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Earsonics SM3 Appreciation Thread - Third Time is a Charm? - Page 89

post #1321 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyonya View Post

I see, thank you.  Are they otherwise similar to the stock bi-flanges (bore size, material)?  I'm looking for some bi-flanges a bit smaller than the stock - anyone with all the Atrio bi-flange sizes able to compare them to the stock tips?  Thanks!

Atrio's bore are larger. More quantity bass with the Atrios Vs. stock bi-flanges.

post #1322 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by olear View Post

Atrio's bore are larger. More quantity bass with the Atrios Vs. stock bi-flanges.

 

I see.  I always thought a larger bore meant more treble, not more bass - but maybe there's something I'm missing.  Does anyone know how the Atrio bi-flanges compare size-wise to the stock tips?  Are the medium Atrios about the same size as the stock?

post #1323 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

For my tip pics:
http://www.head-fi.org/gallery/album/view/id/213448/user_id/167934/sort/display_order/page/40
That's an Olive core, inverted large Sony hybrids, and medium Sennheiser double flanges.

I haven't checked your link yet, but from another site, someone suggested removing the inner tubes of an Olive tip, then putting Olive tip sans inner tube over the SM3 nozzle and then putting a Phonak Audeo PFE top over that. Supposed to have good isolation and comfort.  Have you tried this and/or how does this sound?

post #1324 of 1666

I haven't tried that specific setup, but I did have a similar one with my SE215 a while ago, which was a medium Shure gray flex tip, with a tripped Comply inside. I found it sealed a little better than the flex tips on their own, and isolated really well, but was less secure/more likely to fall out. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olear View Post

I haven't checked your link yet, but from another site, someone suggested removing the inner tubes of an Olive tip, then putting Olive tip sans inner tube over the SM3 nozzle and then putting a Phonak Audeo PFE top over that. Supposed to have good isolation and comfort.  Have you tried this and/or how does this sound?

post #1325 of 1666

Anyone who has the SM3 and isn't overly sensitive should give the TF10s a listen. I find they make an excellent compliment to my SM3s. I've been listening to the TF10s almost exclusively for the past week and they are a lot of fun, but going from the TFs to the SM3s, I am positively drunk on the SM3s sound.

 

The TF10s were kind of a welcome relief from my SM3s, which can be a bit overly warm and intimate for me sometimes, and SE215s, which are a touch warm, bassy, and don't have treble worth writing much about. I think I needed a treble heavy phone in my life, because the TF10s wide and open sound felt like such a welcome relief to my ears. Sometimes the SM3s are just too centered on vocals, I just want the mids to bugger off for a second and let me enjoy the fullness of the music with everything coming together; the SM3s can be a little pushy with vocals, because they are at the exact center of the stage and even when the bass or drums come in "louder," somehow the vocals are just right there in the center of the sound, completely inescapable. It's a really special effect that I haven't heard from any other phone, full size or in-ear, because it almost sounds like there is a voice deep inside your head talking to you blink.gif but sometimes it's just too much. The TF10s opened my head up to this kind of carefree, fast-paced, aggressive sound without ever being claustrophobic or overwhelming, lots of shimmery sparkly treble without being cold and rarely, if ever, sibilant, a good fun quantity of bass, and nice clear mids. Everything comes together really nicely, well-blended and natural without being muddy, and they don't take as much effort/attention to listen to as the SM3s. They give just enough detail to satisfy the audiophile in me, while still letting me enjoy the music superficially.

 

But after the TF10s, the depth, separation, and coherency of the SM3s soundstage is just so impressive. I really like the TFs for Infected Mushroom, because they have really awesome dynamics and such an exciting, fun sound that comes closer than anything i've heard to reproducing the feeling of being live at an Infected show. But when I listen to IM with the SM3s now, after a week with the TF10s, I just feel like this is the way some of their songs are meant to be heard, even moreso than a live show. It's like the SM3s create this tiny little bubble of music just for me to autistically retreat into from the rest of the world etysmile.gif The sonic space is just so well defined, everything so well-separated, never muddy or congested. It requires just enough effort to take everything in that it just whisks me away from everything going on around me. Love these little guys ksc75smile.gif

 

I would say the TF10s sound more "natural," in that they are more what you expect from a really nice IEM, and are very easy to listen to, while the SM3s sound more "realistic," in the sense of being able to create a coherent sonic space. However that space takes attention to fully realize, and I don't always want to be COMPLETELY immersed in my music; sometimes I just want to have fun and dance or bob my head. That's when I grab the TF10.

post #1326 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

Anyone who has the SM3 and isn't overly sensitive should give the TF10s a listen. I find they make an excellent compliment to my SM3s. I've been listening to the TF10s almost exclusively for the past week and they are a lot of fun, but going from the TFs to the SM3s, I am positively drunk on the SM3s sound.

