Cable 2

Tour: MMR CIEMs – Thummim and Homunculus, Plus GAE BOLG

Battling with VE ERL for Best-In-Class

September 2020

The products in this tour are available for purchase herehttps://metalmagic.co/

You have to give credit where credit is due, the VE ERL is the best CIEM that I have ever heard. However, with VE discontinuing the ERL, the new MMR Thummim is threatening to take its crown based on reviews by those with an ERL in hand. The comparison seem to be that the Thummim is everything that the ERL is, but bigger and more colored for a more exciting sound.

We may find that these two kings are complementary once we hear them, but reviewers so far are taking sides. As always, I had to hear this for myself so I reached out for a tour, and here we are. 

UPDATE: 01/25/21: We are adding a bonus tour to show off MMR’s new GAE BOLG CIEM offering. For those of you that enjoy the MMR house sound but cannot afford the Thummim or Homunculus – this one is for you. 🙂

MMR CIEM Tour Kickoff Video

Two MMR Thummim and Homunculus Tour Kits

We have arranged for two tour kits to keep our tour moving for everyone to get their turn ASAP. Each tour kit contains:

  • Thummim and Homunculus in  2.5mm balanced.
Thummim
Homunculus

Two MMR GAE BOLG Tour Kits

Barra's Quick Initial Impressions

The best part of managing tours is getting to hear all the great gear for myself. It felt like Christman morning opening these kits as they are very elegant! Here are some brief impressions from what I have heard so far between the tasks required to set up this tour:

  • Thummim: 9 Triple Hybrid Drivers Configuration – Quad Electrostatics, 2 Vented Mid,  2 Highs, 1x Bespoke 9.7mm Foster Dynamic Driver – 4-Way Passive Electro Frequency Division ($4499)
    >>>Early Impressions: I had very specific expectations going into my first Thummim listen having read reviews and followed the conversation on HEADFI for a while. I was expecting HUGE bass and a very fun signature in comparison to the VE ERL that is always been compared. The truth is that I was surprised to hear something more akin to the ERL with big sound that is awe-inspiring while being polite and audiophile in nature. However, as the dynamic driver opened up and my tip rolling found a better seal, the bass came out to play more and more getting bigger and bigger. However, this is still an audiophile first IEM vs. the fun signature that I imagined. I am still wrapping my head around the signature, but it is a significant scaler that loves to be treated to my Burson C3R to offer full dynamics. A second observation is that this Thummin sounds wonderous with the provided premium Eletech Plato silver cable, but demands the Eletech Iliad which takes it even a level higher with bolder dynamics, smoother more forward audiophile details and enhanced euphonics. More to come in a full review.
  • Homunculus: 4 Triple Hybrid Drivers Configuration – Dual Electrostatics, 1x Vented Mid,  1x Bespoke 9.7mm Foster Dynamic Driver – 3-Way Passive Electro Frequency Division ($1699)
    >>>Early Impressions: The Homunculus is not too far from the Thummim in performance, but tuned more like what I was expecting in the Thummim signature. The bass driver is the same, but the bass is more prominent in the Homunculus signature and the mids are more forward and intimate. The Homunculus is basically a fun tuned Thummim. The rounded shape of the Homunculus is also easier to get a proper seal offering an immediate glimpse at its performance capabilities without the need for tip rolling like with the Thummim. This makes the Homunculus the more impressive in terms of early listening impressions, but over time, the Thummim wins you over with the capabilities its extra drivers brings to the game. If you want the Thummim and cannot afford it, the Homunculus is very close in signature and performance at a significant discount. 
These are very unique IEMs that you need to hear for yourself as my descriptions do not do them justice. My impressions have been evolving as the drivers burn-in, in particular the dynamic bass. These IEMs also love power and better sources and will reward you when you feed them right.

Seven Day Auditions, Reviewers Go First

Our goal is to allow our audiophile community to actually hear outstanding audio gear ourselves rather than just read reviews. By auditioning this gear in the comfort of our own home over a week and by using our own systems and music to listen, we can make intelligent purchase decisions. By making auditions a community event, we can share our experiences and offer advice to other participants to get the most out of their audition. 

7-Day Auditions: The participants are offered a seven day audition in the comfort of their own home, but are responsible for making arrangements to ship out by day 8. Reviewers sometimes are offered a longer review period.

