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post #2551 of 4093
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

I really do not understand how you have the oppositeo other people's opinion on this, and also the opposite of your initial opinion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

No disrespect, but this sounds like a joke.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I don't think it's unreasonable. We all have our preferences. The RE-400 is a very competent IEM despite its low price. And if the sound sig fits him just right, then I can see how it would be preferable to a far more expensive IEM that has a different sound sig.

 

It's like someone preferring a "cheap" Sennheiser HD598 to a Grado PS1000, or a VMODA M80 to an Ultrasone Edition 10, etc. Just because the expensive models cost more, and probably do certain things far better than the cheap models, doesn't mean everyone will like their sound. Nothing wrong with that. 

 

There are so many things I can say here, but I will just say that either there is now something wrong with AstralStorm's SE5, or our ears really don't agree.  This seems to be the case of one person's measurements, and now ears, disagreeing with everyone else that I know of.  If there are other people with the SE5 that feel the same as AS, I haven't found them.  Measurements can be misleading and are limited, plus the human ear is an extremely sensitive instrument that, from my knowledge, no measurement equipment can compare with for analog audio signals.  What is the true measure of performance for analog audio?  How do you measure resolution and "proper" soundstaging?  The human ear is a highly specialized, finely tuned instrument that can be trained as can be seen here and here.

 

I can understand someone having sound signature preferences and even changing their opinion based on comparing with other headphones.  I also wanted to bring up that in my experience all bets are off with performance when someone starts EQing everything.  EQing throws so many unknowns into the equation and unless someone uses the same EQ circuit (or software) along with the setting, repeatability becomes difficult.  I can see why a multi-BA CIEM with crossovers may not perform as well as a single dynamic when EQed, and I have heard a lot of EQs that sound very unnatural to my ears.  I understand there could possibly be ulterior motives, but I won't even speculate.  For those long time members that are familiar with several other threads of mine, this reminds me of many posts by Pianist.

 

I hope ace8888 chimes in, as I am sure he will, once he has some time with the SE5.  There does seem to be a consensus about the SE5, and statistically that makes more sense than putting too much stock in one outlier.  There aren't many other places that talk about the SE5, but there are two here and here where you may want to ask questions.  

post #2552 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunlun View Post

Opinions change with experience. Judging technical ability by ear is subjective, as is everything judged by ear. Astral Storm has given some of the clearest assessments of the SE5 on head-fi. That his perspective has ripened with time is no flaw.


There is a difference between rippening and totally changing. I really do not mean to be critical here, but it seems that you always seemed to have your doubts about the SE5 (for reasons I am not privy to), so the fact that AS confirms this goes your way.

post #2553 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


There is a difference between rippening and totally changing. I really do not mean to be critical here, but it seems that you always seemed to have your doubts about the SE5 (for reasons I am not privy to), so the fact that AS confirms this goes your way.

 

Let's not make this personal. Saying it "goes his way" is implying Kunlun has some specific agenda, which doesn't seem to be the case. Can't he just be a guy who thinks "that doesn't sound like a CIEM I would enjoy"? 

 

I've had headphones, IEMs, DACs, and amps which I initially loved and/or hated. Later on I discovered that I really didn't love/hate them so much. Sometimes I even completely reverse my position. There's nothing wrong with that - people can still be in love with the same DAC/amp/headphone that I no longer find myself enjoying. 

post #2554 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Let's not make this personal. Saying it "goes his way" is implying Kunlun has some specific agenda, which doesn't seem to be the case. Can't he just be a guy who thinks "that doesn't sound like a CIEM I would enjoy"? 

I've had headphones, IEMs, DACs, and amps which I initially loved and/or hated. Later on I discovered that I really didn't love/hate them so much. Sometimes I even completely reverse my position. There's nothing wrong with that - people can still be in love with the same DAC/amp/headphone that I no longer find myself enjoying. 
I won't get into this. I should not even have started.
post #2555 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


There is a difference between rippening and totally changing. I really do not mean to be critical here, but it seems that you always seemed to have your doubts about the SE5 (for reasons I am not privy to), so the fact that AS confirms this goes your way.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to imagine an "us vs. them" idea. I have nothing against the se5, I haven't heard it.

I like astralstorm's take not because it is negative, but because it clearly describes the sound signature.

I am biased toward clear descriptions of sound signatures and away from ones that fail to be clear. I'm sorry if that upsets you. I hope you can understand even if you don't agree.
post #2556 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunlun View Post


I'm not sure why you feel the need to imagine an "us vs. them" idea. I have nothing against the se5, I haven't heard it.

