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[Review] Impressions of the Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS versus the SM3, FX700 and e-Q7 - Page 3

post #31 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


 

Speaking of which, so far I feel reasonably confident recommending these IEMs for lovers of the e-Q7 who are looking for an upgrade in the same veign. Likewise also for CK10 lovers who strive for slightly better timbre and a bit more low end. But that's about it for now. And of course the FAD's hefty price tag doesn't mean that they are 5 times better than the aforementioned phones. But neither have these been 10 times better than the Soundmagic PL30, at least not to my ears.


It's like you are referring specifically to me! I would like to hear these one day but without buying them as my wallet just said no and ran away. Maybe if I ever go to Japan one day :)

post #32 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post




It's like you are referring specifically to me! I would like to hear these one day but without buying them as my wallet just said no and ran away. Maybe if I ever go to Japan one day :)


Well, assuming that you go to Japan, and you like them, and end up buying one, it'd cost you even more, if you add up the cost of the earphone and the air ticket. 

post #33 of 268


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Those who have been following my posts here over the years know that I tend to be rather sceptical and cautious in my assessment of new phones. I also would have preferred to wait a bit longer this time, but that would have meant to compare the loaner SM3s from memory, because they are going back to their owner this week. On the other hand (like I already said) the FADs have not been changing significantly during the first two weeks and I have no reason to assume they'll change in the future. 

 

As for perfection, I've yet to hear a 100% perfect pair of phones, but experience and instinct both tell me that these tiny FADs are a very special piece of equipment. While listening to my favourit classical pieces I get so enthralled at times that I literally have to take a break because I can hear my own heart throbbing and interfering with the music. Of course that's no basis for recommending a phone, lol.

 

Speaking of which, so far I feel reasonably confident recommending these IEMs for lovers of the e-Q7 who are looking for an upgrade in the same veign. Likewise also for CK10 lovers who strive for slightly better timbre and a bit more low end. But that's about it for now. And of course the FAD's hefty price tag doesn't mean that they are 5 times better than the aforementioned phones. But neither have these been 10 times better than the Soundmagic PL30, at least not to my ears.


James, I welcome your measured approach to reviewing the earphones that you acquire. I just wish there was more of it in these forum threads.

post #34 of 268
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

It's like you are referring specifically to me!


Hehe, it's a trap especially set for you!

 

Joking aside, I think you and a few others I know, like shigzeo or joker would really really like these babies. However, my first concern at the moment is dfkt, who is firmly convinced that FAD are nothing but a bunch of con artists. If the FI-BA-SS succeed in earning his respect, now that would be really saying something.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iponderous View Post

James, I welcome your measured approach to reviewing the earphones that you acquire.


Thanks iponderous, I really appreciate that!

post #35 of 268

James, how are your FI-BA-SS doing with hiss? They are quite sensitive headphones and it is a slight negative to me that they hiss considerably when I plug them straight into my macbook and a little with my ipod touch. I am curious if that is partly because of the sources and if they have any hiss when used with other DAPs... anyways I usually use my Fireye II for my Macbook and my Fiio for my ipod that eliminates the problem.

post #36 of 268
Thread Starter 

^ Thanks for reminding me takoyaki, I forgot to mention it in my review. The FI-BA-SS are rather sensitive and I get quite a bit of hiss with my Cowon when there's no music playing. It's slightly less on the Fuze and I have one rather obcure DAP, a LG T80 that has zero hiss even with the FADs. However, I'm not overly sensitive to hiss and once the music starts playing I can't hear anything bothering, even during very quiet passages in classical pieces. But everyone hears differently and it may well be that you are more sensitive to hiss than I.

post #37 of 268

Well if you can trick joker into buying them and loaning them to me I will gladly appreciate the chance to try them out :)

 

Although I don't think you can blame dfkt for thinking FAD is such a ripoff company considering the prices and how the 1601 sounded to him.

post #38 of 268

I just saw that explosion drawing of the FI-BA-SS, and it is quite curious:

 

earnew_item01.jpg

 

An armature doesn't care what's behind it, whatever that green thing is, and whyever they chose to drill some vent holes in the back. The armature should be firmly coupled to the exit nozzle, otherwise it just won't sound good, just like when you don't get a good seal - there's no armature design (except the e-Q7 special case) that uses air space around it for generating any aspect of its sound. A balanced armature is a self-contained system in itself, absolutely independent of enclosure - contrary to dynamic drivers. The only things that matter for sound tuning are the nozzle length, diameter, and the acoustic filter used - the housing doesn't matter, it's completely irrelevant. Same as the other Final Audio stuff, I smell bullshit.

 

I *did* hear James444's FI-BA-SS. Only for a short time, but my impressions were generally very positive, nothing to complain about the sound - they sound nice. It's just that they obviously have still to "invent" some bogus "tweaks", even if it's blatantly obvious that they don't do anything for the sound. Why can't those clowns just release a normal phone, for a normal price? These shenanigans are an insult to anyone who knows the barest basics of earphone engineering.

 

Again, the FI-BA-SS sound good - but FAD has no credibility whatsoever, since they continue with those nonsensical made-up specs and designs. For that price.


