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Cosmic Ears - new CIEM company with great prices (including Hybrid designs!) - Page 158

post #2356 of 4247
My ice blue shells are finished, they are, spectacular. The BA4 will fit, it will be tight, and the bore size is 1.5mm due to my tiny ear canals. I'm not sure if I need the prefit option, they are modelled to my impressions, so they should fit fine right?
post #2357 of 4247

Here's an image of my shells! Phil has convinced me of using the prefit option, since my ear canals are so unusually small.

post #2358 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Here's an image of my shells! Phil has convinced me of using the prefit option, since my ear canals are so unusually small.

I liked the color and yeah your canals seem really small. How is your process going, so far so good I think?

post #2359 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

I liked the color and yeah your canals seem really small. How is your process going, so far so good I think?

Ah man, Phil is amazing. I literally emailed him yesterday that I didn't want the prefit option and that I was ready to wire my money to him, but he insisted on the prefit option. Because my ear canals are so small, it's uncertain if it will fit properly. 

Other than that, I'm amazed by how fast the shells were made, I thought they were still on holiday but nope. Out of the blue my shells were suddenly finished, and I'm so happy witht the ice blue :3

The 4 drivers should fit, but the shell won't be flush, but I'm fine with that.

 

So yeah, if they sound good, this is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me in my headfi days!

post #2360 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Ah man, Phil is amazing. I literally emailed him yesterday that I didn't want the prefit option and that I was ready to wire my money to him, but he insisted on the prefit option. Because my ear canals are so small, it's uncertain if it will fit properly. 

Other than that, I'm amazed by how fast the shells were made, I thought they were still on holiday but nope. Out of the blue my shells were suddenly finished, and I'm so happy witht the ice blue :3

The 4 drivers should fit, but the shell won't be flush, but I'm fine with that.

 

So yeah, if they sound good, this is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me in my headfi days!

Wow, perfect experience, glad to hear that wink.gif

post #2361 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

Wow, perfect experience, glad to hear that wink.gif

Well, I haven't had them in my ears yet, maybe it will hurt like hell :p I doubt it though :D

post #2362 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Well, I haven't had them in my ears yet, maybe it will hurt like hell :p I doubt it though :D

Your ear canal is really small mate, I just compared it to mine, it really looks small. Phil shall find a way to build it, don't worry happy_face1.gif

post #2363 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Well, I haven't had them in my ears yet, maybe it will hurt like hell :p I doubt it though :D


Even with my fit issues there was no pain, it'll either fit or won't.  In your case I assume it will :)

post #2364 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post


Even with my fit issues there was no pain, it'll either fit or won't.  In your case I assume it will :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

Your ear canal is really small mate, I just compared it to mine, it really looks small. Phil shall find a way to build it, don't worry happy_face1.gif

The people at cosmic ears actually had to use the 1.5mm diameter bores, instead of the 2mm. According to Phil this will affect the sound, but not necessarily in a bad way. 

I have learned so much about my ears during this process! I will truly have a one of a kind CIEM with my weird ears :D

post #2365 of 4247

Out of curiosity - those of you who recently received your Cosmic Ears - when did you place your order (or alternatively how long did it take for the shop become enabled for you)? I wanted to wait, but it's been months and I'm getting a bit impatient.

post #2366 of 4247
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberDuk View Post

Out of curiosity - those of you who recently received your Cosmic Ears - when did you place your order (or alternatively how long did it take for the shop become enabled for you)? I wanted to wait, but it's been months and I'm getting a bit impatient.

 

It depends, I'd advise you to contact CE by email, I'm sure they will inform you

post #2367 of 4247
Cosmic Ears Hybrid UE TF10 reshell with added dynamic driver
( Normal straight TF10 re-shell 100GBP )
 
I recently received my HY-TF10 from Phil at Cosmic and have now finished burning it in ( I'm only slightly sceptical about dynamic drivers 'burning in', unlike cable burn in which is pure myth IMO ) and have spent a couple of weeks listening to a whole bunch of my favourite tunes.
 
Please excuse the lack of pic's, I moved house and seem to have lost my camera :-(
The mobile phone shots I attempted were abysmal, so here's the pic from Cosmic's Facebook Page:

*

 

 
Before I summarise my reaction to these CIEM, some caveats/excuses:
 
1. My ears... >tin, >cloth, <<gold

 
2. This conversion is still at the experimental stage and although re-shelling of the TF10 is now an official option Cosmic doesn't currently offer a hybridisation of the TF10, ( I suspect that once Phil is happy with HY-TF proto's he might offer this type of adaption as an official option, but at the moment these are definitely still a work in progress ).

 
3. I paid for these CIEMS, but due to the experimental nature of them, I got a special price that wasn't much more than the cost of a normal re-shell.
I will however endeavour to offer an opinion uncoloured by this generosity ( easy in this case as I'm largely delighted ).

