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Custom Art FIBAE Black Announcement

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  1. piotrus-g
    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)
    MSRP: €450

    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/

    Frequency response
    FIBAE Black.png

    FIBAE Black CSD.png

    FIBAE Black Impedance.png

    FIBAE Black impulse.png

    FIBAE Black THD.png

    FIBAE1 THD for comparison (4times lower in FIBAE Black)
    FIBAE 1 THD.png

    Frequency response compared to FIBAE1
    FIBAE Black vs FIBAE 1.png
  2. crabdog
    Love the way Custom Art is always innovating. Can't wait to see the Black out in the wild!
    piotrus-g likes this.
  3. BananaOoyoo
    Hope these make it to my local distributor soon! Big fan of the FIBAE series IEMs - very interested in trying these out.

    (Will these only be available in acrylic? Or is there a silicone version in the works?)
    piotrus-g likes this.
  4. rantng
    Darn it, I was going to say you can have this in any color, as long as it's black. (Ok, I guess I can still say it - black shells only).
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    buonassi and piotrus-g like this.
  5. linux4ever
    One balance armature driver and this comes very close to Harmony 8.2 (based on the bass, mid, treble, staging, imaging, depth etc mentioned on the web site for these 2 products). And all this for $369 (US$ 421) is an awesome price. Good luck @piotrus-g

    This black shell is the way I've my Harmony 8.2. Glad to see that being the standard for FIBAE Black. I would like to know how the final version of FIBAE Black compares with Harmony 8.2
    piotrus-g likes this.
  6. MrLocoLuciano
    Curves look superb !
    Can't wait to ear that gem.
    piotrus-g likes this.
  7. Deezel177
    This is un-friggin'-believable. This breaks every rule in sound, marketing, pricing, etc. and I could not be happier for @piotrus-g and co. Just in case anyone's wondering, I described this IEM as "probably a 5-or-6-driver monitor belonging in the $1200-1500 price range." I don't see how anyone at all couldn't snag a pair right now. I think the Polish may have single-handedly changed the game. :D
    F700, buonassi, jeffhawke and 6 others like this.
  8. Will Chiu
    This is very likely to be my first ciem. Seems like a very good deal
  9. Wyville
    Awesome stuff to see such innovation at this price point. Puts great sound within reach of many audiophiles. Very impressive work @piotrus-g and everyone else at Custom Art!
    davidmolliere and piotrus-g like this.
  10. Hank_Venture
    Thinking the same, so many offerings these days but this is ticking a bunch of boxes.
    piotrus-g likes this.
  11. kendosperling
    Much tempted although having harmony 8.2...really great to see innovation at this pricepoint
    piotrus-g likes this.
  12. Blommen
    Wow, I am so impressed with Piotr and his team. The OG Ei.xx was my first ciem and I will buy this just to support the innovation at a more than fair price point.

    I gotta say, you totally nailed the publicity on this thing, way to go!
    piotrus-g and Deezel177 like this.
  13. piotrus-g
    Acrylic only, we don't plan on having FIBAE Black in soft-shell version at this point.
    Based on the feedback we've gathered (for example last week at AudioShow here in Warsawa) it seemed to be only a matter of signature preference. We had customers who said it's better and those who picked 8.2. Still I think this is pretty tight competition.

    Thanks man!
    Thanks! You also said in a post it had acoustic resonator - which honestly blew my mind hahah. But yeah, this IEM can keep up with a lot of competitors pretty easily.

    Thanks man!

    Thank you! I really appreciate it!
  14. davidmolliere
    I am in! Ordered :)
  15. shinbojan
    This looks really, really interesting.
    I was planning to upgrade my Dunu 2000j to 3001, but this sounds way better.
    Any reviews so far ?
    I know that the question is probably stupid, but would these be an overkill for iPhone 6s, or would it make sense to buy some quality DAP?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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