Adjusting my portable rig, trying to get classic metal to sound good.
Apr 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

GoldfishX

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Hello,
First time poster, long time lurker. I am currently stuck in a quagmire of gear and I want to seek community advice, before making another purchase.
 
My main gear: Cowon D2+ (2.13 regular firmware) + Digizoid Zo (1st one) + Brainwavz B2 headphones
Other gear I have used/still have: Creative Zen Stone (back-up player, nice and warm)
Futuresonics Atrio (before they started revising)
Cowon X7 (I prefer the sound of D2+ and I rarely use this anymore, planning to sell it)
 
My issues: I listen to a lot of 80’s pop and hard rock/heavy metal (mostly glam and 80’s style thrash/speed metal, not a lot of recent stuff). I am seeking a detailed, warm sound. I used the Atrio for several years, but grew tired of the poor mids and found the bass fatiguing after short periods of listening. I bought the B2 to have a pair of analytical IEM’s to complement the Atrio, but found myself making them my main earphones because I could wear them for extended periods and Atrio’s are now more or less my back-ups, in the event something were to happen to the B2. I later bought the Zo because of the bass enhancements and it made sense to pair it with the analytical B2. The Zo is okay, but I feel like it is the weak-link in the set-up (the details in the Cowon come through better without it sometimes, probably due to the sound being run through the headphone jack).
 
What I am looking for: I am most interested in having an open mid-range for the metal, where the guitars and vocals are separated in the metal, but without the coldness of the current set-up and more overall impact, but not fatiguingly so (ala the Atrios). I do not want bass bleeding into the midrange. So something that can make 80’s hard rock / metal sound good, while faring good enough with everything else. So I am trying to move away from analytical-sounding to more of a warm, yet detailed sound where everything can be heard and without any kind of muddiness. I usually decrease the lower bands of the EQ on the D2 to add clarity to the mids.
 
Currently looking at: I have been looking at several options…One is the Fiio E12 (I’ve gathered it is a warm sounding amp, was wondering if it would be effective putting it between the D2+ and the Brainwavz). Another is swapping the Brainwavz for the TDK BA200 (warm and sweet, highly rated and affordable, I have not seen a comparison of these two phones, but both seem highly rated). Lastly, I have given some thought to splurging for the DX-100 and making it my main player. It has nice storage and I’ve gathered it has the premium sound to match the price, but am wondering how it will pair with the Brainwavz. Also, I’m rather attached to the D2+, so that is a last resort, but if it can handle metal better, it would be worth it. The Colorfly C3 is also sounding attractive and the price makes me want to take a chance on it.
 
Which of the options above would you recommend? Anything else off the radar that might work? I’m willing to spend the money if the end result is worth it. Also, must have expandable memory.
 
Whew! First post. Hope I don’t sound too much like a newb.
 
Apr 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM Post #2 of 4

NA Blur

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If it were me I would ditch the B2 for the M2 from Brainwavz.  I really love mine for metal and rock.  Add on some Comply T-400 foam tips and you have yourself a very comfortable, good isolating, and good sounding IEM.
 
Apr 5, 2013 at 6:03 PM Post #3 of 4

GoldfishX

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Yes, I always use foam. I understand it darkens the sound I hate the silicon tips (I can't imagine the B2 with silicon tips, I usually have to turn my high bands down as is)
 
Jw, what player(s) are you using the M2 with? I must research them now.Thank you.
 
 
Apr 5, 2013 at 9:53 PM Post #4 of 4

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:
 
What I am looking for: I am most interested in having an open mid-range for the metal, where the guitars and vocals are separated in the metal, but without the coldness of the current set-up and more overall impact, but not fatiguingly so (ala the Atrios). I do not want bass bleeding into the midrange. So something that can make 80’s hard rock / metal sound good, while faring good enough with everything else. So I am trying to move away from analytical-sounding to more of a warm, yet detailed sound where everything can be heard and without any kind of muddiness. I usually decrease the lower bands of the EQ on the D2 to add clarity to the mids.
 

 
Most dual-drivers I've tried sound like that save for needing a bit more bass. That said, I rank the ones I've tried with the W2 first, followed by the SE420, then the B2. The SE42x (on olives) have the best midrange-treble for guitars and higher-pitch vocals (symphonic metal vocals, classic high-pitched metal vocals and guitars), lots of extension on these, but could really use a bit more in the lower freqs since the double pedals sound a touch hollow. W2 (the grey foam tips; Complys?) has better balance overall, just not the same intoxicating treble extension. With the B2 I actually detected a little harshness in the treble, and on the lower freqs it wasn't considerably better than the Shures, however I wasn't able to play around with the other tips aside from a dual flange I had with me at the time.
 
You could EQ the bass and add a little bit to it from the 60hz to 250hz range, or try the W3/UM3 and SE535, then maybe EQ the treble there a bit.
 
 
Quote:
Yes, I always use foam. I understand it darkens the sound I hate the silicon tips (I can't imagine the B2 with silicon tips, I usually have to turn my high bands down as is)
 

 
Those silicon tips tend to be horrible with some earphones - the sound just comes out unnatural; timbre's really off. When I visited my brother he loaned me his W2 for my entire vacation, and he uses the triple flange with it. The sound was horrible - everything just sounded "off" that the foam making it a bit warmer than I'd like was still a lot better. I didn't wonder why he wasn't really using them save for when he's really trying to shut out noise. Unfortunately he hated the other tips, only the triple flange fit him properly.
 

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