The PENON official thread
Feb 9, 2024 at 9:19 PM Post #12,916 of 13,513
How do people (like Redcarmoose above) have such huge signatures?? Mine is a small fraction of the length but if I try to add even just one more line I get an error saying it's too long.

What gives?
Yah, me too...
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 2:50 AM Post #12,917 of 13,513
Well, I am happy to say this is the iem I have been dreaming of for a while now, and is exactly what I wanted the Serial to be. The Quattro is my ideal sound sig, and then some. It sounds great from my RU7 powered by my iMac 27" streaming with Roon. I closed my eyes while listening earlier and I forgot I was listening to iems several times, as they sounded like full sized headphones on certain tracks. So far, I am seriously impressed. In fact, I am so impressed I plan to get a good DAP eventually to see how much more I can squeeze out of them, as I hear some very very good sound on high gain with my RU7 dongle powered by a full sized computer, and I can only imagine how good it will sound from a more powerful source.

Congrats!

I haven’t actually tried the RU7 myself (because I haven’t been in the market for dongles for a long time) but I’ve heard a lot about how it carries a lot of the flavour of the N7, which is what I primarily use the Quattro with these days. The N7 has textured deep-reaching sub bass that synergizes very well with Quattro and may or may not explain why I haven’t been able to hear the bleed or muddiness that some have pointed out (because I’m frankly allergic to those things). The main drawback to the N7 imo is the (relatively) weak amp section when used on its own, so it spends 99.5% of the time hooked up to the Tsuranagi, which also plays to the Quattro’s obvious timbral strengths.

If I were to do it all again now though, R8 II would be a strong all-in-one contender. I didn’t have the Quattro with me when I tried it but its presentation is quite similar to the N7, except its sub bass is more prominent and it seems to drive IEMs better. (Really not a fan of the stainless steel and alcantara though - both magnets for fingerprints and gunk and difficult to keep spotless.)

Btw I’m not suggesting that anyone spend kilobucks on a source for a $400 iem. Quattro can be driven just fine by the Tail. So my comments are really only for anyone already in the market a higher end rig, which Quattro may or may not be part of.

Two sessions that were supposed to last about 30 minutes each turned into hours of being lost in Quattro yesterday and last night. That's what happens with this iem for me every time I listen. It is very addictive with musicality that soars way above its price.

That happened to me. I already loved the Quattro on the ISN C2, but changing to the ASOS cable yesterday took it to a totally new level. The bass is refined, and the separation and clarity is vastly improved, without any harshness.

I've experienced this a few times with Quattro. I just get lost in the music and time flies by.

The longest session I had with Quattro was for an entire night, slept, then 5 more hours the next day.

This has happened to me time and again. My first session - straight out of the box - ended up lasting 7 hours with only a short break in between. Sure, I’m equally capable of leaving it unattended on the burner for a few dozen hours. But all I need to do is pick it up on the pretext of listening to something briefly and before I know it, I’ve lost a couple of hours again.

I’ve also been rediscovering a lot of music in my library because it makes me just want to continue listening and let it play right through the folders.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 7:02 AM Post #12,918 of 13,513
Currently burning-in my new pair of Quattro, and I am already in love. :ksc75smile: I have been out of the iem game for the past year or so, as I just started preferring the grander and weightier presentation I get with full sized headphones. Well, I am happy to say this is the iem I have been dreaming of for a while now, and is exactly what I wanted the Serial to be. The Quattro is my ideal sound sig, and then some. It sounds great from my RU7 powered by my iMac 27" streaming with Roon. I closed my eyes while listening earlier and I forgot I was listening to iems several times, as they sounded like full sized headphones on certain tracks. So far, I am seriously impressed. In fact, I am so impressed I plan to get a good DAP eventually to see how much more I can squeeze out of them, as I hear some very very good sound on high gain with my RU7 dongle powered by a full sized computer, and I can only imagine how good it will sound from a more powerful source.

These iems are drop dead gorgeous, and fit my ears like a glove. I have to say the stock cable is one of the nicest cables I have ever seen, and I own and have owned quite a few very expensive aftermarket cables from big name companies. Heck, it reminds me the most of a $700 EA cable I had at one time, with its build quality and feel. Overall, this is a killer deal on a vary unique yet capable iem, with an excellent stock cable and tip selection.

