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20 minutes ago, JPJ said:

Nee to the world of IEM’s so this thread has been an invaluable source of information. As a user of some custom moulded ACS filters, I was wondering whether anybody has tested the ACS Pro Line IEM which converts any ACS custom moulded ear plug into an IEM? 

Yes - they are effectively earphone sleeves. The issue is that for bass, they don't really deliver the goods. You need a good multi driver unit to get something worthwhile.

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Just thought I would drop this here - singer with my band has been looking to change her inears and she asked me for a short list of my recommended IEMs. Turns out there's some offers on UE at the moment and she's just gone with UE18+ - which are pretty awesome. As people may know, UE6 and UE18 are my fave from UE. Anyway, for those looking to get into the game, theres some decent savings to be had on the 11, 18s and Lives.

 

http://www.custom-inearmonitors.co.uk/offers.html

 

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Came across the following article which looks useful:  Best In Ear Monitors For Bass Players - How To Maximize Using In Ear Monitors (ericsardinas.com)

 

Shure IEMs seem to get a good rep - and the entry level 215 comes highly recommended on that review. I've got the slightly higher model 315 but a mate of mine has recommended getting the 535 which has 3 drivers rather than just the one in the 315/215s. The 535s have recently been discontinued and are currently on end of line sale, so may not be available for too much longer. Has anyone had experience of either the 315 or 215 and also the 535? If so, did you notice much of a difference between the 535 and the more budget models?

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Shure IEMs tend to get a good rep because they are "Shure" and "Shure" are great, right? And all these people giving them a good rep, what's their experience? What other earphones and reference points have they got - those IEMs that came with their mobile phone? 

 

Conversely, a drummer mate of mine that I pushed the way of UE6s was using Shure 846s - and his words were that his Shure's performance was way, way beneath the experience he was getting from the UE6s.

 

I would never recommend the 215 to any bassplayer. Not even to somebody wanting to dip their toe in the water. The headroom of the ZS10s offer a much better experience for a much lesser cost. I've never said that the ZS are the end game - but a great, cheap entry drug to IEM that will give you the headroom without the distortion, the distortion which tends to be prevalent in the 215 and their lack of headroom.

 

Don't buy on the basis of being Shure - because ultimately, they simply aren't that good, no matter where you are in the model range.

 

I have to say though, in that link, this section is something that I really don't agree with -

 

Quote

 

Use Bass Amplifier

 

Consider combining your bass amplifier with your in-ear monitor if you desire to have a positive and fun experience. You will have more control over sound with bass amplifiers, and you can also produce stage vibrations and bass frequencies which is impossible for an in-ear monitor to create alone.

 

In-ear monitors keep their focus on highs instead of blocking out low frequencies, and there might be complications when the in-ear monitor is forced to do both.

You should use a bass amplifier if you do not want sound distortion, and heart-felt sounds will be produced when a bass amplifier is used.

 

 

 OK, taking each bit in turn -

 

Quote

You will have more control over sound with bass amplifiers

 

Err.. What? By using a bass amplifier at volume, your bass floods your stage with sub frequencies that go into the open mics and destroy the integrity of your monitor mix. "More control"? More control that a monitor mix where you can mix each instrument separately? More control where you can control the volume without impacting your front of house mix? More control than splitting out your bass signal and being able to EQ for you inears? etc...

 

Quote

In-ear monitors keep their focus on highs instead of blocking out low frequencies, and there might be complications when the in-ear monitor is forced to do both.

 

Utter BS. Blocking out frequencies all depends upon how good your fit is. If you IEMs don't fit right, they will leak. BTW Shure's 37dB cut is ridiculous. Over the ear defenders are rated at 37dB - and even then, OSHA standards mean they are truly certified at -34dB. It's a marketing gimmick - you simply couldn't argue that putting in a set of Shure IEMs would offer anywhere near the same amount of protection. It's plain BS.

 

A good fit for a custom IEM will yield a cut of between 24-27dB - the equivalent of putting your fingers deep into your ears. Even then, there will be some ambient noise transferred to your ear via the vibrations through your skull and flesh - but this will be minimal in comparison (and not at all noticeable once you have your mix coming through you IEM.

 

Most IEMs have better lower end response than bass cabs. All IEMs should(!) have way better high end extension than a bass cab - or PA cab for that matter! The only complications come from when you are asking too much from a single driver or when you haven't got enough drivers to give you the headroom to reproduce those frequencies at the volume you crave. In the same way, you wouldn't expect a single 8 inch driver loaded bass cab to have the full extension of a big bass rig, or a PA with just vocal tops and no subs to be able to cope with a rock band that demands a lot of low end. So, when considering your IEMs, consider you want to hear your whole band - like you would on a hifi - so you need to be able to reproduce the kick drum and bass as well as the vocals with all the bright airy top end that gives you the clarity. That means multiple drivers as there aren't IEM drivers that are good across the whole frequency range, despite what the vendors of single drivers would like you to think. And yes, things like 215s may sound great when listening to studio recordings - but those studio recordings have been mastered and have taken control of all the transients etc that would be otherwise troublesome in the live environment. 

