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IEM's - yet another thread

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Eublet, Mar 15, 2010.


  1. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    I've spent a couple hours digging into this here. Lots of info that has been very helpful, but I'm hoping someone has direct advise based on my situation.

    I've decided to have some custom fit ears made. I've been using Westone UM2's for a while with their comfy tip, and I'm MORE than satisfied with their tone and performance. I'm not really looking for an upgrade in that department. What I want is similar performance in a custom fit so that they are easier to take in and out. It takes a bit more time to compress the comfy tips and slide them in, and they do get dirty and have to be constantly replaced which is just getting old.

    I have considered the UM56 custom tip, but I've read a lot of people say how it increases the chance of breaking the tip off the UM2. It seems a lot of folks have complained of this also.

    So, I'm thinking of the Westone ES2 which seems to be billed as the same "technology" used in the UM2 and vice versa. Can anyone comment on these two by comparison?

    I'm looking at Ultimate Ears 4, which seems to be roughly comparable to the UM2 in terms of component quality. I really like the look of the UE4, but not having tried any of their products, I'm a bit scared of going a completely different direction when I've been so satisfied with my UM2's.

    Thanks!
     
  2. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I used the UM2s for a long time and loved them! Great sound per dollar.. But i used the Shure Clear silicone rubber tips on them.. NOT triple flange and Not Foam. Faom gets dirty and takes too long to seal up..
    They apparently dont ship them anymore..
    Last year i bought the Westone ES2s. The best IEMS that i have used... They key to getting a good fit is when the molds are done to keep your mouth WIDE open. may take 5 minutes to set up though...
    I had a few custom molds and so far these are keepers...
    What i like about the Westone is that the part that goes into your ear canal is a softer rubber that blends to the hard plastic casing.. Which makes it much more comfy for long term use, and a tighter internal ear canal fit....
    From my experience vocalist like the Ultimate Ears alot... but the Westones seem to be favored by instrument players.
     
  3. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Thanks, Kirk. That's the kind of advice I'm looking for. The UM2's seem to have plenty of headroom and clarity for bass playing. I like that the treble response is natural and not zingy, which seems to help me hear the things I really need to hear, like drums and guitars while I play.

    Do you know exactly what your ES2's are made from. There are a lot of choices on the Westone website. I thought all customs were made of acryllic, but they have vinyl and silicone listed as options. I called Westone earlier today and left a message with someone there to call me back. Hopefully I'll get to ask some questions as my audiologist apointment is tomorrow morning.
     
  4. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    My ES2s are a hard plastic but somehow seamlessly transforms to a softer type as it goes to your ear canal... The person to ask would be Dale Douglas at Westone... HE know everything about them. I met him at NAMM and is real cool and very helpful... He really helped me alot when choosing what i was going to get.. I got mine in there new Purple color..If you need his email send me a PM...
     
  5. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Here is an image of mine.. They came with Clear cables.. but due to doing gigs last summer outside and sweating the cables turned greenish... I just got a set of Black wires.. Honestly i like the clear better but the black wires are running down your back and not really visible anyway
    WestoneES23.gif

    WestoneES24.gif
     
  6. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Cool. So the cables are interchangeable if there's a problem?

    I have Dale's email. I actually emailed them a week ago about getting custom tips for my UM2's and he responded. Very helpful. I just decided today to get some ES2's instead, and since my appointment is tomorrow I tried calling Westone instead so that I could get everything straight. I'll email him as well and see what advice he has.

    I just looked at images of many Westone ears on the website, and all the colored options do appear to have that translucent insert for the canal. That's a cool feature it seems.

    Does the hard case come with them? The drummer in one band I play with has a case just like yours.
     
  7. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Got an email back from Dale who answered all my questions. I'm ordering some ES2's tomorrow. Can't wait.
     
  8. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Yes the case comes with them... its part of the cost.. and they cost enough... just be sure to keep your mouth as wide open as possible until the goop settles in.. It isnt easy keeping your mouth open that long.. you may need a stick or something.. but that will give your ear canal a bigger opening so when you are rested . you ears make a tight seal.. I can eat a sandwich with mine and not break seal,,,
     
  9. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Thanks, Kirk. I just got back from the audiologist. Dale told me to make sure they gave me a bite block to help keep my mouth open. Except for drooling all over my shirt, it worked out great! :D

    I should have the ES2's next week, and will put them to use for 5 shows that coming weekend. Can't wait!
     
  10. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Cool. yeah Westone is very fast with getting there product out to you.... I think i fedexed them my molds on Monday and had them back to me by Friday... The same week,,, Before i had the westones i had another brand which i had to return to that other company for a few reason.. but it took that other company 2 months to get mine out.... Westone was about a week!
     
