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The diary entries of a little girl nearing 30! - Page 447  

post #6691 of 15119

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 blink.gif

 

MF, did you ever use the Etymotic IEMs? Does the FitEar 334 isolates as well as the Ety? How comfortable is it?

post #6692 of 15119
Soundstage depth and width is something I'm still not able to recognize in my experience so far. Does it depend on the songs played as much as what equipment is used? My guess is that most most modern recordings done in studios record each instruments in different booths and processed together, lacking that space that live recordings have. It's that a correct assumption?

Also maverickronin, I remember way back in the locked diary thread that you mentioned trying melamine sponge for your t50rp. how did that go?
post #6693 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Final Audio Design Piano Forte IX: ...and speaking of seriously flawed IEMs, I've been listening to the 1602 SS quite a bit these past few days. I think if most head-fiers were to listen to these and knew how much they cost, they'd declare them to be a total rip-off lol. However I absolutely adore them. They're extremely awkward, impractical, and they're not always there performing at their fullest when you need them to be. When you do get there it's a truly incredible experience. They're frustratingly variable. In this respect they're actually rather human in quality. I think those who appreciate what FAD is doing are able to sense this. It's that mark of humanity---that personal touch---that allows their creations to transcend their objective purpose, their telos, and enter the realm of art.

 

 

Where has this thread been all my life? Or rather, where have I been all of its.

 

MuppetFace, I am becoming obsessed with the FAD Piano Forte VIII-X line. Have you heard the X-CC? I wonder if the extra resonance makes it even more genre-dependent or whether it improves all music. 

 

With its rigid stainless steel body, the IX might actually be the sweet spot in this line of IEMS - and even theoretically affordable. Do you have a fuller review anywhere? I haven't found it.

 

Why am I obsessed with these???

post #6694 of 15119

Hey cooperpwc long time no see. Haven't seen you around since the getting called out for not wearing the beats thread was locked

post #6695 of 15119

OK I just came back from Amazon, according to the latest tracking information provided by DHL my package left Secaucus NJ and was sent over the boarder and entered Montreal Quebec as of May 17 at 7:43PM. As of May 17 9:07 PM it's been lying in the St. Laurent Quebec sort facility which according to Google maps is a section of Montreal. WTF???? Why did DHL send it to the other side of my country two provinces away from me when they could have just shot it straight over to my province? According to Amazon I should have had my package today. I'm starting to wonder if it will ever get here now.

post #6696 of 15119

The A161 is officially on sale.

post #6697 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by koonhua90 View Post

MF, did you ever use the Etymotic IEMs? Does the FitEar 334 isolates as well as the Ety? How comfortable is it?

 

I've actually never ever used an Etymotic IEM before. From reading various threads on customs, some people feel customs isolate more than the Etys, while others think the Etys isolate more, so who knows? I'll say the FitEar TG 334 isolates about on par with a pair of customs from my very limited experience, though it wasn't a fully-fitted pair of customs. From that I'd extrapolate that the FitEar TG 334 isolates on par or perhaps not quite as well as a pair of deeply inserted Etys. I doubt it isolates more tho.

 

In terms of comfort, I find the FitEar TG 334 to be about as comfortable as certain universal IEMs, though sans that really annoying pressure of a vacuum seal from a deeply inserted pair of universals.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

 

Where has this thread been all my life? Or rather, where have I been all of its.

 

MuppetFace, I am becoming obsessed with the FAD Piano Forte VIII-X line. Have you heard the X-CC? I wonder if the extra resonance makes it even more genre-dependent or whether it improves all music. 

 

With its rigid stainless steel body, the IX might actually be the sweet spot in this line of IEMS - and even theoretically affordable. Do you have a fuller review anywhere? I haven't found it.

 

Why am I obsessed with these???

 

 

I own both the Piano Forte IX and the Piano Forte X-CC. I've posted some brief thoughts on the latter a few weeks back.

 

They're seriously unusual sounding, and I'd warn most people to stay far away unless they get to hear a pair first or have a firm understanding of what they'll be getting. That's why I think an impressions thread would be crucial for these, and hopefully I can do something about it sooner rather than later. Basically every model in the Piano Forte series is going to have an extremely mid-centric sound with rolled off lows and highs. It's a very thick and liquid sound, very "analog" and (as one head-fier described it) almost akin to the audio from an old timey theatre. Their sense of spaciousness and acoustics however is astounding, the closest I've heard in a pair of IEMs to replicating being in a concert hall.