 

Quote

You should use a bass amplifier if you do not want sound distortion, and heart-felt sounds will be produced when a bass amplifier is used.

 

This guy is on crack. Decent IEMs will not distort. You'll go deaf before they distort. If there is any distortion in an IEM at a sensible volume, there's only a number of causes. There is distortion in the signal chain - usually something clipping - or the IEMs are running out of headroom (not enough drivers). Heartfelt sounds? If you listen to bass recordings and can identify any heartfelt sounds, you can do the same over an IEM mix.

 

And for the last thing to address -

 

Quote

you can also produce stage vibrations and bass frequencies which is impossible for an in-ear monitor to create alone.

 

The bass frequencies will be able to reproduced no problem. The thing is, you don't actually want those frequencies on stage as that is where all the mud comes from as it leaks into the mics and over powers the PA. Yes, you can high pass the channels - but that also means high passing some details that you want to keep. Want to know why your band sounds all toppy? Maybe it's because you've HPF everything. Run a silent stage... there's no need to HPF anything - and you're band will sound a hell of a lot better (fatter, warmer) for it.

 

As for the physical vibrations - if you really want that to get your rocks off - get a haptic device. Job done.

Edited by EBS_freak
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Also @Al Krow- in response to your 535 question, they still aren't great compared to what else is out there. Save up for UE6s. If you're serious about going IEMs, save yourself the wasted money on the journey.

 

Meanwhile, just get yourself some ZS10s to tide yourself over - or at least get those to make sure the IEM route is for you.

Edited by EBS_freak
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Just reread the guys article as I couldn't quite believe the guff that I was reading -

 

Quote

Get A Headphone Amp

 

Getting a headphone amp is another way to maximize an in-ear monitor for bass players. Combining an in-ear monitor with a headphone amp will help amplify everything and create a digital soundboard.

It is a tip for any bass player considering an in-ear monitor mix, and combining a headphone amp with an in-ear monitor will make the setup more functional.

 

OK - I've figured out what this guy is doing. It's proper Heath Robinson. He's relying on the bleed of IEMs to hear the rest of the band and using the IEMs to boost just his bass into his ears. Gives you no control over the mix... I could go on... but I have no time for this guys approach to IEMs or his reviews of IEMs. He doesn't even implement an IEM system properly.

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49 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

 Has anyone had experience of either the 315 or 215 and also the 535? If so, did you notice much of a difference between the 535 and the more budget models?

 

No, but I have the 215s sat in a bag as a backup in case my KZ ZS10 earphones that I got from eBay for £25 ever got nicked and I couldn't get a replacement.

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I posted a while back but I had the full set of MME IEM’s. So single, double, triple and Quad drivers. Also got the KZ10 at home (Dawns). I ended up settling on the 3 driver version. I found these to be a good middle ground for bass and keys. All were great until I tried the next one up etc, but I found the quad driver a bit too flat. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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I've had the 215s, 535s, and UE6's.

 

In my opinion, the 215s were trash for anything beyond easy listening to Spotify and blocking out kids / dog noises.

 

The 535s were my first step into Iem's and I really liked them, and they are excellent for listening to music if you get the seal just right.

 

The UE6s though are miles above either of these, especially for live use. The bass is simply phenomenal, and it's probably subconscious, but they do give the illusion of "feeling" the kick and bass. Definitely worth stretching to / saving for those if that's a realistic option.

 

Good luck!

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17 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

I posted a while back but I had the full set of MME IEM’s. So single, double, triple and Quad drivers. Also got the KZ10 at home (Dawns). I ended up settling on the 3 driver version. I found these to be a good middle ground for bass and keys. All were great until I tried the next one up etc, but I found the quad driver a bit too flat. 

 

MEE audio - MX3 Pro Hybrid Triple-Driver - these, right Dave? (I was thrown by your reference to MME, which I assume is a typo?)

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36 minutes ago, Rik (ESA) said:

I've had the 215s, 535s, and UE6's.

 

In my opinion, the 215s were trash for anything beyond easy listening to Spotify and blocking out kids / dog noises.

 

The 535s were my first step into Iem's and I really liked them, and they are excellent for listening to music if you get the seal just right.

 

The UE6s though are miles above either of these, especially for live use. The bass is simply phenomenal, and it's probably subconscious, but they do give the illusion of "feeling" the kick and bass. Definitely worth stretching to / saving for those if that's a realistic option.

 

Good luck!

