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post #2101 of 4394
Thread Starter 
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.

 

I wonder if the canal depth is causing your treble issues.  The treble of my second, deeper fitting 5-way is much better than my original.  The 5-way is very similar in FR to the GR-07 (I compare the two in the 5-way review).  The LS8 is much more spacious than the DBA-02.  PRAT is a large factor in presentation space, and the DBA-02 pales in comparison with the LS8.  There are LS8 demos, but the demo sounded different than my customized one (see my Rooth demo thread).

 

For universals, ear tips, insertion depth, and ear canal volume/length play a role in the FR, especially how the treble performs.  With CIEMs, that should be taken out of the equation (or greatly reduced given the same canal length), but I think variation occurs due to volume within the shell (which is why I think my customized LS8 is brighter than the demo unit).  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post

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".

 

Experimenting with universals will help you understand what you like and what you don't.  While that is good experience, the issue is the $300 range IEMs all have more tradeoffs than a $500 CIEM (in general), therefore, you won't realize everything you are missing.  I have been very impressed with many $500 CIEMs, and now the Alclair Reference is $400 making it an even better value.  

 

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.

 

Well put.  I am finding it difficult to recommend anything to AstralStorm and think universals like the K3003 or To Go 334 will give more data points and possibly a "decoder ring" for my reviews as I have a full K3003 review and impressions/comparisons of the 334.  Also, the Rooth LSX5 is available in universal form and can be later made into a custom.  There are also the Heir Audio 3.Ai and 4.Ai.

 

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?

 

The RoCoo BA is a nice player and performs quite well with the AM4 pro (the pro is the neutral version, the AM4 is bass enhanced).  It performs better than many amps connected to my modded iPod, which was impressive to me.  

 

Without quoting your other posts, the DX100 with the 1.1.7 firmware is amazing.  At least half the time I think it is better than my Anedio D1, and I have yet to hear something it doesn't pair well with.  I would say the DX100 is a "perfect" player for me if I could use it as a USB DAC.  Of course, I am fine with the UI, but I know others that don't like it all that much.  And the battery life isn't great.  If you have the money and want to future proof yourself, the DX100 is exceptional!  However, the 901 is on the horizon ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

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.

 

Good to hear you have that "decoder ring" for Joker; he and I hear things pretty much the same both in FR and in technical ability, although we do state things a bit differently.  

 

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.

 

There is the source first mentality and the headphone first mentality.  Which is right?  I have hooked up sub $100 IEMs to a great amp and have been blown away, making the IEM sound like a $300 IEM with an entry level source and a similar overall spend.  I remember using a $20 ear bud with my Stepdance and was seriously impressed.

 

I do agree that there are drawbacks to go along with the benefits of CIEMs as I outline in the 2nd post of this thread.  Some keys are buying to your needs and preferences, not skimping on the ear impression, and taking your time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

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).

 

Sorry to hear about your issues.  The majority of my CIEMs fit very well and are comfortable for extended periods of time.  They all fit somewhat different as some disappear more than others with the silicone shelled CIEMs disappearing more than acrylic, but some of my acrylics are just perfect and blend in with my ears.  But, I always know they are in there because either music is coming from them, or they are blocking external noise.  However, once I put them in and make sure the seal is good with no vacuum, I can forget about them.

 

One of the keys to getting a good impression is to have the oto block pushed as deep as possible.  The last professional impression I did, the audiologist was surprised by how far I had her shove the block in my ear, but that takes out much of the canal error IMO.  As AstralStorm mentioned, the Concha area is also important and if that area is pressed in, the outer part can be shaped wrong, causing discomfort.

