I'm interested in these: but can someone guess at their life expectancy? Should they last forever if looked after well?
post #91 of 343
8/16/09 at 6:39am
I was surprised that the comparison was as close as it was. I haven't heard any of the IEM's being reviewed, but my expectation was that the gap between the JH13pro and everything else would be greater than it seems to have been.
It raises some interesting questions about the relative value of the various options. It seems that the similarities between them are more significant than the differences. It causes me to think that the sound is primarily influenced by the technology, rather than significant differences in engineering principles. If they're all using the same basic BA drivers, there isn't going to be profound differences on the basics- speed, resolution, etc...
This is different than what we would typically see with full-sized headphones, where choice of materials and the wide variation in driver engineering creates a greater range of quality differences between cans.
This would seem consistent with the experiences of universal IEM users who suggest that the differences between the top models are minor on sound quality. The differences being attributed more to preferred flavors or sound signatures.
I also felt the review raised important issues around the real-world problems with doing comparative reviews. Brain burn-in and listener fatigue, component coloration, etc... all are hard to control for confounding variables.
I thought the part where HPA described his reactions to switching one IEM for another, then describing immediate impressions before brain burn-in and adjusting to the different sound signature, helped to magnify the differences.
People have described the UM3X treble as rolled off in comparison with the triple.fi, so I was surprised when the ES3X treble seemed more forward in comparison to the JH13pro's. Obviously I'm using some flawed transitivity logic, but that seems to be what we do when we're trying to paint a picture without experience.
Subjectively, it's hard for me to reconcile the extremely positive response that the JH13pro seems to have received with the overall similarity in sound quality that it seems HPA discovered when comparing these customs.
There's a tone to the JH13pro thread that seems to exceed the level of response that the UE11 or ES3X seems to have produced when they were released.
It caused me to believe that the magnitude of difference between the JH13 and the ES3X/UE11 would have been greater than it seems to have been to HPA's ears. I still find a little confusing trying to reconcile that discrepancy.
I think an important factor to take into account is that JH was present at Can JAm -- he already had a very good reputation --, offered a 10% discount, and was offering what seemed to be a completely new beast - 6 drivers in each earpiece!
Quite a few people took the plunge, some of which are prominent members here, and I think that played a part in the often over-the-top responses seen on the JH13 thread.
Had similar numbers of people been given a similar chance at Can Jam, with a similar discount from Westone back in Jan/ Feb perhaps we might've seen a similar thing going on with the ES3X. As it was, the ES3X for a while caught a lot of people's attention, but not enough to make more 'prominent' members go for it. Perhaps if the ES3X had been priced at $1000 even more people would've been interested, as strange as this may sound.
I have seen so many times terms such as 'destroys'/ 'thrashes'/ 'beats hands down' to describe certain comparisons between certain top-tier universals or customs that by now I take such comments with a big, BIG grain of salt.
I think the ES3X for $800 compared to the other 2 flagship IEM's remains quite an interesting option.
I remain convinced the UM3X at $335 (including shipping) is certainly the best value for money when considering high-end portable SQ + comfort. $335 is still a lot of money, but when we're now talking $1,100/ $1,150 + ear impressions and shipping, then the UM3X seem like iBuds when clearly they aren't.
What I said a few months back seems to be coming true -- looks like many will do anything to get their hands now on a set of JH13's no matter what, and no matter whether they can actually truly afford such luxury.
Here in Spain (and Italy & Greece) quite a few people (younger people mostly) will do anything they can -- no matter how inappropriate/ unsuitable it may be -- to get their hands on a BMW or Mercedes.
I think it's hardly fair to cite the JH 13 Pro in affirming that this forum gets a little excited with the use of hyperbole. It's not exactly exclusive to this forum let alone anything else, and singling the praises of something which one feels justifies the expenditure should not be made into a bad thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
I'm still bemused by CX300 love. Let's fix the important things first before worrying about other matters
I agree. This forum attracts far more enthusiasts than detractors, as it should. To attempt to argue against the merits of purchasing one expensive high-end IEM rather than another on economic or moral grounds seems like a quixotic pursuit. Such arguments are as misplaced here as they would be in forums devoted to golf, fashion and philately.
Originally Posted by spleisher
Seems to me this is a "glass-half-full" way of looking at Westone's top offering, especially when the guy who makes the creme-of-the-crop JH13 also offers an IEM ver similar to th ES3X at a very similar price.