Ety MC5
Jul 8, 2010 at 4:50 AM Post #121 of 202

NR76

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csokane - I agree that there may be improvements in MC5's quality with burn in. However, I do not expect the sound signature to change enough for me even after the burn in.
 
In terms of clarity and detail - The only difference I can hear is that S4 has more bass, so it sounds a little fuller. Overall, though, I do not hear any difference in detail itself. Perhaps MC5 is a little more clear, but S4 sounds a lot more "musical" or "fun". To my ears, S4 sounds a lot sweeter than MC5.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 6:53 AM Post #122 of 202

Spyro

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It's a shame.  It's too bad Ety can't make a balanced IEM and everything is swung to the upper register and needs an amp.  I don't get it. Why is bass a dirty word for them?
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 7:14 AM Post #123 of 202

a_recording

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Quote:
Why is bass a dirty word for them?


Well, to be honest, bass is a dirty word for a lot of 'audiophiles'. Bass tends to get associated with particular musical genres that tend to receive a fair amount of (perhaps deserved) derision. Bassheads who pack their car stereos full of subwoofers don't help bass' press image either. If you look at something like the Sony Muteki component speaker system-in-a-box with 2095 watts of power and 4 (that's right, 4 subwoofers) you see the appeal to the mass market with the sheer amount of bass, and the general idea is that the mass market is lowest common denominator stupiditiy.
 
So it's very often that people will say that they 'don't want too much bass, they just want to hear what is in the music'. It's an elitist attitude, but I don't want to offend anyone here - almost all of us are elitist here, because after all we like and appreciate quality, whether it be quality sound or quality music.
 
Listening to IEMs like the CK90Pro and the Radius DDM (and actually, what started a real appreciation of bass for me, the CKS70) was that there's actually a lot of pyschoacoustic information in bass, and things don't really sound natural without enough bass extension, decay and quantity. The keyword is natural - how close it sounds to real life. It's just as important as treble.
 
Now etymotic has an industry reputation as producing treble orientated, accurate phones. It's an image of a pristine sound that will always have a market for people who stick by the attitude of bass as a mass market frequency. I don't think they would want to damage the brand image by releasing something that is dramatically different. It won't capture the market who won't spend anything on earphones in the first place, and it will lose the respect of those who think of Etymotic Research as the accurate, technical brand. Reputation is a pretty important thing in audio. 
 
I think they probably just want to capture the people who have heard about etymotic and want to move up to a higher quality sound, but are a little bit put off by the descriptions of Etymotic as a brand completely devoid of bass. Before I came to head-fi, that was my understanding of the brand. Not everyone goes to Head-Fi after all.
 
I know this is a lot of assumptions to make, but thats the impression I gather.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 8:08 AM Post #124 of 202

slaters70

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I feel the MC5 bass is not anemic or missing, and I also feel that listening to them after 50+ hours has increased their bass presence, as I listened to them recently for 2-3 hours. Now, I occasionally do tick up the bass EQ on my players (Touch, J3) depending on the genre, but I do that for the other IEMs I currently own as well (DBAs, RE-Zeros). To me, EQ can improve the sound from an IEM (so that doesn't make me a snob or an audiophile, for sure).
 
Anyway, each to his own, and if the S4s do it for you, then good. I thought the S4s were nice too, but just lost interest in them and sold them. Also, I do have the advantage of using custom sleeves with the MC5s, which I believe also can play a role in the better bass resolution I hear.
 
I am not an audiophile, but IEMs like the IE8, for example, were not my cup of tea. Might like the DDMs, but not buying any more for the time being.
 
Oh, and I also use the Etys with the iBasso T3 amp (starting to amp most of my portable music), another differentiator.
 
