The long awaited follow up to the EM5813, the Cardas A8 Ear Speakers are now available!
Designed entirely by George Cardas, the A8 Ear Speakers feature a custom 10.85mm Ultra Linear, Contour Field, Dual Magnet Driver.
"The A8 has no pole piece as such. The pole piece has been replaced by a contoured field permanent magnet. The motor is linear to nearly DC, as is phase response." - George Cardas
George Cardas' UltraLinear Driver features a Contour Magnet in place of the permeable pole piece found in conventional drivers. This stops flux modulation distortion, and results in a uniquely musical listening experience.
The Golden Ratio (1:1.618) can be found in nature, art, and nearly all Cardas products, from our multi-stranded Litz conductors, to our Oregon Coast Myrtle wood blocks. The A8's brass ear pieces are machined with a Golden Spiral curve, which is both aesthetically pleasing, as well as acoustically neutral.
The A8's cable uses Ultra Pure Cardas Copper, with two Golden Ratio scaled Litz conductors going to each channel. The conductors are wrapped around a fiber core for durability.
With two discreet conductors going to each channel, the A8 can be configured for balanced operation with a simple re-termination, either before or after the initial purchase.
Cardas A8 Ear Speakers are terminated with a 3.5mm (1/8") gold-plated stereo plug by default. However they can be terminated for nearly any application, such as the balanced outputs of an Astell & Kern player, or the dual 3.5mm outputs of an Ayre Codex. These custom terminations can be performed before or after purchase, for our standard re-termination fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the differences between the EM5813 & the A8?
A: The EM5813 & the A8 share a similar shape, and they both use a single dynamic driver. Beyond that, there are numerous differences. The A8's driver is an evolution of the EM5813's driver. The A8s are much more neutral than the EM5813. The A8's cable is much lighter, and less microphonic, and the A8s come with a carrying pouch that they actually fit in!
Q: The EM5813's retail for $425, and the A8's are just $349. Do the EM5813's remain the flagship IEM from Cardas?
A: We don't look at it that way. The EM5813 was our first IEM, with all efforts going towards making an excellent product, regardless of cost. The A8s, on the other hand, benefit from all that we learned from the EM5813 project - from the sonic characteristics to the design of the cable, and even manufacturing procedures. Both the EM5813 & the A8 are excellent IEMs, providing consumers with two distinct choices.
Q: How do I choose between the EM5813 & the A8 Ear Speakers?
A: Aside from the price difference, it comes down to the sound, and the ergonomics. The EM5813 is heavier, with a thicker cable. It also sounds warmer, and has more bass. The A8s are lighter, and more conducive to active lifestyles, and have a more neutral delivery .
Q: Who should buy the EM5813? Who should buy the A8?
A: The ideal EM5813 buyer enjoys listening to music in a comfortable chair, and likes the extra bass extension. The ideal A8 buyer is more likely to be active while listening, and demands neutrality from their IEM.
Q: Yeah but... both of those descriptions apply to me.
A: Awesome. Buy one of each.