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Are (High-end) Custom IEMs Overrated? - Page 19  

post #271 of 467
Thread Starter 
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.

 

 

Apparently there are some who have actually tried Pepsi and dared to comment that the taste is not as amazing as some claim. Me? I've only tried the utterly mediocre $850 ES3X, the equivalent of tap water from the Thames, of course.

 

Like I said, enjoy your 'Ferrari'/Pepsi.
 

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 8:17am
post #272 of 467

Let me rephrase, I did not want to imply that there always is a hassle BUT should the situation arise that your mold wasn't perfect, or damaged in shipping, etc the whole process of getting that mess sorted out can be a real pain and has been one of the big reasons why I have avoided customs at this point in time. Another point I was trying to make is that the price of the custom is only a part of the final price. With needing refits etc, shipping costs start adding up and as mentioned earlier in the thread, a 1200 dollar pair of JH16's can easily balloon  to 15-1600 dollars. Is this always the case? Certainly not. I am sure the process cannot be that annoying (otherwise it would not be so popular) but if (maybe when?) problems arise, it is not as easy as just taking them back to the store and returning them (maybe it is and I am misinformed)

post #273 of 467



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post




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.

 



I can understand how some people can't fathom how much better custom IEM's can be do to the sheer cost associated with custom IEM's, heck, it took me quite some time to convince myself to go that route, and let me tell you I am glad that I did, I will never again spend another one of my hard earned dollars on a universal IEM, until you actually experience the sheer sonic pleasure of a quality custom IEM, then you will never know, all I know is that my JH16's make any universal IEM sound weak in comparison, and I own universal IEM's, Klipsch custom 3's which I still like and listen to on certain occasions, or Senheiser ie8, but once I plug in those JH16's into my ear canals, I can tell what I am missing, and that is pure audio bliss.   

 

post #274 of 467

From my experience with customs(my 1964-Ts).  What sets it apart from universals when it comes to sound is the tightness of the bass and the treble without any amping.  My triples are so sensitive, out of any heaphone out is sufficient to get sound that is refined.  Universals on the other hand, seems to require amping for refined sound.  I can't explain why, it may have to do the insertion depth, sensitivity, and the seal?

post #275 of 467
Thread Starter 


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.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post


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.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybertec69 View Post


I can understand how some people can't fathom how much better custom IEM's can be do to the sheer cost associated with custom IEM's, heck, it took me quite some time to convince myself to go that route, and let me tell you I am glad that I did, I will never again spend another one of my hard earned dollars on a universal IEM, until you actually experience the sheer sonic pleasure of a quality custom IEM, then you will never know, all I know is that my JH16's make any universal IEM sound weak in comparison, and I own universal IEM's, Klipsch custom 3's which I still like and listen to on certain occasions, or Senheiser ie8, but once I plug in those JH16's into my ear canals, I can tell what I am missing, and that is pure audio bliss.   

 

 

I don't even know why I even bother to write this when I'm fully aware that no matter what arguments are presented...anyway...

 

How very convenient, once again, to ignore posts by those who have actually owned some of those so-called "top of the line customs" and seemed to disagree with both of you and perhaps even dared to agree completely or to a large extent with that utterly ignorant character, music_4321.

 

Haven't you made your point already? Aren't there PLENTY of threads full of people who share your exact same views? Unfortunately, this is not exclusive to so-called "top of the line customs" threads, but this is also the pattern seen in most other customs threads - the hype, exaggeration and downright fanboyism with the usual comments such as "If you haven't heard X custom IEM, what do you know?"

 

I'm 100% convinced that if I didn't own the $850 ES3X and had, say, the JH5, I'd be told exactly the same. So, I'm told by some people now that I haven't heard the 6/8/10/20/30/50 driver BA custom by X manufacturer. There are, in fact, those who actually prefer a triple-driver IEM like the $1000 UERM over the 6-driver JH13 and 8-driver JH16 or the $850 ES3X over a $950 ES5. I also know that to most people more means better, specially if they've already spent the money on such an expensive product. So, if I owned the ES5, those same people would probably be saying "Well, it's only 5 drivers, not 6 or 8, 10, 20". Of course, there are a few reports of people actually preferring the ES5 over the JH13 & JH16. But this is also conveniently ignored by those who have those multi-billion-driver IEM.

 

And if I owned the JH13 or JH16 and still expressed the same views, I'd very likely be told it's either not my preferred sound sig, or that my source is wrong, the bitrate is wrong, or that there's something wrong with my hearing, or that I may need to see an exorcist.

 

I suggest both of you take your fanboyism elsewhere or at the very least spend a few minutes reading all the posts in this thread and try and come up with something slightly more substantial.

 

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 9:31am
post #276 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

No problem with that at all. He did also say in the same post that the JH5s were better for critical listening. Just wanted to make that point. I would never say that customs are ALWAYS the best choice for every circumstance, only that they are best for me when it comes to optimal listening (though I do even use them out and about now and again). I also own many other pair of IEMs, all universals, so obviously there is room for both in my world.
 


