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Multi-Custom In-Ear Monitor Review, Resource, Mfg List & Discussion (Check first post for review links & information) - Page 68

post #1006 of 4815

Greetings everyone,

 

I am currently using the 4r and I'm loving every moment of it. I spend alot of time with my IEMs because i use them when travelling and at home. Then it dawned upon me one day that the music I am hearing currently can be improved further with customs. So, as a newbie in the custom scene, I'm just really puzzled by how the various BAs from different companies can sound differently if all the BAs are purchased or produced by the same company(?) and also where do you recommend I should start with my 1st custom? I really like the signature of the 4r but somehow i feel the bass isn't as powerful as i want it to be but in terms of vocals, it is really close to the SM3 which I used to own and still prefer for its crisp vocal. Those are the only gripes I have with the 4r but other than that I love it alot and still feel its one of the best investments I have made in awhile.

 

I am just starting out so am looking to get a good pair of IEMs which I will have nothing to complain about before I work on the rest of my rig. Therefore budget wise, its really flexible because I just want the best.

 

Thank you.


Edited by Matter - 1/20/12 at 11:31am
post #1007 of 4815
Hey Joe, when will your em4 review be ready? My em4 just arrived and I'm already fiddling with source matching and cable matching, I would love to hear what comments you have on these aspects. I also want to know what to expect after burning in the phones.

Also, do you have any plans to upgrade your em4 to em6? A Chinese audiophiles who owns both the em4 and em6 said that both ciems have identical tonality to it, but em6 has a slightly warmer and thicker midrange, improved dynamics and obvious improvements in the extension of treble and bass. However, em6 has a smaller head stage, a less airy tone and a lack of neutrality due to the added warmth. I am already tempted to upgrade my em4 for €50:p
post #1008 of 4815
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini0510 View Post

So LS8 and FX700 are similar in some ways. In which ways are they similar and which ways are they different?

 

and for the impression kit, can that be used for other custom IEM companies? Would you recommend making the impressions on your own or go to a audiologist?

Im just not sure which audiologist is experienced in Toronto.


I have not done a direct comparison, but you can read my review and my previous answers to your questions to get the feel of the LS8 and how it most likely will compare.

 

I would recommend an audiologist vs. making your own impressions to make sure they are done right.  Saving a bit of money up front may end up costing you more in shipping if you need a refit and another impression.  Call around and talk to audiologists and ask if they have made ear impressions for custom monitors before.  The UE or ACS (are they in Canada?) site may have a local audiologist.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jzbass25 View Post

Hey, I figured this thread may have some people in it that can help. I am deciding on getting some tf10's and reshelling or getting some clear tune cm-200's. Anyone have any opinions on either option? I live in orlando florida btw and it seems like there are a good amount of custom iem companies in this city. In-Earz is only about 15 minutes away from me and they'll do free impressions for a custom remold if I come on down.

 

Also amazing reviews and structure to your review average joe! You are lucky to have some amazing gear, I can only wish my name, Joe, would somehow get me the same collection of headphones haha.


There is one person that has the CTM-200 that posts here, to my knowledge, but the CTM has a different sound signature than the TF10.  What are you looking for in your sound signature?

 

Thank you.  Yes, I am lucky to have so many amazing custom IEMs to listen to!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalboy View Post

This looks interesting. Seems to be a 14 driver custom iem that costs a little over 2000$ blink.gif

 

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=1102ckPy.3-41Vk6.h-20zgNf&id=13678015231&


From reading the translated text and looking at the pictures, it sure doesn't seem like those have 14 drivers.  But the price is, um, incredible!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

Greetings everyone,

 

I am currently using the 4r and I'm loving every moment of it. I spend alot of time with my IEMs because i use them when travelling and at home. Then it dawned upon me one day that the music I am hearing currently can be improved further with customs. So, as a newbie in the custom scene, I'm just really puzzled by how the various BAs from different companies can sound differently if all the BAs are purchased or produced by the same company(?) and also where do you recommend I should start with my 1st custom? I really like the signature of the 4r but somehow i feel the bass isn't as powerful as i want it to be but in terms of vocals, it is really close to the SM3 which I used to own and still prefer for its crisp vocal. Those are the only gripes I have with the 4r but other than that I love it alot and still feel its one of the best investments I have made in awhile.

