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CIEM- Digital manufacturing-hybrid iem  

Poll Results: Best IEM designs.

 
  • 12% (5)
    Dynamic
  • 0% (0)
    Dual dynamic
  • 2% (1)
    Balanced armature
  • 41% (16)
    Multiple Balanced armature
  • 43% (17)
    Hybrid
39 Total Votes  
post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I have been on this forum for some time now and after buying some iems both dynamic and balanced armature and also with 3-way configuration, there was always something missing. Now with new hybrid iems like K3003 and UM Merlin, I always thought they would give best of both worlds. 
After extensively going through the reviews and appreciation threads I wanted to have one of them, but it hurts the pocket a lot. So I was inspired to have my own. I wanted to go custom way because of its benefits.
The drivers were purchased here , so one of the best dynamic driver IE8 and one of best sounding miniature BA TWFK.
I have uploaded some pictures of the design and the process which are self explanatory.
http://www.head-fi.org/gallery/album/view/id/661417/user_id/274175
 

Because I dont have any measuring instruments I had to rely on my ears and had to experiment a lot , so it took nearly a month to fine tune them and three iterations to get them right. Some of the problems were frequency overlapping between the two drivers/coherence issue with the hybrid BA-dynamic system, so had to match them , other problem was balance between the left and right as sound tube length and filter placement affect the sound greatly.

So the crossover is done using both electronic passive components and sound dampers/filters.

Now they are done I cant stop listening and smiling. I have been listening to lot of live albums with flac.

 

Bass- Dynamic driver gives the bass feeling, so they actually rumble, so it adds lot of fun and pleasure to listen.With bass port you can actually tweak the bass.

 

When bass port opening is very small the bass is deep and punchy , is quick with short decay times.
If its opened more sub-bass comes up which also increases decay time.With this setting bass is tight and quick with good impact & with little rumble.
If opened further it adds sub-bass rumble and also a bit mid bass but donot intrude into midrange which keeps it clean.
Fully opening the port gives full-bodied bass rumble, and  more mid- and upper bass, which can also cause slight coherence issue with two different drivers.

 

Midrange is divided into two- low midrange which is warm and lush. higher midrange is detailed with good instrument separation.
The midrange is not recessed in anyway which I have found in some of bass heavy dynamic iem. Depending on bass port setting I find the mid range slightly forward.

 

Highs are well extended and crisp, TWFK is best driver for highs , same one used by the Audio-Technica CK10, Ultimate Ears 700, Fischer Audio DBA-02

 

You seem to have a 3d sound stage or the effect because of layering.

They are easy to drive, but scale quiet well with an amp.

 

Take above impression with pinch of salt.normal_smile%20.gif

With more hybrids poping up in the market , they will become affordable and should be accessible to all . More people can enjoy and appreciate them.

Scans.pngSemi-prep-scans2.pngShell.pngFace plate.pngPICT0030.jpegPICT0033.jpegPICT0027.jpegPICT0028.jpeg


Edited by MuZo2 - 7/2/12 at 9:19am
post #2 of 32
Congrats...

Throw up a pic or two.

Thanks, Jim
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

Added pictures here for quick view.
Please do vote & feel free to leave a comment.

post #4 of 32

there is no such thing as the best design, it all comes down to how skilled the engineering is. you can stuff in there the so-called best drivers in the market but with no decent tuning it may sound even worse than properly tuned ones that use mediocre drivers.

post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranhieu View Post

 you can stuff in there the so-called best drivers in the market but with no decent tuning it may sound even worse than properly tuned ones.

True, I was about to scrap the whole project and had some sleepless nights. But the patience and fine tuning worked in the end.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tranhieu View Post

there is no such thing as the best design, it all comes down to how skilled the engineering is.

Ok lets say professionally designed by same company.

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuZo2 View Post

True, I was about to scrap the whole project and had some sleepless nights. But the patience and fine tuning worked in the end.
 

 

Ok lets say professionally designed by same company.

But how do you define 'best' in this context? Best in which aspect? Say, a dynamic driver can give better upper bass compared to BAs (in most cases) but is it what you want? If you are designing some fun iems then that should be fine, but if it's the reference sound that you are after I don't think that would work.

 

The 334s should be a good example, no fancy stuff inside yet they can rival any hiend customs or universals out there, be it dynamic, BA, or hybrid.

 

It's like asking between open and closed designs which one sounds 'the best'.

 

In terms of tuning I prefer BAs. sure there are way more variables to take into account compared to dynamic but that gives you more freedom when tweaking.


Edited by tranhieu - 7/2/12 at 2:52am
post #7 of 32

Very nice work you've got there MuZo2. Looks very professionally made... anyway best is indeed hard to define as it is itself very much defined by personal preferences? and best itself can mean best for listening pleasure? sound referencing? Guess this is what makes sound a form of art.

 

Just my 2c.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by broww View Post

Very nice work you've got there MuZo2. Looks very professionally made... anyway best is indeed hard to define as it is itself very much defined by personal preferences? and best itself can mean best for listening pleasure? sound referencing? Guess this is what makes sound a form of art.

 

Just my 2c.

Thanks,
But imagine a iem with tuning capabilities, various sound dampers for highs and mids & variable bass port options (Something like hippo VB) for tweaking bass, that would give users lot of control to match personal preferences.That's the cheap way, other way is 3-way active crossover.

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuZo2 View Post

Thanks,
But imagine a iem with tuning capabilities, various sound dampers for highs and mids & variable bass port options (Something like hippo VB) for tweaking bass, that would give users lot of control to match personal preferences.That's the cheap way, other way is 3-way active crossover.

 



That I agree totally..I wonder does the sound from iem with crossover vary greatly against sound from iem using only dampers? Assuming both iem are the same (other than dampers vs crossover) and frequency tuned are close to but not exactly the same as each other (due to stock options for dampers out there).

post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Now things you can achieve with dampers
Acoustic dampers with medium resistance smooth frequency response.
Acoustic dampers with high resistance is used to create acoustic low pass on woofer.
 
So unless drivers are designed to produce just one frequency range which normally is not the case, most are broad brand drivers. You will not be able to achieve much by just using dampers.
 
Check this video Karl Cartwright from Westone explaining crossover.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXjCodzFI9Y
post #11 of 32

Thanks for the link, was informative. Was just wondering since the purpose of cross over and dampers is the same i.e. to tune freq, which is a better choice, or is there a need to use a combination of both. Will human ears be that sensitive as to hear the difference between a combination of both vs a very well designed cross over? And also correct me if I am wrong, these flat frequency response people always talk about is not feasible at different decibel level right? That's something the video did not mention.
 

post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hope these images help in explaining the damper and crossover effect.

Original Frequency response:
Original.png

 

Frequency response with damper , blue curve:
Damper.png

 

Frequency response with crossover, green curve:
crossover.png

Blue curve is from another driver and red is total response.

post #13 of 32

thanks man...really appreciate your help in explaining the difference. Seems like a good crossover + damper is the way to go for flat response...
 

post #14 of 32

I think something like this would make a great product and it would be something i would love to try!

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 

Yes, Sometime when I am listening them, I feel more people should be able to get the same listening experience. Cool thing about it is you can play with the bass port and with different filters on bass port and get lot of variations.

I would recommend people who would like to go for UM IE8x3 reshell. Also I would someday like to try UM Merlin.

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