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Other multiple driver universal IEMs

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am a big fan of multiple driver IEMs because I like my TF10 so much.  Can you guys tell me what other universals have at least 3 drivers.


Edited by High_Q - 6/9/10 at 6:24pm
post #2 of 12

Cool memory exercise although it's not the number of drivers that matters but the way they are implemented.

 

Triple BA:

Shure SE530 (older version: E500)

ATH-CK100

EarSonics SM3

Westone 3

Westone UM3X

UE TF10 / M-Audio IE-40 (for completeness)

 

Quad BA:

Jays X-Jays (unreleased)

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Cool memory exercise although it's not the number of drivers that matters but the way they are implemented.

 

Thanks for sharing your IEM knowledge with me joker, you've been so helpful for people like me.  I was wondering how many drivers are in ATH-CK10.  Also, can you expand on what you mean by the above statement, I would like to learn more about that.
 

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Q View Post

Thanks for sharing your IEM knowledge with me joker, you've been so helpful for people like me.  I was wondering how many drivers are in ATH-CK10.  Also, can you expand on what you mean by the above statement, I would like to learn more about that.
 


Two and apparently quite well implemented. In multi driver IEMs, the drivers are connected by so-called crossovers. These crossovers divide the duties between the drivers, determining which frequency range each driver will cover. If they are poorly implemented, this will may cause audible distortion and overlapping of frequencies, causing some to become masked by others. Also, if the drivers are poorly matched, this may also cause the sound to become incoherent - one driver may be faster and more efficient than another, causing bass to sound really nice and powerful, but the cymbals to sound weak and boring for example, or the mids to sound effortless and present, while the bass bloated and shallow. Something like that. I am no expert on this topic, but I hope you get the idea.


Edited by Pianist - 6/9/10 at 7:03pm
post #5 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by High_Q View Post

Thanks for sharing your IEM knowledge with me joker, you've been so helpful for people like me.  I was wondering how many drivers are in ATH-CK10.  Also, can you expand on what you mean by the above statement, I would like to learn more about that.


The CK10 uses dual armatures with no crossover. For the sake of completeness I'll try to do dual-drivers as well, though there's quite a few.

 

Dual BA

Apple Dual-Driver IEM

ATH-CK10

ATH-CK90Pro

EarSonics SM2

Fischer Audio DBA-02

Jays Q-Jays

Klipsch Custom 2

Klipsch Custom 3

Phiaton PS200

Shure SE420 / SE425

Shure E5 / SCL5

UE 700

UE SuperFi 5 EB / M-Audio IE20

UE SuperFi 5 Pro / M-Audio IE30

Westone 2

Westone UM2

 

Dual Dynamic

Radius HP-TWF11R "DDM"

 

...and I've probably missed a couple of known ones plus all of the obscure brands that aren't mentioned on Head-Fi.

 

Regarding my statement, I was simply remarking that there is no inherent guarantee that a dual- or triple-driver earphone will be superior in a particular area to a single-armature or dynamic-driver earphone. Multiple-armature setups do have the potential for greater speed, accuracy, efficiency, etc, but in the end it is all about how they are implemented. The dual-driver CK10, for example, is easily one of the most extended (top and bottom) earphones I've owned. To my ears it is flatter and has better range than both the TF10 and the CK100 (haven't tried the other triple drivers) even though it uses just two armatures and no crossover (meaning the output of the two armatures is theoretically identical at any point in time). And of course there's the wide variation in performance between all of the dual-drivers out there. I wouldn't pay more than $50 for apple in-ears or a Klipsch Custom 2 despite them having two armatures. There are similarly-priced dynamics that offer the same clarity, speed, detail, etc. 


Edited by ljokerl - 6/9/10 at 7:00pm
post #6 of 12

High_Q:  I believe he is referring to the process by which each driver projects it's specific frequency and ultimately must come through the small nozzle.  These frequencies "crossover" each other and can often times sound a bit disjointed (in relation to each other) to the untrained ear so it takes a lot of engineering to do this in a manner where the entire sound and all frequencies blend togethr in a cohesive unit and not to sound "boxy" (each frequency in it's own area or layer).

