New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ER4 -What am I missing? - Page 4

post #46 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 

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?

 

Knowles makes a number of dampers, or filters, that adjust the sound of the upper-end of the drivers.  They don't increase anything, ever, they are filters and dampers.  However, the end result gives you a perceived increase in bass, although it's not an actual one.  It's similar to the way Phonak uses a mid-range filter to adjust their sound.  So what the filters do is adjust the treble.  Some filters will end up "adding" treble because they filter out less than the ones that come installed on the Etymotics.  Others will filter more to reduce the treble a bit more.  

 

These filters do work on all Etymotic models BTW, not just the ER4.  Etymotic sells green filters, I'm unsure if they are the same knowles filters, or developed in-house.  

post #47 of 63

Inks...I respect your knowledge but agree to disagree in a couple areas.  Can only go by what my ears (good or bad) tell me.

 

I do think the ER4P (at least unamped) struggles a bit with complex music.  I have played around with this quite a bit as it has been a hot button for me and I'm certain I'm not the only one that feels this way.  Contemp jazz. jazz fusion with lots of percussion as well as horns, keys and guitars....it starts meshing together as an all midrange type of sound.

As far as UM3X bass being muddy, let's not forget that with universals our ear anatomy and tip choice can cause quite a variation in sound.  With a comply tip I could almost agree but with the new Westone "Star" tips or my UM56, it's incredibly tight, punchy and fast.  UM3X is a very good IEM.  Among the best tonality and decay of any universal I have heard.


Edited by Spyro - 1/6/13 at 2:01pm
post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Inks...I respect your knowledge but agree to disagree in a couple areas.  Can only go by what my ears (good or bad) tell me.

I do think the ER4P (at least unamped) struggles a bit with complex music.  I have played around with this quite a bit as it has been a hot button for me and I'm certain I'm not the only one that feels this way.  Contemp jazz. jazz fusion with lots of percussion as well as horns, keys and guitars....it starts meshing together as an all midrange type of sound.
As far as UM3X bass being muddy, let's not forget that with universals our ear anatomy and tip choice can cause quite a variation in sound.  With a comply tip I could almost agree but with the new Westone "Star" tips or my UM56, it's incredibly tight, punchy and fast.  UM3X is a very good IEM.  Among the best tonality and decay of any universal I have heard.

It seems the main issue here is rooted in the perception of bass in the ER4. People perceive bass differently which has been proved through experimentation. Some prefer about six more dB than others, but practice can change a person's perspective of what sounds accurate.

Earlier you said Etymotic would be better to raise bass levels to account for tactile feedback felt from the bass of live instruments. I assume you mean bass felt though areas of the body other than the ear. But the bass produced by an iem cannot physically produce tactile bass felt in the chest for example. An iem can only produce heard bass in the ear canal. Increasing the bass in the ear as a substitute for felt bass is a trick that doesn't work on everyone. Hence this disagreement.

One can learn to ditch the need for this illusion by focusing less on bass impact and more on bass detail and its volume relative to the mids and treble. For example the song Angel by Massive Attack has heavy bass emphasis, which imo is preserved by the ER4S very well. The bass is still emphasized in relation to the mids and treble. Other iems simply emphasize it even more.

I think it's similar to the illusion of the spinning ballerina. One sees her spinning in one direction but can choose to see her spinning from the opposite direction through focus alone. In a similar way, one can choose to focus on different aspects of bass presentation to overcome the perceived illusion of tactile bass in iems.

Spinning-Silhouette-Optical-Illusion.gif
Edited by gnarlsagan - 1/6/13 at 5:08pm
post #49 of 63

 

 

Quote:Tinyman

Knowles makes a number of dampers, or filters, that adjust the sound of the upper-end of the drivers.  They don't increase anything, ever, they are filters and dampers.  However, the end result gives you a perceived increase in bass, although it's not an actual one.  It's similar to the way Phonak uses a mid-range filter to adjust their sound.  So what the filters do is adjust the treble.  Some filters will end up "adding" treble because they filter out less than the ones that come installed on the Etymotics.  Others will filter more to reduce the treble a bit more.  

