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How did you manage to retrieve a demo?
Maybe UM contracted with a different dynamic driver manufacturer? Listen to some bassy tracks and try to determine if the driver pushes air or not- if it does, then the driver isn't sealed. If it doesn't, then you're right and your driver isn't vented.
I'm not sure i understand the pushing air thing. All drivers will push the air, if they didn't then they wouldn't make a noise. No iems have a little pump that continually "blows" air. My merlins sound great and have a weighty thud of an impact if that's what you mean. I've tried some low frequency sweeps on youtube and the sub bass is there i guess but not to the extent one might expect. There doesn't seem to be much meaningful bass below 23hz. Also i haven't noticed a change in sound by plugging the hole on the back. On close inspection there seems to be an area on the driver that is obscured by glue or sealant. It looks to be deliberate and not there by accident and could conceal some holes.. Maybe whether or not they can vent the drivers depends on how big my ear is? Maybe there isn't enough room in the housing to do it? Still it's not just mine as i've found other pics on here without the holes too.
Ba drivers don't really push air the way that DDs do- you definitely won't feel it. As far as DDs- you're right- all DDs push air, but some more than others, and the IEMs with ported DDs do so palpably to the point where you should actually feel changes in ear pressurization (the Merlins do this to some extent, and the mg6pros even more, for example).
A ported DD is similar to a sub-woofer, but on a microscale- no IEM has a little pump that "continually blows air" just like how a sub doesn't have a big pump that "continually blows air." The whole point of Merlin's using a port in the first place is so that its DD can suck in a massive amount of air to push out to your ear canal in the form of sub-bass. Like a sub, it's not continuous. Don't treat me like an idiot. I'm trying to help.
That plugging the vent doesn't affect the sound at all is pretty indicative that your DD is not connected to the port. Also, its strange that the sub-bass doesn't reach below 23hz.... there's gotta be some explanation tho because, like you said, by design, DDs have to be vented.
I just bought a year-old pair of Merlins that I'm getting remolded, so I'll check out my older merlin's design and sound when I can, as this is something I'm curious about. I'll also see if my my DDs have holes when I get them, and don't when I get them back.
Well most if not all of the ba based iems i've tried seem like they push air. In fact that crown goes to the jh16. That thing will push your eardrums into your brain(not necessarily in a good way).
I can sort of see what you mean about the vents enabling more extension of the driver.. But i don't think it would use the vents to suck in air specifically, but to prevent a vacuum forming behind the driver from limiting its extension?
Anyway would be great if you have a look in yours for the venting though I suspect it will have it. I've only recently been seeing pics of the sealed ones.
>"no IEM has a little pump that "continually blows air" just like how a sub doesn't have a big pump that "continually blows air."
Actually check this thing out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7Bkrypxzs4
It's not shocked that a YouTube video couldn't go lower than 23Hz. Compressed files tend to remove information at the frequency extremes. I'm surprised it even went that low. Also, depending on your soundcard or DAC, that might be the limiting factor as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7Bkrypxzs4 - wow! it's like that thing has gravitational pull!
Yeh I suspected it could just be youtube. It wasn't silent below 23hz but sounded like an artificial representation of the lower frequencies rather than real bass... Hard to explain. I'm just using a fiio e17 but that supposedly goes down to 10hz? Certainly bass doesn't seem to be lacking when watching avatar on bluray or listening to music. Maybe i could download some hq test tones or something to check?
Edit. I checked out this site: http://www.audiocheck.net/audiofrequencysignalgenerator_sweep.php
My merlin definitely goes down to 10hz but maybe -20db at 10hz vs 25hz
Yeh this thing is awesome. It's probably dangerous and might have the potential to level your living room. Now we just need a mini one to install in an iem.
Anyone like Burial? The album 'Untrue' sounds great on the Merlin.
Burial is awesome, but I can only listen to him when it's grey and the weather is miserable outside. Luckily, living in the UK, that's most of the time.
THIS looks like the driver in my merlin. Coincidence?
This is a pic of the rooth lsx5. Rooth is apparently a different company to UM but share the same facilities?
Maybe the crossovers are what differentiates Rooths from UM?? Supposedly different designers but the offerings between UM & Rooth seem to be the same.
Yeh I've been reading average joe's review of the lsx5 and he mentions that it has"the best driver coherence [he's] heard from a hybrid".. That was one of the complaints i've heard about the merlin but something I only noticed during burn-in of mine. After burn in the bass tightened up and it's now really hard to tell where the transition is to the DD.
His description of the lsx5 sounds very similar to how I feel about my merlin, though it sounds like the lsx5 may be a little more mid forward. It's possible both are very similar but with a slightly different sound signature. Perhaps the new dynamic driver solved some issues with cohesiveness with the BA drivers (probably at the expense of some sub-bass).
After reading most of the posts, it seems to me isolation is the Merlin's weakest feature.
Would ask UM to cut the ear mould a little longer help to solve this problem? I'll be using the Merlin in a quite environment and don't want any sound leaks.
I think somebody asked for that before and UM discouraged it. I think it would change the sound.
Without experiencing it myself, I don't think the isolation could be that bad compared to fully closed customs.