IEM for a stupidly small amount of money

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Rotijon, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. stratocaster

    stratocaster Friend

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    No, the 'vent', is the tiny hole at the back of the shell, next to the nozzle.
     
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  2. Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync

    Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync Rando

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    I feel these are probably fractionally shoutier than the UERM. It's honestly not bothersome to me whatsoever post mod. I'm using the ZX2 and Dragon Fly Red, but these sound excellent straight out of the iPhone 6. Stuff like the Dunu D2000J is way worse to me in that regard. I'm not sure if it's the run in that helped with that, but I'm sure the layer of alcohol swab helped. Speaking of which, these are the mods I applied beyond the "harakiri" perforating of the front vent membrane or whatever:

    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...stex-te-02n-iem-measurements.2154/#post-56083

    See James' pic of the nozzle with the strip of alcohol swab laid across the nozzle there.

    Combine that with James' J444 front vent mod:

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/703874/jvc-ha-fx850-iem-woody/405#post_11162329

    and you're done. According to Señor James, these mods help to smooth out the upper frequencies as well as lessen deep bass amplitude.

    With all of the mods I've done to it, it now sounds pretty much like a dynamic driver version of the UERM with a tasteful boost to deep bass. Tonality feels quite close IMO. Spent some hours A/Bing it against the UERM with Dragon Fly Red and ZX2. A bit warmer, bit thicker in note weight, more weight/body down low, better extension and authority. Edge detail is obviously not as pronounced, and it's not quite as quick since it's a dynamic vs. BA, but raw resolution is nearly on par with the UERM. UERM does pull ahead on certain things like portraying room feel, but I prefer the sense of depth I get with the Series 5.

    I tend to prefer the way that dynamics sound in terms of presentation, they feel more out of the head to me - better sense of forward projection, and there's more solidity/volumetric qualities to the notes, so it feels... I dunno, more... convincing to me. The Series 5 feels panoramic due to the width and black space in between, center channel on the Series 5 is just plain awesome. Great forward projection and layering. The UERM feels more dissected, sort of in the head, but also weirdly open due to its stronger upper treble. Pick your poison. Anyone who's a fan of something like Rockets, Tenore or UERM will likely feel right at home here. These have more edge to them than the Tenore/Rockets, treble weight is better and there's more sparkle/energy so definitely not as smoothed over as either. This is fuckin great for rock music. Electric guitars sound fantastic.

    I respect the hell out of phones like the Rockets and Tenore for their tonal voicing and performance at their price ranges, however listening to the aforementioned try to reproduce the deep bass on electronic music is fucking cute vs. a modded Series 5. The deep bass beats feel truncated as the drivers run out of steam, (by virtue of their both being micro dynamics and lacking sheer amplitude) it just feels hollow and weak. So electronic lovers rejoice! These are what you've loved about your favorite neutralish set of phones with that end of the spectrum restored. It's basically having your cake and eating it too! Rockets and Tenore also definitely feel bottlenecked when you push them - they just lack the headroom and authority of the modded Series 5.

    To sum it up, Series 5 are ridiculous phones for the money, and subjectively, probably the closest thing to the UERM I've heard in a dynamic driver format. Genre versatility is simply fantastic with these. Intrepid modders should definitely give these a shot. Again, all these descriptions are pertaining to a modded pair. I did not like the stock signature at all. It felt a bit veiled and way too fuckin bassy.

    As it is, these are destined to be among my favorite sounding IEMs. If you can read between the lines here, you can probably tell that I feel these are worthy of TOTL status. I'm actually shocked by how much ear time they've stolen from the Andromeda if that tells you anything. And with that, I probably now sound as crazy as the OP. What the fuck ever. Come at me.
     
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  3. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    Coming from you, I trust your ears bro. Sounds interesting. I take it you like these modded better than your beloved Z5? :p

    Oh, welcome to SBAF (officially)!!
     
  4. Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync

    Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync Rando

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    LOL. God no. Z5 left me with PTSD. So bad. Thanks for the welcome friendo :)
     
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  5. manatworks

    manatworks Friend

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    Just got to try harakiri mod, the bass became jussst about right now! Not sure about front vent mod you mentioned tho.
     
  6. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Like how many said in the thread, give them 100 hours of burn in to be safe. They get much better.

    Nice!! i was honestly doubting my ears the last week or so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  7. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Roti: Wow best IEM evar!!!
    Crowd: Not another cheap Chi-fi... Boo...
    Roti: Okay... :( rather good IEM for the price IMHO, YMMV...
    Crowd: Hey, these don't sound like shit. Not bad at all, especially with all these seppuku mods...
    Roti: Really? End-game IEM for stupidly small money!

