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His Dark Majesty – A Review of the Custom Art FIBAE 6

This is no longer offered on DROP(Massdrop), so I’ve changed the title to FIBAE 6, which is what it’s called on the Custom Art site. So as you read on, just remember, ME is 6 now… even though a few paragraphs down I state the EXACT opposite. Oh, how things change with time.

Custom Art provided the FIBAE ME free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

The FIBAE Massdrop Exclusive has a starting price of $819.99

Piotr Granicki, founder and stalwart leader of Custom Art, is a true friend of reviewers. In point of fact, he started off as a reviewer. More than that, he’s a friend of THL. When I reached out, he already knew of me, my reviews, and my tastes in audio gear. He had just the item for old Pinky.

Though of course, filled with sly Polish cunning, he weaved a web of mystery round the earphone he was making. He told me only it was bassy as Satan’s farts, and a collaboration project. No matter how many photo’s I sent him of my bared thighs, Piotr held his silence and maintained the secrecy.

Until he officially announced the Massdrop + Custom Art FIBAE CIEM. Also known as the FIBAE Massdrop Exclusive. Or FIBAE ME. Or just ME, for when I’m feeling cute.

There are already three FIBAE IEMs on CA’s website. A one-driver (FIBAE 1), a two-driver (FIBAE 2), and a three-driver (FIBAE 3). Piotr made special point to inform me the six-driver FIBAE ME ought not to be considered the FIBAE 6. This is a Massdrop-only product and does not fit in amongst his own line of earphones. One day we may have a FIBAE 6, and it will likely sound very, very different.

So what the shitsticks and jellywicks does FIBAE mean? Flat Impedance Balanced Armature Earphone… you ignorant goblin! The gist is, by making the BA driver resistive instead of inductive the performance of the monitor is not governed by the output impedance of your source. Have a DAP with unreasonably high impedance at the Headphone Out? This can be devastating to sensitive, low-Ω IEMs. FIBAE don’t give a shit! Its frequency curve remains constant.

It’s a brilliant technology, and yet another sign the future of this industry is headed in an interesting and innovative direction.

The FIBAE ME houses six of these resistive drivers. Two Balanced Armatures for the subwoofer, one for basic lows, one to cover mids and highs, and two for tweeter range. ME utilizes a 4-way crossover. Efficiency is rated at 113dB, with 6.6Ω impedance. You get 10hz-18Khz +/- 20dB into IEC 60318-4 coupler… whatever the bleeding f**k that means.

It’s a bad-ass design, and a stout performer.

In spite of its six-drivers, this CIEM is small. The smallest I’ve ever owned. It’s actually a little difficult to get out of my ears, as ME sinks so deep inside. Nonetheless, it’s perfectly comfortable, with immaculate seal and isolation.

My particular unit is a recreation of an old design I came up with for my first CIEM, the Rhapsodio Solar. Ever since I sold that, I’ve missed the beauty of those hues and textures. So I gave Piotr the same description as I once gave Sammy, just to see how different their interpretations might be. Indeed, while they both possess a deep, red shell and ebony faceplate, the results are dissimilar enough that each stands as a unique creation.

Rhapsodio Solar BA10



Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


6 Responses

  1. Clean and clear are the traits you want to push with FIBAE ME. They don’t need any additional help in the “musical” category. 😉

  2. Nice write-up! Quick question….any idea as to which of these two cables from Moon-Audio you think would work best with the Fibae ME?

    – Bronze Dragon IEM cable ($200) – (reviews consider them “warm, full, musical” with plenty of “detail and subtlety”)
    – Silver Dragon V1 IEM cable ($195). – (reviews consider them “clean, clear, pure, and detail-oriented sound”.

    Both were TAS Headphone cable of the year………..many thanks!

  3. I enjoy ur reviews— I have an order in for the CA Fibae Black—but also have an opportunity to get the ME for a discount and would have to reshell—
    I know it is all subjective–but in ur opinion do u prefer the ME or the Black?

  4. Thanks. Glad you liked it.

    Sorry, Csaba, I still have not had the pleasure of trying the R6, or the R3.

  5. Great review Pinky!
    I’d searched for something like these.
    Have you tried them with Hiby R6?

    Csaba MandarinEs

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