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1964 Ears - Page 411

post #6151 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malevolent View Post

Haha. Think I might need my headphones even more then.. for those late nights and all that crying. ph34r.gif

That won't make your wife happy, though, lol. You gotta just work through that pain, my friend!
post #6152 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjhacker23 View Post

 

 

 

 

Okay, guys. 

 

So, I got my V6 Stages in the mail a couple of weeks ago (stealth black, black cord, no logo or artwork, no ambient port, no silicone tips, no recessed sockets) and have been putting these babies through their paces, and finally, now that the holiday is over, have a few moments to get some thoughts down about them. 

 

Universal IEMs have never fit me well--I have weird ears (I guess) and the experience has always been vaguely painful, and I've always been unpleasantly aware of them jammed in my ears. I'd take them out and my ears would breathe a sigh of relief. In comparison, these things are a revelation: Fit is fantastic. Seal is tight. After a few minutes they melt away and I hardly know they're in my ears, even when walking about. Which is exactly what I was hoping. Light and transparent. 

 

My rig: an iPhone 6. Period. With a measured output impedance of 2.4 ohms, it's a perfect pairing to these 22 ohm earphones, easily clearing the 1/8 rule of thumb. I use Can Opener to play music, as it has a built in dosimeter that, from what I've read is fairly accurate. I keep the listening levels safe, between 60-79 decibels, and keep all settings on "bypass," which disables any EQ or other signal processing. All files ALAC, ripped from CDs.

 

Generally: What follows is a kind of poem to these earphones. In reality, after a few moments the earphone disappears and i'm just listening to music. Occasionally, something dramatic will happen in whatever album I'm listening to and I'll notice the impressive depth of the bass, or the subtle separation of instruments, but mostly the experience is totally transparent. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Music captured from the recording studio or concert hall and pumped directly into my cerebral cortex. Exactly as it should be, as far as I'm concerned. 

 

Oh, and a word about isolation: It's fine. I live in NYC and am confronted with lots of loud sounds and the acrylic shells dim things considerably. They're rated at 25 decibels of reduction and I'd say that's about right in my experience. When I have them in and there's no music playing, it’s just a tad less isolating than my foam earplugs. I wish there had been an all-silicone option--I'd heard that 1964 Ears in their first couple of years offered such an option. I kind of want to email them and ask if they'd be willing to do a remold for me in all silicone. I'll keep you all posted on what they say. I wonder if that's something others are interested in as well? 

 

So, general impressions: Full. Clear. Revealing. What do i mean by this? I'm listening to Peter Gabriel's "Scratch My Back" right now. Everything is just... there. His scratchy voice vivid, perfectly reproduced--down to the intake of breath as it's picked up by the microphone, swallowing between breaths. The piano accompanies him on "My Body is a Cage" and I can hear the felt hammers hit the piano strings, the warm reverberations of the pedal point chords off the soundboard. I can hear the shimmer of the cymbal swiped gently with the steel brush. I can feel the subterranean floor of the bass thump thump thumping lightly along.  I can "hear" the hall, the echo of the solo clarinet off the ceiling and then: Woah! The full frontal blast of the entire orchestra, and Gabriel cries out over it all, "My body is a cage! My body is a caaaage!" All this I can hear, and I'm sitting in a typically noisy cafe in the middle of Manhattan.

 

Bass: Tight. Deep. Rich. Even in the sub-bass. When it's there in the recording, watch out! Kick drum and Bass synths are brash and punchy on LCD Soundsystem's "Time to Get Away". The opening of "Southern Point" from Grizzly Bear's Vecktamest is all airy acoustic bass and deep drums, reproduced beautifully, with plenty of subtly of texture and tone and separation, so that if I were inclined to, I could make out the low plucked bass line from the deep left hand of the keyboard from the boom of the kettle drum. The bass line in Alicia Keys' "Fallin'" is tight, controlled. But when it's not there in the recording, it stays out of the way. (As an aside, and not to start a flame war here, but I really don't understand why you would buy a pair of earphones that introduced elements that are clearly not part of the recording--it's like bringing a salt shaker to Le Bernadin). The first moments of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" is a tinny drum machine over a sampled loop of someone going "badda, badda, badda doo da!" The drum machine sounds, well, as full and tight as a tinny drum machine can sound, and just when you're thinking, "Hmm, the bass in these headphones is kind of light..." Boom! The beat drops, full and deep, and you nod your head along to it and the earphones disappear and you're just in it. On "Bluesette" from Bill Evans' "Sesjun Radio Shows" Mark Johnson's fast fingered bass is well-articulated, tight and quick at the lower registers and as he travels up the fingerboard the tone shifts along with it from the wood-rich depths to the nasal twang of the upper end.

