Sleek Custom IEM arrives - with pics :)
Jul 8, 2008 at 12:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 37

Sasaki

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1. Arrival

I've just got my Sleek Custom IEM this past weekend, this is a custom version of SA6. I am not sure the official name so I will simply call this as Sleek Custom.

This is very nicely built and fits perfectly. Click picture to enlarge.



It comes with a nice box and a pouch. The cable is detachable and swivel, it seems like the same to SA6.
Jason mentioned a wireless option would be ready soon. (This was discussed here)



The another IEM shown on the right is UE11, mine is custom painted one with titanium plate. Sleek custom is smaller and lighter than UE11.
There is no serial number, no L/R marking nor personal name printings on the surface.

2. Options and ordering

Sleek custom has not shown on their web site yet but Jason makes it by request. He sent me an option sheet to order and he also kindly responded to my queries.
Sleek audio offers some options for the custom.

* Color choices are : Clear/Red/Blue/Pink
You can select the color for Shell and Top Plate separately.
I took both side is Blue. This is dark translucent and looks neat.

* Cable mount can be altered on front(like UE/FreQ) or top plate(like LiveWires).
I ordered the top however the front one came
smily_headphones1.gif

But it's ok. At first I thought the swivel mount needs more room to fix but actually the swivel mount is very small.

* Frequency responses can be altered like SA6 (bass -,=,+ / treble -,=,+) but it's fixed off-course.
I do not have SA6 so I read (this thread) to find a good setting, but I was not able to decide. so Jason recommend me to take bass +, treble+ as I told him I already own UE11 and I took it.
(I have no idea about how they alter the sound)

* Canal length can be selectable (short,middle,long):
I just took middle here.

Turn around time for me was very quick, they have manufactured it only in two or three days from they've got my impressions.
Please note Jason would take sick leave. (this was mentioned here)
Hope he get well soon.

3. Sound impression

First, I tried the sealing test using Sensa seal test MP3(50Hz and 500Hz alternate tones).
At the first try, I hear the 50Hz is something lower. I thought I had inserted it roughly, then I pulled it out and inserted it again with care. This time, I got a better fit and 50 and 500 are almost same. This is perfect.

I hooked it up with iMod 5.5G, ALO super cotton dock and Xin SM4 maxedout.
Though I prefer amped, Sleek Custom is good even with straight out from iPod. A very slight hiss can be heard but not so much like UE11.

This is a comment on the first few days.
Overall, the sound is crisp and clear, fast and punchy. Instrument separation is very nice and I can hear very subtle details among the notes. Imaging is fairly sharp and 3D like soundstage with the SM4 is remarkable. Very good setup for Jazz trio I think.
Mid to Highs are fantastic, I like this good sparkle in the highs. Instruments timbre is beautiful and not too much warm to my ears. Vocal is highly articulate.

I think even with the treble+ setting this is not so harsh. Voice sibilant is not hard but somewhat exists, I can easily live with this however the treble= would be a considerable depended on the setup or music.
Bass is tight and punchy, on the other hand the bass extension is not so much deep but ok. I think bass+ is appropriate. Some may prefer Bass= depending on the setup however.
(Sorry I can not compare this settings to original SA6 since I don't have it)
As for amp selection, I found the Move is another good choice for a person who like more gentle sounding.

You may say I should compare this to the UE11. If I have to say which one is better, I will take UE11.
However the matter is a bit more complex than one sentence. In the speaker world, there are arguments about the pros and cons for full-range speakers and 2way/3way speakers. Multi driver speakers have wider frequency response but it also have issues regarding crossover or phase alignment. IMO this could be true for IEM world as well. I have to look into it further to say more ..
Relatively speaking, UE11 is rich and fuller while the Sleek Custom is tight and sharper.

Anyway, I am encouraged by this music experiment with customs. I commute by infamous crowded train everyday but the customs provide me a great isolation as if by magic. Customs are that good.
FreQ show is on order and considering to add LW. The battle of consumer customs will soon begin
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM Post #4 of 37

moonboy403

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Thanks for the awesome review!

EyeAmEye, can you compare the FreQShow and the Sleek Customs? Also, when you say toss up, do you mean that the Sleek customs is on the same level as the almighty UE11?!

Questions: 1) does the sleek custom have the exact same driver as sa6?
2) how much is the sleek customs?
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 2:04 PM Post #5 of 37

BloodSugar00

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I know the options for custom IEM's is gona sky rocket as I understand numerous hearing aid companies are moving into this field but, currently, what are the options? Could anyone give me a complete shorlist? I'm aware of, off the top of my head (so may miss some out I do know of):

Livewires
UE (10's and 11's)
Westone customs (are these custom UM1's or UM2's or completely different?)
Sleek customs
FreQ shows (I understand there are a few model choices here, but not how they break down)

Anymore?

