And the DBA-02 is supposed to beat all 3, but I haven't tried it so I don't really know. I'll agree that the RE-0's strong point isn't to be the best analytical IEM, but the best for its price. It's almost always compared to models a lot more expensive. And yes, the build quality is a huge issue that should really be addressed.
I owned DBA-02 as well and while it is good, it is lagging behind PFE or Ety HF series in sound quality in my opinion. The main problem with DBA-02 in my view is its compressed dynamic range. However, I also found DBA-02 a bit bloated in the low end compared to the Etys and even PFE. Detail on DBA-02 is also not exactly great, although the compressed dynamics can make them seem more detailed than they really are. In reality, PFE resolves more, and HF resolve even more IMO. In bass definition ER4 series > HF series >> PFE > DBA-02 in order from best to worst IMO. In dynamic range from best to worst: PFE > HF >> DBA-02. In detail resolution from most resolving to least: HF > PFE > DBA-02. Just my 2 cents of course and its being a while since I heard DBA-02.
BTW, I also prefer RE0 to DBA-02 for analytical listening and overall I really can't think of much that DBA-02 does better, except for soundstage. I think RE0 has tighter bass, better highs, slightly better dynamics (acceptable, while DBA-02 was just too compressed for me), and a smoother, more natural sound overall.
Edited by Pianist - 5/11/12 at 7:31pm