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Multi-Custom In-Ear Monitor Review, Resource, Mfg List & Discussion (Check first post for review... - Page 43

post #631 of 4092
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 


Great!  And my suggestion is to take your time figuring out the sound of them when you get them and make sure to use a very good source chain and hopefully you will find them to be "damn special" wink_face.gif


 


Will do :) I took your advise and bought a Pico Slim to go with the SA43 and before posting the review, I plan on listening to listen to all 4 settings with 300-500 songs each (I usually have a pretty good idea of the sound sig after that). Though I have a feeling I will be spending more time with the presence switch than the bass switch as they probably have a larger impact on the overall sound than the bass switch.


Edited by rangerid - 11/10/11 at 5:56am
post #632 of 4092
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogears View Post

Still contemplating on which one. If EM3Pro, I will ask for additional treble driver <- maybe you can point me which one is better: Sonion or Knowles? TIA!

 

Reshell = SGD200 = ~USD160

 


For the treble, the two I have heard the most are the Knowles ED series and the TWFK.  I think the ED series would fit the EM3 Pro better.  However, if it fits, why risk it?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerid View Post

Will do :) I took your advise and bought a Pico Slim to go with the SA43 and before posting the review, I plan on listening to listen to all 4 settings with 300-500 songs each (I usually have a pretty good idea of the sound sig after that). Though I have a feeling I will be spending more time with the presence switch than the bass switch as they probably have a larger impact on the overall sound than the bass switch.


Very cool, what source (iPhone, iPod, Cowon, etc.) are you using?

 

Yes, the presence switch does have a larger impact than the bass switch.  I think it is more of a preference thing as most of the time I prefer the presence switch in the off position, but when comparing with some custom IEMs the sound is very different, so the presence switch closes that gap in sound.

 

post #633 of 4092

Well I will be using the iPhone 4 and whiplash LOD to the Pico Slim. I also have the Clip+ which I will also be testing with. I know in your review you have mentioned that the Clip+ matches better than the 3GS. I am not sure how close teh 3G3 and the 4 sounds but in my experience with about 10 top tier phones, the iPhone 4 sounded superior to the Clip+ as I found them to have overall better resolution while the Clip+ sounded warmer and slightly veiled. Perhaps the SA43 is an exception to the rule, but we'll see. 

 

 

post #634 of 4092
Thread Starter 

Audio Earz (formerly DRM Earz) aud-5X full review posted here.

 

@ rangeid: I did notice a slight improvement with the iPhone 4 vs. the 3G but haven't spend enough time to really differentiate the two, but with the SA-43 for me the 3G has really bad synergy.  

post #635 of 4092

Okay, after A/B'ing my current IEMs; EM3pro, SM2, K2 and UEsf5v2... yes the UEsf5v2... I have decided to reshell the sf5v2. It sounds so coherent(?) specifically on the mids which is the most important region of the music/sound for me. Even against the EM3Pro, the single driver sf5v2 is sounding better with vocals and instrument. Soundstage is almost on par.

I am just hoping the bass will improve a lot due to bone conduction... as for the treble... I'm crossing my paws some more biggrin.gif I really just find the EM3Pro's highs lacking on extension.


I'll report back once they are back with me... I will try Stage93.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 


For the treble, the two I have heard the most are the Knowles ED series and the TWFK.  I think the ED series would fit the EM3 Pro better.  However, if it fits, why risk it?

 

post #636 of 4092
Thread Starter 

The EM3 Pro has one of the smallest soundstage widths of the custom IEMs I have.  I am interested to hear how your reshell turns out.

post #637 of 4092

I see in opeing post that you have already ordered the ACS T1 and the EM4, I am very curious how those 2 fare against the other customs that you have listened to before. I am still doubting if i should get the T1 or not and i will hold out buying one at this moment till i wait for your review.

 

I have an odd question about the ammount of drivers of a custom. How do the triple and quad driver customs that you have listened fare in comparison to the ones with more drivers. I have read other people's opinion that more drivers does not always mean that it's inferior to customs with more drivers, but seeing that you have reviewed so many i am cursious about your opinion.


Edited by Hyl - 11/11/11 at 10:18am
post #638 of 4092
Thread Starter 

Yes, two more "flavors" of custom IEMs!

 

Let me start by saying that if it was really all about the number of drivers the UERM wouldn't have compared as well as it did.  Speaking based only on technical ability, tuning and design does play the primary role in how things stack up with the exception of the bass region.  While a single bass driver can reproduce a good amount of bass for most music, there are some challenges with authoritative sub-bass when compared with a dynamic driver.  And since I mentioned the bass and sub-bass, most BA implementations have tighter bass but don't reverberate the same way as the dynamic driver bass. 

 

There seems to be a loose correlation between the number of drivers and/or crossovers and the level of detail/resolution with more drivers and crossover points resulting in more detail.  However, with the exception of the SE 5-way, the differences aren't huge between the SA-43, UERM, JH16, and LS8.  And as a note, I break it into two categories, instrument detail and overall resolution/detail.  Instrument detail is essentially instrument detail meaning how much detail each instrument has, such as how defined is someone's fingers on a harp or how much reverberation of a string can you hear and experience.  Overall resolution/detail is how the whole presentation is put together including instrument separation, how well defined the lines between each music creating component in the music is and the black space, and the actual black space which, when combined with the soundstage components such as proportion and overall size result in a recreation of the music.  Two good examples IMO are the EM3 Pro and JH16.  The EM3 Pro has great resolution of the ambiance in a recording but below average detail resolution while the JH16 is the opposite, primarily because of the soundstage proportions, however also in part due to the slightly analytical presentation.

