That’s a surprising configuration given the strengths of the normal Andromeda - which, out of a 1.5-2.0 Ω source was, for me, a near unbeatable product at its price point (even if I can’t use it due to fit/comfort issues).
I’m clearly in a cynical mood this week … because my first two thoughts on reading this were not super positive. The first being that it is really a different IEM piggybacking on the very well regarded “Andromeda” name. And the second was I want to call this the: Andromeda “Raided the Left Over Parts Bin” Edition
Nozzles off the Polaris … screws from the IO … no room for a cross-over so we can squeeze in a couple of extra BA drivers for more bass …
Now, Ken is a professional at this stuff, and I’m not. I only go by what I hear (and/or measure), and I have, of course, NOT, heard these. So they could be magnificent. Though I still think they’re different enough that they warrant a distinct product name.
My concerns are several, though …
The standard Andromeda gets too bassy for me from sources with under about 2 Ω OI. Which is most DAPs, it seems. I know the trend with IEMs has been seemingly towards ever higher levels of bass (and I do like a bit more bass with an IEM than like with normal headphones). Thus I am concerned that this takes things too far in that regard.
I have only had one good experience with BA drivers that are allowed to run full-range (implied by the lack of a crossover*). That’s the Etymotic ER-4 (original and current). And I only think that gets away with it because a) the bass isn’t too potent b) the treble rolls off early, and c) it’s a single driver unit.
7 BAs with no crossover, all running full-range, at a minimum it’s a bold approach. There are obvious impacts to crossovers, from phase/coherence issues to loss of resolution etc. But there are benefits too … such as not pushing drivers into regions they don’t operate well/minimizing the range that a given driver has to cover.
The different nozzles are welcome … oddly they fit me much better than the standard Andromeda nozzles.
Time will tell, and it’ll be interesting to hear them, but it’s hard to understand why these are “Andromedas” when they differ so much in execution.
*There are other ways to mix and blend the output of multiple drivers, which CA and other manufactures have used. But, unless there are per-driver-group filters, without a crossover we’re doing that in the mechanical/acoustic domain … which means the driver is still being asked to operate at full-range and will be outputting as such.