So Much for So Little – A Review of the Oriveti New Primacy

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The Oriveti New Primacy delivers a warm, organic melody. Smooth, rich tones lay out the foundation for a balanced, slightly airy presentation. NP has mostly linear tuning, with a little extra love given to the low-end for optimal musicality, and to avoid any dryness. It’s the kind of sound you relax into, not lean forward and analyze.

Treble is decently extended and moderately clear. It’s tinged with warmth instead of brightness, making a forgiving, non-fatiguing listen. There’s naturalness to its tone and rate of decay. Details are not brought to the fore as they would be in a more analytical IEM. New Primacy is about a coherent stage, not breaking shit down in minute pieces. Ultimately I feel NP’s highs are trying not to stand out, simply there in service to the balance, keeping things from getting dark or congested. In my opinion, it could use a small peak in the lower treble, to achieve better clarity and light.

Vocals are represented in a fulsome manner, clear, articulate, with a dollop of lushness. Transparency is not the greatest, but texture and detail are of a quality as to render out the artist in a believable, faithful way. The singer does not sit large on the stage, though note weight is good and fat. The voice holds proper authority. New Primacy gives us a romanticized, highly enjoyable mid-range, and I have nothing but love for it.

The bass is fantastic. That dynamic driver has all the pop, rumble, and bang you could ever want. The depth to which it reaches is mouthwatering. NP’s low-end possesses perfect tonality, being rich and velvety and utterly of the earth. It also manages an excellent degree of texture. Sub-bass is well present, while mid-bass adds much of that warmth which so characterizes these monitors, bleeding just enough into the vocals to add lushness. New Primacy’s lows are satisfying… truly satisfying.

New Primacy’s soundstage is of sufficient scale to seduce you with its illusion, though it shan’t awe you with sheer size. The dimensions are cubicle, with equal height and width, and moderate depth. Imaging is quite good, and separation is excellent for the price. Layering could be better, but what are you going to do? Resolution is average. Again, pretty good for the price, but nothing to sing about. As I mentioned above, transparency is not NP’s strong suit. It devotes itself to other virtues.

All my impressions where made using the Affinity cable. This upgrade cable added a little extra clarity, and tighter control over the bass. NP’s dynamics felt boosted a notch. Also understand, my Affinity is terminated for Balanced, so that will also play a role in what I hear.

The Oriveti Basic is a delightful little thing, tuned further down the fun road than New Primacy. Bigger bass, slightly more sparkly treble, while maintaining powerful, lush vocals. Basic suffers more grain and a loss of refinement. Of the two, NP is the clear flagship. Yet Basic brings so much of its own awesome I will grab for it just as often as I may the higher-end model. They share that same Oriveti richness and warmth. Basic’s sub range is pure addictive, though, containing true might.

I’m going to compare New Primacy to my other hybrids, even though they are not all in the same price range. Starting with the worst offender of inequality: The Campfire Audio Dorado ($999, Review HERE).

Dorado is a lot like NP, being deeply warm and smooth, and possessing two Balanced Armatures and one Dynamic Driver. However, Dorado uses the DD for both lows and mids, and the two BAs are put into a tuning chamber Campfire calls TAEC for special high frequency characteristics.

Dorado sounds bigger. The vocals are larger on a stage that stretches wider. Mid-range clarity is about the same between Dorado and NP, both sacrificing transparency for lushness. Dorado’s vocals have a little more resolution, though. But they also sound a little more colored, and bloomy… because of that enormous low-end.

Speaking of low-end, Dorado’s bass is certainly more aggressive and less balanced than New Primacy. There’s a beast in the basement, and it’s ravenous. Sub-bass is just as potent as NP, but mid-bass is larger and bleeds into the vocals more. New Primacy has the more realistic tuning, while Dorado engages you like only a monster can. Which one you prefer is a matter of personal taste.

That TAEC system for Dorado’s high drivers adds a glimmering sweet flavor to the treble. This too falls into the “fun” category, and does not feel as natural as New Primacy’s philosophy. Nonetheless, I find great beauty in the result. Dorado’s highs extend well, creating light and relief to some of the finer details NP may overlook.

I would indeed call Dorado an upgrade over NP, but not much of one. In terms of price:performance ratio, Oriveti kills it.

