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M-Fidelity (formerly Starkey Norway) SA-43 Custom IEM Review: Expansive Space + Options - Page 7

post #91 of 111
Really don't get the tunz, really unimpressive! I have a SA43 on way from m fidelity as well!

Could you not ask m fidelity to repair it?
post #92 of 111

Possibly, but I'm sure it's not cheap. Basically a re-shell. Waiting for a response from Starkey.

post #93 of 111

oh fair enough! Well i highly reccomend against taking the Tunz as a replacement!

post #94 of 111

Yeah, I'm not trading them in for Tunz, even if I have to fix them myself.

post #95 of 111

good call!

post #96 of 111

Apparently Starkey is sending them to M-Fidelity for repairs and picking up the tab. Phew

post #97 of 111
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by NorthernAvengeR View Post

Apparently Starkey is sending them to M-Fidelity for repairs and picking up the tab. Phew


Great to hear!

post #98 of 111

Recieved my SA-43 an errr. the right channel is very quite in comparison, so looks like they will be going back. A shame as fit was darn good!

post #99 of 111

I have the same problem. The right channel volume is lower than the left. I have sent it back to Norway and they will ship it back soon. This was after weeks of trying to get the UK division to fix the problem, but they did not succeed stating that there was no problem to begin with! They tried their best though.


Starkey have good customer service though, they are quite helpful. 


Hoping the problem is now fixed and the fit is also good.

post #100 of 111

They're probably working fine but your ear is (partially) blocking a bore. It's not uncommon even in a comfy fit. That the local guy isn't aware of that is rather discouraging.

post #101 of 111

Mine is certainly faulty, it is not a slight difference but major and you can hear the left monitor playing when not in your ear but the right one is always dead silent. If x5 is having the same problem it is not because your ear is blocking but your correct in saying that is a possibility!

post #102 of 111

Hi average_joe and everyone, thank you for a great review! First post here, I've read the guidelines but sorry if I screw things up anyway.


I'm considering my first CIEM purchase, and as I'm based in Norway I'd like one from M-Fidelity's lineup. SA-43 is thus one possible candidate, and I'm hoping anyone can aid me in figuring out if the SA-43 might be right for me, hence my posting in this thread.


My usage:

  • Commuting (i.e., I need good isolation. I would also like something that isolates well on airplanes. I tried Bose QC25, but I wasn't happy at all with the SQ, which struck me as not very detailed or spacious - in short, not that enjoyable.)
  • Other portable use (Android phone, Spotify highest quality) - note that I'll use a portable USB DAC/amp, e.g. the Arrow 5
  • Gym, unless that's a very bad idea for any reason
  • Music listening at home, both "background listening" and more dedicated listening
  • Possibly gaming at home (why not use them if I have them, right?)
  • Budget: I don't really have a budget. Consider the SA-43 plus a DAC/amp half that price the absolute maximum. I'm willing to spend that if I'm sure I'll enjoy it and it'll last me as long as I still like the IEMs (refits are possible and I can live with the price of refits every 5-10 years), but of course I'd like something cheaper if this is totally overkill for me and I'll be happy with a much cheaper setup.


There are a few problems:

  • I don't know what sound I want. The only good headphone I have is Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 ohm), which I've had for ~7 years and like very much. I have basically nothing relevant to compare this with and I thus don't have a clear idea of what kind of sound I like.
  • Cost. NOK 7000 (as SA-43 costs now) plus maybe half that for a portable DAC/amp is a lot of money.
  • Almost no reviews of other SA-series IEMs. I don't want to purchase expensive CIEMs (even the SA-12 costs NOK 4000) without reading a review or ive. average_joe also reviewed SA-12, but while the SA-43 obviously gets way more explicit praise, the language in both reviews seemed somewhat similar to me I can't identify the (expectedly big) differences in SQ.


My sound/music tastes in words I feel comfortable using:

  • I listen to everything from Pitbull/J-Lo & co. to singer-songwriter to symphonic metal to Beethoven and Mozart, and I'd like something with enough punch to make me feel the beat in the former to something that makes classical pleasant to listen to over extended periods of time. I feel that my DT 770 Pro has a "fun" sound; it is (without any comparison) immersive and strikes me as "full/rich" and still conveys enough detail and clarity to make classical music pleasant to listen to.
  • I want the sound to immerse me. I don't want to be a passive bystander analyzing the music, I want the music to draw me in.
  • I want to hear the details of the music, though to what extent I cannot possibly say since I only have one pair of headphones.


My questions:

  • Based on my above descriptions, does the SA-43 sound overkill or like a good choice?
  • Anyone have thoughts on using the SA-43 with the Arrow 5G/5TX? Good/poor match? Seems good to me, but I'm really new to this and I've never had a DAC/amp before.
  • average_joe: I know this is highly unorthodox given the price difference, but since you've reviewed both the SA-12 and the SA-43, could you give a brief direct comparison between the two? Also, you mention you use the SA-12 in the gym; what about the SA-43? Would you use it if it was the only CIEM you had?


In closing, the SA-43 strikes me as a "safer" choice than a lot of other CIEMs due to the switches allowing customization of the sound. That's also part of the reason I'm considering Arrow. Again though, the setup is rather expensive and I might be completely happy with cheaper options.

Edited by cmeeren - 2/22/15 at 12:59pm
post #103 of 111

Alf has got my ear impressions last week. I am expecting to get SA43 in a few weeks. I like this kind of products which have the very first design for years as a flagship . It will be nice to hear its realistic presentation and spacious stage. Will post my impressions.  

post #104 of 111
post #105 of 111
Originally Posted by myap2328 View Post

hey all, just smth i wish to share 




That's cool to see another SA-43 review :) Thanks. I think SA-43 deserves more attention in terms of its tone and transparency. 

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