 
4. I've had my TF's for a few years, but I've never been totally sold on the sound sig' ( I actually think I preferred the UE Super-Fi 5 pro that I had, even though the TF10 is clearly superior in a lot of ways ).
The V shaped response has always left me feeling that the TF10 'could try harder'.
Don't get me wrong, I like the TF10, and kept it despite the fact that I could never get a consistently comfortable fit/insertion even though I tried every possible approach to wearing them, short of rawl-plugs or a Hilti gun.
 
I like my mids clearly audible, perhaps even slightly prominent, not a strength the TF10 possesses.

 
5. Aural memory is notoriously unreliable, and I have no other TF10's to provide a direct A/B comparison, but I feel I have a well formed recollection of the original sound sig' as I've had them for several years.... add salt to taste though.

 
 
So with that out of the way, what did Phil do with my TF10's?
 
The Ultimate Ears TF10 is a venerable, highly thought of (in it's day) triple balanced armature, universal in ear monitor.
Phil took mine apart and simply (!) added an unvented dynamic driver, and re-housed the internals in a custom shell.
The original arrangement of drivers attached to a tiny flexible printed circuit board hosting the crossover hasn't been changed, just added to.
the TF10 is a dual bore design, and Phil has replicated these two bores in the canal portion of the shell with the addition of a third bore for the added dynamic driver.
 
This arrangement of balanced armatures harnessed to an unvented dynamic driver is similar to the arrangement used by Cosmic's current HY3 ( twin B/A + 1 Dynamic ) and probably the forthcoming HY5 ( 4 B-A+1 Dynamic per ear? )
 
As others have said before Phil is a great guy to work with and although it has no bearing on the sound he really put a lot of effort into the cosmetics of these. In this instance he surprised me by making the faceplates of these units to a design which I had suggested to him some time ago ( leaf skeletons cast within the resin ) and also went to the trouble of experimenting with TWO custom colours which I requested!
Who else would go this far?
Although cosmetics comes second to sound for me I LOVE these faceplates.
 

Everything about these are experimental and a bit of a gamble, but I am delighted to be able to participate in this type of development, and Phil deserves HUGE props for his willingness to give this kind of thing a go.

 
As far as I know this is only the second attempt Phil has made at a HY-TF10, the other was made for forum member phlashbios and I believe he felt it was overpoweringly bassy ( different dynamic driver to mine ) and swamped some of the other frequencies.
phlashbios had Phil remove his dynamic driver, and settled on a straight re-shell which I think he's happy with.
I'm adding a pic here just because Plashbios's shells are BLOODY AMAZING and deserve another look:

*

 

And project86's BA4's:

*

 


 

 
I sent my TF10 to Phil some time ago and suggested that he use them in some of his own shells to help the tuning process.
I'm uncertain whether or not he took that opportunity, but he has told me that he used a different dynamic driver this time round.
I asked if I could have recessed sockets, but was given normal ones.
I'm almost certain that rather than Phil simply forgetting I wanted recessed sockets, the large amount of hardware requiring so much room in my medium sized ears ( full shell btw ) precluded the use of a hidden socket.
It really looks pretty crowded in the shells as is, so I can live without recessed.
 
So how do they sound?
 
The intention was to add some sub-bass extension to the TF10, as although the original sound sig goes pretty deep and has a nice tight bass response which I like, I'd prefer something which would do a little better with genre's like dub-step and other EDM which exploits extreme bass ( pipe organ and other bassy acoustic stuff too ).
I have wildly eclectic music tastes that cover almost everything, but with only minimal, or zero, interest in classical/opera/J+K pop
 
 
I'm delighted with the results here, as the addition of the dynamic driver doesn't seem to swamp, or bleed into the other frequencies like phlashbios's conversion did.
In fact, I'd hardly know any change had been made until really deep bass kicks in in the recording.
Bass seems deeper than before, but not by a great degree.
Thankfully bass remains fairly tight, with the grip that I favour in evidence, it may seem very slightly 'slower' than the original TF, but this is very minimal, so hard to say.
It's is not truly Stygian, or overly prominent so still probably wouldn't completely satisfy a truly devout bass fundamentalist.
But for me, the low freq's are very satisfying, with both extension and 'rumble' slightly improved from the already decent stock sound.


Please note that although I love bass and if pushed would probably describe it as the most important part of the sound spectrum for me I don't consider myself an outright basshead, as I like a fairly balanced sig' with slight mid emphasis, and slightly greater bass emphasis.
The highs still have to be clear and sibilance free to keep me happy though.
 
