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a new budget IEM: Maximo iM-390 - Page 4

post #46 of 150
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post
A bit past the 50 hour mark now. The bass is tightening/clearing up nicely so far. I did widen the ports in the back but, to my surprise, I did not notice a change when testing them(I about doubled the size of the port). I heard the same level. I did hear a change after leaving them alone for a day more of burn-in though. As crossed my mind before it now sounds very close to the PK2. It no longer sounds like a PK2 with big, somewhat congested bass. I would say the PK2 mid-bass hump gives it a slight bit more weight there and in the vocals now. So, the Maximo is ever so slightly more flat. I like the tone of the Maximo treble slightly more. The detail level is the same also.

Depending on how far in you insert them you also have near the soundstage of the PK2. Slightly less than the Yuin until you insert deeper and increase the isolation where the soundstage starts to compress. Of course moving the drivers closer and forcing the drivers to work harder to move air(needing more volume) does give them more detail. It is cool to have the option since there is really no stem. More isolation just on depth without needing to change tips. Even deeply inserted, footstep noise is noticably less than with other IEMs. Of course there is more comfort if they aren't in as far.

I like their balance and how they are an easy listen. No harshness, fatigue, or glaring flaw in this phone. Everything is done well across the spectrum. Good bass, good mids, good treble, good extension, etc. As such it is a safe bet that many people will like them. At the price everyone should. The X3's are about twice the price and the Yuin's are two and a half times the price. Neither has better included accessories. Mine might improve even more with more burn-in and these are the old version. Maximo has improved with the second version and are supporting the product with a lifetime warranty and listening to our feedback. Kudos! It is a very nice product!
any pics to show your modding because in theory the bass should be more boomy and overblown with a bigger port
post #47 of 150
It is not a bass port so it is more similar to a large dynamic phone. Closing the back will give more bass. Like AT air series(open back) having less bass than the closed Art models do. If I put my finger on the holes they get boomy and muddy. The Denon has a bass port these have what amounts to a pressure relief hole. It also helps protect the drivers from the ear seal suction.
post #48 of 150
Thread Starter 

old vs new

@ jant71 I am curious that opening the hole had no obvious effect on yours. I have spent a little time comparing the modified original version to the new prod version which is what I based this review on. There is more to the difference than a larger rear port.

here is how I came to own both versions; as I had said initially that I had been so impressed with how the iM-390s performed in the little iem shoot-out that I had decided to get myself a pair. Andrew happened to have had a pair with him at the meet and had given them to me. I took them home and thought something was wrong with the set I had, initially I thought it may just be a matter of burning them in but after discussing it with Andrew it was clear that I had the original version in hand and not the version I had been listening to at the meet. I continued to listen to them while I waited for the new version to arrive and I have to agree that they do sound better after a burn in period BUT the pair I had still sounded tonally off. I found it difficult to describe but it was almost as if someone had been messing with some or other spatial effects eq. I could hear a "concert hall echo" and although the mid/upper bass was good, the low end wasn't there. I really can't tell you what opening the port up did to their physical characteristics but I do think they sound more tonally accurate.

I compared the 2 to each other and as a simple "blinded" test decided to see if I could distinguish which pair I had picked up from the tangle on my desk - it wasn't immediate and I let the track play through at least 1/2 way, but I got it right 5/5 times which tells me that their sonic character is different enough to me. This is what I think differentiates them most. 1. I can still hear an element of that "spatial echo" in the original 2. the mids are more forward in the original (great on solo vocals) but also give the impression of being louder and I would normally reach to turn it down [ I listen at low levels in general ] 3. the bass has better separation in the new version. This is particularly noticeable on percussion drums where a wide range of bass frequencies are present and the bass needs to be tight /fast.

I think the original version is still a great deal, but for my listening tastes ( I can't do grados because of that mid freq hump ) I prefer the latest version..dB
post #49 of 150
That explains the similarity to the PK2; the first version having forward mids that is.

I may be full of it but I did think of a reason why we would have different experiences. I figure since mine were closer to new and the driver was not loosened up much. So, I heard no difference even with a larger hole. Then after a long continuous burn-in session they loosened up more and now push more air. Before they didn't push as much air so the hole size didn't seem to matter while now they can take advantage of the larger hole.

Hey, the price and more forwards mids suits me fine. I use them sometimes with my S adapter and it gives them some more extension and separation. I have also found myself using them with different sources and wearing them at different depths so I find the separation and spatial echo effect changing on me as well as any burn-in changes. Heck, I'm not even using the stock tips. So many variables. Probably no surprise If we hear some different things. I am sure the new version is better though. Like I said before, with the lifetime warranty I'll probably get to hear the new version myself in the future.
post #50 of 150
Just got iM-390s (old version) set in the mail today.

