- Mar 30, 2010
What peaked my interest of 634ears offering is the inclusion of wood. I am very fond of different tonewood/s. I do play stringed instruments and percussions so it's second nature to me to just jump right in head first. I did scour the interwebs and on here with very minimal success, I do believe there's one Head-Fier in particular had 2 pairs but can't really find a full impression. Went back to 634ears site and other related sites that are from Mr. Musashi and dug deeper, armed with google translate of course. I then contacted 634ears. Told him about my sound preference and pretty much had a recommendation for that but suggested to try the SARN II first to get a feel of the 634ears reference/house sound which was fair enough and logical. The end of this all is me having him commission a custom SARN II ebony+cocobolo, two of my favorite tonewood. I do know a solid/single is much preferred as cups but might as well see how the IEM will sound handicapped...
Be it known tho that I don't really like reviewing headphones/iem as my preference is different than others. I am doing this because of the 634ears "hack?" tittle tag line. Also, my favorite over-ear is the AWKT and that should be in relevance to how my evaluation of the SARN II is.
Pardon the mediocre unboxing but it here if you can bear with it
Cost including DHL shipping: $189.63 (¥20,300 JPY)
Made to order lead time 2-3 weeks but got them on the 3rd week.
Packaging and presentation is classy without being extravagant.
Build quality is top notch and well worth the entry fee of having a bespoke set of IEM.
Included accessories are adequate. The cable tho is more of a presentation as while it looks good it is also very microphonic.
How does it sound?
Quite frankly, it was quite inviting and fun... a fun V shaped sound signature with highs that extended. Sub bass was plentiful with acceptable upper bass. I wanted more mid tones. Timbre is good tho for a V tuning.
Installed the C Ring (looks to be made of delrin) which is supposed to be giving it more bass. While it did just that it was somewhat making the sub bass bloated and flabby at times . It's weird and not my cup of tea. C Ring has to go and I'm back having "fun".
Note: These are stock photos from 634ers to show how the C Ring is used:
Enter the "HACK"
I am a little OCD so the C Ring effect got me itching. I got to find some way to plug that tuning hole shut and air tight sealed. Rubber orings should do the trick but for some reason I can't find where my oring kit is. I know I won't be able to keep still without plugging that darn hole.
And then this happened...
Pushing the eartip down to base of the nozzle completely air tight sealed the tuning hole while making the nozzle port totally flushed with the eartip. All these has a profound effect on the sound signature. It's drastic and quite dramatic in a very good way that I have to relay back this finding to Mr. Musashi.
This was his reaction...
This "HACK" also had a nice effect on the mid tones being nudged just a bit forward on my SARN II set. It definitely opened up the sound with great clarity in the high frequency region. The sub bass and bass in general became tight with authoritative slam. The bloat and flabbyness has totally been eradicated and replaced with satisfyingly bone jarring bass notes when called upon. Think of a sealed subwoofer (in which the SARN II effect is) vs a ported subwoofer. This is a totally a Jekyll and Hyde type of revelation with this hack. I do have some SpinFit CP155 which are wide and long in M/L coming my way and see the effect of giving back the nozzle some eartip extension.
In conclusion, this write up has to do more weight on the "hack". This type of bass/sub bass is my cup of tea. I am totally enjoying every single bass note quality that's being reproduced from this entry reference level 634ears that is the SARN II. I do believe too that the chosen wood now have a greater influence on the sound after air tightly sealing the tunable bass hole. Now if only my AWKT has more of the same kind of authoritative sub/bass slams lol. Anyway, I might be stepping up to another 634ears commissioned soon but that's weighing between that or getting the WP900 first as my AWAS is too composed.