Originally Posted by Anaxilus
Seems like 5 drivers are where the magic's at these days. Can't say my ears disagree.
Five is a good number! Six and eight are also nice, but no one seems to like seven (unless you combine an aud-5X with an ES5)
Originally Posted by Sinocelt
Isn't a studio monitor supposed to be neutral?
Of course not, they are supposed to be overly bright!
Originally Posted by audible
Anyone have thoughts on the best custom IEM for female vocals? I listen to a lot of R&B, pop, and on occasion, soundtrack music.
My top contender right now are the Westone ES5s.
I haven't heard the ES5, so I can't comment about it, but the Earsonics products have some captivating vocals, and the LS8+ (even though I only heard the demo) and 5-way are also exceptional. Really, there are many great choices, but what exactly are you looking for in your vocals? Forward presentation, brightness, liquidity, etc.
Originally Posted by project86
I just sent out my impressions for the Lear LCM-5. I hope to have the finished product (including the true texture faceplate of course) by early July. I'll explain the whole adapter thing at that point.
Very cool, same here.
Originally Posted by Tilpo
Joe, what are your opinions on custom reshells?
I want to get a decent IEM, preferably custom, in the near future as I'll be doing a lot of commuting on the train/bus starting September.
Since all my past experiences with IEM's have been fairly negative in terms of comfort, I wish to try a universal out first. If I like it I want to try customs out too, but since it's not my primary listening device I don't want to spend huge sums on it. As far as I know reshelling is cheaper than getting a budget custom, but I'd be willing to spend a maximum budget of $500 for the CIEM's (including tax and shipping).
How do you think reshelled universals (e.g . TF10) compare to customs in the aforementioned budget?
A reshelled TF10 can be had for under $300, maybe around $300 with impressions (you can buy one that doesn't have a warranty since you will void it anyways). I think it is essential to get an aftermarket cable such as the Chris_Himself or Silver Dragon as that really opens up the soundstage, fixes the recessed midrange, and smoothes the treble without reducing detail levels. So, with the CH cable, it is about $400 and about $500 with the SD cable.
Technically, the custom IEMs I have heard ($500 and up) are better than the reshelled TF10 with aftermarket cables. There are cheaper custom IEMs that I haven't heard with the exception of a demo and someone else's molded custom so I can't say for sure, but I do think the Rooth LS2 is a very good performer for a dual BA, and I am sure the JH5 is also. If you do have $500, can you stretch to $550 to $600 or so? If you can you have quite a few very good options such as the Ambient Monitor AM4, Dream Earz aud-5X, Alclair Reference, DUNU DC4, etc. If you can't, I would go for something like the Rooth or JH. Project86 reviewed a Westone that may fit your price range.