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Multi-Custom In-Ear Monitor Review, Resource, Mfg List & Discussion (Check first post for review... - Page 140

post #2086 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

 

 

 

No, not in the context of IEMs at large, but juxtaposed with the SM3 I found that the EQ-5 was a skosh brighter.  More treble presence does not necessarily make it sonically brighter, it is the sound signature as a whole that I found brighter than that of the SM3 but not by a large margin.  Everyone hears a bit differently though, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.  

Yes, I understand. I would say that SM3 is warmer than EQ-5. That says about the same thing. Neither is overly warm and neither is overly bright.

post #2087 of 4092
One thing I don't understand is why do ciem companys cut down the impressions whilst making the iems?

Oh and in other hilarious news my mi3s have developed channel imbalance with virtually no sound on the left. I'm close to giving up. Been in touch with Minerva (who, it has to be said have been helplful throughout) and have to make decision on either refund or replace. Waiting on some info tomorrow before making the choice.

Anyone else have this much hassle with custom?s ( reshells with fisher didn't work out and now this!).

Cheers
post #2088 of 4092

wow... wish I could listen to all these customs someday haha


Edited by straden - 10/9/12 at 5:48pm
post #2089 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

One thing I don't understand is why do ciem companys cut down the impressions whilst making the iems?
Oh and in other hilarious news my mi3s have developed channel imbalance with virtually no sound on the left. I'm close to giving up. Been in touch with Minerva (who, it has to be said have been helplful throughout) and have to make decision on either refund or replace. Waiting on some info tomorrow before making the choice.
Anyone else have this much hassle with custom?s ( reshells with fisher didn't work out and now this!).

 

Cut down? You mean like, why they're not sent back to you?

There is no really good reason for that - while the impression will likely be slightly damaged by the molding process, it should be quite usable. Definitely not damaged at all if they happen to use 3D scanning and UV material. (e.g. UE/Logitech, UM?)

 

Some companies shorten the ear canal end for no real good reason - usually this makes for less returns, but worse and more fiddly seal at times.

 

Usually large channel imbalance is one of two things: loss of seal in the ear or failing driver. The latter should not happen at all, so it's likely the seal was borderline in the first place and is now lost completely. In case of Minervas, there is another possibility: clogged foam filter.

 

Are you making the impressions yourself or at some audiologist?

 

--

Whoever is recommending Rooth LS8 to me - no, LS8 has the exactly wrong FR for my ears, more so than DBA-02's TWFK.

This 5 kHz bump ("aggressive") causes soundstage to become flat and collapse to the center. I had enough of that with GR07 and DBA-02 (actually Brainwavz B2) - and those have far less of it than what LS8 graph shows.

 

In fact, if you inverted LS8 frequency response, you'd get far closer to what I want. (except the midrange)

So, this is the list: bass with some subbass bump is preferable, but I'm ok with flat; 5 kHz cut; ~8 kHz boost; lots of air.

 

How does NT-6/NT-6 pro compare in the treble? How much less in 5 kHz, how much more in 8 kHz?

 

Why the darn companies do not make reasonable graphs? The one thing about CIEMs is that personal variation should be much reduced, making measurements even more useful, avoiding the issue with ear couplers not being accurate in the highest end of the spectrum since it's custom fill.


Edited by AstralStorm - 10/9/12 at 8:16pm
post #2090 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by straden View Post

wow... wish I could listen to all these customs someday haha

 

Straden wants to be an average joe when he grows up.

post #2091 of 4092
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post

Yesterday I received SM3, on a temporary loan. This IEM is excellent. It brings me even closer to knowing what I look for in the perfect (C)IEM, if it would exist anyway. I am only talking about sound preference.

I thought EQ-5 was as close as I could get and I just needed more and better of THAT without hiss and I would have the perfect sound.

Well, something needs to be added.

SM3 has a very 3D like presentation and has better imaging than I ever thought possible. SM3 is not perfect and EQ5, to me, comes closer. EQ-5 has more flesh and bone quality with stringed intruments. SM3's vocals sound a little too up-front (worse than EQ-5) but spot-on-centre (better than EQ-5). SM3's treble extension is better and smoother (perhaps too smooth). I prefer EQ-5's bass.

I need to re-read all the reviews and perhaps make another choice. I don't mind, it brings me closer to finding the perfect sounding (c)IEM. Thanks for all the info and nice people around on head-fi. Funny that I once thought RE-0 must be perfection, hell, even Brainwavz M1.

