Campfire Audio Vega, Dorada, Lyra 2 Discussion/Impressions

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Splitting this off from this thread: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/new-campfire-audio-iems.3030/

    I wanted a more focused discussion now that I actually have them in my hands. Normally I'd start a measurement thread, but I found out I had some issues getting a good measurement with ported IEMs, so any measurements provided should be compared experimental. I did retake measurements for the Andromeda for comparison purposes. See update at bottom of this post.

    I'll get to the Dorada and Lyra later. I know there are lots of questions of these too. But let's start with the Vega:


    Here's the deal with the Vegas. If you want something neutral, similar to speakers with a B&K curve (at the listening position in a room), go for the Andromedas. The Andromedas are the closest to that.

    The Vegas have a frequency response kind of like the Fostex TH-900, but with no lower mid dip, and less sharp treble (there's some sibilance)*. If you don't mind EQ, the Vegas are amazing, with that super rich timbre and muscularity that DDs are only capable of. The drivers are super resolving.


    UPDATE:


    Vega Measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ega-dorada-lyra-2-discussion.3111/#post-90899
    Lyra Measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ega-dorada-lyra-2-discussion.3111/#post-90913
    Dorado Measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...rada-lyra-2-discussion.3111/page-3#post-91022

    *Notes on Vega burn-in: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...discussion-impressions.3111/page-4#post-93832
     

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  2. Kunlun

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

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    Looking forward to this!
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Campfire Audio Vega Frequency Response (experimental measurement rig).
    The grey line is the Andromeda, also measured the same way.
    [​IMG]

    The bass is very dependent upon tips and seal. I've been using large Complys and letting them rest easily. The above measurement represents a super tight seal. Also the treble peaks are partially an artifact of the measurement rig.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Having now spent more time with them, and finding the right way to wear the Vega (loose fit large Comply to reduce the bass and tame the treble), I am finding that I really like the Vega. Threw in a few bassy tracks like k.d. Lang's If I Where You and the Daft Punk RAM suite, and I didn't find anything which was overwhelming. Bassy, sure; but not overwhelming. The treble peak seems a bit sibilant and ringy, but nothing I couldn't get over, even at higher SPLs. The Comply tips did help here. In any event, it's nowhere near as difficult as the TH-900's, but then again the TH-900 also comes with a midrange suckout (which the Vega does not have) which exacerbates the audibility of the TH-900's peak, . Although I prefer a more neutral frequency response, I didn't have any issues acclimating to it. It's kind of a guilty pleasure, so I avoid this as much as I can - not to mention it will skew my ears for my speaker building projects. The right side of the brain wants to say whip out that Golden Schlong. The left side says no.

    For EX1000 lovers, the timbre is not all the same as the EX1000 (or any other DDs IEMs). It sounds very much like the Accuton diamond / ceramic drivers. For those not familiar with the Accutons, think of it as a cross between BA and DD drivers. No, actually think of it as DD drivers with BA speed, but none of the odd timbral characteristics of BA drivers, but maybe not quite the BA separation (Note that I am separating frequency response anomalies from timbre when I say this.) This is really what makes the Vega special. But anyone looking for the EX1000 timbre per se may come away disappointed. The Vega drivers are too fast sounding.

    I originally the felt staging was odd, too close for comfort, with no depth, a hole in the middle, and on a flat plane at my ears; but this turned out to be a phase issue. Ken is on this and I will be sending the Vega back for investigation. After correcting for phase (I just reversed the phase on the R channel), the staging is not too far away from the Andromeda, but the Andromeda still edges the Vega out in terms of layering, separation, and depth. The Vega sounds more cozy, just a bit.

    In terms of resolution, reproduction of low level signals, I don't think the Vega loses a dime to the Andromeda, and it might actually be better if you listen carefully, with a top notch source (an iPhone won't show this). Sometimes I feel BA drivers simplify things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  5. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Thanks Marvey,

    Here is mine just for ref.