 

This is why many people prefer a dynamic drivers which can cover a much larger frequency range and don't have crossover issues to deal with(being a single driver).  The presentation usually sounds more "together" and natural.  

post #7 of 12


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post




Two and apparently quite well implemented. In multi driver IEMs, the drivers are connected by so-called crossovers. These crossovers divide the duties between the drivers, determining which frequency range each driver will cover. If they are poorly implemented, this will may cause audible distortion and overlapping of frequencies, causing some to become masked by others. Also, if the drivers are poorly matched, this may also cause the sound to become incoherent - one driver may be faster and more efficient than another, causing bass to sound really nice and powerful, but the cymbals to sound weak and boring for example, or the mids to sound effortless and present, while the bass bloated and shallow. Something like that. I am no expert on this topic, but I hope you get the idea.


Even if the crossover is implemented very, very well. It's the still the bottle neck of the whole system. Thank goodness Jerry Harvey finally changed the IEM game by taking the passive crossovers out of the earpieces and making the crossovers activated inside of a proprietary amplifier.

post #8 of 12


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

High_Q:  I believe he is referring to the process by which each driver projects it's specific frequency and ultimately must come through the small nozzle.  These frequencies "crossover" each other and can often times sound a bit disjointed (in relation to each other) to the untrained ear so it takes a lot of engineering to do this in a manner where the entire sound and all frequencies blend togethr in a cohesive unit and not to sound "boxy" (each frequency in it's own area or layer).

 

This is why many people prefer a dynamic drivers which can cover a much larger frequency range and don't have crossover issues to deal with(being a single driver).  The presentation usually sounds more "together" and natural.  

 

No, crossovers are actual pieces of hardware that connect the drivers and divide the sound reproduction duties between them. When they are not designed well, that may cause drivers to conflict with one another at certain frequencies, causing these frequencies to distort or become masked. This may also be due to poorly matched drivers, with too great of a difference in efficiency or quality or whatever between them. I forgot to add that in addition to driver and crossover quality, the housing, nozzle size and length, filters, the fit, tips, and source/amp used can also greatly affect the performance of a multi driver - more so than that of a single driver I think.
 


Edited by Pianist - 6/9/10 at 7:13pm
post #9 of 12

The CK10 has no crossovers? Those must be some pretty good armatures to take the full spectrum each without it being divided by a crossover and be as good as they are. I was not previously aware of that fact, thanks for posting that. This may seem a bit silly, and I'm sure they've thought of this, but perhaps they could release a single BA with one of those drivers and get at least a similar sound signature to the CK10 at a lower price, even if they aren't technically as good on their own.


Edited by ethan961 - 6/9/10 at 7:21pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post

The CK10 has no crossovers? Those must be some pretty good armatures to take the full spectrum each without it being divided by a crossover. I was not previously aware of that fact, thanks for posting that. This may seem a bit silly, and I'm sure they've thought of this, but perhaps they could release a single BA with one of those drivers and get at least a similar sound signature to the CK10 at a lower price, even if they aren't technically as good on their own.


They probably use those newer dual BA's ( Subwoofer, Tweeter ) from Knowles that have a built in crossover.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic 748i View Post




They probably use those newer dual BA's ( Subwoofer, Tweeter ) from Knowles that have a built in crossover.


++ There's no such thing as a multi-driver with no crossovers.

post #12 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sonic 748i View Post

They probably use those newer dual BA's ( Subwoofer, Tweeter ) from Knowles that have a built in crossover.

 


The CK10 was released in 2008. I doubt it uses newer anything.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

++ There's no such thing as a multi-driver with no crossovers.

 

Tell that to Klipsch. The Custom 3 has a crossover, the Custom 2 does not.

 

 

Quote:

Other mid-level designs, such as our Custom 2, use dual armatures. For our Custom 2 design, we partnered with Sonion and have applied for an armature patent. The KG534 driver is really two drivers: two motors, two armatures and two diaphragms in tandem (back to back). The benefit of this design is that the diaphragms pump air in opposing directions, so vibration modes are minimized. This design would be similar to having dual air bellows with a single nozzle on a fireplace tool. With dual diaphragms, the SPL increases by 3dB and distortion decreases because they aren’t working as hard as a single unit.
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