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Dream Earz aud-5X Custom IEM Review: Pure Value @ $565 - Also the appreciation thread! - Page 23

post #331 of 596

Speaking of amplification, I just read Average_joe's post on the portaphile and I will certainly be picking one of those up to use in conjunction with the Aud-5X.  I'll have to look into that SD cable, and you did notice quite an improvement with it?  The stock cable isn't bad for toting around but the SD looks like it will cut down on some of those nasty microphonics, not to mention a higher grade of sound quality.  Sounds like an amazing piece of gear...now if I could only sell my TTVJ slim lol any takers? wink_face.gif

post #332 of 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

Speaking of amplification, I just read Average_joe's post on the portaphile and I will certainly be picking one of those up to use in conjunction with the Aud-5X.  I'll have to look into that SD cable, and you did notice quite an improvement with it?  The stock cable isn't bad for toting around but the SD looks like it will cut down on some of those nasty microphonics, not to mention a higher grade of sound quality.  Sounds like an amazing piece of gear...now if I could only sell my TTVJ slim lol any takers? wink_face.gif

 

Thanks for the heads-up - that 627 looks great. Unfortunately, I'm still cleaned out from purchasing the 5X! I did notice a an improvement with the SD cable - not night and day, but noticeable improvements in spaciousness, soundstage, separation and bass response. However, I actually find the SD more micro-phonic than the stock cable, as it's thicker, less wieldly and lacks memory wire or ear guides. So there are trade-offs, but in my case they worth it, as I put SQ above all else.

post #333 of 596
Thread Starter 

While the SD cable is good, the TWag and Chris_Himself cables both perform at a little higher level with the 5X.  One is affordable but doesn't have great usability/ergonomics and the other is expensive.  I guess something has to give!  The SD is somewhere between the two.

 

Oh, and my Portaphile 627 review has been officially posted.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nulliverse View Post

Average_Joe, have you had a chance to try the AUD-5X with the BA yet?

 

Sorry, I originally forgot to answer this...yes I have tonight ;)

 

Nice combination and for the size, the best I have heard paired with the 5X as well as pretty much everything else.  Hisound products have nice presentation depth and the BA is no exception, plus it doesn't have hiss and has bass.  I wouldn't say the bass is the best I have heard from a portable, but there is rumble with the Avatar soundtrack and I am not left wanting more, at least when paired with the 5X.


Edited by average_joe - 6/7/12 at 11:27pm
post #334 of 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Re: Rocco BA

 

Nice combination and for the size, the best I have heard paired with the 5X as well as pretty much everything else.  Hisound products have nice presentation depth and the BA is no exception, plus it doesn't have hiss and has bass.  I wouldn't say the bass is the best I have heard from a portable, but there is rumble with the Avatar soundtrack and I am not left wanting more, at least when paired with the 5X.

 

Now that's exactly what I was wanting (and expecting) to hear - it appears that the BA may be the answer to all my source concerns, and should make my portable setup almost complete. Mine should be arriving soon - will post impressions on the AUD-5X pairing after it does.

 

As for amps, my wallet really didn't want me to read "The Portabile 627 is simply the best portable amp I have heard to date period", and is sulking at the thought of another 6 months of saving / selling  evil_smiley.gif Thanks for the review!

post #335 of 596
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nulliverse View Post

 

Now that's exactly what I was wanting (and expecting) to hear - it appears that the BA may be the answer to all my source concerns, and should make my portable setup almost complete. Mine should be arriving soon - will post impressions on the AUD-5X pairing after it does.

 

As for amps, my wallet really didn't want me to read "The Portabile 627 is simply the best portable amp I have heard to date period", and is sulking at the thought of another 6 months of saving / selling  evil_smiley.gif Thanks for the review!