Full Reviewers Always Go First: Do you want to move to the front of the line? If you intend on creating a full review, please note this in your participation request to be moved to the front of the line. This requires a commitment to post a full review here on AudioTier, HEADFI, an audiophile review site, or multiple. Those that wish to demo only or do simple impressions still get their chance to audition the kit, but after the reviewers go first.

Organized Logistically: The participant list is organized logistically to minimize shipping costs moving coast to coast with both a West Coast and an East Coast tour if there is a second kit. To begin the tour, I will ship each kit to the first in each list for a 7-day audition. Thereafter participants will be responsible to hand-deliver or ship the demo kit to the next participant in the list.

Self-Managed: The participants are expected to self-manage by following the basic rules and following the logistical order while managing any small logistics changes among themselves. Any complex issues can be directed to the moderator at billb@cleardiff.com.

Rules and Responsibilities

Most of our tours are offering 7-day auditions which you are required to ship out to the next participant on day 8. Yes, you pay the shipping to the next participant, but we organize into logistically friendly orders to minimize the shipping expense.

The tour membership rules and responsibilities are described in detail here. The key idea is that we must be communicative to participate and to keep the tour moving and interesting. It is our responsibility to follow these rules and to ensure the ability to ship out on day 8 when our turn is over.

Join the Tour

To sign up for the tour, you must be a verified tour member and have joined our new AUDIOTIERs platform. The membership qualifications and requirements are described here if you are not already a member. Whether a HEADFI tour member that needs to transfer their membership to the new platform or you are a new member looking to apply for tour membership, please follow the instructions in the GETTING STARTED box below. We are now accepting applications from both US and Canadian citizens.

Getting
Started

NEW TOUR MEMBERS: 1) Register, 2) Subscribe, 3) Apply, 4) Join Tours

EXISTING HEADFI TOUR MEMBERS: 1) Register, 2) Subscribe, 3) Join Tours

Tour Signups: If you would like to be part of this tour, please feel free to post your request in the comments below. This is a REVIEWERS GO FIRST TOUR, so if you would like to skip to the front of the line, please note that you would like to be a full reviewer in the request as in the sample below:

Request Instructions:

Please post a proper request to the comments section to join the tour per the instructions below.

Request Message: I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. (add correct bullet below)

  • My membership information is up to date.
  • I have applied for membership and have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.

Optional: AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.

Sample Signup Request

I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My membership information is up to date. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.

Tour Participant Logistics - Reviewers First

Please note, this is a full reviewer first tour. If you promise to do a full review, you will be moved to the front of the line. Everyone else looking to demo only or do impressions will get their chance once the reviewers have gone first.

Starting with reviewers first, we will logistically move our tour kits from coast to coast to reduce shipping time and cost. After the close of the logistical portion of the tour, latecomers can still join first come first serve. The good news is that we will do our best to accommodate all tour members that wish to participate.

The participation information will be updated live throughout the tour and will provide you with current status on kit possession. Per the rules, you should be contacted as a backup prior to your turn so you will be ready when you are next.

MMR Thummim and Homunculus Tour Kit Logistics

Tour Kit 1

  1. Barra – Anthem, AZ
  2. REVIEWER: @ngoshawk – Warrensburg, MO
  3. REVIEWER: @audio in – Merced, CA
  4. @CANiSLAYu – Concord, CA
  5. @chasescolnick@gmail.com – San Juan Capistrano, CA
  6. REVIEWER: @Precogvision /@tlee6543 – Redwood City, CA (I/P)
  7. REVIEWER: @csglinux – Los Angeles, CA
  8. @eTHE2 – Diamond Bar, CA
  9. @wardo783 – Porter Ranch, CA
  10. @liberatus – El Cajon, CA
  11. @hypermuteki – Las Vegas, NV
  12. @circa – Denver, CO
  13. @drunkenmunkey – Highlands Ranch, CO
  14. hamhamhamsta – Santa Ana, CA
  15. bhschap – Orange, CA (In Process)
  16. uthood – Prosper, TX
  17. rwelles – Florence, OR
  18. Wildcatsare1 – Lexington, KY
  19. forkofnature – Annapolis, MD
  20. Towa – Nashville, TN
  21. Wildcatsare1- Lexington, KY
  22. Barra – Anthem, AZ

Tour Kit 2

  1. @Barra – Anthem, AZ
  2. REVIEWER: @audiokeyreviews – Eau Claire, WI 
  3. REVIEWER: @dbstechtalk – LOGANSPORT IN
  4. REVIEWER: @SLC1966 – Sandy, UT
  5. REVIEWER: @antdroid –Lynnwood, WA
  6. @tybot – Albuquerque, NM
  7. @aafevo – Houston, TX 
  8. @blueshound24 – Sioux Falls, SD
  9. @toaster – NY, NY
  10. @darkestred – Denville, NJ
  11. @Doctorjazz – Westfield, NJ
  12. @tawmizzzz – Somerville, MA (I/P)
  13. Barra – Anthem, AZ

Canadian Tours

We are looking for a 6 participant threshold to add the Canadian lag to this tour.

