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Review: Fischer Audio FA-003 - a neutral champ! - Page 6

post #76 of 3009

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Edited by ethan961 - 8/18/10 at 5:55pm
post #77 of 3009


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

I've listened to these a bit more today and I've noticed that the treble sounds a bit odd. Extension and presence is very good, but the quality seems to be a bit lacking to my ears out of every source I have at the moment (the best one being Audigy 2 ZS + kx Project drivers). The highs have a certain metallic tone to them, sound a bit thin and also a little piercing on vocals with "ssss" sounds. They also sound a little closed in up top. I heard similar issues with Audio Technica ATH-M50, although it is not as noticeable with the FA-003. Right now, my Mb Quart QP 805 HS and Shure SRH750 DJ are sounding more natural than the FA-003 in the treble region, while the EarSonics SM3 and Sennheiser HD555 are in a different league altogether. I am hoping more burn in will help.
 


I think Shure SRH840 may suit you better - they work really well for bed time listening IMO.


Interesting, sounds kind of like my 702's treble, a bit hard/metallic/cold. It's a minor annoyance with most material though and the 702's do so many other things so well...

 

I have been looking at the 840's too, but they seem so neutral as to be boring, flat, and lifeless. That can be said about the 702's too though, but I don't find them to be that way (especially now that I have them properly amped). But I am looking to get into another slightly colored can. Also looking at the M50's.

 

As to where to get these, so far I've only seen this for the US:

 

http://bugdenaudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_8&products_id=10

post #78 of 3009

Ok, the treble on the FA-003 is indeed getting better with more burn in. After another 10 hours or so, it no longer sounds harsh at all. But overall, I feel that the sound is a bit boring. It's really strange - all frequencies are there and nicely present and there aren't any obvious issues with the sound, but something important is still missing - musicality perhaps? Maybe FA-003 emphasizes detail and and timbral accuracy too much at the expense of coherency? Or something like that.

post #79 of 3009

I was able to listen to the FA-003 this past weekend and was impressed by the way they sound.  The highs, mids and lows all are well balanced and work well together.  They do look a bit plasticky, but seem like they are well built.

 

I'm always looking for value in my audio purchases and for $180 they are a bargain.  I ordered a pair of these for myself and will post some impressions later.

post #80 of 3009

I am also finding that the bass lacks power and definition. I am not a basshead at all, but listening to these cans, I find that the bass seems to be weaker than it is supposed to be. I also own the EarSonics SM3 IEMs, which are known for their excellent balance and neutrality and I find their bass to be superior to that on the FA-003 with much better punchiness and also better definition. The low end on FA-003 just sounds bloated by comparison. I think that a dedicated amp and/or a good DAC are necessary to make these cans sound right. Straight out of a portable or even a decent sound card (Audigy 2 ZS with kxProject drivers) the bass is just plain lacking. Well, maybe not lacking for a $200 closed headphone, but definitely not anywhere near as good as the bass of a more expensive headphone like HD650, or DT880, or my SM3 IMO.


Edited by Pianist - 6/29/10 at 11:04am
post #81 of 3009
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

I am also finding that the bass lacks power and definition. I am not a basshead at all, but listening to these cans, I find that the bass seems to be weaker than it is supposed to be. I also own the EarSonics SM3 IEMs, which are known for their excellent balance and neutrality and I find their bass to be superior to that on the FA-003 with much better punchiness and also better definition. The low end on FA-003 just sounds bloated by comparison. I think that a dedicated amp and/or a good DAC are necessary to make these cans sound right. Straight out of a portable or even a decent sound card (Audigy 2 ZS with kxProject drivers) the bass is just plain lacking. Well, maybe not lacking for a $200 closed headphone, but definitely not anywhere near as good as the bass of a more expensive headphone like HD650, or DT880, or my SM3 IMO.

Bass, as well as the other frequencies, are excellent when using my Heed CanAmp. It even sounds great coming from the RSA Shadow. I haven't found the bass to be lacking nor bloated at all.

post #82 of 3009
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post



Bass, as well as the other frequencies, are excellent when using my Heed CanAmp. It even sounds great coming from the RSA Shadow. I haven't found the bass to be lacking nor bloated at all.


Can you please run the phones straight out of your Clip or another portable player and report briefly on how the bass performance changes when the FA-003 is driven unamped? I would like to know whether buying an amp for these cans will be worth it.

post #83 of 3009
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post




Can you please run the phones straight out of your Clip or another portable player and report briefly on how the bass performance changes when the FA-003 is driven unamped? I would like to know whether buying an amp for these cans will be worth it.