I do already have a pair of Penon Orange tips of the way, and have read great things about them. I would love to know if anyone has any other recommendations or favorite tips to use on their Quattro?

Happy listening fellow Penon fans, it's good to be back!

My Quattros arrived a few days ago, came in here to post my thoughts and you've basically done it for me! Owning a couple of 1-2DDs, DD/BA hybrids, and a planar, and being very much in favour of EQ to adjust sound rather than purchasing new sets just for the tuning, I knew I wanted my next purchase to be something radically different to what I have. The 4DDs of the Quattros have exceeded all expectations, in concert with their unique and borderline revelatory sound signature.

I run these 4.4mm through my JCally AP10 (good power for a budget dongle, but still a budget dongle), and they are providing some of the greatest musical delights I've had outside of a live show. The warmest, lushest mids I've ever heard, floating in a sea of full, engaging bass, all driven by the best tonality and timbre I've heard in an IEM. What is also really impressive is the soundstage/imaging; I've been going over so much of my library with these, and am constantly surprised by the unexpected places each beautifully rendered instrument appears from. I know the treble on these is a subject of debate, and I would say that I agree these are not for treble-heads. These are for mids lovers first and foremost, particularly those who love their music to envelop and wash over them, rather than analytically picking out details. Maybe I'd be hearing more up top with a more powerful source, but what I have now is so beautiful I can't say I care too much.

Now for the potentially more controversial parts:
  • Tips: thoroughly agree that (like all IEMs?) tip choice is very important for these. Interestingly, rather than trying to bring out more details and highs with silicon tips (which they certainly do), I actually have preferred to enhance the Quattro's individuality with foam tips (Moondrop's being my preferred ones). Although it means it's less versatile in terms of what it can play back (more on that in a bit), I feel like foam plays more to its strengths for me, enhancing the warm, musical presentation to levels I didn't believe possible.
  • Cables: I'm not sharing this to challenge anyone's existing opinions, but only to add another data point for prospective purchasers relatively new to the hobby who are looking where to spend their money: having recently acquired a variety of cables with different materials at different price points, I don't believe they make a meaningful difference. Sure, I often hear a difference after cable swapping, but having done so many A/B comparisons I don't believe the results are reproducible enough to make claims about the objective sound qualities of cables and for me, I am leaning towards attributing the changes to be only those of mental processing. I'd much rather tweak sound with EQ, which I have full faith in and control over. The only thing I've found consistently to improve the sound of the Quattros is using a balanced termination rather than 3.5 mm, to get maximum power out of my dongle.
    • The Quattros sound fantastic with the stock cable to me. That said, my only disappointment with the IEMs has been the QC on the cable I was given, which arrived with some manufacturing flaws. These things of course happen; I've notified Penon so fingers crossed their customer service will sort that out.
  • Sources: I don't have enough sources to comment on this, but as alluded, I do think power is important. The Quattros sound decent with 3.5 mm out of e.g. a Jcally JM6 Pro, but it's only through my AP10 (less than $50 dongle) on high gain through 4.4 mm that they blow my mind. @Wes S I'd be really interested to hear how upgrading your source works out for you, if you do take that plunge, to see if I can get even more out of this wonderful set :)
  • Burn-in: I don't think I'll ever be able to add anything useful on this; all I can say is that they sounded amazing the moment I put them in my ears, and now sound no better or worse after 50 hours or so of playback. It's always a good idea to give a set time to see how your ears, brain and opinions change, but the Quattros haven't convinced me of the importance of burn-in just yet.
  • Song choice: this is what I think is most important. Rather than any of the above, I think "library rolling" is what these really deserve from the listener. I'm fortunate in that for my library and tastes, the Quattros provide the best presentation of ~80% of my library vs. my current IEMs (specifically the Canon II, OG Canons, Performer 5, S12 Pros), but I can see it's not the best for everything. Some examples: (note I'm open to the fact these could change with a more powerful source and so would be interested to hear others' thoughts!):
    • The amazing: So many choices to go here, but most vocal tracks with a layered sound and a distinct bass presence are fantastic with these. Although not an artist I listen to much, I always thought After Hours by the Weeknd was a good song, but the Quattros turn it into the truly sublime.
    • The interesting: Mutual Core by Björk is a song with vastly different dynamics in the verses and chorus. The Quattros handles the gentle verses stunningly, but I find it doesn't reach quite low enough for the thumping chorus and falls short there compared to some of my other IEMs. It's possible they would reach deeper into that sub-bass with more power, though.
    • The not-so-great: First and foremost, I think the warm, thick presentation is not great for most metal I've tried, which comes across as muddy. Occasionally, some tracks of other genres will disappoint for reasons I'm not sure of, however. For example, I think the Quattros are great for most prog rock (albeit sometimes making it sound more analogue than other sets I have), but I find it struggles with one of my 'desert island discs', Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, with the timbre seeming off and unsatisfying. This is definitely improved with silicon tips, but as mentioned before, I personally prefer the foam tips to enhance the playback of the great many tracks that the Quattro excels at.
All-in-all, the Quattros are everything I wanted and more. I've got an order in for the TSMR-X, so hopefully they should fill in the gaps the Quattro leaves (having a tighter and deeper bass presentation, more technicalities/details, better playback of genres like metal). After that, think my next purchase will be the Fan 2's so I have a cheaper set I feel happy leaving the house with that don't need as much power as these. Cheers everyone for the many insights I've gleaned from hours reading all the reviews and discussions on this site!
 
