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Dream Earz aud-5X Custom IEM Review: Pure Value @ $565 - Also the appreciation thread! - Page 35

post #511 of 596
Originally Posted by Deviltooth View Post

Those are some solid impressions.  Interestingly it wasn't long ago I read your gushing review of the AS-2.  Could you compare the the two (preferably including soundstage)?

 

Sure.. the AS-2 I wrote about (way back when) was a demo unit.. it's since been improved (per Aurisonics) with a new (built-from-scratch, custom dynamic driver) and some other tweaks.  I don't have it yet (expecting it very soon) & will provide comparisons once it arrives.

post #512 of 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

Sure.. the AS-2 I wrote about (way back when) was a demo unit.. it's since been improved (per Aurisonics) with a new (built-from-scratch, custom dynamic driver) and some other tweaks.  I don't have it yet (expecting it very soon) & will provide comparisons once it arrives.


Much thanks.  I'm looking for my second set of customs and I've found I've grown very addicted to a large soundstage.

 

I read on the Dream Earz site that the 8X has four bores; I'm wondering if that's possible for those of us with smaller ear canals.

post #513 of 596
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

My AUD-8X arrived yesterday afternoon.. I've been using them for much of the last couple of days & am very happy with it so far.

 

Coming from the 7X, the 8X's tuning is exactly what I hoped for.  Namely, a more neutral FQ response, flatter bass, and more present treble.  While the 8X's bass isn't as enhanced as the 7X's bass, I find the 8X's bass more technically capable and better suited for a wider variety of genres.. and it can absolutely slam when the music demands it.  The bass reminded me of the UM Miracle's bass in this way.. it can be non-assuming, soft, and polite.. but you get the overwhelming sense that it's absolutely raring to go.. and when it does.. hide the women and children.  Like the 7X, the 8X still has a midbass lift, but the 8X's bass tuning is more linear as a whole and the midbass boost is less apparent than it was on the 7X.  I think it's neutral enough to satisfy those who crave a balanced representation of the bass, but has just a dash of coloration in places to satisfy those who want a slight contrast in the low end.  A very nice compromise by Mitch.

 

The 8X's midrange is really quite special.  It definitely leans to the accurate side of things.. but possesses a delicate smoothness & organic sense of warmth that's vibrant, yet utterly non-fatiguing.  If I had to compare the 8X's midrange feel & presentation to another phone, the HE-500's midrange comes to mind first.  The 8X's mids are smooth, warm, and liquid.. and has a paradoxical feel of being both forward in positioning, yet relaxed & laid back in presentation.  Odd sounding?  I know.. maybe it's just something you've got to hear to understand.. I'm sure others like average_joe might be able to more accurately describe this.  To me, the 8X's midrage sounds noticeably more refined than the 7X's midrange as it possess better space around instruments & voices, better tonal balance, and openness, too.

 

Treble is smooth, clear, and open on the 8X.. it has more than just a 'complimentary' presence (as it did on the 7X) but it's certainly not excessively boosted.. nor would I consider it 'bright.'  Again, better clarity & extension (than the 7X's treble) are two things that come to mind.

 

Like the 7X, the 8X is very sensitive and easy to drive.. but it really benefits from a dedicated DAC & amp as I'm very impressed with it's ability to scale up.  Expect better control, clarity, and speed with dedicated components.  I've been listening with both a solid state rig (ODAC > G109) as well as a tube-buffered rig (ODAC > TD-11 > G109) and found the 8X to excel in both setups.  I was worried the tube-based setup (using a USA-made, Amperex 6922 /"PQ", "white label") might render too much warmth, but was very surprised by the balance.

 

I'll hold off on more impressions for the time being since I've only been using them for a couple of days.. but so far, I think this is a really nice IEM and would suit those who like the HE-500, HD600/HD650, and UM Miracle.

 

Thanks for the evaluation.  I got ya on the "forward in positioning, yet relaxed & laid back."  I consider the "relaxed &  laid back" part to be what I call a "reference" presentation that the UE IERM & PRM, Alclair Reference & RSM, Lear LCM-5, and 8X share, yet they all have their differences on top of the "reference" presentation.  The 8X is the most mid-forward of the bunch, but it isn't necessarily mid-forward.  Someone described the FreqPhase JH13 to me and it reminded me of how I hear the 8X, except maybe the JH13 is more detailed.  The treble really has a great balance IMO in contrast to some of the other "reference" monitors and the dynamics are exceptional considering the price.

 

I also should be getting the AS-2 and am looking forward to that with all the buildup and hope it does compare and possibly compliment the 8X.  The AS-1 had a very different sound signature than the 8X as it was what I call a "stage" presentation, which is more mid-forward and immersive sound, like being on stage with the band, so it shall be interesting to hear how the AS-2 compares.

post #514 of 596

Joe, did you post a review yet for the AUD-8X?