 

Mids: Neutral. Agile. Revealing. This is where the male voice lives. The mid registers of the keyboard. Guitars. Tenor sax. I don't have much to say here, other than I don't notice it much. Not that it's recessed at all; it's there, totally. It's just that mids in recordings don't "wow" me in the way that lows do, so I tend not to notice them--unless it's lacking or too forward in the earphone.  With these, I feel like I'm being presented with everything in its right place. On Regina Spektor's "Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pa)," I was surprised to hear a light synth line doubling her for much of the song, something, having listened to it dozens of times prior to this, I had never noticed. Is it just that I'm more aware of the sounds that are coming through earphones that I just paid $$$ for? Maybe, maybe not. I'll leave that conversation--and a direct A/B comparison--for another day. Suffice it to say, these earphones make it easy to distinguish such instrumental separation while waiting at the corner of a busy intersection in the middle of the day! I'll say this too: the mids are very pleasing. The first two tracks on Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" is all mid section, held firmly in place by a tight regular bass. I could listen to it for hours. Very musical. On "Never Going Back Again," those dual steel string acoustic guitars, the two part harmony, is just so rich and clear and sparkly. Even on the harder driving "Don't Stop" with the introduction of the honky-tonk piano and electric guitar, things still sound detailed and smooth, never harsh. Which isn't to say that the earphones gloss over unpleasant sounds. For instance, on Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," in some places his high pitched crooning hits distortion levels--something these headphones make very plain. (Not judging it--for all I know this was a conscious choice on the artist's or producer's part--just that it's easily discernible). Listening to "You Make Loving Fun" right now, and man, just gorgeous: their harmonies, the electric strumming, the high register slap-bass and little snippets of solo guitar, all swirling around your head. Just switched to "Aven, Aven" by the Gypsy Kings and same thing: all enveloping guitar strumming, the little flamenco flourishes, the rhythmic clapping, the raspy crooning. What more do you want out of your midrange?

 

Highs: Airy. Sparkly. Crisp. Continuing to listen to Gypsy King's "Roots" and the high overtones in the guitar strumming are there, the bright snap of clapping hands. In a recent Anne Sophie-Mutter recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, the violin's low register is rich and throaty, the highs bright and silky sweet--in other words a faithful reproduction of Sophie-Mutter playing that particular instrument. Again, when it's not present, it doesn't make an appearance. On Portishead's "Hunter," for example, during most of the song, an old muted sample plays, warm and rich, no highs at all--and then a shimmer of chimes signal a shift and the entrance of Beth Gibbons' thin trembling voice--and suddenly the highs are there, clear and refreshing and bright. On Radiohead's "Amnesiac" the various synthesized bleeps and blips, the highly processed lead guitar, are all there, crystal clear. Thom Yorke's falsetto warbling as good as it's ever sounded. 

 

Maybe here might be a good place to talk about soundstage, as Radiohead's "Amnesiac" is spacious, with lots of air between registers, and the V6S shows its stuff here--very wide, with great separation--there's an open, three dimensional, around-the-head quality that these earphones produce. The little sparkly chirps, the tambourine tap-tap-tap, the ringing water glasses all come from somewhere outside your head. It's very nice indeed.

 

I'd like to reiterate something here about volume levels. I think it's important to note that headphones can sound dramatically different at various listening levels. All of these things I've noticed, I've noticed with Can Opener's dosimeter hovering at around 70 decibels.  I try for just loud enough to bring out the thumping bass, but no louder. Which is to say that I'm able to coax a satisfying aural experience out of these earphones without touching EQ--or endangering my hearing. I spent most of my early adulthood doing just the opposite: listening to music at the borderline of too loud and it's taken its toll. I've developed tinnitus, a faint ringing that is always present and that gets louder after a listening session. So, let this be a public service message: protect your hearing!

