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Help finding IEMs or headphones under $800. Big soundstage, rich vocals, slightly sparkling highs - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

What kind of source would you recommend then? A clip + rockboxed ? 

How about IEM recommendations 

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 

From what I'm hearing the JH13 pros seem to be what I'm looking for. They are portable, relatively efficient and are well-balanced. I have heard very little negative about the SQ on these. 

Most of my music collection has been ripped to 320 kbps already, so I think I will be okay with the source material. I have heard the Sony X does pair okay with the JH 13. Will consider an amp in the future, there is always time. 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

What kind of source would you recommend then? A clip + rockboxed ? 

How about IEM recommendations 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

From what I'm hearing the JH13 pros seem to be what I'm looking for. They are portable, relatively efficient and are well-balanced. I have heard very little negative about the SQ on these. 

Most of my music collection has been ripped to 320 kbps already, so I think I will be okay with the source material. I have heard the Sony X does pair okay with the JH 13. Will consider an amp in the future, there is always time. 

 

Any DAP or amp with low output impedance will do fine with multi-BAs. You can always add a small and cheap amp like the Fiio E7 (OI = 0.15) to the chain to flatten FR response. The JH13 demos I heard had slightly sibilant and splashy upper mids, so a frequency drop like in that graph I posted earlier might even be beneficial in that case. The JH13 should tick your boxes, except maybe for soundstage, which I don't think is anything special. But if you want a closed phone, there's always some kind of tradeoff between soundstage and isolation, imo.

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

 

I'd be careful about using your X with multi-armature IEMs.

I have an A845 (similar or same s-master amp inside) and here's what it does with multi-armatures:

 

 

(source)

What software and method did you use to test this i'm interested? Are you sure this occurs with the Sony X? I have been using it with the EM3 which has multiple armatures and haven't noticed a sudden drop like this. 

post #20 of 27

^ Well, I gave you a "source" link below the graph. The measurements were made by dfkt, who's a trained audio engineer and knows his stuff.

 

And no, I'm not sure about the X, like I said in an earlier post. But since they both feature the same s-master amp, there's a high chance that they'll behave similarly.

 

Btw, here's a graph of the current Z-series with triple-BA IEMs (FA-3), taken from a German forum. Pretty similar picture:

 

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

^ Well, I gave you a "source" link below the graph. The measurements were made by dfkt, who's a trained audio engineer and knows his stuff.

 

And no, I'm not sure about the X, like I said in an earlier post. But since they both feature the same s-master amp, there's a high chance that they'll behave similarly.

 

Btw, here's a graph of the current Z-series with triple-BA IEMs (FA-3), taken from a German forum. Pretty similar picture:

 

 

 

Any chance the first graph you talked about "in your earlier post" ^ showed the dip due to the increased load on the player (32 ohms)? Not the matter it was an Multiple-armature BA in and of itself? 

I am well aware you gave me a source link, I asked if you knew of the methodology behind the test. Thanks for pointing out the source link was on there though.

Anyways, I found out this is the RightMark test. The issue is, all the test does really show is that either the increase from 16 ohms to 32 caused the change in freq response and/or it was the fact a multiple-armature IEM was used. 

At any rate, I purchased the ES5 monitors, 20 ohm impedance. Far more sensitive than the SE530s, and close to the 16 ohm load in the test. I will try it out and see what I can find out. 

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucrags84 View Post

Anyways, I found out this is the RightMark test. The issue is, all the test does really show is that either the increase from 16 ohms to 32 caused the change in freq response and/or it was the fact a multiple-armature IEM was used. 

At any rate, I purchased the ES5 monitors, 20 ohm impedance. Far more sensitive than the SE530s, and close to the 16 ohm load in the test. I will try it out and see what I can find out. 

 

It's not about IEM impedance per se, but in relation to your DAP's output impedance. As a rule the output impedance should be lower than 1/8th of the headphone impedance, so lower impedance IEMs are actually more critical to drive than higher impedance IEMs.

 

Dynamic IEMs have much more consistent impedance across frequencies than BAs, therefore the 16 vs. 32 ohms graph is a bit misleading, because it compares a dynamic driver (V-Moda Vibe) to a Multi-BA (SE530).

 

Anyway, if you want to read more about this topic from folks that are much more knowledgeable than me, you'll find in-depth explanations here.

 

Note that all of this may not mean anything for your personal listening experience. I was just saying, that if you invest a considerable sum to get one of the best IEMs out there, you might want to make sure that your source is up to the task.

post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 

What would you do to flatten out the DAP reponse? LOD to an amp? 

post #24 of 27

Nothing at the moment, because it's impossible to predict whether your Sony X will actually behave badly with these particular IEMs. But it's good to keep in mind that your DAP may be the culprit, if something sounds wrong.

 

To play it safe, I'd probably meet up with someone who owns a DAP with low output impedance, like an iPhone 4 or a Clip/Fuze, and compare it to your Sony with the same test tracks.

 

Like you, I'm not a fan of adding an amp to the chain, and I would only do so as a last resort. Since the Sony's LOD is inferiour to the HPO (at least my A845's, again not sure about the X), I'd rather plug into the HPO insteady.

 

Anyway, I hope this won't be necessary and wish you the best of luck for your new ES5. smile_phones.gif

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

It looks like the Sony X sounds amazing with the ES5s.  Lot's of micro-detail, tight-controlled bass, spacious soundstage. I was able to fix whatever hump I heard with the EQ and everything sounds good.  


I had my friend's Cowon J3, a Clip + i have, and the X tops them both out in the micro-detail. The setup is non-fatiguing as well. 


Edited by ucrags84 - 9/4/12 at 3:25pm
post #26 of 27

Starkey SA-43. Enough said. Best soundstage and you can customise the sound signature with the unique two switches.

 

When ordered, product should arrive at doorstep within 2 weeks. That is what you call service.

 

Edit: Might be out of your budget though!

post #27 of 27

Check out the Aurisonics AS-2's.

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