Originally Posted by Pianist
Hey, I am glad you enjoy the music. What tips are you using with your ER4? I find that Etys perform this music best with silicone tips. I was using the standard, grey Ety triple flanges. I am trying out the Shure black foam tips (the "olives") and they make the Etys sound a little muddy for my tastes. I find the both HF5 and ER4 P/S with the standard, grey triple flanges have superior resolution, speed and definition with this track compared to all my other headphones, except for HE-500 which do keep up with the Etys in these aspects quite well. I find the bass of the Etys to be the tightest, fastest, most precise that I've ever heard along with my HE-500 and maybe a handful of other high end cans that I auditioned. RE-400 has impressive bass as well for a dynamic, but it doesn't quite have the rock solid quality in the bottom end that Etys have IMO. On this particular track, RE-400 comes off sounding a bit bloated to my ears - very slightly, but audibly so compared to the Etys or HE-500. Make no mistake, RE-400 still has better bass than most other headphones I tried and beat out the Etys in some aspects too, like dynamics, punch, extension and maybe texture as well. However, for light, acoustic tracks such as this one, the Etys simply have the upper hand with that crazy bottom end control and precision of theirs. The mids and highs also sound less precise to me on RE-400 than on the Etys, but then almost all other headphones sound less precise than Etys too. lol I am not sure why you feel that it is hard to tell instrument placement with the Etys, because I find them absolutely razor sharp and perfectly precise in their instrument placement. RE-400 does have more dimensionality to the soundstage and perhaps more realistic imaging, but Etys definitely have more precise imaging.
Oh BTW, if you want RE-400 to sound brighter, you should try taking out the foams from the nozzles. Since it's an easily reversible mod, you really should give it a try. Maybe you won't need to EQ the RE-400 then. Personally, I am still on the fence about RE-400 FR balance and still can't decide whether it's just right or too dark for me. I find that their sound changes a lot with fit and tips, so I am still experimenting with different tips and insertion depths...
EDIT: SILLY ME! That version on Youtube is freakin' 128 kbps at best, because I just compared it to my 320 kbps copy and the latter sounds way better, especially in the highs. Arghh, I should've known better. The Youtube version has that horrible treble compression of 128 kbps and under MP3. :puke: Sorry man, but if you really want to AB such high quality headphones using this track, you need the proper quality version. PM me your email and I will send you a copy in 320 kbps. Then you will have to redo the comparison and will have to hear the Etys crush your poor RE-400. Buahahahaha!
I'm a bit confused. If I prefer one over the other in 128 kbps (not by a small margin either, btw), how is 320 kbps supposed to change that around? Keep in mind that I EQ'd my RE-400 to sound even better and more accurate than its stock sound, which I knew from the get go before I even purchased it that it would not be as accurate as I would like. Unlike most head-fiers, I view equalization as an immensely useful tool that is much neglected. If we're comparing the unEQ'd ER4S (which, btw, I also only listen to with EQ on) to the unEQ'd ER-400, I I would only prefer the 400 by only a hair; since its imaging and soundstaging are just on another level. I did that comparison with that particular song you linked, as well as EQ'd vs EQ'd. The EQ'd RE-400 won that one without even trying... it's super accurate, but at the same time quite musical. It made me feel the music, rather than just hear in the case of the ER4S. Now, if I hadn't ever touched the 400, I would probably enjoy the song with 4S just as much as you did; but my EQ'd 400 had me spoiled with a new standard of musical enjoyment.
Btw I'm kinda disappointed that you didn't already know I use the my modded gray double flange for my ER4S... I only mentioned it 3 times in this whole thread, and even posted pictures. LOL It's cool.
"The mids and highs also sound less precise to me on RE-400 than on the Etys"
Indeed. In fact, I posted about that in the RE-400/600 thread yesterday, I think. I had EQ'd the 400 to have more energy in the upper mids, lower treble, and upper treble. For the bass emphasis that comes with the stock sound, I leveled it slightly, which lends even greater clarity and accuracy to the sound. My EQ'd 400 sounds as vibrant but more accurate than even my EQ'd ER4S, for the following reasons: more powerful and thicker sub-bass, more bodied/liquid sound overall, more accurate soundstaging and imaging, and (please don't lynch me for this) more accurate treble! Yes. To me, I couldn't EQ the ER4S enough to make its treble sound more realistic and natural. The treble on the RE-400 just sounds so real, so detailed, extended, and so unoffending. Before EQ, it may sound slightly too relaxed for someone who is used to the ER4S; but after EQ, they gain the clarity and brightness of the ER4S while surpassing it in realism.
I must admit that I didn't know what truly good soundstage sounded like, until I heard the RE-400. So, when you add everything up altogether, I don't see how a 320kbps file is going to make enough of a difference that it would change my mind. Almost my entire music collection consists of lossless, and I've done enough A/Bing for today. It's time for nap. :)