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AGAINST JH/UE DRIVER WARS: A First view of EarSonics EM3-Pro Customs

post #1 of 170
Thread Starter 
Im planning to write a review for the EM3-Pro's but it will take a month or possibly more. I am waiting for the pico slim (i have the alo rx and iqube) and the TWag cable, these customs are sensible, thus I want to take time to better describe their changes to amping and cabling.

What follows is just a first visceral view of my first weeks with them, so please take it like that!

February 22, 2010

EarSonics is a small specialist company based in France, near Montpellier. EarSonics is highly regarded in the French and European market as the best in the business, but for some reason, they are hardly referred to in Head-Fi. The EM3-Pro's are their flagship model, each monitor consists of 3 balanced armature drivers only! their cost is €744.15 +VAT (euros), so around the same as the JH13pro's.

----

I can tell you now that Im in love with the EM3pro's, their sound signature is very distinct – unique shall I say – but I still cannot point to it, liquid and luxurious are two words that come to my mind, they are less monitor like as the JH13 are, I can just describe them as simply gorgeous musical instruments.

They both offer ultra high resolution and definition, but the highs and mids of the EM3pro's are possibly the best i have heard besides my 007's, the low notes are more harmonic, rich and expansive. In comparison, the jh13 bass seems dryer and more analytical, a bit to tight. The sense of space in the EM3pros is more analogue, in a good recording I can easily begin to measure the real space where instruments are being played.

In comparison with full size cans, I could say that the EM3pro could be the Beyer T1 and the JH13 the HD800's. One more musical and rich, the other more technical and precise.

I would say that for acoustic, classical, modern composition, jazz, vocals I unquestionably preffer the EM3pros, they render liquid gold with acoustic instruments, air instruments, percussions, especially piano and the way strings, violins an cellos are played, sometimes takes my breath away. However, the EM3pro's are more picky and did require around 200 hours of break in (wether or not you believe in it, I really noticed a substantial change as I played them). Its also important to note, that in comparison, the JH13 pro can be played straight of an ipod or a sophisticated amp and will consistently improve with light differences; the EM3pro's sound great out of my 7th gen ipod classic, but amped they enter another realm, with my tube amp, aqvox solid state, iqube, the EM3pro's are simply superb, they mate with each amp's signature to perfection which makes them very difficult to read. One thing is for sure, they are somehow more sensible than the JH13's.

So in a way and until now, the EM3pros have proven to be a bit less source independent than the JH13pros, but when amped, they render music in absolute and total decadence, they drown me in Laphroaig and liquid gold, a truly, truly superb custom!

PROOF THAT 3 DRIVERS CAN BE BETTER THAN 6! (at least to my ears)

*Please refer to my last.fm in my signature to check which music I have been testing with.

More to come....

post #2 of 170
Near Montpellier, seriously?? Didnt have a clue. I might try to sneak into their locals and steal a handful of these...
post #3 of 170
sounds interesting so far.. but that art work is far from good..
post #4 of 170
nice.

I have also read comments that they continued to improve to 600 hr mark.
post #5 of 170
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie0904 View Post
nice.

I have also read comments that they continued to improve to 600 hr mark.
could be true, I have played them for around 400 hours and I still sense some improvement day by day, although the ~200hr mark was the most substantial.
post #6 of 170
A thread topic that really caught my eyes!

May I ask how the two (EM3-Pro and JH13) compare in terms of soundstage, instrument seperation, and imaging? I know these are some qualities which are hard to judge or say which of the IEMs perform better, but if you are able to give some comments it is really much appreciated!
post #7 of 170
Do you think the EM3-Pro could perform as well as the JH13 has against the headphone world at large, matching headphones like the HD800 and coming close to or again matching O2's and the like?
post #8 of 170
For those people who don't believe in burn-in for armatures, well, you're right, but the crossovers used DO burn in. I'm sure most of you know this, but just in case anyone doesn't.
post #9 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post
For those people who don't believe in burn-in for armatures, well, you're right, but the crossovers used DO burn in. I'm sure most of you know this, but just in case anyone doesn't.
im almost ashamed that i hadnt thought of that before lol good insight though
post #10 of 170
Nice derive maps on those monitors!

The Naked City (1957)
post #11 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post
For those people who don't believe in burn-in for armatures, well, you're right, but the crossovers used DO burn in. I'm sure most of you know this, but just in case anyone doesn't.
i'm someone who doesn't know.. thanks!
post #12 of 170
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
A thread topic that really caught my eyes!

May I ask how the two (EM3-Pro and JH13) compare in terms of soundstage, instrument seperation, and imaging? I know these are some qualities which are hard to judge or say which of the IEMs perform better, but if you are able to give some comments it is really much appreciated!
For instrument separation I think they are on par, they are both ultra detailed, however the EM3-Pro's make certain details more seductive, I am thinking here the sound of breath or the sound of fingers touching strings. On the JH13 favor, there are sometimes where you want to hear pure non-seductive precision (Raster Noton, PanSonic, etc) and this is where the JH13's shine, but only slightly, its really close.

The soundstage of the JH13's has been described many times, so I wont repeat a description. Now, describing the soundstage of the EM3-Pro's is more difficult, remember I only have had them a few weeks and I feel they are still changing to the better, or as some may say, my ears are still adapting... Real space, spatial precision, livable air and weather, are things that come into my mind in the subjective description of their soundstage, I hear the space around the instruments, I can imagine the size of the venue, its air and its atmosphere, its really unique. So yes, the soundstage is different in both, one more expansive and the other more realistic, same goes for the imaging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountChoculaBot View Post
Do you think the EM3-Pro could perform as well as the JH13 has against the headphone world at large, matching headphones like the HD800 and coming close to or again matching O2's and the like?
Yes they are absolutely at the same level, but as with everything at the high end, you develop strong preferences, and in my case Stax has the highest accolades, I never really was impressed with the hd800's. Now for customs, the JH13 have a place in my heart, but the EM3-pro's are stealing it!
post #13 of 170
^ Oh thanks for the info!

Waiting for more impressions.
post #14 of 170
Thread Starter 
The TWag arrived! (pre-cooked) the synergy with the EM3pro's is scary, I couldnt stop! the listening session ended at 3am. The aural pleasure that these customs gave me, now clearly succeeded the JH13pro's. The slight precision I was missing was now there, the bass was somehow more controlled, the highs and the soundstage... oh my... oh my...

Technically I still cannot say which one is better, as both are amazing, many may still prefer the monitoresque sound of the JH13pro's, but the EM3pro's stimulate my senses in an indescribable way, aural nirvana... Musically, I can convincingly say that I prefer them and this is what matters most to me. Amazing what cable synergy can do....

Now to wait for the pico slim....
post #15 of 170
Build quality looks great and I like how they did the art.
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