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ACS T1 Custom Review and impressions thread! - Page 14

post #196 of 463
Maybe it's the right thing for me to give a detailed breakdown of my experience with this acs saga.
But i figure it'll be better to give this very light post, as it'll be tough for me to control my emotions otherwise and probably lead to me getting banned. I can't also invest the time.

This is one experience I'd love to forget.

After 3 weeks of having my impressions sent off to acs by boots (david oremerod hearing centre), i hadn't recieved anything. Not the iem, nor the sleep plugs. Boots say that acs say they are coming soon. After the 4th week, I track them down and acs say 'sorry for the inconvenience- we've been very busy lately', maybe they'll be with you sometime near the end of the 5th week/6th week.
What happened to the two/three week maximum promise?

I've cancelled the t1 purchase. Unfortunately i have been quite desperate to get some custom sleeping plugs- so the £80 for them i consider to be throwaway money. They come or don't come- i can't care. If they don't function, i'll throw them away. I can't afford to do this with the t1's and i don't have the time to fiddle around with them as university exam's period is coming up.

Early january and Extremely rude and unhelpful staff at acs harrods prompted me to try with acs directly. Neither did they pick up/return my calls, or respond to emails. I got an embarrassingly late response to one email, that's it.Then in Late January i tried Monica Schumacher's business. They were on holiday. After a definite mixup with ear wax issues (university doctors got it wrong or the audiologist did. They both blamed each other), I eventually had my impressions taken on the first week of February.

Why would i go through all this hassel, sacrifice all this time- especially as its the last term of my degree? I NEEDED THE CUSTOM SLEEPING EARPLUGS. Thus far in this thread i've talked about the iems, but these were not important compared to the sleeping plug. And no, im not an insomniac or having problems with stress/high workload. These noises through the night are loud, shaking my bed sometimes. They are inescapable (can't move out), and I can't stop them.

Im extremely lucky though that through sending some speculative pm's to headfiers about custom iem's, i got a major response from one guy. Even though he literally has all the highest end gear, worth many 10's of thousands of pounds, he got into a large discussion with me, mainly about sleeping plugs and problems in that area. Not only did this headfier recommended me some solutions to try he literally taught me to use a specific silicone universal sleeping plugs, based on over 30 years of his experience. Even though these don't block out the loud noises enough, through sufficient dampening of the lesser noises, i could now get a 5hr sleep. A lot bettet than 2/3. Usage of these inducing a soreness that has stopped me from using iems (to provide recouperation space for my ears between nights) is a minor price to pay.

Just try to think about all the things in your entire time on earth that you have purchased. Clearly each act of purchasing a thing is an experience in it's own right, may it be as mundane as buying a pack of smokes to as complex as purchasing an entire business.
This experience with acs is my worst purchasing experience. No doubt.
My disgust isn't to do with money, headphones, dodgey products, insulting my pride or anything. First and foremost this was about health. I'm very lucky that midway through the headfier gave me the info/confidence about the sleeping plug, otherwise the impact of this saga would have been permanent and serious.Anyone who is going out there to get custom sleeping plugs has to be rather desperate. The manufacturer must assume that at least, thus, treat the purchase with some additional urgency.Boots were able to see exactly how much of a disgrace this was and have apologised unreservedly many times to me- over the phone and in store. Not you fault is all that i could say.

Lastly, make of my account of this experience what you want, I couldn't care less. I'm not starting an exclusive flame thread. This is just one post. Look at my profile and visit the recent threads i've been commenting in. They've been unargumental plain threads. I've absolutely no reason to be biased against acs- i've never had any custom iems before.
I don't think i'm being unreasonable in the slightest either. Custom iem and related products are a niche within a niche market and so choosing a uk based major custom iem company should guarantee a smooth ride. Im based in the center of london for god's sake and these guys aren't far away at all. An hours drive maybe. We're not dealing with china or usa international shipments.
Maybe i should of tried more harder to have an emergency word with the person in charge of acs. I decided to leave it out, as at this point i would have insulted roughly whoever at acs i would have spoken to- i've never done something like this to anyone over the phone.

But, chances are that most headfiers that decide in the future to buy off acs won't pay attention to my experience- either they won't come across it, choose to ignore it as it seems to be a one off, or count it as not a fuss made over nothing.
That's also fine.
Edited by CantScareMe - 6/14/12 at 5:40pm
post #197 of 463

The T1 classic has been revised  http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=476b8d07a4b66537987a4b8ff&id=f71110fe28

I had another driver fail in my T1's so ACS are kindly going to give me the new model. I will report back!

post #198 of 463

circuit board and wires1circuit board and wires2circuit board and wires3circuit board and wires4circuit board and wires5circuit board and wires6circuit board and wires8circuit board and wires9circuit board and wires10circuit board and wires11circuit board and wires7circuit board and wires12circuit board and wires13circuit board and wires14circuit board and wires15circuit board and wires14circuit board and wires16circuit board and wires16circuit board and wires18


I must admit that T1live is actually by far the best built CIEM so far I’ve seen and its been great to be able to own a pair.

