They look okay to me. Not as pretty as some, but certainly decent. If you were going to go for pricey and butt-ugly IEMs surely the UMX series, original AS-1(and ASG-1) and the entire ACS range in clear deserve a mention?
I have a question. Is there really such a thing as "too much detail"?
I've seen some reviews that claim an earphone/headphone is "too detailed" to enjoy. The way I see it, wouldn't that just be an excess of treble emphasis that gives off that impression? I've heard phones like the TG334 and FI-BA-SS that offer up tons of detail without being fatiguing.
So, is there such a thing, in your opinion?
Which is what I think the TG334 is...an example of transparency and detail, without having to resort to boosted treble. Same goes for the FAD Piano Forte line. All the detail is there, but these aren't bright phones by any stretch. That's why I struggle to understand what they mean by too much detail.
(Warning: controversial pov ahead ;-) Here's my 2c, from a holistic listener and avid concert-goer, who's getting a bit lazy lately and wants to relive his favorite (mostly classical, but also jazz) concerts at home. Note: many classical albums are live recordings, so I'm not talking about trying to surrogate a live concert experience with a studio recording. So, here's the catch: for me, to get a reasonably realistic feel with IEMs, the best achievable illusion of sitting in an audience, things must not sound too close, separated and detailed. Here's an older post from the EX1000 thread, in which I've tried to explain my take on listening to Anaxilus and Inks:
I wonder whether I'd qualify for this discussion, since my approach to listening seems to be so different to Inks' and yours. Apart from my review work or occasional A/B requests, I never ever listen analytically and focus on detail, but rather indulge in the experience as a whole. I doing so, my standard is realism/credibility of sound and presentation, as compared to live performances, which I have pretty good experience with (as a listener, not player).
Therefore it doesn't make much sense, from my rather holistic point of view, to talk about neutrality and disregard presentation. For example, the UERM may stay a bit more neutral in the mids and the EX1000 may exhibit a slight dip, but the UERM's vocals sound actually a bit too close for a realistic spatial presentation. You don't get that sense of closeness in a real audience, unless you're perhaps listening to an acoustic concert in a very intimate venue.
Same goes for detail, you simply don't get that kind of meticulous separation in any venue I know of. The Vienna Golden Hall is world-famous for its acoustics and I can confirm that it's an outstanding experience to attend a classical concert there, but the instruments still blend noticably more together than on highly analytical IEMs. So, if the EX1000 might be hiding some minute detail as compared to the ER4S (which I haven't heard), that might actually be a good thing in my book, as it probably makes them sound more realistic and believable.
Last not least, regarding bass, again this hardly qualifies as a third opinion in the spirit of your discussion, since I usually don't dissociate impact from texture. Instruments like cello or double bass sound more credible on the EX1000 to my ear, because they're slightly better textured. So, even if the UERM may be closer to neutral from a quantitative point of view, imo the EX1000's bass sounds more realistic overall.
Of course I'm not kidding myself into thinking that I'm a serious audiophile. For that, I'd rather need to lust for something like this.
X2, Slowdive and Ride, in my case.
when explained like that, it makes more sense.
To get the most out of that HDCD, you have to have one of these: http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_anjou_sc.htm
That's why they call you the magic man
Frequency response peaks... I should try a phone sometime with one/some of those :p
Watching HBO right now... GREAT documentary airing right now:
Holy.... this is just... I mean, you kind of have an idea with what goes on (especially if you are catholic), but... daaaaaaayyuuummm!!
The difference here is that it's an update. It was quite attractive in its original form, and now it looks decidedly worse despite the improvements to durability. Those other examples you listed were ugly from the get-go.
Personally I'm never buying another Aurisonics product again given how terrible the original ASG-1 was.