Originally Posted by average_joe
Alclair Reference is now $399, down from $499. I thought it was a good deal at $499.
Looking forward to hearing updates...
IMO, it would be near impossible for me to EQ everything and then review them. Plus, the EQs I have used usually leave something to be desired in the SQ department, often leading to a less natural sound to my ears. I understand that different sound signatures/frequency responses will result in different psychoacoustics and take that into account for my reviews, and for the LCD-2, the dynamics are very dependent on the volume level. At lower volumes, which I prefer to listen at, the LCD-2 is lacking in both detail and dynamics compared with my 5-way. I am not sure what version of the LCD-2 you have, mine is V1, and if your fit is like my original, I can see some differences as my longer canal version has more instrument detail.
There is an ES5 thread and like just about everything else, there are positive and negative posts about the ES5. What are you looking for? Warm and organic?
Grzegorz replied to me. Apparently they are moving shop so production will be delayed a few weeks and he forewarns that the SE 5-way has quite a turnaround as it is, so it will probably be some time before I can get a 5-way in my hands, if at all. The good news is he can do an initial assessment on fit by looking at photographs.
I am definitely looking for something warm and organic, with proper tonal weight. I find tonal weight really helps recreate proper timbre in "heavy" instruments. Piano keys, cello's playing low, etc. It really bothers me when those instruments come off sounding thin and brittle. This is why I'm after a warmish sound.
Been reading the ES5 thread and it's confusing to say the least. A lot of comparisons are made to the LCD-2, probably because of a similar tonal tilt, but from what I read, the LCD-2 trumps the ES5 in separation and a few other technical areas. From where I'm standing, that sounds odd because the LCD-2 is probably one of the lesser phones I've owned in terms of technical ability. I mean they're good, but I feel the HD800 and HE-6 are on another level yet in the right rigs, and if I can't match simple things like detail, extension and separation with a CIEM like the ES5, I worry that I will regret shifting away from full-size cans.
On the other hand there are so many variables to account for. Fit. The chains that these folks are using. People with full-size cans tend to have better ancillary gear. Who knows.
Perhaps the SE 5-way is more of a match to the LCD-2 or better phones. But they both use the same technology, correct? Identical # of drivers, so the only difference between the two might be how they're tuned. How much better could it be? Or perhaps I'm oversimplifying.
To be clear, I don't expect CIEMs to give me a presentation similar to full-size phones, but there are certain things I feel I can expect, like speed/detail retrieval/separation/extension.
Sorry for the long post, just thinking out loud. Btw, looking back through this thread over the past few days I'm astonished at how much work you have put in. I'm sure it was fun. We're all indebted to this effort though. Thanks.