Campfire Andromeda 2020 Review

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    My MW10 came in the mail today (I'd share a photo but I lack the permissions)

    Some "off the cuff" early impressions:

    These are easily the most beautiful IEMs I've ever owned. Unfortunately I don't know how helpful my impressions will be as I've never spent any significant time with the OG Andromeda and haven't heard the 2020 in a few months. Suffice to say the MW10 sound amazing...but they are very very close to what I remember the 2020 sounding like. At this point I would tentatively say that all my impressions of the 2020 basically apply here (however it's early days and I may have more to say on this later). Regarding the question of whether the MW10 has the "missing" treble sparkle of the 2020 I can't confirm or deny absolutely without listening to the 2020 (or the OG) again. That said it's noteworthy that, coming from 2.5 straight weeks with the MEST, which is known for its highs, sparkle and air, I don't find anything lacking or suffocating with the MW10 Andromeda. It could very well be that the MW10 takes the lows and mids of the 2020 and combines it with the relative brightness and treble profile of the OG...but I would have to hear the 2020 again to verify this for sure.
     
  2. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I've recently received my Andromeda 2020 after a very long and intense deliberation process. I'll be traveling a lot in the future and I wanted something portable I could listen to for long periods of time. I have no regrets. Primarily driving these with Chord Mojo fed by xDuoo X10T II.

    I'll spare y'all a full on review of their sound as I don't have much to compare them to that would even be competitive, aside from full sized headphones. I'm also not totally convinced the headphones and/or cable aren't done fully breaking in yet. What I will say is that the bass is absolutely lovely, textured and clear and deep like a good set of planars, with great impact, although what I hear as a sub-bass boost is somewhat distracting. The coherence and cohesiveness with which these approach complex, chaotic music is extremely impressive: I have some albums that will turn lesser headphones into mush, but these hold together remarkably well. In fact, it was this general descriptor that sold me on them and I am not disappointed. Five drivers and no crossover? That's a recipe for excellent cohesion across the board, and they deliver.

    I am still working on tip rolling, but so far Spinfit are the winners. I am usually a Dekoni foam tip shill, but strangely on the Andromeda they muddy the percussive clarity in a way that is very off-putting. I haven't done an in depth side by side comparison but the stock foam tips look identical to the Dekoni, except for the color of the inner sleeve. I'm open to any suggestions for tip rolling here.

    I'm also wondering if there are any cables in particular that people would recommend for these? I hear these as just slightly mid-light and treble forward, and I'm thinking it might be an effect of the stock SPC cable--I am rarely a fan of SPC for headphone use, for these reasons. I'm thinking a good DIY copper litz cable might be the way to go to lend a hint of body to the mids and ease off the slight forwardness of the treble, but I'm open to reasonably priced off the shelf suggestions. I do know where to get some gold plated copper litz for the future, but that's too pricey for now.
     
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Is there any interest in an Andromeda 2020 loaner and/or MMW10 loaner?
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'd be interested in a MMW10 loaner.
     
  6. imackler

    imackler Key Lime Pie Infected Aberdeen Wings Spy

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    Pretty sure that these are the same ones that I'm using on the Andromeda. They used to be supplied with noble earphones.
     
  7. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    Yeah, I actually have some of those around, I'll try them later. I still snagged some spiral dot tips and a good plated copper cable from that site, though, thanks for the tip.... pun intended.

    Editing in some last minute impressions: Used my LG V40 for a while, then switched to xDuoo/Mojo combo. Besides Mojo having an edge on technicalities, the V40 sounds more balanced between bass and mids, only Mojo brings out the intense, slamming, planar-like bass.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  8. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I'd love to hear the MMW10 and compare it to my Andro 2020
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    as soon as I get more multi size SML packs of those Penon tips in the mail it shall be so. :)
     
  10. daniellistens

    daniellistens Acquaintance

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    Thanks to @Rockwell I am now listening to the CFA Andromeda 2020’s and I finally understand the thread description of “Holy Cow, This is a dream, awesomesauce.”

