Campfire Audio Supermoon IEM Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Jan 4, 2023.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    83,364
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Let's start with measurements first. BTW, I really love the timbre** of the Supermoon. More later...

    IMG_0020.jpg

    Campfire Audio Supermoon
    Frequency Response
    upload_2023-1-4_9-6-25.png

    Compared to Gaudio Nair* (GRY)
    upload_2023-1-4_9-8-12.png
    * By wide consensus, the most perceptive neutral IEM on the planet with S-tier rating on tonality.

    **Will not be seen in FR. My guess is it will be seen in distortion patterns (to be posted later).
     
    • Like Like x 13
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,929
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Home Page:
    I guessed when hearing these that they would have very low distortion. Let’s see :)

    edit:
    There's a lot I could say about these that I won't due to being an MOT. But I think it would be a more accurate reflection of their perceptual sound to lower their FR line in relation to the Nair. they don't sound treble happy to me they way this makes them look. To me, they had lower bass emphasis and recessed mids compared to neutral. I set the volume for the vocal range though, and when I did this with the Supermoon everything else was too loud. I'd damage my ears if I owned them. But when evaluating them, I don't hear them as V shaped as much as vocal recessed. Which is not the same.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  3. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    9,450
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    How's treble definition on these relative to something like the CA Solaris (original)? BAs aren't the end-all be-all IMO but there's something fun about how lithe they are, and it's easy to appreciate with a relatively big dynamic driver filling in the bottom end and keeping things from going too sterile.

    Also slightly pain in the butt request but is it possible to simulate a slightly lossy seal on these with your coupler? Kinda curious how burst response would change across the spectrum on those.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    83,364
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    I feel the Supermoon are quite special in that they have decent delineation without the BA dryness. I think if you like the BA articulation, then it's best to stick with that. One of the Supermoon's best qualities is its fluid and liquid presentation, something I would say is hear only on the good orthos and pretty much non existent in most of today's low end and even many high end orthos. Obviously, the coherence from lows to highs is superior to Solaris which is a DD hybrid. Timbre, overtones, naturalness of the Supermoon - just fantastic. Three very good things here.

    Not anywhere as bright as the measured FR would indicate (measurements only tell us so much). Yes, more vocal recessed. Will play with Loki EQ to see what I end up with. One bothersome thing is a ssss / tizz. It's spotlit, so not so evident on some music, but very much so on others (i.e. quite evident in Miley Cyrus / Dua Lipa's Prisoner and The Weeknd / Ariana Grande's Save Your Tears, but not all all CC Clarke's Not Playing*). The saving grace is the fluid presentation, a best of good ortho characteristics, which happens to in place here. This takes the edge off. The peakage could be depending upon ear canal of individuals. I believe @shotgunshane had difficulty with the peak.

    *So sue me with my shitty taste in pop music.

    It's more type of distortion - I would surmise second order dominant. It's not as clean and pristine as Ara, which is what I would consider the low distortion winner (but with BA third order characteristics). Some analysis here on BA drivers (which I also posted to Reddit, which made me decide to not post much to Reddit again) : https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/why-balanced-armature-drivers-suck.11485/
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  5. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    9,450
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    Reddit immediately poops on anyone who tries to go against consensus-- that's what you get when you give people a perfect democracy alongside relative anonymity and freedom from consequence. There's not a complete dearth of information on there though, and it's cool that you contributed an original thought to maybe a few on there.

    I have limited long-term experience with multi-armature IEMs (mostly just meet and store demos, sometimes extended) but one thing that seems to stand out with BA designs is how well they can dissect really busy passages, like it's easier to notice and follow along with individual elements in a bustling segment versus single-diaphragm designs (that I've tried).

    Presuming competent upstreams for both, how would the Supermoon fare there vs higher end stuff like the IER-Z1R or similar? I'm thinking something along the lines of the climax here:

    (Your taste in pop music is at least more palatable than my taste in whatever genre that is :p)
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    83,364
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    9,450
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    Clarifying because I realise that I was wall-of-texting again. I also disliked the Z1R voicing, couldn't wear them for more than a couple minutes, it was painful.

    Meant to ask specifically how able an apparently well-executed planar IEM design fares against BA (especially multiple armatures) for being able to present very busy passages since it feels like that's one of their strengths.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    83,364
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    I think it is going to depend upon tuning and goals. The Supermoon is rich and lush sounding (I would surmise this is intentional) while maintain lively transients and energy. Even with the lower-mid depression and without NOS DACage, the Supermoon sounds rich and creamy. This doesn't necessarily mean it's bad at busy passages. It's certainly better than the Drop x FDX1 (a DD IEM which was an SBAF favorite) for sure. However, the all-BA Ara is just cleaner and presents busy passages more clearly.

    I haven't heard the Audeze ortho IEMs, so maybe they are tuned to sound less rich and more cleanly. I'm sure the potential is there. The problem is that very few IEM manufacturers know what good sound is, and even if they can tune to frequency response, there are several impediments: (1) over reliance on frequency response thinking it's the end all be all; (2) compounded by Dr. Olive's crapastic research on shitty sounding IEM targets; (3) obsession with the latest driver tech without paying attention to coherence from lows to highs; (4) Waifu and other branding crap.

    Anyway on the first two points, here are my Loki EQ settings for use with Supermoon. I did not use measurements to arrive at them. I took the right brain approach and just tuned to as close to perceptual neutral as possible using my ears*. The EQ is rather a light touch. And trust me, the measured FR isn't all that perfect. Frequency response is important, but it only tells us so much.

    upload_2023-1-4_23-19-55.png

    *Anyone who uses measurements for EQ to arrive at the "perfect" frequency response is a moron. Tonal correctness, perceptive neutral, is a matter of several attributes, frequency response is but one of them. There are no good measurements that correlate strongly for many other attributes of sound.

    The results aren't perfect, there are some things that cannot be corrected with a 4-band graphic EQ. It's probably a tuned darker for most music because of the treble peaks and personal taste.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Epic Epic x 4
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  9. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Trophy Points:
    93
    The lack of normal BA dryness is why I like the Helios. Granted, it's literally the only BA IEM I like. Or, well, IEM in general. I need to try this and a single-DD IEM.

    Audeze IEMs are weird. They're incredibly clean and airy for an IEM (they are open back,) but audeze literally relies on EQ to fix the actual FR problems. They do it with the Modius/Penrose/Maxwell as well. They have potential because they're so low distortion and open, but I wouldn't buy one again unless I'm paying only a couple hundred bucks. Having to be recommended an EQ profile from a company to get the most out of something is weird.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 3
    • List
  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,929
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Home Page:
    The Euclid is closed back, and does not require EQ. It sounds literally like an iem version of the LCD-X.
     
  11. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Stop it, I can only get so erect.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
  12. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    563
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    USA
    Black is an odd color choice for something that's supposed to be a "Super Moon".

    More hard hitting analysis and deep insights later...
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,929
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Home Page:
    Did you see the white one he made for his holiday sale? It looked God awful... These look really nice in black ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  14. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,242
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Arizona
    There were also purple customs for the multi-verse or whatever the last promotion was.
     
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,929
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Home Page:
    (sorry for the blurry cell phone picture but it gives you an idea, they're very slick even as universal customs)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2023

Share This Page