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What customs are right for me? - Page 8

post #106 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielofDenmark View Post

I just felt the 3-way was inadequately powered straight out of my iPod, compared to my Westone 3's.

 

Maybe because it was a demo unit?  My iPhone does hold the 5-way back in terms of detail levels but it doesn't sound under powered even with my lower powered clip.  Maybe because the 5-way has 2 bass drivers?

 

 
post #107 of 117
Thread Starter 

It could be because of it being a demo unit, and the seal simply wasn't good enough, however I do plan on buying an amp, but it does seem like it can wait a little bit. I guess I have to decide when i get the customs themselves, but that's a whole different topic.

 

I had a small conversation through e-mail with Grzegorz from Spiral Ear, and it does seem like I will appreciate the sound signature of both the 5, and 4-way Reference monitors. 

 
post #108 of 117

Interesting to see all this hypersonic discussion, I find it quite unusual to see people discussing it, well on head-fi at least.

 

Perhaps it's just me, but whenever I've done a hearing test, I can hear the high frequencies above 16kHz at a very low volume, it's like a subtle high-pitched tone in the distance, I'm sure if it was surrounded by loud bass I couldn't hear the 19kHz tone at all unless it was given a sizeable volume boost, and I usually don't see anything of the sort on FR graphs for IEM's.

The last time I did an online test with the volume up I could hear a test tone at 21kHz, but I think it might have just been my soundcard playing up and "echoing" the 21kHz tone, due to the 20khz cut-off.

 

Of course hearing subtle annoying 17kHz test-tones has nothing to do with the 20kHz+ range, I haven't delved deep into the whole science of it, but from what I've read so far (such as the link provided on the previous page), and had some limited SACD experience with, and looking at FR graphs, I'm under the impression that IEM's are not the way to go if you're after ultra high frequency overtones and harmonics or endorphin release from secret inaudible music. =]

 

Basically most IEM's roll-off early, very early in fact, afaik it's often an intentional tapering to counter the artificial boost in the highs that is given to music in studios to accomodate the lack of highs in loudspeakers, any traditional speaker will sound better if the music is boosted in the highs, because the nature of the design of a typical speaker projects more lower frequencies to our ears, or at least masks the higher ones, this isn't the case with IEM's and headphones that are right next to our ears, so I believe they're tapered according to the nature of all the studio mixed CD's out there, of course this becomes an issue when we listen to pure live recordings or binaural recordings, where the highs will be rolled off and lacking, apparently Etymotic recommends their ER-4B IEM for pure live music, binarual recordings, and speech science or whatever, but I'm not sure if they really designed the ER-4B like that or if it's just some random fancy marketing for the ER-4S with slightly more defined highs due to a different filter (all the ER-4's have the exact same driver, well so does the Thousand Sound TS842 custom IEM apparently, but that's another issue, afaik it could just be a clone, tuned, or just sound very different thanks to the dynamic bass driver next to it, just theories =]).  One of the reasons I became attracted to the ER-4 is because it seems to have a good FR in the higher frequencies, and it's sonove's (sonove.angry.jp) reference IEM (he is into a bit of high frequency stuff too it seems).  For custom IEM's, all I know is the Rooth LS8 has a super-tweeter and a spike at 13kHz somewhere if I recall the FR graph average_joe supplied correctly, which should serve well (in theory) for creating that air, atmosphere, harmonics, and overtones up there... and yes then there's the SE 5-way which average_joe quoted on the previous page playing up to 26kHz, I'd like to see an FR graph of that though... =]

 

This is all a side-topic to true hypersonic frequencies, but my second reason for feeling IEM's potentially aren't suited for this is due to this article http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899305019499 quoting this part "In the present study, we have examined the emergence of the hypersonic effect when inaudible HFC and audible low-frequency components (LFC) were presented selectively to the ears, the entrance of an air-conducting auditory system, or to the body surface including the head which might contain some unknown vibratory sensing mechanisms. We used two independent measurements based on differing principles; one physiological (alpha 2 frequency of spontaneous electroencephalogram [alpha-EEG]) and the other behavioral (the comfortable listening level [CLL]). Only when the listener's entire body surface was exposed to HFC, but not when HFC was presented exclusively to the air-conducting auditory system, did both the alpha-EEG and the CLL significantly increase compared to the presentation of LFC alone"

