The Tea Party - nymz's opinions and experiences sharing/discussion

If you have any questions for me, please read FAQ on the second post. Thanks!

Index


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Hello and welcome to the Tea Cult. My name is Ricardo aka nymz and, like most people on the internet and these forums, I have opinions and preferences. This is what this thread is all about - preferences and experiences sharing. Just don’t take it too seriously and neither take the trolling personally. Most people that know me around here will tell you to ignore the guy, listen to the recs - and they are probably right. And no, I don’t just talk about or recommend Mangird Tea.

No, I’m not a reviewer. No, I have no affiliations. No, I’m not looking for any of those. I’m a random guy who pays for sets like you probably do as well, so my job is to try to demote your hoarding and impulse buys (like I do/did).

I also lack experience, just some like you here. I joined the hobby around May 2021 with some open backs, back instantly moved into IEMs 1 week later. My experience is limited but fast, as I tried to get hold of anything I could pay or demo. The progression was also faster than usual.

So, given all this, why make a personal thread? Well, in full disclosure, I love this kind of thread - gives you a less personal/customer point of view, by people without a dent in the business. Also, and the main reason, is that people keep PMing me about my recommendations for my own parts of the library, since there’s not a lot of people out there with the same preferences. This will make it easier for these people to connect, or at least I hope so.

Lastly, one of the perks of spending money in a rapid fire way is that I found my current end-game (lol I know) pretty fast, making it, in my opinion, worth sharing with people that might share the same preferences.

This last paragraph brings up the “Why now?” question. The same reason I got into the hobby (bored and working from home) is dissipating. I’m going back to my old routine in a brand new office. This is the time of the day I use for my most consistent uptime of IEM testing/music enjoyment, and the reason I only use portable transducers.

I’m also deep (and done for now) into earbuds, which I might talk about or come out as my personal recs or alternatives. Other stuff I might delve slightly into are sources, since they matter a lot for me as I’m always on the go.

I’d like to take this moment to also publicly thank some of my audio buddies that, in some way shape or form, helped me in the journey so far and whose I love to discuss audio or music the most:

If you read all this text to the end, congratulations. You won a nice life advice for free: Buy Mangird Tea.

Best regards,

nymz
Tea Cult CEO

13 Likes

(Work in progress) FAQ - Please read it!

Who are you and where are you from?

Hello, I’m nymz and I’m from Portugal.

When did you joined the hobby?

May 2021.

That was recently. What were your first IEMs?

My first IEM was Fiio FH3. Quickly after that I bought Fiio FD5 and Tin T2. I returned both and bought Mangird Tea. Then I started paying attention to the hobby and joined its community.

So you stopped after Teas, right?

I wish… and should have. No, I quickly fallen into the buyer’s dilema of thinking money can buy SQ. I bought my first tribid a month later (TSMR Land).

So, money doesn’t equal to SQ?

Yes and no. Dimishing returns are very real and kicking. You can make an argument to usually being able to access better drivers or techs when you climb up the ladder. But it’s a small upgrade per dollar spent. Trust me, I regret it.

What’s your library like?

A mix of most things. Anything that is groovy, I rave on.

You can find a mix of classic, jazz, rock, vocal and acoustic, techno, trance, house, drum and bass, punk rock, trip hop, hip-hop, r’n’b, soul, pop, classic rock/rock’n’roll, opera, etc.

What I don’t delve much: Metal (I listen to some vocal less progressive, and soft stuff like Metallica), Rap, K-pop (sorry weebs, I like some and use for tests when people ask, but it’s either english or bust), Raggae (I like it but I haven’t explored much), pure punk, progressive trance and others.

Ok, and what are your favourite sets (that you own) for your library?

Mangird Tea, Softears RSV and Shuoer EJ07m with Tanya filters.

But you got to have a favourite….

Have you seen the thread title?

Why Teas?

Tuning, amazing stage and imaging, ok timbre, coherent for a hybrid and bass comes when it’s called to roar. Also, the treble is a bliss without fatigue or harshness, it’s dark.

And that you don’t own?

U12T, Mest Mk2.

Which ones did you HATE?

GK10, Tin T2.

Which sets would you love to demo in the near future?