 

As a rule of thumb, I would say open mouth for acrylic and closed mouth for silicone.  

post #2102 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post
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 every time 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).

 i always get the left ear perfect but it takes me several tries for the right. i could never find why.

i ve had only one ciem(made ok with 3 tries), but i ve had loads of custom plugs done for work.

  silicone is hard to put in, but much more forgiving and easy to tolerate for a long time use. a good seal is easier to get. but it s hard not to have some air pressure or vacuum effect as they already seal while you re still putting them in place (not sure if i m clear here sorry) it s something similar to what you got with flange tips on universals. (can't stand anything but comply foam on universals)

  acrylic can take  3sec to put on when you know how to place them. but any little error with the impression might hurt or forbid a perfect seal.

i ve tried to make the impressions mouth closed, or open like ... when it s opened max while you say "i" . i also tried to speak during the process (this is stupid)

now i would always go for mouth open, and biting something (if i can get a bite block i use it vertical). but most audiologists tell me that it s better mouth closed unless i m a singer.

i disagree but feel that i have to say what they recommended me.

 

then even if the impressions are perfect, here are a few things that made me mad:

-sometimes i can't forget the feeling in my ear and tend to clinch my jaw or tighten my jaw muscles. and ofc once i notice, no way i can relax. i usually have to remove the customs.

-i can't stand them if there is some hard wire over the ear. not only because the wire hurts, but because it seems to put extra pressure, as if the cable would then try to force the custom to rotate. (scalar product involved ?)

- and for cables with no hard wire, if i mess up with the little ring that helps secure the cable behind the neck. let's say my dap is in my left pocket, then my right ear will hurt and vice versa.

try your customs without cable and see if it s better. if it is you know that the problem might not be with the impressions.

also i tend to pull my ear up like you do for intras, it s easier to get in position for me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post
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.

 dx100 with 15 to 20 hours of real use, i would buy even above 1000$, but as is...  and after 2years the battery would decrease even more. sad panda is sad and not a globetrotter .

 

 and i don't tell you not to go custom mate, my post was as a warning only . i don't know your tastes or you experience/needs. what head-fiers call the best can be strangely disappointing sometimes. (not that they are wrong, we are all different, that's all)

if we talk only about sound i prefer a good big open headphone. if only to get all those musicians out of my head. those guys have no respect for my comfort zone on iems. :)

if we talk about ease of use, i prefer intras. and even then the soundstage can be bigger than on customs.

i love my customs because they give me the best sound at very low volume. if without amp, i m on volume 1 on all my daps and use replaygain to lower it even further @home and rarely pass 4 outside on scales of 30 or 40)

but the low volume thing is my only reason to keep customs.

 i understand people who love that incredible precision and separation in such a small space, it s like magic. but to me that s not all there is about music. that s why i recommended you to get lot of cheaper stuff, because you won't get "one to rule them all" .different doesn't mean less fun.

that being said, i hope your choices will make you a happy camper.

post #2103 of 4394

Alien Ears seems to have a new 8 driver model. http://www.alienears.com/products/228-g16-sixtee-driver-detachable-crd-mitr.aspx

 

132db sensitivity!

post #2104 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post

 i always get the left ear perfect but it takes me several tries for the right. i could never find why.

i ve had only one ciem(made ok with 3 tries), but i ve had loads of custom plugs done for work.

  silicone is hard to put in, but much more forgiving and easy to tolerate for a long time use. a good seal is easier to get. but it s hard not to have some air pressure or vacuum effect as they already seal while you re still putting them in place (not sure if i m clear here sorry) it s something similar to what you got with flange tips on universals. (can't stand anything but comply foam on universals)

  acrylic can take  3sec to put on when you know how to place them. but any little error with the impression might hurt or forbid a perfect seal.

i ve tried to make the impressions mouth closed, or open like ... when it s opened max while you say "i" . i also tried to speak during the process (this is stupid)

now i would always go for mouth open, and biting something (if i can get a bite block i use it vertical). but most audiologists tell me that it s better mouth closed unless i m a singer.

i disagree but feel that i have to say what they recommended me.

