The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 7, 2024 at 12:58 PM Post #80,836 of 87,020
See you in the digital universe @aaf evo :wink:

Ever since I used Oculus nearly 10 years ago, I fully believed in the concept but felt it was far far away. It's as if someone showed me an iPhone in 1990. I didn't preorder purely due to hype, but several of my friends can't stop raving about it. One of them has stopped using their computer monitor since taking delivery last week (he's a SWE) and another says it's a big upgrade from their home theatre. If there's one thing I'm more enthusiastic about than audio, it's technology. I'm excited. Don't let me down Apple :fingers_crossed:

Dang it! You and @aaf evo are making me curious to try it out. Also having first experienced Oculus 10yrs ago as well as access to every Oculus product since I support and work with them, I did not buy into the hype yet. I haven't found a use case that makes me want to keep a VR headset on me for more than an hour at the most. I did find the Quest Pro to be pretty good as a second monitor, but my eyes just felt overwhelmed after some time.

I might have to buy a vision pro to try now.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:03 PM Post #80,837 of 87,020
Had the pleasure of visiting Andrew and Leo at MusicTeck a few days ago to demo some of their wares including the new $8.5k USD UM Mason FS Soleil Tombé

Some other things I was able to demo: Canpur CP622B, VE X, Oriolus Trailli, Oriolus Monachaa, and a new proto open-back isodynamic hybrid headphone that Leo is collaborating on. I'm going to share some quick impressions on each of these.

All demoes were done on a 320MAX Ti and a Shanling M9+.

IMG_8828.jpg


UM Mason FS Soleil Tombé:
The Soleil Tombé has a neutral to slightly neutral-warm tone. It's more neutral-toned than both Mentor and AP. Soleil Tombé is very clean sounding without sounding dry. It's more detailed than both AP and Mentor by a good margin, and is the second most resolving IEM I've heard, second only to STORM. I'm able to pick up trailing tones very clearly, and the transients are very detailed, bordering on sharp.

Soleil Tombé is fairly balanced across the frequency spectrum. The bass is decent, the mids and treble are well-done. Imaging and dynamics are around AP level.
Amber Pearl to me has the superior bass, while the Soleil Tombé outclasses AP in sheer resolution.

Soleil Tombé has a perceived peak in the upper-mids/lower-treble where it can come across shouty or edgy in this region. Mentor had a similar issue to me but the peak on Soleil Tombé sounds sharper. I was able to control the Mentor's peak with tip-rolling but I was unable to on the Soleil Tombé.

For my personal preferences, AP > Soleil Tombé >= Mentor.

MusicTeck is now offering the Soleil Tombé without the stock cable at $6.2K USD: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/um-unique-melody/products/um-mason-fs-soleil-tombe

Canpur CP622B:
The Canpur was the main reason I visited MusicTeck. I found it to be highly technical: great resolution, great staging/imaging, and decent dynamics. Great sub-bass but I found the overall bass quantity to be too low. The mids were really nicely done, if not a little dry. I found the treble to be inoffensive and well-executed but a little too polite at times.

The Canpur has a very neutral/slightly dry tone reminiscent of the U12t. Overall, I found the Canpur to be an excellent IEM by all metrics but I thought it lacked a little excitement.

I've heard people complain about the build quality of the shells which I'll echo, though I found the bigger issue to be the stock Eletech Socrates cable which felt a little flimsy and cheap.

VE X:
VE X has a warm and thicker tone, with great bass, mids, and a perceptibly peak-free treble. Tuning-wise, VE X is well-executed, probably the most in-line with my preferences out of the IEMs I heard during my visit.

Where VE X can use improvement is in the technicalities department. For 3k USD, it's neither the most resolving set nor a set that images or stages particularly well. It's passable but it's outclassed by the Canpur in these areas. I think dynamics are more or less similar between the VE X and the Canpur but I'd have to A/B to confirm.

Despite these issues, I found the VE X to be a great set overall.

Oriolus Trailli:
The Trailli was a pleasant surprise. It is the single most natural and balanced sounding set I've ever heard. Very beautiful sounding and exquisitely tuned. Probably the best voicing I've heard in an IEM as well.

My main issue with the Trailli is its somewhat intimate staging, at least by today's TOTL standards. The bass quality, while good, could also use an upgrade as well.

Along with the VE X, the Trailli was one of my favorite listens of the day.

