The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Apr 8, 2024 at 12:38 AM Post #85,816 of 89,874
Nice to find a V3 fan :) did you manage to cable roll? I find it to be sensitive to changes in the gear chain, which I like
Just the two Rhapsodio cables sent in the tour kit! But oh, I believe it [sensitive to changes] :)
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 12:46 AM Post #85,817 of 89,874
I find it to be sensitive to changes in the gear chain
I believe it [sensitive to changes] :)

17 Ω; 97 db; yeah I can see that. The Music Teck description is cracking me up:

The human voice has also been revised. In the past, female vocals have a unique sweetness and high vocal density, and the mouth shape is clearly visible, but the thickness of the male voice is not enough, and the throat is not hoarse. It is manifested as ink dots, which increases its thickness and moist feeling, and also enhances the explanatory power.

Ah yes, dat moist feeling. :thumbsup:
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 12:59 AM Post #85,818 of 89,874
17 Ω; 97 db; yeah I can see that. The Music Teck description is cracking me up:



Ah yes, dat moist feeling. :thumbsup:
That is hilarious, maybe translated by ChatGPT 😅
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 1:01 AM Post #85,819 of 89,874
Apr 8, 2024 at 3:21 AM Post #85,820 of 89,874
Hey guys! I've had an incredible week and I'm super grateful for the opportunity to connect with fellow coolers in person, including @HiFiHawaii808 @yaps66 @metaljem77 @AxLvR @RonaldS86 @lycos @SkyWarrior @Deezel177 and a few other new friends, to share our passion for this delightful head-fi rabbit hole. It is truly a once in a life time experience for me!

I spent a day and a half at the show and got the chance to demo quite a bit of gear. I was really impressed with several of the new products and I'm seriously struggling to resist the urge to snag a few for myself.

Apologies for the lengthy post, but here goes! The items I'm mentioning aren't in any particular order.

Luxury and Precision E7 Exclusive Version
IMG_4792.jpeg

This DAP is a game-changer for me, with its great technicalities and power, feeding my Mason and Creator just right. The three tuning modes really blew me away, offering different fantastic flavors—HD expanded the soundstage and brought out the sub-bass, HT smoothed out the vocals and made them lusher, and LD provided a more neutral tuning. The potential to experiment with various IEMs and tuning modes to find the perfect match is exciting.

I did an A/B comparison with my P6Pti, and while I still prefer the vocals on the P6Pti, the E7 excels in instrument presentation—perhaps it's the DAC. But considering E7's flexibility, it's probably going to be a new addition to my collection.

Melodic Artification - Alter Ego
IMG_4799.jpeg

This was the star of the show for me, a brand I wasn't familiar with until their recent splash in the Chinese market. It's an expertly tuned tri-brid set with a 1DD 4BA 4EST driver configuration and a semi-open back titanium shell that feels superb in hand. There's a tuning toggle that shifts between sound profiles; pushing it up injects more energy into the sound and enriches the vocals, reminiscent of the VE Phonix. With an MSRP around $2,500, I have no doubt this gem will take off once more people get a chance to demo it. It's a versatile tuning that's ideal for those looking to own just one IEM and perhaps bow out of the hobby.

c11b8c86bf51ad3ecb39b1fb3c2bfe90.jpeg

Worth noting is I tried to pair Alter Ego with an unreleased flagship pure silver cable from China, made of pure silver with the implementation of a proprietary noise reduction fabric, it paired well with Creator, Mason IMO compared to other flagship cables I have tried, and also augmented the clarity and vocal fullness to my ear, one of the best pairing I have tried. Will share more when I get the details from the manufacturer.

Subtonic Storm with SS8 / Duality Prototype
IMG_4642.jpeg

My first encounter with Subtonic's gear was a pleasure, especially getting to meet @Chang in person during the week. The Storm has lived up to its hype for me, handling most music genres with a reference tuning that doesn't overwhelm with treble or bass. Paired with the SS8, a seriously thick cable, it takes the Storm's soundstage and detail to the next level—a true summit-fi experience. Per Ben and Jim's recommendation, I tried the SS8 with Viking and it was insanely good—the best I've experienced with Viking, though the ergonomics are a bit of a setback...

