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Victor HP-FX500 Review: World's first Wood Canalphones - Page 3

post #31 of 1086
Thread Starter 
me too, this thread is lonely! anyway, another word? best evaar! haha, i love the way i sound 14 years old with only one potato
post #32 of 1086
From what you've described, these canal phones sound (pun intended) great! A few things are preventing me from getting it.

1. Price - if they're only in Japan right now, I'd rather not pay through the teeth on all the custom and duty fees I can see myself paying to Canada Post. As well, for $180, I think I'd rather splurge a bit more, and move to Sleek Audio's SA6.

2. Semi-open design - I like maximum isolation, and would prefer a totally closed design. My Atrio's with Comply foams provide me with a seal that's better than anything else I've tried so far.

3. Balance - You're saying that that the Victors are best when directly from the source, and that through an LOD iPod, the bass was overkill. As someone who uses a portable amp (RSA Tomahawk, no knob to control bass), that's a tad discouraging to hear, since my Atrio's perform remarkably with my amp (surprisingly, the amp doesn't overkill my bass levels on my Atrios, but refines my lows, and warms up the mids and highs).

4. Wood + moisture = potential warping? Since it is of partial wood construction, and stuck directly into your ear, I can see potential issues after heavy usage in higher temperature (ie: the heat of summer), with the wood possibly warping from the sweat and humidity of our ears. I know my IEM tips often come out sweaty in the summer, especially after a long listening session. Even if it's got a layer of anti-moisture coating on the outside, the internal moisture buildup in rapid temperature changes or humid conditions may even cause warping from the inside out. This will be interesting to observe.
post #33 of 1086
Thread Starter 
right i should amend my opinion on the lod and amp and these: they are great without, very good and surely they do better with to correct any flaws in the headphone out but... my problem was with the foamies - there is way too much bass that way. you have to reallly really love bass to death to go that route.

with the flanges, they are still bassy but not to the point of headpounding. the phone itself is like the atrio - it has wonderful presence even at very low volumes - rumble and resolution. not as much vibration though.

i sold my amp as i just don't use it enough anymore with my ipod or other gone players to justify keeping it.

i am intersted to see about the wood as well - they are designed by a japanese company in the heart of honshuu so they are no stangers to heat. if it can survive even hokkaido, it will be fine in toronto. if they survive tokyo, there is no where in canada they will not be safe.

26 in tokyo feels like 34 in toronto.

i have not heard the sa6 but... it is an armature design. if you like the sound of armatues, go for it, but i cannot stand armatures and am easily fatigued by them. these sound much more like proper phones which is something i like. it is not a far step from them to say the dt770 or dt880 for instance. the react similarly to sound whereas armatures are a different experience at every turn.
post #34 of 1086
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
i have not heard the sa6 but... it is an armature design. if you like the sound of armatues, go for it, but i cannot stand armatures and am easily fatigued by them.
Just a quick comment about the SA6: I very much understand/empathize with what you're saying about the fatiguing "armature sound," but my experience with the SA6 has made me rethink fatigue as utterly inherent to the armature design; my SA6s are blessedly harshness- and sibilance-free while they push out their clear, detailed sound. This is something I have not been able to say about many of the dynamic canalphones I've used over the years, let alone the armature-based ones. The Atrios and the SA6 will be my in-ear mainstays for, I expect, a long time to come. Here's hoping I get to add the FX500 to that list sometime soon...
post #35 of 1086
Quote:
Originally Posted by robojack View Post
1. Price - if they're only in Japan right now, I'd rather not pay through the teeth on all the custom and duty fees I can see myself paying to Canada Post. As well, for $180, I think I'd rather splurge a bit more, and move to Sleek Audio's SA6.
For $180, I might as well go ahead and spend the extra cash on some Livewires.

However, I haven't worked up the nerve to spend over $130 on headphones.
post #36 of 1086
There is nothing wrong or inherently bad with armature design. It is how the company's implement it.

Armatures are made/created for hearing aids. They are extremely sensitive and easy to drive. That is necessary since hearing aid batteries of course need to be small.

So the headphone makers, who should know better, were making them too easy to drive. For universals that normal consumers will use that was unnecessary. Actually we now see many are now 50 Ohm and above and around 109-112 sensitivity instead of the 119-120+ and 13-27 Ohm designs preceding them. If it is too sensitive it will fatigue certain people, many players have less bass power at lower volumes and the earphones will lack punch/sound thin, the volumes differences between files are more pronounced and other similar issues arise.

