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Are (High-end) Custom IEMs Overrated? - Page 31  

post #451 of 467

deleted

Dr. John Moulton

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

post #452 of 467

I see no rift. I just see people presenting their views (so far respectfully). But I believe that universals and customs can exist side-by-side in peace. Like I said earlier, my favorite iem is a custom, yet I can't tear this Sony universal EX600 out of my ears. I don't think it is better technically than the Quad, but I love its sound sig just as much as I love my custom's sound sig (but they don't sound anything like each other).

post #453 of 467

I know the feeling, I have my ER4Ps in right now....  Ahhhh the comfort (for me any how).

Dr. John Moulton

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

post #454 of 467
Thread Starter 

Here's an excerpt of something I posted 7 months ago in a different thread:

 

As for not being anyone's business how much one pays for a product or whether it was free or heavily discounted -- something that happens here on HF and no that infrequently --, this happens in most industries, namely that the person doing a review will likely get 'special treatment' either by getting freebies or samples or at the very least the company will make sure the product being used for reviewing purposes is in absolutely perfect condition, this is specially true of products that are not mass-produced. The same product may not have the same QC control when sold to the general consumer. When a restaurant knows a well-known food critic will be visiting their premises, it is often the case that the critic will say something along the lines of "both food & service were absolutely superb". Not always the same superb food & service is had when the restaurant in question doesn't know who their new customer is.

There is a highly regarded consumer magazine in the UK called Which?, which was first published in 1957, 53 years ago! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Which%3F -- they state "No advertising, no bias, no hidden agenda ". From Wikipedia: It maintains its independence by not accepting advertising or freebies; everything bought for testing is paid for at full price. Which? is funded entirely by its subscribers and has no shareholders. This justifies its tagline of "Independent expert advice you can trust".

Which? carries out systematic testing of consumer products and financial services, the results of which are published in reports in the magazine and on the website. The Which? 'Best Buy' tag is well-known and respected by industry and consumers. Tests are carried out on consumer items like electrical goods, cars, and computers, as well as health and financial services, and supermarkets. Testing highlights issues such as reliability and value-for-money.


The subscription to this magazine is not cheap, £9.75 ($15.30) a month, but it's for one reason: revenue comes from subscribers - the consumers- and not from advertising, where there is far too often a conflict of interest. Are so many British people so stupid that they will pay such a high price for this type of magazine when they can get plenty of free 'reviews' elsewhere? I think not.

Unfortunately, here in HF it's not always so easy to tell who's giving a 100% honest, unbiased view. And these issues are completely separate from one's opinions on good sound, sound-sig preferences, pricing, music taste, and so on. For obvious reasons - namely losing credibility - they will not say they got a free or heavily discounted piece of gear in exchange for a 'review', specially in the case of more expensive products.

There are also shills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill  -- and there have been quite a few of them here on HF, but that's another topic, though not entirely unrelated to some of the issues discussed here.

 

Edited by music_4321 - 7/19/11 at 5:01pm
post #455 of 467

Okay..... Rupert Murdoch could probably benefit from that post above right now in all sincerity. And I'll leave my comments there. I appreciate being able to share my views and opinions regarding iems on head-fi.org. beerchug.gif


Edited by ericp10 - 7/19/11 at 5:02pm
post #456 of 467

beerchug.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

I see no rift. I just see people presenting their views (so far respectfully). But I believe that universals and customs can exist side-by-side in peace. Like I said earlier, my favorite iem is a custom, yet I can't tear this Sony universal EX600 out of my ears. I don't think it is better technically than the Quad, but I love its sound sig just as much as I love my custom's sound sig (but they don't sound anything like each other).


I have yet to decide on my customs biggrin.gif

 

post #457 of 467
I know that music_4321 has good intentions here. I've watched him on this and other threads try to make the argument that customs are not the end all and be all that some people make them out to be.

I'll be upfront. I have 1964-EARS triples and I love them to death. They were my go to iems for about three months solid. Recently, I've been revisiting my other iems, but they're still my favorites for close and fun listening. I can also see understand that someone else would prefer universals for all the reasons that have been dragged out on this long thread.

