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Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
Misunderstanding!!! No I was not stating that you said there was a little color in the bass area. I was saying this simply from what I've been reading and piecing together. Different opinions about bass come into play here....I don't feel like the Phonak's have any sibilance at all...right tips or wrong. Just my humble opinion at work here so I'm right in my own way and so are you.

Hmmm I wonder does Tstarn feel this way about the excessive brightness I thought it was perfect. Also I thought the bass was nice especially in a quiet environment the bass has actual impact. To me at least..Anyhow, now to get off topic I’ll wait..For more impressions then choose between these and the Livewires. Does anyone HPA included feel like the Livewires portray more detail then these phones or are they on par?
Try pairing a 4G Nano with Phonak using grey silicone tips and grey filters, and you'll get an idea of what I mean by they can be occasionally sibilant. That improves to varying degrees by changing the tips to Complys foam, or changing the filters to black ones, or just changing the source or the particular musical recording (and goes away with the right combination of those). I never had sibilance with the Livewires if it isn't already there in the recording, but some masterings have some in it, like Diana Krall "Girl in the Other Room", and then I can hear it.

The Phonak and Livewires are not bass shy, but they don't reproduce the bass in the fullest like they should, and after hearing the way it should be done right you someday will understand what I mean. The W3 come very close, but they maybe overshot the "proper" bass goal just a little bit, almost like the Edition 9 or Denon D2000/D5000 did but not quite as much. The W3 still did a better job than any previous IEM that I had heard or owned before and I praised them for that bass, but having slightly tamer and better controlled bass is what the ES3X achieves and now I applaud them for that even more.

Like Jude said today about the HD800, that he finds them flawless and cannot think of anything he would change about them, well I find the ES3X to be that same thing to me - flawless.

Obviously due to fit issues people find flaws in the top universal IEM all the time and will never agree on the best. And while the W3 were pretty close to my goal and beat all my other universal IEM, they aren't perfect as demonstrated by listening to the ES3X. I can also find flaws in all my top of the line full size dynamic headphones - Open phones that can't reach down below 30-40Hz, Edition 9 that sometimes have overwhelming bass and a forward aggressive sound although exciting and present sounding, woodied recabled D2000 that have delicious bass but somewhat recessed mids with treble that is brighter than the mids are forward, RS-1 with APS V3 cable that is not visceral or involving enough with small soundstage and lack of presence unlike that found in the Ed 9 or D2000, HD600 are little soft around the edges and needing just the right amp to sound as good as they really are (like a dynamic version my HE60, so a little slower but better bass). And it goes on and on - Stax O2 Mk1 are a power hog with recessed treble, Stax O2 Mk2 less of power hog with a bit too aggressive and forward mids, HE Audio Jade too flat soundstage, recabled Koss ESP950 like an electrostatic RS-1, Senn HE60 everything is there but the bass or presence so the sound is etherial and airy but instruments are not solid, Stax Lambda Signature slight recessed mids with forward treble and lower treble etch.

Shall I go on? I have spent well over $30,000 in 18 months looking for the ultimate sound in headphones, or audio nirvana without spending $100,000 on a speaker rig. I knew one single rig for $10,000 might have been the answer (source/amp/phones) but nobody could agree on the answer, the Holy Grail. So instead I have several rigs costing $500 - $5,000 and some get closer than others, and it's not always the most expensive that beats the cheaper ones. Now I find out that a Macbook with iBasso D10 and Westone ES3X is pretty much all I ever really needed to be truly happy (may sub Pico or Duet or Micro Stack for the D10, in staying with a very detailed DAC/amp for laptop). It's like finding Jesus - I want to share it with the whole world, but don't accuse me of starting FOTM (or of talking religion, that was just an example).