Cheers Rik, just the small matter of how much the UE6s are! £615 - and that's the base case without any optional extras. But if they really are in a different league, then I guess I'll just need to sell a spare bass that's not getting used too much 😄

 

In the meantime, interesting / useful that you noticed a very significant step up from the Shure 215s --> 535s.

 

I guess a further question for @dave_bass5 is how good are the MEE's at ear protection against ambient noise? The Shures apparently reduce ambient noise by 37dB which provides very welcome ear protection and is pretty much what I've been using my 315s for up till now.

Edited by Al Krow
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30 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers Rik, just the small matter of how much the UE6s are! £615 - and that's the base case without any optional extras.

 

I think the message I was trying to get across is that most people end up doing something like this -

 

Shure 215 -> Shure 535... and at some point people will invest in sleeves for those Shures. And then they get annoyed when the sleeves are a bit fiddly. It gets annoying removing your inears, especially mid song, and the sleeve stays in your ear whilst the iem is in your fingers.

 

So already you've spent 85 + 180 + 150... so there is 415 quid. OK, you can sell the 215 and 535 but they don't really have any notable resale value - it's almost worth not selling them.

 

Obviously the custom sleeves will have no resale value at all. So what I'm trying to say, is that you can factor and write off 415 worth of bad purchases, that's already a huge step forward towards the UE6s.

 

The reasons that I call out the ZS10s is that for £45, you'll get the headroom and experience of something with a decent amount of headroom and see if the IEM concept works for you. If it doesn't, losing £45 is a world of difference to the £615 for the UE6s.

 

Quote

The Shures apparently reduce ambient noise by 37dB which provides very welcome ear protection.

 

As above, 37dB, no way, no way. That should not be considered as a selling point - because it's just plain BS.

Edited by EBS_freak
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43 minutes ago, Rik (ESA) said:

I've had the 215s, 535s, and UE6's.

 

In my opinion, the 215s were trash for anything beyond easy listening to Spotify and blocking out kids / dog noises.

 

The 535s were my first step into Iem's and I really liked them, and they are excellent for listening to music if you get the seal just right.

 

The UE6s though are miles above either of these, especially for live use. The bass is simply phenomenal, and it's probably subconscious, but they do give the illusion of "feeling" the kick and bass. Definitely worth stretching to / saving for those if that's a realistic option.

 

Good luck!

+1 on the UE6's!

 

I really didn't want to fork out for these and actually had some regret once I placed the order. Once they arrived I wish I had got them earlier.

 

It's just a different league with the custom fit. 

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35 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I guess a further question for@dave_bass5 is how good are the MEE's at ear protection against ambient noise? The Shures apparently reduce ambient noise by 37dB which provides very welcome ear protection and is pretty much what I've been using my 315s for up till now.

Not sure off hand, it’s on the website (or Amazon). I do find I can only use one most of the time, as they do cut out a lot of the band out. 
I went for these as my ears are very flat, so I wanted one with a cable that wraps around the ear. I think the Sure’s also do this but I never tried those. 

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

 

MEE audio - MX3 Pro Hybrid Triple-Driver - these, right Dave? (I was thrown by your reference to MME, which I assume is a typo?)

Ah yes, a typo indeed. Sorry about that. Those are the ones i ended up with and love them. I found all good, but these just seemed to have the right balance. I even mixed a few of my tracks using them and they were pretty close to my small monitors. 

I know loads love the KZ10 Pro’s, but i found them too full range. A bit cold i guess. Biggest issue though was fit. Had they fitted my ears id have got a pair for myself. They just felt like they were falling out all the time (although they never did). Even the slightly smaller ones felt like this. I have strange ears. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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Can anyone point me to any custom cable builders who can create some dual instrument/IEM cables? We use a wired system with UE Soundtap boxes and used to get these cables created by Rock-Wire but unfortunately they have ceased trading. 

The spec is essentially the same as this TC Helicon cable. 
https://www.tc-helicon.com/product.html?modelCode=P0CM2

3 of us are still going strong with rock wire cables, but a new member is looking for something a little more sophisticated that two cables taped together. 

Cheers

Edited by Light Grenade
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1 hour ago, Light Grenade said:

Can anyone point me to any custom cable builders who can create some dual instrument/IEM cables? We use a wired system with UE Soundtap boxes and used to get these cables created by Rock-Wire but unfortunately they have ceased trading. 

The spec is essentially the same as this TC Helicon cable. 
https://www.tc-helicon.com/product.html?modelCode=P0CM2

3 of us are still going strong with rock wire cables, but a new member is looking for something a little more sophisticated that two tables taped together. 

Cheers

https://www.designacable.com/combo-cable-for-iem-systems-in-ear-monitoring-instrument-and-stereo-headphone.html (it's referenced in the links section in section 2 text btw!)

Edited by EBS_freak
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Question for UE6 owners - has anyone got experience of these vs. other custom IEM options in that price range? Bit of a long shot, given the cost of owning two custom sets, but hey...

