Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › ACS T1 Live! Custom IEM Review: Silicone for the Big Stage
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ACS T1 Live! Custom IEM Review: Silicone for the Big Stage - Page 2

post #16 of 201

Really impressed with your findings Average_Joe, and I enjoyed reading your custom review thread. I just bought the T1 Live! in february after my Etymotic ER4Ps broke (still sad about that) and after a bit of acclimitisation I posted some thoughts in another thread (http://www.head-fi.org/t/477897/acs-t1-custom-review-and-impressions-thread/180#post_8184594) which concur with yours quite closely. I noticed how busy the music gets at higher volumes although I thought that might be linked to my bad source or at least the way the sound is so warm and relaxed, it doesn't force you to actively listen closely all the time, and so I can get a bit lazy and not spend brainpower on interpreting what's going on, like I did have to with the ER4S (P not so much, it's somewhere in the  middle).

 

To be honest I had no idea there were so many custom earphones, I thought it was pretty much a shootout between the silicone ACS headphones, (silicone is very appealing, after reading the trustedreviews website review), or a couple of choices in acrylic, (Ultimate Ears, JH Audio) so I wish I'd read your thread first, as these are a 1-in-5-years purchase for me. Am still happy with the T1Live!s though, they are a nice listening experience and while I can still imagine more detail and more clarity with slightly less rolled-off highs in the theoretical perfect headphones, these are fine for just now. Am more looking for a good DAC for my laptop and better bitrates from spotify mobile than another pair of headphones.


Edited by Whirlio - 3/19/12 at 1:34pm
post #17 of 201
Thread Starter 

Thank you, and thanks for sharing your experience.  I do think the 'busy' sound comes form the T1, not my sources as others with the same source and music (and similar presentation) weren't congested.  But, overall it is very enjoyable and technically quite good.  And your linked comment about getting used to the bass coming from the ER4S is something people need to take into account, as I have heard similar issues from others coming from an Ety.  

 

You made a great decision as the T1 Live! is good, and hopefully in 5 years I will have a few more reviews ;)  A better source is a good next step, I have reviewed some amp/DACs... 

post #18 of 201

Just a quick update. I believe the choice on de-emphasizing the treble is leading to the 'busy' sound of the music. My theory is that it stops the sounds from being delineated neatly at the top end and so some of the different sounds slide into each other a bit.

 

Could be wrong. Still loving the headphones. But maybe 5% more emphasis (volume?) on the treble would be interesting to hear.

post #19 of 201
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirlio View Post

Just a quick update. I believe the choice on de-emphasizing the treble is leading to the 'busy' sound of the music. My theory is that it stops the sounds from being delineated neatly at the top end and so some of the different sounds slide into each other a bit.

 

Could be wrong. Still loving the headphones. But maybe 5% more emphasis (volume?) on the treble would be interesting to hear.


I actually don't think that is it as the SA-43 also has a somewhat similar de-emphais on the treble without the same results.  I think they achieved a great performance from the three drivers, but just about every headphone has some weakness.

post #20 of 201

Hmmm. You are making me want to buy these SA-43s! I hope I have the willpower to resist. And really, I am still happy with the T1 Live!s - even from my phone, music can be utterly stunning under the right circumstances. I recently had the chance to borrow a DAC from a client and it rammed home the point that it would be cheaper for me to fix the source rather than change headphones, even if I wanted to. I do wish I'd read your thread to help my choice though.

 

One thing that's been bugging me a bit about them is the lack of replacement filters. It's bugging me to the point of thiking it could be in your  review. As background, here in the UK, ACS seems to be marketing their headphones towards cash-rich buyers who want to fire-and-forget with their headphones, as well as of course to live musicians.  I heard that they've got a stall in the Harvey Nichols flagship store (our version of Saks 5th avenue) as well as in Harrods. When I called up the local ACS office to ask about the difference between the T1  and T2, I got some strange PR-style reply ("T2 is a Ferrari, T1 is the Bugatti Veyron") although this was balanced by the more satisfying explanation I got via email from their factory email address (new crossover, extra drivers etc). My point is that, while you can certainly go to these stores and get great hi-fi, they aren't often the knowledgeable aficionado / Head-Fi-ers choice, and while this makes good business sense, I'm sure ACS doesn't mind customers who don't know enough about headphones to realise that filters can need changing every once in a while. And after all, how many Ferrari owners service their own cars?

