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Westone ES2 (the underappreciated custom) - Page 6

post #76 of 200
This is such a great thread! Thanks to everyone who has contributed... I need to grab something to eat now Hopefully I'll be able to post my own impressions of custom IEMs soon
post #77 of 200
Milkpowder Im also from the UK and was wondering were you were going to purchase your ES2's. Like you I was also interested in the UE-10, but the £700+ price tags taking the piss abit. I wonder if Ultimate ears will let me purchase from America which would only cost me £480 current exchange rate. www.pjbox.xo.uk also distribute the ES2 for a price of £585 which is abit silly IMO, so where in Japan were you planing on getting them?
post #78 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Mofo
Milkpowder Im also from the UK and was wondering were you were going to purchase your ES2's. Like you I was also interested in the UE-10, but the £700+ price tags taking the piss abit. I wonder if Ultimate ears will let me purchase from America which would only cost me £480 current exchange rate. www.pjbox.xo.uk also distribute the ES2 for a price of £585 which is abit silly IMO, so where in Japan were you planing on getting them?
I'm very pissed off that it's going to cost 700+ quid for the UE10Pro.

Anyhow, this is the website of the official Europe Westone dealer: http://www.variphone.com/

They actually have the equipment to make the earphones so it's not a transatlantic transaction at all.

Here's the email conversation I had with their rep:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
Hi there,

I'm interested in the ES1 and ES2. I am a music lover who already owns a pair of Shure E500 and is wondering about custom IEMs.

How much are the ES1 and ES2? Which audiologists would you recommend in the UK to take the impressions? I'm in Scotland at the moment.

What are the costs of making an impression?

Thank you

Jonathan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen
Hello,

we thank you for the interesting in our products.
The price for the ES-1 is 495 Euro (excl VAT) and the price for the ES-2 is 735 (excl VAT).
You can go to any hearingcenter in your neighbourhood and ask them to make full concha ear impressions.
You can also contact our dealer in the UK but i don't know if that's far from your place. His name is Peter Beavis and he lives in West Sussex.
His mobile number is 0044-802 823 059.
I hope to have informed you enough. If you have any questions you can always contact us.

Best regards,

Kathleen
Variphone
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
Hi,

Thanks for the speedy reply!

I'm particularly interested in the ES2. How much will it cost altogether to ship to the UK? What form of payment do you accept?

Can you give me specific instructions for the impressions so that I can bring them to the audiologist? Should it be an open or closed jaw impression?

Also, how long will it take to have the earphones made?

What options for cords (over the ear) are there?

What colours are available and are there more pictures that I could see?

Thank you for your time and I hope to find out more about your products!

Best regards,
Jonathan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen
Dear Jonathan,

the shipment to the UK costs 17.50 euro. So the total amount of the invoice will be 752.50 euro.
You have to ask at the audiologist to make full concha ear impressions. You can take impressions with your mouth half open.
You can send them to Variphone, Deusterstraat 72, 3990 Peer. Please give us your details for the invoice and the shipment.
Normaly they will be ready after 2 weeks. You can choose between 4 colours for the cable: transcluent, skin colour, brown and black.
Actually you can choose whatever you want. We can make them with artwork or with a lasermark. If you have a design you can send it to us in pdf.
I hope to have informed you enough. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Kathleen
It will cost 508 quid altogether not including audiologist's fees (maybe about 50 quid).
post #79 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee
The MicroDAC does match beautifully with the Hornet -- but I must repeat that the MicroDAC has such high level output that it's like adding 3-4 points more gain, and may be impossible with the Hornet and IEMs, though I haven't tried it. Contact Tyll and/or Jamey at Headroom and ask them about that.
Roger that. I'm about to send in my Hornet for the M mods, and I'll ask Ray about lowering the gain on the Low setting, specifically for use with the MicroDAC. The minimum volume on the Hornet with the MicroDAC where the channels are balanced is already higher than my usual listening level. I guess the MicroDAC was voiced with Sennheisers in mind.

As to whether or not the ES2 is neutral - what's neutral? It sounds neutral to me on some recordings and not so neutral on others, but quite frankly, neutrality is a bit too subjective in order to be addressed properly. Sure, the tonal balance of the Hornet is tilted towards the bass, and the highs are rather soft, but then again, a lot of studio recordings are too harsh in the highs, and on the ES2 come out sounding neutral.

