Somewhat reminiscent of Final Audio Designs’ “Piano Forte” series, these elegant and well-made Cardas’ earspeakers are said to be the result of several years’ worth of George Cardas’ experimentation, development, and refinement. George is one of those people in High End AUdio who seems driven by an insatiable curiosity about how things work, and further to the point – how they can be made to work better. Therefore it’s no surprise that his first entry into the IEM market seems like a force to be reckoned with.
The IEM market is almost entirely driven by Chinese manufacture, and to a certain degree the Cardas model is no exception – perhaps less as a matter of utter provenance and more as a stop on a world-tour of manufacturing and sourcing. As Cardas puts it,“Components of the E5813 were manufactured in Oregon, California, and The People’s Republic of China. Custom alloys were sourced from Italy, Germany, and the US, magnets from China, and thin film from Japan.” The EM5813 is built from parts sourced from around the globe, using sub-assemblies mostly built in the US, with final precision assembly work handled in China, meaning the Ear Speaker is truly international in its origins.”
But the sound is what matters, and TAS’ Chris Martens withholds no affection when he offers, “Once properly fitted, the Cardas Ear Speaker is one of the most engaging, involving, and downright seductive earphones I’ve yet heard. “
How do the Cardas’ stack up in the final evaluation?