  1. REVIEWER: @Tanjiro – Ontario, Canada
  2. @Titienne – Quebec, Canada

GAE BOLG Tour Kit Logistics

Tour Kit 1

  1. Barra – Anthem, AZ
  2. REVIEWER: @audiokeyreviews – Eau Claire, WI 
  3. REVIEWER: @ngoshawk – Warrensburg, MO
  4. Towa – Nashville, TN
  5. Wildcatsare1 – Lexington, KY
  6. Doctorjazz – Westfield, NJ
  7. uthood – Prosper, TX
  8. Wildcatsare1 – Lexington, KY

Tour Kit 2

  1. Barra – Anthem, AZ
  2. REVIEWER: @audio in – Merced, CA
  3. rwelles – Florence, OR
  4. eTHE2 – Diamond Bar, CA
  5. csglinux – Los Angeles, CA
  6. hypermuteki – Las Vegas, NV

Canadian Tours

We are looking for a 6 participant threshold to add the Canadian lag to this tour.

  1.  
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Tybot
Tybot (@tybot)
US Tours
08/14/2020 6:44 pm

Sign me up for this tour!

Tanjiro
Tanjiro (@tanjiro)
CA Tours Reviewer
Reply to  Tybot
09/11/2020 11:45 pm

Wrong post. Deleted

Last edited 7 months ago by Tanjiro
Tybot
Tybot (@tybot)
US Tours
08/14/2020 6:48 pm

Upon further reading…

I live in Albuquerque, NM and agree to all terms of the tour. I have submitted all required ID to Barra.

antdroid
antdroid (@antdroid)
US Tours Reviewer
08/18/2020 3:59 am

I live in Lynnwood, WA (Seattle-area) and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation.

Titienne
Titienne (@titienne)
CA Tours
08/18/2020 4:31 am

I live in Quebec, Canada (I know, I know) and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour and I have already emailed my required ID verification documentation.

dbstechtalk
dbstechtalk (@dbstechtalk)
US Tours Reviewer
08/18/2020 10:06 am

I live in Logansport, IN and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com. As a reviewer, please move me to the top of the list.

aafevo
aafevo (@aafevo)
US Tours
08/18/2020 8:22 pm

I live in Houston,TX and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.

Cscol
Cscol (@cscol)
US Tours
08/18/2020 8:48 pm

Please sign me up for this tour. I live in San Juan Capistrano, CA and agree to comply with the terms and conditions. My info should be on file as I participated in previous head-fi tours. Thanks!

Toaster
Toaster (@toaster)
US Tours
08/19/2020 1:11 pm

Erlky wants a friend…interested in hearing the thum.

I live in NY, NY.

I agree to the terms.

Thx, B.

Darkestred
Darkestred (@darkestred)
US Tours
08/20/2020 3:43 am

I live in Denville, NJ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My info should still be verified.

circa
circa (@circa)
US Tours
08/21/2020 8:05 pm

I live in Denver, CO and would love to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms. You have my info from the head-fi tours. Thanks for setting up these tours Bill.

Precogvision
Precogvision (@precogvision)
US Tours
08/23/2020 11:14 pm

I live in Redwood City, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID info and been verified previously. As a reviewer, please move me to the front of the line.

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
08/26/2020 2:14 am

I live in Diamond Bar,CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.

Drunkenmunkey
Drunkenmunkey (@drunkenmunkey)
US Tours Reviewer
08/26/2020 7:20 pm

I live in Highlands Ranch, CO and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com (and have already been approved)!

tawmizzzz
tawmizzzz (@tawmizzzz)
US Tours
08/29/2020 9:42 pm

I live in Somerville, MA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to  BillB@AudioTiers.com.

Blueshound24
Blueshound24 (@blueshound24)
US Tours
08/30/2020 5:54 pm

Thanks Bill! I live in Sioux Falls, SD and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour and I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com and all information is still current and correct.