Up to this moment, that most other CIEM’s are using some regular thin copper wires as inter-connectors, however ACS’s Live! series uses a solid cord copper wires, as you can refer to the images I’ve posted above.

However sadly these solid copper cords (and the circuit board, plus the balanced amateurs, the bigger CI once, responsible for bass, you can refer to small green circle on the front of the drive next to the sound-pore)  can be or will be corroded or say oxdised, and as you can see in the images attached above, they’ve turn green, as a material science graduates I can safely assume its oxdised copper.

I believe that the silicones used by ACS are top of the list, and I’ve been taking care of its daily maintenance.

Together I must admit I’ve been using it over 8hrs per day for the first 3month since I’ve received it about 4months ago, I’m not sure if that's got something to do with such heavy usage.

But somehow the nicely shiny copper cord and the circuit board do get corroded and turn green, even when I’ve clean it with alcohol wipes.


But, then this is nothing big really, cause being honest I doubt there’s any(or noticeable) difference in SQ before or after this had happened


Therefore just a note of reminder, I would like to remind all ACS Live! series owners to clean their pair of ACS Live! series monitor abit more often than other monitors.

Or just get one of these dryer thingy that Average_joe owns, I think that would help too.

post #199 of 463

So have ordered the T1 Lives today from Boots as they're offering 15% off. Looking forward to using these as I'm a drummer so will be primarily using them for their intended (stage) use.

Interestingly I am keen for them to get this 'ambient processor' sorted out as this will help with gigs where i'm not micing everything up and running a mix back through a desk...I hope there aren't going to be glitches with this technology i.e. not being able to tell whether the internal mics are working until 2013 when the processor comes out...

post #200 of 463
Originally Posted by percusski View Post

So have ordered the T1 Lives today from Boots as they're offering 15% off. Looking forward to using these as I'm a drummer so will be primarily using them for their intended (stage) use.

Interestingly I am keen for them to get this 'ambient processor' sorted out as this will help with gigs where i'm not micing everything up and running a mix back through a desk...I hope there aren't going to be glitches with this technology i.e. not being able to tell whether the internal mics are working until 2013 when the processor comes out...

do have fun, and please let us know how the T1 Lives performs from a drummer's perspective

my guess would be its going to be fine till the new processor thingys comes out :)

post #201 of 463
Yes am still waiting for them...i think this ambient processor is going to be great for smaller gigs where the kit isn't miced up...hopefully it won't cust an am and a leg...it was a key factor in closing these.
post #202 of 463

Here's a summary of my experience...


First a little background about me.  My interest in hifi and headphones goes back to the mid 1980s.  Around 1998, I read an article about some custom IEMs made by a British company called Elacin, and decided to go and get some made.  They were OK, although they didn't completely rock my world.  Initially I was using them with minidisc, but around 2001 I switched to the Compaq PJB100 which was my first MP3 player, back before the word IPOD had been coined, and I think predating even the Diamond player.  Compaq missed a trick there!  Anyway, I lost the Elacins some time in 2003, so started looking around for a replacement and tried the Etymotics.  I then got sucked into the whole IEM thing back when Lindrone was comparing UE10Pro will the Sensaphonics 2XS.  I decided to go for UE10Pro back in 2004, and after an initial hiccup with the manufacturing material, ended up pretty happy with those earphones.  I bought them looking for analytical headphones, as opposed to the more warm signature that people said the Sensaphonics had.

Fast forward 8 years, and I still have my UE10Pro IEMs.  They still fit, although I think I remember them being tighter in my head.  I basically like the sound signature.  You can throw anything at them, and they can cope.  My full size headphones, HD800, do outclass the UE10Pros, but they both share that utterly unflappable quality.

After 8 years, I figured perhaps it was time to dip another toe into the waters of IEM-dom.  My how things have changed!  There is so much choice now.  Furthermore, some of the choices are British, so I could avoid all that business with international shipments and customs.  A bit of reading on Head-fi, and I decided to try the ACS T1.  Following some recommendations, I decided also to do this through Monika Schumacher (www.protection4hearing.co.uk), and I am very glad I did.

Monika came to my workplace and took impressions herself.  I like this because it gives one person responsibility for the whole thing.  As with all my interactions with Monika, she was punctual, and great to deal with.  Reliability is important!  This was back in July.  It took about 6 weeks for the IEMs to be manufactured at ACS.  When they arrived, I had a problem.  Comfort and fit was absolutely excellent (silicone compared to my acrylic UE10Pros), but straight away, the mids were causing me discomfort.  Just too harsh.  Also I had a strange channel imbalance that I couldn't quite put my finger on.  I was not enjoying listening to music on them at all.  Of course I raised the issue with Monika, who escalated it within ACS.

