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Are (High-end) Custom IEMs Overrated? - Page 18  

post #256 of 467


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post



You have the option to have the drivers tuned to a deficiency in your hearing or other reason and the positioning of the drivers are customized to your ear canal dimensions. Also, custom IEM's are able to use more and improved drivers which isn't always the deciding factor in overall SQ but it sure does help.
 

 


erm, i wasn't given that option, when i requested for more treble, they said it couldnt be done

 

post #257 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post


 


erm, i wasn't given that option, when i requested for more treble, they said it couldnt be done

 


Who was the manufacturer?

 

post #258 of 467

^Sounds like a non-customizable customs confused_face.gif

post #259 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post


Who was the manufacturer?


1964.

 

post #260 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

So it's established that two HFers believe the 64 quads are overrated, which is fine. I have no reason to doubt it in their specific cases.

 

As a counter view, I just sold my W4s (I had custom sleeves for them) and kept my JH5s, which are customs, and not because I am embarrassed to say the JH5s are not very good and won't admit it, or I can't resell the JH5s, or anything like that. Head to head, I truly and sincerely find the JH5s to be a superior in-ear phone to the W4s for my tastes, and they cost about the same when I bought them both. I do have an expensive aftermarket cable on the JH5s (I know some here would doubt that makes any difference), but just so it's clear the JH45s are not stock.

 

I've owned a few other "top tier" IEMs as well, including the Sony EX1000s, recently. Sent them back. Not better than the JH5s either, not for sound, and certainly in my case not for fit or usability (they suck outside if it's windy). And the Sonys were $526, though they have since dropped in price.

 

To be completely honest, I believe the Spider realvoice IEMs, which cost $89, are not all that far from the W4s, honest. And it's the second reason I sold the W4s.

 

My point here is to say that sure, some customs are overrated (by some owners), some are not. Same with universals. The entire situation is so gray, it becomes a moot point to argue.

 

 

You paid $526 for the EX1000s, yet you don't mention they can now be had for $360 - $400, you only say "they have dropped in price". You also took advantage of Sony's return policy and only had to pay for return shipping.
 
Not only can you not get a similar 20-30% discount on the JH5s or most other customs, but if you don't like them, you cannot send them back and get your money back (including cost of ear impressions).
 
How many more times, I wonder, do you have to say you had the W4 & EX1000 and that you prefer the JH5s? I remember you said your W4s came close to your JH5s but had a different sound signature, (yes, I know you've always said the JH5s are your # 1 IEM) and that's why you kept such an expensive universal for 4 months. So, I guess the $89 Spider realvoice IEMs are also close to your JH5s, then, or have the W4s suddenly become so much worse than the JH5s and much closer to the $89 Spider phones?
 
You say "The entire situation is so gray, it becomes a moot point to argue." Well, that is your point of view, which you have already mentioned. I don't think it's as "grey" as you make it out to be.
 
You also say: "So it's established that two HFers believe the 64 quads are overrated, which is fine." The point here is that there seems to be a pattern where those not convinced by, or happy with, their customs, will often not talk about it, or only do so very briefly. The fact they are practically forced to sell their sets on HF plays an important part in their keeping quiet about it. Of course, there may be the odd person or two who genuinely just doesn't want to talk about it or interact (once again) with those constant posters who keep claiming their customs are so much better than ALL universals.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 12:09am
post #261 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

This is from a post in a JH5 thread started by a HFer name pizzafilms, whose take on the JH5s led me to buy them. I still owe him. It's an interesting take on these three JH customs, FWIW. It also is relevant to my view that customs, at least the ones I own, are not overrated compared to the universals I have heard/owned. I still feel lucky to have chosen the JH5s, as I didn't need the extra 5-10 percent if that's the reality.

 

 

To be fair, I listened to the 5's, 7's and 13's in a Starbucks, going from one to the other and back within about a half an hour, so keep that in mind.

 

I'd say that the 7's had a tick too much bass for my ears. They were still very musical, but they'd probably be better suited for a drummer, bass player or someone who listens to a lot of rap/hip hop. And no, to me, they were not $300 better. Even if they were the same price as the 5's, I would have chosen the 5's.

