Since I have some free time due to the sh*tty weather outside, I tried to prepare a simple DIY filter for my ASG-1s.
I took a 1cm2 piece of Kleenex tissue (woven) and applied it on the IEM nozzle, and then I put my silicone tip on top to hold the tissue onto the nozzle.
Yes, dead easy, although it takes some patience to do it without rupturing the tissue.
Then I powered my rig, and first thing I noticed, I had to crank up the volume by 10%, but hey it was expected after installing a "filter".
Second thing, I removed the EQ hump that I had applied in the mids, going from -5dB to -2dB (nearly flat) and I slightly boosted the highs above 10kHz (+2dB) because I anticipated they would take same hit as the mids.
Time to listen for... Whitney Houston (which was barely listenable even with the -5dB decrease at 1kHz), and then some nice live music to assess the impact of the mod on soundstage.
- First impression: smoooooooooooooth! All the agressivity of the mids is gone, the overall sound feels more coherent (more neutral, please nore the "more", I didn't say neutral, sound is still midcentric but smoother). The +2dB in the treble was needed since treble were already smoother than mids before the mod.
- The "cavern effect" is entirely gone too, but the forward projection is still 90% there, giving amazing feeling with live music (I could literally spot the singer walking right and left on the scene 10 meters in front of me).
- I think I lost some tiny details in the process but not too much, since ASG-1 are quite detailed to start with.
Overall with this mod, I think I'm hearing something like Sennheiser IE8 for the huge soundstage (but less mud then IE8 in the mids), and like SE535Ltd for the lush mids (with better bass, dynamic drivers rule for bass!).
Conclusion: a simple small-size mesh would be enough to make these ASG-1 into very natural sounding IEMs, meshes which are precisely missing in the first place to stop earwax from invading the gaping nozzles. The mesh size of the tissue I used is in the 10-20 micrometer size, which is roughly the size of the metallic meshes such as the ones which protects the nozzles of my EPH-100 (could be the reason why EPH-100 have this laid-back sound, the metallic meshes are very tight, much smaller then the ones I usually see on other IEMs).
To me, it looks like Aurisonics could kill two birds with one stone here, a simple metallic mesh both to physically protect the nozzle opening and to dampen the agressivity of the ASG-1 mids.
I don't think a thick and complicated filter is needed at all, the mesh would just need to stay put on the nozzle extremity, by having the shape of a bottle cap.
My 2 cents (and a half).
Edited by tienbasse - 4/14/12 at 6:38pm