I am getting the Gigabyte GTX 670: http://www.guru3d.com/news/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-670-windforce-3x-graphics-card-/ and putting off getting an IEM for now.
I have been listening to the loaners from James for some time, and while I like the e-Q7, it glosses over the micro details, which I won't even notice, until I AB'ed it with my Stax. The EX-600 is also quite a good IEM. Although good, it tends to accentuate the "shh" sound. The EPH 100 is decidedly warm and smooth sounding. Overall quite a good IEM for modern songs, but I don't really like the warmth that creeps upon the midrange. It tends to overshadow some of the emotions of some songs. The Adagio loses quite a bit of detail as compared to the rest (personally I classify it as slightly muddy sounding), yet what surprises me is how it can portray depth very well. Something is funny about it.
On sound alone, I really like the e-Q7. Could use more treble presence though.
And although all isolates pretty well (Yamaha EPH 100 and Adagio V comes out on top of e-Q7 and EX-600), I have become quite the anal one when it comes to isolation and comfort. In short, I find that none of the IEM isolate as well as my meager HF 5 with custom tips.
Conclusion, there is no easy way for me to get the clarity of Stax and isolation of Ety on an IEM. Therefore....I have decided to save up and go for a silicone CIEM, perhaps the SE 5-Way, due to my need of isolation and comfort. If UE provides the option to put silicone material on the nozzle, I will consider it too.
My DAP and Arrow amp is not cutting it anymore. Plugging in the e-Q7 into the DACmini, and it sounds noticeably better. Seems like I need to upgrade the portable source. But then again portable stuff is always so expensive
MF, did you ever use the Etymotic IEMs? Does the FitEar 334 isolates as well as the Ety? How comfortable is it?