You seem to imply I conveniently left that part out of SolidSnake's post. Well, his actual words were not quite what you quoted but this: "To be honest, I would have a hard time telling you that the JH5's are better than my beloved CK10's in anything other than really heavy critical listening."

 

I actually also left out his opening statement: "My own personal trip into custom land with the JH5's after owning and trying many universal IEM's has led me to findings somewhat similar to those in this thread".

 

Here's SolidSnake's full post (again).

 

Feel free to respond again, yet again. And like I said to you once before, I'm not engaging with you any further after your latest posts. Seems to me you have this constant need to come and post in this thread and remind people that your JH5s are better than the EX1000 & the W4s, which for a while you claimed sounded almost as good as your JH5s but now, suddenly, are no more enjoyable than your $89 Spider IEMs, which of course cannot touch your all-might JH5s. Why not start your own JH5 thread and rave away, and remind HF'ers what a useless & ridiculous thread this is and just what a rip-ff the W4s & EX1000s are.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/4/11 at 11:49am
post #277 of 467

Well I feel quite honored to have my previous post quoted so much wink.gif

 

Anyhow, my statements regarding that post still stand. If I'm focusing intently on particular aspects of a song I am able to tell that the JH5's are slightly more clear, defined and have a harder hitting bass than the CK10's. HOWEVER, when I am listening at this level I am not truly enjoying the music, I'm dissecting it to try and tell pieces of gear apart and determine a "winner". Point being, the level of listening and focusing I need to engage in to tell that the JH5's are better essentially ruins the enjoyment and fun part of listening to music for me. Instead of just singing/humming along and attempting to mimic Slash the best I can, I'm staring at the wall trying to determine which has the more defined guitar sound.

 

At that point, I'm not really listening to music anymore which, I thought, is what this stuff was all about...

post #278 of 467

Well, just to put in my 2 cents after having heard two demos of what are currently considered high-end customs, the JH13 and UERM, I tend to agree with dfkt that the whole customs vs. universals thing is blown way out of proportion. From reading most of the custom threads and some of the posts here, one might get the expectation that those customs are in a completely different league - and that's just not what I'm hearing with my own two ears. Alright, I'm aware that demos might not be all that close to the final product, but neither my dealer (who lent me the demos and has heard the real things), nor any of the fellow members I've asked for advice, tried to convince me that the full customs will sound miles better than the demos. So that's saying something, at least in my book.

 

Having said that, the UERM-D may well be the best pair of "universals" I've heard so far and thus convinced me to go the whole way and order the full custom version. While sounding somewhat akin to the W4, they do a few things even better, like clarity and detail resolution, but overall these are still rather slight improvements, not a day vs. night difference. The JH13-D on the other hand did a few things worse than the W4 in my book, but again I've found no world-shattering differences, just rather tiny nuances here and there.

 

Moreover, after having heard two high-end custom demos, I'm convinced that some of the claims I've read are simply myths, e.g. that customs have "by far the largest soundstage". Neither the JH13-D, nor the UERM-D had significantly larger soundstage than any of the closed universals I've heard, and any of my vented favorite universals (FI-BA-SS, EX1000) have more expansive soundstage and a more open feel than both custom demos. (Granted, this might be a different story with vented customs like the FS or UM Merlins). Another example would involve the infamous t-word, but with regard to the owner of this thread I won't go into further detail (PM me if interested).

 

So why did I still decide to order the UERM after this rather ambivalent assessment? Anaxilus posted one of the best reasons: isolation. My favorite universals are all lacking isolation (W4 is best, but still no more than average) and my best isolating IEMs (SE530, MC5) are far from being my favorites. I'm really looking forward to having one pair of IEMs that has both excellent SQ and excellent isolation. Second reason: I'm really really interested in how much better the final product will sound, though I'd be content if they just sounded like the demos.

 

Are high-end customs overrated? Well, from reading certain threads I certainly had higher expectations. Let me put it this way: having listened to these demos left me with the impression that we're still talking about mortals, not gods. Will the full thing be worth it in the end? Well, I still have everything ahead of me, getting impressions, the wait, hoping they'll fit, possible frustration over re-fits, etc...

 

Last not least, I haven't talked about money so far (and my friend music won't let this pass unnoticed ;-). So let's just say I'm in the fortunate position of being able to afford the adventure. If I had to save up or sell my EX1000 and W4... Don't know for sure, but I tend to think I'd rather take a pass in that case. All high-end audio thrives on exaggerating rather minute differences. Why would anyone actually believe that customs are the exception from the rule?

post #279 of 467
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

 

...Another example would involve the infamous t-word, but with regard to the owner of this thread I won't go into further detail (PM me if interested).

 


Let me remind you that you are one of the few people I don't mind one bit if they use the T word. However, once you do use it, there may be some rather unfortunate unintended consequences.  ;)

 

post #280 of 467

Yea, I agree with a lot of that.  I found that todays latest high end universals are just that much closer to to the customs....versus the customs being all that much better than the universals.  But I do find isolation with universals with complys superior to custom acrylics, but not by all that much.

