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Westone 4s the gateway to customs?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Kids, stay away from the Westone 4s. They are bad for your wallet as they lead to other things, like customs. I just got the 4s and was not sure what to expect. I am a highly evolved basshead who started with juvenile ears craving Superfi 5 EB-like bass, but slowly grew opposable thumbs and found that I preferred neutral sounds like the Senn. IE7s. Now, I am finding i much prefer the clean, balanced sound of the 4s so much that I am obsessed. I want customs. I never thought I would, but I do. I am addicted. I am aiming for the JH 16 Pros or the UE 11 Pros. I still need a healthy bass line, so worry the UE 18s will be lacking. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 37
This is the worst possible news I could have read, since I just got W4s.
post #3 of 37
Well, I skipped the W4's and went directly to the ES5's. So I actually saved $450. biggrin.gif. If you really want to experience a quantum leap in listening enjoyment, go custom. You'll never look back.
post #4 of 37

Hmmmm? Interesting comments. Well, I only know one person who has the W4 and also a bunch of customs. I'm prodding him now, but can't seem to get him to compare his customs to the W4 yet...lol. Hopefully he will today.

 

As for me, I have the 1964-Q as my first and only custom. It's a 4 BA drivers custom. I've pretty much have heard all of the the top tier universals except the Westone products, and IMO the custom beats them all. Some come close to the in certain aspects, but not in overall sound reproduction. And keep in mind that I have one of the lowest costing customs (I paid under $500 for it). So from this experience alone, I would be hard press to believe any universal can beat any custom, but of course this is speculation from my part. I can say I haven't heard any universal that can come close to beating the custom I have in sound. Oh, but I still listen to universals when I'm out and about. I only really have one top tier universal now, the SM2. I'm contemplating the W4 still.

post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelerFan58 View Post

Well, I skipped the W4's and went directly to the ES5's. So I actually saved $450. biggrin.gif. If you really want to experience a quantum leap in listening enjoyment, go custom. You'll never look back.

 

I went from W3's to ES5.

Eagerly awaiting their arrival at the moment as I had my impressions done yesterday.

 

I saw the price for W4's and it really wasn't much more for the ES5's.

So I thought what the heck and went with customs.

Really didn't see the value of the W4's versus customs.

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjb3 View Post

Kids, stay away from the Westone 4s. They are bad for your wallet as they lead to other things, like customs. I just got the 4s and was not sure what to expect. I am a highly evolved basshead who started with juvenile ears craving Superfi 5 EB-like bass, but slowly grew opposable thumbs and found that I preferred neutral sounds like the Senn. IE7s. Now, I am finding i much prefer the clean, balanced sound of the 4s so much that I am obsessed. I want customs. I never thought I would, but I do. I am addicted. I am aiming for the JH 16 Pros or the UE 11 Pros. I still need a healthy bass line, so worry the UE 18s will be lacking. Any thoughts?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post
...And keep in mind that I have one of the lowest costing customs (I paid under $500 for it). So from this experience alone, I would be hard press to believe any universal can beat any custom, but of course this is speculation from my part...


The 1964-Qs currently cost $500 - the cheaper price was only an introductory price when no-one knew about this new company. You also have to add the cost of getting & shipping ear impressions. Also, if the OP were to consider 1964 Ears, he should know that these days 1964 Ears is taking about a month to ship the finished product and that is only once they have received your ear impressions.

On top of that, if you need re-fits - which unfortunately is not uncommon with customs -, you'll have to add the shipping costs of sending your customs back, plus the added waiting time & possible frustration this entails.

I've had my $850 Westone ES3X customs for two years now and my W4s sound just as good - it's the only universal I've tried that sounds as good as my customs. I had to have 3 re-fits (4 sets) and two different sets of ear impressions.

Anyone considering getting customs has to know that if they don't like the sound, the re-sale value of customs is quite low. At least with good top-tier universals you can sell them if you don't like them, and in the case of Westone universals, they probably have the best re-sale value these days.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 3/31/11 at 12:20pm
post #7 of 37


A quantum leap is a superb exaggeration.  I had them and didn't find them incredibly more evolved from the UM3X...especially when in a setting that both are expressly designed for, on stage.  If you have a clean line from source to reproduction then top tier universals and customs are nearly on par, save for the highest end of JHA.  Most definitely with the case of the ES5s, they are going to be very clinical and neutral. 

 

Now, in terms of the fit, you absolutely will never look back after going custom.  I, for one, cannot stand to crush my complys every time I insert.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelerFan58 View Post

Well, I skipped the W4's and went directly to the ES5's. So I actually saved $450. biggrin.gif. If you really want to experience a quantum leap in listening enjoyment, go custom. You'll never look back.


