was able to AB 2nd gen and 3rd gen 18+ Actually, planning to get the 3rd gen if there are differences but ended up with ny 2nd gen custom. Let me first give my impressions. 18+ PRO 2nd gen and 3rd gen (using my custom and 2nd gen 18+ demo) The 2nd gen demo unit was warmer than my 18+ 2nd gen custom. So I used mine. the key difference is only the tonality imho. I used my final audio tips. the 3rd gen is less warmer, starting with the bass both exhibit same impact with the 2nd gen being warmer tonally. the midbass has a bit lesser punch on the 3rd gen but notes are a littl well more articulate and giving a more airier and spacious soundstage. the warmth for me isn't that prominent which translates to less body. vocals and instruments have less body. Imo, the 3rd gen favors more female vocals than male and having more harmonious notes but that doesn't mean to say the 2nd gen don't have this. it still sounds natural and has that nice timbre but vocals like Jack Johnson, leave me desiring for more low vocal notes, for me it doesn't have that chesty vocals anymore. Vocals are more forward this time with some lift on midrange to high mid so the vocals sound clear and focused all the time which on the 2nd gen vocals sometimes isn't well separated or drowned from the instruments. Instruments are well presented and easy to pinpoint, but I thought with less accurate sound/reverb especially on drums. there is more clarity on the 3rd gen and is very much obvious the moment you switch from 2nd to 3rd gen. Highs has a lot more spark and presence(2nd gen sometimes sound shelved) with some lift from 8k and mostly 10kHz and up thus also leading to some sibilance ime. Those looking for more spark in the highs will be happy. The 3rd gen sounds like a reference tuning to me. the overall tuning for me leans to a little brighter tone I ended up still with my 2nd gen because of also preference and it sounded more natural to me. BUT with an upgrade cable. I bought the silver gold cable that was being sold before. This one really for me hits the spot on my 2nd gen, and I did appreciate it more because of the cable, this was my 1st bought upgrade cable since 2013. After trying different cables on my iem/ciems and HPs way back, I always went back to stock. Because the cables alters the sound/tuning for me even though there is an improvement. The silver gold changes this. Tonally it's still warm but overall it sounds refined. I thought this is the type of cable i was looking for, having imporements but not altering the sound/tuning to an almost entire different sounding ciem. Bass is deeper but is well controlled, more impact and tighter than the stock and 3rd gen. the midbass sounds fuller than stock and 3rd gen but is on par with the 3rd gen when it comes to resolution. instruments on that area sound more solid and weighty with more space. vocals, this is the best part for me it is warm enough but not as warm like the 2nd gen (silver gold has lesser gain on the mid bass) vocals now is more focused, clearer and much more centered and bigger. the highs do get just very little spark benefitting from the silver but not close to the 3rd gen, imho the highs of 3rd gen dont sound natural to me because of that bump on the higher freqs. Both are very well extended but the 2nd gen with silver gold dont have any sibilance with me. Soundatage is bigger than the stock and 3rd gen. Instruments have more space and air and is very well organized Clearly, for me the silver gold has much more resolution than the stock an obvious improvement. I didn't have plans to buy a cable for my 2nd gen and in fact I was ready to sell them if I didnt happen to hear the silver gold. the overall sound is warm,refined, solid, organic, lush think of a very good turntable setup. Just to add, after auditioning the Legend X, Phantom and VE8 I still prefer the 18+ w/silver gold. The silver gold gives it a nice warm sound but less warmer than Phantom and VE8.