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If you still love Etymotic ER4, this is the thread for you... - Page 54

post #796 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post

Interesting..I did not think of petroleum jelly as it can sometimes be itchy, but on the other hand I can see that it would not likely effect the foam as much as other lubricants. I think I would probably be OK so long as I am not stuffing them in and out 10 times per day though. I am probably more worried about the way that deeper insertion IEMs will tend to push ear wax inwards whereas the body naturally pushes it out.

That one downside that I see regarding insertion/removal frequency. With my GR07 I could remove them whenever, and insertion is not an issue. With the ER4 it requires a bit of time to get them in deeply without discomfort.

post #797 of 4934

What worries me too is the ongoing cost of the ER4S. I have only had it 5 days and already the foam tips do not have the performance they had when new. In other words, slower to spring back to shape, not quite as snug in the ear canal and therefore more difficult to maintain the required depth of insertion. In normal use I could be going through a pair per fortnight, not to mention possible wear on the nozzle from the constant tip renewing. Something like the Grado GR10 is looking attractive with the silicon tips. I wish I could try the Grado to see how it compares sonically. If it was just as good as the ER4S or better. I would prefer to fork out more for the IEM and not have ongoing tip costs, etc. It is more difficult given that the grey foamies are the only tip I am happy to use with the ER4S - both from a comfort and sonics perspective.

post #798 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post

What worries me too is the ongoing cost of the ER4S. I have only had it 5 days and already the foam tips do not have the performance they had when new. In other words, slower to spring back to shape, not quite as snug in the ear canal and therefore more difficult to maintain the required depth of insertion. In normal use I could be going through a pair per fortnight, not to mention possible wear on the nozzle from the constant tip renewing. Something like the Grado GR10 is looking attractive with the silicon tips. I wish I could try the Grado to see how it compares sonically. If it was just as good as the ER4S or better. I would prefer to fork out more for the IEM and not have ongoing tip costs, etc. It is more difficult given that the grey foamies are the only tip I am happy to use with the ER4S - both from a comfort and sonics perspective.

This is why I don't like foamies. Here's what I did a couple days ago:

 

I transformed the triple flange into a double flange, but cutting off the end that has the smallest flange. This allowed me a deeper insertion than stock triflange, and it allows the sound to be unencumbered by the tip itself, as the end of the nozzle is flush with the end of the tip (the point where I made the cut). This worked beautiful, and the fit is very comfortable. Insertion is also way easier and deeper than with foamies.

post #799 of 4934

ADD:  I downloaded the "low-level-grunge" wave file, and on the longer passage I think I hear what you are talking about, but the rumbling I hear increases with volume, leading me to believe that I am hearing computer noise.  I would have to convert it to MP3 and put it on my Cowon J3 to hear it apart from my computer.  I'll let you know what that tells me.

 

Also, about inserting the stock Ety gray 3-flange tips -- I just use a bit of spit (clean fingers, lick my finger tips, spread a little on the ear tip -- I'd not put any other type of lubricant that is going to build up either on the tips (under the flanges) or in my ears.

post #800 of 4934

I was experimenting earlier. It seems a good seal is far more important than insertion depth. In fact, it seems insertion depth makes no difference. I did a test with one side having deep insertion, and the other more shallow. Played some test tones and the balance was unaffected.


Edited by tigon_ridge - 12/10/12 at 7:04pm
post #801 of 4934

I am listening to the ER4Ps right now.

 

They are pretty amazing for pop songs and other songs/genres which involve instrumentals and vocals. I get so many goosebumps from one song. I don't even use EQ (not even JetEffect) because I feel bad doing that. These earphones are meant for purity and I feel like I am doing the earphone an injustice. That's the effect it has on me! I am going to be loyal to it!

 

They are alright for electronica songs but they do lack that deeper "oomph" for those bass-dependent songs. It's not a weak bass by any means though. It's not bad.

 

It's this earphone that has made me realize how bass dependent I am and how it can play a relatively minimal role in some genres - and remain absolutely uplifting.

 

Pretty amazing that it is still loved by people since 1991 and has stayed the same!

