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Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review - Page 5

post #61 of 589

 

Very quick impressions on three portable amps for the UERM:

Written in a stream of consciousness, whatever thought comes to my mind, sort of way. All observations are specific to the UERM and PS Audio Perfect Wave (w/ bridge) DAC.

 

 

Meier Audio Stepdance

Warmish. Very clear. Lacks bottom two octaves in bass. Fail. OK I'm done; next amp please.

P.S. A little scratchy in treble on occasion.

 

Leckerton UHS-6S

Nice tone. Wow this thing digs and digs into the music. Authoritative. Not as clear as stepdance, a little bit thick, but that's OK since it suits my preferences – never thought live music sounded “clear” anyways. No trouble with treble scratchiness - yet capable of bite. A rare combination of two good attributes. Nice impact. Great bass. Hitting the low stuff. I guess the people who say it's good know what they are talking about. This is the most similar sounding to my reference amp - the BA.

 

Just Audio uHS-120

Whats up with this volume control? Goes from soft to loud instantly. Horrible channel matching on pot. Doesn't the manufacturer at least do a minimal amount of testing? Little bit of hardness. Bass a little uncontrolled – seems more midbass than Leckerton but less low end extension. Slightly thin. Clear sounding. SSSSSS. Other than the boosted mid-bass, it sounds thin with treble emphasis. Too much on the high-mids. If an amp sounded like a Grado headphone, this is it.

 

 

post #62 of 589

The Leckerton amps sure are amazing, they know their stuff. 

post #63 of 589
Ordered a pair of UERMs at CanJam @ RMAF this weekend. Looking forward to my first customs.
post #64 of 589

I think you also mentioned the JH13? What specific attributes did you like about the UERMs better that made you decide? What didn't you like about the JH13? Just curious because both are on my list.

post #65 of 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla 

10) Apple iPad, Jerry Harvey JH13

Imaging is great. Bass has plenty of punch and volume. Center focus is perfect. Treble is a bit hot, but not bad. Ultra clear. Bass is clean. Mids might be slightly recessed. Slight smearing in upper mids. Excellent choice. Don't see how you could possibly need more bass than JH13. JH16 really necessary?

Looking back the JH13 really had too much bass for my taste. It wasn't a lot too much, but just enough to where I noticed it. This was one of my final choices when it came to buying my customs. If you need the bass I can certainly recommend these.

31) iPad, Unknown 6 output rackmount type amplifier, Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor

Focus is perfect. Very clean. Not agressive, but not passive. Very nice. Bass is slightly too quiet. Treble is perfect. Tonality is spot on. Stage is very large. Imaging is great. Vocals are perfect.

I ended up ordering a pair of the UERM as my main goal of this show was to find good customs and buy them. I had virtually nothing to complain about, and once I get them as full customs I'm hoping the bass volume goes up just a touch. Most people I talked to said that was usually the case with all customs due to bone conduction and better seals. Really anxious to get these in my ears. Technically these were not the uber detail or clarity level of the SR009s, or the sheer beauty of the LCD3 with the Darkstar, but they were easily the best custom in the room and that's what I wanted.

--

A few bonus things I wanted to throw out there. Here is an approximation of the bass of all the custom IEMs I auditioned. Keep in mind these were all demos. 1 being very low volume, 5 being just right, and 10 being way way too much.

JH3a/JH16 3, 5-10 (bass amp off, then on and adjustment range)
JH13 6
UERM 4
ES5 6
Miracle 5
Merlin 7
Mage 4

Edited by Maxvla - 10/18/11 at 12:19pm
post #66 of 589

Great comparison. Thanks.

 

The UERMs do scale incredibly well. Give them an excellent source and an amp - and they are quite stunning - almost as good (more linear, but still less clear, detailed, and relaxed) as a modestly powered SR009. I would say the bass moves up from a 4 to a 5 on your scale when properly powered.

post #67 of 589

nice stuff, sorry I missed this thread until today. I was surprised to see some of the comments about the bass and its accuracy - as someone who used to play upright bass (classical and jazz) and electric bass (misc) as well as cello (orchestra and string quartet) a whole lot for many years, I know what sound I'm looking for in classical music, in jazz, and in other genres - and the UERM never disappoints. by comparison, if I use the 11pro, I am often surprised (occasionally even taken aback) at how fat (should that be phat?) things can become down below - sometimes that's great fun (phun?), sometimes a bit much. good to have choices!

post #68 of 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post

nice stuff, sorry I missed this thread until today. I was surprised to see some of the comments about the bass and its accuracy - as someone who used to play upright bass (classical and jazz) and electric bass (misc) as well as cello (orchestra and string quartet) a whole lot for many years, I know what sound I'm looking for in classical music, in jazz, and in other genres - and the UERM never disappoints. by comparison, if I use the 11pro, I am often surprised (occasionally even taken aback) at how fat (should that be phat?) things can become down below - sometimes that's great fun (phun?), sometimes a bit much. good to have choices!