 

Not nagging, just making sure I haven't missed it if you have...

 

Cheers.

post #515 of 596
Thread Starter 

Not yet, still working on it (among the tons of other things I am working on).  I will say that from a performance perspective, it is a pretty safe bet!

post #516 of 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Not yet, still working on it (among the tons of other things I am working on).  I will say that from a performance perspective, it is a pretty safe bet!

 

 

Is your AUD-8X a standard configuration / tuning?

post #517 of 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

My AUD-8X arrived yesterday afternoon.. I've been using them for much of the last couple of days & am very happy with it so far.

 

Coming from the 7X, the 8X's tuning is exactly what I hoped for.  Namely, a more neutral FQ response, flatter bass, and more present treble.  While the 8X's bass isn't as enhanced as the 7X's bass, I find the 8X's bass more technically capable and better suited for a wider variety of genres.. and it can absolutely slam when the music demands it.  The bass reminded me of the UM Miracle's bass in this way.. it can be non-assuming, soft, and polite.. but you get the overwhelming sense that it's absolutely raring to go.. and when it does.. hide the women and children.  Like the 7X, the 8X still has a midbass lift, but the 8X's bass tuning is more linear as a whole and the midbass boost is less apparent than it was on the 7X.  I think it's neutral enough to satisfy those who crave a balanced representation of the bass, but has just a dash of coloration in places to satisfy those who want a slight contrast in the low end.  A very nice compromise by Mitch.

 

The 8X's midrange is really quite special.  It definitely leans to the accurate side of things.. but possesses a delicate smoothness & organic sense of warmth that's vibrant, yet utterly non-fatiguing.  If I had to compare the 8X's midrange feel & presentation to another phone, the HE-500's midrange comes to mind first.  The 8X's mids are smooth, warm, and liquid.. and has a paradoxical feel of being both forward in positioning, yet relaxed & laid back in presentation.  Odd sounding?  I know.. maybe it's just something you've got to hear to understand.. I'm sure others like average_joe might be able to more accurately describe this.  To me, the 8X's midrage sounds noticeably more refined than the 7X's midrange as it possess better space around instruments & voices, better tonal balance, and openness, too.

 

Treble is smooth, clear, and open on the 8X.. it has more than just a 'complimentary' presence (as it did on the 7X) but it's certainly not excessively boosted.. nor would I consider it 'bright.'  Again, better clarity & extension (than the 7X's treble) are two things that come to mind.

 

Like the 7X, the 8X is very sensitive and easy to drive.. but it really benefits from a dedicated DAC & amp as I'm very impressed with it's ability to scale up.  Expect better control, clarity, and speed with dedicated components.  I've been listening with both a solid state rig (ODAC > G109) as well as a tube-buffered rig (ODAC > TD-11 > G109) and found the 8X to excel in both setups.  I was worried the tube-based setup (using a USA-made, Amperex 6922 /"PQ", "white label") might render too much warmth, but was very surprised by the balance.

 

I'll hold off on more impressions for the time being since I've only been using them for a couple of days.. but so far, I think this is a really nice IEM and would suit those who like the HE-500, HD600/HD650, and UM Miracle.

 

Thankyou for your impressions, FlySweep; if you have time, would you please post further comparisons between AUD-8X and UM Miracle, please?

 

Many thanks!

post #518 of 596
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

Is your AUD-8X a standard configuration / tuning?

 

Yes.

post #519 of 596
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

Is your AUD-8X a standard configuration / tuning?

 

 

Yes.

 

Which, in the case of the AUD-8X, is:

 

(2x SW) + (2x WM) + (2x MT) + (2x ST)  per individual CIEM unit

 

 

Yes..?  regular_smile%20.gif

post #520 of 596
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Thanks for the evaluation.  I got ya on the "forward in positioning, yet relaxed & laid back."  I consider the "relaxed &  laid back" part to be what I call a "reference" presentation that the UE IERM & PRM, Alclair Reference & RSM, Lear LCM-5, and 8X share, yet they all have their differences on top of the "reference" presentation.  The 8X is the most mid-forward of the bunch, but it isn't necessarily mid-forward.  Someone described the FreqPhase JH13 to me and it reminded me of how I hear the 8X, except maybe the JH13 is more detailed.  The treble really has a great balance IMO in contrast to some of the other "reference" monitors and the dynamics are exceptional considering the price.

 

I also should be getting the AS-2 and am looking forward to that with all the buildup and hope it does compare and possibly compliment the 8X.  The AS-1 had a very different sound signature than the 8X as it was what I call a "stage" presentation, which is more mid-forward and immersive sound, like being on stage with the band, so it shall be interesting to hear how the AS-2 compares.

 

Thanks AJ.. I think you clarified my perspective quite well.. 'midcentric.. but not midforward' is how I would describe the 8X's midrange.


Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

Thankyou for your impressions, FlySweep; if you have time, would you please post further comparisons between AUD-8X and UM Miracle, please?

 

Many thanks!

 

I sold the Miracle some time ago so I don't think anything more than some cursory comparisons (by me) would be appropriate and/or valuable.  I did have the Miracle for quite sometime though and remember a fair number of things that stood out to me.  Evaluating both the AUD-8X and Miracle from a macro-viewpoint: I'd say that those who enjoyed the Miracle's tuning but found its presentation a bit too laid back, polite, and/or 'sleepy' would find the AUD-8X to as an excellent alternative.

 

I remember the Miracle having a gentle v-shaped fq curve and possessing relatively soft dynamic range.  It remained remarkably capable from a technical standpoint, though.  The reason I sold it chiefly came down to its tuning (and desire to try other phones).  Over time I found the Miracle almost too polite, more often than not... and this is coming from someone who loves (wonderfully inoffensive) phones like the HD600 & HE-500.

 

I don't get that feeling with the 8X.  The 8X is still smooth & laid back, for the most part.. but I find it (and more specifically, its midrange) more engaging and vibrant than (how I remember) the Miracle (and its midrange).  The Miracle might've felt a touch more refined (due to the softer edges of the notes), but the 8X is still the more engaging phone, in my estimation.  Ultimately, the 8X feels more like a proper studio-monitor oriented take on  the Miracle's (audiophile-inspired) signature and tuning.


Edited by FlySweep - 3/30/13 at 2:43am
post #521 of 596

I sold my Miracles too (but due to cashflow requirements rather than dissatisfaction with them)

 

It's funny, but I initially disliked them but then grew to appreciate their many talents.

 

One of the criticisms I do have of the Miracle, though, is that it can sound a little too cool at times - not cold, but a little lacking in warmth. It's subtle, but, to my ears, it's a little 'cooler' in its presentation than I'd like. But my oh my does the Miracle sound GORGEOUS with grand-scale atmospheric material like Gladiator OST.

 

From your description of the AUD-8X, it might be right up my alley, so-to-speak, and the price is, well, not cheap, but, relatively-speaking, reasonable, I suppose.

 

I heard the Miracle as slightly n-shaped, rather than V-shaped, but definitely concur with your description of its Bass character/capability.

 

Is the AUD-8X as coherent across the crossover points, between the drivers, as the Miracle, or do the 3 crossover points make themselves known - can you tell where each driver begins and ends, frequency-band-wise?

post #522 of 596

Coming from a JH13pro (non-freqphase), would the AUD-8X be too similar for consideration?

post #523 of 596
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

Which, in the case of the AUD-8X, is:

 

(2x SW) + (2x WM) + (2x MT) + (2x ST)  per individual CIEM unit

 

 

Yes..?  regular_smile%20.gif

 

Per Mitch, I have the standard configuration.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

 

Thanks AJ.. I think you clarified my perspective quite well.. 'midcentric.. but not midforward' is how I would describe the 8X's midrange.

 

Ultimately, the 8X feels more like a proper studio-monitor oriented take on  the Miracle's (audiophile-inspired) signature and tuning.

 

Well put!

 

As far as the Miracle comparison, while I haven't heard a Miracle that has been customized for my ears, I can imagine how it performs since I have heard the PP6, and again, well put.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenz View Post

Coming from a JH13pro (non-freqphase), would the AUD-8X be too similar for consideration?

 

I can't speak for the JH13, but compared with the JH16, the 8X is a bit more mid-forward yet still has a similar width to the spaciousness while depth of the presentation is better.  The bass is very capable, but of course, not enhanced like the JH16.  The 8X has a bit more presence in the upper midrange while the JH16 has a peak the 8X doesn't have, which can lead to sharper S's with the JH16.  If you know how the JH13 compares with the JH16, this may help.

 

While there are larger variations, the 8X does have a large deviance from the JH16.

post #524 of 596
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

I can't speak for the JH13, but compared with the JH16, the 8X is a bit more mid-forward yet still has a similar width to the spaciousness while depth of the presentation is better.  The bass is very capable, but of course, not enhanced like the JH16.  The 8X has a bit more presence in the upper midrange while the JH16 has a peak the 8X doesn't have, which can lead to sharper S's with the JH16.  If you know how the JH13 compares with the JH16, this may help.

 

While there are larger variations, the 8X does have a large deviance from the JH16.

 

Thanks, average_joe. smile.gif

 

Yup. Together with impressions from FlySweep, it seems the 8X is closer to the JH13 sound. A more well rounded, less aggressive yet still forward sounding signature.

Have been looking out for a custom that offers more of what the JH13 have, just not sure if the 8X is the one.

post #525 of 596
Hmm, the 8X sounds interesting. Does Mitch actually allow an "upgrade" if I wanted to give it go?
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