The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Apr 11, 2024 at 6:56 PM Post #86,206 of 90,282
5. Headphones - I'm beginning to feel the pull, G-d forbid.
On the contrary, I have made up my mind to just keep two full size headphones, and only looking for better DAC and AMP to drive them. Another rabbit hole that is far beyond the headphones themselves. Thanking about this, what happened if each of your IEM need a dedicated DAP that is potentially more expensive than the IEM?
 
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Apr 11, 2024 at 7:01 PM Post #86,208 of 90,282
Alright it's been a while since we've done any sort of survey. Now that we're 1/3 and two CanJams into 2024 what are the top 3-5 things on your radar right now?

For myself:

1) Elysian Pilgrim Noir - Loved the OG, Noir sounds even more up my alley
2) Elysian Dio-- not really a potential buy for me, but I'm dying to heari it.
3) Melodic Artification Alter Ego -- This one was a show highlight for a very diverse range of folks-- I'm quite interested in hearing it.
4) iBasso PB5-- I'm not really a dongle or portable Amp guy but I might eventually jump on one of these just to try it.
5) An EE prototpe I heard rumours about along the lines of an updated LX-- anyone have any more info on that?

1. Symphonium Titan + Crimson
2. Annihilator 2023
3. Amp14 to upgrade my iBasso DX300.
4. Elysian Pilgrim / Pilgrim Noir
5. Dita Project M
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:01 PM Post #86,209 of 90,282
One day if the opportunity arrises will make sure you get to listen to one provided I have the means.

@metaljem77 It could just be the day that you listened to it. Thank you for your opinion. Will look into the Titan going forward.

@emdeevee Lovely photo. Are the color differences in Trifecta purely aesthetic? In your opinion, what is the best cable pairing and/or DAP pairing for Trifecta?
Yes, the colorways of Trifecta are all aesthetic, the inerds and tuning is the same. It sounds amazing on my P6Pro and Shanling M9 plus. It doesn't get enough credit for how easy it is to drive, actually. Compared to the other multi DD sets, no comparison. Trifecta can play in low gain on my DAPs with no problem...not so for Monachaa or Quattro. And tbh, I've done no cable rolling yet because I'm transfixed by the color and sound match of the ET Victoria I have on it now.
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:01 PM Post #86,210 of 90,282
MusicTeck Impressions

Paid a visit to Leo and Andrew @MusicTeck today where I was able to demo the popular Melodic Artification Alter Ego as well as the following:

- Noble Audio Onyx (re-demo)
- Astral Acoustics Mars, and Eclipse
- Flash Acoustics Thanos, and Ultron
- Beat Audio Cyclone, Billow MK2, and Orbit Saga
- Liquid Links Venom (re-demo)

IMG_9755.jpg


Melodic Artification Alter Ego ($2,500 USD)
IMG_9747.jpg


Aside from its killer name, the Alter Ego has an incredible build with an attractive all-titanium housing. Not only are they they titanium, they're light. They're much lighter than Rhapsodio Supreme V3, lighter than Storm, lighter than pretty much any similarly-sized IEM cased in titanium or metal.

The Alter Ego has a switch that takes a bit of effort to flip, and changes the sound between a bassier profile and a more W-shaped profile. Alter Ego is an open-back IEM so there's going to be some sound leakage but the open-back design aids with imaging and soundstaging.

Alter Ego (switch 1, W-shaped profile):

The Alter Ego has an elevated and a very tactile/textured sub and mid-bass that is somehow still very clean from a PRaT perspective. This is no small feat.

Usually, I see bass in an IEM as some form of a trade-off between the stereotypical dynamic driver tactility/bounce and the stereotypical BA speed/cleanliness. Alter Ego has both.

The vocals similarly sound clean yet lush. Breathy, natural, and smooth are other adjectives I'd use to describe the voicing. There's no strain in the vocals, and it's neutral/warm and musical.

The treble is probably the "weakest" part of the FR. It comes across as just there, maybe a little polite. There are no perceptible peaks but it's not the most extended. The treble has a nice tone, but if you prefer a livelier treble, you may be left a little wanting.

I'd rank the Alter Ego a hair below the Annihilator 2023 in terms of pure resolution, but the Alter Ego has more textured bass and mids which creates the perception that it's as detailed as the Annihilator.