Thankfully, the solution was simpler than I expected.  ACS quickly confirmed that there was something they could do about this.  Just a question of installing a filter in the IEMs to alter the frequency response.  Monika came and collected my IEMs (again punctual and courteous), and got them back to ACS.  ACS did the necessary, and Monika mailed them back to me within perhaps a week or so.

This time around, the mids were definitely tamed, but I found myself still not enjoying them.  This strange channel imbalance was still there, although I couldn't put my finger on it.  I was also finding that some tracks were OK, but others were unlistenable.  At the time, I summed it up by saying that when a track starts to build up, the sound seems to lose the ability to hold it all together.  You may notice that this is very different to my perception of the UE10Pro and the HD800.

By now, it had been several months since we started the whole process, and I was really ready to give up.  I was thinking that perhaps I just didn't like the things.  Monika, however, had other ideas, and encouraged me to let her have another go at ACS to try to resolve things.  Once again Monika showed up at my workplace to collect them, and my earphones went off to ACS again.  This time, it took them 3 weeks to deal with them.  I've got to say I would have hoped ACS would pull their finger out a bit more.  It turns out that there was a 10db drop around the 7kHz mark on one of the earpieces.  One of the treble drivers was faulty, and it has been replaced, and the earphones returned to me.  They arrived this morning and for the first time they sound right.

This little saga has taken 3 months from start to finish.  Without Monika's help and encouragement, I believe I would not have got to such a satisfactory solution.  I'm frankly a bit worn out from spending so much time "evaluating sound", and really missing just settling back and enjoying the music.  Early indications are that actually I am going to enjoy these headphones now.  Totally different signature to anything else I have.  Very warm and forward sounding.

My strong recommendation is that if you're going to buy ACS earphones, do it through Monika.

Edited by winty - 10/14/12 at 3:08am
post #203 of 463
Monika is brilliant isn't she? Attention to detail.
post #204 of 463
Originally Posted by royhendo View Post

Monika is brilliant isn't she? Attention to detail.

This is definitely my experience.  Also, I have to say that after a few days with the T1s now, I am really enjoying them.


My ears are often itchy, even without putting headphones in.  In the past, when I used regular bud-style walkman headphones, I would find that they really aggravated the itchiness.  The acrylic customs were definitely a step forward, but the silicone of the T1s is so comfortable and absolutely no itchiness.

post #205 of 463

Winty, glad things turned out good for you. The comfort on these things is really on another level. Sound signature, one's tastes are fundamental (and could lead someone to not like the T1s, mind). Comfort, I think it's pretty objective.

post #206 of 463

Ordered my T1's yesterday, boots have a good discount still running and the Audiologist was a real laugh! Had trouble keeping a straight face while the gunk was in my ears, impressions were excellent, very deep! looking forward to receiving them; some trepidation about choosing the redesigned T1 (I owned them before very briefly and have no accurate recollection about how they sound) over the T2 after growing to hate the UE-11 and there consuming bass, needless to say if they sound anything like the UE's they are going straight back. If your in the UK, wanting quality ear impressions, a good laugh and a great discount try boots in Meadowhall!

post #207 of 463

I ordered my T1's last Wednesday from ACS Custom's New York City office. I had called to order another pair of custom moulds for my Etymotic hf3's. My impressions are digitally stored at ACS from the original hf3 mould order about a year ago. Adam Rhodes was very helpful (Brit Expat in NYC) and we got to talking about the T1's. Next thing I know I am ordering them.tongue.gif


I have scoured all the threads around here about hi end custom IEM's. JH Audio, UM, 1964, UE, etc. The trouble is you can't try anything out in advance (I know some have demo UIEM's, but they are never the same as a custom) I have had a perfect fit for a year with the original ACS moulds so I know the fit will be great and since the mould's are already on file I can get the T1's in a couple of weeks at most..


Being a huge lifelong Pink Floyd fan I guess if they are good enough for one of the greatest bands of my lifetime, I am willing to take a chance for me. Convenience and affiliation win out.


So we'll see how it goes. I'll post pics and impressions when I have something to report on.



Edited by longbowbbs - 11/26/12 at 5:29pm
post #208 of 463

Pulled the trigger yesterday with Boots in Oxford Street. Very helpful and informative guy, even though he didn't know about the existence of the T1 Live! despite owning a pair of T15 with ACS' custom tips. Now both of us are looking forward to its arrival, as he said that if it's good enough he might just treat himself to a pair of those tongue.gif.

post #209 of 463

NYC says I will have them by Christmas!  Patience........rolleyes.gif

post #210 of 463

I've lost power in the right earpiece now. This is always the problem with these IEMs, isn't it? The reliability. I'm gonna send them back and they're now out of warranty, so am expecting a sting for a service. Still good that they offer the service though. Anyone been through that? How much is it likely to cost to swap out on one side? 

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