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Upgrade from GR07

  1. AstralStorm
    I'm really looking for an upgrade from VSONIC GR07.
    If you've followed my eq curves, you'll know what I'm looking for signature wise, but here's the text:
    - more extension - lower subbass (<30 Hz), a lot more extreme high end (>=15kHz)
    - quite a bit more ~10kHz
    - somewhat less midbass (~200Hz) and sibilance (~6kHz; ~13k depending on tips; Comply foam cuts sibilance, but also general high end energy)
    Nicer soundstaging is a plus. You can assume large budget, but no customs please - it's real hard to get proper impressions done around here. Also, buying customs blind is quite dumb.
    Comfort should be close, specifically no chubby cases and large nozzles unless it's designed for very shallow fit. I find GR07 fit slightly fiddly though unless I use foam tips. (as opposed to nonfiddly but shallow insertion Brainwavz M2)
    Up to 3.5mm nozzle is acceptable if the IEM requires deep insertion - larger has issues going past the
    What I'm looking for compared to some other IEMs I know very well:
    Etymotic ER4-s end around 18k which is very good, but have large peaks in all the wrong places. (sibilant and upper mids ~2k)
    Sennheiser IE8 suprisingly is just as extended as Etys, but has midbass overload and still some sibilance. Slightly too little highest end energy. Soundstaging is almost perfect, perhaps a very tiny bit too far.
    Bass quantity of Sleek SA6 w/ Bass+ is almost the right amount (very slightly too much midbass), but subbass is lacking, extension is missing on both fronts (ports don't affect it), w/ T+ port there's sibilance, while with T= there's missing power ~10 kHz and a cut at 2-4kHz.
    Sennheiser IE7 have somewhat too much midbass, hot 3kHz, some sibilance, not enough high end extension.
    Westone 4 are close to perfect signature-wise, but lack subbass and "body". (thin presentation, typical of many BA IEMs) Could end a tiny bit higher as well, 17kHz is so-so.
    Is there an IEM that would approximate these constraints?
    I have a few possible candidates (never heard them), but would like to hear recommendations.
  2. AstralStorm
    Gee, I thought it a hard task, guess I underestimated it even then.
    Of course I can't try out any of the following, so it'd be another blind buy.
    The possible hits are:
    - HifiMan RE252 - anyone doing reshells of these? seem pretty impossible to wear cable up; are the highs an improvement over GR07? might also sound thin, but probably beats all the BA in body regardless
    - Futuresonics Atrio w/ MG7 - simple upgrade path to custom tips or fully custom, certainly a winner in subbass; how are highs on those?
    - j-phonic K2 SP - might be missing "body" like Westone 4; upgrade path to custom (it's Sensaphonics, right?); quite expensive; the 16k top frequency doesn't look reassuring
    - Westone 4 - tried it, almost perfect; missing bass body is a letdown - this is due to cut subbass and lacking BA decay; possibly next Westone custom will be similar; even more expensive; Westone customs are prohibitively expensive even for platinum-plated wallet like mine
    (e.g. ES5 costs $1500 and it's not known to be vastly superior to W4)
    Anything I've missed?
    [Side note: Someone should make the "best of both worlds" IEM with at least one dynamic bass driver (cross around 3kHz or so) and one or more high frequency balanced armatures. Pain to tune and design of course, but is it impossible?]
  3. dweaver
    what about the Sony EX1000 or the JVC FX700?
  4. AstralStorm
    FX700 will be definitely too bass heavy since it's described as close to HJE900 (which I've managed to grab a listen of some time ago) and I'd expect still some sibilance, but not as much as in Panasonics.
    - Sony EX1000 - I don't know, not sure why I forgot about these - how is the high end of them? Are they noticeably colder than (unequalized) GR07? Bass amount?
    The "more exciting than Westone 4" part of at least one review I've read is a bit scary... How can you make something nigh-perfectly balanced more exciting if not by unbalancing it one way or the other? (I bet with 3.5k or sparkly 7-10k boost. Hate those.)
    However, it will end up on the list.
    Funny thing: they're quite a bit more expensive than Westone 4 here...
  5. shotgunshane Contributor
    Yeah, I'm thinking the EX1000 might be the logical step based on the requirements.  The FX700 may have too much mid bass and the Atrio MG7 not enough treble for the requirements.
  6. DaBomb77766
    Have you ever checked out the Unique Melody Merlins?  They have 4 BA drivers and one dynamic driver.  They are customs though, if that matters.
  7. ZARIM
    RE272, EX1000, CK100, UM3x, GR10 and SA7.
  8. AstralStorm

    It's real hard to check out custom's signature around here in Potatoland (AKA Poland), heck, meets don't exist here really.


    HifiMan RE272 - likely won't have the low end - it's said to be worse than RE0 in this regard. Instead might have treble boosted or sound sibilant. Not sure if viable...
    ATH CK100 - Similar issues to all BA, but worse - little bass decay and subbass. Also, these are said to be "forward" in the mids. I don't want any such coloration.
    Westone UM3x - I'll attempt to get a listen, but I don't expect these to surpass Westone 4. I don't need more bass quantity, but more extension and "body". Does it deliver without sacrificing Westone 4 balance? I doubt it.
    Sleek Audio SA7 -   do these have treble? I'd expect the subbass to lack similar to W4 and SA6; if the signature is similar to SA6, these will be too dark, not extended upwards enough and slightly warm (though less than VSonics)
    Grado GR10 - I'd expect the signature to be Grado bright. That means noticeable sibilance. Mids are likely to be boosted as well to sound "forward". Not what I'm looking for.
  9. possante87
    the j-phonic K2 SP from what i read seem a vsonic gr07 but better (but as i say only from what i read)
  10. AstralStorm
    I don't know if they're way better in all regards. E.g. the might retain some of the warm coloration, lack body and subbass like most BA; maybe still have some sibilance. What I could gather from the reviews is that they have better highs, but 16kHz bandwidth specified by j-phonic makes me skeptic about that.
  11. ZARIM
    I think EX1000 willbe your better bet because it offers detailed, clean, extended highs like ER4P/S and bass goes lows without much midbass hump. The new Dome type dynamic drivers are amazing to shows details in all frequencies(highs, mids lows)yet so coherence and extention is deep.
  12. AstralStorm
    If this is to be believed, EX1000 would be crazy annoying and sibilant:
    These are Wesones measured by the same equipment:
  13. shotgunshane Contributor
    There's a whole thread dedicated to the ex1000 users and no one hears them as sibilant. Any that had initial treble concerns were abated after the first few hours run in and achieving proper fit. I find the treble extremely refined and airy but YMMV.

    Edit: here is the link

    Maybe you could check them out at a sony style store? The closest treble I can think of is the TF10 treble. It is fairly airy and effortless too.
  14. AstralStorm
    Indeed, the position of inner ear nulls is quite dependent on person. However I know where my resonances are, thanks to all the equalization work.
    Unfortunately, these are precisely where that graph shows peaks. Didn't I mention already that Etys are too forward and sibilant?
    W4 are actually not as extended as I'd like either - they sound pretty close to SA6, but better: sans some ~2k boost, somewhat more extended and with better control. Still slightly warm, I'd prefer colder than that. Also they could be brighter (would come with better extension). By brighter I mean more highest end energy, not some 6kHz boost.
    My test listening session was with single flange.
    Local Sony stores are pretty much based on cheap things, cellphones, TV sets and microtowers.

  15. Inks

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