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Feb 10, 2024 at 7:17 AM Post #12,919 of 13,513
Congrats!

I haven’t actually tried the RU7 myself (because I haven’t been in the market for dongles for a long time) but I’ve heard a lot about how it carries a lot of the flavour of the N7, which is what I primarily use the Quattro with these days. The N7 has textured deep-reaching sub bass that synergizes very well with Quattro and may or may not explain why I haven’t been able to hear the bleed or muddiness that some have pointed out (because I’m frankly allergic to those things). The main drawback to the N7 imo is the (relatively) weak amp section when used on its own, so it spends 99.5% of the time hooked up to the Tsuranagi, which also plays to the Quattro’s obvious timbral strengths.

If I were to do it all again now though, R8 II would be a strong all-in-one contender. I didn’t have the Quattro with me when I tried it but its presentation is quite similar to the N7, except its sub bass is more prominent and it seems to drive IEMs better. (Really not a fan of the stainless steel and alcantara though - both magnets for fingerprints and gunk and difficult to keep spotless.)

Btw I’m not suggesting that anyone spend kilobucks on a source for a $400 iem. Quattro can be driven just fine by the Tail. So my comments are really only for anyone already in the market a higher end rig, which Quattro may or may not be part of.







This has happened to me time and again. My first session - straight out of the box - ended up lasting 7 hours with only a short break in between. Sure, I’m equally capable of leaving it unattended on the burner for a few dozen hours. But all I need to do is pick it up on the pretext of listening to something briefly and before I know it, I’ve lost a couple of hours again.

I’ve also been rediscovering a lot of music in my library because it makes me just want to continue listening and let it play right through the folders.
Thanks for all the info, your help is much appreciated! I ended up listening with my Quattro the entire day yesterday, and could not stop listening. They are such a fantastic iem, and especially for someone like me who values a prominent midrange and deep, weighty bass with good texture. What has actaully surprised me the most is the treble, and it's more present to me than I was assuming based off what many have claimed. In fact, for my preferences (I am not a treble head at all) it's as much as I would ever want. I can't find a single flaw, and I absolutely love this iem!

Do you still use the Penon Liqueur Orange Tips on your Quattro?

Also, I just looked up the Tsuranagi, and that looks like one heck of an amp!
 
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Feb 10, 2024 at 9:39 AM Post #12,920 of 13,513
  • : this is what I think is most important. Rather than any of the above, I think "library rolling" is what these really deserve from the listener. I'm fortunate in that for my library and tastes, the Quattros provide the best presentation of ~80% of my library vs. my current IEMs (specifically the Canon II, OG Canons, Performer 5, S12 Pros), but I can see it's not the best for everything. Some examples: (note I'm open to the fact these could change with a more powerful source and so would be interested to hear others' thoughts!):

I quote this paragraph because you refer to a very popular IEM that I also own and enjoy very much. I connect it to a Xiaomi 12 with a tiny dongle such as the TC35C model from ddHifi, great! With all this, I use the Poweramp as a player and also like you, I have a very good command of the EQ (I have it set to 15 bands). I love equalizing.

