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Are Yuin PK1 Still a good choice in 2012 or is there something better for the price?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I am new to this forum. This is my first started thread. I have just acquired a Yuin Pk1 set and although I was quite impressed at first, I am now having second thoughts.

One thing I did not realize is that these buds are quite old so there may be better now...

Another thing I just realized is that their price has apparently remained stable since at least 2008. I paid just 5$ less than their 2008 price. It sounds like a sign of quality.

 

I own a set of Shure SE-530 which I love and I even got the custom mold for them last year. I was actually surprized and somehow disappointed to realize that the custom molds are isolating less than the foams. Although more comfortable, I still cannot lay on my side with my head on the pillow without hurting my ears.

 

What lead me to search for the likes of the Yuin is that they are very comfortable to wear under any circumstance, are very easy to put on an off (for work it is perfect) and have a reputation of amazing soundstage and delivery, if properly amped.

 

For the moment and because of a lack of knowledge, I am still using the following to work with my headphones:

 

- Onkyo SR-308, fed by an optical output straight from the motherboard of my desktop.

- Iphone 4 alone or amped with a FiiO E11.

 

So, at the end, good choice or I could have had better?

 

 

post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri View Post

Hi,

 

I am new to this forum. This is my first started thread. I have just acquired a Yuin Pk1 set and although I was quite impressed at first, I am now having second thoughts.

One thing I did not realize is that these buds are quite old so there may be better now...

Another thing I just realized is that their price has apparently remained stable since at least 2008. I paid just 5$ less than their 2008 price. It sounds like a sign of quality.

 

I own a set of Shure SE-530 which I love and I even got the custom mold for them last year. I was actually surprized and somehow disappointed to realize that the custom molds are isolating less than the foams. Although more comfortable, I still cannot lay on my side with my head on the pillow without hurting my ears.

 

What lead me to search for the likes of the Yuin is that they are very comfortable to wear under any circumstance, are very easy to put on an off (for work it is perfect) and have a reputation of amazing soundstage and delivery, if properly amped.

 

For the moment and because of a lack of knowledge, I am still using the following to work with my headphones:

 

- Onkyo SR-308, fed by an optical output straight from the motherboard of my desktop.

- Iphone 4 alone or amped with a FiiO E11.

 

So, at the end, good choice or I could have had better?

 

 


For earbuds, they cannot be beaten in my opinion.

 

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that is exactly what I am talking about: Ear-buds. I actually did not expect to find something that would sound that good for such a basic concept but I kept reading rave comments about them from users so I had to give it a shot. 

I have also read that they really start shining after a couple hundred of hours of burn-in.

post #4 of 31

my experience after owning several higher end iem like se530, tf10, ue 11 pro, ie8 and so on, is that the mx580 i ordered just for fun absolutely amazed me in every single way. they remind me of my k701 with a tad more bass. they sound so airy and big, i could not believe. so today the postman will bring me a set of mx980 and if they scale well from the mx580s i will have found what i was looking for for so long.

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well, I have not tried any of the MX serie. All I know now, after connecting them with my Fiio E11 is that the Yuin PK1 are truly phenomenal. I listened to a variety of music ranging from Hip-Hop to blues, Vocal, Techno, classical and even bin-aural recordings and the head stage was pretty big. Surprising for ear-buds.

Their comfort is indeed unsurpassed because of the size so I fell asleep listening to them. The bass is maybe their weakness but there is still some and it can be punchy.

It may shock many but at this stage, I prefer them to the Beyer dynamic T50p which I am still burning-in but still fail gravely on the head stage. 

With their 150Ohms impedance, the Yuin really need a headphone amp connected to really deliver their best. 

At this stage and with maybe now 30 hours of use, I can say that I am already convinced to keep those. They are likely to become my main set, to use along with my phone for conversations, to listen to music at work and anywhere I am on the move.

At home, I will still be using my AKG-Q701, connected to my AV receiver.

