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ACS T1 Custom Review and impressions thread!

post #1 of 404
Thread Starter 



My ACS T1 review and all pictures can be found here

I'll agree with those who don't like the appreciation threads even though I started one or two! So, as more and more people get their T1 customs, please put your pics 'n impressions here for all of us to get happy about.

I'll be updating pics etc. in this TMA thread and plan to have a review (final proper review) done in 3 weeks or so.

For the record, my current favourite custom is the fun FitEar 333 though I really really appreciate the do it all beautifully JH13Pro.

The T1 has several great qualities which I can hint at right now without really getting into detail (I don't feel I am ready for it now).

All silicon baby!
Firstly, the silicon really isolates the outside, but it also softens the sound a bit. Instead of a staid, solid path for sound to travel, the silicon tubes use a smaller aperture with longer pathways (of course this depends on your ear canal shape, but the Sensaphonics 2X-s is the same).

This is a professional product. Audiophiles should go crazy too, but it is made very well and as a silicon earphone, will fit better, have less give when seated even if your face is extremely malleable, the T1 will stay put. All other customs I've used (even with perfect fits) will find their way out of my ears if I move my ears too much. I am probably one of 'those guys' who audiologists hate: my ears, my face, my cheeks are stretchier than a gymnast and will always cause problems. I can move my forehead, ears, wiggly my nose, eyebrows, chin, everything - and that will cause big problems for acrylic customs.

The softer, longer pathways soften some sounds and amplify others. My overall impression of the T1 is of control, but my first listen was like this: 'wow, that is some deep bass'. At the time, I had been using my Sony 828 EQ'd for the Final Audio 1601 and got a shock, but now I am used to it.

It is certainly more akin to the JH13Pro than it is to the FitEar 333 which is Ultrasone in the grand scheme of things. It is controlled, yet deep, and smooth. My only real complaint with the 2X-s is that it can be sharp and creaky up top sometimes. The T1 is anything but creaky. It is smooth and smart, but in very sharp passages, mellow. That can be both good and bad depending on your tastes.

Package
Sound impressions to follow of course, but I think what also needs to be fleshed out is how nice a package the T1 is: leather carrying pouch, ACS branded cable and wax loop and a Pelican case.

I know Pelican cases cost about 10-20$, but they are worth it: stronger than most other cases, small and can be modified to easily carry anything. The leather pouch is all that is needed for the silicon because rubber won't break into ear-killing shards.

With good care, I don't see why the T1 wouldn't outlast a similar acrylic or at least last as long. Of course, ear shape might change, but it will be worth it when the time comes, that is for sure.

Cable
The cable is A+. It is a harder, sturdier rubber similar to the FitEar 333 which IS microphonic, but non-absorbant; it won't harden or crack from sweat and body oils and since the terminals are buried in the body of the custom, there is no fear of the thing breaking pins. That said, if anything goes wrong, you will have to fix it yourself or send it back to ACS since the cable isn't user-serviceable. Oh yes, and it is loooong, probably 170cm or so!

There are advantages to both systems. Currently, UE probably have the best anchoring system for mini dual-pin systems, Sleek for coaxial (but their cable needs to really improve), and FitEar for dual pin systems. The ACS model T1 looks great and feels great and with care should hold a long time. But that is the only concern I can see so far.

It is easily one of the best customs out there.

*****

As this thread progresses and my own impressions stamped, I'll change these impressions for a review. Till then, let's share a community thread.

Reviews of the ACS T1:

My ACS T1 review and all pictures can be found here
royhendo - The ACS T1 - a tear jerker (but in a good way)

HiFi UK's review of the ACS T1


Edited by shigzeo - 6/24/10 at 1:17am
post #2 of 404
I just saw your own pictures (they look a bit better than Andy's one ), and the etching is not bad, but I have the feeling that the TMA logo was kind of a challenge because it's a very thin line and the irregularities are definitely seenable. I'm waiting to see my pair in the flesh, but I have the feeling that with a bigger writing you notice less the "rough" line.
post #3 of 404
Thread Starter 
Well, I am duly impressed: I've not seen a silicon etch work so well, nor had I any idea they worked at all. great work indeed. My pictures are a little 'blue'. I'll fix that with a better light...
post #4 of 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
Well, I am duly impressed: I've not seen a silicon etch work so well, nor had I any idea they worked at all. great work indeed. My pictures are a little 'blue'. I'll fix that with a better light...
Haha yes maybe a little blue, but much clearer anyway . It wasn't looking as good on the one I saw before.
Still I have the feeling ACS should try to implement another type of personalization, with a printed picture "encased" in the lacquer. I have no idea how they could do that, but it's probably doable and that would put them on par with JH Audio, who's been doing amazing things lately in terms of personalization (with a new printer if I recall well).
post #5 of 404
Thread Starter 
I am glad my JH13Pro have no picture - it shows all the goodies on the inside which are really crazy if you take a look and if you think about it: 6 speakers per shell! Silicon is cloudier and hard to see, so black does a great job... if only my light would work!
post #6 of 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
I am glad my JH13Pro have no picture - it shows all the goodies on the inside which are really crazy if you take a look and if you think about it: 6 speakers per shell! Silicon is cloudier and hard to see, so black does a great job... if only my light would work!
Haha now I understand why you're such a fan of the Fitear 333 . I too prefer to keep things simple, however I think it could bring ACS more customers if they could make customization on par with the last ones from JH Audio (and probably others too in the close future).