 

post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuamercer View Post


A quantum leap is a superb exaggeration.  I had them and didn't find them incredibly more evolved from the UM3X...especially when in a setting that both are expressly designed for, on stage.  If you have a clean line from source to reproduction then top tier universals and customs are nearly on par, save for the highest end of JHA.  Most definitely with the case of the ES5s, they are going to be very clinical and neutral. 

 

Now, in terms of the fit, you absolutely will never look back after going custom.  I, for one, cannot stand to crush my complys every time I insert.
 


My UM3X come as close SQ-wise to my ES3X by about 90%. Only recently someone sold their $1,100 JH13s and they say they prefer the W3's SQ. As for comfort, some people do experience fit problems with universals and find bliss with customs; I personally haven't and both my UM3X & W4 are as comfortable as my ES3X. Unfortunately, A LOT of what's been written about customs is hype and plain exaggeration. I started a thread on the subject almost 2 years ago when all this customs craze started.

 

post #9 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

My UM3X come as close SQ-wise to my ES3X by about 90%. Only recently someone sold their $1,100 JH13s and they say they prefer the W3's SQ. As for comfort, some people do experience fit problems with universals and find bliss with customs; I personally haven't and both my UM3X & W4 are as comfortable as my ES3X. Unfortunately, A LOT of what's been written about customs is hype and plain exaggeration. I started a thread on the subject almost 2 years ago when all this customs craze started.


I appreciate reading your perspective, as you raise many of the primary risks and drawbacks to getting customs.  However, even taking these into account (and I went through about 3 times as many refits as you with my JH16s), I can't agree that the customs I have are not a significant improvement over the universals I've owned (SE530, W3, IE8).  Those universals were great, and still have their advantages over customs (sleeping, exercising, general comfort), but for pure detail retrieval and ability to reveal nuances in sources/amps, my customs are much more powerful.  I feel like I could hear the potential of those universals being maxed out, while my customs have a higher technical ceiling and capture more of the recording.

 

I haven't heard the W4--I'm sure it's awesome, but being happy with my customs I just don't see the need to buy another universal.

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lootbag View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelerFan58 View Post

Well, I skipped the W4's and went directly to the ES5's. So I actually saved $450. biggrin.gif. If you really want to experience a quantum leap in listening enjoyment, go custom. You'll never look back.

I went from W3's to ES5.

Eagerly awaiting their arrival at the moment as I had my impressions done yesterday.

I saw the price for W4's and it really wasn't much more for the ES5's.

So I thought what the heck and went with customs.

Really didn't see the value of the W4's versus customs.

the es5 isn't much more? $950 compared to $450?
post #11 of 37

Just reshell the 4.

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjb3 View Post

Kids, stay away from the Westone 4s. They are bad for your wallet as they lead to other things, like customs. I just got the 4s and was not sure what to expect. I am a highly evolved basshead who started with juvenile ears craving Superfi 5 EB-like bass, but slowly grew opposable thumbs and found that I preferred neutral sounds like the Senn. IE7s. Now, I am finding i much prefer the clean, balanced sound of the 4s so much that I am obsessed. I want customs. I never thought I would, but I do. I am addicted. I am aiming for the JH 16 Pros or the UE 11 Pros. I still need a healthy bass line, so worry the UE 18s will be lacking. Any thoughts?



Unique Melody Miracle, it has great bass extention and power.

post #13 of 37

I think that you start acting like Holden Caulfield here, music_4321. You want to keep people from flinging themselves over the customs cliff on every customs thread. I know you worry about people spending all this cash and being disappointed, but it's true all over Head-Fi. People see the next shiny thing or hear that someone else has this cool thing and they want it.

 

There's a way in which people have to take responsibility here (sorry about the platitude). And I mean fanboys and upgrade fiends alike.

post #14 of 37

The whole idea of progressing gradually over the course of a few years until you hit the top-tier custom threshold is a load of garbage, in my opinion. If you've made a few upgrades through the universal tiers and are around the $300 mark, yet you still find yourself wanting to upgrade, then hold off on those next couple sets of universals. Save up for a pair of nice customs, and make the investment.

 

Sure, it's a bit harrowing putting your faith in a company to produce a product that you have no way of trying, but I found that it was definitely worth it. And of course, there are many reviews from experienced users here that can help you make the right decision.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post

I think that you start acting like Holden Caulfield here, music_4321. You want to keep people from flinging themselves over the customs cliff on every customs thread. I know you worry about people spending all this cash and being disappointed, but it's true all over Head-Fi. People see the next shiny thing or hear that someone else has this cool thing and they want it.

 

There's a way in which people have to take responsibility here (sorry about the platitude). And I mean fanboys and upgrade fiends alike.


So true, isn't it? I do that on EVERY single customs thread, don't I? EVERY SINGLE one of them. I take it that in the 5 months you've spent on HF, you've taken the time to carry out your research and checked EVERY single customs thread and made absolutely sure that that despicable character, music_4321, just "wants to keep people from flinging themselves over the customs cliff".

 

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