The name of Dorado may be unfamiliar to those who are relatively recent adopters of Campfire Audio. It’s true that Dorado was far from as popular as the Andromeda and Vega, and it was one of the more short-lived Campfire Audio models in terms of selling time, but it was a significant part of Campfire Audio’s family — the first hybrid unit earphone. Dorado was the forerunner of the Polaris and now the flagship Solaris Helios series.
This year Campfire Audio’s fall collection didn’t launch a new line, opting instead to resurrect long-forgotten names like Vega and Dorado. That doesn’t keep me from having high expectations, though, as I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Solaris 2020 and Andromeda 2020. Not to mention the appearance of Vega 2020 and Dorado 2020 is much more generous than other new products of the same brand this year. There is no need to worry about paint dropping or scratching because of the hard-ceramic shell. The warm and smooth texture also makes people feel good, and it can be worn with the round shape without discomfort.
But this new collection bag makes me feel not really like it. Solaris 2020 & Ara & Andromeda 2020 has shrunk in the name of environmental protection, replacing the leather of the 2019 series with water pine. The woven bags of Vega 2020 and Dorado 2020 don’t look like water pine. The workmanship of the metal nameplate is not exquisite, and they are obviously not dirt-resistant.
Other accessories are the same: sponge & Silicone & Final Type-E earplug kits, badges, cleaning rods, Smoky Litz Cable and protective utility bags that all fit nicely into small bags. Overall evaluation of the accessory specifications of Dorado 2020/Vega 2020 is still a rich and practical, but unfortunately the texture of the new storage bag does not satisfy me.
As an old rule, before we evaluate the sound quality of a follow-up product, let’s review what the old model sounded like. The old Dorado uses the same liquid metal shell as the old Vega, and the unit is made of Lyra II beryllium-plated moving rings “stitched-together” with Andromeda’s high-frequency moving iron units. Actually, I kind of like the old Dorado, the seaming freak. Dorado’s voice is a lot more natural and smooth than Andromeda’s, which was unrivaled at the time. But the name ” Andromeda” is more recognizable than “Dorado” in appearance and tone, so Dorado doesn’t make much of a splash in the Andromeda halo.
The Dorado 2020 is no longer a “patchwork” of existing models, adding a custom high-frequency unit to the Vega 2020 and swapping stainless steel for brass for Vega 2020 tubing. That is to say, different from the situation when Vega was the flagship and Dorado was positioned under Vega, Dorado 2020 is a higher-level development model compared with Vega 2020. In fact, its price (1,379 dollars) is higher than Vega 2020 (1,029 dollars), and its positioning is closer to the Vega in the past.
Once you hear it, you’ll even notice that the resemblance to the old Vega goes far beyond styling and pricing. The Dorado 2020’s sound has almost nothing to do with the old Dorado, which was loose and mild. It’s more like the old Vega, which was fully driven — full spectrum density, full low-frequency fullness, a powerful sense of energy, like a 200-pound British Hercules. In addition, the driving threshold of both is relatively high, which requires high thrust and sound pressure to push up the density and dynamics.
Compared to the old Vega, though, the Dorado 2020 is clearly at least one notch better than the old Vega. The hard damage of the old Vega is obvious when the front drive is not as strong: the low frequency energy is so high that it affects the clarity of the intermediate and high frequencies, and the overall tone color is scattered, broken, rough, scratchy, and rather unpleasant to listen to. Even if the Dorado 2020 is not fully driven, its low frequencies will not be out of control like a flood. The Dorado 2020 will not give people a strong sense of dryness and roughness in its timbre, and its musical sense is much better than the old Vega.
Under the condition of both being fully actuated, the positions between them will not be pulled much closer. The debuff can’t be easily eliminated, a problem that would not be present in today’s Campfire Audio headphones equipped with Smoky/Super Litz Cable. The sound of Dorado 2020, which is fully driven, combines the full sense of power and smooth and solid sense of lines. The sound of Dorado 2020 is strong but exquisite. While the old Vega has a similar style, it still has a lot of anger and roughness. Both are brawny and the old Vega looks as if he woke up in the morning with a stubby beard, while the Dorado 2020 is dressed in a suit and relaxed.
Such advantages determine that Dorado 2020 can be distinguished in metal music, rock music and other types of music with sufficient strength and outstanding dynamics, but most types of music can give reasonable performance. The old Vega’s music is much less adaptable, and its rough timbre is clearly exposed in music that does not require much restlessness. The Dorado 2020, meanwhile, is less fussy about the front end and can at least be heard on machines with less driving power.
Of course, I don’t mean the Dorado 2020 as an easy-to-launch device, but it’s also a headphone that demands a lot of drive in the mainstream market. Campfire Audio, starting this year, does not use dB/mW for its sensitivity, as other brands do. The new label reads, “94dB [email protected]: __MVRS”, which can be read as “typing in for 94dB.” Solaris 2020, which is known to be very drivable, has a sensitivity of 94dB. The Dorado 2020, on the other hand, is 94dB. While such sensitivity labeling makes it difficult to compare Campfire Audio products with other brands, the in-brand comparison is much more intuitive than dB/mW – Dorado 2020 requires nearly three times as much input as Solaris 2020 at the same sound pressure.
The Dorado 2020’s listening sense under different driving forces also proves its low sensitivity attribute. In the case of insufficient driving force, this 0.39inch drill amorphous carbon moving ring is obviously not in working state. At this time, it is difficult for the loose and thick low frequency and high frequency timbre to be in tune with each other, and there is a significant difference in timbre appearance. In other words, the old “connection problem” of hoop iron earphone appears. But the driving force for Dorado after the full 2020 low frequency is one of the more coherent state, good elasticity, in depth, the right speed with the sense of sheer surging energy, Dorado 2020 low frequency is quite full of impact, and fiber of high frequency cooperation degree is very good, this is also I think it has perfect metal phase.
Therefore, I suggest that you consider the high-thrust portable player as far as possible to match the Dorado 2020, especially the KANN CUBE, a product of “quasi-portable” magnitude. The bigger one is to tap the potential of the headset as far as possible, which is worthy of the sacrifice of portability. If the budget is not enough or the volume is not acceptable, the KANN ALPHA and Seven Rainbow U6 I have tried are also good choices, which are enough to drive the Dorado 2020 to a more complete state.
Overall evaluation of Dorado 2020, this time Dorado has finally turned around, from the former under the halo of Andromeda and Vega to the offensive positioning above Vega 2020, and the product force has also achieved an overall surpassing of the two generations of Vega. And strength is very timbre and given the Dorado 2020 in Campfire Audio product line in different position, the more balanced, younger as new product orientation, Campfire Audio already haven’t brought the timbre such American enthusiasm headphones (on a this type of product or Atlas), Dorado 2020 can be inherited the brand blood products in the United States.
But it’s up to you to vote with your wallet whether such a distinctive earphone can be recognized in the current market where mainstream audiences are seeking comprehensive and balanced Tiger balm products. At least the pursuit of such a product seems respectable to me, and the market is less boring because of such a product.