Sunday, 16 September 2012

Final Audio Piano Forte VIII, My new story begins...

Heyoooooo, exciting week indeed , got my Final Audio Design Piano Forte VIII finally, it is expensive like a custom, went through some intensive mind blowing thought, finally took my plunge and bought this in Jaben, big wallet bleed!!!

Tried them previously, so I got their basic signature in mind, not really a total blind purchase even thou I try for about 2 hours maybe?
Some people do question me, why don’t you get a CIEM? It is awesome, specialize, amazing multiple drivers, accurate sound and yada yada…

To be frank, perfect balance, excellent details and extraordinary accuracy is not what I’m looking for, I know how they sound like, but I’m seeking for musicality, live and feel. Piano Forte series had been quite a huge debate across the region, especially their PF series. VIII is their second cheapest which retail at RM3800 (USD 1k), after that they have PFXI and PF-X retail at a sky rocket of RM10k (USD 3k).
Indeed with this crazy price, you can get a pair of CIEM + an uber portable amplifier. But… I’m enjoying so much on PFViii compares with CIEM (yes I tried them before, westone, JH, Heir, Futuresonic, ACS and whatever you name it).

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not telling that CIEMs are bad, they are perfectly fine, just I prefer more on FAD PFViii, personally preference off course, no logic sense behind that =).

It wouldn’t be a proper review today, instead I will tell you my story, experience and feeling about this “Earbud”. Yes I called them earbud lolx, they are not “In ear” to be exact, PFViii don’t insert deep and isolate outer ambience.

It wouldn’t be a review with “smooth mid, awesome treble extension…” because they can’t express my feelings toward the PFViii now.

First encounter

When I first tried this earbud 3 months ago in Jaben Malaysia, experience? Yuck and Omg why with this inaccurate and weird sound presentation, it is total frequency off here and there, not an exact resemble of “high end” piece of audiophile equipment, it just sounded worse than Westone, shure, Earsonic universal series (I was using Earsonic SM3v2 that time).
They told me about the Horn speaker signature before, but a high end speaker sound technology?

No way… not impressive enough.

So… after a month, revisited of Jaben to get a pair comply for my SM3v2, saw a white Caucasian talking with the sales guy, describe about how much he loves his pair of avante garde Horn speaker, a sentence suddenly shoot over my head, Quoted from him “Horn speaker is not a conventional speaker, it doesn’t have the good treble and bass compare with dynamic speaker, but the mid is the unique part, it is so musical and easy for me ears, I just don’t know why I love it so much, and they don’t cost cheap…”

Rethink and rethink, am I using my own reference for the PFViii? Should I try it again with different “attitude” in mind? Which throw away the tradition sound reference in my mind previously…
“All right, screw it, since I have the time”, I called up the sales guy and asked for PFViii audition again.
*Plug into my ears, ermm not bad, pretty great, nice and easy.

Song after song, music after music, it had been 2 hours passed without my conscious!
Change back to SM3v2 and compare, ermm why the mid doesn’t sound appeal as always?
“Crap… I’m in love with Final Audio Piano Forte Viii, that is unbelievable” it changed so fast that I wouldn’t expect to happen, and lead to current state, PFViii in my pocket =D.


How is the sound? Nah… Bass is not punchy enough despite the huge dynamic driver, mid is not thick and forward, the mid high frequency has a slight veil etc etc…
These descriptions sound horrible right? Why I still take the money and throw them inside?

It has a vintage feel, old school and nostalgia, poetic indeed!
The descriptions are pretty vague, what are those actually?

It is the feeling induced, FAD PF series doesn’t strive to offer you the best accurate sound, they want you to take every steps ahead, instead of giving you the tradition sound, they want you to experience a total fresh new musicality, by not putting in all the “necessities” that others had offered.

I owed their Adagio and Heaven line (Adagio V and Heaven IV), basically they sounded more correct to be precise, however FAD PF series opened up a total new sound segment. It is not an IEM, an Earbud is what I calling them, they don’t insert deep into your ear canal, and isolation is pretty crap, but the specialty is there, transferring their Exquisite Horn speaker sound technology into this small driver, it has been a mind blowing skill and idea, i praise and envy them a lot…

He is a person, my friend!

I’m using PFViii daily currently, the one thing that he did to me was killing almost half of my entire collection of music source.

Why? It is sensitive to recording and you can’t use it for “Bom bom pow”. No, don’t expect he can performs well in trance, techno and heavy bass music, treat PFViii as a person and partner, he has character and does not love to please everyone, he choose you as his master.

Now most of my music database equal to audiophile, such as Jazz, Vocal, Acoustic, Classical, Country etc… he performed wonderfully on them, no exception, he loves them so much and willing to put all his heart,  let me enjoy a new amazing world…    

Long story and full of ranting, I guess is time for me to stop this, just to let you know, be friend with FAD, they have strong characteristic, not born to follow you path, but to change your life and listening habit =).

*Some picture of my Final Audio PFViii


  1. Wonderful review, ianmedium from Headfi here. As you know I have just purchased the IX's. I could not agree more with your descriptions, though give the punchier stuff time. I listened to the one and only metal album(tool) in my 800 strong collection of wav ripped CD's when I got mine and thought it sounded terrible.

    A week later after listening and getting used to the unique way these phones deliver music I went back to that album and thought it excellent!

    1. Thanks a lot bro, appreciate your time for reading and comment.
      Yea i did compare with VIII and IX, IX provides much better dynamic and speed too, pretty versatile i would say, but the price tag is too high at my side =D, so i got the VIII in the end, i like the mid frequency so much and willingly to sacrifice some of my music collections =P.

  2. Quite agreed what you commented. I tested this during the KLIAV. Want to try it out how special is it as the price is so expensive. Played with the orchestra music that I used to listen, it feel great. Then once I switch to R&B, Pop songs... Oh no... crap.

    Think this is what Piano Forte all about. I tried the Piano Forte II quite sometime ago, think is also have own type of music to play with.