    These are awesomesauce indeed.

    The emotional connection to the music is overwhelming. I had a tough time getting a good fit for a while with the shorter nozzle but I upped the size of my Final E tips and was able to make them work. The shorter nozzle gave me some pause but it seems to be working out. I’m a couple hours in.

    I could see me liking the OGs since I find the treble nice but I could take a bit more. Although I’m very happy with what I am hearing.

    I have been using a Sony NW-ZX507 with the Andromeda’s (thanks @SBranson ) and it is a match made in heaven for me. They sound great with my Chord Mojo too (a bit darker, a bit more sparkly).

    First the vocal clarity and realism is what makes me so excited. I never miss a word, I hear it all. This is so important to me.

    If I am Goldielocks and the Andromeda is porridge, it is Baby Bear’s porridge. It is just right.

    Recently due to the generosity of @Rockwell & @SBranson I have been able to listen to the Dorado 2020, VE Elysium & the Empire Ears Bravado MKII. The Andromeda 2020s really are making the music I love come alive more than any IEM ever has.

    The presentation is so nice. I immediately was just listening to my music, I didn’t really think about the IEMs I was just totally absorbed by my music.

    I really enjoy the soundscape/staging. Vocals up front and centre. Music all around. Nothing super wide or tall but good. So much depth though. Very clear. Not speaker like, but more realistic than I think I given them credit.

    I cannot overstate how well these IEMs present vocals.

    I am having a hard time analyzing these IEMs I just feel like they cannot do wrong. I think the synergy with the Sony is a part of it.

    Really good dynamics. Up for anything. They just push out music.

    I really like how guitars and pianos sound.

    I have no complaints. Like I said these are “just right.”
     
  11. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Thanks for sharing! I never spent a lot of time with the OG Andromeda as I heard it right after hearing the OG Solaris for the first time and the Solaris stole my heart that day. Still, hearing the Andromeda 2020 was one of the watershed events of my audio life, even after nearly two years with the Solaris.
     
  12. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    So I got my order from Penon Audio in, including the spiral dot tips and a gold plated copper cable. I am LOVING the cable as a tweak to the sound, especially in the midrange, although it lacks the air and is less detailed than the stock SPC litz cable (not surprising) and the bass has lost a hair of texture. Once I get my end-game DAP, Shanling M8, I'm going to order a balanced Linsoul Loops cable--a mix of pure silver and gold plated copper litz--and save my cable DIY energy for my full sized headphone cables.

    On the note of the tips, I was listening to the spiral dots for a short time before I got curious for a comparison and switched back to Dekoni tips... when I noticed that the issues I wrote about above were just gone. Percussive clarity is at least as good as silicone tips, I can't hear any of the muffling or muddying that turned me off from the foams before. They sound fantastic. I'm confused, but that dilemma has been solved.

    Now I just need to wait for my final stimulus check to arrive (no, it STILL hasn't shown up and I can't get ahold of the IRS at all to resolve the issue), so I can pick up the M8.
     
  13. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Had the chance to demo this new 2020 version against the OG (in my case the V3 2019).

    The differences are VERY subtle. A little bit more bass, a little less treble on the 2020. I'm not convinced I would be able to tell the difference in a blind test. I appreciated the extra bass on RAM, but the little bit of extra air was nice with some of my dark/overly warm recorded albums.

    This difference could be important to some, many of us obsess over the last 5% of our system, to dial it in EXACTLY where we want it (a fools errand most times).

    If you don't have an Andro yet, I'd say buy whichever you can find cheaper. Spend the difference on more music.
     
  14. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I ended up buying a Double Helix copper litz cable with a 4.4mm termination, only to find out that the Andromeda actually pairs much better with the single ended output of my Shanling M8. Searching the Head-fi thread, I found a lot of similar opinions--people preferred single ended over balanced, likely due to the difference in output impedance.

    In the case of the M8, the tuning with the balanced output was substantially darker and less engaging. Hard to say what component of that is from the cable but I'm willing to bet that it's not a lot.