 

My take on that is they were using speakers for the study, which seems commonplace, but also tried closed headphones or IEM's and came to that result, of course that's just one study and one result and it's a controversial topic, but again, this is concerning the inaudible hypersonic effect, with hypersonic media and hypersonic amplification, and not the audible frequencies in normal media I was talking about earlier from approx. 10kHz-20kHz that produce "air, atmosphere, overtones and harmonics" in music on an audible level, at least that's my take so far on what those frequencies account for, and what seems to be tapered off in most headphones and IEM's, I just want to make that distinction clear.

 

The next valid point I feel sacd/full-frequency rage/hypersonic frequencies have is the fact that whether we can hear them or not, and whether they affect us in some quasi-scientific way or not, isn't all there is to it, I'm not entirely clued up on the specifics and terminology of this one but it seems like in the pursuit of hi-fi and pure audio signals sacd is a purer recording thanks to the removal of an intermodulation filter I think it was called, which means if there is a cut-off at 20kHz the higher frequencies above that will somehow resonate in the audible range causing undesired sound-effects I'm pretty sure you can test this or hear it in incorrect rips of SACD's or something, I know I've heard it somewhere, sorry for sounding vague but the point is hi-fi is about the singer->microphone->digital-storage->components/filters/mixing->playback->speakers and so on, and in the pursuit of hi-fi and pure acoustic reproduction it's desired to take a link or two out of that chain and that is what SACD does by playing the full frequency spectrum without frequency cut-offs and subsequent anti- cut-off filters.

 

As for my personal experience I used to have an SACD player and the SA-5000 headphones (which on the box have a stated FR of 5Hz-110 000Hz) and I owned a Celine Dion album on CD and the exact same album on SACD and I A/B'd them and I could tell the difference, I even showed my (non-audiophile) housemate at the time, that only ever used apple earbuds and the like, and I randomly put the CD or SACD in and he could pick the SACD too, his words were it sounded warmer, but not necessary for normal entertainment, I had similiar thoughts, a tiny bit more analog-ish and nicer type sound, and I simply felt more inner-satisfaction after listening to the SACD after a decent listening session, the problem I realised is the SACD playback could be using different components in the CD/SACD player to send the audio signal, thus resulting in a different sound on a component level, which would invalidate the A/B comparison =/ and I had no way to confirm if my headphone amp was up to the task either, my setup was SACD player -> RCA analog-in on a vintage integrated amp -> HO on the amp -> SA5k headphones, hopefully sometime in the future I'll acquire a 'true' sacd-suited amp and get some high frequency speakers or headphone again, but it's just a novelty to me and until then I'm happy with the intimacy and portability of IEM's paired with low-rez music I love. =]

 

 

 

post #109 of 117
Oh dude, I just counted one of your sentences and it was 230 words long!!! One sentence, 230 words. I can't even finish reading your post because I want to count the words as I go!

I absolutely mean no disrespect, but thank you for the laugh.

Oh god, the last sentence was 240 words.
post #110 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

Interesting to see all this hypersonic discussion, I find it quite unusual to see people discussing it, well on head-fi at least.

 

Perhaps it's just me, but whenever I've done a hearing test, I can hear the high frequencies above 16kHz at a very low volume, it's like a subtle high-pitched tone in the distance, I'm sure if it was surrounded by loud bass I couldn't hear the 19kHz tone at all unless it was given a sizeable volume boost, and I usually don't see anything of the sort on FR graphs for IEM's.

The last time I did an online test with the volume up I could hear a test tone at 21kHz, but I think it might have just been my soundcard playing up and "echoing" the 21kHz tone, due to the 20khz cut-off.