 

I make this sound like a criticism when I'm positive overall about getting more great headphones out into the wild. It's also interesting that despite selling in high-prestige and high-exposure stores, there aren't that many more people who have come onto Head-FI to talk about ACS headphones - the market is a bit different.

Anyway, so once I'd bought this "Bugatti Veyron", thankfully from Monika @ www.protection4hearing.co.uk, who was much more realistic and whom I would strongly recommend, I was very surprised to hear that I can't replace the filters myself. In the past, despite keeping my ears clean, I could hear the difference from changing a 2-3 week old filter on the old Etymotic ER4Ps, so I'd really like the option of doing that for the Veyron T1 Live!s. The care instruction (http://www.acscustom.com/download/Live!-Instructions-V1.pdf) offer a re-conditioning service if I send them back to the factory but I'd like a DIY option really. I guess having the silica gel (called a dehumidifier in the manual) will help a bit to dry out moisture and wax so that it falls out.

 

Am I being unreasonable? It's great that they have obviously listened to feedback and I can now replace the cable very cheaply, so for the T1 Live2!s can we have user-replaceable filters too please? Thanks!


Edited by Whirlio - 4/18/12 at 10:46am
post #21 of 201
Thread Starter 

I personally think the filters are a double edged sword as they degrade the sound when clogged and how much do they really improve over not using a replaceable filter?  Getting something like this, and using it once a week should work well.  I clean my CIEMs semi-regularly, but then I don't use them in the typical way since I am swapping them out so much and I keep them in their cases with silica packs and use the dryer from time to time still.  

 

Interesting marketing speak; what if I prefer Ferrari?  ACS is one of the two most commercially available custom IEM companies out there along with Ultimate Ears, but the T1 Live does do good for the price.

 

And the SA-43s are a different animal than the T1, consider them a compliment and not a direct competitor.  You would probably want both for different genres.  While custom IEMs perform at a very high level, once you get more than one at a high level, you will probably prefer one or the other depending on your source/music.

post #22 of 201

Just a thought but wouldn't it be worth using the sealed tub of uncooked rice trick every once in a while? Leave your IEMs in a tub for a couple of days and the rice will draw the moisture out of them. I dropped an iPhone down the toilet a few years ago (don't ask) and it magically came back to life again a few days later...it's a tried and tested DIY way of drawing moisture out.

 

On a separate note, the quest to replace my Samsung Galaxy S / Voodoo mod / Poweramp combo with my T1's continues, this time I've had the new HTC One X on trial for a couple of days and haven't been impressed (nice phone in white though). Feels like they are struggling to drive the T1's, hiss is very pronounced and a crashy presentation probably exacerbated by the T1's slight rolloff at the very top end. These two phones are chalk and cheese as regards their audio qualities I'm afraid. May be worth someone having a trial of the HTC One S as the Krait chip in that is completely different to whatever they've put into the X.

 

Waiting now for May 3 for the probable launch of the Galaxy 3, which will hopefully see a Samsung return to form after the comparative disappointment of the SGS 2 using a Yamaha chip (not the phone itself of course, which is otherwise great).

 

I am of course saving money by keeping the Galaxy S for the time being, so it's not all bad news.

 

 

post #23 of 201
Thread Starter 

You can use rice, but desiccant packs and hearing aid dehumidifiers are much more efficient and will do a more complete job compared to rice in a shorter period of time.

