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Review - Fischer Audio Silver Bullets - A True TITAN of the IEM world - 56k Warning

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

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I'm just going to say it.  The Silver Bullets are unquestionably THE BEST sub 150$ IEMs that exist currently on this Earth.  I've used and reviewed so many IEMs in my 15 years of audiophile-hood and have come across gems and diamonds only on a rare occasion.  The Fischer Audio Silver Bullets are not a diamond in the rough....it's Mount Olympus's treasure room filled with every gem imaginable and some new ones the Gods created just for you, with magical flying horses prancing around and even a half naked siren or two in the giant marble fountain that is in the very center of your new treasure room.

 

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Aesthetics 

 

They could very well be the sexiest IEMs I've ever seen.  The polished metal look is just so appealing to me.  You may or may not agree, but I think they are literally the best looking IEM out there.  They've got a lot of weight to it and feel rock solid. They feel like the driver housings can take some significant damage and still work without a problem.

Very sturdy and exuded quality and strength.

 

Microphonics, Isolation, Tips and Myths Busted 

 

They boast 102DB at the max I believe, which means you can go def should you wish to max out your volume.  Even at high levels with bass cranked all the way up, I do not get that shaking feeling.  They don't shake if that is what you want to know.  No matter what type of EQing I tossed at it, it remained lush and smooth, powerful.  I had to max out my foobar2000 EQ bassline to get them to sound bloated.  Such a thing is not possible on something like my Sansa Fuze.

 

Depending on what tips you use, they can isolate very well, or not at all.  There is a nasty rumor spreading through head fi that the stock tips on the Silver Bullets are junk.  Well, I'm here to tell you please disregard that statement if you read it.  The stock tips are just as good as the Eterna, which are very pliable, flexible and comfortable.  Are they the best choice?  Nope.  But they are not nearly as bad as some people are saying they are.  The double flange tip is very nice and of course the best at isolation.  I was given another set of iems as a gift with my purchased of these, which included the PL30 tips.  Which are just amazing and undoubtedly THE BEST tips available for the Silver Bullets.  

 

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I made a bit of a boo boo recently with these tips.  I accidentally mixed the pl30 tips with the stock SB tips and now I've not a clue which ones are which.  In the picture above, the only SB tips i can for sure point out are the double flange.  I only use the tips found in the second row from the left, as well as the smaller tips which are the second row from the right.  ALL the tips are excellent, but I find the 2nd smallest ones from the right side to be the best sounding and have the most comfort.  I can wear them for hours and not get soar, but, with all the other tips my ears do get soar after an hour or so.  The small cylinder tips that I use here allow for the best staging while maintaining the great bass experience.  I found no other tip to be as great sounding or as comfortable.  My problem is, are they from the SBs or the PL30s? lol, doesnt really matter because they are awesome and worth a million bucks to me.

 

 

The Silver Bullets have an elongated tube that the tips fit over, so its very hard to find tips that sound good, actually fit, and are comfortable.  The Sony hybrids, Monster Super Tips, and the PL30 tips all fit great, but again the PL30s are amazing.  The smallest super tips are the only ones that actually fit my ears! Save yourself the trouble and just get the PL30 replacement tips.  They are nice and fat and will fit around it without a problem.  I highly advise you not ever touch the filters inside.  This is one set that is not to be modded.  You will ruin the quality of the sound without question.  DON'T DO IT! WHY RUIN SOMETHING SO AMAZING TO BEGIN WITH?

 

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The wire is thin and feels very flimsy, as do the connection pieces that protect the wire going into the housings.  It just doesnt scream quality or safety and I worry about tearing and popping them right out of the housing itself often.  They could have done a better job on that.  It doesn't ever get into my face or annoy me like a lot of other iems do.  It always rests at a comfortable place out of my face somewhere.  The cord is kind of long as well, its around 4ft, to me thats long because im a short guy lol, so, i would have preferred it a whole foot shorter.  The adapter head is also made of a nice high quality plastic and feels very solid and strong, its an L shape and I just love the hell out of it.  It's so nice to just hold it and feel the strength knowing its not going to cut out on you or fail any time soon

 

 

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Sound Quality

 

Well, well. Where to start?  They are stunning.  Undeniably, unquestionably, irrefutably THE BEST IEM EVER PRODUCED sub $150.   