 

The TF10s were kind of a welcome relief from my SM3s, which can be a bit overly warm and intimate for me sometimes, and SE215s, which are a touch warm, bassy, and don't have treble worth writing much about. I think I needed a treble heavy phone in my life, because the TF10s wide and open sound felt like such a welcome relief to my ears. Sometimes the SM3s are just too centered on vocals, I just want the mids to bugger off for a second and let me enjoy the fullness of the music with everything coming together; the SM3s can be a little pushy with vocals, because they are at the exact center of the stage and even when the bass or drums come in "louder," somehow the vocals are just right there in the center of the sound, completely inescapable. It's a really special effect that I haven't heard from any other phone, full size or in-ear, because it almost sounds like there is a voice deep inside your head talking to you blink.gif but sometimes it's just too much. The TF10s opened my head up to this kind of carefree, fast-paced, aggressive sound without ever being claustrophobic or overwhelming, lots of shimmery sparkly treble without being cold and rarely, if ever, sibilant, a good fun quantity of bass, and nice clear mids. Everything comes together really nicely, well-blended and natural without being muddy, and they don't take as much effort/attention to listen to as the SM3s. They give just enough detail to satisfy the audiophile in me, while still letting me enjoy the music superficially.

 

But after the TF10s, the depth, separation, and coherency of the SM3s soundstage is just so impressive. I really like the TFs for Infected Mushroom, because they have really awesome dynamics and such an exciting, fun sound that comes closer than anything i've heard to reproducing the feeling of being live at an Infected show. But when I listen to IM with the SM3s now, after a week with the TF10s, I just feel like this is the way some of their songs are meant to be heard, even moreso than a live show. It's like the SM3s create this tiny little bubble of music just for me to autistically retreat into from the rest of the world etysmile.gif The sonic space is just so well defined, everything so well-separated, never muddy or congested. It requires just enough effort to take everything in that it just whisks me away from everything going on around me. Love these little guys ksc75smile.gif

 

I would say the TF10s sound more "natural," in that they are more what you expect from a really nice IEM, and are very easy to listen to, while the SM3s sound more "realistic," in the sense of being able to create a coherent sonic space. However that space takes attention to fully realize, and I don't always want to be COMPLETELY immersed in my music; sometimes I just want to have fun and dance or bob my head. That's when I grab the TF10.

I've had the TF10 and you have described them as I head them.  They are really opposites to the SM3.

The TF's are very energetic and lead to fatigue faster than other phones, but are really fun and exciting.  Try using Comply's and the bass quantity will increase and the treble will still have the sparkle. 

post #1327 of 1666

I tried complys, I was disappointed as usual, I just don't like the feel or fit of foam tips. It never gives me what I feel like is a true seal, even if it is. I use Sennheiser short biflanges, which are pretty much the perfect tips for my ears, and the ONLY tips that feel even for me (my right ear canal is slightly bigger, and I think something about the double flange is more adaptive or something).

 

I don't think they are total opposites though; tonally I would say the W3 is more the total opposite of the SM3. I find the SM3 to be dark and slightly warm, with forward mids; the TF10 is also a bit warm, with even mids, whereas the W3 has a very cold sound, and a much drier, more recessed midrange than TF10 or especially the SM3. The TF10s midrange is neither dry not lush imo, same goes for the SM3 generally although its mids are maybe a bit more on the lush side, and much more forward than the TF10. Also I think the TF10 and SM3 are fairly similar in OVERALL bass quantity, though the TF10 has more midbass and better punch, and the SM3 has better extension and is softer in its presentation. The W3 is a midbass canon, I am going on memory which can be tricky but I'm pretty darn sure they put both to shame in terms of midbass quantity. I could barely listen to the W3 for the midbass, whereas the TF10 and SM3 are both just a tiny hair below what I would like in terms of ideal bass quantity.


