Hey! I just got an e-mail from FAD - all the 1601 models are made in Japan! Apparently they had planned to manufacture them in Philippines and had printed the packaging accordingly. However at the last moment they found production issues in the Phils factory and decided to manufacture them in Japan itself. However it was too late to change the packaging.
I have been in touch with one Mr M. Kose at FAD. As per him, FAD has no plans to upgrade or discontinue the 1601 series.
Also, they want the earphones not to have a closed fit with the ear, they want air to flow around the ear-tips. I had asked if they could supply larger metal tips and they said they could not; that they wanted a loose fit.
Yes true. But I think it also depends on one's ear. At the moment I find that the medium silicone tips that come with the V-Moda Vibes give me the best sound - they bring out the ambience and the hall reverb in the bass and upper-bass region that is missing with the metal tips. And they don't degrade the sound in other aspects too much. But its early days yet and I need to experiment much more to decide what gives me the optimum sound.
I had a wonderful time in Akihabara - have always had very nice experiences shopping in Japan.
Auditioned them extensively both in Yodobashi and Dyna5555. I made two trips to Akihabara in the last few days. Both times I spent 45mins each in Yodobashi and an hour each time in Dyna5555. Yodobashi was v noisy but Dyna was v comfortable, they gave me an armchair to sit at ease on; and I listened to my heart's content. Dyna staff were extremely nice. They didn't have the 1601's in stock, yet they were happy for me to listen to them at length. I would certainly have bought them from Dyna if they had stock.
Of course I heard many other earphones too - e-Q7, FX-700, Monster Turbine (not the Pro), Senn's. Liked the Ortofon's the best among the others so it was a choice between those and the FAD's. Am in the process of writing a full report, should be ready for posting here in a couple of days...
By the way, I also auditioned the FAD DC-1350M2. Very heavy bass... somewhat like the Monster Turbine. But very good actually... smooth & good detail. I didn't hear them enough, but the impression was that they could give some of the better IEM's run for their money.
That certainly seems true, the FAD's are very source-dependant, probably because they are so transparent & revealing. That description of the 1350M2 matches mine - heavy bass and rolled-off treble. Could also be that different tips have an unusually large effect on the sound with the FADs. Also the fit in the ears is critical - on the first ocassion that I listened to them, I thought the 1601 had a peak in the lower treble but that turned out to be because I was not wearing them correctly. In short, because the 1601's are so transparent & revealing, everything becomes more critical - source, ear-tips, proper fit in the ears etc