The fatigue is due to design and not type. There are also fatiguing dynamic designs also. The only real difference if properly implemented are that housing material matters for dynamics and not armatures. And that armatures don't move as much air since they aren't as big a diameter, so they don't have as much vibration/resonance issues. Of course they aren't as bottom heavy as dynamics and need a better seal to have more punch. The advantage I see is that armature can have darker non-fatiguing sound with some punch whilst the dynamics really find it hard to have the precision/clarity of the armatures due to the resonance issues. Obvious to see why those such as UE and Shure use dynamics only in lower end models and stop there.

My SE420 is an excellent example of two things. It is still too sensitive. It needs added impedance even unamped. It came out six months after the E500/530 and when corrected, to me, has more extension, equal detail, and a more cohesive image than it's big brother. Maybe Shure reworked it to lessen it's performance?
Also, the FX300 has quite a bit more bass than the SE420. Buuuuut, the 420 has more impact when the recording calls for it. It will vibrate my ear drums more than the Victor. My now deceased modded Super.fi 3's also had plenty of impact with a single armature. Vibrations can be felt not only on percussion instruments but bass guitar and other low spectrum stringed instruments. The armatures can certainly give enough punch.

Both types are evolving. Armatures improving from the high end of the spectrum downward and the dynamics from downward up. the armatures are still ahead now and I agree that an FX500 can't run with my SE420 and it cost me only $20 more, so I wouldn't purchase it. One day they will even out.

The new Sennheiser IEMs are a good start at catching up. Coincidently, they are highly sensitive(16 Ohm, 120+sensitivity) which while not as good for armature based phones should work in making dynamics more precise and help with transient/response times bringing the detail levels/speed up.
post #37 of 1086
Thread Starter 
did you get the fx-f500 now? welcome to the club! i'd love to hear the newer armatures but they are very expensive and i do like the sound that the driver makes of a dynammic as its movement sounds like a speaker.

that was my first thoughts when i first heard the atrio-amazing! the dyammic just sound much more natural to me in every way. im waiting for some more club fx500 members...

edit: i thnk i am among the minority who do not lke armatures - ive tried only about 6 or so but they all sounded similar to me. even the er4s which are not sensitive and did not even hiss on my heed canamp or at least much at all.

the fx500 have me with only one bad tast in my mouth- they give such a good picture of a big headphone that the one thing that is short is: that they are not big phones. so the sound does not reach anything but the inner ear no matter how good the ss is. they are definately for me far better than the e500, er4s and um2 the first and last which are prized to be smooth phones.

i am so temped even to pick up the fx300 as another pair no matter that the signal with be of different presentation as victor have smashed any problems i have had with canal designs: no plastic sound, no slow bass; they are relaxed, deep, wonderful resolution, have ss and good placement and give me the tactile sound feeling of moving air. in a word: fanderful.
post #38 of 1086
They sure look cool, but I am not sure if I want something as moisture sensitive as wood in my damp ear canals. Would be great if you updated this thread in a month or so after some serious use to see how they cope with daily wear and tear.
post #39 of 1086
Thread Starter 
its been a month already with them and well they are fine. i too wonder about the summer but i have a feeling they will fair well. naturally i will keep up to date on this.

funny, today i was out takeing ome photos in the cold and bicycled on a shopping bicycle going up to about 30 km (absolute top speed for shopping bike) and there was not much wind interpherence... quite a surprise.

cannot be happier. but i am waiting for others opinions on what they think. for me it is a dream come true other than the short cable and the fact that it makes me with it were a big phone as it gets that good.
post #40 of 1086
I've got it the very first day of shipping. I guess stock foamy were supreme if it fits my ear, but it was too small for me. I had spent almost a week until I found UE foamy. I strongly long for the large sized foam tip from Victor.

Before acquiring it, my main earbuds was JBL reference 220. It was not too bad but Victor's HP-FX500 should be in the different class.

As for sound, I agree your precise review. Thanks to victor, I enjoy music contains great bass notes such as Kodo's Japanese drums or historical church organs.

I usually do not believe the burn-in effect on the canal earbuds, but with this victor one, I feel the sound quality became better or evolved -- just mere subjective impression from bass separation.

