The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:05 PM Post #81,796 of 86,690
Third! Just received them and they sound very good on everything I’ve tried so far… and very cheap.
I impulse purchased these TRI Clarion tips, only 10 bucks and worth a shot. Too bad for me it didn’t work out. The size large (the largest option sold on Amazon) is in fact a medium, no bueno for my ears.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:07 PM Post #81,797 of 86,690
I impulse purchased these TRI Clarion tips, only 10 bucks and worth a shot. Too bad for me it didn’t work out. The size large (the largest option sold on Amazon) is in fact a medium, no bueno for my ears.
Thanks, I know I need to order larger than L.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:12 PM Post #81,798 of 86,690
I need to read twice to realize which Raven, can companies come up with the same name for their IEMs? What if GMC comes up with a car called Camry? Very nice impressions, BTW, have you asked Musicteck why they won't get iBasso stuff themselves? :)
Having two iems with the same name is definitely confusing.

I think I may have asked them but I don’t remember their response. If I remember, I’ll try to ask them again at CJ.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:21 PM Post #81,799 of 86,690
Are you sure it is not the music but the DAP? Unless you are wearing full-size headphones, there is no reason to suspect the DAPs or IEMs for your stiff neck.
I can say for sure that it was neither the music nor the other equipments because I usually keep all the other variables constant when testing new equipments..

From a different group, I was told that it could have been caused by some ultrasonic frequencies beyond my audible range that was already present on the U12t from the start and was boosted further by the N7.. possibly a side effect of the DSD conversion and upsampling that can sometimes do weird things to the treble range..
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:30 PM Post #81,800 of 86,690
I can say for sure that it was neither the music nor the other equipments because I usually keep all the other variables constant when testing new equipments..

From a different group, I was told that it could have been caused by some ultrasonic frequencies beyond my audible range that was already present on the U12t from the start and was boosted further by the N7.. possibly a side effect of the DSD conversion and upsampling that can sometimes do weird things to the treble range..
That's some interesting argument, I am not a doctor, guess you need to talk to your doctor to find out why.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 11:51 PM Post #81,801 of 86,690
Feb 20, 2024 at 12:47 AM Post #81,803 of 86,690
The Traillii Ti, the legend, how I lusted over thee ❤️🤤 After wearing a friend down enough to convince him to sell, i bit the bullet and brought these beauties home. Having owned the JP Traillii for quite some time, I wanted to take extra time with the Ti before sharing impressions and comparisons. I can get overly excited day one, we all can, but I have to say I love them more and more. And more. They are simply mesmerizing. I may go out in a limb here and say that, for me, these might the best IEMs I’ve ever heard. Seriously. 😳

163a5ef4-7568-4818-895e-9a11af096845.jpeg

After years and multitudes of new totl IEMs being released, the Traillii JP is still considered one of the best ever made. The tuning is phenomenal, stage size and space, nice balance of technicals and emotions. I wondered how it would be possible to make it better, and when I heard about the Ti version, and the price, I dismissed it as a money grab for yet another LE. I can tell you that is NOT the case here, it’s a big upgrade, and realistically I would call it the Traillii MK2, not just a cosmetic upgrade. There were a few things that I wised the JP had, and the Ti solves all of them, Oriolus was definitely paying attention to what it’s users were asking.

The shells are a gorgeous patina Ti, very soft and smooth with a matte finish. They are way lighter than I expected, hardly more than the resin, and they are totally redesigned, not just Ti. The inner structure is different shape, new wire and solder, and the drivers are placed differently inside. The outer shape has been improved, the back has a more ergo curve to it, and it actually feels smaller if you can believe it. The nozzle is a tad longer and better shaped, so finally I get a good fit, nice and snug, and far more comfortable and lower profile. Big upgrade there.

