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The Klipsch Custom 3 is top tier sound...

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 

So, I'm seeking advice from my fellow head-fiers for a change. How does the Custom 3 compare to the SE530 (figure more have heard that one than the SE535), the SM2, the HJE900, the FX700, DDM or any top tier (or near top tier) IEM?

 

I know it's a dual armature and I know it has severe cable issues, but I'm curious about the sound compared to other IEMs. Hoping a few of you have heard it and compared it to those other IEMs. The few reviews I've read says it has great bass. Is that the case? I know this really depends on the fit you get (because as an example, I'm reading that the HJE900 doesn't have a lot of bass from some, but I hear a heck of a lot of bass out of mine).

 

Thanks for your input in advance.

 

Eric

post #2 of 119

Once you step to a really good sounding earphone, SQ stops being the issue.  It instead turns to which product best fits your tastes.  It's not a matter of of product A or product B sounds good or bad.  It's a matter of if you will like the sound of product A versus product B.  A lot of these products are getting good enough where they simply don't have any serious flaws sound wise.  They are simply geared differently.  Yes, most earphones have a shortcoming or two, but these shortcomings are typically small or possibly were even developed into the earphone in relation to the sound goals.  Instead a lot of comparisons start falling back on other aspects like build quality, fit and finish, wearing comfort, provided accessories, etc.  These are things that don't directly relate to sound but do improve or hinder the overall value of the product as a whole.

 

The question I will ask you is what kind of sound do you want to hear?  Describe your ideal presentation.  Be as detailed and descriptive as possible.  If you had a perfect sound, what would it be?  From here we can help guide you to a product that has a sound signature that best fits your preference.

post #3 of 119
Thread Starter 

MVW2, first, thank you for your response. I guess I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I agree with you about many IEMs sounding good at a certain level. Thus, as you see in my signature, I have owned many with different sound signature. So, yes, I'm more interested in how the sound sig of the Custom 3 compares to the other IEMs I've listed, not which is better. I already know which one is the best for me right now, but I do like different sound signatures.

 

If you can tell me how the Custom 3 compares to the other sound signatures I would be much appreciative of your input - of course, assuming that you've heard the Custom 3 and any of the other IEMs I have listed. Thanks again.

post #4 of 119

you have the IE7 right?  it sound like that but BA

post #5 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

you have the IE7 right?  it sound like that but BA



Had the IE7. Got rid of it a long time ago, so vaguely remember the sound sig. I do remember liking it a lot though. Good bass and mids and kind of light on the treble? That's how I remember the IE7. Okay, thank you @ Mark.

post #6 of 119

yep thats pretty much it, sound sig wise i find them practically identical

post #7 of 119

So its a baby SM3?  I imagine w/ better clarity?  A Fisher molded Custom3 @ $99+$90 worth it?


Edited by Anaxilus - 10/4/10 at 12:42pm
post #8 of 119

Out of your sig, I have only used the IE8 and SE530.  I wouldn't relate the Custom 3 like either of them.  The Custom 3 sound is more closely linked to a Westone product or ER4 where the notes are more on the thicker, textured side of BA drivers.

 

A copy/paste of what I've written elsewhere:

 


Klipsch Custom 3
Bass: robust, thick, with a real sense of authority, slightly dominant emphasis
Mid: thick and warm, the lower end is presented more robustly, smooth, slightly dark/veiled
Treble: good sensitivity that is well extended, slightly laid back in presence, slightly smooth, retains a good amount of detail
Stage: spacious presence with a significant perceived depth, roomy and layered, yet not far away
Location: ok sense of location but somewhat blurred, not exact
Clarity: thick and full bodied, lacks some crispness and articulation of note favoring a smoother, thicker presentation, sounds tend to blend slightly together but not badly, can come across slightly muffled at times
Tone: strong lower frequency emphasis with some countering by a slight treble bump in sensitivity, very balanced sounding across the board, decently natural and balanced.
Dynamics: excellent dynamic energy, strong, authoritative, some explosiveness and sense of energy, good linearity, lacks subtlety of notes due to the thick note presentation

 

The Custom 3 is a robust and energetic earphone. It offers a thick, powerful sound, and a great frequency response balance right out of the box. The sound stage is nicely sized and spacious with good separation and distancing. The only gripes would be that the thickness and smoothness of note does hide finer details and the physical cabling of the earphone is terrible.

 

Comments on the response:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/492454/klipsch-custom-3-owners-unique-find

 

While the frequency response isn't flat, it's likable and I feel specifically done for the intent Klipsch had for the earphone.  I really like the drivers used.  I think they were chosen smartly and function very well.  Don't be fooled by the bass roll off too much.  The driver itself is actually quite good at low frequency reproduction, better than most BA drivers, and it will get you whatever you want with some EQing.  The treble driver matches the bass driver's sound.  It does fall a little short on the top end, not bad but other high frequency drivers offer more top end.  The crossover is well done, and the blending sounds seemless.  Even though there's a midrange dip, EQing is very effective at flattening it out if desired (unlike some multi-driver BA earphones where there seem to be phase issues associated with the dip).  One of the bigger benefits of the Custom 3 is the sound stage.  It is well and naturally sized, can portray both proximity and distance, and is relatively linear in spacing.  

post #9 of 119
Thread Starter 

Thank you again mvw2 and mark. Well, they're $99 so I took the plunge. Your insights helped me. I'll report back once I get them, but please, others keep the impressions/thoughts about this IEM coming if you have heard it or are curious about it.

post #10 of 119

I will add that a few folks here like the driver package of the Custom 3 enough to later on turn them into customs.  This might be something you will consider down the road for them.  As with most IEMs, I do suggest grabbing some Shure Olive tips if you don't have any lying around.  It just makes the process easier versus single flange tips.  The Klipsch tips are oval and geared to fit in one way.  It works well once it's inserted properly.  I just find foam tips to make things foolproof.  You just always get comfort and always get a seal.

post #11 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvw2 View Post

I will add that a few folks here like the driver package of the Custom 3 enough to later on turn them into customs.  This might be something you will consider down the road for them.  As with most IEMs, I do suggest grabbing some Shure Olive tips if you don't have any lying around.  It just makes the process easier versus single flange tips.  The Klipsch tips are oval and geared to fit in one way.  It works well once it's inserted properly.  I just find foam tips to make things foolproof.  You just always get comfort and always get a seal.


Yea, thanks for the tip. I do like the Olives quite a bit. Thanks again for your assistance. I think if the cable wears out before (or after) warranty I might opt for changing them into customs.

post #12 of 119

This gonna be your first experience w/ klipsch oval tips Eric?  If so, you are in for a comfort and isolation treat.  If they fit.

post #13 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

This gonna be your first experience w/ klipsch oval tips Eric?  If so, you are in for a comfort and isolation treat.  If they fit.



I agree, they were quite comfy when I had my S4's.  Please post your impression of the Custom 3 once you burn them in, I've been tempted to try them for a long time.  Like MVW2 stated, be sure to try the Olive's with the Custom 3, I liked them alot on my S4's.

post #14 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

This gonna be your first experience w/ klipsch oval tips Eric?  If so, you are in for a comfort and isolation treat.  If they fit.



Yes, this will be my first time @ Anaxilus. I will let  you know. About to A/B the Panny and JVC now.

post #15 of 119

Looks like you have done some more purchasing lately eric smily_headphones1.gif I definitely will be interested in how you like them. I've been tempted but the cables don't exactly make me want to buy them and well I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of them.

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