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IEM: Why bother going universals when you can go Customs? - Page 3

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by yilun View Post
 

I don't know how to interpret these graphs. But it seems to me that RE400 actually outperforms W4r in presenting a more smooth FR curve?

 

That's what I think too. I am not an expert on graphs either, but I know a few things about them. Even if you have no knowledge of how to read the graphs at all, you should still see that RE-400 measures better overall, especially in terms of frequency response and phase and impedance linearity. It's easy to see that RE-400 has a more linear, better extended low end, as well as high end. Common sense should tell that the wild roller coaster ride in the impedance vs phase graph is probably isn't a very good result compared to the almost completely linear measurement of RE-400 in the same graph. You can also see that RE-400 has noticeably lower distortion, and a faster settling impulse response...

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

 

That's what I think too. I am not an expert on graphs either, but I know a few things about them. Even if you have no knowledge of how to read the graphs at all, you should still see that RE-400 measures better overall, especially in terms of frequency response and phase and impedance linearity. It's easy to see that RE-400 has a more linear, better extended low end, as well as high end. Common sense should tell that the wild roller coaster ride in the impedance vs phase graph is probably isn't a very good result compared to the almost completely linear measurement of RE-400 in the same graph. You can also see that RE-400 has noticeably lower distortion, and a faster settling impulse response...

Maybe you're right. I had a pair of w4r and the sound did't attract me. I haven't heard RE-400 and I guess I should try it one day.

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by yilun View Post
 

Maybe you're right. I had a pair of w4r and the sound did't attract me. I haven't heard RE-400 and I guess I should try it one day.

 

Now the question is - what are the extra 3 drivers in the W4 doing in there? And I think the answer is simple - messing up the sound. I do think multi driver BAs have the potential to sound great and I am sure that there are some out there that do sound great (although personally I haven't heard any that sound better than my ER4 or RE400), but I think it's also a lot easier to mess up when engineering a multi driver IEM than it is when making a single driver one, which then gets you results like W4 - an IEM that clearly gets outperformed, at least objectively, by a $99 dynamic and by a multitude of other IEMs that cost a lot less than $400. But W4 actually doesn't look so bad - just check out this. Now, think if you would want to purchase a multi driver custom without seeing any measurements for it first.


Edited by Pianist - 5/5/14 at 3:06pm
post #34 of 57

Thread isn't about single versus multi driver.

 

On topic: I like to share. You can poison people with universals. With customs people are just like what is that thing in your ear and you go oh this sounds really good but you have to take my word for it and they're like oooookay. 

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnirai View Post
 

Thread isn't about single versus multi driver.

 

On topic: I like to share. You can poison people with universals. With customs people are just like what is that thing in your ear and you go oh this sounds really good but you have to take my word for it and they're like oooookay. 

 

However, the vast majority of customs, especially high end ones are currently multi driver BA setups, so most people going for customs are thinking of getting one of the multi driver BAs. I think that it is thus important to mention the possible issues with multi drivers here, which I think can be very serious. Just look at what a crossover error can do to frequency response here - this is worse than most issues that at least a half decent single driver IEM may have. Considering that customs can't be measured (I think), this is even more of a problem. All you can do then is trust somebody's reviews, but we all know how much placebo can influence people. People have been known to get cured by pills made of chalk just because they believed that the pills should cure them.


Edited by Pianist - 5/5/14 at 3:54pm
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stlrman View Post

Miller, people do sell customs. Yes , they take a bigger loss on a resell. Many custom companies offer a reshell service for about $100-$200. So people are not trashing their customs.

 

This is something I did not know.  Still, I can't see that happening even if it is possible.  I'm sure it does, but buying someone else's customs and having them reworked is just something I would not do.

post #37 of 57
"All you can do then is trust somebody's reviews, but we all know how much placebo can influence people. People have been known to get cured by pills made of chalk just because they believed that the pills should cure them."
[/quote]

Reviews are not a substitute for hearing a product and deciding for yourself what sounds good to your ears.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmiller511 View Post
 

 

This is something I did not know.  Still, I can't see that happening even if it is possible.  I'm sure it does, but buying someone else's customs and having them reworked is just something I would not do.

If I but a pair of secondhand Ciem and have it reworked. Would it change the original sound?

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyInnerEar View Post

"All you can do then is trust somebody's reviews, but we all know how much placebo can influence people. People have been known to get cured by pills made of chalk just because they believed that the pills should cure them."
[/quote]

Reviews are not a substitute for hearing a product and deciding for yourself what sounds good to your ears.

