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Looking for MTPC-level texture/fullness, with more sparkle

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Need some recommendations, hope you guys can help me out :) Sorry for the long post and for the bullet points!

 

I bought a pair of Monster Turbine Pro Copper off another Head-Fier, and I've used them almost exclusively for the past month, and I have decided the sound signature isn't for me. I'm probably going to sell, so I'm looking for a good replacement IEM.

 

The only "good" headphones I have owned are the UE super.fi 3 and the A-T M50. The SF3 are a bit too tinny and bass-light for me (although I do still like them). The fit is also pretty annoying, and isolation leaves something to be desired. The M50 has nearly the perfect sound signature for me. In my opinion, though, the M50 need good amplification to give their full detail, and I'm not interested in purchasing an amp at this time. Some more richness in the bass/mids would be nice too.

 

I have demoed some other headphones as well. Due to my music genres (rock, hip-hop, various electronic genres, acoustic/folk, and only a little bit of jazz) and due to personal preference, I lean more towards the "live rock concert" sound - relatively punchy with lots of sparkle, like the M50 - and less toward the laid-back, open Sennheiser HDxxx-type sound.

 

First, what I liked about the MTPC:

  • The gel supertips are incredible - isolation, comfort, and sound are top-notch
  • The detail and texture in the bass and mids really impressed me
  • A very authoritative sound, much richer than the M50

 

Ultimately, what turned me off the MTPC:

  • It just takes me too much effort to enjoy them. With the M50, I put them on and I was instantly in love. It took a few days for me to fully appreciate the MTPC, and even now, I feel like I'm looking for its strengths rather than just relaxing and letting the music wash over me.
  • They aren't any good for low-volume listening. At first, they sound excellent. Then, I find myself needing to raise the volume to maintain that level of sound. They otherwise sound very flat.
  • The highs are just too smooth. I'd rather have a sibilant high end than a laid-back one. I love my cymbals!
  • They are a tad too bassy to my taste.

 

In a way I'm looking for an M50 upgrade in IEM form :) I'd like to have M50 treble, with more texture and meat to the lows and mids. Less bass quantity than MTPC, but ideally with the same level of extension. Low-volume listening is important to me, so a V-shaped sound sig might be helpful. Isolation is also a high priority - I should be able to use them on a subway without increasing the volume more than a step or two. No preference in driver technology.

 

In case it isn't already apparent, I don't value sonic accuracy and soundstage too much.

 

EDIT: sorry, forgot to mention that I will not be purchasing an amp. Source will be an iPod Touch G3, which I quite like, and an Sony Vaio Z, which has virtually no hiss and drives the M50 almost as well as the iPod.

 

From my research, the two top candidates might be the UE Triple.Fi 10 and the Westone 3. I don't like the UE fit, so I've pretty much eliminated those, leaving the Westone 3. Do you think they would be a good choice, given my needs and preferences?

 

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated, too. I'm buying used, and I will spend up to $250. Thank you so much for reading!

 

Best regards,

 

Jon


Edited by yumigator - 12/11/10 at 11:10pm
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Haha, maybe that was too long. Maybe a simpler question - what IEM sounds like the M50?

post #3 of 9

Well, if you want sparkle, the tf10 definitely has a lot more sparkle than the MTPC. However, the tf10 does not have that fullness or texture that MTPC has and the tf10 has a V shaped sound signature. I had the sf3 a long time ago and if you liked it alittle, you could try out the tf10; the tf10 still sounds tinny but it has more bass than the sf3.

 

I only demoed the westone 3 for awhile but if you found MTPC too bassy, the w3 would have too much bass for you. 

Do note that dynamic and armature drivers each have their distinct sound signature, they are very different. 

post #4 of 9

EX700, DBA-02, HJE900, SA6, GR8, CK10 and MC5........

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses!

 

I've spent some time with EQ on the MTPC and I've realized that I can't have MTPC bass/mids + M50 highs - sound doesn't work that way. The MTPC with highs EQ'ed to sound like the M50's is awful - the midrange sounded really sucked-out and overall the sound was just not natural. Of the two, I prefer the sound of the M50 - so I may go that direction. Something with the energy of the M50, but a little more detail. I'll have to sacrifice having the thickness that the MTPC offers.

 

The main complaint I've read about the tf10, besides fit, is the midrange. They're probably not for me. I'll also cross the W3 off my list for having too much bass.

 

I'm very interested right now in the DBA-02, CK10, and W2. The DBA-02 and CK10 have both received glowing reviews, and they definitely have the detail I'm looking for. My only concern is that they would not have enough bass. (I've read much of the DBA-02 thread, and it seems to FOTM to be trusted.) The W2 seems to have a sound similar to that of the MTPC, but with less bass and more balanced in general. With these, my concern is that several reviewers have called the treble slightly recessed and laid-back.

 

If anyone who has head the DBA-02, CK10, or W2 could offer his opinion, that would be awesome. Comparisons among those three and/or comparisons with the M50 would be especially helpful. Thanks again!

post #6 of 9

Hje 900 would be a good choice for what your looking for.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions. Just as an update, I decided on the Jays q-JAYS. They really aren't anything like I was asking for - they have not so much bass, a slightly recessed midrange (vocals sound amazing however), and a LOT of treble quantity. Texture is good throughout the spectrum. I love the sound though, and I would say BA IEMs are probably more to my taste.

 

Someday I may try another dynamic, as I do miss the way they kind of "tickle" your eardrums. The q-JAYS are great portables though, and I've still got the M50 if I want that type sound.

post #8 of 9

I'm not sure if you have sold your Coppers already, but what I found with them, using different tips can change the sound signature quite drastically. I find that the super tips make them too bass heavy, and with the triple flanges, they give them more sparkles and less bass but it sounds a bit thin for my taste. I eventually settled down with some tips similar to the Sony Hybrids. Maybe you should give the Coppers another chance by experimenting with different tips and insertion depth. The Coppers are great for Hip-Hop and electronic music, don't think I've heard any IEMs that can produce percussion instruments with such fine details: just listen to the high pitch ringing sound in Usher's 'Yeah' or Ultravox's 'The Thin Wall' and you'll know what I mean. rolleyes.gif

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I still have them. Another member, Anaxilus, actually gave me the same suggestion - tip and insertion depth. I'm going to try the Meelec M11+ tips on his recommendation.

 

I do agree the Coppers are great with electronic and hip-hop and most rock recordings, I'm just the type of person who likes a pair of headphones to work for all types of music. With all of the included tips, I find the Coppers too warm and bassy with certain types of music. In particular acoustic guitars really lose their energy - Dashboard Confessional's Swiss Army Romance album sounded lifeless - and complex metal music turns to mush.

 

Thanks for the advice! I'll give Sony tips a try as well (I think I have a set somewhere).

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