Now, if only my OCD tendencies would allow me to sell the RS-1, HF-1, Edition 9, D2000, ESP950, Jade, Lambdas, my iMod/Vcaps and all my spare USB amps and IEM except for keeping the D10, ES3X and an IEM with mic for iPhone, and a backup amp - I could put a LOT of money back in my pocket. For my full size rig I'd stick with just the GES/O2 Mk2/HE60 rig with SR-003 for quiet listening, and a simple HD600 balanced Single Power rig with my Apogee mini-DAC feeding both amps (until the HD800 arrive and replace the HD600). But no, I'm too attached to them all and like having a little of everything to keep around and talk about - while seeding a DAC and amp here and there for a living room rig, basement rig, bedroom rig and car rig and all that other crazyness that my wife shouldn't have to deal with.

Whew. Glad to get that off my chest! I'm plugging into my music again and chilling out now.
post #152 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Try pairing a 4G Nano with Phonak using grey silicone tips and grey filters, and you'll get an idea of what I mean by they can be occasionally sibilant. That improves to varying degrees by changing the tips to Complys foam, or changing the filters to black ones, or just changing the source or the particular musical recording (and goes away with the right combination of those). I never had sibilance with the Livewires if it isn't already there in the recording, but some masterings have some in it, like Diana Krall "Girl in the Other Room", and then I can hear it.

The Phonak and Livewires are not bass shy, but they don't reproduce the bass in the fullest like they should, and after hearing the way it should be done right you someday will understand what I mean. The W3 come very close, but they maybe overshot the "proper" bass goal just a little bit, almost like the Edition 9 or Denon D2000/D5000 did but not quite as much. The W3 still did a better job than any previous IEM that I had heard or owned before and I praised them for that bass, but having slightly tamer and better controlled bass is what the ES3X achieves and now I applaud them for that even more.

Like Jude said today about the HD800, that he finds them flawless and cannot think of anything he would change about them, well I find the ES3X to be that same thing to me - flawless.

Obviously due to fit issues people find flaws in the top universal IEM all the time and will never agree on the best. And while the W3 were pretty close to my goal and beat all my other universal IEM, they aren't perfect as demonstrated by listening to the ES3X. I can also find flaws in all my top of the line full size dynamic headphones - Open phones that can't reach down below 30-40Hz, Edition 9 that sometimes have overwhelming bass and a forward aggressive sound although exciting and present sounding, woodied recabled D2000 that have delicious bass but somewhat recessed mids with treble that is brighter than the mids are forward, RS-1 with APS V3 cable that is not visceral or involving enough with small soundstage and lack of presence unlike that found in the Ed 9 or D2000, HD600 are little soft around the edges and needing just the right amp to sound as good as they really are (like a dynamic version my HE60, so a little slower but better bass). And it goes on and on - Stax O2 Mk1 are a power hog with recessed treble, Stax O2 Mk2 less of power hog with a bit too aggressive and forward mids, HE Audio Jade too flat soundstage, recabled Koss ESP950 like an electrostatic RS-1, Senn HE60 everything is there but the bass or presence so the sound is etherial and airy but instruments are not solid, Stax Lambda Signature slight recessed mids with forward treble and lower treble etch.

Shall I go on? I have spent well over $30,000 in 18 months looking for the ultimate sound in headphones, or audio nirvana without spending $100,000 on a speaker rig. I knew one single rig for $10,000 might have been the answer (source/amp/phones) but nobody could agree on the answer, the Holy Grail. So instead I have several rigs costing $500 - $5,000 and some get closer than others, and it's not always the most expensive that beats the cheaper ones. Now I find out that a Macbook with iBasso D10 and Westone ES3X is pretty much all I ever really needed to be truly happy (may sub Pico or Duet or Micro Stack for the D10, in staying with a very detailed DAC/amp for laptop). It's like finding Jesus - I want to share it with the whole world, but don't accuse me of starting FOTM (or of talking religion, that was just an example).

