Loaner: Sony IER-Z1R

Discussion in 'Closed Loaners' started by purr1n, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  2. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio (Thread Judge Code-6 District)

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  3. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    Sony fan in da house now for sure.
     
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  4. YMO

    YMO Friend

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  5. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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  6. jmcmasterj

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  7. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    Would Love to try them
     
  8. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    @shotgunshane: send me address and e-mail/phone for shipment
     
  10. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Decided to pass on this one.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Updated.
     
  12. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Z1R has arrived. Everything is in working order.
     
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  14. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Impressions posted. Z1R will be shipping out to @Kunlun on Monday.
     
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  15. Kunlun

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

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    Got these Friday, listening now. Will reach out to @Cellist88 later in the week.
     
  16. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Got them from @Cellist88 today. Have spent a bit of time with the Z1R tonight. Wanted to share some first thoughts -

    First impressions of Sony IER-Z1R (Symbio W tips, 4.4mm balanced plug into Sony NW-WM1Z – direct source mode, no EQ)

    Bass has good impact and texture, especially upper low-end drums and deeper bass – good for bass-heads out there. Remember Sony “Bass Booster” back in the 90’s – moar of that? (except definitely not one-note bass)

    Sounds a bit sucked out in the upper mids – vocals aren’t as present, especially female vocals (even when the bass isn't blasting everything else away) – V-shaped for sure, with the left-hand (lower-end) side of the V much stronger/pronounced than the other side of the V…

    Less timbre in high end? High end is a bit less present to me. Not much shimmer in things like cymbals and not TOTL sustain. Strings didn’t seem as alive.

    Not very efficient. I play my Solaris at 40-50 on the NW-WM1Z (high output setting), while the Z1R’s required 70-80 to achieve similar SPLs to my ears.

    Wide soundstage but not deep or tall – almost like a pipe extending left and right. Central image seems a bit constricted and not as dynamic – almost like a ring of sound, but lesser separation in the core

    Especially good for EDM and other types of music with really emphasized low-end energy. Not as versatile or “natural/neutral” as the Solaris (although clearly it’s not purely neutral)

    Well made, and as others have said a bit heavy – a bit of ear candy. The package they come in weighs a ton and confirms the jewelry approach, as the trays look like a jewelry box!

    For the Z1R’s $2K price tag I’d buy a Solaris and a used 1A and call it a day...
     
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  17. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    My impression of the Z1R has been very underwhelming.

    All listening was done on the balanced output of the zx300.

    I was hoping this would be a good because the packaging and build quality was stellar.

    The Solaris while good, had its set of problems being a hybrid. I have to say the z1r takes those problems to a new level.

    I can see why the first impression of the iem being underpowered. The first thing I realized was how damped the iems sounded. Next thing that jumps out at you are these thin sounding mids along with some upper mid/lower treble bite which I have come to hate. I guess I don’t like the DF curve and I think it was worse than the pp8 from memory. This bite with its thinness and difference in texture and weight feels grainy and make the presence of a BA driver obvious. I guess people can compliment the bass, and that midrange thinness with that upper mid/lower treble bite can trick people into thinking the iem has “clarity”. I would say soundstage isn’t the widest, and something about the mids sounded recessed in terms of staging. The mids the definitely the weakest part of this iem. Overall in sounded far more disjointed than what I remember from the Solaris.

    Of the genres I heard, I would say material with short length notes did not sound as poor. For example, when listening to piano music, the weird disjointedness does sometimes add to the separation of the “voicing” of the different SATB lines of the piano and enhances the performance.

    Add anything sustained and the midrange starts to suffer. Female voices sound thin, Cello sounds wonky, and violin becomes unlistenable.

    It didn’t take long until I just put it in the box and packed up the iems. I’m actually surprised @purr1n gave this a long listen. I wholeheartly agree that it doesn’t have enough potential to try to find the right synergy to fix all its problems. 2k can be better spent on better sounding equipment. I would say wait for all DD iem, or just move onto headphones. If IEMS are absolutely needed, I would say I prefer the Solaris to this iem.

    On a side note....I do like the cables like @shotgunshane .
     
  18. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Kind of spooky how similar our experiences/impressions were, although your language was much more eloquent. Good to see some level of calibration with my fellow Friends. Cheers
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Initially I had it boxed up and ready to go; but I decided to give it another shake with different sources, more powerful amps, tips, etc. You know, to address the typical lame reasons others' would cite why it didn't work out. Like you said, I never heard the potential and I still didn't afterward. Just slightly different results and same conclusion: underwhelming, maybe kind of good, definitely not my desired voicing, but ultimately another one of those latest Sony POS transducers in terms of performance/price.
     
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  20. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Shipped off and out for delivery today to @jmcmasterj. Cheers
     

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