 

Problem with customs is that, unless there are demos available(even demos do not exactly match custom fit sound), you have to choose one based on blind eye without auditioning them, and after you do so, you cannot sell them like the universals since they are customized for your ear. 

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyInnerEar View Post
Reviews are not a substitute for hearing a product and deciding for yourself what sounds good to your ears.

 

I just meant that before you will consider buying a custom, you will want to read some reviews first, because surely just buying based on specs and ads is not a good idea at all. By reading some reviews, you'll at least have a better idea of how the product might sound (and how well it's built too) and at least there will be less of a chance that you will get a product with serious issues. But, of course, reviews are purely subjective if they are not based on any objective measurement data . But then is will be your personal impressions and the biggest problem is that you may be too influenced by certain biases and placebo to hear and understand the sound properly.

post #41 of 57

I honestly see no problem with owning multiple set of custom or IEM ... if I have the money that is. Of course they should compliment each other so that I can change them depending on my mood and not just more of the same kind of sound.

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

 

Now the question is - what are the extra 3 drivers in the W4 doing in there? And I think the answer is simple - messing up the sound. I do think multi driver BAs have the potential to sound great and I am sure that there are some out there that do sound great (although personally I haven't heard any that sound better than my ER4 or RE400), but I think it's also a lot easier to mess up when engineering a multi driver IEM than it is when making a single driver one, which then gets you results like W4 - an IEM that clearly gets outperformed, at least objectively, by a $99 dynamic and by a multitude of other IEMs that cost a lot less than $400. But W4 actually doesn't look so bad - just check out this. Now, think if you would want to purchase a multi driver custom without seeing any measurements for it first.

UERM, reference monitors CIEMs regarded as being neutral and very accurate.  Can  you see why people hear it that way?

 


Edited by SilverEars - 5/5/14 at 8:02pm
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

UERM, reference monitors CIEMs regarded as being neutral and very accurate.  Can  you see why people hear it that why?

 

 

Looks very nice indeed. Ok, so customs can indeed be measured. Great. Where did you get that graph from? I found a different source with UERM measurements here. The graph there doesn't seem to match the one you posted. Actually, there's a pretty big variation - the one at M.R.O has noticeably greater dips and peaks... Perhaps, just differences in compensation methods and some slight variations in measurement procedures though. Both graphs look quite good, although you can clearly see that UERM actually can't quite reach up to 20 kHz (not that I consider it an issue - I think it doesn't matter, if at all, in actual music listening, but it still isn't quite full range officially). I do know of multi driver BAs that can do the full 20Hz-20kHz, like UE900 for example.

 

So, yes, multi driver BAs can be made to sound very nice, but we always need to look at measurements to confirm. Now, the question is - are they worth it compared to cheaper, universal fit IEMs? There are plenty of less expensive, universal ones, even single driver IEMs, that measure as well as that or really close. I think universal IEMs are a much safer choice, unless one can get a universal version of the custom IEM that one plans to buy and can compare it with universal IEMs that measure similarly well. I mean, the UERM may be nice and all, but before spending the $1k on it, I think it would be nice to AB it directly against other IEMs known to be very accurate that are much cheaper, like Etymotic ER4S or a FitEar F111 to decide whether the UERM is really worth it for the particular listener. We also need to compare the measurements to see whether UERM really measures any better objectively. If it doesn't, that still doesn't mean that it can't be better, because graphs don't seem to telling the whole story in regards to sound quality. However, in case measurements are really close, only people with a sufficient amount of music training can legitimately decide which one is truly the more accurate IEM in my opinion. So this is a pretty complex issue.


Edited by Pianist - 5/5/14 at 8:16pm
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post
 

 

Looks very nice indeed. Ok, so customs can indeed be measured. Great. Where did you get that graph from? I found a different source with UERM measurements here. The graph there doesn't seem to match the one you posted. Actually, there's a pretty big variation - the one at M.R.O has noticeably greater dips and peaks... Perhaps, just differences in compensation methods and some slight variations in measurement procedures though. Both graphs look quite good, although you can clearly see that UERM actually can't quite reach up to 20 kHz (not that I consider it an issue - I think it doesn't matter, if at all, in actual music listening, but it still isn't quite full range officially). I do know of multi driver BAs that can do the full 20Hz-20kHz, like UE900 for example.