Now, if only my OCD tendencies would allow me to sell the RS-1, HF-1, Edition 9, D2000, ESP950, Jade, Lambdas, my iMod/Vcaps and all my spare USB amps and IEM except for keeping the D10, ES3X and an IEM with mic for iPhone, and a backup amp - I could put a LOT of money back in my pocket. For my full size rig I'd stick with just the GES/O2 Mk2/HE60 rig with SR-003 for quiet listening, and a simple HD600 balanced Single Power rig with my Apogee mini-DAC feeding both amps (until the HD800 arrive and replace the HD600). But no, I'm too attached to them all and like having a little of everything to keep around and talk about - while seeding a DAC and amp here and there for a living room rig, basement rig, bedroom rig and car rig and all that other crazyness that my wife shouldn't have to deal with.

Whew. Glad to get that off my chest! I'm plugging into my music again and chilling out now.

As with all your other post I find them to be very informative.....so bake another information filled post to answer this simple question. Which to you are better the Livewires or the Phonaks? Also the ES3X's do you prefer them over the Livewires...I'm reading California Dreamin about 224 pages and it's clear that you adore these phones. So the question is do you still like them or would you/if you could sell the Livewires would you? Also a little more impressions on the ES3X'S would help in this 'decision making thing' that we head-fiers do.


Edit: Wow a simple question goes far.....another thing which one of the custom (Livewires ES3X's, or any others) does not have a mid-bass hump....I am aiming for none....
post #153 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
As with all your other post I find them to be very informative.....so bake another information filled post to answer this simple question. Which to you are better the Livewires or the Phonaks? Also the ES3X's do you prefer them over the Livewires...I'm reading California Dreamin about 224 pages and it's clear that you adore these phones. So the question is do you still like them or would you/if you could sell the Livewires would you? Also a little more impressions on the ES3X'S would help in this 'decision making thing' that we head-fiers do.


Edit: Wow a simple question goes far.....
The ES3X are better than any of my custom or universal IEM, and better than all my dynamic headphones as well (except the K1000 which are on the way ). So, better than my Livewires - was pretty sure I said that somewhere.

The Livewires are fantastic, and I prefer them over the Phonak by a small margin (for overall balance, lack of complaints, fit and seal and isolation). I placed a rating in the Phonak thread of ES3X vs W3 vs Livewires vs Phonak.

HERE IT IS:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
Even more amazing is how they were able to improve further on the sound in the totally new design of the ES3X customs, although at just a little over double the cost. To me both are still worth it to own. You gave the Westone 3 a score of 9.9, and in terms of compared only to universal IEM I give it a 10 (being the best I've heard in unversal IEM, and anything over an 8.0 from me is worth owning).

But, if I compare it to custom molded IEM as well, the Westone ES3X are the 10 and the Westone 3 are then down to a 9.5 on a relative scale; while the Livewires and SE530 in custom shell are a 9.1 and the Phonak Audeo are a 9.0, Klispch Image X10 an 8.9, Freq Show and stock SE530 are an 8.8, Triple.fi 10 Pro an 8.7, Sleek SA6 an 8.6, q-JAYS an 8.5, NE-7M an 8.4, SE310 an 8.3, E4c an 8.2, ER6i an 8.1, Denon C700 an 8.0, Super.fi 5 Pro a 7.9, and so forth...

Disclaimer: These rankings open up a whole new can of worms and are subject to random changes at the will of the reviewer, which should be taken with a grain of salt as many of these IEM are no longer in my possession and auditory memory is short. Side effects include tingling down the leg, uncontrolled toe tapping, and silly grins.
I don't see the Livewires getting as much use as before, but I am afraid to take an $850 pair of customs out while shopping and playing, so they tend to stay on my desk with my laptop rig while the Livewires go out as my "beater" phones, although the W3 have been getting used more than the LW when I am out and about. To answer your question: I like to have backups - so in addition to the ES3X I would keep one of my three old pairs of customs as a backup, and sell the others if I could get most of my money back. That would mean getting rid of the Freq Show and SE530 customs. The SE530 customs are a collectors item and rare, and Freq seems to have shut down, so more of my OCD'ish sentimental stuff kicks in and I don't tend to take those out in public either. That leaves the Livewires and W3 as my beater phones because I can afford to replace them if they go missing.

