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Custom iem vs universal reshell value?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have been doing reading on iem, and have seen numerous threads about reshells of universal iem's. Is there an advantage to buying universal to reshell vs a custom? I am trying to make a decision between a triple.fi 10 vs westone 4r vs westone um3x, and see that the price of them with a reshell would still fall short of a UE7 Pro for example. Are customs that much better, or is there a bang for your buck factor in reshells?

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeklo062704 View Post
 

I have been doing reading on iem, and have seen numerous threads about reshells of universal iem's. Is there an advantage to buying universal to reshell vs a custom? I am trying to make a decision between a triple.fi 10 vs westone 4r vs westone um3x, and see that the price of them with a reshell would still fall short of a UE7 Pro for example. Are customs that much better, or is there a bang for your buck factor in reshells?

This obviously is a rather subjective question that will only be answered according to your own priorities, including, cost, SQ, price/performance ratio, etc.

 

I for one, purchased a pair of used TF10s for $125 and had them reshelled for $105. The total for customs was still less than the price of a new pair of TF10s and leagues cheaper than most in-house customs. Granted I've never been able to justify spending more than $200 for IEMs as most of my listening is done portably, but for me the opportunity was there, so I took it. 

 

Remember, there are plenty of universals that are regarded more highly than comparably priced customs and vice versa. It all will depend on how deep your wallet is! Also remember, that selling a used pair of universals is much easier than trying to sell a pair of CIEMs.

post #3 of 6

The UE7 isn't the least expensive from Ultimate Ears. The UE4 is $400. If you're getting the the universal new, by the time you've reshelled them, you aren't really saving a lot. You can get the custom 1964 Ears entry level ~$350. I had the Triple-fi (without custom shells) and it did not impress me compared to the UE5. More armatures doesn't always mean better.

 

Honestly, if you're going through the trouble of getting an audiologist to take impressions, I would just jump to the customs. But like JoeDoe says, you'll have to make that decision based on your needs. 

 

One more thing that might help, at some meets the vendors will take impressions for free. And some will have universal versions of the customs, if you want to compare the sound signature (without the custom shells.) 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autark View Post

 

One more thing that might help, at some meets the vendors will take impressions for free. And some will have universal versions of the customs, if you want to compare the sound signature (without the custom shells.) 

Good call!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

That's the hardest part of making a decision between ciem vs uiem, single vs dual vs triple based on opinions of others. The best way I've found is to read multiple reviews about a pair, and if you read the same thing in all of them, it's more than likely true. The thing that really made me wonder was reading through the iem mega review. Out of 307 iem's, one of the top pairs was a single armature $269 Custom Art Music Ones. Single armature custom that is cheaper than a Westone than triple armature universal is something to think about, but I don't know if I'd want to order from an out of country company.

 

I liked the idea of reshelling universals, because it makes it possible to get custom iem's without having to put all of the money out all at once, and without having to throw it on a credit card. If I was going to go with in house customs, I'd probably do UE pros, because they're based 20 minutes from me. Has anyone heard a single driver UE pro, and a triplefi 10 or a westone to give a sound opinion?

post #6 of 6

If you're 20 minutes from UE, just call them up. Ask if you can audition the universal set they have that use their custom drivers. Seriously, they have some very generous, great people. If you're lucky, they may have the triple-fi 10's on hand to listen side by side.  

 

And note, even the least expensive have two armatures per side. At least for UE, 1964 ears and JH Audio. Westone looks like they have some single armatures. 

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