To my ear, the ES2 has a similar tonal balance to the HD650, but it doesn't have the HD650's bass coloration. At the same time, it has a forward sound signature similar to Grados, but without any of the brightness. And, it manages to be lush yet quick and detailed at the same time. It's really a combination of sonic qualities which I wouldn't expect to encounter in a headphone, and this is precisely what makes the ES2 sound so musical. It's inaccurate in a musical way, yet not so inaccurate as to detract from the enjoyment of the music.

Listening to solo piano on the ES2 and the E500, I find that the E500 has a crisper sound and a more neutral tonal balance. The lower octaves on the ES2 are given some preference over the higher octaves. However, the ES2 has a very airy quality to the upper registers, which isn't there on the E500. It's a very romantic air and space around each note, a sort of roundness of tone - less precise attack and longer decay, yet more refinement. I guess a proper analogy here would be that the E500 is listening while stone sober, while the ES2 is listening with a few drinks under your belt. You are a bit fuzzier about the specifics, but you're also feeling better about the music At the same time, the ES2 seems to pick up the reverberations of the strings better, and little details, like fingers brushing against keys and pedals creaking come through a bit better on the ES2 (though I'll have to check again to be sure).

I do have a unique problem with the E500, though - I can't seem to get an equally good seal in both ears, and the sound in my right ear seems to be quieter than in my left. I'll need to check if this isn't a driver mismatch issue, but for now, it's making listening the E500 more difficult
post #80 of 200
Just curious, how much better do ES2 isolate compare to UM2s?
post #81 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch
Roger that. I'm about to send in my Hornet for the M mods, and I'll ask Ray about lowering the gain on the Low setting, specifically for use with the MicroDAC. The minimum volume on the Hornet with the MicroDAC where the channels are balanced is already higher than my usual listening level. I guess the MicroDAC was voiced with Sennheisers in mind.

As to whether or not the ES2 is neutral - what's neutral? It sounds neutral to me on some recordings and not so neutral on others, but quite frankly, neutrality is a bit too subjective in order to be addressed properly. Sure, the tonal balance of the Hornet is tilted towards the bass, and the highs are rather soft, but then again, a lot of studio recordings are too harsh in the highs, and on the ES2 come out sounding neutral.

To my ear, the ES2 has a similar tonal balance to the HD650, but it doesn't have the HD650's bass coloration. At the same time, it has a forward sound signature similar to Grados, but without any of the brightness. And, it manages to be lush yet quick and detailed at the same time. It's really a combination of sonic qualities which I wouldn't expect to encounter in a headphone, and this is precisely what makes the ES2 sound so musical. It's inaccurate in a musical way, yet not so inaccurate as to detract from the enjoyment of the music....
Unfortunately, Ray has said that he cannot lower the gain on the Hornet any lower than it is, but it never hurts to ask. Ray is a generous-spirited gentleman and is always willing to explain and discuss.

I don't know if there's anything that can be done, but as I mentioned before -- contact Tyll and/or Jamey at Headroom and ask if there's any way to adjust or compensate for the high output level on the MicroDAC to accommodate IEMs (especially with the Hornet) -- without introducing any signal-degrading components in the signal path.

I don't consider the ES2 to be "neutral" -- and I don't expect any IEM is neutral -- but it does seem very musical to my ears, and suits my preference in colorations.

IF your Hornet is an early original with the Nichicon rail cap, the M-mod will allow you to hear much clearer/more extended highs, tighter/less imposing bass, much wider soundstage, more air and dimension, better imaging, better speed, punchier/better defined bass, clearer mids, more energy, less warm/plush but more "liquid" character. If you already have one of the new stock Hornets containing the Panasonic rail cap you're halfway there: you already have slightly tighter bass, somewhat wider soundstage -- and the mod will clean up everything, increase LF and HF extension and LF punch, plus give more air and bigger sound space, plus that "liquid" character (flowing musicality without rounding off the details).

Your ES2 will sound much better, too.
post #82 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee
IF your Hornet is an early original with the Nichicon rail cap, the M-mod will allow you to hear much clearer/more extended highs, tighter/less imposing bass, much wider soundstage, more air and dimension, better imaging, better speed, punchier/better defined bass, clearer mids, more energy, less warm/plush but more "liquid" character. If you already have one of the new stock Hornets containing the Panasonic rail cap you're halfway there: you already have slightly tighter bass, somewhat wider soundstage -- and the mod will clean up everything, increase LF and HF extension and LF punch, plus give more air and bigger sound space, plus that "liquid" character (flowing musicality without rounding off the details).
I thought the new Hornets were the same as the M Hornets?
post #83 of 200
Before the complete mod (M hornet), ray changed the caps
I think this is what he was talking about