As for the ES3X impressions, here are a couple more. I was listening to some jazz music last night and the pianos have never been so convincing, although the W3 came close before these do it even better. Vocals are so transparent the singer is in the room with you. My daughter had made a lossless 1411 kbps WAV binaural recording of her playing her guitar a while back, and I had left my lossless music playlist running where at the end of the list was her song - I jumped when her song came on as I thought she had just walked into the room with her guitar playing live and was looking for her. I was freaked out in an empty room, till I popped out the ES3X and realized that is where the music was coming from.
post #154 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
The ES3X are better than any of my custom or universal IEM, and better than all my dynamic headphones as well (except the K1000 which are on the way ). So, better than my Livewires - was pretty sure I said that somewhere.

The Livewires are fantastic, and I prefer them over the Phonak by a small margin (for overall balance, lack of complaints, fit and seal and isolation). I placed a rating in the Phonak thread of ES3X vs W3 vs Livewires vs Phonak.

HERE IT IS:



I don't see the Livewires getting as much use as before, but I am afraid to take an $850 pair of customs out while shopping and playing, so they tend to stay on my desk with my laptop rig while the Livewires go out as my "beater" phones, although the W3 have been getting used more than the LW when I am out and about. To answer your question: I like to have backups - so in addition to the ES3X I would keep one of my three old pairs of customs as a backup, and sell the others if I could get most of my money back. That would mean getting rid of the Freq Show and SE530 customs. The SE530 customs are a collectors item and rare, and Freq seems to have shut down, so more of my OCD'ish sentimental stuff kicks in and I don't tend to take those out in public either. That leaves the Livewires and W3 as my beater phones because I can afford to replace them if they go missing.

As for the ES3X impressions, here are a couple more. I was listening to some jazz music last night and the pianos have never been so convincing, although the W3 came close before these do it even better. Vocals are so transparent the singer is in the room with you. My daughter had made a lossless 1411 kbps WAV binaural recording of her playing her guitar a while back, and I had left my lossless music playlist running where at the end of the list was her song - I jumped when her song came on as I thought she had just walked into the room with her guitar playing live and was looking for her. I was freaked out in an empty room, till I popped out the ES3X and realized that is where the music was coming from.


Excellent these/Livewires might be it for me....I'm communicating with John right this moment.

Edit: How did you get Shure530 customs(Could you post pics) also do you think it's possible to get Phonak customs.....?
post #155 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
Excellent these/Livewires might be it for me....I'm communicating with John right this moment.

Edit: How did you get Shure530 customs(Could you post pics) also do you think it's possible to get Phonak customs.....?
It wasn't easy, and the plant that did the work and took 5 months to do it is no longer in business.
post #156 of 1867
How long is the normal turnaround to getting the ES3X after getting impressions at the audiologist? My appointment is next Tuesday, and I have a trip about 3 weeks later. Was hoping to be able to test it out during the trip
post #157 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey20 View Post
How long is the normal turnaround to getting the ES3X after getting impressions at the audiologist? My appointment is next Tuesday, and I have a trip about 3 weeks later. Was hoping to be able to test it out during the trip
Well, it can be as fast as 2 weeks, but shipping impressions from and IEM back to Oahu could push it past your vacation date. Ask if there is a fee you can pay to rush it, or to upgrade the shipping both ways.
post #158 of 1867
HPA - Do you have the UE-10 for comparision with the ES3X?
I mostly listen to classical music [orchestra,piano solos and chamber] and would like to know which iem will be better for my needs?
btw, do you think that those custom IEMs can compete with open back headphones in terms of the size and the imaging of the soundstage?

