Ety 4P and bass/volume issue.
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Astroinvader

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I got my 4P just a few days ago. I am kind of a newbie so I don't have that much experience with different high end headphones.
I bought the Grado SR-80 a few years ago and have loved them.
But I needed an extra set of cans to have at home because I don't like bringing the Grados to and from work everyday.

So I came here and read day and night through my summer vacation (been a lot of fun and my whole economy plan has changed...). The Etys catched my attention as everyone was saying how much they loved them.
I don't have a headphone amp but plan on getting one next month.
I listen to a lot of varied styles of music, mostly electronic, industrial and rock/pop.

I really wanted to like the Etys but I am very confused. I personally think that they are very good, incredibly detailed, but at the same time they sound very tinny and cold. I really miss the warm and bassy sound from the Grados. I don't have a problem getting a good seal. I have found that I prefer the foams as they don't build up a pressure, they are a little more laid back and provide a warmer sound.
The bass is there and it sounds amazingly good, it's just that I am not enjoying it as much as I would have liked.

Having listened to the Etys as much as I can these last days I find that I am not liking the SR-80 as much anymore. I still love their warm and punchy sound, but the details are severely missing. I'm in some kind of limbo between cans...

I am hoping that the Etys will become warmer from break in as I
feel they have allready. I also hope that the coming amp will help. I have some other issues with the comfort and microphonics, but I'll skip that for now.

Well, sorry to rant, just thought you'd want some background seeing I'm new here and all.

The question I wanted help with is this:

I find that in order to get the bass and punch I want I need to crank the volume up a bit. I am very careful with headphone volume and am not feeling very comfortable doing this with the Etys.
I have a Sony D-25S (bought recently - damn you all!!) I like it a lot. I realise it is not the perfect source but it is a unit some of you have and it may help you understand my volume settings.

Using the Etys I find that I would like to listen having the volume at MIN or perhaps up to about 1.5. This makes the sound kind of thin but still loud enough in my opinion.
In order to get the bass/punch I want I feel that I need to have the volume at about 2-3, but that feels too loud, not to my liking, but to feel safe.


All you guys saying how much you love your Etys and enjoy their bass - at what volume are you listening?

Thanks for reading all the way down!
 
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Duncan

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Erm, 10/10 out of my D777/E905 (15 & 10mw per channel respectively)

I've found the ETY sound a tad fatuiging though... could be information overload, or it could be just that I like my CD1700s better... I'm not sure, don't get me wrong, I still love the ETY flavour, just... I like the original (Sony) flavour that little bit more
 
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One thing I have noted in recent years is the increased emphasis in bass in portables, HP's and car systems. Perhaps it touches some primordial part of our being.

My personal goal when I listen to music is to be as close to what it sounds like when performed live. When I listen to live concerts it always seemed to me that the bass was there but the sound was integrated so that no one component dominated. Of course this varies for different parts of a performance. I have attended many different performances over the years and found this to be the case for classical, jazz and rock. I do not have much experience with some of the newer genres electroni and industrial. This probably doesn't help much if you trully want the thumping bass. I just think that much is missed when any part of the audio spectrum is raised to a higher level than the others.
 
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Astroinvader

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Hmmm, a level of 4 on the D-25S would hurt my ears after only about a minute.

I also don't want any part of the spectrum to be too loud, but as I said I doun't have that much experience with more expensive headphones.
When I bought the Grados I listened for a couple of hours in the store and compared them to a lot of different Sennheisers and a few AKG's. I liked the HD600 as I recall but did not have the funds.
All the Senns below them had a treble that was so sharp that I found them impossible to listen to.
I am aware that the SR-80 can be a bit murky and dark, but I don't have a problem with that. However, the Etys have mede it clear that they do lack the detail and finesse.

Anyway, I don't want this thread to change into a debate over different phones.

Maybe this whole issue about listening volumes have been debated to death already, I have spent too many hours to count reading up on just about anything in this forum, but maybe I missed this. I especially want to know about the volume you folks use with the Etys...
 
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I listen at a relatively low volume most of the time. It is hard to say exactly as I find that different recordings, sources and amps require an adjustment in volume. I can say that the setting for my HD 600s is always higher than the Etys. I am also very careful with my hearing. I have made it this long without serious damage and I want my hearing to remain in good shape.
 
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MacDEF

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Astroinvader:

There are two kinds of bass: audible bass and visceral bass. Audible bass is heard. Visceral bass is "felt." No headphones can produce the kind of visceral bass that speakers do; however, some still give you the punchy feeling.

Etymotics don't produce any visceral bass at all; this takes some getting used to, especially coming from a headphone like Grados that tend to have a lot of "punch." After you've used them a while, you'll probably get used to the slightly different character of bass.
 
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Astroinvader

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MacDEF,
Yep, I understand about the different kinds of bass.
I do think that the Etys make good noticeable bass, my problem is that I think they need to be driven to relatively high volumes before the feeling and punch is the same as other cans I've listened to.
And seeing as I usually listen to lower volumes than most of my friends I was thinking that maybe these phones are not for me?

Maybe I should change my question:

Do those of you who usually listens to low volumes like the Etys?
Or is it just the people who drive them louder or very loud that enjoys them?

