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Review: Clear Tune Monitors CTM-200 dual-driver custom - Page 2

post #16 of 94

Just wondering, does anyone know how these compare to the Livewires? I'm debating whether it is worth the extra $100 to get these over the livewire. 

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post #17 of 94

Thanks for the review Ijoker!   Florida waters "run deep and clear?"-a 9.6 grabs my attention!

Curious, it appears that the main two "competing" entry level customs with the most followers and history on Headfi are the 1964-T and the JH5, so how did this custom slip into your reviews before the JH5?

Also, a few have tried to describe the sound signature of the JH5 as the DBA02 "on steriods".   What universal(s) would you compare the sound signature to with the CTM-200?   For example, could it be a blend of the GR07/RE262/RE272/EX1000?  In other words, from what IEM's might the CTM-200 be a step up?

post #18 of 94

Joy !  My CT-200's just arrived.  Rather than reinvent ljokerl's the well written review, I'll just offer a few impressions.

 

First, the quality of this product appears first-rate.  Like the units in the photos, I ordered the Clear/Clear finish (w/black cabling).  The acrylic pour came out crystal-like, as are the faceplates.  Obviously these guys know technique and how to work with the material.  They accommodated my request not to put the "CTM' logo on the faceplace (nothing against CTM, I just don't care for logos on much of anything I own, shirts, cars, whatever.  I will however be more than happy to pass their name along to whoever asks)  The only marking are the model & serial number in a tiny font on the inside surface and my first name in about a 10 pt. blue font on the left unit and last name in red on the right unit. Nice touch.

 

As noted in the review, the accessories are... well, spartan, but truth be told I am just fine with that.  As with any manufactured product there are costs involved with parts.  I'd like to believe Clear Tune was looking closer at the quality of the unit components than how Otter Boxes and engraved plaques can be rolled into the manufacturing cost.  YMMV.

 

I'm going to brief about the sound quality at this point for a couple of reasons.  First, I've only had the CT-200's for a few hours, and the second reason I'll address a bit later in my comments.  My initial thoughts are ljokerl's sound signature description is very accurate.  I don't get the impression Clear Tune was going after anything other than a clean, well balanced listenable sound and I think they've done a very successful job of that.  You're not going to get clubbed over the head with a heavy low end, but what's there good and balanced.  Same with the mids and highs, right where you would expect them to be and in the right amount.  Having worked in media production for a long time, I don't like surprises hearing changes in material reproduced out of different sources.  My feeling is these IEM are going to give you a pretty accurate representation of the input material.  A couple of cuts I listened to were Diane Birch "Nothing But A Miracle" and Allen Stone "Sleep".  The "Birch" cut has a female vocal with a Letterman-type band, keyboard fronting full group with a horn section.  It sounded wonderful, just nice and well blended.  The "Stone" cut (BTW- Allen Stone is a great artist, similar to Mayer Hawthorne blue-eyed soul. Do yourself a favor and check him out) carries a strong beat and has some girl backup vocals.  Again, everything sounded like it belonged.  You might not find yourself immersed in auditory fireworks, but you do get a very good representation of what was laid down in the studio.

 

The reason I have not been wearing these none stop is, in the time between placing the order and delivery I managed to pickup a slight inflammation in one of my ears.  I've got an appointment with a ENT in a few weeks, but in the meantime I'm being cautious about wear-time.  It also means I'm not in much of a position to sign-off on the fit on one side, which brings up an important point about purchasing a Clear Tune product.  They offer a 120-day refitment period.  Right now, and for me, that is priceless.  I'm happy with the fit on my good ear, but it may be a bit of time before I can say I'm good on the other.  It is a huge relief to know I have a little time to get better before the marriage is final.

 

To wrap up, dealing with Clear Tune was great.  Cesar, the head of the company was always prompt in communication and went above and beyond in terms of customer service.  Thanks my man!  In short, I think you can take ljokerl's review to the bank.  This is a very nice product.

 

 


Edited by Kib - 2/9/12 at 9:30am
post #19 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbear View Post

Thanks for the review Ijoker!   Florida waters "run deep and clear?"-a 9.6 grabs my attention!

Curious, it appears that the main two "competing" entry level customs with the most followers and history on Headfi are the 1964-T and the JH5, so how did this custom slip into your reviews before the JH5?

Also, a few have tried to describe the sound signature of the JH5 as the DBA02 "on steriods".   What universal(s) would you compare the sound signature to with the CTM-200?   For example, could it be a blend of the GR07/RE262/RE272/EX1000?  In other words, from what IEM's might the CTM-200 be a step up?


The JH5 never really got my interest and there's a number of reviews of it out there already.

