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Custom IEM? Merlin? Need recommendations.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

To cut it short, I'm getting the urge to go custom for my portable rig, but the choices stump me. Currently I'm contemplating the Unique Melody Merlin for its hybrid design (I do love the sound of dynamics) but after hearing stuff about its big bass, I'm a little hesistant. I don't want those XB500 levels of bass; do the Merlins have that?

 

I primarily listen to trance, dance and piano, but I really listen to everything (except metal). My budget is around that of the Merlin's, in case anyone else have any other suggestions.

 

Cheers,

crinacle

post #2 of 12

What do you like about the dynamic driver presentation?  What BAs have you heard?  Do you want something bright, mid-forward, etc.  I see that you had the S4, what do and don't you like about the S4?  Some general comments I have about BA universals vs. BA custom IEMs is that the custom IEM versions can sound much closer to dynamics than the lower cost BAs.  For example, the CK10 and ER4S both sound very cold and thin in comparison with all my custom IEMs.

 

But, if you like Beats and the S4, both of which are bass heavy, the Merlin may be great for you!  There are no shortage of options as you can see from my custom IEM review and information thread.

post #3 of 12

I'm a first time Custom's looker too, but here's my educated input

 

Customs are more about the fit and the crossover of the drivers

It's also good to get a DAC for them too.

Impression can get expensive

And there are other companies doing cheaper Customs

 

I've researched and ended up looking at the Alien Ears C1000 (single) because that's all I need it for

 

I've read about a lot here and Bassy is hard to come by with Custom. Saying there's few and far between

 

For you, I would seriously look into the 1964 ears 1964-Q. It's got 1 less mid range driver then the merlin but created for bass heads. Saves a GOOD chunk of change.

 

You need impressions done. (inquire on website) there's a form you can print out. Call around the audiologists in your area for pricing.

Order customs

Send in impressions

Receive back in several weeks

 

Also look into DAC/Amp for them. I've heard a FiiO E11 does a decent job.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

What do you like about the dynamic driver presentation?  What BAs have you heard?  Do you want something bright, mid-forward, etc.  I see that you had the S4, what do and don't you like about the S4?  Some general comments I have about BA universals vs. BA custom IEMs is that the custom IEM versions can sound much closer to dynamics than the lower cost BAs.  For example, the CK10 and ER4S both sound very cold and thin in comparison with all my custom IEMs.

 

But, if you like Beats and the S4, both of which are bass heavy, the Merlin may be great for you!  There are no shortage of options as you can see from my custom IEM review and information thread.


I've heard the ER4P, the TF10, the SE535, quite a lot of BA IEMs actually. But somehow, I just like the presence the bass of dynamics have. That kind of moving-air feel you know? Then again, I've only tried the Merlin for a while and I didn't compare them with other multiple driver customs.

 

I don't really like the S4's sound; it was way too aggressive for me and I hated the Beats even more. Sounded way too congested and nasally. I did like the SE215 though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

I'm a first time Custom's looker too, but here's my educated input

 

Customs are more about the fit and the crossover of the drivers

It's also good to get a DAC for them too.

Impression can get expensive

And there are other companies doing cheaper Customs

 

I've researched and ended up looking at the Alien Ears C1000 (single) because that's all I need it for

 

I've read about a lot here and Bassy is hard to come by with Custom. Saying there's few and far between

 

For you, I would seriously look into the 1964 ears 1964-Q. It's got 1 less mid range driver then the merlin but created for bass heads. Saves a GOOD chunk of change.

 

You need impressions done. (inquire on website) there's a form you can print out. Call around the audiologists in your area for pricing.

Order customs

Send in impressions

Receive back in several weeks

 

Also look into DAC/Amp for them. I've heard a FiiO E11 does a decent job.


I'm not really looking for a bassy custom, just a custom with bass quality. I don't know whether the Merlin's dynamic sounds the same as any other crossover'd BA bass drivers, and I also heard its mids are supposedly more "natural" than the JH13's, albeit less detailed.

 

And yes, I do have an E11. Thanks for the input though. :)

 

post #5 of 12
I have the Merlin, but I do not tink it's worth the cost when compared against my sm3 and Ie8. I sincerely suggest you get either the es5 or em3pro. They beat the jh13 according to many reviewers and is a cheaper alternative. This is an informed decision based on reviews from many respected reviewers... Which I will list shortly. Do not jump into the hype or else your wallet will regret it later.
post #6 of 12
The ACS t1 has extremely well defined bass, kind of like the tf10 on steroids. Give it a try and see if you like it.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Bump

post #8 of 12

I will recommend to buy used JH13Pro from here (sale forum) and remold it, they are better than Merlin and soundquality is amazing.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinacle View Post

 


I've heard the ER4P, the TF10, the SE535, quite a lot of BA IEMs actually. But somehow, I just like the presence the bass of dynamics have. That kind of moving-air feel you know? Then again, I've only tried the Merlin for a while and I didn't compare them with other multiple driver customs.

 

I don't really like the S4's sound; it was way too aggressive for me and I hated the Beats even more. Sounded way too congested and nasally. I did like the SE215 though.



I'm not really looking for a bassy custom, just a custom with bass quality. I don't know whether the Merlin's dynamic sounds the same as any other crossover'd BA bass drivers, and I also heard its mids are supposedly more "natural" than the JH13's, albeit less detailed.

 

And yes, I do have an E11. Thanks for the input though. :)

 

I think people term a richer sound with thicker notes to be more natural, I know it sounds that way to me.  The JH13/16 will give you a thinner, more analytical note while the Merlin and many others will give you a richer presentation.  While bass of BAs approaches that of dynamics as you go up the price ladder (typically), dynamic bass is still different as it can move more air but with that it doesn't have the control.

 

Now, when I hear people say this is better than that I question how they came to that conclusion.  Technically I can rate one over another, but even then you would probably prefer one sound signature over another.

 

For example, there are 5 companies and soon to be 6 that I know of that make custom IEMs with dynamic drivers (some are hybrids): UM, Earpower, Future Sonics, Beat Audio, Thousand Sound, and soon to be Rooth from my understanding.  So, if you really want a dynamic driver for bass you have options!

 

There are other companies such as Stage 93 and G Customs are local for you and may be good options and you may be able to hear a demo.  You can see more info here.

 

Custom IEMs are pretty final, so IMO it is worth it to do your research and find what best suits your taste.

post #10 of 12

I found the Merlin's to have a somewhat disjointed sound as in their bass and mids do not transition very smoothly. However, they do have great bass punch. IMO, the UERM is the best monitor as it offers something that no other iems or headphones offer and that is amazing accuracy. However, you may find them boring. If you just want to enjoy music, I would recommend the Westone ES5s.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

I found the Merlin's to have a somewhat disjointed sound as in their bass and mids do not transition very smoothly. However, they do have great bass punch. IMO, the UERM is the best monitor as it offers something that no other iems or headphones offer and that is amazing accuracy. However, you may find them boring. If you just want to enjoy music, I would recommend the Westone ES5s.


So what kind of sound sig does the ES5 have?

 

post #12 of 12

If you're still on the fence, UM will be offering an IE8 reshell with 2 added BAs.  The thought of it has me drooling.

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