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Fischer Amps FA-4 E XB: New 4-BA IEM From Germany - Page 63

post #931 of 1764
I agree with rawrster, Fa4 are not as good as CIEM that are almost twice the price and it seems logic, BUT they reach to reproduce as well as the top tier CIEM all the frequencies. I'm astonished by the sub bass for example, the rumble is very low ! It just lacks the ambiance of a top tier CIEM and also the sense of harmony between all the instruments. But at this price it's just incredible. I never found the togo334 interesting for their price and I clearly understand why some people sell them for FA4 but it's kind of exception, I will never sell my EM32 for the FA4, they are good but clearly not the level IMO.

Kurdt Bada it's cool to see you everytime defend the FA4, because it's legitim considering the other universal flagship in other brands, but opinions form people who tried or own top tier CIEM is just a realistic opinion. To my mind the real market price for the FA4 could be 650€.

And the argument used that for CIEM you need to do ear impressions, and send them, and wait them, and... is not very honest because it's just a matter of geography ;-/
post #932 of 1764

Well, it's still an appointment. But I understand that if you live next door to a CIEM maker you don't have to go anywhere. So yeah, fair point. Dammit! Life is so unfair!

post #933 of 1764
Thread Starter 

Well I've seen several times in the forum the case of people who have tried demo versions of high end custom iems vs top tier universals and have prefered the sound of the universals against those. It makes me wonder how important a perfect fit affects to the sq of iems, universal top tiers should share most in common with custom iems inside, for example the ue 900 ultimate ears said they have exactly the same technology as their customs ,dual bores included, in the promotion....


Edited by Kurdt-bada - 12/20/13 at 7:05am
post #934 of 1764

I think fit is a large factor. I've tried demos and then the real thing and the actual custom has always sounded a good amount better to me but that's only with the JH13 and UERM. 

 

However with the FA-4 I do think they are a very good universal iem and definitely worth the price I paid for them. I definitely wouldn't pay 650€. for them however as that's too much for a universal.

post #935 of 1764
Thread Starter 

I've had custom tips for my um3x, sm3 v2, shure 535, ex 1000 and now the fa 4e and as you said with them sounded a good amount better true that's why I'm sometimes a bit skeptical about the sq of universals vs custom iems.

post #936 of 1764
It's absolutely logic that demos sound less good than the custom, they are not optimized for that. If you can try the S-EM6 I can assure you they sound like the custom, because they are optimized for that. Demos are just CIEM with eartips, universal iem are not demos, they are made for and to be used with eartips.
That's why I'm thinking of reshelling my FA4 and for the experience certainly in silicone, but foremost I've to receive my Music Two and the Harmony before doing that. I just search the ambiance that know deliver a custom high end iem and I'm pretty sure these FA4 are able to do this. And today the FA4 hurt my helix so it's a good reason to transform them in custom biggrin.gif
post #937 of 1764

Time for more impressions! These are actually very easy to assess after being a fan of the pinhole blocked UE 900 (sound, not build!) and coming from the EX-1000. Simply put, these are UE 900 done right. Mids are more forward (but not a much as with Shure), bass is way more powerful and enveloping without being loose or splashy, highs are less rolled off. Soundstage is larger, the bass gives the soundstage more depth and width. The only thing where the UE 900 wins is initial apparent detail due to its lack of bass quantity (quality is there!) and more importantly UE 900 has slightly superior instrument separation, actually UE 900 is the best I´ve ever heard in that regard. All in all the FA4´s sound connects more, works nicer in noisier environments - it´s simply more powerful and grand. It´s simply a superior IEM in both sound quality and build (not much competition there, heh!)

 

It´s so close to the UE 900 sound that I bet if Logitech licensed the design from FA for the upcoming (unless Logitech decides to exit the IEM market entirely, which does not make much sense) UE 950, it would be a huge commercial and critical success and would eventually be as fondly remembered as the Triple.fi 10. Without Logitech´s brand name and marketing the FA is bound to stay a rare treat. I´m glad Kurdt-bada made this thread and I found these. The FA4 is my new reference all rounder IEM.