 

If anything, these are blend of the RE252 and GR07 with a BA flavor  - wide headstage, very balanced signature, neutral tone, punchy bass, etc.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib View Post

Joy !  My CT-200's just arrived.  Rather than reinvent ljokerl's the well written review, I'll just offer a few impressions.

 

First, the quality of this product appears first-rate.  Like the units in the photos, I ordered the Clear/Clear finish (w/black cabling).  The acrylic pour came out crystal-like, as are the faceplates.  Obviously these guys know technique and how to work with the material.  They accommodated my request not to put the "CTM' logo on the faceplace (nothing against CTM, I just don't care for logos on much of anything I own, shirts, cars, whatever.  I will however be more than happy to pass their name along to whoever asks)  The only marking are the model & serial number in a tiny font on the inside surface and my first name in about a 10 pt. blue font on the left unit and last name in red on the right unit. Nice touch.

 

As noted in the review, the accessories are... well, spartan, but truth be told I am just fine with that.  As with any manufactured product there are costs involved with parts.  I'd like to believe Clear Tune was looking closer at the quality of the unit components than how Otter Boxes and engraved plaques can be rolled into the manufacturing cost.  YMMV.

 

I'm going to brief about the sound quality at this point for a couple of reasons.  First, I've only had the CT-200's for a few hours, and the second reason I'll address a bit later in my comments.  My initial thoughts are ljokerl's sound signature description is very accurate.  I don't get the impression Clear Tune was going after anything other than a clean, well balanced listenable sound and I think they've done a very successful job of that.  You're not going to get clubbed over the head with a heavy low end.  It there and balanced.  Same with the mids and highs, right where you would expect them to be.  Having worked in media production for a long time, I don't like surprises hearing changes in material reproduced out of different sources.  My feeling is these IEM are going to give you a pretty accurate representation of the input material.  A couple of cuts I listened to were Diane Birch "Nothing But A Miracle" and Allen Stone "Sleep".  The "Birch" cut has a female vocal with a Letterman-type band, keyboard fronting full group with a horn section.  It sounded wonderful, just nice and well blended.  The "Stone" cut (BTW- Allen Stone is a great artist, similar to Mayer Hawthorne blue-eyed soul. Do yourself a favor and check him out) carries a strong beat and has some girl backup vocals.  Again, everything sounded like it belonged.  You might not find yourself immersed in auditory fireworks, but you do get a very good representation of what was laid down in the studio.

 

The reason I have not been wearing these none stop is, in the time between placing the order and delivery I managed to pickup a slight inflammation in one of my ears.  I've got an appointment with a ENT in a few weeks, but in the meantime I'm being cautious about wear-time.  It also means I'm not in much of a position to sign-off on the fit on one side, which brings up an important point about purchasing a Clear Tune product.  They offer a 120-day refitment period.  Right now, and for me, that is priceless.  I'm happy with the fit on my good ear, but it may be a bit of time before I can say I'm good on the other.  It is a huge relief to know I have a little time to get better before the marriage is final.

 

To wrap up, dealing with Clear Tune was great.  Cesar, the head of the company was always prompt in communication and when above and beyond in terms of customer service.  Thanks my man!  In short, I think you can take ljokerl's review to the bank.  This is a very nice product.

 

 



Glad to see more impressions of these up! Great that you like them but I definitely agree with giving them a break if you've got an inflammation. The refit period at ClearTunes is the longest I'm aware of which is a bonus though really (special circumstances notwithstanding) a week or two should be enough to know if you've got a good fit or not. 

post #20 of 94
Hi, did anyone else buy some CTM customs? I am leaning towards the CTM-400 pro with 4 drivers but I am skeptical as only 2 head-fiers bought their products so far...
post #21 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post



Good tip - had no idea Costco did hearing aids/impressions.

Same here, guess they do at certain places.
post #22 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by battosai View Post

Hi, did anyone else buy some CTM customs? I am leaning towards the CTM-400 pro with 4 drivers but I am skeptical as only 2 head-fiers bought their products so far...


I can understand your trepidation, it's a pretty sizable leap of faith to drop six bills on product that doesn't have much in the way of reviews. (Actually none that I've seen for the four driver model)   I think one reason there's might not be a boatload of write-ups around here is Clear Tune seems to orient their marketing toward the South America and European markets.  I think they also seem to be targeting performing musicians more than the iPod crowd, so to speak. Please understand, this is just idle speculation on my part.

