I need a CIEM for thrash metal.
Ideally I'd like forward mids that bring vocals and electric guitars into picture more than anything else.
Bass shouldn't be too far behind as I'd like kick drums and bass guitars to provide good impact, but shouldn't be to the point where I'm having to try to listen for the vocals and guitars (Like I do with the UM3X). Would prefer less bass rather than more. Impact is good but needs to decay quick. Also no bass would be bad as I dont want the music to sound....tinny.
I would like clarity and detail, the IEM needs to be able to cope with fast and complex tracks played at moderate volume or above so that the mid range doesn't get congested and sound like a big soup.
Oh right ok, I agree with that about the UM3X. Ive read, and witnessed the bass hump and it really makes voices and guitars sound properly quiet. Its not the amount of bass in the UM3X that bothers me either, just the fact it ruins the mid range, if the mids were on the same level or a bit more forward I would imagine the UM3X would be a good IEM. Do you listen to any of the "lighter" thrashy stuff and how does it sound on the Merlin?
Your "decay quick," "clarity and detail," and "cope with fast and complex tracks" make me think of the NT-6/NT-6 pro, but I don't think the mids would be what you prefer and while not lacking in bass at all, they aren't the warmest CIEMs and could be a shock in comparison with the UM3X. I do think the NT-6 and NT-6 pro are excellent with well mastered speed metal as nothing is too complex or too fast and clarity is top notch. The Dream Earz aud-8X might be a good fit, and you can ask Mitch to bring the mids a bit forward (maybe hybrid 7X and 8X?). While I haven't had much time with the 8X, it seems to be a very good value for the money. And while I need more time with it, the Alclair RSM might fit also.
Take note that in my experience, a lot of metal is very poorly mastered so it sounds like crap with clear and detailed/resolving CIEMs. So much Metallica is horrid, In This Moment has some bad sibilance, Northern Kings quality just isn't great, newer Queensryche and an old favorite, Blue Murder are more examples of poor quality masters. Opeth, Within Temptation, most Slayer, Nightwish, and Apocalyptica are some examples of better mastering. Anyways, take your music quality into consideration.
Edited by average_joe - 2/2/13 at 10:41pm