In the gym, I won't use the Yuin because they do not isolate enough and may suffer from the sweat. I will still use the Etymotic ER-6i which haven't failed me after close to two years of use almost everyday.

post #6 of 31

The Sennheiser MX580 is great for the price($25). It is 16 ohms, so it doesn't need an amp. For even more detail, the Sony E888(around $50-60) is very dynamic and very detailed. There are many fake E888 earbuds around, so be careful where you get it from. I haven't heard the Mx980, however many question whether it is worth the price. i guess the same is true with the PK1. The MX980 and PK1 are around triple the price of the E888 or MX880, and I doubt the sound quality is anywhere near three times as good. Quite often paying triple the price of an excellent earphone in the sweet spot just gets a relatively small increase in sound quality.


Edited by JK1 - 1/17/12 at 6:24pm
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

I would say that the rule of diminishing return applies to most products. Weither it is for a headphone/amp or a computer graphic card or a car, the price hike never match the improvement provided.

In this case, you may be right for the idea of getting the best return of investment by buying an MX580 instead of items many time more expensive.

However, I have now been spoiled by my listening experience and I am willing to pay the required price to get the extra bit of listening bliss.

Now, what I am still in search of is the best item for a given price. So the $154 I paid for the Yuin Pk1 are well worth the price. My original question was; Is there a better option for earbuds in this price range?

As well, I am asking myself the same question about my AKG-Q701 for which I found equivalents but no better for the same price.

I buy almost exclusively from Amazon because of their customer service and the ease of returning products. So far, the Yuin has gathered better comments than the MX-980. How do they compare soundwise is the real question since their price is equivalent....

post #8 of 31

I think the step up from the MX580 to the Sony E888 is worth it for many who aren't on a tight budget. One person posted on head-fi that he preferred the MX580 to the PK1, while others said they are close but that they prefer the MX880 to the PK1.  There aren't many people who own the E888 and the PK1, and who are also sure that their E888 is real. Since the MX580 is so cheap, you should try it, however if you want to take more of a risk you could try the MX880 or MX980. The Yuin earphones probably sound quite different than the Sony E888 and the Sennheiser MX880, MX980, or MX580. Which you will prefer is hard to say. If you aren't curious about the MX580, then perhaps you might be curious about the Sony E888 or Sennheiser MX880 or MX980.  It is quite possible that you might prefer the Sony E888 or the Sennheiser MX880 to the Yuin PK1 even though they are much less expensive.

 

 

"Compared to the PK1, the MX580 is more aggressive (but not harsh). The PK1 sounds a little more laid back and smoother. I will need more time to compare the two, but the MX580 is definitely holding its own against the more expensive and highly regarded PK1."

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/514274/yuin-try-them-again-or-something-else

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/491833/yuin-pk1-three-strikes-yuin-is-out-ill-never-buy-from-them-again

 


Edited by JK1 - 1/18/12 at 9:50am
post #9 of 31

Lately I have become fascinated with vintage earbuds, and it seems like the golden age of earbuds was a little over 20 years ago when Sony and Aiwa was competing over who could make the best earbud.

 

I haven't heard the Pk1, but I own the PK2 and PK3, and overall I prefer the Pk2 since I find them more neutral and natural sounding than the PK3. If the PK1 weren't 150ohm, I would buy them as well.

 

The only other high end earbud available now is Sennheiser MX980. A Chinese maker, Blox, used to have a model called TM5, and it cost around the same as the PK1 and sounded very good. It had a darker and bassier sound overall (I haven't heard it). Blox later released a model called M2C, which cost only $40. It is only manufactured in small batches and now it is sold out. I managed to buy a pair, and overall I prefer the M2C to my PK2. I have heard rumours that Blox is working on a new version of the M2C which will sound better and that they are also working on a new high end earbud, the BXIII. However, the BXIII is only a prototype at this moment.

 

AKG has got the K319, but it is just on about the same level as the Yuin PK2, and it can sometimes cost twice as much. So AKG isn't really an option if you are looking for the best earbud available.

 

I've got the Audio Technica CM700TI. It was released around the same time as the PK-series and is now replaced by the CM707. It is pretty good with a wide soundstage and good detail. It used to be my favorite until I started searching out old Sony and Aiwa earbuds.

 

Anyway, these days are sad days for earbuds. The big companies, except for Sennheiser and perhaps Audio Technica (as well as AKG's now old K319), have stopped making them and now it is mainly small Chinese companies that release new earbuds. Sony hasn't released a high end earbud since the E888, and that was released in the late nineties! There was no high end earbud in the latest E9x9 series. The E888 is discontinued, but can still be found.

