Campfire Audio’s CASCADE Headphone REVIEW

The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now




Time:          1977

Place:         Some kids room, somewhere in America

Reason:     Reason?      Mom….GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!


cascade and farrah

That kid is so stoked!



This guy is so stoked!

Campfire Audio CASCADE life




The kid?

unfurling the biggest selling pin-up poster girl in history…

and you can see her nipple….for an 11 year old boy that’s like big time stuff.



The Guy?

I think the guy in the 2nd picture and the kid in the 1st are actually… the.. same.. dude!













Same lines that Campfire Audio has become famous for but in “L” size. Absolutely beautiful down to the last detail. Everything is awesome.

Seriously…it is.




“The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be “out there” and the person that appears to be “in here” are not two separate things. They grow toward Quality or fall away from Quality together.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


  • Well respected guy as it relates to voicing and building IEM in the audio industry.
  • Dreams of doing some over ears headphones.
  • Takes lots of time to get the reality and the dream lined up.
  • Pic posted above would indicate said dream.. has met reality


Respected, smart, dreamer…nails it.


I want some of that.


You want me to paint a picture?




**Bob Ross voice**

There’s a happy little aluminum cup over there, yeah..

moving up,…what do we have….oh,

it’s a nice yolk connected by a strong pivot section, for you folks watching at home any old brush will do….lets just enjoy, that’s what it’s all about …yeah?

The padding seems really nice and hey…those plush pads , like clouds…happy clouds being warmed by Mr Sun…….those clouds come right off! Lets just use black, it’s a dark color but it is one of my favorite colors because I can make almost aaaaaany other color with a little help from Mr. Black.

Alright then, lets dip our brushes now…just a bit,



Excellent pics and from all angles are at the site where you will buy it:


I have to this point,



Farrah, Robert Pirsig and Bob Ross into this.


1977…the ….house!!!





Moving right the fuck along…..








Closed headphones always have and always will fall short of open backs when it comes to a sense of space around the listener.

That said, Pink Floyd’s On the Run which is fantastic for panning and spacial audio cues sounds great. Using mostly IEM lately and not my MA-900 has sort of conditioned my mind to getting a sense of space from tuning more than actual air coming into my ear in addition to the sound.


The left to right and back pans,  and  both sides panning to opposite sides simultaneously is well captured as is the woman’s gate and boarding announcement which resides partly in the early mids but is very clear which is not the case with over extending bass.






Tupac Amaru Shakur (beloved god of THUG LIFE)…his favorite song was:

“Vincent” by Don McLean

Just a knowledge bomb for ya.

About that bass…


I bought these because having a driver with good mids and great bass is something beryllium drivers are becoming famous for. That and it’s cups being made of a metal along with the reputation of Campfire Audio is mostly why I pulled the trigger.


On 2pac’s Ambitionz az a Ridah’ the bass thump is clean and falls fast. The speed of the driver is preventing an elevated bass from becoming a mid frequency issue. Nothing else is clouded or less resolving because of the bass hit that pins down the entire track. I like bass but I like mids even more. Scooped mids kill. They kill hopes, they kill smiles they ..

I would rather it sound as if the lead singer were standing on my fucking face than sound like he was in another room behind the band. This set makes me not have to deal with either discomfort but if they had thin mids or distant vocals I would be shredding them in a video..I NEVER DO WRITTEN REVIEWS OF GEAR UNLESS IT IS BOSS. Vids are easy. Writing is an A.D.H.D torture event.






AC/DC’s  Girls got Rhythm,

I have come to realize how much this track which is a fantastic vinyl rip, throws guitar and vocals a notch or more back whenever there is a dip in the mids. If the 300-2Khz range is warped it will show on tracks like this and Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman loud and clear.

Noteworthy to say the least is the ability of this set to play back guitar with distortion pedals in a way, I have not heard on many sets of head gear of any type, be it B.A. , PLANAR , DD..IEM, on-ear or overear.

The Beryllium driver coating is clearly cleaning things up via speed and recovery of all the minutia that happens during distorted guitar playback. It is almost like a unicorn for folks who have never heard good audio gear as they have never heard it and literally have no idea what they are missing. Ignorance is not bliss but it helps to not drain the wallet like this hobby does.


The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard…to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now



Hearing this vinyl rip like this and knowing I can grab this set anytime and hear this kind of replay is worth the price of admission alone.





E.L.O Telephone Line


All kinds of trebles ready to make you want to rip your skin of your face if the driver has spikes in the wrong areas.

Seriously…50Hz tone at 145dB for 20 minutes or

8.5Khz at 145dB for 5 minutes?

Man, I’d get to minute 2 of 8.5Khz and cry before going insane and jumping out a window and impaling myself on something.

The FiiO F9 original version is good for 2 songs in a row and that is it. Game over, fatigue has arrived and annoyance and anger are following close behind. I bought the Beyer T1 and long term listening sessions with that beauty was just impossible.

The Campfire Audio CASCADE is built for long listening. Maybe it’s the basshead in me but this is not a bassy set it is a mid centric one. This is built for full album sessions. I believe this is the first review I wrote while listening to the item reviewed the whole time.





