Metal Magic Research Thummim

General Information



Thummim

'Thummim' is most significantly exemplified by an inconceivable spherical soundscape offering texture and details with distinct wideness, abysmal depth and soaring height. It's a MMR prized design befitting of a modern world audiophile flagship status and a showcase of MMR's top notch technology. 'Thummim' artisanal usage of 4 electrostatics that's conjoined within a single trans allows the flawless oeuvre of musical masterpieces to come alive. MMR team behind 'Thummim' added on Eletech's proprietary internal LITZ wires as final touches to perfect the IEM.Housed within a MMR specialty Titanium shell for UIEM, the monitor offers perfect ergonomics that is befitting of daily usage.





Specifications
- 9 Triple Hybrid Drivers Configuration
- 4 Electrostatics , 2 Mid , 2 Highs , 1 Foster Dynamic Driver
- 4 - Way Passive Electro Frequency Division
- TriBore Waveguide
- Eletech Proprietary Internal Litz

Frequency Response : 10Hz - 80kHz
Impedance : 35ohm
Noise Isolation : -18db (UIEM)

Retail Price : $4299

Additional information coming from discussion with Joseph Mou :

- Internal parts are all mounted on 3D printed chassis with all sound wave guide printed in one piece -> improves accuracy and stability of sound and overall performance
- better Dynamic driver from Foster Electric in Japan
- latest Estat driver and new high efficiency transformer from Sonion (different from trinity one)
- high purity pure silver internal wiring and special solder from Eletech
- new 0.78mm 2 pins socket with internal spring structure that improves life time and "plug and pull" life cycle (should not loosen easely)

Latest reviews

Pros: Unmatched sound stage
Exciting and musical sound
Texture across the whole spectrum
Great across all genres
Excellent build quality
Cons: Comfort may not be for all
Price will be a factor for most
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Introduction
Firstly a bit about me – I consider myself a melophile, not an audiophile. I got into this hobby trying to make music sound the best I could afford to make it sound. I suspect most of us are like this.

I also suspect most of us get sucked into the definition of “best”. And the definition of “afford”. Over the years, at various times, both of these terms have had variable meanings to me. These days – well I’m still not sure. But I still sure as hell love finding out.

So I guess in some ways it does make me an audiophile. I’ve grown to love listening to different audio kit, comparing it, remembering stuff I wish I hadn’t sold. All the usual things we do on Head-Fi.
But I’d be more upset if new music stopped being made than if new kit stopped being made. (Fortunately, neither of these two scenarios is likely).


A bit about my tastes
My main criteria for music is “does it sound like the person cares more about the music than the money here?”. I know it’s hard/impossible to know someone’s true motivation for making art – but I think it shines through a lot of the time. Beyond that, I’ll try most things and almost every genre I’ve ever heard has examples I love (and many I don’t). So metal, soul, hip-hop, house, techno, pop, breaks, kwaito, samba, mbaqanga, grunge, jazz…it all has a place in my collection.

My main criteria for IEMs and music reproduction in general? That’s also hard to define. What’s warm to me isn’t to someone else. What is a neutral IEM? Well that depends on what your ear canals look like. Did the tips make a difference to how we both heard this thing? And so on.

I’m an old fart Head-Fier. I joined the forums when all we really had to argue about was “Shure is better! No Etymotic is better! No, you’re an idiot.” Not much has changed – just add more brands, I guess. 😉

*** Anyway, if you’re a TLDR kinda person and you just need to know what I like, it’s best described as “the warm side of balanced with an extreme aversion to sibilance.” ***

In real life, upper-mids/treble from unamplified instruments almost never hurts my ears. So if a pair of IEMs/speakers/cans does, then it’s all I can hear. The rest of the range might be perfect, but if it’s pushing out splashy upper-frequencies – then the rest is just drowned out by it and it’s all I can think about. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear good upper-frequencies, it just means I’m ultra-picky – it has to sound right to me or I can’t get on board.

Also in real life, I can always hear or feel the low-end stuff. I have an affinity with the underlying rhythm and that is so often carried in the lower frequencies. So if you’re tuning an audio product to make pianos sound beautiful but the bassoon or double-bass can’t be heard, then I appreciate what you’re doing, but I probably have limited use for it.

Keep these views in mind when reading my impressions please, they may not match with yours, but I'm hoping it helps you place my views in context with your own preferences.

