Okay, some of you who have gotten to know me have seen me mention that I am a journalist by profession (yes, spelling errors and all...lol. Really no excuse, but I get a little lax when not working, sort of a guilty mental pleasure and slight hand gesture to the profession that has both fed me and given me grief). So, my career has been split between the specialties of business reporter and music critic. And although I write about all kinds of music, my main forte is jazz music. Yes, I'm the ultimate jazzhead (mainly acoustic bebop, hard bop and avant-garde, but I also enjoy some jazz fusion and contemporary jazz).
I feel the need to set some context here as I'm about to give some first impressions of the Monster Miles Davis Tribute IEMs vs. their Copper reference Turbine Pro. Pleas bear with me for a moment.
Okay, as a music journalist, I have seen recording artists (both jazz and pop) perform at venues the size of the Chicago Theater or Carnegie Hall in NYC - which can hold 1,000 people or more easily. And, of course, I've seen many of those same artists perform in small intimate clubs such as the Blue Note in New York and the Green Dolphin in Chi-town.
So, now we get to the meat of this post, after about two non-burn in hours with the MDs, while switching off between songs with the Coppers that have about 100 hours of burn in. Before I give you my opinion on which is better, let me give you the different attributes between the two. When I first put the MDs in my ears I didn't think there was much of a difference between the MDs and Coppers, and the differences I did notice seemed very subtle. After about 20 minutes of listening, however, both began to review more of their individual characteristics.
First, bass is definitely deeper with the MDs. Now, bass was deeper with the Coppers, but it tapered off some with burn in (although it's still deep). This may happen with the MDs, but the bass quality is different and slightly better to me with the MDs. I would say the MDs' bass is more detailed. Treble or highs is more detailed too with the MDs. Like I've said in many threads before this one, I've never really been a treble type of listener, but the Copper changed all of that for me. The details that were in the Copper's treble made me pick up and hear things I never heard before nor did I really care to hear, but I quite enjoy now. Well, the MDs give even more details in the treble and I didn't think that was possible.
I saved the mids for last, because this is what many say is great about the MDs who own them and the Copper. They did not lie! Holy Cow! This is were things get interesting. Mmmmm? Okay, MDs' mid-range is exceptional. It gives more details than the Copper in the mids; there is greater instrument separation than the Copper (in all three music spectrums); and as Chris and I think Search alluded to, it's almost three dimensional.
But, the Copper still holds its own. The Copper is bit colder than the MDs sound-wise. Actually the MDs are much warmer than the Copper, but some may not prefer such a warm sound. With that said, I do think the Copper has a wider soundstage than the MDs. I think the Copper can be a bit more analytical in vocals and some of the instrumentation than the MDs, but the MDs still overall produce way more details in the music, albeit in a more smoother presentation. So, for example, I like the acoustic bass and acoustic guitar better with the MDs, but electric guitar and electric bass sounds better to me with the Copper. To me analytical and detail aren't exactly the same.
With all of that said, I can now reference back to my third paragraph about the listening in different venues. Whether the large concert halls or the small intimate clubs I mentioned, the artists I've heard in both venues sounded great regardless. But some enjoy a larger auditorium more than an intimate club setting, or vice versa. The MD is definitely the intimate club setting. Chris once reference that the MDs are like sitting in the front row while watching a band perform. That's accurate, but for me it's more like sitting anywhere in a small jazz or cabaret club. You're so close to the musicians and the instruments that it's like the music is breathing on you. Thus, the soundstage is quite more intimate.
The Copper is like being in that concert hall, but maybe a few rows from the front or mid-section. So one would get a greater sense of soundstage. The monitor system is still just as great in those big halls as they are in the top end small jazz clubs. I didn't understand why Chris initially said that instruments in the Cooper sounded farther away, but that's why in my opinion.
Generally, I thought a greater soundstage made for a better sounding IEM (i.e. the e-Q7 has a nice wide soundstage and sounds great), but the MDs prove that is not necessarily true.
So which one sounds better? Hands down the MDs do sound better in my opinion, but the Copper still sounds very good to me too. The Copper has not lost its luster for me. Here's the deal: you have to decide which sound spectrum is more important to you with these two Monsters: great soundstage but less detailed music, or lesser soundstage but more details and weight in the music (I remember Search earlier saying the soundstage was larger in the Copper, and he was correct).
So, I listened to first through a 160gb ipod classic on flat. Of course, the firs song was Miles' "A Kind of Blue." The MDs owned that song. Then I listened to some Bobby Womack's "More Than I Can Stand" '60s r&b. The Copper held its own on that and the electric guitars shined a bit more for me through the Copper. But then, I plugged the MDs into a Fiio E5 portable amp and connected it to my Sony S545. The song of choice was Chicago's "Beginnings." I'm not one to get emotional that easily, but the MDs sounded so wonderful that I felt myself tearing up. The depth that the MDs gave to the horns, vocals, bass and drums was just stellar! The MDs are also some of the best IEMs I've heard period for strings. Prior, I gave top honors for strings to the eQ7, but the MDs are a virtual tie. It passes the eQ7 in depth and weight on strings; they are about equal in clarity.
One more thought: it really took the Copper a while to reveal itself. I and many other Copper owners on here didn't really care for them out of the box, but eventually they began to shine. Quite the opposite with the MDs. I don't know what will happen with burn in, but the MDs shined almost immediately out of the box. i won't change my signature just yet until I have way more listening time, but the MDs are on the path to being my favorite dynamic IEM (and tied for enjoyment with the e-Q7, although entirely different sound signatures).
Between the MD, Copper and e-Q7, I feel so sorry for my IE8...lol. It may not get a lot of listening time at all. Oh, someone said in p.m. that there seems to not be any IEM I don't like in the top tier. Well, that's quite inadequate. I approach my IEMs in the same manner that my parents taught me to approach people in general. They said if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. Well, I basically try to just talk about earphones that have really impressed me (although I've made no bones about not liking the TF10 or ES530 no matter how hard I've tried).
Yes, this was a very long first impression of the Miles Davis, but in my humble opinion, it's well deserved. Again, Monster has managed to shock me into pure delight.