Originally Posted by musicbased
Thanks very much for that... Thats actually what i've been leaning towards recently, after trying out accudio..
Looks like that might be the one then!
Reading through the reviews of the arrow and the C5 makes it so hard to choose!
I'm sure they both sound great anyway,but the C5 is quite a bit cheaper too...
I had a hard time too, but went with the C5. Those are the only two amps I seriously considered. I think the arrow has a better bass boost if you're going for perfect neutrality in the bass, as it is isolated a little bit lower down the spectrum and has multiple settings. It has a treble setting too, but obviously that will never be used with the er4s ;) ;) haha It has such perfect treble in my opinion.
However, from my pretty thorough research I found that the general consensus was that the C5 is more perfectly flat and neutral. The arrow is supposedly a little "warmer" to most people. This is just from my research. I haven't heard the arrow amp. But at much less cost and generally said to be better "reference" quality, I chose the C5. I couldn't be happier. But mind you, I do EQ my sub bass up a little to make it flat.
Funny enough, I actually decided to buy the ER4S, completely based off of accudio. I think that shows how awesome accudio really is! I was using the Westone 4r and found it too soft in the treble. Simply too much mid bass. I was using the accudio hifi setting which made the 4r sound phenomenal. I tried it with my PFE112 and the results were the same. Awesome. Then I started thinking "why should I have a $500 IEM and use accudio when I can have a $150 IEM and get the same results with accudio?" Then my thinking went further. I wanted no accudio in case I wasn't' using an ipod. ha. Now, I've always wanted an IEM that is reference without needing EQ or any apps, because I mix on my computer with them, listen on the ipod, receiver, etc... While I don't think that is completely possible thus far, the ER4S is the closest I've found.
I started using accudio to simulate earphones in an attempt to find the one that was closest to flat. I kept coming back to the er4s simulation. It sounded almost identical to the hifi setting but with a little less sub bass. So I started only using that simulation setting to see if I could deal with the bass lacking a tad. It turns out that I preferred the slightly lacking bass to any other IEM (without accudio) because the rest of the spectrum was so incredible. That meant for $300 I could have an IEM that sounded excellent with accudio and almost just as excellent without it. Ultimately, I've stopped using accudio (for various reasons) and started using the denon eq app and au labs eq on my mac for system wide eq.
I don't "need" it, but the extra sub bass makes it truly reference quality, and it's such a simple eq you can do it pretty much anywhere an eq is available. And if an eq is not available, I know I'm happy enough with the sound to not "need" it. No other IEM has fulfilled that requirement at all except perhaps the pfe112 in some ways. I find I need absolutely no eq with the pfe112 for it to sound great, but the treble just isn't as good as the er4s, so in a way i still would "prefer" to eq it, or better yet use accudio, as fixing the treble with eq is more elaborate than a simple bass boost to fix the ER4S.
Anyway, back to the amps. I chose c5 for overall quality and value. With any decent eq, using a slight sub bass boost the ER4S can't be beat in my opinion. While the arrow may give better bass options without the need for an eq (i can't guarantee this as I haven't heard it, but i've seen the graphs) you would still need an eq to restore the treble (if even possible depending on why it is considered "warm") that the amp lacks. With the C5, the bass boost is excellent, but it does put it about twice or almost twice the amount that I would eq the bass to make it "perfect". It also bleeds into the mid bass a tad. I think a lot of people might actually like this. But I'm going for utmost flatness personally. It makes the ER4S easy to listen to and relaxing, but even extending the boost into the few hundred hertz range is too much for me personally, so I use the eq option. That way you get the full quality of the amp. But for people who like high quality deep bass it's excellent.
Make sure to grab some red filters too. Maybe if enough people want to we can do a group buy? And send some to the guy in the other country that wanted them too. :-P Just a thought. Reds rock, thanks to gnarlsagan for letting me find this out. :-) Did I mention the C5 is cheaper? ;) haha And John over at jds labs will custom engrave your case. That's pretty awesome. Also, one last thing. The C5 bass boost has a slightly difference inflection point at each gain level. So you do have a "slightly" different option there is it suits you. But it's a pretty small difference.
Lastly, I use the line out of my ipod and recommend it. I did a lot of testing and can fairly easily hear an improvement in spaciousness and separation with the line out. I started with a fiio cable, but I think they're junk. My L-shape cable fell apart in a few weeks tops with very careful use. I was able to get a deal on a BTG adapter and decided to try it. It is four times the cost, but hopefully will save me from going through 4 more fiio cables. I don't believe in any quality differences with the type/length of cable. I just got it for the durability (hopefully it lasts).
So, ipod >> line out >> C5 >> ER4s = amazing.