The Watercooler-- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
May 2, 2021 at 8:15 PM Post #136 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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Another crack at a list...really loving the VE8 today.

1) Elysium
2) Dorado 2020
3a) Andromeda 2020
3b) VE8
4) IER Z1R
5) Solaris SE
6) Solaris OG
7) Andromeda MW10
8) OG MEST
9) LX
10) VX
11) a) MEST Mkii
11) b) Nio
 
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May 3, 2021 at 12:30 AM Post #137 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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Hoping to spend some time with each of these BA titans of the audio world and do a bit of a shootout towards the weekend.

5F1278C1-5BAA-452E-8251-A7864C51E2E5.JPEG
 
May 3, 2021 at 5:23 AM Post #139 of 36,932

Mehran

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The M8 is actually my favorite piece of gear that I own. I hope you get to hear it some day, particularly with your spectacular growing stable of IEMs. On that note I think the Solaris LE may be my next purchase.
I love the LE, haven't touch the Mest since I got it. I am curious to hear your impressions on them too.
It's crazy , I never collect things and I don't like owing something that I don't use. I blame this on the pandemic ,so more free time on my hands and especially head-fi, haha. This has got to stop. Maybe the M8 will be the last one for a long time, hopefully , lol.
 
May 3, 2021 at 8:42 AM Post #140 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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I love the LE, haven't touch the Mest since I got it. I am curious to hear your impressions on them too.
It's crazy , I never collect things and I don't like owing something that I don't use. I blame this on the pandemic ,so more free time on my hands and especially head-fi, haha. This has got to stop. Maybe the M8 will be the last one for a long time, hopefully , lol.

I hear you. I've been substantially more active in this hobby than I would have been sans pandemic...but at the same time I'm very grateful for that as it's helped keep me sane through what was on the whole a pretty depressing year.
 
May 3, 2021 at 9:51 AM Post #141 of 36,932

Mehran

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I hear you. I've been substantially more active in this hobby than I would have been sans pandemic...but at the same time I'm very grateful for that as it's helped keep me sane through what was on the whole a pretty depressing year.
Yes Sitting down and trying to listen , especially to qualify music can be meditative .
 
May 3, 2021 at 10:22 AM Post #142 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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Some semi-cheeky snapshot impressions of some different online portable audio communities I have been a part of.

Head Fi

Head Fi is the motherland. It is the oldest, largest and most diverse online community devoted to portable audio.

At its best: Head-Fi is a diverse community where, no matter what your tastes, beliefs and interests are, there will be others of like mind with whom you can find fellowship. I’ve always loved Head Fi for its lack of a central orthodoxy—everyone here is more-or-less free to pursue this hobby in whatever way is meaningful for them. I’m sure I could find someone into audio rocks if I looked hard enough. It’s a great place to banter about whatever gear is inspiring you at a given moment, and an even better place to meet people, make connections and be exposed to new gear and new ideas.

At its worst: Like so much else in this world given the current economic system we live under this hobby is only possible by virtue of the fact that there are people who want and are able to make money at it. As such there will always be a natural tension between the money interests on the one side integrity of the hobby on the other. Often (and ideally) there can be a balance. When people make products it’s natural that they want to generate some exposure to these products through marketing, samples, hype, reviews etc. This is totally normal. But the people who make these products want and more importantly need them to sell regardless of whether they’re trash or gold. Head Fi, while supportive of the hobby at the end of the day, is fundamentally a business and as such will naturally tend to side towards the business side of things and the site/community. At its worst Head Fi can seem like a sea of (overt and undercover) industry PR people that can be hard to navigate through to discern what is hype and what is helpful information.*

*It's worth pointing out that Head Fi often gets singled out for this mostly because it's the largest site. My experience is that the $$ influence is present to one degree or another all the time everywhere-- even among groups and people who slam "shill reviewers who give everything 10/10" and aim to "keep it real" by being aggressively negative, but who are in fact pushing a different agenda of their own and thus just trading one form of insincere reviewing for another.

