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Are (High-end) Custom IEMs Overrated? - Page 26  

post #376 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybertec69 View Post

Music_4321 apparently thinks iI should not post anymore in this thread or he will report me to the mods, is he for real, does anyone else in here think my posts have been offensive, I have never or will never degrade anyone, I am a member of many forums and have never been reprimanded by any mods, if you don't like my post don't read them.


Not quite right the way you put it. This is the actual PM I sent you, and your reply to it:

 

38x38px-ZC-b24e5f2a_104361-SparrowSongHead01aa.jpg
music_4321
Today at 9:58 pm

Please stop posting on the "Overrated" thread if you have nothing new to contribute. You've already expressed your views several times.

 

You seem to now want to provoke a reaction and derail this thread. If you continue to do so, I'll be forced to report you to the mods.

 

Thank you

38x38px-ZC-bb964209_avatar-120-9.jpg
cybertec69
Today at 10:46 pm
Are you for real, report me for what, get a life.

 

post #377 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuceka View Post



Before you state your opinion, why don't you just go ahead and do some more reading around here? There is no difference between customs and universals in terms of portability. In fact, one is likely to take care of their customs better in portable use than their universals... 

 

But most importantly if you've never owned a custom how do you form these opinions about that one would not be able to appreciate music fully due to environmental distractions? That's just ignorant conjecture. 
 

 

he was talking about iems in general not specific to universal or customs.  I think he is spot on and makes great points.  But personally for me, i like carrying all that crap around like a portable amp/dac, cause i am a techy nerdy ****.
 

 

post #378 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post




Owned JH13 and JH16 and while they sound better than all my universals, I think they are overpriced. 
 

 


what do you think their price point should be at?

 

post #379 of 467

Hard to say because all universals are sellable but customs take a dramatic beating on re-sale so that is also a factor when deciding to go custom or not but from strictly an SQ standpoint....

 

If SE535, W3, W4 and UM3X are in the $350-$400 range. I certainly can agree with JH5 also being at $400, maybe even $500.

 

But for the approximate 20-30% increase in SQ my ears heard with JH13 and JH16, and also factoring the law of diminishing returns, I could see these two at the $800 range but no more.  $1,200 and beyond is crazy.

 

Then factor in the risk that you may never get a proper balanced fit and it could really be a bad experience.  My JH16 fit perfectly but had a sound imbalance favoring one side.  Sent it back and they verified proper SPL from both sides yet there was nothing to fix with the fit.  Very frustrating!  I don't care how good or heavenly the sound is....if there is an imbalance it wrecks the entire presentation.  This simply cannot happen with a universal which is very comforting.

 

I'm not against customs at all.  I just think universals and tip options have really narrowed the SQ margin between universal and customs.


Edited by Spyro - 7/16/11 at 2:35pm
post #380 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by n-phect View Post



he was talking about iems in general not specific to universal or customs.  I think he is spot on and makes great points.  But personally for me, i like carrying all that crap around like a portable amp/dac, cause i am a techy nerdy ****.
 

 


 

Did you even read his post? 

 

"At one stage I was seriously contemplating going down the customs route, either UM or JHs however after reading some nightmares about fit issues and what not (well having to get it remoulded every couple of years) I decided against it. In hindsight, I don't actually see why people would even consider customs (apart from musicians etc). To me IEMs means portability - having to carry around the customs plus dac/amp while commuting etc, I just don't see it as practical nor do I believe one would truly appreciate the music the customs can produce due to environmental distractions. That leaves using custom IEMs in a semi fixed setup (at home or at work), would people not prefer full sized cans?

 

 

 

post #381 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuceka View Post




 

Did you even read his post? 