The traditional V shaped sound sig is still there, for good or ill depending on your point of view, and the highs still have the clarity and sparkle associated with the TF10.
For some reason the slight shortcomings of the TF10 ( for me, mainly that recessed mid band ) don't bother me as much as they did before, whether this is a result of the increased comfort allowing me to relax more while listening, or an actual improvement in the physical layout of the drivers in my ear, or even the reinforcement of the bass freq's  is impossible to say, gains are minimal, but I think they're perceptible.
There is however some 'hardness' in the upper mids/lower treble in the original TF10 sound which makes some tracks difficult to listen to due to the 'shouty' nature of the sig', this hasn't been cured by the re-shell, or the addition of the dynamic driver, but nor has it been excacerbated.
I wish I had a spare pair of un-modded TF10's to allow me to quantify the differences by direct A/B comparison.
In all, I'd say that the original sound sig' is mostly preserved with only slight gains at the low end.
 
Sources:
Mainly my Dacmagic into Vincent hybrid headphone amp for home listening ( from Musical Fidelity X-Ray CD player or PC ), and either my Cowon D2, or Motorola Defy for mobile use.
No vinyl source here sadly.
It was a bit of a surprise that the HY-TF10 worked really quite well with the Moto Defy, as I'd kind of assumed that the revealing nature of the TF10 would expose the shortcomings of the phone in an unbearable way, but it turns out that I can even listen to Spotify on the move without gritting my teeth, hell I even really enjoy it!
 
My Sandisk Fuze wasn't at it's best through these though, it sounded slightly distorted in the upper third of the spectrum.
I confess that I don't share the enthusiasm for the Fuze that I've read elsewhere on Head-Fi and other places, I always feel that there's some sort of distorted undercurrent happening on the edge of my perception which distracts from the music ( upper freq's ).
This seems to be worse with some headphones than others, and for me the TF10 was always one to avoid with this player, that hasn't changed with the HY-TF10, I still don't like it much, but this is due to the player rather than the 'phones ( I bought my Fuze 2nd hand, so perhaps it's borked? )
 
Both my home rig, and my D2 work really well with the HY-TF10 though, no difficulties with gain on the Vincent KHV 111 ( really designed for full size cans ), and no running out of steam or volume on the Cowon D2.
 
Soundstage:
Seems unchanged from stock, but bear in mind that 'aural memory' caveat, and the fact that I'm not particularly bothered by soundstage performance unless it's terrible.
 
 
Suitable types of music:
I'd say that the HY-TF10 satisfies me with all types of music, but is probably served best by the same types of music that the un-modded TF excels with.
Rock, Dubstep and other EDM genre's are what I find myself returning to again and again, and the bass that I crave is there when it's supposed to be, without shouldering it's way to the front of the stage when it's not welcome, in fact the bass-head in me wouldn't be upset with a fraction more presence in the lower third of the spectrum, but this could easily be accomplished with a bit of minimal E-Qing.
Perhaps building more bass into the HY-TF10 would swamp higher stuff as phlashbios reprted though.
I prefer not to E-Q myself where possible, but I think that if you're a really rabid bass junkie who's TF's just aren't cutting it, the HY-TF10 with some moderate E-Q would serve well.
I've yet to try any E-Q myself though, so add another pinch of salt to that comment!
I do plan to try some of the Cowon D2's E-Q option sometime though, maybe I'll post my reaction.
 
Despite the recessed mids of the TF-10 female vocals and the like are well served in most cases, and nice and clear, so many folk tracks and singer/songwriter type material are engaging and satisfying too.
Acoustic guitar and the like are as sweet as ever, and no more, or less dependant on the original recording quality than before the re-shell.
 
 
 
And how do they fit?
Mine fit very well, and the slight sonic benefits mentioned above may even be partially attributable to the improved fit provided by the custom shell, it's impossible to say.
Isolation is excellent.
 
In summary, I'd say that Phil's on to something good here, and maybe if there's enough interest from people like me who are willing to gamble some cash on these prototypes he'll continue exploring this idea?
These will definitely keep me happy during the wait for the HY5 or BA6.
 
P.S.

I'd love to hear more impressions of the BA4 that project86 likes so much, anyone else got/getting one?

post #2368 of 4247

Last time I checked I was supposed to get my BA4 at the end of July but I have no idea when exactly. I don't like bothering him about it anymore. I use the HY2 daily though.

post #2369 of 4247
I look forward to hearing what you think of you BA4's when you get them.
I'm going to take my time deciding which model to get next, but it'll be something bass/mid centric.

I've been trying some online tone sweeps and the YH-TF10 seems to make sounds audible right down to 20 Hz, maybe even 18 depending on which generator I use.
The you-tube generators seem pretty useless though, some seem to suggest that sound is audible down to 4-5 Hz!, which can't be right at all.
post #2370 of 4247

Thanks to Q Mass for his review/comments on his reshelled TF10's. That sounds like it's a positive experience and I do love the fact that Phil even entertains these experiments with his customers. It's a time consuming thing for him to engage in, with no immediate revenue benefits, and I think it is to be applauded. Long may it continue and I hope also that Q Mass has many hours of happy listening cool.gif

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