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[Review] Impressions of the Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS versus the SM3, FX700 and e-Q7 - Page 12

post #166 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


Agreed, but compared to the atrocious FAD's 1601 cloth cable even these look halfway decent. I'm pretty fond of FAD's designs, because they strike a chord with me, but they shouldn't priorize design over function so much. Those long steel strain reliefs don't really serve a useful purpose, yet they make getting a deep seal harder than necessary. And that's just one example, next being laser etched L/R markers that you can hardly see in bright sunlight, and so on. They really should hire someone to help them with usability, or hand out preproduction samples to a few experienced people (FAD, are you listening? ksc75smile.gif).


Lol james, why don't you write to them? They could certainly use help on the ergonomic and usability aspects of industrial design... :)  Seriously, they should be made aware of these issues. And yes, they might agree to send pre-production samples to someone with your experience...

 

Aside from the above with which I completely agree, my other gripe with FAD is about the carrying cases supplied with their earphones, especially for the BA-SS. The case supplied with the 1601 series is luxurious enough and a nice size, but not practical to use. As for the BA-SS case, this is the same one supplied with the BA-SB and A1 and its quality is acceptable at the SB and A1 price point (although if I'm not mistaken, Ortofon and others do better at that price point). But for the price of the BA-SS, one would expect something special, something of significantly higher quality. Maybe even two cases, one that can accommodate a DAP along with the earphones; and a smaller one to carry only the earphones. If fact I was going to write to FAD about this, but in view of the sad disaster that has befallen Japan, I will hold off for some time...


Edited by firoze - 3/21/11 at 4:53am
post #167 of 268

James, I seriously suggest you should go custom for your next step. I have actually considered the Final Audio product but eventually I decided to go custom. I share your view that it is best if it could be shared with friends. You can do that better with headphones as most people are afraid of sharing earwax. This comes as a personal experience.

 

In any event, now that you have got the ultimate and most expensive universal IEM, there should be no reason to hold you back from the world of customs. Believe me, it is another world and you won't regret. With you buying power you can also try on headphones. A good place to start is the LCD-2. I remember speaking to you a year ago about our different views on the Ortofon eQ7 and CK100. Looking back from where I am now, those arguments seem like a joke. Those are just not worth arguing. Please go customs now.

 

 

post #168 of 268
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 

Listening to the SS right now.  Just low end impressions so far.  It's quite nice but jury is still out when comparing to ES5 bass.  The ES5 is just a bit fuller w/ slightly more body I believe.  It is certainly competitive and definitely better in low end extension and deep impact than the UERM I think.  UERM bass is still nice though in a different more relaxed way.  Definitely more bass quantity than the EX1000 by a hair which makes it a bit more accurate quantity wise for me.  Definitely not a 16mm driver though but still quite nice.  Very early impressions after just a few minutes.

 

Gotta say, FAD is extracting every ounce of juice from that single armature.  I almost feel sorry for the poor fella.  It's like watching Lebron play 1 on 5.  Very talented but a bit of a stretch.  If you didn't upset the balance I think it could actually use another driver tbh.  Pretty impressive though.  


Hi, thanks for your first impressions, hope you don't mind me quoting them in the more recent FI-BA-SS thread. I must admit I had too google Lebron, but now I get the picture. smile_phones.gif

post #169 of 268
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

James, I seriously suggest you should go custom for your next step. 


Done - waitung for my UERM right now. Nevertheless, even after having auditioning two custom demos (JH13 and UERM) I'm convinced that the FI-BA-SS are able to hold their own very well.

post #170 of 268

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Done - waitung for my UERM right now. Nevertheless, even after having auditioning two custom demos (JH13 and UERM) I'm convinced that the FI-BA-SS are able to hold their own very well.


Will that be your first customs James? Surprised it isnt a dynamic biggrin.gif

 

post #171 of 268
Thread Starter 
Yes, the UERM will be my first customs. And you're right, the Future Sonics would have been an obvious DD based choice, but from Kunlun's review and comparisons I'm not sure whether their sound signature would actually fit my taste. Then there are also the Merlins, but tbo I have my reservations regarding coherence of a hybrid BA/DD design.