The Other Place

The place which shall not be named has an origin and history that goes back well before I got into this hobby and which I’m not going to get into now. Its membership consists of a broad swath of the audio community whose seem, at least in part, united by their disdain for the more purely money driven aspect of this hobby.

At its best: At its best it is a great—arguably the best-- place to go to get focused, consistent, high quality information. Unfortunately (for me) it’s not a great place to go to simply banter about gear you love—in fact this is actively discouraged as far as I can tell. Also, there seems to be a lot more interest in 2-channel and full size there and less on IEMs.

At its worst: At its worst it can feel like you were air dropped into a Stonecutters meeting without being invited or, if you go there without really knowing the lay of the land on the wrong day it’s easy to wind up feeling like Booger does at the end of this video:



Discord

Discord in general is like the Mos Eisley Spaceport—the good, the bad, and the ugly can all be found there if you know where to look. In terms of portable audio Discord serves primarily as a portal into the South East Asian (SEA) audio community which, in terms of market share, utterly dwarfs that of the rest of the world.

At its best: At its best Discord is a cosmopolitan world-wide community that is at the same time loose yet tight knit. It is a great source of friendship, conversation and information. I don’t think, in any other hobby I’ve been a part of, has it ever been as easy to get into a discussion with as many people from as many far-flung corners of the globe around a common passion. It gives one a glimmer of the sort world civilization based on a free-flowing exchange of ideas that we could aspire to and that our communications technology (among other things) is rapidly pushing us towards.

At its worst: At its worst the audio community on Discord feels like a small communist country with an established orthodoxy, an emphasis on conformity and where everyone’s opinion feels like a slightly different version of one guy’s opinion.

Reddit

r/headphones feels like a number of different communities loosely stitched together. You’ve got your usual 20 something college student neckbeard types that make up the bulk of reddit’s baseline demographic—this perhaps explains why you have to weed through page after page of memes to find any decent content. Add onto that a solid core of measurement fascists, ChiFi horders, randos and a collection of people who seemingly wound up there because they’ve been driven out of every other online audio haunt... there you have it.

At its best: Reddit was the first place I started discussing IEMs online so it will always have a special place in my heart. Many of my closest “audio friends” are people I met there first and I feel it’s still a place where good discussion and connections can be had…it’s just a bit hit or miss in my experience, especially lately.

At its worst: You can drown in a sea of memes, or be called out for suggesting a cable upgrade, or lynched by people who resent anyone able to spend more than $50 on their next upgrade. At its worst it seems like a mix of the following types:



and

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 7.11.31 AM.png


And

VJCGUz5.png
 
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May 3, 2021 at 12:38 PM Post #143 of 36,932

fzman

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I believe it was Andy Worhol who said that "everyone will be a reviewer for 15 minutes".
 
May 3, 2021 at 1:26 PM Post #144 of 36,932

1TrickPony

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Here's my quick 15 minute take on the (wonderful) Elysium:

Let me get this off my chest first, since I find it's actually important to talk about the controversial (imo) BA bass of the Elysium:

The performance of BA bass may feel lacking in amplitude, but that's BA bass for you, that said there's some (REALLY) good depth and tightness. Same critique for the bass decay, which dies off just a bit too fast for my liking. I'll be very clear about my findings though, the Elysium's low end is not a shy bass; it simply plays well with other frequencies, resulting in an overall delicate presentation.

Mids - just beautifully layered. Vocals are presented on the same playing field as instruments but everything is neatly separated.
I'm more in favor of singers being placed up front, but it's really hard to complain here since everything is so well defined. Oouf. It's simply gorgeous. The Male vocal is pretty decent, but the tuning was made to make female vocals sing! Same goes for violins...yessssuh!

Highs - I feel like this is the icing on the cake. The Elysium has extension for days in the highest upper registers. Live concerts simply BREATHE. Same goes for cymbal decays: it just feels NATURAL. If you like Jazz and have the money, just buy this and be done with it.
I might have some reservations for metal aficionados, but the highs here are perfect for well recorded jazz music. I feel like I'm not missing any details at all when I'm listening to this set (which is a first!).