06a7729c-5917-4fb4-acad-136edbdbce4a.jpeg

From a sonic standpoint the Ti is both a traditional Traillii tuning and a departure. All the emotions are there, the gorgeous sound that made the Bird so famous and lusted after, this is all there in spades. The Ti is just better, and not just by a little bit. It sounds a bit like the Bird, Storm and V3 had a baby, and took all the good parts of each. It’s more linearly tuned, but also more energetic. More passionate, powerful. I find it extremely balanced, with more forward mids, so gone is the distant vocals and guitars overly panned to the sides. But it’s even more grand, the stage is even bigger if you can imagine, it leaves the vocals right up front and then lets the details off in all directions. It’s more detailed, more clean. More micro detailed but also more macro, it’s huge sounding, massive. All aspects have been improved in SQ. Just the resolution is an upgrade, but never sacrificing the musicality.

The bass is insane now, much tighter and faster, punchy like hell and more textured. It’s more controlled and less boomy, and while maybe some people like the slower softer bass of JP the Ti bass is on another level. I’ve read that some people think there is less bass, I don’t find this to be true. I think it’s simply that the bass is so much tighter and taught that you miss the boom of the JP. The stock cable has a bit less bass presence but the IEMs themselves have a very similar amount of bass to me. They hit really hard and no one should be worried about lack of bass Mids are more forward, more detailed and more clear. The spatial positioning is off the charts, I can hear details with extreme precision with amazing depth, height and of course width. There is more room for everything to breathe, space between the layers, each aspect leaving the slightly smooth and smeariness of JP into a highly detailed yet vastly musical soundscape. Especially with heavy guitars I notice how much more cleanly
I can hear them, even on tracks that were previously a bit clustered and blurry. They stretch out in depth quite a bit, and the mids are faster too. Metal is mind blowing on these. Vocals are just as sublime as before, just bigger and with more body, and clarity. Treble is more refined, more revealing, more spacious. It’s crisper but not bright, slightly more analytical perhaps, but very balanced. The Ti isn’t brighter, it’s just more balanced. I found the mids of JP to be darker compared to the sparkle up top, making the sparkle more pronounced. Now the mids and treble are matching in clarity, brightness and details. Now I don’t hear the sparkle, I hear clarity and richness from the deepest bass to the airiest est floating trebles. If someone found the top end of JP to be bright, I feel this removes that feeling; and when your ears adjust the whole tuning is just more cohesive and balanced.

f0ea4e2f-bfb9-4146-ba85-6d96380feaf5.jpegf8efe82e-49c4-4ef9-a538-51af4932438d.jpeg

The stock cable is fantastic. It looks like the Bird PW, but this one is made by Oriolus, and uses Gold and Silver over the usual copper. It’s really a perfect match for the Ti. While it’s now burning in, and I am using the Orpheus, I may go back to stock. The Orphy makes things smoother, but there is something really special with the W89 cable that matches so well with the Ti. It’s also very pretty, the whole package is gorgeous.

It’s really easy to drive, but it does take a bit more power than the JP. As was the case with the JP, the LP6 AE is a match made in heaven. It sounds great with everything I’ve tried it with, but the LP6 is end game. Like stop searching, don’t pass go, and just listen to music forever. Yeah, it’s stupid expensive. This is the world we live in, and while I hate that; this is the first summit IEM I would say is actually worth its price. All my chain is insanely expensive, I’m sure many will dismiss all this. But I only have one setup, not tons of IEMs and towers of DAPs. That’s all I want, no need for more.

This isn’t some vanity project, or a mud in your eye limited edition bragging rights cosmetic “upgrade”. This is a whole new IEM, a full on successor. This is, without a doubt, the best portable audio setup I’ve ever heard. Game over.

So that’s where I’m at now. I’ve been searching for quite some time for a perfect IEM that handles all my vast library with ease. In fact the Ti has a way of sounding almost specialized for each genre I try it with, it’s certainly never boring. Start with the Traillii JP tuning and DNA, add the energy and clarity of the V3, plus the balance and technicalities of the Storm, and you might understand the Traillii Ti.

Sorry for the long rant, I just wanted to share :)
Trying to read between the lines here... so you like them...? :o2smile:
 
Feb 20, 2024 at 12:49 AM Post #81,804 of 86,690
MusicTeck Impressions

Paid another visit to @MusicTeck today where I was able to demo the new AME Raven as well as the following:

- Canpur CP54E
- Empire Ears Odin
- UM MEST MK3
- Liquid Links Venom + Singularity
- HiBy R8ii

IEMs were demoed on my Shanling M9+ DAP and SpinFit Omni eartips.

Here are some quick impressions of each:

AME Raven ($3300 USD)

R0000147.JPGR0000148.JPG


AME Raven was one of the surprises of the day, partially because this was my first time being introduced to the brand, but also because I found its Raven to be an excellent iem.

The AME Raven's treble was probably my favorite aspect which was boosted yet linear.

On iems with boosted treble I usually find a troublesome peak and/or sizzle but AME Raven's treble was devoid of these flaws. String instruments had a beautiful timbre and weight, and I found the treble resolving as well.

Another strength of AME Raven is its techs. It had very good staging, imaging, and resolution. I didn't get the chance to A/B but for overall techs: VE X < AME Raven < Canpur 622B. I found the dynamics roughly the same across these three sets.

Some nitpicks: I found AME Raven's bass to be engaging if slightly lacking in mid-bass decay. Voicing is pretty good with decent note weight but this isn't a set for vocal lovers.

Overall, I found AME Raven to be a really good iem that I think competes pretty well at the 3k mark.


Canpur CP54E ($1999 USD)

R0000143.JPG

I was urged to try the other Canpur by people that know my preferences and was told that it was a great generalist set.

Compared to the 622B from my previous visit, I found the 54E to have more mid-bass quantity which I thought was lacking on the 622B. The 54E has decent bass overall, with good texturing, weight, and overall quality.

54E has a neutral warm tone and sounded less dry than the 622B. I index heavily for vocals and I found the voicing on both of these sets to be superb.

I found the 54E's treble to have no bothersome peaks. The treble has a touch of softness and sounded a little polite at times but not as much as the 622B's.

54E has decent resolution, imaging, and dynamics that I think is fairly competitive at the 2k mark.

I prefer 54E's tuning and engagement factor but 622B's techs are a clear step up, particularly in the resolution and staging aspects.


Liquid Links Venom (paired with Nightjar Singularity)

R0000145.JPG

I've been wanting to try Venom for some time so I was excited at the opportunity to give it a demo. These impressions are in comparison to the Nightjar Vanguard 4W cable (upgraded Singularity stock cable).

The Vanguard 4W is a cable I enjoy for its ability to balance great timbre + lushness with great technicalities.

Swapping out the Vanguard for Venom, the timbre and lushness immediately take a hit but not enough to turn me off to the cable. The Venom has more of a clarity-focused sound but it doesn't sound dry with the Singularity pairing.

On Venom, I hear increased sub-bass quantity and resolution, as well as improved slam and bass dynamics. Vocals sound more recessed, lose some lushness, and timbre takes a hit.

I hear slightly decreased lower to mid-treble quantity on Venom as well which makes the upper-treble sound more prominent. I think I hear more reverb on some tracks as well.

Overall, Venom makes Singularity sound more V-shaped compared to Vanguard. I think these are both great cables depending on what you index for.

Do you index harder for bass and sheer resolution? Go Venom. Do you index more for vocals and a great tone? Choose Vanguard.


HiBy R8 II (class A, stock Darwin filter, high gain)

Demoed with Singularity + Vanguard 4W and Annihilator 23 + LL Martini.

R8 II has a neutral-warm tone with a nice note weight, particularly in the bass and treble. R8 II has a slightly emphasized treble overall, adding some liveliness. I thought this paired well with Anni 23's treble which I've always thought could use more weight. String instruments sounded more lifelike and compelling on the R8 II + Anni 23 pairing. I didn't like the treble emphasis as much with the Singularity pairing and I can see it being a hit-or-miss depending on the iem pairing.

I found female vocals to sound slightly recessed and the R8 II to sound somewhat V-shaped as a result. The R8 II has great overall techs for 2k. I found it slightly less dynamic than my M9+ but I didn't find the difference to be that big.

R8 II has a similar tone to R6 Pro II but with a more extended + slightly emphasized treble, more note weight, better resolution, and better dynamics.

Now some nitpicks:

- The Alcantara back is prone to picking up lint and dust.
- The R8 II is heavy (approx. 528 grams compared to 320MAX Ti's 620 grams).
- Gets hot quickly.
- No double-tap to wake (maybe you can change this in the settings but I'm not sure).

Overall great DAP in both performance and value if you can handle the nitpicks I listed.


Empire Ears Odin

R0000149.JPG

The former Empire Ears flagship is getting a bit long in the tooth but it's a set I've been curious about some time. A big thank you to Andrew + Leo for the generosity they displayed by opening a new box (despite my protests) so that I could give it a demo.

Odin is very resolving and has a really nice and defined sub-bass. Mid-bass quantity is slightly lacking but bass quality overall is very good. Instruments have a well-defined transient attack and transient edges that aid with imaging precision. There's even some slightly backwards imaging. Staging is decent.

Treble tuning is inoffensive but the treble would benefit from more weight and decay, maybe more treble definition as well.

The vocals are generally good but female vocals sound a little forward. Vocal timbre is slightly off as well.

Overall decent iem, I liked it. I think Odin is still somewhat okay by today's standards but it's starting to show its age.

Subjectively, I think the Odin FPs are one of the most beautiful I've seen.


Unique Melody MEST MK III

R0000144.JPG

Pleasing neutral-warm tone. Mid-bass could use a longer decay. As such, the bass can sound a little plasticky overall.

Mids have a pleasing fullness and an overall UM feel similar to the mids on the Mentor. The upper mids on the MEST MK3 can border on shouty but it didn't cross the line on my test tracks. The MEST MK3 has a similar upper-mid to lower-treble rise that the Mentor does but I found it to be a little harsher on the Mentor. Both can be controlled with tips though.

The MEST MK3 images + stages pretty well but I think it would benefit from more resolution and dynamics to be more competitive in its price bracket. The stock cable could use an upgrade as well. I found it memory prone and a little cheap feeling.

The MEST MK3 is not a bad iem by any stretch but I found it just okay overall. I much prefer the CP54E at the 2k mark.


iBasso PB5 Osprey

Not my demo this time but Leo's. I brought along my PB5 for Leo to listen to, and I'll keep it short—he loves it.
Great impressions, thanks for sharing. I appreciate your series of bundled mini reviews, and your sheet tracker. Helping me sharpen my perspectives on IEMs I’ve owned and am considering.
 
Feb 20, 2024 at 1:02 AM Post #81,805 of 86,690
Great impressions, thanks for sharing. I appreciate your series of bundled mini reviews, and your sheet tracker. Helping me sharpen my perspectives on IEMs I’ve owned and am considering.
As a result, you are selling your Trifecta and Fei Wan? :).
 
Feb 20, 2024 at 3:44 AM Post #81,807 of 86,690
The Traillii Ti, the legend, how I lusted over thee ❤️🤤 After wearing a friend down enough to convince him to sell, i bit the bullet and brought these beauties home. Having owned the JP Traillii for quite some time, I wanted to take extra time with the Ti before sharing impressions and comparisons. I can get overly excited day one, we all can, but I have to say I love them more and more. And more. They are simply mesmerizing. I may go out in a limb here and say that, for me, these might the best IEMs I’ve ever heard. Seriously. 😳

163a5ef4-7568-4818-895e-9a11af096845.jpeg

After years and multitudes of new totl IEMs being released, the Traillii JP is still considered one of the best ever made. The tuning is phenomenal, stage size and space, nice balance of technicals and emotions. I wondered how it would be possible to make it better, and when I heard about the Ti version, and the price, I dismissed it as a money grab for yet another LE. I can tell you that is NOT the case here, it’s a big upgrade, and realistically I would call it the Traillii MK2, not just a cosmetic upgrade. There were a few things that I wised the JP had, and the Ti solves all of them, Oriolus was definitely paying attention to what it’s users were asking.

