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Comparing the Custom TF10 and Universal TF10. You're not gonna like this...

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
So, I was one of those dirtbags that bought a bunch of $99 TF10s when they were on sale last year to resale them at a profit (what can I say... I've been saving for a new car for 2 years now). One pair was reserved for my brother at cost, who just paid me for them. So, I can finally give a fair, A/B comparison between the two using his universal pair and my remolded pair.

I owned a pair of TF10s long before this and considered it the best IEM I had ever tried and eventually got it remolded by UM. Now, we all know UM knows what they're doing as their craftsmanship is easily the best. But I eventually discontinued it's use in favor of my Mages. The remold was just too sibilant and I could no longer stand it. At first, I had thought my ears had just gotten accustomed to the Mages' sound signature and I had now began noticing the TF10's weaknesses (I had my Mages tuned a little different, with a little more bass than their default configuration).

Unfortunately, I just gave the universal version a spin and I can easily say it's 100 times better than my remold. I don't want anyone to assume I'm suggesting my hearing is so superior that I notice even the slightest difference between the two... the difference is NIGHT AND DAY! I could let a child listen to them, if it were possible to share a pair of customs, and they would hear a huge difference. They are NOTHING alike. Not the sound signature... the highs... the bass... nothing. The sibilance now produced by the remolds is honestly UNBAREABLE! It's almost as if they forgot to use a filter in the high frequency soundtube.

I'm using a Null Enyo cable and have also tried my Westone cable and hear no difference. I have reversed the polarity at the plugs and they still sound like junk. I'm not ruling out the possibility that UM made a mistake when making my monitors, but both the left and right monitor sound completely identical, suggesting an error would have HAD to be made in BOTH monitors. Besides, I'm sure the frequency response graph would have raised some red flags, had something been wrong.

If you're wondering why there are so many positive reviews, I can suggest one theory: I can't say I would have said anything negative about them UNTIL I had compared them to their original form. I had been without my TF10s for so long during the remold process that I couldn't remember what they sounded like and just assumed the remolds were almost identical in sound to the universals. Again, I'm not just being picky. The sound of my remolds doesn't compare at all to the universals. Honestly... I'm realizing the universal TF10 is just as good, if not BETTER, than my Mages. If anything, the Mages' detail and instrument separation is the only thing superior to the TF10. Frankly, I prefer the sound signature of the TF10s.

If anyone thought their remolds seemed sibilant and can't remember the original TF10 sounding so, I'm gonna have to be the bearer of bad news... If anyone else has access to the universals, I urge you to give them a listen and post your thoughts.

I'm gonna have to conclude by saying the universal TF10s are easily superior to their remolded form. I can't even listen to my remolds anymore.
post #2 of 65
Are you able to send your remolds back to be fixed? I'd do that if you can still, as it seems they messed up something.
post #3 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistertomlinson View Post
So, I was one of those dirtbags that bought a bunch of $99 TF10s when they were on sale last year to resale them at a profit (what can I say... I've been saving for a new car for 2 years now). One pair was reserved for my brother at cost, who just paid me for them. So, I can finally give a fair, A/B comparison between the two using his universal pair and my remolded pair.
You surely are a dxxxbags But in coincidence you discover the huge difference between the universal TF10 and remolded TF10. Or perhaps your remolded pair has fault? I am no expert to say this as I have not try any custom nor have my TF10 remolded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistertomlinson View Post
I'm realizing the universal TF10 is just as good, if not BETTER, than my Mages. If anything, the Mages' detail and instrument separation is the only thing superior to the TF10. Frankly, I prefer the sound signature of the TF10s.
That pretty much says that Mage is better than TF10, of course not considering sound signature which all comes down to preference.
post #4 of 65
Thats reflecting more or less, what I think abour remolding of universal IEMs. They have been constructed for their (universal-)housings. If you just take the drivers and place them into a new shell (let it be custom build or not), they will sound different than the universal model before.
post #5 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post
Are you able to send your remolds back to be fixed? I'd do that if you can still, as it seems they messed up something.
It's been months since I got them, so I think not. I didn't realize they sounded so bad because I had nothing to compare them to. Secondly, I really don't think there's anything wrong with them. If there was a mistake made, I can't imagine it being made in BOTH monitors as they are completely identical in sound.

I also think dmcom may be right.
post #6 of 65
I wish I had a pair of stock TF10 to compare my remolded TF10 to.

For what it's worth, I think my remolded TF10 sound better than my stock TF10 but I can't be sure as I have no direct comparison currently.
post #7 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoflatlines View Post
I wish I had a pair of stock TF10 to compare my remolded TF10 to.

For what it's worth, I think my remolded TF10 sound better than my stock TF10 but I can't be sure as I have no direct comparison currently.
Have you noticed they have become sibilant?
post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcom View Post
Thats reflecting more or less, what I think abour remolding of universal IEMs. They have been constructed for their (universal-)housings. If you just take the drivers and place them into a new shell (let it be custom build or not), they will sound different than the universal model before.
This is true for dynamic drivers that rely on the airspace of the enclosure for its sound but in theory balanced armatures really shouldn't be affected since they are completely enclosed in their own box as it is. As long as the port length/diameter, filters, etc. stay the same then the sound would be comparable.
post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistertomlinson View Post
Have you noticed they have become sibilant?
I don't feel like the remolded TF10 are sibilant in any way whatsoever. Again, I wish I had a stock TF10 to compare mine to.

Even if the sound signature is slightly different with the remolds I'd take it in a second because the stock TF10 was not very friendly on the ears fit-wise if you know what I mean..
post #10 of 65
Thread Starter 
Well, as I said, I noticed my remolds to be sibilant from day one, but I just assumed I never noticed it because the Mages were warmer and I had listened to them more frequently. I thought it was odd I never considered my original TF10s sibilant and I was suddenly aware of it.
post #11 of 65
ehehehe "comparing the Tf18 and the Custom/Universal Tf10....You're not gonna like this " :P
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by intoflatlines View Post
This is true for dynamic drivers that rely on the airspace of the enclosure for its sound but in theory balanced armatures really shouldn't be affected since they are completely enclosed in their own box as it is. As long as the port length/diameter, filters, etc. stay the same then the sound would be comparable.
Unless they are open back like SE530 woofer. But then again it shouldn't make it sound worse.
post #13 of 65
It's not exactly the same thing, but I bought someone else's TF10 Quads from Unique Melody - and had Fisher remold them. I intentionally kept my original TF10's until I got them back so I could A/B them.

To me, there was a huge improvement in the UM TF10's + mid driver. Obviously more forward, and more detailed mids. More bass, and virtually identical highs. The only thing that seemed to suffer a bit was soundstage - though instrument separation and placement was identical.

That was my impression by direct comparison. I sold the universals happy with my decision. Anybody else able to directly compare a/b?
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcom View Post
Thats reflecting more or less, what I think abour remolding of universal IEMs. They have been constructed for their (universal-)housings. If you just take the drivers and place them into a new shell (let it be custom build or not), they will sound different than the universal model before.
Call me a traditionalist but the idea of customising universal IEMs doesn't appeal to me for the same reason. If I went down the custom IEM route, I'd be interested in more than just a customised housing for my existing drivers. I'd be looking for the kind of technological innovation in custom IEM technology that JH Audio offers.
post #15 of 65
The stock sound TF10 sounding better makes total sense to me.

Most often thousands of hours of engineering go into these designs to make it sound as good as it can. To swap it out for another arbitrary housing would seem somewhat reckless to me. But I am not too familiar with customs.
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