Massdrop x MEE Audio PX Measurements and Impressions

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Before I start, I will quote @deafdoorknob on Japanese audio products.

    For better or worse, modern J-Fi in general is more about the ultimate expression of certain type(s) of colouration(s) (dependent on brand/designers' preferences) as opposed to fidelity to the source or reality. That, along with a savant-like fixation on gimmicky techs and the "artisanal spirit" makes them closer to Grado in practice than their forebears.

    If you read Japanese audio mags, the emphasis is often on recreating "the ultimate JBL sound" or "moar Tannoy than Tannoy" and not the simulacra of live performances per se.


    What @deafdoorknob says is hilarious, but so true. At one point toward the late 70s, Japan was making some epic audio gear. Now, I'm not too sure. Gawd, I've heard some of the most weird-ass sounding stuff from Japan. Some are utterly garbage, but others have been strangely interesting. A good example of such gear is the Sony MDR-Z1R headphone. The MDR-Z1R was sort of an interesting take on "beautiful" sound. For me, it almost worked.

    Sony just wasn't creative
    enough with their "beautiful" sound approach on the Z1R. A lot of bass, an accidental narrow upper treble spike, a sprinkle of zing. LAME! C'mon man. Any moron could have sculpted that response. The cup design and controlled internal reverb was a nice touch, but the Z1R lacked any sort of weird eff'd up mid-range to fully advantage of the cups. Finally, a more peaky bass, rather than a huge bass shelf, would have been defter touch. The zing can stay.

    Now the Massdrop x MEE Audio PX actually pulls of this Japanese beautiful colored sound! And what does MEE Audio have to do with Japan? Absolutely nothing. I believe MEE Audio is a Vietnamese company. Ha ha.

    The PX looks like the Pinnacle P1, except the housing is a charcoal color instead of chrome. The housing is pretty darn solid. I feel like I could twirl the IEM around and use it as a weapon to knock out the teeth of my enemies, and then make them eat corn. The PX actually sound like the Pinnacle P1 too. I didn't have too much time with the P1, but I am pretty sure the PX sounds the same or very similar to the P1.

    As we can see above, the package comes with a large assortment of tips. I usualyl go for foam tips; but in this case, the triple ridge penetrator worked best for me. I could get a deeper penetration with a fuller more ballsy sound. The other tips did not work for me - too shallow and lack of tight seal. The sound was too lean or too bright. One thing I noticed during the measurement process is that these IEMs were super sensitive to insertion depth.

    The included IEM case is rather nice. A magnet secures the lip to the body of the case. The cable feels significant. It's not as flexible as the Campfire cables, but it is also not as hard and crusty as other cables I've had to deal with. The Sony ZX2 is not included in the package. I would recommend a warm and smooth sounding source like the ZX2 to get the best results with the PX.


    BTW I LOVE the sound. I don't think they will be for everybody, but personally, I love them. MEE pulls off Japanese beautiful colored sound better than the Japanese!

    But do get other opinions. Do a search on "Pinnacle P1" from this link: http://superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?pages/FeaturedContent/


    Measurements of the Pinnacle P1 can be found here: http://superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/mee-audio-pinnacle-p1-measurements.2786/

    On to measurements...
    See general measurement notes before digesting the plots below: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/note-on-iem-measurements-changelog.2153/
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX Frequency Response
    Massdrop MEE PX Frequency Response.png
    NOTE: The Y-axis for IEM FR measurements are more compressed compared to headphone measurements here. I do this because IEM people tend to be more anal and knowledgeable about graphs than headphone people. They want to clearly see all the bloody details.

    The frequency response looks very similar to the Pinnacle P1's response. It appears like there may be a little bit more mid-bass, but this is difficult to say as this could have been a matter of insertion depth into the coupler. Instead of a typical bump at 2-3kHz to make up for the fact that IEM's bypass the pinna (no pinna gain), there is a good bump between 3-6kHz. No spikes in the treble though!

    I am sure that with the triple flange tips I'm running, the bass levels are higher and the upper mid peak lower than what is indicated in the plot above. The graph above seems to reflect what I heard with shallow insertion looser fit tips. My measurement coupler will not allow deep insertion.

