Review: Custom Art FIBAE 7 – Dynamics!

Custom Art Fibae 7

1. Build quality & Comfort

 

The FIBAE 7 we review here came in the acrylic and custom version. To be honest I have only listened to one universal FIBAE model before (the black) but all of their models – universal included – are very small, and the fit is great.

The same goes for this FIBAE 7: small, great fit, perfect seal. Build quality-wise there’s nothing negative to report about. The canals with the dual tube system is perfectly built, the edges are soft and round. The face plate closing is perfect and there overall isn’t any mistake visible. The 2-pin connector sits perfectly flush in the body and there are no bubbles or acrylic imperfections at all.

The design doesn’t really allow my to see the insides of the FIBAE 7, so I can’t really comment on the internal symmetry and neatness. So as far as I can see, this FIBAE 7 is perfect in all ways.

Comfort wise these are absolutely great as we’re used to from CA. Custom Art’s monitors are always small in body and with the short canal they effortlessly disappear in your ear where they deliver the perfect seal. The comfort is top-notch and you can easily wear the FIBAE 7 for hours without having to take them out or feeling any pain afterwards.

2. Personalization

Gone are the days of filling out a form to personalize monitors. Custom Art’s shop is equipped with a monitor building application. For the silicone FIBAE 7 you can find it here: https://theCustom Art.com/shop/acrylic-products/fibae-7/

Custom Art allows you to personalize the left and rights differently. For each side you have different options for the shell, the canal and the face plate. You can also have the Custom Art logos left and right for free if you want that (see pics).

The builder tool is very easy to use and it gives you a very good idea of how your finished monitors will look like. You have the choice of a whole bunch of colors and the face plate possibilities are almost endless. With the online tool it is also possible to upload personal art or text for on the face plates. You can save and upload designs at any time so you can easily compare your different creations to each other before ordering.

For my review sample, I remember now that I based myself on one of their designs they were showcasing on their Facebook page. The shells have this purple-blue cosmic cocktail look and the face plates are darker with a more black, deep space look. These almost look like candy and I really love how these turned out. I called them “Liquid Space” in the preview article if I remember correctly. In the center of the face plate I on both sides have the small round Custom Art logo “engraved”. The design to some might look simple and common but to me it’s really nice.

If you want to check out the most beautiful CA designs, go to their website here or check out their Facebook page.

3. Cable

Cable-wise the FIBAE 7 comes with a boutique aftermarket cable from Null Audio. The FIBAE 7 cable is a special version of their Arete OCC Copper cable.

You can find Null Audio’s website here and the Arete page here: https://www.null-audio.com/collections/iem-headphone-cable/products/arete-series-mkii-replacement-cable-for-earphones. I can’t seem to find the exact same Arete OCC cable that my FIBAE 7 came with, but the MKIV version on Null Audio’s website goes for $89 USD, which is very affordable.

The Cable is a 4-way one and the build quality seems good. The cable’ Y-splitter, chin lock, 2-pin connectors and 3.5mm plug all look very nice and the build quality is good. The only two things I can complain about are the length of the cable from the Y-split to the earphones, and the length of the length of the memory wire (heat shrink) behind your ear.

Custom Art does give you the option to chose between 2-pin and MMCX and for the 2-pin one you can select a recessed or flush connection with or without microphone option.

Sound-wise I have not felt the need to try any other cable with the FIBAE 7 and I’m quite happy with its performance. I would have liked a 2.5mm termination option to listen to the 7 in balanced mode, but ok.

4. Price & Accessories

The FIBAE 7’s price starts at €1.100 Euro for the basic model and that price might increase depending on the options chosen. For a TOTL model of a line-up that can be considered as cheap, especially when you’re comparing it to the prices some of the US and Asian colleagues are charging for their monitors.

For your money you also get a nice set of accessories:

– a carton box
– a Peli 1010 case (the best)
– a zipper case
– a wax pick tool
– a drying pellet
– a warranty card
– Ear tips in 4 sizes (universal fit only)

5. Customer Service

As said earlier Custom Art now has a monitor building app which reduces the communication with the company. I myself have always been in contact by email and I never used the configurator but Piotr as usual is always quick to reply to questions and suggestions.