Technicalities:
Elysium is all about imaging definition, layering, and nuanced micro details. The best part? It's effortless. Wawaweewa. It's beautiful. Masterfully done!

I guess that's all for now. I'm still analyzing some key tracks that were made to breathe and sing with this fantastic set. A big thank you to @Rockwell75 for the loaner!

Lockdowns are tiring, but having great hifi great makes things tolerable, like good beer on a hot summer day. Cheers and health to you all!
 
May 3, 2021 at 1:51 PM Post #145 of 36,932

snapandslide

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Here's my quick 15 minute take on the (wonderful) Elysium:

Let me get this off my chest first, since I find it's actually important to talk about the controversial (imo) BA bass of the Elysium:

The performance of BA bass may feel lacking in amplitude, but that's BA bass for you, that said there's some (REALLY) good depth and tightness. Same critique for the bass decay, which dies off just a bit too fast for my liking. I'll be very clear about my findings though, the Elysium's low end is not a shy bass; it simply plays well with other frequencies, resulting in an overall delicate presentation.

Mids - just beautifully layered. Vocals are presented on the same playing field as instruments but everything is neatly separated.
I'm more in favor of singers being placed up front, but it's really hard to complain here since everything is so well defined. Oouf. It's simply gorgeous. The Male vocal is pretty decent, but the tuning was made to make female vocals sing! Same goes for violins...yessssuh!

Highs - I feel like this is the icing on the cake. The Elysium has extension for days in the highest upper registers. Live concerts simply BREATHE. Same goes for cymbal decays: it just feels NATURAL. If you like Jazz and have the money, just buy this and be done with it.
I might have some reservations for metal aficionados, but the highs here are perfect for well recorded jazz music. I feel like I'm not missing any details at all when I'm listening to this set (which is a first!).

Technicalities:
Elysium is all about imaging definition, layering, and nuanced micro details. The best part? It's effortless. Wawaweewa. It's beautiful. Masterfully done!

I guess that's all for now. I'm still analyzing some key tracks that were made to breathe and sing with this fantastic set. A big thank you to @Rockwell75 for the loaner!

Lockdowns are tiring, but having great hifi great makes things tolerable, like good beer on a hot summer day. Cheers and health to you all!
Man, your comments on jazz - one of my main genres leads me to want to try the elysium. I could afford them - but then I worry I need a better source that can properly drive them...
 
May 3, 2021 at 2:19 PM Post #146 of 36,932

1TrickPony

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Man, your comments on jazz - one of my main genres leads me to want to try the elysium. I could afford them - but then I worry I need a better source that can properly drive them...
What's your main dap? So far, I'm auditioning them using the M8, but I can probably use other daps I have and see how they behave.

The timbre of instruments from the upper mids and up is nothing short of fantastic. You can really feel the drummer "swing" through the tune; the energy on the attack and the gracefulness of the decay is just there. And it shimmers too.

If this set had a bit of the Oriolus' meaty low end dynamics, to go along with the crisp naturalness of the cymbals, every drummer I know would be wetting their pants. I honestly think that the Elysium nailed what audiophiles would define as "delicate" top end. If you have questions though, I'd be happy to answer them through further impressions (I'm bound to write a proper review later on, because this set is really nice... and really expensive 😅) .
 
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May 3, 2021 at 2:34 PM Post #147 of 36,932

snapandslide

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What's your main dap? So far, I'm auditioning them using the M8, but I can probably use other daps I have and see how they behave.

The timbre of instruments from the upper mids and up is nothing short of fantastic. You can really feel the drummer "swing" through the tune; the energy on the attack and the gracefulness of the decay is just there. And it shimmers too.

