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ER4 -What am I missing? - Page 3

post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

I thought |Joker| preferred neutral IEMs like the RE272 (though he stated his preference as analytical).  Unless I'm thinking of ClieOS...  tongue.gif  

You're right but the ER4 has a lower rating than the Westone 4. Maybe personal preference is the wrong word.
Edited by gnarlsagan - 1/2/13 at 2:52pm
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

You're right but the ER4 has a lower rating than the Westone 4. Maybe personal preference is the wrong word.

 

He's rating on a different aspects, not neutrality.  He's not the only one either...  But yes, the decision to use such a way to weigh headphones is personal...  but then again, so is the decision to do it through neutral reproduction.  Remember, the end mission of an audiophile is to enjoy music's reproduction.  How you reach is is variable.  It may not need to be 100% neutral (although a perfectly neutral phone should be able to reach it if done properly).


Edited by tinyman392 - 1/2/13 at 2:54pm
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwall View Post

"Charts are for nerds"

 

No, they just don't lie and aren't affected by the subjectiveness of the listener. Surely that's kind of like saying "get off the whole science thing, the earth is flat". Empirical data provided by charts is kind of what I'm after as I'm slightly sick of everyone just talking about how treble lacks sparkle, mids aren't forward enough, bass lacks punch, I mean, how many words can you come up with to describe such things? Surely, a flat frequency response, is what's desired. A deviation from this is colouring the sound against how the producer wanted it to be. Please, tell me what I'm missing here.. what is the "tactile effect of bass"? Airflow/vibration?

Actually, with IEM charts are derived from perceived response and not related to actually linearity, If you saw a Etymotic response curve sans the subjective weighting EQ it doesn't look anywhere near flat. Measurements in general are to relate what we hear to a standard but that standard was derived from listening. If done for instance in one ear at a time the result could be very different in the bass than what may happen in open air and sound bass shy. It could be correct for the test procedure but not an absolute for measurement when related to what we expect things to sound like. Things like distortion, audible level difference and phase thresholds were done with steady state testing on humans. Problem is they are simple repeatable tests but not all encompassing to what happens in complex environments like music. There is value in testing but when folks use it over whats heard, it's a back-asswords way to assess something. Measurements may be able to tell you something isn't up to snuff in some instances but it rarely tells you what's great without a listen. All that said, I think and etymotic is closer to right than most of the bass monsters that get passed off as natural but I do like a bit more than they offer. HF5 is still a great deal.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/2/13 at 3:08pm
post #34 of 63

Oh and of course most things get mixed for relatively linear systems. It's also what allows you to have it your way if your's isn't.

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Actually, with IEM charts are derived from perceived response and not related to actually linearity, If you saw a Etymotic response curve sans the subjective weighting EQ it doesn't look anywhere near flat. Measurements in general are to relate what we hear to a standard but that standard was derived from listening. If done for instance in one ear at a time the result could be very different in the bass than what may happen in open air and sound bass shy. It could be correct for the test procedure but not an absolute for measurement when related to what we expect things to sound like. Things like distortion, audible level difference and phase thresholds were done with steady state testing on humans. Problem is they are simple repeatable tests but not all encompassing to what happens in complex environments like music. There is value in testing but when folks use it over whats heard, it's a back-asswords way to assess something. Measurements may be able to tell you something isn't up to snuff in some instances but it rarely tells you what's great without a listen. All that said, I think and etymotic is closer to right than most of the bass monsters that get passed off as natural but I do like a bit more than they offer. HF5 is still a great deal.

 

Thanks for stating this.  It is also the reason why I stick to raw graphs for comparison and even reading over a compensated one.  As an IEM does merge towards neutral, I find that the compensation seems accurate.  However, it's when it diverges that the compensation seems to lose accuracy in what I hear.  It's the reason why I questioned the compensation not accounting for sensitivity of human hearing.  EG, 1 dB up @ 1k and 1 dB up at 10k may not sound like 1 dB up in either case to the human ear.  It's not taken into account with compensation (the majority of the time, I see things being over compensated for).

post #36 of 63

Have any of you sat in a studio in the company of a band reheasal or recording?

