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The Toneking discussion lounge

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  1. jibberish
    This thread has inspired me to dig out my Toneking T4 set. My conclusion after a couple of months with them was that the T4 was "good but not great". Turns out I just needed to do more tip rolling and pair it with a better source than what I had available when I first got the T4, I'm enjoying them quite a bit today. I've got them on my ES100 on 2x current mode, and with some very shallow wide bore tips (Tennmak Whirlwind). I'd always used longer, narrower bore tips trying to coax out more bass out of (CP145, KZ Starlines), but I think now I realize I was fighting against the T4's inherent strengths by doing that.

    With the wide bores, the clarity/layering of mids and treble improves greatly compared to with the narrow bore tips, and the sound stage seems to open up in all directions as well. Vocals are very detailed and clear, almost feels like studio monitors in that capacity. I just tested out some busy, bright tracks that I noticed have given a bit of trouble to both my Blon BL03 and TFZ No. 3, and the T4 was able to deliver a noticeably greater amount of detail through those passages.

    I think I'm naturally inclined to like warmer, bassier signatures than what the T4 delivers, but I'm glad I pulled these out of storage and gave them a new listen, these definitely are a good, analytical contrast to the collection of single DD IEMs that I've been amassing lately. T4 is going back into the rotation, not going right back into the big cardboard box in the back of the closet, high praise indeed :beerchug:

    Now the big question is whether I can resist picking up a 9T on 11.11, I have been trying to hold off buying new things until my JVC HA-FDX1 arrives, but well, we all know how that tends to work out.
    SoundChoice and baskingshark like this.
  2. baskingshark
    Wow u are one of the chosen few to get the JVC HA FDX01, let us know how it sounds. I have a feeling it will be an upgrade to the ninetails, as quite a few audiophiles consider the JVC to be one of the endgame single DD sets. Though I saw from the FR and asking some reviewers that the JVC may be lacking in bass, so I gave it a miss in the end due to my basshead tendencies. Ninetails can be almost basshead badass with both red bass filters on.

    Toneking T4 is probably gonna be better than the single DD stuff (like BLONs and TFZ No. 3) in the area of detail and clarity/instrument separation by virtue of it being a multi BA, so it's really a different sound signature altogether. But could u give your impressions in how does the T4 stack up to the recently released CHIFI multi BA/hybrid stuff? Like maybe the BGVP DMG, KZ ZS10 Pro since u have those in your profile?
  3. jibberish
    I plan on spending some time with the T4 this week and can do some comparisons after I spend a bit more time reacquainting myself with them.
    peter123 and baskingshark like this.
  4. larry piencenaves
    damn whats up with toneking now? i thought they are done with the v10, now that? and they arent showing any graphs for it unlike their older iems.
  5. citral23
    I'm interested in the T4, because I want to get an all BAs iem to listen to fast be-bop, which requires fast transients and doesn't calls for tons of bass.

    However it's a bit difficult to find BAs that have good timbre for acoustic instruments (the KZ way to render Sax is just... nope) in the budget to mid-tier segment, and the T4 seems to fit the bill.

    I'd rather grab the T3 at 91€ on 11.11 (T4 is at 137 so quite a bit more) if it's up to the job but haven't seen any review, so not really keen on risking it while the T4 seems to be up to the task.

    I'm not against a "cold" signature as long as the acoustics instruments timbre is accurate and pleasing, can you confirm that part?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  6. baskingshark
    I've not tried the T4 and am quite interested in it, but you can consider the Hisenior B5+.

    It's a 5 BA knowles set, retails at $78 USD during 11/11. I'm very particular about timbre like you, I gave away my KZ ZS10 Pro and DT6 due to their artificial timbre. I would say it has one of the best timbre for an all BA IEM, but it would probably lose to the Toneking Ninetails and BLON BL-03 slightly in the timbre department. It has great clarity, details, instrument separation and imaging as per an all BA set. Very midcentric, with roll off in treble and subbass, but takes well to EQ. It has boosted lower mids relative to upper mids and doesn't have the usual upper mids/lower treble spike that is a feature of CHIFI tuning.
  7. citral23
    Thanks, looks like we're on the same page, I threw away the DT6, just could not cope with the artificial mids, and just sold my ZS10 pro due to "congested" (lack of soundstage, very V) and slightly artificial sound, too. I have the KPE which I'm very satisfied with for not too fast material, but wish I could get a "better ZS7" (which I keep however due to nice open soundstage, and good sound on electric guitars) that would sound more natural for acoustic instruments, as I really apreciate the BAs for fast cymbals, and think super fast double bass lines would likely benefit from a BA lows driver.