 

I am just starting out so am looking to get a good pair of IEMs which I will have nothing to complain about before I work on the rest of my rig. Therefore budget wise, its really flexible because I just want the best.

 

Thank you.


BAs can sound different just like dynamic drivers can sound different.  Companies request specific BA tuning, and other factors such as sound tube length and diameter, crossover frequency, distance from the ear, filters, etc. will change the sound even if the exact same BA is used.

 

The Spiral Ear stuff (at least the 5-way) is somewhat of a cross between the Westone 4 and SM3, but of course far superior in every way!  But, the place for you to start is unknown at the moment, so if you can answer these questions I should be able to help:

- What are you willing to spend

- What, other than the SM3 vocals, are you looking for

- Any country restrictions?

- What type of music do you listen to?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainykchan View Post

Hey Joe, when will your em4 review be ready? My em4 just arrived and I'm already fiddling with source matching and cable matching, I would love to hear what comments you have on these aspects. I also want to know what to expect after burning in the phones.
Also, do you have any plans to upgrade your em4 to em6? A Chinese audiophiles who owns both the em4 and em6 said that both ciems have identical tonality to it, but em6 has a slightly warmer and thicker midrange, improved dynamics and obvious improvements in the extension of treble and bass. However, em6 has a smaller head stage, a less airy tone and a lack of neutrality due to the added warmth. I am already tempted to upgrade my em4 for €50:p


I should have the EM4 review posted next week.  I have not had time to try different cables, but do have the source matching section.

 

I don't have plans to upgrade the EM4 to an EM6, and I am actually surprised by the treble extension with the EM4, so I am not sure how much it can improve.  I like the EM4 a lot and while I would love to hear the EM6, I am pretty happy with the EM4.  Plus, if the EM6 does compare that way vs. the EM4, I think I would prefer the EM4.

post #1009 of 4815

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but I did read "5 way crossover" in that CIEM - divided into ultra high, high, mids, bass, and sub bass.

post #1010 of 4815
Thread Starter 

That is the translation I read, but that doesn't mean there are 14 drivers.  It looks more like two from the picture, but that doesn't match the description.  I am not saying it doesn't have 14 drivers, and that would make sense from the name and price, but something seems wrong with that product page.

post #1011 of 4815


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

There is one person that has the CTM-200 that posts here, to my knowledge, but the CTM has a different sound signature than the TF10.  What are you looking for in your sound signature?

 

Thank you.  Yes, I am lucky to have so many amazing custom IEMs to listen to!



I'm really open to many different sound sigs. Right now I have some v-moda m-80's and klipsch custom 3's (the damn cable broke tho). I'm not really a basshead I sort of like the flat response phones which I feel the v-modas are pretty flat. I do like analytical but I am probably planning on getting some AKG Q701's later down the road for studio work and to have some unforgiving yet good phones. I am mostly looking at an iem that can be a more portable phone in comparison to my m-80's.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they need to sound alike. A "fun phone" instead of a cold analytic phone seems to be more ideal I guess since I am planning on some 701's for that specific job.

 

Types of music I listen to mostly are different forms of virtuoso guitarists and bassists, classical music, blues, jazz (especially progressive jazz) and assorted soundtracks. A few of my favorites are Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Paul Gilbert, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Guthrie Govan and others like them.

 

post #1012 of 4815

Just to share the UE sf5v2 single BA driver pic, fresh from the cam:

PICT0683-d6.jpg

Underneath my custom shell is the ear impression.

post #1013 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post


BAs can sound different just like dynamic drivers can sound different.  Companies request specific BA tuning, and other factors such as sound tube length and diameter, crossover frequency, distance from the ear, filters, etc. will change the sound even if the exact same BA is used.