 

Do you REALLY think it sounds like a ER4S (or P or HF5 for that matter)?

 

To me it's closer to a UM3X or a SE535 type of sound, pointing in particular to the "weight" and "fullness" of sound.

post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Have any of you sat in a studio in the company of a band reheasal or recording?

Do you REALLY think it sounds like a ER4S (or P or HF5 for that matter)?

To me it's closer to a UM3X or a SE535 type of sound, pointing in particular to the "weight" and "fullness" of sound.

Depends on if the instruments are acoustic or amped and how they are equalized if they're amped. Also have you read about the missing 6dB effect?
post #38 of 63

I have a pair of Etymotic ER-4Ps, and also a pair of UE900s.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, the UE900s kick the Ety's ass pretty hard.  But I'm not sure I would classify the bass of either of these as "anemic". I understand that I am probably in the minority here.

 

I think that there's a perceptual disconnect at play here, for the past couple of decades there has been a lot TOO MUCH bass!  (In my opinion).

 

Now, i should admit, I'm pretty old compared to most of the guys here.  I'm 53.

 

But I've been a audiophile since my teens.  And in old school terms, to me the emphasis of high fidelity should be accurate reproduction of the music that was recorded.

 

ACCURATE REPRODUCTION.    

 

That's a concept that is sometimes forgotten.

 

To me, that means that if the guys in the studio couldn't bounce quarters off the speakers because the bass was thumping so much, you shouldn't he able to watch your skull actually vibrate with the beat in the mirror.

 

To be sure, the bass of the Etymotics doesn't extend anywhere near 20 Hz, but then again, there's precious little actual energy in  music down in that range either.

 

I guess the bottom line is, the Ery's don't have the bass extension that some other IEMs have, but I found their bass to be well dampened and quite quick, not at all flabby.

 

OK, rant over, please don't hate me too much, please drive through...

post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

The definitions states that a bump in the x Hz range will cause property Y (in this case, x = 10k, Y = sparkle which isn't defined in the glossary yet IDK why)?  The question is, in relativity to what?  We need an objective definition, not a generalization that may or may not hold true in all aspects.  That is what I'm getting at.  With respect to a flat frequency, the statements all hold true.  Take a look at the graph below.  There is a major bump at the 10k range (from ~6.5k and up; bump is about 6 dB), I'm more than certain you won't get too much "sparkle" with this though as the rest of the frequency spectrum will overrun it... Then the question becomes, how much can it be overrun before the property doesn't hold (The answer to this shouldn't be a single number for all frequencies; rather a function in terms of frequencies...).  

 

It's a sound in a specific frequency just as sibilance, as simple as that. Relative to the other frequencies of the IEM, usually measurements are aligned from 1k, db dips or peaks which are based from this reference point. It's a sound in a specific frequency, it always hold true. Now, the degree of how much sparkle the IEM has and how is perceived is subjective, but that doesn't change the objective rating of the mesurement. It's like finding exact sweetness level of a drink, it's objective, but the perceptions of humans vary because of their objective nature, that doesn't mean the objective rating is all of a sudden losing it's objectivity. That graph you showed portrays an IEM with a pretty big dip in the 10k, sparkle range. There is a bump which helps the dip, but the 10k region is still dipped/subdued despite the bump. Sparkle is always there, but I guess it can be taken over to a point where it's barely audible, pointless though. 

 

 

1000

 

OK, maybe this was a bit of a cheap shot at the definition.  But a lot is left open for discussion with the definition (this is a legal counter-example).  What is a bump specifically?  Is there a bump at the ~16 kHz range?  How can we reform the definition of "sparkle" to not include this example?  This is what I meant when I said the definitions need to be reworked to account for every case.  When the definitions in the glossary were created, they were with respect to a flat response.  Headphones generally aren't always flat.  The definition breaks down with anomalies like the one above.  I've ran into anomalies all the time with multiple IEMs for different descriptors.  Creating an objective definition for audio terms is very difficult, you have to make it broad enough to include all headphones that would fall into it, but not too broad where it lets some in (that shouldn't be).    