1 = Get these things off my fucking head

10 = Sound so good I forgot something important and…don’t even give a shit. I’m in this hobby for the 10’s brah!


Well…I got an e-mail asking to change a boxing spar session to tomorrow instead of Sunday (J.S.T) and forgot to reply till typing that 1-10 stuff and he has a new baby and I am not gonna mail him at 11:50 P.M and wake his kid and piss off his wife.

My Review of the Campfire Audio CASCADE Headphones.  is done. A pretty good video review will soon follow.



A star and a movie from 1977.  EPIC,…like these headphones.


Hidizs DH1000 SONATA

Hidizs DH100020180207_21483420180207_214723


  • Dual ES9018K2M DACs for a silky smooth sound
  • Dual ES9601K high-quality decoder chips
  • Headphone impedance: 8 to 600Ω
  • Stainless steel/Aluminium alloy body
  • Elegant tempered glass cover
  • Support most high-resolution audio formats, at up to 192kHz/24Bit, DSD/64/128
  • Perfectly compatible with iPhone, Android phones, iPad, PC, MAC
  • Custom made crystal oscillators
  • 3.5mm and 2,5mm headphone jacks
  • 12 hours playing time



**A review will be coming up as well as a video as the launch date approaches so stay tuned**



Monk IEM “Biggie” REVIEW


It’s Biggie when he was smalls…get it? Nah? nevermind…


I will do a review and post it … and hit up the social networks when it’s done.

Biggie and Smalls and the “7 day Theory”

Day #1


Figured Biggie would get clear benefits from a hardware bass boost.

This set-up Note4 and FiiO Q1mkII is much better than the X7II with stock AM3A amp.

Vinyl rip of…yeah Vinyl rip of All Eyez on Me sound nice. Bass boosted by EQ and hardware and some boost in treb and this sounds much nicer. All the dope mixing by Johhny J and D.J. Quick behind 2pac’s lyrics shining through.

Day #2


I figured the Shozy Alien + would provide the power for VE Biggie but it is revealing the need for an eq in the late bass /mids?

Is the bass blooming into the early mids or are they recessed? Never seen a chart but it is one of the 2. Shame the Shozy doesn’t have even a basic EQ as the pair seems great but not enough tweakability. Actually sounds like something needs a boost more than a cut…

I will work on other devices EQ’s. This coulda been a nice pairing as the Shozy is epic in sound and ghetto in all else.

Day #3


Sounds better than the Shozy because of EQ but still not shining like with the hardware bass boost on the Q1mkII

This is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not bass boosted goodness 😉

Day #4


Sorry about the finger prints but it was crashing again 😦

Headfonics reviewed this while it was still on a early beat firmware which blew my mind. 3 months later and it is still having issues. 3 moths ago Hiby was crashing, the storage was going ghost and most folks reported that. Some sites need to balance being first with being….looking like a moron/tool/hype site

I got nothing about Biggie. Thing wouldn’t start. likely not a good pair due to power and limited EQ. I like the device but it needs work.

Sorry Biggie. Day 4 just walked out the door and didn’t leave nuttin’

Day #5


Pairing Biggie with the OPUS#2

Using the same EQ I used on the X7MKII and it sounds very good. This is still not as good as the Q1MKI which is really tripps since that is a amp/dac and it’s not very expensive but like the Melody ME.1…The Biggie seem to sound best with a good hardware bass boost.

I told Lee pretty quick that I liked Small the best of the 2 but with a good flick of a bass switch that choice is less easy. These need power. No question. Particularly to get good bass and through what seems like a slight veil? Not sure, but the increased dynamics that come from power do a lot for biggie

Day #6


Mmm, no.

The more power the better. That is without doubt. Burn in be damned, these need to be kicked in with some juice. Gonna try to throttle em with an amp then see where we at.

Day #7


Best pairing…and most potent source. Q1MKII with bass boost might be better though.

Biggie likes power


Style In-Ear

Detachable Cable

Connectors 0.78mm 2pin

Driver Dynamic

Resistance 80Ω


The Biggie monk IEM reminds me of the TFZ 5s.

Biggie has a detachable cable and fits better due to smaller housing though.




2pac’s   “Shorty wanna be a Thug”


Lots of minute details going on in the background and if the bass is elevated to a tactile level the mids and some details get lost.  They are named after my favorite Hip hop artist’s chief rival but they are not best suited for basshead or bass dominant stuff.


Some folks will be happy to hear that







“Wanna be startin’ Somethin'”

This sounds better as it does not require a big bass boost and the mids are left along to play back the Quincy jones engineered audio info fest. There is a lot going on and you can catch most of it at regular listening levels.





“Never Goin’ back Again”


Not as crisp as Biggies brother “Smalls” but pretty much what the TFZ gave me.  I sometimes think I shoulda started with Smalls but I got a feeling Biggie will be left behind little brother over time so I start with biggie.






Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time


Because of the electric guitar’s range the Biggie actually do good here because the mix is done well and besides the “Foreplay” minutia the rock group members come through nicely though the vocals seem a tad back





Biggie is not a stage monster.

This album sounds great but I use it for stage mostly and that is not this sets strong point.



So where the fuck are we?



Can slam with power but it WILL hurt the mids. I gotta feeling they are slightly elevated stock leaving less headroom before distortion or a veil forms. The Sony EX series are basically flat and have lots of room and 16mm and good power input handling so they are rare. Most single dynamic will start choking on 55Hz boosts.


**Hardware bass boost can help as it is not a DSP like EQ is…not really anyway, it helps this set a lot**




Fine as they are but will get pushed back by bass EQ.  Use a hardware bass switch to leave the mids alone as much as you can. These are not mid forward so you will push them back even further





Surprisingly not bad. The “V” ish sig means the treble is there and not piercing at all. Could be rolled after 9-10Khz but that shouldn’t bother most folks


If “Smalls” wasn’t so damn good and coming with “Biggie” I might like it more but little brother steals Biggie’s spotlight.







It’s about the music, the clan and being in it.

It’s never been about the money.  That, that is Strictly business. Venture Clan is about more than business. They helped a person, not in the clan, I hope not, cuz I sent a mail telling him to show some damn respect so if he is family…my bad.

I do not do good things to make others happy. I do them to make myself happy….about myself. Lee is like that.

Try and join the clan and get booted for being a fool or supported for trying not to be.




If you are a power user Biggie will be fine as he needs amp and a bass switch but since you get the really excellent brother “Smalls” (pic top of review…white IEM)…you get BOTH for less than you pay for 1 mediocre set from many companies….you pull triggers…you pull them nowz!!

FiiO F9 PRO Full review

The FiiO F9 PRO. FiiO’s 1st real Approach to Audiophiles

The FiiO F9 PRO is a shot at Audiophiles who enjoy a detail filled listen with tuning that resembles the classic Sony EX1000 among others. Did they hit the mark? Lets check it out.






The F9 Pro uses

(x1) Dynamic 9.2mm PEK Polymer nanocomposite driver

(x2) Balanced armature drivers. the “Knowles” TWFK-30017-000



Impedance is 28 Ohm

Max input rated at 100mW











FiiO has made an all metal design with an MMCX connect and mesh covered nozzle with a lip for securing the eartips. The interior is lined with plastic to secure the driver and reduce resonance.


It feels like an aluminum peanut. It fits like a piece of hearing protection which is to say it fits really really good with the proper eartips which depend on your ear size.




Inside the Box




Inside you find 

As mentioned above:


Hard shell case

Soft carry case

(x1)  2.5mm balanced cable

(x1) 3.5mm single end  (SE) cable

(12) sets of ear tips 6 bass enhancing sets and 6 balanced sound sets






Sound impressions:





Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time


The wide spacey intro “Foreplay” is the kind of stadium rock anthem the the F9 PRO shine on. The treble clarity and peaks create a great sense of space. There is no perceived restriction on the virtual playback stage. Live recordings or those with large presentations from Classic to live 70’s arena rock shine on these







Gold Dust Woman


Male and Female vocal Fundamentals are stretched across the entire mid range.

Stevie Nicks and at times Lindsey Buckingham and others sound well balanced and well placed. The mids would be slightly forward or proper. There is no recess detected to my ears. The mid to early treble is one of the strong points of this set. Guitar also sounds very good both electric and acoustic.





Dazed and Confused

The opening notes of John Paul Jones Bass guitar are clear and extend into the harmonic range nicely. The lower sub-bass seems to be somewhat lacking. These are not basshead in any form nor were they advertised as such



According to FiiOs own advert it is a relatively neutral bass tuning with no real increase or recess along it’s range.  It sounds that way. Some folks may want to add roughly +3dB or more/less depending on tastes for a fuller sound in the lows with more impact. An EQ will work a hardware bass switch would be ideal for many.








Shorty Wanna be a Thug



There is a ton of studio deck mixing going on on this track and the better the treble the more you will hear. Everything comes through loud and clear. The F9 has a peak at 7-8Khz. The PRO has one at close to the same point according to their graph. it seems less harsh than the F9 to me? They could graph out identical but while it sounds like a bright IEM it does not grate on me like the F9 did initially. I got used to it or this is just a bit better in resolution, clarity and no worse than the F9 peak perhaps better. This could be my brain getting burnt in though so take that with 2 grains of Salt








Did FiiO do what they set out to do?


Well, if the graph they made was what they wanted then yes. It sounds very detailed with a large presentation and a tame bass region. No noted recess in mids. That is what they showed in their own graph and that is what they did, to these ears.


If you like the Sony EX1000 like I do ( I fracking love em’!!) then you would like these and they fit much much better than the Sony.



Initial unboxing video












Buy at:






FiiO provided this sample to me for free.

Thank you to FiiO and thank you for reading







With the bass boost on the Q1mkII I fully rec these. They are great without but they are to my taste with so I rec. They sound fantastic now.


Happy Holidays!