RikudouGoku's Database (IEMs/Earbuds/Headphones Ranking list)

Wanted to try a set of buds and couldn’t really go anywhere else but to @Rikudou_Goku to seek his advice on which of his sets would suit my library best - so a set of Saber 1 buds were on their way to me.

My rambling thoughts. Now I freely admit I had no idea what to expect from a quality set of buds (last set of buds I can’t even remember using probably came with a mobile phone 15+ years ago), so I went in to this with some preconceptions/bias of what I thought these would sound like. This was largely based on something I thought would sound like a poor IEM seal - so a lack of bass - and due to the shape/fit would generally sound a bit recessed or remote - is best way I can describe it. (I have zero experience of headphones so have no reference in terms of closed vs open back either, not that I know if that would have provided any sort of comparison or not anyway :grin:)

Yeah, I was very wrong. They have bass, and good quality bass in fact for the majority of my library. Sure I have listening volume turned higher than I do with IEMs but nothing sounds recessed or remote. Seriously surprised at how good they sound - and I mean that against the preconceptions I had before diving in. In fact how well they handle some of the harder/faster/complex stuff in my library I really wasn’t expecting, although I don’t really know why. Would they be my first choice for listening to this kind of stuff, good question and probably not - but maybe for some specific artists(?).

Do they have timbre - oh yes. And this is possibly also linked to soundstage although that’s not something I will pretend I am any good at really picking up and I therefore don’t really listen for anyway. How good does Alice In Chains MTV Unplugged sound though? I mean just really, really good. Acoustic music like this just sounds so right, even the odd discordant fret buzz. Older classic rock with a mix of acoustic guitars - eg Heart’s Dreamboat Annie and Little Queen - really, really good. Would they be my first choice for music like this - all I can say is they’re in my ears listening to AIC again as I type (:notes: I have been guilty of kicking myself in the teeth :notes: - great line).

Another plus point I find the fit really confortable - no issues having these in for hours.

My only niggle - the cable for me is too thin and feels a bit fragile, I’m a clumsy bastard so I can see myself breaking them if I’m not careful enough.

(also not a RikuBuds shill lol)


Sounds like there will be another seller for modified Tx0RP headphones in the future. Why did you go with the 20? It’s the “open back” model if remember correctly.

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Very likely.

You can mod the 20 to the 40 or 50 without issues and it’s also cheaper.


Using them with stock pads? The pads are looking so small, especially in depth. Never had a fostex, so just judging by picture.

depends where you are, t40 is like £40 cheaper on amazon than the t20 for mk2 versions

I ordered from thomann where it is the cheapest out of the 3, same on amazon.de/se.

atm, yes. But I have ordered another pad that is bigger but not too different from stock.

They are slightly bordering on being on-ears for me lol.

You actually do. My Berserker 1 uses a fostex designed driver. :wink:


Great run down. Really need to get the Saber 1 added to the rotation. Rikubuds really are an amazing bang for your buck and hold their own to many higher valued IEMs.


Dude I am glad you like, those can have tight thunder bass, but there is something around 5-6k that kills my ears on these. I spent forever trying to mod as well until I killed a driver. It was hard to do but I accomplished it lmao. Would love to hear thoughts as you continue to use. :slight_smile:

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FYI, Andy EF did his donglemadness testing with Fostex T40RP too

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Agree 100%


Yep, the Berserker 1 also on my radar now :thinking:

B1 best bass, Approved


@Rikudou_Goku Has there been any attempt of using planar technology in earbuds?

Yes, by other DIYers like ClieOS and also @Valphonics. Its just a meme im afraid, the drivers they used are meant for iem shells and a seal is needed to get any kind of bass IIRC.

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Yep, more like a DD than a planar lol.

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Are you still using DX160? If not, why (battery life/performance)?

I have good option to buy it second hand and I am wondering whether it would not solve all my issues (with not being able to stream from NW-A55L and lack of USB-C and power headroom) and I could potentially even use it as DAC preamp for my powered speakers at work.

For my desktop usage, I replaced it with the Schiit Asgard 3. And I dont use it outside either because I am using TWS now.

My issue with it is that the performance is absolute garbage, shitty CPU and optimization. Battery life isnt good either.

If you just want it for regular music usage, it should be fine, but not sure if streaming or anything more demanding than local playback will be tolerable in terms of performance.

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Ok, thanks for the answer. It just looks so pretty and has plenty of functionalities, so it was very tempting to try it out, but now I would not bother :slight_smile:

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Val39 shells have all been printed, ETA next friday!



Love the blue

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