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Review & Appreciation: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted... - Page 118

post #1756 of 1975
Thanks guys...I will just need a light adjustment. It is not really, pain, the fit is just too tight on the right so I get an uncomfortable succiom feeling.
post #1757 of 1975

Can anyone recommend a good desktop DAC to be used with the SE-5? I found these two threads. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/689783/december-2013-mid-level-dac-comparison

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/693798/ranking-of-17-dacs-and-dac-configurations

 

But they only test with headphones. And then in the first thread, they say "most of these DACs sound indistinguishable". My reaction is that an IEM, particularly a top end CIEM like the SE-5, is really the tool you need, that headphones are just a blunt instrument. I hate to say that to headphone heads but do we agree?

post #1758 of 1975

Most people don't use desktop gear to run their C/IEMs. Both of the those threads don't use C/IEMs in their testing so that isn't a very good source for information in your case. 

post #1759 of 1975

Would you go so far as to say, if you can't hear differences between DACs, you need to stop using headphones, and use either CIEMs, or speakers.

 

I am kind of stuck between the 2 camps here. Camp 1 is desktop DAC/amp driving headphones. Camp 2 is portable DAC/amp driving IEMs.

 

When I say to people here at head-fi (opinionated is a nice word for many of them) I want to use an Android tablet at home, over USB OTG, to drive a desktop DAC/amp, to drive IEMs, they tell me this is a crime against nature, and that I should be taken out and shot for even suggesting it. I suppose as Howard Aiken said "If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." 

 

All I wanted was the best user interface and access to music data (Android tablet) + the best DAC (desktop maybe, or at least the most expensive) + the best amp + the best sound (SE-5 CIEM). But its either impossible, or wrong, or at least there's not much information about it. 


Edited by Toe Tag - 1/6/14 at 11:14pm
post #1760 of 1975

Go for an AK120-S mod and be done with it ;).

post #1761 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post
 

Would you go so far as to say, if you can't hear differences between DACs, you need to stop using headphones, and use either CIEMs, or speakers.

 

I am kind of stuck between the 2 camps here. Camp 1 is desktop DAC/amp driving headphones. Camp 2 is portable DAC/amp driving IEMs.

 

When I say to people here at head-fi (opinionated is a nice word for many of them) I want to use an Android tablet at home, over USB OTG, to drive a desktop DAC/amp, to drive IEMs, they tell me this is a crime against nature, and that I should be taken out and shot for even suggesting it. I suppose as Howard Aiken said "If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." 

 

All I wanted was the best user interface and access to music data (Android tablet) + the best DAC (desktop maybe, or at least the most expensive) + the best amp + the best sound (SE-5 CIEM). But its either impossible, or wrong, or at least there's not much information about it. 

 

I don't think one has to be mutually exclusive to one or the other. Personally, I enjoy and own all three - speakers, full-sized headphones, and CIEMs. They all have their purposes, but unfortunately a lot of the gear doesn't mix and match together. Meaning you have to shell out money on each setup. There are exceptions of course. Personally, headphones still offer the most superior sound IMO. CIEMs are for convenience mostly, at least for me. 

 

Your choice of setup is not uncommon. There are tons of ways to get your music to your ears, so don't be ashamed to use what you have. Technically it isn't ideal, but it doesn't really matter as long as you enjoy what you have. 

 

As for portable gear vs desktop gear - there isn't a question in my head. Portable designed gear has more limitations, and will probably never match desktop quality. It isn't a knock on what is out there, but just a situation where "it is what it is". A desktop DAC is not really unheard of with CIEM users. In fact, you will get better performance of course. The only reason why you don't see more people using such a setup is because C/IEMs are targeted towards portable use. Can't lug around desktop gear. 

post #1762 of 1975

The just have been shipped! I am so curious..

 

 

 

 

 

post #1763 of 1975

Wow, Flaco, congrats on purchase mate. Let us know your impressions ;)

post #1764 of 1975

After about 2 hours of use I have to say they are really amazing. I need to get used to insert them because they're not "lubricated" yet. I don't know why everybody always mentions that the monitors are dark sounding. To my ears they are definitely not that dark. I've heard monitors that are at least 3 times darker than these. I don't know if the SE5 compensates the mentioned dark sound with his high resolution but for my taste it isn't that dark and I wasn't expecting this. They sound nice with any kind music. I also like their ability to change with track. No matter with what you feed them, they will sound it's best. Of course, I am not using 128kbps mp3's. So far I am very happy with my purchase...

post #1765 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

After about 2 hours of use I have to say they are really amazing. I need to get used to insert them because they're not "lubricated" yet. I don't know why everybody always mentions that the monitors are dark sounding. To my ears they are definitely not that dark. I've heard monitors that are at least 3 times darker than these. I don't know if the SE5 compensates the mentioned dark sound with his high resolution but for my taste it isn't that dark and I wasn't expecting this. They sound nice with any kind music. I also like their ability to change with track. No matter with what you feed them, they will sound it's best. Of course, I am not using 128kbps mp3's. So far I am very happy with my purchase...


What is your source/amp mate?

 

Happy to see you enjoying, sure SE5way is a special ciem. That lubrication you are looking for will soon come don't worry, at the beginning it was also problem for me to insert them but now it is done in a second.

post #1766 of 1975

I am using the HM-901 with the standard card. It sound superb, really. It will probably be even better with the balanced card and trrs.

I also have an Ak120 but havent tried it yet with the se5


Edited by flaco - 1/9/14 at 5:40am
post #1767 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

I am using the HM-901 with the standard card. It sound superb, really. It will probably be even better with the balanced card and trrs.

I also have an Ak120 but havent tried it yet with the se5


Mim can help you on that balanced card/trrs terminaton differences.

 

Congrats on purchase and welcome to the club ;)

post #1768 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Mim can help you on that balanced card/trrs terminaton differences.

 

Congrats on purchase and welcome to the club ;)

Thanks mate! He already told me that they benefit from going balanced. I need to try that.

post #1769 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

Thanks mate! He already told me that they benefit from going balanced. I need to try that.


and I need to resist to try that :happy_face1: Don't get me wrong, sure HM901 is a lovely sounding dap, it is just, a little more battery and maybe a pocketable size could be better. Do you imagine yourself putting the dap into your front pockets of jeans and walk normally?

post #1770 of 1975
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


and I need to resist to try that :happy_face1: Don't get me wrong, sure HM901 is a lovely sounding dap, it is just, a little more battery and maybe a pocketable size could be better. Do you imagine yourself putting the dap into your front pockets of jeans and walk normally?

 

No, not really. I usually have it next to me or in my hands. For sure, the AK120 is more pocketable but I don't want to run it unamped because of the output impedance. Also, ak240 is coming but who wants to keep a 2000$ DAP in their pocket while they're walking around in the city. Most of the DAP's at the moment aren't very pocket friendly. I bought my DAP's and IEM'S because I want to listen to music when I rest or just hang around and chill. SE5 are the perfect partner IMO. I mean if you take a ride on the bicycle, I don't want to wear my customs meanwhile.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review & Appreciation: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)