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TF10.... and now what next?

  1. seunghoyoum
    Owned the triple fi for a year, and I recently lost them. I was so pissed I was out of the head-fi community for a while but not I really can't stand average 10 dollar earphones anymore, I'm back to head-fi now :)
     
    My first thought was to get an upgrade from TF10. I have done my research; earsonics SM3, westone 4, westone um3x, shure 535 etc. I've heard them all, but I really thought none of them had better value than the TF10.
    The Triple Fi's are the cheapest high-end IEM's, period. Nothing in that price range exceeds its sound quality. Now, the other IEM's I mentioned above are quite pricy.($300~$500). Do they really have that much more value?
     
     
     
     
    This is what I'm looking for my next IEM...
     
    Great Build Quality and/or Replaceable Cables
    I live in Korea, the warranty here sucks. I really need sturdy cans. But, it they have removable cables, I'm all good.
     
     
    A Fun Sound
    I'm not a recorder in a studio, I'm just a high school student that likes music. I know v-shaped frequencies are fun. Here's another thing I found out recently: I heard the westone 4's, and there was this mad sensation where I could feel music coming from various directions. It gave me the similar feeling of a headphone. Is this because of the quad drivers? If it does, wow yes that definitely makes my music more fun. If anyone is an expert on westone 4's sound signature, please tell me:)
     
    Great Seal/Isolation
    I think any can with comply foam tips really helps the seal big time. But I heard comply tips really mess with the SQ, if anyone knows about that, I'd love the hear about it.
    Isolation is important; my crappy earphones right now can't even block out the subway noise, and it's irritating me to death.
     
     
    Great Pouch/Case
    I need a small yet firm case. Too big loses the meaning of a portable IEM and too weak will break my IEM in weeks.
     
    MY PERSONAL SOUND SIGNATURE THAT I CRAVE
     
    SOUNDSTAGE=IMPACT=CLARITY(Treble)>BASS>MIDS
     
    I think the soundstage(how 3d-istic it is), and the impact(how hard it hits your eardrum or heart) and the clarity of the music is what brings eargasm to me. The bass just doesn't have to be overpowering, but punchy, which goes back to impact again. And for MIDS.... I'm still lost exactly what part of the songs are mids. That's another thing someone could explain to me.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    So here's the summary
     
    1. Is there anything out there that has better "value" than the TF10's?(If not, I'm going back to them)
     
    2.What does multiple drivers change in SQ? What is the sound signature of W4?Do Comply Tips deteriorate SQ?
    Also, what exactly are mids?
     
    3.What IEM has [3 requirements I wrote+My peresonal sound signature]?
     
  2. xaddictionx
    Firstly, IMO, the value of an IEM is a very subjective issue. It's really down to individual perception of value vs satisfaction. Take for example an IEM which cost $100 and another that cost $500. The $400 increase does not necessarily means that the sound quality will equate to the jump in price. IMO, sound cannot be measured in monetary terms. Rather than focusing on the value, it makes more sense to focus on the satisfaction that it delivers. I would agree that the TF10 performance exceeds my expectations and furthermore, in its price bracket, makes it a value for the money IEM. 
     
    I personally owned the TF10 with both the original cable as well as Lune cable. IMO, the TF10 does have a very "fun" sound signature coupled with a V shape sound that offers ample amount of bass and very good treble extension. Instruments just feel so much energized. Comparing to the W4, both have very different sound signature. Multiple drivers, or more drivers, does not mean that it is better. It depends a lot on the crossover design and the tuning. In the W4, it has 2 drivers for bass compared to the UM3X with 1 bass driver. The end result is that the W4 has lesser bass quantity compared to the UM3X. The 2 bass drivers provides deeper bass punch which can be inferred to better quality bass that extends more linearly rather than the quantity of bass produced. 
     
    I am currently using the W4 with silver dragon cable and i can confidently say that the sound signature differs a lot from the TF10. Whilst TF10 sports a "fun" and V shape sound signature with recessed mids, the W4 sports a "balanced" sound signature with a slight mid bass boost and very slightly forward vocals that makes the vocals very lush and sweet opposed to the TF10. Soundstage on W4 is pretty wide which puts you in ~5th row of the concert hall whilst the TF10 soundstage is wide placing you ~10th row of the hall. Instrument separation on the W4 is very good though losing out to the UM3X which is amazing. Mids are lush and smoothing. Vocals are well-placed and does very well in both male and female vocals. Treble extends very well although cannot be compared to the TF10 energized treble extension. But the treble extension on W4 is much more smoothing and non-fatiguing making it more musical. However i do find a slight veil in the lower mid region on the W4 but it has since been eliminated through a cable change. Listening to the W4 is more of a laid back presentation with ample opportunities to pick up the various instruments and enjoying every little details of the music. The W4 does very well in most genres especially instrumental and classical music. The TF10, IMO, does better with rock music. Do take note that the W4 is very tip dependent. Different tips does alter the sound of the W4.
     
    I would recommend you to audition the W4 first if possible as it may not suit your music preference as it is very different from your TF10. I believe that there is quite a gap in the price difference of both IEMs too. Whichever suits your tastes more, that will be your sweet tooth. If you perceive value more than i would recommend sticking to the TF10 and probably matching it with a Lune cable which definitely will bring your listening to an entirely whole new level and also well below the price of a brand new W4. 
     
  3. musicinmymind
    if you like TF10 sig, I suggest go back to TF10 itself, I am using it for two years now and heard many other IEM's like 535, GR07, W4. IMHO they do not add value worth +200$ more that street price of TF10 (which is around 130$) . Buy TF10 and try different tips for good seal and you are set. 
     

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