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Custom IEMs compared to Universals?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm thinking about upgrading from my Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 (I use an Apple iPod Nano --> Sendstation Pocketdock line out --> NuForce Icon --> UE TF10). I like the TF10 A LOT better than my previous Shure SE115, which sounded comparatively VERY muddy and bass-heavy. My preference in terms of overall sound of a headphone is on the neutral/analytical side (I have the Stax Lambda Signature I love them, even though they're criticized for being a bit bass light and cold.). I think this is why I like the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10. So, what I'm interested in (for an upgrade) is an IEM that is even more pristine and detailed than the UE TF10 across the entire frequency range. I haven't listened to any other top-tier universal IEM (eg, Shure SE530, Westone 4) and I don't have any experience with custom IEM. Since I love music, I'm willing to spend in excess of $1,000 on IEMs, but I'm hoping to get input from those of you who have owned and listened to the top-tier universal IEMs as well as custom IEMs regarding the amount of difference in quality between the two, which would help me decide if I want to spend the extra few hundred dollars for the custom IEM.
post #2 of 10

you think the tf10 are neutral/analytical? If you are looking for something flat and neutral/analytical you need to look at a reference monitor. I would say look into the jhaudio 10x3, jh13, or jh10. you could look at the westone es3 or es5. The 5's have a bit of a mid bump but sound amazing. If I was happy with ue Right now I would say look at the ue reference or ue-10


Edited by chef8489 - 10/13/11 at 8:25pm
post #3 of 10

Check out my thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/541494/multi-custom-iem-review-resource-mfg-list-discussion-thread-info-on-page-1

 

I will be happy to answer your questions in that thread.

post #4 of 10

Its a good thread.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Check out my thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/541494/multi-custom-iem-review-resource-mfg-list-discussion-thread-info-on-page-1

 

I will be happy to answer your questions in that thread.



 

post #5 of 10

Yea, while TF10 doen't have any big frequency spikes anywhere, it is very nicely colored (not flat or neutral).

post #6 of 10
The JH13pro, UM Miracle are highely recommended.
post #7 of 10

The best IEMs I've heard are the W4, EX1000, FI-BA-SS, JH13-D (demos) and UERM. All of them are pretty well balanced, the JH13-D have a slight bass hump, the EX1000 and FI-BA-SS minor treble spikes. The W4 and UERM are the flattest to my ears.

 

If you prefer a leaner and airy sound with huge soundstage and lots of space around notes, I'd recommend the EX1000 or FI-BA-SS. If you like a fuller note and more intimate vocals, but still excellent instrument separation, then go for the UERM or JH13. The W4 are somewhere in between in note weight, presence and spatial presentation.

 

This is meant as a rough guide and there are much more things to consider, like fit, isolation, etc. Please click the links in my signature and/or read the dedicated threads to get more detailed information about these IEMs.


Last not least I'd like to add, that all mentioned IEMs are extremely capable and only your personal preference can determine which one's the best for you. Be it customs or universals, in my experience there is no absolute best. Good luck for your search. smile_phones.gif

post #8 of 10
post #9 of 10

JH13 strongly recommended.  Bass will be a tad lighter that TF10 but the speed, detail and transparency is insane.  A huge step up in that regard over TF10.  Must hear to believe.


Edited by Spyro - 10/22/11 at 4:05pm
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for your advice 

smile.gif

 

After reading a lot of posts on this site, I ended up getting the Future Sonics mg6pro (Kunlun's review ultimately made me decide to get it).  I got it two days ago, the fit seems really good, and it sounds great, as I had hoped (lively, engaging, cohesive, dynamic, great bass).  I'm looking forward to how it'll sound after it's burned in.  

 

Out of all of the IEMs that I have, in a way, the mg6pro shares more sonic similarities with my Brookstone Clear Dual Drive (it seems like some version of the Radius DDM2.  I don't have the DDM2, so I can't comment personally on how they compare.) than with all of my other ones (TripleFi 10, Westone 4, MTPC, Scosche IEM856m).  The Brookstone Clear Dual Drive comes the closest in terms of sounding big, expansive, dynamic, and engaging.  The Westone 4 didn't work for me.  I found it very tinny and boring, which might be partially because of the very short nozzle and I might have deep ear canals.

 

Now, I'd like to upgrade my dac and amp.  Right now, I'm using a Sansa Clip and a Nuforce Icon mobile amp.  

 

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