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Getting my first pair of customs

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Hi guys. Let me say straight away; sorry for yet another "what should I buy"-thread. There is unfortunately however no doubting that this is the place to go for proper advice on proper portable gear, so please bear with me.
 
Having recently gotten my first pair of proper IEMs and realized how great portable audio can be once you silence the surrounding world I've quickly come to realize that I may well be willing to spend some serious (by my measures at least) money on a proper pair of monitors. Enter; customs. The problem with customs however (compared to universals) seems to be that there aren't all that many reviews and especially few comparisons, like jokers fantastic multi-IEM thread.
 
I currently listen to a pair of RE262s through my iPhone 4 and a Fiio E7 (what a great device for the money BTW) connected via an L3. Music-wise I listen to a healthy mix of opera (Wagner especially), electronic music, pop, dance and some classic rock. The RE262s are really great for opera IMHO, portraying voices beautifully and fleshing out a wonderful landscape of instruments in front of me. What they do less well however, and this is clearly shown by my home setup, consisting of a pair of DT990's plus Fiio's E7+E9 combo, is electronic music and to some extent pop and dance. I find particularly the highs too recessed for my taste (and possibly my no longer perfect hearing).
 
As far as I've been able to gather, with my still limited experience, what I should be looking for is something with a more or less flat sound signature, possibly with a very sligt V-shape to get those clear, crisp highs and great clarity but also with some bass ability, not so much through being bass-heavy but from proper extension as far down as possible. On the other hand I wouldn't want the mids to be recessed either, so let's just say flat with proper bass extension and some sparkle up top. A large soundstage, preferably with that lovely out of head sensation, is also a must.
 
Serious contenders in my price range seem to be UE 4 Pro, JH5 Pro, Westone AC2, 1964-T and possibly others as well. Any experience on their sound signature and how that could fit what I'm looking for would be greatly appreciated. So would also comments on customer service, durability, shipping to Europe, if IEMs from any manufacturer seem more prone to having to be sent in for refitting etc.
 
Thanks for taking the time and sorry for my rather poor language skills.
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

Shameless bump!

 

Surely someone must have tried at least more than one of them and could provide some insight?

post #3 of 20
1964 Ears, Spiral Audio (will hopefully be getting those in the very near future), and Sleek Audio are all good candidates for custom molds. It all depends on the signature (sounds like you want highs and crispness) you want. Browse the forums and look at all of the reviews and appreciation threads for each brand.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post

1964 Ears, Spiral Audio (will hopefully be getting those in the very near future), and Sleek Audio are all good candidates for custom molds. It all depends on the signature (sounds like you want highs and crispness) you want. Browse the forums and look at all of the reviews and appreciation threads for each brand.


Laney if i were you, IMO those brands above are not very good except Sleek Audio and maybe 1964. Sleek Audio would be better than 1964, but not as good as JH or UE. JH and UE and what have better reputation and will stand behind there product and there is better resale value on them.

 

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




Laney if i were you, IMO those brands above are not very good except Sleek Audio and maybe 1964. Sleek Audio would be better than 1964, but not as good as JH or UE. JH and UE and what have better reputation and will stand behind there product and there is better resale value on them.

 

 

I was sort of thinking along the same lines. This will be my first customs and I feel that it would be a safer bet to go with something from one of the bigger, more established manufacturers. That was also one reason I was asking about experience from the respective makers customer service. When I sink what is still a substantial amount of money into a pair of headphones I want to be sure that there are as few hick-ups along the way as possible and that I will be getting help if something doesn't actually work as it should.
 

 

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laney View Post



 

I was sort of thinking along the same lines. This will be my first customs and I feel that it would be a safer bet to go with something from one of the bigger, more established manufacturers. That was also one reason I was asking about experience from the respective makers customer service. When I sink what is still a substantial amount of money into a pair of headphones I want to be sure that there are as few hick-ups along the way as possible and that I will be getting help if something doesn't actually work as it should.
 

 


I totally know what you mean. IMO buy a pair of used JH13 or 16 or UE16 or UE18 and you will get them for substantially less and will be more worth while in price and sound. Also make sure the seller has a receipt to make sure there are fewer problems down the line, and you can call up the manufacturer for questions,etc,etc.

 

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




I totally know what you mean. IMO buy a pair of used JH13 or 16 or UE16 or UE18 and you will get them for substantially less and will be more worth while in price and sound. Also make sure the seller has a receipt to make sure there are fewer problems down the line, and you can call up the manufacturer for questions,etc,etc.

 

 

 

Sounds like a great idea provided that the big name manufacturers will reshell a pair of used 'phones. Do both JH and UE do that?
 