 

The 5's were smoother and more natural to me. They were slightly warm, and not lacking in bass...when it was on the track, the 5's served it up nicely. I'd also say that the mids were SLIGHTLY recessed...and I do mean slightly. It's not at all like you could just hear the high driver and the low driver and the mids suffered...not at all. If anything, it's what make them sound so natural and comfortable. The highs are absolutely there, clean and natural.

 

To me, the competition was between the 5's and the 13's. The 13's, although seemingly completely different technology, sounded like a better version of the 5's. The lows go way lower, and highs go higher. BUT...to me, there wasn't a $700 difference. Not at all. The 13's are worth their price, most definitely, but the 5's should be priced way higher. To me, if the 13's are $1100, then based on that, the 5's should be $900. That's my opinion, of course.

 

I use the 5's for stage monitoring as well. I play keyboards and mix live music, so highs are absolutely critical to me as well.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

I will remind you and others of what was written here 4 weeks ago by another JH5 owner:

 

"I guess if you were to ask me if I would buy the JH5's all over again knowing what I know now I don't know if I could say yes. I enjoy them plenty, and they were a very enjoyable purchase. I also liked the experience I gained regarding customs and impressions and all that through the purchase. However, if I could have gained that level of knowledge and personal insight without spending the money would I? I don't really know....I was and still would be completely happy with just my CK10's...." 

 

Here's the full post.
 

 

post #262 of 467

Woody.jpgWoody2.jpgWoody3.jpg

Each one of those required over 24 hrs of build time. The woods used were from Laos and the hills of Northern Thailand.

The skill sets required to build those took 4 years of practice. Selecting the right components, drivers, tubeing diameters, sourceing the premium capacitors etc, another knowledge base that required years of development. The knowledge base regarding the physics of sound etc etc, another great deal of time.  True bespoke works of art, are a complex marvel of art and engineering.

 

The question is, are CIEMs over rated....

 

Part of the answer is determined by who built them.

 

You can see other works on my face book: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1230330436&sk=photos   and  

and some of the build techniques and equipment is on the FB page (search the 20 driver CIEM page)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post





yup, but the process isn't as difficult as one would imagine, after carefully observing my customs, the build isn't as diificult as it is made out to be. now a disclaimer, i have never made any custom nor will i in the near future, but if somebody gave me the equipment, uv light gun, molding material and the materials along with schematics for the internals, I could pull it off ( I do realize this is a bold statement, but customs aren't complex marvels of engineering , the internals are practically the same as universals (at least in my case, 1964 quads where the sound signature and in general was far from impressing to my ears) 



 


Edited by FullCircle - 7/4/11 at 4:57am

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

post #263 of 467
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post


Each one of those required over 24 hrs of build time. The woods used were from Laos and the hills of Northern Thailand.

The skill sets required to build those took 4 years of practice. Selecting the right components, drivers, tubeing diameters, sourceing the premium capacitors etc, another knowledge base that required years of development. The knowledge base regarding the physics of sound etc etc, another great deal of time.  True bespoke works of art, are a complex marvel of art and engineering.

 

The question is, are CIEMs over rated....

 

Part of the answer is determined by who built them.

 


Perhaps there are customs that take 24 hrs to be built - maybe longer even. There's also such a thing as a Rolls Royce or a violin made by a Luthier
 
I think the customs we're generally discussing here do NOT take 24 hrs to be built, not by a very, very, VERY long shot. It's as if I chose to speak about top-tier universals, for instance, and spoke of the FI-BA-SS worth $1,100 or the AKG K3003 worth around $1,500, rather than average top-tier universals that cost $300-$400, which do represent the norm.
 
To say that "part of the answer is determined by who built them" to determine whether customs are overrated or not is, quite frankly, misleading as we're mostly talking about the major players here (Westone, Ultimate Ears, JHA, Unique Melody, etc., and one 'popular' newcomer, 1964 Ears). When we talk about top-tier universals we're also often talking about the better known brands (Westone, Shure, Ultimate Ears, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Sony, etc).
 
