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Old 08-11-2014, 08:54 AM
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Default Cheaper alternative to PFE 232?

Does anyone know of an IEM that has a similar sound to the PFE 232, but that is a good value? I'm thinking about "downgrading" because the thought of having such an expensive IEM kinda bugs me, to be honest. It seems crazy to have so much money wrapped up in something so fragile or easily stolen.
I want clear treble (like you get with BA IEMS), good solid bass, would love VERY good isolation, low microphonics, would love replaceable cables but it's not a deal breaker, good warranty if possible, but I would buy used too.
So yeah, any advice would be welcome. I've owned the PFE 132, and it was really great, and it's on my shortlist, but it seemed pretty bass-light, especially compared to the 232.
Other possible contenders: Vsonic GR07 (or bass edition?), Sony HBA-H1
  • Budget: Around $100-$150
  • Location: USA
  • Category: IEM
  • Primary location of use: portable use, mainly commuting
  • Preferable SQ or Sound Signature: balanced sound with good bass and clear treble
  • Media: Rock, Prog, Classic Rock, etc.
  • Source: Cowon J3, iPhone 5
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2014, 02:01 PM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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I have the bass edition of the gr07 and the pfe 232. I generally use the grey filters, but I'll switch every once in a while to the black ones. The bass quantity for the gr07 is slightly less than the pfe with black filters, but it's really close. The pfe may have a little better quality; it's hard to tell without properly volume matching, and you can't switch instantly. I'm not prone to sibilance, but the gr07 may have some if you're sensitive to it. Of course, with the bass edition, the mids are a little recessed, similar to the pfe with black filters, but I prefer the balance of the pfe with grey ones. To my ears, the biggest differences are that the pfe has more clarity with either the black or grey filters, especially in the treble, and that I found the comfort to be much better with the pfe. The differences between the gr07 and pfe with black filters are very subtle.

It seems weird to me to downgrade when you already have a great pair of earphones, but I'd say the gr07 would be a good choice. The bass edition is pretty similar to the black filters, but I'd definitely take the pfe if I could only have one pair. If you've been using grey filters, maybe the regular gr07 would be better for you.

If you're curious, I listen to bands like Opeth, Dream Theater, Tool, Karnivool, Soundgarden, and other rock/metal.

Last edited by korn_thoughtless6; 08-11-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korn_thoughtless6 View Post
It seems weird to me to downgrade when you already have a great pair of earphones
Yes, I agree.
I'm not 100% sure I'm going through with it. I appreciate your thoughts though.
Thanks for the reply.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:33 PM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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No problem, sorry about all the edits. I tried switching to foam tips on the gr07 halfway through and got a much better seal; I'd get a decent enough one with the silicone/hybrids, but I don't find foam tips to be as comfortable.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:48 AM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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Don't mean to derail the thread, but how's the dt880? I've been thinking about saving a couple paychecks and grabbing a pair.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korn_thoughtless6 View Post
Don't mean to derail the thread, but how's the dt880? I've been thinking about saving a couple paychecks and grabbing a pair.
I love them. I previously had an Audio Technica ATH-M50 and these were a definite improvement for me.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:41 PM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I'll try and see if I can find a pair to demo before I grab it. From all the reviews, I think I'd like them a lot
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:21 AM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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This thread is a blatant excuse for dawnistheday to brag about his PFE 232's!
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:26 AM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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Well, they are definitely worth bragging about. By the way, did dfkt ever post his full review about it? I've been waiting ever since he said that he was helping tune them, but only saw the update to the spreadsheet.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
This thread is a blatant excuse for dawnistheday to brag about his PFE 232's!
Yep!
No, not really. I'm not sure I can sell them. It might end up like the time I sold my J3 and bought another one a month later. I still do want more suggestions though. Anyone tried the VSonic VSD3S? They are a bit ugly, but are around $50-$60 and are supposedly designed to compete with $300 iems.
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2014, 07:21 PM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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I haven't heard them myself, but the general consensus online is that they're 90% as good as the gr07. Of course, you probably did your own research and saw the same stuff, so I'm not sure if that was helpful at all
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:12 AM
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Gr07's arn't that expensive huh... about $100?
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
Gr07's arn't that expensive huh... about $100?
Yes, about $100 for the newest edition (the Classic) and more for the others (bass edition and Mk. II). Not sure what the difference is between the Classic and the Mk. II though.
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2014, 03:28 PM
korn_thoughtless6 korn_thoughtless6 is offline
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If you have the money, I'd say to go for it and grab one. You don't necessarily have to sell the pfe, just keep both to have a spare. I use both earphones, depending on how much isolation I want; I can only get a great seal with foam on the gr07, but I prefer the silicone on the pfe.
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