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Old 10-11-2008, 04:26 PM
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Default Looking at buying IEMs on the highend side

I've had quite a few different phones from Sony ex51 to V-moda Vibes. For my next phones I would like perfection below the custom line(yes I know UE 11's but their still to much). I've looked at Qjays, Shure SE530, Sleek SA6, UE triplfi 10 pro, and Atrio M5. Puts me in the $150-$300 range. I'm using a D2 and an i7 but I really want to stay away from an amp at this point. Anyone have any suggestions? Or any personal experience?
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:59 PM
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How soon are you going to need them?
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:45 PM
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Stay away from the SE530 if you don't want to use an amp. They hiss with any player, and their treble leaves a lot to be desired. They're the pickiest IEMs to pair with an amp/source I've ever had. Their midrange and precision is awesome, though.

q-Jays have awesome treble and decent mids, not quite enough bass, and a not so great soundstage. Soundstage can be fixed with Comply P-Version foamies, bass can be fixed with M3B/EQ to a certain extent.

The Super/Triple.Fi housing is terrible, the worst IEM housing ever conceived. The designers must never have seen a human ear in their life. Can't get more uncomfortable than that. Other than that, I guess the T.F sound good. I don't think my S.F sound overly good, but the T.F take it a step further in the UE10 direction.

The Sleek I haven't heard, but simple laws of physics tell me that a single armature cannot perform all that hype that surrounds them - no matter if you use "--" or "++++" for bass or treble. "Overpriced" comes to mind, considering the price/parts ratio.

The Atrio bass is excellent, their mids and soundstage too... their treble, clarity, and precision lacks in comparison with the armature stuff. They're probably the least fatiguing of the bunch.

Maybe Livewires or FreqShow would be another option?
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
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... ... ...
Maybe Livewires or FreqShow would be another option?
I agree with you … I asked him question because freq is closed till January and I was thinking of recommending them, they really sound dam good across the board and have an excellent price/value attribute. I almost bought them over the ue11s only because the price/value. But I do not regret my choice as you well know ... The sleeks sounded very good to my ears for a single armature iem and I was impressed with their performance … but imho the sleeks are over priced.
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:47 PM
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Thanks guys, I know I've beat you up with this question before so I appreciate all the help. Freqs look good but I really don't want to wait for them to quit playing grab ass and start making the donuts. Are the Freqshow custom?

What about the klipsch custom 3, westone um2, and the Senn ie7? Still like the Qjays but like you said live and on the review they have a few fixable issues. I know EnzoTen was looking for something perfect, what did he end up with?
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:13 PM
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Thanks guys, I know I've beat you up with this question before so I appreciate all the help. Freqs look good ... Are the Freqshow custom? ... ... ...
Yes, freq’s are custom and I’m sure you’d be blown away w/the sq ... great price/value/preformance
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:23 PM
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It's kinda a "in the next few days thing" but I saw the FreqShow and they do look nice I'm visiting in Lexington, Kentucky or I'd be on IRC about this. It's really amazing that there are this many choices at this price point BTW with customs how do you get the molds done?
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2008, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
The Atrio bass is excellent, their mids and soundstage too... their treble, clarity, and precision lacks in comparison with the armature stuff. They're probably the least fatiguing of the bunch.
Is that to say lacking in comparison to the multiple armature ones, or even the single armature? o.O
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
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Is that to say lacking in comparison to the multiple armature ones, or even the single armature? o.O
Armatures in general are "faster" and provide more clarity than dynamic drivers. But the do have their fair share of negative points as well, like not being able to reproduce the whole audible spectrum with just one armature, especially the bass. Good thing the UE11 has 4 armatures.

Future Sonics advertises that their dynamic driver sounds "better" than multi-armature stuff with complicated crossovers... but that's of course not exactly true for all armature IEMs, and for all sound parameters taken into consideration.

Nevertheless, for a dynamic driver IEM I have yet to hear a better one than the Atrio.
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:14 PM
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The q-Jays and Vibes are as different as day and night, they're pretty much polar opposites in sound characteristics.