 

then even if the impressions are perfect, here are a few things that made me mad:

-sometimes i can't forget the feeling in my ear and tend to clinch my jaw or tighten my jaw muscles. and ofc once i notice, no way i can relax. i usually have to remove the customs.

-i can't stand them if there is some hard wire over the ear. not only because the wire hurts, but because it seems to put extra pressure, as if the cable would then try to force the custom to rotate. (scalar product involved ?)

- and for cables with no hard wire, if i mess up with the little ring that helps secure the cable behind the neck. let's say my dap is in my left pocket, then my right ear will hurt and vice versa.

try your customs without cable and see if it s better. if it is you know that the problem might not be with the impressions.

also i tend to pull my ear up like you do for intras, it s easier to get in position for me.

 

Thanks for the reply (and thanks to everyone else).  I'm just trying to eliminate any errors this time (third!) around.  It's weird.  Fisher couldn't get my right ear correct (too tight, too loose, etc) and Minerva made my left ear piece too big so it really dug in in the top part of the ear.  Couldn't wear them for more than twenty minutes or so before having to take them out.  Even after having them adjusted twice my ears were always fairly tired and sore after wearing them for most of the day. 

 

My intention is that I use them at work for listening purposes so comfort is an absolute even before music (of course if it sounds good then so much the better).  Sometimes I look across at my co-workers who just pop the buds in their ears and away they go.  Not worrying about the fit, or the seal or if the balance is right or whatever, just getting on with listening to the music.   Of course when you can hear the tss tss tss of the open backs you realise just how loud they have to turn them up...

 

With regards to the wire over the ear thing, I know exactly what you mean.  The Minerva's that I had done (and am sending back for refund due to faulty driver + poor fit :( ) the right ear would drive me nuts as I could feel the cable resting on part of the ear.  The more I tried to adjust it the more irritating it would become.

 

With regards to impressions, I've had both open and closed taken and to be honest couldn't tell much difference between them.

 

Cheers


Edited by davidcotton - 10/12/12 at 1:31pm
post #2105 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalboy View Post

Alien Ears seems to have a new 8 driver model. http://www.alienears.com/products/228-g16-sixtee-driver-detachable-crd-mitr.aspx

 

132db sensitivity!

 

Good luck with those....

post #2106 of 4394
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

Thanks for the reply (and thanks to everyone else).  I'm just trying to eliminate any errors this time (third!) around.  It's weird.  Fisher couldn't get my right ear correct (too tight, too loose, etc) and Minerva made my left ear piece too big so it really dug in in the top part of the ear.  Couldn't wear them for more than twenty minutes or so before having to take them out.  Even after having them adjusted twice my ears were always fairly tired and sore after wearing them for most of the day. 

 

My intention is that I use them at work for listening purposes so comfort is an absolute even before music (of course if it sounds good then so much the better).  Sometimes I look across at my co-workers who just pop the buds in their ears and away they go.  Not worrying about the fit, or the seal or if the balance is right or whatever, just getting on with listening to the music.   Of course when you can hear the tss tss tss of the open backs you realise just how loud they have to turn them up...

 

With regards to the wire over the ear thing, I know exactly what you mean.  The Minerva's that I had done (and am sending back for refund due to faulty driver + poor fit :( ) the right ear would drive me nuts as I could feel the cable resting on part of the ear.  The more I tried to adjust it the more irritating it would become.

 

With regards to impressions, I've had both open and closed taken and to be honest couldn't tell much difference between them.

 

Cheers

 

I feel your pain.  

 

If you try again, I would recommend asking the company to make sure they make the outer part slightly smaller in the upper Concha region to make sure you don't have any discomfort.  For me, that area is more sensitive than if I have a poor fitting canal.  Another thing you can try is after you take the impressions, try wearing them for an hour+ and see how they feel.  They should have the same fit as the eventual custom IEMs, so if they feel good and you know they feel good, you will know where the problem lies.

