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Neutral IEM for Classical and Jazz with good soundstage and bass extension

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
At the moment, I am using Ety HF5s with either an iBasso P4 or an O2 (iPod Classic 160GB as the source) as my portable rig. I listen exclusively to classical (orchestral, chamber and opera) and jazz. Whilst I am happy with the speed and resolution of the HF5s, I sometimes find the sense of scale and bass weight lacking for major orchestral works. Having seen SE425s advertised locally for RMB 1,480 (about GBP 148), I am wondering if these might be a solution. Would upgrading to ER4S make more sense? I use the setup in hotel rooms, on aeroplanes, and occasionally in the office (so I always use an amplifier, and am not concerned about cable mocrophony).

Any other suggestions at the GBP 150 mark?
post #2 of 44

ER4s or RE272 maybe... very good for classical imo. I have not tried HF5 so I cannot compare bass-wise with ER4s.


Edited by 7nationarmy - 10/17/12 at 11:52am
post #3 of 44

the only iem (in my possession that is) that truly delivered in "bass heavy" classical music, was the sony xb90ex. these have really extended subbass and no mid-bass hump. that's the reason that stuff like low registers on organs sound authoritative as they should...any other iems just didn't have enough juice to reproduce it... they have really wide soundstage that makes them excellent for orchestra pieces. stuff like piano and strings sound really good, as well as vocals (both female and male). also, jazz is really good with these - I usually don't sleep up until 3-4 am at nights, just because I can't give up listening to some art blakey or dvorak with these iems :)

 

as for er4s, I know that those are even more bass light than the hf5, so that won't bee too good for what you are looking for. 


Edited by nihontoman - 10/17/12 at 10:25am
post #4 of 44

+1.  er4 and bass are 2 different things. it would be like going for the exact opposite of what you asked from the hf5. they are one of my favorite iems for classic, but certainly not because they bring bass.

 

and then again i agree for sony iems. the se425 didn't impress me with bass when i tried it. any sony i ve ever owned did (too much for me usually, but i don't like bass that much to begin with)

it feels weird to recommend bassy iem for a jazz/classic listener....

post #5 of 44

If you find the HF5 lacking in bass, the ER-4S (S especially over the PT) may not be right for you. http://www.head-fi.org/t/598267/review-etymotic-hf5-or-the-er-4s

post #6 of 44

The RockitSounds R--50 might be a suitable candidate, judging from measurements and reviews, but I've never heard it so I wouldn't know for sure.

post #7 of 44

The RE272, Sony EX1000, GR07, GR01 and DBA-02 MKII are balanced sounding IEMs with good bass response and they will improve more with AMPs help.

post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 

First of all, thank you for your advice.

 

Maybe I should be a little more specific, however. I'm most definitely not looking for a "bass heavy" IEM. I can't stand overblown, overpowering bass. I just find that in certain circumstances, the bass of the HF5s, whilst fast, accurate and articulate, is a little lacking in quantity relative to real life. They are excellent for Bach and most Jazz, for instance, but listening to Wagner on the HF5s is like listening via LS3/5As. Voices are portrayed beautifully, but a Wagner Tuba is not done justice. If the ER4S also have this perceived bass roll-off, they are probably not what I am looking for (after all, I already have HF5s regular_smile%20.gif).

 

I already have a pair of GR07s, and find them to be OK, but no more. The bass is quite good, but the treble is grainier and "slower" than that of the HF5s (yes, they have been burned-in....). Also, I can't wear them for more than 10 minutes without at least one of them falling out, and have tremendous difficulty getting a proper seal. I've tried all the stock tips, Complys, Sony Hybrids - it's no use! Also, I find the square housing to be uncomfortable in the ear. I will probably be selling these (offers?).

 

I had thought about the RE-272s (I can also get these here for about GBP 150) - but I had read that they also have a noticeable bass roll-off, and that they may sound too relaxed and "laid-back" for my taste. The DBA-02 had also occurred to me, but they are impossible to obtain in China (and I don't want to order them from GD-Audiobase, as this will take months, and I might be stung for import duty!). I had thought of the Shures had  as I have no problems with fit or seal with the medium Olives (I use them on my HF5s and ER-6is all the time), I presume that only balanced armatures will give me the speed and resolution I am looking for, and I had hoped that the use of separate bass and treble drivers might give a little more power at the frequency extremes. The last thing I want to do is throw the baby out with the bathwater.....

post #9 of 44

Hmmm around GBP 150 mark... I can think only ER4P, i want to recommend GR07 but it seems you didn't like. EX1000 will be a good choice but it's outta your budget

As Zarim said, try DBA02 MKII or GR01

post #10 of 44

i say ex1000 might be the best compromise. maybe se535

post #11 of 44

Aurisonics ASG-1 with EQ ( treble boost )

 

Sony ex1000 

post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 

At the moment, it looks like it's going to be the GR01....

post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post

First of all, thank you for your advice.

 

Maybe I should be a little more specific, however. I'm most definitely not looking for a "bass heavy" IEM. I can't stand overblown, overpowering bass. 

 

 

the funny thing is, while the xb90ex is really bass heavy, technically, it is also really good sounding when playing any sort of classical (I'm using classical very loosely here) or any kind of jazz. I'm a big lover of these two and xb90ex just make me enjoy the music. there is no overwhelming, bloated and muddy bass there. it just goes really deep and from about 80hz to about 20hz it is more pronounced than the rest of the spectrum. this means that there is no mid-bass hump that could bleed into mid range. these definitely aren't the thumpy brain shattering bass iems :) only way it could sound offensive to neutral sound lovers is if the music itself is bass heavy. if not - there is no problem. some members here say that there are better iems for classical and jazz - like the JVC fxd80, but I've never heard them so can't really comment...

post #14 of 44
I preferred the SE425 over the DBA-02 MKII because of its more natural presentation. And it's got a wider soundstage.

My vote goes to the SE425, but the DBA-02 MKII is a great IEM too.
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 

Do you find the SE425 has a rolled-off treble and/or a "dark" signature?

 

I'm tending in the direction of the GR01 because it seems to offer all of the advantages of the DBA-02 without the "hot" treble and with slightly more bass presence, and it is readily available here in China. The SE425 is also still in the running though (advantages are form factor/comfort, use of Shure Olive tips and build quality, plus the promise of a wide soundstage), provided that the treble resolution and presence is sufficient.

 

If it's any help, my favourite cans are the HE-500 and HD600. I don't particularly like the HD650, though.....

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