 

It's also a testament to these earphones: what it does, it does effortlessly. I have no doubt that if you really want the bass to rattle the inside of your skull or the highs to make your eyes water, all you'd need to do is raise the volume a few clicks.

 

Oh, and @Tmorterlaing, because I've been lurking around this thread long enough to know the question is coming: no, I have not tried the V8’s or the SM64’s so I can't compare them--and yes, I think the V6S has about as much bass as any reasonable person could want. If you want more, just be done with it and buy yourself a pair of Beats. ;-) 

 

Seriously, though, as a comparison, the only other pairs of IEMs I've heard are the Shure SE215 and the Etymotic HF5. I found the 215s great but way too muddy, and the Etys I found way too thin and reedy. This is my first and only pair of CIEMs and is far and away the best earphones I have ever heard. I can't imagine ever wanting any more than this. Well, if someone offered me an even trade for a pair K10's hand carved from birdseye maple, I *might* consider it. But short of that, I think this is it, folks. Done, satisfied. Quest over. My wallet can now breathe a sigh of relief!

 

So, anyway, those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading!


Very cool look indeed! Nice review too. Sigh I wish my unit would be back from refitting so I can continue my write up. Good thing I have no deadlines to meet haha
post #6153 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmatheis View Post

That won't make your wife happy, though, lol. You gotta just work through that pain, my friend!
Spoken like a true soldier. I guess you've gone through all that? Sigh. I think I can only hold the kids off for another year or so. After that, it's going to be crying in stereo.

On the good side, I'll be on Head-fi more, since I'll probably be giving sleep a pass. biggrin.gif
post #6154 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malevolent View Post

Spoken like a true soldier. I guess you've gone through all that? Sigh. I think I can only hold the kids off for another year or so. After that, it's going to be crying in stereo.

On the good side, I'll be on Head-fi more, since I'll probably be giving sleep a pass. biggrin.gif

Been there X4, my friend. 2 in university and now a 3-1/2 and 1-1/2 year old 😳.
post #6155 of 7417
Question: does anyone have a v8 and roxanne comparison?
post #6156 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmax View Post

Question: does anyone have a v8 and roxanne comparison?

I can try them out smily_headphones1.gif
post #6157 of 7417
Bigger Question: How will the A10 & A12 stack up against both the Roxanne and K10?
post #6158 of 7417

I know this isn't really the 'done thing' on forums, but this is a repost because it was followed by cjhacker23's excellent review, which sort of swamped the question, so very sorry!

 

This is all so confusing – I've read the SM64s have more the the SE535, and the V6S has slightly more than the SM64... which means to say 'slightly' more confuses me :s Haha!

One thing I haven't asked actually, is anyone able to comment on the clarity/ detail of the V8 vs the SM64? I've been wrapped up on my quest to compare the V6S and V8, but maybe this one will work better.

The only quantification I've had so far for this has been the (very helpful!) ericr saying both V6S and V8 will blow the SM64 out of the water, but ericr has said the V6S has better detail throughout of the two. That seems to be the general consensus here, but if the V8 still has better clarity/detail than the SM64 DESPITE it's quite big bass, then I'll be a happy boy. 

Ivabign has said the V8 still has plenty good detail, but it's difficult to tell without him being able to compare :D 

 

Can anyone comment at all? And is anyone able to further elaborate on which of the two (V6S/V8) has the bigger soundstage? Or are they almost comparable? There seems to be contention on that front as well. 

 

Sorry! And thanks :D :D

post #6159 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmatheis View Post

Been there X4, my friend. 2 in university and now a 3-1/2 and 1-1/2 year old 😳.

 

Nice. Have your kids taken after you in the head-fi realm? :wink:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post

Bigger Question: How will the A10 & A12 stack up against both the Roxanne and K10?

 

Yeah. That'll be a really interesting comparison. Could be a nice 4 way fight. Throw in a few other flagships and we've got a royal rumble. Looks like Innerfidelity has to do a round 2 of the TOTL CIEM shootout soon. :smile:

post #6160 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

I know this isn't really the 'done thing' on forums, but this is a repost because it was followed by cjhacker23's excellent review, which sort of swamped the question, so very sorry!

 

This is all so confusing – I've read the SM64s have more the the SE535, and the V6S has slightly more than the SM64... which means to say 'slightly' more confuses me :s Haha!

