Originally Posted by MuppetFace
Unique Melody is launching their Platform Pure combo in the coming months. Apparently the CIEM will be a new design, mated specifically to the system. Color me intrigued.
That being said, I have to admit I'm a bit unsure as to the direction recently announced CIEMs are taking. Ultimate Ear's Personal Reference Monitor for instance will be $2000 USD, and apparently the Platform Pure will be similarly priced. I'm all for innovation, and I recognize that companies are looking for angles to give them an edge over ever-increasing competition, but prices just seem to be climbing while an inconvenient process of acquisition and form factor are made even more inconvenient with trips to neighboring cities just to tune your earphones, or requiring an external amp in what is essentially a portable device. And someone in another thread doubted me when I said the cost of CIEMs was rising just like the cost of universals...
I think Canal Work's CW-L51 is a much more sensible example of innovation, allowing one to tune the sound by swapping resistors on the faceplate.
I'm intrigued as well. Especially if the active crossover is tunable. In fact it seems kind of silly to not make it tunable. Although doing so would probably send the price up towards Muramasa VIII territory.
But this isn't really price inflation yet. For now it represents the costs of making better things, now that there's a market that's increasingly receptive to it. The UERM still costs a grand, same as it did a couple years ago; if it's not the pinnacle of the IEM world, it's because better, albeit more expensive, ways to make custom IEMs have been found. Eventually, hopefully, there might be better thousand dollar IEMs, as new manufacturers come up with new products that replicate the accomplishments of past flagship models with an understanding of where costs can be cut without compromising the advantages. Or not. But in the meanwhile, if you have a thousand dollars to spend on a custom earphone, the UERM is exactly the same excellent custom IEM as it has been; it has not gotten worse.
As long as this race to the top represents real improvements rather than garnishments. FAD and Ultrasone have skirted the margin of that "real improvements" qualifier, although I think most of the flak they've each received has been from people missing the point.
If companies stop making sufficient sales to profit on their no-holds-barred designs, they'll dial back their ambitions to meet demand. Or else keep them as unadvertised under-the-table sales to preferred customers. The customs world is an odd one, in that everything is made bespoke. So pricing structures have to be considered in a different light than even those for limited-edition production items.
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat
So, I just finished my earpads for the HD25-1 II in my attempt to make them faux-circumaural. Since this was more of a proof of concept I just glued the leather, since well, I had glue at hand and no needles for stitching these things together. Comfort wise they turned out pretty good. Sound wise, not too shabby, but I'm going to have to a/b the pads in order to know which ones I prefer. One thing's for certain: they look ridiculous.
Nice. Does the inner circumference collapse when the cushion is compressed? That might constrict the sound.
Originally Posted by maverickronin
I also think that some tube amps might have specific harmonics that people mistake for reverb or echos or something since a lot of people go on and on about how tube amps have good soundstage. THe perception of soundstage is tricky but I can almost hear something like that on my Crack.
The value of tube amps is often in their simplicity -- even amps that are complex for their genre tend to have lower parts counts than relatively simple solid state amps. This can help with phase coherence, which helps better keep the acoustic space intact. A good single-ended triode system, powering some really good bookshelf speakers, can conjure ghosts, the soundstage illusion is so rich. Albeit at the cost of evenness in the highs and lows, but that can mean the strong mid-upper-midrange isn't impeded either...
Some tube amps are pretty bad for microphonics: You can shout into the array of tubes and be heard over the speakers. That's pretty extreme, though it justifies things like stabilizing bricks and tube dampeners.
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak
I think the headphone and earphone industry is on the same fast track that speakers took years ago and there will come a time when this hobby will start to become so financially extreme a lot of people will turn their backs and walk away.
The existence of $500,000 speaker systems has in no way impeded the ability to get some really fantastic $300 speakers. In fact, more designers of god-tier speaker systems seem to be getting interested in the lower ranges of the boutique market; Technics already has an impressive line of them. Similarly, $5000 and $3000 headphones don't seem to have impeded the continuing firehose stream of headphones in the $150-300 range. I think it's a concern, for those who insist on having the best (by whatever terms they set for best-ness), most exotic, and most expensive, to be worried about the stakes continually raising, but for the rest of us, I don't think it matters much.
Originally Posted by jgray91
Ahh I see. So the chance of my musings is close to nil, and in the event that it does happen, it's probably crosstalk. I don't suppose the more expensive ones have this problem to a very minimum, considering the price they are asking. And since people like/dislike crossfeed, it is prudent to tout it for customers to choose whether to use it or not.
Can separation and placement and emulation of distance (imaging?) be exclusive of each other?
Soundstage is frequently discussed in terms of space: width (left to right) depth (closeness and distance from you), height (yep, two-speaker systems can emulate height; it's uncanny when you witness it for the first time); and in terms of how that space is filled -- some systems seem to have an amorphous mass of sound generation in that space, so that everything kind of smears together, so the electric bass notes are mostly coming from arm's length, vaguely center-left-ish, while the guitars mostly sort of blend together, and so on -- some systems have overly-sharpened sound points, where for example each piece of the drum kit is distinguishable but seems meters apart from each other, requiring a drummer five meters tall to play...
Most systems are somewhere between those extremes, or present other illusions entirely.
High-end audio systems make bragging rights of how little inter-channel crosstalk their is, and it's touted as one of the big advantages of dual-mono designs (the channels can't be mixed if the amp for each is not even in the same box). For the most part, though, crosstalk for the average good-quality, well-maintained amp is going to be undetectable without measuring equipment.
Edited by ardgedee - 6/9/12 at 12:02pm