IMG_8829.JPG


Oriolus Monachaa:
The bass quality and quantity on the Monachaa were really enjoyable and I found it to have a decent, inoffensive treble. However, I wasn't a fan of the midrange which sounded off timbrally. Overall techs left something to be desired at the 2k USD mark. Crimson, U12t, and many other IEMs that compete at this price range outclass the Monachaa technically.

Leo's Isodynamic Open-Back Prototype:
Leo from MusicTeck has been collaborating on a headphone for the past year as something of a passion project and the sound has been finalized.
The proto has great bass quantity (especially for an open-back), bass texture, and decay. Staging was very large, and the treble was very well-extended and extremely detailed. The treble was slightly boosted, toeing the line, and yet it never crossed over into sounding sharp.

Tracks with orchestral elements sounded life-like and immersive. The mids were pretty good as well but the bass, treble, and staging were the stars of the show. I'm excited to see this go into production and to hear what people think.
 
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Feb 7, 2024 at 1:09 PM Post #80,838 of 87,020
Dang it! You and @aaf evo are making me curious to try it out. Also having first experienced Oculus 10yrs ago as well as access to every Oculus product since I support and work with them, I did not buy into the hype yet. I haven't found a use case that makes me want to keep a VR headset on me for more than an hour at the most. I did find the Quest Pro to be pretty good as a second monitor, but my eyes just felt overwhelmed after some time.

I might have to buy a vision pro to try now.

It’s a mind blowing piece of tech but I’m already 98% sure I won’t be keeping this. I don’t like the way you have to use your eyes as the “mouse” and the pinch to type input is tedious to me. This is an incredible product that I just feel needs more time to mature from a software/app perspective. There’s not a lot of apps that have native support yet, and the iPad apps that work on it are a little finicky. It’s very impressive but after 45 mins I was getting eye strain and didn’t know what else to do with it once the initial wow-factor wore off. Watching Disney+ on it was amazing. I think it may be something I’d revisit once there’s a global release and more apps.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:27 PM Post #80,839 of 87,020
Headphones.com just dropped the Dunu Falcon Ultra, so ordered a set. Seems like an ideal IEM to play around with.
Fantastic set for the price. Get a good seal and they will rock your brain.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:48 PM Post #80,840 of 87,020
Had the pleasure of visiting Andrew and Leo at MusicTeck a few days ago to demo some of their wares including the new $8.5k UM Mason FS Soleil Tombé

Some other things I was able to demo: Canpur CP622B, VE X, Oriolus Trailli, Oriolus Monachaa, and a new proto open-back isodynamic hybrid headphone that Leo is collaborating on. I'm going to share some quick impressions on each of these.

All demoes were done on a 320MAX Ti and a Shanling M9+.



UM Mason FS Soleil Tombé:
The Soleil Tombé has a neutral to slightly neutral-warm tone. It's more neutral-toned than both Mentor and AP. Soleil Tombé is very clean sounding without sounding dry. It's more detailed than both AP and Mentor by a good margin, and is the second most resolving IEM I've ever heard, second only to STORM. I'm able to pick up trailing tones very clearly, and the transients are very detailed, bordering on sharp.

Soleil Tombé is fairly balanced across the frequency spectrum. The bass is decent, the mids and treble are well-done. Imaging and dynamics are around AP level.
Amber Pearl to me has the superior bass, while the Soleil Tombé outclasses AP in sheer resolution.

Soleil Tombé has a perceived peak in the upper-mids/lower-treble where it can come across shouty or edgy in this region. Mentor had a similar issue to me but the peak on Soleil Tombé sounds sharper. I was able to control the Mentor's peak with tip-rolling but I was unable to on the Soleil Tombé.

For my personal preferences, AP > Soleil Tombé >= Mentor.

MusicTeck is now offering the Soleil Tombé without the stock cable at $6.2K USD: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/um-unique-melody/products/um-mason-fs-soleil-tombe

Canpur CP622B:
The Canpur was the main reason I visited MusicTeck. I found it to be highly technical: great resolution, great staging/imaging, and decent dynamics. Great sub-bass but I found the overall bass quantity to be too low. The mids were really nicely done, if not a little dry. I found the treble to be inoffensive and well-executed but a little too polite at times.

The Canpur has a very neutral/slightly dry tone reminiscent of the U12t. Overall, I found the Canpur to be an excellent IEM by all metrics but I thought it lacked a little excitement.