 

FAD's goal for these---and many of their now discontinued dynamic earphones like the 1350s and 1601s---seems to be to replicate the experience of listening to horn speakers. Whether or not they succeed is one thing, but I feel they've produced something truly wonderful for those more adventurous listeners to explore. I'm still trying to come to a better understanding of just how the IX and X-CC models differ, tho. The X-CC has an added warmth to it, even more midrange emphasis and more of a liquid presentation, with a slightly more grandiose presentation. The IX is less warm, has slightly more bottom and top end presence, sounds slightly more constricted compared to the X-CC. Of course, the X-CC costs twice as much as the IX, so I can't say it's good value for money with a straight face.

post #6698 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

Soundstage depth and width is something I'm still not able to recognize in my experience so far. Does it depend on the songs played as much as what equipment is used? My guess is that most most modern recordings done in studios record each instruments in different booths and processed together, lacking that space that live recordings have. It's that a correct assumption?
Also maverickronin, I remember way back in the locked diary thread that you mentioned trying melamine sponge for your t50rp. how did that go?

 

Soundstage seems to be one of the more controversial and difficult-to-relate phenomena in this hobby. Of course, when you can't even get two people to agree on whether something is bassy or not, it's going to be hard to try and agree on arrangements in three-dimensional space. Also there are several other phenomena tied closely together with it like imaging and instrument separation, which is more descriptive of what goes on inside that space than just "soundstage" which seems to refer more to the boundaries of the space itself. At least that is how I often construe it.

 

It does indeed vary just as much---if not more---based on the recording in question than the headphones themselves. There are specific tracks I use to test soundstage, imagining, instrument separation, etc. Even if I have an extremely high-end pair of headphones like the HD800, unless the track is recorded in a way that brings out these dimensional qualities, things are going to only sound so good.

post #6699 of 15119
Thanks for the thoughts! Okay I will have to go back and properly read this thread from beginning to end instead of my previous key word search.

Here is one of those impossible questions since removing pecuniaty bias seems to run contrary to human nature but here goes... If they cost the same and had the same resale value, and if you could only own one, which would you choose? (Please also remove the colour difference from the equation - you can choose the colour.)
post #6700 of 15119

The reply functionality seems to be broken. Bah...

 

The Ety 6i isolates reasonably well with triple-flange tips; acrylic cIEMs isolate reasonably well too. The nature of the isolation is a little different, though: In my totally nonscientific comparison the Ety does not attenuate as much but filters more of the sound spectrum, while my Heir 4.A does not block highs as well as it blocks lows. I don't know whether Etymotics' better IEMs provide better isolation than the 6i; I suspect not, although I don't doubt that they sound much better than the 6i.

 

Silicone cIEMs will inherently isolate better, but I suspect there's also prone to be more variation in how they isolate. There are also cIEMs with soft tips: Westone provides them, and a couple other manufacturers will provide either soft tips or (it seems, I'm not sure) silicone coatings over acrylic. Then there's Starkey, whose cIEMs are acrylic, filled with silicone, and isolate well, too.

 

Starkey's product factsheet is a good read, just for a general education on IEMs, since among other things it points out that isolation is a function of your body's own ability to damp noise, and at high SPLs the sound is going to be entering your ears through bone conduction as much or more as through the ear canal, so there are practical if difficult-to-calculate limits to the effectiveness of isolation.

 

MuppetFace, you can't believe how hard it is to not want to PM you and ask about getting on the CanalWorks/FitEar boat. I'm abstaining for the time being, less because of loyalty to Hidition and more because I'm not ready to buy a second pair of cIEMs yet.

 

jgray91, Soundstage and space are entirely a matter of how the music is recorded, and it's up to your equipment to faithfully reproduce that space, so your high-quality equipment should have poor soundstage if the stereo production on the recording is poor... This is frequently why audiophile recordings of acoustic music is used as a metric when hi-fi equipment is reviewed (or old Columbia orchestral recordings); it's because it's easier to count on the recording's acoustic space to be a known quantity.

 

That said, I tend to not get good soundstage/headspace when using IEMs; full-sized cans are still better for that. Although my 4.A seems to have better soundstage with its new cable, it is nowhere near the equal of the time I've spent with, say, the HD 800.


Edited by ardgedee - 5/19/12 at 3:35am
post #6701 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

Thanks for the thoughts! Okay I will have to go back and properly read this thread from beginning to end instead of my previous key word search.
Here is one of those impossible questions since removing pecuniaty bias seems to run contrary to human nature but here goes... If they cost the same and had the same resale value, and if you could only own one, which would you choose? (Please also remove the colour difference from the equation - you can choose the colour.)

