Originally Posted by LarsHP
Thanks for the very informative reviews of both universals and custom iem's.
I am on the lookout for a (custom) iem with a flat frequency response from top to bottom and read your review of the Fabs earphones. They seem to fit what I am looking for. However I would like you to help me a little by comparing them with the SM3 (and eQ-7) in terms of frequency response. (I have both these universals.)
It is especially the frequency response in the mids I found unexpected disappointment with the SM3. I am not talking about the quality of the drivers in the SM3 (which is very good), but the boost (maybe +6dB) around 300Hz & the dip (maybe -8dB) around 3kHz. This is what makes the SM3 sound dark I now understand. It also has a lower output in the lower treble (about -4dB), but if that was the only "fault" I wouldn't complain.
All in all - if I equalize the SM3 as observed it sounds very good, but I would prefer that a universal iem at this price level to have a less flawed response. I simply can't get myself to use it without EQ. The eQ-7 on the other hand lacks bass (maybe -9dB) and the lower treble has a little boost (about +3dB), but the mids are quite flat, and thus the eQ-7 is equally quite good without EQ'ing.
So - the above taken into account - how do you think the Fabs are in comparison to the SM3 and eQ-7 in terms of frequency response?
Hi Lars, thank you for reading!
I would say the Fabs are much closer to the eQ-7 than the SM3 in frequency response, and even the SA-12 is pretty close; you may want to read my comparison of the Fabs and SA-12 in the SA-12 review. My thoughs on the eQ-7 are from my memory and notes, inlcuding this comparison I did of the eQ-7 with the SM3. Technically I would rate the Fabs above both the eQ-7 and the SM3, but a few things to think about with the Fabs are the deep bass reverb is closer to the eQ-7 than the SM3 and the the Fabs are a half shell and don’t offer isolation that is on par with a full shelled custom IEM or even the SM3 with triple flange tips.
Another possible suggestion is the Mi-3 which takes the SM3 presentation, moves it in front of you and adds clarity and treble at the expense of bass weight, depth, and enhancement. The biggest issue I have with the Mi-3 is the bass driver needs a lot of power to get going, but it does have a presentation that is on the richer and thicker side that is very liquid similar to the SM3, however with a flatter response. You may feel the need to EQ the bass however.
And if you want to take another step up the ladder to one of the top rungs, the SA-43 is an option. With the bass and preence switches off they are very neutral and you can add more bass if you want and/or move the vocals forward. Technically the SA-43 is a good step up from the Fabs and Mi-3 and is extremely capable and scales well. You can get them without the switches if you wanted.
Originally Posted by Majin
could you give me a comparison between reshelled TF10 and the ex1000?
I did not compare the TF10 with the EX-1000 since I had limited time with the EX-1000 so take this with a grain of salt. But, deducing from how the EX-1000 compared with others and knowing how the TF10 reshell compares with the same custom IEMs, I would say the EX-1000 is smoother, has less bass weight, a good deal less warmth and thinner note (faster decay) and a larger soundstage while the TF10 mids are recessed in comparison and the detail level of the EX-1000 is higher than the TF10. Two things I noticed about the EX-1000 were that the soundstage is presented higher than anything else I had, as if I was sitting below the performance vs. on the same level and teh imaging in the middle of the soundstage wasn't as well defined as at the edges.