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Old 05-06-2011, 03:46 AM
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Default Hippo VB: No More Replacements at UncleWilsons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Wilsons
Dear Urne,

We usually replace Hippo VBs.
Due to the difficulty and high failure rate when repaired.
We are currently no longer continuing with this option.

However, we may be able to replace you with other earphones in similar price range.
For instance, a-Jays 4 and a-Jays 3. Also unfortunately, we do not lend earphones during replacement.

Regards,

Thank you for your enquiry
UncleWilson's is neither able to tell when the Hippo VBs will be back in stock. I hope they aren't out-phase them, though it could seem like. Just thought you guys should be aware of this. Has anyone tried the a-Jays 4 or 3 by the way?
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:17 AM
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Hmm, its strange if they want to out-phase them, considering how they are pretty universally well reviewed. Perhaps the build quality is an issue.

Hopefully, they are working on a VB2 with better build quality. I know I'd be interested in buying that, even if slightly more expensive.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:39 AM
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Yea, I'm pretty sure they're Jaben's top IEM...
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
Hmm, its strange if they want to out-phase them, considering how they are pretty universally well reviewed ….
I don’t find this strange as the housing was probably exclusively licensed to Jaben/Uncle Wilson for a period of time. Either that agreement ran out or Uncle Wilson did not renew it. Plus Uncle Wilson tries to keep things fresh as there's always the law of diminishing returns so he comes out with new IEMs. Thus you see that other companies can now use the same housing (w/different driver), unless just one took over the lease or purchased it from Jaben (example the SP51). Mind you I do not have direct information on this and it’s only my guess but AFAIK all Jaben’s products are made via Chinese manufacturing partners as many other OEM/rebrand IEMs on the market. So these partners can bring fresh new ideas to the wholesalers/retailers.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I don’t find this strange as the housing was probably exclusively licensed to Jaben/Uncle Wilson for a period of time. Either that agreement ran out or Uncle Wilson did not renew it. Plus Uncle Wilson tries to keep things fresh as there's always the law of diminishing returns so he comes out with new IEMs. Thus you see that other companies can now use the same housing (w/different driver), unless just one took over the lease or purchased it from Jaben (example the SP51). Mind you I do not have direct information on this and it’s only my guess but AFAIK all Jaben’s products are made via Chinese manufacturing partners as many other OEM/rebrand IEMs on the market. So these partners can bring fresh new ideas to the wholesalers/retailers.
A quote from a post on In Ear Matters:

Quote:
MEElec stated that, although the housing is used by Hippo first, it is not an exclusive design but more of a generic supply.
I agree though, Jaben is probably just looking to update their line up keep sales up.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:42 AM
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I don't put much into everything I read on the net unless I know the writer but if what they wrote is true, that means my guess wasn't far off. I find it hard to believe that Jaben actually designed it, because if that's the case then they'd have recourse against the manufacturer. I do believe that wholesalers/retailers like Jaben, MEE, Maximo iM, Radius TruTune, American Audio and on and on do have input into housing design, driver used, tuning, cables, etc but it ends there. If they actually had designed it don’t you think they would have patented the design to protect it and why would they be dropping it (I know that's just a rumor here so far), they’d run with it till sales dried up. BTW since it's not exclusive either you or I could also go to market using the same housing

Edit: from above "I do believe that wholesalers/retailers like Jaben ... do have input into housing design, ..." new --> but it’s the property of the manufacturer and done by their designers, thus exclusive licensing would keep other companies from using it.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 05-06-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:18 AM
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I would not believe everything I read either, but the author is ClieOS from head-fi. He seems to have connections with both MEElec and Hippo so I think he can be trusted.

And I am pretty sure you are right, from comments made directly by MEElec, they do have some say in the design, such as choosing the cable, right angle or straight plug, etc. I believe most the companies you listed and other like them just go to Chinese manufacturea, choose one of their designs, customize it, and place an order for a several thousand. The next order they may tweak the design a bit based on the feedback they get. But it is not really their design, it is the manufacturer's, they just customize it. Another example if two companies using the same earphone design would be the MEElectronics M6 and Fischer Audio Tau. In the end, it really about the driver they choose and how they tune it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:53 AM
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I can’t argue with that, but as I stated before some of these companies do have exclusive agreements for a period of time so no other company can use the same housing or cable design. Once those agreements are over then any others can use them unless the original company is able to renew the agreement. I’ve researched this for the purpose of buying my own gear and writing reviews. There are hundreds if not thousands of Chinese manufactures that do exactly what you state, while only some of the larger manufactures do have in-house design that work with the wholesalers/retailers to come up with a specific designs that get this exclusivity. Like I stated before; I don’t know for sure if Jaben designed the VB housing or not, it was only my deduction as another retailer has already been using it for some time now.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:06 AM
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I'm glad i have a brand new set of extra VBs sitting in their box, im good for a while lol.
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Hippo VB sold out

And my pair is broken. Anyone in here willing to recommend me alternative earphones with same or close sound signature?

Last edited by WalkGood; 05-08-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trauty View Post
And my pair is broken. Anyone in here willing to recommend me alternative earphones with same or close sound signature?
Merged your thread with the already exsisting one, deleted your for sale panasonic's, please post that in our “Classifieds” section here.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:39 PM
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This is very odd. A while ago when I was considering these I e-mailed UW's and they said to me too that they didn't know when they'd be back in stock.

Glad I'm not considering them anymore....If I still was, I'd be sufferin' now, lol ....
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:13 PM
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I'm sad that I never got a chance to hear them.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:15 PM
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I'm not sure if we'll ever find out the truth with this. It's possible and only pure speculation on my part that MEE picked up an exclusive contract on that housing from the Chinese manufacturer when jaben's contract expired, thus they can't get it any more. They only know for sure and I'm sure neither would tell us the story.

BTW MEE does have the SP51 in stock at a better price, it's not the same driver and doesn't sound exactly the same (I have not tried either) but I've read the SP51 is good. You can check them out here.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I'm not sure if we'll ever find out the truth with this. It's possible and only pure speculation on my part that MEE picked up an exclusive contract on that housing from the Chinese manufacturer when jaben's contract expired, thus they can't get it any more. They only know for sure and I'm sure neither would tell us the story.

BTW MEE does have the SP51 in stock at a better price, it's not the same driver and doesn't sound exactly the same (I have not tried either) but I've read the SP51 is good. You can check them out here.
That is really not too far fetched. At the same time though, Jaben.net still has the VB for with an expected late May ship date, so either they placed an order on an old contract and they are just now getting or they still have contract to get them.

Either way, the VB's life is going to come to an end someday, and that day looks to be nearing. But I really do not see what the big deal is. Even if they can no longer use the VB housing, they can just create a new IEM with the same sound signature. In fact it will probably be a better IEM. I mean the VB from what I have heard is great. But it is not perfect. Maybe a new IEM might not have changeable rear plates. But be honest VB owners, how often do you change the plates? I know if it were me I would probably settle on the one I liked the best and leave it for weeks with changing it, maybe longer. For me then I think it would be worth it to get am IEM that sounds like the VB but is more comfortable and has a better SQ. And as far as needing to get a second VB for when the first one dies, earphones just keep getting better (at least in a bang for buck since), so by the time your VB dies their will probably be a better IEM than the VB to replace it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post
That is really not too far fetched. At the same time though, Jaben.net still has the VB for with an expected late May ship date, ...
If the case is that jaben is getting them in May then there is no exclusivity, but I did say pure speculation" only based on hearing they might not get them back.
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