 

These filters do work on all Etymotic models BTW, not just the ER4.  Etymotic sells green filters, I'm unsure if they are the same knowles filters, or developed in-house.  

Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

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?

They do increase bass, a little, as every region past 1k gets decreased a bit, it's the same as going from different Phonak filters, so they do increase and boost regions as frequencies are being tilted. But it just doesn't decrease regions past 1k, it evens them out a little. In addition, decay/bass extension does increase, not shown in FR, though it isn't significant going from green to red dampers but enough, while not decreasing the quality of the highs. Stock Etymotic green filters are the same as knowles filters in acoustic, except they're plastic and fit better on the ER4 series as knowles dampers are a bit hard to place on the ER4s. Easy to place on the HF series though. 

 

Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Inks...I respect your knowledge but agree to disagree in a couple areas.  Can only go by what my ears (good or bad) tell me.

 

I do think the ER4P (at least unamped) struggles a bit with complex music.  I have played around with this quite a bit as it has been a hot button for me and I'm certain I'm not the only one that feels this way.  Contemp jazz. jazz fusion with lots of percussion as well as horns, keys and guitars....it starts meshing together as an all midrange type of sound.

As far as UM3X bass being muddy, let's not forget that with universals our ear anatomy and tip choice can cause quite a variation in sound.  With a comply tip I could almost agree but with the new Westone "Star" tips or my UM56, it's incredibly tight, punchy and fast.  UM3X is a very good IEM.  Among the best tonality and decay of any universal I have heard.

Bass is affected by seal, regardless of the difference in our ear's shape. I wouldn't dare to put a non modded Comply tip on a already muddy IEM. Even with silicone wide bore tips the UM3X is simply muddy, unless those star tips are giving you a looser seal than I, but then you're sacrificing isolation. Heck even the W4 is a bit muddy, though not as bad. The problem with these Westones is that they're just simple boosted bass, all in the midbass regions, not unintrusive, bottomless bass like on the EX1000 or even FXD70. 


Edited by Inks - 1/6/13 at 6:01pm
post #50 of 63

If you listen only to one pair of IEMs and not much else, you can acclimate to some variance, in fact your brain is good at it if not too severe or an obvious spike. Problem is when you listen to a lot of different things, both in ear and out, that balance issues are harder to fathom. I'm of the bit extra is right for my ear but I'm clearly not a bass head. GR07 sounds like it has a bit too much midbass to me and I chose a jh13 over the 16.

post #51 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

Earlier you said Etymotic would be better to raise bass levels to account for tactile feedback felt from the bass of live instruments. I assume you mean bass felt though areas of the body other than the ear. But the bass produced by an iem cannot physically produce tactile bass felt in the chest for example.

 

Not even felt through the body.  I'm just talking about replicating a full sound.  Imagine sitting 2/3 of the way back in a 15ft square sound room.  You have a pair of 6" bookshelf speakers on the wall in front of you.  This would be representative of the Ety.  Or you have a pair of 10" 3-ways on the floor.  Assuming both speaker options are decent speakers, I would much prefer the 10" 3-ways.  It's that simple.

post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyroView Post

 

Not even felt through the body.  I'm just talking about replicating a full sound.  Imagine sitting 2/3 of the way back in a 15ft square sound room.  You have a pair of 6" bookshelf speakers on the wall in front of you.  This would be representative of the Ety.  Or you have a pair of 10" 3-ways on the floor.  Assuming both speaker options are decent speakers, I would much prefer the 10" 3-ways.  It's that simple.

 

Adding bass then? Or just extending bass response? IIRC bookshelf speakers don't extend very well below 60Hz, but the ER4 extends linearly to ~30Hz, and falls 2-3dB at 20Hz. It depends on the FR of the 3-ways in this example for this comparison to be meaningful. What did you think about my other points concerning the missing 6dB effect?

 

Also I'm on the fence about how the single driver ER4S compares to a multi-driver like the W4 for complex music. 

 

Spyro you say the ER4 sounds a bit mashed together in comparison to multi-driver units. Have you ruled out FR as the cause of this effect? An iem with a 10k peak (or other peaks) will make details at those peaks more apparent. 