 

Of course hearing subtle annoying 17kHz test-tones has nothing to do with the 20kHz+ range, I haven't delved deep into the whole science of it, but from what I've read so far (such as the link provided on the previous page), and had some limited SACD experience with, and looking at FR graphs, I'm under the impression that IEM's are not the way to go if you're after ultra high frequency overtones and harmonics or endorphin release from secret inaudible music. =]

 

Basically most IEM's roll-off early, very early in fact, afaik it's often an intentional tapering to counter the artificial boost in the highs that is given to music in studios to accomodate the lack of highs in loudspeakers, any traditional speaker will sound better if the music is boosted in the highs, because the nature of the design of a typical speaker projects more lower frequencies to our ears, or at least masks the higher ones, this isn't the case with IEM's and headphones that are right next to our ears, so I believe they're tapered according to the nature of all the studio mixed CD's out there, of course this becomes an issue when we listen to pure live recordings or binaural recordings, where the highs will be rolled off and lacking, apparently Etymotic recommends their ER-4B IEM for pure live music, binarual recordings, and speech science or whatever, but I'm not sure if they really designed the ER-4B like that or if it's just some random fancy marketing for the ER-4S with slightly more defined highs due to a different filter (all the ER-4's have the exact same driver, well so does the Thousand Sound TS842 custom IEM apparently, but that's another issue, afaik it could just be a clone, tuned, or just sound very different thanks to the dynamic bass driver next to it, just theories =]).  One of the reasons I became attracted to the ER-4 is because it seems to have a good FR in the higher frequencies, and it's sonove's (sonove.angry.jp) reference IEM (he is into a bit of high frequency stuff too it seems).  For custom IEM's, all I know is the Rooth LS8 has a super-tweeter and a spike at 13kHz somewhere if I recall the FR graph average_joe supplied correctly, which should serve well (in theory) for creating that air, atmosphere, harmonics, and overtones up there... and yes then there's the SE 5-way which average_joe quoted on the previous page playing up to 26kHz, I'd like to see an FR graph of that though... =]

 

This is all a side-topic to true hypersonic frequencies, but my second reason for feeling IEM's potentially aren't suited for this is due to this article http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899305019499 quoting this part "In the present study, we have examined the emergence of the hypersonic effect when inaudible HFC and audible low-frequency components (LFC) were presented selectively to the ears, the entrance of an air-conducting auditory system, or to the body surface including the head which might contain some unknown vibratory sensing mechanisms. We used two independent measurements based on differing principles; one physiological (alpha 2 frequency of spontaneous electroencephalogram [alpha-EEG]) and the other behavioral (the comfortable listening level [CLL]). Only when the listener's entire body surface was exposed to HFC, but not when HFC was presented exclusively to the air-conducting auditory system, did both the alpha-EEG and the CLL significantly increase compared to the presentation of LFC alone"

 

My take on that is they were using speakers for the study, which seems commonplace, but also tried closed headphones or IEM's and came to that result, of course that's just one study and one result and it's a controversial topic, but again, this is concerning the inaudible hypersonic effect, with hypersonic media and hypersonic amplification, and not the audible frequencies in normal media I was talking about earlier from approx. 10kHz-20kHz that produce "air, atmosphere, overtones and harmonics" in music on an audible level, at least that's my take so far on what those frequencies account for, and what seems to be tapered off in most headphones and IEM's, I just want to make that distinction clear.