I’m convinced Custom Art’s customer service is nothing to worry about, au contraire. The posts in the different Head-Fi threads also prove this over and over: Custom Art is a pleasure to work with.

Another thing I like is how Piotr, who was a reviewer himself before he started his business, compares the different model’s tonality to each other. He looks at bass, mids, treble, headroom, imaging, depth, warmth and brightness. The overview can be found on his website and the only down side to this is that you can only compare two models at the same time. When you look at the FIBAE 7 you get this chart:

Custom Art FIBAE 7

Custom Art FIBAE 7

Time to dive deeper into how it sounds!

To go to the part on SOUND, click here or use the jumps below.

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

6 Comments

  • Reply November 12, 2019

    ERIC BUBERWA

    I am a big fan of music, local on stage performer. I like especially the alternative classic rock and other genres of music and for that matter i am a big fan and user of variety of IEM’s. I am excited to yet try FIBAE 7 because they seem to be a game changer

  • Reply November 13, 2019

    SC

    In your opinion, does the F7 eliminate the rest of the FIBAE lineup i.e. if you have the F7, then there isn’t much use in having any of the others? Or is there still a place for the rest of the lineup? I own the Black (hoping it returns from Custom Art soon from repair/fitting work) and see resell deals pop up now and then for some of the other models. It’s always tempting since Custom Art has a reasonable owner transfer system. Would I benefit from pairing the Black with other FIBAE models or would it be best to hold off for the F7?

    • Reply November 13, 2019

      Lieven

      Is F7 the technical best? Yes, but it also different enough from the other FIBAE models to be complementary. If you can affors having the BLACK/Four as well as the 7, I would certainly do so. If you can only afford one it depends on what signature you like most. The comparisons are in the article. Good luck and thanks for the comment.

      • Reply November 13, 2019

        SC

        Thanks for the reply. I am in the position where I don’t have enough experience to know how to correctly correlate the comparisons to my own ears. So, I keep reading reviews in the hopes one day I’ll get to try things out and better train my ears to understand what’s going on 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll keep my eyes open for the F4 or F7.

  • Reply November 16, 2019

    Baptiste_C

    Hello Lieven,

    I have a serious interest to buying a new custom IEM for music listening (50%), mixing in night club (25%) and playing drums in a jazz band (25%). Also record and mix sometimes. I listen to every genre of music techno, house, jazz, us old school rap, classic, country, pop, rock, and every king of modern commercial production.
    My IEM portfolio is all Earsonics (buy the way I am French) and I have several Fiio sources to feed them.
    I have the ES3 : that I like for their articulate smooth delivery and were my 101 class in decent music listening.
    The custom EM32 : that I adore for their bass and their overall ability to display the body and the soul of the sound in the entire spectrum even at medium volume but I wish for a bit more dynamics.
    And finally the S-EM9 : that I really like for its dynamically detailed sound but at times it sound skinny and a bit too bright for me. It gives me the sensation that I am being pointed at by a flashlight right in the face.

    Therefore the perfect IEMs for me would be a perfect balance between macro and micro details in the sound. And being preferably darker than brighter sounding but displaying descent stereo/staging, dynamics, clarity and transparency without the need to being the best or excelling in all these areas.
    I would love bass that are well extended and tight with a capable sub (but slightly north of neutral in quantity). I would like organic mids (cause despite having a love affair with bass, emotional verve comes from the mids). And finally well extended treble but remaining smooth and never peaky.

    I would like to have an advice to select a European (mainly to avoid import tax) 1100/1200€ max custom IEM. I had in mind the FIBAE 7 and the Earsonics EM64.
    Are other options available out there?

  • Reply November 20, 2019

    Wylfsyn

    I tried FIBAE 4, 6 and & last week on Audio Video Show in Warsaw. I’ve even met Piotr Garlicki in person:) As for my ears FB 6 seduced me with it’s powerful bass, 4 and 7 models were just behind. Mass drop edition just played lows as good, as my Polaris Mk2 from Campfire Audio.
    Note: As Piotr said, every CA IEM can be ordered as universal.

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