 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

 

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. 

 

Are poor transients with complex music directly related to CSD? I thought CSD was a straight shot tone from 20Hz to 20kHz, and wouldn't performance under that condition be different from performance during many different frequency sounds playing simultaneously?

 

What Spyro is saying makes some sense in that multi-driver units should be able to produce more accurate detail in their respective frequency ranges, but it's how those drivers interact at overlap frequencies that has me concerned about performance. It may also be that a single driver is capable of covering enough audible frequencies for the (questionably) technical benefit of multi-drivers to not matter. It would be nice to compare an equalized W4 with the ER4S and find out. 


Edited by gnarlsagan - 1/8/13 at 6:11pm
post #53 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post


It seems the main issue here is rooted in the perception of bass in the ER4. People perceive bass differently which has been proved through experimentation. Some prefer about six more dB than others, but practice can change a person's perspective of what sounds accurate.
Earlier you said Etymotic would be better to raise bass levels to account for tactile feedback felt from the bass of live instruments. I assume you mean bass felt though areas of the body other than the ear. But the bass produced by an iem cannot physically produce tactile bass felt in the chest for example. An iem can only produce heard bass in the ear canal. Increasing the bass in the ear as a substitute for felt bass is a trick that doesn't work on everyone. Hence this disagreement.
One can learn to ditch the need for this illusion by focusing less on bass impact and more on bass detail and its volume relative to the mids and treble

 

Well, exactly and I can't really argue with any of that as our subjective tastes will always come into play.  Years back, when I owned SE530, TF10, and ER4P all at th same time....I put away the SE530 and TF10 and listened exclusively to ER4P for 2 weeks.  True, the perceived amount of bass changes when not exposed to bassier IEM's.  And true, I could not argue the ER4P is the most neutral of the three.  But when switching back to either of the other two, accurate and neutral or not, I get a far more immersive adrenaline and emotional effect from the music and I suppose that is the bottom line.

post #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan 

Are poor transients with complex music directly related to CSD? I thought CSD was a straight shot tone from 20Hz to 20kHz, and wouldn't performance under that condition be different from performance during many different frequency sounds playing simultaneously?

 

What Spyro is saying makes some sense in that multi-driver units should be able to produce more accurate detail in their respective frequency ranges, but it's how those drivers interact at overlap frequencies that has me concerned about performance. It may also be that a single driver is capable of covering enough audible frequencies for the (questionably) technical benefit of multi-drivers to not matter. It would be nice to compare an equalized W4 with the ER4S and find out. 

Yes, an IEM that is too slow shown in CSD is going to blend everything more. Yes, naturally higher frequencies are faster and lows are slower, but you can still see the parameters. "Detail" is frequency related, unless one is speaking of imaging which will make details more apparent. The XBA3 does do what Spyro claims, multidrivers do to the ER4 though. It has superior imaging, making details more apparent, layed out better and reaches depths of bass much lower, with a more natural decay. Not only that, but it actually extends higher in the treble to 20k, the ER4 tops at 17k. I will listen to the W4 with resistance to unleash it's potential though, but so far the ER4 is above it IMO. 


Edited by Inks - 1/9/13 at 8:30pm
post #55 of 63

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

 

Well, exactly and I can't really argue with any of that as our subjective tastes will always come into play.  Years back, when I owned SE530, TF10, and ER4P all at th same time....I put away the SE530 and TF10 and listened exclusively to ER4P for 2 weeks.  True, the perceived amount of bass changes when not exposed to bassier IEM's.  And true, I could not argue the ER4P is the most neutral of the three.  But when switching back to either of the other two, accurate and neutral or not, I get a far more immersive adrenaline and emotional effect from the music and I suppose that is the bottom line.

 

I see what you mean. I experience a similar effect sometimes and want more bass depending on the track. Seems there are two ways to approach listening here, and both can be very satisfying. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

Yes, an IEM that is too slow shown in CSD is going to blend everything more. Yes, naturally higher frequencies are faster and lows are slower, but you can still see the parameters. "Detail" is frequency related, unless one is speaking of imaging which will make details more apparent. The XBA3 does do what Spyro claims, multidrivers do to the ER4 though. It has superior imaging, making details more apparent, layed out better and reaches depths of bass much lower, with a more natural decay. Not only that, but it actually extends higher in the treble to 20k, the ER4 tops at 17k. I will listen to the W4 with resistance to unleash it's potential though, but so far the ER4 is above it IMO. 

