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The $999 vs $99 Challenge Tour! - Page 21

post #301 of 524
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, woodcans. Looking forward to more impressions.

post #302 of 524

Yeah I've heard the TF10, and while it had a pretty wide soundstage for an IEM, especially given what I paid for it, there is no way it was ever even in the same league as the UERM in terms of spacial realism, and I find it hard to believe a few tweaks could bridge the gap that is obviously in part due to hardware limitations on the TF10's part.

 

Better is better.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodcans View Post
 

 

 

I have to say, I am more than enamored by the UERM. The fact that the TFRM has a remarkably similar FR curve continues to blow my mind, as I would pay top dollar for the UERM but would not even consider a TFRM purchase (at any price). I guess that is my 'challenge' summary.

post #303 of 524

I loved the UERM's tuning & technical ability (the "stat-like" comparisons are apt).. but I came away very impressed with the TFRM tuning.. toss the TFRM in a better fitting (universal or custom) shell, I'd pay $300-$350 for it.. in a heart beat.

post #304 of 524
I wonder if there is something wrong with the TFRM's hardware that is causing its SQ to degrade over time... as each reviewer's impressions of it seems to be steadily worse than the last LOL

That or it got knocked on its head the wrong way in transit blink.gif
post #305 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post
 

I loved the UERM's tuning & technical ability (the "stat-like" comparisons are apt).. but I came away very impressed with the TFRM tuning.. toss the TFRM in a better fitting (universal or custom) shell, I'd pay $300-$350 for it.. in a heart beat.

That stat-like made me think of the Stax iem. Does anyone have one of the Stax iems to compare it to UERM? Are they actually similar sounding?

post #306 of 524

The package has landed - hope to dive in a little tonight. 

 

I've stayed away from this thread for the most part so I can try to make the most unbiased opinions on the two earphones as I possibly can. Lets see what falls out!

post #307 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post
 

The package has landed - hope to dive in a little tonight. 

 

I've stayed away from this thread for the most part so I can try to make the most unbiased opinions on the two earphones as I possibly can. Lets see what falls out!

 

 

Excellent. Looking forward to some level-headed, unbiased impressions. ;)

post #308 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcans View Post


Excellent. Looking forward to some level-headed, unbiased impressions. wink.gif

You sir took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
post #309 of 524
Unfortunately you may be right.
post #310 of 524

Very intrested in what this Freaq has to say!!!

post #311 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post

Very intrested in what this Freaq has to say!!!

Someone called???? Oh sorry, you wanted another freak and not me.

As a UERM owner something I'd like to add to the convo. Compared to all my other C/IEMs my UERM is easily the most coherent out of my whole stable. Soundstage, very good but not the widest or tallest I've heard. The 1Plus2 and SUI take that honour. That being said, for live recordings in a large venue the UERM still sounded the most realistic due to how it was voiced and how it handled various reverb caused by how the sound was bounced around in the venue the show was recorded in. The only other piece of gear I own to sound more natural isn't even an IEM it's a headphone, the Paradox. Just thought I'd throw in my two bits since the discussion has touched on findings involving coherence and soundstage size.

Also, I own a tri-fi and although it has a large soundstage I found instrument positioning rather poor compared to the UERM to the point that the music sounded hazed and muddied. Fun crazy bass though. As fun as a tri-fi may sound it was the IEM that made me decide that a V shaped sig wasn't 't for me or at least not the way the tri- fi went about doing it. Translation, the mids were a deal breaker for me. Still like to yank my tri-fi out now and again though. Sometimes it's fun switching it up and going with a different flavour when feeling bored.
Edited by DigitalFreak - 10/15/13 at 1:35am
post #312 of 524

Yeah I have to admit, I regret selling my TF10 sometimes. But the fit was just so horrible...nevermind.

 

I had such high hopes for the UE900, so dissapointing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post


Someone called???? Oh sorry, you wanted another freak and not me.

