So it’s time for some comparisons I owe. @anyone007 requested a comparo vs Volt vs Aurora but I may have gotten a bit carried away.

Treble

Quattro’s treble handling makes for superb timbral realism, harmonics and atmosphere.

Now I enjoy Aurora very much but have long lamented its treble rolloff - the fundamentals are all there but harmonics come across clipped at the highest registers. This becomes pretty obvious with the decay of hi-hats, cymbals and cowbells, and even more so once switching over to the Quattro.

Volt is famous for its relaxed lower treble and sounds darker up top than Quattro, but instrument harmonics likewise also sound incredibly rich and complete compared to Aurora.

So both Quattro and Volt feel more fully realised even though they handle treble very differently.

Quattro’s (and Volt’s) treble also feel more detailed, more resolving and better controlled than the 10th’s.

Mids

Quattro's mids are much more textured, detailed and persuasively natural than Volt’s or Aurora’s.

Compared to Quattro and Volt, Aurora's mids are noticeably drier, cleaner and thinner. Volt has the biggest, warmest mids of the three and they are very smooth, perhaps too smooth once you’ve listened to Quattro.

10th mids are tuned well but are let down by that graininess compared to Volt and Quattro.

Bass

When I first received Quattro, its bass made me think a little of Aurora.

For me, Aurora stands out for its incredible bass performance. It has the most bass of the three and it's very deep and able to convey pitch, tonality and texture all the way down to the lowest frequencies.

Quattro's bass is similar in character but its balancing is more in proportion with the rest of the frequency range. It also feels a little more controlled (not that the Aurora lacks in this department).

Volt's bass is clearly tuned more to support the mids - warmer, mid-bassier but less detailed and textured. Quattro and Aurora are simply light years ahead.

And comparing 2DD Penon bass with 2DD Penon bass, Quattro’s bass has considerably more impact, weight and texture than the 10th’s. The 10th can sound like it’s moving a lot of air, but I’m somehow left wanting more and deeper slam at the end of it. Quattro delivers that.

Another thing I noticed was how the Penon IEMs have better dynamics than the Aurora - soft or loud passages were properly soft or loud and were able to capture explosive dynamic swings in the music more comprehensively.

Impressions were done using Quattro with stock cable, Volt with Totem and the others with Rosenkranz Tinned Flex. And the same pair of Penon Liqueur orange tips for all of them.
 
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Dec 22, 2023 at 2:54 PM Post #11,987 of 13,514
IMG_1586.jpeg

Quattro vs Volt vs Aurora vs 10th

I’ve been a little busy with real life but Quattro has picked up about 130 hours on it in the meantime. Coming back to them after a short break, all I can say is Penon really know how to end the year with a bang.

So it’s time for some comparisons I owe. @anyone007 requested a comparo vs Volt vs Aurora but I may have gotten a bit carried away.

Treble

Quattro’s treble handling makes for superb timbral realism, harmonics and atmosphere.

Now I enjoy Aurora very much but have long lamented its treble rolloff - the fundamentals are all there but harmonics come across clipped at the highest registers. This becomes pretty obvious with the decay of hi-hats, cymbals and cowbells, and even more so once switching over to the Quattro.

Volt is famous for its relaxed lower treble and sounds darker up top than Quattro, but instrument harmonics likewise also sound incredibly rich and complete compared to Aurora.

So both Quattro and Volt feel more fully realised even though they handle treble very differently.

Quattro’s (and Volt’s) treble also feel more detailed, more resolving and better controlled than the 10th’s.

Mids

Quattro's mids are much more textured, detailed and persuasively natural than Volt’s or Aurora’s.

Compared to Quattro and Volt, Aurora's mids are noticeably drier, cleaner and thinner. Volt has the biggest, warmest mids of the three and they are very smooth, perhaps too smooth once you’ve listened to Quattro.

10th mids are tuned well but are let down by that graininess compared to Volt and Quattro.