 

Try the BA and see how it works for you and hopefully you will just enjoy.  If you do want to get the 627, you should also feed it with a great source, so be prepared...

post #336 of 596

Does anyone know how these would compare with the es3x? I doubt anyone has heard both though, so estimations are fine.

post #337 of 596
Rarely have I been so happy to see the USPS arrive.

251

Build-wise, I'm really impressed. They feel very solid, and they're quite a bit clearer than some of the Dream Earz pics had led me to believe. The cable, while wonderfully soft, is pretty microphonic, and I'm finding the bone conduction pretty bad. Neither is a huge issue, since these were mainly meant for night-time listening after the wife heads to bed and for travel. No fit issues than I can detect. More isolating than my GR07s, but not by a huge amount as one would expect, probably due to what seems like a shallower-than-usual insertion, due to a pretty sharp bend in my ear canal.

My initial impressions of the sound were less than stellar, but that's probably what being an impatient dumbass gets me. They changed pretty drastically from almost tinny-sounding within 10-15 minutes of flipping around to different tracks. A couple hours later, they've changed more, so I think it's time to just plug them into the desktop amp and walk away.

Real impressions later this week.
post #338 of 596
Thread Starter 

Welcome to the world of the 5X!  Part of what you experienced sounds more like an initial fit, as if the shell isn't lubricated, you won't get a great seal.  Over time, the shell will settle into place and the more you use it the easier it will be to insert and get the best seal.

 

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the 5X.

post #339 of 596

Thanks Mozu! Looking forward to hearing your impressions as time goes on.

 

I'd agree with Avergage_Joe regarding fit. Mine felt very odd initially, and seal was less than perfect. It took around a week to really get it right. Even after that fit, seal and comfort got increasingly better over time. They now slip in instantly and are very comfortable.  

post #340 of 596

TOO.jpg

 

Just thought I'd update users, or potential users, on my most recent cable exploration: a Steam Powered Phonics cable (DIY cable made from Toxic Cables SCC).

First things first, the build quality and ergonomics are fantastic - this cable is flexible, comfortable and it disappears completely. It makes the Moon Audio Silver Dragon feel somewhat cumbersome and unwieldy in comparison.
 
The sonic changes are also bigger than I would have given a cable credit for. I wouldn't say this cable is superior to the SD, but it's at least as good, offering subtle, but noticeable changes in presentation. Soundstage is proportionally a bit smaller, with slightly less space between instruments to go with less sparkle. But this is more than made up for by an increased sense of warmth and midcentricity. As well as the advance of mids, the bottom end gains more presence, in both sub and mid-bass, upping the already considerable sense of impact and slam. These factors combined result in an increased sense of thickness, reminding me of Colinhardings eloquent descriptions of "a clearer SM3 making it rain in the treble region". 
 
With the Steam Driven Phonics cable, the AUD-5X appears to lean a little more towards warmth and musicality, than it does it's previous transparency and clarity. That said, the highs still maintain ample sparkle, and although they give way a little to the mids, they still have more than enough presence to sate the appetite of balance-brains such as I!
 
As a whole, I prefer this take to that of the Silver Dragon - it's bloody good fun. What has been lost in terms of sparkle, space and soundstage proportions has more than be made up for with non-invasive musicality and subtle midcentricity. A highly recommended combination!
post #341 of 596

Pardon, but do you have a link to that Steam Driven Phonics cable?  Tried a couple of searches for that and toxic cables but didn't run across it.  Hopefully grabbing a aud 5x in a couple of weeks and trying to figure out what cable I'm going for.

 

Also a question for anyone who might know:

I'm planning on using an ipod classic 160 gb to go with this (using about an even mix of ALAC and 320 k) and am trying to figure out which way to go.  Add a Digizoid ZO2?  Pico slim?  Fostex HP-P1? (really like the idea of this one, but losing out on portability, and my wallet would be unhappy)

 

Or should I try and convert my collection to FLAC and 320k and go with a BA, HM-602 or something similar?  I'm somewhat reluctant to go this route as I just passed 38000 songs or so in my collection and there is no way in heck I'm re ripping, I would just hope there is some conversion software out there (dbpoweramp?) that could make this relatively painless.