Sony Z1R, Helios, Sony M7/9, EJ07, Moondrop S8, Kiwiears Orchestra, Dunu SA6 come to mind.

Is it easy for you to get some demos going?

Hell no. The scene isn’t the best for demoing stuff in the EU, let alone in a small country like Portugal. I’ve been lucky to get some nice demos and also people to send me their sets for a spin.

What sets have you demoed but never owned?

  1. Mest OG
  2. Mest Mk2
  3. U12T
  4. Audiosense DT600

We know what you like. But can you explain what you look for in a set?

  1. Mids (somewhat forward)
  2. Mid-bass shelf
  3. Detail
  4. Stage + Imaging
  5. Non-harsh treble (dark treble)
  6. Slam
  7. Sub-bass
  8. Timbre + Coherency
  9. Comfort/Portability/Isolation

What’s your prefered FR (target)?

Very flat mids with forward presentation, which means low bass and treble elevation.

I like darker trebles with good extension, usually with a 5.5k hz dip to reduce the fatigue to my ears.

Bass shelf should be clean and slow on the curve, usually flatting at 200hz to remove any bleed. Sub-bass should be more elevated than mid bass.

Overall balance is also very important for me, which means that the pinna gain should be at the same level or slightly below as the top peak of bass.

Why is timbre so low on your priority list, aren’t you a Timbre-head?

Nope, I’m not. I can’t distinguish great timbres from good ones. I can distinguish good from bad, or BA timbre, but not between good timbres. I usually rely on people that are timbre checkers (Riku for example) or use good timbre sets for reference (Blon Bl-03, LBBS).

Tuning or Techs?

Tuning. Unless you wanna PEQ a capable transducer.

So you like BA sets. What’s your opinion on BA bass?

Well, to me at least, Good BA Bass > Bad DD bass. A good DD bass will always prevail over a good BA bass. Just like Mest bass will always be better than U12T bass. But most people will dismiss a good BA bass just because it’s a BA, which in some cases, it would surprise them (hint: RSV).

Do you EQ?

No, I personally don’t. I’m always on the move and I’m usually always switching either my gear during the day. I just fire it and jam.

But are you against it?

No, lol. People should do what they wanna do and sound good for them. Enjoying the music you wanna hear the way you like is the real goal of the hobby.

And cables?

I own a lot of cables. But for aesthetic and comfort purposes. I don’t think cables matter, especially on budget-fi. When you found your end-game and wanna spend thousands of dollars on cables trying to find the right sound to your brain, sure. But keep in mind most of that will be a placebo effect. Also I do believe they have a very small increase on your chain, the smallest of them all, which will make it almost neutral.

So, no, I’m not a cable believer, but once again, people should use what they enjoy the most. And they should also use google about it :slight_smile:

What matters more in the chain, to your ears, then?

IEM > Tips > Amp > Source file (flac) > DAC >= Cables

Tips? Why?

Well, first if you don’t get a seal, it’s game over. Second, comfort - I won’t use an IEM if I can’t stand it for more than 15 minutes. I do very long sessions (8+ hours) a day since I use them at work as well. Third, different materials and shapes alter the sound.

What’s the difference between wide bore vs narrow bore?

Usually, narrow bore tips increase bass while wide bore increase treble and the sense of stage.

You like sources, but you don’t own any desktop station? Why is that?

No. As said many times, I’m always on the move, which makes the need for them to be either portable or mobile.

What about Bluetooth/TWS?

I’m fine with it on the go/pratical side of things. I might grab a TWS set for commutes later, but not for critical listening, of course.

Should I spend money on sources for IEMs?

Yes and no. Apple dongle will play almost every IEM either good or ok. You don’t need much more than that. There’s also some powerful budget dongles for less than 50 or 100.

If you are looking into planars or future upgrades to full cans, that’s another story.

Why do you like and use buds?

I love their sound signature and comfort. Some of them beat most IEMs in some fields. They have a unique presentation (closer to open-backs). They have their downsides too.

Do aesthetics matter?

Yes and no. I love when things look good, it gives me joy. I also love to keep them organized. But it the best IEM for me was the most horrible, I’d still use it, at least at home, hehe.

What reviewers do you use follow/look out to?

