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High end all-rounder IEMs for Cowon J3

  1. TheHound
    I'm looking for some advice on nice all-rounder phones to go with my new Cowon J3, please.

    My current phones are Shure SE310s. I like the detail on them, and they can sound very nice with certain EQ settings on the J3, but overall I find them a bit bright, fatiguing and lacking in bass. I like smoothness, clarity and detail and strong timbre representation with a punchy, well-defined non-boomy bass and a temperature ideally very slightly on the warm side of things but not too unnatural. I'm after something which is fun and musical but which reveals a lot of what the musicians are up to.

    My source files are a mixture of FLAC and 256k AACs. I listen to any genre, but blues/hard rock, prog rock, folk/accoustic, jazz and classical more than anything else.

    I started considering the Panasonic HJE9000s, but comments about them being like an inferior version of the Ortofon E-Q7s (as well the filters' tendency to fall off) led me to investigate that set. Said investigation suggested that the similarities are perhaps not so strong after all, with the Panasonics lacking in mid and the Ortofon arguably focusing on it. Regardless, I've liked most of what I've read about the Ortofons, especially the idea that they represent one of the best halfway houses between detail and fun out there.

    What's given me slight pause is talk of coarseness and one review which suggested they're not so good for classical and rock because of the laid back treble. The review made it sound as though the E-Q7s were more suited to middle-of-the-road stuff. If I listen to something sweet, I want the sound to be tender. Similarly, if I'm hearing a searing Frank Zappa or Jimmy Page guitar solo I want to feel it! As I have no experience with IEMs of this level I'm conscious of the possibility that these criticisms are relative to others in that bracket, and that to my ears they won't really be an issue.

    Anyone have any comments on the Ortofons, given my criteria, or perhaps suggestions of other phones to try? Was thinking about the Shure 535s as well, even though they're another 150 pounds over the Ortofons, for some reason. SM3s and FX700s look interesting too. I'm not really in a position to try a whole bunch, though, so informed advice such as is available on here would be really useful to me. Cheers.
     
  2. TheHound
    Just bumping this as I'd really appreciate some comments.
     
  3. Redmetal1897
    I have the Panni's and the Ortofon e-q5 which is essentially the same as the e-q7. I've been using the Panni's for over a month now and I absolutely love them. At the price I got them for, $92, they are an absolute steal. The mids are recessed initially but over time they come out more and the bass mellows down as well. A good set of tips such as the meelec balanced tips help even out the sound more as well. The sibilance admittedly at times can get a teensy bit harsh, but it mellows down over time as well. Plus they have this fantastic timbre which gives the sound such a unique timbre and flavor. I wouldn't count them out if I were you.  I listen to alot of the same music you do and the Panny's do most of them very well 
     
    The orotofon's are truly wonderful, extremely transparent and relay alot of the emotion of the music very well. They don't necessarily make all music as fun as the Pana's. They can at times be a little harsh if you are listening to heavy metal hard rock. But for instrumental music, because of the strong mids, they really relay the emotion very well, and for slower music with no distortion, well, they are phenomenal. 
     
    If I hard to pick one all round phone, the HJE's would be my pick of the two... but the stuff that the orto's are good at, they are just phenomenal and not necessarily bad at the things they aren't as good at.
     
  4. TheHound
    Thanks for that write-up. The Pannies are really that good, then? Sounds like they have much more of a bass kick than the Ortofons. Are the Pannies' highs more detailed than the Ortofons', or just more forward? Which is the more detailed set overall? Which is smoother?
     
    Redmetal1897 likes this.
  5. proedros
    how many money would you spend ?
     
    Bennyboy71 uses his J3 with a pair of RE-252 and he was constantly telling me how good they sounded (he also had the eq-7 , but he had fit issues)
     
    Seeing your want-list , the RE-262 may fir your appetite , but they can only be found atm on the FS threads....
     
    Again , knowing what sound you want/how much money you want to spend , is the bigger part of your research...
     
    Have you read through Joker's multi-IEM review thread ? if i were you , i 'd start from there...
     
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478568/multi-iem-review-125-iems-compared-sony-xb40ex-ex85-added-12-08
     
     
     
     
    important info , everyone here suggests 99% a pair of IEM he had/has now.Considering that most people here have tried <5 top-tier iems , you see how sometimes information can become mis-information
     
    Do your own homework and pick one based on what you read/feel like is what you want/need
     
  6. TheHound


    Quote:
     
    I can spend up to around £300.
     