 

Ultimately it comes down to this: making custom IEMs (or any audio equipment) is an art with a basis in physics (engineering).  Why were Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh better than others?  Hence, it is not necessarily based on the components in the custom IEM, but the engineering and artistry making listening and comparing is necessary.

post #639 of 4092
Thread Starter 

From the aud-5X review page.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerid View Post

Interesting indeed....

 

Joe this is sort of a side question, out of all the CIEMs you have heard and what I can gather from all your amazing reviews, would you say the SA43 has the best soundstage/transparency/isolation, the SE5way best resolution/detail?


First, the SA-43 needs a good source to shine, otherwise the performance suffers more than is typical.  Transparency is on par with that of the 5-way and NT-6, soundstage width is a bit larger in width than the JH16 but shares a very similar 3D presentation to the 5-way and NT6 and the UERM, LS8, and aud-5X are also close, but all smaller in overall size to various degrees.  Isolation of the SA-43 is on par with the silicone shelled custom IEMs if not slightly better.  I currently am using unscientific methods for comparison and canal depth can also affect the isolation, but the SA-43 is at least in the top 3 of the custom IEMs I own.  The 5-way is the resolution/detail king from what I have heard while the SA-43 is more of an average performer in the instrument detail arena, but because it has great soundstage proportions and space it recreates ambiance (sense of space and definition of the soundstage resulting in a real feel) quite well.  

post #640 of 4092

Thanks for the detailed answer joe! In your experience with all the CIEMs, which one do you think will complement the SA43s the most?

 

EDIT: Guess what i mean is which one has kind of an opposite sound sig to it. 


Edited by rangerid - 11/12/11 at 10:05am
post #641 of 4092
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerid View Post

Thanks for the detailed answer joe! In your experience with all the CIEMs, which one do you think will complement the SA43s the most?

 

EDIT: Guess what i mean is which one has kind of an opposite sound sig to it. 



Due to the switches giving the ability to change the sound of the SA-43, that is difficult since it can be bass enhanced or fairly neutral and can have forward mids or fairly neutral mids.  The UERM is different in that the presentation is much more analytical with a treble emphasis, the TS842 is different in that the sound also is on the analytical side and has the dynamic bass driver along with a treble emphasis, but maybe the two most different are the i9pro which uses FST technology and has a very interesting and fun sound signature with a large projected space and the EM3 Pro with is thick, lush, rich, and has a more on stage feel.  Are you thinking of buying something else to compliment the SA-43?

post #642 of 4092

A bit down the future after I have saved the money, yes. I have always had two different IEMs complementing each other. Most recently, the IE8s w/ Supreme Pro cable and DBA02s. I found IE8s to be the most natural sounding IEMs to my ears and paired well with the DBAs and its slight analytical/brighter signature. 

 

The i9pros look interesting but the lack of isolation doesn't look very appealing. My IE8s were mainly a home use only IEM and I don't want another pair of those. The UERM might actually be what I am looking for with a treble emphasis, but I see you also have the EM4s coming and NT6s. I will wait to hear your impressions on those. I haven't even received the sa43s yet so I will give those a nice long listen first as well. But it is something to ponder down the road...

 

UPDATE: I also want to get the absolute best portable sound out of the SA43s; I recall you have mentioned that with iPhone 4 -> Pico Slim I can "experience them near their best." What should the next step be in upgrading my portable rig? Should I get a DAC like the CLAS or upgrade my DAP to something like the 801? Both will probably end up costing the same at around $800 with getting new mini to mini and usb lods for the CLAS. This brings to another question, do the laws of diminishing returns apply here as the amount of money spent upgrading isn't really worth the minor improvements or will it be a significant step up? 


Edited by rangerid - 11/13/11 at 2:11pm
post #643 of 4092
Thread Starter 

The i9pro and UERM are opposites, so it depends on what you want.  If you had the DBA02 the UERM would fit that sound more closely.  The NT6 so far is a less analytical UERM with a more liquid presentation, less treble emphasis, and more bass capability, so really it is different ;)  The bass is not enhanced and to my ears it sounds very neutral, although I haven't compared it with the SA-43 yet, but it could be similar.  The EM4 should be very interesting.

 

I have to say I love the 801 with the GAME card, it drives the SA-43 so well as it is very detailed with great 3D space.  The negative of the 801 is the clarity is a bit less than with my $1300 Anedio D1 (non-portable) DAC.  The Pico Slim is a good amp and actually could be used with the 801 in place of the GAME card and does offer slightly better transparency and clarity, but the 3D space is a tad bit less.  I am not sure the performance with the iPhone 4, but with the 3G it isn't all that great in comparison to me.  And then an aftermarket cable can add another layer of improvement to the SA-43.  

post #644 of 4092

Thanks again for your help joe. Would you say the iPhone 4 + Pico be good enough for now until I save up enough? I can probably get a used one for cheaper on the FS but if it will do for now I will hold off on buying anything more. 

 

I am really looking forward to the NT6 and EM4 reviews when you post them ;)

 

Would you say that the 801 alone without the GAME card or any amp is better than an iDevice+amp?


Edited by rangerid - 11/13/11 at 5:24pm
post #645 of 4092

How is the SA-43 with the 601?

 

Edit:

How about cable microphonics? Anything while walking? Anything if you hit the cable?


If $1000 is pushing it, would getting the non-detachable cable be worth it? Whats the difference?

 

Isolation - can you get rid of a busy street? A noisy bus?


What exactly is the driver configuration?



Also, what does TWFK mean?


Edited by Kanashimu - 11/13/11 at 7:34pm
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