I've heard people complain about the build quality of the shells which I'll echo, though I found the bigger issue to be the stock Eletech Socrates cable which felt a little flimsy and cheap.

VE X:
VE X has a warm and thicker tone, with great bass, mids, and a perceptibly peak-free treble. Tuning-wise, VE X is well-executed, probably the most in-line with my preferences out of all the IEMs I heard during my visit.

Where VE X can use improvement is in the technicalities department. For 3k USD, it's neither the most resolving set nor a set that images or stages the particularly well. It's passable but it's outclassed by the Canpur in these areas. I think dynamics are more or less similar between the VE X and the Canpur but I'd have to A/B to confirm.

Despite these issues, I found the VE X to be a great set overall.

Oriolus Trailli:
The Trailli was a pleasant surprise. It is the single most natural and balanced sounding set I've ever heard. Very beautiful sounding and exquisitely tuned. Probably the best voicing I've heard in an IEM as well.

My main issue with the Trailli is its somewhat intimate staging, at least by today's TOTL standards. The bass quality, while good, could also use an upgrade as well.

Along with the VE X, the Trailli was one of my favorite listens of the day.



Oriolus Monachaa:
The bass quality and quantity on the Monachaa were really enjoyable and I found it to have a decent, inoffensive treble. However, I wasn't a fan of the midrange which sounded off timbrally. Overall techs left something to be desired as well at the 2k USD mark. Crimson, U12t, and many other IEMs that compete at this price range outclass the Monachaa technically.

Leo's Isodynamic Open-Back Prototype:
Leo from MusicTeck has been collaborating on a headphone for the past year as something of a passion project and the sound has been finalized.
The proto has great bass quantity (especially for an open-back), bass texture, and decay. Staging was very large, and the treble was very well-extended and extremely detailed. The treble was slightly boosted, toeing the line, and yet it never crossed over into sounding sharp.

Tracks with orchestral elements sounded life-like and immersive. The mids were pretty good as well but the bass, treble, and staging were the stars of the show. I'm excited to see this go into production and to hear what people think.

OK, since there was a mentioning of Mason FS NE/ST (both ST and NE are identical, just a different coloring scheme) along with MM and AP, here is how it looks in squiggles :) (updated it with the correct capture, properly normalized around 1kHz)

Btw, to my ears out of all the sources I tried, DX320Max had probably the worst pair up synergy with new Mason FS, accentuating treble too much. P6 Pro, R8ii, N7, N8ii, D16, etc, all were good. DX320Max tonality is too "clean" for these, reducing the warmth and the body, making them too neutral with treble being a bit harsher than I prefer. But once you add PB5 to DX320Max, that fixes the problem and does its magic :)


UM_Mason_FS24_AP_MM02.jpg
 
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Feb 7, 2024 at 1:55 PM Post #80,841 of 87,020
Oriolus Trailli:
My main issue with the Trailli is its somewhat intimate staging, at least by today's TOTL standards.
That's surprising to hear. what tips were you using? Personally I've found the best result using tips with a medium bore and they are one of the few sets I prefer a more shallow fit. I'm not super up to date with releases but have found the staging pretty comparable to those of the Aura/Annihilator. The IER-Z1R still excels imo
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 1:58 PM Post #80,842 of 87,020
OK, since there was a mentioning of Mason FS NE/ST (both ST and NE are identical, just a different coloring scheme) along with MM and AP, here is how it looks in squiggles :) (updated it with the correct capture, properly normalized around 1kHz)

Btw, to my ears out of all the sources I tried, DX320Max had probably the worst pair up synergy with new Mason FS, accentuating treble too much. P6 Pro, R8ii, N7, N8ii, D16, etc, all were good. DX320Max tonality is too "clean" for these, reducing the warmth and the body, making them too neutral with treble being a bit harsher than I prefer. But once you add PB5 to DX320Max, that fixes the problem and does its magic :)


UM_Mason_FS24_AP_MM02.jpg
I wish I had the PB5 to bring to MusicTeck. I received mine a day after my visit. I can see Mason FS NE/ST playing nicer on the MAX/PB5 chain.