 

The Spiral Ear stuff (at least the 5-way) is somewhat of a cross between the Westone 4 and SM3, but of course far superior in every way!  But, the place for you to start is unknown at the moment, so if you can answer these questions I should be able to help:

- What are you willing to spend

- What, other than the SM3 vocals, are you looking for

- Any country restrictions?

- What type of music do you listen to?

 

 

-What are you willing to spend

Weel like i mentioned, budget isn't really of an issue so long as i get the most enjoyment.

 

- What, other than the SM3 vocals, are you looking for

Preferably something with the lows of the tf10s? Went from monstyer turbines> tf10 >sm3>w4r. I feel that it is an upgrade from the tf10 to the sm3 but the change from the sm3 to w4r is arguable. However, I find none of these (sm3,w4r) phones really have the oomph that the tf10s have when it comes to the lows if you get my drift. Details, clarity, instrument seperation are really important too. Soundstage-wise I prefer something wider, that of the 4r(which is a little wider i think) over the sm3, so preferably a good compromise between these 2 and more 3D-ish?

 

- Any country restrictions?

Well, I reside in Singapore and I believe every major company ships to and fro so that shouldn't be an issue.

 

- What type of music do you listen to?

Various really. From classical and jazz, to indie, rock, metal, trance. Lol almost every major genres out there so preferably something which is as chameleon-like as the SM3?

 

Tough choice between the jh16, es5, em4, 8A and miracle. (these are the ones I have shortlisted). Let me know if i have missed any other IEMs which might fit in.

 

 

 

Thanks for the response.


Edited by Matter - 1/21/12 at 1:43am
post #1014 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

 

-What are you willing to spend

Weel like i mentioned, budget isn't really of an issue so long as i get the most enjoyment.

 

- What, other than the SM3 vocals, are you looking for

Preferably something with the lows of the tf10s? Went from monstyer turbines> tf10 >sm3>w4r. I feel that it is an upgrade from the tf10 to the sm3 but the change from the sm3 to w4r is arguable. However, I find none of these (sm3,w4r) phones really have the oomph that the tf10s have when it comes to the lows if you get my drift. Details, clarity, instrument seperation are really important too. Soundstage-wise I prefer something wider, that of the 4r(which is a little wider i think) over the sm3, so preferably a good compromise between these 2 and more 3D-ish?

 

- Any country restrictions?

Well, I reside in Singapore and I believe every major company ships to and fro so that shouldn't be an issue.

 

- What type of music do you listen to?

Various really. From classical and jazz, to indie, rock, metal, trance. Lol almost every major genres out there so preferably something which is as chameleon-like as the SM3?

 

Tough choice between the jh16, es5, em4, 8A and miracle. (these are the ones I have shortlisted). Let me know if i have missed any other IEMs which might fit in.

 

 

 

Thanks for the response.


Well in Singapore you can demo the JH Audio and ACS ciems from Jaben in Adelphi and the UM ciems in Stereo Stores...I am not sure on the ES5 from ThinkingGroup, since last time they don't have any demos available on their store. You can call them, Those guys are a pleasure and customer service is great.

 

post #1015 of 4815

Wow thanks for this. I have already send my EM3 back to upgrade. Maybe I will just upgrade it to EM6 since I like warmth in the sound.:)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainykchan View Post

Hey Joe, when will your em4 review be ready? My em4 just arrived and I'm already fiddling with source matching and cable matching, I would love to hear what comments you have on these aspects. I also want to know what to expect after burning in the phones.
Also, do you have any plans to upgrade your em4 to em6? A Chinese audiophiles who owns both the em4 and em6 said that both ciems have identical tonality to it, but em6 has a slightly warmer and thicker midrange, improved dynamics and obvious improvements in the extension of treble and bass. However, em6 has a smaller head stage, a less airy tone and a lack of neutrality due to the added warmth. I am already tempted to upgrade my em4 for €50:p


 

post #1016 of 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

Wow thanks for this. I have already send my EM3 back to upgrade. Maybe I will just upgrade it to EM6 since I like warmth in the sound.:)
 



 



Earsonics allows you to send it back for an upgrade?

post #1017 of 4815
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jzbass25 View Post

I'm really open to many different sound sigs. Right now I have some v-moda m-80's and klipsch custom 3's (the damn cable broke tho). I'm not really a basshead I sort of like the flat response phones which I feel the v-modas are pretty flat. I do like analytical but I am probably planning on getting some AKG Q701's later down the road for studio work and to have some unforgiving yet good phones. I am mostly looking at an iem that can be a more portable phone in comparison to my m-80's.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they need to sound alike. A "fun phone" instead of a cold analytic phone seems to be more ideal I guess since I am planning on some 701's for that specific job.