I'm sorry to say this, but it seems to me you're (somehow) suggesting that because it is 1964 Ears buffalowings was talking about, then for some reason those particular customs may indeed be overrated while others aren't. There have been people who have spoken of their high-end Westone, JHA, UE customs who think those products may indeed be overrated or at least not significantly better than some top-tier universals, and that's not even talking about the whole customs buying experience of getting ear impressions, refits and so on (+ added costs).
 
Unless you're suggesting that ALL customs by all those manufacturers mentioned above are overrated, but not the ones you are referring to (in the photos). 

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 6:05am
post #264 of 467

 

"To say that "part of the answer is determined by who built them" to determine whether customs are overrated or not is, quite frankly, misleading as we're mostly talking about the major players here (Westone, Ultimate Ears, JHA, Unique Melody, etc., and one 'popular' newcomer, 1964 Ears).  "

 

To assume all custom manufacturers are all the same, is misleading and even produce the same product is misleading.  Every CIEM company is different, from top to bottom, from selected internals to business models, they are all different, and every one of those differences determine final product.

 

About the only thing they have in common are the use of BA's and UV acrylic, from that point on, there is little in common.

 

Personally, I like my non-customs for certain event/activities & I like my customs for certain event/activities.  They play two different roles & so frankly it is hard for me to compare.

 

But as I have said before on this topic, in my build experience, at this point in time I have yet to build a non-custom with the same sound quality that I can build customs. I firmly believe this is due to the amount of drivers I can use in my customs. I absolutley love the ER4P, but compared to my 6/8/10 driver in SQ....  the ER4P comes up short.

 

That said, my customs compared to ease of use, comfort etc etc....  they do not stand a chance compared to the ER4P or any of my non-custom builds.

 

It is not an apples to apples comparison.

 

and I would like to add, I do this as a hobby, at this point in time I do not offer my builds to the public.

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

post #265 of 467
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post

 

To assume all custom manufacturers are all the same, is misleading and even produce the same product is misleading.  Every CIEM company is different, from top to bottom, from selected internals to business models, they are all different, and every one of those differences determine final product.

 

But as I have said before on this topic, in my build experience, at this point in time I have yet to build a non-custom with the same sound quality that I can build customs. I firmly believe this is due to the amount of drivers I can use in my customs. I absolutley love the ER4P, but compared to my 6/8/10 driver in SQ....  the ER4P comes up short.

 

 


"To assume all custom manufacturers are all the same, is misleading and even produce the same product is misleading.  Every CIEM company is different, from top to bottom, from selected internals to business models, they are all different, and every one of those differences determine final product".
 
I agree with the above statement and I have, in fact, rather strong views on some of the business practices of some of these companies (including some of the shills I've come across in these forums).
 
I do not assume all customs manufacturers are the same and if I, for instance, was considering getting customs again right now, I'd very likely go with Future Sonics or Westone. I'm personally prepared to pay a premium for what I ultimately consider to be a better sounding product, which implies a company will have invested in R&D and will offer excellent QC & CS.
 
The (main) premise of this thread is not whether some universal IEMs sound as good as some customs or not - clearly some of them do - but that some of the claims VERY often made about customs are vastly exaggerated, and that there's misleading information and quite a bit of misunderstanding about the whole process. And other issues harder to explain and prove, but no less important.
 
I've also stated, for instance, that my favourite universal, the $400-$500 Sony EX1000 is not suitable for, or recommended to, the vast majority of people. I've often suggested getting a much cheaper universal (EX600, CKM99, UM2) that will offer fantastic SQ, perhaps even detachable cables and even excellent build-quality. It is also often seen in top-tier universal threads that X or Y universal destroys all other (cheaper) universals -- similar type of hype & exaggeration seen in customs threads, except that in the case of a wrong universal IEM purchase, you may return it (and just cover return shipping costs) or sell it and get a good chunk of your money back, and the asking price is always 100% clear. Not the case with customs.
 
And I'll say this again: Customs are OK and the best option for some people, whether they are musicians or so-call audiophiles, but they're not suitable, recommended or that much worth it for many other people as it often seems to be suggested in so many threads on HF.
 
