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AKG K3003i - Page 5

post #61 of 66

Let me simply input my 2 cents worth of opinions here.


It seems like the TS has been changing his mind about which to get.

My reading on head-fi suggest people looks for either headphones or iems, a matter of whether it is portable or not.

I haven't seen much people comparing headphones to iems and deciding to get either.

It's either the portable boat or the home equipment boat.


That said, headphones to me are superior in most ways, especially open ended ones which not just provide

excellent technical sound quality but also more coherency and soundstage.


When you're at the high end of audio equipments, you're already looking at technically superior headphones/iems.

The deciding factor would be the type of sound signature you prefer.


Let's say you want to do recording, TS your UE18 is an excellent choice, since you already have a reference monitor,

why not option for a more "Fun" sounding iem? 

With your affordability, you can look thru not just K3003 and IE800, but also fitear TG334 as well as tralucent 1+2, and 

even the upcoming SE846. It's better to audition everything within your means, than regret after getting the iem you thought was best.


That said, I own the IE800 myself, I do the teabag mod as well as -3db on the 100hz region. It sound pretty good to me compared to

an unEQed and unmodded IE800. I too have listened to both k3003 and ie800, I decided on the IE800 because of the "Fun" signature.

I will have both 1+2 and TG334, as well as SE846 to listen to, I hope ill still be loyal to my IE800 by then.


All im saying is you might want a "fun" signature sounding iem instead since you don't find your UE18 particularly enjoyable.

On a side note, excellent write-up on both iems in your previous posts.

Edited by muscular - 7/21/13 at 11:16pm
post #62 of 66
Thread Starter 

I am also thinking about the new SHURE SE846. I have not auditioned them yet. I don't know if I will try to audition them or not. This is SHURE's best UIEM to date. It is more of a radical departure from their previous SE500 series UIEM than any other product in their portfolio. It is priced the same as the Sennheiser IE-800, but it comes with some key differentiators like the 360 degree rotating and detachable cable connection and the angled nozzle along with the overall shape that conforms to the natural countours of the ear. With what little I've read into the massive thread so far, it does seem to be a more popular choice in the community at this time.


I don't think going for a fun sound is what I'm ultimately after. There's a reason why I chose the AKG K 702 and Etymotic ER-4PT/S. It's accuracy. I was given the Ue-18 PRO because I am a vocalist at a local church and we perform in a choir. For me, accuracy is what I consider to be interesting. As most of my music library consists of 320 Kbps MP3s from Fraunhofer and LAME, I do hear inaccuracies regarding sound quality especially tonal pitch accuracy as it smears the original recording. It's going to be difficult for me to abandon the MP3 codec because it is massively popular. When I do want to do my critical listening evaluations, I have 24 bit 192 kHz FLAC lossless audio albums and tracks.


This is why I need the Meridian Explorer. Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit should become available this October 2013 and it will offer ALSA 1.0.32 drivers which is required for GNU/Linux compatibility with the Meridian Explorer. I also like the fact that it comes with a line output so that I can power small desktop speakers for nearfield monitoring. Right now, I have the HiFiMan HM-101 which is not good quality. In fact, I was thinking about getting the Meridian Explorer this year and holding off on the AKG K3003i until early next year in early February 2014.


What I think needs to be emphasized is that I have not found any UIEM or CIEM that has such an exceptional purity in the mid range like the AKG K3003i or the Etymotic ER-4S. I find that to be the most compelling case especially when it comes to vocalists. When you perform in a church choir like I do every weekend, it becomes important to find a IEM that reproduces your own voice or group's sessions as cleanly as possible. It's the reason why I switch between the UE-18 PRO and ER-4S when I am performing live or listening to a recently recorded track or multiple tracks while mixing at the console or computer. After we make our final cut and save them into multiple codecs and formats, that's it.


I've got to say that the K3003i is superior to the Ue-18 PRO. It's more neutral and accurate. The bass is more tightly controlled and restrained. The mid range purity is unmatched. The only problem is that the top treble region is peaky and it can sound a bit nasal with certain instruments like harps or trumpets or soprano vocalists like myself. To a certain degree, the ER-4S exhibit the same problem, but they roll off at 16 kHz. This is the primary reason why I am focused on them. Right now, the market is robust with plenty of top shelf offerings and it becomes difficult to figure out what to get. The older products like the K3003i get pushed to the back of the bus to make room for the newer products.


Try listening to Charlotte Church especially her Prelude album. It's a good album to test headphones and IEMs. I found that the ER-4S merely does a good job while the K3003i and IE-800 make this album sparkle and the tonal colors are particularly rich and resplendant. It's like comparing 720p to 4k resolution. With the top drawer IEMs and headphones, the music gains extra definition and resolution which makes for a richer and more immersive listening experience. The Ue-18 PRO muddies this up because it was designed for live performances which is different from studio monitors. The extra bass power and depth are important because a live performance can mask lower frequencies especially during intense or complex passages. The K3003i and IE-800 don't transform pre-recorded music into live music, but they do an outstanding job of conveying that illusion.


I'll have to think about my options more. While I do have the money, these are fiendishly expensive UIEMs. In fact, they are one of the more expensive choices currently available. It's clear to me that my portable USB DAC and headphone amplifier is woefully inadequate and I need to rectify that issue ASAP before getting uber expensive UIEMs or CIEMs.

post #63 of 66
The problem now I have ordered them could be amp matching with a desktop amp. They are 15mw max input. I am wanting to get an auralic Taurus II. Will I need to be careful with the volume? I have read the k3003 scale well with good amps.
post #64 of 66
Originally Posted by azureaura View Post

The problem now I have ordered them could be amp matching with a desktop amp. They are 15mw max input. I am wanting to get an auralic Taurus II. Will I need to be careful with the volume? I have read the k3003 scale well with good amps.

Try this.  My K3003 never sounded better.

post #65 of 66

seems like a lot of people have complained about the K3003!  PM me if you'd like to trade these!

post #66 of 66

To Whom It Concerns,

   I'm offering my K3003i in good condition with all accessories, filters, original box, original shipping box, and copy of receipt for sale at $510.  I hate to let it go, but I need cash, so I'm willing to sell it cheaper than I normally would to get it done quick.

  These are my favorite Universal IEM's.  I would never sell them, but I got some customs, so now I'm married to those :P.  


Ping me if interested!

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