UE Pro Reference Remastered (UERR/UERM v2)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Chris F, Nov 19, 2015.

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  1. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    My etymotic HF2s are falling apart. I love their neutral sound whereby the lows, mids and highs are not accentuated, good enough for classical music, my main listening genre. Their sound isolation is also useful especially in noisy surroundings. Of course compared to my speaker (Yggdrasil-> Rag -> Monitor audio GX100) or headphone (HD800S) setup they are veiled and bass light.

    I was aiming for the UERR but the above reports seem to suggest that they are not as neutral as the now discontinued UERM.

    Should I still go for the UERR? My aim is neutrality with a speaker-like flat resolving sound without any major dips in frequency range.

    Should I instead stick to the etymotics and go for their flagship ER4P with ER4S adapter?

    I was also eager to get my hands on the GO V2+ as portable dac/amp and complete my ultimate portable setup. However it looks like LHLabs are still not delivering their product. I am also unsure whether the GO V2+ would be a good pairing with the UERR or ER4P/S

    If the UERM remains the gold-standard, is it feasable to buy a used pair and have the cutoms refashioned?

    Thanks for any useful advice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  2. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The RR is still fairly neutral, albeit a bit midcentric due to the shelved treble. While I greatly prefer the RM tuning, the RR sounds pretty great with a little treble EQ.

    I found the v2+ a little too bright with the RM but I'd be willing to bet it would be a much better match with the RR, since it's darker than the RM.
     
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  3. VooX

    VooX Rando

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    There must be a typo here. There is absolutely no truth to the statement that the UERR are -10 dB above 1.5kHz compared to the UERM. -10 dB is a massive change. I have not heard the UERM, but they are considered a neutral sounding IEM. I have heard the UERR which are absolutely neutral sounding. If the 10 dB difference above 1.5 kHz were true, the UERM would never be considered a neutral sounding IEM.

    You also claim that the iPhone 6S+ ouput impedance of 3.3 ohms is insufficient to drive the UERR.

    According to Ken Rockwell, the iPhone's output impedance is 3.18 ohm @ 1 kHz. The UERR have an impedance of 35 ohm @ 1 kHz, according to the manufacturer. Facing an impedance of 37.5 ohm, Rockwell measured a voltage of 0.920 V coming from the iPhone's headphone amplifier. This is more than sufficient to drive the UERR to very loud levels.

    Furthermore, an input : output impedance ratio of greater than 10:1 is the best possible scenario. This is according to Bob McCarthy, one of the world's leading system optimization experts. You can read further into this subject in his book on system optimization which is the best book ever written on the subject.

    @shotgunshane, I do not think you are intentionally misleading members but your posts thus far in this thread contain clearly inaccurate statements. While your subjective opinion is your own, and I respect everyone's right to state their opinion, you make objective statements that are misinformed and may give other readers false information with which to make decisions.

    As a professional audio engineer, I can confidently say that the UERR are a neutral sounding and pleasant IEM to listen to. I have no hesitation using the UERR as a professional tool when I am mixing IEM monitors. I consider them to be accurate enough to use as a sonic reference when making mix decisions. And they sound just fine coming out of an iPhone's headphone jack.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  4. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    What's happening is that people who have the UERM, which has treble spikes and a rolled off sub-bass, are responding to the UERR.

    The UERR seems like (and to my ear) a more neutral tuning. Measurements will start to bear that out.

    We're so used to thinking the treble-spiked, NS-10 tuned UERM is neutral that people are saying that the treble-flat UERR is less neutral than the treble-spiked UERM.

    This will change over time and some people will probably conclude that they don't like a flat tuning. Jerry Harvey will fart in his sleep each time that happens. Should be interesting to watch tastes evolve.

    In the meantime, if you want a flat tuning, get the UERR, but be careful, because getting what you want is sometimes not the blessing it seems.
     
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  5. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    Time for a small update. I have owned the UERR for over a month and they have really grown on me. I see them as highly complementary to the UERM and use both as a reference when I do any remastering work on my LP transfers.

