Trinity’s signature accessory and attraction to their models is, of course, the vast array of filters they provide and with Sabre, you get more than ever, a whopping 10 pairs to be precise. It isn’t 10 different sounds I should add, just 5 tuning options but with each filter coming in a standard and longer length set. I say just 5 but that’s no joke really is it.
The first filter I will talk about is the gold one. Well, I think it is gold but Trinity calls it yellow. Golds cooler right guys?! This was a pleasant and smooth-sounding earphone. There was a slight plumpness in the mid-bass but not one that you would write home about. Beyond that, it balanced pretty well through the rest of the spectrum.
Next was the carrot… sorry orange filter and I found this had two small effects on the yellow, bass were boosted subtly and midrange also lost a little bit of effort. It was not a huge change but we went from slightly warm balanced-sounding earphone to a mild V-shape. I found the midrange did sadly become a touch less pronounced here which would keep me leaning towards the latter filter.
The red was by far the worst filter to my ears. I guess the idea was to place a microscope on the bass but the only thing that really hit me was how pathetic the midrange had become. Weak, tinny and recessed. Yes, they ticked off the obvious v-shaped sound signature but beyond that, eww…. Moving on then!
Historically I have been a big fan of the purple filter and with the Sabre, it once again is well in the running, along with yellow, for my favourite filter. Compared to the latter three it certainly lacks bass but midrange is now at the forefront, clear and decisive with smooth texture in tact.
The gunmetal was the only filter that seemed a bit odd. Allegedly the bright filter with reduced bass, it did not seem to have less bass than the yellow filters (and more than purple)… and measurements backed that up. This was also not a filter that served my preferences well so I opted to spend less time with this one.
I will say why I do hear an obvious difference with trinity’s filters and most are aptly named they only really offer obvious differences in the bass. It is still much more drastic than with RHA’s attempt at filters but compared to Torque, who had a filter to adjust every frequency range you can picture it is not quite up to scratch. I would like to see filters that can effect all manners of frequencies quite obviously!
I used to get a bit aggy about filters but now it is clear they are a thing to stay with earphones, I have a fully-fledged system to get to the bottom ASAP! I am not one to change filters on mood or from track to track, it is just way too fiddly and if that is what you are trying to offer then implement switches. I get the earphone delivered, I quickly run through the filters, noting sound signatures and then I narrow it down to the ones that fit what I am after and do a more thorough comparison. In this case, it was between purple and yellow with the latter coming out on top, so that is the one I consequently spent a more lengthy time with and will delve a little deeper.
We have already established the yellow is a more balanced sound signature with perhaps a slight decay in the bass that could border warmth, it is certainly a little north of neutral at the least. Through my listening sessions with Sabre, I noticed some quite obvious things, both positive and negative. I will get the negative out of the way first and these would have to be both the soundstage and treble. Starting with the soundstage and it just felt measly, no matter what I compared it too, something much more expensive with a massive soundstage like the NGaudio Capricorn or something cheaper that I claimed to have a pretty average soundstage itself, an example being Simgots EN700. It for once was not even for lack of depth, in actual fact it was the width that just seemed claustrophobic and while the texture to the sound is full, the sound sometimes felt distant.
The other main niggle was the treble, although not to the same degree. It seemed like it was a little bit of a rollercoaster ride from the upper mids all the away to a little extra zest circa 10kHz. Adding to that the texture just seems thinner than the rest of the earphone and it just doesn’t have the energy to cohere perfectly. It is not particular offensive mind you, I don’t hear sibilance but I could appreciate a better timbre.
Swiftly moving on from the negatives and there was some astounding and prevalent areas of an impressive nature. Take the level of refinement for example. I have always found Trinity offerings a little edgy and grainy, this is the exact opposite, the sound is liquid smooth and resolves at such a high level. The overall texturing is full and satisfying as well, with a chameleon-like bass depending on filters and a midrange that when given a little room to breathe from the bass is detailed and elegant. The note decay for the midrange and bass with yellow filters actually never ceases to amaze me, it feels so analogue and real and dare I say it, runs away from the other more artificial sounding models in this price bracket.
It is clear that this push-pull driver is going to give Trinity a way of pushing sound on and with the price that Sabre comes in at it should be cost effective as well. With treble being one of my only gripes, it pleases me that the new Master 4 and 6 do use the push/pull system but also blend in some armatures which I am sure will be dedicated for the high frequencies (at the minimum), in my mind that could be a potent combination!
It’s all in the Package
This Trinity shows the characteristics of a model utilising a new tech. Purely in sonic qualities, not everything is perfectly fleshed out just yet but it does show a real development on previous variations of their product and is clear that it is the first model of theirs I have heard targeting more critical listeners. Like I say a lot these days there are the Dunu and AAW models in this price range that impress me purely on sound a little more but you also run the risk of getting a signature that is not you’re the thing. With Sabre you don’t run that risk, you make it meet your tastes and that is one of the best things about Trinity models. On top of that, it is one of the most thought out and well put together bundles of IEM goodness I have ever received regardless of price and that always goes a long way. While I would like to see minor improvements on ergonomics, connector implementation and a couple of sonic traits, this is a product that clearly oozes value at its price of £125. Like always I look forward to checking out the many, many more Trinity models that are already close to hitting the world!