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

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

  1. RiversideTurnips

    RiversideTurnips Rando

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  2. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    @james444 Thanks for the Melomania review. I was struggling to find a pair of wireless earphones without some fatal flaw or another, and bought these for my father. I only got to try them briefly but they are the real deal. Performance is great, tonality was really nice, and they have a larger more holographic presentation than I would have expected from an IEM.

    If someone wants pumping bass these may be too neutral for them. Used with an iPhone 6 the latency in pausing and playing was pretty low, but not immediate. So I’m unsure how they’d fair with video. Volume level may be a bit shy for some, it was for me with an older Bob Marley recording that was lower in level than the other tracks I tried by Adele and Tom Jones. But otherwise seemed okay at max volume.

    I’m very tempted to get a pair for myself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  3. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I understand the dictionary definition of Melomania but why in the world would you name your product something that sounds like the worst kind of skin cancer? Henceforth this IEM shall be known as the Cambridge audio melanoma.
     
  5. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    @james444 I don’t know, my brother set it up for him. But I expect you’re right, I’ll get him to try it. Thanks.

    @zerodeefex At last night’s birthday dinner:
    Someone: “What are they called?”
    Fiancé: “Melanoma?”
    Me: “Oh nice, I’m getting my dad cancer for his birthday!”
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  6. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Mike at Perfect Seal is considering offering an 8 strand silver plated OCC copper cable for his IEMs here is what the review sample he sent me looks like:

    [​IMG]

    The cables look great and are very supple. I like not having the plastic ear guides. When Mike sent these to me he had not even listened to them himself yet, just asked me for my honest opinion and I could keep the cables. He told me he expected to sell them for about $100. No markings on the cables to determine who made them.

    I reviewed the Decas earlier with the stock Plastics1 cable Mike used when he tuned the Decas and remarked how close to HD800S they sounded to my ears with the advantage of more low bass with better definition. I have been listening to the new cables for a few weeks. Sound has not changed over that time, I have not noticed any burn in.

    The first thing that hit me when I used the OCC cables was they were noticeably warm sounding compared to the stock Plastics1. There was a mid bass emphasis that seemed to bleed into the midrange affecting imaging and timbre of voices.

    One live recording I like to use as a reference is Suzanne Vega's "In Concert (Live at the Coach House, San Juan Capistano 1993)". It is a good live recording and it is easy to hear the venue, room echoes, etc. When I put the OCC cables on the Decas it made a live recording sound warm and a bit hazy: I was not hearing the venue as well as when using the stock cables. The sound was not as transparent as the stock cables.

    I switched the Vali 2 for a Magni 3 and did find the OCC cables made listening to the solid state Magni 3 more enjoyable, they warmed up an amp I felt was too lean. Did not improve the staging though. Magni 3 still presents sound as if on a flat plate centered on my ears while Vali 2 adds real depth to the stage.

    In this case it seems best to stick with the cables Mike used to tune the Decas with. However if you are using a SS amp and need some warmth the OCC cables might work well for you. Right now I am just enjoying the Decas with the stock Plastics1 cables.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  7. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Hello @james444. Have you heard of Erato? Supposedly they were the first to release true wireless IEMs. By chance I spotted a photo of the Erato Verse and it had more than a passing resemblance to the Cambridge Audio Melomania. So I took a look at the specs and they’re uncannily similar, comparatively poor battery life aside. 5.8mm graphene driver, same codecs, IPX5, similar weight, and the internal component view is also notable. Amazon comments regarding fit seem to echo the same issues.

    Not sure what the RRP is supposed to be but they’re currently about £20 in white and £55 for black here on Amazon, whereas the Melomania go for £120.

    Erato Verse
    http://www.eratolife.com/en/products/verse-true-wireless-earphones
    Specs: http://erato.life/en/verse#1484945812745-5ad2d27e-43da

    Melomania
    https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/melomania-1
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  8. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  9. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    The Eratos have been around for quite some time. Maybe the Cambridge Audios are based on those, but they support Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX, AAC, SBC (vs. just BT 4.2 and AAC, SBC on the Eratos). The driver could be the same, but pretty sure the chip inside is different. For £20, they may well be worth a try though.
     