Bass

When I first received Quattro, its bass made me think a little of Aurora.

For me, Aurora stands out for its incredible bass performance. It has the most bass of the three and it's very deep and able to convey pitch, tonality and texture all the way down to the lowest frequencies.

Quattro's bass is similar in character but its balancing is more in proportion with the rest of the frequency range. It also feels a little more controlled (not that the Aurora lacks in this department).

Volt's bass is clearly tuned more to support the mids - warmer, mid-bassier but less detailed and textured. Quattro and Aurora are simply light years ahead.

And comparing 2DD Penon bass with 2DD Penon bass, Quattro’s bass has considerably more impact, weight and texture than the 10th’s. The 10th can sound like it’s moving a lot of air, but I’m somehow left wanting more slam at the end of it. Quattro delivers that.

Another thing I noticed was how the Penon IEMs have better dynamics than the Aurora - soft or loud passages were properly soft or loud and were able to capture explosive dynamic swings in the music more comprehensively.

Impressions were done using Quattro with stock cable, Volt with Totem and the others with Rosenkranz Tinned Flex. And the same pair of Penon Liqueur orange tips for all of them.
Good stuff! From what you, Brokenhill, and everyone else has posted I'm pumped to listen to these!
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 3:14 PM Post #11,988 of 13,514
IMG_1586.jpeg

Quattro vs Volt vs Aurora vs 10th

I’ve been a little busy with real life but Quattro has picked up about 130 hours on it in the meantime. Coming back to them after a short break, all I can say is Penon really know how to end the year with a bang.

So it’s time for some comparisons I owe. @anyone007 requested a comparo vs Volt vs Aurora but I may have gotten a bit carried away.

Treble

Quattro’s treble handling makes for superb timbral realism, harmonics and atmosphere.

Now I enjoy Aurora very much but have long lamented its treble rolloff - the fundamentals are all there but harmonics come across clipped at the highest registers. This becomes pretty obvious with the decay of hi-hats, cymbals and cowbells, and even more so once switching over to the Quattro.

Volt is famous for its relaxed lower treble and sounds darker up top than Quattro, but instrument harmonics likewise also sound incredibly rich and complete compared to Aurora.

So both Quattro and Volt feel more fully realised even though they handle treble very differently.

Quattro’s (and Volt’s) treble also feel more detailed, more resolving and better controlled than the 10th’s.

Mids

Quattro's mids are much more textured, detailed and persuasively natural than Volt’s or Aurora’s.

Compared to Quattro and Volt, Aurora's mids are noticeably drier, cleaner and thinner. Volt has the biggest, warmest mids of the three and they are very smooth, perhaps too smooth once you’ve listened to Quattro.

10th mids are tuned well but are let down by that graininess compared to Volt and Quattro.

Bass

When I first received Quattro, its bass made me think a little of Aurora.

For me, Aurora stands out for its incredible bass performance. It has the most bass of the three and it's very deep and able to convey pitch, tonality and texture all the way down to the lowest frequencies.

Quattro's bass is similar in character but its balancing is more in proportion with the rest of the frequency range. It also feels a little more controlled (not that the Aurora lacks in this department).

Volt's bass is clearly tuned more to support the mids - warmer, mid-bassier but less detailed and textured. Quattro and Aurora are simply light years ahead.

And comparing 2DD Penon bass with 2DD Penon bass, Quattro’s bass has considerably more impact, weight and texture than the 10th’s. The 10th can sound like it’s moving a lot of air, but I’m somehow left wanting more and deeper slam at the end of it. Quattro delivers that.

Another thing I noticed was how the Penon IEMs have better dynamics than the Aurora - soft or loud passages were properly soft or loud and were able to capture explosive dynamic swings in the music more comprehensively.

Impressions were done using Quattro with stock cable, Volt with Totem and the others with Rosenkranz Tinned Flex. And the same pair of Penon Liqueur orange tips for all of them.
Excellent read!

