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Crossover / Multi-Driver vs Single Driver

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Be it BA or Dynamics, I have always had a preference for a single driver IEM. My holy grail is ER-4S for neutrality and the FX700 for enjoyment. I've heard the ATH-CK10, ADDIEM, TF10, FXT90 and they all sound weird. The JVC FXT90 uses no crossover but relies on the differences of the drivers to filter the frequency response. I found them no better than the HA-FXC71.

I understand the XBA series have no circuit based crossover, I may try that as the last multi driver setup.

The ATH-CK10 and ADDIEM sound quite good, but do they really need an extra driver. The ER-4S has better clarity, detail and speed than both. I understand BA's have trouble with deep bass this is why I have the FX700.

Lastly the TF10, sounds horrible, no midrange, jumbled sound, I understand it's a 2 way triple driver IEM.

What is wrong with me? And I've found this quote from the Ety Kids thread from a member, is this really true?
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post


I think their philosophy has always been that the crossovers that multiple driver headphones need mess with the sound.

 

They seem to take the frequency response curve detailed in their founder's papers very very seriously. The president is a Doctor, they make a huge amount of hearing aid products, and they seem to publish a great deal of research papers.

 

In short I think they are highly results motivated company that doesn't move particularly quickly, nor is it inclined to. They probably think of the ER-4S as measurably and objectively 'perfect' and until they can find a better technology or a better way to make them, I don't seem them doing anything new. Thinking about how long it took them to come up with the MC series (which sadly I didn't like) you have to admit that there is a certain aura of respectability about their approach.

 

 



Anyway, I'd like to have a discussion on this as it's been bugging me for a while and forgive me for my English, I have problems structuring sentences, long live spellcheck.

post #2 of 8

try the a151 just to get a feel of how incapable some single BAs can be. Their muddy and have horrible frequency response because the single driver can't keep up.

post #3 of 8

As you know, the purpose is to have several drivers more effortlessly cover the frequency range versus one tiny driver trying to do it all.

 

I agree the TF10 is a little "off".  Midrange seems dis-jointed from bass and treble (not just recessed).  Still a fun listen.

 

I think W3 crossover is done better.  The three different JH Audio custom multi-drivers I have owned have all sounded very cohesive so I think it can be done well.  JH13 is like a ER4S but with a holographic sound.  Simply on another level with more drivers.  So crossovers can be fine.  Just need to be done right.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaqueh View Post

try the a151 just to get a feel of how incapable some single BAs can be. Their muddy and have horrible frequency response because the single driver can't keep up.



That's a siren type driver which is as close to dynamics as BAs get.LOL

post #5 of 8

Multi BA units are more about being able to tune the response than having it. In theory, you can keep 2 drivers in a more linear range and match their speed and output to a bandwidth. You can also more easily tailor the response to a preference. The question is how and the general way would be to mechanically filer the woofer and put a simple high pass component on the tweeter like ue but there's other ways as well. Shure uses a highs optimized full range driver and adds bass units with a mechanical low pass for instance. There's exceptions but the electrical networks are generally 1st order so any talk of phase is with the type of driver proximity we have in IEMs is usually a misnomer.

 

I'm sure that Sony also has an electrical high pass built into the tweeter and mechanical low pass built into the woofers to allow for the modular nature of those IEMs. The problem with impedance adapters on multi BA IEMs is that the high pass frequency lowers by the amount that the adapter changes the tweeter drivers impedance as the resistor becomes part of the overall circuit. There's nothing wrong with multi BA units and some real advantages. It's all about execution and proper use.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/20/12 at 12:41pm
post #6 of 8

Highly disagree that a single BA can't cover the whole spectrum, there are many BAs that manage just fine and you can choose to exclude  the moving air types. There is more potential to have a big shortcoming like the A151, but a high-end single BA can manage fine. PFEs (Siren?)for example extend fine on both ends, great subbass and good treble extension that certain multi set-ups lack. 

 

You seem to prefer the more linear response of the Etys and getting that right is a feat that can become quite hard for multi ba set-ups. In general, high-end single BAs do tend to be less colored.

 

You should worry about what kind of frequency response you're looking for rather than whether the IEM has one or 4 drivers. 

post #7 of 8

PFE is a standard front firing vented (into case) BA. LL

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I prefer a neutral response, the etymotic is the most neutral I've heard, but it's a bit bright, so it's not 100% neutral.
I'm a weird guy, I find myself enjoying the FX700 for its timbre and the midrange is definitely there, but at high volumes it disappears, as opposed to the TF10 which has none at all.

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