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  10. Augmentin

    Augmentin MOT - DUNU IEM Company

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    The Melomania chip uses Qualcomm's QCC3026 run in Stereo Plus mode, which wasn't available until the BT 5.0 chipsets rolled out. The Erato might be a predecessor to the Melomania, and might even be from the same OEM, but there are differences to its charging sites --- the Melomania charges from its speaker grilles while the Erato charges via two contact points in the rear, and various other changes. I vaguely remember hearing the Erato over a year ago, and I thought it sounded pretty average, while I really enjoyed the sound of the Melomania from the get go.
     
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  11. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    I received the Verse today, unfortunately I don’t have a Melomania to directly compare to. They do not immediately impress as the Melomania did. The staging is smaller, performance is decent but certainly behind, and there is far too much of a broad emphasis in the lower treble. For £20 they’re very nice indeed, and the bluetooth connection worked without a hitch with an iPhone. But even at that price I won’t be using them due to the tonality issues, of which I have no tolerence for. Considering the Verse at full price the Melomania is easily the superior product by some margin.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Going ahead and crossposting this here. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked about this.

     
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  13. Bruno

    Bruno Rando

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    @shotgunshane What do you think about the Earsonics ES3 2019 ?

    Carefully,
    Bruno
     
  14. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I haven’t heard any of the newer Earsonics models the last few years.

    I’m not a fan of the old Earsonics house sound. Not sure if newer models follow the same formula. Old house sound was a lot of mid bass and very scooped upper mids. A common trait of in-ear stage monitors of old. Westone and Shure often tune this way too, or at least have over the years. Due to this, I’ve had no interest in trying to get my hands on these 3 brands to try out.
     
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  15. Bruno

    Bruno Rando

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    Hello, you have to give one more chance there earsonics hehehehe.
    And about the Sepiral Ear brand already tried any? As for what I've read, the impression everyone says is that they're fantastic.
    Thanks for your response.

    Sincerely,
    Bruno
     
  16. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Always wanted to try Spiral Ears but never did. @La Cenric (aka Crincale) has heard and measured the SE5, If I’m not mistaken. My understanding is the bass may be purposefully out of phase to induce a unique head stage. Hey may be able to elaborate.
     
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  17. Bruno

    Bruno Rando

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    [QUOTE = "shotgunshane, post: 268413, member: 32"] Sempre quis experimentar o Spiral Ears, mas nunca o fiz. [USER = 3241] @La Cenric [/ USER] (aka Crincale) ouviu e mediu o SE5, se não me engano. Meu entendimento é que o baixo pode estar intencionalmente fora de fase para induzir um estágio único da cabeça. Hey pode ser capaz de elaborar. [/ QUOTE]

    Everything I've read so far is just amazing, but nothing to try
     
  18. La Cenric

    La Cenric Friend

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    I've heard three SE5Us so far. One was pretty great, the other two are garbage. Since it's 2 against 1, I'm assuming that the garbage units are the representative.

    Yeah, Spiral Ears plays around with phase a lot, to the point where you can kind of say that the SE5U has a bunch of phasing issues (that manifest themselves as high-Q cancellations on FR) but I think that if done well, these kinds of tricks and gimmicks could work well in terms of imaging.

    My only problem is that it has virtually no treble. I see the reviews out there talking about how the treble is the most natural, or how it's smooth and whatever variation of fluffy meaningless descriptors. I think anyone who had ever heard the SE5U and isn't part of the Spiral Ears clique would agree that it's just way too dark to be taken seriously.
     
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  19. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    I may be wrong, but from what I've been gathering, they use an in-phase primary woofer together with a delayed secondary woofer. Possibly to emulate the longer bass decay of dynamic drivers, which would at least be an interesting idea.

    Overall FR seems to follow the Etymotic DF-target, albeit with some bass boost. Like with the ER4S, there doesn't seem to be much air on top, so I'm not surprised if the added bass boost + prolonged decay makes it a dark sounding IEM.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  20. Bruno

    Bruno Rando

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    @La Cenric I contacted Spiral Ear, which for my budget recommended the SE 3 way reference, for my budget of 1000 € what do you think? I was also eyeing the Earsonics EM4. I use daily between 7/8 hours, I want the maximum comfort / isolation, my musical genres go through Rock, Pop, and electronics. That said what do you think? And also what I would recommend or if it is a good buy the two I mentioned.
    Thanks for your reply above.

    Sincerely,
    Bruno
     

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