 

The stage is incredibly wide compared to most IEMs.  It extends very far left and right and was a "decent" tallness factor.  It is like a widescreen experience with tv, just in audio form.  VERY spacious and separation is Grade A+.  I do not know of a single IEM sub $300 that has a stage size that can compare to it that has all these qualities:

-very wide left and right

-spacious sounding with decent depth ( not as good as the eterna )

-prime separation

 

the Eterna and the recently reviewed Hippo Epic sparkles have a stage that is taller than the SBs, but not nearly as wide.

 

All this while maintaining crystal clarity and a bass experience that puts a smile on my face for hours at a time.  In terms of sheer audio quality, there are other iems for the price that beat it, but not one of them have the other qualities the Silver Bullets also have.  The Bass experience is very powerful and punchy.  It is very airy of it really screams "high quality" bass.  It is not thick or bloated in the slightest, at least to my ears.  I enjoy the hell out of it.  It is not as bass heavy as the eterna, but it still has a hefty amount of it.  

 

This set was geared for classical, but handles every single genre very well.  Even with its wide stage and great separation factor, metal sounds fantastic.  If any of you enjoy rock guitar, please research Guthrie Govan, Frank Gambale, and Marco Sfogli on youtube.  Your listening experience will never be the same, they are considered the best fusion/metal guitar players of all time and are just amazing.   What I love about them is that they have a perfect blend of coloration, its not too colored or nearly as colored as the Eterna, but its also not as neutral as the RE-O or something similar.  Its just right, at least for me.  

 

Guthrie Govan has a track called Waves which will change your life if you never listened to it before.  His album called "Erotic Cakes".....lol....was not recorded in a high quality setting, but even with the not so HQ tracks the sound and depth is just incredible.  

When certain tracks in FLAC lossless are used, you will seriously be stunned by what the Silver Bullets can do.  

 

Check out the Superman the movie soundtrack ( specifically the new remastered Superman THE MUSIC track consisting of all four movie OSTs )  beautiful and stunning in every way. 

 

Also check out Gorillaz - Plastic Beach, which currently and to my knowledge is an album recorded in the highest quality possible.  The track Superfast Jelly Fish will stun you if you are not ready for what is coming.  The stage is huge.  Just huge.  And you will realize most other CD albums even ripped in FLAC are not really what things sound like.  Gorillaz made sure to record in the best quality possible, and you really can tell.  

Amazing is the only word I can use.  

 

*note - I used the HD800s with a good amp and the gorillaz cd and almost fell off my chair and cried form the sound coming at me, you'd never believe it, but what you think is high quality flac really isn't the best it can be.  Blame the record companies lol

 

Anyway, my IEM journey that lasted near a decade has ended.  I've found "that one IEM" set that we all strive to find.  It's not the best sounding in terms of audio quality, but its got everything else with "very good" audio quality.  All of these together? It doesn't exist in the IEM world for this price. You cannot do better.  

 

This set sounds great without amping via a sansa fuze, but with an great amp, you will have trouble believing the difference.  Stage and depth improves drastically to a point of disbelief for such a price.  Amp it if you can, but know that just the fuze or similar is enough to keep you happy on the go.

 

10/10 set

 

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Edited by swbf2cheater - 9/18/10 at 1:12pm

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post #2 of 46

x2 on the filters, mine got rather unbalanced once the filters came off but the stock filters are quite cheap. I suspect RE0/Zero filters would be a fine replacement thought because they're basically the same kind of paper.  Definitely a very competent iem, it kind of reminds me of a TF10 but all around more natural.

post #3 of 46

Just a FYI but there really isn't any best. What's the best for you is another man's garbage. The lack of a proper strain relief doesn't bode well for me however. I was somewhat interested in them a while ago and never really got around to buying them and have no need for another earphone that will keep my other abandoned earphones company.

 

It is nice that you have found a set that you enjoy and really like where it may prevent you from buying another pair for a while however.

 

@Inks: You can try some cotton to see if that fixes any imbalance but if you want to try 2 of the filters from the RE-Zero I could send you two of them at cost since I don't see them falling off ever and they come with a total of 10 I believe.


