HELP!! IEM Decision needed
Mar 12, 2010 at 11:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Anaxilus

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**Thanks to everyone in advance. Please be aware I've read every thread on the following phones with the exception of just a few posts on the FX500. Please contribute if you have informed and educated knowledge of the following for comparison. Thx.**

In Consideration:

RE0+ibasso T3
FX500
ER-4P/S
Triple Fi 10
CK10
UM Mage+Ibasso D4 (need to save up)
JH13+LISA (need to save up)

Source: FLAC lossless 24/96

Why I'm posting:

I have been a longtime user of Shure from the 1's to the 5's. I think I just find the sound quite stale across the board esp the rolled off highs in the 530's. I was at CES in January (of course I brought my own music selection) and happened across Etymotic just to check em out. I popped in the Ety 4P's and OMFG the highs! This is what I had been missing for so long. The detail, clarity, extension, etc. as most of you know. I simply don't find any of the Shure products to meet my isolation, comfort, sound needs. The Ety doesn't seem to be the FOTM anymore but some who have done cable swaps and earmolds still swear by them. While the treble can seem a bit harsh and fatiguing depending I also worry that none of the others will be able to match the detail, clarity, extension of the highs of an ety except maybe the JH13. I need to make up for the treble time that Shure has robbed me of for so long. Hopefully w/o losing mids and lows.

About me and my preferences for reference. I run the gamut from classical, jazz, hip hop, metal, country, classic rock, techno, pop, basically everything. I can be very critical of sources and am often frustrated by horrible audio engineering by most artists just to give an idea of how I approach music.

What I am looking for in my ideal sound. Clear, bright, natural sounding highs. Resonance and clarity of strings whether violins or guitars or the depth of body to a Piano as sound carries within it after the hammer strikes. Nice mids and bass that can render anything from Flea of the Chilli Peppers to the remastered Bass guitar of McCartney and the Beatles. Unlike most in the car audio world I have never been a big fan of big, booming, delayed bass. I have often been at odds w/ other so called audiophiles who have said they prefer what they call warm/flat as I guess I like a dynamic sound. Yet to me my preferences seem to be more in line w/ true, accurate, real world sound like at a concert rather than what I feel to be a collection of dead, muddled notes. The so called flat, uncolored universe of the many audiophiles I've debated just doesn't sound like the world I live in. I want a recorded piano, violin, drum set, guitar, singer to sound just like I hear it for real, I think that's the point.

I also need great Isolation since I fly a lot and want to keep the volume as low as possible to preserve my hearing and block out the drone.

This next paragraph is simply for those that might by chance be familiar w/ the following sound signatures from the car world. For those w/ similar experiences I'm posting the following in case someone can relate and impart their knowledge. Having spent quite a bit of time in the car audio world, the greatest automobile I have ever heard was the well known Mercedes S class w/ $10k-$15k Alpine F#1 Status worth of RTA'd equipment seen a few years at CES. We've regularly tested amps/speaker combos in an isolated sound room/sound board after RTA'ing. For those that can relate the top combos I have heard were MB Quart Q amps/speakers, Polk Signature References/Alpine Type X's and Phoenix Gold Xenon amps and 10" Phoenix Gold Midbass drivers. People loved the detail and brightness of the MB Quart whereas I felt they were a bit too harsh and metallic sounding. The Polk/Phoenix Gold combo was just as revealing and clear yet warm and natural w/ great highs and treble as well, just not unnatural. Something about those Triple Darlington amps vs MOSFETS.

So the question is: which will offer me most of what I am looking for?

I guess the JH13+LISA followed by the UM MAGE+D4 are the obvious answers if one wants to spend the $2k to $7/800. Otherwise what are peoples thoughts w/ regard to the rest of the lineup? Kinda looking to be in the $150-$200 ballpark atm till I can save up for the UM or JH13.

Sidenote: Is the Ortofon e-Q7 worth the extra $100-$150 rather than waiting for some $525 UM Mages??

Thx again
 
Mar 12, 2010 at 11:38 PM Post #2 of 6

ben4345

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The Ortofon e-Q7 are the best sounding universals I have heard by far. But since I have gone with customs, I will never go back to universal.
It really sounds like the JH's are for you. I have the JH5's and they sound darn good for what they are. Imagine what the JH13's sound?

And just look at all the reviews of the 13's, I have not even heard one bad or ok'ish review. I think they are an obvious choice if you are willing to spend the money.
 
Mar 13, 2010 at 12:05 AM Post #3 of 6

semisight

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ben4345 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
And just look at all the reviews of the 13's, I have not even heard one bad or ok'ish review. I think they are an obvious choice if you are willing to spend the money.


Someone here recently had a disappointing encounter (thought they weren't worth the money) with the JH13. If money is no object, go for them. If you're on some semblance of a budget or you're prone to buyer's remorse, you might consider a less costly custom.

As for universals, your list seems to be lacking. There's a thread floating around here for top tier universal IEMs. Read it and see which one sounds like it best fits you. I'd bet you'd like the IE8 except for the isolation. You might also look at the Klipsch Custom 3 (major weakness: cables, otherwise supposed to be great with powerful bass). Also, the Monster Turbine Pros have gotten surprisingly high amounts of praise of late.

I used to think that "audiophile" meant flat, uncolored sound too. Then I got my Grados
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Mar 13, 2010 at 1:13 AM Post #4 of 6

Anaxilus

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Thx Semi, I have looked at the best IEM thread, these are the ones I have narrowed my choices down to. The IE8 sound to be too bass heavy for me from the reviews and the Klipsch's custom 3's seem to have issues w/ fit and isolation, and the X10's another bass heavy phone I've read. I was curious about the X5's but they are currently at $200 so I they seem to lack in the bang per buck category compared to the others. Again, I'm basing my assumptions on all the other reviews I have read since I have only heard the Ety4's. Which is why I'm counting on you guys!
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Mar 13, 2010 at 1:53 AM Post #5 of 6

semisight

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From what I've read, the X10 is a very agreeable IEM; very comfortable capable of good isolation and good bass, and not fatiguing at all. However it may be surpassed in the bang for buck department. They're definitely not a bad choice though. The X5 is pretty much the same but with more balanced sound.
 
Mar 13, 2010 at 7:32 PM Post #6 of 6

Anaxilus

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So it's looking like either the Ety's or the CK10's. My concern w/ the RE0's is I wont get the isolation I'm looking for. I was thinking X5's for awhile but I simply can't find enough information on the sound signature w/ relation to the Etys' or CK10's to make an informed decision.

So between the Ety's and the CK10's which do you guys think will give me the signature I'm looking for from my initial post??

Want to get these b4 April, and will then save up for a LISA/JH13 or whatever else shows up once I get the funds.
 

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