shotgunshane’s IEM (custom and universal) recommendations, favorites and classics

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by shotgunshane, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    Unfortunately I no longer have the PP8 to compare directly.

    Edit: I can say I very slightly preferred the PP8 over Andromeda. I believe I've got a comparison of those two in this thread (if not it's in another thread on this site). From memory I'd say the Solaris would also improve on most of the same things against the PP8- separation, layering, sense of space front to back. The PP8 was pretty resolving, so the spread might be a little less but Solaris is still a step ahead. Where the two are going to differ most is in-between 4-7k and this is where I'd really need to directly compare to give you some worthwhile feedback.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 6:55 AM
    Nordpol Anton likes this.
  2. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    910
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    I was on the loaner tour of the PP8's almost exactly a year ago and liked them, but preferred the Andro's. Here's what I had to say about the PP8's back then:

    "My experience with them matches very closely to @cskippy in many ways. I found the mids and mid bass to be very clear and impactful, but they could indeed seem a bit congested in other frequency zones. Male vocals worked well, but I wasn't as happy with female vocals, and the upper end really just didn't do it for me. On the other hand, those mids were very, very good. I did like how lightweight the PP8's were - they don't weigh much but seem to be well made and solid (as strange as that might seem). Also I didn't have any issues with fit at all. So a well made IEM, but not for me - I'll stick with my Andro's any day of the week."

    My thoughts on the Solaris are spread all across the Solaris impressions thread (https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/campfire-audio-solaris-raising-the-bar.6926/) so I won't do a big cut-and-paste job on those.

    Like Shane I don't have the PP8s now as would be needed to do a proper comparison with the Solaris. However, by power of the Transitive Property (I think that's correct - been a long time since my last math class) I can state the following: "Given that I like the Andros better than the PP8, and the Solaris better than the Andros, I feel confident I prefer the Solaris over the PP8."

    Hope that helps!
     
    Kunlun and Nordpol Anton like this.
  3. obsiCO

    obsiCO Thai Fish Experiment Gone Wrong

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    216
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Here's another comment gushing about Pioneer CH3T. Picked one up at $24 to give to a good friend of mine. My expectations were low at first thanks to my past experience with other budget dynamic IEMs. Long story short, I really like it and regret giving it out. It just sounds right. For the price, you can't really go wrong with this.

    CH3T hits me with its excellent clarity right off the bat, unheard of at its price-point. I would actually rank its clarity at about 90% of CA Orion or at about 70% of Andromeda. It sounds nicely punchy, tight and controlled with good attack, all while sounding mostly realistic (compared to Andro's BA characteristics). FR is tipped slightly bright of neutral with a weird dip somewhere that had me decreasing/increasing volume to find that sweet spot*, which can easily be modded out. And as @james444 said, it sounds unexpectedly big for the price with quite coherent staging. Oh, and it sits nicely in the ears, too -- really comfortable. All this comes together to make CH3T quite an involving listen. I had to force myself to stop listening and just gave it out to my friend who I meant to give this to in the first place.

    If I were to nitpick, I wish it could have a bit more bass extension and a fuller midrange. It's a bit hard to drive, had to crank up to full volume on my phone, or at 100 volume level on ZX300 SE. It also doesn't block much sound from outside so wearing this on a plane is a no-go. Other than those above points, there are no glaring flaws that make me want to take it out after a while. I could listen for hours on end - it just sounds right to me.

    I did a fun test with friends with CH3T. I let them try it and guess the price. Most guessed the price at $180-250**. Some even, please take this with a grain of salt, prefer this to CA Orion for its more realistic tone. I myself would take CH3T over a PortaPro thanks to its clarity, or even some other entry-level full-sized headphones like DT770 or MSR7. If only I could terminate it with a 4.4 balanced jack!

    It's not going to replace my Andromeda + ZX300 combo obviously, but it gets to 60% of the way there*** at 10% the price. CH3T is a heck of a great deal.

    Thank you @james444 for the recommendation! This actually has me curious how good a modded FD01 could sound.

    * Reminded me of my time trying out Focal Elear after getting so used to HD650, but not as dramatic.
    ** Their faces when I told them the price: priceless.
    *** In stuff that matters to me for an IEM, in order: neutral-ish FR, macrodynamic/punchiness, clarity, resolution.
    **** Tested with Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, The 1975's A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, and some weeb music.
     
  4. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    595
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Finland
    @james444 How would these stack up to the Hifiwalkers?
     
  5. james444

    james444 Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    886
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Sound signatures are pretty different. The Hifiwalkers are both bassier and more treble-forward. The CH3T's slight bass roll-off and scooped lower treble make them sound quite a bit more mid-centric in comparison. The Hifiwalkers are more aggressively detailed and can sound borderline sibilant at times. The CH3T are more relaxed and forgiving, but with enough detail resolution to avoid sounding muddy or blurred.

    [​IMG]
     
    Walderstorn, FlySweep, Soups and 3 others like this.
  6. james444

    james444 Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    886
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Here's a sneak peek at my latest modding project, which will allow people to experience the modded FD01's sound signature at roughly 1/10th of its price. It won't sound quite as refined as the real FD01, but will be really close in most other aspects.

    I just need a bit more time to improve reliability / repeatability of the mod, and to write a tutorial. I'm currently swamped with work and all sorts of obligations, so bear with me... it will be worth the wait. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    spoony, Walderstorn, drkwntr and 10 others like this.
  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    993
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
    Pioneer SECH3 impressions based on the all-too-brief lifetime of my pair (see my profile for the tragic story):

    Straight out of the box I did NOT like these. The stock medium tips fit me just fine and were comfortable, but low bass was rolled off and the treble spike (which I recorded around 10 kHz) made cymbals sound unbearably hashy/scratchy. The 80% micropore filter trick tidied the treble timbre up very well though.

    Commuting to work showed that the stock tips in my ears gave terrible isolation. Subsequently trying with Spiral Dots improved isolation and bass, but not as much as I'd hoped. The rest is history, as is the R driver...

    I concur with @Brause that these are very tip-sensitive, and with @obsiCO that these are not be for commuting/flying (unless maybe you try them with foams, in which case a bit more playing with the front filter might be required to get the treble right). My primary use for IEMs is commuting and I'm a foam-hater, so I probably won't be buying another pair.
     
    james444, Brause and obsiCO like this.
  8. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    The Moondrop Kanas Pro arrived a few days ago. I’ve put a couple of days run in on them.

    As hoped they are in the neutral ballpark with a deep bass boost. I personally would have liked less deep bass and make the bass as whole more linear while maintaining a gentle boost. I think that would give the overall signature a little more heft, richness and balance. As tuned it’s a bit on the dry side with obvious rumble lift, which feels a little aloof and less engaging.

    The overall build is really, really nice. The housings are shiny with a hefty feeling of quality. I’m assuming a stainless steel with chromed finish. The nozzles are part of the two piece housing, and there is a nice metal screen recessed into the nozzle.

    The supplied cable is freaking great. Looks like thinly braided copper and spc cores. It’s not too thick, not too thin and masterfully pliable with virtually no memory. All it’s misisng is a neck slider. Why aren’t cables like this more standard on iems?

    Supplied tips are just ok. I found JVC spiral dots to give the best comfort and sound. While narrower bore tips can warm the sound a bit, they seem to narrow treble bandwidth and simultaniously exacerbating treble peaks. Spiral dot tips sound smoother and more extended, if a hair brighter. Staging is just average at best. I’m certainly spoiled with the likes of Solaris in the house.

    Overall they’re a pretty good iem and a solid performer for the money. It’s nice to finally see more neutrally tuned dynamic driver offerings. I’d say overall these might be more neutral than a modded JVC FD01 but the modded JVC is a sigificant step up on most other SQ criteria. If budget allows, I’d always recommend the FD01 first but if budget is limited under $200 and a neutralish is a must, then the Kanas Pro should definitely be on your list to consider.
     
  9. Brause

    Brause Rando

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Here my comparison of the CH3's frequency responses, taped (micropore, nozzle 80% covered) and as is. Did I get a revised model?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    993
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
    I suspect your insertion depth was less than mine (I used the stock med tips, inserted so the end of the skirt was flush with the end of the coupler). That would be consistent with the treble peak being at a lower frequency and your bass rolloff being more than mine.

    Note for other viewers: Brause and I have identical coupler/microphone setups.

    Edit: ...which will obviously give different results from James's EARS rig.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 3:08 PM
  11. Brause

    Brause Rando

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    19
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    In order to minimize my measurement error due to insertion depth/optimize my precision, I always do several measurements alternating between earpieces. This way, my insertion depth always varies minimally...but here I got the same result with three measurements.

    I also use a standard tip for all my measurements.

    I just did the same micropore mod on a couple of old Knowledge Zenith models, where it really made a difference. Again, I repeated my measurements. In the case, the 95% micropore taping removed a 6-7 kHz peak.

    [​IMG]

    My "unmodded" treble peaks correlate reasonably well with audiobudget's red graph [his channel imbalance in the treble area is essentially identical to the imbalances in my two ED3 units; this must be a manufacturing flaw].

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Mimouille

    Mimouille Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    163
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    China
    Thanks, I tried these and agree on the slightly dry sound. Like I said I found the Moondrop Liebesleid very good as well, better actually. But being an earbud the use is different

    Now I am curious, if budget is no object, would modded FD01 still be your top in dynamics? If we include hybrids, would Solaris take the cake. On brief listening, the Solaris didn't do it for me...something in the tone. Some people say the mids have a hollowness, maybe that's it, not sure.
     
    jafnvaegi, Augmentin and shotgunshane like this.
  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    I haven’t heard a lot of the newer dynamic driver offerings, so I can’t say for sure. Although I suspect most are too bassy for my preferences. I really enjoyed the FD01 mod loaner when i had it. The new Sony IER-Z1R looks like it could be very good though. I really want to hear it.

    So far Solaris takes the cake. The hollowness is in the 4K-7K area, which is mostly lower treble. It certainly affects treble timbre and tonality, and thats the one area I definitely prefer Andromeda over it. I think it’s relatively minor but I’m most picky with treble. Otherwise bass and mids are superb, which are covered by the dynamic driver from my understanding.

    Moondrop has a new 13.5mm single DLC dynamic coming out soon that might be interesting. And the Dunu DK-4001 is headed my way soon. Really looking forward to that one.
     
    jafnvaegi, mscott58, james444 and 2 others like this.
  14. james444

    james444 Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    886
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Unfortunately, 4K-7K is precisely the area in which up to 5dB inter-unit variance has been measured. As I see it, this makes the Solaris a bt of a gamble. One may like a demo unit and not mind a slight hollowness, but who can say that the purchased unit won't sound more severly scooped in that area?

    Personally, I think that inter-unit variance is hard to avoid with full range DDs firing alongside BAs, particularly if the hybrids are hand-made. But at $1500, I'd feel more confident if I knew the desired tuning target and the deviation a manufacturer is willing to accept.

    Not trying to bash the Solaris in any way, just want to address the moderately sized elephant in the room. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 12:57 AM
  15. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    Unit/product variation would be a very interesting study. I suspect it is much more wide spread than we know and not just in relation to hybrids. Just checking Knowles spec sheets on different popular driver models will show various amounts of deviation and still be in 'spec'. Some models have relatively small deviation allowances, say 4db or less at specified frequencies, while others have much, much larger spreads that are still in spec. And I would assume Knowles to have a high degree tighter spec than other armature competitors.
     
  16. Mimouille

    Mimouille Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    163
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    China
    The real elephant in the room is them, they are huge and ugly, this is what stops me so far....
     
    jafnvaegi and buonassi like this.
  17. Mimouille

    Mimouille Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    163
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    China
    Hey guys I thought I would share some feedback from the Beijing Show. I have spend a couple of hours and had the opportunity to try a lot of new stuff, mostly out of my Lotoo Paw Gold 2017.

    Unique Melody: their new 3D printed Titanium stuff looks nice. The Mirage, which includes their new open BA technology, sounds super smooth, if that is what out like. The Maven is more of a classic but high performance BA. I prefer it over the Mason V3.

    Campfire : I gave the Solaris another go, and these deserve the hype. They are one of the best alrounders I have heard at any price if you like a fun well balanced sound with excellent technicalities. The things that keeps me from buying a pair is that I find them large and not too pretty...despite that they remain comfortable and are super well built.

    Dita had the Project 71 on demo. The attached cable, which will be sold separately is awesome. Flexible, not tangly, pretty, and with switchable jacks. The cable is called project Oslo. The Project 71 IEMs are small, comfortable, and have one of best build and finish I have seen on an IEM. In terms of sound, they approach perfection...if you like warm and intimate sound. I would have bought them in a second with a touch more air or less warmth.

    JVC : I did a second round of trials on the JVC stuff. The FW10000 is very nice but something is missing for me...not dynamic enough...certainly good for smooth jazz. The FD01 is definitely too bright even though it performs very well.

    FAudio : Their single dynamic, the Major is certainly one of the best tuned dynamics out there, but at the 1.5k or so price, it fails to impress me. I also tried two prototypes, X and Y. The X is a nice sounding 9 BA. The Y is maybe the best thing I listened to at the whole show. It is a BA-dynamic-electrostat tweeter, like the Trinity of the Khan, and it sounds lovely. Engaging, with awesome yet controlled bass, full mids, great imaging. I can't wait for it to get out.

    Jomo: I tried the Trinity to compare to Faudio project Y. I had to use the Lotoo Paw Touch in balanced mode because they had only a 4.4 at that moment, but I put my music on it. It sounds nice but didn't bluff me. I clearly liked the Y prototype from Faudio significantly more.

    Acoustune : I tried the 1670SS. The build is nice but the finish is not as high end as I expected from pictures. It sounds nice and clear, a good dynamic, but nothing to write home about either. Also, I think it would be uncomfortable for me in the long run.

    My winners, in this order : Faudio Y prototype, Solaris and Dita 71 (if you like warm tuning).
     
    jafnvaegi, FlySweep, obsiCO and 6 others like this.
  18. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    Lol, I don't think they look bad. Much better in person. They don't stick out as far as I thought they would. But they do make my Andromeda seem small in comparison though! There have been other expensive iems that are much uglier but I suppose it's all fairly subjective, and while gold is in I suspect many will be turned off by it. I usually find it funny when people think these chain sized boutique custom cables look 'sexy'.
     
  19. Mimouille

    Mimouille Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    163
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    China
    Yeah, I wish they put out a limited all matte black version (I'm talkin' to you Mr Ball)
     
    JK47 and shotgunshane like this.
  20. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    283
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Europe

    Because of your comments i went to look for them and the 1670SS reminded me of the IMR model that is coming this month:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They are not totally alike so this was more of a curiosity.

    The Faudio Y prototype, is there any price bracket mentioned or...?
     

Share This Page