 

"At one stage I was seriously contemplating going down the customs route, either UM or JHs however after reading some nightmares about fit issues and what not (well having to get it remoulded every couple of years) I decided against it. In hindsight, I don't actually see why people would even consider customs (apart from musicians etc). To me IEMs means portability - having to carry around the customs plus dac/amp while commuting etc, I just don't see it as practical nor do I believe one would truly appreciate the music the customs can produce due to environmental distractions. That leaves using custom IEMs in a semi fixed setup (at home or at work), would people not prefer full sized cans?

 

 

 


your reading into it too much / too literally.  

 

from what i highlighted, i assume he is synonomously talking about IEMs in general and customs. Customs being a type of portable iem.  In no way does he infer that universals is the opposite of what he is saying or any different.

 

he is talking more about iems vs full size (thats how i read it)

 

so i would ask him if he would carry around a universal with a amp/dac..... or would he consider a custom iem with no amp/dac.

 

as for "environmental distractions" he totally lost me their.  The customs obviously have the best isolation of anything, so that makes utter nonsense.

 


Edited by n-phect - 7/16/11 at 2:53pm
post #382 of 467

When we had the UK Meet, I remember one person enjoying the SM3s just as much as the UM Aeros, albeit from different sources, and a few of the headphone guys thinking some JH13s with foamies bunged over the tips were nice but not 'wow' nice. As said, I only got to try out the Miracles and thought they were also nice, but I wasn't blown away (S:Flo2 w/Arrow amp). More than one person preferred the Mage to the Miracle that day (I know NuwIdol was definitely one of those people), although I didn't get to hear it and can't remember why they liked it more, but obviously the Mage is cheaper and has less drivers (say it ain't so!?!).

 

People getting the chance to listen to customs them without having had to drop $1k on them or whatever, seems to generally result in being less afraid, or at least not in a 'honeymoon period' when it comes to comparing them or saying what their weaknesses are (more people who do reviews on here should have an initial one, then make the effort to do a secondary review after a few months). 

 

Related to the above is that, in this poster's opinion, the headphone/desktop guys on HF seem generally more open about discussing the flaws or weaknesses with the flagship models like the HD800/LCD2/T1/HE6/Stax etc that they own. There's several reasons why I think this is, but generally they're all ones covered in here so far and I think it's quite important. Many of my hobbies/interests involve a 'custom' market, and in my experience there is a reluctance to sit with something for a bit and review it realistically after a period of time, when everyone else seems to be gushing praise and the vendors are posting as well.

 

As with speakers, and all A/V gear,  you reach a certain point of quality vs £/$ where it plateaus, and after that the gains become smaller and smaller. Unlike speakers, IEMs range from like $1-1000, which is a fairly small band of low/mid/hi stuff. Sometimes reading posts on here (usually first time custom owners), it's made out like their customs are Focal Grande Utopia BE's and their previous mid/top tier universals were something by Logitech for a computer desk, which I can't help feel is stretching plausibility a bit. A 20-30% improvement sounds more realistic (taking seal/isolation into account).

 


Edited by Somnambulist - 7/16/11 at 3:03pm
post #383 of 467

sounds about right, spot on.  Now i just need to know what 20-30 % means LOL

post #384 of 467

Audio enthusiasts that own custom IEMs do not buy portable DACs and other gear because they have to, they do it because they want to, they do not carry around a ton of gear because they have to, they do so because they want to. These types of enthusiasts obviously want the best they can afford or money can buy & they believe that owning custom IEMs is part of the "gear" needed to reach thier idea of nirvana. 

 

Customs have been around for over a decade, and I dare say non-customs have been around for a lot longer period of time, I think the public has spoken.  There is a demand for customs, the reasons for that demand may not be justifiable to some, or many, but obviously it is for enough for the CIEM industry to continue.