Also keep in mind that this is the first review I’ve posted since the launch of the Shure SE500. Back then, Jude and the mods complained that new voices weren’t adding their impressions to the community and people needed to hear from all of us, so I was emboldened and imspired to write a review. Having complained to us, the mods now had little choice but to promote my nonsense to the main page. Serves them right. They never made the same mistake again, and neither did I.
Back with my own special brand of nonsense, here we go….



A message of thanks

Before I go any further, I really want to thank Joseph Mou at MMR for making this happen – we’re very blessed and lucky to have a distraction as nice as this to keep us busy with this Thummim tour and I’m particularly lucky to be the starting point for this particular set.

I also want to thank @mvvRAZ – this wouldn’t have happened without his passion for finding the best-sounding gear. I don’t think anyone needs me to go into details about his IEM history, but it’s because of his enthusiasm and organisation that this whole thing was made to come to life. Most of us just moan that the UK/EU never gets to take part in this cool stuff….not our RAZ. Thanks bro.



I’ve tried to keep my gratitude for this opportunity away from my impressions on the product itself – but it’s best everyone knows that I received nothing but a week of listening time with this unit – I have already passed it on to the next reviewer and I have received absolutely zero direction/request from MMR other than to tell me who to pass the unit to. But I still felt it best to outline my “relationship” with the company.



Okay, so what about those Thummims right? Nobody came here to read about my life story.

On with the show.

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Impressions

Right – let’s address those looks. Ignoring my own opinion on aesthetics, I’m pleased to see a unique design or two (both MMRs look unusual). And in person, they’re a lot more attractive. But there’s no getting away from it, these definitely look like the side-mirrors of the Tesla Cybertruck.

Aesthetics are very subjective and personal. Equally so, the fit and comfort. Now it’s a shame my first words on this IEM are going to be negative, but there’s simply no way I can pretend these weren’t uncomfortable for the first few days I used them. I have a box of tips overflowing with different brands, so I was fortunate to eventually find something that worked, but even so, the nozzle’s length and size meant I was in some discomfort initially.

Obviously my experiences here will not be universal, some people will chuck on the first pair of tips they think will work and be on their way. Others might try forever and never reach comfort. It’s very individual, but to me, I can’t help feeling a slightly kinder-edged design might have alleviated most of these problems.

Even once you’ve found the right tip, it’s very easy to insert them in a way that can hurt you after an hour or two of listening, and you only realise a little later.

Another thing to mention is that by changing the cable to one that has no memory wire and no heat-shrink tubing trying to force your ear to be the shape it wants your ear to be, comfort can be drastically improved (at least in my instance.) If you get a chance to try these and you are having discomfort, please try a soft cable without tubing/wire.

With all that said, fortunately I’ve been learning to make my own cables and was able to find a tip and insertion length that suited my ears a little more, and I became adept at twisting the shell in a very delicate manner which ultimately led to a pain-free session lasting hours on end. But it was “a process” to get there. Once I was there, I could enjoy the sound. Ooooohhhhh…..the sound!



Before I go into details – here is a random selection of messages I sent to our esteemed tour-organiser. I trawled through my messages because I feel this says far more than an audiophile comment about the attack transients being tight and blah blah blah.

So here are my (sometimes edited for context/censored) thoughts….


- “I just want to listen to every record I've ever owned as quickly as I can to hear them all through this”


- “I've actually had to stop listening to rock/organic music and only put on electronic music while I’m working, because I keep getting distracted - I need background music and this thing makes me feel like I'm at the <censored> concert, so it's too distracting”


- “It's made mince-meat of the ‘tricky’ Tracy Chapman so-called audiophile album”



I think you get the picture. I was enthralled.

Let me start the more focused impressions with sound stage.
Now. I usually don’t mention sound stage in any impressions of IEMs. At all. It’s just not something I particularly feel is a strength of IEMs. It’s an esoteric term at the best of times, and with IEMs there have been times when I’ve thought “are people just discussing sound stage because they need to fill review space?”
Well, “usually” doesn’t apply here. There’s absolutely nothing “usual” about the Thummim’s sound stage. It’s all spectacularly “UNusual”. My comment to mvvRAZ about needing to switch to electronic music was a genuine report on my life – I was working and I simply couldn’t concentrate, sounds just kept flying at my from all over the place.