Btw milkpowder, i've seen you quite a bit in custom iem discussions lately
Getting a pair soon?
post #84 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimitri
Before the complete mod (M hornet), ray changed the caps
I think this is what he was talking about
Oh I see..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimitri
Btw milkpowder, i've seen you quite a bit in custom iem discussions lately
Getting a pair soon?
You know very well that this is inevitable. I hope to be able to afford them before the end of this year, so I still got two months Still doing a lot of research and asking around. The ACS T2i/Pro and the Westone ES2 are on the radar.
post #85 of 200
Nice!
I'm pretty much decided on the ES2, haven't sent off the ear impressions yet to westone, but planning to do so sometime next week

If i was getting sensas or ACS, it'd only be because of the comfort and how it's less noticable than other customs.. oh and appearantly the soft material doesn't last as long and are considerably more expensive these 2 the deal breaker for me

Well, i'm sure you can't go wrong with either choice!
post #86 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by derek8555
Just curious, how much better do ES2 isolate compare to UM2s?
Anyone?
post #87 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch
To my ear, the ES2 has a similar tonal balance to the HD650, but it doesn't have the HD650's bass coloration. At the same time, it has a forward sound signature similar to Grados, but without any of the brightness. And, it manages to be lush yet quick and detailed at the same time.
Sounds like the AD2000.

Quote:
It's really a combination of sonic qualities which I wouldn't expect to encounter in a headphone, and this is precisely what makes the ES2 sound so musical. It's inaccurate in a musical way, yet not so inaccurate as to detract from the enjoyment of the music.
Really sounds like the AD2000!!!

Quote:
...The lower octaves on the ES2 are given some preference over the higher octaves. However, the ES2 has a very airy quality to the upper registers... It's a very romantic air and space around each note, a sort of roundness of tone - less precise attack and longer decay, yet more refinement...
Hey, if that's not the AD2000, I don't know what is!!!

It may be time to order a pair of these little rascals. Just what I need, another pair of... oh, never mind, there's no sense in fighting it. Threads like this do me in every time!
post #88 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by derek8555
Just curious, how much better do ES2 isolate compare to UM2s?
No offense, but I think that one has been covered in some detail in this thread. See posts #62, 68 and 69 as examples.
post #89 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimitri
Nice!
I'm pretty much decided on the ES2, haven't sent off the ear impressions yet to westone, but planning to do so sometime next week
The ES2 will cost me 950USD if I were to get it in the UK, but it will only take about 3 weeks in total from when I send my impressions from the UK and get the earphones. If I buy them in Hong Kong, it will cost 730USD, but probably take about 4 weeks to get the earphones. It takes a week to post, then two weeks to make and another week to send back to Hong Kong. 220USD is a substantial sum of money, so I have a sort of dilemma here.

BTW, did you do open mouth, half open mouth or closed mouth impressions?
The guys from Variphone (Europe Westone Dealer) recommended half open mouth impressions. The rep from ACS recommended closed mouth impressions. UE recommends open mouth impressions. It's all a bit weird and inconsistent. Apparently, your ear canals open up when you open your mouth, so wouldn't you break the seal if your IEMs were made from closed mouth impressions? On the contrary, wouldn't your ear canals feel a bit sore pressed against an IEM made from open mouth impressions?

How much are you paying? What colour are you having yours made in? I'm pretty fond of the solid red or translucent blue. Originally, I thought that white was cool, but there are too much white, iPod-related stuff around. Plus, I don't want people to know that I'm plugging into an iPod. It sorta increases your chances of being mugged (this is true!). In Scotland, nearly no one knows what the E500, let alone what Shure is, so I'm pretty comfortable with wearing them outdoors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimitri
If i was getting sensas or ACS, it'd only be because of the comfort and how it's less noticeable than other customs.. oh and apparently the soft material doesn't last as long and are considerably more expensive these 2 the deal breaker for me
Apparently that isn't true. ACS use medical grade silicon, which is made to last for a long time. However, I do see the logic behind the hard acrylic lasting longer than the soft silicon. If I were to be absolutely honest with you, I think the Westone look better made than the ACS/Sensas too! Plus, the cable is detachable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimitri
Well, i'm sure you can't go wrong with either choice!
True!
post #90 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by derek8555
Anyone?
The rolleyes is a bit much, given that you haven't bothered to read the entire thread, wouldn't you say?
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