 

Some short comparisons to gear I´ve owned in the past:

 

- Sennheiser IE 800: FA4 has less detail retrieval in the mids and slightly less instrument separation, but a way, way better balanced overall tuning. The IE800 sub bass hits hard and is always there, regardless if the track actually calls for it. FA4 is less harsh on poor recordings (although they still sound bad, don´t get me wrong). FA4´s vocals have more warmth due to the mid bass boost (all bass is boosted on FA4, not just sub bass like in the Sennheiser) and are also more forward than in the Sennheiser. All in all I´d say IE 800 is superior technically, but FA4 is not that far and is certainly able to hang in the same company. The IE800 tuning however is simply not for me (I would call it a bass head IEM), while the FA4 strikes a great balance between fun and neutrality. The complete deal breaker with the IE 800 for me was the cable microphonics however, the FA4 has none of that. Both have superb ergonomics with my ears. Because of the more balanced tuning and the way FA4 makes music fun without colouring it too much makes me choose the FA4 over the IE 800.

 

- EarSonics SM64: the ES IEM has less forward mids and a more V-shape sound than the FA4. The FA4 is always slightly V-shaped, but it´s done so well you don´t really perceive it as such. The mids aren´t sunk in a hole like sometimes with the SM64. SM64 has more bass quantity, but with less quality (it´s a tad loose). Actually the SM64 is a nice bass head IEM, it has an intentionally splashy sound that some will love and others hate. I liked it, but it isn´t exactly neutral. The highs on the SM64 are more rolled off and the soundstage is presented differently. SM64 sounds more like sound is coming from every direction while the FA4 has more forward staging. Detail retrieval is definitely higher on the FA4, I found the SM64 very forgiving of poor recordings. Build quality is no contest, FA4 wins easy. Soundstage is a bit larger on the SM64, but also less precise and directional. The SM64 is an IEM that pushes its own signature sound into all music, FA4 has more genre bandwidth and is technically superior. They are very differently tuned in the end, but the FA4 is simply a more balanced product with more mass market appeal. Some might prefer the SM64 bass, but for me the FA4 strikes a good balance there. SM64´s bass was sometimes too much and more importantly not as controlled as I would like. It really depends on the song though. Mids and highs is where I would give the nod the the FA4, but if you are looking for a more organic (at the expense of detail plus that flavour is pushed into the music regardless of the source material) coloured sound you might prefer the SM64.

 

- Sony EX-1000: as reported on this thread, FA4 wins in resolution, mids, imaging, highs (no more nasty treble spike!), comfort, but on the other hand the EX-1000 sounds more cohesive and can with the right source material pull a larger more out of the head soundstage. With vocals, classical music and so forth the EX-1000 has a pretty unique flavour that many might prefer to the FA4, but with anything even remotely mainstream music the FA4 is more suitable. Bass is a mixed bag: EX-1000 still wins in bass quality, it´s possibly the tightest bass I´ve heard from an IEM. Coupled with the lack of isolation the quantity is just not enough for outdoor use though. FA4 quantity is perfect: enough to help outdoors without making the IEM useless indoors (indoors it just sounds more "fun"). The EX-1000 tuning is to me aimed at classical, vocals and jazz. Both are good IEMs, but the FA4 is the more complete package. EX-1000 is a more niche product with some major downfalls, FA4 is simply well balanced in all regards.

 

Conclusion: FA4 is the best all rounder IEM I´ve ever heard, my UE 900 (which is falling apart) will be relegated to gym duty as long as it works. I´ll possibly keep the EX-1000 around for silent room classical/acoustic music listening, but 95% of the time I´ll be listening to FA4 from now on. Pro tip for Logitech: license this design for the next UE universal flagship ;)

post #938 of 1764

Awesome! What tips are you using? I'm going to go on my usual crusade to convert people to use meelec balanced tips. For me they bring out what I knew was in the FA-4E the whole time. The bass kind of overshadows the lower mids and the lower mids cover up the upper mids. The balanced tips are like opening up a window or stepping outside on a cold morning. There is a lot of added ambiance and room to the sound if you get a good fit (which can be a pain in the beginning if you don't have much earwax, I actually use some olive oil sometimes to break in the tips better and saturate them to get a better seal). I'm sorry to keep ranting about these tips. It's just that those $6(?) for 3 pairs really made me appreciate the FA-4E sound maybe 50% more as they took care of all the small complaints that I ever had about them except for the sticker falling off.

 

And if you get that added ambiance, there is NO WAY you're going to say the UE900 has superior [insert arbitrary characteristic] if you hear both of the sets as I do (which you do seem to).