Audio In
Audio In (@audio-in)
US Tours Reviewer
09/03/2020 11:49 pm

I live in Merced, California and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com

csglinux
csglinux (@csglinux)
US Tours Reviewer
09/06/2020 1:10 am

I live in Los Angeles, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@AudioTiers.com. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.

hypermuteki
hypermuteki (@hypermuteki)
US Tours
09/06/2020 11:37 pm

I live in Las Vegas, NV and agree to all terms of the tour. I have submitted all required ID to Barra.

wardo783
wardo783 (@wardo783)
US Tours
09/07/2020 2:08 am

I live in Porter Ranch, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have all verification documentation on file.

SLC1966
SLC1966 (@slc1966)
US Tours Reviewer
09/07/2020 4:01 am

I live in Salt Lake City Utah. Please sign me up for this tour. Barra has all my documentation from the VE tours.

SLC1966
SLC1966 (@slc1966)
US Tours Reviewer
09/07/2020 1:01 pm

Also I agree to the terms and please put me down as a REVIEWER. I have energy to write another review. And this one seems review worthy.

Doctorjazz
Doctorjazz (@doctorjazz)
US Tours
09/07/2020 3:21 pm

I’d like to join this tour, I don’t mind being at the end. Thanks so much. I’m located in Westfield, New Jersey.

Last edited 7 months ago by Doctorjazz
Liberatus
Liberatus (@liberatus)
US Tours Reviewer
09/10/2020 4:02 pm

I live in El Cajon, California and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My membership information is up to date. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.
(Lucidmotionz prior tour member on HeadFi)

Tanjiro
Tanjiro (@tanjiro)
CA Tours Reviewer
09/11/2020 11:52 pm

I live in Ontario, Canada and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.

CANiSLAYu
CANiSLAYu (@canislayu)
US Tours
09/12/2020 1:31 am

I live in Concord, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I am a verified US tour member and my contact information is up to date.

ngoshawk
ngoshawk (@ngoshawk)
US Tours Reviewer
09/18/2020 5:32 pm

So far, the Thummim makes me want to forget everything else I have heard up until now except the Erlkonig. Until I hear the latest from Empire Ears the two mentioned are pretty much at the top of any short list. Not to discount 64Audio or others, mind you.

I will state that the fit is on par with the older Campfire Audio models such as the Andromeda, which is to say “tolerable” at most. An exquisite shape at which to look, a painful one at which to endure.

dbstechtalk
dbstechtalk (@dbstechtalk)
US Tours Reviewer
Reply to  Barra
10/05/2020 8:52 pm

I will post thesew reviews on head-fi as well and I have recorded a video on my YouTube channel. Here are my written reviews:

Thummim:
I want to thank Audiotiers.com, head-fi.org and Metal Magic Research for allowing me to participate in the tour of the Homunculus and Thummim. 

The Metal Magic Research (MMR) Thummim is the most expensive IEM I have ever heard. I honestly didn’t know what to expect and I am still not sure what to think.

Here is link to the Metal Magic Research page that will explain the technology of the Thummim a whole lot better than I can: https://metalmagic.co/pages/universal

I am going to keep this review very short and to the point as I didn’t have a lot of listening time to the Thummim for various reasons. The first and foremost reason being the comfort was not pleasant for me. The second reason is that I was only given one week to listen and review both the Homunculus and Thummim. BUT mostly the reason is I dreaded putting the Homunculus in my ears because of the discomfort that they caused.

Let’s get the unpleasantries out of the way first. Comfort is not what I would consider pleasant but it isn’t as unpleasant as the Homunculus razor blade edges. The weight of the Thummim is a big issue along with the long nozzle. Because of the angle and length of the nozzle the way that the Thummim sticks out of my ear canal is odd and then the weight pushes the Thummim down and causes a weird fit for me. I end up getting very sore ear canals extremely quickly, like 30 minutes or less. In fact, my ear canals hurt so bad like they were bruised and I couldn’t even wear them for 2 straight days as it was extremely painful. 

Now for the pleasantries, the build quality is simply amazing. The unboxing experience is fantastic and my favorite of all time. I love the leather carry case that reminds of a high end watch case. The Eletech cable is crazy nice and is the best IEM cable I have ever used. 

Sound:

BASS: Big, large,authoritative, boomy, warm, thick, slow and methodical. The Bass of the Thummim is big and large but takes it’s time in portrayal. The Thummim has a warm tint in the bass that has some bleed into the mids. Attack speed is good but decay is on the slower side and on busier tracks will sound muddled and thick. The bass is very fun and engaging and has an authoritative presence. 