 

Wondering how much of the step up in quality (vs. Shure 846s etc.) is due to custom vs. universal, rather than UE6 vs other custom models.

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I can probably help you with that as I’ve had a fair few different models in my ears!

 

As a rule of thumb, the UE6 is somewhat equivalent to the a quad balanced armature setup (treble, mid, bass, bass). The UE6 is probably a bit warmer sounding than most balanced armature IEMs which a lot of people prefer. Balanced armatures tend to sound a bit tighter than dynamic drivers - but again, unless you are comparing the two side by side.... you'll probably not find that immediately apparent.

 

Each IEM manufacturers quad sound different. Some are more mid pronounced, others more smiley faced in their EQ. In reality, if you are using a digital desk, you can shape the EQ to taste anyway, but it’s nice to have IEM signatures close to what you want to hear. I always found my Roxannes sounding very different to my A12ts. The latter are much brighter sounding and have a smoother response in the top ends. I always found my Roxannes sound a bit hot on vocal “esses” and the sibilance was no way as good as my 64s. The Roxannes were also a very much darker, more mellow sounding IEM.

 

The UE5s are very thin compared to the UE6 with a more pushed mid response, which is why vocalists tend to like them. Vocalists tend not to be particularly bothered by the bass of the UE6s that bass players, drummers and keys players crave. Any bass junkies are going to approve of the fuller bottom end response of the UE6.

 

IEMs, especially at the lower end of the price scale, are never what you’d call flat or reference. And to be honest, flat is pretty boring anyway. Most people like to hear a mid range dip around 600Hz anyway. You will see that this is common in a lot of IEM frequency responses. This is no accident - even when you are mixing at a desk, it’s common to pull frequencies around 600 to make the band sound “right”.

 

Custom fit does add more to the game. The better the fit, the better the bass response and of course, the better the reduction in ambient sound. If you have a leaky fit, the first thing you lose is bass. So whilst you could have like for like in terms of drivers and tuning, a custom fit means you are less likely to lose low end response. If I was to try and put a number on how much a custom fit can improve things sound wise, I’d say 10-20 percent. Of course, the big advantage is the comfort in the fit. They just fit. Perfectly. They are comfortable and don’t randomly fall out. No tips to worry about.

 

The reason why the UE6 is soooo good though, is that it offers similar bass response and headroom to units that typically cost over a grand. Yes, ok they units are generally balanced armature based and hence perceived to be “better” - but again, for stage use you won’t tell the difference. In fact, it’s only when you do a back to back A/B you are likely to pick up on the subtle differences. Where the UE6 would suffer in the high end - if it was to use a dynamic - it doesn’t lose because a balanced armature is still used in the highs.

 

To put it into context, if I was to compare my triple ACS customs (triple balanced armature) to the UE6s (a triple hybrid), then there’s no comparison. The ACS sound thin, can’t cope with bass and distort.

 

I would put any quad JH, 64 and UE6 (or UE11+) against the Shures and they would all eat the Shures.

 

Dont get me wrong, Shure have some great offerings - I have a lot of their mics, PSM900 IEM systems, wireless ULXD for example - but the IEM offerings are distinctly mediocre, especially for the money. They very much trade on their name in that department!

Edited by EBS_freak
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19 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

 

I think the message I was trying to get across is that most people end up doing something like this -

 

Shure 215 -> Shure 535... and at some point people will invest in sleeves for those Shures. And then they get annoyed when the sleeves are a bit fiddly. It gets annoying removing your inears, especially mid song, and the sleeve stays in your ear whilst the iem is in your fingers.

 

So already you've spent 85 + 180 + 150... so there is 415 quid. OK, you can sell the 215 and 535 but they don't really have any notable resale value - it's almost worth not selling them.

 

Obviously the custom sleeves will have no resale value at all. So what I'm trying to say, is that you can factor and write off 415 worth of bad purchases, that's already a huge step forward towards the UE6s.

 

The reasons that I call out the ZS10s is that for £45, you'll get the headroom and experience of something with a decent amount of headroom and see if the IEM concept works for you. If it doesn't, losing £45 is a world of difference to the £615 for the UE6s.

 

As above, 37dB, no way, no way. That should not be considered as a selling point - because it's just plain BS.

 

Russ - this makes very good sense, particularly if you're starting from scratch. But if you've already got a Shure 215 or 315, then that's a "sunk cost". The next decision would be to step up to a 535 (£179 whilst stocks last, they've been discontinued) or head up to a UE6 at £600+

 

Out of interest have you tried the 535s? I was encouraged by @Rik (ESA)'s comments that the 535s were "excellent for listening to music if you get the seal just right."  And I'm aware of a couple of other BC'ers using them and finding them very decent. Obviously he rates the UE6 as being a further big step up.

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