As a UERM owner something I'd like to add to the convo. Compared to all my other C/IEMs my UERM is easily the most coherent out of my whole stable. Soundstage, very good but not the widest or tallest I've heard. The 1Plus2 and SUI take that honour. That being said, for live recordings in a large venue the UERM still sounded the most realistic due to how it was voiced and how it handled various reverb caused by how the sound was bounced around in the venue the show was recorded in. The only other piece of gear I own to sound more natural isn't even an IEM it's a headphone, the Paradox. Just thought I'd throw in my two bits since the discussion has touched on findings involving coherence and soundstage size.

Also, I own a tri-fi and although it has a large soundstage I found instrument positioning rather poor compared to the UERM to the point that the music sounded hazed and muddied. Fun crazy bass though. As fun as a tri-fi may sound it was the IEM that made me decide that a V shaped sig wasn't 't for me or at least not the way the tri- fi went about doing it. Translation, the mids were a deal breaker for me. Still like to yank my tri-fi out now and again though. Sometimes it's fun switching it up and going with a different flavour when feeling bored.
post #313 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcans View Post
 

 

 

Excellent. Looking forward to some level-headed, unbiased impressions. ;)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post


You sir took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

 

Ha! Inevitably I'll be filled with bias. My past experience, expectations, personal preferences, tastes in music, attributes in earphones... too many to name, will always play a roll. But at least I can disengage from the existing opinions that have already been stated here on this thread, and try to approach it without other's words bouncing around my head. 

 

Trying to avoid confirmation bias: Which says, because someone else said it, I seek out and listen for that certain trait, amplifying the trait unnecessarily. 

post #314 of 524
First, I apologize for the slow response. Work has been insane recently. I'll spare you the details. 
 
The UERM vs TFRM - a very subjective evaluation.
 
(MBAir>Wiredworld USB>Cypher Labs -dB (2.0v version)>ALO 1/8" connect>RSA P-51)
 
Things I didn't mention, like soundstage, treble presence, etc.. is because I found the differences negligible. 
 
I think even putting numbers to it as Eke suggested in his original post is very subjective. At that point you're trying to quantify subjectivity, and you can get in to problems really quickly like that. The spectrum, the scale of evaluation is inevitably drastically different across members. So I'll just write from the heart and how these two legendary earphones spoke to me. 
 
When the package first arrived, I did a very quick prelim listen. From my recollection, I was quite impressed with the TF, and thought it could hold its own. Now that I've had a chance to listen to a variety of musical genres, from classical, piano and violin sonatas, to vocal, instrumental, electronic, and more - I have to say the UERM is justified in its price. Considering the diminishing returns in this hobby, I think they are consistent with the rest of the earphone playing field. The UERM's compete at the highest level. They remind me most of my AKG 3003. The similarities are uncanny. In some situations I could prefer the UERM to the 3003. 
 
I am in disbelief that they achieved such voluptuous, dynamic bass with a BA bass driver in the UERM. That bass is impressive. Really impressive. It's very dynamic, tight, quick, yet textured and voluptuous. Sounds more dynamic than the dynamic bass driver of my 3003! Though I would give a slight nod to the 3003 for accuracy in timbre. Isn't that something? Sounds backwards. 
 
For me, the difference in quality was pretty stark between the UERM and TF. The difference in price completely justified. If I'd had the opportunity to hear both before purchase, I would not hesitate to shell out the extra $900 for the UERM. Of course they are not $900 better on a linear scale, but there's no way I could live with the thought of how much I was shortchanging my musical experience with the TF. Even if I lived on a shoestring budget, it would be imperative for me to wait and save for the UERM. 
 
The overall presentation of the UERM vs the TF is one of rich and engaging vs cheap and incomplete. 
 
Talking about the bass, the UERM is more textured, more rich, more enveloping all the while being cleaner. It's almost an anomaly. Tighter and cleaner yet more vivid and robust sounding. The bass of the TF sounds flat in comparison. 
 
Listening to a violin sonata with these two pair of earphones really showcases how much more clear of a window the UERM presents. It's more refined, more clear, more accurate. It allows a sweetness, a melodic quality to shine through that is mostly lost on the TF. The TF plays the music ok, and most of the details are there, but the depth is lost. 
 