Even more strangely – one night in bed I was listening to Pearl Jam’s “Binaural” (several of the tracks on this album are recorded with binaural effects specifically for head/earphones and brings a very dynamic feel to proceedings) – and the landscape that these draw somehow had me feeling like I was right in the middle of the band – I could place the drummer right behind me, guitars left and right and I felt, without any real imagination required, like I was in the band singing out. I wasn’t even drunk, I swear!

The Thummim has an uncanny ability to paint a picture across the audio canvas, throwing sounds around like an abstract artist, but the result is anything but abstract. The effect is a marvellous, colourful rendition of your favourite song, rendered new and exciting by a fresh perspective, while still recognising it as the same song you’ve always loved. It doesn’t ruin it, it just seems to say “Hey, you know that band you love? This is what it sounds like to be there.”

And even with certain electronic music, which I listened to in order to escape the vast soundscape, is still sometimes not safe from the Thum’s abilities. I played Maribou State’s excellent “Kingdoms In Colour” album, only for the Thummim to flex. “No way bro, this album has sounds flying in from this weird angle. You dig that? How about this sound here, did you know it came from behind you brah? ‘Course you didn’t. Heathen.” It happened time and time again, and I absolutely love it.

As I say, this isn’t something I usually bother with in IEMs. So the Thummim has had quite an effect on me in that regard. And it’s made me wonder if there’s something in this weird design that’s responsible for that, but only Joseph could tell us that.

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Let’s move onto the actual presentation, beyond that crazy imaging.

The best way to describe this - everything I listened to has more body to it. Warmth isn't quite the right word - it's just good at pushing everything that’s there into the open. As if to say "here, this is all the stuff on this record - pick what you like and let it move you. And when you get bored there's plenty more here to switch your focus to.” Everything is accessible, everything is there and bold and ready to be heard, but it never sounds aggressive.

I’m told there’s a very slight dip around the 6k mark (I hope MMR reps will correct me on this if I’m wrong). This seems to be particularly beneficial to me – I think that’s probably where some of my sensitivity to harsher sounds lies. But not once, at any point during my (very long, very frequent) listening sessions did the Thummim cross that audio line, look at me threateningly and intimidate my girlfriend with its unruly behaviour and shoutiness. And believe me, it’s an easy thing to do (cross that audio line, not intimidate my girlfriend. She’ll slap you right back down.)

Let’s keep our focus on that middle range of sounds. It seems like it should be a third of what we talk about in audio, but it’s so much more. Mid-range covers so many sounds that make up what we hear in a record. I may be a lover of bass and low-end rumble, but the mid-range is where all the emotion lives. So for an IEM to be any good – I’d say it needs to have a firm grip on what’s happening here. It’s also where most of what we consider “sibilance” and “shoutiness” comes from. Upper mid-range is as much responsible for this as anything in the treble arena – get this wrong and you’ll be chasing listeners away.

However the Thummim has no time for such unedifying lack of mid-range presentation. It knows exactly what you love and it’s here to provide it for you.

While it’s no slouch with female vocals (Suzanne Vega’s entire Retrospective album is rendered as sweetly as it’s every sounded before), it truly sets itself apart with male vocals. Rushing through everything I could think of, I listened to Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam, The Whitest Boy Alive, Soundgarden, Peter Gabriel, Faith No More, Michael Kiwanuka, Roots Manuva… every unusual, gritty, famous and downright weird male voices I could think of. The Thummim digested them all and regurgitated them with a clarity, power and, most importantly, sense of emotion and soul that few transducers are capable of.


Something this small has no right sounding this big.


Treble is, as I’ve mentioned, my Achilles’ heel. Done right, it can obviously sound superb. But “done right” is as rare as rocking-horse droppings, at least for my ears. Prior to this, the A64 range with Tia technology was my comparator of choice, the zenith of the treble world in IEM terms at least. So does the Thummim match up here?

Well mostly. It wins half the battle and loses half. But there’s absolutely no shame in that. So what’s the skinny here? Well for me personally, I think the U18t beats the Thum’s treble for tone and texture – the treble is a bit more present and easy to pick out. It’s a detail monster, this shouldn’t be news to anyone. However the Thummim manages to extend further – it creates a much greater sense of that annoying term “air”. It has a layer of sparkle, a sprinkling of magic that allows it to shimmer and gleam slightly brighter than the U18t, even though the U18t has a more solid feel to the treble sound.

This really is tough to pick. I think by maybe one half of once percent I would go with the 64A, but there’s no way I could confidently say I wouldn’t miss the Thummim’s allure here too.


