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Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12) - Page 159

post #2371 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingforIEMs View Post


I personally feel that the lcd2 is brighter than the se5ult, from comparing the two in my memory. If that's any indication.

I agree. When tested all of the LCD headphone line I noticed some similarities with SE 5way earphones: to me LCD3 sounded quite similar to Ref with dense and kinda heavy tone but without sparkle ine the top end. Ultimate are pretty similar to LCD4 - light bass, light mids and light highs. I had Ref version and i have upgraded them to Ult and would never call Ult bright, it's still SE 5way;]

post #2372 of 2383
i've always wondered if such thing as "honest-review-of-a-ciem-that-costs-more-than-1500-euro" could ever exist

damn placebo ))
post #2373 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingforIEMs View Post

I personally feel that the lcd2 is brighter than the se5ult, from comparing the two in my memory. If that's any indication.

 

Really? Going on memory (sold my LCD-2 almost a year ago) I considered the LCD-2 quite a bit on the dark side (of neutral), probably also due to that fantastic and prominent deep lows. I even used it with a Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 Premium cable which improved highs, details and soundstage (to my ears) at that time :)

 

Btw, I only mentioned the LCD-2 in my post as both average-joe (in his #1 post/review) and DeepGrove referred to it

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawrym View Post
 

I agree. When tested all of the LCD headphone line I noticed some similarities with SE 5way earphones: to me LCD3 sounded quite similar to Ref with dense and kinda heavy tone but without sparkle ine the top end. Ultimate are pretty similar to LCD4 - light bass, light mids and light highs. I had Ref version and i have upgraded them to Ult and would never call Ult bright, it's still SE 5way;]

 

You prefer Ult over Ref now?

And if so, by much?


Edited by Kerouac - 7/8/16 at 6:40am
post #2374 of 2383
Quote:

You prefer Ult over Ref now?

And if so, by much?

I never liked Ref, it sounded dark/dull to me that's why i upgraded it. Ult feel better but it's not night and day, again - still 5way;] It's more neutral and refined, transparent, source dependent. Btw i'm putting mine on sale so PM me if u're interested;]

post #2375 of 2383

To my ears, LCD 2 sounds drier compared to SE5 Ref or Ult. LCD 2's upper treble presence is not as clean as LCD 3's, so it doesn't have the liquidity of LCD 3 or SE5. In terms of brightness, yeah I would agree that both LCD 2 and LCD 3 sound a bit brighter and more transparent compared to SE5 ref or ult.

 

As far as Ref vs Ult

 

On certain songs, Ult sound brighter, while on certain songs, Ref is brighter. Or you can say they give you different type of brightness.

 

Bass: The bass is actually very very similar, with a little bit more presence on the ult. The ADSR, capacity and bass detail are very almost the same between the two. Ult definitely not bass light compared to Ref or to any of my other CIEMs. It's a bit on the right side of neutral. 

 

Mid: The Ult is the winner here clearly for me. It's more refined with better coherence and placement. Everything sounds more accurate and more natural. Ref. in contrast can sound not as clean (or overly detailed) due to the huge hump at upper mid region. But as I posted long before, If are a hardcore fan of vocals, or if you want to use Ref for mainly vocal listening. Ref's coloration definitely gives the presentation of vocals one of a kind. Extremely smooth, sponge like. But for me “neutrality/naturalness” is more important. Plus all the amazing characteristics of the mid is still retained in Ult.

 

Treble: Ref has a big cut at lower treble region (~6-8k Hz) giving the overall presentation a lot of warmth and sound space (y and z direction), while Ult is linear in this region, giving rise to a better focus of the imaging, and more accurate staging presentation. With that said, Ult's lower treble is still not perfect. It has a touch of thinness and sharpness, due to the non-linearity tuning from 5-9k Hz. So sometimes, it can gives you a little bit feeling of "hotness (sharpness plus the warmth of the overall signature)" in the music. So that's why I said on some songs, Ult is brighter/sharper due to lower treble, while on some songs Ref is clearer due to the upper mid, but neither the brightness/sharpness or clarity is presented via correct means IMO. Both Ref and Ult have superb treble extension up to almost 20k Hz, with Ult being a little bit smoother. Transparency and resolution are similar too.