i like natural [which is also neutral for me] most details, transperent, cohesive and well imaged sound. [no colouration, only a micron of warmth]

so which iems will be better for me: ES3X/UE-10 or the AKG K702 at all? [i will use PICO as AMP and cowon D2 as DAC but will have DAC/AMP Pico].
post #159 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post
HPA - Do you have the UE-10 for comparision with the ES3X?
I mostly listen to classical music [orchestra,piano solos and chamber] and would like to know which iem will be better for my needs?
btw, do you think that those custom IEMs can compete with open back headphones in terms of the size and the imaging of the soundstage?

i like natural [which is also neutral for me] most details, transperent, cohesive and well imaged sound. [no colouration, only a micron of warmth]

so which iems will be better for me: ES3X/UE-10 or the AKG K702 at all? [i will use PICO as AMP and cowon D2 as DAC but will have DAC/AMP Pico].
I don't have UE10Pro to compare, sorry.

I think the ES3X are better than any of my full size closed back headphones and sound open and natural and totally unlike a closed headphone. There is a difference between headstage and soundstage with headphones. The ES3X match the natural transparent cohesive sound and well imaged headstage of my best open back headphones, and come close to my open back headphones in soundstage as well, but I don't think any IEM can match the soundstage of a good full size because the pinna of the ear is being ignored. So, while the ES3X have great headstage, and also they offer more out-of-head soundstage than any my previous IEM, they don't quite get the same out of head soundstage as my balanced HD600, Stax O2 or Senn HE60 driven by a top notch amp. Nevertheless, they are the best IEM that I have for classical and music where you are listening to something on a stage.

I had a pair of K701 and K702 here at my house two weeks ago for a head-fi meet, and I was doing the burn-in on the K702 for a week before the meet, and the ES3X will destroy the K702 for pulling off the illusion of being there, no question, and they even beat my APS V3 cabled RS-1 open phone.
post #160 of 1867
Any chance of more pics anyone, if possible I'd like to see how they look when wearing them
post #161 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post
HPA - Do you have the UE-10 for comparision with the ES3X?
I mostly listen to classical music [orchestra,piano solos and chamber] and would like to know which iem will be better for my needs?
btw, do you think that those custom IEMs can compete with open back headphones in terms of the size and the imaging of the soundstage?

i like natural [which is also neutral for me] most details, transperent, cohesive and well imaged sound. [no colouration, only a micron of warmth]

so which iems will be better for me: ES3X/UE-10 or the AKG K702 at all? [i will use PICO as AMP and cowon D2 as DAC but will have DAC/AMP Pico].


Agreed, I'm am searching for the same.....minus the micron of warmth....man the Phonaks rock. Now only if I can find a perfect copy....but better.
post #162 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confispect View Post
Agreed, I'm am searching for the same.....minus the micron of warmth....man the Phonaks rock. Now only if I can find a perfect copy....but better.
Don't be so scared - the ES3X are not like the W3 and they also kill the Phonak and Livewires. You asked for a perfect copy but better, so what are you waiting for?

Get the ES3X and if you don't like them, then I'll send you a free JVC Marshamallows or KSC75 for making a bad recommendation.
post #163 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Don't be so scared - the ES3X are not like the W3 and they also kill the Phonak and Livewires. You asked for a perfect copy but better, so what are you waiting for?

Get the ES3X and if you don't like them, then I'll send you a free JVC Marshamallows or KSC75 for making a bad recommendation.

J.....V.....C......sucks.....(My opinion before anyone jabs me with a lefty) Anyhow, ok now let me save up 850 and I'll get. Me promise.




EDIT: Hey I don't remember if I asked this question before but do these phones have a mid-bass hump?
post #164 of 1867
I think you asked that before, I think Larry said no
post #165 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey20 View Post
I think you asked that before, I think Larry said no

Thanks dad.
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