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

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

  1. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Ken, if this really is an improvement, I hope us existing Andro owners can pay a fee to get the new mid BA and tuning applied to our current IEMs, keeping the same housing.
     
  2. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Hey Merrick,

    We dont see this limited Andro-S tuning as radically different or "better" / "worse" than the Andromeda "classic green" version, rather the Andro-S is what we would consider it as just slightly different. Some will like it better and some will prefer the classic green over the Andro-s. As we have seen from some who have demoed the Andromeda S here in HK, some do like it better and some like the older classic Andromeda so its a personal preference. Also as I stated in this thread the Andromeda S will a one time production event and will not be permanent.

    So sorry we can no retro fit a classic Andromeda, I would not want to tamper with something that is not broken.

    I hope you understand where we are coming from and will not be unhappy with our direction as a small company. I thank you for your post.

    Ken
     
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  3. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    @KenBall
    Hi Ken! May I ask if the 6.5k peak, which is the one issue found in a lot of CA iems, has been fixed in the andro-S?
     
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  4. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Interesting. My main gripe with the Andros were that the lower mids were a little thin; Cellos and male vocals lacked body. I wonder if this addresses that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I understand, no worries!
     
  6. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    I definitely think I'd prefer this tuning over the regular Andros, as I too thought the mid range was a bit thin, that was probably the biggest reason why I didn't buy them. I might just order these.
     
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  7. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Does anybody have thoughts about whether Andro-S or original Andro might be better suited for classical music? I'm looking for realistic reproduction of the sound of live acoustic instruments. I've been interested in trying Andro but never got around to pulling the trigger.
     
  8. TheBarnard

    TheBarnard Friend

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    Pleaseee let me know if you get jt
     
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  9. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Just my personal 2c. and without disrespect to the Andro's technical excellence. But if classical music and realistic sound of live acoustic instruments are your main priorities, I would go for dynamic drivers and not balanced armatures.
     
  10. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Can you explain more about that impression, please
     
  11. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Well, the short answer is, that while I think that (multi-)BAs sound usually clearer and more resolving than DDs, I also think that the timbre of acoustic instruments tends to sound somewhat more artificial on BAs, when compared to DDs or live acoustic music.

    To borrow a metaphor from photography: BA timbre reminds me of a slightly over-sharpened picture. Impressive, contrasty and eye-popping, but not necessarily all that realistic.

    Still, note that this is first and foremost just a personal opinion. I arrived at it after years of listening to classical music with many different IEMs... DDs, BAs and Hybrids. And noticing a few things in the process: for instance, that I intuitively and predominantly would pick DDs for classical, whenever I had several different IEMs at hand. And that upon switching from DDs to BAs, I would always need some time to adjust to BA timbre. Whereas the adjustment would happen almost instantly, when switching the other way round from BAs to DDs.

    Subjective anecdotal evidence, of course. However, it made me stop buying BAs some time ago, since I listen a lot to classical and found myself not using them much. I still like to audition BAs though, and find many of them (like the Andros and PP8) technically very impressive.

    There are likely also several scientific aspects relevant to the perception of BAs vs. DDs, like differences in transient response, the amount of odd order distortion, or potential phase issues with crossovers. But that's a multi-faceted and very complex subject, that I still don't know enough about to make any bold claims.
     
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  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    @james444 -- really good points. Sidebar: in speaker reviews I've heard this type of presentation described as "hyper-realistic". Likely not to the point of being fatiguing, but emphasizing things that most folks wouldn't perceive in a live setting. But, hyper-realism like being able to tell what brand of pantyhose Dianna Krall was wearing when she sings bad music.
     
  13. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I have followed the Andromeda and this thread for a long long time. But, my disbelief in an iem that could deliver the complete experience that a totl full sized headphone could...was strong.

    Well, the Andromeda came today. I am listening to them now. And I'm now a believer. They are simply exquisite in the way that they resolve and render music. Yes, they deliver treble in a remarkable way. And yes, the sound stage is impressive for an iem. But it's more than that. The signature is cohesive across the spectrum. The mids are layered with breathy details and the bass is spot on with texture and extension.

    I spent $1200 on the jh13 pro v2. I'd like to take Jerry Harvey out behind the barn and give him a swift kick in the ass. Right after I make him listen to the Andromeda.

