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Vision Ears and Rhines Custom Monitors (formerly Compact Monitors)

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  1. Ultrazino
    Although the StageDiver 2 is an excellent product, you have not yet seen them.
    Rhines Customs and Vision Ears create the STAGE series! No Diver in the product title!
    StageDIVER is from the company InEar. Yes, confusing. There are three companies in Germany and they all name them something with Stage, lol. :p
    Maybe you can edit your texts because some people might use the search function that leads to your post and be very confused.
  2. H20Fidelity Contributor

    I'm surprised no-one else told me. [​IMG] I've fixed it up before any more damage was done.
  3. H20Fidelity Contributor
    Late last week I forwarded the Vision Ears demo units onto Lee, he should receive them in few days time.

    To sum up my thoughts on the demo units after one rushed week, I must say I was rather pleased with the sound of Stage 2 and Stage 3 to some extent however not so much Stage 4, when I think about the price of all 3 they would need to improve a fair amount made into customs to take my money. We have a world of excellent choices out there such as Tralucents 1Plus2 for example which I would personally take over all 3 of these units without thinking to hard.

    Don't get me wrong Stage 2,3,4 are capable earphones however they seem to lack a touch of finesse or magic to their timbre, they were particularly a little sloppy in technical ability such as coherency, separation and soundstage (I will forgive some of this as they're only demo units and not their full formed custom entity).

    I tried very hard to enjoy them however, to my ears Stage 4 (which I liked the least) sounded rather veiled in the mid range, warm, there was an absence of clarity unless I used particularly high volume levels which gave me an impression I had to basically force detail out of them. They were however smooth and well refined, the music held good posture but I was constantly thinking to myself where is the extension? My Maria Mena vocals usually reach much deeper to my soul with lesser priced IEM's. All 3 units exhibit nice headstage rather large instrument and vocal images but for my preferred signature choice weren't my cup of tea in tonality besides Stage 2 which came close.

    To give you an insight on my preferred signature I prefer rather bright analytical signatures (think ER4S), I lust for crisp airy detail, transparency, vocals that extend deep to the ear drum, hearing through the layering picking out micro samples at will, listening to background vocalists beneath the layers. No soundstage has ever been to wide for my preference, and the Stage series demo units all sound a touch to warm, a touch bass heavy and showed absent strength I need in other technical areas.

    My favourite was Stage 2 which has a nice crisp edge to it's detail extension around the mid range, tonality leaned a fraction on the cool side compared to others, where my preference lies. Stage 2 was also touch bass heavy at times but I found them most enjoyable, fun and good for foot tapping although lacking some refinement at higher volumes. To my ears they were all very much focused for on stage use which makes total sense, they were a little forceful the way they pushed music on you, like throwing it at you rather than allowing you absorb it. Apart from that they were missing some magic in their timbre, they didn't have what I hear in 1Plus2, that high end immersion.

    To write something complete about these earphones I would need to enjoy the product and I can't say it was breathtaking experience. I had a $400 hybrid here made by Astrotec which although wasn't as detailed left the Stage demos in the dust when soundstage and coherency is concerned. I found it a little disappointing when I was leaning for a $400 hybrid over these 3 units and that's how it unfolded. I'm not here to talk up a product unless it pleases me, and these although decent didn't touch my soul unfortunately. I just didn't feel a vibe or become totally swept away by them, they were all missing something, something that wanted to make me keep listening.

    I'd like to thank Mimouille for setting up the tour as I have so many times and I hope others enjoy them, they just weren't for me in the end, I did enjoy listening to them to some extend and I think they're certainly ok but not spectacular. If I laid out the expensive price on these customs I would not be satisfied personally. Put your money on Tralucents 1Plus2 something that screams high end product without even trying or try your luck on Aurisonics ASG-2.