 

Reading reviews will hopefully help you decide what you think is the best for you.  What is your price range?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post

Yes, I understand. I would say that SM3 is warmer than EQ-5. That says about the same thing. Neither is overly warm and neither is overly bright.

 

I did find the SM3 to have a combination of warmth and thickness giving plenty of body to the presentation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

One thing I don't understand is why do ciem companys cut down the impressions whilst making the iems?
Oh and in other hilarious news my mi3s have developed channel imbalance with virtually no sound on the left. I'm close to giving up. Been in touch with Minerva (who, it has to be said have been helplful throughout) and have to make decision on either refund or replace. Waiting on some info tomorrow before making the choice.
Anyone else have this much hassle with custom?s ( reshells with fisher didn't work out and now this!).
Cheers

 

This video should help you understand why the impressions are cut down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbKSe_e6fYQ&feature=player_embedded#!

 

Sorry to hear about your repeated issues.  I know some people that have had major issues with fit and a good deal of time has been needed to resolve issues.  People have even switched to other models to fix their issues (for example, a JH13 to JH16 or vice versa).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by straden View Post

wow... wish I could listen to all these customs someday haha

 

And yet there are so many more...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Whoever is recommending Rooth LS8 to me - no, LS8 has the exactly wrong FR for my ears, more so than DBA-02's TWFK.

This 5 kHz bump ("aggressive") causes soundstage to become flat and collapse to the center. I had enough of that with GR07 and DBA-02 (actually Brainwavz B2) - and those have far less of it than what LS8 graph shows.

 

In fact, if you inverted LS8 frequency response, you'd get far closer to what I want. (except the midrange)

So, this is the list: bass with some subbass bump is preferable, but I'm ok with flat; 5 kHz cut; ~8 kHz boost; lots of air.

 

How does NT-6/NT-6 pro compare in the treble? How much less in 5 kHz, how much more in 8 kHz?

 

Why the darn companies do not make reasonable graphs? The one thing about CIEMs is that personal variation should be much reduced, making measurements even more useful, avoiding the issue with ear couplers not being accurate in the highest end of the spectrum since it's custom fill.

 

Who is recommending the LS8?  Your previous post sounded to me like the LS6 may be a good fit.  But I also wanted to comment that the LS8 has a much larger and more 3D soundstage than the DBA-02.  Frequency response is not always the be-all-end-all.  Square wave performance and decay plots are also important, but there is still more, which is why people have to hear things.  I understand the psychoacoustic effects of various FR changes, but there are other characteristics that play a role in the overall sound and presentation.

 

I have charts for the NT-6 and NT-6 pro, but they won't be to your liking.  The NT-6 pro has a larger, more 3D soundstage compared to the NT-6, and most other CIEMs.  It may be what you are looking for, but I am honestly not too sure.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post

Straden wants to be an average joe when he grows up.

 

Lol.

post #2092 of 4092
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Who is recommending the LS8?  Your previous post sounded to me like the LS6 may be a good fit.  But I also wanted to comment that the LS8 has a much larger and more 3D soundstage than the DBA-02.  Frequency response is not always the be-all-end-all.  Square wave performance and decay plots are also important, but there is still more, which is why people have to hear things.  I understand the psychoacoustic effects of various FR changes, but there are other characteristics that play a role in the overall sound and presentation.

 

I have charts for the NT-6 and NT-6 pro, but they won't be to your liking.  The NT-6 pro has a larger, more 3D soundstage compared to the NT-6, and most other CIEMs.  It may be what you are looking for, but I am honestly not too sure.

Again, if FR is wrong, nothing else will matter, since I'll have to run around with an equalizer. If I get to do that, my current Spiral Ear SE-5 is a really hard to beat option.

These have enormous bass power and speed. Pity they don't have as nice presentation for highs.

It just has some treble shelf, much like the Audeze LCD-2 rev 1 loaner I had for a short while; perhaps a 3 dB bass cut centered on 200 Hz and some mild (2 dB) old BA style 3k boost.

Graphic eq suffices - they're relatively easy to equalize. I want to get rid of that equalizer part of the setup. Somewhat sprightier presentation in highest end would be also nice, with as little sacrifices in bass presentation as possible.

The bass has enormous power, far more than many headphones I've tried. More than my former DT-1350.

 

I'd be much suprised if LS8 were more 3D than my Brainwavz B2 with that frequency response.

(Of note, mine have a slight 3 dB bass enhancement, but less of narrowband 5 kHz boost - which is still 6 dB - with VSonic silicone tips.)

Definitely not buying it without a sample listen and that might be real hard to come by.

