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WordsandMusic
169
Oct 19, 2021
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@ChumbWumba specifically asked for my impressions of the IMR Elan, which is the Ozar with bone induction motors. So while not a 1:1 comparison, maybe it will be useful. I'm an audiophile by avocation, but I'm no expert on transients, roll-off, forward, laid back... all the fun terms. So I'll do my best. TL;DR: A strong, clear IEM with exceptional sound across the spectrum. Drums and cymbals are crisp, vocals right on target, guitars and keyboards have solid presence. Plenty of tuning filters that do make a difference, and a nice case. Cables are okay, nothing special. Translated to the Ozar, if you're in the market and it's in your budget, I can't imagine you'd be disappointed. Long version: After doing pink noise burn in for 72 hours, I finally tried out the Elan for an extended period. Note, Bob at IMR recommends 200 to 300 hours of burn in, so I'm not even half way. I've had the Fiio FH5 for about 5 months and really like them ($200 on Amazon), so I've been thinking of how those sound as I've been using the IMR. All tracks at least "HD" quality (as in Amazon HD), through a Monolith desktop balanced DAC & THX amp using IMR 4.4mm cable and XLR adapter. I've been doing some tip rolling; I usually have a hard time with my right ear. At least they are comfortable and quite light. First up, The Beatles ("The White Album") in its entirety. For "side 1 & 2", I had the gray lower filter and blue upper filter, described in the booklet as "high clarity & resolution with clear midrange." TBH, I was feeling a little disappointed. Soundstage wasn't especially wide. But some tracks performed well, with the sparse "Blackbird" sounding mighty fine, and the harpsichord on "Piggies" coming through great. For side 3, I tried the purple lower and red upper, which is what @lexs landed on for the IMR R2 Red. Not bad, but felt I needed a little more bass. Maybe I'm more of a basshead than I want to admit. So, for side 4, I went with gold lower and, kind of randomly, the green upper. Felt like the soundstage opened up a bit and the bass was sweet. After the Beatles, I explored some widely ranging tracks, many of which have a certain "rumble" and I'm checking if that comes through with the IMR:
  • Cool Cat, Queen, Hot Space
  • The Only Shrine I’ve Seen, Darkside, Psychic
  • I Can’t Quit You Baby, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin
  • Apocalypso, Special, The Zookeeper’s Boy, Mew, And The Glass Handed Kites
  • Sky Blue, Peter Gabriel, Up
  • Torus, Blue Man Group, Three
  • Red Dust, Zero 7, Simple Things Special Edition
  • 747, Ludwig Göransson, Tenet OST (one of my favorite musical finds this year)
  • Posthumous Forgiveness, Tame Impala, The Slow Rush
  • Systemagic, Goldfrapp, Silver Eye
  • Heart of the Sunrise, Yes, Fragile
  • It Never Entered My Mind, Miles Davis, The Best of Miles Davis
  • Firth of Fifth, Genesis, Seconds Out
  • Tighten Up, The Black Keys, Brothers
  • Time, Us & Them, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
  • Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here
Most of these sounded great. "Sky Blue" playback was jaw dropping. In fact, I'm playing it again as I finish this up. Doesn't hurt that Mr. Gabriel knows how to produce an album. Nearly as strong were "Tighten Up" and "Heart of the Sunrise." I frequently use the latter as a test track with the goal of feeling like I'm right between Mr. Squire's strings, and this came pretty close. Pink Floyd tracks were my 24/96 files through Foobar. Feeling like the gold lower filter is giving a little too MUCH bass on these, making the tracks feel just a bit muddy (more so the DSOTM tracks). Didn't expect that. Last track, not on the list, was "That's the Way" from 2014 remaster of Led Zeppelin III. Mr. Page's strumming came through brilliantly, and Robert's vocals were beautifully clear. Bass that comes in during the last 40 seconds or so may have been just a little much again, so I may have to step down to the gray filter. I'm very impressed with the Elan at this early stage. Now (or after at least another 100 hours of use) I have to work out if they're noticeably better than the FH5, which are quite a bit less $$.
Oct 19, 2021
WordsandMusic
169
Oct 20, 2021
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Listening via Radsone Earstudio produced good results as well, FYI.
Oct 20, 2021
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