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New custom IEM company - Custom Art: discussion, review, and impressions thread

post #1 of 1685
Thread Starter 

New custom IEM company - Custom Art: discussion, review, and appreciation thread

 

 

Custom Art is based in Poland and has been started by our very own piotrus-g (Piotr). The site is still

under construction, but you can visit their Facebook page where you can see cables, custom tips, and some of Custom Art’s customs.

 

There are 3 silicone shelled models of CIEMs at this time, the Pro 100, Pro 210, and Pro 330.

 

Promo price (40-50% discount depending on model) will be:

Pro 100 - Regular price: 999PLN / Sale price: 650PLN (~$230)

Pro 210 - Regular price: 1200PLN / Sale price: 799PLN (~$285)

Pro 330 - Regular price: 2300PLN / Sale price: 1099PLN (~$390)

Custom Art Ear Tips for T400 sized nozzle only with the following color options: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, blue, lila and green.  Regular price: 179PLN / Sale: 85PLN (~$30)

 

This promo pricing will end June 26th, 2013 and is a pre-order, meaning that physically ready orders will be shipped out after about 8 weeks. 4-6 weeks of pre-order and 2-4 weeks for making IEMs.

 

Custom Art also makes custom ear tips for universal IEMs - 179PLN (~$65) and offers a remold service to silicone 600PLN (~$215). You know you wanted a reshell into silicone, well, now you know where!

 

Note that the PLN price is fixed, so the USD price will fluctuate as prices are quoted in PLN over PayPal, and there is a 4% additional PayPal fee.

 

Artwork is possible, consisting of engraving at ~50PLN/ear with a vector based graphic. Reworking a jpg to vector is an additional 150PLN. Engravings can be filled with different color for free.

 

I asked Piotr how he got his start and how he decided to tune his CIEMs. He responded with this:

 

Philosophy of sound, hmm... I like slightly warm signature, yet I like bright mids and good highs and I believe each IEM has got some part of that ideology. I'm really happy and eager about Dual Driver 1way which has been complemented by Sonion head engineer for Pro-audio. But 3driver 3way is also great sounding IEM it has great highs extension (think of Audeo 232) without being harsh, it also has the ability to change with genre - say with dubstep bass is nicely rumbling but if you play rock you'll be able to hear bass guitar aside from kick drum and if there's no bass in song you won't be hearing it. Why silicone? Well I find it easier to work with or less frustrating I should say. It has also different sound than acrylic which allows to add some warmth to the final signature.

 

All of regular colors of shells are in the same price. Shells are covered with lacquer with nano silver particles for bacteria-free surface.

 

View the website for the most up-to-date product information: http://www.thecustomart.com/

 

Product information:

Shell material: Biomedical silicone covered with skin-safe lacquer with nano-silver particles for bacteria free surface

Shell color: transparent: clear, solid: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, lilac, blue, green, black/ on special order: beige, red transparent, mid brown transparent, dark brown transparent.

Cables: clear, white, black, beige (cables are non-detachable)

Engravings: standard serial number free of charge, plus customer's graphic/initials on request (+50PLN/ ear ~$18/ear)

Warranty: 12 month worldwide warranty

Ownership transfer:  300PLN (~$110) (does not include cost of changing broken parts)

Shipping to US: Priority ~$15, Priority with insurance ~$25, EMS - $50

 

All Pro-audio series comes with an Otterbox case and cleaning tool.

 

Custom Art Pro-audio series 330

Specification:

- Three Balanced Armature per earpiece

- 3-way configuration

- 116dB @1kHz @0.1V

- 25Ohm @1kHz

- 10Hz-19000kHz (+-20dB into 711 IEC coupler)

- Silicone body

 

Sound:

Bass ●●●●●○ (mid pace, deep, textured)

Midrange ●●●●○○ (warm, natural, detailed, spacious)

Highs ●●●●●● (edged, crisp, sweet)

Headroom ●●●●●○

Imaging ●●●●●○

Depth ●●●●●○

Cold/Warm ●●●○○○ (natural yet analytical sound)

 

Custom Art Pro series 330 has been developed for use in professional audio industry as well as with portable audio devices for audiophiles.

 

Thought behind the design: To create reference earphones that has an extremely broad-band frequency response, while being quite balanced in overall sound.