    My latest observation or realization is that the UERR are highly transparent (honest) to the source. For me this means that if the source is fatiguing, I will get fatigue. I don't get any fatigue with my turntable setup, I could listen to that all day and it is spectacular. I can put on a recording that is brutally bright and all I hear is that, yep, it's bright but no fatigue. I can't say the same listening to youtube, tidal or even listening to my own transfers using the headphone out on my laptop or my phone. Yes it's still very enjoyable but the UERR is doing a great job of showing me the deficiencies in the source. (note: Mutec/Yggdrasil is vastly vastly better but still way behind the TT)

    Also, for the first time in a couple months I pulled my 650 and LCD-3F off the shelf for a quick listen. No contest, UERR is in a different league. The only criticism I have is the intimate imaging/stage of UERR where I felt the LCD3 was doing a lot better. All other parameters are a landslide victory for UERR.
     
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  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I find your post to be unnecessarily confrontational, incorrect in summary and boorish too boot.

    Ken Rockwell has not measured the 6S+ to my knowledge. The only review I see is the 6+ from 2014. The iPhone 6S thread at HF has links to measured output impedance which I remember around 3.3 ohms. But if you want to call me out for a possible 0.12 ohm exaggeration, have at it.

    Obviously you have no clue how output impedance affects multi-armature designs. The impedance of a multi-armature iem is not linear. It has peaks and valleys much like a frequency response graph. An impedance measurement at one static point of 1k is almost completely meaningless. For instance, UE rated the RM as 21 ohms at 1k, however measurements showed the impedance dips to nearly 11 ohms from 6k thru 10k. So small amounts of output impedance can and does make the RM darker. I've found the RR to be even more sensitive to small amounts of output impedance. In other words, the RR gets darker on the iPhone. Chances are the RR has a similar impedance graph as the RM and dips pretty low in middle treble. It already has shelved down treble and the iPhone made it darker to my ears.

    10db's down a mistake? Perhaps. My measurements are posted in this thread. It is 10ohms down at several points. For what it's worth, my Veritas coupler has been calibrated against an IEC coupler and compensation created to give it a more accurate response. It's it perfect? Hardly. But for comparative purposes it does validate my perception of shelved down treble and shows some significant differences between the models.

    Next time don't be such and ass and engage me in friendly conversation.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  7. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    I ended up selling HD800S and keeping UERR as I actually prefer the intimate staging. Similar tuning, but with HD800S I kept feeling like I needed to 'pull my chair forward', the staging/imaging seemed too distant at the expense of engagement. To each their own, etc.

    If you can deal with IEMs then UERR could be an endgame reference monitor.
     
  8. CEE TEE

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    My Gear:
    iPhone 6+ (with & without the UE Pro Line Drive), iPhone 4S (paired with Leckerton UHA-6S Mk. II amp section).
    I own UERM, UEPRM, & had a UERR demo loaner unit.

    My impressions:
    I found the UERR to be less sensitive than UERM (have to turn up my amp more with UERR).

    Also, I found the UE Line Drive (designed to address impedance issues such as shotgunshane describes) to add control to the bass and add some additional treble (smaller amount). In direct comparison, the UERR benefits more by use of the $149 UE Line Drive than the UERM. Good news, I think, for those of you who already like UERR straight out of your iPhone. I added my Line Drive to the loaner tour so people could try it.

    Kunlun is not a fan of the UERM treble, but I like it and I totally respect his preferences. I wish that the UERM were still available because I find them different enough in a couple of ways beyond treble peak/quantity. The UERM are more enjoyable to me from a listening perspective. The width of the presentation is bigger and decay more "euphonic/wet" in relation to the UERR. (This might be the first time UERM and "euphonic" have been mentioned in the same sentence. o_O) UERM sound is less "centered" in my head and I've gotten used to that presentation.

    I can understand that the UERR (with a tighter/drier presentation in the mids along with strong center-imaging in headstage) could be better for mastering and some will prefer the "more intimate" staging. Just as jowls prefers the UERR to the HD800S presentation. No coincidence, I love my HD800. I also prefer HD600 with tube amps that make their headstage bigger.

