(Finished!!!) Review Set: UM3X, e-Q7, RE262, Triple.Fi 10, RE252, CK100, RE-Zero, Custom 3, OK1, HJE900
Mar 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM Post #61 of 152
Oh my god, I finally finished this thing, haha.  About time.
Um, there's about 70% new content, and much of the pre-existing stuff was revised over the last week.
I might format the wall of text a little more for easy reading.  I went through a little bit just coloring, bolding just to visually break up stuff, but I may attempt a little more later.  I don't plan to change the content from here on out.  As of now, I'm considering this done.
Time to throw some earphones up for sale!  Har har.
Mar 21, 2011 at 5:16 AM Post #63 of 152
very precise and straight to the point review. kudos mvw2. one thing though, did you happen to use upgrade cable for tf10 or is it stock? since the mids are much more present after using one. the stock cable is just plain crap 
Mar 21, 2011 at 6:18 AM Post #64 of 152
Stock cable.  The cable alone shouldn't do anything, although I am aware the ohm load can affect frequency response of dynamics and crossover points which can subsequently affect the end sound.  Wire alone is wire though and makes very little difference.  It often depends on what else is being done in the process.  Sometimes people spend money and make up what they want to hear.  I can't say anything about the upgrade cable in question because I don't know what it is or how it's designed.  A wire change alone will do nothing, but doing some inline filtering can.  Heck, even the airplane adapter that comes with the Triple.Fi 10 has some effect on the sound, but that's an attenuation device, not simple wire.
As for working with the mids, I would suggest attempting a shallower fit running a wider tip.  The ear naturally boosts the midrange, and you can take some advantage of that via insertion depth.  In the end, you would still likely EQ to your end goal though.  Although I've never looked into it, I am curious if UE, well Logitech now, is willing to adjust the filters if someone is seeking a different sound signature.
Mar 21, 2011 at 8:17 AM Post #65 of 152
You've done quite an amazing job, mvw2. Your commitment to convey all the differences between all these IEMs in a balanced fashion, without falling prey to fanboyism or bashing, is commendable - you're an asset to the community.
I wonder how you'd find the new W4.
Mar 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM Post #66 of 152
your summery post was fantastic to read.  it gives me a few targets that i want to try out.  unfortunately, my lack of a budget prevents me from doing so.  haha.
Mar 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM Post #67 of 152
With how much I like the UM3X and how much more balanced the W4 is supposed to be, I am curious too.  I've seen a frequency response of the W4 versus the W3, and it's still not as balanced as I'd like, but I don't know the details of the testing or how it actually sounds.  Frequency response alone only presents a small bit of information and doesn't really tell you the presentation of sound.  People hear the W4 as balanced, so I am curious how different and balanced it sounds versus the UM3X.  I'm not big on jumping on the newest and greatest things though. 
As for cheap earphones, look at Joker's thread.  He's actually tested a lot of the cheaper options.  ClieOS has reviewed a reasonably broad range of prices too.  Dftk has even made a nice chart containing a number of the popular products that does include some range of price.  Unfortunately, most of my reviews contain things of personal interest, more hopes of the best of the best and often the expensive end of things.
Mar 21, 2011 at 2:40 PM Post #68 of 152
Send me the UM3X and I'll let you know haha :p I just got the W4 back so not much to say about them.
I just noticed the thread title change to it being completed so I'll have to read up on the first few posts later today :)
Mar 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM Post #69 of 152
A really fine review and worth all the time it took to finish.  I like that you used music that readers could access themselves, to give a solid reference point.
Also it's great to read a review that shows strengths and weaknesses in a pretty even-handed fashion.  Thanks.
Mar 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM Post #70 of 152
Wow, what an impressive achievement! I can't even imagine how many hours you've put into this, so thanks for your seemingly limitless dedication to get to the bottom of things. I've learned a lot from your posts, keep up the good work!