Alter Ego has good dynamics, falling a little below the Annihilator 2023 in this respect, but outclasses it in soundstaging and imaging. The imaging is particularly good with easily perceptible depth as well as precise left/right imaging. Alter Ego's transient attack is also well-defined.

Alter Ego (switch 2, bassy profile):

Compared to the W-shaped profile, the bassy profile is much more mid-bassy with a nice tactile slam. This profile still retains the bass cleanliness and articulation.

The bassy profile sounds a little more crowded than the W-shaped profile but still maintains good instrument separation and imaging depth.

The bassy profile sounds a little more fun and attention-grabbing to me but I can see it being a little less versatile with music genres.

IMG_9750.JPG


Summary:
Alter Ego is a clean, engaging, and musical set with addicting, correct-sounding vocals, and clean yet textured bass. Alter Ego has great techs, particularly imaging and bass/mids texturing.

Two drawbacks may be the open-back design and the more subdued treble. Aside from those, I think it's the new benchmark at $2.5k USD and trades blows with many IEMs at the $3k USD mark and above including the Annhilator 2023, Canpur 622B, and VE X to name a few.

More impressions to come later.
 
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Apr 11, 2024 at 7:08 PM Post #86,211 of 90,282
While I’ve listened to almost everything I wanted to during Amsterdam meetup there are still few things I would to try or spend more time with:
1. Dita Project M - curious how it would sound together with N7, but currently it’s impossible to audition or buy locally. Highs were a bit too much with 320 Max to my taste
2. New Kennerton open and closed-back flagship headphones - Arkona
3. All versions of Pilligrims
4. EE Triton - maybe an upgrade to EVO finally?
5. New Elysian flagship Dio
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:19 PM Post #86,212 of 90,282
MusicTeck Impressions

Paid a visit to Leo and Andrew @MusicTeck today where I was able to demo the popular Melodic Artification Alter Ego as well as the following:

- Noble Audio Onyx (re-demo)
- Astral Acoustics Mars, and Eclipse
- Flash Acoustics Thanos, and Ultron
- Beat Audio Cyclone, Billow MK2, and Orbit Saga
- Liquid Links Venom (re-demo)

I try to take high quality pics for everyone's enjoyment but I neglected to bring my camera today. Please excuse the smartphone pics.
IMG_9755.jpg

Melodic Artification Alter Ego
IMG_9747.jpg

Aside from its killer name, the Alter Ego has an incredible build with an attractive all-titanium housing. Not only are they they titanium, they're light. They're much lighter than Rhapsodio Supreme V3, lighter than Storm, lighter than pretty much any similarly sized IEM cased in titanium.

The Alter Ego has a switch that takes a bit of effort to flip and changes the sound between a bassier profile and a more W-shaped profile. Alter Ego is an open-back IEM so there's going to be some sound leakage but the open-back design aids with imaging and soundstaging.

Alter Ego (switch 1, W-shaped profile):

The Alter Ego has an elevated and a very tactile/textured sub and mid-bass that is somehow still very clean from a PRaT perspective. This is no small feat.

Usually, I see bass in an IEM as some form of a trade-off between the stereotypical dynamic driver tactility/bounce and the stereotypical BA speed/cleanliness. Alter Ego has both.

The vocals similarly sound clean yet lush. Breathy, natural, and smooth are other adjectives I'd use to describe the voicing. There's no strain in the vocals, and it's neutral/warm, clean, and musical.

The treble is probably the "weakest" part of the FR. It comes across as just there, maybe a little polite. There are no perceptible peaks and it's not the most extended. The treble has a nice tone, but if you prefer a livelier treble, you may be left a little wanting.

I'd rank the Alter Ego a hair below the Annihilator 2023 in terms of pure resolution, but the Alter Ego has more textured bass and mids.

Alter Ego has good dynamics, falling a little below the Annihilator 2023 in this respect, but outclasses it in soundstaging and imaging. The imaging is particularly good with easily perceptible depth as well as as left/right imaging. Alter Ego's transient attack is also well-defined.

Alter Ego (switch 2, bassy profile):

Compared to the W-shaped profile, the bassy profile is much more mid-bassy with a nice tactile slam. This profile still retains the bass cleanliness.