MIDS: Warm, thick, slightly recessed, detailed, engaging upper mids, sweet vocals. Depending on your music preference the mids will either be loved or meh. For my preferences of jazz, classical and acoustical music the mids are a mixed bag. The warmth and thickness of the Thummim mids will make woodwinds and strings sound a little too warm and thick and unnatural. But for vocal prominent music and other genres like rock, EDM and electronic the Thummim sounds amazing. Vocals have power and presence about them that makes this vocal lover excited and looking forward to the next song. 

TREBLE: Clean, clear, powerful, extended and detailed. The Thummim treble is well extended and is a very clean and clear, powerful sound with excellent air and details. The Thummim is controlled in the treble and it never sounds harsh or sibilant. The Thummim treble is nicely detailed and resolved. 

SOUNDSTAGE: Massive, deep and layered. The Thummim has the widest soundstage I have ever heard. I love the soundstage that the Thummim portrays, sounds life like and engaging. Only gripe I have is the bass can be a little more prominent then the rest of the mix and sometimes will cause separation of bass instruments to not be as clean. 

COMPARISON: Empire Ears Wraith is more linear in its approach closer to neutral and natural sounding but is more laidback. 
The Vision Ears Elysium has a brighter signature and a smaller soundstage but better controlled bass in the soundstage. The mids of the Elysium is more forward and natural sounding. 
The MMR Homunculus is the laidback “little brother” in that the bass is not as impactful or detailed, mids are thinner and suffer from a slight metallic timbre and the treble is not as energetic. The soundstage of the homunculus is similar but just a tad bit smaller in width.  

CONCLUSION: I really like the sound of the MMR Thummim but the comfort is a major flaw for me. I can’t wear the Thummim for more then 30 minutes before my ears start aching and then I don’t want to wear them for several days after because of the bruising. As much as I want to recommend them for the unboxing experience and the pleasant sound the comfort just says no as I would think for the price tag of 4.5k the comfort issue would be better. The MMR Thummim is the worst best IEM I have ever heard. 

Gear Used:

Pioneer XDP30r
Sony NW-A105
NextDrive Spectre X 
Mytek Liberty
THX AAA 789

Test Tracks:

https://tidal.com/browse/track/128215119 Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” – multiple layer soundstage
https://tidal.com/browse/track/77568002 Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” – female vocal tone
https://tidal.com/browse/track/120190149 Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” – male vocal tone
https://tidal.com/browse/track/230625 Eric Clapton “Change the World” – soundstage layering and placement
https://tidal.com/browse/track/18016422 Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” – acoustic instrument timbre
https://tidal.com/browse/track/103401770 Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” – acoustic instrument timbre
https://tidal.com/browse/track/31759874 Tingvall Trio “Beat” – piano tonality 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/52532480 Pain of Salvation “Stress” – percussion balance 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/98069001 Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” – orchestral dynamics
https://tidal.com/browse/track/41094997 Patricia Barber “Code Cool” – sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” – shouty upper mids
https://tidal.com/browse/track/116415078 Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” – imaging 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/1855831 Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” – sub bass extension
https://tidal.com/browse/track/89386285 Marcus Miller “No Limit” – bass control
https://tidal.com/browse/track/77646106 Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
https://tidal.com/browse/track/132139860 Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
https://tidal.com/browse/track/79530261 Hans Zimmer :2049” – sub bass extension

Homunculus:

I want to thank Audiotiers.com, head-fi.org and Metal Magic Research for allowing me to participate in the tour of the Homunculus and Thummin. 

The MMR Homunculus is an experience that is both amazing but disappointing at the same time. The unboxing experience is full of wow factor and handcrafted goodness. The build quality of the Homunculus shows off the strength and beauty of titanium. The design is something from a science fiction novel. But the comfort is something of a torture device that focuses on slicing the ears slowly into spiral curls. Thus the overall listening experience is a mixed bag of astounding sound and unpleasant comfort.

Here is link to the Metal Magic Research page that will explain the technology of the Homunculus a whole lot better than I can: https://metalmagic.co/pages/universal

I am going to keep this review very short and to the point as I didn’t have a lot of listening time to the Homunculus for various reasons. The first and foremost reason being the comfort was not pleasant for me. The second reason is that I was only given one week to listen and review both the Homunculus and Thummim. BUT mostly the reason is I dreaded putting the Homunculus in my ears because of the discomfort that they caused.

