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Review: Three Flagship Custom IEM - Westone ES3X vs Jerry Harvey JH13Pro vs Ultimate Ears UE11Pro - Page 7

post #91 of 343
I'm interested in these: but can someone guess at their life expectancy? Should they last forever if looked after well?
post #92 of 343
After reading the review and the answers HPA gave, I don't think the JH|13 match my taste...
I guess I will DO buy the HD800 with WA22/WA6-SE/DNA Sonett-BV
I guess it match better my taste after reading some reviews.
post #93 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post
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.
Excellent post!

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.
post #94 of 343
Nice review, HPA. So, if told you can keep only one pair of custom IEMs, is it fair to assume that's the JH13?
post #95 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post
Excellent post!

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.
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.

To me, the bottom line is that Westone is not the most leading, most innovative IEM producer out there. They're flagship product is second tier material. Still very good, but it's not the latest, cutting edge IEM. ANd everyone knows that if you want the latest, greatest, and best you have to pay for it.

To say "If Westone's product was the latest and greatest and IF they were offering a discount at CanJam..." makes no sense.

It's not, and they weren't, so why speculate?

Looks like you're making car analogies like I was, and I do undertsand that some people are all about the "badge". But the fact still remains that a BMW or Mercedes is a better car than a Fiat or Volkswagen, and if people think they can afford it, why blame them for wanting the best?

We've got the same thing going on here, but it's really a bit differnent.

In this case, the guy who Builds the Mercedes (The JH13) also designed the BMW (The UE11-Pro). He also designed most other high-end custom IEM's on the market today AND offers a model of similar technology and at a similar price to the ES3X (the JH10X3 Pro)

To me, that's pretty a compelling argument to take a serious look at Jerry Harvey's entire line (not just the JH13 if it is out of someone's price range).
post #96 of 343
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
post #97 of 343
Thanks Larry, this one was more educative and informative at the same time.
post #98 of 343
Nice review)thanx

So i will buy custom IEM in February 2009, so i wait what Westone will do. If they will release triple in Mid, Hight and bas..so i have a winner)if not JH13 will be mine)
post #99 of 343
Didn't you mean February 2010?
post #100 of 343
Epic story Larry.
Thanks for the effort I really appreciate it.
One question: why did someone piss in your IEMs?
post #101 of 343

Well done

This is exactly the kind of review I was hoping to find when I joined Head-fi. Thank you for not only being so incredibly descriptive and precise, but even more so for being able to share your concepts and opinions. The insights I gleaned from this one review alone, have increased my overall perception and helped align my own thought process as I continue on in the never ending quest. I salute you, and many thanks, btw, have a ball with all your great gear. I envy your ears. Aloha!
post #102 of 343
This is an excellent review. I think I can tell Headphoneaddict's preferred custom IEM. I think you did a great job explaining the positives and the apparent pitfalls of each where possible. I think at times there's quite this troubling consensus on head fi that for a headphone to be good all other headphones should be bashed at the expense of 'that one'. I'm very happy to see your humble approach with this review. Almost as if I were listening to the IEMs myself. Kudos to you amigo.
post #103 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post
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.
post #104 of 343
First, great review Larry. I too appreciate your honest thorough approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iponderous View Post
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.
LOL. There should have been a sarcasm tag there, no?


Quote:
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.
You seem to have the opinion that because the JH13 is now out, and is a leading edge product, that Westone sucks all of a sudden. I don't think that anything in the review says or even implies that. IMO, there are still advantages to the ES3X, including the heat sensitive tips and a great level of transparency. The ES3X also has higher impedence than the 10x3, which is a big advantage for studio and stage use. I'm also generally of the opinion that flagship products are the ones to own. Any non-flagship product has as one of its (unspoken) design criteria "must be worse than our flagship". I feel the same way about computer parts such as video cards. I'll often buy last's generation's flagship rather than a current midrange part. And yes, I'm still considering an ES3X as one of my options for customs.

You also can't forget that at least one member of the Westone development team is an active reader of this site. They are probably having meetings about their next move as we speak.

That said, I truly believe the JH Audio products are amazing, and I'm not implying otherwise by believing that Westone is still in the game.
post #105 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post
Didn't you mean February 2010?
Ups YEs)
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