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).
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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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.
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.