I carry the earphone with Lyrix amp and Sony Walkman NW S616F in my shirt pocket without extension, or Lyrix plus iPod Video in a briefcase with extension. Required length of the cable is different from to the shirt pocket and to the brief case. Therefore, the extension solution fits well in my case.

Although Victor claims the anti-libration gel reduces rustle noise from the cable, I do not see the advantage by the gel. As you mentioned, the cable material is nice.

The isolation is better than Audio Technica ATH-ESW9, but not a satisfactory level due to an open design. This is the point to be improved to me.

So far I am very much satisfied with HP-FX500. It makes my portable music life much enjoyable.
post #41 of 1086
Thread Starter 
if i may add one thing: the cable: after now a month and one half, i must mention one thing that I know is on many minds: how does it stand up? it is very much like the atrio m5 cable: very quiet but...

the earphones parts do get hard. I probably have more oil on my face than most people or maybe i just glow.

every review i have seen from those who have had this phone from the start is free from complaints about it. i will keep updating this when more time gets on. i love that they are not completely closed as the stage is quite outstanding for a canalphone.

they do work very well for a variety of genre: from trance as they are fast and do not impose too much of a character to instrumental: they are not harsh at all, making listening a pleasure on all fronts.

my only wish is that the cable would be longer = that was a definate oversight from victor - perhaps they really are thinking people still use md - i do see some around still but most people are ipod or sony or some nasty aaa battery powered portable.

thanks you lioil for the review1!
post #42 of 1086
I thought your guess on the cable that Victor people thinking about the use of md very interesting. As far as I know, surely they are very conservative. Though I do not much care about the cable, on kakaku.com I see there are people claims the cable length are betwixt and between. (You might know but kakaku.com is a popular BBS on the product review in Japan.)

I am not worry about the summer humidity at all because the wooden case is fully immersed with plastic. I strongly believe the Victor developed this as moisture-resistant with sufficient care. Ordinary Japanese manufacturer treat wood how to cope with moisture.

Conversely, the moisture-resistant feature may weaken the natural characteristics of wood. The looks of wood is very attractive, but I am not sure how much wood, birch in this case, housing's acoustic characteristics has effect.
post #43 of 1086
thanks for adding more comments on these canalphones. i'll be in tokyo next week and it'll be hard to keep myself from getting a pair of these cans, providing that they're available. kakaku.com seems to say that they're widely available now.
post #44 of 1086
Thread Starter 
i am listening now to telepopmusik 'angel milk' which is very reliant on stage - these phones are unfair to compare to other canals - the stage is honestly if not using the foamies, very very good. but i have begun to use an impedence adapter - there is now almost no hiss even from my laptop - which i can tell now is not the best source at all for powering iems/canalphones.

the imp adapter did not only make the hiss go away - the stage is wider, that must be as the headphone out is less loaded, it can present music much more naturally. similarly, the bass has gained wonderfully more rumble similar to if i use an amplifier but not boomy at all. wonderful

lioil i belive has hit it right (and i purchased my phones from kakaku.com and wrote one of the shoddy reviews there are well - as no where else had them available. these reallly are even above the atrio m5 for audio performance in my opinion - just they cannot be worn for sports or airplane for the same effect (noise blocking).

i want to reiterate, ive never been this impressed with a set of portable phones ever. the inside is incased in brass i believe so i think that the only wood that could have any effect by water would be the driver itself but... as lioil has said: this is a japanese company making these phones for a japanese market which is at its coldest place, hotter than most places in usa. the most humid would not compare anywere in usa to say osaka or tokyo.
post #45 of 1086
Thread Starter 
just a short update on the problem i have with these phones: the cable. it remains as silent as ever and with the imp adapters extra length, is perfect length now. but, obviously victor have not prepared this phone in the same way that the atrio have been prepared. they share so much in common. the beautiful bass (though slightly tipped in atrio favour) and good but not excellent cable devoid of microphonics unless comapred to westone.

however, the victor cable has some differences. the cable part that splits after the y and rubs against my face has begun to get stiff. nothing is cracking but i recently held a brand new pair and it was still soft and very flexible. i hope that nothing bad happens as these are honestly decisively the best canal/iem for reasons other than isolation and sweat proof that i have heard for less than 500$.

that does of course, take my opinion based on my music into account. they are not as sweet sounding as mid-oriented phones like the um2 or even the shure e500 but bass, treble and stage are done perfectly.
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