Sound: Pro 330 stands for ultimate resolution, crispy sweet highs, natural mids and deep, fine-textured lows that appear only when called for.  Pro 330 is able to adjust to the genre, which makes it perfect for all kinds of music. Close and intimate yet spacious soundstage gives a life-like experience.

 

These IEMs are meant to be used with either low impedance or higher impedance sources. High impedance sources will reduce bass response and increase high frequencies.

 

Custom Art Pro-audio series 210 (DD1)

Specification:

- Two Balanced Armature per earpiece

- 1-way configuration (crossover-free)

- 110dB @1kHz @0.1V

- 20 Ohm @1kHz

- 20Hz-16500kHz (+-20dB into 711 IEC coupler)

- Horn nozzle design

- Silicone body

 

Sound:

Bass ●●●○○○ (fast pace, slightly warm)

Midrange ●●●●●○ (soft, detailed, bright, slightly warm)

Highs ●●●●○○ (soft, detailed)

Headroom ●●●●●○

Imaging ●●●●○○

 

Depth ●●●○○○

Cold/Warm ●●●●○○ (neutral, slightly warm)

 

Custom Art Pro series 210 Dual Driver 1way IEM has been developed for use in professional audio industry (studio recording, touring musicians).

 

Thought behind the design: To create entry-level earphones that have high volume capacity before distortion (low THD%) for stage use. At the same time we wanted to ensure that frequency response is matching ear canal response curve between crucial parts of spectrum (from 20Hz to 10kHz). We wanted IEMs that are true to the recordings, detailed and fast, yet not harsh. Our unique 1-way dual driver design is crossover-free, which helps to reduce harmonic distortion and keeps drivers in phase.

Sound: Balanced sound between bass, mids and highs. Fine resolution and spacious sound.

 

These IEMs are meant to be used with low impedance sources for best possible performance. High impedance sources will reduce bass response and increase high frequencies.

 

Custom Art Pro-audio series 100

Specification:

- Single Balanced Armature

- 1-way configuration

- 104dB @1kHz @0.1V

- 41 Ohm @1kHz

- 10Hz-16500kHz (+-20dB into 711 ICE coupler)

- Horn nozzle design

- Silicone body

 

Sound:

Bass ●●●○○○ (medium pace, warm)

Midrange ●●●○○○ (warm, colored, slightly forward)

Highs ●●●●○○ (detailed, delicate edge)

Headroom ●●●○○○

Imaging ●●●○○○

Depth ●●●○○○

Cold/Warm ●●●●○○ (slightly warm, fun)

 

Custom Art Pro-audio 100 has been developed for beginning musicians and sound engineers to use on stage. It can also be used with mp3players and portable devices as a budget audiophile IEM.

 

Thought behind the design: Entry-level all-round earphones suitable for every music genre and most portable players.

Sound: Sound-wise these IEMs are meant to have slightly fun sound signature and to “disappear” in your ears. Tuned to really make you listen to music, not your gear while good resolution and speed allow use for stage or studio monitoring.

 

These IEMs are meant to be used with low and medium impedance sources (such as iPod/iPhone, Sansa Clip, Fiio Amps) for best possible performance. High impedance sources will reduce bass response and increase high frequencies.

post #2 of 1685
Thread Starter 

Custom Art Music One silicone custom in-ear monitor 

DESIGN

The Music One is a silicone shelled custom in-ear monitor with a single balanced armature driver and a permanent cable.  The silicone is a biomedical grade covered with skin-safe nano-silver particle lacquer for a bacteria free surface.  The driver is vented and uses a horn nozzle design.