Mar 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM Post #71 of 152
With the revisions and procrastination too many.  I think I redid the trombone part like 4 or 5 times.  I just kept starting over deciding what I actually wanted to present from the reviews.  I started this back in November, haha!  ...and then procrastinated for 4 months and went back and forth a little bit on what data I actually wanted to present.  Part of the time was necessary to simply get used to the earphones and gain a good understanding of what they offered.  Early on, some of them I only seldom listened to, and to describe something in detail with good understand requires, well, good understanding.  It slowed me down and forced me to go through all the earphones I don't mainly use to gain a healthy level of experience and understanding.  Most of the review was done towards the end of last week though through a few very long days where I woke up and pretty much worked on this till I went back to bed.  Total hours is not massive, but it's spread out over a lot of time and layered upon a number of revisions that effectively nulled a lot of the early effort.  Straight shot work?  Probably a good 40-50 hour work week of actual time listening, writing, revising of a sit down and finish process.  I'm sure I spent a good bit more than that much in wasted time on top of that too though which is boo for me but always a learning experience.  Any experience is good experience.  I can't say that I would try and attempt such a large review again.  Smaller 2-3 earphone comparisons are far easier to swallow start to finish.  This sort of turned out to be a bit of an undertaking.  I even started going into it planning to do just a quick and dirty listening session, but I just hated offering so little information.  It felt a bit pointless, so I just expanded on it till...this.  At least I'm content with what I've presented.  I wasn't when I was trying to do the little tid-bits are started with at first.  I needed to offer more or this thread felt pointless to me.
Mar 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM Post #73 of 152

on the graph i see re252 (brown line) has more bass than re262 (blue), how can it be? thanx

It doesnt...
EDIT: Hmm you're right actually, but I asked this before in joker's IEM thread about the PS200's bass.


I was just wondering: I've been looking at the FR graph of the phiaton ps200 on headroom, and it looks to me like the bass isn't shy, but pretty darn flat.  However, it also seems to me that the headroom folks also think the bass is also shy.  Am I just reading the graph wrong?

Nope, I'll easily believe that the PS200 is flat in terms output level, there's just more to the perception of bass quantity than that. Otherwise you could EQ any earphone to sound like almost any other earphone with a good 40-band EQ. The PS200 sounds bass-light because it's lean on body and loses all note very quickly below a certain point. I am sure there is still air being moved but it's not something that can be called 'bass' in the head-fi sense. With the PS200 it's difficult to explain but listening to them side-by-side with the CK10 it was pretty obvious that one can be heard all the way down and the other just gives up. 
I think with the recent price drops on the PS200 its falling back down into the realm of 'good deal' though as the DBA-02 is still fairly scarce and the CK90Pro/CK10 cost way over $200 now.

Mar 21, 2011 at 8:28 PM Post #74 of 152
The RE252 does have more bass.  The bottom and top end of the RE252 does exceed that of the RE262, both in response and presence.  When you use both back to back, this is blatant.  Now the RE262 is more dynamic and has an effortless presentation of bass.  It's clean, powerful, and could be a lot more pronounced if only notes carried more heft.  The high dynamic range of the RE262 is deceiving though, and depending on what you're playing, one may consider the RE262 to be stronger than the RE252.  It will depend on the source information you're using.  The RE262 has better dynamics than the RE252.  The RE252 has better texture and note thickness than the RE262.  These benefits suit different things.  As well, many people's idea of "bass" is high bass, information 80Hz and higher.  Information below 80Hz is actually quite low sonically, lower than you think.  A lot of the bass notes one hears in music are often higher in frequency than they would guess if they had to put a number on the note.
The frequency response I do is me using a pink noise track and adjusting what one could closely call an infinitely adjustable EQ, although I typically only adjust 10 main frequencies: 31Hz, 63Hz,125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz, 16kHz.  The pink noise track provides a relatively unbiased look at the sound, and all one does is attempt to match output intensity across the frequency spectrum so 100Hz is as loud as 1kHz and as loud as 10kHz.  It's just constant static, and you just move the EQ up or down till no one frequency overshadows any other.  Low frequencies specifically can be hard to hear.  Not all earphones present a well bodied bass note that is easy to hear, plus our ears and mind really are not geared to listen to bass with high accuracy.  We are mostly geared for midrange (vocal) listening as a natural byproduct of human communication.  There aren't many natural things that require subsonic accuracy, nor are we geared to hear ultrasonic frequencies, although some animals are geared to due to their "food" communicating at those frequencies.
Like xtasi was pointing to, frequency response is not the only part of sound.  The presence of the note still totally depends upon how the note is presented, basically things like texturing, dynamics, decay, impulse.  An example is the top end of the RE252 and RE262.  In response alone, the RE262 is louder, but from practical listening, you would never tell me that.  The ER252 is far more aggressive and edgy up top.  There's more energy and air to the high end notes, and compared to the very light and sweet treble of the RE262, the RE252 sounds significantly more pronounced.  Difference in presentation is different in perception.  The actual sensitivity (frequency response) is only one part of the note development.

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