 

Types of music I listen to mostly are different forms of virtuoso guitarists and bassists, classical music, blues, jazz (especially progressive jazz) and assorted soundtracks. A few of my favorites are Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Paul Gilbert, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Guthrie Govan and others like them.


If you are looking for a flatter response, the rm3K from Alclair is a pretty good choice for $500.  It is flat, with great space and a warmer sound than the UERM or NT-6 and is surprisingly musical for being a reference monitor.  It will be a while before I can finish the review, but I did A/B it with the UERM and for the price differential, I was impressed.  Another option, the Fabs, are a favorite of mine in the lower price range for acoustic music including classical and jazz, and the SA-12 is similar to the CK10 but warmer and richer.  I have listened to the m-80s and must say I was surprised by the sound and liked the a lot, but I didn't compare them with my CIEMs.

 

On the higher end there is the UERM, NT-6, and the SA-43 (with both switches off) are all flat, but offer different presentations.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

-What are you willing to spend

Weel like i mentioned, budget isn't really of an issue so long as i get the most enjoyment.

 

- What, other than the SM3 vocals, are you looking for

Preferably something with the lows of the tf10s? Went from monstyer turbines> tf10 >sm3>w4r. I feel that it is an upgrade from the tf10 to the sm3 but the change from the sm3 to w4r is arguable. However, I find none of these (sm3,w4r) phones really have the oomph that the tf10s have when it comes to the lows if you get my drift. Details, clarity, instrument seperation are really important too. Soundstage-wise I prefer something wider, that of the 4r(which is a little wider i think) over the sm3, so preferably a good compromise between these 2 and more 3D-ish?

 

- Any country restrictions?

Well, I reside in Singapore and I believe every major company ships to and fro so that shouldn't be an issue.

 

- What type of music do you listen to?

Various really. From classical and jazz, to indie, rock, metal, trance. Lol almost every major genres out there so preferably something which is as chameleon-like as the SM3?

 

Tough choice between the jh16, es5, em4, 8A and miracle. (these are the ones I have shortlisted). Let me know if i have missed any other IEMs which might fit in.

 

 

Thanks for the response.


With no budget, the EM4 is a good fit IMO as is the SE 5-way from what I have heard.  And if you have the JH16 on your list, you should also have the LS8 on that list.  How do you feel about the high end of the TF10 vs. that of the SM3?  At that level of performance detail levels, clarity, and instrument separation area all very high.  As far as being a chameleon, the 5-way does that best and the EM4 also has those properties more so than the JH16 and LS8.  When I auditioned the W4 I compared it with the Fabs and the Fabs outdid the W4 in soundstage size, and the top tier CIEMs outperform the Fabs in soundstage size, so that shouldn't be an issue.  The 5-way has the best 3D space, followed by the EM4, LS8, and then the JH16 is left behind until you get an aftermarket cable, at which time it then competes with the LS8.

 

However, from a music genre perspective, I prefer different sound signatures for classical than I do for most else.  Or rephrasing that, some sound signatures, while fine with just about everything, aren't my favorite for large orchestral performances, which are the mid-forward presentations such as the 5-way and EM4.  So, depending on how much you listen to classical, that is a consideration also.  But really, with the technical performance of the EM4 and 5-way, they are still very good, and my preference may not apply to you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingice10 View Post

Well in Singapore you can demo the JH Audio and ACS ciems from Jaben in Adelphi and the UM ciems in Stereo Stores...I am not sure on the ES5 from ThinkingGroup, since last time they don't have any demos available on their store. You can call them, Those guys are a pleasure and customer service is great.


