Reviewer at The Headphone List
- Feb 5, 2015
- Jakarta, Indonesia
That's unlikely. When an IEM doesn't pass QC, it's likely because the final measurement doesn't line-up with the target frequency curve they've set for the model. Maybe, it's one of those cases reported earlier on the thread of a driver not functioning correctly. It's great that they've upped their QC to catch issues like those now. That's likely why they have to start from scratch. I've heard from a lot of IEM brands that building an all-new unit with new parts is much easier than trying to dismantle a finished unit and salvaging the drivers and shells. Because, then, you'd have to try to pry everything open carefully, clean off all the old glue, re-test everything to make sure they work, etc.Turns out my Jolene's got finished but didn't pass QC. The boys are working overtime to crank it out by Monday though! Apparently they had to start from scratch so I'm surprised they are saying it'll be ready to ship on Monday if it passes QC; I hope the reason it didn't pass is because of any challenges due to my ear canal shapes and that it all works out.
One question I have for the group is about ear impressions and wearing a mask during the impressions which I did. I looked it up and apparently it's possible for it to contort the shape of your ear thus messing up the impressions, but I asked my audiologist a day later and she said she checked my mask and it was fine. What do you guys think? All in my head?
If you look at JH's lab tour video, they mention that they're able to rush IEM builds into a 1-2 day process for emergencies. I've heard the same from a lot of brands as well; pulling an all-nighter to fulfil an order from, say, an artist who has a gig the very next day, etc. The reason why CIEM builds generally take at least 4 weeks is that there are so many orders, that they have to parse them out into mini production runs.
When it comes to masks, it definitely depends on what kind you're wearing, how tight the straps are, etc. I used to wear a brand with adjustable straps, and those never intruded on my customs. The one I've got now, though, is more of the traditional kind, and I find that that affects how my customs fit. But, again, it's highly dependent on what kind of mask you're wearing, and I'd trust the judgment of the audiologist if I were you. Also, my scenario is a mask affecting the fit of a CIEM that was made with impressions sans-mask. Whereas, if your CIEMs were made with impressions taken whilst wearing a mask, that may not be as big an issue when you're listening to them sans-mask, if that makes any sense at all.
Well, I already did those comparisons on my impressions post; page 15 of this thread. But, I'll expand on them here. Keep in mind, though, that I have the A18t and A18s, which are the custom versions. A lot of people have said that they sound different to the U versions. The customs tend to be slightly warmer or darker.Hey could you please give me another highlight, see I am wondering how Jolene vs u18t vs u18s does extensions in all frequencies. Like you said a more extended treble that offers echoes and longer fading out expansive echoes on Jolene vs Lola.
Also how sharp is the clarity/definition of notes? Does Jolene win in details crispness clarity? Like how scalpel precise are the notes rendering who does it best among the 3 ?
Thanks for your help.
To me, the Jolene is quite a bit sharper-sounding than the A18s, because it doesn't have the A18s's light droop towards the mid-treble. So, you'll get more of that clarity there. The A18s also has a warmer, woolier bass, because it emphasises more of the mid-bass. Whereas, the Jolene has a sub-bass focus, so its low-end is more punchy and rumbly, but without as much warmth or wetness making its way toward the mids. Their midranges are largely similar tonally. The A18s's has a bit more boldness to it, because it has a bit more 2kHz presence, but they're not far off. In terms of texture and definition, though, I'd say the Jolene has a slight edge.
Compared to the A18t, the Jolene doesn't have as bold or loose of a midrange. It's got more control there with cleaner separation between instruments, along with, again, clearer, more palpable textures. Whereas, the A18t's instruments tend to be fuller, more forward-sounding and expressive. Down low, again, the A18t has more warmth and wetness to it, which then affects its midrange, while the Jolene has heaps more physicality, surface area and detail, because of its twin woofers, whilst keeping a hair more distance with its midrange at the same time. And, up high, both in-ears are articulate, but with peaks in different frequencies. The A18t has more low-treble than mid-treble, while the two are more balanced on the Jolene. So, transients on the A18t are bright and articulate, but not as crisp, while the Jolene's have more of that sparkle of them.
Spatially, the Jolene edges out both the A18t and A18s on every axis, because it tends to, again, rein in the frequencies that'd usually take up the centre-image (the mid-bass and the upper-mids). So, you'll get a much larger, cleaner and tidier image on the Jolene, but you'll get a looser, silkier, more intimate sound on the A18t and A18s, so it'll be up to your preferences there. When it comes purely to the clarity, definition, sharpness and precision of notes, though, the Jolene is certainly the winner.
In terms of both low- and high-end extension, I'd say the Jolene is the victor of both too. Its DDs have a more palpable, more physical rumble than either of the A18's BAs. The Jolene's bass has more attitude to it too, which imbues a solid, clean drive to kick drums. And, it's got more air to its upper-treble as well. So, little nuances like decays and shimmers are more audible on the Jolene.