 

Prices are high, but the equipment, floor space, materials, parts, labor, and employee costs are very high, and these costs DO NOT go down as volume goes up, in fact in a lot of situations they go up as volume increases.  About the only item that goes down in price are the drivers, and you have to hit HUGE volume levels before they are willing to budge on price. Consider this, there are only 2 BAD manufacturers in the world, that is essentially a monopoly, they call the shots, and beyond that BADs are very labor intensive to make.There are about 3 UV liquid companies out there, LockTite, Egger & Dreve & their prices are essentially the same. There are only and hand full of UV light box companies out there that support this industry, and one should consider, most of this equipment falls under realm of "medical" and you know that keeps prices up.  (all the UV liquids are under FDA regulations) The equipment / tools are mostly out of audiology, and the dental field....

 

Even the "wire" used in an a CIEM cable can be found in electrodes used for EKG studies. (again medical grade equipment)

 

bottom line, it is expensive to build a CIEM.

 

Picture10.jpg

 

 

Dr. John Moulton

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

post #385 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by n-phect View Post

sounds about right, spot on.  Now i just need to know what 20-30 % means LOL


For an analogy, imagine the top line universals being the top of the line fully loaded 6 cylinder $30K level Accord, Camry or Maxima.  And the top line customs being the high end Mercedes, Lexus or Acura costing in the $60K-80K range.  While they are certainly better, how can you fault much about the first three?

 

By the way, unless I am mistaken I do not think acrylic customs provide tops in isolation.  I am guessing some sort of foam or comply tip would provide even better isolation.
 

 

post #386 of 467

Finally someone who knows what he is talking about has spoken : FullCircle. 

 

Also may I ask what those customs are in that picture and the name of the color? They look absolutely gorgeous. 

post #387 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

When we had the UK Meet, I remember one person enjoying the SM3s just as much as the UM Aeros, albeit from different sources, and a few of the headphone guys thinking some JH13s with foamies bunged over the tips were nice but not 'wow' nice. As said, I only got to try out the Miracles and thought they were also nice, but I wasn't blown away (S:Flo2 w/Arrow amp). More than one person preferred the Mage to the Miracle that day (I know NuwIdol was definitely one of those people), although I didn't get to hear it and can't remember why they liked it more, but obviously the Mage is cheaper and has less drivers (say it ain't so!?!).

 

People getting the chance to listen to customs them without having had to drop $1k on them or whatever, seems to generally result in being less afraid, or at least not in a 'honeymoon period' when it comes to comparing them or saying what their weaknesses are (more people who do reviews on here should have an initial one, then make the effort to do a secondary review after a few months). 

 

Related to the above is that, in this poster's opinion, the headphone/desktop guys on HF seem generally more open about discussing the flaws or weaknesses with the flagship models like the HD800/LCD2/T1/HE6/Stax etc that they own. There's several reasons why I think this is, but generally they're all ones covered in here so far and I think it's quite important. Many of my hobbies/interests involve a 'custom' market, and in my experience there is a reluctance to sit with something for a bit and review it realistically after a period of time, when everyone else seems to be gushing praise and the vendors are posting as well.

 

As with speakers, and all A/V gear,  you reach a certain point of quality vs £/$ where it plateaus, and after that the gains become smaller and smaller. Unlike speakers, IEMs range from like $1-1000, which is a fairly small band of low/mid/hi stuff. Sometimes reading posts on here (usually first time custom owners), it's made out like their customs are Focal Grande Utopia BE's and their previous mid/top tier universals were something by Logitech for a computer desk, which I can't help feel is stretching plausibility a bit. A 20-30% improvement sounds more realistic (taking seal/isolation into account).

 


And even 20-30% compared to some - not all - top-tier universals may be a bit of a stretch. Here we also need to take into account sound preferences and what we personally regard/define as good SQ - e.g. I've found my EX1000 & MDR-750 to be a good 30-35% better than the SM3, about 25% better than the SE535 & SE530, roughly 20% better than the IE8, some 10-15% better than the UM3X/TF10/CK100, and about 5-7% better than the W4.