Funniest thing is, I hated the S4s out of the box, and didn't really like them until I passed the 100-hour burn in mark. So not giving the Etys a chance with a decent burn-in period could be a mistake. Then again, maybe not for NR76. It's all good if the S4s are preferred. I just would choose the Etys after owning both.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 9:20 AM Post #125 of 202

goodvibes

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It's not elitist to not like too much bass. Especially if you need to trade something else for it. I think we all want full range in proper balance but there's a reason there are so many different sig IEMs discussed here. I like ET's clarity and balance and also think every stereo system would be better if it got into the low 20hz region with a REL B2 or the like. It's not mutually exclusive and you can appreciate both without disparaging the other. That music isn't oftened mixed with the bass energy of a live amplified performance isn't a phones fault and is what EQ is for if that balance is more important than mix. That's also great if it meets your personal needs as long as the phone can get there. I think there may be a bit more snobbery to say bass uber alles and point fingers at audiophiles. It's rare to get everything in single BA units and/or this price point and ET doesn't like xovers. Make your choices. Spend your money but keep the personal pronouncements to yourself. There's way too much of justifying ones purchases by degrading others here. It's not a contest.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 10:03 AM Post #126 of 202

slaters70

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Nicely said. I happen to fall in the non-elitist, non-audiophile group who likes a balanced IEM, where bass is certainly present, but for the most part blends in with the overall sound. As such, I don't find the Etys weak on the bass end (just listened again, to the opening bass lines of the Eagles' Hotel California on Hell Freezes Over, no EQ on the Touch via HP out). And as you say, if you can tease out a little more bass via EQ and it doesn't distort or ruin the sound, why not try it? I probably will never be a person who says they refuse to EQ, that my IEMs must sound a certain way, no tweaking via EQ. But it's, as you say, not a contest, just a preference matter.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM Post #127 of 202

a_recording

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Nah I wasn't talking about Head-Fi specifically. I think most people here are pretty reasonable in that regard - it's not possible to spend enough time on this forum without picking up a range of opinions. I'm talking about people outside this group - people who have heard for instance CX300's or the like and then decided that bass is just not for them. I'm also not advocating bass uber alles, I just think it's just as important and a little underappreciated. I like the whole wonderful range of human hearing :) I just wish I had less sensitivity to sibilance. :frowning2:
 
Oh, and I also would love to hear the mc5's. I've always been very curious about the Ety sound/ isolation.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 10:48 AM Post #128 of 202

slaters70

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Got it. Your explanation makes sense. I guess my only counter would be that bass isn't underappreciated here, that's for sure. I would like to hear the DDMs, but as noted, I never cared much for the IE8s, which are the only bass-oriented IEMs I have owned, really. I may try the new Fischer phone in September, which is an upgrade to the Eterna (forget the name). Sounds interesting, and not expensive.
 
As far as Etys, all I can say is I had them in my ears this morning with the custom sleeves, and the bass was alive and well, at least enough for me. And no EQing.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 11:23 AM Post #129 of 202

Spyro

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No, I am not talking anything even remotely close to the dreadful subwoofer bass.  I am talking a balanced sound.  Except for perhaps a solo piano concerto or solo acoustic guitar, I have never been to any live performance that sounds even remotely close to what an Ety sounds like.  To me there is a real lacking of a "fullness of sound" which gives the music realism.  Not trying to diss Ety as I have bought their entire line more than once over the years but as far as reproducing a live performance (whether in studio or live concert setting), I think they sorely miss the mark.  Just my opinion. 
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 11:43 AM Post #130 of 202

slaters70

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Can't agree, even though I do agree it's all personal.
 
I've owned the ER4P/S, the er6i and now the MC5, and to me, the MC5 does in fact deliver more bass than the other two IEMs. However, to say that Etys don't even remotely match a live performance is, with all due respect, an over-generalization. It is a personal opinion, sure, because there are many, many very happy Ety owners, as you know. I now am among them. Granted I sold my ER4P/S, but to be honest, I still found them to be amazing IEMs. Again, as you say, it is all about preference. And when I listen to the MC5s via the Touch/LOD/T3, they sound exceptional to me, especially for the price. Sometimes, it makes little sense of course to discuss IEMs unless they are heard from the same source, with the same tracks/rips, under the same conditions. But you already know that. The MC5s are, to me, very balanced. When you say, "to what an Ety sounds like," you of course are not including the MC5, because you haven't heard it under the same circumstances I have. I wish you could.
 