    If you want the UERM? The UE4 is a very clean/clear 2-driver model similar to the UERM tuning/presentation, slightly smoother with vocals, not quite as full-sounding. The UE7 is a little warmer tuning with a bit more relaxed treble than UERM. UEPRM with 50/50/50 tuning is possibly a touch lighter in bass than my UERM from memory (I own both so will do a comparison later when I have time). I'd say UE4 and UEPRM are the closest-sounding to UERM from my time with the line-up.
     
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  9. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Great impressions, CeeTee!

    It's very possible the UERM unit I had on loan was more piercing than a custom fit unit would be.

    How did you find cymbals on the UERR versus UERM?

    Was the UERR's treble dull or not engaging for you or was there another part of the sound that brought the UERM's sound to the front for you? I can see how ChrisF found the UERR to grow on him over time, it's that kind of tuning.

    Also, a ueprm versus uerr would be welcome!
     
  10. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Does anyone have any impressions of the UERR vs Campfire Audio Jupiter? Just heard the Jupiter yesterday and it seems like the intended tuning is quite similar, but the Jupiter sounded much more cohesive compared to my memory of the UERR demos IMO.
     
  11. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Damnit, now I'm going to regret not being on the Jupiter tour.

    People said it had more treble energy than the UERM! Augh!
     
  12. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    It's still here, with me actually. I'm pretty sure folks wouldn't mind a delay of a few days if you wanted some time with it. I've been enjoying it. Easily superior to the 4S.
     
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  13. Dr. Higgs

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    Hahahaha, I lucked out that @sphinxvc had them in his pocket when I met up with him yesterday. I only listened extremely briefly, but didn't notice any excessive treble energy (coming from a regular UERM user...). They were much warmer than the UERM but it was very tastefully done IMO.

    Might consider picking up a pair as a UERM backup after I sell my backlog of gear that I don't listen to anymore.
     
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  14. The Life

    The Life Facebook Friend

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    You should give the Noble 4/4c/4s/Savanna a listen. Sounds like what you are after.
     
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  15. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Hot damn yes
     
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  16. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    UE4 is great monitor IMHO. Unbelievable value, it's like a slightly less resolving (and less peaky) UERM for 40% of the price...
     
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  17. VooX

    VooX Rando

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    This forum is supposed to be for matters of informed discussion. Not some of the nonsense you have written. I will definitely confront you on it. Call it boorish if you like, but the misinformation you are spreading needs to be called out.

    To say that the UERR frequency response is -10 dB above 1.5 kHz is an outright falsehood. My ears tell me this, I don't need a measurement device to know this is a very inaccurate and misleading claim. Even without a coherence trace, which you are not measuring as you should be, I can tell you from experience that the supposed 10 dB dips in frequency response you measured are caused by measurement errors and not a design flaw of the UERR.

    I highly doubt your measurement rig is even remotely accurate. A Veritas coupler is sold as a budget measurement device. You cannot derive accurate compensation curves with an "IEC coupler" as you claim to have done, you need a very expensive laboratory-grade measurement system. Something that I am willing to bet that you do not have. Nor have you sent your equipment to a certified lab to derive accurate compensation curves. If it would even be possible to do so with your setup.

    I own five IEC 61672 Class 1 certified measurement microphones. They each have exact calibration curves from the manufacturer derived from certified laboratory-grade measurement devices and techniques. In fact, my measurement rig easily exceeds IEC 61672 Class 1 standards for accuracy. I am experienced and trained to professionally measure, analyse, and calibrate audio systems at the highest level and am paid to do so on a regular basis.

    Yet I still would not use my rig to measure headphones because of the inaccuracies I would create trying to replicate the human head and ear canal without the proper equipment to do so. The ONLY online headphone measurements I trust so far are @Tyll Hertsens' measurements. He has the proper equipment and techniques to derive accurate measurements. And kudos to him for the wonderful data he publishes. It is a gift to the online community. Your measurement system is completely lacking, nevermind the inaccuracies of your coupler which is not IEC 60318-4 compliant.

    While I have the equipment to measure impedance curves, I don't need to. That is the domain of component designers and repair shops. All I need to do as an end-user is correctly match the audio devices in my chain for proper performance. While you assert that I have no clue how output impedance affects multiple-armature designs, nothing could be further from the truth. Admittedly, I am not an electronics expert. I am only an audio expert.

