Campfire’s Vega and Dorado



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.


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.


  1. choptstix on

    love this site and the reviews…the FLC 8S is what i’m using right now…fab bang for buck.
    i have been offered a vega for a solid price of US800…but is it 4-5x better than the FLC 8S?

  2. madmu5icjunky on

    Nice review!
    I’m looking at these Dorados, but I’m also drawn to the AAW W500 in a Universal Form Factor (confirmed with AAW that they can make one). Any way of getting a comparison or impressions of the two?

    • flinkenick on

      Thanks, it was quite a long time since I heard the W500 so this is only a rough comparison from memory. The W500 has a tighter, harder hitting bass that emphasises the sub-bass, so it creates powerful hits. Vega might have a bigger bass but the whole bass region is enhanced, creating a fuller, weightier sound. In addition, Vega has a bit more treble presence, while the W500 is more midcentric with laidback treble. The W500 has a wide stage that isn’t particularly deep, the Vega’s is less wide but deeper.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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