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Monday, September 3, 2012

AKG K3003 part2: General analysis [UPDATED]

As pointed out by Inks, there was acoustic leakage on my new occluded ear simulator, which I bought for  an IEM measurement only. Now the issue has been fully resolved with my good ol' glue gun, I measured K3003 all over again. With the leak successfully blocked, the sub-bass level not only increased, but also the distortion in that range has been greatly reduced. NOW THAT WAS CLOSE.. *phew* Thanx again, Inks!



PRO: Very low harmonic distortion figure, even with 3-drivers linked up in parallel. It is the lowest I've seen from an IEM with a balanced-armature transducer implemented. AKG fine-tuned this IEM quite impressively. The channel matching is excellent, too.

CON: It is such a pain to insert this bulky IEM into a small ear canal; It is actually bigger in size than Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro! With the reference gray filters equipped, there is a lot of emphasis in the bass region, which makes the bass kind of slow and fun at the same time, in my humble opinion. The dynamic driver decays slower than the balanced-armature! And lastly, are you sure its high frequency goes up to 30 kHz, AKG?

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: This IEM changes its frequency response by a great degree, as the insertion depth changes. Interestingly, the insertion depth AKG intended to achieve is ~3mm away from the reference plane of the occluded ear simulator. This frequency response variation caused by different insertion depths will be discussed in the upcoming part 3.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: First, as the frequency goes up the impedance rises. Second, bundled acoustic dampers come with different acoustic resistance. Third, there is a slit ventilation port. These factors grant such a technical potentiality to AKG K3003. In other words, an user-oriented fine tonal equalization is possible once an intellectual treatment is given appropriately. This will be discussed in the upcoming part 3 as well.


Continued to Part 3.

11 comments:

  1. I take it the gray filter is the bass boost one? Kind of confused since they all seem to be the same color. Perhaps differentiating them in bass boost, reference and high boost will be more clear.

    Once again nice work and really looking forward to part 3

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    1. Thnx for the reply, brother. Sorry for not making things clear. Gray is the reference. And don't you wonder why my data differ in contrast to other websites' data? Once again, the truth is out there. This IEM is just too much fun to fiddle with.

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  2. I used meelec triple flange tips for deeper insertion, which seemed to even out the FR for me. These really are a fun and enjoyable earphone. Too bad mine was a loaner pair. Looking forward to part 3.

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  3. Thx for a great review bravo!
    Can u please tell me if high goes above or around 20khz
    Thank you

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  4. it's there in the graph, reaches 20hz then can probably keep going for a bit.

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  5. Hi Udauda,

    Just want to see if you might have an idea as to what I could do. My K3003i now has some significant channel imbalance, with the left side significantly softer than the right side. Tried a different source, tried swooping ears (so it's not insertion), and tried filters. Do you have any idea?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, that's most likely the driver gone bad. Is it still under warranty? If not, well.. :( Maybe I can try to calibrate it by utilizing various acoustic damping materials, so that both channels at least match. That would be the best I can do for you.

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    2. Hi Rin,
      I think you are right. The dynamic/bass driver is dead. Just use test tones and the left side is completely silent up from 20hz to 100hz.
      And thank you for the suggestion! AKG is actually able to send me a replacement :) Just have to be really really careful with the replacement pair (though I have been babying my IEMs already).
      Thanks again!
      Rick

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    3. Hey Rick, sorry to hear that. Thank god it is still under warranty!

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  6. Rick,you're not the only one.Mine also got the same problem.What's more bad,i'm not yet get any update wheter they're gonna replace or repair it :(

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    Replies
    1. That's quite frustrating. I won't be able to fix the IEM due to its metal-sturdy housing, but can try to match both channels at least. Just let me know if AKG turns you down by any chance.

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