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The Wizard Appreciation Thread - Long Live the Wizard - The former HA Appreciation Thread - Page 468  

post #7006 of 7980
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

Let me rephrase the question. Say a person has two 8As. Both provide an airtight seal but one is rather tight the other one not so. Would there be any sonic difference between these two? Or would it only be a matter of comfort?

 

A seal that is too loose may not be able to "keep" a seal which can inherently let it break (bad).  A seal that is too tight may not be able to adapt to the ever changing dynamic of the ear canal through jaw movements, head movements, etc.  In such a case, it too will lose a seal for being too stiff (also bad).  What you need is something in the middle.  Generally speaking, with the way customs are manufactured, the second instance becomes very difficult to achieve.  Regardless once you obtain that proper seal, how "tight" it is won't matter unless it causes you to lose that seal. 

post #7007 of 7980

Or gives you a major headache ;)...
 

post #7008 of 7980
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

I was referring to say a tight custom seal vs a custom that has an airtight seal but isn't tight.
And a tight universal seal vs a universal seal that has an airtight seal but doesn't feel as tight.
Say that three times fast...
post #7009 of 7980
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Or gives you a major headache ;)...
 

 

I hate it when that happens.  Or when the seal is too tight to allow for the air pressure in your ear canal to equalize :p

post #7010 of 7980
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrobe View Post


Say that three times fast...


I just tried and I had a muscle cramp with my mouth. wink_face.gif

post #7011 of 7980

 

 

Not been able to post much recently due to other commitments and is frustrating seeing the post updates coming to the phone and not been able to pitch in but as I had listened to these recently thought as I finally had a bit of free time for once over this bank holiday to post a mini review here of the 4Ai for historical purposes which hopefully might help someone reading these threads in a thousand years when we have all departed! 

 

Heir Audio 4Ai review.

Tested with:

Oppo BDP-105 headphone out with Sabre 32 bit dacs.

 

Portable equipment

Sony Z1070 & Z1060 Walkman’s  (using  WAV & Flac files)

Amp’s:  FiiO E12, TTVJ Slim Amp, Heir Audio Rendition 1.  

Cables & ic’s;  Stock cable & then Whiplash Twag V2 Eclipse.

 

 

Recently I had the opportunity of trying a friend’s  3Ai’s for a while to see what the Heir sound was all about and on that basis I was impressed with the sound they produced for the money and was intrigued with looking at the 4Ai’s  or 5.0 to buy as my “wingman” for my JH16’s for a very good back up or just that quick grab and go last minute dash to go somewhere as currently for once I am without more than one pair of earphones at a time so if anything did happen to my Jh16’s I would be up the creek without a iem.

 

I was lucky enough to be able to listen to both as well as the Tzar 350’s (350’s which is for another day to talk about) for  a prolonged period before I decided on which one to buy. 

So I started with the most  logical step after hearing the 3Ai’s that the next natural pair would be the 4Ai’s with stock cable with the Walkman Z1070 and then move to amping with stock cable and then lastly after I had plenty of hours which ended up been (approx. 25 -30 hours) swapped to the custom cable to see how the 4Ai’s paired with the TWag cable.

 

Holding these for the first time the 4Ai’s did not seem any bigger or heavier than the 3Ai’s and were still fairly light weight to hold but still had the hallmarks of the quality build that the 3Ai’s impressed me with. 

I generally used the red silicone tips that come as standard with the Heir iem range but personally love using yellow foamies (diy job) with these like the Shure iem’s use. 

 

…….First impressions with my first listen to the 4Ai’s was thee are definitely NOT keeping to the same stable as the 3Ai in terms of sound signature, it shared some similarities like some car manufacturers share the same chassis but the body design will be completely different, so the 4Ai’s leave the more fun, warmer lower bass range sound sig of the 3Ai for a more detailed clean analytical sound making it sound in comparison more neutral. 

I started listening to what I call my demo tracks which are a few select tracks I have loved for the eternity of time and use these when I have demoed high end speaker systems so have listened to these more times than I have hot dinners (which is quite a few!). 

 

So rolled on a personal favourite; Yellow – The Race (Remastered [for the better]) in Wav  file format with the Z Walkman and  straight away it had the same fast paced energetic tempo and this track uses sounds from what sounds like old V12 racing engines panning side to side with trumpets and big selection of bass and steel drums in tandem segmented along the way and the imaging with these was executed really well  I factored was been helped by the ability this 4Ai was been able to sound clean and uncluttered  and this seemed to be regardless of which genre is been listened to.

 

Drums on “The Race” track was reminiscent again of my old Shure SE530’s which had a lovely mid bass range but the sub bass range was not in the realms of making this a bass heavy iem but at the same time compared to my old Shure 530’s the bass was not as dry and more sub mid bass extension with yet the ability when I used a current fav demo track “James Blake – Limit Your Love”.  

 

This track which uses a very amplified electronica bass track throughout which although does not go as low as the song should from the recording it still gives a nice little rattle in the ba drivers but is more a bass you hear than feel with the 4Ai’s which because of this does not take away from the overall balance of the presentation with the rest of the sound spectrum even when a song is cluttered with lots of instruments. 

