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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 213

post #3181 of 16803
Quote:

Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

The whole thing? That's over 100,000 words. Your dedication is admirable. Oh and you'd probably like the e-Q5 wink.gif


Yeah, I spend far more time on Head-Fi than I'd like...

 

I thought I would like the e-Q5 too, but I picked up the Grado GR8 and it's kind of peaky. I'm not sure if this is due to Grado's tuning (it probably is) but I've been reading the Grado models are like long-lost brothers to the Ortofon models. If I see a good price on the e-Q5 in the FS section I'll probably jump on it, but there haven't been too many. As it stands the GR07 and the SE530 both come very close to complete satisfaction, with a few flaws in both - the GR07 doesn't flaunt it's detail like Etymotic or the CK10 does, and the sibilance at higher volumes bothers me, while the SE530 is large, bulky, and uncomfortable, and also suffers from the same "too smooth/missing detail" syndrome (but is smoother overall and more balanced).

 

The CK90Pro also seems interesting, and i've had my eye on it for a while, but the only ones I can find are imported from Japan and quite costly. If it turns out I don't like them I will probably end up losing quite a bit of money on them, and I don't like that at all.

 


Edited by Ikarios - 6/11/11 at 8:09pm
post #3182 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

Yeah, I spend far more time on Head-Fi than I'd like...

 

I thought I would like the e-Q5 too, but I picked up the Grado GR8 and it's kind of peaky. I'm not sure if this is due to Grado's tuning (it probably is) but I've been reading the Grado models are like long-lost brothers to the Ortofon models. If I see a good price on the e-Q5 in the FS section I'll probably jump on it, but there haven't been too many. As it stands the GR07 and the SE530 both come very close to complete satisfaction, with a few flaws in both - the GR07 doesn't flaunt it's detail like Etymotic or the CK10 does, and the sibilance at higher volumes bothers me, while the SE530 is large, bulky, and uncomfortable, and also suffers from the same "too smooth/missing detail" syndrome (but is smoother overall and more balanced).

 

The CK90Pro also seems interesting, and i've had my eye on it for a while, but the only ones I can find are imported from Japan and quite costly. If it turns out I don't like them I will probably end up losing quite a bit of money on them, and I don't like that at all.

 


When people say that they mean the GR10 not the GR8.  GR8 is nothing like the other MA's tonally except maybe bass presentation.  I find the EQ5 resembles the DBA02 more than the GR8 but less aggressive and more refined w/ better bass extension and texture.  I still prefer the DBA though for what it does well.

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/11/11 at 9:18pm
post #3183 of 16803

Oh, figures. Guess that means I should start looking harder for the e-Q5.

 

Joker, I know you don't like comparing full size sets to IEMs, but is there something that has the same general presentation as your K601, but with a little more linear response and more subbass? I spent some time with the K501 again and I forgot how much I love the sound signature (basically a smoother version of the K601, with more subbass and less fatiguing treble, although missing a little bit of detail). I switched to the GR07 and it took a little time to adjust to the signature, it was just a little thick and slow. I think the K501/601/701 are my favorite series of full-size headphones and don't really do anything really wrong, so that's kind of what I'm looking for, I guess.

post #3184 of 16803

Thanks @joker for the Shure reviews, no objections here. wink.gif You actually made me dig up an old post from the locked SM3 thread, where I had been speculating on how the new SE535 would fare against the SM3:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

... A/Bing the SM3 and SE530, the most striking difference to my ears is better detail resolution and refinement on the Earsonics across the whole frequency range. Both phones have a quite similar smooth and warmish sound signature with laid-back treble, but (metaphorically speaking) the SM3 sound more like SE550 than SE535 in comparison. Therefore I suspect that the SE535's improvements over the SE530 may be not be significant enough to match the SM3 ...

 

Seems like it would really require an SE550 for Shure to catch up with Earsonics and Westone...


Quote:

Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

Oh, figures. Guess that means I should start looking harder for the e-Q5.


e-Q5, GR10 or FI-BA-A1. All of these have very similar sound signatures, but if you like to listen at higher volume and/or are into amping, I'd recommend the latter. Final Audio's vented BAs sound a tad more dynamic and less strained at high volume and slightly snappier with amping than Ortofon/Grado's MAs.


Edited by james444 - 6/12/11 at 12:09am
post #3185 of 16803

Because of all of this, I chose to go with the Brainwavz M2 IEMs. Hope I don't regret it :D.

post #3186 of 16803

ljokerl: Any plans to review the old granddaddy Klipsch Image X10 now that you're through top Shures?

post #3187 of 16803

I'd be interested in that review, bit late though seeing as I how I've just ordered a set anyway :)

post #3188 of 16803
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

The CK90Pro also seems interesting, and i've had my eye on it for a while, but the only ones I can find are imported from Japan and quite costly. If it turns out I don't like them I will probably end up losing quite a bit of money on them, and I don't like that at all.


The CK90Pro is different enough from everything else that I've never recommended it to anyone and probably never will. Quite dark for an armature and very, very fast. I don't know if the acoustic horn setup has anything to do with how it sounds. Would really like to try the CK70Pro but they are prohibitively expensive stateside. Still, Phonak got the top-firing armature down so maybe ATH did as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

 

Joker, I know you don't like comparing full size sets to IEMs, but is there something that has the same general presentation as your K601, but with a little more linear response and more subbass? I spent some time with the K501 again and I forgot how much I love the sound signature (basically a smoother version of the K601, with more subbass and less fatiguing treble, although missing a little bit of detail). I switched to the GR07 and it took a little time to adjust to the signature, it was just a little thick and slow. I think the K501/601/701 are my favorite series of full-size headphones and don't really do anything really wrong, so that's kind of what I'm looking for, I guess.


