Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)
May 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM Post #841 of 2,566

Mython

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JH13Pro is a brilliant CIEM for sure. However, i prefer a very balanced sound (without the bass overwhelming the mids), but Miracle sounds too polite.

 
When you listened to the Miracle, was it custom-fitted to your ear, or just a demo?
 
Also, when you listened to the Miracle, what were you driving it with? I have found that the Miracle sounds drastically different depending on what amp/output stage is driving it.
 
Equally, the SE-5 can change rather a lot depending on what it is driven with, too.
 
May 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM Post #842 of 2,566

Alias Gu

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Quote:
 
When you listened to the Miracle, was it custom-fitted to your ear, or just a demo?
 
Also, when you listened to the Miracle, what were you driving it with? I have found that the Miracle sounds drastically different depending on what amp/output stage is driving it.
 
Equally, the SE-5 can change rather a lot depending on what it is driven with, too.

Ok, our topic is really digressive here.
I use AK100 and Tralucent T1 amp to drive Miracle. They sound good. 
The only setback is the smaller soundstage of this pair.
 
May 22, 2013 at 1:09 AM Post #843 of 2,566

average_joe

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Quote:
You might like to know this Joe~
 
I posted this on ak120 impression thread:
Ok I think it's probably a bit early to make a lot of serious impressions. But here it goes, after 7 hours of listening. This is basically a translation of what I just posted on erji.net. Excuse my crappy english. I realize that I tend to get too excited about the new toy I got, so I will try my best to clam myself and be as objective as possible!
tongue_smile.gif
 I will give my impressions based on pairing it with SE5 which is to date the more natural, neutral CIEM I have heard. And I also use it for most of the time with dx100 and 901. SE5 has 130 impedance, so I guess it should offer a realistic presentation. The reference point will be Anedio D2 DAC, since I don't have DX100 and 901 anymore (although I want to get a dx100 back).

 
The design of AK120 is truly impressive! Looks gorgeous (from this only, I agree it's like a luxury as people said
tongue.gif
) and it's so portable! Iriver put in a lot of effort in designing. Everything looks great! The package, leather case, back and screen covers and so on. If you have the ak100, you already know how fast the UI is. It's very easy to follow. The volume and song switching buttons are very convenient. And more importantly, it has gapless play!

 
So how does it sound? Of out the box, it didn't sound as bad as spkrs01 described, but it's pretty dull and meaty. The presentation is more focused on the mid/low part of the spectrum like 801 type of thing. Treble is smooth but not forward enough to my ears. Coherence, dynamics and power are great though. After 4 to 5 hours of burning it of DAP and my brain, the sound improved by a large margin! The bass become more controlled and refined with great depth and slam. The part improved the most is the treble, it became clearer and cleaner, leading to a more spacious presentation with super width, height and depth. I am very impressed by ak120's treble, because it has very high density and very exquisite. It's easy to hear every single detail without worrying about it going edgy. Really integrated well with the rest of the spectrum.
 
Overall I am very happy so far, I was thinking about buying another dx100 in case I didn't like the ak120.  Looks like I can settle with ak120 for a while now. Also I was completely blown away when I pair it with a portaphile 627 amp. The sounded so good that I thought it could even compete with Anedio D2 dac.
 
So what's the sound signature of AK120?  IMO, all dx100, 901 and ak120 are very neutral DAPs. If I have to compare, I would say dx100 is "hi-fi", 901 is "mid-fi", ak120 sits right between them leaning to 901. Very natural, smooth presentation, great low/mid/high coherence, clean and clear treble. Details are nicely presented. I have never heard of stock ak100, but I heard from my friend I trust, ak100 has somewhat bright presentation. If two chips of 9018 makes 901 sounds more musical (than dx100), the same thing definitely happened here. AK120 is indeed a very musical DAP! I do hope the treble and soundstage open up more later since it's now on the lush side.
 
Will update later if the sound changes more.

 
Thanks!  I will look forward to reading about any additional changes you hear.
 
