Still probably my favorite iem (no PEQ, no mod).
7hz Crinacle Zero:2 REVIEW
Watch till the end I promise:
@Rikudou_Goku My favourite IEM 7 the goat
I think you need to adjust your rating schema - doesn’t seem to consistent.
You’re right I need to include the rankings with the cables /s
I failed the first rule of Jay’s Audio club
- Don’t buy gear you don’t need
The MT-602 was on sale for $84, and i don’t have any tubes, or anything with half the power.
That desktop hybrid tube amp has a good rep and probably the best at that price range afaik.
oh no black Friday isn’t even here yet John
Agreed, at least based on reputation, the MT-602 is probably the best tube amp under $100, and likely the best mW per dollar ( 1300mW at 32Ohms ) with tubes.
The best solid state value per mW is the Magni ( 2400mW at 32Ohms ), and I saw nearly every version of it was $99 on Amazon for black friday.
I have almost no use for that much power, and my Topping DX1 has been getting the job done at my desk. It was a steal for a solid state DAC/Amp ( I think I paid under $75 ).
@VIVIDICI_111 but the sales have already started
I only looked because I needed a new HVAC filter and a couple other items, so I scanned my wishlists, I also found that one of the things my wife wanted for Christmas was on sale.
I am sort of trying to hold off on the budget gear to save some money for the FatFreq Maestro Mini. I have been pondering a set from them, and as a self admitted bass head, it seems like a pretty good match.
I loved the Zero “2” video.
So,the GAEA, another highly acclaimed IEM for it’s technical abilities, along with Elysian famous QC issues (which I unfortunately ran into), but now that I finally have a working unit - how does it sound? Well, very, very aggressive, like, angry metal heads aggressive, but in a good way.
Let’s start off with the pros first, the Gaea is super detailed, resolving, and clean as evident by the elevated uppermids and treble - there’s just a crap ton of it. Imaging is super sharp and accurate, and the GAEA is no doubt a technical beast, or whatever you want to call that, and imo it’s a treble-head set, exciting, and the end game for v-shape iems. On top of the TOTL resolution, the Gaea also has a good amount of bass, not a basshead set, but the low-end is very high quality reminds me of the Monarch MK3s, punchy, clean, textured, very fast attack and decay, never gets muddy, and you can hear a bit of air slamming as well, although I would say the MK3’s low-end is more prominent.
The Gaea comes with no mid-bass scoop, thank god, but instead Elysian decided to scoop out the uppermids and remove the 1K gradual glide to the vocals where it usually exists. Now normally there should be masking because of the huge peak at 1.5K, but because the 1K region has been scooped out, the masking is less obvious. It’s similar to what a mid-bass scoop does - scooping out the 300-400hz region instead shifts the focus and emphasises the sub-bass - whereas removing the glide from 1K emphasises the rest of the uppermids and treble instead, which gives Gaea that aggressive, sharp, and energetic presentation. Now, if you love getting bombarded with OCD details then you’re gonna love the GAEA, it’s like the MEST but the vocals are more energetic, forward, and even more aggressive than the MEST.
You can hear all the micro-nuances in the vocals, and likewise, the treble also has stellar extension, it’s got a good amount of air for cymbals, notes are sharp, and although it’s not the smoothes and airiestI’ve heard like the OG Helios for example, it still has “endgame” treble presentation, but just more sharp and attention grabbing. The soundstage on the other hand has great depth and layering, width is above average, and overall although TOTL levels, still a bit smaller than the Z1R and U12T and around the same as the Monarch MK3s as the main focus of the show is in the energetic upper regions with them being more forward while the lower-mids and low-end takes a step back.
At mid volume Genres like POP, HIPHOP, EDM, indie, and even acoustics sound engaging and exciting on the GAEA; I don’t recommend it for higher volumes because the vocal and cymbals just gets way too shouty and sharp - I had ringing in my ears after I raised the volume while testing, especially for rock and metal tracks, I think the Gaea has too much energy for those, unless again, you like that aggressive presentation, then go for it. In terms of technical performance it’s right up there with the MEST and the Monarchs of the world, but just more aggressive and sharp.
Now, the EPZ 530 on the otherhand has a very similar treble presentation if you look up their graph- still sharp (just not as much), but a lot warmer, less aggressive in the uppermids, and overall I personally like it more than the Gaea even though it’s not on the same level resolution wise… the 530s just hurt my ears less lol. The 530 is comparable to the EJ07M and Variations in terms of technical performance, so still very competitive for its $430 asking price, and it’s really really good for jazz, blues, and instruments because of that extra mid-bass.
Now, I wouldn’t call the 530 a fully warm set because the elevated treble is just enough to cut through and shift the balance a bit, so it’s not going to be like Softears Twilight levels of warm because it does have more air and energy than the Twilights. Low-end slam also isn’t going to be as satisfying as a Dynamic Driver, or the special vent design from the Twilights, however, the mid-bass definitely adds a lot of meat to the sound, giving the low-end a fuller presentation while still not being muddy… although this does mean that the vocals are a bit colored, huskier, heavier, and in busier songs they do get masked and pushed back, and can sound overly thick and not as open and detailed as the Gaea. Now, the Gaea costs 3x more, so it’s not really a fair comparison, but versus the EJ07M, the OG Oracles, or the TOP, the 530 does sound warmer and less balanced, which is neither good or bad depending on your preference.
So, if you’re looking for an high-end warm tonality, but also still want treble extension and air on top, then the 530 is perfect. Again, for jazz and instrumental tracks with little to no vocals you don’t notice the masking in the 1.5K, and the 530’s full and lush sound plays harmoniously with saxs, pianos, and woodwinds. It has a more intimate presentation because instruments are more forward, but still not congested, although I would say the stage isn’t as open as the Gaea, and around the Hype2/XENNS TOP level which is still respectable. Likewise, an area that might be a turn off for some is in the vocals because of the extra mid-bass plus the 1.5K masking, so, if you want clear, open, and extended vocals then the OG Oracles, EJ07M, TOP, or Studio 4s will still be better, but if you desire fuller vocals or are searching for something more unique, warmer, and not a familiar harman/df IEM, then the 530’s a hidden gem, as the amber colorway is super stunning as well. On top of that, I haven’t heard any QC issues from EPZ yet, so…
Anyhow, here are the final rankings for both:
530 For Jazz/Blues/Soul
Didn’t that thing fry your ears? I’ve listened to aggressive IEMs too, but the FR of this is ooooh
If one day I want to go deaf and give up the hobby, I’ll buy a GAEA
Higher volume is impossible
Mid volume is ok
Thanks for the (usual) thoughtful reviews. Very interesting for me to hear what you thought of the 530 in comparison to the Gaea.
The hue on that 530 tho - is that a Northern Lights thing, or a Mood Ring thing?
@VIVIDICI_111 how would you compare EPZ 530 to Quartet?
Just weird lighting I think haha - thanks again for sending these in~ Very nice set
@Cameleon30 530 is Better in every way except the sub-bass and slam
Can’t wait to catch up with this later!
Its interesting,loved watching the last one as well