One thing I haven't asked actually, is anyone able to comment on the clarity/ detail of the V8 vs the SM64? I've been wrapped up on my quest to compare the V6S and V8, but maybe this one will work better.

The only quantification I've had so far for this has been the (very helpful!) ericr saying both V6S and V8 will blow the SM64 out of the water, but ericr has said the V6S has better detail throughout of the two. That seems to be the general consensus here, but if the V8 still has better clarity/detail than the SM64 DESPITE it's quite big bass, then I'll be a happy boy. 

Ivabign has said the V8 still has plenty good detail, but it's difficult to tell without him being able to compare :D 

 

Can anyone comment at all? And is anyone able to further elaborate on which of the two (V6S/V8) has the bigger soundstage? Or are they almost comparable? There seems to be contention on that front as well. 

 

Sorry! And thanks :D :D

Dude, just get the V6S. It seems like that's what you're looking for, you're just afraid to take the plunge. It has plenty of bass and has all the other characteristics you're looking for, such as detail and clarity. It will work well with any genre. I demoed them and they sounded great. V8 is probably overkill. You've been asking tons of questions here and to me it seems like you just can't make up your mind and I bet that once the questions above are answered you'll find more questions to doubt your decision. Just get the V6S and be done with it.

post #6161 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malevolent View Post

Nice. Have your kids taken after you in the head-fi realm?

Surprisingly not since both have been involved in classical and jazz ensembles from a relatively early age. I give them some band me downs from time to time, but they destroy them pretty quickly winding them tightly around their iPhones despite my advice against that foul practice 😢.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post

Dude, just get the V6S. It seems like that's what you're looking for, you're just afraid to take the plunge. It has plenty of bass and has all the other characteristics you're looking for, such as detail and clarity. It will work well with any genre. I demoed them and they sounded great. V8 is probably overkill. You've been asking tons of questions here and to me it seems like you just can't make up your mind and I bet that once the questions above are answered you'll find more questions to doubt your decision. Just get the V6S and be done with it.

A bit blunt but good advice. I Have the same concerns about bass between them two and have demoed them both. In my brief demo session, V8 was definitely bassier but when needed. It didn't seem overwhelming to me when songs weren't meant to be bassy. V6S was definitely more neutral but still had good bass - just not as powerful as V8. I'm coming from TPEOS Altone200 as my daily IEM. Neither were as bright as the Altone, both bettered Altone's bass response, and both had more expansive soundstage to my ears.
post #6162 of 7417

V8 is definitely more bassier than V6s. During the demo session, V6s seems to appear having higher clarity when the bass kicks in. I'll probably need more time to confirm it. But I suspect its because the bass bleads into the mid or treble.

 

Compared with the Roxanne and K10, V8 has a boomier bass. Probably thats the impression of less clarity in the V8. However, I do find clarity in V8. I was told the custom will have better clarity and more controlled bass from owners of V8. A thing to note, I do enjoy the quality of bass in V8.


Edited by adammax - 12/3/14 at 8:49am
post #6163 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post

Dude, just get the V6S. It seems like that's what you're looking for, you're just afraid to take the plunge. It has plenty of bass and has all the other characteristics you're looking for, such as detail and clarity. It will work well with any genre. I demoed them and they sounded great. V8 is probably overkill. You've been asking tons of questions here and to me it seems like you just can't make up your mind and I bet that once the questions above are answered you'll find more questions to doubt your decision. Just get the V6S and be done with it.

+1
post #6164 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfly View Post
 

Dude, just get the V6S. It seems like that's what you're looking for, you're just afraid to take the plunge. It has plenty of bass and has all the other characteristics you're looking for, such as detail and clarity. It will work well with any genre. I demoed them and they sounded great. V8 is probably overkill. You've been asking tons of questions here and to me it seems like you just can't make up your mind and I bet that once the questions above are answered you'll find more questions to doubt your decision. Just get the V6S and be done with it.

Ok ok, but if it doesn't have enough bass, I'll have to challenge you to a duel.

post #6165 of 7417
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

Ok ok, but if it doesn't have enough bass, I'll have to challenge you to a duel.

Fine, you pick the spot, I'll bring the guns. 10 paces in each direction :)

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