Edited by rawrster - 9/18/10 at 1:24pm
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 


Lies.  No other IEM boasts the package the SBs have for that price that I am aware of.  :) 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

Just a FYI but there really isn't any best. 

 

post #5 of 46

A decidedly positive review. How are the mids and treble?

post #6 of 46

There is no best for all, it's subjective


Edited by Inks - 10/18/10 at 8:37pm
post #7 of 46

oh the bass is is great on these well defined and extended. The mids are neutral if not a tiny bit recessed while the treble has sparkle at about the same level of coppers but with probably less extension. This is just a quick summary thought oh the soundstage is about right, big yet not  unnatural unlike other iems with big ss.

post #8 of 46

It will take quite a bit to surpass my RE-Zero as my go to universal and I doubt that will cost under $150 although my interest in the market now or soon to be in the market is pretty limited. There really is no best as we all have different preferences which is something you have to take into account for.

 

Inks, is there a mod for these earphones?


Edited by rawrster - 9/18/10 at 2:16pm
post #9 of 46
Thread Starter 

I take my ego out of this and don't like to play the nice guy game by saying "well, there is no best'.  There is most certainly a best something in each category, each quality has an IEM or headphone set that simply does it the best.  When people ask which set has the best bass, or X factor of your choosing, usually the same sets are always recommended, and for good reason...they are felt to be the best you can get for X reason.

 

Looking at each quality IEMS have individually, I feel the Silver Bullets will beat any set you can name in a points game sub $150.  What IEM for $40-50 used and 65$ new can beat the SB when you take into account all aspects, build quality, price, stage, separation, clarity, bass quality, kick factor, sparkle factor and sound quality unamped ect ect?  

 

The answer is none.  But for the sake of this topic and offending people who cant accept it lol, i'll say "none, in my opinion"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 46

I really like the Silver Bullets.  The soundstage is very wide. Bass is great.  They are a warmer sounding IEM so the clarity isn't as defined as other IEMs I've owned or tried.  With that said, I can wear them for hours without fatigue. 

 

As for the OP comments on the tips;  It depends on your ears and everyones is different. For me Comply foams work the best for me.  I couldn't get a good seal with any of the stock tips. 

 

Best under $150 is debatable.  No doubt its a great IEM for under $100.  It all comes down to personal preference.

post #11 of 46

Nice review there (:

 

Just 1 question. Are the IEM's themselves heavy in weight? (Cuz they look like they are)

post #12 of 46

@rawster. hmm well taking off the filters did bring out the treble making it even more sparkly than the coppers but then it became unbalanced because mids suffered. Overall it became too V shaped. It's fine stock, it was a fairly balanced phone and very natural sounding and not to mention probably my favorite soundstage so far. I also brushed the metal because it kind of scratches easily but one side of the ones i brushed became a bit discolored : (.

 

The fit I'll say is really good because of it's shape. Even though it's slightly heavy the shape of the shell kind of hugs your ear and just feels right.

 

All iems have strengths and weaknesses and while only a chosen few are leading their price categories trying to make one the definitive choice becomes a subjective choice at best. I'll give these the best soundstage in it's price range and perhaps bass in terms of frequencies but other things are beaten by others in the top of head. Even then this is a personal choice as some will prefer a smaller soundstage and tighter/faster bass. At the end it all gets subjective.

post #13 of 46

The earpiece is roughly 3.8g on one side. For comparison, Radius DDM with bi-flange is 3.6g, Phonak PFE (with earguide) is 2.6g, and an U.S. quarter is 5.6g.

post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wenhui View Post

Nice review there (:

 

Just 1 question. Are the IEM's themselves heavy in weight? (Cuz they look like they are)


Yes, they've a lot of weight to them.  I wish they were just a bit lighter and smaller so they didn't stick out of my ears as much as they do, just a little smaller and a better protection piece on the wire to driver head area would make them perfect.

post #15 of 46

wow how are these compared to the MC5s or the HSJE900s or ie6? or are these like a tier below?listen to mainly rock and classical. some hip hop/rap and a little bit of electronic/ other.... currently have the KSC75.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review - Fischer Audio Silver Bullets - A True TITAN of the IEM world - 56k Warning