By the way my pair has supposedly been shipped to Japan, I should get them on Friday Great turnover given the distance. Less than 3 weeks (17 days counting the week ends) ! And it would have been even less without the adaptation of the personalization.
post #7 of 404
Thread Starter 
Well, used them on the plane today; I am in Tokyo now enjoying the hot weather and both the FitEar 333 and T1. I love how they both share the same cable. Actually, will probably buy an iBasso balanced amp when it comes out, so... see if my FitEar 333 can get a balanced cable.

Love the cable on both, but the T1 is overall a more polished earphone: cable is stronger straight to the earphone, better termination, nice nice carrying pouch. Sound is individual, but both are amazing. The T1 is in some ways warmer, but with proper amping, I may prefer the highs of the FitEar 333. Obviously, these things take time. The T1 gives me the impression of being easier to drive, or just that it doesn't pick up on the bad as much. I will be checking this thoroughly, haven't had a good 3 or four hours of just listening.

Lovin' the lube with the T1!
post #8 of 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
Well, used them on the plane today; I am in Tokyo now enjoying the hot weather and both the FitEar 333 and T1. I love how they both share the same cable. Actually, will probably buy an iBasso balanced amp when it comes out, so... see if my FitEar 333 can get a balanced cable.

Love the cable on both, but the T1 is overall a more polished earphone: cable is stronger straight to the earphone, better termination, nice nice carrying pouch. Sound is individual, but both are amazing. The T1 is in some ways warmer, but with proper amping, I may prefer the highs of the FitEar 333. Obviously, these things take time. The T1 gives me the impression of being easier to drive, or just that it doesn't pick up on the bad as much. I will be checking this thoroughly, haven't had a good 3 or four hours of just listening.

Lovin' the lube with the T1!
Since I was hesitating between the 2, I think it's a really tough choice. Difference is you're owning both and can actually switch to see which you prefer over time I'm a bit jealous here .

As for the driving, ACS's new website says the impedance is 6.8 Ohms, which seems low. I asked Andy about it and he found it low too, so he told me he would ask the lab, but he probably forgot about it. I'll ask again to have a definitive figure. Fitear's impedance isn't written on their documentation, so I don't really know how it is, however I don't expect it to be lower than 7 Ohms, assuming ACS's figure is right. Actually I'm a bit concerned about the hissing with my D2, hope it's not too bad.

Anyway I look forward to reading your review of the T1, as to me they probably are some of the best challengers on the market at the moment. They probably need a better marketing though, and an opening on foreign countries for Fitear.

My T1 is definitely in transit, in Germany right now, so I'm expecting to get them tomorrow Japan time. I'm really curious about the final result of the personalization, and of course to hear it, but this comes without saying .
post #9 of 404
Thread Starter 
The FitEar is more sensitive to hiss, so I'd not worry too much with the D2 which hisses less than any Sony and I like the Sony with the T1.
post #10 of 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
The FitEar is more sensitive to hiss, so I'd not worry too much with the D2 which hisses less than any Sony and I like the Sony with the T1.
Thanks that's a very valuable info for me . However that also means I'm not sure to understand completely the sensitivity/driving problem I seem to remember that the impedance and sensitivity are responsible together for the way you can drive the monitor. I don't think the T1 is really 7 Ohms, it's probably a typo on 27 Ohms, which is probably equivalent to the Fitear. So in that case, does that mean the sensitivity of the Fitear is higher ?
post #11 of 404
Thread Starter 
It must be. I am not sure which is more sensitive: um2 or FitEar 333. They both hiss a lot with noisy sources such as my Sony, but of course, the FE333 sounds a lot better, so I put up with it. The T1 is much quieter than either one.

Sensitivity is something mystical. There is the decibel rating, the Ω rating, and then magic. The reason I say magic is that I've used several high Ω, low sensitivity earphones which hiss a lot with bad sources. But usually, phones with lower sensitivity hiss less and Ω of a higher number help a bit, but mostly just making the dap/source/amp drive them more easily without hiccoughing on bass/treble spikes/roll off.
post #12 of 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
It must be. I am not sure which is more sensitive: um2 or FitEar 333. They both hiss a lot with noisy sources such as my Sony, but of course, the FE333 sounds a lot better, so I put up with it. The T1 is much quieter than either one.

Sensitivity is something mystical. There is the decibel rating, the Ω rating, and then magic. The reason I say magic is that I've used several high Ω, low sensitivity earphones which hiss a lot with bad sources. But usually, phones with lower sensitivity hiss less and Ω of a higher number help a bit, but mostly just making the dap/source/amp drive them more easily without hiccoughing on bass/treble spikes/roll off.
I guess magic is the right word If the T1 is noticeably quieter, you're probably right and the Fitear must be more sensitive. But I also have the feeling it's more technical-oriented, even though the T1 is also obviously a pro monitor.

Suyama san is more a technician while Andy Shiach is on a mission to help people protect their hearing. I think it's Royhendo that was explaining in his review that according to Andy, the sound quality was actually a by-product, rather than the primary goal. At some point it must reflect in the monitor's design.
post #13 of 404
D;
can post links of the pictures here ?
Don't really want to register to touchmyapps just to view the pictures..

Nice impressions, cant wait for the full review
post #14 of 404
Thread Starter 
You cannot see the pics Junliang? My full review will have better pics (less blue) and won't be in the forums anyway. I just hate to use so many different servers all the time. But linking the pics here is no good: bandwidth.

Thanks for telling me about the pics: I don't like that. Is headfi like that? Can you see attached images if you aren't a member? dear god...
post #15 of 404
i can't see the pics either
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