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IEMs for Classical

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello, I have spent the past couple of days reading this forum, breezing through a lot of different posts and opinions. I come from the Sennheiser CX500's but they broke and I am currently looking for a good IEM. I seldom see anything having to do with the CX500's so this is why i am making a new topic. I listen to mostly classical (everything from Mozart to John Williams) but listen to progressive rock from time to time as well. I would say I have a $80 budget, and I am looking for a good recommendation, Brand and website where to buy them please. I play my music through an Ipod Touch and I usually keep the EQ off. I liked the sound of the CX500's, but I want to upgrade since I enjoy music so much. Again, these will be used mainly for classical music so you guys tell me what I am looking for
Thanks,
Art2Fly
post #2 of 19
Etymotics
post #3 of 19
Anything but etymotics.

Classical requires three specific attributes which etymotics do not provide:
1) Soundstage
2) Bass (classical has tympani for a reason)
3) Timbre (most BAs, apparently barring the e-q7, don't do this well)
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Anything but etymotics.

Classical requires three specific attributes which etymotics do not provide:
1) Soundstage
2) Bass (classical has tympani for a reason)
3) Timbre (most BAs, apparently barring the e-q7, don't do this well)
Oh nuoooo...was going to say e-q7
post #5 of 19
At $80 budget it will be hard to escape the RE0 fanboys.

Seriously, if don't want to EQ, I recommend getting the Soundmagic PL30 for $20. They are noticably better than the CX500 and have good timbre and soundstage for classical. They won't have the micro detail of the RE0, but beat them in soundstage and airiness, so I'd rather keep the remaining $60 and start saving up for the next upgrade.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Timbre (most BAs, apparently barring the e-q7, don't do this well)
I don't think it is a question of technology : my IE8 are dynamic and don't have a great sense of timbre, while my SM2 are the best in-ear I've tried regarding timbre.

It seems to me to be more a frequency tuning / other reasons consequence.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Anything but etymotics.

Classical requires three specific attributes which etymotics do not provide:
1) Soundstage
2) Bass (classical has tympani for a reason)
3) Timbre (most BAs, apparently barring the e-q7, don't do this well)
Srsly? I always thought BAs were favored for classical cause of the details they can offer. And good amount of details gives you timbre no?
post #8 of 19
@lazybum: Timbre has nothing to do with detail. Having good timbre means reproducing the tonal character (or coloring) of instruments and voices true to life. IEMs can at the same time be highly detailed, but off-colored.

@MayaTlab: I haven't heard the SM2, but none of my BA-based IEMs (see sig) does timbre very good. The IE8 isn't all that bad IMO, but its upper-bass emphasis causes some unfavorable off-coloring, at least unEQed.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
@lazybum: Timbre has nothing to do with detail. Having good timbre means reproducing the tonal character (or coloring) of instruments and voices true to life. IEMs can at the same time be highly detailed, but off-colored.

@MayaTlab: I haven't heard the SM2, but none of my BA-based IEMs (see sig) does timbre very good. The IE8 isn't all that bad IMO, but its upper-bass emphasis causes some unfavorable off-coloring, at least unEQed.
Considering the BA IEMs you tried, then I can see why you said so. But I don't think that it is a question of technology (after all, electrostats and dynamic headphones can both accordingly have great or poor timbre accuracy, so I don't see why BA would be any different). The UM3x and SM2 (probably SM3 as well), can both have with the right tips, great timbre accuracy. I've even been able to extract something moderately decent out of my W3 with the EQ of a Cowon S9.
post #10 of 19
RE-0
post #11 of 19
RE-0 is my first choice and Soundmagic PL50 a strong 2nd.
Both are very good. RE-0 is very accurate and fast, while PL50 is a more romantic sounding IEM.

PL30 is a very nice choice on a budget, but I wouldn't put timbre amongst it's qualities.
PL30 have really recessed upper-mids which lead to a somewhat weird tonality.

Piano in particular has a rather glassy and restrained tone which I find uncomfortable. Piano is the most familiar instrument to me (as an amateur player) and the best reference for tonal accuracy for my ear.

Strings and guitars in particular lack the bite they should have and voices lack a bit of presence.


This is the frequency response of the PL30s, which speaks for itself.

-using medium silicone tips (best):



-using several tips, animation (which explains the reputation of "weak bass" - caused by a improper seal):

post #12 of 19
I had the pl50s, and they weren't bad, but I wouldn't recommend them for classical. Classical music requires a wide soundstage and lots of air. The pl50s don't do this. In fact, their presentation is exactly the opposite of air. I think joker described them properly when he said that sometimes listening to the pl50s feels like drowning in pancake batter.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
Classical music requires a wide soundstage and lots of air.
Hmm, I don't know if you should state that as a fact, because the UM3X doesn't have a large soundstage, yet plenty of people think that it's amazing for classical.
post #14 of 19
JVC FXC80, Sony EX300, ADDIEM, S4, ATH-CKS70 and V-Moda Remix.......
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZARIM View Post
JVC FXC80, Sony EX300, ADDIEM, S4, ATH-CKS70 and V-Moda Remix.......

+1 for the FXC80
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