Let’s get the unpleasant comfort out the way first. The oddball shape, semi oval, is too large for my ears and never sat properly no matter how I positioned it. The edge where the front plate and back shell meet was like a razor blade against my ear and caused major discomfort. The back shell being ridged, angled and flat caused massive discomfort in how the Homunculus sat in my ear. As for the angle of the nozzle and the length that also caused issues for me but not as much as the shell. The angle is a little aggressive and the nozzle is a little short but it did manage to hold the shell in place and never slipped out. Overall the design of the Homunculus just doesn’t fit my ears but it might yours. As for seal and isolation of outside noises, the Homunculus seems to do an adequate job as long as you don’t mind readjusting for comfort.

Now for the pleasantries. The unboxing experience is incredible. The presentation box is well built and artful. The carry bag is made of leather and smells divine, even though it is a little bit tight and small in the opening. The overall build and design of the Homunculus is top notch and you can tell that MMR put a lot of thought and research into the Homunculus. The Eletech cable is a very nice touch and is one of the best IEM cables I have had the pleasure of using. 

Sound:

BASS: Extended, controlled, detailed and textured. There is a slight mid bass emphasis, sub bass is light and the overall presentation lacks impact. Tone is pleasing and overall it is clean and clear. I just wish that at times there was more body and impact. Details are plentiful and portrayed in a way that is pleasing and not distracting. 

MIDS: Unbalanced, lack cohesion and thin. Mids suffer from a slight metallic timbre and are thin, especially in the lower end. The center and upper mids do thicken up a little and are more forward and detailed. The upper mids overpower the lower mids and cause issues with instruments sounding unbalanced and incohesive, ie. violins, banjos, guitars and upper registers of pianos will be more prominent. Vocals also sound unbalanced when listening to mixed groups as the females will be more prominent. If you listen mostly to female vocals then the Homunculus will be pleasing. Details are plentiful but do come off as somewhat metallic. 

TREBLE: Polite, smooth, pleasing, lacks energy. The treble is pleasant but can be described as slightly boring. I actually like it for the most part just wish it had a little more energy, kind of reminds me of how I am in the morning before I have coffee. Treble has a pleasing tone but isn’t natural sounding but doesn’t suffer from metallic timbre like the mids. Details are readily available and easy to digest. 

SOUNDSTAGE: Huge, spacious and deep. The soundstage of the Homunculus is huge. I love the soundstage of the Homunculus for the vast size and space it portrays. The depth and layering is excellent. You can easily determine the seating and positioning on stage.

COMPARISON: The Meze Rai Penta is a beautifully crafted IEM that fits my ear like a glove. As for sound the Rai Penta emits a fuller, balanced, cohesive sound with a tad more air and energy but the soundstage is smaller and are about as defined in depth and layering. 

The (Drop) Empire Ears Zeus is not as well built but does fit my ears better and more comfortably. The Zeus is a brighter sound signature but has more cohesive and balanced mids with more body. The treble is more energetic. The Zeus is more aggressive in it’s detail portrayal. Zeus has a little less mid bass presence which gives an edge to punchiness in the presentation to the Homunculus but the Zeus has a little more extension and sub bass detail. Soundstage the Zeus isn’t as wide as the Homunculus but is close to equal when it comes to depth and layering. 

CONCLUSION: The MMR Homunculus is unique and different and it is an experience that I have mixed reactions to. There is a lot to like about it, the controlled, detailed bass and the smooth, detailed treble and the expansive, detailed soundstage, incredible clean and clear resolution and detail retrieval. But sadly the dislikes are too much for me to overlook for the price; the thin, metallic mids, boring treble and the design that is like a razor blade torture device from a sci-fi novel. I wanted to like the MMR Homunculus but I just don’t like them being in my ears because they are so uncomfortable. 

Gear Used:

Pioneer XDP30r
Sony NW-A105
NextDrive Spectre X 
Mytek Liberty
THX AAA 789

Test Tracks:

https://tidal.com/browse/track/128215119 Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” – multiple layer soundstage
https://tidal.com/browse/track/77568002 Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” – female vocal tone
https://tidal.com/browse/track/120190149 Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” – male vocal tone
https://tidal.com/browse/track/230625 Eric Clapton “Change the World” – soundstage layering and placement
https://tidal.com/browse/track/18016422 Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” – acoustic instrument timbre
https://tidal.com/browse/track/103401770 Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” – acoustic instrument timbre
https://tidal.com/browse/track/31759874 Tingvall Trio “Beat” – piano tonality 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/52532480 Pain of Salvation “Stress” – percussion balance 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/98069001 Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” – orchestral dynamics
https://tidal.com/browse/track/41094997 Patricia Barber “Code Cool” – sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” – shouty upper mids
https://tidal.com/browse/track/116415078 Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” – imaging 
https://tidal.com/browse/track/1855831 Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” – sub bass extension
https://tidal.com/browse/track/89386285 Marcus Miller “No Limit” – bass control
https://tidal.com/browse/track/77646106 Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
https://tidal.com/browse/track/132139860 Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
https://tidal.com/browse/track/79530261 Hans Zimmer :2049” – sub bass extension