Specifications:
-           109dB @1kHz @0.1V
-           41 Ohm @1kHz
-           10Hz-18300Hz (+-20dB into 711 ICE coupler)

ACCESSORIES

The Music One comes with an Otter Box case, smaller zipper case, cleaning tool, and desiccant. The protective Otter Box case is perfect for serious protection and the smaller case for maximum mobility.  The desiccant will help maintain the shell color and driver integrity when stored in the Otterbox case.  8/10

CABLE

The cable is not detachable, so the quality is quite important, and it is very good.  Using a coated cable with an excellent balance between flexibility and being rubbery, the tangle resistance is very good with no microphonics and no memory.  The cable does spring back to a straighter position when coiled unless it is twisted while coiling, but this doesn’t affect ergonomics and helps with tangle resistance resulting in a very ergonomic experience with performance that one of the best I have experienced from a stock cable.  Searching for a negative, the shorter than typical length from the shell to the Y-split took some adjusting, but this isn’t a big issue.  Durability has been good and the feel inspires confidence, with better performance than most twisted stock cables.  All Custom Art CIEMs have a detachable cable option now, but the Music One is one CIEM I feel comfortable recommending with the permanent cable.  7/10

ISOLATION

Isolation is about on part with acrylic shelled CIEMs, which is a bit odd considering the shell is made from silicone.  This is most likely due to the thinner size of the housing and canals that aren’t as thick as they could be, and possibly also due to the vented design.  Isolation is a 5/10.

SOUND

Disclaimer: My review is done in a comparative way using similarly priced IEMs and/or CIEMs for perspective and to determine performance.  In this review I try to accurately portray the product under review, presenting strengths and weaknesses, the sound signature, characteristics, and technical performance as opposed to providing flowery dialog of performance without perspective.  My ultimate goal is to enable you to make an informed decision about what product is right for you.  Take the review as a critical look at the product and not a sales pitch or marketing fluff.  I believe gear should be selected based on the sound signature you want and/or the specific use, not solely on technical performance or unsubstantiated hype.  Here are some quick references for more information: My review techniqueThoughts on reading a reviewCustom IEM information

The Music One received 100+ hours of burn in as is customary before serious listening.  The following custom IEMs were used for comparison: Etymotic ER4S, Alclair Reference, EarSonics SM64, ProGuard P2+1, Ambient Acoustics AM4 pro, and MEElectronics A161P.

Bass: Being a single balanced armature driver, the bass isn’t expected to compete with dynamic driver earphones or multi-BA earphones, and it doesn’t.  But, you do get quite good bass for a single BA driver CIEM, especially with an amp or high-end source.  The bass gives a sense of depth and power, even if it ultimately falls short of providing that power compared with higher-cost products.  Most single BA IEMs don’t recreate the sensation of bass, but the Music One still lets you know there is something going on in the bass region.  The bass is warm and liquid, not possessing too much detail, but never leaving a sense of lack.  There is plenty of bass for many tracks that aren’t necessarily bass heavy, recreating pounding, reverberant bass and something that is easy to adjust to.  Given the price, the bass is very well done.

Midrange: While I would say there is a very nice balance to the Music One, the midrange is the focus of the sound, and it has a nice blend between thickness and clarity.  Comparing with the similarly priced ER4S, the Music One presents with more detail and yet also is more musical.  The midrange is on the mid-forward side and the presentation space isn’t extremely large, at least unless the FSM-02 V2 amp is used, which really synergizes well with the Music One.  Integration from top to bottom of the frequency spectrum is well done, and the overall midrange performance is excellent.

Treble: There is an excellent balance between the treble and the rest of the spectrum as the Music One is brighter than the SM64, except in the upper-most registers, and not quite as bright as the ER4S.  One of the characteristics that differentiates the Music One from many others in the price range is the note decay, which is very natural with good reverb as opposed to the typical analytical presentation.  The treble is another strong point of the presentation.

Presentation: Balanced and musical come to mind when listening to the Music One.  The balance across the frequency spectrum and the coherence are both very good, excellent in fact, even though the presentation is a bit on the mid-forward side.  This is due to the balance both above and below the midrange that allow the headphone to stand back and let the music take over.  It does this without spectacular transparency, but excellent note decay and PRaT.

While the soundstage presentation isn’t the largest, it is well proportioned and when paired with a synergistic amp, can impress.  The weaknesses come with very fast music and/or complex tracks.  While the Music One isn’t slow, it doesn’t have fantastic dynamics, impact, and speed compared with more expensive IEMs/CIEMs, but competes within the price range.  Complex tracks can become a bit more simplistic that more expensive products, but they don’t really get congested.  Still, given the price and positives, the Music One has a presentation that competes with the big boys from a musicality standpoint.

