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[REVIEW] XBA-3 VS XBA-30 VS XBA-40 - Page 8

post #106 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post

You need less then 1Ohm for XBA-4/40.

 

That's not quite how it works. The less than X ohm rule is to get the optimal 8:1 damping factor (and it's never really been established if damping factor is even important for the tiny mechanical elements in a balanced armatures) but more to the point the XBA series has an impedance swing such that the higher the output impedance, the more treble there is in the mix. That is why some people report being pretty happy with something around 3ohms impedance (including me), as it makes the XBA-40 a bit less dark. A low impedance is not something that the XBA 'needs' - it's a preference thing.

post #107 of 280
Thread Starter 

So after hearing about the new E12, I've decided to take a dive and ordered one today! It's the V2 E12 with the 20hz to 50hz bass boost. Once I have the E12, I'll be doing an a/b/c comparison between the E11, E12, and C&C BH when paired with the 40s,


Edited by canikickit1 - 3/31/13 at 1:39am
post #108 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

That's not quite how it works. The less than X ohm .........

 

I see, so with XBA-4/40 you need to try different sources  and see which one suits you most.

In other news, my XBA-30 was shipped finally today from Amazon.jp. Can't wait ....

biggrin.gif

post #109 of 280

Think I could settle with Jays silicone tips on the XBA-40. Also after pairing/testing for a while the 40 as suspected pair best with my S639. Quite good unamped where the signature seems true to the intent. Treble is nicely there to balance off the darkness. They sound like Sony tuning very close to the signature of my CD666, a circa 1989 can that I picked up NOS a few months ago. The old CD666 have that analog sound while the XBA-40 try to bring that sound as well and certainly disguise the traditional armature sound. 

 

When amped through the S639 LO with the FiiO connector and my ECCI ST6 MKII, they revert back to darker and a bit too smoothed over. Adding the Ety S-adapter solves it but pushes them to the brighter thinner camp. Analogous, if you will, to an Heir 3A.i sig without the amp and the 4A.i  with it and the adapter. Certainly versatile to have two different enough signatures with competent performance.

 

Overall, I think the XBA-40 are better behaved then the SM3 v1 was as far as pairing. The Earsonic would get thicker and congested through the midbass more than the Sony which losses treble but hold the low end more properly. The reach in bass extension is the best I've heard armature-wise and enough to satisfy me which is good.

 

It sounds like they are improved over the XBA-4 but now that I've experienced the 40 myself, seems like they are still going to be a mixed bag for some user just less than before. Good luck getting them to sound the way you want wink_face.gif.

post #110 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by canikickit1 View Post

So after hearing about the new E12, I've decided to take a dive and ordered one today! It's the V2 E12 with the 20hz to 50hz bass boost. Once I have the E12, I'll be doing an a/b/c comparison between the E11, E12, and C&C BH when paired with the 40s,


wasn't the v2 the one with the 70hz hump?  Or did you mean you got the v1?  Because if so I would like to know where you got it!

 

Also, looking forward to your reviews!

post #111 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlenbo View Post

With what did you pair the xba40s with? I am wondering what amp would be best with the xba40s. There has to be an amp that can provide the least amount of darkness to the IEM, with the spacious quality intact and the bass impact as well. I want this over the fxz100s as the bass is muddy and not very to my likin gat times, but the impact of the fxz100s is to die for in my opinion, as well as the quality that gives the impact a prominent presence in addition to the mids and highs. I believe the fxz100s are a bit v/u shaped, so the xba40s won't be much different other than the highs, which would be pretty disheartening fo rme if htey are not as bright as some iems.

 

Edit: When you mentioned they are not as sharp as some ba phones, does this mean ones in the same or similar price bracket as the xba 40s? or the bit pricey iems like the westones? I also like to hear sharp notes but that is what I have the ckn70s for, if you do not mind the silibance/tinny mids during open box. The fxzs provide a similar smooth signature, too smooth like the ck10s, but probably more so.


They do vary amongst my sources unamped. Amping them with my ST6 MKII using my Sony S639 LO normally cleans up most every phone but the XBA-40 go in the other direction towards dark. Introducing my ETY P to S adapter makes them do a 180 and become thinner sharper and brighter.

 

I think the XBA-40 overall is nearly the same sharpness of note as the CKN70. Certain pairings make the treble of the XBA sharper and brighter than the 70. They are not as sharp as many of TWFK phones. Problem I have is that it is still an armature sub-woofer so it trades on that sharpness and speed for decay and amount/punch. The CKN70 bass has more slam and a bit bass more speed and they have near the same tightness, sharpness, and extension. At it's thinnest, the XBA-40 bass has the speed of CKN70 and becomes a bit tighter and sharper in the notes but becomes less in amount.