I like astralstorm's take not because it is negative, but because it clearly describes the sound signature.

I am biased toward clear descriptions of sound signatures and away from ones that fail to be clear. I'm sorry if that upsets you. I hope you can understand even if you don't agree.


Sure, I understand it if you say it like this. I think this is an endless debate, apparently there are two opposite perceptions of the SE5. I will have to see for myself and let you know !

post #2557 of 4093

Hello again Joe,

 

Ever heard anything concerning Canal Works ? They are very intriguing...

 

http://canalworks.jp/products/index.html

post #2558 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Hello again Joe,

 

Ever heard anything concerning Canal Works ? They are very intriguing...

 

http://canalworks.jp/products/index.html

 

 

I seem to remember discussing them in this thread a while back. Prices are a little high on the single and dual driver models, but not bad for the 6 driver model. I don't think they were interested in having reviews done - at the time they were focusing on the local market only.

 

But maybe I'm wrong or mistaking them for someone else.... this is a long thread by now. 

post #2559 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

 

I seem to remember discussing them in this thread a while back. Prices are a little high on the single and dual driver models, but not bad for the 6 driver model. I don't think they were interested in having reviews done - at the time they were focusing on the local market only.

 

But maybe I'm wrong or mistaking them for someone else.... this is a long thread by now. 

This sounds interesting, on the product specs page they mentioned using interchangeable high quality film resistors in their cables, I wonder what that does to the sound.

post #2560 of 4093
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

There are so many things I can say here, but I will just say that either there is now something wrong with AstralStorm's SE5, or our ears really don't agree.  This seems to be the case of one person's measurements, and now ears, disagreeing with everyone else that I know of.  If there are other people with the SE5 that feel the same as AS, I haven't found them.  Measurements can be misleading and are limited, plus the human ear is an extremely sensitive instrument that, from my knowledge, no measurement equipment can compare with for analog audio signals.  What is the true measure of performance for analog audio?  How do you measure resolution and "proper" soundstaging?  The human ear is a highly specialized, finely tuned instrument that can be trained as can be seen here and here.

 

I can understand someone having sound signature preferences and even changing their opinion based on comparing with other headphones.  I also wanted to bring up that in my experience all bets are off with performance when someone starts EQing everything.  EQing throws so many unknowns into the equation and unless someone uses the same EQ circuit (or software) along with the setting, repeatability becomes difficult.  I can see why a multi-BA CIEM with crossovers may not perform as well as a single dynamic when EQed, and I have heard a lot of EQs that sound very unnatural to my ears.  I understand there could possibly be ulterior motives, but I won't even speculate.  For those long time members that are familiar with several other threads of mine, this reminds me of many posts by Pianist.

 

I hope ace8888 chimes in, as I am sure he will, once he has some time with the SE5.  There does seem to be a consensus about the SE5, and statistically that makes more sense than putting too much stock in one outlier.  There aren't many other places that talk about the SE5, but there are two here and here where you may want to ask questions.  

 

Properly done measurements can't be misleading, but can be incomplete. Frequency response is probably the most important, then any ringing (CSD), then harmonic distortion, then phase. Measuring CIEMs is indeed harder than measuring universals, but is not altogether impossible.

 

Have you actually tried equalizing you SE-5 to equally loud sounding levels? Of course these will be somewhat different from mine, but I wouldn't expect differences larger than 6 dB > 3kHz and even less below.

 

I use the same EQ circuit for all the IEMs - it's a digital Electri-Q parametric equalizer - 100% reproducible in case of SE-5, which doesn't have fit/refit issues at all and very accurate. Reference to 500 Hz, not usual 1 kHz - found that to be nicer sounding and easier to do - some v-shaped IEMs have a 1kHz cut.

 

It is not a linear phase equalizer though, but I have also tried an advanced FFT graphic EQ (linear phase) for Foobar 2000 (foo_dsp_geq) and results were very similar, so phase issues can be discounted. Results are also pretty similar across various sources - FiiO E17, Leckerton UHA6S mkII w/ OPA209, Audiotrak Prodigy Cube, homemade O2 (loaner). Minor differences in highs amount only, most of them with the Leckerton.

 

And if there's something wrong with my SE-5, then hey, I've paid 1000 Euros for a defective IEM. Huzzah. Fit issue is unlikely, because it feels well, seals well and isolates extremely well.

