- Apr 15, 2009
- Reaction score
Custom Art is proud to announce FIBAE Black!
Here we are! 23rd of November - Black Friday - a perfect day to launch an IEM named “Black”.
For past few months we’ve been secretly working on this exciting project. The whole idea of the “Black” started simply by tinkering with driver arrangements - if you follow Custom Art you know it’s such a typical thing for us. We always take unconventional route, toy with designs to finally arrive at something unique.
In case of FIBAE Black we decided to go with very complex Helmholtz resonator implemented in a way that has never been done in an IEM before. You might have heard about this particular acoustic solution - it’s widely used throughout variety of industries to control noise by carefully adjusting damping properties of the filter. This type of resonator has also been used in IEM industry before, but after we had started our experiments we discovered, that applying the filtering at the end of IEM’s nozzle (like some existing designs), is highly ineffective and produced no significant effects on the sound of the earphone. That’s when we moved our resonator parallel to the spout of Balanced Armature driver itself. It produced instant change in frequency response - that was when we realized we were onto something huge. Over the course of months the design evolved steadily along with the idea about sound signature we were going for. We went further and created even more advanced resonator, carefully calculating diameters and lengths of tubings, adding acoustic damping - coupling damping and resonating properties of Helmholtz filter. Every portion of the resonator has measurable and quite significant impact on the frequency response with effective reach down to 500Hz.
During our research we discovered that properly designed resonator optimizes pressure in front of driver in a way to allow for better high frequency output.
Additionally there’s a noticeable improvement in overall THD performance allowing to achieve very low distortion levels.
FIBAE Black is a result of countless iterations and changes made in fractions of millimeters. Because the tolerances are so narrow we opted to adopt very tight pairing window between left and right channel ensuring that there will be no discrepancies in output. The signature and frequency response was designed to produce natural and smooth sound. Inspired loosely by Olive-Welti earphone target with slightly increased mid-bass presence and decreased upper midrange output - creating a little bit thicker note presentation and warmer vocals.
Once our listening tests had started we instantly realized this is one-of-the-kind beast performing at highest standards. We needed to share that listening experience! And thus we reached out to some of the reviewers we had worked with before and asked them to give us their unbiased opinions based on sound alone. We decided not to release any vital information about the IEM - no pricing, no driver count or tech behind it. Review samples were painted on the inside, masked with pseudo-vent and additional non-functional tubings at the nozzle to avoid easy detection of what it really was. We simply had to corroborate that the sound of FIBAE Black was indeed as good as we believed it was, but, we needed completely unprejudiced feedback.
In this place I have to commend reviewers - not only they were all incredibly eager to take part in blind testing, but they dissected frequency response and technical abilities of Blacks with surgical precision. The counter-measures we had installed didn’t make it easy for them, but they weren’t able to fool reviewers either e.g. they all dismissed BA+DD hybrid design. Commonly named quality was also coherency - which indeed is as linear as it gets. I would like to thank every single one of the reviewers who participated in this project and helped us with getting affirmative and authentic feedback.
How would I describe FIBAE Black’s sound? It’s incredibly natural sounding IEM with slightly pronounced bass response that can translate recording pretty well, providing enough weight or speed and springiness when called for. The bass that can easily keep up with multi-driver-woofer designs. Mids and vocals are forward and taking middle of the sound stage. Vocals are warmed with hint of midbass, balancing between being colored and natural. Highs are smoothed out with an extra peak centered around 10kHz to provide sparkle and air, as well as correct texture to cymbals. The most interesting aspect of presentation is the stage and separation, thanks to advanced resonance control the sound stage is expansive creating sufficient space for every instrument - all that coupled with immense coherence and linearity. Overall the performance of the FIBAE Black keeps up with majority of much more expensive IEMs and surpasses everything we’ve heard within its price range.
FIBAE Black’s shells will be available, as name suggests, in Black color only. However faceplates are going to be still customizable option. Finally the production of FIBAE Black will be carried out with help of 3D DLP printing technology to improve turnaround times, ensure perfect fit and keep production costs low. FIBAE Black will come stock with Hi-Res Silver Plated Copper cable for improved crosstalk and lower impedance. Available both as custom and universal fit.
Pre-orders starts now at €369 (till 31st of Dec 2018)
Expected shipping: January 2019
Link to pre-order page:https://thecustomart.com/shop/acrylic-products/fibae-black/
Link to product page: https://thecustomart.com/fibae-black/
FIBAE1 THD for comparison (4times lower in FIBAE Black)
Frequency response compared to FIBAE1
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