And the bass. Goodness me.

Too often with audiophile IEMs, those of us who live down in the bassy realms, the subterranean underworld of sound that is often felt more than it’s heard, are disappointed by the bass. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve though “well I like that – but it’s missing a whole chunk of sound I KNOW is there, because I’ve heard it on a pair of Funktion 1s” or something. Perhaps it’s unfair to compare them to Funktion 1s, but we’re not talking about fair here. If the world was fair, I wouldn’t have to pay thousands of pounds for IEMs. So when I do – I want my bass thanks.

Well the Thummim has given it to me. And then some.
Again, I’m going to compare this to the best in the business (IMO) here, the heavyweight Legend X.
Now I’ll be very clear, the Legend X has more slam. More depth. More, more, more. That’s the LX’s calling card. And it does it well, it’s been covered ad-nauseum by countless Head-Fiers.
Well I’m happy to report that while the Thum is slightly behind the LX, it’s not miles behind. This is Asafa Powell at his best finishing a split second behind Usain Bolt, where most IEMs are….well, me finishing a race when Usain has started the next event at the next meet.

But what most people will appreciate about the Thum is that, because it has an overall slight W shape to the tuning, the bass doesn’t quite rattle everything else into second place. Because while that kind of thing appeals to me, I totally understand why others don’t like that. So if you’re after an IEM that has almost the bass of the LX, but still presents much more of the spectrum in a more balanced and forward tone, all while maintaining a grip on all of them, well this should definitely be on your audition list.



Anything else to talk about?

Sure. The cable that came with the demo unit is the Plato, but a previous version, so I’m not going to comment too much on it. I will say that, while I like Eletech (as a brand I’m only mildly familiar with) I cannot get on with ANY cable that doesn’t have a slider, but ESPECIALLY not with something that has a fit like this.

I do love the way the cable matches the tone and aesthetic of the IEM itself (a function of the two companies being literally in the same building, I’m sure). When you operate in the rarefied atmosphere of the multi-kilobuck IEM, this is the kind of thing that sets a company like MMR apart. (Well, that and the distinctive design philosophy and it's brilliant sound of course). And if you aren’t a believer that cables make a difference, well you can sell it and recoup money on your investment, so I’m all for this type of tie-in with quality brands.

Speaking of changing cables, it’s also worth pointing out that the 2pin sockets on this IEM are like none I’ve ever experienced. Every set of cables fits in perfectly, and there’s a tiny little “click” and it’s secure. It feels almost magnetised. I have no idea what’s happening on a mechanical level, but like the rest of the IEM, this socket feels like it’s been built to last – I was very impressed with it, even as someone who doesn’t really roll cables.

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Conclusion

This is where things get interesting (and where lazy people skip to. You know who you are. I know who you are, because I’m one of you).

Let’s deal with the price first. I’m not going to go into the whole “it’s all relative”, we all know how this hobby works. I also won’t go into the whole “I wish the TOTL pricing was lower”, we all wish that too. Bottom line is that we control the price of this stuff with our purchases. So while I have my own views on pricing – this thing is priced at the top of the tree alongside some big hitters. Erlkonig, Noble Prestige – and if you get a decent price selling the Plato it’s down in a zone somewhere just a bit more expensive than the A18s/Masons etc. It has to perform and offer something as good as these IEMs, or offer something that’s the same but better.

In that context – I personally (and absolutely!) believe that the Thummim more than justifies its place in the conversation at the top.

I’ve heard many IEMs, I own enough at the moment to be (quite rightly) treated in quizzical fashion by the more level-headed people around me, and while my tastes won’t be the same as everyone’s, I have heard a few things that are supposed to compete with the MMRs on price and on technical ability.

In that regard, I feel the Legend X beats it on low end. I feel parts of the treble can be challenged and beaten by the U18t, resolution is a smidge better on the Erlkonig. But the impressive thing is that the Thummim comes second to these IEMs in some regards, and comes first in the remaining arenas for my tastes.

The point? That when you create an IEM that challenges the very best in most areas, and is the very best in other areas, then you end up with an IEM that’s truly a contender for the best overall IEM there currently is.

So while I might pick my LX for a thumping track, or I might pick my U18t for a detailed listen, it takes individual IEMs to beat it in individual areas – if I just want to enjoy some music and I could only have one IEM in my collection? Well it’s not even close. I’d choose the Thummim.


