Vision Ears and Rhines Custom Monitors (formerly Compact Monitors)
post-9995107
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Ultrazino

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I have the Stage 2 demo in my ears right now. I don't have the Stage 3 to compare right now, but I am still quite familiar with the signature of Stage 3. I auditioned many different demos of Stage 3 before, so I can definitely rule out a mix-up.
 
My early verdict:
Stage 2 has warmer mids, almost with a very slight veil. It's difficult to say without direct comparison, but I am 100% sure the Stage 3 hit my understanding of perfectly neutral voices.
I also hear a mild mid-bass boost with Stage 2. I will listen to them some more and make sure I compare them with Stage 3 (and Stage 4 which has much warmer mids) soon.
 
I am referring to Rhines Custom demos, btw. But my early guess is that VE labeled the S2 and S3 demos wrong that they sent to the shop.
 
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post-9995188
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james444

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But my early guess is that VE labeled the S2 and S3 demos wrong that they sent to the shop.
 
Nope.
 
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.
 
Nevertheless the thought that ordering a VE2 might get me something entirely different from what I demoed is somewhat unsettling.
 
 
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post-9996238
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Mimouille

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Nope.
 
 
Nevertheless the thought that ordering a VE2 might get me something entirely different from what I demoed is somewhat unsettling.
 

There MUST be a difference between the tunning of demos. Honestly, I am not a professional, but in the demos I heard, the VE3 was definetly flatter than VE2. But since H20 seems to think differently, maybe they are very sensitive to fit ?
 
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post-9996353
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H20Fidelity

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There MUST be a difference between the tunning of demos. Honestly, I am not a professional, but in the demos I heard, the VE3 was definetly flatter than VE2. But since H20 seems to think differently, maybe they are very sensitive to fit ?

I agree on the flatness of  VE3 over VE2. VE2 was more bass orientated .  I think what's getting lost in translation here is when I mention the VE2 being cooler I'm specifically  speaking about the mid range tonality not so much the signature in general. Not sure if James was saying the same thing. 
 
 
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post-9996388
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james444

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  I agree on the flatness of  VE3 over VE2. VE2 was more bass orientated .  I think what's getting lost in translation here is when I mention the VE2 being cooler I'm specifically  speaking about the mid range tonality not so much the signature in general. Not sure if James was saying the same thing. 
 
 
Midrange tonality was easily flatter on the VE2, though they might have a slight V (against diffuse field target, like the K3003), which I usually enjoy. But the VE3 made female singers sound like they'd taken testosterone pills and grown a beard
There was a definite mid/upper bass emphasis that affected the lower mids and masked deep bass. Both the VE2 and VE4 had a bump well below 100Hz (the VE4 more so than the VE2), but the VE3 had a marked bump higher up in the bass range.
 
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post-9996394
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lee730

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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
 
Could be very much the fit and the shape of our ears playing a roll in all this. To be honest the demo units in regards to fit are atrocious. Not easy to get a good fit (not talking tight or excessive, just a fit with good balance). Because if I get an airtight fit on the VE stage 4 they turn into muddy fart cannons with shrill treble and mids. But when you have a decent fit that is somewhat loose, yet not, you then get a very impressive sound. The sound staging on the VE4 is pretty good. Not totally out of head like that of the 1Plus2 or SE5 but its still quite good. But what impressed me most about the VE4 was its treble. One of the best trebles I've heard. I might even like it more than the treble on the 1Plus2 to be honest. Bass is also quite impressive. It goes very deep, has great impact, yet it is controlled and doesn't muddy the presentation (with the right fit). I can totally agree with H20s comments on it being a bassy IEM. When the fit is too tight it definitely turns into such an IEM. From what I was told though these IEMs are not meant to give a tight fit and are like the Fit Ear customs which don't go into the second bend and just give you a light seal.
 
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post-9996398
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H20Fidelity

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Midrange tonality was easily flatter on the VE2, though they might have a slight V (against diffuse field target, like the K3003), which I usually enjoy. But the VE3 made female singers sound like they'd taken testosterone pills and grown a beard
There was a definite mid/upper bass emphasis that affected the lower mids and masked deep bass. Both the VE2 and VE4 had a bump well below 100Hz (the VE4 more so than the VE2), but the VE3 had a marked bump higher up in the bass range.

I can agree with that, I know exactly what you're talking about, they were a little dominant, like they'd "grown a set of manly hood"

 Made me laugh James. 
 
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post-9996637
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lee730

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I can agree with that, I know exactly what you're talking about, they were a little dominant, like they'd "grown a set of manly hood"

 Made me laugh James. 
 
I just tested out the Stage 3 and I don't like them... The bass is weak on them. Seems to be lacking mid bass and has not much for sub bass. I mean it is well defined but it is lacking impact and weight. This IEM definitely focuses on the mids and treble. Mids being number 1 IMO.... I tried to like it but I really just don't like it. I like the stage 2 a lot more. I consider stage two to be more on the neutral side.
 
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post-9996655
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H20Fidelity

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I just tested out the Stage 3 and I don't like them... The bass is weak on them. Seems to be lacking mid bass and has not much for sub bass. I mean it is well defined but it is lacking impact and weight. This IEM definitely focuses on the mids and treble. Mids being number 1 IMO.... I tried to like it but I really just don't like it. I like the stage 2 a lot more. I consider stage two to be more on the neutral side.

So Stage 4 is your favourite, followed by the Stage 2? What do you like about the 4 Lee, share with us.. :wink:
 
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post-9996674
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lee730

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So Stage 4 is your favourite, followed by the Stage 2? What do you like about the 4 Lee, share with us.. :wink:
 
I just really enjoy the treble a lot on the stage 4 followed by the bass. I mean the mids are also really good. I don't consider them recessed either. The treble is just so distinct yet smooth. Not overly smooth and well integrated into the presentation. Bass goes very deep and has a lot of quantity while still remaining controlled. It has a lot of presence/authority. The IEM as a whole is simply more refined than its younger siblings and it has nothing to do with its price. I just like it better of the 3. But I also really like the Stage 2. I'd say the Stage 2 is the most neutral of the three. I consider the Stage 3 the least neutral. But keep in mind with the fit things can really go down hill on the Stage 4. The stage 4 is also picky on what it pairs with. I still found it too bassy on the Triad. It paired really well on the AK120 and T1 amp. I would like to see how these sound when I get my AK120 S mod back from Vinnie :).
 
I still stand by what I said on the Stage 3. I'm listening to them right now and I feel the sub and mid bass is lacking. Just not my cup of tea. But that doesn't mean the quality isn't there. Because it is still very good and well defined. But I like well defined along with impact and weight.
 
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post-9996726
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lee730

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The Triad will do the trick for now if I want to go hardcore with it. I am very much interested in the ASP TU-05 or 06 amps though :).
 
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post-9996846
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lieberstanley

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I just really enjoy the treble a lot on the stage 4 followed by the bass. I mean the mids are also really good. I don't consider them recessed either. The treble is just so distinct yet smooth. Not overly smooth and well integrated into the presentation. Bass goes very deep and has a lot of quantity while still remaining controlled. It has a lot of presence/authority. The IEM as a whole is simply more refined than its younger siblings and it has nothing to do with its price. I just like it better of the 3. But I also really like the Stage 2. I'd say the Stage 2 is the most neutral of the three. I consider the Stage 3 the least neutral. But keep in mind with the fit things can really go down hill on the Stage 4. The stage 4 is also picky on what it pairs with. I still found it too bassy on the Triad. It paired really well on the AK120 and T1 amp. I would like to see how these sound when I get my AK120 S mod back from Vinnie :).
 
Like to concur with you in several points:
 
1. The bass extension of the Stage 4 is really a gem. The quality is on par with the experience I had with an expensive well-tuned stereo set up consisted of the Avalon Diamond, Goldmond, and the Clear Audio Statement turntable with the Goldfinger cartriage.  After you were sweating fiddling these big blocks and the room acoustics, then you know how blessed it is to have this quality bass with a simple combo of the Stage 4 and AK120. The bass does not bleed into /mask other frequencies.
 
2. The mids are kept to a proper distance, indeed, though can be a little bit closer, IMO. This can be done by changing the wires, or the 3.5 mm jacks. Yet, there is a risk of ruining the tonal balance.
 
3. The AK120 makes a good and simple companion. Yet, the HM901 with IEM is even better, despite the HM901 is quirky in a few aspects.
 
Stage 2's mids are really attractive and focused.
 
And the Stage 3 is more on the neutral side to my ears. The bass is leaner, but I am quite OK with it.
 
Cheers
 
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post-9997876
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AmberOzL

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Lee and Mim, how would you guys compare Stage 4 to SE5way? What I read tells me Stage 4 has more treble emphasis and I think SE5way has more forward mids while both of the monitors have quite nice amount of bass as well as control of it but still you guys have them both (though Stage 4 is demo) maybe you can explain further.
 
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tomscy2000

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Having just seen a few pictures of completed VE monitors, I think I understand why people keep talking about their "soundstage presentation" --- all of the Stage series monitors merge their sound bores into a single large exit cavity. All people that I know that make CIEMs have told me that their experience has told them that merging sound bores into a single large one helps the soundstage feel more cohesive --- taller, deeper, at the slight expense of width --- I don't know if the tour members have experienced the soundstage being this way.
 
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