 

Well a bump is when the frequency response basically bumps from what came before. But a bump may still be a dip in the general sense, it becomes a peak when it's bumped past the 1k reference point. You can't make terms to generalize a specific sound and expect it to be objective, but specifics sounds in the frequency range are objective, because they are simply sounds which reside in a specific frequency range, such as sparkle, sibilance, honk, etc. 

 

And you state if they are read/used correctly...  Key word is if.  The way they are read is 100% subjective (graph above, by definition, it should have the sparkle property; it can be read that way).  It's your interpretation of the results, you can read it one way, another person as experienced can read it another.  It remains subjective (for that reason).  

 

?. They're basically numbers, you relate two different graphs and you get objective technical differences. Whether you think one has more proper sparkle or whatever, doesn't change the fact that they're objective data 

 

You didn't understand my argument regarding compensation.  My argument is not what sounds flat to the ear, it's how the ear responds as the frequency trends away from what is considered flat.  Is a 2 dB divergence at the 1 k range the same as a 2 dB divergence at the 20 Hz range (or take any frequency, 10 kHz for example)?  Yet, with compensation, they are still treated the same...  It'll take away 2 dB regardless to form the compensated.  It shouldn't be like this.  Actual divergence and perceived divergence hasn't been studied, so it can't be assumed that it is in fact the same.  This is the reason why I only look at raw graphs for data anymore, the compensated ones are highly misleading much of the time IMO.  I truly believe that more research needs to be done before we can have any accurate compensation (there just simply isn't enough taken into account).  To sum this up, I'm saying compensation shouldn't be the same compensation per IEM and not be linear with respect to frequency as none of that has been confirmed yet (but it still is).

 

The diffuse-field Moller/Hammershoi curve has plenty of backed research. There is nothing confusing about the diffuse-field compensation, it's basically raw data with the ear's resonance taken into account, what strays away from flat is based on this, it's just easier for readers to see without having to think of the compensations in your head which will be more confusing. Compensations are inevitable, I think what needs more research are the lower frequencies in terms of extension and decay for that perceived realism. 

 

 

You know what I meant with I said the ER4's neutrality was second to none... This was an ER4 and W4 statement really, why bring the UE 9000 (NOT CLOSE TO NEUTRAL AT ALL.  The UE 9000 has a slight v-shape to my ears...  You actually don't have the graph for the UE 9000 but Tyll does...  Sorry, I had to throw this cheap shot :p) and RE272 into the story?

 

MODDED UE900 [closed pinhole/100ohm adapter]. Non modded UE900 is slightly v-shaped, [NOT UE9000] it was a typo LMAO,  why would I bring up a portable headphone when all the mentioned are IEMs? I would think you would know it's the UE900 even with the typo. Yes RE272 into the story, because RE272 is on par with ER4P in terms of being flat w diffuse-field compensations. 

 

Musicality (being musical) deals with a lot more than just bass extension and depth.  If it was, every bass-focused IEM would get 5 star reviews from me...  It's not the case.  You are overgeneralizing this aspect.  It deals with the entire audio spectrum, not the first 100 or so Hz of it.  Although you are correct (to a point), the bass extension has something to do with it, but it's not the whole story.  It's not the only difference separating musicality from neutrality (there are others that can differ as well).  I don't agree with your standpoint that everyone will find neutral (to the ear with compensation) to be the best (personally, I do find neutral to be the best; the majority of the public does not), but I understand the idea completely (which is why I've stopped attacking it; you rate one way, I rate another, I've accepted that).  

 

It's not about having lots of bass, or being bass focused. It's about that depth and decay, prime examples being the EX1000. EX1000 doesn't actually have much midbass, but it's rumble is well presented, with bottomless depth. This allows a balance in the lower mids because of the small midbass while providing enough bass "power" overall. I think this and avoidance of harsh peaks will lead to a "musical" sound. But as I said I think bass characteristics are the main big aspect no, not the only one. Listerners would prefer a more neutral response, I would look into a diffuse-field curve, but the amount of treble may be desired to be a bit more or les depending on the recordings, but a great IEM will at least folllow the DF curves leading to natural curve to the ear's headphone-related-transfers and will still look flat [UE900: downsloaping diffuse-field///ER4B: Linear diffuse field]. With the bass it's tricky because some headphones/IEMs may be flat but miss that decay and extension and sound less accurate as a result. Very high end stuff such as the Audeze LCD2-v2 follow the criteria of a diffuse-field response [downsloaping in form] and a well extended decaying bass. As a result, this headphone subjectively rated very high in recent studies by Harman Kardon. 

 


Edited by Inks - 1/3/13 at 8:12pm
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Have any of you sat in a studio in the company of a band reheasal or recording?

 

Do you REALLY think it sounds like a ER4S (or P or HF5 for that matter)?

 

To me it's closer to a UM3X or a SE535 type of sound, pointing in particular to the "weight" and "fullness" of sound.

 

 

Often!  And the ER4S are my headphone of choice. What kind of band? What instruments? What recording environment? What are the absorption coefficients and RT'ss in the venue? What recording equipment, amplification, playback? There isn't one default value for these things and the ER4 do an exceptional job of conveying a great many of these things very faithfully with convincing neutrality without adding specific colouration. "True to the Ear" indeed.

 

 

1000


Edited by mark_h - 1/4/13 at 8:26am
post #41 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwall View Post

Are there ever going to be any responses better than "It's just your taste" as in, an explanation by someone who understands the differences and all the factors that make a good earphone? It's single driver - but as far as I can see it does 20hz to 16khz, flat. How do more drivers help?

 

Here is a layman's semi-technical attempt to answer your last question.  With the W4, more drivers "help" in that drivers can cover multiple regions to emphasize those regions (this is hypothetical -- I'm not a audiologist who designs crossover systems):  driver 1 can be tuned to cover 20hz - 250hz, the 2nd driver can cover 20-750hz (notice the overlap in 20-250hz, thus reinforcing the lower bass), driver 3 can cover 750-3000, and driver 4 can cover 3000-20,000.  Of course, this can also muddy up the overall sound some, depending on how you tune and overlap the drivers.

 

With the ER4, one driver covers all regions -- nothing gets mixed up, nothing duplicated or missed.  Also, Etymotic has been making the ER4 (and other drivers) for 25+ years -- they pretty much have it down to a science.

 

Finally, Etymotic's goal is to accurately and faithfully reproduce audio signals.  Not saying anything about Westone, but many companies "tune" drivers to make their sound more "palatable" to consumer listeners.

post #42 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_h View Post

 

 

Often!  And the ER4S are my headphone of choice. What kind of band? What instruments? What recording environment? What are the absorption coefficients and RT'ss in the venue? What recording equipment, amplification, playback? There isn't one default value for these things and the ER4 do an exceptional job of conveying a great many of these things very faithfully with convincing neutrality without adding specific colouration. "True to the Ear" indeed.

 

 

1000

 

 

Can you help me understand?   From Ety website:

 

The open ear diffuse-field response of the KEMAR® manikin modified to compensate for the high frequency boost added to high-quality recordings. This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings. Commercial recordings have a high-frequency boost that compensates for the high frequency roll-off in studio monitor loudspeakers and high-quality stereo loudspeakers and earphones.

 

 

Unless I am reading something wrong, this says the Etymotic is actually taming down the highs 5dB yet Etymotic highs are STILL most revealing and hyper-extended among all universals.  This sounds so ironic.  Many may question this and say the Ety actually BOOSTS the treble reproduction.  Does this mean other companies have choses to tame the treble down even more?  Perhaps Ety should have rather boosted the bass to compensate for complete loss of the tactile effect when going from a loudspeaker to an earphone.  This 25-30 year old engineering mentality slays me.  It's like a stubborn 1980's Chromocolor TV analog engineer trying to compete with 1080 HD products.