If this set had a bit of the Oriolus' meaty low end dynamics, to go along with the crisp naturalness of the cymbals, every drummer I know would be wetting their pants. I honestly think that the Elysium nailed what audiophiles would define as "delicate" top end. If you have questions though, I'd be happy to answer them through further impressions (I'm bound to write a proper review later on, because this set is really nice... and really expensive 😅) .
WM1A - which should be ‘ok’, but the Sony’s aren’t renowned for being power monsters. I hear you on the potential lack of low end meat - but they seem incredible anyway. A nice compliment to my Z1R (which @Rockwell75 already has fluttered with...)
 
May 3, 2021 at 3:35 PM Post #148 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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Here's my quick 15 minute take on the (wonderful) Elysium:

Let me get this off my chest first, since I find it's actually important to talk about the controversial (imo) BA bass of the Elysium:

The performance of BA bass may feel lacking in amplitude, but that's BA bass for you, that said there's some (REALLY) good depth and tightness. Same critique for the bass decay, which dies off just a bit too fast for my liking. I'll be very clear about my findings though, the Elysium's low end is not a shy bass; it simply plays well with other frequencies, resulting in an overall delicate presentation.

Mids - just beautifully layered. Vocals are presented on the same playing field as instruments but everything is neatly separated.
I'm more in favor of singers being placed up front, but it's really hard to complain here since everything is so well defined. Oouf. It's simply gorgeous. The Male vocal is pretty decent, but the tuning was made to make female vocals sing! Same goes for violins...yessssuh!

Highs - I feel like this is the icing on the cake. The Elysium has extension for days in the highest upper registers. Live concerts simply BREATHE. Same goes for cymbal decays: it just feels NATURAL. If you like Jazz and have the money, just buy this and be done with it.
I might have some reservations for metal aficionados, but the highs here are perfect for well recorded jazz music. I feel like I'm not missing any details at all when I'm listening to this set (which is a first!).

Technicalities:
Elysium is all about imaging definition, layering, and nuanced micro details. The best part? It's effortless. Wawaweewa. It's beautiful. Masterfully done!

I guess that's all for now. I'm still analyzing some key tracks that were made to breathe and sing with this fantastic set. A big thank you to @Rockwell75 for the loaner!

Lockdowns are tiring, but having great hifi great makes things tolerable, like good beer on a hot summer day. Cheers and health to you all!

Beautiful writeup man! Suffice to say I concur entirely.

Man, your comments on jazz - one of my main genres leads me to want to try the elysium. I could afford them - but then I worry I need a better source that can properly drive them...

Ely loves power-- the M8 is bliss with the Ely. Once you hear Snarky Puppy on Elysium your life will never be the same again.

WM1A - which should be ‘ok’, but the Sony’s aren’t renowned for being power monsters. I hear you on the potential lack of low end meat - but they seem incredible anyway. A nice compliment to my Z1R (which @Rockwell75 already has fluttered with...)

Z1R is a beautiful compliment to Elysium. I went with Dorado mainly because I prefer the FR. I wouldn't recommend the 1A with Elysium though...everyone I know who has tried that combo has not liked it very much.

@SBranson Dorado 2020 is on its way to you-- I would think you'd have it by tomorrow.
 
May 3, 2021 at 4:25 PM Post #149 of 36,932

snapandslide

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Beautiful writeup man! Suffice to say I concur entirely.



Ely loves power-- the M8 is bliss with the Ely. Once you hear Snarky Puppy on Elysium your life will never be the same again.



Z1R is a beautiful compliment to Elysium. I went with Dorado mainly because I prefer the FR. I wouldn't recommend the 1A with Elysium though...everyone I know who has tried that combo has not liked it very much.

@SBranson Dorado 2020 is on its way to you-- I would think you'd have it by tomorrow.
Good tips and much appreciated! I'm still waiting for everyone with an M8 to get bored of and list them on Classifieds.....i fear i could be waiting for a while. lol.
 
May 3, 2021 at 4:27 PM Post #150 of 36,932

Rockwell75

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Good tips and much appreciated! I'm still waiting for everyone with an M8 to get bored of and list them on Classifieds.....i fear i could be waiting for a while. lol.

Yeah it seems to be an endgame DAP for many of us.
 

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