For IEMs, I mostly read reviews/impressions from Precog, Antdroid, @Rikudou_Goku and random people I trust. On youtube, I usually watch BGGAR, Michael Bruce, @paulwasabii, Resolve and sometimes Super Reviews. There’s some more I randomly check to try to get different points of view in every set from each person to try to figure out my own before buying anything.

So, why is this FAQ important?

I’m very active in the comunity and I know what I like, so I usually get the same questions everyday. Now I can just point them here. It’s also important so people know what to expect of my opinions based on my preferences. It’s very important to know other people preferences when you’re looking for a review to buy or when you’re reccing someone. I can easily recommend stuff I hate if I think they are a good fit.

Any last words? Someone you wanna thank for this self-interview?

I wanna thank my parents and my dog. My last words will always be the same: Buy Mangird Tea.

7 Likes

nymz’s Inventory

Updated as of: 04/12/2021


IEMS:

Owned:

  • Softears RSV
  • Shuoer EJ07M
  • Shuoer EJ07
  • Mangird Tea
  • Etymotic ER2XR
  • GS Audio ST1
  • 7hz Timeless (Incoming)
  • Tforce Yuan Li (Incoming)
  • HZSound Heart Mirror
  • Tripowin x HBB: Mele
  • KZ DQ6
  • Blon Bl-03
  • Tanchjim Tanya
  • Sony MH755
  • Final Audio E1000
  • Sony WF-1000XM4 (TWS)

Sold/Returned/Donated:

  • Moondrop Variations
  • Tansio Mirai LAND
  • Audio Lokahi
  • Fiio FH3
  • Fiio FD5
  • Tin T2
  • GeekWold GK10

Demo/Loaner:

  • Xenns UP
  • Audiosense DT600
  • UM Mest
  • UM Mest Mk2
  • 64 Audio U12T
  • Hifiman RE600 V2 (Incoming)

Earbuds:

Owned:

  • Blur 266 PK32 High Mountain Tuning 3.5mm
  • Blur 266 MX64 OFC STE 4.4mm
  • K’s Earphones Temperament LBBS
  • Smabat M2S Pro (150ohm Golden Driver - Donut Foams)
  • RY4S Plus 32ohm (No foams)
  • Yincrow X6
  • VE Monk+ (SPC Edition)
  • VE Monk+ (Smoke Edition)
  • VE Monk Slim Metal

Sold/Returned/Donated:

  • VE Zen 2.0 (SLQ Edition)
  • RY4S 300ohm
  • Nicehck Vido
  • 1MORE E1008 Dual Driver
  • Faaeal Iris CE White
  • 1MORE EO320 Piston

Headphones:

  • Fidelio X3 + Dekoni Choise Suede Pads
  • Sony WH-XB900N (LDAC)
  • Koss Porta Pro (Yaxi Pads)
  • Koss KSC75 (Yaxi Pads)
  • Sony MDR-24 (Yaxi Pads)
  • Aiwa M028 (Yaxi Pads)

Sources:

Owned:

  • Xduoo XD-05 Balanced
  • Topping NX7 (Incoming)
  • Hiby R5 Sabre (Incoming)
  • Shanling M3X
  • Luxury & Precision W2
  • Qudelix 5k (Incoming)
  • VE RunAbout 5 + Warp Core
  • DDHifi tc35b
  • Apple Dongle
  • VE Odyssey HD 4.4 Balanced

Sold/Returned/Donated:

  • Sony NW-A105
  • Fiio BTR5
  • Fiio Q3
4 Likes

nymz’s current recommendations

This is where I’ll post my current recommendations. This is 100% personal preference and it’s made to suit the various parts of my library. You can check the FAQ above to know what my preferences are and what I look in a set for. Feel free to ask any questions and comparitions about the sets, anyway.


Last update: 22/11/2021

Disclaimer: Once again, keep in mind dimishing returns. Please understand that every step you go down, the quality per dolar decreases and your wife aggro increases.

Sub 25$ - The ultra budget/starter zone:

  • Tanchjim Tanya - Bullet style IEM, with semi-open back design. Comes with Elecom EHP-CAP 20 and 10 extra pairs of filters that might be useful later. The IEM itself is fine if you enjoy bullet style IEMs but has some bass bleed and can get pretty shouty real quick. Will be an upgrade over the usual free eardbuds you get on your cereals. I like it but I don’t love it due to fit. Some people prefer it to more expensive gear so, YMMV.