The shells are a gorgeous patina Ti, very soft and smooth with a matte finish. They are way lighter than I expected, hardly more than the resin, and they are totally redesigned, not just Ti. The inner structure is different shape, new wire and solder, and the drivers are placed differently inside. The outer shape has been improved, the back has a more ergo curve to it, and it actually feels smaller if you can believe it. The nozzle is a tad longer and better shaped, so finally I get a good fit, nice and snug, and far more comfortable and lower profile. Big upgrade there.

06a7729c-5917-4fb4-acad-136edbdbce4a.jpeg

From a sonic standpoint the Ti is both a traditional Traillii tuning and a departure. All the emotions are there, the gorgeous sound that made the Bird so famous and lusted after, this is all there in spades. The Ti is just better, and not just by a little bit. It sounds a bit like the Bird, Storm and V3 had a baby, and took all the good parts of each. It’s more linearly tuned, but also more energetic. More passionate, powerful. I find it extremely balanced, with more forward mids, so gone is the distant vocals and guitars overly panned to the sides. But it’s even more grand, the stage is even bigger if you can imagine, it leaves the vocals right up front and then lets the details off in all directions. It’s more detailed, more clean. More micro detailed but also more macro, it’s huge sounding, massive. All aspects have been improved in SQ. Just the resolution is an upgrade, but never sacrificing the musicality.

The bass is insane now, much tighter and faster, punchy like hell and more textured. It’s more controlled and less boomy, and while maybe some people like the slower softer bass of JP the Ti bass is on another level. I’ve read that some people think there is less bass, I don’t find this to be true. I think it’s simply that the bass is so much tighter and taught that you miss the boom of the JP. The stock cable has a bit less bass presence but the IEMs themselves have a very similar amount of bass to me. They hit really hard and no one should be worried about lack of bass Mids are more forward, more detailed and more clear. The spatial positioning is off the charts, I can hear details with extreme precision with amazing depth, height and of course width. There is more room for everything to breathe, space between the layers, each aspect leaving the slightly smooth and smeariness of JP into a highly detailed yet vastly musical soundscape. Especially with heavy guitars I notice how much more cleanly
I can hear them, even on tracks that were previously a bit clustered and blurry. They stretch out in depth quite a bit, and the mids are faster too. Metal is mind blowing on these. Vocals are just as sublime as before, just bigger and with more body, and clarity. Treble is more refined, more revealing, more spacious. It’s crisper but not bright, slightly more analytical perhaps, but very balanced. The Ti isn’t brighter, it’s just more balanced. I found the mids of JP to be darker compared to the sparkle up top, making the sparkle more pronounced. Now the mids and treble are matching in clarity, brightness and details. Now I don’t hear the sparkle, I hear clarity and richness from the deepest bass to the airiest est floating trebles. If someone found the top end of JP to be bright, I feel this removes that feeling; and when your ears adjust the whole tuning is just more cohesive and balanced.

f0ea4e2f-bfb9-4146-ba85-6d96380feaf5.jpegf8efe82e-49c4-4ef9-a538-51af4932438d.jpeg

The stock cable is fantastic. It looks like the Bird PW, but this one is made by Oriolus, and uses Gold and Silver over the usual copper. It’s really a perfect match for the Ti. While it’s now burning in, and I am using the Orpheus, I may go back to stock. The Orphy makes things smoother, but there is something really special with the W89 cable that matches so well with the Ti. It’s also very pretty, the whole package is gorgeous.

It’s really easy to drive, but it does take a bit more power than the JP. As was the case with the JP, the LP6 AE is a match made in heaven. It sounds great with everything I’ve tried it with, but the LP6 is end game. Like stop searching, don’t pass go, and just listen to music forever. Yeah, it’s stupid expensive. This is the world we live in, and while I hate that; this is the first summit IEM I would say is actually worth its price. All my chain is insanely expensive, I’m sure many will dismiss all this. But I only have one setup, not tons of IEMs and towers of DAPs. That’s all I want, no need for more.