So why is it such a problem that music_4321 keeps up this particular fight of his? The only objectionable thing I've seen in his posts is the implication that some reviewers get higher quality products than your jane_doe customer. I don't know if that's a reasonable fear.I haven't seen all that much evidence for it, in either the extremely pricey JH or UE phones or in the cheaper new producers, like 1964-EARS. BUt as long as people are upfront, consumers will have enough information to make a good decision.

But there's no inoculating someone against FOTM or the terrible plague of upgraditis.
post #458 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post

I know that music_4321 has good intentions here. I've watched him on this and other threads try to make the argument that customs are not the end all and be all that some people make them out to be.

I'll be upfront. I have 1964-EARS triples and I love them to death. They were my go to iems for about three months solid. Recently, I've been revisiting my other iems, but they're still my favorites for close and fun listening. I can also see understand that someone else would prefer universals for all the reasons that have been dragged out on this long thread.

So why is it such a problem that music_4321 keeps up this particular fight of his? The only objectionable thing I've seen in his posts is the implication that some reviewers get higher quality products than your jane_doe customer. I don't know if that's a reasonable fear.I haven't seen all that much evidence for it, in either the extremely pricey JH or UE phones or in the cheaper new producers, like 1964-EARS. BUt as long as people are upfront, consumers will have enough information to make a good decision.

But there's no inoculating someone against FOTM or the terrible plague of upgraditis.


X2

post #459 of 467

It is good to see there are a lot of "Bi-Auralists" out there, I was starting to think I was the only one!

 

Dr. John Moulton

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

post #460 of 467

My own personal feelings and ideas regarding customs non-withstanding, I believe that this thread is extremely valuable to the headfi community for it's purpose in showing the other side to the customs discussion. Aside form this thread there seems to be pretty much universal accolade for customs and their sound quality. This thread, to me, helps to provide at least a bit of a counter point to customs which appear to be all too often billed as the "end all" for everyone and anyone at least for IEM type devices.

 

I think that more important than the actual discussion of if particular customs are better or equal to universals is the conversation about if customs are actually right for a given headfi'er. The truth is, regardless of the sound quality of customs, the monetary investment along with hidden costs and low resale value make them not the best option for everyone.

post #461 of 467
I have quite a bit of experience with universals (look at my signature block, they are the ones I still have and not taking into account the ones I owned and sold), and only came into the custom world more than a year ago with the UE18 Pro. All I can say is that they are in a different league. I cannot quantify that they are two or three times better than my higher end universals to justify their price, but certainly way better. But for isolation, I can vouch for the ER4p. With the triple flange tip it still has the best isolation, but the ES5 is coming really close with the kind of material they use.
post #462 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

Solidsnake 3 ... No doubt we can all agree with that sensibility, but who decides? Who decides which is the best option for each person? I believe most right-thinking people would say the individual decides, plain and simple. We're all adults here, sort of. And getting all the information you can before you buy customs is a fantastic idea, and in that sense this thread is valuable. No one said it's not when you factor in the pre-buying phase. But once you have done the due diligence, then only the individual can decide. That may sound obvious, but not when there is an an idea floating around that a third party should/can make that decision for you.

 

Include me in the bi-aurialist category. I just bought some ER4PTs myself, and truly love a relatively inexpensive pair of dynamics I recently reviewed. I even own a pair of the Sonys, the MDR-7550s, and they are great. No, not everyone can afford a custom and several universals (or several customs and one universal, whatever), but in the end, the individual must decide. To think otherwise is patronizing, no?

 

Also, I would not say that other than this thread, there are universal accolades for customs. I know a Head-fier who has purchased both the JH13 and JH16, and he sold both and posted how he didn't think they were worth the money, in the JH13 and JH16 threads. He didn'[t trash those IEMs, just said they were not worth the money. Fair enough.

 

And I am sure the other custom threads are littered with people who were, in the end, not satisfied with their purchase.

 

So to sum it up, if you are considering customs 1) they are difficult to resell and you will lose money if you do, 2) they may not even sound as good as your favorite universal, 3) they may take 3-4 refits to get right, which is a major PITA, and 4) they may be too isolating for certain conditions. I am sure there are more reasons to reconsider buying customs. But is it necessary to turn it into a debate? To have one side or the other be right? Nope.