SLC1966
SLC1966 (@slc1966)
US Tours Reviewer
10/10/2020 7:12 pm

Tour kit 2 received. Working on a review for Thummmmmmm with comparisons to Erl, Odin, and Sultan.

antdroid
antdroid (@antdroid)
US Tours Reviewer
Reply to  SLC1966
10/21/2020 6:57 pm

Just wanted to say that I received the Tour Kit #2 this week from SLC1966 and will be working on some written impressions to post this weekend! These are umm interesting design choices but also pretty cool looking at the same time.

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  antdroid
03/11/2021 12:03 am

Tour Kit #2 apparently had some issues and was sent back to MMR for repair in late 2020. Speaking with Barra and Joseph, we were expecting it back in early to mid January. Joseph indicated some supplier issues with the parts and it was sent back to us to resume the tour in the past few days. I’ve just received them and will be doing some quick burn-in and auditioning.

hamhamhamsta
hamhamhamsta (@hamhamhamsta)
US Tours
10/14/2020 9:48 pm

I live in Santa Ana, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.

bhschap
bhschap (@bhschap)
US Tours
10/23/2020 5:58 pm

I live in Orange, CA and would love to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms. I have already submitted my information via Head-fi tours. Thank you so much!

aafevo
aafevo (@aafevo)
US Tours
11/06/2020 2:47 pm

What’s the latest on tour kit #2? Cant wait to hear these.

aafevo
aafevo (@aafevo)
US Tours
11/15/2020 10:06 pm

Confirming receipt of the MMR tour from Tybot, everything looks great.

Toaster
Toaster (@toaster)
US Tours
Reply to  aafevo
11/16/2020 8:36 pm

Hey  aafevo,

Confirming that I would like to OPT OUT of this tour, as I have already purchased my own Thummim.

Thanks for letting me know it was my turn, and please feel free to confirm with Barra who to send these to next.

Thanks!

josh

Tybot
Tybot (@tybot)
US Tours
Reply to  aafevo
11/18/2020 3:16 am

Hope you’re enjoying them!

forkofnature
forkofnature (@forkofnature)
US Tours
11/20/2020 2:56 pm

I live in Annapolis, MD and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I already have emailed my required ID verification documentation to BillB@audiotiers.com.

Towa
Towa (@towa)
US Tours
11/24/2020 4:08 am

I live in Nashville, TN and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My membership information is up to date.

Doctorjazz
Doctorjazz (@doctorjazz)
US Tours
12/10/2020 3:52 am

@tawmizzz, I can’t figure out how to message you in this app, so message me if you’re ready to receive the gear. I’ll need your shipping info.

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  Barra
01/28/2021 4:24 am

As I’ve already signed up for the MMR tour, Id like to be added to the Bonus Tour GAE Blog

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  Barra
03/12/2021 11:10 pm

Thank you! Tour package including the Gae Bolg received today with no issues.

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  eTHE2
04/11/2021 2:37 am

The Gae Bolg have been sent on to csglinux. Please confirm receipt.

hypermuteki
hypermuteki (@hypermuteki)
US Tours
Reply to  Barra
02/02/2021 1:15 pm

I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@AudioTiers.com.

Please add me to the Gae Bolg tour.

rwelles
rwelles (@rwelles)
US Tours
01/28/2021 2:21 am

Sign me up! My deets are already on file.

uthood
uthood (@uthood)
US Tours
01/28/2021 2:22 am

I live in Prosper, TX and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour.

  • My membership information is up to date.
  • I have applied for membership and have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@cleardiff.com.
eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
01/28/2021 4:21 am

I live in Diamond Bar, CA and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation.

csglinux
csglinux (@csglinux)
US Tours Reviewer
01/28/2021 4:27 am

I live in LA, CA and would like to participate in the GAE BOLG tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation.

Towa
Towa (@towa)
US Tours
01/28/2021 5:13 am

I live in Nashville, TN and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. My membership information is up to date.

I’ve already signed up for the main tour, but would also like the opputunity to join the bonus tour as well. thanks

Doctorjazz
Doctorjazz (@doctorjazz)
US Tours
01/29/2021 3:33 am

Hi. I’m in Westfield New Jersey, and would like to join the Bolg and beautiful tour. I agree to abide by the rules of engagement.

hypermuteki
hypermuteki (@hypermuteki)
US Tours
02/02/2021 12:51 pm

I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like to participate in the Gae Bolg tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to  BillB@AudioTiers.com.

Thanks again Bill for organizing this tour. It has definitely helped me decide which IEM to buy in the past (64audio A12t based off of the U12t on the tour that sounded good even with me having fit/seal issues with it so I went with the ciem version so I would no longer have seal issues with the ciem version) and I’ve dodged a bullet a few times where I thought the Vision Ears VE8 was going to be a definite blind purchase based on reviews, but with the tour I got to listen to it and it didn’t sound as good as I thought it would be.Maybe it’s my equipment that doesn’t play well with IEMs because I’m using a Pass Labs headphone amp which is a great amp for most over ear headphones, but because of my chronic pain issues in my neck and shoulders I would prefer IEMs that sound as good as regular headphones. I realize I likely have to spend a lot more if I choose IEMs that is on the level of the TOTL headphones, but I’m ok with that as long as it sounds great.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
02/03/2021 7:56 am

Hi all, I am in Lexington, KY, and would love to get on the tail end of the Thummin your, if it, I’ve provided all supporting documents to Bill.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
Reply to  Barra
02/25/2021 12:41 am

Bill,

Is Thummin closed? I’m seeing where you added me on Gae Bolg, but not on the Thummin.

ngoshawk
ngoshawk (@ngoshawk)
US Tours Reviewer
02/09/2021 3:32 am

I would like to join the GAE BOLG review tour. As a full reviewer, I will post in all places a detailed review of the wares.

Cheers.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
Reply to  ngoshawk
04/14/2021 8:47 pm

Have you had a chance to listen to the Gae Bolg yet?

ngoshawk
ngoshawk (@ngoshawk)
US Tours Reviewer
Reply to  Wildcatsare1
04/14/2021 9:54 pm

No I have not. I messaged the person in front of me. I have not checked to see if they replied.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
Reply to  ngoshawk
04/14/2021 10:35 pm

Okay, I’ll reach out to them.

ngoshawk
ngoshawk (@ngoshawk)
US Tours Reviewer
Reply to  Wildcatsare1
04/15/2021 3:58 pm

I am in possession of the Gae Blog. It arrived today.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
Reply to  ngoshawk
04/15/2021 6:52 pm

Thanks Sir, I appreciate the heads up!

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
02/15/2021 9:19 am

Hi, I would like to be added to this tour, I am in Lexington, KY, and I am a verified member.

Wildcatsare1
Wildcatsare1 (@wildcatsare1)
Admin
Reply to  Barra
02/25/2021 12:38 am

Bill,

That would be a correct assumption, my first request was for the Thummin, second for the Gae Bolg.

uthood
uthood (@uthood)
US Tours
02/19/2021 3:13 am

Thanks for adding me to the Gae Bolg tour. If possible, my original intent was to jump on the Thummim and Homunculus tour as well if I could also be added to that as well. Thanks!

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
02/24/2021 7:38 pm

Have we gotten this tour back on track? I understood we’d be restarting it again in January after a few EOY issues.

wardo783
wardo783 (@wardo783)
US Tours
Reply to  Barra
02/25/2021 3:02 am

Negative, I haven’t received the tour kit.

eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  Barra
02/25/2021 4:25 am

It was not me. I know Joseph indicated he was going to send the kit back to me after the New Year. I havent heard anything further.Perhaps Antdroid sent it?

Last edited 1 month ago by eTHE2
eTHE2
eTHE2 (@ethe2)
Admin
Reply to  eTHE2
03/11/2021 12:05 am

Tour Kit #2 apparently had some issues and was sent back to MMR for repair in late 2020. Speaking with Barra and Joseph, we were expecting it back in early to mid January. Joseph indicated some supplier issues with the parts and it was sent back to us to resume the tour in the past few days. I’ve just received them and will be doing some quick burn-in and auditioning.

wardo783
wardo783 (@wardo783)
US Tours
02/25/2021 3:00 am

Negative, I have not received the tour kit. Hopefully soon