    The PX actually remind me of the Audio Technica W3000 headphone. Smooth treble. Rolled at the very top. Strong mid-bass. Midrange charm, weirdness, or whatever you want to call it. No one would be upsetting me if they said: "WTF, how can you consider this good!" The PX is definitely colored, but I like it. It just works for me. I', not sure why. The following distortion measurements may explain why.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX Harmonic Distortions
    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX L HD.jpg
    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX R HD.jpg

    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX Impedance and Electrical Phase

    massdrop x MEE Audio PX impedance.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Well, the distortion measurements explain why I didn't run away and scream. This IEM appears to be a dynamic driver, not a balanced armature driver. Their distortion characteristics are different. Balanced armature drivers tend to have third or odd order distortions. This creates a certain kind of timbre that some people like @Hands find highly objectionable. It's kind hard of hard to explain. I guess we could say balanced armature drivers sound fast and precise, but maybe prickly.

    The dynamic drivers used on the PX have a lot second order distortion (yellow line) compared to third order (grey line). Think of second order distortion as doubling up on the note being played with another note an octave higher. Some people feel that second order distortion sounds more natural than third or odd orders. Finally, many people are of the opinion that dynamic drivers slam harder and have more heft than balanced armatures. This fuller heftier sense is probably what allows me to handle the upper mid strangeness of the PX.

    On interesting thing to note is that the distortion from the bass to the mids is primarily second order, with very little third or fourth order distortion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Here is a frequency response comparison of my reference IEM, the Campfire Andromeda vs the Massdropx MEE Audio PX

    Andromeda = GREEN
    PX = GREY
    Andromeda vs PX FR.png

    Again, I'm likely getting more bass and less upper mids than as shown using the triple flange tips with deep insertion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's pretty much it. The pre-launch will be on 6/30/17. The official launch will be the day after the 4th. I am not sure if I am allowed to divulge the price yet, but I assure you that the price will be nutso!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  8. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Awesome. I'm still a huge fan of the P1, so it's nice to see they'll be getting a wider audience to test them out.

    Thanks for the measurements.
     
  9. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    How are these in details and technicalities compared to something like a Noble X or other familiar reference here?
     
  10. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    How am I just hearing about these? Have these been released yet?

    Edit: oops, should have read all the way through. I think I'm going to jump on these. After listening to Bill P's Andromeda, I decided to get a nice entry level IEM to get my feet wet in portables.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's kind of hard to compare since the sound of DDs and BA are so different. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Knowing this, I'd put their overall technicalities on par. This one special is to me however, because DDs tend not to be as common, and it does remind me of the AT W3000 headphone. TBH, the only reason I would consider BA is only if the technicalities and frequency response were superb. That only means UERM (RIP) or Andromeda to me. My current rotation of IEMs consists of Andromeda (reference), PX (colored Japanese sound by Vietnamese), and Lyra (Be driver).
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Massdrop x MEE Audio PX Impedance and Electrical Phase
    [​IMG]
    42 ohms nominal. Give or take a few. Should be easy to drive without any strange interactions from amps with higher source impedance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  13. cocolinho

    cocolinho Acquaintance

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    I saw USD113,99
     
  14. kova4a

    kova4a Rando

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    At this price I would probably jump on them right away. Btw, Mee is not Vietnamese - Mee is what used to be Meelectronics and it's a US company - just saying.
     
  15. GettingBuckets

    GettingBuckets Almost "Made"

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    All I needed to hear. IEMs are always on the go options for me anyways so I don't see the point in lugging around what looks like a damn C4 when I am traveling. Hook straight up to my IPod Touch 4th Gen from prehistoric times, and I am good to go.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Haha. I could be wrong. The first time I heard about MEE was from friend nine or ten years ago. He told to me that MEE was a Vietnamese company, that he knew the owner, and they were putting out good sounding IEMs for cheap. They had this cheap IEM that was neutral sounding and I was impressed. Well, if they aren't a Vietnamese sounding, then at least it makes a good story with the PX's Japanese sound!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  17. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    The P1 is listed as 50 ohm at 1K - I personally feel that the P1 requires some juice to sound good. Straight out of my iPhone SE does not do them justice in my experience.
     
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  18. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    I really liked the Mee A151p and bought a second one after the first crapped out. But that twisted cable has been a point of failure with both pairs. It comes unraveled eventually even with careful wrapping and then a channel goes out. Can anyone who has used their $100+ models speak to whether or not they hold up?
    EDIT: ok, now I see the cables are detachable. Smart.
     
  19. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Same. That's a big part of why I switched to CA Orions for casual IEMing. The P1's sound great but kind of lifeless without some more juice than my iPhone 6+ could muster. Still kind of miss the tiny size and great fit of the P1's.
     
  20. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    They do fine from the V10.

    And I've finally found the right tips with the Spiral Dots.
     

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