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CK100, UM3X, SE535, SM3, IE8 – A Journey - Page 4

post #46 of 90

There's lots of great options out there and lots of new options always coming out.  It's kind of crazy the shear amount of earphones out there these days, not just earphones in general but really good ones.

 

I do want to suggest to you that you shouldn't only look at BA driver earphones.  There are a bunch of really good dynamic earphones out there too.  The Hifi-Man RE252 and RE-ZERO are very, very good.  I'm a big fan of the Denon C751 too.

post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

 

It takes me longer to insert the UM3X & CK100 than my customs, believe it or not - only one hand with my customs, 2 hands with the universals. Removing my customs takes me probably one second longer than both universals (basically trying to get a good grip of the earpieces, and all three are removed with one hand. This was not the case the first 2/3 weeks when I wasn't used to my customs and at the time it took longer than the UM3X, always using both hands. With the CK100s it takes me just a little longer than the UM3X to insert as I have to get the right seal, but it's only 1 or 2 seconds longer
 


Ah, I can put the 535s in with one hand, I learned from my time with the Um3Xs. Basically I just loop it over my ear and... put them in? Lol it took me a while though and I have to get them in my hands just right or it takes longer than I want. Oh!The secret is the swivel. I sort of put them in upside down or sideways then turn them so they go in my ear.

Kind of like a sideways L then I turn it until it goes in. I can then push and move to adjust for the fit. 

 

I should make a video :)

post #48 of 90
Thread Starter 

^^ So, you had the UM3X before and now the SE535. Are you happy with the SE535's SQ? Do you like their bass & treble presentation? Do you prefer them over the UM3Xs? Do you find the cable differences (microphonics and flexibility) OK?


Edited by music_4321 - 9/14/10 at 12:01am
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

^^ So, you had the UM3X before and now the SE535. Are you happy with the SE535's SQ? Do you like their bass & treble presentation? Do you prefer them over the UM3Xs? Do you find the cable differences (microphonics and flexibility) OK?


Just so you know, I'm using the Captivate and the FLAT setting is crap so I'm having to EQ it; mind you I EQ it to get it as.... flat as I can? I'm not putting heavy bass and treble on it... but there is some EQ being used.

 

But other than that, bass and treble? I love it. It's very smooth all the way though and the presentation is blended together very nicely; contrary to the UM3X where I felt like I could hear each driver or area of frequency separately. Bass is very deep and powerful; around the same as the UM3Xs..... depending on the tracks (remember I EQ slightly).

 

Preference? Yes. I'm using a different dap (and without the T51's LO and amp) but the soundstage is great; the imaging isn't as good but it's not bad by any means. Preference? Yes. While walking to class I can just get lost in the music; listening to a high quality recording of the live performance Kanye did at the MTV awards a few nights ago was amazing; I could really feel the energy and excitement that was there. 

 

Cable is amazing. Tough, carries no memory (maybe a little when wrapped in case but justy sliding fingers down the cable straightens everything out. The ear guides are awesome; just put the IEMs in and mold them over the ears and I get no comfort problems. It's not like I ever drop or toss my IEMs around, but compared to the UM3Xs, these just feel more solid. The housing is made of thicker/better plastic so it's sturdy and very strong; like the plastic in a Graphing calculator or something; it's not going to crack or break when dropped.

I think if you did damage to the IEMs you'd knock something loose on the inside before you broke the outer shell.  

post #50 of 90

That was one shortcoming I saw with the UM3X too.  The drivers don't blend seemlessly together as a single unit.  You have some incoherency.  From a technical standpoint, it doesn't matter.  The UM3X still operates great.  From a musical standpoint, it gets in the way a little bit.  You have to decide if you want to accept it and ignore it or get annoyed by it.

 

I see the UM3X and SE535 as vastly different devices.  Other than being a triple driver earphone, there isn't much to compare between them.  They are vastly different sounding.  Better ends up being a matter of preference.  From a technical standpoint back when I owned the UM3X and SE530, I saw the UM3X as the better product.  I saw the SE530 as more seemless, more natural, realistic, but it had problems and limitations.  The UM3X offered a lot more in the presentation, like a textured note, more revealing of small details in the recordings, could portray subtlety and explosiveness better, actually had bass, and the sound stage was exact.  Functionally, it's superior.  Does it make it the better choice?  No.  That still comes down to preference. 

post #51 of 90

It's comments such as the one by Young Spade that makes me really want to try out a UM3X although I have zero desire to purchase one. I tend focus on a particular instrument during a song at times. I'm guessing the Livewires I have might be similar since they use the same drivers but it doesn't exactly sound like how the UM3X is being described.

post #52 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

It's comments such as the one by Young Spade that makes me really want to try out a UM3X although I have zero desire to purchase one. I tend focus on a particular instrument during a song at times. I'm guessing the Livewires I have might be similar since they use the same drivers but it doesn't exactly sound like how the UM3X is being described.