 

I have gone further back in time and explored earlier Sony models, such as the E484 (manufactured 1988-1995) and the E282 (1985-1990). And also Aiwa (HP-D9 which was manufactured 1990-1995). I find that both of the Sony buds and the Aiwa beat my Yuin and Blox . Both in detail, and especially, soundstage. The Aiwa HP-D9 especially has got an amazing soundstage and instrument separation. I can hear every tiny detail in the music and hear exactly where it's coming from. Unfortunately the bass response is not very strong with the D9, but bass can be EQed up. The Sony MDR-E282 has got a wide and very deep soundstage. Detail is not as good as the Aiwa HP-D9 and Sony MDR-E484, but still on a slightly higher level than the Yuin PK2 and Blox M2C. The E484 has got a narrower soundstage than the E282 and Aiwa HP-D9, but it is still deep. The bass response for the E484 is very good for an earbud. Bass goes very deep, but it is still very clean.

 

Sony used amorphous diamond coated diaphragm on the E282 and E484, and so did Aiwa on the D9. The housing of the E484 is made of ceramics instead of plastic, and supposedly it improves resonance.

Technology might have advanced in 20 years, but so has the audio companies need to save money and cut corners. Now they use cheaper materials that produce a good sound, but not a better sound overall than what was made over 20 years ago. You can find 20 year old Sony and Aiwa high end earbuds that still work like they were new. Will you be able to find a Yuin that works like new in 20 years? I hope so, because it seems that there isn't that much development in the earbud world...

 

I have paid a lot for these vintage earbuds, but I think it's worth it. Paying $200 for a 20 year old earbud that is used might sound like a bad investment, but after some cleaning they are as good as new. And for me, this has turned into a sort of collecting, and the realization that progress in technology does not always mean better sound.

 

Anyway, I think you have made the right choice to go with the PK1, since you feel that it produces the sound that you want.


Edited by Danneq - 1/18/12 at 10:25am
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input Danneq.

You comment is very interesting about the fact that earbuds were of better quality in the past. This likely explains why the Yuins and like are still selling well years after they have been issued.

As for earbuds, I am effectively satisfied with the PK1. I will be curious to try the MX980 though....

post #11 of 31

How does the Sony E888 compare to the PK2? Do you think any of the very old discontinued models are better than the MX980?

post #12 of 31

Henri - well, I think that it is easier to make a good sounding earbud cheap now. It's just that companies are not very interested. And often they go for a mainstream sound, which usually means very bassy sound. The Sony MDR-E484 has got a lot of bass, but it has got very good mids and pretty good highs as well. The Aiwa HP-D9 hardly has any bass but amazing mids and great highs. I just feel like companies want to go the same way as Monster with Beats by Dr Dre: make ear-/headphones with a lot of bass instead of making something that goves good and neutral lows, mids and highs.

 

Yuin has taken the market because they produce earbuds with good sound quality and they do not go with trends. I like that about them. It's just bad that there are so few competitors. I hope Blox can make more earbuds since the M2C sounds slightly better than the PK2 for me despite costing about as much as the PK3.

post #13 of 31

They are pretty awful

post #14 of 31

Yuin hasn't taken the market. Sennheiser sells so many more earbuds than Yuin. I guess Sony might still outsell Sennheiser in earbud units, even though the Sony earbuds made now are all low end except for the E888, which Sony now only sells in a few places.

 

It is much easier to get stong bass from an IEM than from an earbud. I doubt any earbuds could supply the mega bass of the JVC HAFX1X IEM. The HAFX1X is special though, as even though it has mega bass, it is still bright sounding and has excellent midrange and treble detail. While I still like earbuds, I have been getting into IEMs lately. After a while one gets used to IEMs.


Edited by JK1 - 1/20/12 at 1:55pm
post #15 of 31

I just received a beta earbuds from Dunu, they are very nice.  Not at all sure of what they will cost, didn't get anything else but the buds themselves but I place them above the PK and MX series with the MX980 as the exception.  Not quite as nice as the Blox but not too far off, very bright highs, good midrange, some actual bass in the lows.  Not bad at all, Rocky did a good job on these and I hope they sell well.  

 

P1200189.JPG

 

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