Edited by Gilly87 - 7/26/12 at 7:23am
post #1328 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

Anyone who has the SM3 and isn't overly sensitive should give the TF10s a listen. I find they make an excellent compliment to my SM3s. I've been listening to the TF10s almost exclusively for the past week and they are a lot of fun, but going from the TFs to the SM3s, I am positively drunk on the SM3s sound.

 

As much as I am loving the SM3s, I agree that it is nice to have a complimentary IEM with some more edge.  I am using the GR07 for that purpose. Even though it is fairly neutral, treble has a lot more bite than the SM3.
 
The TF10 was my first step into better sounding IEMs.  I have fond memories of it, even though I found it uncomfortable.
I suspect if I had the collection of tips back then that I have now, I would have been able to make it work better.
 
post #1329 of 1666

Yeah, I have a suspicion I might grow out of the TF10s some day, but right now I am enjoying the hell out of this 1-2 punch.

post #1330 of 1666

in my case, what i like on the SM3 is the enveloping soundstage, they really make you closer to the music and they sound realistic and natural as well.. anyways my 1-2 combo is the w4r and sm3....

post #1331 of 1666
Yeah they really have a way of bringing you into the middle of the music like nothing I've ever heard.
post #1332 of 1666

So here is where I am at: I have a couple of more days to decide if I want to keep the SM3 or return them for refund.

 

The SM3s fill the role of "all-arounder" in my IEM collection.  My "go to" IEM, so to speak.  I am pitting them against the Yamaha EPH100 for this purpose. I don't feel like I need to own both.

(I have several other IEMs that I will be keeping regardless...for a variety of reasons)

 

 

On the one hand: The SM3 are in my top 2 favorite IEMs (along with GR07).  They are non-fatiguing but still detailed.  And I love the "enveloping soundstage" (as it was referred to above).

 

On the other hand: They don't come cheap! And they are not quite as comfortable to me as the EPH100.  I like the SM3 better than the EPH100...but do I like them 3X times as much since they are 3X the cost?   Of course, I know all about diminishing returns.  So I am just trying to decide if the improvements are worth the cost...to me.  Especially since I have started listening to over-ear headphones a lot more when at home.

 

decisions, decisions! confused_face(1).gif

 
post #1333 of 1666
I don't know about you but personally I found the SM3 leagues above the EPH in terms of imaging, soundstage, tonal balance...but then I didn't care much for the EPH overall. For me it would be a no brainier: SM3 all day. The EPH is an all-rounder and is great for the price, but it never wowed me at all in terms of its listenability; it got old the day I received it, whereas my SM3 never lets me down.

I don't know about your spending habits or tendencies as an audiophile, but me, if I was forced to that choice, I'd be disappointed every time I plugged in the EPH and would wind up repurchasing the SM3. Its just so much more sophisticated and accurate.
Edited by Gilly87 - 7/30/12 at 1:55pm
post #1334 of 1666

i have the sm3 v2 with custom tips and with a good cable called texas, and they are good, but still find my ex 1000 better with hybrid tips, everything sounds bigger clearer and detailed, the quality of the bass is so good; never heard custom iems but i don't think they could sound much better than this maybe i get a good seal with the ex1000 ive read people who said they are sibilant or balanced armature iems are better i don't find any of this.


Edited by Kurdt-bada - 7/30/12 at 1:25pm
post #1335 of 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

I don't know about you but personally I found the SM3 leagues above the EPH in terms of imaging, soundstage, tonal balance...but then I didn't care much for the EPH overall. For me it would be a no brainier: SM3 all day. The EPH is an all-rounder and is great for the price, but it never wowed me at all in terms of its listenability; it got old the day I received it, whereas my SM3 never lets me down.
I don't know about your spending habits or tendencies as an audiophile, but me, if I was forced to that choice, I'd be disappointed every time I plugged in the EPH and would wind up repurchasing the SM3. Its just so much more sophisticated and accurate.

 

Thanks Gilly. That's what I was looking for...justification! I knew you wouldn't let me down tongue.gif
 
I think I like the EPH more than you did...but I really would hate the nagging feeling that I could be listening to something better if I didn't keep the SM3.
 
As far as my spending habits: well, let's just say that they have really gotten out of control. I have picked up the T1, HD650 and SM3 all in the past few weeks.  I think the main reason I am struggling with this is guilt. smile.gif   I am having this same issue trying to decide whether or not to keep the T1 (even though I got a good price...relatively speaking).  
 
Bottom line: I really need to stop monitoring the "Deals" thread!
 
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