Has anyone knowingly bought a bad out of the box headphone/bud/IEM with high hidden potential that makes them a great bang for the buck from cheap/free tinkering?
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JEHL

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Admittedly mostly just out of curiosity, but also because I'm not a purist in any way so I'd like to learn from other's experiences.

In fact the main inspiration for this thread came from the Audeze iSINE family which I read reviews about 2 years ago if memory doesn't fail me, which unless you bought them with the Cipher cable are apparently notorious for atrocious out of the box tuning. However it seems that some owners found out you can do all sorts of ridiculous EQing and they respond extremely well to it, so I guess their selling point ends up being that they can sound the way you want them to sound.

And of course how can I forget even something as simple as fit can make or break your product, so I'd like to see examples like these as well (Although I think cheap may not describe these best since I'm pretty sure multi kilobuck earpads exist).

Heck I may already be guilty since I just ordered the BL03, probably not bad per se, but infamously has fit issues out of the box, but apparently it can be fixed with the correct eartips coutesy of Slater for the many eartip suggestions in this site. As well as cutting the filter out of the mesh also courtesy of Slater (I'd probably should try to listen to them with the filter before I do this).

idk much about it, but I heard the fostex TX0RP family is NOT something you buy for the out of the box experience either, but for the potential.

Edit: Is title too long?
 
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baskingshark

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Admittedly mostly just out of curiosity, but also because I'm not a purist in any way so I'd like to learn from other's experiences.

In fact the main inspiration for this thread came from the Audeze iSINE family which I read reviews about 2 years ago if memory doesn't fail me, which unless you bought them with the Cipher cable are apparently notorious for atrocious out of the box tuning. However it seems that some owners found out you can do all sorts of ridiculous EQing and they respond extremely well to it, so I guess their selling point ends up being that they can sound the way you want them to sound.

And of course how can I forget even something as simple as fit can make or break your product, so I'd like to see examples like these as well (Although I think cheap may not describe these best since I'm pretty sure multi kilobuck earpads exist).

Heck I may already be guilty since I just ordered the BL03, probably not bad per se, but infamously has fit issues out of the box, but apparently it can be fixed with the correct eartips coutesy of Slater for the many eartip suggestions in this site. As well as cutting the filter out of the mesh also courtesy of Slater (I'd probably should try to listen to them with the filter before I do this).

idk much about it, but I heard the fostex TX0RP family is NOT something you buy for the out of the box experience either, but for the potential.
I bought a 2nd hand Oriveti New Primacy at around 1/5 the original price as the original user had bad driver flex with it (and this is a common complaint among users of it).
So no surprise when I got it, I had tremendous driver flex, but I managed to fix it with foam tips and inserting it slowly.
 
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JEHL

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I bought a 2nd hand Oriveti New Primacy at around 1/5 the original price as the original user had bad driver flex with it (and this is a common complaint among users of it).
So no surprise when I got it, I had tremendous driver flex, but I managed to fix it with foam tips and inserting it slowly.
I always though foam tips are meant to be inserted slowly, and I didn't know driver flex can be fixed. Although the fix is more temporary than permanent?

Also reminds me of a video I saw last year of a Spanish mechanic who buys a 2016 Honda Fit for 1000 euro (I think it's called Jazz there) because engine stalls. All he did was change the spark plugs and it ran good as new.
 
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baskingshark

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I always though foam tips are meant to be inserted slowly, and I didn't know driver flex can be fixed. Although the fix is more temporary than permanent?

Also reminds me of a video I saw last year of a Spanish mechanic who buys a 2016 Honda Fit for 1000 euro (I think it's called Jazz there) because engine stalls. All he did was change the spark plugs and it ran good as new.
Driver flex is usually due to a too tight seal, and is partially related to the tips we use + our ear anatomy. I found a few ways to mitigate it, YMMV:

1) Use foam tips instead of silicone tips, works sometimes for me. Probably cause the foam is porous and lets air escape thru the foams rather than going into the IEM shell.