 

Anyone considering customs, just read those four basic rules, then read reviews, then decide if you can really afford it (and the potential loss from a resale), then, if you still want customs, put in an order and be prepared. Isn't that all that's really needed here?




Very reasonable and balanced post.  And those 4 reasons are all true.  For each of those reasons, for me personally:

 

1) I rarely resell anything, and money isn't a major part of my decision  2) I've heard the demo versions of all the major customs, and can say pretty confidently the real thing sounds better than the demos  3) I live within driving distance of Westone, so if mine don't fit I'll take them in to the lab  4) Agreed.  I use PK-3 earbuds or Grado headphones when I don't want isolation.  My favorite place for IEMs is on airplanes and around the office.

 

No one solution is right for everyone.  And many of us freaky regulars have one of everything anyway.  For example, I've got dynamic headphones, ortho headphones, earbuds, universal IEMs, and custom IEMs.  As well as 3 pairs of HiFi speakers.  And use them all for different situations.  (Also, I have significantly less audio stuff than many people here.)  This isn't really an "us or them, this or that" type of thing.

 

I'll concede that people should be aware of the reasons you stated above when they are pondering whether to get into customs.  But also that many people who have customs really do enjoy them greatly.  Making educated choices is a good thing.

 


Edited by barleyguy - 7/19/11 at 8:25pm
post #463 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

X2 ... I've said this before @ james444 (with a few long-time head-fiers disagreeing, including you, kunlun and the starter of this thread), but I don't care how a member gets an iem for review, as long as he  or she is honest and forthright about how they feel about the product.
 

...


I know what you're referring to and I still think it would be desirable to know the circumstances (loaner, freebie, discount, ...) under which a reviewer got his sample. But I also said it was no biggie in my book, if he decided not to disclose this information. And I highly doubt any of these would be enough incentive to put together such a bulk of work as AJ's custom thread.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidSnake3 View Post

My own personal feelings and ideas regarding customs non-withstanding, I believe that this thread is extremely valuable to the headfi community for it's purpose in showing the other side to the customs discussion. Aside form this thread there seems to be pretty much universal accolade for customs and their sound quality. This thread, to me, helps to provide at least a bit of a counter point to customs which appear to be all too often billed as the "end all" for everyone and anyone at least for IEM type devices.

 

I think that more important than the actual discussion of if particular customs are better or equal to universals is the conversation about if customs are actually right for a given headfi'er. The truth is, regardless of the sound quality of customs, the monetary investment along with hidden costs and low resale value make them not the best option for everyone.


x2.

 

post #464 of 467

What I'm wondering at this point is how does music_4321 find the energy to keep this debate going? He's taking flak left and right, but keeps coming back with informed posts and making a strong case for his view on the subject. I've often wondered myself at the fanboyism that runs deep within this community - who stands to gain from consumers making excuses for bad QC, bad CS, everything else that'll jump up and bite you in the ass when in the process of having your pockets cleaned? Surely not the consumers themselves.

 

As far as reviews on this site go, there are a very select few that I'd put much stock in. Especially the part where the reviewer shares his experience with QC and CS - it's just completely irrelevant to any and all readers who haven't made a name for themselves writing reviews on the biggest, most influential audio forum on the net.

 

post #465 of 467
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post

As I see it, I see a "fraction" brewing here....   a club of some sorts.  I have seen something like this at a meet before.  "Can fans against anything that is mounted in the ear club." The Can fans would walk by the tables displaying IEMs of any sort, customs, non-customs, BAD, dynamics etc....   and they would look at the display booth as if to say "Ah, such childish toys for little boys."

 

 

This thread was never intended to become "a club of some sorts", ie this is not the official "Anti-customs Thread". This thread, in a way, is and the anti-customs hype thread, anti-customs exaggeration thread, anti-customs misleading information thread or anti-customs misinformation thread.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

I see no rift. I just see people presenting their views (so far respectfully).


