Tralucent Audio 1Plus2 IEM (Now With 'New' 1Plus2.2!) Impressions Thread
Jun 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM Post #2,718 of 6,400

flymetothemoon

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Took the plunge just now! Too good to resist. That's the sound I'm looking for with my Tera.

Amazingly with just 26ohms [1plus2's impedance] and the 1plus2's match to Tera just simply astonishing.
 
Jun 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM Post #2,719 of 6,400

kkcc

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Quote:
 
Good comments. So did you find that placing the T1 between the AK120 and the 1Plus2 made a material difference? If so, in what way? Is it worth it? Thanks!

 
I didn't test many tracks with the "T1" (still not sure if the amp section of this new dac amp is the same as T1) as I'm steering clear away from stacks.  I would say the difference of AK120->1+2 vs AK120->"T1"->1+2 is less pronounced than the improvement I hear when I tried AK120->Gavin's Intruder->FT334 001 balanced cable vs AK120->FT334 /w Twag v3.
 
The main difference with the "T1" amp would be slightly more impact and texture on bass/sub-bass, and a touch fuller sounding mid.  I want to say the treble seemed more refined and less spicy but the tracks I was on when amped are some jazz vocal that isn't a good test for treble/sibilance.
 
Value is subjective and definitely not worth it for me to have to carry a stack, but as I said I really really value pocketability and not a stack person.  YMMV.
 
Jun 11, 2013 at 9:47 PM Post #2,721 of 6,400

flymetothemoon

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Typo. Sorry, corrected. Thanks for spotting out. Cheers,
 
Jun 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM Post #2,722 of 6,400

cooperpwc

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Quote:
 
I didn't test many tracks with the "T1" (still not sure if the amp section of this new dac amp is the same as T1) as I'm steering clear away from stacks.  I would say the difference of AK120->1+2 vs AK120->"T1"->1+2 is less pronounced than the improvement I hear when I tried AK120->Gavin's Intruder->FT334 001 balanced cable vs AK120->FT334 /w Twag v3.
 
The main difference with the "T1" amp would be slightly more impact and texture on bass/sub-bass, and a touch fuller sounding mid.  I want to say the treble seemed more refined and less spicy but the tracks I was on when amped are some jazz vocal that isn't a good test for treble/sibilance.
 
Value is subjective and definitely not worth it for me to have to carry a stack, but as I said I really really value pocketability and not a stack person.  YMMV.

 
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Going "ampless" is a potential attraction of the AK120.
 
Jun 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM Post #2,723 of 6,400

kkcc

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Thanks for the detailed feedback. Going "ampless" is a potential attraction of the AK120.


Yes I didn't feel the AK100 is good enough for me standalone and caused me missing the dx100 quite often, but AK120 finally did it for me. It also sound great with the 1plus2 with the gold/silver cable un-amped. If you are around town you should really meet with with Gavin and demo it yourself!
 
Jun 11, 2013 at 11:48 PM Post #2,724 of 6,400

lee730

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Quote:
Yes I didn't feel the AK100 is good enough for me standalone and caused me missing the dx100 quite often, but AK120 finally did it for me. It also sound great with the 1plus2 with the gold/silver cable un-amped. If you are around town you should really meet with with Gavin and demo it yourself!

 
 
Quote:
 
Thanks for the detailed feedback. Going "ampless" is a potential attraction of the AK120.

 
 
Totally agreed. AK120 manages to more than good enough to fly solo. An amp isn't a requirement but that won't stop the diehard fans :).
 
Jun 12, 2013 at 7:51 AM Post #2,725 of 6,400

cooperpwc

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Quote:
Yes I didn't feel the AK100 is good enough for me standalone and caused me missing the dx100 quite often, but AK120 finally did it for me. It also sound great with the 1plus2 with the gold/silver cable un-amped. If you are around town you should really meet with with Gavin and demo it yourself!

 
I have already touched bases with Gavin. I probably won't get back down there until late summer/fall but really looking forward to hearing them.
 
Jun 12, 2013 at 6:06 PM Post #2,726 of 6,400

james444

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Tralucent 1plus2 vs. AKG K3003
 
Thanks to Gavin and Gintaras, I had the opportunity to try a Tralucent 1plus2 loaner for a week. My initial plan was to use them for a few hours of casual listening and then start A/Bing with several of my favorite IEMs.
 
However, things changed shortly after I put them in, because of how they instantly reminded me of my K3003s with reference filters. I went to get the AKGs and sure enough, these turned out to sound significantly closer to the 1plus2 than any other pair of IEMs I've heard (including Gintaras' RDB+ V1 that I briefly auditioned during our meet). Seriously, after an hour of going back and forth between the 1plus2 and K3003, I almost felt tempted to drive over to Vienna's AKG headquarters, have these guys take a listen and watch their faces. Now that's not to say that these two phones sound identical, of course there are differences in frequency response and transients, but overall the similarities by far outweigh them in my book. In fact I had to revise my A/Bing scheme from listening to complete test tracks to listening to short music sections in a loop, in order to work out the differences to the last detail.
 
But first things first, here's my disclaimer: I've tried to listen to both IEMs with an open mind and to the best of my abilities, but may not be free of bias or self-deceit. I don't hear much above 16kHz, so take my comments about highs with a grain of salt. I have larger ears than almost everyone I know and no fit or seal problems with either phone, but that may not necessarily be the case for you, especially if you have small ears. Comparisons were made amped from my Xin SuperMicro IV and repeated unamped from my Samsung Galaxy S3 (international version) with consistent results. Remember, all this is strictly imo and ymmv.
wink.gif

 
Test Tracks
 
Here's a selection of tracks I used, for those who want to listen for themselves and get to the bottom of things, or just want to know how I do my A/Bing. I have all music in high-bitrate mp3s or better and YouTube / Grooveshark may not do their original quality justice.
 