Just so you know I was referring to the SE535s in that post. I can write about the UM3Xs if you want though; it would be from memory...

post #53 of 90

I know but you did include that little snipet about the UM3X which is what I was referring to.

post #54 of 90

The UM3X reveals more information to the listener.  The instrument separation, texture in notes, sound stage layout, and bass are all better with the UM3X.  The SE530 (all I've used) is more natural, neutral, realistic, dynamic.  While the SE530 is more dynamic, the UM3X portrays energy more broadly due to the thicker, well textured notes.  The SE530 can be quite thin on notes with a very short decay, super dynamics, but a note so thin it can't carry good presence and can be at times almost a ghostly realism due to this.  I know the SE535 is improved, but it does use the same drivers and just slightly different tuning, but the note presentation will not change unless the driver changes or if it configured significantly different, something Shure is not willing to do.

post #55 of 90

@music_4321 regarding your comments on the SE535 I find it interesting that you consider them to sound thin and bright. I've read your comments on these IEMs in a few threads and wondered if you could explain your observations on this a bit more. I've had my SE535 for a couple of days and the last thing I'd call them is thin sounding - and thats coming from the IE8. Do you mean to say you perceived little to no bass with these IEMs or was it more that you felt the treble dominated the overall sound...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post




The SE535 sounded somewhat thin and bright. I found it had more treble than my ears can take, specially when playing at louder volumes (never really loud, though) for longer periods. My biggest problem, though, was the bass. Whereas the treble was just a little much for me, the bass had a more pronounced dip, which made the SE535, overall, sound rather thin. Also, at times I felt the sound was a little grainy, almost as if I was using lower bit files. Decided to sell them the next day after just a few hrs' of listening time + 10 hrs' burn-in.

post #56 of 90
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post


Just so you know, I'm using the Captivate and the FLAT setting is crap so I'm having to EQ it; mind you I EQ it to get it as.... flat as I can? I'm not putting heavy bass and treble on it... but there is some EQ being used.

 

But other than that, bass and treble? I love it. It's very smooth all the way though and the presentation is blended together very nicely; contrary to the UM3X where I felt like I could hear each driver or area of frequency separately. Bass is very deep and powerful; around the same as the UM3Xs..... depending on the tracks (remember I EQ slightly).

 

Preference? Yes. I'm using a different dap (and without the T51's LO and amp) but the soundstage is great; the imaging isn't as good but it's not bad by any means. Preference? Yes. While walking to class I can just get lost in the music; listening to a high quality recording of the live performance Kanye did at the MTV awards a few nights ago was amazing; I could really feel the energy and excitement that was there. 

 

Cable is amazing. Tough, carries no memory (maybe a little when wrapped in case but justy sliding fingers down the cable straightens everything out. The ear guides are awesome; just put the IEMs in and mold them over the ears and I get no comfort problems. It's not like I ever drop or toss my IEMs around, but compared to the UM3Xs, these just feel more solid. The housing is made of thicker/better plastic so it's sturdy and very strong; like the plastic in a Graphing calculator or something; it's not going to crack or break when dropped.

I think if you did damage to the IEMs you'd knock something loose on the inside before you broke the outer shell.  


I'm not too sure you managed to answer my questions, but it might just be me. Still, not that easy when you don't have your UM3X anymore and a different DAP + EQ'ing. But, still thanks for your comments.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onza View Post

@music_4321 regarding your comments on the SE535 I find it interesting that you consider them to sound thin and bright. I've read your comments on these IEMs in a few threads and wondered if you could explain your observations on this a bit more. I've had my SE535 for a couple of days and the last thing I'd call them is thin sounding - and thats coming from the IE8. Do you mean to say you perceived little to no bass with these IEMs or was it more that you felt the treble dominated the overall sound...
 


No, I don't think the treble "dominated the overall sound". I felt a certain imbalance: lack of bass and slightly pronounced treble. I don't tend to subdivide all 3 frequencies (ie, mid bass, upped mids, lower treble and so on), perhaps I should? Felt no need so far.