  • Final Audio E1000 - Neutral bullet IEM that people buy just to get the Final Audio Type E tips. I actually love its tuning, but its techs are too well adjusted to its price. Can also be moded as @Rikudou_Goku found with micropore tape in the vent to increase its bass. My sub-25$ iem preference with large Spinfits CP100 to hold the bullet style into my ears.

  • [Earbuds] Yincrow X6 (for bass) and RY4S Plus 32ohm (forward mids and vocals) - Less than 10$ each. X6 has amazing bass and texture, doesn’t sound like it costs. RY4S Plus 32ohm doesn’t come with a cable and is meant to be used without foamies, but they have pretty good mids for the asked price, but close to zero bass.

Sub 50$ - The budget zone:

  • Tripowin x @hawaiibadboy ‘Mele’ - The budget kingpin of all-rounders. An upgrade to Blon-03 in comfort, build and FR up to upper-treble. Major cons are its techs and upper-treble extension, but my favourite IEM below 50$. Also looks good when paired with nice graphene cables :smiley: This set is a Linsoul/DD Audio exclusive.

  • HZSOUND Heart Mirror - Highly technical for a budget IEM but with a neutral bright signature. Neutral/Timbre heads will probably love this. Bass is present but not elevated as other options. Lots of air and sparkles. Acessories like Tanya filters and Final E tips help to tame down treble peaks. There’s a tape mod on back vent to turn it into a epic bass canon.

  • [Earbud] K’s Earphones LBBS - The Queen of earbuds. For under 50$ you get a TOTL neutral earbud that rivals IEMs way above it’s price point. Keep in mind it’s still a bud so it comes with any vantage/disavantage that characterizes it. A must have in any collection or for someone that wants to try out earbuds.

Sub 100$ - The still budget but you made some extra hours during colege downtime:

  • GS Audio ST1 - GS Audio is slowly taking the budget range of IEMs with a strong hand. They are an OEM brand that produces for other well known brands, but now they are selling their own products in their own Aliexpress store. You can customize the aspect of your IEM if you intend to.
    ST1 is my first purchase from them and it surprised me. The more I listen to it, the more I felt in love. 1BA with neutral signature with ok techs. Ok timbre and not BA timbre all over the place. Some bass when needed, altho sub-bass is lacking. Great mids for the price with some nice non-fatiguing treble. I love it.
    A nice alternative to Etymotic ER2XR, specially for europeans and people that fear its fit. Americans should to get ER2XR for less than 70$ on amazon/adorama.

Sub 300$ - The golden spot a.k.a. STOP HERE!:

  • Mangird Tea - Seems FR got a revision so you can’t prolly get it from the shelf right now… If you see any used one at good price, grab it!!! Else look for alternative options at your own risk like Aladdin and GS Audio GT12.

  • [Earbuds] Blur’s earphones

Sub 600$ - The sweet endgame, if you werent smart enought to stop on above bracket:

  • Shuoer EJ07

  • Softears RSV

  • [Alternative] Shuoer EJ07m (with Tanya filters)

Sub 2k$ - Money trees on your backyard? I got you covered:

  • 64 Audio U12T

  • UM Mest Mk2

Honorable mentions:

  • Xenns UP [My personal review]
  • Moondrop Variations
  • KZ DQ6 (With Tanya filters and treble taming tips like Final E)
4 Likes

HECK FRICKING YES.
Tracked right away.

(reserved 4)

Ninja :DDDD

2 Likes

Are you planning to get the Hekili?

1 Like

Hey grats @nymz.

About time. :slight_smile:

It was expected! But I expect to improve the quality to buy it again. It will not be on 11.11. , buuuuut …

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There is no information anywhere what are the Hekili drivers? Also what is the frequency range? I know there are 4 BA for mids (Sonion 23??) . What is DD made of? Does anyone know or share the link?