You don't need to swear or be openly rude to be disrespectful. Some of the contents in some of the replies to my post I consider to be disrespectful. Those, like yourself, who simply posted "x2 " or "x3" are also being disrespectful by agreeing with the contents of a post I consider to be somewhat disrespectful. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post

So why is it such a problem that music_4321 keeps up this particular fight of his? The only objectionable thing I've seen in his posts is the implication that some reviewers get higher quality products than your jane_doe customer. I don't know if that's a reasonable fear.I haven't seen all that much evidence for it, in either the extremely pricey JH or UE phones or in the cheaper new producers, like 1964-EARS. BUt as long as people are upfront, consumers will have enough information to make a good decision.


If you haven't seen that much evidence on HF, it doesn't mean it's not or hasn't been there. Such evidence in many cases isn't always right there in the open for all to see. Someone made a reference to the News Corp. scandal. That and many other things in life are not always obvious/apparent until they are exposed (much) later.

 

There are cases were 'reviewers' get free samples/ reviewing samples or discounts, and at times they can afford to be completely honest about their views. Many more times, however, there's an obvious conflict of interest, ie if, for instance, you are completely honest and not praise a product enough, the same manufacturer (or different ones) may not give you another freebie, offer you a large discount or pay for advertising on a website/publication - most manufacturers will not want to see a 100% unbiased review as it may impact on sales of their product.

 

Some reviewers will try to offer a 'more balanced' view by pointing out one or two disadvantages, but often these are pretty small, insignificant or too obvious to not be mentioned. That said, there are genuine cases where a reviewer may rave over a product and be 100% honest about it. Thing is it's not always easy to know when that is the case.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

No doubt we can all agree with that sensibility, but who decides? Who decides which is the best option for each person? I believe most right-thinking people would say the individual decides, plain and simple. We're all adults here, sort of. And getting all the information you can before you buy customs is a fantastic idea, and in that sense this thread is valuable. No one said it's not when you factor in the pre-buying phase. But once you have done the due diligence, then only the individual can decide. That may sound obvious, but not when there is an an idea floating around that a third party should/can make that decision for you....

 

And I am sure the other custom threads are littered with people who were, in the end, not satisfied with their purchase.


I've never claimed to be the right person to decide what the best option is for each person. Of course each individual decides and, yes, it is plain and simple. But, these decisions often come from being misinformed or misled, much like many are misled into buying a new home, car, pension plan, etc. Yes, getting all the information (or as much as possible) is the best thing one can do. Unfortunately, such information isn't always that easy to find, and even if this thread is indeed useful - as some have stated -, it often gets forgotten and those new to the world of customs may never hear about this thread. There have been long periods (2 months, 10 months, 6 months and 3 months) in the last two years where this thread has not been active. A lot of those posting recently were probably not aware of it a few months back. And even when people become aware of this thread, they often don't read all (or a good part of) the contents of it and may simply respond/react to a single post they happened to see.

 

You say: "And I am sure the other custom threads are littered with people who were, in the end, not satisfied with their purchase." I wouldn't exactly say littered. Yes, there a few comments here and there, but for the most part it's difficult to get the whole picture. This is even more evident when people are thinking of selling their customs and they'll refrain from expressing their honest views on their whole customs experience.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post

No one solution is right for everyone.  And many of us freaky regulars have one of everything anyway.  For example, I've got dynamic headphones, ortho headphones, earbuds, universal IEMs, and custom IEMs.  As well as 3 pairs of HiFi speakers.  And use them all for different situations.  (Also, I have significantly less audio stuff than many people here.)  This isn't really an "us or them, this or that" type of thing.


I've never claimed there was one solution for all. In fact, I've stated several times that customs are indeed the best option for some, but not 'for the masses', or at least the 'HF masses'. If some people have one, two or five customs, it doesn't always mean they've made the wrong decision. It may be the right decision in their particular case, but judging by the many customs threads I see on HF, my view is that many people should not be getting customs, and that they are getting them for the wrong reasons after making wrong assumptions and being misled and/or misinformed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


I know what you're referring to and I still think it would be desirable to know the circumstances (loaner, freebie, discount, ...) under which a reviewer got his sample. But I also said it was no biggie in my book, if he decided not to disclose this information.


Sometimes it's "no biggie in my book", either, but other times it really is.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 7/20/11 at 1:42am
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