I'm having trouble forming impressions as the driver 'crinkles' are so bad when I insert them into my ears that driver deformities (due to air pressure) are playing havoc with the sound signature. Tried several tip sizes, as well as Shure E2 foamies & UE double flanges. I get driver crinkles with all of them. This was particularly surprising with the foamies.

The MylarOne X3s are supposedly notorious for driver crinkles, and the set I own are not nearly as bad as the Maximos in this regard. In fact, I have yet to get crinkles when using the X3s with foamies.

I likely need a little more time/practice inserting them & hopefully I will be able to eliminate the crinkles. If not, the Maximos will be pretty much unlistenable for me as the sound signature is *very* distorted when the drivers become flexed during insertion. Scary thing is I can actually feel the insertion pressure buildup on my eardrums. Not comfy at all when that happens. On the plus side, during those few seconds when the Maximos sit properly in my ear canal they sound quite pleasant. However, those moments are not of sufficient duration to form a more detailed description.

I'll report back in a couple of days after I burn them in & practice putting them in my ears. Hopefully I will have more positive experiences to convey.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've used all of the usual insertion tricks as suggested in the big MylarOne thread to no avail.
post #51 of 150
I take them with the little bulb stem facing straight forward, then twist downward while inserting. Usually one crinkle and their in. They have the same issue as other stemless phone like an ER4P/S; that each side might not be in at equal depth. I open my mouth to double check and adjust if need be. Like those others they do need a bit of practice getting used to inserting. Similar to the Ety but with the added bonus of crinkle action.

If you feel the vacuum pressure annoying, they are in too far(uncomfy and sub-optimal SQ). They are at their best when they aren't in very far. You don't feel them much and the soundstage is at it's largest then they kind of disappear. That is when they sound best. The most isolation they can provide and the best SQ do not intersect at the same point. But these are canalphones and not true IEM's. IEM's more often give their best SQ with the most Isolation/more insertion. Longer tips, like the black olives, can give more isolation and keep the Maximo's more shallower where they sound better.
post #52 of 150
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post
I take them with the little bulb stem facing straight forward, then twist downward while inserting. Usually one crinkle and their in. They have the same issue as other stemless phone like an ER4P/S; that each side might not be in at equal depth. I open my mouth to double check and adjust if need be. Like those others they do need a bit of practice getting used to inserting. Similar to the Ety but with the added bonus of crinkle action.
Still wrestling with the silicone tips, but I may be making some progress. Thanks for the advice! I prefer to wear the cords over the ear, so I have had to modify your directions accordingly. Improvements are being made (again, w/ silicone tips), but I am not satisfied quite yet.

One happy result is that I have managed to figure out how to insert the Maximos w/ Shure E2 foamies without any driver crinkles. Unlike the X3s, you *really* have to compress the foam to an extreme degree to insert them without driver issues. However, I am quite pleased as foamies are my preferred tips. Now I can start enjoying the iM-390s!

When I post my impressions I will compare them to my X3s & KSC75s as sound signature references. It may be a week or so before I do this as I am waiting to receive a replacement pair of X3s from Jaben when I had a plastic driver faliure. Needless to say, the iM-390s metal housing is a big plus to me at the moment!
post #53 of 150
Can anyone compare it with the Creative EP-630? Its about the same price and both seems like a great deal.
post #54 of 150
Price and looks made this irresistable to try... but 24 hours of burn in later and all I can say is these are terrible. Its been awhile since I have listened to anything with stock buds but I imagine these are similar. They are def. the old ones, which may be part of it- but putting these on a par with superfi or mylars is simply not right.
post #55 of 150
These sound good... and look quite nice as well. I might pick up a pair when I have some extra money. For now, I'm going to buy the X3s. Overall they seem better than these. I'm not entirely sure though, ill keep an eye on this thread for more reviews.
post #56 of 150
I purchased this set from Buy.com just days ago. Expecting delivery Thursday. Mainly purchased as an upgrade for my Sprint Mogul PDA. Not real happy to hear about the two versions and that I may be receiving a design that's been 86'd. But very please to hear the positive impressions,... even on the non-revised design. Promising!!

It would be nice if Maximo released a version with combo an in-line mic, volume control & answer/end button pod, as well as sporting a USB connector. Think I'll take a look at their website to see if that option exists.