May 22, 2013 at 5:17 AM Post #844 of 2,566

FrostIK

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My SE5 is at Grzegorz lab again. Sent it him for check if any malfunctions were there. I wrote here already that my SE5 sounds dull, dark and muddy. Waiting for Grzegor'z reply now.
 
May 22, 2013 at 5:21 AM Post #845 of 2,566

tupac0306

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My SE5 is at Grzegorz lab again. Sent it him for check if any malfunctions were there. I wrote here already that my SE5 sounds dull, dark and muddy. Waiting for Grzegor'z reply now.

I  wonder whether you can ask him to shorten the canal tips to make it like in normal ciem canal lengths (instead of blocking all the air in your ears), that could potential increase a lot on transparency and space.
 
May 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM Post #846 of 2,566

FrostIK

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I  wonder whether you can ask him to shorten the canal tips to make it like in normal ciem canal lengths (instead of blocking all the air in your ears), that could potential increase a lot on transparency and space.

 
Thanks for advice. I already did that when was sending SE5 for refit. Grzegorz shortened canals but it did not fix sound issues. It's my second try.
 
May 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM Post #847 of 2,566

average_joe

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My SE5 is at Grzegorz lab again. Sent it him for check if any malfunctions were there. I wrote here already that my SE5 sounds dull, dark and muddy. Waiting for Grzegor'z reply now.

 
I hope the issue gets resolved.  Thinking out loud, I wonder if the silicone bends, closing up the sound tube when you are wearing it, not that something like that should happen.  
 
May 23, 2013 at 12:52 AM Post #848 of 2,566

FrostIK

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I hope the issue gets resolved.  Thinking out loud, I wonder if the silicone bends, closing up the sound tube when you are wearing it, not that something like that should happen.  

 
It could be. Bot how to check that? I can't see sound bores when my SE5 are inside my ears.
 
May 23, 2013 at 1:32 AM Post #849 of 2,566

average_joe

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I take it you don't have them now, so you can't really try this, but if you slightly flex the nozzle, does that change the sound?  I would think, if you were paying attention, you may be able to detect additional pressure on one side of the canal during insertion.
 
Did you send new impressions either time you sent them back?  I know you have other CIEMs, so you know what you are doing, but silicone is different than acrylic as acrylic won't budge.  I can take the canal of my SE5 and bend it, although I don't want to really do that much.
 
Also, another thought is that it could just be the combination of the sound signature and you :)  From what I recall, you do enjoy the Hidition CIEM, which I consider a brighter sounding CIEM that brings the details to the forefront while the SE5 recreates them, but makes you find them in the presentation.  Without going too far off on a tangent, there are various people that interpret various things differently.  For example, the natural sugar substitute Stevia is fine for 85% or so of the population, but 15% think it tastes bitter due to tongue taste bud profiles.  Could it be that the SE5 sound signature isn't good for everyone, and you may fall into a small % of people where due to whatever physiological reasons, the sound signature just doesn't agree with your ear/brain setup (and this would apply to many sound signatures, not just that of the SE5).  I hope it is a fit issue and can be fixed, but I am trying to conceptualize all possibilities.  
 
May 23, 2013 at 2:25 AM Post #850 of 2,566

FrostIK

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I take it you don't have them now, so you can't really try this, but if you slightly flex the nozzle, does that change the sound?  I would think, if you were paying attention, you may be able to detect additional pressure on one side of the canal during insertion.
 
Did you send new impressions either time you sent them back?  I know you have other CIEMs, so you know what you are doing, but silicone is different than acrylic as acrylic won't budge.  I can take the canal of my SE5 and bend it, although I don't want to really do that much.
 
Also, another thought is that it could just be the combination of the sound signature and you :)  From what I recall, you do enjoy the Hidition CIEM, which I consider a brighter sounding CIEM that brings the details to the forefront while the SE5 recreates them, but makes you find them in the presentation.  Without going too far off on a tangent, there are various people that interpret various things differently.  For example, the natural sugar substitute Stevia is fine for 85% or so of the population, but 15% think it tastes bitter due to tongue taste bud profiles.  Could it be that the SE5 sound signature isn't good for everyone, and you may fall into a small % of people where due to whatever physiological reasons, the sound signature just doesn't agree with your ear/brain setup (and this would apply to many sound signatures, not just that of the SE5).  I hope it is a fit issue and can be fixed, but I am trying to conceptualize all possibilities.  

