Its high time India took its stand in the international stage for producing audiophile grade sound products, and Navi Mumbai based Pristine Note [ProAudioHome] is leading the Indian bandwagon with its flagship Signature Acoustics C-12 Wooden IEM.
The C-12s have been developed in-house by the engineers after an extensive R&D period of 18 months, while the actual manufacturing took place in China.
The result of the R&D is crystal clear sound, which will satisfy the craziest audiophile and make him/her come back for more.
I had been one of the lucky few who had the chance of sampling the IEMs upon launch… Read to find out more.
SpecificationsThe specs are taken straight from the C-12 manual and the site.
• MODEL : Elements C-12
• Driver : 8 mm (CCAW)
• Impedance : 18 Ohms @ 1Khz
• Frequency : 17 to 20 Khz
• Sensitivity : 102 dB
• Total length : 1.2 mts (split length 28 cms)
• Channel Balance : < 2.5% dB @ 1 Khz
Out of the box, the C-12s sound better than most of the other IEMs in its price range. But, as with most other speakers, it is adviced to do a burn-in of atleast 30 hours for the sound to settle in. I did burn-in for approx. 24hrs, with a mix of white, pink, brown noise, frequency sweeps and an assortment of Metallica, Lamb of God and Beethoven at around 70% volume, with periodical silence.
PM me if you want my custom Burn-In track.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging is solid, with stencilled foam being the seating material.
Accessories included are:
• Eartips (Small, Medium, Large).
• Shirt clip.
• Filters (180u & 250u).
• Bronze carrying case.
The shirt clip is a nice addition for the people who move around a lot with the IEMs on.
The bronze case, polished to give an antique feel, and engraved with the company’s logo is clearly the icing on the cake. A mighty fine piece of art!! It was small enough to fit into my jeans pocket, but a bit heavy… But hey, I am not complaining Rest assured, your precious IEMs will forever be protected. While the IEMs were manufactured in China, the bronze case was fabricated wholly in India..
The filters provided can used to further fine tune the treble.
The build quality is extremely good. In spite of IEM driver case being carved from wood [duh!!], it is feather light. I wore them IEMs for up to 2hours at a time without any kind of strain on the ear. The company logo [SA] is imprinted at the outside end of the IEMs and looks elegant and beautiful. It’s guaranteed to some heads
There is a small hole at the base of each of the driver casings to allow air flow.
The default eartips were very comfortable for me and provided a good degree of isolation. Turning up the volume while in a moderately noisy environment [inside public transport] can help subdue whatever noise that seeps in.
The cable seems very strong and has a ribbed design. The 3.5mm jack is gold plated and has a solid feel to it.
Excellent, fantastic, wonderful, warm, delightful. That are the adjectives that come to mind when describing the sound [burned in], and I'm falling short of adjectives
I tested the C-12s with multi genre music, right from Beethoven and Mozart to Lamb of God and Megadeth and quite a few in between [everything in either of FLACs/WMAs/MP3@320kbps]. The vocals are clear and strong; the trebles sharp and crystal clear; the bass warm and hollow.
The soundstage is excellent and almost equal to most other costly IEMs in the market. Multi-layered songs like in Metallica’s S&M album are a treat to listen through the C-12s. Each layer of instruments in the orchestra, guitars and drums can be “visualised” clearly. It’s the bass, mid-range and treble are extremely well balanced so that there is neither lack nor exaggeration of any of the characteristics. While loud drums, guitars, piano, etc. are well reproduced in all, it’s the subtle details that make the difference in IEMs. The C-12s reproduces each subtle detail beautifully, just to the degree that the sound engineer at the recording studio intended it to be. And the resulting experience is astounding. The C-12 does justice to the fact that it’s a monitor and gives you a feel of being in the studio [when you are relaxing and have your eyes closed ].
For the most authentic soundstage experience I would suggest you to relax in a quiet room, close your eyes and listen to some of the holographic recording from SoundScape. The experience is awesome. You need to listen to it in order to experience it.
The vocals are clear and warm and distinctly audible over the music.
Its best to listen to the music on a “Normal” equaliser pre-set on your player, so that one may listen to the song just as the sound engineer at the studio wanted you to listen to it While doing this review I left my devices on Normal equaliser pre-set.
Even out-of-the-box, the IEMs are good to listen to and even some details are clearly audible. But the finer details start to come into the picture only after burn-in.
Poised as a perfect fusion of cutting edge sound engineering and fine art, the C-12s will give a lot of other well-known and expensive IEMs a run for their money. With the C-12s, we have a winner on our hands. The build and sound quality, coupled with the launch price tag of INR 2.7K [not to forget the stylish one-of-a-kind bronze case ], it’s a steal. If you had been waiting for a good IEM at a cheap price, you wait is definitely over. I know mine is
I would like to congratulate the guys at Signature Acoustics for coming out with such a ground breaking product at such a low price.
Yes, it’s Made in India. And I’m damn proud of it. Jai Hind.