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The $999 vs $99 Challenge Tour! - Page 8

post #106 of 524

Review and Comparison of:

Univesal Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor (UUERM) and Rins Triple-fi Reference Monitor (TFRM) 

 

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. 

 

I want to thank Rin for his effort and James444 for his generosity, both for their support!


Edited by Inks - 8/4/13 at 2:53pm
post #107 of 524
Finally! Awesome comparison. No major surprises but it'll be interesting to see if anyone hears them the same way.
post #108 of 524

You guys really shouldn't be posting impressions until everyone in the tour has had a chance to hear the gear and write down their final impressions. It's not my tour and I'm not running it I'm just saying is all.

post #109 of 524
V
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

You guys really shouldn't be posting impressions until everyone in the tour has had a chance to hear the gear and write down their final impressions. It's not my tour and I'm not running it I'm just saying is all.

I'm interested why you say this, could you elaborate? Thanks.
post #110 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

You guys really shouldn't be posting impressions until everyone in the tour has had a chance to hear the gear and write down their final impressions. It's not my tour and I'm not running it I'm just saying is all.

 

The sooner you post your impressions after you've heard them the better.  As time goes on, memories skew and fade and become less and less accurate.  It's always a good idea to put them down as you listen, or right after.  Then the OP can update to link to the post of the impressions, that's normally how it should work. 

post #111 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnityIsPower View Post

I'm interested why you say this, could you elaborate? Thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

The sooner you post your impressions after you've heard them the better.  As time goes on, memories skew and fade and become less and less accurate.  It's always a good idea to put them down as you listen, or right after.  Then the OP can update to link to the post of the impressions, that's normally how it should work. 


You guys aren't understanding where I'm coming from. By all means the second you have your impressions write them down while it's fresh in your mind. What I'm saying is nobody, especially other reviewers, should see them until everyone has had a chance to hear the tour models and written their own impressions down. That way there's no way anyone can come on thread and accuse the reviewers of intentionally or subconsciously agreeing with each other just for the sake of agreeing. Also, nobody can say a newer reviewer agreed with 2 or 3 other reviewers just because the other reviewers were more seasoned in the hobby. It would add more validity to the reviewers in the eyes of the readers is all I'm trying to get at. Again, I'm not running the tour so it's really not my business. I'm just suggesting is all.


Edited by DigitalFreak - 8/4/13 at 11:35pm
post #112 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

 


You guys aren't understanding where I'm coming from. By all means the second you have your impressions write them down while it's fresh in your mind. What I'm saying is nobody, especially other reviewers, should see them until everyone has had a chance to hear the tour models and written their own impressions down. That way there's no way anyone can come on thread and accuse the reviewers of intentionally or subconsciously agreeing with each other just for the sake of agreeing. Also, nobody can say a newer reviewer agreed with 2 or 3 other reviewers just because the other reviewers were more seasoned in the hobby. It would add more validity to the reviewers in the eyes of the readers is all I'm trying to get at. Again, I'm not running the tour so it's really not my business. I'm just suggesting is all.

 

I think most of the reviewers on the tour aren't the types who just agree because it's fun or it feels good or [insert reason here], although I agree with you that that does happen very often with many other head-fiers. I for one am much too selfish to care what anyone else's opinion is. :P

post #113 of 524

@DigitalFreak:

 

I can see where you're coming from, but we're not trying to run a scientific study here. I'm aware that there may be all sorts of biases and influences involved, but still tend to rate the risk of a biased collective outcome rather low, due to the sheer number of participants.

 

On top of that, quietly collecting impressions from all tour members would make this thread pretty much go to hibernation 'till X-mas, not a very entertaining way to conduct the experiment imo. wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post

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. 

 

Good things come to those who wait... awesome impressions, thanks!

 

Just to add a few things to your universal vs. custom UERM point, I actually prefer the demo (universal) version to my full-custom overall.

 

So, why's that? Soundwise, they're very close to my ears, and isolation with the acrylic shell isn't significantly better than with properly sealing tips from my experience. Comfort is a pretty much a draw, as I don't have problems with universal tips to begin with, plus it's actually quite a bit easier with universals than customs to take them out or put them in when you're on the move. One more thing that often gets overlooked is amplification of footfall noise due to occlusion and bone conduction, which is much more of a problem with hard acrylic shells than soft universal tips. So bottom line, from my point of view as an active outdoor IEM user, the universal UERM version would be the better choice (if it were commercially available, that is).

post #114 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

@DigitalFreak:

 

I can see where you're coming from, but we're not trying to run a scientific study here. I'm aware that there may be all sorts of biases and influences involved, but still tend to rate the risk of a biased collective outcome rather low, due to the sheer number of participants.

 

On top of that, quietly collecting impressions from all tour members would make this thread pretty much go to hibernation 'till X-mas, not a very entertaining way to conduct the experiment imo. wink.gif

 

At this rate I suppose you mean Xmas 2014, right? Or, could you possibly have meant Xmas 2015?

post #115 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

At this rate I suppose you mean Xmas 2014, right? Or, could you possibly have meant Xmas 2015?

 

Tbh, while I appreciate Inks' impressions, I'm still hoping that he didn't set an example for the expectable rate. redface.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

1) Due to the long list of members, we're going to try to move the tour along as quickly and as smoothly as possible. We ask for each member to contain the length of his experience to one week, 2 weeks at the maximum.

post #116 of 524

This sounds pretty interesting. If it can come close to the UERM that's pretty good. It seems like something interesting shows up every time I visit this part of the forums.

 

James, I'm guessing it's too late to join this?

post #117 of 524

I am sorry guys, but indeed the rate should be one week. I was set to be first and the timing with work and other personal stuff made it hard to push forward quickly. If any of you guys feel the timing is bad, we can always re-arrange you on the order. 

post #118 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

This sounds pretty interesting. If it can come close to the UERM that's pretty good. It seems like something interesting shows up every time I visit this part of the forums.

 

James, I'm guessing it's too late to join this?

 

Nope, welcome aboard! smile_phones.gif

 

We'll slot you in when Eke's back from his *cough*vacation*cough*.

post #119 of 524

Sweet! I'm lacking in iem's these days (at least compared to a few years ago) but I still have some stuff that can be comparable :)

post #120 of 524
Thread Starter 

Added Inks' impressions to the second post. Thanks Inks.

 

Also adding rawrster to the list.

 

 

Again, just a reminder to only hold the iems for one week, and a maximum of two weeks if completely unavoidable.

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