 

The next valid point I feel sacd/full-frequency rage/hypersonic frequencies have is the fact that whether we can hear them or not, and whether they affect us in some quasi-scientific way or not, isn't all there is to it, I'm not entirely clued up on the specifics and terminology of this one but it seems like in the pursuit of hi-fi and pure audio signals sacd is a purer recording thanks to the removal of an intermodulation filter I think it was called, which means if there is a cut-off at 20kHz the higher frequencies above that will somehow resonate in the audible range causing undesired sound-effects I'm pretty sure you can test this or hear it in incorrect rips of SACD's or something, I know I've heard it somewhere, sorry for sounding vague but the point is hi-fi is about the singer->microphone->digital-storage->components/filters/mixing->playback->speakers and so on, and in the pursuit of hi-fi and pure acoustic reproduction it's desired to take a link or two out of that chain and that is what SACD does by playing the full frequency spectrum without frequency cut-offs and subsequent anti- cut-off filters.

 

As for my personal experience I used to have an SACD player and the SA-5000 headphones (which on the box have a stated FR of 5Hz-110 000Hz) and I owned a Celine Dion album on CD and the exact same album on SACD and I A/B'd them and I could tell the difference, I even showed my (non-audiophile) housemate at the time, that only ever used apple earbuds and the like, and I randomly put the CD or SACD in and he could pick the SACD too, his words were it sounded warmer, but not necessary for normal entertainment, I had similiar thoughts, a tiny bit more analog-ish and nicer type sound, and I simply felt more inner-satisfaction after listening to the SACD after a decent listening session, the problem I realised is the SACD playback could be using different components in the CD/SACD player to send the audio signal, thus resulting in a different sound on a component level, which would invalidate the A/B comparison =/ and I had no way to confirm if my headphone amp was up to the task either, my setup was SACD player -> RCA analog-in on a vintage integrated amp -> HO on the amp -> SA5k headphones, hopefully sometime in the future I'll acquire a 'true' sacd-suited amp and get some high frequency speakers or headphone again, but it's just a novelty to me and until then I'm happy with the intimacy and portability of IEM's paired with low-rez music I love. =]

 

 

 


um how do you expect to become a headphonus supremus with suck lengthy posts? 

 

post #111 of 117
The key aspect of the frequency obsession is not in hearing ultra-sonic frequencies (or not hearing as the case may be), but rather that a headphone with specs from 8hz to 26Khz will likely perform from 20hz to 20Khz better than the headphones spec'd for 20-20. The higher spec headphone has more room and is not as congested at the extremes of our hearing range. Would you rather drive on a highway with lanes exactly as wide as your car, or have a few feet on each side to operate more easily?

I also agree that IEMs are not where you want to be for very high frequency response, that is the land of electrostatics (at least on the top end), but I've never heard as coherent a soundstage with standard headphones as I have with IEMs, and the experience has completely turned me cold on regular headphones.
Edited by Maxvla - 7/5/11 at 7:38pm
post #112 of 117
Thread Starter 

@kiteki: That's is some really interesting reading right there, and I don't mean to disrespect at all, but I think we've gone just a tad off topic here, so let's push it back on topic! 
(That post was not only aimed at kiteki, because I do realize he wasn't the one who took the thread off topic at all.)

 

 

post #113 of 117
Have you decided on your customs? 8 pages of opinions so far, there's not much left to suggest.
Edited by Maxvla - 7/6/11 at 4:45pm
post #114 of 117
Thread Starter 

At this point, when taking customer service, sound signatures and other horror stories into consideration, I think I'm going to go with Spiral Ear. Now all that is left for me to decide is what model I'm going with.

post #115 of 117

yeah, sorry for going OT, I just wanted to join in the discussion, got excited reading academic essays on sounds we can't hear, and then tried to summarize all my thoughts on the matter into a single post (Lol).  I made a new thread for anyone that wants to keep discussing the topic, I kept it in the portable audio section because the JH3A and Spiral Ear 5-way are well, you know.. portable, Lol. =]

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/561552/hypersonic-effect-discussion

 

 

post #116 of 117
Thread Starter 

Like I said kiteki, you weren't the person who brought it off topic, not as I see it anyways, so it's fine :-)

 

Good idea starting a new topic about it, it seems as if plenty of people will be interested in it!

post #117 of 117

DanielofDenmark, did you buy a custom?  If so please let us know which one and your experiences.

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