I'm telling you all this so you can try a small and easy DIY, if you haven't done it already, with your S12 Pro. It involves removing the filter sponges that are immediately under the anti-wax grid that is in each in-ear channel. Try the white eartips with black core that came in the original kit. Hey, amazing! You will debut a new IEM. With that little dongle I mentioned I can never go beyond 70% volume.


Any help count on me.
I hope I don't dirty the thread.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 12:39 PM Post #12,921 of 13,513
The Quattros sound fantastic with the stock cable to me. That said, my only disappointment with the IEMs has been the QC on the cable I was given, which arrived with some manufacturing flaws. These things of course happen; I've notified Penon so fingers crossed their customer service will sort that out.

Bummer - if only because this happened in the middle of their biggest, longest holiday. If it’s a manufacturing flaw I’m pretty sure they will sort it out once they’re back and have had some time to catch up with the inevitable backlog.

I’ve had to send a couple of things back over the years I’ve been purchasing from them and they’ve managed to make it right each time, and swiftly. These things happen, as you say, and what’s important is customer service that will take care of it.

The stock cable is great. I don’t always agree with their stock pairings but they got this one right.

Thanks for all the info, your help is much appreciated! I ended up listening with my Quattro the entire day yesterday, and could not stop listening. They are such a fantastic iem, and especially for someone like me who values a prominent midrange and deep, weighty bass with good texture. What has actaully surprised me the most is the treble, and it's more present to me than I was assuming based off what many have claimed. In fact, for my preferences (I am not a treble head at all) it's as much as I would ever want. I can't find a single flaw, and I absolutely love this iem!

I used to be more of a treblehead in a past life and I still notice it when I don’t get quite enough treble for my preferences (Aurora for one, or even Serial) but I can’t say that it has been the case at all with Quattro even if they are hardly “analytical”.

Do you still use the Penon Liqueur Orange Tips on your Quattro?

Yes, still the orange tips. It occurred to me after you asked, that I’ve changed up every part of the Quattro chain except the tips. Still the best match for timbre. I guess that when I find something that fits, I can be boring like that.

Speaking of orange tips…

DA4A8174-96DF-4E17-83EF-3C84550C0E62.jpeg


Kung Hey Fatt Choy to @Penon and all headfiers who celebrate it.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 1:46 PM Post #12,922 of 13,513
Bummer - if only because this happened in the middle of their biggest, longest holiday. If it’s a manufacturing flaw I’m pretty sure they will sort it out once they’re back and have had some time to catch up with the inevitable backlog.

I’ve had to send a couple of things back over the years I’ve been purchasing from them and they’ve managed to make it right each time, and swiftly. These things happen, as you say, and what’s important is customer service that will take care of it.

The stock cable is great. I don’t always agree with their stock pairings but they got this one right.



I used to be more of a treblehead in a past life and I still notice it when I don’t get quite enough treble for my preferences (Aurora for one, or even Serial) but I can’t say that it has been the case at all with Quattro even if they are hardly “analytical”.



Yes, still the orange tips. It occurred to me after you asked, that I’ve changed up every part of the Quattro chain except the tips. Still the best match for timbre. I guess that when I find something that fits, I can be boring like that.

Speaking of orange tips…

DA4A8174-96DF-4E17-83EF-3C84550C0E62.jpeg

Kung Hey Fatt Choy to @Penon and all headfiers who celebrate it.
I'm surprised no one is talking about the black liqueur tips which work perfectly with Quattro as well. I, for one, feel a tad more low bass with black.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 2:20 PM Post #12,923 of 13,513
I'm surprised no one is talking about the black liqueur tips which work perfectly with Quattro as well. I, for one, feel a tad more low bass with black.
Huge fan of the black ones (dont have the orange), but I actually wasn't sure about them at first. Now I'd say they have the most play time with the Quattro's, followed by maybe the H570 and Azla Crystals.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 3:01 PM Post #12,924 of 13,513
I'm surprised no one is talking about the black liqueur tips which work perfectly with Quattro as well. I, for one, feel a tad more low bass with black.

