REVIEW: Unique Melody Merlin - hybrid dynamic/balanced armature custom IEM
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H20Fidelity

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Just heard back from Stephen Guo, he said he can remould my Merlin into a universal fit for $249..

Won't lie, I'm a little tempted! 

Advantages/disadvantages? 

Well, one major advantage of getting it made into universal is the flexibility of them then fitting several users instead of just yourself. Therefore, when they're altered this way you can send them on tour around Australia to several members. (I'm thinking about 20 members)

I don't think any other reasons are required to be honest, the self satisfaction of sending them round Australia would be enough and you should definitely go ahead with the process.
 
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White Lotus

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Therefore, when they're altered this way you can send them on tour around Australia to several members.
 
This is the most attractive feature about it, very tempting!
 
 
(I'm thinking about 20 members)
 
Haha - we'll see! That's almost half a year without the IEMs, and I don't even know if that many would be interested..
 
 
I don't think any other reasons are required to be honest
 
Well, I'm still trying to determine if overall bass impact will be affected. Not only because there is a significantly smaller amount of surface area touching the ear, but also because the enclosure volume will be very different. If the difference will be too large, it might not be worth doing - it would be inaccurate of what the Merlin is capable of.
 
I have A/B'd custom and universal versions of multi BA IEMs before, and bass response was the main difference between the two. 
 
I trust your opinion though.. Any thoughts?
 
EDIT: I also would prefer a different design to the Unique Melody 3X enclosure, I felt it was a little big for my ears.
 
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djvkool

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  Just heard back from Stephen Guo, he said he can remould my Merlin into a universal fit for $249..
 
Won't lie, I'm a little tempted! 
 
Advantages/disadvantages? 
 
As I said, if my 3X fits you well, then you'll have no worries whatsoever, the mold will be very similar...
 
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djvkool

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Well, one major advantage of getting it made into universal is the flexibility of them then fitting several users instead of just yourself. Therefore, when they're altered this way you can send them on tour around Australia to several members. (I'm thinking about 20 members)

I don't think any other reasons are required to be honest, the self satisfaction of sending them round Australia would be enough and you should definitely go ahead with the process.
 
Hahaha -- yep, be like uncle Vic 

 
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So, just to update my story:
 
Stephen told me the universal mould would be the same as the 3X, which unfortunately didn't fit perfectly for me. I hate to be selfish, but I went the custom route instead.
 
Design:
 

 
Pretty generic I guess. Carbon Faceplates, large UM logo, "light smoke" body and tips, same on both sides.
 
Anyway, I do already have my ES3X.
 
When the Merlin comes back, I'm going to extensively A/B them, to see which one I like more, and donate the other to my girlfriend, as she really wants some customs. 
 
It's going to be a while before my Merlins come back to me - 
 
Can anyone comment on the isolation? I use my ES3X as hearing protection on gigs (inside nightclubs, at events) and will the Merlin "ported" design make this impossible? 
 
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@djvkool I know we discussed bass already, but how do the 3X mid and highs compare to the Merlin?
 
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Bazirker

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Can anyone comment on the isolation? I use my ES3X as hearing protection on gigs (inside nightclubs, at events) and will the Merlin "ported" design make this impossible? 
 
Should be fine.  I only own one pair of customs so I don't have a great basis for comparison, but my Merlins isolate better than any of the many universal IEM's I have owned.
 
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Should be fine.  I only own one pair of customs so I don't have a great basis for comparison, but my Merlins isolate better than any of the many universal IEM's I have owned.
 
Cheers! When they come in, I'll compare them to the ES3X, which I currently use as hearing protection.
 

 
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@djvkool I know we discussed bass already, but how do the 3X mid and highs compare to the Merlin?
 
Whoopsie...didn't see this until now
 
No competition mate, Merlin (universal) is free from sibilance, peaks, etc
 
Treble - 3X is brighter no doubt, Merlin's is slightly laid back and smoother
 
Midrange - to my ear, 3X has the slight edge in clarity and slightly more transparent, Merlin has better tonality and timbre
 
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I'm still not sure what to buy.I And how more reviews I read the more confused I get.
I have a pair of ie8. I like the sub bass. But the bleed is to harsh and the bass is to loose. so I want to upgrade to CIEM's.

First I thought of the Merlins since I like bass and a dynamic driver . But some people told me that I wouldn't like the sound and that JH 16 where better for me style of music. Which is deep house, techno. But I'm afraid that I will be disappointed when coming from ie8 when it comes to bass of course. Also I have read great things about the M-fidelity SA-43. Also being great. Anyway I'm loosing it. Any suggestions here?
 
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I'm still not sure what to buy.I And how more reviews I read the more confused I get.
I have a pair of ie8. I like the sub bass. But the bleed is to harsh and the bass is to loose. so I want to upgrade to CIEM's.

First I thought of the Merlins since I like bass and a dynamic driver . But some people told me that I wouldn't like the sound and that JH 16 where better for me style of music. Which is deep house, techno. But I'm afraid that I will be disappointed when coming from ie8 when it comes to bass of course. Also I have read great things about the M-fidelity SA-43. Also being great. Anyway I'm loosing it. Any suggestions here?
I own the IE8 and 80 - I also have a pair of JH16's - I wouldn't worry about ANY deficiency in bass response - there is enough for you and the guy sitting next to you in the subway (kidding)
 
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post-10464365
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lookingforIEMs

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I'm still not sure what to buy.I And how more reviews I read the more confused I get.
I have a pair of ie8. I like the sub bass. But the bleed is to harsh and the bass is to loose. so I want to upgrade to CIEM's.

First I thought of the Merlins since I like bass and a dynamic driver . But some people told me that I wouldn't like the sound and that JH 16 where better for me style of music. Which is deep house, techno. But I'm afraid that I will be disappointed when coming from ie8 when it comes to bass of course. Also I have read great things about the M-fidelity SA-43. Also being great. Anyway I'm loosing it. Any suggestions here?
Merlin have controlled bass, not copies amounts of hard hitting - earth shaking bass every single second. The only few CIEMs I know of that can do that are JH16 and some Fitear CIEMs
 
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hanes

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Hi!
 
Has anybody compared the Merlin to a Sennheiser IE800? Would the Merlin be an "upgrade"? 
 
Thanx! 

 
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lookingforIEMs

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Hi!

Has anybody compared the Merlin to a Sennheiser IE800? Would the Merlin be an "upgrade"? 

Thanx! :)

Iirc Merlins are a much more neutral, more detailed and less sibilant with a larger soundstage and much more natural.
IMHO, it's an improvement in audiophile SQ but a downgrade in terms of " v shaped " and " extremely fun " sound
 
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