 
 
I did not send new impressions. The fit of SE5 is perfect. I totally don't feel them in my ears.
 
I enjoy NT6 with 801 + zero-impedance GameAmp. It's not so cold and it's bass is warm and full. My TWAG2 gold also adds warmth to the mids and increases amount of midbass. Try if you can. WIth the stock GameAmp and upgrade cable Hidition NT6 was boring and with metallic unnatural sound signature. I hated it.
 
I gave my SE5 to my friends who are CIEM fans too, may be 5 or 6 guys. They confirmed that the sound of SE5 is dull and too dark. I know that's custom IEM's and their responces are not very meaningful. But because of silicon shell my SE5 can fit others ears good enough.
 
May 23, 2013 at 5:50 AM Post #851 of 2,566

ace8888

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I did not send new impressions. The fit of SE5 is perfect. I totally don't feel them in my ears.
 
I enjoy NT6 with 801 + zero-impedance GameAmp. It's not so cold and it's bass is warm and full. My TWAG2 gold also adds warmth to the mids and increases amount of midbass. Try if you can. WIth the stock GameAmp and upgrade cable Hidition NT6 was boring and with metallic unnatural sound signature. I hated it.
 
I gave my SE5 to my friends who are CIEM fans too, may be 5 or 6 guys. They confirmed that the sound of SE5 is dull and too dark. I know that's custom IEM's and their responces are not very meaningful. But because of silicon shell my SE5 can fit others ears good enough.


To my ears SE5 is the most natural
, organic, and high resolution iems I've ever heard to date. So, I suspect that there must be something very wrong with your pair.

Anyway, my SE5 was broken before and Grzegorz made me a completely brand new from scratch in just under a week.... talking a about a super customer service! I've just gotten back my SE5 and I couldn't stress enough how I have missed them and they sounded so damn good!

For you guys out there with SE5 just a precaution not to use any kind of anti bacteria UV that comes with certain hearing aid dehumidifiers. Grzegorz said it might be the culprit of my broken SE5......
 
May 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM Post #853 of 2,566

Mython

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It might also be because to make an SE-5 for someone with smaller ears, the BAs can't necessarily be placed in the same positions as one could place them for a larger ear. I'm not stating that this is actually the cause of different sound quality; I'm merely stating it is one potential possibility. Given the already great complexity of phase relationships between 5 drivers, 4 X-over points, and 5 sound bores/tubes, positioning of BAs within the CIEM might, perhaps, play a role (in fact, I would be very surprised if it played no role at all).
 
May 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM Post #854 of 2,566

AmberOzL

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It is nice to see that SE has really pay attention to customer service. I will be one of their customers too as soon as my wallet gives me ok. Reading these nice things makes me even more excited.
 
May 24, 2013 at 1:55 AM Post #855 of 2,566

average_joe

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Quote:
I did not send new impressions. The fit of SE5 is perfect. I totally don't feel them in my ears.
 
I enjoy NT6 with 801 + zero-impedance GameAmp. It's not so cold and it's bass is warm and full. My TWAG2 gold also adds warmth to the mids and increases amount of midbass. Try if you can. WIth the stock GameAmp and upgrade cable Hidition NT6 was boring and with metallic unnatural sound signature. I hated it.
 
I gave my SE5 to my friends who are CIEM fans too, may be 5 or 6 guys. They confirmed that the sound of SE5 is dull and too dark. I know that's custom IEM's and their responces are not very meaningful. But because of silicon shell my SE5 can fit others ears good enough.

 
Hmmm, I will have to try the TWAG2 gold with the NT-6 at some point, although I didn't hear mine as metallic.
 
Hope the SE5 gets fixed.
 

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