I hope you aren't saying the bass is perfect because it's not.  If you mean nicely sufficient and musically adequate I could buy that.  

 

post #69 of 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post



I hope you aren't saying the bass is perfect because it's not.  If you mean nicely sufficient and musically adequate I could buy that.  

After my experience with the JH13, the head-fi standard, apparently, of neutrality, I question any comment on these forums about bass quantity. The 13s were slightly above my bass threshold, much less 16s. Jerry's wife says she listens to the JH3a with the bass fully cranked, which to me was completely unlistenable. Some strange stuff out there.
post #70 of 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


After my experience with the JH13, the head-fi standard, apparently, of neutrality, I question any comment on these forums about bass quantity. The 13s were slightly above my bass threshold, much less 16s. Jerry's wife says she listens to the JH3a with the bass fully cranked, which to me was completely unlistenable. Some strange stuff out there.


Well, my comments have to do w/ accurate instrument representation not Jerry Harvey's sound.  Everyone seems to cling to him as some sort of reference when it is well known the treble and bass is tipped up even in the 13.  JHA is into 'enjoyment' not monitoring accuracy.

 

post #71 of 589

That makes a whole lot of sense. From what I've been reading it seems the JH5 is actually the most balanced JH custom and even that is said to be colored. 


Edited by Inks - 10/25/11 at 9:42pm
post #72 of 589

JH5 is still a big and robust sound.  Not what I would consider balanced and neutral (but fun).

 

JH13 is very balanced and neutral but there is an intrusion of lower bass at times.  It sounds odd because there is very lean mid-bass.  I understand this lower bass was added in to add in some fun and to keep it from being overly neutral.

post #73 of 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

 

JH13 is very balanced and neutral but there is an intrusion of lower bass at times.  It sounds odd because there is very lean mid-bass.  I understand this lower bass was added in to add in some fun and to keep it from being overly neutral.


I actually know exactly what you mean.  That sounds like some of the microdriver IEMs I'm able to coax substantial lower bass from while the mid bass remains rather neutral.

 

post #74 of 589
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post

nice stuff, sorry I missed this thread until today. I was surprised to see some of the comments about the bass and its accuracy - as someone who used to play upright bass (classical and jazz) and electric bass (misc) as well as cello (orchestra and string quartet) a whole lot for many years, I know what sound I'm looking for in classical music, in jazz, and in other genres - and the UERM never disappoints. by comparison, if I use the 11pro, I am often surprised (occasionally even taken aback) at how fat (should that be phat?) things can become down below - sometimes that's great fun (phun?), sometimes a bit much. good to have choices!


Bass does tend to be overdone many times.  I have A/Bed so many custom IEMs, and I thought one had more bass enhancement than another, but some songs have more bass in one than the other and then the next bass heavy song that flip-flops.   That seems to be about where the enhancement lies, movement of the driver(s), and ultimate capability of the driver(s).  I do think the UERM is very good at having power and reverb but not being "enhanced."  However, the weakness of the UERM bass beside the depth is the capability as it gets left behind with electronic, something like a pipe organ, or the foot tapping at the beginning of Layla from Clapton unplugged.  However, I can see where with the genres you listed the UERM bass would seem very good.

post #75 of 589

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Bass does tend to be overdone many times.  I have A/Bed so many custom IEMs, and I thought one had more bass enhancement than another, but some songs have more bass in one than the other and then the next bass heavy song that flip-flops.   That seems to be about where the enhancement lies, movement of the driver(s), and ultimate capability of the driver(s).  I do think the UERM is very good at having power and reverb but not being "enhanced."  However, the weakness of the UERM bass beside the depth is the capability as it gets left behind with electronic, something like a pipe organ, or the foot tapping at the beginning of Layla from Clapton unplugged.  However, I can see where with the genres you listed the UERM bass would seem very good.


exactly, we agree. and there's nothing "neutral" about playing an instrument - for instance, I used to have three basses, one tuned and strung for classical music and folk, one tuned and strung for jazz (softer strings, longer decay, softer attack, less need for the higher register than in other genres, etc), and the electric one which sounds like neither. I still have two cellos in the house, because they sound differently. - of course, if you're listening to an organ (or synthesizer, or drums, or movie sound tracks) then maybe the UE reference monitor is not your best choice - I might reach for the 11pro on some tunes, or for beyers on some, or just go for a speaker rig, ideally... but before we give people who haven't heard a UERM for themselves the idea that it's bass-shy, let's beware: I maintain that on too many recordings there is too much equalization going on already (and in some entire genres, for instance I love reggae but pu-leeze - that's not bass, that's oomph shaking the house, and nobody is going to expect "accuracy" or "neutrality" or "faithful rendering" of timbre or attack and decay).


Edited by melomaniac - 10/26/11 at 9:27pm
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