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.