    Will look into those despite the funny name... Hisenior that sounds like some kind of hearing aid brand lol, well can't be worse than "HiLisening" that I saw the other day ^^
  8. baskingshark
    Well I personally would prefer a DD transducer for general music listening any day, as they sound more natural and organic for timbre and tonality, but agree with u that multi BAs bring some fast accurate bass and generally better details/clarity/instrument separation to the table.
    Unfortunately, I've not heard a pure BA that can beat a well tuned DD in the timbre department. Yesterday I auditioned the summitFI QDC Anole VX ($2K+ USD) for 30 min. I was super impressed with its details, clarity, instrument separation and imaging and very refined tuning (no harsh dips or peaks), plus it came with tuning switches. It's timbre was excellent for an all BA set, but unfortunately it still didn't sound as natural as the $30 USD BLON BL-03 (single DD) in the timbre department LOL. I think its timbre was about equal to the Toneking Ninetails (single DD), but of course the QDC Anole VX thrashes these 2 DD IEMs in the other departments.

    Toneking has also just released a single DD called 1Q, but so far there are no reviews or FR, but that's one to keep a lookout for, though I don't think it will have as fast a bass as the BAs.

    Hisenior is a customs maker that also does some cheaper universal sets, they are quite well known in the customs segment. U can speak to their rep, they can even tune a universal existing model or custom IEM to suit your requirements for free (they have an inhouse audio engineer).
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  9. HunterT
    I see a lot of interest in the T4... so I hope no one minds. I'm selling a Toneking T4 here on Head-fi. Please PM if you're interested in getting it. Thanks :dt880smile:
  10. citral23
    Got more to read about 5 BAs iems, BGVMP DM6 looks like a better tuned one overall, I think I'll save a bit more and get a really good one, too many mixed reviews about T4
  11. jibberish
    So I have spent a lot more time with the T4 this week, and I'm still enjoying it a lot, I definitely just didn't have the right source equipment and tips to really bring out it's best qualities when I originally purchased it. It does not have the bass impact that I have come to really enjoy with most of my best DD IEMs, but it's not really bass shy at all. It's more of a controlled, accurate, fast bass that flatters actual bass and drums, but may leave you wanting more for electronic/hip hop beats. It's strengths are the microdetail retrieval, really good imaging/layering/separation, and the very neutral-ish portrayal (if that's what you're in the mood for). It's definitely not boring, because the details and imaging are really fun to enjoy, but it's not tuned to be a crowd pleasing commercial tuning either.

    @baskingshark to compare to the ZS10 Pro and DMG, I'd say that the DMG and T4 are on a different level than the ZS10 Pro. I like the KZ's tuning in terms of frequency response - the bass in particular, but it can't compare in terms of technical ability to the other two for details, separation, imaging, etc. It doesn't scale on better source equipment/material like the DMG and T4.

    The DMG and T4 are very different beasts with different strengths. DMG has that big bass response, which I found to be a bit overwhelming until I got the aftermarket vented filter. T4's bass is much more well sculpted and accurate, with the trade off being less slam and sub bass depth. DMG has a warmer presentation with the extra mid bass, but most things probably have a warmer presentation than T4. DMG also has a more expansive sound stage than T4, the sort of difference where DMG is like sitting in the middle of the amphitheater and T4 is more like sitting in the front rows, so ultimately it comes down to individual preference.. T4 is better for microdetail retrieval (fingers brushing across guitar strings, snapping on snare drums, etc.) and better at layering elements like vocal harmonies. DMG is honestly good for those types of technical attributes too, but T4 just shines a bit more in that regard. T4 has no element of being harsh or sibilant, can just feel a bit overly bright after a while.

    I don't want to make it seem like I'm trying to start a hype train for the T4, as I suspect it's not for everyone. I however was just very nicely surprised to find that an IEM in my collection that I had kind of written off (and actually tried to trade last month) actually has some really interesting strengths that are a good compliment to the rest of my other favorites, which are all single DDs. It does make me want to order an all BA set that has more bass impact, maybe a bigger stage too. Probably not anytime soon though, I have enough new toys to play with.
    ShakeThoseCans and baskingshark like this.
  12. thejoker13
    My Toneking TK16s arrived today and I'm anxious to put them through the paces and compare them to the T88k, T66s etc.
    My first impressions of them are that they are tuned much closer to the T66s rather than the T88k's.
    The build and fit are fantastic for me and I couldn't be more pleased. Now it's time to dig into their sound.
    HungryPanda and jibberish like this.
  13. thejoker13
    So, did anyone end up purchasing the new 1Q flagship dynamic or the planar P10 during the 11/11 sales?
    I was going to purchase both, but ended up getting the TK16s instead because I found a fantastic deal on them for only 230.00 here in the classified section.
    I'm still very curious about those other 2 models and would love to read more about them.
    I also really, really want to find out more about their new flagship that was mentioned recently that has the sonion electrostatic drivers.
  14. Ziggomatic
    I bought the 1Q a couple weeks ago, but customs tracking shows it still isn't stateside. Will come here with impressions when I'm able. Pretty stoked.
    HungryPanda and jibberish like this.
  15. thejoker13
    Awesome, congrats! I hope you get them soon and can share your thoughts.
    I have the Nine Tails and would love to know how they compare.
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