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Need Help Buying First Customs: JH16 vs Heir Audio 8.A vs UM Miracle/Merlin vs Westone ES5

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  1. Azsamael
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    Thanks for letting me know. Resale value is not priority for me, as I am yet to resell any of my electronics. I usually just give away computer parts to family or friends that need them. And don't have enough audio gear to sell.
     
    That being said, I really want a custom. Paying $1300 for an universal is just too much money. I like good isolation. I hate the active noise cancellation headphones that I have to use on planes, these would be mostly for air travel and home listening.
     
    Thanks for all the warnings though, will certainly keep them in mind.
     
     
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    Its a choice right now between the 8.A JH16 and Merlins. The Merlin looks like it would be best bang for the buck. I wish I thought of this when Heir Audio was still having that promotion. I will look around in FS forums for a 8.A if I decide to go that route.
     
    Thanks!
     
  2. lin0003
    You should look at average_joe's custom IEM review and comparisons. I'm pretty sure he compares the JH16 to the Heir 8.A. I don't think that he has a merlin though.
     
  3. chengsta
    Well, I was also deciding between jh16 pro, and the um merlins/miracles.  I saved up for 2 weeks and ultimately pulled the trigger on the jh16's yesterday due to the fact that UM is made in china.  Nothing against china, but I just hear enough horror stories about um(and other products) shipments from china to stay away. 
     
    But maybe I pulled the trigger too fast.  I'm hearing something about freqphase with the jh16pros, and so now I'm wondering whether or not all current and future jh16's come with the freqphase technology.  I looked all over their website, and there was no mention of freqphase.  Basically, I don't want it because it eliminates the bass.
     
  4. wjklli11
    I have JH16. Frankly speaking, the built quality isn't better than UM series, it is actually the other way around... I have compared them so I know it. JH used to be notorious for its poor built quality. UM IEMs are really well made. I don't think you should worry too much about they are being made in China.
     
  5. chengsta
    basically its not the quality, it's the logistics of shipping that I'm worried about.  I have a cousin who still hasn't gotten his merlins and it's been nearly a year.  They told him they shipped it a long time ago and he's pretty much SOL.  But before that, he had to send them 2 molds because the 1st ones never reached them, it just disappeared along the way.
     
     
  6. Azsamael
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    Thanks, I just read that. I am liking the 8.A. Found some ones on head-fi that are going for almost the price of a Merlin. That might be good idea. He does say that the Heir Audio 8.A is a warmer set of IEMs. Although I am bit worried about the bass of the 8.A, from everything I am hearing it should not be an issue. I am with chengsta on sending it to China. It might be a bit irrational, I understand that.
     
     
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    All new JH16 Pros should have freqphase. I do not understand the technology, but from what I have read apparently it reduces the feeling of the instruments being mixed in artificially and makes it more organic. Though I fully do not understand the meaning of it, it sort of makes sense.
     
     
     
     
     
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    I am with you on sending impressions to China, it is the shipping and the customs I am worried about. Its a very tiny worry, but its there.
     
    How has the interaction with JH Audio been so far? From what I read, it seems mixed reactions.
     
  7. chengsta
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    Basically, I haven't interacted with them since I uploaded a picture for art and pulled the trigger.  The next step is for me to get a custom ear mold, got an appointment for this friday. 
     
    Also, thanks for the answer about the freqphase.  After doing some more research, I guess freqphase is actually better overall.
     
  8. lin0003
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    If you don't want to ship to China, you probably shouldn't buy used customs because most companies don't reshell and UM is one of the few which does. I honestly don't know what everyone has against products made in China. UM is China based and has one of the best build qualities. 
     
  9. wjklli11
    H
    I think he is more worried about shipping from China rather than the built quality. It is the risk you must take if you want to buy a CIEM that is made overseas. There are many trusted carriers that deliver goods to China. The risk of losing the package by them is the same as losing one in US and Canada... a very small chance! Perhaps the only way to avoid a possible package loss is choosing the right carrier with insurance. Not which country it's sent to.
     
  10. EveTan
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    Just throwing a comment into here. I think customs are extremely comfortable even if they are a pain to insert and remove everytime you need to hear something. Of course this is my personal opinion. Some people may not agree with me, and this is common. You might not ever get used to the feel of customs. It all depends. Anyways, after sending my customs for a refit (you should definitely consider this being a possibility), I've come to appreciate the comfort I'm missing. Just another thing to consider.
     
  11. Azsamael
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    I have nothing against the quality of the product, just their customs and being able to get through the whole process smoothly. I know it is a little irrational, but I just feel this way since it will be going to the other side of the world. From what I hear, UM has one of the best if not "the" best build out of all CIEMs.
     
    The only custom which I might buy used would be Heir Audio for their transfer service.
     
     
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    Which carrier would you say is the best for these things? And a ballpark figure of how much it might cost?
     
    Thanks for the help so far!
     
     
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    Thanks! It would be really hard to tell without actually using a custom. But its a risk that might be worth it.
     
    One thing I have always wondered: What are the costs associated with a refit? And how long usually does it take?
     
  12. lin0003
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    The cost of a refit at UM costs $169 I think. I also heard something about Heir Audio's transfer policy which reshells them for something like $80.
     
  13. EveTan
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    Costs are usually just the shipping fees there and back for the monitor within 30 days. It normally takes as long as making the monitors the first round. They basically take the your monitors and recreate another one using the materials from your mal-fitted CIEM. Of course, you'd also have to provide new impressions, which could be the root of the problem. And even with perfect impressions/perfect craftsmanship from the company, there is still a risk that it won't fit properly because your ear is a dynamic cavity while the CIEM is static. Silicone CIEMs are more forgiving as they are more pliable in the ear. 
     
    I know this might be out of your budget. But FitEar CIEMs have gotten down to some formula where many do not require a refit. I have no idea how they do it, but I know they're strict with the way they want their impressions. Although they are acrylic, some say that they have seal capabilities on par with Silicon CIEMs. But that's a thought for the future. I might travel to Japan to purchase one in the near (1-2 years) future.
     
  14. wjklli11
    Well there are many international carriers that do business within China like DHL, TNT or FedEx. EMS is also a good way to go since you surely won't be taxed on that. Do not send them using regular post. That is the main reason why parcel got lost.
     
  15. goodvibes
    I'm always surprised that the jh13 is left out of these compares. People really under rate it's bass response and the rest is detailed with less etch than most. It does not have that extra mid bass that overly warms the mids but once run it in well enough, the mid bass lines up well in connecting the prodigious low bass to the well balanced mids and top.
     
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