Nice thread, and can't wait to receive the shipment. OH,... Just visited Buy.com, and the site says that they are out of stock. I wonder if this is a signal that the revision switch has begun at Buy.com!
post #57 of 150
Okay, my opinion. Big mistake buying these. What was I thinking? Not fair to compare them to M5s or PK1s, of course. But I AB'd them with both, and wow, these things are just not worth even the $22 I paid after rebate (if the $10 check ever really comes). Very veiled sound, almost some sort of weird mask over the music. Can't explain, since I am not on the same level as Kramer and the rest of the smart guys on head-fi. All I know is, even for a "knockaround" canalphone, they didn't do it for me. In fact, anyone considering a low budget purchase should get on over to the link for the group buy of the PK3 ear buds (I just ordered my second pair, in fact). The PK3s are a much better value, albeit they are buds and do not isolate hardly at all. Sound-wise, however, they completely outperform the I-390s (I sold my original set of PK3s to a friend at cost. He is still thanking me).

And even though I no longer own X3s, the I-390s are not comparable. The X3s sound was much cleaner, clearer. Again, the X3s cost $20 more.

I let the I390s burn for 3-4 days before I even stuck them in my ears. I tried the various tips. No difference. The KSC75s blow these away, too. No comparison.

I just couldn't resist trying these out, they do look very cool. But in the end, it was a waste of $22. I put them up for sale on head-fi for $18, but quickly realized the folly of selling such low-cost phones. Yesterday, I gave them to my UPS guy, someone used to $5 ear buds, so he was happy for the upgrade. In a sense, the IM-390s found a place where they are appreciated. And it's good karma to give things to people. Tack it up to experience.

In short, if you are looking for budget phones with good sound for the money, stick to the KSC85, the PK3, the PX-100 or even the EP630. All of those can be had for $35 or less. At $32 without the rebate (the Buy.com price I paid, though I expect to get the rebate), they definitely are not worth it.
post #58 of 150
Thread Starter 
I haven't checked this thread for a while and it seems that people are not hearing what I did, most likely because this is the old version which I agree did not sound good and even after drilling out the port and partially correcting the tonal balance, the newer version runs rings around them. I use mine to commute to and from work everyday and they serve the purpose very well. Not once have I been tempted to go back to amped KSC75's. They are not in the league of my K501's but then I doubt any budget earphones are. I still recommend the iM-390's and would advise that people who want to hear them don't try for the cheapest deal as you will end up with the early version and possible disappointment..dB
post #59 of 150
Too bad if that's the case. But what does it say about a company that releases a sub-standard version at all. I bought a pair from Buy.com, which did not specify old vs. new, etc., when they shipped them. Plus, since they are so inferior to the "new" model, seems to me Maximo should have issued a recall and/or gave anyone who bought the "old' version a straight-up exchange or replacement. Too late for me, since I have the old ones I bought away. A smart company trying to get a leg up in the low-budget canalphone market should have pulled the initial version from the shelves completely, rather than let inventories be sold. Just seems logical.

Andrew (the Maximo rep who has posted on this thread), any thoughts about that? I considered sending them back to Buy.com, but didn't want to go through the hassle, since I bought them via Google Checkout, and the Buy.com/Google checkout relationship is confusing. (Example, the purchase doesn't show up in the My Account section on buy.com, but the Google checkout email says to contact Buy.com about the order). I won't use Google Checkout again, since there really was no advantage in this case. Rather deal with one vendor, which is usually more than enough hassle when things go wrong.
post #60 of 150
Just got off the phone with Buy.com, the person I spoke to knew nothing of a model change or the release of a different version under the same nomenclature. However,... they are expecting a new shipment to replentish their now exhausted inventory. I'm thinking that the old version has now run it's course as far as Buy.com is concerned. I asked if I purchased a second set could I get a RMA# for the first set. The answer was YES,... provided the RMA request was made within 30 days! I was also told that placing a second order would lock in the $29 price along with the $11 dollar rebate (as long as the order was placed and recorded BEFORE 9/19,... tomorrow). The charge for an out-of-stock item to our CC's would not hit until the item is shipped, presumably after the revised units arrive at Buy.com. Sounds sorta like an on-line rain-check.

I think I'll go ahead and place that second order NOW and lock in the $18 after rebate price. I only hope the dust clears and Buy.com receives and ships the 2nd order within the next 30 days! Based on what I've been reading in this thread,... 18 bucks for the revised design is even a BETTER deal!

Thanks for the product education and reviews guys! Much appreciated.
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