Tralucent Audio 1Plus2 | Down the Rabbit Hole and Through the Looking Glass

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax –
Of cabbages — and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings.”

Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

1 Dynamic, 2 Balanced Armature

We’re all in this hobby because we’ve been struck with a sense of wonderment about the nature of sound — the manipulation of which can put us in either the most elating or the most dour of moods. Yet, paradoxically, “hi-fi” is supposed to be a contraction of “high fidelity” — meaning that the equipment we use are supposed to give us the truest response to the original recording, with little to no extra added color.

To do so, a pair of speakers, headphones, or IEMs has to reproduce every single note and transient as faithfully as it possibly can, registering every single decibel of sound at the eardrum in a manner both spatially and temporally accurate. Such is the definition of “neutral”, or flat. The idea is that, by having hi-fi equipment as invisible and transparent as possible, the raw emotion of a musical performance will shine through. However, the very act of using electroacoustic equipment to reproduce sound is unnatural. No matter how real it sounds, it is in its totality a simulation of the real — an artificial milieu that wears the guise of performances past.

Call it distortion in the signal chain during acquisition, production, and reproduction — or whatever, but the fact is that everything injects a little bit of self-interpretation, and those little ‘liberties’ are exactly what give audio reproduction its emotion and definition. To this end, most audio enthusiasts actually shrink at the thought of hearing music “flat”, as “flat” is the antithesis of evocative. No singer would want to be labeled “flat”, nor would any trumpeter, violinist, or drummer ever want to give a performance judged to be “flat” — listeners, at their core, want definition; they want to hear the power of realism, be in the wonderment of excitement, and feel the elation of discovery and re-discovery. They surrender themselves to the acoustics, and only then do they allow the music to fully shine through.

About these ads

12 thoughts on “Tralucent Audio 1Plus2 | Down the Rabbit Hole and Through the Looking Glass

    1. That’s a difficult question to answer trivially. I think they’re all on par with each other; the main technical advantage that the 1Plus2 has is its low frequency reproduction, which has, in my book, surpassed the Sony EX1000’s bass capabilities. However, for the rest of the presentation, it’s a toss-up and up to your personal preferences. I personally like the presentation of the LS6 best, while the 1Plus2 has a U-shaped, yet very detailed presentation. The LS8+ also has a U-shaped presentation, but its mids are more forward and smoother sounding. I can’t really say for sure which has the “best overall technical ability”.

      Like

  1. I see. I did try the LS6 and it was amazing. But I did not try playing all my test tracks, and so I wonder whether I might want more bass impact for some tracks (I am used to the ASG1’s). So I guess for now my options are the neutrals (LS6 and RDB+ 2v1, idk which one is better) or the more exciting ones (LS8+ and 1p2). Demos would be very helpful but since LS6 is the only available demo here I need info from knowledgeable reviewers like you. Thanks and cheers!

    Like

    1. I’d say that my personal beliefs are as follows:

      Overall, the LS6 > RDB+ 2V1, but the 2V1 has the advantage of universal fit and small size, as well as that dynamic low end that’s just extremely difficult to replicate with BA drivers. I do believe the 2V1 is also more affordable.

      The 1plus2 > LS8+, with the former delivering more of a visceral feel to music, almost as though it’s live, while the LS8+ does better with “airy” music, like harpsichord.

      Here are some notes of mine comparing the LS8+, 1Plus2, and the FitEar TO GO 334:

      Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five (Drum Solo) – 24/88.2
      334: least wide presentation, best L/R pan presentation, best directional placement of micro-details, soft hiss, points you to the way the snares decay
      1+2: biggest, most visceral presentation, most realistic/articulate drum roll, picks up least hiss,
      LS8+: cleanest/crispest presentation, least decay, least punch, picks up recording hiss clearly, not enough decay to feel as realistic as the other two

      Rebecca Pidgeon – Spanish Harlem – 24/88.2
      334: vocals forward/intimate, full bodied, clear, great black space, good spatial presentation and center focus, clear winner
      1+2: thinner presentation than the 334, far less forward, but clear
      LS8+: sharpest vocals, body/thickness splits the difference between the 334 and 1+2

      Antonio Vivaldi: Recitative & Aria from Cantata RV679, “Che giova il sospirar, povero core”
      334: Imaging clear, but unexaggerated, most intimate, in-your-head presentation
      1+2: orchestra powerful but clear, vocals thinner. Can easily hear singer swaying side to side, left to right, great out-of-head presentation, vocals (though still clear) can get drowned out by the orchestral music
      LS8+: dark horse favorite, most airy presentation, harpsichords most crisp, string instruments play with staccato bow strokes, playing to the LS8+’s strengths

      Joshua Bell – Chovendo na Roseira (Feat. Dave Grusin)
      334: Good decay on triangle, but least bright yet still distracting possibly due to extra decay, violins very slightly too warm and smooth
      1+2: crispest violins
      LS8+: Least decay on triangle, good overall presentation, slightly sterile/clean

      Dr. Dre – Big Egos (Feat. Hittman)
      334: helicopter farther away, radio voice realistic, superior L/R panning (drive-by shooting vignette)
      1+2: larger presentation of helicopter, by far the best sub-bass performance, largest bass, but still tightly controlled, radio voice sounds like performer (which isn’t accurate)
      LS8+: slightly too sharp and crisp for this type of mastering

      Stacey Kent – It’s a Wonderful World
      334: warm and very intimate, almost too intimate (too much lower midrange because of Stacey Kent tracks), no sibilance
      1+2: clear sibilance, acoustic guitar presentation better, spacious,
      LS8+: sibilance heard, slightly less than 1+2, warmer vocals than 1+2

      Stacey Kent – La Venus du Melo
      334:
      1+2: mid-bass surprisingly well-controlled, but overall quantity of bass high, highs also slightly distracting, most engaging vocals, surprisingly
      LS8+: cleanest presentation, lightest bass, easiest on the ears

      Like

      1. Thanks for sharing! I have contacted Rooth’s local distributor and they said I can order LS6 and LS8+ as universal IEMs. Currently I dont plan on getting CIEMs since some of my friend have horror stories with refits. I will think this through, but for now 1p2 sounds the most interesting (and expensive) choice :) btw there is a new dual driver hybrid by Rooth and it is very cheap.it is called the Elpis.

        Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s