The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:33 AM Post #80,806 of 89,671
Dropping in briefly here as I juggle a massive amount of big life changes all at once (gossip with me at CanJam). I signed up for a Spotify subscription a few months back. I know I rail against streaming, but fiddling with an offline playlist is too cumbersome while driving, which is to say I use the service solely in the car. Out of curiosity I loaded up the app on my Walkman and did a side-by-side with Qobuz. I know media loves to spew the idea that the "average" person can't hear the difference, and I don't consider myself an expert listener by any means, but yikes. With a decent dac and iems, spotify quality is just blegh. Music comes in flat, zero emotion. I could see the appeal in a hi-res streaming service though, provided you could justify the cost.
Yeah, I used Spotify to make shareable playlists, ‘cus it was the easiest way for me to tell people what demo tracks I used. But, when I tried listening to them there, I was surprised to find that they sounded quite compressed and peaky up top. I’ve always been a local files type of person, but if I had to stream, I’d go with Apple Music for convenience and sound.

I’m in a similar space myself just now, but for me it’s the R8 II that’s been the missing link; having an Anni sesh with it this morning, it’s just sublime.

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And with the arrival of Spartacus last week I feel I’ve got all bases well covered.


I get what you’re saying, but if you’re going to consider spending multi kilobucks on gear, it can be well worth the investment to attend a show where you can get a much better idea of what you really do like and even more importantly what you don’t. You may actually be able to save yourself more time and money than you think by not chasing the wrong gear.
‘Just got mine in yesterday. ‘Can’t wait to run it in and let it ride. 🤘

IMG_1477.jpeg
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:54 AM Post #80,807 of 89,671
Creator Cables name their stuff based on wire materials but you'd have to look them up e.g. the stock one is Creator Clarity which is copper, there is Creator Vocal/Emotion/etc....Creator Silver 4 is pure silver with 4 cores per wire. A lot of their cables are custom made so they are not shown on websites. There's a model named Creator Silver 8, basically double the amount of cores from the Silver 4, and for me that is the only model worth paying for in relation to its price.

IMO the stock cable is just decent - while it is quite tonally pleasing and matching with good bass, you can get better mileage from swapping to a 3rd party offering, especially on technical performance. A lot of people with DC Tis use it with Ode to Laura or Yatono Ultimate. I think Shirogane is also a solid option. Only thing is that there is no ConX or swappable connectors so that cable is basically stuck with your Creator.

Oh and welcome to the club :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: although I suspect that you'll quickly join @Tokpakorlo and go customs instead. BTW I think he cable rolled with a lot of TOTL cables with his Creator so he is going to offer more meaningful suggestions as I didn't really roll with anything yet (I hate adapters).

As a side note, while I love the PW cables, I absolutely hate his custom connectors...especially the one on the Orphy Lite - everytime I use it it is like having connection issues due to lost plating on the connector....just use a Pentaconn 4.4 please.
Thinking of getting the Orphy lite too. So he use his original PW connector instead Pentaconn like OrphyS? Thanks for letting me know. I can't remember did I need to specifically said I want the Pentaconn connector on my OprhyS or not :thinking:
Didn't know that there's so much variant of Creator cables and I think the stock cable is good enough, but maybe someday I'll get a 3rd party cable for it. But thinking that it'll be stuck on Creator only is kinda unappealing indeed.
How's Orphy Lite on Creator based on your take? Or you haven't try it yet?
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:05 AM Post #80,808 of 89,671
I'll never forget the mid-2010's when Singapore were solely represented by Jomo, Effect and AAW. Jomo, especially, made their way to tons of top 10 lists with the Samba and Flamenco. It's cool to see more brands come out and follow suit. I've always joked that Singaporean startups have market research essentially done for them, considering the amount of audiophiles and audiophile brands there in such a small space.
always put a smile on my face to see the legendary Flamenco still get mentioned every now and then, old but not forgotten, the one rare IEM along with Inear PP8 that can genuinely be considered as true neutral. It's such a pity that this IEM has long been discontinued by Jomo, the technicality of this IEM is still phenomenal even in the current time.

Flamenco & VX.PNG
 

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Feb 7, 2024 at 2:19 AM Post #80,809 of 89,671
I have only 40 or so CDs (compared to folks who have thousands) but music discovery will likely constitute the next rabbit hole.
Buy my superbly mixed CD collection for little and you're good for aeons. Also gives me a fantastic excuse not to re-rip them :wink:

drftr
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 5:33 AM Post #80,810 of 89,671
I had the opportunity - how could I pass it up - to audition in good conditions (along with @lafeuill) PMG Audio first IEM, the APX
Thanks to @gmfg1 for this :)

IMG_0931.jpeg


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(Note that the shape fo the shell might not be for everyone... @lafeuill struggled a bit with it. YMMV)

APX is summed up this way on PMG Audio's website : "PMG Audio’s Apx (read Apex) is a culmination of all of our experience in designing, tuning and building In-Ear Monitors. It is our answer to the question of an ultimate product if there are no constraints or limitations in design or technology and price is no object."

