Empire Ears - Discussion & Impressions (Formerly EarWerkz)
Apr 3, 2022 at 12:02 PM Post #35,431 of 36,659

mwhals

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TOTL IEMs used to be around $2000 to $2300, but are now north of $3000. I have never spend more than $2000 and Legend X is my most expensive IEM that I bought on sale for under $2000. As such I will never enjoy a current TOTL IEM, because I will never spend that much money on an IEM or a dap. That is just me.
 
Apr 3, 2022 at 3:35 PM Post #35,432 of 36,659

jlemaster1957

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TOTL IEMs used to be around $2000 to $2300, but are now north of $3000. I have never spend more than $2000 and Legend X is my most expensive IEM that I bought on sale for under $2000. As such I will never enjoy a current TOTL IEM, because I will never spend that much money on an IEM or a dap. That is just me.
Me too (LX and expense for an IEM so far). I have paid attention to the admonition of reviewers to let LX burn in for about 200 hours before forming a settled opinion about it. In tbe meantime I have rolled tips (Comply isolation plus TX-500 L works best especially with a bit of ear gel), and an audio chain that includes an Audiosensibility Statement silver USB cable (tightens up the bass). Looking forward to an Eletech Socrates when I can get my hands on one (backordered), a pairing which @twister6 and @ngoshawk both raved about. I will not go for an Evo because my ear anatomy is wonky (narrow entry to external canal then big inside) raising concerns about the bone conduction driver. Not (so far anyway) for Odin since as you say @mwhals $2000 remains a sort of mental upper limit for me. I realize that increasingly this defines the “upper mid-fi” region or at least not TOTL but given I am 64 years young and have persistent tinnitus for frequencies above 8500 Hz, that feels right for me.

The other thing I have tried to do is buy ‘trailing edge tech’ ie the IEM everyone was raving about 2 years ago that is now being phased out and is available on discount. Watching for this to happen to U12T, and willing to be patient!
 
Apr 3, 2022 at 8:47 PM Post #35,434 of 36,659

jlemaster1957

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You are using Comply with an LX? Foamies on an LX? Just asking, as that sounds counter-intuitive.
I alternate between the Comply foams and large size Azla Sedna Xelastics, depending on the type of music I am listening to and also how long I’ve had the foams in (ears can get a bit sore and itchy after a couple of hours with foams though much better since I started to use ear gel) . EDM is better with the Xelastics, music with physical drums better with the foams. I’m a bit of a bass-head so I dont mind a bit of bloom at times - though as I mentioned the USB to my ears tightens up the bass (meaning shortens the decay, improves detail retrieval). It’s not much but I can hear the difference. I tried Spinfits that others suggested but the fit was not so good for me.

I should have also mentioned that the USB is streaming Roon from a Sonore MicroRendu to an IFI micro iDSD Signature and that XBass is OFF. In that set up I use ROON DSP PEQ to fine tune as needed (and I am fine with that)

If I’m not using the USB set up I listen with Hiby R8 DAP as a source with IFI 4.4 mm interconnect to Cayin C9 (via LO) and in that case, I alternate C9 mode according to the music ie in bass heavy EDM usuall SS + AB mode, in bass light music Korg Nutubes + A mode.

So the tips are only part of the story.
 
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Apr 3, 2022 at 10:57 PM Post #35,437 of 36,659

metaljem77

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I think sometimes EVO gets too much flak but I really love that fantastic bass thump and its unique sound signature, esp the vibrations when I place my finger over the shell… what a wonderful tactile sensation
 
Apr 3, 2022 at 11:31 PM Post #35,438 of 36,659

KuroKitsu

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For people who keep an arsenal of TOTL IEMs, specialty tuned IEM will definitely be keepers. However, for people who would like to have a lean inventory of IEMs, especially just one or two, keeping IEMs such as EVO would be a hard to make decision. All-arounder IEM, such as U12t, will be the best choice.
I find having 2 iems gives enough variety without veering into iem indecision. You do not want to spend half an hour of your listening time trying to figure out what iem you want to listen to that day. I'd be careful about declaring anything an all-rounder though, that kinda stuff starts wars here.

To be honest I can't think of too many true all rounder flagship IEMs these days (that's not to say there aren't any, I can still list a handful). Most seem to want their flagship to stand out and have a unique identity that's tied to the brand. A lot of flagships can co exist in a collection and that's what makes this hobby so damn expensive. I'm the kind of guy who usually prefers all rounders so it's nice that I get to save some cash that way since they're usually priced lower :p

That being said I'd happily fit a custom Odin in my collection...
The problem I had with multiple flagships was that they tend to have a lot of overlap. With most of them aligning to your preferences and small areas of uniqueness. I really can't justify that personally. Odin and A12t solves all my problems.

Now that I have the cable for my Odin, I'm really tempted to jump to a custom. But the resale value of the Odin has really plummeted since then and I would be investing even more to make the jump. Maybe @Jack Vang will give us a group discount? :stuck_out_tongue:

Is it really about "all-arounder" or the signature you enjoy the most?
HF needs an automatic filter that converts "all rounder" to "signature you enjoy the most"

The easiest way to compare them is with a food reference…

Odin is a meal at a very high end restaurant that leaves you mesmerized by all that went into the final product.