Will I buy one? I’m very seriously considering it. The only (and I literally mean ONLY) thing stopping me is that I cannot be 100% sure that the comfort is something I can live with. Yes, it got better. Yes, there are things you can do to help reduce that discomfort. But at this price, I can’t help but feel there shouldn’t be any major “buts”.

However, with this huge “BUT” in mind – the fact that I’m still falling more on the side of “Yes” than “No” should tell you everything you need to know about my opinions on the sound this marvellous little oddity can produce. It’s been a true pleasure to listen to and I’ve enjoyed every single moment I’ve been fortunate enough to spend with this tiny metallic bundle of passionate sound engineering.


I wonder if banks are easier to get into during lockdown?

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colourgravity
colourgravity
Thoroughly enjoyable and informative review - thank you. I like your style! I hope, now you've ventured back out into the open, you'll be writing more. And your enthusiasm has made me even more impatient to get my ears on the Thummims I have on order (yes, I know blind buying something this pricey and unusual in design is crazy, but I have a good feeling about this one).
doctorjuggles
doctorjuggles
@colourgravity you really must let me know your thoughts! It's just such a unique and enjoyable sound. I'm missing them already and despite being hugely fortunate to own some of the best stuff around, I'm feeling their loss quite keenly! Luckily for you, that won't be an issue! :)
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colourgravity
colourgravity
I adore them. I was lucky enough to acquire the Oriolus Traillii at the same time. It's a superb IEM, but I'm still finding that the Thummims are taking all my listening time. There's just something truly special about the way they sound (not to mention their wonderfully eccentric design, which I'm also enjoying now I know that I can wear them comfortably despite their apparent angularity). I am very grateful that I get to keep these - I think the tour might have come to an abrupt, illegal halt with me if I'd only been borrowing them!
Pros: Exceptional bass, midrange and treble
Spectacular midrange texture
Largest soundstage I've heard to date
Great build and cable
Cons: Packaging-ish
Comfort/shell shape
Disclaimer: I purchased the MMR Thumimm because it is brutally awesome and from the moment I heard it I knew I was ready to sell a kidney in order to make sure I never have to send it back.

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Intro

To be fully honest, I've been postponing having to review the Thumimm for a while now. It's going to be especially difficult for me to provide balanced feedback on the Thumimm since it features my favourite imaging, midrange, treble and DD bass. If any IEM was ever built to be my endgame, nothing comes even close to the Thumimm. I've owned it for a bit over a month now, and I've listened to other IEMs about twice in total.

MMR have created an absolute beast of an IEM, and the tech it features goes to show the dedication and effort that went into creating the Thumimm. Other than the things you can read on the website, I'd say it features three elements that are especially cool - I don't know if and what sound difference they make, but if anything they provide a certain peace of mind that it features the absolute pinnacle of IEM tech

1. If you love cables as much as I do, rest assured that the Thumimm delivers. The stock cable that is included is the Eletech Plato, a monocrystal silver cable with specially designed hardware for MMR. The grey material you see in the plug and split is the same titanium as the one that the shell is built out of. What I found even cooler is the internal wiring configuration however:

- For the DD (bass) driver MMR chose to use SPC internal wiring
- For the lower midrange the material of choice was gold plated copper
- For the upper midrange we have pure silver, and the same goes for the estats (the treble)

This will already be a trigger to those who get triggered by the whole cable industry, but I think it's awesome that MMR have decided to go into such extensive detail during the development of the IEMs.

2. The Thumimm doesn't have the classic plastic tubes but instead has pathways 3D printed within the shell, making it a semi-tubeless design. That contributes to the absolutely insane staging that the Thumimm creates that I found to be quite simply unmatched at any price point.

3. Pressure vent - frequent travellers rejoice! The barrel where the pins are inserted isn't perfectly sealed allowing for the pressure build up to be released through there. What's great is that the Thumimm isolates noise to a very high degree, so I both don't find myself getting tired during the long listening sessions and I also don't need to turn up the volume to block ambient noise. I have to fly quite often and pressure vents are something I've come to appreciate.

Packaging, build and accessories

This is the section that won't be as glowing as the rest - the packaging isn't bad, but it's also somewhat understated considering the price point of the Thumimm. The IEM that comes across as a sort of natural comparison is the VE Erlky, which comes in a big wooden box, with the option to swap faceplates etc etc. The Thumimm arrives with a travel case and that's pretty much it.

