Goober's Journey Into the IEM Game or "Why Are You Not As Good As....?"

You need to talk about the Wind (use balanced to wake up the BC, and wide shallow tips for widest possible stage).

It’s really amazing and I love it to death.

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I don’t, actually, because I think it is good and a set people can like, but I didn’t find it amazing. But I’m glad you do


Goobs, I want to ask you which IEM do you find amazing from the show? Who made the best impression on you and is it worth the price of SummitFi (hi-fi) IEM? :slightly_smiling_face:


Who’s worth the price Summit-Fi? Nobody.

TL;DR from my impressions:


I have a similar impression as him.
I use the Wind with a short wide bore tips (shortest i can find to make the contact)
4.4 balance cable going into Chord Mojo through an adapter or with additional amp (Cypher Labs Duet)
It did not impress me. I tried.

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I have the Cascara and with Tangzu TangSanCai tips they are a killer DD set ive also coupled with the fiio gold silver copper cable. Vocals arw really good and the bass is big just as I like it. My first Campfire iem makes me want to try the Bonneville


damn man, Quintet already on refund watch since I feel like that type of bass wasn’t enough, Folk is definitely a “grab when I got money to throw around” set then

QDC as a whole couldn’t get there. None of them did good enough bass to enjoy the rest of their frequencies

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Looks like I’ll be focusing on FF first before I go full hibernation

As much as this means nothing, I can’t help but enjoy finding little nuggets in FR graphs like this:

Not that I wanted it to sound like an Aür Audio set, it’s funny to see how a set I do enjoy (PC) graphs close to one that didn’t grab me (Neon Pro)


Kinera is coming back for that “I like the sound of Pandamon but I’d NEVER wear that hideous shell” money.

And I respect that


I finally done with modded my Kbear Rosefinchs. Took longer than I preddicted beacause I ordered wrong mesh filter size. I also bought another KR :))) Medium density filter 5x5 + 250-300 mesh filter is what I think is the best for me. Medium density filter does make the sound a bit more nature than the low density one. The final result was a pleasant iem. Thank you! I’m on Rosefinch team from now on!


We done :white_check_mark:


You got it!!! Let me know what you think about it,even though I just downsized.


I did. I needed to get a legit amp, because what I had was just not good enough.

This is the upgrade I wanted, already



Lessons learned after 3 days with Hifiman EF500:

  • check your connections/adapters. I thought something was wrong with EF500’s SE output, which was mirroring me thinking something was wrong with JDS Labs Atom+, which I could hear clear as day going between SE and BAL. Turns out the problem was a bad 1/4” adapter. Check your adapters like it’s your colon, boys. Hobby-wise, early detection can save your wallet’s life.
  • I was power agnostic (enough juice to get your transducer loud enough for you really is good enough), but having 1.5-4W of power available SE-BAL (and a good dac implementation) makes a goddamn difference.
    • @Rikudou_Goku your GAS3 are fucking singing, and I don’t even really feel they’re missing THAT much bass…certainly not enough to justify the “buds don’t do bass” stereotype. No, they’re not bassy but they’re not missing much of anything either.
  • I know this is a winner when @Lcg842 came over, got to hear 3 songs and when I joked “welp, time to return it” her response was “you better not! :rage:

Yeah, we good lol


I guess you must be using some very generic adapter?

Get this.
Used it for many years without issues. (damn expensive though…)




I’m not about the hype, y’all know this.

That said…the ST-Amp is a star! What a good piece of equipment


Earmen ST-Amp or The Second Best $200 I’ve Spent on Sources in the Game

I know I don’t usually give impressions on sources (dacs and amps) because I’m not a champion of spending people’s money. That’s not my thing, and a pretty big reason why I can’t be a reviewer/influencer guy. I’m really just a guy on the same journey as you all: trying to find the stuff I like and can live with spending the money on.

My problem is I just like to write too much and I have a lot to say about the stuff I try, so I started doing that. Short tangent, I know…point is I like to talk about my journey and if it helps someone else out there, then yay!

All of that is to say, I recently became pretty satisfied with my IEM/earbud collection. I really feel like I have everything I could want for most situations and circumstances right now. But in having the transducers sorted out, I felt like I was lacking for two reasons:

  • I wanted a home playback source that didn’t require plugging into my phone/computer
  • Especially after CanJam NYC, I knew there were upgrades to make on my hip-dac/Q5K combination.

In short order, I’ve sorted out my gear, and I’m pretty much kitted out to my maximum.

  • Hifiman EF500 covers me with an R2R dac implementation
  • WiiM Pro Plus is my dedicated streamer. This one is the most important piece in the system though. It’s the brain of the system I wanted
  • The piece that ties it all together, though is the ST-Amp

What’s funny about all three pieces is they are flexible, multifunctional units: EF500 is a dac/amp with a pretty good amp, WiiM is a streamer with an AK4493 dac chip, and ST-Amp is a amp/dac with an ES9280 dac chip. I have no idea how it sounds and I probably never will. I bought each piece for their primary purpose and the extra functionality is just icing on the cake. But I digress.

ST-Amp is a $700 amp masquerading as a $200 budget amp and it has a superpower. I don’t care what you plug into it, this amp is gonna make it sound better. The EF500 amp has more power, by a lot, and sounds very good, but the ST-Amp cleans it up. EF500 runs pretty close to neutral but puts a little bit of warmth on it. Running that through ST-Amp refines it, buttons up the edges that could be a little muddy on a warmer IEM and helps it sound much better balanced to my ear.

This is probably greatly helped by the fact that while EF500 pumps out at least double the power, ST-Amp still puts out more than enough power to juice and set I have (as a point, I have to gimp the max output on the WiiM to 80% volume to have any volume play on either amp). But it takes my bassiest set (Shortbus Fat Goober, @VIVIDICI_111 knows) and makes it sound more musical than it has a right to be.

It also takes a warmer dac and opens it up a touch, like putting a couple of drops of water in your neat whiskey to open it up. The only way this amp can’t make you sound good is if you (Mr. dac/amp/transducer) are actively bad. Otherwise, this amp will find your thing and present it.

All of this is to say that I’m still not telling you to run out and spend your money. That’s not my thing really. But I do love to point out when I find a value and say if you are like-minded or are searching for your next big thing you may want to look here…

Earmen ST-Amp is one of those pieces. It’s an easy recommendation for me, if you need a good amp. Because Earman really put their STAMP on the game with this one.


If you hadn’t posted this, I would have assumed the ST-Amp was way more expensive. The other Earmen items I have looked at were all on the pricey side. I almost jumped at their last dongle EarMen Colibri, and it was $200.