New Primacy Premium Triple Driver Hybrid In-Ear Monitors
Everything with Primacy is bigger and better. The box is larger, you get a nicer presentation, a few more ear tips (including some foam) and a snazzy metal tin. The reality is there isn’t actually much of a difference in practicality but they have tried to snazz things up here, or maybe they tried to slightly dumb the Basic down; although we have already established that wasn’t actually very basic. The velvet lined storage tin is especially a nice touch but I can’t help put wish they also threw in the Basic carry pouch for portable mobility, the tin is not nearly as ideal for pocketing.
The actual earphones are built to the same high standard as Basic, aluminium is still the material of choice but these are a tad bigger and of a different shape to contain the triplex of drivers. New Primacy is a hybrid, it consists of a dual balanced armature and an 8mm dynamic. I should just elaborate on my feelings towards the design of these and say they are up there with the nicest looking IEM’s I’ve had. Obviously, that is just my opinion!
It is still a smaller earphone and just as ergonomic, nestling in the concha of your ear and finding its way nice and deep. The showstopper of the Primacy would be its thick and rubbery 8 braid cable, complete with a right angled jack. It is made of a silver plated copper and gives you one less thing to worry about buying in the future as this leaves you with no real reason to buy an aftermarket cable.
Oriveti shows off that they can make a comfortable earphone with this and that Basic was no fluke. The smooth edges cause no harm to your ear and these figuratively and literally disappear in your ear. They also got the angles right on this so there is no sense of obtrusiveness. Even with their deeper fit, I thought isolation could be a bit better, probably weakened as this still utilises a ported driver. I did manage to improve it with the included foam tips but my favourite to use where the MandarinEs Symbio tips that are a foam filled silicone.
While I think that if you had both Oriveti’s next to each other, visually people would not expect a huge price difference or even any at all, in terms of sonics they are different beasts. They are straight up different earphones, both good at their own thing but I am not under the impression that Primacy is just an evolution of the Basic. It is a unique entity with its own goals in life. We have a much more balanced sound now, showing exceptional coherency for a hybrid. The sound is also very smooth, with outstanding refinement throughout its buttery presentation.
Coming off the bassier Basic, I think it makes sense that their more expensive option firms the low end up and also displays much better speed. It still encroaches on having some warmth but the plumpness is only so that the bass satisfies, not takes over. This is balanced in terms of everything sounding level, not in the respect it would measure perfectly flat. The bass does extend confidently but isn’t like the Echobox Nomad or Basic in the respect that it just stays flat through the bass, and doesn’t grow the deeper it gets. In terms of accuracy, this is much better, you avoid a subwoofer like exaggeration and get slam and rumble when and honest part of the recording forgoing any weird 50Hz humming in acoustic tracks.
Oriveti seems like they have gone in that Dunu direction with this hybrid. I think it is easy for sound engineers to think adding a dynamic driver means you have to tune it ultra bassy, in reality, that just creates the most incoherent sound. Dunu used dynamic drivers to just heighten the bass qualities but still kept it neutral overall with their DN-2000 (and J iteration) and Oriveti has done something similar with this nimble, punchy but full bass.
Unlike Dunu they didn’t go for that hyper detailed analytical sound, calming the midrange a touch in comparison. The lower mids are seamless with the bass, but are a bit more contained, instead of being in your face they resolve and flow with extreme ease. From midrange forward, there is an undoubted softness to the sonics. Not mushy but just lacking some edge, one of the reasons the sound is just so liquid. It does also leave separation not quite up to some of its competition like the aforementioned Dunu’s or Fischer Amps Symphonie. There is just a bit of smudging. Regardless the midrange as a whole is much more appetising the Aedle’s ODS-1, which does not come close to the natural timbre this presents along with it’s much more realistic note decay.
Upper mids are subtly more north the rest of the midrange. Overall the midrange is a linear affair with no overextension, just sitting humbly in the middle of the stage and doing a graceful job of it. It means these don’t force clarity and detail just happens without any pressure. I feel as though treble humps a little at the start but rolls off towards 10kHz and even more so after that. It isn’t as energetic as the Periodic Audio Be and while they are doing a more mature hybrid like Dunu, this is nowhere near as bright. The creamy treble response is not lacking, with high frequencies taking up an important role in overall soundscape but they are steady in not overstepping boundaries. There is certainly a great elegance to it.
I have been very impressed by the sound of this. It is not typical sounding for a hybrid and I am aware that this is a revision of the original Primacy, and I have read that they managed some minor improvements in the sound to get to what I am enjoying right now. On top of a pleasant and very enjoyable ensemble of frequencies, it comes packing an intricate and deep soundstage. One that gives you that 3-dimensional space that is harder to come by than the usual wide but shallow sound that is audibly faker than large.
Primacy is Good
Oriveti has gone two for two with me. I think Basic achieves more at its price range, while Primacy is one of the IEMs you have to check out at its given value. I never actually reviewed the original Primacy but not because I wasn’t sent one, I was unfortunate enough to get a unit that had issues with its MMCX connectors and since they were nearly finished with thew “New” version, there was no point it being directly replaced. Other reviews will give you a much broader view into what was new here but I can tell you that they have flushed out the MMCX implementation to prevent problems as you would hope. This is a stunning looking, strongly made and great sounding earphone, which seems exactly what you deserve at $299!