The FR makes me think more of VSonic GR07 aggressiveness put on overdrive.

 

If LS6 shares this feature, it's definitely not a pick either. Yes, I'd love to see the NT-6, NT-6 pro charts.


Edited by AstralStorm - 10/10/12 at 3:57am
post #2093 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Reading reviews will hopefully help you decide what you think is the best for you.  What is your price range?

 

 

I did find the SM3 to have a combination of warmth and thickness giving plenty of body to the presentation.

 

 

Anything up to 800 USD. But I would opt for a cheaper option, I imagine the CIEM being better anyhow.

Up until now I only spent up to 200 USD on a IEM. SM3 is more expensive but is on a loan. I tried many top tier universals in the 100 to 200 USD price range to find a sound I liked.

My next step could also be some more expensive universals and then find out more to make the jump to customs.

But since I can almost get a custom for that kind of money (300USD and up), that seems a more logical choice.

If there was the perfect CIEM for my ears and it would cost 10000USD, I would save up for it. But, am I ready to fully appreciate it yet and could I ever settle for a certain type of sound and presentation?

Perhaps not, so best would be an even better sounding CIEM, I don't expect it to be perfect, with a similar sound that I like. I might (dis)like something I hear with it and try to search for some other CIEM that does "that" better or more.

Each step takes me closer to my goal, but I want to take the step as straightforward as possible.

 

Or a better source to make all my IEMs sound "better".

post #2094 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

Again, if FR is wrong, nothing else will matter, since I'll have to run around with an equalizer. If I get to do that, my current Spiral Ear SE-5 is a really hard to beat option.

These have enormous bass power and speed. Pity they don't have as nice presentation for highs.

It just has some treble shelf, much like the Audeze LCD-2 rev 1 loaner I had for a short while; perhaps a 3 dB bass cut centered on 200 Hz and some mild (2 dB) old BA style 3k boost.

Graphic eq suffices - they're relatively easy to equalize. I want to get rid of that equalizer part of the setup. Somewhat sprightier presentation in highest end would be also nice, with as little sacrifices in bass presentation as possible.

The bass has enormous power, far more than many headphones I've tried. More than my former DT-1350.

 

I'd be much suprised if LS8 were more 3D than my Brainwavz B2 with that frequency response.

(Of note, mine have a slight 3 dB bass enhancement, but less of narrowband 5 kHz boost - which is still 6 dB - with VSonic silicone tips.)

Definitely not buying it without a sample listen and that might be real hard to come by.

The FR makes me think more of VSonic GR07 aggressiveness put on overdrive.

 

If LS6 shares this feature, it's definitely not a pick either. Yes, I'd love to see the NT-6, NT-6 pro charts.

 

Averagejoe is correct; frequency response is a guide - not a rule, I'd be a little more cautions about using your eyes more than your ears when trying to pick something out for the way it sounds.  Even if you find your perfect FR you may not like how the IEM produces that FR, there's a bit more at play here than just graphs and spec sheets otherwise we'd all be cranking these things out in our basements.  You've quite a specific list of requirements so I really hope you find an IEM that you're happy with in the end.

post #2095 of 4092

After re-reading your reviews again I think I want something close to AM4. But I will probably need a better source than my Clip+.

Will an amp be any help to get more out of it through the Clip+? Is it worth to get the Rocoo BA or Studio V. And what about getting the DX100 for it or is that not necessary?


Edited by s0lar - 10/10/12 at 12:48pm
post #2096 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

Averagejoe is correct; frequency response is a guide - not a rule, I'd be a little more cautions about using your eyes more than your ears when trying to pick something out for the way it sounds.  Even if you find your perfect FR you may not like how the IEM produces that FR, there's a bit more at play here than just graphs and spec sheets otherwise we'd all be cranking these things out in our basements.  You've quite a specific list of requirements so I really hope you find an IEM that you're happy with in the end.

 

True, the FR is only a guide - but the general shape should at least be close enough. (and it should be specified whether the curve is compensated or not)

The real hard part about CIEMs is the lack of any samples. I'd rather rely on some more quantitatively qualified reviews. For example, saying "aggressive" can mean any of three things.

(3k boost, 5k boost, lots of odd harmonics)

Describing frequency response more specifically makes it a bit easier on the buyer. I've acquired the "decoder ring" only for Joker's reviews and not any of the custom ones, sadly.

post #2097 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post

After re-reading your reviews again I think I want something close to AM4. But I will probably need a better source than my Clip+.