    No offense guys but I love how this thread is going. :p
     
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  8. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    haha, honestly, i doubted my ears so often with this one. I kept listening to them thinking it soo good, but after finding near zero reviews of them and the thread of head-fi really not saying much, i thought maybe it sucked but i love it cause my ears had problem.
     
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  9. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    @Rotijon if you like it, that's all that matters bro. ;)
     
  10. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    I have to admit, i've felt the full force of the price placebo effect. If this was a 1k iem, i would have no doubt in my opinion. But it costing just 70-90 bucks really made me overthink things.
     
  11. dvdasa

    dvdasa Rando

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    For science, TFZ Series 5

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. dvdasa

    dvdasa Rando

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    Shit reviewer here. When I first received the series 5 I used them for a few songs at lower volumes and was extremely disappointed, almost sold them. Well i've been tip rolling and finally found something I like, also I have to turn the volume up a bit for me to actually enjoy them. Now that I know what I need to do to get enjoyment out of them, they remind me of the 335DW I had.
     
  13. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Here are my initial impressions of SERIES 5. But before that, some caveats:

    My current DAP is a stock AK Jr. Before that it was a RWAK100. Not really a fan of AK in general but I was able to get an AK Jr for a steal (around $200) so can't really complain, and most importantly it doesn't sound shit like its ridiculously priced older brothers. Sound quality aside, I personally dislike daisy-chaining a DAP and a portable amp or DAC/amp as it defeats the purpose of portability and prefer a single-chassis solution.

    I should also point out that I've been out of the IEM game for some time now. My last IEM was a pair of K10 which I felt was okay sounding but overpriced and sold it away, that was a year ago. My personal fav IEM was a custom pair of JH13 Pro FP, which I had owned for roughly 2-3 years but sold them for cheap to fund my K10 purchase, which I later came to regret. JH Audio's more expensive Siren Series offerings all sounded crappy. I thought I was done with IEM's for good but the recent reviews of Jupiter and Andromeda piqued my interest enough to get me back in the game.

    That being said, what do I feel about the SERIES 5? Although I don't have one for a direct comparison, but I think I prefer it to K10 based on first impression alone. I'm not sure if SERIES 5 is superior to K10 in terms of sheer technicalities, but I like its sound signature as it is surprisingly reminiscent of my previous JH13 Pro. Both IEM's have pronounced bass, but unlike some of you folks, I don't feel the SERIES 5 is overly bassy and congested. Also, there is a slight bit of sibilance going on to my ears, not to the point of being irritating but it's there as JH13 did. While I won't say if the SERIES 5 is better sounding to a custom JH13, it comes pretty damn close if not on par in my opinion for an outrageous price and the fact that it's a universal IEM.

    I'm planning to listen to it for about a week to see if burn-in changes anything, and consider performing this harakiri mod afterwards. But long story short, this is the best IEM I've heard in terms of sheer value. I am excited to see how things could get better from here. I've been saving up for an Andromeda for the past month, but I've decided to enjoy the SERIES 5 for now.

    Thanks again to Roti for introducing this little hidden gem to this hard-to-please community.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  14. Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync

    Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync Rando

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    Gentlemen, let me just sweeten the pot for you all. This, just now, sent to SGS, James, and Muzak4321 just this morning in response to SGS fawning over the UERM and Andro and proclaiming both to be two of the most specialist, bestest values in TOTL-Dom:

    "You know what SGS? A day or so ago, I would've agreed with you man. I really woulda.

    But that was then; and this is now, and life is a strange, strange mistress. For today, I'd honestly take the modded Series 5 over BOTH UERM and Andro. These are literally MY awesomesauce dream phones. The timbre, dynamics, bandwidth and soundstage presentation of a dynamic melded with the speed and precision of a BA driver. It's bonkers man. I have no idea what the hell happened in the last day or so but I've had these running constantly while I'm not listening to them and bass amplitude is now just perfect on these. About at the same level across the board as Andro, matching them in pretty much every metric but arguably better in terms of prat, tone and extension. It's bonkers dude.

    These give up absolutely nothing to either the UERM or the Andro and best them both in things that matter to me (tone, soundstage presentation, bass) To borrow a phrase from James, these are absolute stunners. I am having serious, serious thoughts of selling the Andros man. The only thing they have over the modded Series 5 to me is their incredible smoothness and lushness but the modded Series 5 with 2 very thinly cut layers of swab are literally 90% of the way there. And out of the ZX2? The Andro's advantage in smoothness is completely nullified. None of the hardness of the iPhone 6 is present at all.