    EDIT: Actually this may be burn-in related, since I had only run single-ended mode prior to getting the DHC 4.4mm cable...no adapters on hand. I snagged a few of the freely available burn-in files from around the internet (Cascade, JLabs, another I can't recall--they are mostly white/pink/brown noise and sine sweeps) and ran them all day Saturday. When I listened on Sunday the balanced mode performance had improved substantially. I'd still be interested in hearing people's thoughts on how Andromeda handles SE v BAL for various players...I had assumed balanced would offer the best performance, but it's possible that single ended would be the way to go for the Andros (and extend battery life as a bonus).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  15. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    Thinkpad X260 via Roon or Foobar2000 via UPnP Output Component or BubbleUPnP > PI2AES [Coax Output] > Schiit Bifrost 2 > Schiit IEMagni

    Shanling M3X

    I used the CA Marshmallow Small Tips since those are the most common tips for CA IEMs.

    The 2020 Andro is just a darker sounding OG Andro like everyone else is saying. It has the same level of technicalities as the OG Andro IMO. It still has that haziness that I think works in its favor, a more funnier tuning than the higher end Ara and the Solaris, and bass is still BA bass that people either love or hate. It is still more upfrontish than the Ara and the Solaris, but doesn't feel the soundstage is congested with my setups.

    I had the V3 OG Andro, which I sold due to some of the treble in the higher range (upper highs) did bug me on some tracks. With the infamous Output Z matching it can make female vocals wanna kill me. I wished the OG Andro had more bass but the tuning was so fun that honestly I didn't care about it.

    I love that the 2020 Andro has a darker tuning than the OG Andro models. I prefer this a lot more than the MW10 loaner that was included with the 2020 Andro. The darker tuning works better for me since female vocals don't attempt to kill me. The lower mids dip is still there, so with the dip and the darker tuning it will turn off fans of the OG Andro. I will be honest, there were very few tracks where I wished the 2020 Andro wasn't this dark. However, it didn't bug me that much and there is always EQ for those who use it.

    Unlike others, I'll say that the bass quality is the same like the OG Andro. To my ears the darker tuning of the 2020 Andro makes the bass come out easier. But others will have a different perspective here.

    I'm having a hard time putting down the 2020 Andro from my ears, such an enjoyable IEM to listen to that hits my fun requirements on the BA world of things. Going to miss this pair when it goes off to the next guy on the tour. Guess I'll have to ask Bloom for a hook up one of these days....
     
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Interesting. I found the 2020 to have clearly better technical abilities than even the latest og Andro which has a very similar tuning. Better separation, more resolving, better timbre, more bass control, nicer treble timbre, more dynamic, etc.
     
  17. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    It is also could be the tips I'm using plus remembering my old Andro pair.
     
  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yeah I was comparing them directly side by side. From memory I'm not sure I'd be able to tell. It's obvious back to back, but they have way more I common than they do different.

    Also, I felt like if you had an og Andromeda you liked, the technical improvements weren't worth the price to upgrade.
     
  19. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    When I first got the 2020, I'd wondered if I was missing out on the treble sparkle. A year on, I've come to appreciate the 2020 for what they are, in and of themselves. There's a lot to like about them but two things, in particular, appeal to me.

    The first is that they are the least fatiguing transducers I've got. In fact, I don't find them fatiguing at all.

    The second is that they sound great for rock music, especially late 80s and 90s alternative rock (like Sonic Youth or the Pixies), which can sound a bit rough with many (most?) IEMs and headphones. Obviously, the Andro 2020 are very different to the Audeze LCD2-Classics. But I've found that the Andro 2020 bring the same kind of pleasure as the LCD2-C because they make rough recordings easier, and still fun, to listen to.
     
  20. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm New

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    Has anyone tried running this from a phone with/without the IFI IEMatch? I'm currently playing around with the Apple dongle (USB-C) with/without the IEMatch. I'm having a hard time deciding which to stick with. The sound signature seems noticeably affected.

    Any suggestions on running these from a phone? And tip suggestions?
     

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