Ocharaku Donguri-Keyaki – Good Wood

Sound

Which really is a shame. It fits well, is easy to get in and out, and its cable really is luxurious. But it’s just not Shure sure, you know? And dear Guru-dayum!, it sounds good.

It’s an upper-mid-tipped earphone. Sure, it’s got good bass with both space and lateral impact, but it’s the upper midrange that really stands out. It’s a little less piercing than both KURO and KAEDE. And if I had to divide and conquer, I’d give Donguri the barest of edges in coherent fade.

But with the exception of Ocharaku’s modded Audio Technica CKM55, forward-tipped sound is Ocharaku through and through. Not that anything really plagued KAEDE or KURO, but Donguri’s single driver and absolute dearth of coherence errors stabilize its treble over and above its older siblings.

It still extends well into treble-head territory, and is speedy, avoiding delay errors and steering clear of sibilance. But non treble-heads would be forgiven for thinking it piercing.

Detail is most abundant from the lower to the upper mids, with great oblique-angle detail and space between upper-edged instruments.

High-mid and lower treble cues just float in the air, magically, and suck back into oblivion as cleanly and fast as if they were driven by something a bit geekier – like a planar magnetic – than a simple dynamic driver. That’s the power of good acoustic resonance. And the transitions from bass to mids to treble are beyond reproach.

The simple pleasures of a Donguri/Arovane combination are beyond words. I’ll do the Mike Mercer thing and call them the shit.

The basic reason for this is that the bass, while slightly elevated beyond neutral, is laterally detailed enough to balance the incredible upper-mid and treble energy, range, reach, and speed. It hits down below the jaw, and depending on the music, reaches from ear to ear without gap. Donguri’s hard wood housing ensures bloom is right out. And Arovane is all about the feel. Not that Donguri is limited to touchy music.

Jim Morrison would argue with that. If your music’s got a LOT of midrange pressure, Donguri can kick up quite the vocal-forward presentation fully compliant with The Doors, The Boss, and pretty much every male and female diva you can throw at them.

Which is to say that vocals mids aren’t forgotten. They’re neutral, clear, and as pretty as Belle. But in this price range, and considering the driver beneath them, I’d expect nothing less. What could be a stickler for some people is their forward inclination, which, at every opportunity, Beasts it up to treble. But that’s been a staple of every 2-element Ocharaku since way back. The short of that is that mids, no matter how stressed, will play into the highs. I love that. You may not. I can imagine some people finding Donguri either fatiguing, or bordering closely to it.

Which is to say: if you like bright treble (not to mention mids that kowtow to it), and a good, compact, anchoring bass, Donguri probably will grease your pole. But if you don’t go in for that stuff, it certainly won’t. Even if you’re like me, and do, you may have trouble with American hip hop, which really needs a lazier upper end, and if possible, a bit less detail and a bit more fluffy pressure in the low end.

If you’re a trance head, you’ll love Donguri’s ability to feel out a good treble space that opens quite a bit wider than your face, but without the ugly scratchiness that somewhat plagued its siblings.

Space and instrument IDM fans should lap Donguri up.

It’s a great, forward-tipped, wonderfully base-resolved, neutral-aiming earphone. It happens to be, in my humble opinion, the most coherent-sounding earphone in Ocharaku’s current lineup.

And, it’s wood, yo.

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

5 Comments

  • Reply May 6, 2015

    youkeum

    Thank you for your review Nathan. I like the Ocharaku earphone. I’am using th-f4n now, it’s just my type. Could you compare this two? or compare Donguri and kuro type2?

    • Reply May 6, 2015

      ohm image

      I’m very slow in this, sorry. Donguri Type I is now my favourite-sounding Ocharaku earphone. I hope to get some more out, and soon. Cheers.

  • Reply August 4, 2015

    bounly

    Hi Nathan, Great review! I’m heading to Japan in October and was wondering if you knew it possible to visit Mr. Yamagishi to grab a pair of these? Or is it possible to get these online yet?

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