    Regardless, I would trade in that teensy bit of more smoothness that Andro's got for the more more accurate sounding upper mids of the modded S5. (Female vocals, and electric guitars sound glorious!) Beyond that, they simply sound more vivid and alive to me than even the Andro. Yes, I can't even believe this shit, but it's true. I've gone back and forth between the two for hours and it's always the same conclusion.

    Hell, I can always pick up a pair of Andro later when they're like $550 or so (dig what happened to Jupiter. Ouch!) when people have moved onto the next thing, but it's like why? Better build quality? Arguably worse fit for my ears? The prestige? These are irrational reasons to drop literally $1000 more over the modded S5. The modded S5 out of the ZX2, DFR, iPhone, whatever... is just incredible sounding. Easily on Andro's level. The most hilarious overachieving phone I have heard PERIOD.

    So if the Andro and UERM were the best values in TOTL-Dom, these must be like getting a coupon voucher in the mail for a free TOTL phone and having publisher's clearing house have a Victoria's Secret model personally deliver them to your door LOL. I'm almost certain I'm gonna post a FS ad for the Andro in the coming week. I'm dead serious."

    Roti - thank you for bringing these to my attention. Didn't like em whatsoever day one, but post mods and run in, these are so stupidly good I now sound like every bit as much of a shill as you do. If you're ever in town, I would buy you a beer bucko. You know what, I'm just gonna say it. I'm gonna go full on batshit crazy here. I owe you that much for piquing my curiosity enough to order these and this thread for granting me the impetus to try modding these. I prefer these to the Andromeda. There, I said it. I know, the Andro is the Awesomesauce sacred cow darling around these parts. I know that.

    Hell, I had one before Marvey ever posted his impressions (which I wholly agree with) and I knew they were the best things I'd ever shoved into my ears. As an early adopter, I spent nights obsessively comparing my own Andro to the UERM for my buddy MuzakicalNoob1234. Hell, I believed in the Andro so much, I scribed many an email to him, eventually convincing him to allow me to order a pair to send across the pond for his sake LOL. That's a $1,100 investment in an unknown quantity that I recommended to a friend. And as some may know, Muzak fuckin' loves the Andro. I get it. They're awesome phones and surely deserving of their stature, but you know what?

    The modded Series 5 are MY AWESOMESAUCE phones. To reiterate, I've spent hours comparing these to the UERM, Tenore, modded TE02n, and the Andro across different recordings on the savior sanctioned pwneriffic ZX2. The modded S5 doesn't miss a step against any of those phones. This at a fuckin fraction of the price of an Andro. What you get with Andro is a super well tuned phone, class leading smoothness and dynamics and super great build quality. You can't dispute those things. I'm arguing that you can get a gigantic chunk of its performance and then some for a phone that's less than 1/10th of its asking price and that's a great thing for literally everyone here and beyond.

    Who knows, maybe measurements will bear out that the Andro is like a few dBs better here or there, or that these have weird phase shit or whatever. I have no idea man, I can only talk about these subjectively, and my ears tell me that these are so good that they've reduced me into a gibbering idiot. Again, modded Series 5. Didn't care for stock at all. These are a beautiful swan hiding inside of a gangly, pimply nerd. It's true. Either that or I'm a plant from a Malaysian forum with a stake in Penonaudio. You decide.
     
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  15. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    Do the series 3 and 5 share the same driver?
     
  16. dvdasa

    dvdasa Rando

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    More TFZ5 shit

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. GettingBuckets

    GettingBuckets Facebook Friend

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    Would like to see some measurements. Also, call me skeptical but I've seen way too many threads on HF proclaiming the next chi-fi IEM as the next big thing.

    Like I said much previously, send them around to others so we can get more impressions
     
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  18. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    @stratocaster gave measurements. I'm waiting my measurement Rig for iems. I will add my own measurements later.
     
  19. Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync

    Mr_Oy_Vey_Outta_Sync Rando

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    Got James444 and Woodcans to order a pair. Working on Muzak. Will send my pair to SGS. My Andro's going up for grabs tomorrow. Maybe someone with a lush, full head of hair, a Hollywood smile and perfect hearing can easily tell the difference between the two but the differences to my ears are pretty fractional. Not nearly enough for me to justify the insane jump in cost from S5 to Andro. Of course people can and will argue over the smallest percentages of performance gains between X and Y. That's why we're all roped into this business. YMMV of course.
     
  20. stratocaster

    stratocaster Friend

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    Bear in mind that I am using a DIY ear-canal mimicry thingy and my (uncompensated) measurements will most probably vary from other people's. They are not supposed to claim utmost validity and accuracy. These measurements and comparative measurements of other IEMs in my possession should just give some 'visual' input. Take these with the necessary grain of salt.
     
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