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Article: $200 IEM Matchup


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Nice write up, but please try the latest Chi-Fi planars! KZ PR1 or Letshuoer S12 Pro are the real deals for even less money✌️

 

 

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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19 hours ago, Vincent des Champs said:

Nice write up, but please try the latest Chi-Fi planars! KZ PR1 or Letshuoer S12 Pro are the real deals for even less money✌️

 

 

Thanks for the tip! I’ve ordered a pair of KZ PR1 from AliExpress for the princely sum of 53 euros including shipping - I can’t wait to hear what these planar magnetic IEMs sound like.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > Denafrips Iris 12th/Ares 12th-1; Gyrodec/SME V/Hana SL/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > PrimaLuna Evo 100 amp > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > APPJ EL34 > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

System (iv) Technics 1210GR > Leak 230 > Tannoy Cheviot

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19 hours ago, JoshM said:

Those two both look interesting for the price, but they measure even more V-shaped than the Timeless, so they might not be the tuning for me.

That’s true, though the planars are very well ‘EQ-able’ to your preferences. It’s just the soundstage, speed and resolution that are from another level!

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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1 hour ago, Richard Dale said:
21 hours ago, Vincent des Champs said:

 

Thanks for the tip! I’ve ordered a pair of KZ PR1 from AliExpress for the princely sum of 53 euros including shipping - I can’t wait to hear what these planar magnetic IEMs sound like.

They won’t disappoint you. Which DAC (dongle) will you use? 

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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4 minutes ago, Vincent des Champs said:

They won’t disappoint you. Which DAC (dongle) will you use? 

I’ve recently got an iFi Go Link, and I also use an original Shanling M0. But I will be interested in trying them with my iFi Micro Black Label/APPJ PA1502A tube headphone amp to see how they scale when driven better.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > Denafrips Iris 12th/Ares 12th-1; Gyrodec/SME V/Hana SL/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > PrimaLuna Evo 100 amp > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > APPJ EL34 > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

System (iv) Technics 1210GR > Leak 230 > Tannoy Cheviot

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8 hours ago, Vincent des Champs said:

That’s true, though the planars are very well ‘EQ-able’ to your preferences. It’s just the soundstage, speed and resolution that are from another level!


I’ve done some more reading about the S12, and interestingly some reviewers are speculating that it’s the same driver as the Timeless.

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8 hours ago, JoshM said:


I’ve done some more reading about the S12, and interestingly some reviewers are speculating that it’s the same driver as the Timeless.

In that case the S12 (Pro) would be even more value for money. No idea whether 7Hz and Letshuoer are affiliated companies and share parts.

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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11 hours ago, Vincent des Champs said:

In that case the S12 (Pro) would be even more value for money. No idea whether 7Hz and Letshuoer are affiliated companies and share parts.


From what I can tell, a lot of IEM companies operate like small speaker companies, in that they use “off the shelf” drivers from other companies, then use their own crossovers, shells, etc.

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On 3/22/2023 at 10:11 AM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Thanks for the follow-up with all the details @JoshM! I'm right with you about a manufacturer stating only its foam tips should be use. I automatically think something fishy is going on :~)

 

I'm glad you tried them and had positive impressions to report. 


The Kato sounds just as good with some of the other silicone-type tips, such as the Xelastic tips. But Moondrop’s included Spring tips are cheaper and maybe even better. My initial mistake was using foam tips. I didn’t know it at the time, since the Kato were the second pair of IEMs I bought, but it now seems clear to me that dynamic driver IEMs always sound best with silicone tips. My guess is that dynamic drivers may be more sensitive to seal than other types of drivers, perhaps due to the role that compression plays in dynamic drivers. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/23/2023 at 2:42 PM, Richard Dale said:

Thanks for the tip! I’ve ordered a pair of KZ PR1 from AliExpress for the princely sum of 53 euros including shipping - I can’t wait to hear what these planar magnetic IEMs sound like.

And.. did you receive the PR1’s in the meantime?

[SOURCE] Ideon Absolute Stream -> Ideon Absolute Time -> [DAC] APL Hifi DSD-MR SE -> [AMP] Dan d’Agostino Progression INT -> [LS] EgglestoneWorks Savoy SE (supported by Stealth Audio cabling, Ansuz network, Stromtank power)

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1 hour ago, Vincent des Champs said:

And.. did you receive the PR1’s in the meantime?

No not yet. They’re due to arrive this coming week - I’m looking forward to listening to them.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > Denafrips Iris 12th/Ares 12th-1; Gyrodec/SME V/Hana SL/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > PrimaLuna Evo 100 amp > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > APPJ EL34 > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

System (iv) Technics 1210GR > Leak 230 > Tannoy Cheviot

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@JoshM

Moondrop Kato user here just with a little remark on the eartips.

 

Basically I also like the Moondrop Spring Tips.
But since isolation is not really great for me they only work in a pretty silent space. Which actually means at home. But at home I use over ear headphones (if at all).
I travel a lot and therefore isolation together with comfort is super important for me.
Since you've mentioned Alza Sednafit Xelastic I thought I'll point you to a new Alza SednaEarfit model called "Crystal".
https://www.azla.co.kr/product/crystal-standard/
On my Kato I prefer them (by far) over the Moondrop Spring tips and also over the Xelastic.
It's somehow also the only eartip (for me!) that really brings out the Katos majestic and clean Bass (together with Dekoni Foam tips, but I don't use them).
Here's a review comparing the Crystal and Xelastic (AirPods Pro model, though) and based on my own experience with both eartips I think it's on point.
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/azla-sednaearfit-crystal.25113/

 

Nice article, Josh - as always. Many thanks!

 

____________________________________________________

Mac Mini, HQPlayer | iFi Zenstream (NAA) | Intona 7055-B | Singxer SDA-6 pro | Vincent SV237 | Buchardt S400 | SPL Phonitor One | Beyer DT1990pro | Avantone Pro Planar II
Desktop: Audirvana Origin | Intona 7054 | SMSL M500MKII | Pro-Ject Stereo Box S | Aperion Novus B5 Bookshelf | Lehmann Rhinelander | Beyer DT700proX

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On 4/13/2023 at 3:54 PM, copy_of_a said:


@JoshM

Moondrop Kato user here just with a little remark on the eartips.

 

Basically I also like the Moondrop Spring Tips.
But since isolation is not really great for me they only work in a pretty silent space. Which actually means at home. But at home I use over ear headphones (if at all).
I travel a lot and therefore isolation together with comfort is super important for me.
Since you've mentioned Alza Sednafit Xelastic I thought I'll point you to a new Alza SednaEarfit model called "Crystal".
https://www.azla.co.kr/product/crystal-standard/
On my Kato I prefer them (by far) over the Moondrop Spring tips and also over the Xelastic.
It's somehow also the only eartip (for me!) that really brings out the Katos majestic and clean Bass (together with Dekoni Foam tips, but I don't use them).
Here's a review comparing the Crystal and Xelastic (AirPods Pro model, though) and based on my own experience with both eartips I think it's on point.
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/azla-sednaearfit-crystal.25113/

 

Nice article, Josh - as always. Many thanks!

 


Thanks so much for the tip. I read your comment on Thurs and ordered them from Amazon. They just arrived. Looking forward to trying them and reporting back to you!

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  • 11 months later...

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