The UERM on the other hand managed to win me over with a perfectly tuned demo unit that was closer to DDs in timbre quality than I'd thought possible. Though the EX1000 and FI-BA-SS still do some things even more to my liking, the UERM are overall maybe the most "complete" IEMs I've heard to date.

post #172 of 268

I see. Can't wait to hear your impressions and comparisons with top tier dynamics. I know we both look for similar sonic qualities cool.gif Somehow, I have the feeling that the UERM will sound similar to the W4. Hopefully you'll shed some light on that for me too.

post #173 of 268
Thread Starter 

You're spot-on my friend, the UERM demo unit did indeed have some similarity to the W4. Here's what I posted back then.

post #174 of 268
Too bad UE doesn't have a universal equivalent of the UERM. Well then they'd need to come up with a better housing shape than their current crop.
post #175 of 268

Quote:

Originally Posted by james444 View Post

You're spot-on my friend, the UERM demo unit did indeed have some similarity to the W4. Here's what I posted back then.


Thanks for the impressions. As suspected, JH isn't as good as what most people say, as with the hype of the more popular universals not so long ago.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Too bad UE doesn't have a universal equivalent of the UERM. Well then they'd need to come up with a better housing shape than their current crop.

 


Not sure what road UE is heading towards since they were acquired by Logitech. Their top tier TF10pro is long overdue for a refresh. Then again, the IE8 is too.

 

post #176 of 268

woah..you are getting customs James! I never thought I would see the day considering your stance on them :p I hope you enjoy them since they are one of the customs I am looking at for the very distant future as well as a couple others.

post #177 of 268

I auditioned the FI-BA-SS at the booth of Final Audio Design in the Hong Kong AV show. It was quite impressive. Never thought a single driver unit can produce such sound. Quite detailed, and considering the bad seal it has, the bass is very good. Biggest problem to me was isolation. Basically no isolation if you ask me. Other than that, it lacks the smoothness which my UE18 Pro and my ES5 can bring, in the mid-high frequency range. But otherwise, it is a very good piece of universal IEM - and the design is simply cool.

post #178 of 268
Thread Starter 

^ Did you audition with stock tips? Just asking, because IME the FAD's stock tips are neither beneficial for smoothness nor for isolation. I'm using shortened Sony Hybrids with a pretty deep fit and get reasonably good isolation (considering these are vented IEMs) and less edgy treble than with stock tips. That said, the FI-BA-SS's basic sound sig is raw and ruthlessly revealing and those who're looking for ultimate smoothness should definitely look elsewhere.

post #179 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

I auditioned the FI-BA-SS at the booth of Final Audio Design in the Hong Kong AV show. It was quite impressive. Never thought a single driver unit can produce such sound. Quite detailed, and considering the bad seal it has, the bass is very good. Biggest problem to me was isolation. Basically no isolation if you ask me. Other than that, it lacks the smoothness which my UE18 Pro and my ES5 can bring, in the mid-high frequency range. But otherwise, it is a very good piece of universal IEM - and the design is simply cool.


Agreed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

^ Did you audition with stock tips? Just asking, because IME the FAD's stock tips are neither beneficial for smoothness nor for isolation. I'm using shortened Sony Hybrids with a pretty deep fit and get reasonably good isolation (considering these are vented IEMs) and less edgy treble than with stock tips. That said, the FI-BA-SS's basic sound sig is raw and ruthlessly revealing and those who're looking for ultimate smoothness should definitely look elsewhere.


Caveat-I have only tried the stock tips so far.

 

I personally don't find the SS as revealing or transparent as the ES5 or UERM.  I'd consider the sound more aggressive than raw if that makes sense.  Overall I do consider it the best universal up there w/ the EX1000.  They are quite complimentary as well.  I'll try some other tips to see if I can extract any more detail and also smooth them out at the same time.  

 

post #180 of 268
Thread Starter 

Agreed on the FI-BA-SS as being quite complemetary to the EX1000, though I'd say the Sonys suit a wider range of genres. I also think that the FADs are too aggressive for certain stuff, especially with stock tips.

 

As for rawness and transparency, well that depends on interpretation. In my book these two go hand in hand and I'm with Joker who described the FI-BA-SS as an "earphone equivalent of an unretouched hi-res image". That said, from my A/B comparisons to the UERM demos the FI-BA-SS didn't extract more detail, but when I listened to the same classical pieces with both, the FI-BA-SS presented everything with slightly more air around notes and were more transparent in the sense of "removing oneself from the equation".

 

Of course my caveat being that I've only heard the UERM demos yet, not the full customs.

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