 

Just looking for opinions and seeing what other people use.  I want to do these IEMs justice, but don't want to lose out to much on portability.

 

Thanks all.

post #342 of 596

I cannot comment on the cable as I tried to find it as well to no avail.  As for the codec question I would say that you are absolutely fine with the codecs/bitrates that you have.  Some might argue that going "all flac" will be your best bet for the ultimate musical experience, honestly I'd have to disagree.  I have an entire collection of 24 bit aiff and flac music and cannot tell the difference between those and my 320 mp3s, plus you will never get 38,000 songs in any device if they are coded in flac.  There is conversion software but it is cpu taxing and will take you at least a couple days of doing nothing but just letting it run through your library.  As for amps I would go with the TTVJ slim as it is extremely portable and ergonomic to boot.  If you really want an amp though go with the Portaphil 627, I just bought one based on Average_Joe's recommendation and could not be happier, not the most portable amp though.

post #343 of 596

Main reason I was even considering going all FLAC and 320k was that I don't believe the BA or HM-602 can read ALAC.  Now that it is open source I hope I'm wrong, but the only non ipod that I've seen that seems to be able to handle ALAC is that new iBasso DX100 (and as nice as that would be to have, I just can't justify the price at the moment).  I would have no problem relegating the ipod to my car head unit and switching to something that has a better sound output, I just would need something capable of reading ALAC.  Like everyone else I'm just looking for the best sound/portability combo possible (ideally without completely destroying my bank account).
 

Got to admit that that portaphile looks really nice.


Edited by Triggerfish - 6/20/12 at 10:33pm
post #344 of 596

Hmmm I misread your original post and thought ALAC was FLAC lol, well that does present a problem now doesn't it.  I would just convert it all to mp3 320 or AAC 256 (or comparable codec) and call it a day.  Yeah it will take some time but in the end you'll have a music collection that can actually fit in a device.  Otherwise you don't convert it and purchase something that can handle that codec, in the end it's the difference between your opportunity cost of sitting and waiting for everything to convert or the monetary cost of buying something that can play ALAC.  Still, converting everything allows you much more options for applicable media players whereas you're kinda locked into a small group of media players if you stick with ALAC.

post #345 of 596
Just a couple of quick observations, not a full impression/review.

I'm finding them a bit of a head-scratcher at the moment, to be honest. I was surprised by how shallow the insertion is, but they do seal very well from what I can tell. They just sorta pop in, and that's that. The bone conduction totally weirds me out. It's on a whole other level from other IEMs I've used.

Whoever said they were very unforgiving of source material hit the nail right on the head. Most of what I've listened to sounds pretty fantastic, to be honest, but I'm finding the highs to be a bit...unrefined? I think the GR07s spoiled me quite badly with their drum and cymbal presentation, and unless these still need burn-in (which seems to be a non-factor for BA drivers from what I've read), they don't come close in that area, and I find they can get quite sibilant.

I was expecting the whole sound signature to be less polite on the low-end, and was prepared for HE-400-esque bass. Instead, as others have said, it runs the gamut from a nice, warm boost to bass lines (which I love hearing) to full-on thump and pound when called for. The detail there is excellent. I was also expecting the whole sound signature to be a little warmer than what I'm hearing, but I think my ears are still adjusting.

The 3D presentation really throws me at times, as well. Again, using the GR07s exclusively (aside from exercising, which I have my HD381Fs for), got me very used to their 2D presentation, so at times I feel like parts of the music are farther away-sounding than I was used to, if that makes any sense.

On a technical level, they're far better than anything I've heard to date. Do I love them? No. Not yet, anyway, but I've only had a couple of days with them so far.

Anyway, /ramble off.
Edited by Mozu - 6/21/12 at 4:04pm
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