While listening to demos can give you a glimpse into the sound signature of the CIEM, I have now heard 6 demo units and most did not sound close to the technical proficiency of my customized IEMs which the sound being not quite what I was expecting from reading about them.  I am sure they would sound different/better when made for my ears.

post #1018 of 4815
Hi Joe, any Clear Tunes in the future?
post #1019 of 4815

So in other words, maybe I should take the JH16s off my list since they tend to do better with only a particular genre of music due to the additonal bass drivers and the cheaper alternative LS8 outperforms it? I have also recently read a review of the Heir Audio 8A outperforming the JH16s. So if I were to go down this path I will pick 8A>LS8>JH16?

 

What about the EM6 by the way? I read that it has the basic properties of the EM4 adapted for live performances and based on that, can i infer that the lows is also going to be more punchy than that of the EM4?

 

Last but not least, is it possible for silicone IEMs to be reshelled by a company like UM in case I grow out of it or for resale purposes?

 

You have really been of great help and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my queries and it has in fact helped me narrow down my search for the perfect CIEM.

 

Thank you!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

With no budget, the EM4 is a good fit IMO as is the SE 5-way from what I have heard.  And if you have the JH16 on your list, you should also have the LS8 on that list.  How do you feel about the high end of the TF10 vs. that of the SM3?  At that level of performance detail levels, clarity, and instrument separation area all very high.  As far as being a chameleon, the 5-way does that best and the EM4 also has those properties more so than the JH16 and LS8.  When I auditioned the W4 I compared it with the Fabs and the Fabs outdid the W4 in soundstage size, and the top tier CIEMs outperform the Fabs in soundstage size, so that shouldn't be an issue.  The 5-way has the best 3D space, followed by the EM4, LS8, and then the JH16 is left behind until you get an aftermarket cable, at which time it then competes with the LS8.

 

However, from a music genre perspective, I prefer different sound signatures for classical than I do for most else.  Or rephrasing that, some sound signatures, while fine with just about everything, aren't my favorite for large orchestral performances, which are the mid-forward presentations such as the 5-way and EM4.  So, depending on how much you listen to classical, that is a consideration also.  But really, with the technical performance of the EM4 and 5-way, they are still very good, and my preference may not apply to you.

 



 


Edited by Matter - 1/21/12 at 10:03am
post #1020 of 4815
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogears View Post

Hi Joe, any Clear Tunes in the future?


While they sound like they are very nice, I have no plans for them in the near future with everything else I will be reviewing.  There is only so much time!  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

So in other words, maybe I should take the JH16s off my list since they tend to do better with only a particular genre of music due to the additonal bass drivers and the cheaper alternative LS8 outperforms it? I have also recently read a review of the Heir Audio 8A outperforming the JH16s. So if I were to go down this path I will pick 8A>LS8>JH16?

 

What about the EM6 by the way? I read that it has the basic properties of the EM4 adapted for live performances and based on that, can i infer that the lows is also going to be more punchy than that of the EM4?

 

Last but not least, is it possible for silicone IEMs to be reshelled by a company like UM in case I grow out of it or for resale purposes?

 

You have really been of great help and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my queries and it has in fact helped me narrow down my search for the perfect CIEM.

 

Thank you!


Yes, the JH16 is great for certain music, especially today's pop music with a sound signature that is very popular, and they do many things right, however due to the depth of the soundstage, they don't image quite as well nor place instruments quite as well as the others.  The bass capability is superior to the LS8, and you can read my comparison in my full JH16 review if you want.  I am not sure how the 8.A compares with the LS8, so the 8.A > LS8 is speculation at this point IMO.  Rooth is re-tuning the LS8, however and the initial reviews of the 8.A are very positive.  

 

The EM6 is not as bright as the EM4 from the initial reports, but the low drivers are the same from what I understand, so the difference is in the midrange and treble.

 

A silicone shelled CIEM can be reshelled, but UM only does acrylic, so they would reshell in acrylic.  

 

No problem, since picking the right CIEM the first time is more important that with universals because of expense and resale, I do my best to help out!  Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

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