I am not after absolute transparency, because I have come to the conclusion that I don't agree with all different kinds of mixing, engineering or mastering of recordings so I try to go for a sound I like and enjoy.
I was hoping that the detailed sound of the Etys would be enjoyable, and it is, but at the same time it is extremely revealing and thin - to my ears.
Going back to the SR-80's I have my foot stomping and I can relax and enjoy the feeling of the song...
I guess I'll just have to keep buying these expensive toys until I find the cans I like... next to try are these:

HD600
SR-325
W100

But I will definitely keep the Etys and try them with a dedicated amp soon. They sound very different from my different sources/amps, more so than the Grados.
 
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Superbaldguy

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I don't undertand it when I read about a "lack" of bass response with the ER-4P's. I've had my Etys about three weeks and I find the bass thundering, IMHO, even using a weedy 5 mW headphone amp from a typcial Sony MD unit.

I do have the EQ set on my E707 player for +3 steps of bass, but I really don't need to go beyond the defeat settings. Ditto for the treble. Maybe Astrionvader does not have the proper seal when he uses the ER-4P's.

I use my Etys at both low and high volumes (well, not too high as to damage my old ears), but I don't find they 'come alive' any more than traditional cans at higher volume settings. These things are absolutely astounding, and I see no need to ever buy an amp.
 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by Astroinvader
MacDEF,
Yep, I understand about the different kinds of bass.
I do think that the Etys make good noticeable bass, my problem is that I think they need to be driven to relatively high volumes before the feeling and punch is the same as other cans I've listened to.


But that's what I was trying to say: the Etys will NEVER give you that feeling/punch
If you want to enjoy Etys, you have to adjust to the absence of visceral bass. If you can't do that, and find yourself increasing the volume to unsafe levels just to get some kind of "punch," then Etys may not be for you.
 
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Astroinvader

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But this is just the thing, when I do crank up the volume to higher levels I do get that punch and bass level. I know about the lack of visceral impact as you say, I'm not after that.
When I EQ using the computer or when adding bass on my receiver I get that punchy warmer sound that I'm used to with my Grados.
The Etys are very capable of delivering strong bass with a punchy impact that I think is as good or better than with other cans, it's just that I need to listen at higher levels in order to get that sound or to use EQ settings.

I love the Etys at higher levels, I just feel that at the levels I usually listens to they do not deliver.
This is the reason I wonder if the pro-ety guys listens at higher levels than I do?
 
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Quote:

I have a Sony D-25S (bought recently - damn you all!!) I like it a lot. I realise it is not the perfect source but it is a unit some of you have and it may help you understand my volume settings.


I listen to the ER4P out of the D25S as well.


You should know that it is quite cold as far as sources go. Compared to my Panasonic CT570, it is an iceberg. I really like the cold analytical sound though, so I'm fine with it.
Your 4P won't warm up much because of this, however.

As far as volume goes, for most stuff the highest I go is between 2 and 3. It really depends on the CD though. I had it up to 6
for one CD that was recorded at a particularly low volume, and I've had it as low as just above minimum for another CD.

Bass with the D25S is interesting. For some CDs, it seems to get better at higher volume, but for others it is great at even the lowest volume.


Quote:

they sound very tinny


That doesn't sound right. Are you sure you are getting a good seal? Let them burn in a bit because they will improve, but make sure you seal is actually good.
 
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I've had my ER-4S for about 3 months now. I've found the clarity of the music to be very good, even with my older ears. I don't listen to my grado 60 anymore. The 4s do take a little more power though. It is great difference in having an amp.
 
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I have the Ety ER4P with S adapter that I built. They have perfectly balanced bass. (as good or better than any other can in my collection) I use them mostly with the S adapter and a PortaCorda on the go and with my Max at home. I use them without the S adapter with some pocket AM/FM radios and for listening to MP3s from my HP Journada directly. They are plenty loud in every application.

They're totally wonderful! It took some time for my ears to get used to them but now they are quite comfortable for as long as I wear them.

They are very easy to insert and stay put. I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones. I've never had to change the filters in them and I've had them for quite a while.
Happy Camper! Happy Listening!
 
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Astroinvader

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radrd,
I know the sound out of the 25S is not the warmest. As a portable I still think it's very good, and it's not that cold with the Grados. I have tried the Etys out of four different sources.
And yes they have warmed up a bit through burn in.
With my ears I get a good and balanced seal everytime without any difficulties. To me it's even hard to see how anyone would *not* be able to get a seal right away...


I'm thinking that I might have unusually narrow ear canals because of this, also, I am not comfortable with either of the two supplied plugs. I have ordered the smaller foams... I have to try those.
I'm not giving up on these cans!

Thanks to you all for noticing my thread and trying to help out a new member, makes me feel welcome!
 
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JaZZ

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Astroinvader...

...don't give up with the Etys – they're worth the patience. After some burning-in the bass will become somewhat stronger, and at the same time you will get more familiar with the lack of visceral impact. And finally a dedicated amp will improve the bass response additionally, which might suffer a trace from the PCDP's cool character.

JaZZ
 
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