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What customs are right for me?

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

After some consideration the last few weeks I've been seriously considering selling most of my head-fi gear and purchase a pair of custom IEM's. I don't really have a budget, all I'll say is the JH3A is out of my budget.

 

I thoroughly enjoy the sound coming from my Westone 3's, and what I guess I am looking for is W3's on steroids if possible.

 

I guess I am a bit of a basshead, but only as long as the bass is deep, hard and doesn't distort or hurt any of the other frequencies. 

 

I primarily like genres of rock, but acoustic music, rap, pop etc. also gets a few runs every once in a while. 

 

I want somewhat a balanced, neutral sound signature, but with a good bit of bass, but I don't like the midrange to drown out, as it tends to do on the HE4's, but treble is also quite important to me. 

 

To me, there's really no such thing as too bright a treble, except for one headphone I heard - the  Beyer DT770 32ohm straight out of my iPhone which wasn't pleasant at all. 

 

I've considered some of the following options, and I've noted some plusses and minuses at each custom:

 

JH Audio JH16 Pro - I'm afraid there's too much bass in these babies, but everything else looks pretty good other than the fact that the Pelican case isn't padded.

 

Westone ES5 - I have alot of faith in Westone after hearing the 3's, but apparently it's very "sophisticated" whatever that means, and I'm afraid it's too polite if that makes sense. The accessories look pretty amazing though.

 

Spiral Ear SE 5-Way Reference - I heard the Ref 3's and loved them and their stationed in Poland which is great for me, but the case looks terrible, cables aren't detachable and silicone or not doesn't really matter to me, so I'm not sure if too much has been focused there.

 

1964-Q - This is a very interesting model, and apparently they're releasing a 6-driver model soon. Their prices are VERY fair, the accessories look good, and they get some good reviews on the way.

 

Some of the Unique Melody offerings, but I'm not sure if any of them fit my criteria.

 

What else should I be considering?

 

The reason I want to go custom other than the obvious ones are the fact that Universals do not fit properly in my ear. I've tried Comply's with the best result which wasn't too good either, I've tried silicone, bi-flanges, tri-flanges - you name it.

post #2 of 117

My only experience is with the Quad's, though I did have the Westone 3 a while back.  I love the quads, sound is relatively balanced, with a 6 db  bump centered somewhere around 64 Hz.  The highs are a bit attenuated.  The detail is still present, and for my listening taste, they are excellent.  I suspect you may find the highs a bit too polite from your comments.  They are more polite than the Westone 3's.  I sold the 3's based on them being a shade bright for me, and bit fatiguing in general.  The quads are virtually non-fatiguing to me.  Hope it helps!

post #3 of 117

I would add the Starkey SA-43 to the list.  You can adjust bass and midrange and they have great space.  I will be getting a JH16 soon and will be writing a review in the near future on the SA-43, so I will know how they compare.  And of course I have the 5-way.  Quick summary of the SA-43 and 5-way:

5-way: best detail, ambiance and overall realistic presentation I have heard

SA-43: amazing spacious presentation that is very enveloping and the adjustments add real value!

 

Of course that is a very simplified summary...

post #4 of 117
Thread Starter 

The Starkey has been duly noted. It is a big plus it is available from norway as well, but definitely not a deal maker or breaker.

 

I am very much looking forward to following your impressions of the JH16, and comparisons to the SA-43 and the 5 Way.

post #5 of 117

JH16 are certainly bass heavy, but it depends on what kind of music you listen to. For the genres you listen to, they would be perfect imho. I listened to pop rock, rock, and acoustic (the latter sounds DIVINE) and all these genres suit themselves very well.

 

Otherwise consider the 13s, they should be identical to the 16s with less bump at 50Hz. Mids and highs are fantastic on my 16s so how can you wrong :)

post #6 of 117

Get the JH16. They are bass heavy on tracks that demand heavy bass, not everywhere. On any track where there is not a lot of bass, the extra bass drivers actually do not interfere with the other frequencies. Instead, the music has this wonderful "heft" and power which sounds very similar to a high-end, modern tower speaker. It's unlike any other IEM that I've heard. And for your tastes, the JH16 sounds perfect.


Edited by SolidVictory - 6/25/11 at 9:31pm
post #7 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielofDenmark View Post

Hey guys,

 

After some consideration the last few weeks I've been seriously considering selling most of my head-fi gear and purchase a pair of custom IEM's. I don't really have a budget, all I'll say is the JH3A is out of my budget.

 

I thoroughly enjoy the sound coming from my Westone 3's, and what I guess I am looking for is W3's on steroids if possible.

 

I guess I am a bit of a basshead, but only as long as the bass is deep, hard and doesn't distort or hurt any of the other frequencies. 

 

I primarily like genres of rock, but acoustic music, rap, pop etc. also gets a few runs every once in a while. 

 

I want somewhat a balanced, neutral sound signature, but with a good bit of bass, but I don't like the midrange to drown out, as it tends to do on the HE4's, but treble is also quite important to me. 

 

To me, there's really no such thing as too bright a treble, except for one headphone I heard - the  Beyer DT770 32ohm straight out of my iPhone which wasn't pleasant at all. 

 

I've considered some of the following options, and I've noted some plusses and minuses at each custom:

 

JH Audio JH16 Pro - I'm afraid there's too much bass in these babies, but everything else looks pretty good other than the fact that the Pelican case isn't padded.