 

Yesterday I received my MDR-7550s and, on the whole, they're ever so slightly better even (to these ears) than the EX1000. So, this evening I put my EX1000s up for sale, and the $350 MDR-7550s are 30% cheaper than the $500 EX1000, though both can be had now for $300 & $400 respectively from authorised dealers (still a 30% price difference).

 

In my particular case, if the only top-tier universals I knew were the SM3/SE530/SE535 and my universals EX1000 & MDR-7550 were not universals but customs and worth, say, $1000, I might have thought that 'my new set of customs' worth so much money had gived me that improved sound.

 

I'd still have to worry about extra costs, re-fits, resale value, shipping, ear impressions, etc.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/16/11 at 4:37pm
post #388 of 467

^ thats very interesting.  You listen to music that has less distinct bass though right?  Don't you listen to classical mostly?

post #389 of 467
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post

Audio enthusiasts that own custom IEMs do not buy portable DACs and other gear because they have to, they do it because they want to, they do not carry around a ton of gear because they have to, they do so because they want to. These types of enthusiasts obviously want the best they can afford or money can buy & they believe that owning custom IEMs is part of the "gear" needed to reach their idea of nirvana. 

 

Customs have been around for over a decade, and I dare say non-customs have been around for a lot longer period of time, I think the public has spoken.  There is a demand for customs, the reasons for that demand may not be justifiable to some, or many, but obviously it is for enough for the CIEM industry to continue.

 

Prices are high, but the equipment, floor space, materials, parts, labor, and employee costs are very high, and these costs DO NOT go down as volume goes up, in fact in a lot of situations they go up as volume increases.  About the only item that goes down in price are the drivers, and you have to hit HUGE volume levels before they are willing to budge on price. Consider this, there are only 2 BAD manufacturers in the world, that is essentially a monopoly, they call the shots, and beyond that BADs are very labor intensive to make.There are about 3 UV liquid companies out there, LockTite, Egger & Dreve & their prices are essentially the same. There are only and hand full of UV light box companies out there that support this industry, and one should consider, most of this equipment falls under realm of "medical" and you know that keeps prices up.  (all the UV liquids are under FDA regulations) The equipment / tools are mostly out of audiology, and the dental field....

 

Even the "wire" used in an a CIEM cable can be found in electrodes used for EKG studies. (again medical grade equipment)

 

bottom line, it is expensive to build a CIEM.

 

 


Obviously they do it because they want to, but in MANY cases they are made to want to, often believing all the hype that's often found round these forum threads and elsewhere. It was discussed early in this thread (2 years ago) how so many young(er) people are 'wanting' to get customs - these are often the ones who tend to be rather too 'enthusiastic' once they get their sets. Some of them learn to use all the 'correct' audio jargon and begin to even sound knowledgeable & experienced.
 
You often get people coming looking for a good IEM only, and suddenly they find themselves 'wanting' customs, aftermarket cables, amps, DACs, etc. Yes, we would all love to have the best of the best and get the best prices for such items, but what is often regarded as the best isn't in many instances necessarily so. In the case of all this audio gear, add a bit of jargon here and there, sometimes a bit of shilling and some reviews/marketing by people who often get free samples or large discounts from manufacturers, getting always the best CS & QC, ie usually impeccably finished products, and who will be 'very friendly & 'eager to help' you... well, you catch my drift. I am sceptical - I like to think it is healthy scepticism - but I am not cynical.  
 
As for all the costs you mention, I'm afraid I'll take some of your explanations with a grain of salt. There are some quite significant differences in pricing between manufacturers, and I don't necessarily believe it's always to do with "Well, these are better quality customs, so you have to pay more for them", "Not all manufacturers are the same". While I do believe there's some truth in those statements, I believe they can also be pretty misleading.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/16/11 at 4:06pm
post #390 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n-phect View Post

You listen to music that has less distinct bass though right? 


Wrong.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by n-phect View Post

Don't you listen to classical mostly?


A lot of classical, but a lot of other stuff too.

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