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Campfire return to ceramic for Dorado 2020, Vega 2020

  • As we mourn the discontinuation of the Polaris II (US$499, the blue one), we greet news of two new models from Portland’s Campfire Audio’s with some expectation that they might fill the outgoing model’s shoes, albeit at higher price points.

    The first of the two newcomers gives us some hope. The Dorado 2020 puts a 1cm A.D.L.C. diaphragm dynamic mid/bass driver behind a single BA (that handles higher frequencies) and sans crossover. A quick listen over the weekend told me that we have some – but not all – of the Polaris II’s club-bass kick-punch – a good thing for all but the doofiest of techno – but with a considerably more open and refined top end – a good thing for string-driven things and female vocals.

    As with all current Campfire earphone models, the Dorado 2020 ships in beautiful paper/card packaging, printed in Portland on French Paper Co. stock, and containing a ‘diver orange’ zippable carry case made from upcycled marine plastic in Portugal. Also in the box: Campfire Marshmallow tips, Campfire silicone tips and – my favourite – Final Audio Silicone tips. The MMCX-terminated cable, complete with ear-hooks, Campfire describe as “Smoky Jacket Silver Plated Litz”.

    This attention to detail is carried over to today’s second new model, the Vega 2020, by way of similar packaging (yet to be opened by yours truly), triple tip selection, upcycled ‘Sea Green’ carry case and Smoky Litz cable. However, the Vega 2020 gets an all-white ear shell that houses a single 1cm A.D.L.C. diaphragm dynamic driver running full-range.

    The big story is here is that both new models’ earshells are made from ceramic, the Dorado 2020 with a brass spout and the Vega 2020 with stainless steel.

    Long time followers of Campfire Audio will recall that their 2015 Lyra IEM was the first to feature a ceramic earshell but that ‘technical challenges’ forced them over to ‘Liquid Metal’ in 2016 for the Lyra 2 plus the original Dorada and Vega, the latter reportedly their second-best-selling model behind the Andromeda.

    Apparently, Ken Ball and his team have been jonesing to get back to ceramic ever since. And here we are. The Vega 2020 will sell for US$899 and the Dorado 2020 for US$1099.

    Lastly, true to Portland form, Campfire now offers a comb for US$4.

    Further information: Campfire Audio

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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