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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creative Aurvana Live!

Disclaimer: This headphone is one of whooping 18 loan pairs generously provided by Rick. I can't describe how grateful I am..

Along with Denon D1001, Creative Aurvana Live! is known as a clone of Foster's OEM model, 443741, which features a ∅40 mm bio-cellulose driver. Not only the specifications are identical, but also their exterior designs are very similar to one another. Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean 443741, D1001, and Live! should sound the same, but at least their electroacoustic potentiality should be on par.

Foster's patent documents indicate the mix ratio of bio-cellulose to carbon fiber is between 3:20 to 1:2, depending on how much of flexural rigidity is required in contrast to internal loss for a particular application, or vice versa. And in order to achieve ideal elasticity of the diaphragm for faithful bass reproduction, a separate edge, which is made of urethane elastomer, is utilized. Consequently, the driver is durable, water-resistant, and highly elastic with much lower 2nd/3rd harmonic distortion below 200 Hz compared to the electroacoustic characteristic of any of conventional PET drivers.






PRO: Live!'s frequency response is very linear with a slight downward tilt of about -2 dB/oct from 20 Hz to 10 kHz. Considering the fact that Live! is a portable headphone, such characteristic is quite impressive. In addition, due to a tight fit from earpads, there is not much of a chance for the placement induced amplitude deviation to be involved.

CON: The treble is slightly sibiliant. Unlike what Foster claim with their bio-cellulose driver technology, the level of harmonic distortion is enormous in the frequency range below 100 Hz, especially with a lot of odd-order harmonic components; However, depending on a personal preference, such distortion may contribute to enhancement of the perceived bass quality (Or not).

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: Against the reference of Dr. Sean Olive, Creative Aurvana Live! is pretty much right on target, except with 6~7 kHz range.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: Sooner or later, I'll obtain my own pair of Live!, since I see a good chance for modification with this headphone.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks Rin

    Good to see its very close to the target. I think they sound great myself. They respond well to a bit of EQ to zero them in to the sound I love.

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  2. Lots of closed headphones seem to have a local maximum at 10kHz, which always sounds strident to me. Do manufacturers do that on purpose?

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    1. It's just a 2nd node(3λ/4) of the quarter-wavelength resonance of the ear. A good amount of acoustic optimization is required to supress it.

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  3. Oh, I also wanted to ask. Do you like these headphones subjectively, Rin? They sound boomy to me.

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    1. Yup, it is a little too much rumble for me too. Now If I could only attenuate the level of bass by 6 dB..

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  4. CAL's bass is quite boomy to my ears. Many Headfiers DIY and add mass loading to their driver plates (like how it was done with MarkL Denons), which seems to reduce bass distortion.

    Some people also increase pad thickness evenly or just behind ears, though I am not sure how that would affect the sound. At least seal and comfort will be enhanced by thicker pads, as the medium-sized CAL may be half-on-ear for big ears.

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    1. Lemme see what I can do with these, once I am done with Rick's loan, which will be followed by T50RP mod first.

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  5. Ah now I understand why I can't stand the mid-to-low bass at all when I had it. Interested in your mod, will wait for it!

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