You description of the K501 vs K601 sounds how I feel about the K601 vs K701 - the K601 has less detail but also sounds more laid-back and less fatiguing for long sessions. And you are right, I don't think it's right to compare headphones to IEMs. The K601 I find a little inverse-U-shaped, not that it has forward mids but it does roll off gently on either end. The ortofons I feel would be a good match (I haven't heard any of the MA FADs), maybe a higher-end HiFiMan with a proper source match. I would think you'd like the RE-ZERO if you've tried it. Won't be as resolving as the AKGs but similarly non-fatiguing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Thanks @joker for the Shure reviews, no objections here. wink.gif You actually made me dig up an old post from the locked SM3 thread, where I had been speculating on how the new SE535 would fare against the SM3:
 

Seems like it would really require an SE550 for Shure to catch up with Earsonics and Westone...


That's about how I felt comparing the two (and the W4 as well). Really a shame as I do like the SE535 signature a little better than the Earsonics'. I have to say the response to the SE530/5 reviews so far has been more positive than I expected. I suppose I can stop sleeping with my eyes open now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

ljokerl: Any plans to review the old granddaddy Klipsch Image X10 now that you're through top Shures?

 

Not at the time - there's already far more stuff in the review queue than I can handle. 
 

post #3189 of 16803

Joker, Nice review of the Shure's. 

post #3190 of 16803


thinking about doing more custom IEMs soon joker?

post #3191 of 16803

It's a shame SE530/535 are so sensitive to fit. When fitted correctly, they are stunning 'phones. Certainly up there with the best of the best. I haven't heard anything with better mids than the Shures yet.

post #3192 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

It's a shame SE530/535 are so sensitive to fit. When fitted correctly, they are stunning 'phones. Certainly up there with the best of the best. I haven't heard anything with better mids than the Shures yet.



Yes, have to agree. To my ears the sound is very lush. I especially like the Shures for both Orchestral pieces and ambient music.

post #3193 of 16803

It would be interesting to see if someone could estimate the total number of IEM's available on the market.

Also let separate world and US market.

post #3194 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


The CK90Pro is different enough from everything else that I've never recommended it to anyone and probably never will. Quite dark for an armature and very, very fast. I don't know if the acoustic horn setup has anything to do with how it sounds. Would really like to try the CK70Pro but they are prohibitively expensive stateside. Still, Phonak got the top-firing armature down so maybe ATH did as well.


You description of the K501 vs K601 sounds how I feel about the K601 vs K701 - the K601 has less detail but also sounds more laid-back and less fatiguing for long sessions. And you are right, I don't think it's right to compare headphones to IEMs. The K601 I find a little inverse-U-shaped, not that it has forward mids but it does roll off gently on either end. The ortofons I feel would be a good match (I haven't heard any of the MA FADs), maybe a higher-end HiFiMan with a proper source match. I would think you'd like the RE-ZERO if you've tried it. Won't be as resolving as the AKGs but similarly non-fatiguing.

 


That's the thing - a dark fast armature sounds like it could be what I want. I like detail and I like speed but I don't particularly like a treble-oriented sound. You describe the CK90 as having a mostly neutral sound, with treble detail but no treble peaks. I'm a little surprised you say that you've never recommended it, your review sounds quite enticing. You say it's "quite dark for an armature", but I've noticed many of the BAs I've listened to have a treble-oriented sound (haven't heard a Westone or Earsonic). How does the CK90 balance compare to something like, say, a Turbine or the GR07?. If I ever get a chance to listen to them I would probably jump on the opportunity.

 

I do like the RE-ZERO when I owned it, but there were a couple caveats - first, I very very *very* slightly preferred the Sunrise Xcape V1 (mostly on account of the shape of the barrel and the less-microphonic cable, but also the very slightly warmer and very slightly heavier sound). However I also owned the CK10 at the time, which did everything the Sunrise/RE-ZERO/0 did but better. I've always considered the RE-0 to be a thin headphone, with a smooth but not overtly detailed treble, and the CK10 did the treble much faster and much more detailed. In the end it turns out the treble of the CK10 was actually too much, and even the PFE122s with grey filters beat them out in bass without losing too much of the treble detail. Ever since, I've been searching for something that can come close to the detail of the CK10 but not the treble quantity. If I had to summarize my cornerstones, it would probably be:

GR07 - smooth, balanced, nice extended bass without a midbass hump, but somewhat sibilant treble and a can smear tiny details in cymbal hits and other high treble

SE530 - great tonal balance and extension on both ends, presentation is great, no peaks, but large/uncomfortable and can smear details in the high treble like the GR07

CK10 - very very fast and exquisitely detailed, bass and treble extension is superb, but bass quantity/slam is too little and treble is too much, especially in cymbals

 

These three IEMs have come closest to what I'm looking for, but each of them is missing something. I know I've stated this a hundred times and you guys are probabyl tired of recommending stuff to me (I know the moving armature models in particular have been recommended a thousand times but no one wants to sell them for a low price ph34r.gif). I should probably start a new thread about this.

 

And yes, the K501 is to the K601 what the K601 is to the K701. It's an interesting progression and it turns out that I prefer the overall strengths of the K501s (mostly smooth frequency response and nice bass response - not really that punchy but the quantity is nice) enough over the K601/701 to have kept them over the two higher-end models.

 


Edited by Ikarios - 6/12/11 at 2:16pm
post #3195 of 16803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aflac View Post

I know the moving armature models in particular have been recommended a thousand times but no one wants to sell them for a low price ph34r.gif


Maybe that's because they're worth it? wink.gif Btw dunno if you've seen my last reply, just in case you're interested there's a FI-BA-A1 (not mine) up on the FS.

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