Let me say as a long standing Custom Art (happy) customer I had high expectations for @piotrus-g latest creation and first foray into somewhat of a SummitFi segment for IEMs. This is a ultra limited edition since there will only be 25 of those... I am betting it's just a first and somewhat of a test run :wink: I can only hope custom IEMs will also be part of PMG Audio furture lineup.

For those who are not familiar, here are the specs :

SPEC AND PACKAGING​

  • 11 Drivers - 1x Rectangular Planar, 1x 10mm DD, 8xBA, 1x Round Planar (all drivers are custom built to PMG Audio's spec)
  • True 7-way passive crossover
  • Flat Impedance technology
  • Imp 5 Ohm ±1 Ohm
  • SPL 107dB @1kHz
  • Response 3Hz-20kHz

"Apx has been equipped with all custom-spec drivers, coupled with in-house developed technologies which place this IEM at the forefront of the audio reproduction. Unique rectangular Planar Speaker in combination with 10mm PEEK diaphragm Dynamic Driver renders the most realistic bass response with perceivable vibrations without relying on overpressurizing of ear canal or bone conduction transducers. 8 custom-designed Balanced Armatures support lower-midrange, midrange, upper-midrange, and high frequencies. Topped with a small round planar speaker for natural-sounding, extended highs."

But enough rambling, how do the APX sound?

IMG_0932.jpeg


I listened out of N30 varying modes (A/AB, Tube on off both classic and modern settings).
APX is not hard to drive I only needed low gain but requires to push the volume a bit, I am running 10 clicks above most my IEMs except for Elysium which itselft runs 10 clicks above.

Upon first listen :
  • I clearly felt at home with the tuning which builds upon past Custom Art creation such as FIBAE7 or more recently the DD/BA/Planar of the FIBAE5. APX builds upon the hybrid DD/BA/Planar of the FIBAE5 but with a more complex 7 way, 11 drivers array featuring a unique custom built "never done before" round planar for treble.

  • it's very clear APX is a clear step up in technicalities compared to Custom Art lineups, while retaining the musicality and engaging nature we all love Custom Art for
APX is a balanced and very mature tuning, clearly the product of years of experience and refining :
  • bass is the best I have heard of any of Piotr's products. It's a very nimble bass with excellent mid bass slam but it's also a textured and rich bass presentation that conveys a lot of nuances (highly engaging with percussions). It's not up there with my RN6 and its kinetic bass in terms of bass quantity but it's more of a fun leaning towards accurate bass presence that is just as good.

  • mids strike a balance, not full bodied per say but with plenty of substance and note weight while offering superb separation for a very articulate presentation of complex tracks. It also reaches a great balance between the required bite to be exciting and the smooth and liquid presentation that I find so engaging. It's really hard to describe when everything sounds just right, the tonal balance is spot on to my ears and timbre are superb.

  • treble is where APX enters the big boys category and APX is clearly several notch up. APX has excellent extension and resolution which is up there with the best. The upper treble presence and performance brings air and resolution that makes everything better across the range. APX is impressive in how it managed to have a very natural presentation : lower treble is spot on in terms of energy providing the excitement I expect in piano notes and good weight as well and upper treble definitely is airy but with a naturalness that makes for a sense of realism and a refinement that is the hallmark of top of the line offerings.
Now, while it's helpful to slice things up, there is something to be said for coherency and APX is very impressive in that respect. This is the art of tuning, and some IEMs are impressive but not engaging or fail to make it about the music less than the technical performance... not so with APX : quite the contrary, it's such an engaging IEM you forget about it and time just flies by without you noticing. Anytime this happens to me, I know we have a keeper!

APX is definitely a compelling proposition and I have no doubt the future PMG lineup will be something everyone should keep tabs on.
In the meantime, the lucky 25 who can afford to get an APX won't be disappointed : it's up there with the best no doubt!
 
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Feb 7, 2024 at 7:40 AM Post #80,811 of 89,671
Very nice surprise came today from @Eric Chong and team. Just sharing the unboxing photos here. I don’t recall anyone actually posting photos prior to this.

As usual, the unboxing experience is lovely. The handle of the cable is excellent: not too heavy and yet sufficiently substantive. Very flexible as always. The details of the hardware as usual: elegant, understated and classy. :) And of course, the leather pouch is gorgeous!