 

I haven't heard the FXZ's but I don't see the XBA-40 coming near that impact. I am happy with the 40 for bass extension and amount and punch for an armature based phone. SM3 lacked in extension; the CK10 lacked in amount and a bit in punch, TF10 lacks a bit in quality and extension but amount is pretty close etc. etc. not that I have heard them all of course. Still not a dynamic sub-woofer though. From what I have heard, the larger Knowles armature drivers used in quite a few applications move more air than the little Sony drivers which filter out highs and slow the lows freqs a bit for a bigger note. I might say I prefer the former since they can do tighter bass with punch a  better. The bigger the Sony bass, the looser it seems to get. If Sony gets on the hybrid bandwagon and stacked three like in the XBA3/30 and put one of their sideways dynamic drivers next to it in a XBA-40 size shell it could be an epic phone.

 

Not impossible but a challenge to get the right combo and get the impact near what you want along with keeping the clarity. Need a versatile rig as far as EQ, gain, hardware bass boost etc. to account for them going lean which give you the clarity but not the impact or them darkening up and giving more oomph but losing some highs and the qualities in the bass that losing those highs tends to hurt.    

post #112 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by canikickit1 View Post

So after hearing about the new E12, I've decided to take a dive and ordered one today! It's the V2 E12 with the 20hz to 50hz bass boost. Once I have the E12, I'll be doing an a/b/c comparison between the E11, E12, and C&C BH when paired with the 40s,

 

No no no! You were supposed to send me your 40's so that I could do the a/b/c'ing with those amps!

 

Seriously though, that's cool - I'm really looking forward to your impressions!

post #113 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post


They do vary amongst my sources unamped. Amping them with my ST6 MKII using my Sony S639 LO normally cleans up most every phone but the XBA-40 go in the other direction towards dark. Introducing my ETY P to S adapter makes them do a 180 and become thinner sharper and brighter.

 

I think the XBA-40 overall is nearly the same sharpness of note as the CKN70. Certain pairings make the treble of the XBA sharper and brighter than the 70. They are not as sharp as many of TWFK phones. Problem I have is that it is still an armature sub-woofer so it trades on that sharpness and speed for decay and amount/punch. The CKN70 bass has more slam and a bit bass more speed and they have near the same tightness, sharpness, and extension. At it's thinnest, the XBA-40 bass has the speed of CKN70 and becomes a bit tighter and sharper in the notes but becomes less in amount.

 

I haven't heard the FXZ's but I don't see the XBA-40 coming near that impact. I am happy with the 40 for bass extension and amount and punch for an armature based phone. SM3 lacked in extension; the CK10 lacked in amount and a bit in punch, TF10 lacks a bit in quality and extension but amount is pretty close etc. etc. not that I have heard them all of course. Still not a dynamic sub-woofer though. From what I have heard, the larger Knowles armature drivers used in quite a few applications move more air than the little Sony drivers which filter out highs and slow the lows freqs a bit for a bigger note. I might say I prefer the former since they can do tighter bass with punch a  better. The bigger the Sony bass, the looser it seems to get. If Sony gets on the hybrid bandwagon and stacked three like in the XBA3/30 and put one of their sideways dynamic drivers next to it in a XBA-40 size shell it could be an epic phone.

 

Not impossible but a challenge to get the right combo and get the impact near what you want along with keeping the clarity. Need a versatile rig as far as EQ, gain, hardware bass boost etc. to account for them going lean which give you the clarity but not the impact or them darkening up and giving more oomph but losing some highs and the qualities in the bass that losing those highs tends to hurt.    

Extremely insightful, thank you. I sure hope I do not get disappointed listening to the xba 40s. Everyone enjoyed the xba-3s, currawong, dsnuts, many others enjoyed the SQ and most others thought that they did not do good for rock or actual recordings. Hopefully this xba refresh will fix those issues. Looks like I will have to rely on EQ and study an excessive amount of it too, thanks jant.

 

Btw, will you end up keeping or selling your xba-40s?

post #114 of 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlenbo View Post

Extremely insightful, thank you. I sure hope I do not get disappointed listening to the xba 40s. Everyone enjoyed the xba-3s, currawong, dsnuts, many others enjoyed the SQ and most others thought that they did not do good for rock or actual recordings. Hopefully this xba refresh will fix those issues. Looks like I will have to rely on EQ and study an excessive amount of it too, thanks jant.

 

Btw, will you end up keeping or selling your xba-40s?

 

Someone offered me a trade so it seems I'll use them to try something a bit different. I really don't have to miss them since my CD-666 is quite near the same sound in headphone form. Just a bit slow in pacing and quite hard to get them to have that tight hard snap since they filter out freqs to make the sub-woofer armature. Don't think they have perfected it yet to where it is better than having a crossover based set up.

 

A good phone though and right near other top tiers in many respects. I don't think they are a lot better than the XBA-4 like a few claim but a bit better. To take a familiar review(Joker's), I might rate them up from the XBA-4's 9.0 to a 9.2 due to better mids and cohesiveness. I also enjoyed the SQ of the 40 but it is just not quite what I want.

post #115 of 280

DO NOT! Spend extra money on the XBA30, it's basically the same thing as XBA3, if anything latter be better. It will be shameful to do so considering the circumstances. 

 

Let me break it down.

