Campfire Audio Andromeda Review: Holy Cow, This is a Dream, Awesomesauce!

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, May 13, 2016.

  1. theveterans

    theveterans Acquaintance

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    To be honest, I haven't heard the Andromeda sounding great out of any desktop setups, but my listening to them is only limited to Schiit amps, Chord Mojo, Hugo2 and Hugo2 TT. Either Andromeda gets too warm with mushy microdynamics (not well defined micro-transitions in the delicate flow of music) or thin and bright sounding with not enough heft and not enough microdynamics again. Best I've heard the Andromeda is from the SP2000 DAP I'm using where it actually sounds full of both macro and fast and fluid microdynamics and because of that, I can easily lose myself listening to music in a holistic manner instead of focusing on just some of the parts
     
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  2. Thundervikings

    Thundervikings Rando

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    One of the things I've been wondering about lately (especially since I've been working from home) is if there is a "good" desktop setup for the Andromeda? The dragonfly red has been a good cheap solution that travels well, but it leaves a lot to be desired when not on the road. I had a chance to demo andromedas, single ended, from a Sony WM1A about a year ago, and my experience was similar to what's already been said about the pairing. It sounded good in all the ways that make you not notice the equipment is even there (lots of microdynamics and detail, defined soundstage with some depth). It was definitely something I could be happy enough to just keep on using as a high end set-up, and I'm not surprised about your experience with the SP2000.

    I've seen past discussions talk about using a buffer (Lehman, Line Drive), and it would be interesting to see an amp with variable output impedance (if this is even possible? I'm terrible as an armchair electric engineer). Also, I've read about recent positive experience with the Asgard 3. I've had a good experience running my Andromedas out of of my SA31 amp. Other than a little bit of background noise on low gain, it has a much wider soundstage than what I remember on the WM1A (in IEM terms). Macrodynamics are really good, but there does seem to be a little roll off at the lowest frequencies. Would it make sense that a low impedance BA IEM would benefit from an amp that can supply higher current/power than average?
     
  3. theveterans

    theveterans Acquaintance

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    IMO, Andromeda being bass light (in terms of low-level heft and not extension) from a lower impedance source can be due to lack of current at low voltages. To me, as I’m not an electronics engineer nor knowledgeable in electronics, I do perceive better BA bass texture and impact with high amount of current at very low voltages (since Andromeda’s impedance is really low in the bass region). DAPs with good amplification performs better in this regard (low voltage, high current delivery) than high powered desktop amps. And BTW, the changes or inflections of current delivery at this constrained voltage ceiling maybe attributed to better micro dynamics that I perceive when using a good DAP compared to desktop amps. That’s just my theory but I’m no electronic engineer as caveat.
     
  4. 11GTCS

    11GTCS Rando

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    So I’ve tried to read as much of the previous 106 pages of this thread as I can, and I’ve hunted all over the internet for some experience on this question. Does anyone who owns andros have any experience with using them with an old school, 5th gen or older iPod? It seems like the output impedance is 5ohms, which would suggest from what I’ve read on here that bass will be reduced. Can anyone say how they sound? I’m more attached to my iPods than I am to any super headphones, but I’d like to have IEM’s that are like some headphones in that they work fine on mobile sources unamped, but grow with proper amping at a desktop setup. I apologize if it’s too soon for me to be asking questions, I’d just really love to get some andros, they sound like exactly what I’d like, but I’m not getting rid of my iPods to get a DAP just to play the exact same music with a form factor that isn’t as fun for me. I appreciate the help!
     
  5. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Acquaintance

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    At a 5 ohm output impedance an iPod will tilt towards the treble. But not sure to what degree. Hopefully someone with an iPod or a source in that impedance range can weigh in.

    Andros are great and beloved for a reason but source sensitivity is a big caveat. Both in terms of output impedance and noise floor. But both can be addressed with the IEMatch. I personally haven't found that the IEMatch degrades the sound to an appreciable degree but others disagree. But it makes Andros much more versatile in terms of sources.
     
  6. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    @11GTCS , see post #2079 a couple of pages back in this thread. Tan curve. Boost in upper mids & treble (or, relatively, reduction in bass & lower mids).
     
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  7. 11GTCS

    11GTCS Rando

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    Thanks, I actually remember seeing that graph, but I didn’t check to see if 5ohm was on there. I already ordered them, so I’ll play with various sources and see how it sounds in my ears. As far as IEMatch, @roscoeiii , I’ve been eyeing the xDSD anyway as a possible portable solution, I’m assuming the auto IEMatch in that is probably fairly similar to what happens in the dongle version, so I’ll have to consider that as well.
     