 

Since you have received a refund, a thought that came to my head was to go for an ACS model, maybe the T2, or if you can swing it, the T1.  Reason being is that they are local to you and have tons of experience and the ACS silicone is a bit softer than the Minerva silicone.  Also, to my knowledge, they use a scanner instead of a reverse mold process which could result in a more precise fit.  Although I am not sure if the sound will be exactly what you are looking for, but I do really like the T1 for its natural, organic sound and very nice presentation.  Regardless of what I have been listening to, I can grab the T1 Live! and enjoy it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Good luck with those....

 

Lol.  They don't have a good rep here and they have not ever returned any of my emails.

post #2107 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Lol.  They don't have a good rep here and they have not ever returned any of my emails.

 

But on the plus side, they now offer wood faceplates. How.... original. Unfortunately they don't show an example their actual work, just generic wood samples with a disclaimer saying it might not look like that. 

post #2108 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalboy View Post  132db sensitivity!

 

blink.gif LOL

post #2109 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
  Another thing you can try is after you take the impressions, try wearing them for an hour+ and see how they feel. 

 

 

damn i never though about doing that, when it s so obvious... i really feel dumb right now.

thx for the suggestion, i ll be sure to do that next time, if only for self esteem biggrin.gif

 

oh also david cotton did you always go to the same audiologist?  (i m too lazy to look up if you told us already soz) long story short, with my first audiologist i never got 1 good result. with the second one it was better but not really good. the third was perfect !!!!!!! but then i moved 400km south ... sniff sob sniff 

400 kilometers = 248.548477 miles thx google i needed to be sure about those 0.000077 .rolleyes.gif

 

post #2110 of 4394

Yup same audiologist (convenient from work), the fact that I got two different results points to manufacturers I think.

 

Cheers
 

post #2111 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

 

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.

If I may add my 5 cents here.

 

The frequency graph basically tells you nothing about actual sound unless you had cascade response graph. Because only the CSD can tell you how sound propagates in time. The quarter wave graph can tell you how accurate the bass is. But the simple FR doesn't.

Also each manufacturer measure it's earphone in different conditions thus you can't compare some graphs to other.

There's also no way to make an avarage to the description of the sound. In this case people' ear canals and tympanums has different shape hardness etc. that said one can hear very differently from another.


Edited by piotrus-g - 10/13/12 at 4:04pm
post #2112 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotrus-g View Post

If I may add my 5 cents here.

 

The frequency graph basically tells you nothing about actual sound unless you had cascade response graph. Because only the CSD can tell you how sound propagates in time. The quarter wave graph can tell you how accurate the bass is. But the simple FR doesn't.

Also each manufacturer measure it's earphone in different conditions thus you can't compare some graphs to other.

There's also no way to make an avarage to the description of the sound. In this case people' ear canals and tympanums has different shape hardness etc. that said one can hear very differently from another.

 

Thank you. I was alluding to that point in my own response, but did not have enough technical knowledge to explain it so succinctly.  As I said before, there is more at play here than just the FR.

post #2113 of 4394

is there any of the custom companies that would reshell for example an jh11 to a universal shell? i hate the handling of custom shells and would be happy if one would build it to for example the shell of an ie8 or something like that.

post #2114 of 4394
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post  is there any of the custom companies that would reshell for example an jh11 to a universal shell? i hate the handling of custom shells and would be happy if one would build it to for example the shell of an ie8 or something like that.

 

There should be a good number of companies that are willing to do it if you inquire and press on the issue. For example, I know UM has done it for a number of clients, but there should be others as well. I'd caution against doing it, though, as the universal form factor comes with its own disadvantages. Make sure you understand that the custom you'll be reshelling definitely won't sound as it was intended to sound because of differences in isolation, insertion depth, and tip material.

post #2115 of 4394

BTW, does anyone know what happened to FreQ as a brand? I can't seem to find anything about them, except on ancient head-fi threads...

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