FWIW, I did also demo the ST on my M9+ which has a warmer tone than MAX and still found the lower-treble peak bothersome. Then again, I tend to be more sensitive towards this region.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:02 PM Post #80,843 of 87,020
That's surprising to hear. what tips were you using? Personally I've found the best result using tips with a medium bore and they are one of the few sets I prefer a more shallow fit. I'm not super up to date with releases but have found the staging pretty comparable to those of the Aura/Annihilator. The IER-Z1R still excels imo
I used Divinus Velvet tips and Azla Sedna Regulars. Haven’t heard Aura but from memory, I found the Annihilator stage to be wider than the Trailli.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:05 PM Post #80,844 of 87,020
UM Mason FS Soleil Tombé:
The Soleil Tombé has a neutral to slightly neutral-warm tone. It's more neutral-toned than both Mentor and AP. Soleil Tombé is very clean sounding without sounding dry. It's more detailed than both AP and Mentor by a good margin, and is the second most resolving IEM I've ever heard, second only to STORM. I'm able to pick up trailing tones very clearly, and the transients are very detailed, bordering on sharp.

Soleil Tombé is fairly balanced across the frequency spectrum. The bass is decent, the mids and treble are well-done. Imaging and dynamics are around AP level.
Amber Pearl to me has the superior bass, while the Soleil Tombé outclasses AP in sheer resolution.

Soleil Tombé has a perceived peak in the upper-mids/lower-treble where it can come across shouty or edgy in this region. Mentor had a similar issue to me but the peak on Soleil Tombé sounds sharper. I was able to control the Mentor's peak with tip-rolling but I was unable to on the Soleil Tombé.

For my personal preferences, AP > Soleil Tombé >= Mentor.

Thanks for the write up and demystifying the new SummitFI iems. While it's still not cheap, I think selling the iem on it's own is a good strategy. I would imagine that most people who would buy at this price range already own or have access to preferred cables. Good strategy on UM and MT's part to make this more attractive.
 
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Feb 7, 2024 at 2:06 PM Post #80,845 of 87,020
Curious whether you had no interest to demo the Nuit Etoilee or if it simply was not available. Thanks for the write up and demystifying the new SummitFI iems. While it's still not cheap, I think selling the iem on it's own is a good strategy. I would imagine that most people who would buy at this price range already own or have access to preferred cables. Good strategy on UM and MT's part to make this more attractive.

I have NE demo with me now, while ST demo went back to Musicteck. These are identical IEMs, just a different color scheme.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:11 PM Post #80,846 of 87,020
I have NE demo with me now, while ST demo went back to Musicteck. These are identical IEMs, just a different color scheme.

Can't wait to read the full blown review. I saw your post above and edited my comment as that made perfect sense on the tuning.
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:28 PM Post #80,847 of 87,020
It’s very impressive but after 45 mins I was getting eye strain battery was strained and didn’t know what else to do with it once the initial wow-factor wore off.
FTFY... :laughing:
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:33 PM Post #80,848 of 87,020
I was in a WhatsApp group where @Sajid Amit said that portables are moving towards transportables. It was ingenious because I realised this after purchasing the Onix Mystic XP1.

Therefore, as a seasoned audiophile he is focussing on listening to IEMs from his desktop at home, which is something I have been doing for the past few days and thinking that it is so much better. The headspace, dynamics, darker background etc are just phenomenal.

I had been eagerly wanting to buy the IBasso D16 + PB5 stack and decided against it on the spot.

I truly feel that either something is portable or a desktop, transportable is not the fine line in between but much rather an expense, which does not seem worth its while.

I can get a custom made Tube Amp in India for $800, which "could' actually be a lot better than PB5.

Denafrips / Musician / Ladder / Gustard R2R DAC at a similar price of D16 would "probably" perform a lot better.

Any comment for or against this?
 
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:37 PM Post #80,849 of 87,020
Feb 7, 2024 at 2:40 PM Post #80,850 of 87,020
It’s a mind blowing piece of tech but I’m already 98% sure I won’t be keeping this. I don’t like the way you have to use your eyes as the “mouse” and the pinch to type input is tedious to me. This is an incredible product that I just feel needs more time to mature from a software/app perspective. There’s not a lot of apps that have native support yet, and the iPad apps that work on it are a little finicky. It’s very impressive but after 45 mins I was getting eye strain and didn’t know what else to do with it once the initial wow-factor wore off. Watching Disney+ on it was amazing. I think it may be something I’d revisit once there’s a global release and more apps.
I am glad that I won't see you in the street wearing this and pinching with your fingers in the air when I visit Dallas.
 

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