Will an amp be any help to get more out of it through the Clip+? Is it worth to get the Rocoo BA or Studio V. And what about getting the DX100 for it or is that not necessary?


you would get a 800$dap to make a 400$ iem work better? this forum is dangerous.

 

 

 if you re not too sure about what to do to "upgrade",  keep it inexpensive and try a lot of stuffs.

just don't go buy some expensive gear with good review thinking "that s it i get the best and don't bother ever again" . it doesn't work like that at all for sound. ask Joe about it ;)

 

you re sure you want customs? it s not all rainbows and unicorns, there are some drawbacks too.

post #2098 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post

 

you re sure you want customs? it s not all rainbows and unicorns, there are some drawbacks too.

Ha!  Never a truer word spoken!

 

Here's a question that might sound a bit odd.  What do proper fitting customs feel like?  Are you aware that they are in there?  No discomfort at all?  I only ask as so far I haven't managed to get a good fit out of the sets I've tried.  They've been either too tight, too loose or not long enough (steady at the back there).  Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the illusion that it's basically fit and forget.  I was initially drawn to the idea of customs for a)better isolation then universals b)correct fit everytime without the hassle of tips.

 

Also I'm getting another set of impressions done (I still like the idea, I've just been unlucky so far :( ) so want to eliminate all possible factors.  I'm getting my ears syringed a couple of days before my appointment.  With regards to the bite block whats the best way for an open mouth impression?  To have it like __   or like I (if that makes sense).

post #2099 of 4092

My SE-5 generally fit very well. The only way I'm aware of them is if I try to talk to someone and while they're heating up to body temperature - or when I'm specifically concentrating on them - the most felt part is the outer ear being touched at Fossa Triangularis (top front indented part) and right below the top part of Helix (the large ridge), much like you'd put a finger there and touch lightly.

The ear itself feels filled and perhaps I feel like swallowing more often with them in .

Much less annoying than on-ear headphones all in all. These CIEMs are huge, see below for details. (Feel free to ask for pics too.)

They do get somewhat sweaty, but it's not noticeable during use, only when removing them. Was more of an issue during the hot 35+ °C past summer.

(The only other thing I don't like about them is shelved treble - easy to correct with an equalizer.)

 

Brainwavz B2 with Comply P Slim/trimmed fit nicer, since they don't touch outer ear at all and don't cause the "filled" feel - probably because the foam is softer than silicone.

RE272 was pretty good too while it lasted. However, it is nicer than B2 with silicones, which somewhat feel wrong (scraping?) in the left ear. Much nicer than GR07 with either foam or silicones, where the casing did a number on my outer ear.

 

What my arbitrarily picked audiologist did wrong (and why I won't go to her again) is press too hard on the impression to remove air bubbles. This distorted the outer ear impression enough to make the end result somewhat tricky to put in properly - have to press on the bottom parts for everything to fully "click" in - the difference is minor in the high end of the response.

Lucky those aren't acrylic. It also took two tries to get a good end result. She could've made them deeper too - they go just 2mm or so past the second bend.

 

Cleaning ears shouldn't affect the impressions at all unless you really have them clogged. Don't come in for impressions with water in them. Do not use qtips or any other scraping devices - the scraped ear overproduces earwax and changes in shape too.

 

If you're making them yourself: what you need to make sure of is the depth of and lack of air bubbles. Deeper is always better - the impressions can always be cut down if deemed too long.

Bite block setup is dependent on the CIEM manufacturer. If there aren't any instructions, I'd say "slack jaw" (but closed mouth) impressions without any bite block. If you really need one, pick the narrow side and do not bite hard, just hold it in mouth. Obviously, don't move or talk while the impressions are being taken and are setting.


Edited by AstralStorm - 10/11/12 at 5:14pm
post #2100 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post


you would get a 800$dap to make a 400$ iem work better? this forum is dangerous.

 

 

 if you re not too sure about what to do to "upgrade",  keep it inexpensive and try a lot of stuffs.

just don't go buy some expensive gear with good review thinking "that s it i get the best and don't bother ever again" . it doesn't work like that at all for sound. ask Joe about it ;)

 

you re sure you want customs? it s not all rainbows and unicorns, there are some drawbacks too.

A 800USD DAP might be worth it. It will make all my IEMs sound better and it will for my future gear. It will bring them to their full potential.

 

The reason I would opt for customs instead of universals then. I tried more than a few 100-200 USD top performers that should sound to my liking. Thus I could try even more and probably get a similar performing IEM with minor differences, or spend more for each IEM and try more. Spending more means 200-400 USD for each universal. Well that kind of money brings customs into the equation and I think performance, technical ability will be better with customs.

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