Mini Meet 6/16/2017

Huge thanks to Arv for letting us hang out at his house for a few hours! This was a casual mini-meet with three people in total, but a few things I wanted to try.

Campfire Andromeda

I’ve tried this a few months ago at ChiUniFi and wrote a bit about them here:

“I’m a big fan of these. Their bass is a little bit too prominent for my liking and there’s a little bit too much mid treble, but I loved their midrange. It’s just a really fun IEM and I’m trying really, really hard to restrain myself from buying one. The green anodization is gorgeous in person.”

Today, I got to experiment with different sources because the Andromeda is notoriously picky. None of us had DAPs but I did try them out of a Macbook Pro headphone out, an Apple Lightning dongle, and my XPS13 9343 headphone out. None of these are great sources by any means, but it showed just how different the Andromeda can sound out of different sources, and for strangely unrelated reasons.

At ChiUniFi, I tried the Andromeda out of a Fiio X7 and as my impressions say, it was very, very bassy and there was a bit more mid treble than I’d like. One hypothesis to the very strange results was that the X7’s low output impedance (<.5ohm) causes the Andromeda to sound bassy, but the bass was quite tamed out of the Lightning dongle, which has an output impedance of .37ohms. The treble was also rather calm too and the midrange was slightly pushed back.

Out of both laptop jacks, the bass was raised versus the Lightning dongle, but nowhere near what I remember hearing from the X7. There was also a slight midrange coloration, almost reminiscent to the Noble’s coloration but to a significantly lessened degree.

I do think they’re a very impressive set of IEMs, but I want to do more DAP experimentation before considering them—it’s strange, I’ve never heard any headphone sound so differently out of different sources and I wish I knew why.

AKG K812

I don’t know. They’re okay I guess? I didn’t hate them when I first listened to them but the more I listened, the more obvious it became that their bass could be clearer, their upper midrange is uneven and has something really funky going on that makes it sound unnatural (not as weird as what I remember from the K872 though). They also seem to have a low treble lift. It’s a weird sound but I honestly can’t say I hate it. I can’t think of any reason to pay retail for these but at like $500…maybe? I do like these more than the K712. Arv actually let me bring these home and I plan on sending these to Amar next week for him to review and I’ve been using them since I got home. They sound very, very weird with female vocals—they’re tonally off, but still surprisingly listenable. But for twangy instruments, like the shamisen, they’re pretty painful. Also, they have a surprising amount of bass, possibly in part due to the really well-sealing pads.

Schiit Mjolnir 2

I’ve actually owned one of these briefly. I liked it, but didn’t think it did anything well enough worth keeping over my Cavalli EHHA. I liked their bass impact with the LISST, but didn’t give it much time with tubes. I found that the slight haze to their sound was enough to convince me to ultimately get rid of it. Today, I heard one with stock JJ tubes and Amperex PQ tubes. Take this all with a grain of salt because I did have to rely on auditory memory and had no way of testing back and forth reliably and only warmed the tubes up for about ten minutes, but I didn’t like the expensive PQ tubes. I used my HD800 to compare the two. Compared to even stock tubes, they had a warmer lower midrange, but sounded more dipped in the upper midrange and had less bass extension. Treble seemed to be slightly laid back too versus the stock tubes.

Stock Sennheiser HD800 vs Modded HD800

My HD800 has a resonator I made myself with Creatology felt, Creatology foam, and printing paper. I also removed the dust cover. I’ll be totally honest: the difference is really small. I hear a bit more upper midrange in my pair and a little less 6kHz and a little more air, but if I wasn’t comparing back to back, I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference. 6kHz is probably the most marked difference but even that is rather small, and I actually don’t mind the extra 6kHz the stock HD800 has.