With regards to the customs you personally build, of course I'd be curious to hear some of your 6/8/10 BA customs and see (or hear rather) if they are (significantly) better sounding than some of the best universals I've heard. They may well be better, but I do wonder just how much better - if at all. BTW, the ER4P is an IEM I've yet to try, but judging by many, many reviews I've come across I get the impression they won't get that close to some of the best universals I've heard, but I still remain genuinely curious to hear it for myself as the ER4P remains a highly regarded IEM
 

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 7:41am
post #266 of 467

I have the 1964-T, and I am very satisfied with it.  I'm into very accurate and transparent sound, and the triples has delivered that under $400.  I've read comments about few people's dissatifaction with the treble on the quads, but I think that has more to do with your sound preference.  You are going to be faced with that risk for customs.  Those few that do not like the quad may like the triples.  Who knows.


Edited by Sinue - 7/4/11 at 8:54am
post #267 of 467



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post




You'd better do your homework: Perhaps start by reading beyond page 2 of this thread. Some of the claims you make are simply wrong and I won't waste my time pointing them out for you. But I have a strong feeling that no matter what I and others may say, you'll be convinced your JH16s are it. So, perhaps better not read the rest of this thread or do your homework.

 

Enjoy your 'Ferrari'.

 



Like I said, do not comment if you have never experienced a quality custom IEM. If you haven't means you can't compare, and since you can't compare you should not comment. It's like someone saying, coca cola is better than Pepsi, even though they have never tasted Pepsi.

 


Edited by cybertec69 - 7/4/11 at 8:02am
post #268 of 467

FullCircle: That pair looks amazing!

 

So, I've been lurking around head-fi for about a year now and finally stopped being lazy and made an account to post etc...

Now that that's out of the way, I have been seriously looking into custom IEM's for a while now and I think this has been the most useful thread I have read about them on this site

 

The decision I came to was that custom's are cool no doubt but due to the price (and the hassle i.e. getting molds, refits, etc) I think they are more of a luxury buy rather than a utility buy

will buy customs in the future to see what all the fuss is about but I think in terms of pure sound improvements they will not offer benefits that cannot be had for cheaper by universals or headphones (and for the cost of some top tier customs, there are some amazing speakers that can be had)

 

(Of course this is just my take on the matter and take it for what you will considering I don't own a pair of customs, maybe pointing out what can be had at the same price range will be helpful to someone on the fence)

post #269 of 467



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skanda View Post

Full Circle: That pair looks amazing!

 

So, I've been lurking around head-fi for about a year now and finally stopped being lazy and made an account to post etc...

Now that that's out of the way, I have been seriously looking into custom IEM's for a while now and I think this has been the most useful thread I have read about them on this site

 

The decision I came to was that custom's are cool no doubt but due to the price (and the hassle i.e. getting molds, refits, etc) I think they are more of a luxury buy rather than a utility buy

will buy customs in the future to see what all the fuss is about but I think in terms of pure sound improvements they will not offer benefits that cannot be had for cheaper by universals or headphones (and for the cost of some top tier customs, there are some amazing speakers that can be had)

 

(Of course this is just my take on the matter and take it for what you will considering I don't own a pair of customs, maybe pointing out what can be had at the same price range will be helpful to someone on the fence)



I found it to be very easy to get molds done, called my local audiologist "5 minutes on the phone" and she said of course we do ear molds " they do molds for westone hearing aids and IEM's",  I made an appointment, and all it took was half and hour and $30, and I was walking out of her office with my ear molds in a box, which where send to JH Audio, and one and a half week later had my custom IEM's. No hassle at all.

 


Edited by cybertec69 - 7/4/11 at 8:09am
post #270 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybertec69 View Post



 



Like I said, do not comment if you have never experienced a quality custom IEM. If you haven't means you can't compare, and since you can't compare you should not comment. It's like someone saying, coca cola is better than Pepsi, even though they have never tasted Pepsi.

 


He's not saying Coca Cola ( Universals ) is better than Pepsi ( Customs ). He's saying that Pepsi isn't that much better than Coca Cola yet while not hearing the top of the line customs. So his opinion is still invalid.

 

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