 

Makes sense. It seems bass decay is more important for perception than extension. Not a ton of music goes below 30Hz iirc, but the decay is what gives it that emphasis and rumble. 

 

What is it that contributes to imaging? Why would the XBA3 image better? Multiple drivers?

 

Also looking forward to your ER4/W4 comparison. 

post #56 of 63
Transient speed wil contribute to imaging. I think the width of the XBA3s soundstage also makes it easier to catch.
post #57 of 63

This looks like it's getting old, but I just thought I'd chime in here to say a few things on bass and quality.

 

Let me start by saying this.  I love the sony ex85lp.  Really.  To this day, I think it is a phenomenal IEM that is way too underrated.  Look at this graph:

 

 

http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/2012/04/sony-mdr-ex85.html

 

Compared to the er4s it is a jet engine of bass.  In reality though, if I listen to a few songs with the ex85lp I find that I completely forget it is bass heavy and the bass just starts to sound good. The overall presentation is warm and details with surprisingly good separation and realism.  However, the thing that started me on my search for the ultimate IEM is the lack of real extension and flat treble up high past 8-10khz.  Point being, you can definitely get used to something and change your perception of a thing.  I listened to them for a few years straight and thought they were the cream of the crop and couldn't be beat.  I still respect what they are, but now I can't even listen to them and not think "oh my god, the bass... stop the bass.....noooo"

 

Well, not really.  In fact I wish the ety has the bass impact of the ex85lp without the quantity.  Maybe that's a dynamic driver thing?  I dunno.

 

Anyhow, I went through about 30-40 IEMs before arriving at the ER4S, which I think is the best so far and most accurate overall.  I've tried everything from $10 sonys to the $600 pfe232.  And to answer your question gnarlsagan, I had the W4R for a while and although it is an excellent IEM, it was very mid bass heavy, which masked the treble it was very capable of producing.  On the whole though, I find the ER4S just as capable with complex music.  If not more so in some regards.

 

Anyway, back to my bass canon ex85lp point.  With the ER4S, I'm always immediately thinking "I wish these had more bass".  And while I really do feel they would benefit from a bit more sub bass, even graph wise, once I listen to a few songs and don't "think about it", sometimes I actually think I hit a small bass boost on my amp or something, because the bass sounds so good.  What is really happening is that I'm forgetting about analyzing the sound and just taking it all in.  When I do this, I find the bass is very flat in relation to the other frequencies, therefore I'm hearing everything, bass included, very clearly.  Granted, it isn't massively punchy or much felt as heard.  However, it sounds great.  I'm sort of torn between the 6db addition myself.

 

I find the er4s is perfect down to about 50hz.  I don't think 6db of low bass does too much to the upper spectrum, but if it encroaches on the mid bass forget it.  Then I start to lose treble details.  It's actually quite amazing how easy this happens.  When I had the W4R I would EQ down the mid bass area, say from 100-500hz roughly and it was amazing how much that made them sound more open and detailed while still having excellent bass, because everything under 100hz was giving the power and punch.  This led me to using more eq and accudio.  After a while I realized they were an awfully expensive IEM if I'm EQing them anyway.  I started EQing other cheaper earphones and I was amazed at how similar they sounded to each other when they were all EQd.  There are sometimes differences in soundstage, etc., but if those things are roughly equal, EQing them would make them practically identical.  I did this with three different "high-end" multi driver IEMs (w4r, se535, pfe232) and in ever case the single driver IEMs I compared sounded just as good.  I don't believe multiple drivers adds anything except possibly the ability to control the frequency curve of the earphone more easily.  However, they never seem to use that to help make the IEM flat.  Also, they end up with crossover issues they have to deal with.