 

kmhaynes:  The multi-driver when properly done with a matching crossover, better represents the frequency range.  One of the biggest problems with Ety (being a single BA) is poor transients.  Complex music sounds "meshed" together making it also sound "muddy" but in a lighter way.  This even happens with the more efficient ER4P although an amp does help somewhat.

 

With todays technology with crossovers, when it comes to BA drivers, more drivers will always be better.  That's where Ety is 20 years behind the time.  JH Audio JH13 and JH16 6 and 8 driver BA's aren't about  marketing, they are about great sound.


Edited by Spyro - 1/5/13 at 6:35pm
post #43 of 63

bump.  added comments in above post #42

post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

 

 

Can you help me understand?   From Ety website:

 

The open ear diffuse-field response of the KEMAR® manikin modified to compensate for the high frequency boost added to high-quality recordings. This modification (approximately 5 dB at 10 kHz) is necessary to avoid earphones sounding too bright on commercial recordings. Commercial recordings have a high-frequency boost that compensates for the high frequency roll-off in studio monitor loudspeakers and high-quality stereo loudspeakers and earphones.

 

 

Unless I am reading something wrong, this says the Etymotic is actually taming down the highs 5dB yet Etymotic highs are STILL most revealing and hyper-extended among all universals.  This sounds so ironic.  Many may question this and say the Ety actually BOOSTS the treble reproduction.  Does this mean other companies have choses to tame the treble down even more?  Perhaps Ety should have rather boosted the bass to compensate for complete loss of the tactile effect when going from a loudspeaker to an earphone.  This 25-30 year old engineering mentality slays me.  It's like a stubborn 1980's Chromocolor TV analog engineer trying to compete with 1080 HD products.

 

kmhaynes:  The multi-driver when properly done with a matching crossover, better represents the frequency range.  One of the biggest problems with Ety (being a single BA) is poor transients.  Complex music sounds "meshed" together making it also sound "muddy" but in a lighter way.  This even happens with the more efficient ER4P although an amp does help somewhat.

 

With todays technology with crossovers, when it comes to BA drivers, more drivers will always be better.  That's where Ety is 20 years behind the time.  JH Audio JH13 and JH16 6 and 8 driver BA's aren't about  marketing, they are about great sound.

That's specifically for the ER4P, which is indeed 5db below the diffuse-field flat. Many recordings are indeed too bright, quality varies. Etymotics aren't the most extended, though they're quite close and there are other IEMs which are on par in terms of being revealing in the treble. ER4B is Etymotic's truly flat IEM, but it can sound very bright many times because recordings simply suck nowadays, only (mostly older) quality recordings will sound right on them. Yes there are companies that tame treble even more, SE535 and UM3X simply lack treble and neither really give a realistic bass response either, UM3X's bass is too muddy and SE535's doesn't have that much better of a rumble. Boosting bass isn't the remedy, that will just muddy up lower mids. Increase extension and decay and you've got that feel, like done in the EX1000.

 

LOL..poor transients? ER4, have you seen it's CSD? It's amazing, matter of fact, many multi drivers are the ones with more issues in this area and many dynamics fare even worse. "Today's technology" isn't always better. With IEMs, there is more of marketing and experimentation than actual improvements IME. JHA's latest freqphase "new technology" is mostly gimmick IMO, prime example, corrected phase response isn't a big improvement as they like to put it, many top IEMs have inverted phase, it's no big issue as long as both channels are matched to avoid being out of phase. ER4P/S/B are missing that depth and rumble but the bass punch is there and I personally don't mind it so much when ER4P is coupled with red knowles damper which make it decay a bit more. Orange for ER4B. 


Edited by Inks - 1/5/13 at 9:50pm
post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post
ER4P/S/B are missing that depth and rumble but the bass punch is there and I personally don't mind it so much when ER4P is coupled with red knowles damper which make it decay a bit more. Orange for ER4B. 

 

What is this?  Is it really just 'a bit' or is it significant?  Does it increase extension as well?  Does it have any drawbacks?

 

I've been somewhat inclined to give the ER4P + S adaptor a shot again after all these years... but the only thing holding me back is I have an HF2 and flat out dislike it.  Is a modded ER4P a totally different animal from that?

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