 

Is the ER4P manufactured in the US? It doesn't really say.


Edited by Pure Quickness - 12/10/12 at 7:25pm
post #802 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

I was experimenting earlier. It seems a good seal is far more important than insertion depth. In fact, it seems insertion depth makes no difference. I did a test with one side having deep insertion, and the other more shallow. Played some test tones and the balance was unaffected.

 

While the overall volume balance may remain unaffected by insertion depth, the frequency response will most likely change.

 

post #803 of 4934
^ that matches my experience. Getting a seal no matter how deep they are inserted makes the most noticeable difference to me.
post #804 of 4934

As a long-time Etymotic user, I also thoroughly agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post

^ that matches my experience. Getting a seal no matter how deep they are inserted makes the most noticeable difference to me.
post #805 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhaynes View Post

ADD:  I downloaded the "low-level-grunge" wave file, and on the longer passage I think I hear what you are talking about, but the rumbling I hear increases with volume, leading me to believe that I am hearing computer noise.  I would have to convert it to MP3 and put it on my Cowon J3 to hear it apart from my computer.  I'll let you know what that tells me.

 

Also, about inserting the stock Ety gray 3-flange tips -- I just use a bit of spit (clean fingers, lick my finger tips, spread a little on the ear tip -- I'd not put any other type of lubricant that is going to build up either on the tips (under the flanges) or in my ears.

The original file was a vinyl transcription I did. The noise that the ER4S seems to be overly emphasising is both the analogue tape hiss and low level surface noise on the vinyl. On many vinyl transcriptions I have done where the record manufacturing is as good as it gets, there is no problem listening with the ER4S. And on a really good vinyl recording such as the latest Reference Recordings (great pressing and ultra low noise source), everything is pretty much perfect. There is of course a rumble component in the extracts but it is inaudible on the ER4S as it is around -80dBFS - so given the frequency you'd have to be listening at over 100dB for it to intrude on the ER4S unless you have massively EQed the lowest bass region. On the CD equivalents, you still hear what the ER4S does to the tape hiss, but obviously not the vinyl surface noise. What happens is when the volume is turned up, the music content begins to mask these defects, but at that volume level, the peak program material is then too loud for safe and comfortable listening. So the ER4S has this annoying habit of emphasising defects in original analogue-sourced recordings that no other headphone or IEM I have ever heard does.

 

As I say, Dolby Headphone makes the problem worse because Dolby Headphone does not really know what it should do with tape hiss and vinyl surface noise - it usually ends up "going nowhere" whereas the music is pushed many feet in front of you. But as I say, I have never heard this with any other headphone or earphone - so either the ER4S is just incredibly revealing and faithful or it has a character flaw so to speak in that particular frequency spectrums are overly emphasised. But I was even hearing this effect a few days ago when listening to a fully digital 24/96 download from Chandos - the tinniest intrusions such as page turns and general fidgeting on the part of orchestra members isn't at the low non-intrusive levels it is at a live performance or when listening to other headphones and good speaker systems - it is brought into an artificially high stark relief which to me says it isn't really accurate.

 

What concerns me just as much is the mis-matching of my two drivers - the problem is much worse on my left hand driver than the right hand one (tested using the same ear as mentioned). Infact, if both drivers were the same as the right hand one, I am not sure I would even have detected the problem as it is really hard to detect at all on the right hand driver and impossible if the right hand driver is used with the glider or tri-flange tip. I have no way to scientifically measure the difference, but I suspect my left driver is a good few dB more responsive around 4 - 6 Khz, which is principally where these issues are most audible.


Edited by ADD - 12/11/12 at 1:13pm
post #806 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

This is why I don't like foamies. Here's what I did a couple days ago:

 

I transformed the triple flange into a double flange, but cutting off the end that has the smallest flange. This allowed me a deeper insertion than stock triflange, and it allows the sound to be unencumbered by the tip itself, as the end of the nozzle is flush with the end of the tip (the point where I made the cut). This worked beautiful, and the fit is very comfortable. Insertion is also way easier and deeper than with foamies.