 

To save your sanity, here's the post in question: http://www.head-fi.org/t/591852/the-diary-entries-of-a-little-girl-nearing-30/6330#post_8375745.

 

Though reading through the whole thread will perhaps grant you cosmic awareness.

 

As for your question... it's really hard to say, because I could think of reasons for both. The Piano Forte IX is the more balanced of the two, so it's marginally more versatile. However the sound is already far off the beaten path, and if you're going full-tilt, why not go all out and have the X-CC with even more midrange warmth and accentuation?

 

Also if you subscribe to the FAD philosophy, the materials used in their construction are just as much about sound as aesthetics. They'd have you believe that the chrome copper of the X-CC is what contributes just as much to the sound as the way they tune it. Also the feel of the X-CC is different too: it has a slightly brushed feel due to the material, a bit more friction in the hand, whereas the IX is smoother and more slippery. It's sort of a whole package beyond a color difference. The IX with chrome copper wouldn't be the IX anymore if you catch my drift.

post #6702 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

MuppetFace, you can't believe how hard it is to not want to PM you and ask about getting on the CanalWorks/FitEar boat. I'm abstaining for the time being, less because of loyalty to Hidition and more because I'm not ready to buy a second pair of cIEMs yet.

 

 

I understand, but if you change your mind, I'll be glad to hook you up. I still don't know the full terms and associated costs though, so it may end up being outrageous as you predicted earlier.

post #6703 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

To save your sanity, here's the post in question: http://www.head-fi.org/t/591852/the-diary-entries-of-a-little-girl-nearing-30/6330#post_8375745.

 

Though reading through the whole thread will perhaps grant you cosmic awareness.

 

As for your question... it's really hard to say, because I could think of reasons for both. The Piano Forte IX is the more balanced of the two, so it's marginally more versatile. However the sound is already far off the beaten path, and if you're going full-tilt, why not go all out and have the X-CC with even more midrange warmth and accentuation?

 

Also if you subscribe to the FAD philosophy, the materials used in their construction are just as much about sound as aesthetics. They'd have you believe that the chrome copper of the X-CC is what contributes just as much to the sound as the way they tune it. Also the feel of the X-CC is different too: it has a slightly brushed feel due to the material, a bit more friction in the hand, whereas the IX is smoother and more slippery. It's sort of a whole package beyond a color difference. The IX with chrome copper wouldn't be the IX anymore if you catch my drift.

i gotta say FAD really looks sexy and tempting :P

post #6704 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Soundstage seems to be one of the more controversial and difficult-to-relate phenomena in this hobby. Of course, when you can't even get two people to agree on whether something is bassy or not, it's going to be hard to try and agree on arrangements in three-dimensional space. Also there are several other phenomena tied closely together with it like imaging and instrument separation, which is more descriptive of what goes on inside that space than just "soundstage" which seems to refer more to the boundaries of the space itself. At least that is how I often construe it.

 

It does indeed vary just as much---if not more---based on the recording in question than the headphones themselves. There are specific tracks I use to test soundstage, imagining, instrument separation, etc. Even if I have an extremely high-end pair of headphones like the HD800, unless the track is recorded in a way that brings out these dimensional qualities, things are going to only sound so good.

So I guessed right, on recordings at least. Not trying to start anything bad here, but has soundstage been measured successfully? From what I've read around, it seems that it haven't, and it's mostly another perception phenomenon.

 

Seems I need to broaden my music library to include some live recordings. At least to see if I can better perceive soundstage.


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

jgray91, Soundstage and space are entirely a matter of how the music is recorded, and it's up to your equipment to faithfully reproduce that space, so your high-quality equipment should have poor soundstage if the stereo production on the recording is poor... This is frequently why audiophile recordings of acoustic music is used as a metric when hi-fi equipment is reviewed (or old Columbia orchestral recordings); it's because it's easier to count on the recording's acoustic space to be a known quantity.

 

That said, I tend to not get good soundstage/headspace when using IEMs; full-sized cans are still better for that. Although my 4.A seems to have better soundstage with its new cable, it is nowhere near the equal of the time I've spent with, say, the HD 800.

 

Ahh okay. The mantra "garbage in, garbage out" just came into mind when reading this. Still a long way to go overhauling my music library.


Edited by jgray91 - 5/19/12 at 4:08am
post #6705 of 15119
That's a great read. You make the X-CC sound like the crème caramel of IEMs. And crème caramel is one of the few desserts that I truly love.

Hmmm.... I must hear these.

All of this begs the question; How can you resist the VIII? Have you heard it?
Edited by cooperpwc - 5/19/12 at 4:56am
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