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Old 11-07-2019, 07:24 PM
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Default Campfire Audio Comets on the way

Based on a lot of very positive reviews I've read, I've ordered a pair of Campfire Audio Comet in-ear monitors today. I've been looking for something just a bit more upmarket from my daily drivers, my Etymotic hf3 IEMs for use with my Astell & Kern AK 100 II DAP and my iPhone for podcasts. While I have a pair of Shure SE535s and Westone W40s, I always keep coming back to the Etys for their overall very neutral balance as well as wearing comfort.

The Comet is Campfire Audio's entry-level IEM and sells for $199. Designed by Campfire Audio founder Ken Ball, the Comet has a neutral with a hint of warmth signature and is intended for general listening and has a nice copper litz cable with in-line microphone. Its uses a balanced armature along with Campfire's proprietary Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber for some sparkle on the top.

The nice thing about the Comet is they are small, light, narrow, and fit straight into the ear canal like the Etymotics. I generally prefer this type of monitor, rather than the Shure, Westone and others IEMs that fit into the larger outer opening of the ear (the concha) and require an over-ear loop to stay in place.

Drop froged from solid stainless and hand-polished, they also feature the MMCX attachment, so replacing or upgrading cables is (literally) a snap.

Here are some pics (last two photos copyright John Darko 2018)











Here's a good review by John Darko:

https://youtu.be/DviaDw6-cSg
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conrad-johnson CT-5 and LP70S, Michell Gyro SE MkII, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermilion w/ EAR324, Oppo BD-83SE, Sonore OpticalModule with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2 power supply, SOtM UltraNeo with Keces P3 power supply, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Schiit Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB DAC, Schiit Loki DSD DAC, Mac Mini/Roon, Dynaudio Contour S3.4 with Esotar 2 tweeters, REL R-305, Audioquest Colombia and Colorado ICs, Shunyata Venom speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Cobra and Black Mamba CX and Venom 3 power cords, Shunyata Triton, Synergistics Research HFT acoustical tuning devices
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:47 AM
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Interesting design, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of them once you’ve had some time with them. I have Shure SE535s and Westone WS80 customs. They both sound great, but the way the Shure rests in the outside of the ear does get uncomfortable on a long flight.
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Main system: Linn Klimax Katalyst DSM; D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp & HD preamp; Rega RP10 w/Rega Aphelion; Boulder 508; Sonus Faber Amati Futura; Shunyata Denali 6000T, Alpha NR & EF power, Ztron Cobra IC & SC; Quadraspire Sunoko-Vent T, ISOAcoustics Orea footers, HRS Damping Plates; SonicTransporter i7 & Synology DS412+; Audio Desk Pro
Personal audio: Woo Audio WA6, WA7 & WA8; Auralic Aries Mini, Sonore MicroRendu & UltraRendu; AKG Q701, Shure SE535, Shure SH1540, Westone ES50 Custom, Sennheiser HD820, MrSpeakers Aeon Flow C; Various Moon Audio dragons
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:00 AM
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Default Campfire Audio Comets on the way

Looking forward to how well these perform on the “passive isolation” front.
The Comets are also on my shortlist, possibly for use with a Bluetooth cable. I’m curious if the Comets would outperform the Sony WF1000 and Airpods Pro for music.
The Andromeda gets a lot of praise, but 5x the price and probably overkill for use with a Bluetooth cable...

...but then CIEM’s are also still on the table as these would provide the best isolation...seems there is a local Belgian manufacturer “Variphone” not far from where I live.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonmb View Post
Interesting design, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of them once you’ve had some time with them. I have Shure SE535s and Westone WS80 customs. They both sound great, but the way the Shure rests in the outside of the ear does get uncomfortable on a long flight.
Hi Tony,
I fully agree with your impressions of the SE535s: they are my best-sounding and performing IEMs and have, on the whole a nicely balanced and quite neutral presentation, but I agree, they are kinda bulky and can become uncomfortable for extended wearing, and by that I mean for more than 60-90s minutes. I've had them for at least five years, but I hardly ever listen to them.

Regarding the Westone W40s: I bought these based on some good reviews I've read, but I've always been a bit disappointed in them. I find them to be a bit dark and wooly-sounding, definitely not as good as the Shures, but more comfortable.

Bottom-line: I've just kept coming back, over and over again, for years now, to my Etymotics: either hf3s with its in-line iPhone mic, or the hf5s, which are identical drivers, but without the inline mic. While the Etys are bass-shy compared to the Shure and Westones, I find I don't mind as I just prefer the overall neutrality, comfort, wearing and listening experience of the Etys over the other two.

So...I'm pretty excited about the Campfire Audio Comets, I've read they're very good for $200, and can compete with other IEMs under $1000. I also like their compact size and direct, straight-in-the-ear type of insertion.

They'll be arriving Wednesday, so I'll be posting my impressions with them.
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conrad-johnson CT-5 and LP70S, Michell Gyro SE MkII, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermilion w/ EAR324, Oppo BD-83SE, Sonore OpticalModule with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2 power supply, SOtM UltraNeo with Keces P3 power supply, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Schiit Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB DAC, Schiit Loki DSD DAC, Mac Mini/Roon, Dynaudio Contour S3.4 with Esotar 2 tweeters, REL R-305, Audioquest Colombia and Colorado ICs, Shunyata Venom speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Cobra and Black Mamba CX and Venom 3 power cords, Shunyata Triton, Synergistics Research HFT acoustical tuning devices
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2019, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem666 View Post
Looking forward to how well these perform on the “passive isolation” front.
The Comets are also on my shortlist, possibly for use with a Bluetooth cable. I’m curious if the Comets would outperform the Sony WF1000 and Airpods Pro for music.
The Andromeda gets a lot of praise, but 5x the price and probably overkill for use with a Bluetooth cable...

