Livewires or UE11?
Jul 21, 2008 at 4:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

rwallace

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I'm reading that Livewires are:

"very forward sounding IEMs which require an amp that sounds dark."

I'm also reading that Livewires aren't as good as UE11's at running unamped off a DAP. Something that is important to me as I would like to have two rigs:

(1) 3G 8GB Nano (no amp) + IEM; and

(2) 32GB Touch + Turbo Diabolous V15 + [AMP] + IEM

I'm wondering if spending $1,200 for UE11's might be the best decision for me as it sounds like Livewires are not as good and have more constraints and more narrow compatibility.

I'm not even sure which amps are "dark sounding" though I'm reading that:

"Dark sound is more close to a tube amp sound. They sound musical, without the piercing treble. You will recognize dark sound when your ears find it pleasant, mellow, musical and no pain at all. That's a dark sound. The opposite is a forward sounding amp, painful treble, sometimes these amps induce headaches."


So what I'm asking is:

(1) What are the "dark sounding amps" that work well with Livewires [by successfully counter balancing the "very forward sounding" nature of these IEMs]?

(2) Do the Livewires sound good without an amp?

(3) Do the UE11's work better unamped (if so how well)?

(4) Is the SQ worth an additional $800 or so for the UE11?
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 1:59 AM Post #4 of 17

WalkGood

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I can't say that I have experience with the livewires, I listened to the livewires universal fit for about 1/2 hour at canjam '08, but I put about the same time into the ue11 universales and ended up buying them. I'm not in the business, but I wrote a reveiw if you're interested in reading it click here. fwiw, at canjam i used my i7 and no amp, but i do prefer listening to them amp'd w/pico
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 2:18 AM Post #5 of 17

trickywombat

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I agree with mrdeadfolx. Very few things in Head-Fi are worth the extra you pay. It's just a matter of whether you love the difference or not. If you like/love it and will use it more over the cheaper product, get it.

Case in point: Bought the Yuin PK3 during a group buy for $25. It's a great earbud. I have the Livewires as well, which cost $225 more. The Livewires are not 'worth' the $225 difference. Dollar for dollar, the Yuin PK3 blows the Livewires away. But, the Livewires have a different sound, more detail and better isolation, so I use it more for certain applications than the PK3.

I have the Livewires and I've compared it with the demo UE 10 and UE11. The UE 11 has greater soundstage, detail, warmth and a deeper and more prominent bass. Comparatively, the UE 10 has a sound signature too similar to the Livewires for me to consider getting.

As a result of prolonged audition of the UE 11, I ordered a pair for myself. The UE 11 to me sounds better than the Livewires, but is it worth the extra $800? Probably not, but that's the price to pay for the sound signature I want.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 3:05 AM Post #8 of 17

trickywombat

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You've been tricked.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 9:58 AM Post #11 of 17

trickywombat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by steffi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah Wombats are grey in color and don't look as cute.

Google red panda and you'll see his avatar :wink:



Off thread here. I get the hint. I'll change my avatar to something less cute to reflect my ugliness...


Back to the OP. I like the Livewires with the GoVibe Magnum, Voyager (with the contour switch on), Headamp AE-2 and iBasso D2 Viper. Haven't tried it with a Predator or Boa. Livewires felt a little too lean and analytical with the iQube, but Etymotic people may like this combination.

I felt the demo UE-11 worked well with my iQube but not so well with Magnum (not as detailed). Will do more comparison when I get my UE 11.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 3:49 PM Post #13 of 17

rwallace

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuwidol /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The darkest sounding portable amp I've ever heard is the graham slee voyager. I use it with ety er4 but it supposedly does wonders for the livewires too.


Based on this (and other reviews on this site), the Graham Slee Voyager is looking like the main contender for a Livewires setup.

Out of curiosity how does the RSA Predator compare in darkness of tone to the Graham Slee Voyager?

According to Ray Samuels:

"The Predator has a warm tube sound with great detail."

Ultimately I'm deciding now between the RSA Predator and the Graham Slee Voyager for my Livewires + Turbo Diabolous V15 + 32GB Touch rig.

Other factors to consider aside from parity between each of these amps and the Livewires IEMs is cost and warranty duration.

a) RSA Predator is in the $500 range after shipping , etc. while the Voyager is in the $400 range all said and done.

b) The RSA Predator has a lifetime warranty whilst the Graham Slee Voyager has a 2 year warranty (albeit, a very good one where they give you a new unit if there's a problem according to their US supplier, http://www.starbrandz.com/)

c) The RSA Predatorhas the added benefit of a mini-usb port for use with a laptop (I have a Santa Rosa Ed. of the Macbook Pro which I do most of my sound editing on -- not my career).

That being said, it's about the sound quality, so while these three factors compute, they don't predominate.
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 8:00 AM Post #15 of 17

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rwallace /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm reading that Livewires are:

"very forward sounding IEMs which require an amp that sounds dark."

Wrong

I'm also reading that Livewires aren't as good as UE11's at running unamped off a DAP. Something that is important to me

Wrong - they are fine without an amp on my 3G nano.

I would like to have two rigs:

(1) 3G 8GB Nano (no amp) + IEM; and

(2) 32GB Touch + Turbo Diabolous V15 + [AMP] + IEM

I use my LW on my 3G nano unamped and amped, and on my Touch amped, with no problems in sound quality. And, I found I can use any of my portable amps with the LW and still sound good. See my profile for a link to my review on IEM and amp synergy - the LW were consistently the ones that I could enjoy with any amp. The amp didn't have to be dark, and I don't even know if I own a dark amp.

I'm wondering if spending $1,200 for UE11's might be the best decision for me as it sounds like Livewires are not as good and have more constraints and more narrow compatibility.

Wrong. If you think you would like a Grado RS-1 or RS-2, then you will like the Livewires. They don't lack bass, and they are not shrill, they are just right.

I'm not even sure which amps are "dark sounding" though I'm reading that:

"Dark sound is more close to a tube amp sound. They sound musical, without the piercing treble. You will recognize dark sound when your ears find it pleasant, mellow, musical and no pain at all. That's a dark sound. The opposite is a forward sounding amp, painful treble, sometimes these amps induce headaches."


So what I'm asking is:

(1) What are the "dark sounding amps" that work well with Livewires [by successfully counter balancing the "very forward sounding" nature of these IEMs]?

Any portable amp in my profile works with the LW

(2) Do the Livewires sound good without an amp?

Yes.

(3) Do the UE11's work better unamped (if so how well)?

I've read many threads that say the UE11Pro need an amp to control them better.

(4) Is the SQ worth an additional $800 or so for the UE11?



Maybe.
 

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