The Duality Prototype has a fun, well-articulated bass and a V-shaped tuning that I enjoyed during my brief listen. I'm looking forward to a more extensive demo session to really suss it out.

Noble Sultan Gold/ Sultan Damascus with Diamond/ Onyx

IMG_4837.jpeg

As a self-proclaimed Noble fan, it was great catching up with Jim and the crew. We had a good chat and even snapped a photo with the Sultans and my Viking Damascus.

IMG_4840.jpeg

Sultan Gold stood out to me. After a quick A/B comparison with the Sultan Damascus Diamond, I found myself favoring the Gold version every time. It offers lush vocals and superb spatial representation, surpassing my Nodachi as my preferred vocal specialist from Noble. The Sultan Damascus Diamond, while similar to the standard Damascus I've tried before, was a tad too aggressive in the treble for my taste.

IMG_4833.jpeg

I was quite taken with the Onyx—it takes the excellent tuning from the Kublai Khan up a notch with its spherical soundstage and great bass. It's particularly impressive with instrumental tracks, like soundtracks, where it strikes a fine balance of technical prowess, soundstage presence, and bass energy. It's less resolving than my Viking but a technical step up from the KK. Definitely one to acquire in the future.

Eminent Ears - Ruby/ Vortex Cables

IMG_4863.jpeg

Another newcomer from HK, the Ruby caught my attention with its bass presentation, maintaining excellent treble clarity. The Vortex Eddie copper cable enhanced its clarity without becoming piercing, meshing well with Ruby. This is another set I'm eager to spend more time with.

IMG_4865.jpeg


On the side note I also enjoyed Minerva, quite a bang for buck cable with enhanced dynamics and clarity on my Noble MuZiGe.

Grand Maestro Anniversary Edition/ New Module

IMG_4845.jpeg

As a Grand Maestro owner, I was thrilled to hear the updated Anniversary Edition. Although the driver configuration remains the same, the new full metal shell offers improved fit and seems to bring out more detail in the treble and sub-bass, albeit subtly—it's still the Grand Maestro we know. The new module maintains the bass energy and quantity found in the black module and adds a more pronounced vocal presence akin to the blue module. It's a really well-tuned addition, in my opinion.

Other stuffs I demoed include:
- The new NGAudio Flagship prototype (Very warm, full sounding with a lush vocal presentation, well tuned treble and I like it more than Erebus)
- SP3000T (I like it better than SP3000, warmer sound with a good control of bass)
- Novus (my EE favourite since Odin, very great soundstage presentation and well balanced tuning)
- QDC Emperor (All rounded tuning but sounded a little bit boring to my ears)
- Canpur prototype (Fun, V shaped sounding IEM, solid but outshined by other releases IMO)
- Lotoo wireless receiver (Great wireless streaming sound and is capable to stream DSD, look forward to their final release)

There's still a heap of stuff worth mentioning, but I'll save that for next time...I will definitely come back again in 2025!
 

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Apr 8, 2024 at 4:41 AM Post #85,821 of 89,874
I love the metal shells on GM, wandering how much will it cost to get replacement of the original ones with these.
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 5:34 AM Post #85,822 of 89,874
I am still trying to understand the whole thing about people disliking BA bass, to me the bass on Mentor is far more visceral, textured and "real" than lets so on DD of Anni 23. Had no issues with Trailli bass either.

I have come to learn that it is very dependent on the source. e.g. with D16/PB5 I get a whole different (as in stronger/better) bass performance and overall presentation of the Mentor than with the SP3000. I couldn't believe this as I was always in camp "there's not much of a difference between DACs and AMPs". Little did I know.

If you set your bass reference to Campfire Audio Trifecta, BA bass would be out of the question

I will never understand this. For me It's more like having dinner and at one night I prefer food from India, the next one Italian etc. YMMV of course, but I sometimes even prefer BA bass over DD, based on mood and music. Keep your mind open is what I'd suggest.
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 6:09 AM Post #85,823 of 89,874
The only thing I cant keep my mind open for is Trifecta, which sounds as wonky tuned and low res as it does.