 

post #8 of 20

Nope, JH and UE wont reshell them. You have to go to Fisher or other places that will do them for about $90. 

post #9 of 20

Hmm. I emailed JH to ask them about a few things, and thew in reshelling while I was at it. They said that they did, and quoted it as $150. However, I did put more of a "If my ears change later", so perhaps that's only for the original owner - e.g. the general ear shape will be the same, and only minor tweaks would be needed. If that's the case, I'd imagine UE to be similar.

post #10 of 20

It is only for the original owner. JH Audio does not reshell other brand in-ear monitors nor do they reshell for a second owner even if the IEM is from JH Audio.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

It is only for the original owner. JH Audio does not reshell other brand in-ear monitors nor do they reshell for a second owner even if the IEM is from JH Audio.



Admittedly quite understandable. 

 

I also got a reply from Westone about the sound signature of the AC2's saying that "Since the AC2 was designed to be an in ear monitor for on stage performers, some personal listeners may find that it has slightly more bass response than they would like.  Overall, the AC2 provides a high level of sound for a dual driver monitor at its cost.  In saying this, it will not be as detailed as some of our other monitors that contain a higher number of drivers and different crossover points, such as the ES3X or ES5."

 

Seems like I'll have to keep looking. Maybe the UE4 or JH-5 will still do the trick. Anyone heard both and that could comment?

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

It is only for the original owner. JH Audio does not reshell other brand in-ear monitors nor do they reshell for a second owner even if the IEM is from JH Audio.


Yes, understandable. Certainly for other brands (took that for granted), the latter is sad. Wil they reshell a different mold for the first owner? Say, if they want a different color, and also provide a new set of molds at the same time? The color change is thrown in since I know they don't normally like to reshell from scratch unless they have to, and new artwork would probably just change the back plate.

A hypothetical situation: an uncle has a pair, and decides to give/sell them to me as a gift. He sends in my earmolds for a reshell, and only afterwards gives them to me. He is the original owner, after all.

Thoughts?

Yes, it is actually purely hypothetical, and no, I don't mean to hijack.
Edited by benjistein - 4/26/11 at 6:51am
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post




Laney if i were you, IMO those brands above are not very good except Sleek Audio and maybe 1964. Sleek Audio would be better than 1964, but not as good as JH or UE. JH and UE and what have better reputation and will stand behind there product and there is better resale value on them.

 

What do you base that assumption on? 1964 is very popular on Head-Fi, and Spiral Ear is still up and coming outside of Poland. And infact, their flagship is apparantly better than LCD-2's in some ways, according to this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/549298/spiral-ear-new-products-and-se-5-way-reference-review-thread

 

If you have grounds for saying what you are saying, great - please share your other observations, but if it's based on "JH and UE are more well-known, therefore they must be better," that's not really a useful standpoint.
 

 

post #14 of 20

My experience is that if you buy a the cheapest line in customs such as your price line, you can get abit dispointed.

Because they are abit better then Top line IEMS but the best beneficial is the fit and isolation.

If you clim abit up i price range you will get a bigger benefit Sound wise.

 

But coming from a RE262s you will hear a big diffrent tho.

Readning from review i would lean more towards 1964-T and other pick would be JH5 Pro.

 

Remember this is my opinion, everyone hears a bit different and has their own tast.

Here is review link done by great ljokerl: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/530185/review-1964ears-1964-t

 

Check the this one aswell screen down to Comparison by numbers: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-162-iems-compared-kozee-infinity-x1-earsonics-sm2-added-04-16

 

You can`t go wrong there.

Good luck i hope you fine something you like.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azndmp View Post

My experience is that if you buy a the cheapest line in customs such as your price line, you can get abit dispointed.

Because they are abit better then Top line IEMS but the best beneficial is the fit and isolation.

If you clim abit up i price range you will get a bigger benefit Sound wise.

 

But coming from a RE262s you will hear a big diffrent tho.

Readning from review i would lean more towards 1964-T and other pick would be JH5 Pro.

 

Remember this is my opinion, everyone hears a bit different and has their own tast.

Here is review link done by great ljokerl: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/530185/review-1964ears-1964-t

 

Check the this one aswell screen down to Comparison by numbers: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-162-iems-compared-kozee-infinity-x1-earsonics-sm2-added-04-16

 

You can`t go wrong there.

Good luck i hope you fine something you like.



 

Thanks for the info. I've been looking around for whatever I can find in way of reviews of entry level customs and aside from the 1964-T which seems to be well received most owners seem to like their JH5 Pro's. From what I have gathered the 1964-T's are said to be slightly laid back and the JH5's more aggressive, so at the moment I'm looking at getting a pair of the latter.
 
On that note; JH Audio say in their instructions that they recommend that moulds be taken with the jaw open "wide". Is there any experience here with their monitors specifically with what would be a good definition of "wide"? What size bite block have people been using and was a refit needed? I'm sort of hoping to not have to go through a refit with shipping back and forth over the Atlantic and all.

Edited by Laney - 4/27/11 at 4:08am
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