 

Westone ES5 - I have alot of faith in Westone after hearing the 3's, but apparently it's very "sophisticated" whatever that means, and I'm afraid it's too polite if that makes sense. The accessories look pretty amazing though.

 

Spiral Ear SE 5-Way Reference - I heard the Ref 3's and loved them and their stationed in Poland which is great for me, but the case looks terrible, cables aren't detachable and silicone or not doesn't really matter to me, so I'm not sure if too much has been focused there.

 

1964-Q - This is a very interesting model, and apparently they're releasing a 6-driver model soon. Their prices are VERY fair, the accessories look good, and they get some good reviews on the way.

 

Some of the Unique Melody offerings, but I'm not sure if any of them fit my criteria.

 

What else should I be considering?

 

The reason I want to go custom other than the obvious ones are the fact that Universals do not fit properly in my ear. I've tried Comply's with the best result which wasn't too good either, I've tried silicone, bi-flanges, tri-flanges - you name it.

In my opinion the Westone ES5's strikes a perfect balance of musicality and clarity. It's just so clear yet smooth, I don't know how it's possible.
 

 

post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

Get the JH16. They are bass heavy on tracks that demand heavy bass, not everywhere. On any track where there is not a lot of bass, the extra bass drivers actually do not interfere with the other frequencies. Instead, the music has this wonderful "heft" and power which sounds very similar to a high-end, modern tower speaker. It's unlike any other IEM that I've heard. And for your tastes, the JH16 sounds perfect.

 

I am sure the JH16s sound amazing and I will find out first hand, but I just wanted to say the majority of my custom IEMs bass doesn't interfere with the other frequencies, especially the 5-way, SA-43, and LS8.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post

In my opinion the Westone ES5's strikes a perfect balance of musicality and clarity. It's just so clear yet smooth, I don't know how it's possible.


The ES5 also sounds like it is amazing and the 5-way is ultra clear with amazing liquidity as well.  My point is there are many options out there including, but not limited to the head-fi favorites.

 

post #9 of 117

For your tastes, consider the Westone AC2.

post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

I am sure the JH16s sound amazing and I will find out first hand, but I just wanted to say the majority of my custom IEMs bass doesn't interfere with the other frequencies, especially the 5-way, SA-43, and LS8.


That's good to hear! I just wanted to clarify because a lot of people think 8 bass drivers = a lot of bass intruding into other frequencies, where that is not true with the JH16.

 

Looking forward to hearing your impressions on the JH16 too!

post #11 of 117
Thread Starter 

The JH16's are getting more and more interesting. So far, it's between this, the Starkey and the 5-Way Reference I think.

 

However, that Westone AC2 review piqued my interest, and I think I have to shoot Westone an e-mail asking if any of their customs are like the 3's, only better.

post #12 of 117

As a fellow Westone user, I would recommend the ES5s if you have no budget.

I also moved up from the Westone 3s which I thoroughly enjoyed despite negative comments about it.

The coloration was nice :D

 

On a whim, one day I decided to go for the ES5s.

Trust me, it only makes everything sound better.

I cannot imagine going back to the W3s.

It is a "sophisticated" custom, very engaging with its vocal, midrange, highs with plenty of bass.

Bass as in quality and not extreme quantity.

Everything just sounds right.

 

The fit of customs and isolation ability only improves on the sound as well.

I used Comply foam tips with the W3 as well, can't imagine going back to those either.

ES5s use a soft tip which differs from the usual acrylic tip of most other custom manufacturers, gives you a better seal as well.

 

Another factor was the fact that I had a authorized Westone dealer 10 minutes from my home.

They did the ear mold perfectly and made the whole process very smooth.


Edited by lootbag - 6/26/11 at 1:48am
post #13 of 117
Thread Starter 

I had actually more or less crossed off the ES5's after a short email conversation with the guy whom I bought my W3's from, who has ES5's and JH16's, because he felt like the JH16's were more similar to the 3's than the ES5's, which were W4's on steroids if that makes any sense. Admitted, I have no experience with the W4's what-so-ever, but he did make it sound like a bad thing in my case. 

 

What sort of music do you listen to through your ES5's? Also, would it be possible if you could give the song "Limit to your love," by James Blake a quick listen and tell me how the bass-part of that song sounds? As objectively as possible, naturally. 

post #14 of 117

Hmm, that's too bad I guess but everyone has their reasons.

I was looking for a change in sound signature from the W3s.

I did not buy the ES5s for trying to preserve any past sound signatures in mind.

Just wanted a change because I found the W3 to be a bit tiring for long sessions, do not experience any of that with the ES5s. 

 

I listen to a wide range of music.

Rock, electronic, classical, jazz, occasional R&B, hip hop and pop.

I really enjoy vocals... male or female.

ES5s reproduce them very well.

 

I can try to locate your song and give it a listen.

But ES5s produce full-bodied and controlled bass!

 

I am not much of a basshead.

Bsaed on what I read about JH16s, that is why I never really considered.

I read they could be sound balanced but I just wanted something with a balanced sound signature right off the bat... JH13s/ES5s.


Edited by lootbag - 6/26/11 at 2:23am
post #15 of 117

unique melody reshell of westone 3 with extra driver for bass perhaps?

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