    Plus I got almost a perfect fit with these using stock tips. Is it the short bore that makes them fit so well for me? I don't know. I'm usually going through at least a half dozen tips trying to get fit and seal with an iem. The near perfect fit on these was dead simple.

    I'm plugging these into a Sony zx300 and the combo is impressive. I don't feel the need to look any further for a DAP. But, I do have a few questions.

    1. Is there anything else currently on the iem market that competes with a similar signature for less money? This is an expensive purchase for me, but I'm not sure that I can give them up. At this point I'm willing to sell some other gear to be able to keep the Andro.

    2. Now that I've heard how good these really are, it's tough for me not to pine just a little to hear the S version. Anyone who has heard both able to give a comparison?

    3. I would like to be able to use these for desktop listening as well from time to time. I'm currently using lyr3 and headamp Gilmore lite mkii. Is it possible to use either of these amps with the Andro using something like the ie-match doo-dad from ifi?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  14. rawrster

    rawrster Rando

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    It sounds like the Andromeda fit is perfect for you. I had issues with the larger size causing my ear pain after a while as well as the short nozzle preventing a good seal. I needed either custom tips or a bi-flange tip for them to fit well.

    I sold the Andromeda due to the above issues around a year ago and I've been trying to find something cheaper that would replace them however I have come up empty. There are earphones that gives you some of the Andromeda however I have yet to find anything that gives you the full Andromeda experience at a discount. The only thing cheaper would be if you purchased them in the used market or bought them B stock instead of brand new.

    I'll probably purchase them again one day and see if it's better this time around.
     
  15. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    He’d say they sound dull and proceed to tune a treble spike into them, amiright?
     
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  16. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    I've found pretty much all the JHA models to be bass heavy with bloated mids, with a very dry sound. Particularly the Layla and Angie. Ken Ball has been doing it better for some time now.
     
  17. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I like you @KenBall . You've done yourself proud with the Andromeda. And at long last you've brought me some iem happiness.

    Now...let's talk about that S model. :D
     
  18. xsuperxapplex

    xsuperxapplex Acquaintance

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    Same sentiments here. The Andromeda is the first IEM I absolutely fell in love with for sound and fit. I think I'm going to own three pairs soon with the Andro-S coming out: original one for at home, b(eater)-stock for work/outside, and the S to make into shiny cuff links or something. I honestly have no idea what to do with that third pair, all I do know is that I want it.
     
  19. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I'm also a big DD timbre person. I will say however that the Andros have a bigger soundstage and better separation than any DD I've heard. That's obviously an advantage for orchestral music and should be weighed against the timbre downsides.
     
  20. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Day 2...

    I like that the Andro does not need a super seal or deep ear canal insertion to sound "right." What a joy it is to hook them on and just push them in lightly and be good to go. This is the best fitting and easiest to fit iem that I've experienced. Better even that my customs which were harder to insert and were fatiguing after an hour or so.

    It's also a bonus that the Andro does only isolate lightly. I can still here things around me like my wife or kids when they need my attention.

    My earlier impressions about the sound signature still hold true today. No Cinderella after midnight story to tell here. The sound is addictive. The emotional connection, for me, is instant. There is gobs of detail and none of it is harsh or offensive. The signature is more hd800 than hd650. And maybe it's more 800 S than 800 classic. Actually it reminds of the hd800 on a good amp. Loving the deep tight bass. I do not want for any additional bass quantity. I can see that some might find the mids a smack dry. But for me, I'm fine with them. I'm getting great tonal response in the mids. The fine detail of singers voices is there for me to take in and appreciate down to deep in the chest baritone to jazz divas who really belt it out in the upper mid range.

    I'm pushing aside any thoughts of "upgrading" to the S version. I like this classic signature just fine. So @KenBall you can stay away with your sexy silver temptress. Not for me...nope. Not doing it.

    I did however order a balanced cable for cheap from Amazon so that I can see if there is any advantage to be had over the 4.4 output of the zx300. Most headphones have offered at least some improvement over the balanced output on my DAP, so I'll give that a try. I think that I got a little lucky with the zx300. It seems to be an outstanding match for the Andro. Especially since I'm not an iphone guy.

    I'm having a hard time being very critical of the Andromeda. They are certainly not for everyone. I liked a lot more bass and warmth when I was getting started in the hobby. But based on where I am right now, these are a delight.
     

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