Edited by MoonYeol - 12/21/13 at 4:16am
post #939 of 1764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollk2 View Post

It's absolutely logic that demos sound less good than the custom, they are not optimized for that. If you can try the S-EM6 I can assure you they sound like the custom, because they are optimized for that. Demos are just CIEM with eartips, universal iem are not demos, they are made for and to be used with eartips.
That's why I'm thinking of reshelling my FA4 and for the experience certainly in silicone, but foremost I've to receive my Music Two and the Harmony before doing that. I just search the ambiance that know deliver a custom high end iem and I'm pretty sure these FA4 are able to do this. And today the FA4 hurt my helix so it's a good reason to transform them in custom biggrin.gif

 

It is logic. However it should not be. Because the company making the customs should tune their universal demo to sound as much like the customized version as they can using a number of impressions etc. I know that's hard to do but it's kind of "their job" to make people want to buy the custom. Having a proper and accurate demo product is important. But as I've learned in the past months tips make such a huge difference, I do understand that it's insanely difficult..

post #940 of 1764
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

 Without Logitech´s brand name and marketing the FA is bound to stay a rare treat. I´m glad Kurdt-bada made this thread and I found these. The FA4 is my new reference all rounder IEM.

 

 

 

No prob Kurdt is glad that you like em a lot as 95% of new users, more people should discover this underrated gem 

 

Thanks for your impressions I attached them to first post! I think the same about ex1000 vs fa4e 


Edited by Kurdt-bada - 12/21/13 at 9:22am
post #941 of 1764
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonYeol View Post
 

Awesome! What tips are you using? I'm going to go on my usual crusade to convert people to use meelec balanced tips. For me they bring out what I knew was in the FA-4E the whole time. The bass kind of overshadows the lower mids and the lower mids cover up the upper mids. The balanced tips are like opening up a window or stepping outside on a cold morning. There is a lot of added ambiance and room to the sound if you get a good fit (which can be a pain in the beginning if you don't have much earwax, I actually use some olive oil sometimes to break in the tips better and saturate them to get a better seal). I'm sorry to keep ranting about these tips. It's just that those $6(?) for 3 pairs really made me appreciate the FA-4E sound maybe 50% more as they took care of all the small complaints that I ever had about them except for the sticker falling off.

 

And if you get that added ambiance, there is NO WAY you're going to say the UE900 has superior [insert arbitrary characteristic] if you hear both of the sets as I do (which you do seem to).


I've never been one to bother with changing tips unless the stock ones for my iems don't fit me. Which is rarely the case. But since your insisting on the balanced tips I think ill try them.

 

Also great impressions vrln, and the comparison with the ie800 was a nice touch, really want to listen to it. Thanks.

post #942 of 1764

esuhgb: IE800 is a technically stunning IEM, I just think they went overboard with the driver voicing. I still sometimes think about buying it back someday, even with all its problems :)

 

MoonYeol: thanks for the tip! Actually I started trying different tips yesterday just to see how the sound changes and although I don´t have that particular tip in my collection, with a tip that slightly extends from the nozzle (I think it´s one from UE/Logitech, not quite sure) I got pretty much the same result! Bass seems to integrate nicer and the lower mids no longer slightly overshadow the upper mids.

 

The key word however is indeed ambience, there´s more air - you can hear things like singers breathing in between singing better. I think it´s due to the nozzle being more directional as opposed to the default wide tip: with a more directional nozzle there´s less of a chance the sound is not as linearly directly in the middle of the ear canals. That´s my theory at least! Now the FA4´s are indeed superior in pretty much everything and being on par in instrument separation too. It´s very ironic that that this UE900 beater was designed by an UE importer/reseller (Fischer Amps is one from what I´ve read) :) I bet UERM/UE900 was probably the target to advance upon when this IEM was voiced, heh.

post #943 of 1764

I haven't tried the older, white/transparent UE tips but the UE900 tips are pretty much similar to stock tips. The tips with the most difference in sound are to my ears (so far) comply T-series, MH1(C)-hybrids and meelec balanced dual flanges. It's funny to hear the sound change instantly. The one difference I hear about the UE900 / FA-4E separations are that the UE900 sometimes has a tendency to place instruments in the same space but still separated. The FA-4E separates better to my ears because the two instruments are more like two entities instead of a single one.

post #944 of 1764

Just bought the balanced tips from meelec, delivery cost more than the tips. Just wanted to confirm if there is only one size for those tips, as I couldn't find if they had different sizes. Am I correct in assuming the standard size for them is medium?

post #945 of 1764

Yeah, the shipping is pretty steep, so I bought 6 pairs. And yeah, there is only one size. On my FA-4E and UE900 I use them with the tubes from comply tips that I didn't like just to make them fit better. On my ASG-2 I don't have any tubes. They are the only tips that give me a good fit with the UE900 without the need to adjust them once every 2 minutes.

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