I don't think I can contribute more than @-rowan- , with my 6-7hr Quattro. I'll try to do something similar this weekend with the DTE900, which has also been requested.
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 4:35 PM Post #11,989 of 13,514
I need the Quattro to be more than just 'a little better than the Serials" in order to pull the trigger. Pass.
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 4:43 PM Post #11,990 of 13,514
I need the Quattro to be more than just 'a little better than the Serials" in order to pull the trigger. Pass.
I don’t own the Serial, so the Quattro will be a standout for me. Out of curiosity, what makes it sound like there isn’t much space between them?
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 4:46 PM Post #11,991 of 13,514
I need the Quattro to be more than just 'a little better than the Serials" in order to pull the trigger. Pass.
I'd say it's a fair amount better, but obviously YMMV.
I will say unequivocally that the Quattro is top-notch.
 
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Dec 22, 2023 at 4:48 PM Post #11,992 of 13,514
I don’t own the Serial, so the Quattro will be a standout for me. Out of curiosity, what makes it sound like there isn’t much space between them?
It's what I have gathered after reading all the impressions etc. I really wanted to like the Serial, bought it twice...but I just didn't see the big deal about it
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 4:49 PM Post #11,993 of 13,514
Dec 22, 2023 at 5:46 PM Post #11,994 of 13,514
It's what I have gathered after reading all the impressions etc. I really wanted to like the Serial, bought it twice...but I just didn't see the big deal about it
That’s ok, it’s only natural that everything doesn’t click with everyone!
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 7:15 PM Post #11,995 of 13,514
Still alive and kickin’ - The Penon Serial

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Dec 22, 2023 at 7:30 PM Post #11,996 of 13,514
Dec 22, 2023 at 7:34 PM Post #11,997 of 13,514
My favorite looking IEM hands down.
There is something romantic to them. I cannot pick up what’s special, though. In all honesty, they are not getting the head time they might deserve, because of so many stuff coming in and going out, but the Serial are IEMs I am taking out of the collection for late night musical session and it’s a wonderful time everytime.
 
Dec 22, 2023 at 8:01 PM Post #11,998 of 13,514
Well the first time i got it I liked it, but I bought a bunch of other stuff that I was listening to so I figured I would let someone have it that was going to use it. I instantly regretted it and eventually bought them again, but it wasn't the same. I'm wondering if there was a blown driver in it? i put over 160+ on them but they were just too smooth and blase' sounding to me...and that's not how I remembered it the first time. I wish someone did a Penon tour of the Quattros, I would love to review them...
 
Dec 23, 2023 at 12:34 AM Post #11,999 of 13,514
Dropping by to say the Serial are still my favorite pick, even more months of trying neat IEMs on loan, and catch and release.

That's maybe 2 years now of them being favorite EDC?

I should be excited by the Quattro as the natural upgrade, but I can't really see how to go higher than my current enjoyment level, certainly not worth the money in my financial case for diminishing returns. There's not even a guarantee of "improved" sound given subjectivity and preferences. I'm sure any plusses in the Quattro would come with some elements I prefer on the Serial too, or compromises in another area.

So anyone desperately trying to find Penon reviews where the reviewer wasn't sent the IEM for free before writing 2 pages of free verse and dishing out 5 stars, I'm someone on a fairly tight budget who has had the opportunity to hear a lot of high end and midrange sets, and I keep coming back to this one.

One day I should get around to publishing a Serial review. Most likely a full 5/5 but there's just so much to say after a couple of years falling in and out of love, hard to prune back to a digestible format after all the experiences I've had with them. They deserve one though.
 
Dec 23, 2023 at 1:23 AM Post #12,000 of 13,514
I have to say I will keep the Serial for my 2024 purchase short list... who am I kidding, given everything I bought in 2023 I don't have the self control to have a ***short*** list... so it will be on the long list...!
 

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