Custom or not to custom, that is the question!
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Sanotter

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Hi guys, I'm looking for some new iem's but was wondering if these: http://www.minerva-hearingprotection.co.uk/mi-1-custom-headphones.html are worth the price tag or if universal iem's (such as the ue triple fi) would sound noticeably better? The problem is I need to be able to wear these for a long period of time and all universals I have tried fall out after 10-30 minutes of use that irritates my ears and is just generally irritating...
 
Thanks,
 
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NA Blur

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I was in a similar situation.  I wanted a definite upgrade to my Denon AH-D2000, but in a more portable package.  I auditioned the Shure SE535 and found the sound amazing, but the comfort was simply terrible.  I then moved onto the JH Audio line up including the JH5, JH7, JH 10 x3 Pro, and JH 11 Pro.  These were all demo units.  I found that the bass on the JH5 and JH7 to be problematic due to the lack of a 3-way crossover design.  The JH 10 x3 Pro sounded very neutral, but had some much needed bass impact.  The JH 11 Pro was just a tad try for my liking and costs more than the JH 10 x3 Pro so I went with the JH 10 x3 Pro.  There is no substitute for custom fit IEMs.  Why put something on or in your ears that hurts?  That is why I shy away from universal fits IEMs.
 
There is a review for the Mi-1 here:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/544139/review-minerva-mi-1-custom-iem
 
Reading the review and after checking out their site I personally would save up / go with a well known custom IEM like Westone, JH Audio, or Unique Melody.  I think the Mi-1 is going to sound a little simple and unexciting due to the single driver design.  If you really want to get something from them see if you can afford at least a 2-driver setup.
 
Here is a review of the Mi-3:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/headphones-headphone-amps/1442872-minerva-mi-3-custom-iem-review-thoughts.html
 
From the two reviews I read there was nothing noted about significant negatives regarding sound, fit, or quality.  That to me is a good thing, but I always appreciate a few caveats / negatives on a review because no product is perfect.
 
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rroseperry

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I largely agree with Sarah, with the caveat that 1964-Ears is worth looking into. They're newer, but I've had very good experience with them and I think their products are at the level of Unique Melody. (I have customs from both.)
 
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Sanotter

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Hmm, ok then, what about getting triple fi 10's now and then getting them custom fit at a later date by unique melody? (this would cost a total of about 300-350 GBP, although i could get an additional driver implemented by unique melody if i want so it is more flexible..) Would they be as good as say straight up paying for these: http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk/headphones/unique-melody-unique-melody-marvel-dual-driver-custom-earphones.php or these: http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk/headphones/1964-ears-1964-ears-1964-v3-triple-driver-custom-in-ear-monitors.php
 
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davidcotton

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Quote:
Hmm, ok then, what about getting triple fi 10's now and then getting them custom fit at a later date by unique melody? (this would cost a total of about 300-350 GBP, although i could get an additional driver implemented by unique melody if i want so it is more flexible..) Would they be as good as say straight up paying for these: http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk/headphones/unique-melody-unique-melody-marvel-dual-driver-custom-earphones.php or these: http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk/headphones/1964-ears-1964-ears-1964-v3-triple-driver-custom-in-ear-monitors.php

I've had good and bad experiences with Minerva.  The good = great customer service, quick response to email, free return postage (handy for refits) quick refits (due to being in the same country!).  Bad= poor fitting and driver fail (though that last one could happen to anyone obviously!).  After two refits I gave up and got a refund.  Would not hesitate to recommend minerva based on service alone.  With regards to the 1964 ears models you selected it's "only" another £25 for the mi-3's the top of the line model from minerva.  The £25 would be offset by the shorter wait time, no fees incurred on import tax etc, if you go to one of the approved dealers then the impressions are included in the price.  If you don't and email them (lee kennedy is the contact, nice and helpful) then they'll give you a £10 discount.  One other option is to take a look at Cosmic Ears who do nice low prices with some good models.
 
If you want some more advice on minerva feel free to contact me by pm. 
 
If you want a cheaper reshell option then there's also inearz in florida for around $90 or so.
 
Cheers
 
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