Sure....stay tuned! 

post #84 of 3009

I was listening to some 24/96 flac / Lavry DA11 / Eddie Current Equilibrato amp and they sounded very good to me.  I also didn't think the bass was bloated at all, but I didn't spend a lot of time with them, maybe a few hours.  I will see when my pair arrives and I break them in.

post #85 of 3009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Right now, my Mb Quart QP 805 HS and Shure SRH750 DJ are sounding more natural than the FA-003 in the treble region, while the EarSonics SM3 and Sennheiser HD555 are in a different league altogether. I am hoping more burn in will help.
 


Did you just say the Sennheiser HD555 is in a different league altogether than the FA-003? As in, much better than the FA? Interesting... 

What with all these comments here on the FA-003 I was expecting them to trump a lower-mid-fi phone like the HD555 in all area's. 


Edited by Negakinu - 6/30/10 at 2:08am
post #86 of 3009

To those that own/have owned both, are the FA-003's heavier on the head than the Senn HD600/650's?

post #87 of 3009

Both the FA-002 and FA-003 seem lighter than the Sennheiser HD600/HD650s, but I don't think the Sennheisers are heavy either.

For me, the Sennheisers fit well and are comfortable.  I'm able to listen to them for hours without fatigue.  The one thing about the FA-002 and FA-003 is that the leather pads are comfortable, but think they could easily seal in the heat on a warm day.

post #88 of 3009


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post




Did you just say the Sennheiser HD555 is in a different league altogether than the FA-003? As in, much better than the FA? Interesting... 

What with all these comments here on the FA-003 I was expecting them to trump a lower-mid-fi phone like the HD555 in all area's. 

 

Sorry, I just meant in the treble region. Now after more burn in, the FA-003 sounds very good in the treble actually. Not worse than HD555 anymore, but not exactly better either. The treble on the Sennheisers is more open sounding which is to be expected since it's an open back headphone. But the FA-003 has smoother, less fatiguing treble that is nicer to listen to at higher volumes. Not that HD555 is harsh, but in comparison with the Fischers it can be a bit too bright at times with some music. The treble on my SM3 still sounds better than on the FA-003, but that again is to be expected since the SM3 is a $400 top tier universal IEM with balanced armature precision and one driver fully dedicated to treble reproduction. But the FA-003 is really not that far behind - it just presents detail in a more subtle, delicate manner.

 

In regards to bass - it seems to be tightening up quite nicely with more burn in. I really don't feel like it is bloated anymore, but I do feel that it lacks a bit of control out of my weak sources. Amping should fix this.

 

Overall, the FA-003 is the strangest sounding headphone I've ever heard. It is just so neutral and balanced that it seems like the sound is lacking something, but at the same time it is clear that it doesn't lack anything. It's really hard to explain. These cans are amazingly neutral for dynamics and just seem to represent the signal from the source as it is with very little alteration. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing of course depending on how good your sources and recordings are. Interestingly even though the 'phones are very forgiving in the treble region with pretty much zero harshness, they are still fully revealing and with low bitrate tracks, you will hear all the artefacts very clearly, although they won't sound harsh.

 

These are now becoming my favorite portable can. The lack of coloration seems to make music a lot more enjoyable for me to listen to. With other, more uneven sounding headphones I often find it annoying when a certain part of the frequency range sticks out and begins to dominate over other frequencies, but with the FA-003 lets me hear all the detail with no emphasis on any part at all.

 

EDIT: And the most important thing I forgot to add - all of the above observations are made with all the 'phones plugged into unamped portable sources. Better sources and amps may change my opinions significantly.


Edited by Pianist - 6/30/10 at 1:27pm
post #89 of 3009
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post




Did you just say the Sennheiser HD555 is in a different league altogether than the FA-003? As in, much better than the FA? Interesting... 

What with all these comments here on the FA-003 I was expecting them to trump a lower-mid-fi phone like the HD555 in all area's. 

The FA-003 definitely trump the HD555. The FA-003 are top notch headphones at an affordable price.
 

post #90 of 3009
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post




Can you please run the phones straight out of your Clip or another portable player and report briefly on how the bass performance changes when the FA-003 is driven unamped? I would like to know whether buying an amp for these cans will be worth it.


Straight out of my Clip+ they sound decent but nowhere near the level of when I am using an amp. They don't sound bad by any means but amping the FA-003 really makes a difference.

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