Sound impressions – Dorado
Andromeda, Vega, and Dorado share similar characteristics in their signature. A full sound, combined with a slightly enhanced treble that adds some sparkle and clarity. Vega and Dorado however take a different approach due to the bass response from their dynamic drivers, although Andromeda and Dorado in turn share a more similar tonality. Dorado is very easy to pick up and listen to, especially since I recently reviewed the Andromeda. It’s a pleasing signature with an emphasis on the fun side of things. When I first started listening, my initial thoughts were that it was a sort of an Andromeda ‘light’. But that wouldn’t do respect to what Dorado has to offer – specifically, its powerful low end. Dorado packs significantly more power than Andromeda, which adds an extra dynamism to the music. Dorado immediately invites to play some dance or pop music. So while they still share a lot of similarities, I think a different nickname would be more appropriate: “CFA – Andromeda (Ken Ball’s club remix)”.
Dorado has a clear and open sounding signature. A thicker note presentation gives it an overall full and engaging sound, with a slightly enhanced treble that boosts its clarity and adds a nice bit of sparkle. As mentioned, a full bass completes Dorado’s package. Dorado’s soundstage is wide with an average height, although the stage is not particularly deep. While the separation is still more than adequate, the layering ability is not as effortless as Vega.
I’ve grown so accustomed to listening to BA driven bass, I’d completely forgotten how awesome dynamic bass can sound. It’s a well-known cliché that BA bass can’t match that of a dynamic driver, and it’s said for a reason – you just can’t substitute that air movement. Dorado’s bass has the extension and natural decay, but it’s especially the weight that makes it impressive. While the bass sounds round and large, it remains controlled despite its quantity. It is big and impactful. While it won’t be able to match the speed of tight BA-driven bass, it remains punchy rather than boomy. This is a bass that deserves to be amped, to be played out loud. It’s a bass that invites itself to be heard, and for you to choose the music accordingly. There aren’t many romantic ballads or string quartets that get played when listening to Dorado, I can tell you that much.
Dorado has a relatively neutral midrange in tonality, and shares the slight inherent warmth of Andromeda. This is partially due a nice lower midrange fill, that gives male vocals nice size, as well as good capability of conveying emotion. Dorado has a fairly natural vocal representation, slightly forward and full in size. At the same time, the midrange isn’t overly warm, nor is it bright. Notes sounds thick and clear, with a smooth touch. It has a musical and engaging quality, although due to the added body of the tone, it isn’t a clean, reference-oriented type of sound. The upper midrange is very slightly brighter than neutral, a nice touch that adds to its ‘fun’ and engaging signature. Listeners that have heard Andromeda will recognize the tuning here.
Despite a slightly enhanced mid treble, Dorado has a soft attack of notes due to a relaxed lower treble. This means it doesn’t sound overly aggressive in its presentation, nor does it have the analytical precision that comes with that. Rather, it gives the music a nice touch of clarity as well as excitement, while remaining smooth and easy to listen to. This makes it forgiving for bad recordings, and allows it to be played at higher volumes – a perfect match for its thunderous bass. It’s a treble that fits with well within the rest of the spectrum, being neither overly prominent or laidback – Campfire’s trademark coherency that they previously introduced with Andromeda. Instead, it has a nice bit of sparkle and thickness to it, ensuring its place in the presentation.