As for the Westones... better wait for the mythical UM3, which might (or might not) be released sometime this century. Other than that I can't say anything about them - unfortunately they're the one brand that's missing from my IEM stash...
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:04 PM
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They've been around for quite awile. I hate waiting around for semi-fictional BS . Kind of like the D3 I'd still be waiting for. I'm gonna read some more on the UM2's. There's one guy I know who's had a pair and he said they were great. Thanks for all the input. Back to the endless reviews.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2008, 09:19 PM
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Sorry but I have to ask, how can you be so sure about the downsides of 1 armature in the SA6's? It would eliminate crossover issues (you can't even try to tell me that every single sound that comes out of SE530's or triple.fi's is coming from the armature inside that would be most ideal for that sound) and who's to say its one armature isn't better than any of the individual drivers in dual or triple (or quadruple but for $1150 it better not leave $180 universal any chance) driver IEMs? I do think it is a huge topic to argue over, and I don't think you should be talking about them when you've never listened to them.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacticalPenguin View Post
Sorry but I have to ask, how can you be so sure about the downsides of 1 armature in the SA6's? It would eliminate crossover issues (you can't even try to tell me that every single sound that comes out of SE530's or triple.fi's is coming from the armature inside that would be most ideal for that sound) and who's to say its one armature isn't better than any of the individual drivers in dual or triple (or quadruple but for $1150 it better not leave $180 universal any chance) driver IEMs? I do think it is a huge topic to argue over, and I don't think you should be talking about them when you've never listened to them.
The distinguished Mr. WalkGood heard them at CanJam and said they sounded excellent to him. As for dfkt, he has had much more experience with IEM's than probably anybody on ABI. He has the amps (home/portable) to test, and has owned more than his share of fones. The price point of the SA6 is high enough that it competes directly with multible armature IEMs, and as a single it is suspect to much ridicule. I respect dfkt's opinion on IEMs more than anyone I've ever talked to because he has reviewed/used/owned almost all of the best. I've owned more than 50 headphones in the last 20 years and dfkt and walkgood were the posters I had in mind when I posted this thread because they know what sounds good.
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2008, 10:09 PM
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I absolutely agree that walkgood and dfkt know what they're talking about when it comes to sound and IEMs, but I don't see how you can so simply say 1 armature = bad without even considering possible benefits or listening to them
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacticalPenguin View Post
I absolutely agree that walkgood and dfkt know what they're talking about when it comes to sound and IEMs, but I don't see how you can so simply say 1 armature = bad without even considering possible benefits or listening to them
I understand what your saying, and the Sleek SA6 could very well be the second coming, but the ability of one armature to reproduce sound next to 2/3/4 armature's would be an amazing feat, not that it can't be done. An educated guess says no. dfkt strongly recommended the Atrio M5 (single armature) when I started my quest, but I would really like to try a multible armature set-up. If you own or have used the SA6 what did you think? The short list is still the Qjay and the UM2, and I just found out the UM2 can go custom via the UM56 custom molds
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
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dfkt strongly recommended the Atrio M5 (single armature) when I started my quest, but I would really like to try a multible armature set-up.
The Atrios use a single dynamic driver, quite different than an armature. I don't think there are any multi-dynamic driver IEM's, correct me if I am wrong. (I well may be, I have never heard of any though)
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:17 PM
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The Atrios use a single dynamic driver, quite different than an armature. I don't think there are any multi-dynamic driver IEM's, correct me if I am wrong. (I well may be, I have never heard of any though)
I believe you are correct. I've never heard of one either.
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:53 PM
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I haven't listened to any top-end IEMs as I am in the middle of nowhere where nobody else has good phones and I am poor and thus can't justify spending $170-300 on some IEMs that I will end up ripping the cable out of and having to fix. I don't claim to or have the slightest thought that I would be able to compare any phones or know sounds like dfkt, I just don't see how a single armature phone automatically loses simply because it is only one armature, ignoring any upsides to a single armature and other features of the SA6.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:38 PM
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I don't think they're really saying that single armature phones lose automatically because it's only one. Rather, it's just the price point that seems rather off for the SA6. Considering you have plenty of other single armature headphones in around 100 dollars, it's skeptical to believe that double that price would be enough of an increase in sound quality to warrant it. In general, multiple armatures and dynamic drivers do perform better because of how the technicalities work, so for the price range that no9 is willing to delve into, I don't see why he shouldn't consider mainly multiple armature IEMs. Sure, maybe the SA6 do sound very good, but in principle single armatures just don't perform like multiple ones and they shouldn't be that expensive imo. If they were cheaper, I don't think anyone would be knocking on them at all...
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