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How much more do you need to spend on customs than IEMs for equivalent sound?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've been looking at the apparently new Minerva customs (http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/537855/anyone-heard-of-minerva-customs) but really struggling with the decision... which has lead me to an interesting question.

 

 

I know that to get equivalent sound quality you have to spend quite a bit more on customs than you would for stock IEM's. But I was wondering 'how much'?

 

I know there is no right answer, but with the combined experience here there must be some interesting views.

 

So, fire away, whats your view?

post #2 of 11

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by landofshane View Post

...I know that to get equivalent sound quality you have to spend quite a bit more on customs than you would for stock IEM's.

 

 

Not being cheeky, but how do you know that?  If that were true, audiophiles who aren't musicians would not even look at customs.  Majority of people who get into customs will say that even most entry level customs (JH5, SM3, etc) sound better than many top level universals.
 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

Not being cheeky, but how do you know that?  If that were true, audiophiles who aren't musicians would not even look at customs.  Majority of people who get into customs will say that even most entry level customs (JH5, SM3, etc) sound better than many top level universals.

 


Oooo... now that's an interesting start I hadn't predicted!

 

I was looking at items like a £150 pair of ER4s vs a £150 single driver custom and sort of just assumed the sound quality of the standard IEM would be better (otherwise, wouldn't everyone here with high end IEM's have customs instead?).

 

I've read in a number of places that customs cost more for an equivalent sound (as you are paying for other benefits like a perfect fit/comfort and hand-built quality). But perhaps the difference isn't as bid as I was assuming?

post #4 of 11

I haven't heard customs, but from what I've read customs tend to match, if not outperform IEMs at the same price range. Which makes sense, as they're specially made for your ears.

post #5 of 11

Well, there is obviously a large number of choices in both arenas (customs vs universals), so we probably can't make any blanket statements or assumptions.  I'm sure there are a couple of examples of a custom IEM not sounding as good as a universal, especially if the universal is the ER4s!  

 

But I would not even consider a single driver custom when there are plenty of single and dual driver universals for lower cost.  I would get at least dual driver customs, if not more, and most people here would probably do the same when looking at customs.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345142 View Post

I haven't heard customs, but from what I've read customs tend to match, if not outperform IEMs at the same price range. Which makes sense, as they're specially made for your ears.


I am in the same boat and have heard the same thing. A significant portion of making an IEM sound good is the fit. With customs you don't have to worry about that, because... well... they're customized!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, this thread has gone an interesting direction that I hadn't expected :-). I love surprises!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

But I would not even consider a single driver custom when there are plenty of single and dual driver universals for lower cost.  I would get at least dual driver customs, if not more, and most people here would probably do the same when looking at customs.

Totally agree... although based on this thread I think I'll now need a new one on dual vs triple driver customs.

I know these things aren't directly comparable, but with the thought of buying some 'unknown' customs as a guinea pig is a scary concept so I'm looking for any generalisations or stereotypes people can give ;-)
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok, so here's a slightly different view of the question...

Does anyone know of any bad customs?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by landofshane View Post

Ok, so here's a slightly different view of the question...

Does anyone know of any bad customs?


Badly tuned or ones that are malfunctioning...

Most customs utilize the same drivers from the same manufacturers so differences aren't exceedingly significant in comparison to building/designing from scratch.

But the worst experiences probably come from Fidelity Duals, Alien Ears, and Sensaphonics.

post #10 of 11

I'm really tempted by Minerva's single driver solution at £150 as well.

 

My ear canals are like my feet. One size for one foot is not suitable for the other foot. Having one hell of a time with my RE-ZERO's to get a reliable and comfortable seal plus the isolation is adequate but nothing special. Whilst the comply foamies do the ideal job on the seal and comfort front, they massacre the highs.

 

It seems like the advice would be to suck it up and save up for a dual driver or more custom for some time in the future when my RE-ZERO's give up the ghost but I admit to be hugely torn between keeping my RE-ZERO's or saving a couple of months for the single driver custom (assuming the sound signature is one that is appealing to me).

post #11 of 11

i have to say it all comes down to fit..if u have "that" perfect seal, it will sound great.

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