Keep in mind, these are $79 dynamic IEMs, not $400 multi-drivers. But even so, I believe Ety has made some strides with bass on this IEM. I really feel thy deserve a decent break-in period before being judged is all. In the end, they won't be for everybody. But I can't dismiss them a bass lite/anemic.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM Post #131 of 202

Spyro

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Well, that's good.  I guess I wish I could hear it however not really interested in it if an amp is recommended.  Too many better options out that that do not require an amp.
 
I guess I liken it to being in a 15 ft square room with a great pair of  6" bookshelf speakers versus a great pair of 10" or 12" speakers.  The 6" can certainly sound relatively great but I think given the same quality speaker the larger speakers will provide more realism without being too bassy, hence a fuller sound.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 12:28 PM Post #132 of 202

slaters70

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Guess so, but I guess the same could be said for a phone like the REO, which still garners a lot of praise here on HF.
 
We're talking $79, again, not $300+. My only point is, these IEMs can deliver enough quality bass punch for their cost, perhaps unlike other Ety models you have heard. Again, today I plugged them into my iPod Touch via HP out, no EQ/no amp, and put on the Hotel California version from Hell Freezes Over, and the bass slam was there and obvious, not hidden in the background or MIA. Could there be more/louder bass, of course, but it sounded very good to me. I guess it's the ongoing debate on how much, and what quality, bass is enough. The CK10 discussion all over again. Some pretty credible HFers, Joker and Shigzeo, have called the AT CK10 among their favorite universals, but others, also credible, call them bass lite.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM Post #133 of 202

goodvibes

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I like ETs and I like TD100 I just got for what it is. It's all relative and if you're not freq. biased, you can differentiate good from not as regardless the sig. Whether a product is right for you is another matter. I tend to be more concerned about prat, a balanced mid(which can't really be done without at least some extension up and down), and less with the extremes but only because the extremes don't fall into place for me withoutthe mids having some balance. I want it all as I think we all do. Apologies if I misrepresented anothers post.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:21 PM Post #134 of 202

csokane

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I like these a lot more than the S4s. The build quality is also great, and I gotta say, I can see why everyone makes such a big deal out of ety isolation.
 
Jul 8, 2010 at 8:27 PM Post #135 of 202

NR76

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I am not an audiophile and was only shopping around to see which earphones work out the best for me. Coming from Ety er6i and loving them for three years, I was convinced that S4 were not for me. I bought S4 only on a whim because of the great return policy at Best Buy.
 
Now, having tried S4 and Ety MC5 (which I was really hopeful will be the ones that I like), I know that to my ears, S4 is the right sound. If I had not had S4 and done A/B comparison, I would have certainly kept and been very happy with Ety MC5. They sound very nice too. However, in doing the A/B comparison, I feel that there is a layer of music that is absent in MC5 (and probably also er6i). I feel that the lowest level of bass in simply lacking with Ety sound - something the envelops the music and in my opinion provides character to the music (and no, I am not talking about thumping drums... think classical music and think of a foundation on which that music gets built). Also, I have to disagree that Ety are more "natural" sounding because of that lack of bass. I have no experience of hearing music in a studio, but from what I have heard in good auditoriums, I have to say that S4 are closer to that sound than MC5.
 
Like I said before, I was hoping that there would be something in MC5 that will jump out at me which was absent in S4. Nothing. Zilch to my ears. I tried a lot of different tracks and kept looking for that missing / rolled off high note somewhere from S4. Nothing at all!
 
Ety certainly have way better isolation. But, even a lot of long distance flights I take almost every month, I have to say that it doesn't matter all that much. Not to me. And, the isolation does come with atleast a little bit of discomfort.
 
Are S4 perfect? No. There are tracks in which I would prefer slightly lesser bass. But that is where the equalizer comes in. To me, it is still better than even MC5 with an inexpensive amp.
 
Ofcourse, this is all personal choice. I wanted to lay out my experience in case there were folks like me who love(d) Ety sound and didn't try something more bassy. I am surprised how much S4 sound better to me than Ety MC5, and they might surprise a few others too.
 
Slaters: I agree that MC5 may improve with burn in. However, I do not have the time (leave for an international trip tomorrow) for further trial. And, like I said before, there is nothing in MC5 so far that I find lacking in S4. And, there is the additional amp to carry around. For me, S4 sound good enough to keep.
 

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