Campfire’s Vega and Dorado

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I would like to thank Ken from Campfire Audio for providing the Dorado and Vega in return for my honest opinion.

Introduction

Campfire’s Andromeda took the audiophile community by storm in 2016, becoming an instant hit almost immediately following its release. It took me a while to hear one, but when I finally did I understood all the commotion: the Andromeda simply sounds very good. There’s a little bit for everyone in the mix; some nice bass, a full midrange, a nice bit of shimmer in the upper midrange, and an energetic treble to match.

But surprisingly, it didn’t take Campfire long to launch not one but two new flagship models: Vega and Dorado. While Dorado consists of a hybrid design using the beryllium dynamic driver previously used in the Lyra, the Vega was designed from the ground up: a new non-crystalline diamond dynamic driver. Following the success of Andromeda, it’s time to take a look at the new recruits.

Campfire Audio Dorado                                                Campfire Vega

-Design:                       1 DD & 2 BA drivers                 -Design:                        Single dynamic driver
-Frequency range:     5 KHz – 27 KHz                          -Frequency range:      5 KHz – 22 KHz
-Impedance:              15 Ohm                                       -Impedance:               17.5 Ohm
-Sensitivity:                107 db                                         -Sensitivity:                 102 dB
-MRSP:                         $999                                            -MRSP:                        $1299

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Accessories

Vega and Dorado share an identical packaging, including the outer box. In fact, the only difference between them is a designated label with their name on it. Similar to the other Campfire offerings, the iems come in a smallish box that contains the carrying case with the included iems, as well as a subcompartment for the accessories. However, this time Campfire has included an adorable little velvet red pouch for each side of the earphone, like a tiny royal sleeping bag. Undoubtedly to protect the housings from scratching en route. I don’t know if it’s based on past experience and they decided to upgrade the packaging as a precaution, or if it’s because the new liquid alloy housings are more prone to scratching, but it’s a very thoughtful addition to ensure they arrive with the same quality as that they left.

Campfire includes Spinfits, as well as foamies and regular silicone tips to offer most users enough possibilities. My guess is most enthusiastic audiophiles used to universals will have their own collection to complete that as well if anything is missing. I tend to use either the Spinfits or a pair of Spiral Dots I had lying around. Besides tips, Campfires adds the standard cleaning tool as well as a pin with the Campfire logo. Represent! One of the most important accessories for me is always the carrying case, and I’m a fan of Campfire’s stylish carrying cases lined with wool. The new flagships come with a timeless black case that looks very nice (although I prefer the classy champagne brown case of Andromeda if I had to pick). Finally, Campfire includes the familiar quality quad-braided white SPC Litz cable. The cable is light-weight, flexible, and durable.

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Design

For their new iems, Campfire created shells from a liquid alloy metal housing – an industry first. The two iems have the same shape, albeit with different colors; a coppery light brown for Dorado, and a classic silver-colored housing for Vega. The only difference between them is the length of the nozzle, with Dorado’s being a few mm longer. Accordingly, Dorado protrudes a bit further out of the ear. Similar to rest of the lineup, the housings follow a modern industrial design. But the new housings trade the edgy, straight lines of Andromeda for softer curves; the front section consists of an ‘aerodynamic’ rounding. More importantly, they’re a good deal smaller and even feel a bit petite compared to the large customs I’m used to. While I never had problems with fit, my guess is nobody will have complaints about the new smaller shape.

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Page 2: Sound impressions – Dorado
Page 3: Sound impressions – Vega
Page 4: Comparisons and concluding thoughts

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About Author

Nic is currently in pursuit of a PhD degree in social neuropsychology, while trying not to get too distracted by this hobby. In pursuit of theoretical knowledge by day, and audiophile excellence at night. Luckily for him, both activities are not mutually exclusive which helps to lighten the workload. Always on the go, Nic's enthusiasm for hi-fi is focused on all chains of the portable system: iems, cables and daps.