 

Long story long... The bass on the er4s is pretty close to what is considered reference flat.  In fact, the only thing closer in my mind is the pfe112, but that doesn't have as good treble or overall smoothness.  Everything else I've seen is pretty much too boosted.  Some will want the tactile sensation, but unfortunately, adding more bass is doing just that... adding more bass, not feeling.  I know what you spyro about the speaker analogy, and I wish the er4s could mimic the bass of my infinity tower system.  But now that I'm more familiar with my er4s, it doesn't bother me as much.  I think you need to listen to the bass details and try to ignore the bass quantity.  For me, that has helped.  Granted, I do EQ my sub bass up to what is considered reference by most graphing standards.  I find that only improves things more.  You still won't get the same impression as a speaker, but it sounds better.

 

For some people, I think they are willing to sacrifice treble to get bass "compensation" and they think the boosted bass sounds better.  To others, like me, and I'm assuming gnarlsagan, we don't want to ruin that amazing smooth treble that we strive for.  So, the er4s is my main IEM for the time being.  If I ever found one with a flatter sub bass than the er4s while retaining the highs I'd snatch it instantly even at a much higher cost.  Especially if it were more comfortable ;)

 

I'm probably rambling now, and way of point, and I don't even remember what I came here for...  Good night. :-P

post #58 of 63
The thing I don't even see in this thread is sources.daps.dacs. amps and interconnects an cables being taken into consideration as far as effects on frequencies with iem's

Unless we are talking just the iem plugged straight into a ipod or something like that. But imo if you are doing that with the w4 you are completly miissing its capabilities. They are capable of so much more.

You could technically eq any iem into a tsste you prefer but imo eqing iems give them a synthetic stste of being. Personally with my w4r I never bass boost eq or adjust gain. And I find them to phenomenal.

Understand music.headphones and sound are all subjectuve everyone likes something different. Some like the same.
post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post

The thing I don't even see in this thread is sources.daps.dacs. amps and interconnects an cables being taken into consideration as far as effects on frequencies with iem's

Unless we are talking just the iem plugged straight into a ipod or something like that. But imo if you are doing that with the w4 you are completly miissing its capabilities. They are capable of so much more.

You could technically eq any iem into a tsste you prefer but imo eqing iems give them a synthetic stste of being. Personally with my w4r I never bass boost eq or adjust gain. And I find them to phenomenal.

Understand music.headphones and sound are all subjectuve everyone likes something different. Some like the same.

 

I agree.  The w4 doesn't need any more bass at all.  In fact, it doesn't need much.  For me, the mid bass just muddies up the treble a little and makes it a soft IEM.  I've used it straight from an ipod, with my c5 amplifier, with my denon amplifier, apogee duet, etc. etc.  In every case, amplification did make them better, but never a drastic difference.  And it shouldn't.  5-10db of a frequency shouldn't change with reference gear, unless you are dealing with output impedance changes.  But all of my gear is aimed at low impedance output. 2ohm or less, except the apogee duet which is 32ohm, and even that wasn't drastic, but it did definitely clear up the treble more.  But they simply had too much mid bass for me.  Some may love that sound.  They were surprisingly detailed despite the mid bass, but lowering it really revealed the true treble quality.  Add some slight treble adjustments and then it was reference.

 

So you do need to take into account amps, etc.  However, I've never experienced a drastic enough change with any IEM I've tried.  Usually, it's like an added bonus.  "Wow, this sounds clearer and tighter".  It's never been "Wow, this lowered the bass, boosted the 5khz region and tamed the 10khz to make them flat!"  haha.  That's just not realistic.  Unless you're using an amp with eq controls like the arrow or something.  But that again, goes back to what I was talking about witih eq, etc.

 

I highly recommend the w4f if you aren't as critical in the treble as someone that like the er4s type treble.  It's definitely softer and less offending at times on the w4r, but at the cost of complete accuracy...  Those are my thoughts, but the goal is finding a signature you like and enjoying it.  So to each his own. :-)

post #60 of 63

when the er4 is the high mids champion, the w4 is a no man's land in those frequencies.  to me it is some kind of anti-er4.

they both have some technical qualities and charms but signature wise, they're night and day.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: