Massdrop x nuforce EDC3

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-nuforce-edc3-in-ear-monitors

    See general measurement notes before digesting the plots below: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/note-on-iem-measurements-changelog.2153/

    Massdrop x nuforce EDC3 Frequency Response
    EDC3 FR.png

    In a nutshell, they sound like Audezes in IEM form. Darkish and laid back, even including the slight midrange bump. Bass is solid and impactful - moreso than the Massdrop + IEM. Don't know driver arrangement for sure, but I'm guessing two bass drivers and one for highs? The caveat is that these sound more neutral from devices with slighter higher output Z (iPhone, Pixel, etc.) because of its impedance curve. From ZX2, just slightly less laid back than the LCD2C. From iPhone, close to neutral with gentle highs. These are good things. I like these quite a lot.

    EDC3 impedance.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    EDC3 L HD.jpg
    EDC3 R HD.jpg
     
  3. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Looks pretty solid for $99 bucks. My co-worker has the DD version of the EDC and has nothing but praise for the ergonomics.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'd take these over some $1500 IEMs.
     
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  5. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I don’t like the dynamic driver EDC but this triple driver is a very solid product. Reminds me of a cross between the Westone 2 and 4 but less warmth and bass than typical Westone tuning. It’s amazing to me what $99 can get you now compared to just a few years ago.
     
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  6. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master 2.0

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    I have an extra one of these for a loaner if any of you are interested.

    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/loaner-md-x-nuforce-edc3.5785/

    I have impressions to post, but am swamped at work right now, but they're positive for a sub $100 IEM. A step up from the EDC for sure. These please all of my non-audio friends. From a phone, these are probably some of the most neutral sub $100 IEMs you can get, but I don't prowl this price category too often, so others may have more insight.
     
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  7. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    If you have time and inclination, could you take a picture of the cable connectors? Looks like a 2 pin, but not sure about spacing and shroud. Is it like another IEM I could reference? Thanks!
     
  8. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master 2.0

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    It's a two pin configuration, but the OD of the pins are smaller than the standard CIEM two pin, though the spacing is the same. Polarity is reversed, too. You can shove a two pin cable in the sockets, but don't expect to ever be able to put the stock cable back in.

    EDIT: at least that was the what I found in my pre-prod EDC (not EDC3).
     
  9. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Massdrop's Golden Child (MOT)

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    Hey Fraggler,
    The pins for Massdrop version EDC and EDC3 are 0.78mm diameter. Same as Massdrop Plus and Noble. We also changed the polarity compared to regular NuForce. Again- matching Noble and the Massdrop Plus. Shroud provides some additional strain relief and is a NuForce thing but not necessary...hope that helps. Aftermarket 2-pin cables should hopefully fit, unfortunately there is no one exact standard for all 2-pin cables.

    (Pins on standard NuForce IEMs and cables are 0.76mm diameter. Ours has Massdrop logo on the plug, the NuForce ones will have "NU" on the plug.)
     
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  10. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Thank you guys for making that revision. My first concern after reading the early positive impressions was whether I'd have to worry about Nuforce's proprietary-ish connectors. Not quite a deal breaker at this price, but it definitely ups the value ante for folks like me who have other 0.78mm cables and want to run these balanced, etc.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I wasn't a fan of the EDC either, but these I like. Good synergy with iPhone, Pixel, Samsung make it a great entry level+ IEM.
     
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  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Been carrying these with my secondary phone (iPhone SE or pixel 1) and they sound decent. No fancy source necessary, just a solid $99 investment that sounds good out of a phone.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So finally home now where I could find the adapter for my Pixel 2 and take some time for a really good listen. As I said, neutralish (on Pixel 2) with gentle treble. Maybe slightly mid-centric, but good robust bass. Drivers are responsive. Not the tightest, not the clearest, but those characteristics are only found in select TOTL IEMs.

    Definitely exceeds expectations. Quite fantastic for the price. I'm might buy a few to give to friends with iPhones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  14. hellwhynot

    hellwhynot Friend

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    These fell off the back of a truck that was in front of me. So I picked them up, gave them a listen, and sent CEETEE an email:

    =========================================================================
    [Note that wherever it says "EDC" below, I mean the EDC3. I've never heard the original EDC.]

    Okay, here you go:

    Massdrop EDC3: Tonally, these are almost perfect to me. There might be a tad missing up top- like a very small roll-off? My personal preference leans towards a bit of lower-treble bite ala Noble Savant; you know I like stuff on the bright or even slightly aggressive side. (That's why HD600 > 650.) But tonally this is 90% there. So if there's a broader critique, it's missing that "something" that the $600-$1000 IEMs have. It's missing the detail, layering, headstage, and overall excitement (dynamics?) of those IEMs. Perhaps this is a good example of something that might measure equal to more expensive gear, but doesn't sound the same. So yeah, you're not getting a Noble Kaiser or Katana for $99. Duh. It's still a good IEM.

    The good: There are no sore spots or spikes whatsoever. I can listen for hours and not notice anything bad or sense any kind of fatigue. I can't say the same for the Noble 'X' where for the first few minutes I'm thinking, "this is alright." But then that warm balance eventually becomes apparent. With the EDC, if I'm not paying attention or multi-tasking, I'd forget what (IEM) I was listening to. The key here is errors of omission (details, pinpoint imaging, etc.) rather than commission. The fit is only matched by Westone universals. In other words, they fit me better than any other over-the-ear-cabled IEM. As a result, isolation is fantastic too. This is with the medium silicon tips. I didn't try any of the others. All listening was done on my Pioneer XDP-100 (Zout = .5Ω). I also did a quick listen out of my Samsung S7 (Zout = >5Ω) and could not detect any obvious differences.

    Comparison notes: [Westone Pro30 v1, formerly UM3x] Tonally similar (warm side of neutral), but the Westone has some sparkliness along with that wooly midrange they're known for. Slightly better headstage/ image placement, and punchier bass on the Westone. [Noble 'X'] Again, for the first few minutes, not bad. But the bass eventually draws my attention. It's not on every track; and I can eventually get used to it most of the time. But when switching back to the EDC, I'm like, "Oh, there's the vocals!" (Again, think HD600 vs 650.) The Noble has better headstage and details, the kind that you're used to getting from the more expensive stuff. So I'm torn between those things and the preferable tonality of the EDC. [UE TripleFi Custom] I threw these in here for fun since they have a similar configuration (3-driver BA) and just in case you were curious what these sound like in custom shells. Tonally the UEs are like the 'X' with slightly less bass; or another way of looking at it is like the EDC with less midrange presence. Details and headstage are closer to the EDC. [Westone W4 Custom] Note that these sound very close to the stock/ universal W4 (from memory), which in turn are the same as the (current) W40. Tonally the Westones are a bit wonky, with that Westone wooliness, some randomly placed sparkle, and soft bass. The EDC is more forward sounding and beats the Westone hands down tonally. For headstage and details, the Westone might have the slightest edge but that doesn't make up for the EDC's superior tonality. [Inearz P250] These are entry-level customs from the same folks who did my re-shells. It's reportedly built around a Sonion AcuPass 2-way BA unit. Tonally these are very close. The EDC may have a bit more upper-midrange, thus giving the impression of more clarity and sounding a bit more forward. But otherwise I think these are very close.

    Well, there you have it. The EDC3 reminds me of the Sennheiser HD558 in one respect: A friend of mine had the 558s at work and my thoughts were that they sounded good- nothing wrong with them at all. Everyone should have something like these. They're just understandably not the HD600/650 that you and I are familiar with. At the price ($99) there is little excuse not to have a decent, 'neutral-ish' sounding IEM like the EDC3.

    [Some follow-up on the Noble 'X']

    One more thing: After revisiting the Noble 'X', I'm beginning to warm up (no pun intended) to this IEM. The bass/ warmth thing is track dependent; more noticable on some material than others. If I really cared, I could probably fix this with minor EQ. I'm also thinking that maybe it's not just the quantity of bass, but the frequency as well as the dynamics/ attack. They seem to be quite articulate in the middle (90hz?) to upper bass area, which makes any extra volume there, even if it's just a tiny bit, more noticable. Plus the top end is a bit laid back IMO. My feelings on these may also be affected by it being such a close relative of the Savant, making any departure from that sound subject to critique. FWIW, my current IEM favorites are still the UE7 on the road(w/bass boost EQ), and the Oriolus Forsteni (yes, slightly over the Oriolus mk2).
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  15. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I just wish that they weren't called the erectile dysfunction canalphones 3.
     
  16. scapeinator1

    scapeinator1 Once You Go Black You'll Never Go Back

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    I have to see if I can try these at some point. I would be very curious to see how they compare to the HEM6 soundwise. I doubt they are identical though. If anything the HEM6 always struck me as a bit muted in the 1-3 khz region that these seem to be boosted in. Through casually playing around with EQ and boosting there by like 5 db it always seemed to wake up the HEM6 a bit (like a dash of lemon or something). I think I remember that some people were recommending the HEM6 for classical music in the HEM thread but I've recently felt like the muted sound robbed strings (esp violins) of their presence and the "chills" factor as well as a general lack of "air".

    If the EDC3 is poised to solve that problem, then I'd definitely be curious about them. Frankly I could do without the pelican case that the HEM6 came with in exchange for better cables and improved performance/removal of the veil of the HEM6 at a dramatically reduced cost.

    Perhaps I'll post full comments on the HEM thread at some point but long story short: as long as Nuforce and Massdrop didn't mess up the existing ergonomics and what was good about the HEM6 sound (and all signs point to this not being an issue) I really can't see any reason you should ever buy the HEM6 over this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  17. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    That distortion profile looks a lot better than the Plus. These use one BA for bass and two for mid+treb so that makes sense. But why are they so different between channels though? Was the right side run at a higher level?
     
  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    @CEE TEE any chance that these (or other upcoming) MD IEMs can include an optional Lightning cable (for +$) for futuristic iPhone models with no headphone jack?
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Same level. Could be seal or less than perfect tolerances considering the price point.
     
  20. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Just noticed the different bass response in the fr graphs. Probably seal if the sides didn't sound noticeably different
     

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