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Feb 7, 2024 at 8:20 AM Post #80,812 of 89,671
A mini hiatus from audio toys until CanJam NYC. I spent too much time on r/visionpro and convinced myself I have to try one of these. There’s some videos I’ve seen online where it looks jaw dropping and others where I feel it’s a novelty so I’m keen to try it out myself. It’s almost sickening how difficult it was for me to hit buy on this, but if this was an IEM I wanted I wouldn’t have thought twice. 🫠😅😭

IMG_8735.jpeg
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 8:45 AM Post #80,813 of 89,671
A mini hiatus from audio toys until CanJam NYC. I spent too much time on r/visionpro and convinced myself I have to try one of these. There’s some videos I’ve seen online where it looks jaw dropping and others where I feel it’s a novelty so I’m keen to try it out myself. It’s almost sickening how difficult it was for me to hit buy on this, but if this was an IEM I wanted I wouldn’t have thought twice. 🫠😅😭

IMG_8735.jpeg
Just in time for CanJam! Gonna record the show experience and shenanigans in spatial 3D for those of us that can't make it, I hope!! :joy: :wink:
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 8:50 AM Post #80,814 of 89,671
Just in time for CanJam! Gonna record the show experience and shenanigans in spatial 3D for those of us that can't make it, I hope!! :joy: :wink:

Haha that would be neat. I’m not really a fan of headsets (or headphones 😏) so we’ll see how the usage plays out. I’m excited to try it regardless.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 9:03 AM Post #80,815 of 89,671
I had the opportunity - how could I pass it up - to audition in good conditions (along with @lafeuill) PMG Audio first IEM, the APX

IMG_0931.jpeg

IMG_0933.jpeg
(Note that the shape fo the shell might not be for everyone... @lafeuill struggled a bit with it. YMMV)

APX is summed up this way on PMG Audio's website : "PMG Audio’s Apx (read Apex) is a culmination of all of our experience in designing, tuning and building In-Ear Monitors. It is our answer to the question of an ultimate product if there are no constraints or limitations in design or technology and price is no object."

Let me say as a long standing Custom Art (happy) customer I had high expectations for @piotrus-g latest creation and first foray into somewhat of a SummitFi segment for IEMs. This is a ultra limited edition since there will only be 25 of those... I am betting it's just a first and somewhat of a test run :wink: I can only hope custom IEMs will also be part of PMG Audio furture lineup.

For those who are not familiar, here are the specs :

SPEC AND PACKAGING​

  • 11 Drivers - 1x Rectangular Planar, 1x 10mm DD, 8xBA, 1x Round Planar (all drivers are custom built to PMG Audio's spec)
  • True 7-way passive crossover
  • Flat Impedance technology
  • Imp 5 Ohm ±1 Ohm
  • SPL 107dB @1kHz
  • Response 3Hz-20kHz

"Apx has been equipped with all custom-spec drivers, coupled with in-house developed technologies which place this IEM at the forefront of the audio reproduction. Unique rectangular Planar Speaker in combination with 10mm PEEK diaphragm Dynamic Driver renders the most realistic bass response with perceivable vibrations without relying on overpressurizing of ear canal or bone conduction transducers. 8 custom-designed Balanced Armatures support lower-midrange, midrange, upper-midrange, and high frequencies. Topped with a small round planar speaker for natural-sounding, extended highs."

But enough rambling, how do the APX sound?

IMG_0932.jpeg

I listened out of N30 varying modes (A/AB, Tube on off both classic and modern settings).
APX is not hard to drive I only needed low gain but requires to push the volume a bit, I am running 10 clicks above most my IEMs except for Elysium which itselft runs 10 clicks above.

Upon first listen :
  • I clearly felt at home with the tuning which builds upon past Custom Art creation such as FIBAE7 or more recently the DD/BA/Planar of the FIBAE5. APX builds upon the hybrid DD/BA/Planar of the FIBAE5 but with a more complex 7 way, 11 drivers array featuring a unique custom built "never done before" round planar for treble.

  • it's very clear APX is a clear step up in technicalities compared to Custom Art lineups, while retaining the musicality and engaging nature we all love Custom Art for
APX is a balanced and very mature tuning, clearly the product of years of experience and refining :
  • bass is the best I have heard of any of Piotr's products. It's a very nimble bass with excellent mid bass slam but it's also a textured and rich bass presentation that conveys a lot of nuances (highly engaging with percussions). It's not up there with my RN6 and its kinetic bass in terms of bass quantity but it's more of a fun leaning towards accurate bass presence that is just as good.

