Brilliant ER4 tip mod
Apr 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 53

nc8000

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Last week I finally received a trial pack of the new Glider tips from Etymotics and have been using them for some days now. They are the most comfortable tips I have tried to date. Also they greatly expand the soundstage and imaging of the ER4 so I was all set for using them in the future. I then send a set to antonyfirst for him to try them out and he agreed in these findings but however had other reservations in that they seem to upset the fine balance of the midrange and sharpen the treble too much. I had in the meantime had the same experience with some cd's. He then came up with a brilliant mod. One of the differences between the Glider and other tips is that the Glider is slightly longer and extends over the end of the ER4 sound tube thus placing the driver slightly further from the eardrum which could be the reason for the better soundstage. So he cut a 2-3 mm spacer from a triflange and put that on the stem first and then a normal tip (white triflange or black olive) and lo and behold the best of both worlds. The imbalance to the midrange and the sharp/shrill in the treble was gone but the expanded soundstage and imaging was all still there. After receiving this info in a pm I have tried it and I have the exact same experience. The Glider is still more comfortable but I have never had any comfort problem with the black olive so no biggie there. I'm now seriously reconsidering whether it is worth it going through with ordering custom molds. I have an appointment for next Tuesday but may now cancel it.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 8:20 AM Post #2 of 53

qusp

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sounds like a great little mod and one that does seem to work on most IEMs IE: increase the soundstage by...well...increasing the soundstage. but I really think you should continue your journey towards the custom tips. they usually increase the soundstage again as well as all the other benefits. for instance with my W3 I found the best tips were the long ones, for both soundstage as well as keeping sibilance at bay (not that I really had a problem) but with UM56 I get all those benefits (increased bass and treble extension, larger soundstage, better definition across all frequencies and of course they are more comfortable and better isolating. I really doubt you will be disappointed. also you wil be able to stop the search, which surely takes up time and money.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM Post #3 of 53

antonyfirst

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Thanks Jan for taking the time to write this thread. I would have done it in few days with a title like "Confession from an Ety freak (Ultimate ER4P)".
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Jan said it all, mostly. We have been able to keep the same tonal balance given by the shure olives and the Apuresound cable, and add what the Ety were missing most, that is soundstage. Imaging, soundstaging become much better and often jaw dropping, not short of Westone 3 spatiality anymore.
I have been testing for any drawbacks without finding anything significant. I noticed that the white triflanges with the new ring as a spacer tend to be more analytical, while the black foamies retain the usual warmth.
The way I think things are going follows: I think that distancing the drivers from the eardrum increases noticeably the stereo separation in the ER4, which brings much better soundstage, but also a bigger sense of detail and much cleaner, more spacially precise imaging. The result is not only the said increase in soundstage and imaging, but also a much higher sense of clarity and separation without altering the usual warm tonal balance provided by the Apuresound cable and black olives.

The bass doesn't suffer at all (neither quantity not depth), because the "air" space between the foam tip and the eardrum is exactly the same, only the ER4 stem has come a bit backward.

If this mod works for you, you have improved your Etys beyond what I sincerely thought was expectable.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 6:41 PM Post #5 of 53

kite7

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Has anyone been able to try the glider on the Westone 3? This sounds intriguing as I am too contemplating between sticking with standard tips or to go with custom tips
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 7:25 PM Post #6 of 53

fjf

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Well, when I read this it thought ¡this is getting silly!. However I pulled my long comply tips a little bit (maybe 4-5mm), and the music got out of my head!. Is not like a big concert hall, but you get some more soundstage. Great find!. So simple!.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 8:21 PM Post #7 of 53

blacknile

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I've recently purchased these glider eartips for my ER6i - I believe they're very similar to the ER4 ones - probably identical.

Just a word of warning for those of you who -like me- have *very small* earcanals: avoid them. These tips will be extremely uncomfortable. I gave up using them after two pairs slowly tore apart - a certain amount of pressure and force is needed to push them into the ears and this will eventually cause snags in the foam.

Moreover, they would become stiffer and rather scratchy in a matter of days and would make my ears very sore - both during insertion (for the "scratchy" feeling) and while wearing them (due to the feeling of extreme pressure on the ear canal).

As a comparison, now I'm very satisfied using small shure olives - a world apart for me.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 8:35 PM Post #8 of 53

antonyfirst

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Yes the gliders suck sound-wise. They make the sound very thin and super sibilant, even with the apuresound cable on. But they were able to suggest this simple, but massively effective mod, so it's all good. I wonder why Etymotic has always to look to hyperdetail, even at cost of bringing out awful sibilance, instead of sheer musicality. They have a driver with lots of potential and keep messing their stuff.

As to the mushrooms/gliders, the reason for they are so sibilant is due to the way the tube is made: the top half of it is narrower, this suffocating the air coming out and spoiling the sound. It's impossible to think they didn't do it on purpose, which makes me shake my head wondering: "what goal did they have in mind?"
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 9:32 PM Post #9 of 53

tstarn06

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Someone else had this idea with the Westone 3s, for those experiencing sibilance with the shorter sleeves. I love the tri-flanges (stalk trimmed a few mm) with the W3s, so sibilance not a problem for me at all any more. But I did try using the leftover "ringlets" from the trimmed tri-flange stalk 3 mm and put them on first) and the medium Complys, but no go. The main problem is that the W3 sound tube is so short, there isn't much room for extending the distance from the eardrum (the tri-flanges do it because they are so long to begin with). The foamie will come off in your ear, and they already provide you with long Complys (large and thin), and those didn't seem as clear/detailed to me as the flanges.

I had the same thoughts, kite7, with the W3s and the mushrooms. But the last thing a Westone 3 owners needs is a tip that increase sibilance. Ahhh!

Didn't mean to get off the subject. But I think there is something to the distance increase opening up soundstage and diminishing harshness. At least that's what I think is working for me with the W3s, and there have been some posting on the W3 thread having the same experience. Another reason why the UM56 custom sleeves also reduce sibilance (even eliminate it).
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 10:00 PM Post #10 of 53

jsmithepa

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If this really works and one is able to "tweak it," then the advantage of customs is lessen and relegated to comfort issues only.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 10:05 PM Post #11 of 53

Sayajin

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I agree those gliders sharpen the treble. Also in my case I would say you don't get a fully “In your head” experience like with other foam tips.

About the mod, you use stock Etymotic grey triflanges to crate that 2-3 mm spacer guys?

Perhaps some pictures on this will be helpful.
 
Apr 6, 2009 at 11:08 PM Post #12 of 53

nc8000

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I used a pair of white triflanges and used the material between the 2 largest flanges to make a ring of about 3-4 mm in lenght. I then put that ring on the tube followed by a medium black olive.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 8:44 AM Post #14 of 53

oldschool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by antonyfirst /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I cut the two spacer rings from Ety blue triflanges because that's what I had at hand. They look very cool though.
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I cut my Blues from the stem side. Looks okay on the ER4P using the triflanges.

Can't really say if it helped the sound, but definitely doesn't hurt. And having more space between the driver and your eardrum is good.

Just don't make the part too long, like longer than 4mm, as it will leave less place for the triflanges to hold and they may fall. Btw, the triflanges are still my choice for eartip for the Ety's, though I haven't tried the black olives and comply's.
 
Apr 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM Post #15 of 53

ChroniCali

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Sounds like a great mod to try.
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