Campfire’s Vega and Dorado

13

Sound impressions – Vega

Presentation
As with the Dorado and Andromeda, the Vega shares the similar Campfire house sound: a full sound, with a signature that doesn’t skimp on either bass, mids or treble. With Vega, it seems like Campfire went even further in that direction. Vega sounds heavier, there’s more weight to the sound.  Admittedly, it took me a while to get acquainted with Vega. When playing either classical or acoustic easy-listening music, Vega sounds clear and transparent, but its thicker note presentation doesn’t seem to fit as its signature might be considered too colored for a purist.  But switch to rock or say hip-hop, and Vega comes to life. This isn’t a case of a poor little dynamic driver having to compete with multiple BA setups; this is the power of a built-in speaker, coming at you strong.

Vega’s speaker-like presentation results from a signature characterized by strong bass, that gives the presentation both size and power. Especially an enhanced upper bass plays a key role in creating particularly thick notes, and an overall rich sound. While a powerful bass response can drown the rest of the signature, Vega creates a clear and coherent presentation due to the size and transparency of the midrange notes. This can be attributed to a treble bump in the lower treble region that boosts its clarity, while a well extended treble improves its resolution. As such, notes are full-bodied, clearly articulated and well-defined, even in bass-heavy music. Despite its forward bass, the mid-bass doesn’t tighten the stage. As with its Campfire siblings, the Vega fits its notes in a well-proportioned stage. Both Dorado and Andromeda have a rectangular-shaped stage, and rely on their width for separation. Vega in turn sacrifices some of their width for depth, recreating a more natural stage with even proportions in width and depth. The additional depth allows for an advantage in layering, giving instruments an impressive space to breathe. Accordingly, the separation is very good, especially when taking the full-bodied note presentation into account.

6

Bass
One of Vega’s defining features is undeniably its bass. I can mention its excellent sub-bass extension, but it really comes down to that beautiful texture and natural decay we’ve all grown to love from a good dynamic driver. Vega’s bass sounds like you’d expect a good dynamic bass to sound; that is, if you associate dynamic bass with a good deal of power. For make no mistake, it’s safe to say Vega’s bass has undeniably departed from neutral. Compared to Andromeda, it takes a more prominent role in the presentation. This is a rounded bass, with impressive weight. The grand sub-bass hits sternly dictate the pace; you can picture the pounding of the kick drum urging the rhythm on. Similarly, the mid-bass has more than average quantity, resulting in thicker but well-defined bass-lines.

But it’s the upper bass where Vega departs from its siblings. Due to an enhanced upper bass, notes gain in size, a certain richness that does wonders for male voices and heavy electric guitars. I’m not talking about dreamy high pitched solos or fast metal guitars; I’m talking about old school, big-sounding guitars. Blues rock classics like AC/DC or George Thorogood, that’s where the fun starts. Bands like Chevelle, Greenday, and of course Limp Bizkit’s “Breakstuff” as a fine example – that’s where it continues. Vega’s bass response enables a powerful and dynamic presentation.

Midrange
Vega has a neutral vocal presentation, both in size and tone; though remarkably clear, it isn’t particularly warm or bright. However, as previously mentioned the midrange gains warmth and size from the fuller mid-bass presentation. The combination with a forward and full-sounding instrument presentation creates Vega’s unique signature. The upper midrange is relatively neutral, but highly transparent. This adds a nice bit of clarity to acoustic and string instruments, as well as female vocals; notes resonate with a certain purity, and are clearly articulated. There’s an added thickness to the tone that works very well for instruments that extend to the lower regions, such as cellos. But as mentioned, listening to electric guitars is doing Vega justice. Guitars have excellent bite, and grungy electric guitars are a treat to listen to. For Vega combines this thicker note presentation with good resolution – notes are full-bodied, but also well-defined. Taken together, the combination of transparency, power, and size, results in an energetic and full-bodied midrange.

Treble
Vega has a bump in the lower treble region that boosts its overall clarity, and the articulation of individual notes. As with its siblings, it’s a treble that isn’t shy in the presentation. The treble is slightly brighter than neutral in tone. It gives guitars good bite, as well as boosting vocal clarity. Vega’s treble adds a nice bit of excitement. However, as it is slightly more enhanced than Dorado or Andromeda, I wouldn’t label it as completely smooth, although it generally refrains from sounding harsh. When paired with a brighter player, it can occasionally tend towards sibilance if it’s in the recording. Compared to Dorado, the treble isn’t as thick, but shows a bit more refinement in its definition.

Page 4: Comparisons and concluding thoughts

1 2 3 4
Share.

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.

13 Comments

  1. Internet on

    “Blues rock classics like AC/DC or George Thorogood, that’s where the fun starts. Bands like Chevelle, Greenday, and of course Limp Bizkit’s “Breakstuff”

    Did you bet someone that you couldn’t mention a long string of the biggest garbage bands posible? If so, you forgot Kid Rock and Jimmy Buffet.

    How does it sound with good music?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Peter Pang on

    Hi Flick,

    Any comparison between the Andromeda and Vega for you?

    • flinkenick on

      Hi Peter, I have added the comparison.

Leave A Reply