Recently gave it another go, the things popularity remains an enigma for me.

/hide
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 6:16 AM Post #85,824 of 89,874
Funnily enough I just listened to a Darko Audio podcast (episode from 2023, I am massively behind on every podcast subscription),

Which discussed this very subject of the polarising Trifecta. The guest speaker said they liked it particularly on Michael Jackson's Bad album



Edit: typo
 
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Apr 8, 2024 at 6:29 AM Post #85,825 of 89,874
Funnily enough I just listened to a Darko Audio podcast (episode from 2023, I am massively behind on every podcast subscription),

Which discussed this very subject of the polarising Trifecta. The guest speaker said they liked it particularly on Michael Jackson's Bad album



Edit: typo


I loved my Trifecta for 'fun' genres like rap, electronic, R&B, EDM. The main reason I sold mine was I just couldn't quite get a great fit with it.

Potentially am considering dipping my toe back into the IEM game once more, the FeiWan is appealing to me a good deal it has to be said.
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 7:12 AM Post #85,826 of 89,874
c11b8c86bf51ad3ecb39b1fb3c2bfe90.jpeg
Worth noting is I tried to pair Alter Ego with an unreleased flagship pure silver cable from China, made of pure silver with the implementation of a proprietary noise reduction fabric, it paired well with Creator, Mason IMO compared to other flagship cables I have tried, and also augmented the clarity and vocal fullness to my ear, one of the best pairing I have tried. Will share more when I get the details from the manufacturer.
Who is making this cable, are you able to share the brand name? Thank you for the post. MA eclipse was a first solid release of the brand, I personally look forward to hearing alter ego.
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 7:17 AM Post #85,827 of 89,874
Funnily enough I just listened to a Darko Audio podcast (episode from 2023, I am massively behind on every podcast subscription),

Which discussed this very subject of the polarising Trifecta. The guest speaker said they liked it particularly on Michael Jackson's Bad album



Edit: typo



I love the trifecta with some of the classic albums I grew up with. It wraps them up in a thick blanket of sonic emotions :)
 
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Apr 8, 2024 at 7:30 AM Post #85,829 of 89,874
image.jpg

Battle of the blue birds 😂 crazy how bad airplane earphones are sheeesh 😬💀 really made me re appreciate my iems
 
Apr 8, 2024 at 7:42 AM Post #85,830 of 89,874
Hey guys! I've had an incredible week and I'm super grateful for the opportunity to connect with fellow coolers in person, including @HiFiHawaii808 @yaps66 @metaljem77 @AxLvR @RonaldS86 @lycos @SkyWarrior @Deezel177 and a few other new friends, to share our passion for this delightful head-fi rabbit hole. It is truly a once in a life time experience for me!

I spent a day and a half at the show and got the chance to demo quite a bit of gear. I was really impressed with several of the new products and I'm seriously struggling to resist the urge to snag a few for myself.

Apologies for the lengthy post, but here goes! The items I'm mentioning aren't in any particular order.

Luxury and Precision E7 Exclusive Version
IMG_4792.jpeg

This DAP is a game-changer for me, with its great technicalities and power, feeding my Mason and Creator just right. The three tuning modes really blew me away, offering different fantastic flavors—HD expanded the soundstage and brought out the sub-bass, HT smoothed out the vocals and made them lusher, and LD provided a more neutral tuning. The potential to experiment with various IEMs and tuning modes to find the perfect match is exciting.

I did an A/B comparison with my P6Pti, and while I still prefer the vocals on the P6Pti, the E7 excels in instrument presentation—perhaps it's the DAC. But considering E7's flexibility, it's probably going to be a new addition to my collection.