 

Overall, I still find Ult has more "rights" than "wrongs" compare to Ref. Ult is definitely the more neutral one to my ears. Does it worth the extra money? for me yes. But I won't be surprised people prefer Ref. better. Both are still organic and natural for sure. Also an important note here, for people getting Ult, specially if you coming from Ref-burned-in brain, give it Ult sometime, because Ult has less "wow" factor compared to Ref on the first listen. But over time, I am confident you will find Ult is just more correct in Almost every way. 

post #2376 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by sawrym View Post

I never liked Ref, it sounded dark/dull to me that's why i upgraded it. Ult feel better but it's not night and day, again - still 5way;] It's more neutral and refined, transparent, source dependent. Btw i'm putting mine on sale so PM me if u're interested;]
what sort of music you listening to ?
post #2377 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmills8 View Post


what sort of music you listening to ?

 A bit of everything i might say, little less rock than other genres and i'm not classical fan too much. 

post #2378 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingforIEMs View Post


I personally feel that the lcd2 is brighter than the se5ult, from comparing the two in my memory. If that's any indication.

 

I've read impressions that the SE5 Ref is brighter and has better treble quality/control over the LCD2. Also the bass more controlled.

post #2379 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

I've read impressions that the SE5 Ref is brighter and has better treble quality/control over the LCD2. Also the bass more controlled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerouac View Post

Really? Going on memory (sold my LCD-2 almost a year ago) I considered the LCD-2 quite a bit on the dark side (of neutral), probably also due to that fantastic and prominent deep lows. I even used it with a Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 Premium cable which improved highs, details and soundstage (to my ears) at that time smily_headphones1.gif

Oh I see. This could be due to that persons rig. For me I'm comparing a demo lcd2 set with my se5ult. Did that before quite a while back but I clearly took away the fact that the lcd2 is of a different sound. Bass hits harder, treble is more aggressive. And it's clearer/brighter than the se5ult with stock cable.

Edit: After comparing side by side, I feel that the lcd2's bass is softer and is instead more concentrated in the sub bass region than on the se5ult. However, the sound is still overall lighter, brighter and more clear on the lcd2.


Which is also probably why I'm gonna get my hd600 twag v3 modded soon to make an iem cable and an adaptor. To use the iem cable both with my hd600 and with my se5ult. I kinda do feel I need more clarity especially when I'm using it with my qp1r.
Edited by lookingforIEMs - 7/9/16 at 4:33am
post #2380 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac0306 View Post

Overall, I still find Ult has more "rights" than "wrongs" compare to Ref. Ult is definitely the more neutral one to my ears. Does it worth the extra money? for me yes. But I won't be surprised people prefer Ref. better. Both are still organic and natural for sure. Also an important note here, for people getting Ult, specially if you coming from Ref-burned-in brain, give it Ult sometime, because Ult has less "wow" factor compared to Ref on the first listen. But over time, I am confident you will find Ult is just more correct in Almost every way. 

Agree that Ult is the more neutral and natural sounding of the two. What I noticed is that spiral ear monitors need time to be appreciated. They reward patience and the right pairing.

Since someone mentioned the K10 here is my take:

SE5: never boring, sometimes frustrating
K10: never frustrating, sometimes boring
post #2381 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepGroove View Post


Agree that Ult is the more neutral and natural sounding of the two. What I noticed is that spiral ear monitors need time to be appreciated. They reward patience and the right pairing.

Since someone mentioned the K10 here is my take:

SE5: never boring, sometimes frustrating
K10: never frustrating, sometimes boring


So the exact opposite of each other? :)

post #2382 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


So the exact opposite of each other? smily_headphones1.gif

Not really, they actually sound more similar than different. What I meant is that K10 are always easy to listen to, everything sounds good with them, they are ear candies. SE5 are more picky (sometimes lack bass, sometimes a bit bright, etc.) but provide a richer and deeper experience that make listening really captivating.
post #2383 of 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepGroove View Post


Not really, they actually sound more similar than different. What I meant is that K10 are always easy to listen to, everything sounds good with them, they are ear candies. SE5 are more picky (sometimes lack bass, sometimes a bit bright, etc.) but provide a richer and deeper experience that make listening really captivating.

 

Thanks for the clarification. I definitely understand what you mean now. Se5 can at times be just amazing. Other times can't get into the sound. But that also happens with other IEMs for me depending on my mood :P.

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