The bassy profile sounds a little more crowded than the W-shaped profile but still maintains good instrument separation and imaging depth.

The bassy profile sounds a little more fun and attention-grabbing to me but I can see it being a little less versatile with music genres.

IMG_9750.JPG

Summary:
Alter Ego is clean, fun, and musical set with addicting, correct-sounding vocals, and clean yet textured bass. Alter Ego has great techs, particularly imaging and bass/mids texturing.

Two drawbacks may be the open-back design and the more subdued treble. Aside from those, I think it's the new benchmark at $2.5k USD and bests many IEMs at the $3k mark and above.

More impressions to come later.
Does sound leak out so that people next to you can hear the music??????????? :spy:
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:20 PM Post #86,213 of 90,282
Does sound leak out so that people next to you can hear the music??????????? :spy:
I didn't ask Leo if he heard my music playing but yes, I believe there's some leakage.
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:20 PM Post #86,214 of 90,282
While I’ve listened to almost everything I wanted to during Amsterdam meetup there are still few things I would to try or spend more time with:
1. Dita Project M - curious how it would sound together with N7, but currently it’s impossible to audition or buy locally. Highs were a bit too much with 320 Max to my taste
2. New Kennerton open and closed-back flagship headphones - Arkona
3. All versions of Pilligrims
4. EE Triton - maybe an upgrade to EVO finally?
5. New Elysian flagship Dio
I’ve been waiting for an upgrade to EVO and I briefly told Jack during CanJam SG that I missed the visceral impact of EVO’s bass. His response suggests that he’s open to exploring that in the future. I don’t feel that Triton is an upgrade to EVO, to my ears it feels like it has more bass quantity than Raven, closer to LX but I hear LX to provide more subbass. The overall sound quality of Triton however is really good, and I encourage EE fans to try it
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:27 PM Post #86,216 of 90,282
MusicTeck Impressions

Paid a visit to Leo and Andrew @MusicTeck today where I was able to demo the popular Melodic Artification Alter Ego as well as the following:

- Noble Audio Onyx (re-demo)
- Astral Acoustics Mars, and Eclipse
- Flash Acoustics Thanos, and Ultron
- Beat Audio Cyclone, Billow MK2, and Orbit Saga
- Liquid Links Venom (re-demo)

IMG_9755.jpg

Melodic Artification Alter Ego
IMG_9747.jpg

Aside from its killer name, the Alter Ego has an incredible build with an attractive all-titanium housing. Not only are they they titanium, they're light. They're much lighter than Rhapsodio Supreme V3, lighter than Storm, lighter than pretty much any similarly-sized IEM cased in titanium.

The Alter Ego has a switch that takes a bit of effort to flip and changes the sound between a bassier profile and a more W-shaped profile. Alter Ego is an open-back IEM so there's going to be some sound leakage but the open-back design aids with imaging and soundstaging.

Alter Ego (switch 1, W-shaped profile):

The Alter Ego has an elevated and a very tactile/textured sub and mid-bass that is somehow still very clean from a PRaT perspective. This is no small feat.

Usually, I see bass in an IEM as some form of a trade-off between the stereotypical dynamic driver tactility/bounce and the stereotypical BA speed/cleanliness. Alter Ego has both.

The vocals similarly sound clean yet lush. Breathy, natural, and smooth are other adjectives I'd use to describe the voicing. There's no strain in the vocals, and it's neutral/warm and musical.

The treble is probably the "weakest" part of the FR. It comes across as just there, maybe a little polite. There are no perceptible peaks but it's not the most extended. The treble has a nice tone, but if you prefer a livelier treble, you may be left a little wanting.

I'd rank the Alter Ego a hair below the Annihilator 2023 in terms of pure resolution, but the Alter Ego has more textured bass and mids.

Alter Ego has good dynamics, falling a little below the Annihilator 2023 in this respect, but outclasses it in soundstaging and imaging. The imaging is particularly good with easily perceptible depth as well as as left/right imaging. Alter Ego's transient attack is also well-defined.

Alter Ego (switch 2, bassy profile):

Compared to the W-shaped profile, the bassy profile is much more mid-bassy with a nice tactile slam. This profile still retains the bass cleanliness.

The bassy profile sounds a little more crowded than the W-shaped profile but still maintains good instrument separation and imaging depth.

