This makes me want the ES3X, observing how well it competed given its bargain price relative to the other two.
I see what you're saying, but I feel the need to point out that there are some real technology differences bewtween the three "flagship" models.
Have a look at Jerry's lineup, and you'll see clearly that Jerry has aligned his top tier IEM's to compete very directly with specific models of other manufacturers, and to do so at a better price:
The 10x3 compares technologically with the ES3X, and beats it, price wise.
The JH11 compares with the UE11, and beats its price.
The JH13 stands alone as a 6 driver, 3 way piece, and STILL beats the price of the UE11.
Please take this for what it's worth. While I am a JH13 owner and lover, I do not say this as a fanboy.
I'm just pointing out that, when looking into the purchase of a custom IEM, one might consider that one of the 3 major players happens to have 2 other "sleeper" models that compete against, and may even beat, the flagship models of the other guys.
To me, that's pretty impressive, and it's overlooked when limiting the scope of the discussion to ONLY the top IEM of each manufacturer.
So, the boiled down, short reply to the post above:
Ok, but what about Jerry Harvey's 10x3 Pro at $799????
By the way, I really enjoyed reading the review, Larry. It's well written, and done from a perspective few can give (side by side comparison of all 3 "flagship" IEM's). I don't know of anyone else in a position to write such a review.
Probable the best review ever written by Larry. Some of his previous reviews were a bit confusing when comparing different rigs and setups. This one was clearly worded, concise, to the point and impartial. If I were his English 101 teacher, his paper would get an A+. I really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work Larry!
You are the man, Larry! Thanks for all your hard work (although I'm sure you had a load of fun, too). That review is very well structured and concise. I really like that you listed what desktop and portable amps you enjoyed most in order of how much you like them with each custom IEM. I think for my musical taste and wallet size, I will go for the ES3X. While not being the only factor, your work was essential in my making this decision. I choose it over the JH10x3, simply because I like the closeness of soundstage and the rich mids you described in the ES3X. Btw, although the review isn't supposed to include impressions of the balanced ES3X that you heard with the balanced cable and apache, it would have been a very nice side note. Can you follow up with that impression?
HPA - I have few question after reading the review:
Which IEM is the most neutral, the ES3X or JH13?
Which one have more bass? Cause you said the JH13 have more impact, but does it say more bass?
Which one has more open sound? [More airy, with better feel of space]
Which one is warmer?