DUNU Studio SA6 Measurements and Analysis

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Obligatory photo (from DUNU site):
    [​IMG]

    Impressions here:
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ars-reviews-impressions-and-discussion.10501/

    Because I feel like it and also because there are plenty of FR graphs of the DUNU Studio SA6 floating around, I will start with measurements other than FR. All measurements were taken with the bass boost switch turned to off. The bass boost is only a few db - quite tastefully done.

    At $550, the DUNU Studio SA6 are a decent value. Note I have not heard the Moondrop stuff yet, which are supposed to be giant killers, or at least very high value. The Studio SA6 are decent in terms of technicalities. If we turn back the clock only a few years, the SA6 would be right up there with $1k IEMs.

    Tonally, the SA6 has a bit of that "Asian" tuning, but much much milder than that of the DUNU ZEN (analysis here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...dunu-zen-iem-measurements-and-analysis.10638/)

    Despite the milder V-shaped tuned, I do hear a bit of a 4-5kHz peak / ringy stuff which took me a period of time to acclimatize. (@rhythmdevils: I wonder if this 4-5kHz stuff I'm hearing will make your head explod). Initially I preferred the overall tonal presentation of the ZEN, despite it's screwier FR, to the SA6. I think the reasons is the ZEN having a more pleasant distortion pattern in the highs (much lower third harmonic to second) and maybe the ZEN having a less pronounced peak at 4kHz, but rather a broader, yet higher amplitude bump in the upper mids. The bass is rather interesting for a BA IEM. It's rounder and fuller than usual - however, it still doesn't quite slam like DD bass. The bass does seem to be a bit slow at times, a tiny bit behind, compared to the mids and highs.

    Anyway, here are the distortion plots:

    DUNU Studio SA6 Distortion Behaviors
    Traditional Visualization
    upload_2021-3-1_20-9-17.png

    DUNU Studio SA6 Distortion Behaviors
    Alternate Visualization
    upload_2021-3-1_20-9-55.png

    • Distortion behaviors indicate BA type drivers (closely grouped despite SPL highish third harmonic)
    • Second harmonic in the lows tends to be higher than third harmonic. Could this by why the bass is less BAish and rounder and fuller?
    • Distortion has two notches in the lows. Is this an indication of ported bass? That at these points, could the ports be doing most of the job, thus allowing the driver to not have to try so hard?
    • Overall, distortion is about Andromeda level for BA types (better than U18t, worse than Ara). Not bad, pretty good actually, considering the price.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I can’t wait to hear these!

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    So now I am super duper curious about this 4-5kHz emphasis I am hearing despite the frequency response only showing a small bump. Could this spot here be worse than it really is. Now before I go on, I must tell you guys that I can be sensitive to peaks in the highs, much more than most people. The only person who picks these kinds of things up is maybe @rhythmdevils and a few others. In essence, I am very much nitpicking here and most people may not hear this.

    Is this spot worse than it really is per the FR? It depends probably. Unfortunately, CSDs are near useless because of the resonances inherent with IEM measurements. Maybe I need one of Jude's high-tech couplers.
    upload_2021-3-1_20-44-14.png
     
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  4. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    These are on my radar, along with the Moondrop Blessing 2, and the Thie Audio Monarch. Its hard to know where the point of diminishing returns slaps one upside the head without hearing them. At $320, $550, and $730, they are at pretty natural demarcation points. The Jeopardy theme song is playing in my head.
     
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  5. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    In my not terribly experienced but nonetheless pretty firmly held opinion - because BA vs DD.

    Not sure whether it's due the H3 vs H2 pattern combined with our ears' sensitivities in that area, or to the fast BA attacks (the perception of which could partly be due to H3/H2?) & ear sensitivities, but comparing BA & DD IEMs with similar measured FR in the upper mids & lower treble, the BA always sounds more chainsaw to me.

    It's notable I think that good BAs even going back to early UEs and Westones (ok, maybe the latter is stretching it) are generally suppressed in that area; and that 'fast' sounding DDs like the JVC HA-FDX1 can be annoying to many people in the upper mids/lower treble even when their measured FR doesn't look out of line there compared to other DDs.
     
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  6. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    SA6 is very picky on Z/OI to make them sound right in my experience. Prefers 2.5 ohm with IEMatch if using SW51+, but sounds great without IEMatch on Starlet if IEC switch is on.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Indeed. Used from amps with higher output impedance, the SA6 will have a darker signature, albeit with the pinna gain around 2-3kHz intact. The CFA IEMs are the other way around - brighter signature from higher output impedance sources.

    DUNU Studio SA6
    Impedance Curve and Electrical Phase
    upload_2021-3-2_12-30-6.png
     
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  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Obligatory gratuitous 'by how much' graph:

    [​IMG]

    Relative to the bass, sources with output Z between 1.5 (orange) & 5.5 Ohms (purple) will tilt the treble response downward. Higher output Zs will have more extreme effects, and you'll also start to hear a dip in the middle mids. As @YMO said above, SW51+ (27 Ohms SE, 54 Ohms balanced) might not sound good without iEMatch.

    Edit: removed artifacts at 20k.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Final set of measurements:

    DUNU Studio SA6
    Frequency Response
    (Beware dubious results after 8kHz, i.e. tube resonances)
    upload_2021-3-3_9-55-8.png

    DUNU Studio SA6
    YEL = bass boost switch on
    Frequency Response
    (Beware dubious results after 8kHz, i.e. tube resonances)
    upload_2021-3-3_10-0-35.png

    This one's for you @rhythmdevils

    DUNU Studio SA6 vs Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 (WHT)
    Frequency Response
    (Beware dubious results after 8kHz, i.e. tube resonances)
    upload_2021-3-3_10-1-37.png

    DUNU Studio SA6 vs DUNU ZEN (VIO)
    Frequency Response
    (Beware dubious results after 8kHz, i.e. tube resonances)
    upload_2021-3-3_10-3-57.png

    Closing thoughts:
    1. The DUNU Studio SA6 is a good value if you like this frequency response or are willing to EQ. The technicalities are as good as IEMs from only a few years ago and the price is most certainly right.
    2. The frequency response isn't as extreme "tailored to Chinese / Asian market" as the ZEN. It's backed off quite a bit, somewhere between neutral and that.
    3. The bass while not quite DD has some DD traits and isn't so dry. There's a higher than usual second harmonic over third harmonic in the lows - and this is a good thing.
    4. For those few who are treble sensitive, the upper mids may still be difficult. Conjecture at this point, but it could be related to the 4.5kHz peak, the balanced armature distortion characteristics with high 3rd harmonic, the upper bass / lower mid dip (lack of fullness), or a combination thereof.
     
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  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I’m now very curious to hear these and will give them a run through for peaks to help corroborate or add to your impressions. Doesn’t take me long as you know ;) (we need a ripping off headphones smiley)
     
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  11. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I'm hearing a metallic scratchiness in the upper mids. Like a place where the BA timbre really... shines. It provides great bite for electric guitars, but doesn't give realistic smoothness or body for vocals or piano. As mentioned, the BA bass is good for BA bass, and otherwise they are quite well balanced.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021

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