Since this is my first post, I thought just a little about my background might be in order.
First, I am a LONG time audiophile. I bought my first high end system back in the late 70's and never looked back. Today, I have a 2.1 system that consists of a pair of reference monitor speakers on stands and a monster sub that costs more than some used cars. I use it about 75/25 for music/movies.
That said, I had never really paid much attention to headphone listening or computer based audio until just the last year and a half or so. Then, I discovered Head-Fi and purchased my first USB DAC/headphone amp combo and a full sized set of phones based on recommendations here. I was ecstatic with the sound of it and immediately integrated it into my main system, using my DAC to stream lossless audio to my main stereo as well as for headphone listening. Since then, I have remained a lurker here, reading and absorbing everything I could.
Then, about two months ago I took the plunge on a new set of IEMs. I have an iPod which I use primarily in my car stereo system to play lossless music. But the earbuds that came with the iPod were a joke - so horrid in fact that I never entertained the idea of doing any serious listening with a portable player outside of my mobile environment. However, with the help of ljokerl's huge Multi IEM review thread, as well as various other reviews here and on a few other forums, I finally decided that an upgrade was in order. Now, you must know at this juncture that I am a bass-o-holic. I love bass slam. In fact, I have to have it. To me, it's about 50% of the excitement of music listening. But I was cautious. I didn't want to blow huge money not knowing how they might sound to MY ears, so I went for one of the lower priced sets. After careful reading in numerous threads here, I finally decided on the Lenntek Sonix. I figured at $20 a set, what did I have to lose? So I ordered a pair. And I was NOT disappointed! They delivered everything I wanted. Slamming bass power, warm midrange, and smooth and slightly laid back treble.
All was good with the Lennteks. They're still great. But you guys know this hobby - I soon had upgrade-itis. I wanted to see if I could purchase any improvements in sound quality. So I kept reading, Basically, I was looking for an IEM that would keep the Lenntek's bass power while moving up several notches in resolution. Again, the Lenntek's are great. But at higher volumes they get just a little congested. I wanted a similar sonic signature to the Lenntek's, but capable of more output without distortion. After much reading, I finally ordered Monster Turbines from the Monster Outlet Store. They sell refurbished units at a killer price. And the reviews made it sound like a bass beast! So I figured I would be in IEM heaven with them.
Which brings me to my problem. I got my Turbines and was thrilled as I plugged them in. I queued up my first song and waited.
And what a disappointment!
Almost immediately, I wanted to go back to my Lenntek's. By comparison, the bass was almost non-existent. Mids and highs were ok, albeit just a bit coarse sounding in the mids at times and the warmth was gone from the mids. But the bass? It was simply not there! I went back and rechecked the reviews I had read. Bass? Check! These were supposed to be bass centric. But when I went back to listen some more...nope. Just not there. I put my Lenntek's back in and voila! The bass magic returns! But the same music through the Turbines? It's just not there.
All of which raises the following questions: Are my Turbines out-of-spec? Or is this their actual sound signature?
And if it is the actual sound of the Turbines, then what IEMs would you recommend which have a similar signature to the Lenntek's but with a bit more clarity when it comes to power handling? Remember the sound I am looking for - powerful bass slam (and extension too if one can get both), nice warm sounding mids (almost tube like) and a laid back treble (what the audiophile hi-fi mags call "polite").
Edited by Hoosierdaddy - 3/16/11 at 7:55pm