12 Comments

  1. CL on

    thank you for such an exhaustive review(s) on the new campfires! i realise that it’s been a while, but do you think that the Fitear TG334 is still competitive against this generation of flagship iems?

    I own the Andro and ex1000 but everytime i listen to the TG334 at a local dealer, i still get this irrational desire to get them.

    atm i’m considering the TG334, the Dorado (still yet to arrive to the dealer), Jupiter, Noble Django and the Oriolus MK2 as potential replacements for my Audeze LCD-X and my “emotionally involving” endgame iem. Should i just bite the bullet and get the TG334?

    apologies for the ramble… and thanks once again for this review and this site on the whole!

    • flinkenick on

      Well thank you very much 🙂 Ah the legendary TG334, renown for its lush midrange and excellent vocals. I’ve read a lot about it, and from what I understand the Fitear’s are still competitive due to their unique presentation.

      Unfortunately I’m not in a position to demo them or any other stuff in my country, so I can’t help you there. But since you can, and you seem to enjoy them, then that should be your most important deciding factor. In the end, preference for a certain signature will always be the most important deciding factor, and a very personal matter. Most iems still use the same BA drivers as many years ago, and the technology for iems doesn’t evolve like smartphones or computers. So older designs like the TG334, 5-way, NT6, and many more, are still very much relevant and can be better than new iems.

      • CL on

        that’s very good food for thought and much appreciated 🙂

        i think a lot of my hesitation regarding the TG334 stems from the combination of the price (the cost approx 1k usd in japan but 1.3k locally) and the 8 week wait… lol

        time to find a buyer for my lcdx i suppose 😉

        • flinkenick on

          You’re welcome, will be interested to know what you ended up with! 8 weeks is long for a universal, it’s even on the longer side for a custom haha. But it’s worth it in the end if it’s the one you want.

  2. rollk2 on

    Hi Nick, thanks for your review here but it would be nice if you compared the Vega to the S-EM9, please !

    • flinkenick on

      Hello rollk2. The S-EM9 and Vega are two very different sounding monitors, mainly because Vega can be characterized as an engaging and full-sounding unit, while S-EM9 can be considered more delicate and refined.

      While the S-EM9 has a very nice bass that has a faint resemblance of a dynamic driver due to its warmth and weight, Vega has more sub-bass quantity as well as enhanced upper bass. The S-EM9 has a bump in the center midrange, surrounded by a dip in the upper bass as well as upper midrange. This gives it a nice vocal presentation, slightly warm and forward, but leaner and more delicate instrument notes. Vega in turn creates thicker notes, and has a more forward instrument presentation. The S-EM9’s treble is only slightly enhanced, while Vega’s is a bit brighter.

      Both have similar resolution. When it comes to separation, both are very good in different ways. Vega has an overall larger stage, with more depth. Because of its stage dimensions, the thicker notes are clearly separated. The S-EM9’s stage might be slightly smaller, due to the leaner midrange notes, the separation is very clean and effortless.

      • rollk2 on

        Thank you Nick, that’s a very detailed and nice answer. You should add that to your review 😉

        • flinkenick on

          Thanks man 🙂 Yeah probably right haha.

  3. James on

    Nix, nice review, did you rely on your LPG and the RwCU for your review? It’s interest that people keep asking to compare the Andro to the Vega as I find them to be so different from each other. I have both and I find I like each one at certain times.

    • flinkenick on

      Hi James. Yes both the AK and LPG, but as you prob know it’s been 95% the AK lately since it still feels pretty new to me and I’m enjoying it. I’ll be giving the LPG some more attention when the new toy syndrome wears off.

      As for Andro vs Vega, yes they are the most different of the three, not in the last place because of Vega’s powerful bass. But on the other hand, they also have similarities like a full sound and a nice bit of sparkle which makes them very engaging.

  4. Peter Pang on

    Hi Flick,

    Any comparison between the Andromeda and Vega for you?

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Peter, I have added the comparison.

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