 

So, yes, multi driver BAs can be made to sound very nice, but we always need to look at measurements to confirm. Now, the question is - are they worth it compared to cheaper, universal fit IEMs? There are plenty of less expensive, universal ones, even single driver IEMs, that measure as well as that or really close. I think universal IEMs are a much safer choice, unless one can get a universal version of the custom IEM that one plans to buy and can compare it with universal IEMs that measure similarly well. I mean, the UERM may be nice and all, but before spending the $1k on it, I think it would be nice to AB it directly against other IEMs known to be very accurate that are much cheaper, like Etymotic ER4S or a FitEar F111 to decide whether the UERM is really worth it for the particular listener. We also need to compare the measurements to see whether UERM really measures any better objectively. If it doesn't, that still doesn't mean that it can't be better, because graphs don't seem to telling the whole story in regards to sound quality. However, in case measurements are really close, only people with a sufficient amount of music training can legitimately decide which one is truly the more accurate IEM in my opinion. So this is a pretty complex issue.

Can you post the graph of the UE900 demonstrating this?  BA have hard time achieving this.  Treble extension is not their forte.  If you look at most BA, it's roll off around 10K  BA has very bad impedance graphs there are resonances and so much variations of impedance for differing frequencies.  Dynamics typically have flat impedance graphs and phase.  I'm guessing the cause of BA impedance peaks are from crossovers of multi-BA drivers?

 

Regarding UE900, sound wise, I wasn't impressed compared to the UERM.  You will notice a difference if you compare them.

 

You are right, measurements do not correlate with how they are perceived.  BA are listed as top by joker especially the CIEMs, and they do not have as good treble extensions(according to the graphs) and have bad impedance graphs, yet they sound great to a guy that has heard 315 and counting iems.  My impressions line-up with joker's so I do follow his ratings.


Edited by SilverEars - 5/5/14 at 8:27pm
post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Can you post the graph of the UE900 demonstrating this?  BA have hard time achieving this.  Treble extension is not their forte.  If you look at most BA, it's roll off around 10K  BA has very bad impedance graphs there are resonances and so much variations of impedance for differing frequencies.  Dynamics typically have flat impedance graphs and phase.  I'm guessing the cause of BA impedance peaks are from crossovers of multi-BA drivers?

 

Regarding UE900, sound wise, I wasn't impressed compared to the UERM.  You will notice a difference if you compare them.

 

You are right, measurements do not correlate with how they are perceived.  BA are listed as top by joker especially the CIEMs, and they do not have as good treble extensions(according to the graphs) and have bad impedance graphs, yet they sound great to a guy that has heard 315 and counting iems.  My impressions line-up with joker's so I do follow his ratings.

 

Here you go: http://rinchoi.blogspot.ca/2012/10/ultimate-ears-part3-in-depth-analysis.html Scroll down to the conclusion around half way down the page... Most BA IEM's can't reach up that high.

 

Regarding impedance, you are right - multi driver BAs have wildly varying impedance vs frequency. Single driver BAs have much flatter impedance vs frequency than multi driver ones, but still lose out compared to some dynamics, like RE400 or RE272, both of which have virtually flat impedance throughout the entire frequency range.

 

Not only do multi driver BAs have "bad" impedance graphs, but they also have very poor looking phase graphs as well. That's my biggest gripe with multi BA setups - phase problems. I am very sensitive to these and to my ears they manifest themselves as the break up of sound into two or more distinct "dimensions" if you will, with each one seemingly existing separately from the other and sounding somewhat different in tone, pace, reproduction of spacial cues and other characteristics. For example, with Shure SE535 I distinctly heard the bass "dimension" and the mids/treble "dimension". The bass sounded sort of in the background, almost behind the mids and treble and sort of encompassing them on the sides and from behind, but it didn't have the same pacing as the mids and treble - can't say if it sounded slower or faster, but the bass ended up sounding detached from the mids and highs. This is definitely a crossover issue and apparently the new phase correcting technologies from JH Audio are supposed to correct such issues. But I am pretty sure I will never buy one of the traditional multi drivers without a phase correction technology, even if they measure well in frequency response and other characteristics like UERM does, because I heard phase issues with all multi drivers I've heard so far, even with those that measure quite well on paper, like SE535 does. Apparently phase problems are very hard, if not impossible to clearly identify based on measurements. You can sort of see that there's a problem in phase graphs and square wave graphs, but it's hard to see how it may manifest itself in actual listening with these graphs.


Edited by Pianist - 5/5/14 at 9:05pm
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