Since I can't return the tri-flange tips (having used them), I tried the cutting trick and it is definitely better than the stock tip. However I still have the issue with the sonic effects of the non-foam tips supplied by Etymotic - it is hard to describe but the sound seems to lose some coherence, delicacy and top end air - the efect is very similar to what I notice whenever I listen to an IEM which has two or more drivers. To me the foam really sounds very good indeed. So I have condenmed myself to the foamies unless the Comply tips do not have the sonic issues that I find with the silicon tips or the Glider tips.

 

Incidentally, I remember in my Westone UM2 days, the Comply tips did not have a long useful life either. I guess there is a price to pay for both comfort and sonics.

post #807 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post

Since I can't return the tri-flange tips (having used them), I tried the cutting trick and it is definitely better than the stock tip. However I still have the issue with the sonic effects of the non-foam tips supplied by Etymotic - it is hard to describe but the sound seems to lose some coherence, delicacy and top end air - the efect is very similar to what I notice whenever I listen to an IEM which has two or more drivers. To me the foam really sounds very good indeed. So I have condenmed myself to the foamies unless the Comply tips do not have the sonic issues that I find with the silicon tips or the Glider tips.

 

Incidentally, I remember in my Westone UM2 days, the Comply tips did not have a long useful life either. I guess there is a price to pay for both comfort and sonics.

EDIT: That's very strange. I felt no difference going from foam to flange. Tips shouldn't affect phase coherence. It should only affect isolation and frequency response.

 

Keep in mind, though, I modded the stock foams, because I did not like the stock foam's sound. I thought it was a bit too strident. So, I sliced them each in half. I liked the mod, but the fact still stands that foams deform too easily.

 

ADD: My biflanges are also modded from triflanges. I posted about them above.


Edited by tigon_ridge - 12/11/12 at 10:48pm
post #808 of 4934
ADD: It seems to me that using vinyl as a source and then using Dolby headphone is the cause of your issue, along with closely placed mics during recording picking up page turns and whatnot. The recordings you have don't exist on CD?

Sorry I'm not a great help it just seems your listening conditions aren't very typical.
post #809 of 4934

Recently I have bought the CK100pro which cost 699 USD. The CK100pro is basically has the some ER4S sound signature with more lower end detail without the need of any amping.

 

ER4S is truly a beast! 

post #810 of 4934
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

ADD: It seems to me that using vinyl as a source and then using Dolby headphone is the cause of your issue, along with closely placed mics during recording picking up page turns and whatnot. The recordings you have don't exist on CD?
Sorry I'm not a great help it just seems your listening conditions aren't very typical.

 

They are not the cause of the issue because as I previously stated, I hear the issue with pure digital 24/96 recordings (with distant miking) and without Dolby Headphone as well. The only reason for using Dolby Headphone in the extracts was to make the effect much more obvious (audible). I also mentioned that I have never ever heard this issue through any other pair of headphones or IEMs - either with or without Dolby Headphone or listening to any type of source - vinyl, digital, whatever.

 

In any case, given that I barely - if at all - notice this issue through the right-hand IEM but do (very easily) through the left (tested with source channels reversed and IEMs reversed to ensure I am comparing using the same ear), I could only conclude that my units are either not correctly matched or the left unit is faulty. When I listen to the exact same channel in the exact same ear - the left and right IEMs each sound different, whereas if they were perfectly matched and without any faults they should sound exactly the same. I could understand each of my ears sounding different, but I eliminated that possiblity by reversing the channels of my source and then swapping the right IEM into my left ear.

 

That being the case, I have reluctantly returned them to the supplier (and the foam tip consumption added to the reason for returning them). I did not cite they were specifically faulty because I have no way of knowing - they could well test "normal" and "within tolerance". It is also possible anyone listening to my pair may not even pick up on the problem if they are not sensitised to it and know exactly what they are listening for.

 

I may consider getting the ER4PT in the future with the 75 ohm adapter - at least with that model I get a certifcate to show they are almost perfectly balanced - so at least with that model the chances of the left hand IEM sounding different to the right hand IEM are exceptionally low indeed.

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