I did - here and elsewhere :)

I like both, just that I prefer the orange slightly more with Quattro for timbre and the black for bringing a bit more bass, sound density and crispness to Neo3.
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 5:15 PM Post #12,925 of 13,513
I'm surprised no one is talking about the black liqueur tips which work perfectly with Quattro as well. I, for one, feel a tad more low bass with black.
A few weeks ago I was doing several tests between both Penon Liquor and the Dunu S&S, in the Quattro, and the differences were so subtle that I didn't dare to write them down. I am convinced that it would not pass a blind test on which one is which (possibly it would know which S&S are due to the difference in the insertion). In my humble opinion, and warning that the differences are minimal, for me:
  • Bass: Dunu>Black>Orange
  • Percussive texture: D=B>O
  • Mids and vocals: D=O>B
  • Comfort B=O>D
  • Insertion D>O=B
 
Feb 10, 2024 at 5:46 PM Post #12,926 of 13,513
A few weeks ago I was doing several tests between both Penon Liquor and the Dunu S&S, in the Quattro, and the differences were so subtle that I didn't dare to write them down. I am convinced that it would not pass a blind test on which one is which (possibly it would know which S&S are due to the difference in the insertion). In my humble opinion, and warning that the differences are minimal, for me:
  • Bass: Dunu>Black>Orange
  • Percussive texture: D=B>O
  • Mids and vocals: D=O>B
  • Comfort B=O>D
  • Insertion D>O=B
Dunus longer fit seems to increase the bass perception for IEMs. I think the orange is a bit better than the Dunus for mids however. Sounds better balanced. But pretty close to how I hear em as well. I also agree the tip differences are subtle more than definitive.
 
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Feb 10, 2024 at 9:43 PM Post #12,927 of 13,513
A few weeks ago I was doing several tests between both Penon Liquor and the Dunu S&S, in the Quattro, and the differences were so subtle that I didn't dare to write them down. I am convinced that it would not pass a blind test on which one is which (possibly it would know which S&S are due to the difference in the insertion). In my humble opinion, and warning that the differences are minimal, for me:
  • Bass: Dunu>Black>Orange
  • Percussive texture: D=B>O
  • Mids and vocals: D=O>B
  • Comfort B=O>D
  • Insertion D>O=B
Ya know, I have some of those Dunu tips and was wondering where to try them. Thanks!
 
Feb 11, 2024 at 4:33 AM Post #12,928 of 13,513
Comparing the XL Orange and Black Penon Liqueur tips using "At the Purchasers Options", Rhiannon Giddens, with the TM X IEM, there is a deep drum and bass guitar intro. It takes a lot of concentration, and plenty of repetitive listening. They are very close, too close to make a big difference, but I 'thought' the Black tips had mildly firmer edges to bass notes, I also thought I could hear slightly different textures to the short drum intro and preferred the texture of the Orange drum hits....slightly more realistic. Insertion is hard to totally get exactly the same and it is a 'take with a pinch of salt' exercise, which could easily be imagination. They are both excellent tips and to find a 15.5mm tip that is wearable is so good. Both keep a good dome shape to help bass resonances. I used the HiBy R6III as source and an XINHS mixed Silver/Copper cable. Tested with and without bass dynamics switched on.
 
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Feb 11, 2024 at 10:21 AM Post #12,929 of 13,513
I am convinced that it would not pass a blind test on which one is which (possibly it would know which S&S are due to the difference in the insertion). In my humble opinion, and warning that the differences are minimal, for me:
  • Bass: Dunu>Black>Orange
  • Percussive texture: D=B>O
  • Mids and vocals: D=O>B
  • Comfort B=O>D
  • Insertion D>O=B

This is super fascinating for me because I couldn’t get a fit at all with the S&S. I was so excited when they went on sale because I was using the inverted tip mod with a few Penon IEMs at the time, so I bought the S&S in a few sizes, only to discover that I couldn’t get a seal with any of them. I should try them again, only that I don’t quite know where they are anymore. The black and orange comparisons align with mine though.

Insertion is hard to totally get exactly the same and it is a 'take with a pinch of salt' exercise, which could easily be imagination.

Insertion is indeed different because the material of the orange one is perceptibly softer and more supple and easier to insert, so I can even size down for deeper insertion like I do with Quattro. The black one tends to have to sit more shallowly for me and therefore requires a larger size.

They are both excellent tips and to find a 15.5mm tip that is wearable is so good.

Penon are certainly on to something there.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 5:49 AM Post #12,930 of 13,513
penon site down for anyone else? I really can't wait for my OSS 133 usb-c to 4.4mm adapter arrives.. maybe monday or tuesday
 

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