1) Brahms - Symphony #2, last movement (Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Celibidache)  (used for holistic assessment: sound signature, timbre, dynamics, soundstage. play entire movement; for YouTube version: start at 36:20)
 

 
Grooveshark Link
 
 
2) Diana Krall - The Boy From Ipanema (Quiet Nights)   (used to assess cymbals timbre, treble resolution and transients; play a 30 seconds loop starting from 1:50)
 

 
Grooveshark Link
 
 
3) Indigo Girls - Digging For Your Dream (Poseidon and the Bitter Bug)  (used to assess mids, vocals and overall tonal balance)
 

 
Grooveshark Link
 
 
4) Kate Rusby - Awkward Annie (20)  (used to assess vocals and acoustic guitar transients / timbre; play a 50 seconds loop starting from 0:00; found only an album sampler version on YouTube, sorry)
 

 
 
5) Sibelius - Violin Concerto, first movement (Lisa Batiashvili, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)  (used to assess treble and violin timbre; play a 55 seconds loop starting from 0:00; YouTube live version is slightly different from album version)
 

 
 
6) Marina and the Diamonds - Primadonna Girl (Electra Heart)  (used to assess bass quantity, transients and impact on mids clarity; play a 60 seconds loop starting from 0:00)
 


Grooveshark Link
 
 
7) Origin - The Aftermath (Antithesis)  (used to assess speed, separation, vocal intelligibility, overall balance; play a 90 seconds loop starting from 0:00)
 

 
Grooveshark Link
 
 
8) Dave Holland Quintet - Metamorphos (Live At Birdland)  (used to assess bass timbre, bass/treble noteweight, soundstage, positioning; play a 150 seconds loop starting from 1:30)
 

 
Grooveshark Link
 
 
9) Scott Dubois - Prarie Suite (Landscape Scripture)  (used for holistic assessment: balance, clarity, timbre, separation, soundstage; play entire track)
 

 
 
Impressions (warning: excessive use of "slightly" ahead :wink:
 
- based on 6), 8) and 9): 1plus2 has slightly more emphasis on deep bass and slightly faster transients. K3003 has slightly softer bass, but slightly more realistic bass timbre.
- based on 3), 4), 6) and 7): 1plus2 has slightly more laid-back mids than the K3003, but the difference is rather small, mostly about 2 or 3db.
- based on 2), 3), 4), 5) and 8): both have very similar upper mids and treble presence, but the K3003 sounds slightly more resolving / refined. 1plus2 sounds slightly more "raw" and female vocals can be a tiny bit more strident.
- based on 7): both pass the speed test without problem, though 1plus2 sounds slightly faster and tighter. Intelligibility of vocals is a tad better on the K3003, due to slightly better mids presence.
- based on 1), 7), 8) and 9): both sound sufficiently coherent to my ears, though I can clearly distinguish hybrid drivers (BA + DD) on both. If coherence is paramount, get a single driver IEM or something impeccably tuned like the UERM.
- based on 1), 3), 6), 8) and 9): soundstage, separation and dynamics are equally excellent on both.
 
Conclusion
 
The AKG K3003 and Tralucent 1plus2 not only play in the same (high-end) league of IEMs, but are actually akin to a point where it feels almost redundant to own both of these phones. So which one to chose, if you're on the verge of going for one of these? First of all, absolutely try both if you can arrange it. Their fit and ergonomics are much more different than their sound signatures and you may end up preferring one over the other for that reason alone. Then, especially if you're of the overly cautious kind, keep in mind that the 1plus2's cable is removable, whereas the K3003 come with a fixed cable. On the other hand, if you like to play around with your stuff, it's worth mentioning that the K3003 come with easily exchangeable filters and you can tune them to your liking (though I personally think the reference filter is by far the best).
 
But last not least, based solely on sound characteristics, here's my recommendation: the 1plus2 are perhaps a tiny bit better suited for fast-paced, energetic music like (hard) rock, dance or hip-hop, especially if you like to listen at higher volume. However, if these genres are not high on your priority list and you value lower volume, refinement and subtlety instead, especially with acoustic, classical or jazz music, I'd give an ever so slight nod to the K3003.
 
Thanks for reading. 
smile_phones.gif

 
Jun 12, 2013 at 8:16 PM Post #2,728 of 6,400

cravenz

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Interesting take James. I'm guessing the review was done with the upgraded cable. I remember doing the cable switch and though the upgraded gold silver was reminiscent of the k3003. Stock silver was definitely different for me though.
 
Jun 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM Post #2,729 of 6,400

vwinter

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Those are fantastic impressions James. I' going to give the tracks a good listen when I have some solid focus time. I especially like this style because they are the polar opposite to how do write-ups.
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Jun 12, 2013 at 10:58 PM Post #2,730 of 6,400
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James. Thank you for sharing. Although I didn't spend much time with the K3003's I felt my RDB+ v1 was closer to the 1Plus2 than the K3003. Maybe I need to listen to the K3003 again.

Mind you I could use the same cable on both 1Plus2 & RDB+ v1 but not the K3003 naturally.
 

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