Melodic Artification - Alter Ego
IMG_4799.jpeg

This was the star of the show for me, a brand I wasn't familiar with until their recent splash in the Chinese market. It's an expertly tuned tri-brid set with a 1DD 4BA 4EST driver configuration and a semi-open back titanium shell that feels superb in hand. There's a tuning toggle that shifts between sound profiles; pushing it up injects more energy into the sound and enriches the vocals, reminiscent of the VE Phonix. With an MSRP around $2,500, I have no doubt this gem will take off once more people get a chance to demo it. It's a versatile tuning that's ideal for those looking to own just one IEM and perhaps bow out of the hobby.

c11b8c86bf51ad3ecb39b1fb3c2bfe90.jpeg
Worth noting is I tried to pair Alter Ego with an unreleased flagship pure silver cable from China, made of pure silver with the implementation of a proprietary noise reduction fabric, it paired well with Creator, Mason IMO compared to other flagship cables I have tried, and also augmented the clarity and vocal fullness to my ear, one of the best pairing I have tried. Will share more when I get the details from the manufacturer.

Subtonic Storm with SS8 / Duality Prototype
IMG_4642.jpeg
My first encounter with Subtonic's gear was a pleasure, especially getting to meet @Chang in person during the week. The Storm has lived up to its hype for me, handling most music genres with a reference tuning that doesn't overwhelm with treble or bass. Paired with the SS8, a seriously thick cable, it takes the Storm's soundstage and detail to the next level—a true summit-fi experience. Per Ben and Jim's recommendation, I tried the SS8 with Viking and it was insanely good—the best I've experienced with Viking, though the ergonomics are a bit of a setback...

The Duality Prototype has a fun, well-articulated bass and a V-shaped tuning that I enjoyed during my brief listen. I'm looking forward to a more extensive demo session to really suss it out.

Noble Sultan Gold/ Sultan Damascus with Diamond/ Onyx

IMG_4837.jpeg

As a self-proclaimed Noble fan, it was great catching up with Jim and the crew. We had a good chat and even snapped a photo with the Sultans and my Viking Damascus.

IMG_4840.jpeg
Sultan Gold stood out to me. After a quick A/B comparison with the Sultan Damascus Diamond, I found myself favoring the Gold version every time. It offers lush vocals and superb spatial representation, surpassing my Nodachi as my preferred vocal specialist from Noble. The Sultan Damascus Diamond, while similar to the standard Damascus I've tried before, was a tad too aggressive in the treble for my taste.

IMG_4833.jpeg
I was quite taken with the Onyx—it takes the excellent tuning from the Kublai Khan up a notch with its spherical soundstage and great bass. It's particularly impressive with instrumental tracks, like soundtracks, where it strikes a fine balance of technical prowess, soundstage presence, and bass energy. It's less resolving than my Viking but a technical step up from the KK. Definitely one to acquire in the future.

Eminent Ears - Ruby/ Vortex Cables

IMG_4863.jpeg

Another newcomer from HK, the Ruby caught my attention with its bass presentation, maintaining excellent treble clarity. The Vortex Eddie silver cable enhanced its clarity without becoming piercing, meshing well with Ruby. This is another set I'm eager to spend more time with.

IMG_4865.jpeg

On the side note I also enjoyed Minerva, quite a bang for buck cable with enhanced dynamics and clarity on my Noble MuZiGe.

Grand Maestro Anniversary Edition/ New Module

IMG_4845.jpeg
As a Grand Maestro owner, I was thrilled to hear the updated Anniversary Edition. Although the driver configuration remains the same, the new full metal shell offers improved fit and seems to bring out more detail in the treble and sub-bass, albeit subtly—it's still the Grand Maestro we know. The new module maintains the bass energy and quantity found in the black module and adds a more pronounced vocal presence akin to the blue module. It's a really well-tuned addition, in my opinion.

Other stuffs I demoed include:
- The new NGAudio Flagship prototype (Very warm, full sounding with a lush vocal presentation, well tuned treble and I like it more than Erebus)
- SP3000T (I like it better than SP3000, warmer sound with a good control of bass)
- Novus (my EE favourite since Odin, very great soundstage presentation and well balanced tuning)
- QDC Emperor (All rounded tuning but sounded a little bit boring to my ears)
- Canpur prototype (Fun, V shaped sounding IEM, solid but outshined by other releases IMO)
- Lotoo wireless receiver (Great wireless streaming sound and is capable to stream DSD, look forward to their final release)

There's still a heap of stuff worth mentioning, but I'll save that for next time...I will definitely come back again in 2025!
My Lord I thought the diamond one was an April fools joke :dt880smile:
 

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