SUMMARY

The Custom Art Music One was designed to be musical first and foremost, and succeeds.  While it seems like all headphones would be designed to do this, most within this price point just recreate the music and miss the recreation of emotion within the recordings, which is what the Music One does so well.  Technical performance is good for a single balanced armature driver, but not great in the grand scheme of things, yet the sound signature plays well to the strengths and weaknesses.  Extension on both ends of the frequency spectrum leaves something to be desired and punch and dynamics aren’t great, there is never a feel the Music One is lacking, especially when paired with a good amp.  I have heard many IEMs in the price range, with some great technical performances, but nothing I have heard recreates a musical experience quite like the Music One.

Pros
-       Entire presentation is seamlessly put together for a very musical performance
-       Weaknesses of the single BA driver design are hidden by the sound signature

Cons
-       Bass rolls-off in the lowest registers and bass note sustainment isn’t as good as many similarly priced competitors
-       The best sound is achieved with a good amp

Full review with comparisons can be found here.

Overall Sound Score: 53.6

View the Custom Art Music One in the Multi-custom in-ear monitor review list

The Custom Art Music One is recommended in the Custom In-ear Monitor Buyer’s Guide


Edited by average_joe - 4/26/14 at 3:19pm
post #3 of 1685

Cool! Sounds awesome. Thanks Joe for informing all of us. 

post #4 of 1685

Thanks Joe!

 

I had intended to put something up, but I've been a bit busy these past few days. I sent impressions out for a Pro-Audio Series 100 last week, and should be receiving it sometime in the coming weeks. I'll be sure to write about it.

 

I just want to add that I've known Peter (Piotr, piotrus-g) for a while now, and he's definitely one of the most passionate guys I know about CIEMs and their design. He was the one who really helped me get started on understanding how BA drivers work and what a proper crossover is supposed to be.

 

He also helped me out greatly with the BA Chart Project. So, he definitely knows what he's doing.

 

So, I don't have time to post more, but CustomArt is headed toward the right direction. I know he's been tweaking his IEM designs for a while, so it's been a long time coming.

 

Oh, and he also does cables and stuff. His CopperTwo IEM cable (review here) is one of the most flexible cables I've ever used; I couldn't believe it was an 8-braid cable.


Edited by tomscy2000 - 5/8/13 at 1:42am
post #5 of 1685

Thanks for the heads up.

Any information on availability?

post #6 of 1685

Nice to see piotrus-g (Piotr) starting up with his own CIEM brand. Good luck!!! He was very helpful with queries regarding BA and crossover.

post #7 of 1685
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyNavara View Post

Thanks for the heads up.

Any information on availability?

Pre-orders from 15th May and after 12th June I'll be taking regular orders with typical 4week turnaround. Selling worldwide.

 

Thanks joe, for starting the thread and thank you guys for crossing your fingers and your kind words :) it means a lot

post #8 of 1685

Poland ---> EU = no custom fees, faster shipping than HongKong, USA...etc

definitely worth a look, i'm seeking for a low pricetag dual balanced, and maybe for the future some more drivers and.......
 

post #9 of 1685

suscribed beyersmile.png

post #10 of 1685

So I'm probably not supposed to be online right now (have a big case presentation tomorrow frown.gif), but I am excited for Peter and the launch of CustomArt's CIEMs, so I thought I'd share some stuff that he shared with me while we were chatting (I don't think he minds that I'm sharing these PM excerpts):

 

His own comparisons between his UM Merlin and the Pro 330:

Also I've been listening to Pro330 a lot last week and then made one day brake from IEMs then put Merlin in and the difference between them was more obvious than before.

 

1. Bass: Merlin hits lower notes, gives the rumble, has better sense of space. Pro330 can produce a lot of bass when called for. It has slower decay.

2. Mids: Pro330 has more mid-bass vocals are more pronounced, warmer - much warmer and closer. These are the mids that gives you that cozy feeling especially with female vocals. Mids reminds me a lot of Westone UM3x although there not the same, there are just SOME similarities. Merlin has noticeable drop in V here. Vocals are somehow covered and further away from you.

