Review and Comparison of:
Hmm alright, been listening critically to the UUERM and TFRM enough to draw concrete conclusions. I apologize for the delay, but I truly have been quite busy.
I will be comparing the two to two Olive-Welti (OW) flat IEMs, my BDD+NE and damped Monoprice 9927, IEMs which I know the strengths and weaknesses of really well. RE600, BA200 and EX1000 may get some mention as well
(note to tour users, according to Rin, place the cables in this matter in TFRM to keep it in-phase.
(MH1C tips are used on both IEMs) Source: IP4S+Rin's impedance stabilizer.
Bass: First off, BDD+NE, Sony EX1000 and damped 9927 (D9927) have what I'll call the best bass response for IEMs, all 3 have limitless bass extension with minimal midbass. In comparison, both UUERM and TFIRM lack a substantial amount of bass depth, they don't rumble as much, but the slightly bumped midbass does provide a more apparent punch, though it sounds more hollow in comparison due to the lack of depth. Even compared to the RE600, they don't simply have the depth of the dynamic as the bass as a whole sounds a bit less filled throughout the bass range. Having said that, bass levels between the UUERM and TFRM are very similar. TFRM does have less midbass and more rumble, a presentation of the bass I find much better than the UUERM. The UERM in comparison has a tad less rumble and is more midbass happy, giving more warmth to it's lower midrange. To note, the custom UERM should have more bass rumble, bringing it closer to the TFRM, but I don't see it getting it close the EX1000's or BDD+NE's bass depth.
Midrange: The TFIRM no longer is recessed like it's older stock form. Midrange of both TFRM again are very similar, but have nuances that make them distinct, though still, both have what I'll call slightly laidback midrange. The TFRM have more "whack" and tinyness to it's midrange by just a tad, an attribute similar to the RE600/RE0. Two octaves up from middle C is emphasized and makes the midrange sound a bit more tiny compared to the UUERM. The midrange of the TFIRM also lacks the energy of the UUERM, there's less crunch and edge and sounds a bit more laid back in comparison. While I'll say both lack a bit of midrange energy, when compared to D9927, the UERM still takes the cake here as it's closer to a more coherent midrange integration. The midrange presentation of both comes off as very similar as a whole though.
Treble: Here is where I also take issue with the sound of both and where they are most similar. Both have a treble that gives the off a metallic tinge to the whole sound, both are a bit piercing to these ears, but won't sound dull here as a RE600 would. I would say that even though both are equally piercing, the TFRM seems to have a bit more definition in it's treble. Both are helped by the use of MH1 tips, but the tinge remains.Treble extension seems almost exact, the UUERM a tad more airy, but the margins are very small here. Technically speaking, they both dropped after 17k for me via sine-sweep. As a whole, trebles are almost exact.
Presentation: Soundstage wise these are very similar in all aspect. Width is similar as long as you have the TFRM placed correctly with the housing in this matter. Imaging, both comes off as pretty much exact, with small differences occurring from their perspective tonalities.
Conclusion: Did Rin mod the TF10 to exactly match the UERM in all aspects? No, but it's close enough that I will place them both in the same sound signature and performance bracket. Do I like them both? Not really, both lack bass depth, midrange energy and have a piercing treble. According to James444, the custom version of the UERM is very similar. Taking that into account, I feel the extra money of going custom has more to do with comfort and isolation than performance when compared to these two, which sadly can't be commercially bought. Eke asks users to rate the closeness of sound between the two. Out of 10, I'll give it around a 8.5-9, 10 being almost impossible considering different drivers and housing.
Wildcard: TFRM with Meelec triflanges. With these new tips in place, Rin states it matches BA200 [to be specific with it's stock double flanges]. I feel like it certainly does but sounds a bit more sibilant and keeps that slight midrange whack and honk previously mentioned. Soundstage wise it feels bigger and it's bass is just as full as the BA200s [though both still lack some depth]. In comparison, Meelec triflanges simply don't work UERM, making it less versatile. Meelec triflanges do give the TFRM more midrange energy than even the UUERM, though giving off some sibilance as a result. Treble no longer has the piercing tinge and sound more airy and coherent and overall, sounds much nicer than before. While I feel this combo surpasses the UUERM it truly starts sounding less like UUERM and more like a BA200.
Edited by Inks - 8/4/13 at 2:53pm