2) Sometimes using another silicone tip that has lesser isolation/seal may reduce driver flex, though at the expense of isolation. Try a variety of different ear tips and sizes if you can, some tips give more driver flex than others.

3) Try opening your mouth and pulling down the earlobe before inserting the IEM, this opens the ear canal a bit for more space to insert the eartip, and hopefully some air can escape during insertion with the bigger diameter of the ear canal.

4) Insert the ear tip slowly or not too deeply initially, and slowly make fine adjustments to push it in.
 
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JEHL

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Driver flex is usually due to a too tight seal, and is partially related to the tips we use + our ear anatomy. I found a few ways to mitigate it, YMMV:

1) Use foam tips instead of silicone tips, works sometimes for me. Probably cause the foam is porous and lets air escape thru the foams rather than going into the IEM shell.

2) Sometimes using another silicone tip that has lesser isolation/seal may reduce driver flex, though at the expense of isolation. Try a variety of different ear tips and sizes if you can, some tips give more driver flex than others.

3) Try opening your mouth and pulling down the earlobe before inserting the IEM, this opens the ear canal a bit for more space to insert the eartip, and hopefully some air can escape during insertion with the bigger diameter of the ear canal.

4) Insert the ear tip slowly or not too deeply initially, and slowly make fine adjustments to push it in.
From what I read so far, while not apparently a chronic issue, the BLON BL-03 is not exactly immune to driver flex either. Conveniently my sister has spare foam tips which she sent alongside the BL-03 (In case anyone wonders why she intercepts them first well, she lives in New Orleans so she got free shipping I ended up saving $14, may be useful for an aftermarket cable but I'd rather wait for a big sale first like the 11.11) So I'm sure this will be useful advice.
 
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baskingshark

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From what I read so far, while not apparently a chronic issue, the BLON BL-03 is not exactly immune to driver flex either. Conveniently my sister has spare foam tips which she sent alongside the BL-03 (In case anyone wonders why she intercepts them first well, she lives in New Orleans so she got free shipping I ended up saving $14, may be useful for an aftermarket cable but I'd rather wait for a big sale first like the 11.11) So I'm sure this will be useful advice.
Foam tips also tame the treble frequencies, though some of em ain't durable as compared to silicone tips. So they might change the sound signature slightly.

I don't have driver flex with the BL-03, but yeah as stated earlier, it is partially related to our ear anatomy and type of tips we use. I spoke to a few manufacturers and they all claim driver flex is harmless to the IEM, but I've seen anecdotal reports here on headfi that their IEM driver died after a big case of driver flex. Well it is irritating to get the driver flex crinkling sound in the ears, but yeah do try the above mods and hopefully it helps you.
 
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Foam tips also tame the treble frequencies, though some of em ain't durable as compared to silicone tips. So they might change the sound signature slightly.

I don't have driver flex with the BL-03, but yeah as stated earlier, it is partially related to our ear anatomy and type of tips we use. I spoke to a few manufacturers and they all claim driver flex is harmless to the IEM, but I've seen anecdotal reports here on headfi that their IEM driver died after a big case of driver flex. Well it is irritating to get the driver flex crinkling sound in the ears, but yeah do try the above mods and hopefully it helps you.
Speaking of cables, I wanna try trimming the memory hook before I resort to buying another cable.

Did you end up getting a $60 IEM that sounds like a $300 then?
 
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Bass port mod on the Stax SR-007. Went from being average to summit-fi.
 
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JVC FD02 or FD01 with Mod from James444
Converts it from bright and fatiguing to an excellent, balanced dynamic driver IEM.

The modded FD02 with a good cable is the cheapest IEM in my selection and at the same time the most used...
 
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Bass port mod on the Stax SR-007. Went from being average to summit-fi.
JVC FD02 or FD01 with Mod from James444
Converts it from bright and fatiguing to an excellent, balanced dynamic driver IEM.

The modded FD02 with a good cable is the cheapest IEM in my selection and at the same time the most used...
Who knew putty and micropore tape respectively could do so much for next to nothing LMAO.
 
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