 

Some may find it to bass light if someone was to listen to Heavy Metal/rock or Dance and rap Whilst I enjoyed this with dance music and some partial rap/pop tracks that use heavy weighted bass I enjoyed the level the 4Ai bass (and I am used to the JH16’s level of bass extension & headroom)

 

One thing I find is different to the 3Ai’s is the treble, in that it is quite a lively detailed treble on the 4Ai’s which for me takes some getting used to  and maybe for my age I am still quite sensitive to that region perhaps but at times could feel on the verge of feeling like spiking but never quite does,  but yet I still found somehow having this sharp clean crystal sounding treble helped gave that over all balanced presentation along with the resolving clear mid-range and neutral  bass response  (which some may call bass light but in reality is not) . 

 

I found out with Heir iem’s apart from the 3Ai’s is with a bad recording the Heir does not forgive and this is when that treble went to the bright side for me (as opposed to the dark side!) which in turn leads to despite the 4Ai been quite efficient iem to drive still needs an amp to squeeze it’s maximum potential from it as well as control it with even more authority (with the right amp) this would then just drive those treble edges with more control and tighten up the bass which in turn makes that more impactful and hard hitting even though will go no lower than it does now with still been quite a fast paced energetic bass line. 

 

Listening to vocals was a joy on the 4Ai’s for me as they are forward very clear, neutral and precise with the music never drowning out the singer and with a lot of songs the vocals where there right in front of you yet the background percussion been played with it’s wide soundstage actually sounding quite far left and right  from  the stage performance in front  sounding more like a 2 channel surround feeling which felt a little odd but think this is how spatial sounding this can feel at times which is enjoyable all at the same time. 

Vocals was so natural, full bodied yet female vocals like Stevie Knicks, Tracy chapman, Ellie Goulding and my fav at the moment Lana Del Ray (blue Jeans – wow!)  all sounded like they was in a small hall with no audience present right in front of you and could hear the nuances in their breathing when singing and that almost saliva type of  effect when they change notes. 

 

Listening to Live material on the 4Ai’s due to it’s more neutral balance gives a excellent feel with live recordings and listening to Fink live or Led Zeppelin Celebration day disc the strings sound life like on the upper mids been able to hear the guitar strings vibration and decay of them been pinged or plucked as you can still hear that decay clearly even with all the other instruments flying all over the place,  string’s to me sound impressive, natural twang with acoustic sets like the Fink Live album or Lissie live in concert. 

 

Another example of the 4Ai’s handling strings without breaking stride was Joe Bonamassa which sounded vibrant, slick especially when he plays slide guitar style. 

 

Piano is another instrument that is very natural sounding on here from Billy Joel, Tori Amos  to some Beethoven’s 5th Symphony sounds tonally correct and with a full bodied key strokes and hearing the hammer hitting the strings and sound of the foot pedal in Tori Amos Crucify & Winter made my hairs stand up on end.

 

Again this is helped by the clean uncluttered feel due to the wide sense of space and separation the 4Ai’s are capable of (which is only nearly every  good recorded track out there, anything less than that hampers the 4Ai's ability)

 

Amping - the 4Ais definitely accentuates it’s quality’s it already has even further and first tried this with its natural family paring the Rendition1 which is again like the 4Ai is a clean neutral sounding amp with an analytical side and gave a nice wide soundstage with adding greater control and impact to bass notes which will be a no brainer match for many this paring.

 

I  then tried the FiiO E12 amp which brought a nice sense of warmth to proceeding’s and was a relaxed but yet not slouchy to listen to by any means and had a good sense of detailing for the price this amp is and felt more musical to listen to compared to the R1 amp but yet the 4Ai’s sounded just as good with its natural spaciousness pairing well with the E12. 

 

Lastly tried the  TTVJ Slim which is a fairly warm tube like sound and yet the 4Ai’s matched nicely with these have maybe a bit more crunch on guitar playing and a softer treble (yet still detailed) to the other amps but yet if you like the valve like feel from a solid state amp then the 4ai sound fun and enjoyable. 

Now having spent many hours with the stock cable and trying the amps arrive at swapping out the stock cable for my custom TWag V2 cables which again the 4Ai has more legs in it with the treble sounding yet more detailed in its presentation with symbols or hi-hats having more detail retrieval with more layers to a note when they are hit even though the slight treble liveliness I can potentially find with the 4Ai’s is not tamed due to the Twag cable been a silver cable but  the timbre with virtually every other instrument that is played just has more dynamics and micro detail revelation which to me makes  swapping out the stock cable first priority will reward you for doing this. 