You haven't found those unhappy people, because 1) few people are into custom IEMs, 2) even fewer people are audacious enough to dump 1000 Euros into one and 3) SE-5 is not exactly world-wide available. Maybe also 4) buyer's bias - it's expensive so it has to be good. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization )

 

Also I don't say SE-5 are bad. They're fine if you're not looking for neutrality, even note thickness or perfect soundstaging. Just not truly neutral due to their tuning and not even in note thickness as well as soundstaging, probably due to having so many drivers and crossovers.

 

I am saying though that RE-400 are all around better in best fit without the unnecessary damper screen.

Even a single TWFK in best fit is reasonably comparable everywhere except the bass thickness and highs extension, also is more neutral too. (Though it has some v-shape, while SE-5 have an n-shape FR with some bass boost.)


Edited by AstralStorm - 2/26/13 at 11:17pm
post #2561 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

 

Properly done measurements can't be misleading, but can be incomplete. Frequency response is probably the most important, then any ringing (CSD), then harmonic distortion, then phase. Measuring CIEMs is indeed harder than measuring universals, but is not altogether impossible.

 

Have you actually tried equalizing you SE-5 to equally loud sounding levels? Of course these will be somewhat different from mine, but I wouldn't expect differences larger than 6 dB > 3kHz and even less below.

 

I use the same EQ circuit for all the IEMs - it's a digital Electri-Q parametric equalizer - 100% reproducible in case of SE-5, which doesn't have fit/refit issues at all and very accurate. Reference to 500 Hz, not usual 1 kHz - found that to be nicer sounding and easier to do - some v-shaped IEMs have a 1kHz cut.

 

It is not a linear phase equalizer though, but I have also tried an advanced FFT graphic EQ (linear phase) for Foobar 2000 (foo_dsp_geq) and results were very similar, so phase issues can be discounted. Results are also pretty similar across various sources - FiiO E17, Leckerton UHA6S mkII w/ OPA209, Audiotrak Prodigy Cube, homemade O2 (loaner). Minor differences in highs amount only, most of them with the Leckerton.

 

And if there's something wrong with my SE-5, then hey, I've paid 1000 Euros for a defective IEM. Huzzah. Fit issue is unlikely, because it feels well, seals well and isolates extremely well.

You haven't found those unhappy people, because 1) few people are into custom IEMs, 2) even fewer people are audacious enough to dump 1000 Euros into one and 3) SE-5 is not exactly world-wide available. Maybe also 4) buyer's bias - it's expensive so it has to be good. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization )

 

Also I don't say SE-5 are bad. They're fine if you're not looking for neutrality, even note thickness or perfect soundstaging. Just not truly neutral due to their tuning and not even in note thickness as well as soundstaging, probably due to having so many drivers and crossovers.

 

I am saying though that RE-400 are all around better in best fit without the unnecessary damper screen.

Even a single TWFK in best fit is reasonably comparable everywhere except the bass thickness and highs extension, also is more neutral too. (Though it has some v-shape, while SE-5 have an n-shape FR with some bass boost.)


And one very naive question: did you initially think them great based on listening, and then you measurements lead you to think that they are not so great ?

post #2562 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

You haven't found those unhappy people, because 1) few people are into custom IEMs, 2) even fewer people are audacious enough to dump 1000 Euros into one and 3) SE-5 is not exactly world-wide available. Maybe also 4) buyer's bias - it's expensive so it has to be good. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization )

 

Sorry, not trying to offend.

 

Since you mention buyer's bias, I am thinking about the other situation - it's not my cup of tea so it has to be bad (not as good as my favorite).

post #2563 of 4093
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Hello again Joe,

 

Ever heard anything concerning Canal Works ? They are very intriguing...

 

http://canalworks.jp/products/index.html

 

Yes, I just didn't have time to add them to my manufactures table when I found them.  I have now and will add their models later.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I seem to remember discussing them in this thread a while back. Prices are a little high on the single and dual driver models, but not bad for the 6 driver model. I don't think they were interested in having reviews done - at the time they were focusing on the local market only.

 

But maybe I'm wrong or mistaking them for someone else.... this is a long thread by now. 

 

I believe they are focusing on the local market, but that is extended by head-fi, lol.  The 4 driver seems the most interesting to me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainykchan View Post

This sounds interesting, on the product specs page they mentioned using interchangeable high quality film resistors in their cables, I wonder what that does to the sound.

