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First post! Saying hi and asking for suggestions on a TOTL pair of CIEMs

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Long time lurker on the site, just wanted to pop in and finally say hi to everyone!

 

A little about me: I'm a college senior at UCSD, long time fan of listening good music but almost always too broke to invest into audio gear due to my various other (expensive) hobbies.  I do have some experience in recording, as I had originally planned on studying music coming into college and had performed extensively on guitar throughout high school.  Then life happened, and several major changes later, I'm studying Communication with the intent of entering the advertising and media production business.  I've been using a pair of Etymotic HF5 with my stock iPod classic 5.5g and Transformer Pad TF101 tablet for the last few years and finally got around to saving up for something else.  I recently bought the NAD Viso HP50 and the Resonessence Labs Concero HP after a rather unexpected windfall (you know, instead of doing responsible things like saving or paying down student debt) and I'm loving the sound I'm getting out of them.  The other hobbies mentioned earlier include photography (check it out here if you have the time), cycling, coffee roasting/brewing, and computers.

 

And now to my little dilemma: recently, the cable on my HF5 has started to wear out.  Its been quite a long time since I've gotten them, so I'm pretty sure any warranty I had on them must be gone by now.  Anyhow, rather than repairing them, I've decided to dig deeper into the rabbit hole and save up for a pair of CIEMs.  Given that I've got the NADs to listen to and the fact that the wear isn't too bad, I'm not in any rush to go replacing them.  Thanks to that, I've got quite a bit of time to go about saving up for a new pair and I've decided on investing on a top of the line pair (or as the saying goes: buy once/cry once).  So far, I've attempted to narrow it down and I'm currently looking at the Noble Kaiser 10s, Unique Melody Mentors, JH13 Freqphase and the UERMs.  I'm wondering if you guys have any other suggestions to throw into the mix or any comparisons between the ones I'm looking at?  Given the headphones I own, I think its fair to say that I prefer a neutral sound as far as tonal balance goes.  Aside from tonal balance, my priorities are detail, extension, and dynamics.  Having a great soundstage would be a nice plus but not a necessity.

post #2 of 3

Perhaps look into Alien Ears. Heard about them in passing. Don't know much about them. http://www.alienears.com/

post #3 of 3

Alien Ears has been know to be very sketchy and unstabled with quality control. I would beware.

 

JH Audio is currently swamped with orders and is having quite a bit of delay.

 

I've been a fan of The Wizard's products as they tend to be very enjoyable with a slight warm tilt for a sweet sound. I myself have never tried the K10 though

 

Another company i could suggest is Rooth Audio. Theyre a sister company to UM and I've demoed their entire line and quite enjoyed most of them. Generally a pretty natural sound overall.

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