This isn’t some vanity project, or a mud in your eye limited edition bragging rights cosmetic “upgrade”. This is a whole new IEM, a full on successor. This is, without a doubt, the best portable audio setup I’ve ever heard. Game over.

So that’s where I’m at now. I’ve been searching for quite some time for a perfect IEM that handles all my vast library with ease. In fact the Ti has a way of sounding almost specialized for each genre I try it with, it’s certainly never boring. Start with the Traillii JP tuning and DNA, add the energy and clarity of the V3, plus the balance and technicalities of the Storm, and you might understand the Traillii Ti.

Sorry for the long rant, I just wanted to share :)
Thanks for the impressions on this kinda rare IEM!
I would argue JP would still being the more popular IEM even if both has the same availability, and not just because you can get JP for 3000 USD$ used, but because JP is easily the single one IEM one could be 100% sure to get fun listening to music without being bothered sound-wise by anything.
You can compare Traillii JP to VIP hospitality treatment where the accent is made not only on proving quality service but keeping away anything that could spoil your experience.
For example more tight bass could be more correct but not more comfortable, more forward mids could take too much of an accent and break the uniform presentation of 3D holography and etc., I think you got my point.
And sorry for the rant in my reply 😂

By the way gone the AP? Just curious why you have decided to part with it?
 
Feb 20, 2024 at 3:54 AM Post #81,808 of 86,690
Thanks for the impressions on this kinda rare IEM!
I would argue JP would still being the more popular IEM even if both has the same availability, and not just because you can get JP for 3000 USD$ used, but because JP is easily the single one IEM one could be 100% sure to get fun listening to music without being bothered sound-wise by anything.
You can compare Traillii JP to VIP hospitality treatment where the accent is made not only on proving quality service but keeping away anything that could spoil your experience.
For example more tight bass could be more correct but not more comfortable, more forward mids could take too much of an accent and break the uniform presentation of 3D holography and etc., I think you got my point.
And sorry for the rant in my reply 😂

By the way gone the AP? Just curious why you have decided to part with it?
I still think a 'Traillii 2.0' that retains that magic tuning but adds dynamic driver bass, has the potential to become one of the great IEMs of this era, usurping the Traillii JP/Ti. It's not like Oriolus doesn't know how to tune DDs either, so I'm hopeful this is in the pipeline in the not too distant future.
 
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Feb 20, 2024 at 4:28 AM Post #81,809 of 86,690
Read up on Chinese feedback of Traillii Ti today. Many people still seem to prefer JP, the added dynamics are not something all seem to enjoy with Traillii tuning, the lower bass quantity might be a minus too.

From my recent experience with Jewel which has dd higher quality bass and more pronounced dynamics compared to Traillii - it was bass anemic to my ear and fatiguing after a hour of listen, so yeah.
For now I think it’s wise to treat TI as another IEM, not exactly an upgraded version or “just” a prestige model.
 
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Feb 20, 2024 at 4:54 AM Post #81,810 of 86,690
Read up on Chinese feedback of Traillii Ti today. Many people still seem to prefer JP, the added dynamics are not something all seem to enjoy with Traillii tuning, the lower bass quantity might be a minus too.

From my recent experience with Jewel which has dd higher quality bass and more pronounced dynamics compared to Traillii - it was bass anemic to my ear and fatiguing after a hour of listen, so yeah.
For now I think it’s wise to treat TI as another IEM, not exactly an upgraded version or “just” a prestige model.
It is always useless to focus on other people's reviews. You never know how experienced the people who write them are.
If you like the smoothness and musicality of the original JP, it makes sense to stick with it, because, as said, the Ti has a slightly different character.
This is a perfect upgrade for me, but I can't call it a perfect upgrade in absolute terms. Because the latter, in my opinion, should act in the same sound signature, improving the quality.
So I've already talked about how the positioning can and does create some perception difficulties, but the Ti really should be seen as a whole new model, standing on the shoulders of the JP, but offering something of its own.
 

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