    [​IMG]

    Regarding the phase on yours, sorry about that, egads embarrassing and should not have happened. This is easy to hear so customers would be RMAing them back to me if this is a bigger issue. We have not had any RMAs (knock on wood). I will get you another set out asap.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Campfire Audio Lyra 2 Frequency Response (experimental measurement rig).
    The grey line is the Andromeda, also measured the same way.
    Lyra2.png
    The bass is very dependent upon tips and seal. I've been using large Complys and letting them rest easily. The above measurement represents a super tight seal. Also the treble peaks are partially an artifact of the measurement rig.

    Some subjective notes: Not as bassy as Vega (per graphs), but also not reflective in the FR graphs is that the Lyra sound less strident. Not quite a fast as the Vega, but still have a unique sound with the Be drivers. I heard a lot of promise with Lyra 1 prototypes at THE SHOW a few years ago and I glad we finally got these again. As I've said in the other thread, DD fans should not forgot this one, despite it not being a TOTL. It's worthy of being an alternative to the Andromeda. This does confirm what I was hearing - just a bit bassier than Andromeda.
     
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  7. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    @Marvey: Whoa. :eek: Maybe I'm missing something, but I did not hear the Lyra like that. While not in a position to dispute the measurements, the presentation I experienced does not seem align with them. To me, it sounded decidedly mid-fi. Not bad as such, but I didn't find the Lyra to perform at a level commensurate with other Campfire IEMs that I've heard.
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Normally I don't use CSDs with IEMs because of the artifacts from the coupler - usually a peak from 7kHz up related to the distance from the coupler to the drivers - which is difficult to eliminate. I guess I could make several couplers of different lengths and combobulate the data, but I already spend too much time doing this.

    In this case, I will present CSDs because I want to explore why the Lyra 2 seemed less sibilant than the Vega. The FR of these IEMs measured pretty much the same past the mids. But I noted a small difference here. The duration of the ringing at 7.5kHz for the Lyra is shorter than on the Vega.

    Campfire Audio Vega and Lyra CSDs. Vega top. Lyra 2 below.
    Lyra CSDs.png
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Lyra 2? I don't know what the final tuning of the Lyra ended up as. Are there other DDs that you like?
     
  10. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Yep, the Lyra 2. Never heard the original, unfortunately. Always liked the look of the ceramic housings.

    The Lyra 2 sounded mid-bassy and veiled in the highs. Kinda bland, for lack of a better word. Don't mean to come off like a dick here, but it wasn't where I'd expect a $699 IEM to be sonically. Had I heard them side-by-side, I'm pretty sure that the Jupiter would've leveled it.

    For the record, the Jupiter is my least favorite BA offering from Campfire. Enjoyed the Orion and Andromeda thoroughly, so much so that I purchased a new unit of the latter.

    Edit: Mind you, I realize that the FR measurements aren't necessarily out of alignment with my opinion. I guess what jumped out at me more than anything was the fact that they might give the impression that the Lyra 2 is comparable to the Andromeda. And I don't think that it is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Haha. You might end up detesting the Vega. The DDs have a different sound from the BAs. A bit more syrupy, fuller, etc. Totally different distortion characteristics. You might simply hate second order distortion, which is not euphonic, BTW. (As an aside, I hate it when people say second order distortion, from say tube amps sounds, sounds pleasing. It doesn't).
     
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  12. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Heh, I think you're right about that! Hence the audition.

    What's weird to me is that I've always preferred the presentation of DDs over nearly all BA designs that I've heard. I even like hybrids, which I know you're not, ahem, the biggest fan of. :p So I thought that Campfire's offerings would be a knock out. Maybe it's the aforementioned distortion that I find problematic? But I find that difficult to reconcile with my past experiences. I think it's more likely that the tuning just doesn't agree with my preference these days.

    Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Lyra 2 was that I didn't find that it scaled up much with the use of better upstream gear. While not a bad thing in and of itself, I had held out hope that amping might open up its sound. Suffice to say, I did not find it to have much of an effect in that (or any) area.
    Couldn't agree more. Too many manufacturers never got that memo, I'm afraid. ;)

    By the way, your description of the Vega reminds me of the TH-X00. Would you say its perhaps more like that headphone than the TH-900?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  13. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    I have to agree with what you posted up top about the Vegas. Very unique sound, and the driver definitely does have the speed of a BA. When I was abing the Vegas with some of my other stuff, basswise I considered them closest sounding to KY ba drivers, opposed to either hybrids or DD. Sounded more like a ba driver than a typical DD, regarding speed not impact. Like it took the best of both worlds.
     