    While an IEM's sound delivery mechanism differ from loudspeakers, being armatures and not cone, compression, or ribbon drivers, the physics are exactly the same. What I stated in my previous post is not inaccurate as you claim. The output impedence of the iPhone is low enough relative to the IEM's load impedance to minimize any frequency changes.

    Allow me to quote the systems expert, Bob McCarthy, for you in a brief excerpt from his book. Emphasis are his.

    Let's also think about this logically. Professional IEMs are designed to function with wireless beltpacks not AC powered amplifiers. Common units seen on major tours include Shure's P9RA and Sennheiser's EK 2000 IEM wireless bodypack receivers. They are powered by 2 x 1.5V batteries and both have a maximum output of 100 mW per channel at a specified IEM impedance of 32 ohms, which is very close to the UERR's 35 ohm impedance. While I cannot find the exact output impedance of the beltpacks, I would be shocked if the value was lower than 2.5 ohms at 1 kHz. I feel confident that it is closer to 3.0-3.5 ohms as this is closer to the minimum desired 10 : 1 ratio when driving pro IEMs.

    The iPhone lacks the voltage gain of wireless bodypack receivers. But it certainly can drive IEMs to ear-damaging levels. The impedance curve of the IEMs would not be any limitation to sound reproduction as the iPhone is in the same output impedance range as the IEM's intended bodypack amplifiers. The bodypacks have more voltage gain than the iPhone as the bodypacks are designed to provide sufficient sound levels to musicians who may have extensive hearing damage on stages with 100 dB or more of ambient noise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  18. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Impedance curve of the UERM:
    As you can see, it varies between around 10ohm at around 6-8kHz and 80ohms at 550Hz.

    This is the effect a 3ohm output impedance has on the UERM:
    Effect of 3ohm output impedance on UERM.png

    Please do not say that -3db at 6-10kHz is inaudible, I can even hear the 1db bass rolloff.
    If the UERR is even more sensitive to output impedance (impedance varies even more) then I can't see how a 3ohm output impedance would be low enough.

    EDIT: I should mention that the ripples in the FR are of course caused by small differences in the insertion depth between when I plugged it in the Leckerton and the Ragnarok.
     
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  19. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I actually compared my custom UERM to a demo version a while back. The comparision was done using my portable GeekOut450 -> Leckerton UHA 6SmkII (Low gain, 4627-1B opamp) stack. I think I had about 1h (or slightly more). Here are my notes:
    • UERM custom is more efficient. WTF. Is this because of insertion depth? (I can't remember how much it was. Maybe the difference between 9am and 11am on the leckerton volume pot.)
    • Can't get deep insertion on the UERM demo. This is probably why the treble peak is lower. Sounds closer to 7kHz rather than 9kHz on my custom.
    • Treble sounds peakier and less smooth, too. Also less extended in the very high treble. Might be related to insertion depth. The peak is more annoying on the demo. The demo actually sounds brighter.
    • UERM custom has a MUCH bigger soundstage AND more precise imaging. This is a huge difference.
    • I also get a much deeper bass on my custom. I think I got a good seal with the demo but I probably still get a better seal with my custom. The demo sounds more muddy and less controlled in comparision (in addition to being rolled off from the midbass on). Maybe my UERM is special because other people complain about the bass extension on their custom.
    • Also the bass on the demo sounds more distorted at loud volumes. Ugh. Even my custom has MUCH higher bass distortion (muddy bass at high volumes) than the HD800.
    • Both sound about equally resolving. Would need more time.
    I actually did this because Anax He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said that his UERM sounded less precise than the demo. Anax has big ear canals, so he managed to get a deeper insertion than me. For my ear canals my custom was clearly superior.
     
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  20. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    @VooX, I worked with UE for a couple of years as a representative and they have the UE Sound Guard for use with wireless belt packs to ensure impedance matching and also to protect against surges.

    The Line Drive does not have the surge protection but was made to help ensure proper performance across the range of sources that audiophiles and audio professionals may be plugging the UERM into.

    I have seen objective evidence that there can be changes to FR over the range of amplifiers that verified my subjective impressions. I'll look for a link to UE University on this topic and post it here later.
     
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