...but then CIEM’s are also still on the table as these would provide the best isolation...seems there is a local Belgian manufacturer “Variphone” not far from where I live.
Yeah, not sure how they would work with a Bluetooth cable; I've experimented a bit with Bluetooth, but I've always found the sound quality for audio to be sub-par for music.

As for the Sony WF1000s and AirPods, word on the street is the Sony's are better; I've been watching a lot of reviews comparing these two, and the Sonys get better marks for listening to music. Steve Guttenberg listened to the Air Pods Pro and posted a review this week that they're pretty bad for music.

To be honest, I really prefer a wired cable; and using one would me to use the Balanced output jack of my Astell & Kern.

I'd love to get a pair of Andromedas, but I've got other prorities for discretionary spending right now, and I think the Comets will give me a good idea of what to expect from Campfire Audio.
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conrad-johnson CT-5 and LP70S, Michell Gyro SE MkII, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermilion w/ EAR324, Oppo BD-83SE, Sonore OpticalModule with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2 power supply, SOtM UltraNeo with Keces P3 power supply, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Schiit Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB DAC, Schiit Loki DSD DAC, Mac Mini/Roon, Dynaudio Contour S3.4 with Esotar 2 tweeters, REL R-305, Audioquest Colombia and Colorado ICs, Shunyata Venom speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Cobra and Black Mamba CX and Venom 3 power cords, Shunyata Triton, Synergistics Research HFT acoustical tuning devices
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:09 PM
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I have Shure se535 Ltd, Westone W80 and Noble Kaiser Encore IEMs. I use them with A&K and Questyle DAPs. These are all excellent IEMs with sound quality ranging from really really good to simply exceptional. About a year ago I was looking for something less expensive to wear to the gym and similar things. I got the Comets. They are really good sounding IEMs. They don’t challenge the Nobles or Westones and I don’t think they are better than the Shures— but they are really very good and by far the best I’ve heard for the price. They are also extremely comfortable. The only downside is people coming up to me and asking why I have mini blow dryers in my ears! I do strongly recommend them.
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Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robfine View Post
I have Shure se535 Ltd, Westone W80 and Noble Kaiser Encore IEMs. I use them with A&K and Questyle DAPs. These are all excellent IEMs with sound quality ranging from really really good to simply exceptional. About a year ago I was looking for something less expensive to wear to the gym and similar things. I got the Comets. They are really good sounding IEMs. They don’t challenge the Nobles or Westones and I don’t think they are better than the Shures— but they are really very good and by far the best I’ve heard for the price. They are also extremely comfortable. The only downside is people coming up to me and asking why I have mini blow dryers in my ears! I do strongly recommend them.
Hi Rob,
Thank you for sharing your experiences; looking forward to getting the Comets.

If they are better than Etys, I'll be very happy.

Cheers.
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conrad-johnson CT-5 and LP70S, Michell Gyro SE MkII, SME V, Koetsu Urushi Vermilion w/ EAR324, Oppo BD-83SE, Sonore OpticalModule with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2 power supply, SOtM UltraNeo with Keces P3 power supply, Shunyata Alpha USB cable, Schiit Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB DAC, Schiit Loki DSD DAC, Mac Mini/Roon, Dynaudio Contour S3.4 with Esotar 2 tweeters, REL R-305, Audioquest Colombia and Colorado ICs, Shunyata Venom speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Cobra and Black Mamba CX and Venom 3 power cords, Shunyata Triton, Synergistics Research HFT acoustical tuning devices
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:31 PM
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They are better than my Etys, but my Etys are at least 15 years old.
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Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2019, 09:00 AM
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An itsy-bitsy revirew update: Yesterday,inspired by this thread, I brought my Comets to work. I usually take my Shure’s bc when I walk to lunch or just take a walk outside the building where my office is in to get up and stretch a it I listen to them with my AK. Before yesterday, I had pretty much always listened to the Comets sitting down. I discovered that the cable is pretty microphonic-sensitive. There is a partial solution that involves a small trade-off. The Comets are more comfortable, very comfortable with the cables going straight down. That is where the microphonics are worst. If you where them with cables over your ears the microphonics are noticeably better, although the wear is a little less comfortable but not uncomfortable. Consider Campfire is from ALO, the microphonic problem surprised me.
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Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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An itsy-bitsy revirew update: Yesterday,inspired by this thread, I brought my Comets to work. I usually take my Shure’s bc when I walk to lunch or just take a walk outside the building where my office is in to get up and stretch a it I listen to them with my AK. Before yesterday, I had pretty much always listened to the Comets sitting down. I discovered that the cable is pretty microphonic-sensitive. There is a partial solution that involves a small trade-off. The Comets are more comfortable, very comfortable with the cables going straight down. That is where the microphonics are worst. If you where them with cables over your ears the microphonics are noticeably better, although the wear is a little less comfortable but not uncomfortable. Consider Campfire is from ALO, the microphonic problem surprised me.
__________________
Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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