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US Head-Fi Tour: Empire Ears Legend X vs. Phantom TOTL CIEM Tour - Starting November 2018

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  1. Ike1985
    I am ready to send these to Joker, I will be contacting him now. My impressions with regard to the legend and it's pairing with the venom will be coming soon this morning. Wasn't a huge fan of the phantom, I appreciate the mid forward signature but it didn't have the kind of detail I need in a TOTL monitor.
     
  2. thejoker13
    @Ike1985 made contact with me about sending me the units. I am ready to receive them and give them some critical listening. Thank you again to @Barra for organizing this tour! Without this tour, I wouldn't have the opportunity to demo them, and blind buying seemed ludicrous at their price point.
     
    Barra likes this.
  3. Barra
    No problem, that is why the tours began. I was frustrated not being able to hear these products to judge them for myself. I am very happy to share the demo experience with my friends on HeadFi. :)
     
    thejoker13 and bvng3540 like this.
  4. Ike1985
    Results:

    Legend X is very nice, ton of detail, layering and separation. Stage goes to A18t, overall detail to 18t but it's close. At times that DD driver in the LX will shine through and give me that deepness I expect from a DD (and would be the cherry on top of the A18t if it had that quality) but it doesn't seem to happen enough for me with LX. While the tuning of the LX DD lends to an absolutely precise and actually very A18t-ish signature (everything mostly in line from highs to low and very detailed, solid bass and well extended highs) I find myself actually preferring the A18t bass. There is nothing wrong with the DD tuning on the LX it's just not my cup of tea, when I think of a DD IEM I want that thick, very deep rumble and thud and it should happen often if the song merits it but the LX seems to keep it's power in reserve most of the time to the point to where the A18t actually has more oomph to my ears some of the time while in rare instances it is simply overpowered by the deepness of the rumble and notes the LX produces but as said, this isn't often enough for me. Both are top shelf but I still prefer A18t.

    LX + Venom:
    The best way I can describe what the venom does to IEM's like the A18t/LX is that it makes vocals sound extremely realistic, eerily realistic. It's almost like going from a digital signal to a chord DAC created analog signal, the music becomes more real, smoother and easier to listen to for long periods of time. The IEMs just disappear(assuming you have a solid custom fit that is) The Venom also blackens the background and due to attenuating the high's a bit, creates more oomph in the low end without muddying anything. In fact the venom sharpens every note, creating a dark, precise sound full of precision, layering and separation not to mention it pushes the boundaries of the stage out in all directions. The pairing with the LX is spectacular. I experienced all of the above. Most noticeable from the stock cable provided with LX: the warmer signature, blacker background and the increase in overall resolution and detail. The stock cable makes the bass a bit muddy and congested and the stage much smaller, vocals are also more forward with it.

    Didn't care much for phantom so no cable matchup there, felt LX and A18t were just in a different league.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  5. Barra
  6. rantng
    Can we get an update on the tour progression?
     
  7. rantng
    I can hear the crickets chirping. Let's keep this tour moving and follow the rules of the tour. Please check in. @Barra I think we need a little nudge here.
     
  8. thejoker13
    Hmm, or pm the person who had it instead of being passive aggressive towards me by saying Barra should step in. The kit is currently already shipped to @carlson.
     
  9. rantng
    No passive aggressiveness here. Although the participant list is posted I didn't know if there was an issue that we weren't aware of. As per the tour guidelines, each participant should post here when they've received the kit and when the kit is being sent to the next participant. I believe we all agreed to follow these rules as part of our participation in the tour.
     
    MIke M and eldss like this.
  10. thejoker13
    Yes, you're correct @rantng . Perhaps I am being sensitive at having to say goodbye to those beauties, haha.
    Seriously though, I do apologize for not making the details public as this has been my first tour that I've been a part of.
    I do understand now though what's expected going forward, but definitely dropped the ball on this one.
    The kit has been shipped to @Carlsan and should be in his possession by Friday.
     
  11. Carlsan
    Received the tour kit today, everything looks fine.
    thanks.
     
    Barra likes this.
  12. doctorjazz
    Boy, it's been so long since I signed up, but looks like I"M NEXT!
     
  13. Carlsan
    It will be tough sending them on. Just listening to the Phantom and I can not believe how good they are. Really perfect for the music I'm currently listening to.
     
    Barra likes this.
  14. Carlsan
    Okay, my impressions, which I just shared with doctorjazz:
    I was impressed with both and surprised that I liked the Phantom as much as I did.
    Actually, I was expecting more from the Legend.
    Legend is more balanced, has better sub-bass, and has really nice mids with good extension. They handle everything just fine.
    Phantoms have more of a mid-bass tuning on the bottom end, not as good sub-bass as the Legend; they have mids that sound good and highs that are a bit on the recessed side of things. However, the tuning is very smooth and perfect for pop and rock stuff. Couldn't see myself listening to classical with these, although Blue Note/ Miles Davis type jazz would probably work fine.
    Both sound better than the Massdrop Zeus, which is a bit rough along the edges.

    For most of my listening, I think I would probably pick the Phantom, it has a lively yet smooth approach to the music that makes most music just sound really good.

    I would be happy with either if I found one or the other at a great price.

    My thanks to Barra for including me in this tour.
     
    Barra likes this.
  15. Carlsan
    Sending this off tomorrow to doctorjazz. Priority label bought on-line and package ready to go.
     
    Barra likes this.
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