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  14. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    It seems consensus is that that Vegas have superior bass quality to the Andros (even if for some the quantity is too much). The Andros appear to have superior treble, with more extension and less sibilance.

    What about the mids though? I haven't seen much on that comparison.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    @Huxleigh: I guess what meant by the Lyra being a good complement to the Andromeda is because it's the un-Andromeda! I find BAs exhausting after 2 hours on the plane.

    If taken into isolation, the mids might be the best part of the Vega! I'm not one for words like this, but they are kind of dreamy (which is like five orders of magnitude of better than lush - I don't like "lush" mids.) The caveat to this is that "mids" don't exist by themselves and are always in relation to what is below and above from it. The bass does not infect the mids. This is very much shown in the FR. However, the lit up treble does occasionally get in the way. Also, the Vega's diamond driver timbre may bother other some people I know.

    As for bass and treble, it's difficult to say one is better than the other. A lot of this depends upon personal expectations. The Andromeda treble does seems more well behaved. The Vega's bass has more texture, is slower; the Andromeda's bass is faster, but perhaps cuts things off prematurely. To put things in perspective, I've felt the bass on the Andromedas was one of the better presentations from a BA type IEM, being able to pull off some modicum of sustain and fatness that other BA IEMS have not been able to. But I can see some people not liking the Vega's bass because it lingers on more or is more syrupy than bass from BAs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  16. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I always forgot to ask, but can you show us your step response plots (or phase response) for the multi-driver BA IEMs like the Andromeda? This is of course where single driver designs would be far superior. Of course they will look messy for all IEMs because of the coupler ringing, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing them, that's fine too.

    Also: Can you try to block the bass port? Just curious to see what it does.
    Can you elaborate on this? For example I find the B&W diamond drivers to sound completely different from the Accutons. In addition to that the B&W tuning is way too bright for me. I'd bet these in-ear drivers don't quite sound like any other drivers.
    (EDIT: I should add that I also found the Utopia driver to not sound like the Accutons in its presentation, for example).
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Andromeda, Vega, Lyra 2
    phase.png

    Andromeda, Lyra 2, Vega
    step.png


    Will try later.

    The Utopia drivers do not sound like Accutons. I agree. Otherwise can't elaborate too much. It's less FR as opposed to timbre. The issues with B&W seem to be FR related, but my reference is the Accutons.
     
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  18. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    WTF! This looks much better than the typical multi driver IEMs like TWFKs, or even the UERM. The Andromeda seems to be an almost time-coherent design. Could this maybe explain its superior coherency?
     
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  19. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    @Marvey

    All in all, what would you recommend to a neutral-head who can't stand bassy crap but also can't stand overt BA gritty texture? Is the Lyra a good compromise here or does neutrality of Andro still outweigh it?

    What are you going to keep for yourself to listen now that some moving coil options are in the field of play?
     
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  20. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    I know, I got that. :) In several respects, that makes total sense. But it's still something that I disagree with, as I don't think that the Lyra offers technicalities (if that's the proper term) anywhere near the same level as the Jupiter, let alone Andromeda. It is unfatiguing, definitely. But to the point of smoothing over musical detail into an overly intimate mush. That's occasionally pleasant, but aggravatingly unengaging more often than not.

    Basically, I'd be more willing to label the Lyra and Andro as opposites rather than complements to one another. In my view, saying "complementary" implies an average degree of performance that exists irrespective of the tuning differences between transducers. Perfect example of this is the HD 600/650 and TH-X00. Whereas, to my ears, the Lyra just isn't up there with respect to Campfire's BA offerings.

    Perhaps @KenBall could confirm this, but it's my understanding that the Lyra 2 FR measures quite similarly to the original Lyra, albeit with a slightly greater roll off (1 or 2db) in the upper registers. Could be related to the different housings, perhaps? Such info might be useful to anyone who's heard the original and is curious about the new lineup.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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