 

I am not sure if you would consider an amp, but something like the Arrow, which is very slim, will fit on the back of your phones and power the T1 much better than the internal amp.  If you do get the Arrow or another external amp, you could velcro it to the back of the phone and hopefully find a low profile connector.

post #24 of 201

Any tips on how to properly replace the cable? After 6 months my first cable is already gone and I can't get the left monitor to connect properly (There's hardly any sound coming from it). It's hard to see what I'm doing as it's not clear (Ordered clear but got smoke and thought whatever I'll just keep it.) so I'm not 100% sure what's going on. Right monitor is working like a charm.

post #25 of 201
Thread Starter 

No, I have never disconnected my cable due to fear of breaking it.  I have an email in to ACS asking how to service the cable, but you may want to do so also.

post #26 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 


Thanks for the info.

 


Sorry to hear about your issues, but I am sure ACS will take care of you as they are a top rate company!  Let us know when you get it back.

 

 

yea, they've been the best or even say fastest CIEM manufacturer at the time being, it only took them something like a week and abit to get it back to me

i sent it to the local distributor on a friday nite, they sent it back to ACS for me on monday, then its back with me on the next week's thursday, its pretty amazing :D

talking of which my experience with T1Live! being bright is mainly because the bass drives was so lacking in burn-in as it was just rite out of the box, after around 10~20hrs of burn-in its already sounding much better, balance having said that.

 

 

furthermore I've done a minor comparison:

 

 

I owned a pair of re-shelled Shure SE420 (as I’ve got the cable busted after 2.5years), and a pair of ACS T1Live!. In a way being that they sounded very similar to me, just like a bigger more capable and mature brother to a younger weaker one.

 

Let’s start with their trebles, in the previous generation of shure’s had a pretty roll off treble to mostly everyone. In that sense it is somewhat similar to the layback relax treble of t1Live, that shure's 420's like a smaller and weaker brother that its missing out all the details and not sounding that clear & clean being, or say lacking in clarity yet the overall presentation and more towards the lacking behind in the overall treble energy.

Therefore the presentation is very similar, but the improvement of moving over to a T1Live! is a noticeable improvement that clarity and resolution are all on the better side.

However the overall presentation is very similar in the sense being similar in tone.

 

Then going over to the mids, they are very similar in the mids, both are very mid centric the main difference comes from that shure's colour in shure's old rich and think creamy way. Yet that the presentation of T1Live's aint far off being creamy, as it's got abit more clarity. However its also able to present more detail, therefore it sounded more towards an improvement in quality and slightly different in tone instead of something completely different.

 

Going down to bass region, the difference comes for amount of bass or say quantity of bass that’s being able to be produced shure's 420 is really quite lacking in bass, its got a good bass decay that it seems to have used up the bass quantity to generate the exciting environment so it sounded very coherent and sweet, yet lacking in quantity, yet its bass quality isn’t anything surprising either, was more of an average performer that it’s enough to keep

the music going. Yet I have doubts in it will ever be enough to keep any form of bass-head even the less demanding once to be happy. However T1live can do abit more, it's got even more rich bass decay that given its ability to generate abit more thickness in the sound and a more detail presentation(aka more realistic wind noise from recordings and so on), and in combination with the rather lady back and relax presentation of treble, its capable of creating quite a realistic and large soundstage together its bass can reach much deeper , sadly speaking after all its still not anything for any means to be bass heavy enough for getting close to meet the demand of any bass demanding users

 

 

talking of which i think also got a few personal experience to share beside the SQ of T1live, i will update it to the ACS T1 impression thread in abit. and post the link back here


Edited by remielsum - 6/10/12 at 12:27am
post #27 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

No, I have never disconnected my cable due to fear of breaking it.  I have an email in to ACS asking how to service the cable, but you may want to do so also.

by the way, it aint that difficult to un-plug the cable...and you can refer to the instruction manual on how they instructed you to put it back in, just do the opposite, you can take it out....

cos having said that i did have a spare set of cable with me to test and confirm the LHS of my monitor's bass drive was really busted and wasn't something to do with the cable which was cough in the way when i was closing my otter1000 box :S

post #28 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by remielsum View Post

 

yea, they've been the best or even say fastest CIEM manufacturer at the time being, it only took them something like a week and abit to get it back to me

i sent it to the local distributor on a friday nite, they sent it back to ACS for me on monday, then its back with me on the next week's thursday, its pretty amazing :D

talking of which my experience with T1Live! being bright is mainly because the bass drives was so lacking in burn-in as it was just rite out of the box, after around 10~20hrs of burn-in its already sounding much better, balance having said that.