 

The XBA30 has two differences,

 

1. The cable is more efficient, thus lower impedance, by a very slight margin. 

2. It's damping material on the nozzle is thicker

 

1 is insignificant, the improvement of the cable is 0.30 ohms, not even 1..., if anything people find the XBA3 to sound best with a bit of impedance added. 

2 Is the reason why the XBA30 has less of a metallic tinge and a tiny bit more bass decay. That metallic tinge is exactly because of it's 4k spike, Sony just used a thicker material on the nozzle to damp, that's it. Thus you can simply buy a XBA3 and damp it more with foam or a custom cloth solution and match it...

 

reference, XBA30 analysis

 

XBA3 is way better than XBA4, still applies for XBA30 to XBA40. 


Edited by Inks - 4/2/13 at 2:47pm
post #116 of 280

Yo dawgs, before yall give up on your xba 40 sounding too dark, My cheap $20 sony mdrex58v came in today, as a backup because they are like the best ever, ever ever ever earbuds you can get.  Just out of curiosity, I used the spare black earbuds that came with the 58v, and put it on the xba 40.  HOLY SHEEP!  It's like totally not dark anymore!  Bass is still pretty deep when it has to be.  I usually could barely hear the cymbals from the song "move biach, get out the way" you know that song.  But when I swapped to the cheaper black tip from the 58v, it brought it forward noticably more.  It's definitely brighter now. 

 

Still amping though, and wow, now I really really love my 40's! 

 

I'm kinda disappointed that the tips that came with the 40's veil so much though.  I really don't know the difference between the cheaper black ones, but wow, big difference.  I used the small tips, looked at them, examined'em and I can't see any freaking difference.  Except, the blacks just bring out more treble, and definitely mids, while keeping the bass.

 

So before you toss the 40, scrounge around for some black sony tips and see for yourself!


Edited by chengsta - 4/2/13 at 4:52pm
post #117 of 280
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chengsta View Post

Yo dawgs, before yall give up on your xba 40 sounding too dark, My cheap $20 sony mdrex58v came in today, as a backup because they are like the best ever, ever ever ever earbuds you can get.  Just out of curiosity, I used the spare black earbuds that came with the 58v, and put it on the xba 40.  HOLY SHEEP!  It's like totally not dark anymore!  Bass is still pretty deep when it has to be.  I usually could barely hear the cymbals from the song "move biach, get out the way" you know that song.  But when I swapped to the cheaper black tip from the 58v, it brought it forward noticably more.  It's definitely brighter now. 

 

Still amping though, and wow, now I really really love my 40's! 

 

I'm kinda disappointed that the tips that came with the 40's veil so much though.  I really don't know the difference between the cheaper black ones, but wow, big difference.  I used the small tips, looked at them, examined'em and I can't see any freaking difference.  Except, the blacks just bring out more treble, and definitely mids, while keeping the bass.

 

So before you toss the 40, scrounge around for some black sony tips and see for yourself!

Interesting.. tips definitely do change up the sound sig of different IEMS a bit.

 

Do you have a pic comparing the two tips? From the Amazon site it looks similar to the silicon tips provided with the 40s/30s (the non-hybrids)

post #118 of 280

sorry i don't have a camera, even though i spend thousands on audio and computer equipment LOL.  I guess I just never needed one, and my phone don't have a camera.  But yeah, from the side, the silicone tips on amazon look like the ones that came with my mdrex8v, that I'm using on my xba 40.  Too bad they don't have a picture of the front, but I know it's definitely not the hybrid ones. 

post #119 of 280
Thread Starter 
Just got the e12!

First impressions are awesome. Improvement from the e11 for sure, and gives the 40s a more balanced approach. The bass boost is comparable to between the eq1 and eq2 of the e11. Sound is cleaner and pushes the mids slightly forward . Cleannnn is the word

Really enjoying the amp, but read on the fiio thread that it needs a burn in to sound it's best.

Ill be posting the abc comparisons between the e11,e12, ad c&c bh next week when I have more time and when I fully burn it in
Edited by canikickit1 - 4/4/13 at 6:17pm
post #120 of 280
awesome, can't wait.

The 40's are so smooth that I went to max volume, bit by bit, at work without realizing it. I kept turning it up louder and louder with every track because i just wanted to hear more. I probably shouldn't do that, but anyway I reached the limits of the xba 40's bass --the physical limits anyway. I got to the point where the entire housing just starts making a high frequency clicking sound. Almost sounds like electric shocks. At first I thought one of the armatures broke, and was just shaking loose, but both sides at once? nah, can't be. It could be that the e11's just didn't have the juice for that kind of bass? I don't know either but I'll have to do more experiments to find out. I turned it back down to normal volume and the clicking/rattling went away.

While turning it back down I realized that it was at max volume, which is pretty damn loud, if you know how loud the e11 can get. Kinda disappointed that I reached the limits of bass, but at the same time I'm satisfied knowing how low and loud the xba 40's can go.
Edited by chengsta - 4/4/13 at 8:19pm
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