It does make up for it with the cable that's included - the Eletech Plato, which is one of my favourite pure silver cables on the market currently, and it retails for 1000$ by itself. A chunk of the price of the Thumimm is as a result of the Plato, and it is designed in a way that you wouldn't need to purchase an IEM, and then instantly upgrade the cable too (contrasted with say, the 64Audio Tia Fourte who's stock cable is barely usable)

Where the build of the IEMs is concerned I absolutely love them - they're moderately heavy, with a really sturdy feel to them. The finish is absolutely perfect, and they're anything but understated - it's a very bold and aggressive design. I've been receiving rather mixed feedback on that point, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

What I feel like should be stated here is that the 2pin system that MMR uses is comfortably the best I've experienced. They feature a "spring" mechanism, so the pins sort of snap in place. It makes them last much longer and they aren't prone to loosening as most other regular plastic sockets.

Whether or not you love the look, the cable or the build is up to you - what I feel like should be considered here is that MMR most certainly did not cheap out on any of the components. The price of the Thumimm is rather brutal, but you know you'll be receiving a product that's been built with the finest components money can buy.

Sound

The sound on these will be especially difficult to describe, because they're simply unlike anything else I've heard to date. As I said right from the start they feature my favourite midrange and treble, as well as the largest soundstage I've experienced.

The sound signature of the Thumimm would be best described as a forward W, where all frequencies feel a bit boosted, leading to a rather engaging signature. The Thumimm also has a dip around 6k, which makes vocals sound really clean, free of all sibilance. It then peaks after 14k, giving it exceptional sense of air and space.

The Thumimm's bass is anything but shy. It's a DD that's been tuned to sound like a DD. The subbass has clear emphasis when compared to the midbass, but they both feel decently elevated. It makes for a really fun experience, but I also think that the Thumimm could quite comfortably function with a bit less lows - not because the bass becomes overwhelming, but because of how ridiculously good the midrange and treble is

Up until now the midrange on the Elysium was unmatched for me, and on some level, I still believe that the Elysium has a slightly better clarity at the expense of the texture that the Thumimm has. The Thumimm has the best texture I've heard from any piece of audio equipment - both vocals and instruments have a certain weight to them that makes them extremely organic and pleasant to listen to. It is quite linear throughout the midrange - to my ears there's no upper mid elevation that I found to be somewhat annoying when listening to the Homunculus.

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Estats have received a somewhat mixed feedback, but I think that the technology is starting to show its potential. The Thumimm's treble has some of the loveliest sparkle I've heard to date, coupled with really good control and extension. It is quite simply my favourite treble presentation out of anything and everything I've listened to. At no point does it get hot or overwhelming when listening to pop or EDM, but it is also not lacking presence or extension. I believe the dip around 6k goes a long way in achieving this balance.

Where technicalities are concerned, the Thumimm is amongst the absolute best that I've heard. There's no other way to describe the soundstage except "unnaturally huge." I always found that to be a bit of an odd complaint though, similar to "oh my car is too fast." The only staging I can compare it to is that of the Tia Fourte or the A18s, but even then the 64 offerings fall short of the monstrosity that is the Thumimm.

The Thumimm also has really good resolution and instrumental separation. You can comfortably pick out a single instrument from any track, and it has its own dedicated space and presence. I've generally never been able to listen to monitors that I don't find to be technical enough for too long, no matter how engaging or fun the sound signature is. Thankfully the Thumimm delivers and then some.

Pricing and comparison

I feel like this should be a point that should be discussed on its own, as 4500$ is no joke. There are rather few IEMs on the market that have gone this high without being laughed off the stage first.

The first point I think should be mentioned here is that this is a 3500$ IEM, with a 1000$ cable that comes with it, but you don't really get the option as to whether or not you want the cable upgrade.

The second point - and I do realise this might be just about the way I value performance and whatnot, but I do feel like the Thumimm is a clear step-up from the rest of the IEMs that I've owned in the 3-4k bracket. It has both better bass and treble than the Elysium, with an arguably better midrange as well. The staging can't really be compared because the Thumimm is simply in a category of its own.

It doesn't feature the sibilance or treble peaks of the Fourte, with more DD-like bass and IMHO, better instrumental separation too

The A18s is an IEM that I absolutely love, but other than the bass, it has nothing on the Thumimm, and that's specifically if you like the classic BA bass timbre.