  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Inactive

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I had the tip of my UM2 snap off, but I emailed Westone about it and they replaced the whole right-ear unit for free.

    I have the custom molded tips and love them. I just am more careful now. I forget how I even broke the tip off now, TBH. I think I accidentally just put them in my bag and forgot they were in there and so it snapped- it wasn't from use.
     
  12. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Well, my ES2's sound great, but gosh are they painful to wear. Uncomfortable to say the least. I can wear my UM2's for long periods of time and forget the are there. The ES2's are uncomfortable in 5 minutes, and hurting me in about 10. Taking them out my ears still throb for hours after. I'm thinking I need a refit. What do you guys suggest? The audiologist didn't really seem to know what they were doing. The first molds they took didn't work. Westone said they weren't deep enough so I needed to be fitted again. So I had to go back to the audiologist a week later and get refitted by another guy. He was rude and seemed bothered that I was even there. He was much more abrubt and harsh with making the impressions. I didn't get the feeling from anyone there that they new how to make anything except molds for hearing aids instead of IEM's.


    I'm wondering if I just need to give my ears more time to adjust?
     
  13. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I say call Dale Douglas .... HE knows everything about them and I highly resommend his expertise... He got all my questions answered in minutes
    They should not hurt at all.... you shouldn't even feel them in your ears..
    I think the audiologist may have messed up...
    If you were here i would bring you to my audiologist.. Not only did sge dig talking about what we were doing and me in the music bizz.. but quite honestly she may be the prettiest looking woman on planet earth that dresses like a supermodel in casual attire.. I want to go back to make believ i need another mold done.. hahha
    But they should be way more comfy than the UM2s...
     
  14. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Thanks, Kirk. I exchange emails with Dale. He's very helpful. Funny thing is that I wore these late last night listening to some MP3's for about 2 hours. Not comfy but not painful either. Spent another hour with them today and it was a bit better again. I'm going on vacation today. I told Dale that I would take them with me and just wear them a bit everyday to let the fit settle in.

    Strangely, the mold for my right ear will break the seal if I smile, but both of them are fine if I open my mouth. The impressions were made with a bite block. I think I might have to have these remade with a bite block AND a smile! :) Obviously, I smile and grin a lot while playing, and I can't have the seal breaking everytime I do.

    I compared them to my UM2's, and the sound is pretty much the same. The ES2's are a bit louder at the same volume settings, and have a bit more detail and soundstage. I love the UM2's when I play at my church, so I'm sure the ES2's will sound even better. Dale said I could send them directly back to him when I get back and they'll make them right. Really glad to have him helping.
     
  15. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Yeah ,Dale is a pros pro.. I met him at NAMM this year too.. just a good guy to chat with... but he was so busy helping other folks that were new to it.
    YOu may have to adopt a frown face on gigs. lol
    Yeah i have tracked sessions with my ES2s... They have real nice detail and clarity. as good as a nice set of headphones but better isolation when you are in a room with other instruments like drums.. Makes monitor mixes sweet
     
  16. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    YEs,,, but be sure if you take the cables off to make the little colored dot line up the same on each side.. otherwise one side will be out of phase form the other which could be weird... I was working with this idiot singer dude.. I call it what is is. and he always had monitor issue.. saying he ears sounded weird, distant, no center,, etc.. and he always took his wires off.. I told him to check his phasing.. He barked at me like i had no idea what i was talking about.. this went on for about 6 months.. finally he did as a said and paid attention and it was fixed.. knuckleheads.. he was using ultimate Ears... they are OK but my friends that use them for Bass didnt really like them.


     
  17. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Out of curiosity, anywhere care to share here or via PM a ballpark of what they spent on ES2's? I've been thinking about getting some UM2's and have molds made, but the ES looks like a nice upgrade. Lots of audiologists around here are dealers for westone, just looking for some information before I start calling around.
     
  18. I got me some Westone 2 and can't be more happier, I use silicone plugs, not custom molds, as I onlyuse them as bass guitar monitors, not band monitors. I set the volume low enough so that I can hear the stage. Clarity is great.:hyper:
     
  19. I still like the foam tips on my U2's
     
  20. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    Like many, i've been perusing IEM's looking toward a purchase. However, I'm paranoid about not finding ones with natural, full, realistic bass response along with the rest of the bands frequencies, and then being unhappy.

    Seems praise for the Westones. Are there others that are similar to listening with studio headset type headphones, or similar to listening to a rig with no headphones?


    .
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Nov 28, 2020

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