3. Upper mids - Here's where Pro330 has a bit of a drop while UM shines. Both are still really revealing in this area.

4. Highs - Both are pretty much the same in terms of sound say cymbals, although Pro330 has A LOT more highs yet still manage to come across sibilant-free :)

Regarding the difference between the Pro 100 and the (upcoming Music series) Music One:

Well not that Pro 100 doesn't have bass, It actually has nice bass response but it's flatter than "One". "One" is able to actually "move" air so you can hear bass and feel that lowest blow at the end of the note. Pro does have more bass than ER4 or even Audeo (IMHO) but it is still somehow an analytical IEM, with bright vocals and quite good highs. Of course 75Ohm attenuator will make them sounding more ER4-like. If you're happy with 262 than Pro 100 will suite you more than "One"

On the measurements of the Pro 210 (measured by Sonion):

 

Unfortunately with custom IEMs it's really hard to achieve sufficient isolation on coupler so 0-200Hz region is different than shown in graph. It is ruler flat in reality - according to Sonion's rep.

 

110dB@1kHz 0.1V, 20 Ohm @ 1kHz

 

The slope at highs in dual driver IEM is due to different application of driver although due to the lesser bass over time response highs are really more forward and bright. On the listening it has highs almost matching Audeo or ER4 though without additional boost at 10-17k; 4,5k peak is due to tubing diameter but it's barely noticeable IMHO.

post #11 of 1685
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Thanks Joe!

 

I had intended to put something up, but I've been a bit busy these past few days. I sent impressions out for a Pro-Audio Series 100 last week, and should be receiving it sometime in the coming weeks. I'll be sure to write about it.

 

I just want to add that I've known Peter (Piotr, piotrus-g) for a while now, and he's definitely one of the most passionate guys I know about CIEMs and their design. He was the one who really helped me get started on understanding how BA drivers work and what a proper crossover is supposed to be.

 

He also helped me out greatly with the BA Chart Project. So, he definitely knows what he's doing.

 

So, I don't have time to post more, but CustomArt is headed toward the right direction. I know he's been tweaking his IEM designs for a while, so it's been a long time coming.

 

Oh, and he also does cables and stuff. His CopperTwo IEM cable (review here) is one of the most flexible cables I've ever used; I couldn't believe it was an 8-braid cable.

 

Yes, he seems very knowledgeable and it seems there are other data points to prove that point!

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyNavara View Post

Poland ---> EU = no custom fees, faster shipping than HongKong, USA...etc

definitely worth a look, i'm seeking for a low pricetag dual balanced, and maybe for the future some more drivers and.......

 

It appears Poland is becoming the next mecca of custom IEMs!  First, Spiral Ear, then Lime Ears, and now Custom Art.  I too am getting the Pro 100 and am hoping for the best!

 

There should be time after initial impressions of the Pro 100 are posted and the end of the promotional period, so stay tuned!

post #12 of 1685

Since Tomcy spilled some info...

 

Yes, there's upcoming Music One model with more consumer-oriented sound. Lot of bass, lot of space and air and good extended trebles.

It is really an advanced tuning as for a single driver.

No info on release date and pricing yet, though.

post #13 of 1685

Perhaps this is a little premature but how well does the 330 isolate?  I've been looking for a competent high isolation CIEM for some time but the existing silicone based models are either very expensive for triple drivers or, in the case of Minerva the reviews are middling.  Spiral Ears makes interesting products but I live in North America and from all accounts they're not accessible.

 

In the future will there be a Music Three model?

post #14 of 1685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviltooth View Post

Perhaps this is a little premature but how well does the 330 isolate?  I've been looking for a competent high isolation CIEM for some time but the existing silicone based models are either very expensive for triple drivers or, in the case of Minerva the reviews are middling.  Spiral Ears makes interesting products but I live in North America and from all accounts they're not accessible.

 

In the future will there be a Music Three model?

It isolates well as one should expect from silicone IEMs. Isolation beats acrylic easily.

 

No plan for Music Three for now.

post #15 of 1685
Quote:
Originally Posted by piotrus-g View Post

It isolates well as one should expect from silicone IEMs. Isolation beats acrylic easily.

No plan for Music Three for now.

That sale price is amazing. If I didn't just go out and spend a crap load...

Anyhow, it's good to see one from here get out there and stand on their own two feet. Hopefully people support you and get you going.

Here's to wishing you the very best smily_headphones1.gif

Who knows if I have cash to spare...just not very likely right now. Don't like having too many IEMs frown.gif
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