 

If you look at the images on the page, it looks like the resistors are in the faceplate and are user interchangeable.  Once you find the sound you like, it can be permanently attached.  I have a high respect for carbon film resistors and especially film capacitors from my cable building/iPod modding days.  Color me intrigued!  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

 

Properly done measurements can't be misleading, but can be incomplete. Frequency response is probably the most important, then any ringing (CSD), then harmonic distortion, then phase. Measuring CIEMs is indeed harder than measuring universals, but is not altogether impossible.

 

Have you actually tried equalizing you SE-5 to equally loud sounding levels? Of course these will be somewhat different from mine, but I wouldn't expect differences larger than 6 dB > 3kHz and even less below.

 

I use the same EQ circuit for all the IEMs - it's a digital Electri-Q parametric equalizer - 100% reproducible in case of SE-5, which doesn't have fit/refit issues at all and very accurate. Reference to 500 Hz, not usual 1 kHz - found that to be nicer sounding and easier to do - some v-shaped IEMs have a 1kHz cut.

 

It is not a linear phase equalizer though, but I have also tried an advanced FFT graphic EQ (linear phase) for Foobar 2000 (foo_dsp_geq) and results were very similar, so phase issues can be discounted. Results are also pretty similar across various sources - FiiO E17, Leckerton UHA6S mkII w/ OPA209, Audiotrak Prodigy Cube, homemade O2 (loaner). Minor differences in highs amount only, most of them with the Leckerton.

 

And if there's something wrong with my SE-5, then hey, I've paid 1000 Euros for a defective IEM. Huzzah. Fit issue is unlikely, because it feels well, seals well and isolates extremely well.

You haven't found those unhappy people, because 1) few people are into custom IEMs, 2) even fewer people are audacious enough to dump 1000 Euros into one and 3) SE-5 is not exactly world-wide available. Maybe also 4) buyer's bias - it's expensive so it has to be good. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization )

 

Also I don't say SE-5 are bad. They're fine if you're not looking for neutrality, even note thickness or perfect soundstaging. Just not truly neutral due to their tuning and not even in note thickness as well as soundstaging, probably due to having so many drivers and crossovers.

 

I am saying though that RE-400 are all around better in best fit without the unnecessary damper screen.

Even a single TWFK in best fit is reasonably comparable everywhere except the bass thickness and highs extension, also is more neutral too. (Though it has some v-shape, while SE-5 have an n-shape FR with some bass boost.)

 

We get you don't think they are as good as advertised.  I have never seen a product receive universal love from all, ever, so that is OK.  If you check other CIEM threads, there are people that either don't like the CIEM or have issues, and speaking of the issues, it is sometimes the combo of the design and that person's ears.  I have read of more than one person that had issues with a JH16 or JH13 and went through refit after refit.  They ended up switching to the other model (from 16 to 13 and 13 to 16) which fixed the issue.  I  have also read about companies changing drivers due to performance, so maybe something like that could be going on here since you hear it differently than most owners I have talked with.  

 

Do you think it is possible your SE5 might sound different to your ears than my SE5 sounds to mine?

 

I am not claiming to be the be all end all in CIEMs and measurements, so can you please explain to me how to properly take measurements and the common issues.  Are these proper measurements taken in a certified lab?  I am sure many of us would like to learn these measurement techniques.  I have wanted to start measuring, but at this time I just don't have the time.

post #2564 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 I have wanted to start measuring, but at this time I just don't have the time.

 

Stop reviewing, start measuring very_evil_smiley.gif

post #2565 of 4093
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Yes, I just didn't have time to add them to my manufactures table when I found them.  I have now and will add their models later.

 

I believe they are focusing on the local market, but that is extended by head-fi, lol.  The 4 driver seems the most interesting to me.

 

If you look at the images on the page, it looks like the resistors are in the faceplate and are user interchangeable.  Once you find the sound you like, it can be permanently attached.  I have a high respect for carbon film resistors and especially film capacitors from my cable building/iPod modding days.  Color me intrigued!

 

Yeah, the L05QD definitely seems like the most interesting model. From the impressions I've seen of it, it's supposed to sound like an uber-ER4S. The L51 also seems pretty cool with its exchangeable resistor system. They provide you with a variety of resistors that dampen the bass from 10 ohm all the way to 43 ohm or something like that.

 

I've heard that the main reason why CW is mostly interested in only the domestic market is that it's basically a one-man operation, he doesn't want to have to deal with all the English and overseas issues, so he'd rather just invest in providing good service to the Japanese.

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