Yes I think I'm insane.
This time you get my corny witty remarks together with a review of Quattros with a. my laptop and b. my rig!
Oh yes, I'm trying to design a new way to use the Quattros with a "new port", or to be more precise, the lack thereof. So watch this space if you prefer the sound of Quattros without any of the three ports! Stay tuned.
P.S. We should have a poll on which port you like. 1, 2, 3 or none!
Not fully burnt in... Still sounds a bit capped. For those who like the UE sound I would really advise you to go straight for the "no port" option. Punchy, gives a kick, and in time it will sound less and less capped. The isolation, clarity and tightness of bass cannot compare to a triple fi (DUH!) and the sound stage is definitely smaller (these are all tested on laptop), but for the price... It really puts up a very very good fight. More of these to come up. Just updating as things come to me for this one... Quattros would have endless things to be talked about. No distortion even with high volumes after burning which is a huge plus obviously...
BUT I have to admit it sounds more capped and to achieve such quality of sound you need to shove the Quattros deep into your ear, which can caused pain equivalent to bruises for me. But it gives really good sound, good isolation and can help you lower the volume. Should be trying more out as it becomes more burnt in. In case anyone's wondering, I'm burning in using Dave Holland Quintet's Pass It On album on loop. It's been on for 24 hours for burning in and it did do wonders, plenty for bass and mids and highs. =) You might want to get it for burning it... Oh that brings me to an important point... BURNING IN IS VERY IMPORTANT. If it's not burnt in there are many points where the Quattros crackle and distort. Just give it a good burn in, take it as a good opportunity to burn in your other stuff... =)
OH btw... For about a MINUTE, I went back to my triple fi and thought that it sounded more capped than my Quattros. Like UH-OH kind off feeling. haha but actually wasn't that big a deal... It's basically because Triple Fi has that extra bump at the bottom end which gives a warmer signature, PLUS the fact that it doesn't go anywhere near as deep as the Quattros did, the sound kind off lost some of its zest on its way. Yes, in some ways the Quattros do sound good. Haha. But again, this is through a laptop amp... Sound changes as the rig changes. More importantly for me, on Triple Fi, instrumental separation, sound staging and punchiness is far superior. But if you're looking for a REALLY cheap substitute of the UE series... Quattros with 0 port would rock your socks. It just did for me...
After burning in the Quattro with pink noise, the quattro could take virtually any volume without crackling, which prompted me to give it max volume burning in with pink noise (mighty annoying but useful), so now I can quite safely say that the quattros are quite burnt in. Next up are things all running through the predator DAC.
Port no 1, as compared to Triple Fi 10 Pro (benchmark), has similar amounts of bass (a slight boost), clarity is not as detailed, overtones not being as notable as triple fi, but you don't get that complete lack of real life tone as I found in the Woody 2 (let alone Woody 1). I go for real life sound in the end, so pardon me for going for a more neutral kind of sound rather than a colouring earphone. Sound stage is an obvious no fight, together with instrumental separation, as triple fi obviously wins hands down, but quattros, for its price point, does magnificently. There's still the spatial difference between instruments, though smaller and much less separation (sounds spill over to other sections of the aural spectrum), but clarity remains, as fundamentals are strong enough, just lacking a bit of the zest of overtones and highs that the triple fi gives. Cymbals are rather problematic because they become overly dark with this port for me. Having heard it on neutral before, I can safely say that the recording overall went for a darker tone with Port 1. There is an attenuation in the low-highs, not quite existent high-highs, slightly overly accentuated bass frequencies, and the diminished mids in comparison (lush mids as some people might like to describe). Overall, not my sound, but if you like the GoVibe sound, this would be completely for you. Warm, padded and relaxing, with not too much punch as there is a slight veil and cap. No "boomy bass" problems in this circumstance.
With Port no 2... I felt much more comfortable with it. More overall harmonic information, bass was still strong in the music I am listening to. Still a slight lack of the high-highs and a slight attenuating of the low-highs along with the high-mids. Not much punch, quite padded, as characteristic of the Port 1, but with a lot more balance, less bass boost, but bass details can still be heard. Spillover still present. However overtones are more present and more appreciated because brings out tones better. But sweetness is still lacking as compared to a triple fi. Details on brushwork by the drummer improved slightly, but not as defined as triple fi. It is like the brushes have fatter and stiffer bristles and are harder to separate. However, for the price point the amount of details is amazing to me. 3D soundstage is similar between port 1 and 2 as well, and I suspect similar for port 3. I believe this is more for people who go for a neutral/flat sound, as said in the paper, but I would equate this more to a UM1? Not very familiar with it, but I would classify it under there, if there was any contention feel free to speak up about this. =)
Port no 3 sounds slightly anaemic in comparison, the fundamentals becoming slightly weaker. But the missing low-highs and high-mids have appeared! Still comfortable amount of bass for me in this instance (Predator I guess), despite a slight attenuation in the region. Not so padded as previous ports, but still considerable attenuation for fundamentals. Vocals might sound a bit nasal at this point because of the slight overaccentuation this time in the high-mids, low-highs still quite attenuated. Cymbals still sound a little dark still, with little improvement compared to the other ports. But overall soundstage, separation similar. People who will like this, I suspect, will like Etymolytics. As again, any contention feel free to speak up.
Now for no port again, after burning in. Still a slight veil, in the high-mids. Seems like only Port 3 really lifts part of that veil. However for No Port, low-highs suddenly appeared, and high-highs suddenly have a slight lift, to my surprise and delight. Punch is there because of the low-highs, bass has a slight accentuation as compared to Port 2, and actually a bit more than the Port 1 to my surprise in terms of sheer volume. As again, not too much boom, just strong tight bass. As again these are all tested with Predator. 3D imaging is still about the same. But a lot of things suddenly have a lot more punch because a slight accentuation at low mids, and low highs. Fundamentals of the piano are there, though lack of overtones due to attenuation of high-mids. Good for listening to bass and cymbals, not so much so far the rest, as the high mids are still attenuated. Personal take again. Would recommend it for UE lovers, due to the punch.
So overall, I would highly recommend Quattro for under 200 range if you're going for a more realistic sound. Though a bit more capped as again, but that's only taking into consideration it against a Triple Fi 10 Pro. Soundstaging and separation doesn't fight the higher range of equipment but fantastic for its price, and details are still there, though slightly more capped and veiled except for Port 3, which for me didn't work it for cymbals as much as No Ports did. For a relaxing, smokey lounge feel go for 1. For a flatter signature, go for Port 2... More realistic sound and less padded. For a slightly more nasal tone, more fundamentals less overtones, go for Port 3. For people who like punch, want that slightly extended highs, and don't mind the slight veil, and want a tighter bass go for No Ports. =)
Overall a great buy, at a great price.