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Entry/Mid-level Custom IEM recommendations? (How many drivers is too many)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Currently looking to get a pair of Custom IEMs. 1964ears and Alclair are the two companies I am looking at considering their price points.

 

I'm debating between the Alclair Reference or the 1964ears V3 or V6.

 

Obviously the V6 is in there as a reach, which leads to my question: How many drivers is too many? Assuming a dual set up on the 1964ears V6, its Dual Lows/Mids/Highs in each ear. I'm more partial to the 1964ears since I didn't see them charging tax on the purchase, but if there is tax I may end up with Alclair. 

Basically, I know that there is a (huge) difference between 3 drivers and 6 drivers, but is it enough to warrant the higher price point?

 

Alclair Reference: $399 US + tax and shipping

1964ears V3: $449 US + shipping

1964ears V6: $649 US + shipping

 

I listen to pretty much everything, no heavy preference to anything which is why I prefer something like a reference, because I would like as close to neutral as possible. I currently use a Beyerdynamic DT 1350 as my daily driver, but looking to give it some rest for now. I also use a FiiO MontBlanc portable amp as well.

 

Any suggestions, advice, or alternatives would be greatly appreciated. 

post #2 of 3

I'm of the opinion that after 3 drivers diminishing returns starts to really bite you pretty hard.

 

It was just a few short years that triple BA driver IEMs were the OMGTHESEARETHEFACKINGNUTZ top of the line. 

 

I personally have no experience with high-end IEMs as I have been using, quite happily, my Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10's, since I got them 3 years ago.  The reason for my first statement comes from being around audio long enough to see which way the wind blows and I know how diminishing returns works in this area of consumer goods.

 

But I will say this:  In audio, your speakers, of in this case headphones/IEMs, have the largest impact in your listening experience by far, so if there is one facet of a system that you should focus a larger slice of the money pie, it's there.  So in that line of reasoning, diminishing returns is not quite as bad as say a DAC, where the difference in a $200 DAC and a $2000 DAC is barely audible and sometimes only with certain other types of gear and with certain media.

     I would say that if you are dead set on a pair of custom IEMs, might as well jump in with both feet and get the 6-driver model.  I personally would rather be a little let down with the more expensive model, than get the 3 driver model and wish I had gone ahead and bought the 6 driver.  I say that because if you get the 6 driver and love it, great. If you just like it then at least you know that you are better of than having gone with a lower model that you most likely would have liked even less. These are customs after all. If we were talking about universals, I'd say start with the lower end, and see if you really like the sound and then you are better informed to decide if it's worth it to you to move up the food-chain. 


Edited by cswann1 - 1/27/14 at 9:53pm
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

I'm of the opinion that after 3 drivers diminishing returns starts to really bite you pretty hard.

 

It was just a few short years that triple BA driver IEMs were the OMGTHESEARETHEFACKINGNUTZ top of the line. 

 

I personally have no experience with high-end IEMs as I have been using, quite happily, my Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10's, since I got them 3 years ago.  The reason for my first statement comes from being around audio long enough to see which way the wind blows and I know how diminishing returns works in this area of consumer goods.

 

But I will say this:  In audio, your speakers, of in this case headphones/IEMs, have the largest impact in your listening experience by far, so if there is one facet of a system that you should focus a larger slice of the money pie, it's there.  So in that line of reasoning, diminishing returns is not quite as bad as say a DAC, where the difference in a $200 DAC and a $2000 DAC is barely audible and sometimes only with certain other types of gear and with certain media.

     I would say that if you are dead set on a pair of custom IEMs, might as well jump in with both feet and get the 6-driver model.  I personally would rather be a little let down with the more expensive model, than get the 3 driver model and wish I had gone ahead and bought the 6 driver.  I say that because if you get the 6 driver and love it, great. If you just like it then at least you know that you are better of than having gone with a lower model that you most likely would have liked even less. These are customs after all. If we were talking about universals, I'd say start with the lower end, and see if you really like the sound and then you are better informed to decide if it's worth it to you to move up the food-chain. 

I've had Triple Fi 10s before and Westone 3s. I totally understand that line of reasoning on diminishing returns, but also not wanting to be supremely unhappy with a custom that I don't enjoy. I think my biggest concern is that I'm not terribly sure of the quality of the 2 places, only for price that they are pretty competitive. I find it weird that JH Audio/UE jacks their price up so high, considering that the JH 13 6 driver is 1100, and the 1964ears is almost half off but has the same amount of drivers, it concerns me. 

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