  4. precsmo

    Wow.the wood is a real beauty
    Mython likes this.
  5. precsmo

    I think I have a similar preference with your and I ended up with the stage 3.i still love it so much day by day.it is the only gem for me for the portables now
  6. james444 Contributor
    Posting this short comparison here by request of Mimouille... I haven't been on the tour and only had an hour or so to try the Vision Ears 2, 3 and 4, but it was in ideal quiet surroundings and I had my UERM to compare, so I'm reasonably sure of my findings.
    - All of these are technically very impressive.
    - Driver integration is among the best I've heard from multi-BAs.
    - VE2 are the flattest of the bunch, most similar to my UERM and just a little north of neutral in (deep) bass.
    - VE3 are slightly mid-centric with a moderate mid/upper bass emphasis and noticeable lower mids warmth.
    - VE4 are slightly U-shaped with enhanced deep bass and treble, but less mid-bassy and warm than the VE3.
    - Resolution and refinement improves a bit with the number of drivers, but differences are rather minor in my book.
    - Soundstage is quite good for closed IEMs, the VE3 sounding a tad more intimate than the others (due to highest mids presence).
    Overall I was very pleased with all of them and they outshone the Stage Divers 2 and 3 (which I also auditioned) with their slightly less dry and more refined performance. The VE2, however, were an unexpected surprise and the stars of the show for me, falling just a little bit short of my UERM's refinement and finesse, but being pretty much at eye level with them in most other aspects. Easily the best dual driver BAs I've heard so far (though probably also the most expensive).
    I'm very tempted to purchase the VE2, because the sound quality difference between them and the UERM is rather small and they offer only a tad more bass, which would pretty much match my ideal sound signature for mobile use. Just holding off for now, 'cause I've been offered to demo the new JHA Roxanne, which might or might not hit my wallet in an unpredictable way, lol. [​IMG] 
  7. shotgunshane Contributor
    Thanks for the impressions. The VE2 sounds interesting. Can't wait to hear it.
  8. Mimouille
    Thanks a lot James for taking the time to do this.

    I agree on driver integration, but I am a bit amazed at the VE2 and VE3 opinion. I heard them the opposite, VE2 colored and VE3 flat, and according to VE, VE3 is supposed to be flat. Is it possible that they misnamed the demos you tried ?
  9. james444 Contributor
    Yup, that's the strange / funny part of the story: when I first heard the VE2, I mentioned to the dealer (a trained musician and audiologist who knows her way around sound signatures) that these must be the VE3. She said oh no, the VE3 are bassier and warmer and more of a niche earphone. She just had a professional drummer picking those because their bass impact suited him best. I pointed out that according to VE's website, the VE2 are rather suited for drummers and the VE3 are supposed to be flat. She picked up her VE folder, glanced at VE's sound signature descriptions and then stated this that wasn't how she personally heard them.
    Thing is, I completely concur with her. We even inspected the number of drivers inside the demos to make sure they were not misnamed. There's still the possibility that the demos you have on tour sound differently from the ones I heard, but on the other hand, H20Fidelity's description of the VE2 ( "tonality leaned a fraction on the cool side compared to others") seems to mirror my own impressions. The VE3 were decidedly warmer and the VE2 more on the cool side and closer to the likes of UERM and ER4S.
  10. Mimouille

    Either they are very fit dependent or my ears are wrong. Even in my conversations with VE owner, he said he preferred VE3 over VE4 because of its neutrality...strange strange
  11. james444 Contributor

    Might also be that people just have slightly different conceptions of neutrality, depending on what they heard and liked. I can easily picture mids / vocals lovers prefer the VE3 since they have the best mids presence, even though they render them warmer than the others. I personally am rather allergic to mid/upper bass and warmth, yet tend to mind a slight deep bass boost much less.

    My idea of a reasonably neutral sound signature lies somewhere between the UERM and K3003, and the VE2 fit that quite nicely. That's what makes them attractive to me, even though they might fall slightly short of these references when it comes to ultimate refinement.
  12. Mimouille
    That is my problem...I heard the V3 colder and thinner and the V2 bassier and more full sounding in the mids...
  13. charlie0904
    i do find demos of ve2 flatter than ve3. ve3 is a tad warmer, more enjoyable mids.

    didn't like ve4. it sounded slightly different from 2 and 3.

    they have a senn sound signature. very comfortable to listen.
  14. lieberstanley
    I just finished auditioning the VE Stage 2 Demo. This is my first time listening to the Stage 2. And I have to say I am with Michael. The Stage 2 is apparently the warmest to my ears among the 3. We got a few similar impressions from our community.
  15. H20Fidelity Contributor

    Yes, that's how I heard VE2.

    VE2 was the coolest followed by VE3 then the warmest being VE4. VE4 also having the most refinement. The only reason I leant for VE2 was because of this reason , it was the 'main' reason I kept listening.

    Btw: I by no means think they're bad sounding products they're capable each in their own way, they just didn't blow me away personally. When we're talking this kind of money lining up an Individuals preferences is absolutely crucial and they didn't meet mine.
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