Well, here we are again! It has been a while since I have contributed any material to Audio Rabbit Hole. I know I suck! My friend and ARH contributor CL14715 wrote an excellent review of the 64 Audio U18s, but it is my turn to contribute. I am not writing a full review, only an initial impression, but it’s better than nothing.
Thanks to my friend Andrew at Musicteck. Our relationship goes back quite a while as he built the business to the level it has achieved today! It feels good to contribute to someone’s success. Capitalism works!
My work situation is shaky at best, and for the past 16 months has required a lot of travel to keep a salary coming in, yes, during the Pandemic. Writing a review takes a lot of time, and the small amount of free time I have is spent with family, listening to gear, but not writing reviews. There you have it, more than you ever wanted to know, but it is the reason for my lack of material.
On ARH, I attempt to introduce a lot high end, niche audiophile items. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the purchasing public will look at these offerings out of amazement more than with any intent to purchase. I have always set out to introduce folks to the fact that these items exist but clearly understand everyone has their spending limits.
The Oriolus Traillii is one of those items that will cause most folks to question the sanity of the folks willing to shell out the funds to own. This IEM, like the Erlkonig, is a luxury purchase.
I won’t be discussing the packaging, fit, cable, or any other details in this impression. I will be saving that for a full review. This write-up is strictly initial sound impressions, my practice canvas. I always follow a routine when I know I am going to review an item. I generally vomit text messages (my notes) to various people as I listen. Yesterday CL14715 was the recipient, or victim, of such a spewing.
Insert Mr. Creosote, ala Monty Python The Meaning of Life.
The massive gorilla in the room with the Traillii is its insane price tag. It comes in at a whopping $6000. The expectations and price are next level. I do not wish to debate whether Traillii is worth it; it is a decision I could never make for you, and I don’t want the responsibility of someone taking a second mortgage to fund a purchase based on my words alone.
The sound, in all transparency, I am struggling to find any flaws out of the gate. After aggravating my OCD with ear tip selection, I went straight to my playlist.
The Trailli is a 3-way, 8 BA & 4 EST configuration featuring 2 lows/ 6 mids/ 4 highs. My sources are the Shanling M8 and the A&K SP2000, using the balanced output. My incoherent, initial notes are below;
I wasn’t greeted with slack jaw at my initial listening as I was with Erlkonig. Keep in mind, at this point; I have refused to A/B any other TOTL IEM’s. I only want the Traillii experience. The more I listened, I begin to get the hype.
People often say they hear things they have never heard before when using quality gear; okay, I get it, but with Traillii, I do not hear things I never heard with other TOTL IEM’s, but what I am hearing is everything. Everything clearly and within its own space and with defined edges. Traillii’s pace, staging, if you will, allows you to pick up nuances with depth and natural tonality. I am not bogged down or fatigued with details, but details should be the price of admission at this price and are without a doubt present. Overall, the signature has an unsurpassed level of tonality and delivers it easily and naturally. Again, I do not hear things I haven’t heard before, but those things are there, very there and obvious.
I am critically listening for flaws that don’t exist in my couple of-hour session. I woke this morning and put them right back in their proper storage, my ears.
The sense of space between sounds appears grand, almost as if you could measure the space with a ruler, like millimeters of distance, in the stage. Excellent width and certainly precise, with depth.
Quite possibly the best BA bass I have heard, present, natural decay, in its space. Not basshead level of bass but synergistic with full signature. Superb quality and quantity.
I find myself increasing the volume with the Traillii but found the treble almost too present and loud; I refer to over-the-top volume levels. It may settle with some seasoning, but I don’t plan on listening to those levels. The estats have been tuned to near perfection, smooth and with incredible extension. Indeed, it’s the smoothest estat treble I have heard.
I use a 24-bit version of Santana IV, original members of the band Neal Schon, Greg Rolle, and so on, to hear many instruments, including keyboards and lively percussion. While listening to Santana IV, I would often hear a percussion knock in one of my ears that would garner my attention out of the blue. I know I have heard it with other IEM’s, but now I hear it as if it has its own space.
The mids are upfront but so are the rest of the frequencies; there is no individual performance, pure synergy. Natural, unencumbered balance is the Traillii.
Headphones in my ears?
Jazz, rock, classic rock, classical, EDM not a challenge for Traillii.
Alright, that is enough, or I won’t have anything left for a full review. Remember, these are just notes from an initial session.
More excitement to come, kiddies!