EDIT: Apologies. This is probs a hijack and I think the question warrants a thread on it anyway. Ignore this post. I'll put it up as a new thread.

cool.gif
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 2:05 PM Post #6 of 37

EyeAmEye

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moonboy403 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the awesome review!

EyeAmEye, can you compare the FreQShow and the Sleek Customs? Also, when you say toss up, do you mean that the Sleek customs is on the same level as the almighty UE11?!

Questions: 1) does the sleek custom have the exact same driver as sa6?
2) how much is the sleek customs?




I find the FreQShow bass bloated and congested. Highs are recessed/muted and the midrange/vocals are very forward. The Sleek custom has a very well defined treble, excellent midrange and good bass. In direct comparison, the Sleek's bass might seem lacking but I find it very natural sounding. The Sleek is more musical overall to my ears. Soundstage on the FreQ might be a bit more left/right, but there is much better clarity and separation on the Sleek. Overall, I find the Sleek does just about everything better.

I believe the driver is the same as the SA6. When ordering the custom, you need to specify what tuning options you would like and it is tailored to your specifications, similar to the SA6. I am not sure however, so you may want to confirm this with Sleek. To me, the custom is the SA6 in a custom shell, the two sound roughly the same. You'd really have to strain to hear the difference. The custom may be a bit more refined, but it's very small. Price is $300.
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 2:22 PM Post #7 of 37

slowth

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looks pretty good =)

but for 300 on a single driver? well.. i'm sure it sounds more than good enough anyhow...
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM Post #8 of 37

slowth

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hmmm i'm not sure about this...

are the ports still adjustable with these customs? like can you adjust the diff ports yourself or you select the options during the order and it's permanent?

I'm sure it'd be alot more alluring if you can tune your customs whenever you want instead of ordering a fixed setting at the beginning?
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM Post #9 of 37

EyeAmEye

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slowth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
hmmm i'm not sure about this...

are the ports still adjustable with these customs? like can you adjust the diff ports yourself or you select the options during the order and it's permanent?

I'm sure it'd be alot more alluring if you can tune your customs whenever you want instead of ordering a fixed setting at the beginning?




No ports, it's permanent
frown.gif
Good for people who are set in their tuned SA6, but not too great for the port swappers.

Is a tune-able custom even possible?
confused.gif
Would order one right quick if it was!!!

Don't let the single driver phase you, I believe they best the FreQShow ($50 more) and fall just short of the UE11.
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 3:55 PM Post #10 of 37

slowth

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i don't know anything about it.. but if they had adjstable ports i'm sure they'd grab alot mroe customers.. but of course it's hard to think how they'd do that..

oh man.. they beat the freq shows.. that's disappointing... but i've already spent so much on the FS...

but for them to fall just short of the UE11 is really hard to believe...
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 5:47 PM Post #11 of 37

EyeAmEye

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slowth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i don't know anything about it.. but if they had adjstable ports i'm sure they'd grab alot mroe customers.. but of course it's hard to think how they'd do that..

oh man.. they beat the freq shows.. that's disappointing... but i've already spent so much on the FS...

but for them to fall just short of the UE11 is really hard to believe...




Well, just as I'm sure people will disagree that it beats the FreQShow, I assume I would be in the great minority placing it with the UE11, but I stand by my opinion. I believe the bass of the UE11 is way overblown and overshadows the midrange. The Sleek is fully balanced, nothing overriding anything else. No minor details get lost in the shuffle. There are nuances I hear on the Sleek, even the SA6, that are very difficult to pick out on the UE11. The UE11 is fantastic for certain things, and possibly unbeatable in areas, but aren't the be all end all many make it out to be by any stretch.
 
Jul 8, 2008 at 6:03 PM Post #13 of 37

BloodSugar00

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, just as I'm sure people will disagree that it beats the FreQShow, I assume I would be in the great minority placing it with the UE11, but I stand by my opinion. I believe the bass of the UE11 is way overblown and overshadows the midrange. The Sleek is fully balanced, nothing overriding anything else. No minor details get lost in the shuffle. There are nuances I hear on the Sleek, even the SA6, that are very difficult to pick out on the UE11. The UE11 is fantastic for certain things, and possibly unbeatable in areas, but aren't the be all end all many make it out to be by any stretch.


Even though its only your assessment based on your taste/ears/personal perception etc, its great to see you being honest and open and impartial in your reasoning/judgement/forming of opinion, not biased by prestige or pricing or reputation for eg. I appreciate and highly respect that. You've obviously spent a lot of money on IEM's, both universals and customs, and have much comparative experience so I trust your views. I think like this also so I can very much imagine your findings to be true.
 

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