great review cooperpwc
i found it almost deja vu like when you mentioned the EQ bass adjustment and how the next day you wondered why you had it on at all. I found exactly the same thing, as in some times i find myself focusing on the bass too much mainly because of all the talk about it here and it plays psychological tricks on me. I adjust it down for that listening session but the next one i feel as if its not right so revert back to a flat EQ.
Earlier I said that I would wait a month to post any further impressions but I cant help talking about these ie800's and you guys here on headfi are the only ones who care or understand :)
So as part of my familarising myself with the ie800's i have actively sought out tracks that have significant use of bass to really put them to the test.
The bass tracks are
Way down deep - Jennifer Warnes
Dusting off the bass - Rob Wasserman
Dance yourself clean - LCD Soundsystem
I know these tracks well and love the bass through them and with the IE800's the bass is so much deeper and richer but still tight and controlled. In these examples the tracks are quite minimalist in instrumentation and the bass plays the lead role so it is easy to measure and notice the difference. (except on Dance yourself clean where it breaks out around the 2 1/2 min mark,)
These tracks are sublime to listen to with a rich luscious sound that just puts a big smile on your face
That brings me to my next test which was with rock
Lonely Boy by the black keys
Stigmata - Ministry
Rage against the machine - killing in the name of
these tracks have a truckload of noise going on and the bass when i focus on it doesnt have the same impact in the sense that it is not as clean and separated. The lonely boy track is aprticularly noticeable fto me. As its a popular song it would be great if any other owners could post what they think of the bass in this song so we could get a better idea of how the ie800's handle rock. I like rock but lean towards the melodic style - I leave the heavy stuff to the masochists :)
And lastly one of my favourite go to tracks for a good time is the golden path by the chemical brothers. With all of my headphones and amps this track is a tricky one as the electronic bass is very punchy and requires good control but also the vocals have slight sibilance. If i play around with the EQ to tone down the sibilance it loses life and if i bump up the lower end to bring out the bass it goes a bit muddy.With the ie800's the sibilance is gone and the bass is fantastic.on a flat EQ. It plays it flawlessly and beats my HD800's on this track.
I know i am probably sounding like a sennheiser fanboy now as i own a few bits of their kit but i bought these ie800's in Thailand on the first day of a 2 week holiday as my ie80s silver galaxy cable broke a connector on the plane. I had 1 day in bangkok before going up to my wifes rural hometown where there is nothing to do and there was no way i was going without music.
The IE800's were the only high end pair of universals they had in stock, it was either them or nothing and i took a risk buying them without a proper long audition. I was nervous about laying down that kind of money without my usual research but 1 week out and its still so far so very good.
I am seriously considering buying the AK100 DAP from the same shop on my way back. I have a suspicion that with the wolfson DAC and the brillaint dynamic range of the ie800's they would make a magic combination.