 

My current finale is trying these on my Oppo BDP105 headphone out listening to Muse 2nd law album in HD 24 bit Flac which was like a final piece in the jigsaw as good as these are for their main porpoise of been an efficient iem for use on the move with your dap, hearing it with some 24 bit material made these sound like a different iem even though it had the same signature but yet the extra detail to date that was coming from these mixed with the authority and juice the combined amp & 32 bit sabre dac was supplying to the 4Ai’s made these sound powerful,  controlled with a very taught punchy mid bass and impactful on the low end with the treble sounding a bit more refined losing that initial treble accentuated feeling I got from these was now subdued in comparison and was hearing a  more sweeter detailed treble with the Oppo player.  

 

If  I had a big library of HD tracks I could of sat there all day quite easily, but even normal Wav 16 bit sounded bliss with 4Ai’s on the Oppo player. 

My fortunate prolonged listening time with the 4Ai’s meant I was lucky enough to try these from  a starting point of just with a Walkman with stock cable to further adding an amp then cable upgrade to a relatively good headphone amp section and dac on the Oppo player to see how far it could go each time in terms of improving and my conclusion would be from listening to Heir iem’s they are detail monsters for just generic iem’s and despite this been obviously been a good thing indeed they are more susceptible to not been forgiven with poor recordings and even though I only use WAV files or Flac I still have plenty of EU cd’s in my collection that are poorly mastered for one reason or the other (cost too much to get every cd in a Japan pressing let alone 24 bit if available)  and this is where the 4Ai’s can do with an amp to a degree as they only get better than just using them with a standalone mainstream dap.

 

Overall I loved the sound of these and fell In love with the signature as it was reminiscent of my old Shure SE530’s but with a cleaner more airy presence with a more defined bass with more detail which made it a non-fatiguing  listen to each time with its ability to be fast paced lucid and natural sounding for a generic iem was a pleasant surprise. 

 

Only reservation I had with these like I mentioned earlier was on some occasions the treble which I got used to eventually and matched the overall signature of the 4Ai very well but still at times had the ability to pass my threshold with some tracks whether good or bad recordings.  

 

Another foot note is I was lucky to be in a position to listen to the 5.0 also which will be my follow up review as it were which will compare naturally the 4Ai to the 5.0 from my long listening session with them and which one I decided to go with. 

 

Hopefully this may serve helpful to anyone who has the 3Ai’s looking to know what the 4Ai’s are like to a degree now hearing four of their generic iem’s now realize they have an eye or “ear” for detail which for generic iems at the price point they are at is a no mean feat with the 4ai  which can be a double edged sword in certain circumstances though with no mercy on poor recording's and unfortunately there are too many of them out there today.  

 

Can see why they call him the Wizard now…  as how does he manage to get that level of detail from generic iems at that price point?!  

post #7012 of 7980
Totally agree about piano reproduction. The 4ai have amazing soundstage! I am always amazed when listening to piano concertos that there is such depth between the orchestra and piano soloist. But I never experienced harsh treble?
post #7013 of 7980
Thread Starter 

Wow long that was a long ass post.  I am glad that you are enjoying the 4ai's, I look forward to your thoughts on the other Heir IEM's.

post #7014 of 7980

Thanks for the review FortisFlyer75. Agree on that the 4Ai is less forgiving on quality of recording. As I put it in another post, the 4Ai is no non-sense iem, and the treble spike you have experienced could be from the recording itself.

 

I am a big fan of the treble-spike king EX1000, so the 4Ai is not even close in that category. wink_face.gif

post #7015 of 7980
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post

Thanks for the review FortisFlyer75. Agree on that the 4Ai is less forgiving on quality of recording. As I put it in another post, the 4Ai is no non-sense iem, and the treble spike you have experienced could be from the recording itself.

 

I am a big fan of the treble-spike king EX1000, so the 4Ai is not even close in that category. wink_face.gif

 

+1...  I don't hear a spike in the 4.Ai.  Mine does measure with one, but it's very small if anything.  I would say it has to be the recording...  Could be wrong though. 

post #7016 of 7980

recording or "recruitment"

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

post #7017 of 7980
I know a fellow headfier who heard the 5.0 as having harsh highs, sometimes sibilant, but to me it is the smoothest iem I own. So tips, seal, source and other factors may come into play...
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

Thanks for the response. I am pretty clueless seal in general. Nothing about customs is ever simple is it lol. The 8A sibilant? Never thought anyone could perceive the 8A's treble as sibilant...
post #7018 of 7980

Hi,

 

My friend has bought tzars 90 on recommendation from this thread and he has played them un amped thus far. He complains that the background sounds unclear and it isn't balanced. He used to own the shure se425 and he claims that it was significantly better than the tzars 90 and he wants to achieve something of similar performance or greater. His music player is cowon z2.  He was about to throw away the Tzar 90s but I advised him to instead wait for the response of the head fi community to see what is the recommended course of action. 

 

Can someone explain whether the tzar 90s are worth it for my friend or if he needs to amp it to do it any justice? If so, how can he amp the tzar 90s with a cowon z2 DAP.

 

Please advise. 

post #7019 of 7980

It could be due to the Cowon not having sufficient power and synergy with them. I'm not sure what is recommended though to make them sound good. Could also be they are just not your friends cup of tea.
 

post #7020 of 7980

Rendition!!!! 1

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