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Help a Newbie Musican with custom IEM

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
First of all, this forum is rad.

So here is my situation and I'm looking for advice. I am the worship leader of a rather large church with definitely an edgy rock sound. I'd say that including rehearsals and services, I play a good 6 hrs a week. I am also the singer of a hard rock band as well. For the past two years I've been using e5s through Sennheise g2 wireless system. I'm ready to make the jump to something custom and more high-end. From reading around on this forum, I am between the ES3x and JH 10x3 but have some questions. My budget is in the $800 range, however, I could wonder up to $1k.

From reading reviews on here, I get the sense that many of you mainly are listening to recorded music. Though I will listen to my iPod on occasion, 90% of my iem's use will be stage monitoring. I get the sense that the ES3x is very natural and designed more for stage use, but what about the 10x3, or even the JH11pro.

I'd love to hear some input from musicians who have used them both. Or just one for that matter. And here are some of my criteria.

1. Natural, non-biased
2. comfort
3. workmanship
4. clarity


Also, could someone better explain "soundstage" as I'm having a hard time grasping. Thanks a bunch. This place is cool.
post #2 of 12
I would give Future Sonics a consideration. If they're mainly being used during performances, you might find the single-driver, diaphragm-based system in the Future Sonics much more pleasing and less fatiguing for stage use. Bass impact and mid-range detail is emphasized.

If you want a flat, audiophile-type sound signature, the UE-10 Pro is my choice. My UE10s have been to hell and back, and I've relied on them to be very accurate in many situations.

Feel free to PM or email me for some one-on-one help.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks. never even a consideration. so diaphram type drive might be better than balanced armatures for stage use?
post #4 of 12
That's what many people who use those products tell me. I work closely with musicians as an audio engineer and production consultant and I can tell you, there's so many products to choose from -- but Future Sonics gets consistently top ratings from clients.

That's not to say other products aren't great. I've tried the UE-10, UE-11, and Westone ES3X, and find them all to be exceptional in their own way. The UE-4 Pro is SURPRISINGLY good for the price point, almost like a "poor man's UE-10". Overall, the sound you want depends on your ears and your ears alone. UE-10 is more of a neutral, flat (in a good way), clear-sounding monitor, the frequency response of which is reference-quality, whereas the UE-11 has a more mid- and low-heavy response. The ES3X is a phenomenal monitor for personal listening, and features very lush low-mids and solid low-end reproduction.

The other thing to remember is that after the, say, $500 price point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. An average listener would be shocked at the difference between a pair of iBuds and UE-4 Pro, but as a frequent user of the UE-10 Pros, I would find the difference stepping up from UE-4 to UE-10 less dramatic. If that makes sense?
post #5 of 12
Also failed to mention: Sensaphonics 2X-S and the European brethren ACS T2 and ACS T1. I like them as well, and if comfort is a major issue for you, their all-silicone construction might be more to your liking. I find their presentations to be more performer-oriented with vocal clarity in mind, with a good side-effect being the good sound quality for personal listening.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Bump to the top. Come on musicians, need your help. Tons of respect for everyone's oppinions here but it seems that most of you are audiophiles
post #7 of 12
I play drums frequently and moved from Shure to UE to Livewires, to Fidelity to Atrios and to Futuresonics Custom EARS and the Atrios and the Futuresonics Custom EARS are the only ones that are still remaining. They give hte best, most natural sound for monitoring. Period. The sound is not neutral, but it makes monitoring a whole lot more enjoyable.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Not too many Custom Future Sonic folks on here I gather. Is that because of the nature that folks use the IEMs? I hate to beat this to death, but this is info overload and I'm trying to make a educated decision. I need a warm sounding IEM...I guess it's like needing a work truck vs weekend convertable with tons of status and finesse.
post #9 of 12
UE11Pro, JH11Pro, ES3x and UM Mage...........
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
like i said, info overload

keep 'em coming. thanks for the input
post #11 of 12
I'm in the same boat as you as far as looking for customs. I'm a worship pastor at a rather large church and I've got the same system (Sennheiser G2). Last month I got to go to NAMM and while I was there I got to listen to a few companies IEM's. Unfortunately, FutureSonics werent there so i didnt' get to listen to them. The two companies that stood out were the Westone and their ES3X's and the Ultimate ears and their UE7's and UE10's. As far as comfort goes, I think anything you get is going to take some getting used to. I've heard alot of good stuff about the Sensaphonics stuff because they're the only ones that use silicone instead of the acrylic. I have a friend who has some of those and they are pretty nice and seem more comfortable.

I actually just went through the process of getting a remold of some Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi 10's through a company called Fisher and they sound great too. Plus they were a ton less expensive than anything by those other companies. Anyway, Cash was an issue in my situation so I opted for a cheaper route but if I had my choice I would probably go with the the Westone ES3X's... they sounded great. But $800 vs. $250 for the remold.... The choice was easy. Yeah, one day I'll upgrade to something better but for now I'm good.

Feel free to ask questions too. DM me and I'll get back to you.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I'm not hearing anything about JH IEMs here for musicians.

I have to be honest with you..I can be naive and I sure was when I didn't realize so many poeple use custom IEMs just for listening to music. Here I am being an egotistical musician thinking that we are the only ones.

My bad. No disrespect to anyone here this site rocks.

As for the actual iems..I have heard about the ES3x from other musicians for stage monitoring purposes. The Future Sonics is new to me, but by doing some research, it seems that it is quite popular among performers.
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