  • mids strike a balance, not full bodied per say but with plenty of substance and note weight while offering superb separation for a very articulate presentation of complex tracks. It also reaches a great balance between the required bite to be exciting and the smooth and liquid presentation that I find so engaging. It's really hard to describe when everything sounds just right, the tonal balance is spot on to my ears and timbre are superb.

  • treble is where APX enters the big boys category and APX is clearly several notch up. APX has excellent extension and resolution which is up there with the best. The upper treble presence and performance brings air and resolution that makes everything better across the range. APX is impressive in how it managed to have a very natural presentation : lower treble is spot on in terms of energy providing the excitement I expect in piano notes and good weight as well and upper treble definitely is airy but with a naturalness that makes for a sense of realism and a refinement that is the hallmark of top of the line offerings.
Now, while it's helpful to slice things up, there is something to be said for coherency and APX is very impressive in that respect. This is the art of tuning, and some IEMs are impressive but not engaging or fail to make it about the music less than the technical performance... not so with APX : quite the contrary, it's such an engaging IEM you forget about it and time just flies by without you noticing. Anytime this happens to me, I know we have a keeper!

APX is definitely a compelling proposition and I have no doubt the future PMG lineup will be something everyone should keep tabs on.
In the meantime, the lucky 25 who can afford to get an APX won't be disappointed : it's up there with the best no doubt!
I'm happy to see you managed to find a demo unit and spend some time with it!
Thank you so much for the short review, I'm glad you liked them :)
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 9:22 AM Post #80,816 of 89,671
Very nice surprise came today from @Eric Chong and team. Just sharing the unboxing photos here. I don’t recall anyone actually posting photos prior to this.

As usual, the unboxing experience is lovely. The handle of the cable is excellent: not too heavy and yet sufficiently substantive. Very flexible as always. The details of the hardware as usual: elegant, understated and classy. :) And of course, the leather pouch is gorgeous!

IMG_2945.jpegIMG_2946.jpegIMG_2947.jpegIMG_2948.jpegIMG_2950.jpegIMG_2951.jpegIMG_2952.jpegIMG_2953.jpeg

Beautiful! Love my Perseus.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 10:13 AM Post #80,817 of 89,671
I both envy and feel sad for people who have reached enlightenment, on one hand I'd love to already fast forward to something I love so much I never have to look at another IEM and own, maybe just a demo. I also feel like I'd be sad if I reached the summit and rarely find sets that I can enjoy as much as what I own. Good thing I'm broke and got plenty of time to climb still, well fingers crossed.
My personal goals include inspiring a healthy combination of jealousy and crippling depression in my peers/enemies, if for no other reason than maximum intimidation.

Honestly, though, I'm at a fairly comfy setup with my music. I think at this point probably my biggest quibbles with my current dac (and they're quibbles, not deal breakers) are the battery consumption when running Sony post-processing effects (turntable simulator, volume normalizer) and the clunky speed of android when compared with my Samsung smartphone. Until there's another Sony dac that offers upgrades to these limitations, there's really nothing else on the market I'm chomping at the bit for that wouldn't be a compromise.

I'll be at canjam to hang out and socialize (something I missed out on last time, curse this calf injury), but otherwise at most I'm casually window shopping. It also probably doesn't help that I have so many bills coming up that my disposable income is virtually nonexistent for at least the remainder of this year.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 10:29 AM Post #80,819 of 89,671
Thanks! I just ordered the 1DD1BA version 😅 will share impression once I receive that
My next Summit-Fi IEM arrived. True TOTL level, chocolatey vocal, deep bass, holographic sound stage, end game for everyone 🤣

IMG_3539.jpeg


Joke aside, this IEM is actually far better than I expected, the bass quantity is there and surprisingly the quality is not bad, the details are there but the highs sounded a bit recessed. Soundstage is quite wide probably due to its strange housing with extra space……

Overall it is a bassy set and not bad for EDM tracks. Considering its price is below USD30, this set is definitely a great contender in this price bracket if you are brave enough to use these bad boys on street.

The whole housing is quite light so it is actually comfortable to wear 😅
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 10:36 AM Post #80,820 of 89,671
My next Summit-Fi IEM arrived. True TOTL level, chocolatey vocal, deep bass, holographic sound stage, end game for everyone 🤣

IMG_3539.jpeg

Joke aside, this IEM is actually far better than I expected, the bass quantity is there and surprisingly the quality is not bad, the details are there but the highs sounded a bit recessed. Soundstage is quite wide probably due to its strange housing with extra space……

Overall it is a bassy set and not bad for EDM tracks. Considering its price is below USD30, this set is definitely a great contender in this price bracket if you are brave enough to use these bad boys on street.

The whole housing is quite light so it is actually comfortable to wear 😅
It sure looks edible. 🙂
 

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