 

If it gives you any comfort, now that I've been listening to mine for a few more weeks, I'm really becoming even more fond of the way they sound.  I'm still struggling a bit with the fit on one side (warmware problem, not hardware) but when everything is locked in they are a joy to listen to.  Last night Joe Jackson's "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)" came up on the random playlist and I was knocked out with how great it sounded.  No question, it is an exceptionally well recorded song, but each instrument in the band stood on their own so well, but in a very musical way.  The rhythm guitar just sparkled and cooked, you could tell Jackson was on a grand piano rather an electric, the horn section was right on the money and spaced nicely and the bass (particularly when the musician was alternating between plucking and doing slap notes) sounded like a string instrument rather than just some 'thumpa-thumpa' holding the bottom together.

 

Hope this helps a little bit.  Be sure and put up a post when you come to a decision.

 

Good luck!


Edited by Kib - 2/29/12 at 7:41pm
post #23 of 94

I have to say that I am more and more tempted by CTM, I sent an email to Cesar, let's hope he answers me tomorrow! They announce the CTM-500 on their website, but no date no price...

Aud-5x or CTM-400 pro?? I cannot decide!!

post #24 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil3nce View Post


Same here, guess they do at certain places.


I've actually gone to check it out since then. There is indeed a "hearing aid center" booth now at my local Costco (it wasn't there before!). There was a long line so I didn't ask for pricing.



 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib View Post

I'm still struggling a bit with the fit on one side (warmware problem, not hardware) but when everything is locked in they are a joy to listen to. 

 

Glad you're liking your CTMs! I was comparing mine to a similarly-priced universal (Sony XBA-4) the other day and the performance gap is immense. The XBA-4 isn't exactly top-shelf stuff but next to the CTM-200 it just sounds poor. 

 

By the way, are you sure you don't need a refit? I sent a custom back recently because it was such a bother to put in, even with ear mold lubricant. Really shouldn't be that difficult to live with a custom or performance musicians would go back to using universals.

post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


 



I've actually gone to check it out since then. There is indeed a "hearing aid center" booth now at my local Costco (it wasn't there before!). There was a long line so I didn't ask for pricing.



 

By the way, are you sure you don't need a refit? I sent a custom back recently because it was such a bother to put in, even with ear mold lubricant. Really shouldn't be that difficult to live with a custom or performance musicians would go back to using universals.


 

As I understand it, ear impressions are not an 'official' service Costco provides.  I seem to recall seeing a post that someone went in to the hearing aid center, asked about getting an impression and the provider said they would be happy to do it except there wasn't a cash register code for it.  In my case the provider did it on the house.  She said it was something she had been asking management to offer officially, but at this time it's not on the rate card (so to speak).  She did it as a courtesy, and simply asked that if I or others were in need of hearing aid services, that Costco be considered. Rest assured I will.  In short, I think it's a YMMV situation.  Costco is a VERY smart company, so it doesn't seem unreasonable that if they get enough requests for this, they might well put it on the menu.

 

As far as the refit, I'm going in to see an ENT tomorrow to check the 'meatware'.  Depending on what he says, I'll have a better idea of my options.  Thanks for asking and the advise, much appreciated! 


Edited by Kib - 3/1/12 at 1:25pm
post #26 of 94

Hi guys, Cesar answered me and apparently the CTM-500 pro are ready to roll really soon! Price will be $700 and I think I'll go for it. I wanted to limit my budget to just $600 for the IEM only but I cannot live with the fact that there will be a "better" custom from the same company within a few weeks of my purchase!. So right now it's 70% CTM-500 - 30% Aud5x

post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by battosai View Post

Hi guys, Cesar answered me and apparently the CTM-500 pro are ready to roll really soon! Price will be $700 and I think I'll go for it. I wanted to limit my budget to just $600 for the IEM only but I cannot live with the fact that there will be a "better" custom from the same company within a few weeks of my purchase!. So right now it's 70% CTM-500 - 30% Aud5x


Glad you were able to hook up with Cesar, he seems like a pretty good guy.  $140 a cylinder (as it were) appears to be a pretty good deal.  As ljokerl mentioned in his review and from my impressions as well, Clear Tune seems to have the crossovers dialed in.  I've always felt getting the crossovers right is at least as important as having drivers that played well together. If you end up getting the CTM-500's I'll be interested in hearing how well it all blends. 

 


Edited by Kib - 3/1/12 at 1:23pm
post #28 of 94

I am going for the CTM-500 pro, 5 drivers 4-way crossover, and according to Cesar, the the driver configuration is lows, mid lows, mids. mid high, and high. Will have my ear impressions taken in less than an hour, I am excited!

post #29 of 94

I thought I was decisive on the 1964-T, but now this review has me thinking other wise confused.gif

post #30 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panda L View Post

I thought I was decisive on the 1964-T, but now this review has me thinking other wise confused.gif



Really depends on what you are after as they are pretty different. The 1964-T is a warmer and bassier earphone - more like the sound you'll get from a Westone or Earsonics stage monitor. The CTM-200 is more of a flat, reference-type sound. 

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