For a more affordable alternative, but still a couple of hundred more than NP, the DUNU DK-3001 ($499, Review HERE) is one of the nicest-sounding IEM’s I’ve ever heard. On purely tuning, it’s so right it hurts. Sadly, it also hurts because the ergonomics are so off. But there are tricks to get around that, and I’ve been able to listen to this IEM for many hours in a row without discomfort.

DUNU’s treble is smooth and effortless like New Primacy, but there’s enough of it to add superior light and air over the landscape. I’ve never heard this much treble sound this natural and easy-going. There’s not a harsh edge to be found. Like Dorado, DUNU uses two Balanced Armatures for the high frequencies, yet they sound vastly different. Smooth, easy, and natural is the DK-3001.

Vocals also take a strong deviation from NP or Dorado. They have a level of clarity that makes the others feel ever so veiled. DUNU achieves this with that artful, gentle light casting down from the upper registers. Voices are airier and more transparent without coming off too thin. Like everything with the DK-3001, mids are also gloriously smooth and refined, holding just a hint of warmth to make them utterly inviting. Vocals are larger than NP, and perhaps Dorado, as well. Somehow, though, DUNU does not stand out as the superior renderer. Resolution and detail retrieval are about the same as Dorado, and maybe a bit better than NP, but all three IEMs seem to lend greater import to other facets of sound.

DUNU utilizes the biggest DD of the lot (13mm in size), and it’s all for that low-end. Its ability to produce sub-bass feels more natural and tangible, and this can be felt as you transition all the way up through mid-bass and upper-bass. The whole spectrum has a stronger sense of “rightness”. And yet DK-3001 is tuned more like New Primacy than Dorado, reining in this grand DD for a masterful, balanced production. Like NP, the bass is felt quite prominently, but it never dominants the mix. But sweet f**k does it sound like a slumbering giant, who at any moment could wake up and destroy your town.

Yeah, I’m a fan of this IEM.

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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.

21 Comments

  1. Wow i am so disappointed with these, the mids are over the top & the highs are harsh to put it mildly, turn up the volume & all control is lost with just a crackly mush of painful noise, wow i wont be going off your reviews again.
    The 1 more triple drivers are less than ½ the price but way more than twise the sound quality.
    Severely disappointed.

    • I’m glad you found something that suits your tastes better. But I cannot agree with your description of the New Primacy.

      • Hi! Please note that I am not on anyones side.

        His review is great especially co-relating it with other reviewers not only here at THL.
        Please consider the fact that we do not have the same ears as they do, if you find any disappointments, frustration or whatnot, I suggest to just keep it in to you as they do have a different measurement on how things work.

        If the 1 more triple river works for you, then stick on to it and stay happy with it.
        Your opinion might be different to others, just my 0.2 cents hehe, no offense intended.

  2. Hi pinky! Somehow the oriveti new primacy is a bit harsh in terms of treble but Im using its stock cable.
    Would it smooth out everything if I change the cable?

    Also I was able to listen to Qdc 4ss 5sl and 8ss 8sl and gemini,even the new product of ee the merlin collaboration of EA and EE.
    Same tuning with the spartans but they are somehow bright for me with 40 to 50% price increase.
    With the adel, will this flat out everything?

    At the moment Im leaning on the 4ss that has smooth overall presentation with nice detail retreival, big amount of staging depth and width with tight presentation for reference tuning, it is so accurate and polite and will put you to sleep wearing them at night.

    I was able to listen to noble products and so far the sage is the smoothest of them all with liquid mids. Though sub bass presentation is just close to NP.

    Thank you for your quick reply as always as I was able to narrow down my options 🙂

    • If the Oriveti is too bright for you, I’m at a loss. It’s one of the warmest IEMs I’ve found. I can’t say changing a cable will make enough of a difference. You may just be screwed. lol.

      I suggest giving your ears (and brain) a week to adjust to the sound. See if you don’t grow to like it. That is a common thing I’ve had to do from time to time.

      • Ive been usiing this for like 2 to 3 weeks now.
        Burnt this iem for like 178 hours now.
        When singers getting on the high notes, its like something is piercing through my eardrums.

        Maybe I just need to get used to it.
        I also noticed when trying the ares 2 it is so smooth.

        Maybe I am treble sensitive, maybe.

        • Also I find the sage to be smoother and has better resolution over the new primacy, maybe it is really and upgrade to it but I do hope you can listen the QDC line up from 4ss to gemini 🙂

    • You’re confused. It’s not that cables have a sound per say. They merely effect the sound. All of them do. It’s physically impossible for them not to, for they stand between the source and the monitor. And humanity has yet to discover a perfect conductor.