 

Basically, the lack of bass was the immediate striking difference between the SE535 & UM3X - yes it sounded somewhat thin. However, I could soon (20 mins) get used to the lack of bass impact and extension, but not the treble; I found it a little uncomfortable/ fatiguing after 45 mins or so. Also, I found the sound at times ever so slightly grainy (for lack of a better term), not clearly defined/ refined.

 

By contrast, the CK100 having a little less bass than the UM3X and a little less treble than the UM3X and even less than the SE535, the overall presentation sounds more coherent and convincing, closer to what I hear in real life and NEVER grainy (as if I was occasionally listening to 128 kbps files with the SE535)


Edited by music_4321 - 9/17/10 at 6:28pm
post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

No, I don't think the treble "dominated the overall sound". I felt a certain imbalance: lack of bass and slightly pronounced treble. I don't tend to subdivide all 3 frequencies (ie, mid bass, upped mids, lower treble and so on), perhaps I should? Felt no need so far.

 

Basically, the lack of bass was the immediate striking difference between the SE535 & UM3X - yes it sounded somewhat thin. However, I could soon (20 mins) get used to the lack of bass impact and extension, but not the treble; I found it a little uncomfortable/ fatiguing after 45 mins or so. Also, I found the sound at times ever so slightly grainy (for lack of a better term), not clearly defined/ refined.

 

By contrast, the CK100 having a little less bass than the UM3X and a little less treble than the UM3X and even less than the SE535, the overall presentation sounds more coherent and convincing, closer to what I hear in real life and NEVER grainy (as if I was occasionally listening to 128 kbps files with the SE535)


 

I dont think there is a need to subdivide all 3 frequencies; your observations of the SE535 sound were rather interesting to me that was all. The way you've described them somewhat reminds me of how my Etymotic ER4s sound, especially when I played low bit rate tracks on it. I find it fascinating how differently people hear sounds; I'd describe the SE535 as balanced sounding (if anything I'd put it ever so slightly on the thick side as opposed thin) and I'd describe the treble as apparent but not edgy or grainy.

 

Please note I'm not trying to attack your views (or anyone for that matter), or defend the SE535 (I'm still not sure if they are right for me), I'm just putting forward my views.

 

The main thing that was rather surprising to me about the SE535 was how prononounced the mids were. Again they didn't dominate the overall sound, but they were more forward than any other IEMs I'd heard to date (I haven't heard the UM3Xs yet). This gave the SE535s a very raw and life like sound. In fact when I compare the SE535s with all the other IEMs I've used (IE8, ER4S/P, TF10) I feel it makes them sound more 'digitised' in their presentation - if that makes any sense. Thats probably the best way I'd describe the SE535, like a refined analogue sound, with plenty of bass when needed (I listen to some dance and hip hop as well as a lot of guitar - rock and indie), v high quality mids, and clear treble reproduction. 

 

Their style of presentation is completely unique. This threw me slightly, but at thesame time I find it deceptively engaging.

 

Saying that the CK100 sounds like a great balanced phone that I hope to try at some point.

 

BTW this question may sound a bit off (I don't mean it to) but did you have a good seal with the SE535? Which tips did you settle on? How long did you use them for before selling them on? Sorry for the 100 questions...

post #58 of 90
Thread Starter 

^^ Your views don't sound like an attack in any way, at least not yet.  :  )

Now, in answer to your questions:

 

Did you have a good seal with the SE535?
Yes, I had a perfect seal

 

Which tips did you settle on?
Used the soft grey silicone tips. These tips have been the most comfortable & best sounding with the SE530, SE535, W3, UM3X & SM3

 

How long did you use them for before selling them on?
Altogether between 15-20 hrs on the SE535's, of which actual listening time was between 3-4 hrs at different times, the rest being burning-in.


Edited by music_4321 - 9/19/10 at 10:43am
post #59 of 90

So, probably, music_4321 you'll suggest me the Audio-Technica ATH-CK100 and advise me to avoid the EarSonics SM3 in my case, or not?

post #60 of 90
Thread Starter 

^^ Well, if you've read all 4 pages (not a lot) of this thread, you'll see that right now it looks like the UM3X may have that little extra edge over the CK100 -- see last few posts. I'm still waiting to get my UM3X replacement to make a final decision.

 

All this is very personal and I don't claim to have the 'right' answer for you or anyone else. Having said that, I find quite a few of the claims made about the merits of the SE535 & SM3 to be result of hype and the novelty factor (+ aesthetics in the case of the SE535).

 

I also think, and I haven't said this before, that I think more people (the general public) would find the W3 a more appealing/ exciting IEM than the UM3X & even more so than the CK100.

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