 

 

further I've done a minor comparison:

 

 

I owned a pair of re-shelled Shure SE420 (as I’ve got the cable busted after 2.5years), and a pair of ACS T1Live!. In a way being that they sounded very similar to me, just like a bigger more capable and mature brother to a younger weaker one.

 

Let’s start with their trebles, in the previous generation of shure’s had a pretty roll off treble to mostly everyone. In that sense it is somewhat similar to the layback relax treble of t1Live, that shure's 420's like a smaller and weaker brother that its missing out all the details and not sounding that clear & clean being, or say lacking in clarity yet the overall presentation and more towards the lacking behind in the overall treble energy.

Therefore the presentation is very similar, but the improvement of moving over to a T1Live! is a noticeable improvement that clarity and resolution are all on the better side.

However the overall presentation is very similar in the sense being similar in tone.

 

Then going over to the mids, they are very similar in the mids, both are very mid centric the main difference comes from that shure's colour in shure's old rich and think creamy way. Ye that the presentation of T1Live's aint far off being creamy, as it's got abit more clarity. However its also able to present more detail, therefore it sounded more towards an improvement in quality and slightly different in tone instead of something completely different.

 

Going down to bass region, the difference comes for amount of bass or say quantity of bass that’s being able to be produced shure's 420 is really quite lacking in bass, its got a good bass decay that it seems to have used up the bass quantity to generate the exciting environment so it sounded very coherent and sweet, yet lacking in quantity, yet its bass quality isn’t anything surprising either, was more of an average performer that it’s enough to keep

the music going. Yet I have doubts in it will ever be enough to keep any form of basshead even the less demanding once to be happy. However T1live can do abit more, it's got even more rich bass decay that given its ability to generate abit more thickness in the sound and a more detail presentation(aka more realistic wind noise from recordings and so on), and in combination with the rather ladyback and relax presentation of treble, its capable of creating quite a realistic and large soundstage together its bass can reach much deeper , sadly speaking afterall its still not anything for any meants to be bass heavy enough for getting close to meet the demand of any bass demanding users

 

 

talking of which i think also got a few personal experience to share beside the SQ of T1live, i will update it to the ACS T1 impression thread in abit. and post the link back here

http://www.head-fi.org/t/477897/acs-t1-custom-review-and-impressions-thread/195#post_8446062

my sharing of some minor reminders for all ACS Live! series owners :) to please clean their Live! series monitors abit more often than other monitors :)

its good quality and it worth taking abit more than others:)

post #29 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by remielsum View Post

 

yea, they've been the best or even say fastest CIEM manufacturer at the time being, it only took them something like a week and abit to get it back to me

i sent it to the local distributor on a friday nite, they sent it back to ACS for me on monday, then its back with me on the next week's thursday, its pretty amazing :D

talking of which my experience with T1Live! being bright is mainly because the bass drives was so lacking in burn-in as it was just rite out of the box, after around 10~20hrs of burn-in its already sounding much better, balance having said that.

 

 

further I've done a minor comparison:

 

 

I owned a pair of re-shelled Shure SE420 (as I’ve got the cable busted after 2.5years), and a pair of ACS T1Live!. In a way being that they sounded very similar to me, just like a bigger more capable and mature brother to a younger weaker one.

 

Let’s start with their trebles, in the previous generation of shure’s had a pretty roll off treble to mostly everyone. In that sense it is somewhat similar to the layback relax treble of t1Live, that shure's 420's like a smaller and weaker brother that its missing out all the details and not sounding that clear & clean being, or say lacking in clarity yet the overall presentation and more towards the lacking behind in the overall treble energy.