Yap, I should have bought a 2nd pair. I’m not reccing it atm precisely because of that. I’m keeping my pair on a box (which is funny, because it is on @igor0203’s way right this moment) until they fix it. I’m using my other IEMs as beaters :wink:

All the information out there is only by @hawaiibadboy and you can check it on his Squid/Thread. I’m not sure yet if I’ll get it, but I don’t want just to say no, specially when it got praised and I loved most things about Lokahi :slight_smile: I’ll see about it!

2 Likes

200

This is great to see, and wish you the best success with all of your efforts.

3 Likes

Thanks, darling. Mid-heads power :love_you_gesture:

1 Like

colin-mochrie-whos-awesome

btw: Why I’m on 4th place? I thought you like me more than @Godria :crazy_face:

2 Likes

This is very good. I just didn’t understand what your final game was? Maybe: Tea+RSV+07m?! Оr just one set? Why did you give up MK2, what did you not like about them? I am also interested and to some extent we have the same taste for midrange, although our library is different! And finally: where did @vasix and @Resolution disappear :grin:

nymz’s 11.11 recommendations/shopping list (Work in progress)

Well, it’s the time of the year again, so I’ll try to leave it marked here, as I find nice deals. I’ll focus on stuff that are well known for being good or my personal preferences.

Keep in mind that some stuff won’t be on sale (e.g.: GS Audio Store) but you can still use 11.11 coupons, so it’s a great to time to be an addict. Have fun!

IEMS

  • GS Audio Store [No discount - Use coupons if you can]: ST1 is a rec from me. GT12 as always peaked my interest and they just launched GT12x, so you might wanna check those as well. GD3A is being praised as a good hibrid for it’s price (around 120$ I believe). Remember you can customize every set from the store, and that can be discounted too :wink: .
  • Shuoer EJ07m or Shuoer EJ07 [Discounted] - They are discounted on Dudo audio and you can also ask for a better price. Check other stores for them. 07m is a big rec from me. I never demoed/owned EJ07 but people rave on it for a reason, so there’s that.
  • Tanchjim Oxygen [Discounted] - For those looking for a DD king, this is the right time of the year. With discounts and coupons you can get it for around 200€. Worth looking into.
  • Check out Linsoul during 11.11 as they seem to have some discounts up or some package deals like these. The Mangird Tea + Monarch Mk2 cable is sweet, although, keep in mind some people are having problems with Mangird Tea QC.

Earbuds

  • K’s Earphones Temperament LBBS [Discounted]: Get it. Make sure you choose the first option “BellLBs-no mic” because others aren’t the same and aren’t good. There’s only that version without a mic and 3.5mm. Get it. Fast. Go.

  • Yincrow X6 [Discounted]: One of the best bass IEMs on the market. Get it if you’re a basshead and you wanna try buds.

  • RY4S Plus 32ohm [Discounted]: Cheap midcentric buds, doesn’t come with a cable. They are very cheap though.

  • Smabat M2S Pro [Discounted]: A more bassy Earbud than LBBS, that is modular and you can quick change drivers on it without needing to solder them. Make sure to also check drivers as them seem to be on promo here - I only own stock and golden one, that I prefer, but I’ve heard nice things about the super driver (most expensive one).

Sources

  • Xduoo XD-05 Balanced [Discounted] - Going on sale at Dudo Audio Store. Talk to the guys, they are amazing. You can get a better price if you ask for it. Also, Burson’s V5i-D Dual Amp x2 will also be on sale during 11.11 and you can use it on it.
  • Shanling M3X [Discounted]: Great DAP and hard to beat for the price. You can save a couple bucks during 11.11 on it.

Cables

  • Nicehck Store is doing some great prices on cables during 11.11. Make sure to check them out. Remember you can also use this to negociate with Xinhs :wink:
  • XINHS Audiostore is also running some sales. Make sure to grab your favourites and try to costumize them as you can. My favourite non customs are the 4 Core Graphene (8 Cores you prefer thick cables) and the Twisted 4Core 5N Pure Copper.
  • Openheart 2 core MMCX cable with mic [Discounted] - I like this cable and can rec it for those on a budget or looking for a cable with a mic. I use it with buds. Also comes with a cheap fake leather carrying case and a clip to store it for 8 usd…
4 Likes

Here more Black 'n Gold for ya buddy :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

Shinny bling :heart_eyes: