Vision Ears and Rhines Custom Monitors (formerly Compact Monitors)
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Ultrazino

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No idea why you are so bitter, but in case it wasn't clear, my point was that my customs sit perfectly and never lose their seal. The only time I can feel the in-ear inside my canal is when I yawn.
That's why I recommended to keep the mouth closed (lips touch each other, not the teeth) because that's also the way I have my mouth when I listen to music, walk around or lay in bed.
 
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james444

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  James pointed out that using universals has the advantage of changing tips and adapting the sound to your preference. However, my perspective is different. I think it is bothersome to try out and play with tips until you get it right. Because in the end, there is only ‘one right’. 
 
Different strokes for different folks... I'd think both our views have some merit. Those who find universals bothersome for some reason or another, will naturally lean towards customs. Perhaps I'm just lucky with universal fit, as I usually don't have problems, that's why my perspective is different from yours.
 
As for the open/closed mouth discussion, I'd be careful about basing a general recommendation on your single personal experience. You obviously think that a certain amount of dislodgement from yawning, etc. is alright, as long as the seal is retained. But it's not hard to imagine that the same amount of shifting might break the seal for someone else, if their ear canals are more tapered than yours. Just something you might want to consider...
 
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lee730

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I have to agree with  you. I'm more of a universal guy although I also have a CIEM. Just my experience has generally been better with universals. In regards to keeping a seal and isolation of course I give the nod to CIEMs. But in terms of comfort, universals all the way. I can wear universal for hours and have no discomfort at all. I can't honestly say that for any CIEM I've owned. Maybe the first hour or more is cherry. But after that there will be some discomfort or pain depending on how long I wear them. YMWV.
 
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shotgunshane

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The VE package arrived today and I did some brief listening to all three, plus some very quick A/B with my JH13.  The instant impression nitty gritty:
 
V2 = V shaped. Big bass; similar quantity to the V4 but more mid bass focused. A bit boomy with recessed vocals but still enjoyable and fun.
 
V3 = Very slightly U shaped but most neutral of the three. Least bass of the three but not bass shy at all. Vocals further back on V3 than on JH13 and treble starts to drop sooner on the V3 the JH13.
 
V4 = Bigger U shape than V3. Deep bass focused.  Vocals further back than V3.  Largest presentation.  Bass hits pretty hard.
 
I greatly prefer the V3 over the other two.  The V3 doesn't take a step back in anything compared to the V4, and due to better FR balance, is a better all round with better instrument realism IMO.
 
I've found the HiFiman biflanges from the old RE series to work really well on these types of demos in the past, and they worked really well with the VE's this time too.  Just a tip for future tour members, if they happen to have any.
 
Those are the instant impression.  I'll spend some more time getting to know them before passing them on.  
 
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average_joe

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  The VE package arrived today and I did some brief listening to all three, plus some very quick A/B with my JH13.  The instant impression nitty gritty:
 
V2 = V shaped. Big bass; similar quantity to the V4 but more mid bass focused. A bit boomy with recessed vocals but still enjoyable and fun.
 
V3 = Very slightly U shaped but most neutral of the three. Least bass of the three but not bass shy at all. Vocals further back on V3 than on JH13 and treble starts to drop sooner on the V3 the JH13.
 
V4 = Bigger U shape than V3. Deep bass focused.  Vocals further back than V3.  Largest presentation.  Bass hits pretty hard.
 
I greatly prefer the V3 over the other two.  The V3 doesn't take a step back in anything compared to the V4, and due to better FR balance, is a better all round with better instrument realism IMO.
 
I've found the HiFiman biflanges from the old RE series to work really well on these types of demos in the past, and they worked really well with the VE's this time too.  Just a tip for future tour members, if they happen to have any.
 
Those are the instant impression.  I'll spend some more time getting to know them before passing them on.  
 
Your speed puts me to shame!
 
Here are my brief impressions:
SETTING THE BASELINE
Vision Ears Demo Stage 3 Vs. Rhines Custom Monitors Customized Stage 3: Trying various ear tips, I found triple-flange ear tips to exaggerated the bass while bi-flange, like the ones included with the demo units, cut the treble.   I settled on large single flange ear tips, which sounded quite similar to the customized unit with a deep insertion. 
As expected, the sound between the two was quite close, but the customized 3 is slightly brighter with better, more impactful and reverberant deep bass.  Spatially, the demo unit was a bit more forward than the customized Stage 3, but the customized Stage 3 projected much further than the demo.  The custom Stage 3 did the little things better, such as instrument separation and imaging with a sharper focus better note definition.  Treble is more detailed, yet smoother on the customized version as the demo could be a bit harsh.  These differences led to the custom unit sounding much more natural, adding realism and increasing engagement with the music.
After the initial comparison, I used foam ear tips on the demo unit for another comparison, which brought the two closer, but the customized version still outperformed the demo.  The demo treble was tamed and about as smooth as the custom version, and the overall sound was a bit more realistic, but detail levels, imaging, and projection still lagged.
 
STAGE 2 (769€ including VAT ~ $1060)
The Stage 2 is warm, rich, smooth, and forward with decent space and a presentation that has excellent depth and imaging within.  Both ends of the frequency spectrum have good extension, and the huge single bass driver provides plenty of punch and note sustainment.  Treble is smooth yet detailed with decent extension and a fairly smooth and forgiving sound.  But listening to the Stage 2 doesn’t make you think about the performance, but instead the music, as the sound signature is musical, engaging, and enveloping leading to a connection to the music.  The Stage 2 is the most expensive dual driver I have some across and also the best sounding I have heard to date.  
 
STAGE 3 (999€ including VAT ~ $1375)
The Stage 3 is the clearest of the group, with a brighter tonal balance yet retaining most of the smoothness of the Stage 2 and 4.  The sound is closest to that of the traditional reference sound reminiscent of the Logitech Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitor, but different.
 
STAGE 4 (1239€ including VAT ~ $1700)
The warm and smooth Stage 4 has a musical and fun sound with a very good recreation of soundstage space, even with the relatively forward sound.  With powerful and deep bass, smooth and layered mids, a bump in the upper midrange and lower treble, and good upper extension, the and treble that is present, with a doesn’t enhance any part of the spectrum much resulting in a relatively flat overall sound that doesn’t lack power. 
 
Comparisons with other CIEMs can be found here.
 
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post-10082919
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james444

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Thanks for your impressions!
 
Makes me think that the VE-2 demo I listened to (on two separate occasions, and side by side with my UERM) was a lemon. A lemon, however, that sounded closer to the UERM than both the VE-3 and VE-4 demos and that I liked best out of the bunch.
 
 
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tupac0306

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Damn joe.....that's some work!!! Not only the impression but the comparison too...amazing as usual
 
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average_joe

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Thanks for your impressions!
 
Makes me think that the VE-2 demo I listened to (on two separate occasions, and side by side with my UERM) was a lemon. A lemon, however, that sounded closer to the UERM than both the VE-3 and VE-4 demos and that I liked best out of the bunch.
 
 
Lemon or does it just need different ear tips?  The tips that worked for me with the Stage 3 didn't with the Stage 2 or 4.  Also, most tips I tried made the Stage 3 sound more bass heavy than my custom unit.
 
Damn joe.....that's some work!!! Not only the impression but the comparison too...amazing as usual
 
You know me, I like to compare the hell out of things.
 
  Great to have some more impressions!
 
Edit: Here is a video of my customs.
 
 
Nice!  Interesting push removal technique; it doesn't work for me.
 
Thanks SGS for the early impressions and Joe for the detailed work.
 
Thanks for including me!
 
Great discussions guy.
Interested in Stage 3 & 4 as well.
 
Both good options with different strengths, depending on what you are looking for.
 
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james444

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  Edit: Here is a video of my customs.
 
These are really easy to insert and remove. A breeze compared to how I have to screw in and out my custom UERMs.
 
  Lemon or does it just need different ear tips?  The tips that worked for me with the Stage 3 didn't with the Stage 2 or 4.  Also, most tips I tried made the Stage 3 sound more bass heavy than my custom unit.
 
Don't think so... I used the same UE TF10 tips that I use for a lot of other IEMs and got a secure seal with all three demos. Plus, the dealer (a trained classical musician) used different tips and heard the sound signatures exactly like I did. She even warned me in advance that VE's signature descriptions were off, lol.
 
From your and shotgunshane's descriptions, it would seem that her VE-2 and VE-3 demos were mislabeled. I heard the VE-3 as more mid-bassy and warmer and the VE-2 as more linear and close to my UERMs (with slightly less treble extension / refinement and a tad more deep bass). However, we counted the drivers inside and the numbers appeared to be correct. It's a mystery and I can't think of a logical explanation for it.
 
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Ultrazino

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  From your and shotgunshane's descriptions, it would seem that her VE-2 and VE-3 demos were mislabeled. I heard the VE-3 as more mid-bassy and warmer and the VE-2 as more linear and close to my UERMs (with slightly less treble extension / refinement and a tad more deep bass). However, we counted the drivers inside and the numbers appeared to be correct. It's a mystery and I can't think of a logical explanation for it.
 
I mentioned this somewhere in the beginning of the thread, but Rhines had an unofficial demo pair of the Stage 4 that had a different tuning with more linear bass. (But the artwork still said Stage4.)
It could be that this is an experiment from the old Compact Monitors era and that they also tuned the Stage 2 flatter and somehow Vision Ears sent out the "unofficial" demo.
 
This is the only logical explanation I can think of right now.
 
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shotgunshane

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I have really been enjoying the Stage 3 these past couple of days.  It's truly a great sounding iem with very good balance across the FR, having a slight U shape.  The bass is excellent.  I go back to the 2 and 4 on occasion, just to make sure I'm not missing something.  I'm not.  The Stage 3 is a really, really good iem that sounds great from my iPhone and even better from my UHA760.  And while the tuning isn't identical to the JH13, I find I can go back and forth between them without having to do much mental readjusting.  The Stage 3 is going to be an easy one to recommend for those wanting a JH13-ish resemblance (the biggest difference being the JH13 having more forward mids), especially for European customers wanting to avoid international shipping issues. 
 
@james444- that's very odd indeed.  I'd be sorely disappointed if I ordered the Stage 2 expecting a fairly balanced FR and received an obvious V shaped sig. 
 
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james444

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  I mentioned this somewhere in the beginning of the thread, but Rhines had an unofficial demo pair of the Stage 4 that had a different tuning with more linear bass. (But the artwork still said Stage4.)
It could be that this is an experiment from the old Compact Monitors era and that they also tuned the Stage 2 flatter and somehow Vision Ears sent out the "unofficial" demo.
 
This is the only logical explanation I can think of right now.
 
Thanks!
 
  @james444- that's very odd indeed.  I'd be sorely disappointed if I ordered the Stage 2 expecting a fairly balanced FR and received an obvious V shaped sig. 
 
Exactly my thoughts too. I'm going to talk to her once again (and maybe take that weirdo VE-2 off her hands :wink:.
 
Trying to get an idea of the VE-3's bass signature, would you say it's rather mid- or deep-bass emphasized, or linear throughout the bass range (particularly compared to your JH13)?
 
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