Therefore the presentation is very similar, but the improvement of moving over to a T1Live! is a noticeable improvement that clarity and resolution are all on the better side.

However the overall presentation is very similar in the sense being similar in tone.

 

Then going over to the mids, they are very similar in the mids, both are very mid centric the main difference comes from that shure's colour in shure's old rich and think creamy way. Ye that the presentation of T1Live's aint far off being creamy, as it's got abit more clarity. However its also able to present more detail, therefore it sounded more towards an improvement in quality and slightly different in tone instead of something completely different.

 

Going down to bass region, the difference comes for amount of bass or say quantity of bass that’s being able to be produced shure's 420 is really quite lacking in bass, its got a good bass decay that it seems to have used up the bass quantity to generate the exciting environment so it sounded very coherent and sweet, yet lacking in quantity, yet its bass quality isn’t anything surprising either, was more of an average performer that it’s enough to keep

the music going. Yet I have doubts in it will ever be enough to keep any form of basshead even the less demanding once to be happy. However T1live can do abit more, it's got even more rich bass decay that given its ability to generate abit more thickness in the sound and a more detail presentation(aka more realistic wind noise from recordings and so on), and in combination with the rather ladyback and relax presentation of treble, its capable of creating quite a realistic and large soundstage together its bass can reach much deeper , sadly speaking afterall its still not anything for any meants to be bass heavy enough for getting close to meet the demand of any bass demanding users

 

 

talking of which i think also got a few personal experience to share beside the SQ of T1live, i will update it to the ACS T1 impression thread in abit. and post the link back here

 

Thanks for sharing.  What source are you using and how significant is the difference (improvement) between the 420 and T1 Live?

 

I have never seen the instructions to install the cable, is there a link?

post #30 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Thanks for sharing.  What source are you using and how significant is the difference (improvement) between the 420 and T1 Live?

 

I have never seen the instructions to install the cable, is there a link?

the link was also mentioned in "whirlio's" reply couple or replies before this

The care instruction (http://www.acscustom.com/download/Live!-Instructions-V1.pdf)

or just refer to the far RHS of the manual below.

ACS: Live!-Instructions-V1_Page_1.jpg

 

(the rest of the manual)

ACS: Live!-Instructions-V1_Page_2.jpg

 

(all rights of the images, fotos and wordings all belongs to ACS...many thanks)

 

 

 

talking of the improvement from my re-shelled 420 to t1live!, not to mention how the soft silicone gives a much comfortable fit which my ears wont physically be as fatigue.

The improvement is rather significant , I would describe it like climbing up the hills outside of ediburgh, the contrast is like 420's like half way up the hill, then T1Live is almost at the top. That in a way being they present the same picture/city -ediburgh(sound) in very similar mannar cause the climber are looking at the same view (sound).

Yet going up hill, will allow the climber to see more, get a better view and of course feels much better(hear more for better mids and treble detail via clarity and resolution, the bass just like the wind, feels so much better)

I hope this makes sense to you, sorry for my bad description

(the comparison was done under my HM603Slim & A846+OCC Silver LOD + Shadow which sounded quite different)

 

 

talking of which, i still cant believe that my T1Live!'s got its own internal copper cords and circuit board corroded, or say oxdisied :(

- ACS IMG_8555.jpg

(the circle lead thingy on the bass/CI drive)

 

 

then comes a few more fotos on my oxdisied circuit board and the oxdised lovely solid copper cord inter-connectors 

-ACS IMG_8563.jpg

 

-ACS IMG_8552.jpg-ACS IMG_8559.jpg

-ACS IMG_8561.jpg

 

 

 

btw, my t1Live! with cable detached 

ACS -IMG_8557.JPG


Edited by remielsum - 6/9/12 at 11:40pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › ACS T1 Live! Custom IEM Review: Silicone for the Big Stage