I could go on but I think you get the point - I do feel like, assuming that the current 3k monitors are accepted or justified, the Thumimm pulls ahead and offers a meaningful upgrade over them and as such, a higher price tag makes sense.

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Conclusion

The Thumimm is a heavyweight IEM built by lunatics for lunatics. It can by no means be placed in the value segment, but if you are looking for that absolute highest level of performance coupled with an awesome stock cable, I don't think there's anything I can recommend as much

You don't have to believe what I've written, I think the best testament to the performance of the Thumimm is the fact that ever since I've gotten it I've pretty much given up on listening to everything else I own... Might be a massive sale soon who knows :D

Happy listening boys and girls!

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colourgravity
colourgravity
These are one of the best buys I've ever made. Absolutely loving them. I wish you equal joy with yours when they arrive. Of course, now they've got me wondering if I should try the Homunculus as well.....
szore
szore
I may have to get these... Oh, the humanity...
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mvvRAZ
mvvRAZ
@szore they’re the worst best thing I’ve purchased.... I wasn’t prepared to stop listening to the rest of my IEMs just yet :D
Pros: Bass quantity and Texture
Soundstage
Design
Cons: Might be picky in high mids and treble for some
Rather light tones
Fit might not work for all
Thummim : small little Titanium beast

The Thummim were graciously lent by Josph Mou / MMR. I would like to thank him for allowing me to discover his new products and for the trust he has placed in me.

I am in no way commercially linked to MMR and have received no compensation whatsoever for this return.





Introduction

MMR, Metal Magic Research, is a Sino-Singaporean company founded in mid 2019 by Joseph Mou. He is also the father of Jomo Audio, an entity whose reputation is well known in the audiophile world, which generates great expectations on these new headphones. As a Jomo Trinity SS owner (after owning Samba and Flamenco), I'm very eager to discover MMR's proposals.

The four different MMR models that currently exist were presented to the public at the CanJam in Shanghai at the beginning of November 2019.


Hardware and Playlist:

Hardware:

I was able to test the MMR Thummin with the following hardware.
DAP : Sony WM1Z K mod Ultimate, Plenue L and iBasso DX160
Cables: O.A.O Gold Twelve, EA Ares 2, Eletech Prudence and Plato, and PW1950

I could compare the Thummin to the following :
64 Audio U12t, Ambient Acoustics MAD24 and MAD16, Empire Ears Zeus XIV Custom Retuned, IMR Rah, Jomo Audio Trinity SS, MMR Gaé Bold, Balmung and Homunculus




Playlist:

I listen to a lot of different styles, with a predilection for female vocals, and my test playlist consists of about 70 songs. However, I was able to take advantage of the length of the loan to review my music in depth.

I put here some targeted tracks that allow me to test more specifically some aspects of the headphones.

Angus and Julia Stone - Take you Away / Guitar, voices.

Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else / Tones, brass, space placement.

Criolo - Bogota / Voice, dynamic.

Ex:Re - Where the Time Went / Tones, voice, placement.

Flatbush Zombies - Smoke Break and Fly Away / Bass texture, subs.

Montserrat Figueras - La Folia : Yo Soy la Locura - Henri du Bailly / Tones, voice, soundstage.

Patricia Barber - The Beat Goes On / Tones, voice, soundstage, atmosphere.

Rone - Flesh (Remix by Sasha) / Bass, soundstage, placement.

Sixto Rodriguez - Sugar Man / Harshness.

Tool - Pneuma / Dynamics, atmosphere, texture.


Technical Overview

Thummim have what we could call now a pretty «commom» hybrid configuration. Overall 9 drivers are used on this flagship :
- 4 Electrostatics for the highs
- 2 Balanced Armature for the high-mids
- 2 Balanced Armatures for the mids
- 1 Foster Dynamic Driver for the bass

Frequency Response : 10Hz - 80kHz
Impedance : 35ohm
Noise Isolation : -18db (UIEM)

They come with Eletech “School of Athens" PLATO cable made out of pure silver and worth $999 by itself. They also use Eletech Proprietary Internal Litz wiring.

Retail Price : $4299
https://metalmagic.co/pages/universal




Sound

The Thummin are completely out of the norm. First of all, this titanium angularly shaped shell is completely unlikely for headphones, as if an AK240 had been copulating with a titanium ball. Second, they have uncommon technical capabilities. Finally, they are have a price tag that will make more than one cough, even if you have to take into account that they come with an high-end cable.

As with the Homunculus, I had a little trouble getting a proper Fit with my usual tips (Whirlwind, Spiral Dot, Sedna). Fortunately, the association with the Acoustune provided is very good. As a result, the seal is excellent and they don't move so much when in position, even when I shake my head. No pain felt at the contact of the edges even if it is not necessarily very pleasant from time to time to feel the angles. On the other hand, they come out a little more from my ear than Homunculus.

Once they are well in place in the concha, they offer a sublime image, an extraordinary capacity of analysis, and an incredible airiness.



Basses are very textured, very well defined and very tight. They bring body to the restitution, with that characteristic and natural DD "slowness" of the DD. The subs (<60Hz) are deep, agile and offer very solid foundations. The basses (60 to 250Hz) are all in control which allows a very pleasant low register dynamics. All in all it is the MMR with the most subs and the best bass control.

Mids are a great success in the sense that it is open and ultra-resolute, but without being too shallow. Very lively, it has an airy and not too dense feeling, at the limit of sibilance however to my ears on some tracks.

The low-midrange (250 to 500Hz) is lightly recessed in order to bring this extra readability. The high-midrange (2000 to 4000Hz) is well pronounced, with two nice peaks around 2000Hz and 4000Hz that bring a lot of airiness and crunch. The midrange (500 to 2000Hz) seems to go linearly up to 2000Hz, it offers a nice balance, without any real lack, and a very high resolution.

Treble (>4000Hz) are defenetly there, and we exceed a little my tolerance threshold. Brass can be piercing some times around 7-8KHz, unless I listen at a slightly more moderate volume than usual. The extension is good, speed and resolution are there.

Soundstage is very wide, even wider than that of the Homunculus, deep and of very beautiful height. It unfolds well out of the head, and the listener is not positioned in the first rows of the audience, but slightly further away.

Tones are nice but don't really sound natural. They lack a little body and presence, without sounding skinny though.

Thummim technical skills are excellent, and the magic square is top-notch.
Resolution -> superb
Separation -> excellent
Definition -> superb
Transparency -> excellent



Comparisons :

- U12t are technically equivalent, with slightly faster and more present / impacting bass, a lower-midrange that is much more contained and a more balanced and less prominent mids / high-mids. Treble is a step back and so tone less shinny. Soundstage is quite comparable.

- MAD24 are technically equivalent, a little bassier too, with a slightly more projected low-mids / mids, a slightly less open high-mids and softer highs. Soundstage is equivalent.

- Zeus XIV Custom Retuned (+5db bass to similar curve at 1000Hz) are a bit below on technical side, with less bass, a bit more low-mids, less high-mids and softer treble. Soundstage is similar except in depth where it is shorter.

- Trinity SS are technically equivalent, more bass but a little slower. Low-mids / mids is a bit backward and high-mids are as open. Highs are more natural and less sharp to my ears. The stage is equivalent.


Final Thoughts

Thummin are without any doubt a great choice for those who love to analyze and hear every detail of their music. Offering an imaging far above average, they are rather on the bright side of strength but with magnificent bass. Lovers of warm tones can pass their way.



Magic Square :

"Resolution is the ability to individualize a voice or instrument"
"Separation is the ability to feel space between the various sound sources"
"Definition is the ability to perceive as much information as possible"
"Transparency is the ability to transcribe the nuances and subtleties of music"

My topic on Tellement Nomade here : http://www.tellementnomade.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=671123#p671123
Last edited:
MrLocoLuciano
MrLocoLuciano
Mids are not as full with Trinity, but bass is heavier. Matter of taste. I would say that Thummim signature is more mainstream.
Skullar
Skullar
I can see you've got Rah on black bottom blue top. I believe Rah soundstage is quite decent. Is thummin staging much better?

How is the signature in comparison to Rah? Treble much more pronounced? What about bass?

I understand they are completely different price points and i dont expect technicalities to be at the same level. Though it would give me a rough idea as i own Rah.

Thanks
MrLocoLuciano
MrLocoLuciano
Rah stage is very large due to the fact that it's open.
But Thummim is not far away, and has more depth and hight. Localisation is miles above.,
Compare to Rah black blue, Thummim signature is by far more linear, could be called reference. Treble is better and more pronounced yes. Bass with Rah is like a wild beast. Bass on Thummim is just so well controlled but with the visceral DD touch.

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