    The 262s sound like they could be pretty good. Part of me thinks I should get the Ortofons for Christmas and just buy the Panasonics for myself later and have both.
     
    Didn't see that thread yet - looks like a good resource.
     
  7. violinvirtuoso
    Two threads who should probably look through:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/476315/top-tier-universal-iem-comparison-chart-frequency-response-charts-discussion
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/450407/multiple-iem-shootout-v-3
     
  8. Redmetal1897
    As posted above Joker's thread is the best resource. However with regards to what you asked, yes the pana's are very good as an all round IEM, better as an all rounder than the ortofons. However what the ortofons do well they blow the panna's out of the water at. They are mid centric, with wonderful quality, but when you throw distortion into the mix the already high mids tend to get grainy. Which is why for strings, vocals i.e. anything non heavy metal distortion they are fantastic. The pana's have more bass kick. The oroto's are closer to neutral while the pana's are U shaped. The treble is more sparkly in the pana's which cause the sibilance occasionally. The transparency on the orto's are matched only by the earsonic sm3's from what I have read, but the pana's are no slouch when it comes to catching detail. Plus they have this unique timber which adds an awesome flavor to all songs. One more thing I should add about the orto's, if the distortion isn't grainy, they sound great, especially for solo's, they come across liquid and smooth. 
     
     
    If you are looking for an all rounder, I would recommend the panas. However if you can get both I would say do that [​IMG]
     
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  9. ovrclkd
    I use my UM3X's exclusively with the J3. Great response and measurable differences with the slightest EQ tweak.  IMHO they are a perfect marriage.
     
  10. TheHound


    Quote:

    Thanks again for that. You make a good case for the Panasonics, though some things about the Ortofons (the detail not least) still intrigue me.
     
    To be honest I'm finding trying to discern what to buy without actually hearing these to be quite a frustrating process. I may have to go for both and sell one set if I don't like them, or keep them to complement each other. As an owner of both how well would you say they complement each other?
     
    Also, final question (if anyone knows the answer): how would both of these pairs sound in comparison to my Shure SE310s?
     
  11. yello131
    Where in UK can you get Pannis HJE90 from?
     have Pannis been discontinued, is that so?
     
  12. Redmetal1897

    No problem glad I can help. They definitely complement each other because they have fairly different sound signatures, with the Panni's being U shaped and the orto's being closer to neutral with a emphasis on the mids. If I had the option I would keep both for sure. And yes, you always have the option to sell,  you can get a good price on head-fi for them, especially since JR isn't selling them anymore. This decision will be harder for you I know, because I bought them at a fantastic price! If I might add, the Fischer Audio DBA-02's would have a fairly similar sound sig to the orto's and are $50 cheaper (unless you missed out on the deal at musica acoustics, in which case more like $100 cheaper). They have the same clarity, not as much body in the mids, but are still fantastic all round neutral phones. The orto's have a better build quality. Of the three the Panni's have the best build quality and the option of replaceable cables. I know sound is king, but when you pay that much its nice to know that phones will last. 
     
    Haven't heard the Shures so cant help you there! What I will say though is that the Panni's are very hit and miss on this board, whereas the consensus for the orto's is overwhelmingly positive. So while I love the Panni's they might not do it for you and maybe too warm for you. 
     
     
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  13. TheHound
    Thanks once more Daanish. I just pulled the trigger on the Panasonics. What can I say, my finger got itchy. I think I'll ask for the Ortofons for Christmas as well, and see how it goes with both for a bit.
     
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    I heard they were discontinued somewhere around this board, but I haven't seen it confirmed or anything.
     
    You can buy them through Amazon UK.
     
  14. MrGreen
    IMO the ER4 and CK10 are both extremely good for the price and are so rediculously flat (more or less) that they suit anything (except maybe drum and bass for the ER4)
     
    If you want something darker with more bass the Radius TWF11R and Shure SE535 are both very good IMO
     
  15. Redmetal1897

    Cool! Hope you enjoy them, you'd have to decide between the e-q5 and e-q7. Dimitri from Musica Acoustics is e-q5 for $250 US, where as normally they are around $300, so if you ask for your gift make sure they mail him first!
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