 

Also, to my ears JH13 and W4 were about as far different on the spectrum of sound of perhaps any two high end IEM's could be.  JH13, the undeniable master at speed, detail retrieval and transparency...sharp articulate, treble monster!.  My ears heard W4 as mellow, laid back and a bit veiled....basically opposite the JH13.  Perhaps our different sources, who knows.

 

For now, I am completely content alternating between my JH5 and W3.  Since I don"t do amps, I don't see anything being worth the investment for the moderate increase in SQ.  That's just the way it is for me.

 

But if JHAudio comes out with a 4 or 5 driver universal for $500....yea, I will be all over it!

 

 


Edited by Spyro - 7/4/11 at 3:33pm
post #281 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

Nice to be appreciated, huh?o2smile.gif

 

I am just glad I have no such struggles when I listen to the JH5s, my ears are just not that good. No doubt it's the same reason why the $89 Spider realvoice's sound so good to me as well. But I understand your feelings completely. For me, when I plug in the JH5s, that's exactly what I am doing ... listening and enjoying myself, which, as you say, is what this stuff is all about.

I don't mind it too much wink.gif

 

Anyhow, its not that I have any sort of struggle when listening to my JH5's. This only comes about when/if I'm trying to determine in what aspects they are better than the CK10's. If I am listening to either the JH5's or CK10's to just enjoy some music they are both equally enjoyable. In this regard I don't find either one to be better than the other. On a strictly technical level the JH5's is SLIGHTLY better than the CK10's however this comes at a noticeably higher cost ($220 vs. $400+) and also the significant decrease in resale should I ever find myself in a position to need or want to sell them. 

 

Following a bit of what james said, I, prior to getting my JH5's thought they were going to be a leap ahead of every top tier universal I had ever heard. The actual truth however is that they were more like a small step ahead. It is important to note that they are/were a step ahead in that they are better but I do agree with the idea that how much better has been exaggerated quite a bit. I can't say if this remains true for the top tier customs or not since I really have no desire or financial means to find out. Regardless, if diminishing returns combined with the degree of sound quality inflation I felt regarding the JH5's is an indicator, than it may be safe to at least entertain the idea that the top tier customs don't fair a whole lot better when all the hype, excitement and personal sound signature preferences are stripped away
 

 

post #282 of 467

I've only heard the demos of the UM Miracles (UK Meet). Better than all the other IEMs I heard that day, yes. Miles better/league above, night and day? No. It was a definite step up, but I didn't feel like I'd crossed a huge gulf into some kind of exclusive audio-nirvana . I still want customs but I'm not expecting them to change my life. I'm looking forward to seeing how Average Joe thinks his new JH16s compare to some of the European customs he owns, and indeed some of the cheaper ones.

post #283 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Also, to my ears JH13 and W4 were about as far different on the spectrum of sound of perhaps any two high end IEM's could be.  JH13, the undeniable master at speed, detail retrieval and transparency...sharp articulate, treble monster!.  My ears heard W4 as mellow, laid back and a bit veiled....basically opposite the JH13.  Perhaps our different sources, who knows.

 

I actually meant there's only a small difference in sound quality, not sound signature. I thought the JH13 had undeniably excellent fast and dynamic drivers, but lacked subtlety and refinement. The treble was borderline splashy and sibilant, a bit reminiscant of the CK10 to my ears. The bass was impressively punchy but less balanced than the W4's. The W4's are pretty unspectacular at first listen, but over time you realize that there's more to them than meets the eye. Overall I believe the W4 are a product of better craftsmanship than the JH13 demo I've heard.

post #284 of 467



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidSnake3 View Post



 

Following a bit of what james said, I, prior to getting my JH5's thought they were going to be a leap ahead of every top tier universal I had ever heard. The actual truth however is that they were more like a small step ahead. It is important to note that they are/were a step ahead in that they are better but I do agree with the idea that how much better has been exaggerated quite a bit.

 

I agree and would give them just a tiny edge over top universals and most agree.  It's seems when people jump up to $1,000-1,200 customs where the real diminishing returns reveal themselves.

post #285 of 467

Well I certainly hope that is not the case.  I kinda thought that about hi end audio people at first. It seemed like it all might be a case of the kings clothes,  just a club for people that had more money than sense and were looking for a ways to show it off. 

 

Then I discovered that there was really something to it with some good quality phones like the PX100 and later with the SE530.  I really enjoyed the dramatic increase in enjoyment I got from the extra detail and sound quality that had not been there before.  

 

Now I'm going from SE530 to JH16.  I am expecting about a x2 increase in overall sq, and will be quite disappointed if that is not the case.  If it's not a "wow" experience coming from the SE530, then I will feel like I got hosed.  However that won't prevent me from giving an honest opinion of them here (though I don't have any serious audiophile credentials).  I'm just an average guy looking for the best sound available and hoping I've found it. 

 

If ends up being a case of the kings clothes, or a ton of money for a 10% increase in sq over the SE530 I will not hesitate to say so. I'm not interested in being a fanboy, or trying to cover up spending a fortune on something that's not worth it by gushing about it.  I guess I will know the truth of this soon enough, and will post my findings here.  (after I have had some time to really listen to them.)

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