  8. dubiousmike

    dubiousmike Friend

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    I'm five years late to party, but definitely better late than never in this case, and thanks again to @paranoidroid for the great deal on his immaculate pair of v2's. Preaching to the choir here, but hot damn are these some tasty IEM's! For years, I dithered and harbored minor concerns that the 7k peak on the pre-2020's might push my treble tolerance, but the Andromeda's FR seems to hit a lovely sweet spot for me between phones with a 6k peak (eg hd800) or 9-10k peak (eg dt880's). Via my Yggdrasil -> self-built, unity gain Wire SE SE, they have a clarity and resolution that easily betters every set of phones I have, aside from og/sd resonator modded hd800's, while also presenting the sense of warmth and moderate fullness I always wished I could coax from my hd800's. The result is an earphone that sounds as flaming great (to me) with, say, pop-punk/alt-rock (eg Point North), as they do with audiophile cult hit bluegrass (eg HDS 701 / Sauerkraut 'N Solar Energy), as they do with classical/choral/partitas etc. (currently reveling in William Christie/Les Arts Florrisante's album of Purcell's Divine Hymns). So good!

    I could listen to them happily with the stock silicones in a pinch (and did for several hours yesterday), but Purrin's rec of the filtered comply's, which I thankfully had on hand in the right size, is really where it's at even if they do require replacing every month or two.

    For those asking about desktop amps above, I can attest that a properly star grounded diyaudio Wire has absolutely 0 hiss/noise and sounds brilliant to me with the Andromedas with a quality source. (For reference, the Wire sounds nothing like the shitastic O2, even after I modded mine with AGDR's booster board and much better opamps.) OPC, who designed the Wire, is the real deal. Wires don't pop up that often due to discontinued semis but tend to be cheap when they do. Just wish I had had the foresight to pickup the boards and parts for the balanced version when I built mine because it would be fun to compare with an equivalent with twice the output impedance.

    For a cheap portable source (for those with Android phones that support LDAC), I can also confirm the Fiio BTR5 sounds better with the Andromedas than it has any right to given its very modest price tag. I tend to cringe a little every time Fiio is mentioned and picked this up on a late night whim assuming it would be an overhyped FOTM gadget in a pretty black glass enclosure. Maybe my now 40yo ears are less picky than they once were, but it turns out, I use the BTR5 all the time for casual listening - often as a beater setup with Koss kph30i's, but after experimenting last night, I can tell you it is about to be repurposed for use with my Andros when lounging and browsing Spotify on my Pixel. Good times ahead!
     
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  9. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I received my Andromeda 2020 about a week ago as my primary traveling headphones, driving them with xDuoo X10T II to Chord Mojo. I'm still working on getting enough time on them for a thorough review, including tip rolling... on the other hand, there's already 106 pages here and I have nothing close to their price range to compare them to. Still, there are a few things that stand out or are noteworthy after a week:
    • The bass is really, really nice. The texture and dynamics are very enjoyable. The sub-bass boost is somewhat distracting but it does make for good impact.
    • Everyone has described these as being dark, warm headphones but I actually hear a small scoop in the mids and forwardish treble. It's a subtle effect, and one that I think might be corrected by the right tips and cable (I am rarely a fan of silver/SPC for headphone cables).
    • I'm really pleased with how well these can maintain detail, separation, and in particular percussion clarity during busy, chaotic tracks. I have some music that will turn lesser headphones into mush, but these make it through without embarrassing themselves. They're no HD800, but the whole package is also smaller than the HD800's driver.
    • I wasn't a fan of the way percussion sounded with foam tips, mushy and congested, silicone is much better and clearer. Interestingly with my other IEMs, Dekoni foam tips are the clearest I've heard yet other foam tips are fucking horrid. The Dekoni and Campfire tips appear to be identical besides the color of the inner sleeve, but I haven't compared them side by side sound-wise. I was really hoping foam would do the trick because the isolation is so much better than with silicone, and these are primarily for long flights and hotel stays.
    • These are so sensitive I'm seeing new colors on my Mojo's balls. I can still use them with Jotunheim 2, although there is hiss audible even at zero volume
     
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  10. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Jason Stoddard says here that "there won't be any hiss from the balanced output."

    There's a dedicated Andromeda 2020 thread here in case you've not seen it.
     
  11. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    Just to be clear, this was the SE out. I haven't made myself a balanced adapter yet.
     
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