U18s is a cheat meal that makes you fat and happy.
Clearly the anwser is that there is no conflict between Mc Donalds and a Michelin Star meal. My finances on the other hand....

Adding my 2 cents in for Odin. Its an exceptional IEM. One that was my main reference. However I had a bit of a love and hate relationship with it. It has great clarity, separation and bass. The bass quality is really something else. I sold it the other week because the upper mids made cymbols spike a bit too much. Timbre wise: Female vocals at times also felt harsh and nasally.

It wasn't ideal for genres such as: Metal, Rock, EDM, R&B.

Some of this can probably be solved with source like Chord Mojo 2 (EQ) but I decided to try other IEMs.
The fact that Odin is a resolution monster is also what makes it oddly dislikable part of the time. It passes quickly though

ouch... I thought I was the only one hearing that way... maybe it's on purpose, maybe it's me no more hearing the treble so well (I'm over 50), but that Genesis cable for me it's waaaaay too shy on the treble. I've settled on a spc+graphene cable. what are you using if I can ask?
The Genesis definitely tames the treble, in the vein of the LX I'd probably throw a warm silver on the Evo, Definitely will be hitting the shop to try that out once I get one.

I think sometimes EVO gets too much flak but I really love that fantastic bass thump and its unique sound signature, esp the vibrations when I place my finger over the shell… what a wonderful tactile sensation
That bass, oh lord. If the treble wasn't so tamed, I'd be building a slush fund into the renovations for it.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 7:11 AM Post #35,439 of 36,659

Skullar

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That bass, oh lord. If the treble wasn't so tamed, I'd be building a slush fund into the renovations for it.
Agreed. I have owned/tried a good variety of iems since i owned EVO. Nothing comes close to that bass quality. Admittedly i have moved away from my Basshead preferences so i would probably like few dbs off the entire bass shelf to make it more all rounder, but hey its not what Legend is about. My real deal breaker was lack of upper treble presence on it in relation to bass.
I mean looking and EE house sound, across all models the upper treble is never focused on much. So i take it team EE prefer it tuned this way. But im sure there are many who prefer it that way.
Im not a treblehead. But i think if it followed harnam level of upper treble or just above on 10khz up. It would make a massive difference.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 9:02 AM Post #35,440 of 36,659

olddude

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"... mean looking and EE house sound, across all models the upper treble is never focused on much. So i take it team EE prefer it tuned this way. But im sure there are many who prefer it that way.:

You never tried a Zeus. :)
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 9:39 AM Post #35,441 of 36,659

CL14715

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Agreed. I have owned/tried a good variety of iems since i owned EVO. Nothing comes close to that bass quality. Admittedly i have moved away from my Basshead preferences so i would probably like few dbs off the entire bass shelf to make it more all rounder, but hey its not what Legend is about. My real deal breaker was lack of upper treble presence on it in relation to bass.
I mean looking and EE house sound, across all models the upper treble is never focused on much. So i take it team EE prefer it tuned this way. But im sure there are many who prefer it that way.
Im not a treblehead. But i think if it followed harnam level of upper treble or just above on 10khz up. It would make a massive difference.
I have been force feeding EE this. Jack is on board so save your coins.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 11:16 AM Post #35,442 of 36,659

Sifo

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Yeah pretty much the only complaint I had with a certain proto was the lack of treble, felt like cymbals were missing some much desirable air, but then Dean explained to me why it was tuned that way and how he had tried it with more treble and what the trade offs would have been and it made sense considering what the goal was.

They really do care about all the feedback and want to have a line up that satisfies everyone so I'm looking forward to what's to come.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 11:23 AM Post #35,443 of 36,659
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They really do care about all the feedback and want to have a line up that satisfies everyone so I'm looking forward to what's to come.

Yes, that's one of the reasons why Empire Ears is so special and successful as a brand. They really do listen and take on customer feedback. The only other brand I can think of that does it on a similar level of feedback-driven development is DUNU.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 8:21 PM Post #35,444 of 36,659

olddude

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I really think that the beating they took over the Zeus' "lack of bass" and very evident treble sent them in an entirely different direction. The last one of theirs I bought was the Phantom and it was treble-deficit and too thick in the middle. Then came the LX and it seems like they moved into "smooth" and "musical." Every time I considered the Odin someone would post about the treble "spike" but also the lack of treble at the very top. I tried to shake a demo out of Jack but that never happened and with the 1960 cable and the tube AK the Zeus is hitting a somewhat different sound sig that still has plenty of treble and more lower end. It would be nice if EE would "bring back the treble," but of course it seems like bass is what is selling right now.
 
Apr 4, 2022 at 10:40 PM Post #35,445 of 36,659

Sifo

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I really think that the beating they took over the Zeus' "lack of bass" and very evident treble sent them in an entirely different direction. The last one of theirs I bought was the Phantom and it was treble-deficit and too thick in the middle. Then came the LX and it seems like they moved into "smooth" and "musical." Every time I considered the Odin someone would post about the treble "spike" but also the lack of treble at the very top. I tried to shake a demo out of Jack but that never happened and with the 1960 cable and the tube AK the Zeus is hitting a somewhat different sound sig that still has plenty of treble and more lower end. It would be nice if EE would "bring back the treble," but of course it seems like bass is what is selling right now.
This isn't entirely true because Wraith (with the right source and enough power) was a treble monster. But yes definitely a shift in directiion since the Olympus line.
 

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