I switched to a very basic violin/piano sonata thinking that the flat, uncolored sound of the TF might work to its favor. Not the case. The difference in refinement, clarity and detail were even more evident. 
 
The UERM on vocal music is so much more robust, full and engaging to me. The TF just falls short in every way for me. 
 
That about sums it up. The UERM is much more rich, full, lifelike, with excellent texture and rendering of the bass. I become absorbed into the music, engaged, almost an interactive experience as I dance with the music. 
 
The TF sounds cheap and flat by comparison. Nothing there to draw me in. No emotional pull. 
 
For $100, and the mods excellently executed by Rin, you can't go wrong. It would be a fine earphone for someone starting their journey. But there's no way I could live with them, knowing I can have such a more vivid experience for $900 more. I prefer the UERM by a wide margin. Of course the difference in price vs value is subjective person to person - but for me, and this hobby, the difference is worth it without hesitation. 
 
I may be able to provide comparisons to the 1plus2 and further notes on the 3003. 
____________________________________
 
One day I was touring the Northern Californian countryside, near Napa Valley, where the grapes are grown for wine. I cruised along the narrow and curvy roads, with sunlight splattered across the road by the sun streaming though the large old trees lining me in my little car. I happened onto a small winery. It was made entirely of wood, contrasting against the verdant lush fields of grapes extending behind the log cabin, and against the green hillsides further in the distance. Parking my car, I headed to the entrance - not even sure if they were open. I opened the door and was greeted warmly by the owner, an aging man, but still spry with the passion of a man in love with his life work. I was the only one there. Just the winemaker and I. Next, he put on a show for me. 
 
Without a word he reached under the counter a brought out a clean, gleaming, crystal wine glass. He took it to the window and scrutinized the glass, twisting the stem between his thumb and index finger, searching for any impurity or finger print. Out of a motion of habit, he reached behind him and grabbed the top clean towel on a stack of fresh towels that were stacked neatly on the counter behind him. He massaged the glass gently with the pure white rag, to ensure its cleanliness. 
 
He turned around and set the glass squarely in front of me, in the middle, in one steadied gesture. There were two wine bottles, only two on the old wooden counter behind him. He grabbed the first, a red wine, and with the twist of his wrist, poured one swallow's worth into the wine glass before me. 
 
This was this man's life work in the glass before me. An artist, honing his talent and skill over years. 
 
After gently swirling the wine in the glass, and doing all the little things you're supposed to do when you taste wine, I took a sip of that first wine. He called it the "TF" as it had gone through some sort of special Triple Fermentation process, a modification that only he could perform, he assured. 
 
The "TF" tasted good. It was wine. It was a solid wine. Nothing to complain about. Nice breadth in flavor, and touches of various flavors came through to the tongue. If put against other wines in this category, this one would surely be a winner. Probably the best wine I had ever tasted in this category. 
 
After removing my glass, replacing it with a short glass of cool, pure water, the gentleman reached for a second wine glass so that I may sample his second wine. I rinsed my palette with the cleansing water, and watched as the master poured one swallow's worth into a perfectly clean wine glass. 
He called this wine the "UERM" 
 
Upon tasting it, I suddenly understood this man. His life work was brought to life! This was his masterpiece. Was it leaps and bounds better than the first wine? No. But it had an undeniably special characteristic that transcended the wine tasting experience into something much more profound. I was immersed into the wine fully, able to visualize the nutrient-giving soil, and the warm sun supplying life. Bold flavors, nuanced flavors, all came to the surface. It was rich and robust, yet clean and never overwhelming. The variation in subtle flavors and vivid flavors became a much more engaging sip, and the combination danced across my tongue warmly. This wine had history, the story of a life-long winemaker, perfectly evident in that sip. The warmth of his artistry was clear now. Now, the first wine seemed like a distant memory of something ordinary. But this, this had depth, a transparency into the soul of the winemaker himself. 
post #315 of 524
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post
 
First, I apologize for the slow response. Work has been insane recently. I'll spare you the details. 
 
The UERM vs TFRM - a very subjective evaluation.
 

Nice write up!

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