      While it may not be technically accurate to say a cable sounds this way or that, it is useful on a practical level, since it conveys an honest point.

  3. Nice review, I was waiting for it. My Yamaha eph-100 are dying and need a replacement. Had the FLC8S and lost them. I found them not ideal, missed the fun of the Yamaha’s and could not get a the right fit for sufficient bass.
    The NP has drawn my attention, would this be a good replacement for the eph-100, or go for another set of FLC8S with different tips for a better fit. Any other sub $500 suggestions? My dap is a FIIO X5II, 100% FLAC, 5% highres.

    • I just got the FLC8s in for review. Performance wise, I may put it a little over New Primacy in terms of clarity and detail. But you are right, the bass is not as full. Still quite satisfying, though. With the Black, Red, and Gunmetal filters, and JVC Spiral Dot tips, I find it wonderfully warm and musical.

      • Thanks, I used red/black/gold as setup with the supplied tips. I read that taking out the black plug and leaving this hole empty would produce a little more bass.
        Have you tried this? Or can you try this for me?

        I was looking at the spiral dot tips but hvent tested them myself, so this sounds tempting.

  4. I totally understand you on the NPs. I was also demoing Campfire’s lineup next to the NPs and I only found the Andromeda to truly “upgrade” the NPs to the next level, a level where my ears were hearing all they could hear. But proportionally the “upgrade” felt pretty marginal, close to the 10-15% for about 3 times the price.

    I settled for NPs ????

    (delete previous comment plz)

    • I TOTALLY AGREE! 🙂

      The only difference is detail retrieval and seperation IMO.
      but the mids somehow, is distant not intimate for me.. I end up selling my NP.

      Atleast I have narrowed down what I really like.
      Forward mids and transparency hehe.. I am thinking of getting the qdc 5sh.

        • what sorcery is this?
          how did you read me? haha nice guess!
          I am going to listen to that 2 weeks from now and the QDC 4SS and 5SH.

          I have auditioned CA Andromeda and yes, it is just 10-15% more what the new primacy is giving, better seperation, clarity and somehow transparency increased but not drastically in my ears.

          BTW I am going to go with Universal as I like the thought of others be able to listen to my gears.

          Thank you again for your quick response as always Pinky 🙂

  5. Your awesome as always, Thank you for your quick reply.

    Sage will be the same price as their new product, but I am still waiting for it to be released.
    I just got an email from them and it will definitely be available in December for $600.00.

    Thanks again!

  6. Hi!

    Great review! I am really excited for their new product in December because of their success releasing the New Primacy.

    Question for you is, do you think Noble Sage can also be an upgrade to this?
    Should I get the Ares 2 or Eros 2 or should I just go with Affinity for this IEM?
    My M3s will arrive next week and I am looking forward buying this instead of the Sage but I think before going with the Sage, I might wait until December for their new product to be available in the Market.

    Thanks in Advance! 🙂

    • I would indeed consider Sage an upgrade to this. I thought about adding it in the comparisons section, but decided to stick with all hybrids.

      Sage is clearer, and with a bigger soundstage. Higher resolution also. And even though Sage doesn’t have a dynamic driver for its bass, it does some awesome stuff of its own, and I feel the low-end comes very close.

      Personally, I’d recommend the Ares II over the Affinity. It does an even better job of bringing out the treble in very warm IEMs.

      I don’t have the Eros II for comparison, sorry.

      • Lucky for you two, I have all of those cables!

        It depends on what type of sound you’re striving for, I actually think the Affinity finds better synergy than the ARES II since it aids separation and bass depth more though it isn’t as open within the higher registers. The EROS II is the most balanced sounding cable, I’ve found it to be more versatile than the ARES II though if you want a slightly brighter sound, the ARES will indeed provide that. The EROS II has the greatest resolution to my ear, it’s my preferred pairing, albeit a pricey one, since it doesn’t alter the tonality too much but really brings out the technicality the NP is capable of.

        Hope that helps,
        Ryan.

        • Wow nice! I am thinking of thor 2 as well in December but probably I will go with eros 2.
          I am still waiting for the new product of oriveti and I have a high hopes expectation to it and faith that it will even blow iems under sub $1000 (I Hope).

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