The bassy profile sounds a little more fun and attention-grabbing to me but I can see it being a little less versatile with music genres.

IMG_9750.JPG

Summary:
Alter Ego is a clean, engaging, and musical set with addicting, correct-sounding vocals, and clean yet textured bass. Alter Ego has great techs, particularly imaging and bass/mids texturing.

Two drawbacks may be the open-back design and the more subdued treble. Aside from those, I think it's the new benchmark at $2.5k USD and trades blows with many IEMs at the $3k mark and above including the Annhilator 2023, Canpur 622B, and VE X to name a few.

More impressions to come later.
Excellent impressions! :)

Sound leaks are not important to me, but it is important that it isolates from outside noise, have you noticed any compromises due to its open design?
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 7:34 PM Post #86,217 of 90,282
Excellent impressions! :)

Sound leaks are not important to me, but it is important that it isolates from outside noise, have you noticed any compromises due to its open design?
I haven't noticed any isolation issues but MusicTeck is also located in a quiet neighborhood so I don't think I can comment on this with confidence.
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 8:13 PM Post #86,218 of 90,282
Nuts. I had leakage from Fir audios iem's and the Mrs. threatened to throw me down on the ground and choke me to death for annoying her. :scream::sob::upside_down:
So besides listening in bed, everything else should be fine? :).
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 8:14 PM Post #86,219 of 90,282
Alright it's been a while since we've done any sort of survey. Now that we're 1/3 and two CanJams into 2024 what are the top 3-5 things on your radar right now?

For myself:

1) Elysian Pilgrim Noir - Loved the OG, Noir sounds even more up my alley
2) Elysian Dio-- not really a potential buy for me, but I'm dying to heari it.
3) Melodic Artification Alter Ego -- This one was a show highlight for a very diverse range of folks-- I'm quite interested in hearing it.
4) iBasso PB5-- I'm not really a dongle or portable Amp guy but I might eventually jump on one of these just to try it.
5) An EE prototpe I heard rumours about along the lines of an updated LX-- anyone have any more info on that?
Looking forward to Can Jam So Cal this year!

Personally, my big 5 to listen for are (in no particular order):

1) Raal Immanis
2) Elysian Dio
3) Subtonic Storm RE
4) ZMF Caldera, Caldera Closed, Atrium Closed
5) Audio Technica’s crazy HPA-KG NARU headphone amp

Additionally, already said it before, but hoping to get to know and hang out with some of the Watercooler folks, too.
 
Apr 11, 2024 at 8:16 PM Post #86,220 of 90,282
Alright it's been a while since we've done any sort of survey. Now that we're 1/3 and two CanJams into 2024 what are the top 3-5 things on your radar right now?

For myself:

1) Elysian Pilgrim Noir - Loved the OG, Noir sounds even more up my alley
2) Elysian Dio-- not really a potential buy for me, but I'm dying to heari it.
3) Melodic Artification Alter Ego -- This one was a show highlight for a very diverse range of folks-- I'm quite interested in hearing it.
4) iBasso PB5-- I'm not really a dongle or portable Amp guy but I might eventually jump on one of these just to try it.
5) An EE prototpe I heard rumours about along the lines of an updated LX-- anyone have any more info on that?
1. Elysian DIO- Doubt I’ll pick this up anytime soon as I can’t give up customs. However this set is making a strong impression in the community.

2. Amber Pearl CIEM- $1500 last I checked, but the SQ upgrade for Bone Conduction sets is appealing. I love my universal set, but there’s this itch I need to scratch. Then again, it’s another $1500 to resell back to universal if I were to sell it.

3. Luxury Precision EA4- External battery powered amps aren’t my bag anymore, but very curious to see what LP’s version of a KORG NuTube external will sound like. The Cayin C9ii will have stiff competition.

4. Campfire Audio Cascade II- This is a long anticipated release as I loved the Cascade but didn’t get on with the comfort. I’ve been assured the Cascade successor was designed from the start to be comfortable.

5. Crinacle Dusk (2024)- While I have numerous flagship and mid fi sets, they necessitate a good DAP. The new Dusk is bundled with a USB C cable which allows for specific DSP adjustments. I miss this functionality from my time with the LCDi4. This set should be arriving in a couple of weeks.
 

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