Edited by dfkt - 7/29/10 at 1:12pm
post #39 of 268

 I will first say first that I never heard a Final Audio Design product but I feel quite sad ( or hilarious?)  that some people are ready to throw such obscene amount of money for their products. All the respectful companies with years of experience in IEM design wouldn't dare and couldn't justify charging that much for such an IEM.  It is not even made from solid gold or platinum for god sake! Anyway, that's part of the madness surrounding all this Hi-Fi business.

post #40 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

 I will first say first that I never heard a Final Audio Design product but I feel quite sad ( or hilarious?)  that some people are ready to throw such obscene amount of money for their products. All the respectful companies with years of experience in IEM design wouldn't dare and couldn't justify charging that much for such an IEM.  It is not even made from solid gold or platinum for god sake! Anyway, that's part of the madness surrounding all this Hi-Fi business.


What?

Many IEMs (specifically Custom IEMs) cost this much and more. The JH-13 is $1099 and the JH-3A is $1699 or $1749 (depending on your preference. There are plenty people (at least here on head-fi) that have such IEMs.

 

Were you specifically talking about universal IEMs?

post #41 of 268

So what we have here is somebody upset that people have the disposable income to buy a luxury good.  From the land of Aston Martin and Bentley I see.  

post #42 of 268

dfkt, are you going to be getting a loan of these? Judging from your reaction it seems like they don't compete with other stuff near that price level mainly your UE11 but of course I could be wrong.

 

Also I'm sure zenpunk has some gear here that others may consider an obscene amount of money. Someone always has more money and someone always has less. That's just how it works.

post #43 of 268

Erm, not entirely true. I'm with you on the exit nozzle, but without seeing a cross-section of the nozzle it would be impossible to tell if an airtight seal is made between it and the armature. Also, the space behind the armature would only be deemed irrelevant if the armature enclosure was so dense it didn't leak any sound whatsoever. To date, I have never met an armature that has done so. For that reason, the housing is almost just as important for armatures as it is for dynamic based designs.

 

I will agree though on one thing, $1000 or whatever these things cost is quite frankly absurd. Ok, so I've never heard them but Im finding it very hard to believe that these do anything much better than the £200ish iems at present. I'm sure you are definitely paying for the 'Design' so to speak.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

I just saw that explosion drawing of the FI-BA-SS, and it is quite curious:

 

earnew_item01.jpg

 

An armature doesn't care what's behind it, whatever that green thing is, and whyever they chose to drill some vent holes in the back. The armature should be firmly coupled to the exit nozzle, otherwise it just won't sound good, just like when you don't get a good seal - there's no armature design (except the e-Q7 special case) that uses air space around it for generating any aspect of its sound. A balanced armature is a self-contained system in itself, absolutely independent of enclosure - contrary to dynamic drivers. The only things that matter for sound tuning are the nozzle length, diameter, and the acoustic filter used - the housing doesn't matter, it's completely irrelevant. Same as the other Final Audio stuff, I smell bullshit.


Edited by communic - 7/29/10 at 5:11pm
post #44 of 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by communic View Post

Erm, not entirely true. I'm with you on the exit nozzle, but without seeing a cross-section of the nozzle it would be impossible to tell if an airtight seal is made between it and the armature. Also, the space behind the armature would only be deemed irrelevant if the armature enclosure was so dense it didn't leak any sound whatsoever. To date, I have never met an armature that has done so. For that reason, the housing is almost just as important for armatures as it is for dynamic based designs.

 

I will agree though on one thing, $1000 or whatever these things cost is quite frankly absurd. Ok, so I've never heard them but Im finding it very hard to believe that these do anything much better than the £200ish iems at present. I'm sure you are definitely paying for the 'Design' so to speak.

 

In general, when people talk about things that they have never heard (and that are very expensive) they underestimate that product. But in this case, you are very close to the mark.

As you can see on the first page, they are only slightly better than $300-$400 IEMs.

post #45 of 268
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by communic View Post

I will agree though on one thing, $1000 or whatever these things cost is quite frankly absurd. Ok, so I've never heard them but Im finding it very hard to believe that these do anything much better than the £200ish iems at present. I'm sure you are definitely paying for the 'Design' so to speak.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by violinvirtuoso View Post

In general, when people talk about things that they have never heard (and that are very expensive) they underestimate that product. But in this case, you are very close to the mark.

As you can see on the first page, they are only slightly better than $300-$400 IEMs.


Yep, they are only slightly better than $300-$400 IEMs and it's up to one's own discretion whether the difference is worth it or not. Pretty much the same thing as upgrading from some $30-$40 IEMs to only slightly better $300-$400 IEMs. My €20 Playaz N1 (with help of a little EQ) still sound about 90% as good as any top-tier I've heard. That's the crux.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

dfkt, are you going to be getting a loan of these? Judging from your reaction it seems like they don't compete with other stuff near that price level mainly your UE11 but of course I could be wrong.

 

He will get his loan, but lately he's trying to rob me blind. e-Q7 and FX700, he wants them all, lol. I have to keep at least one of my favourite IEMs, so you'll have to be patient for dfkt's in-depth assessment/slaughter of the FI-BA-SS.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

I just saw that explosion drawing of the FI-BA-SS, and it is quite curious:

 

earnew_item01.jpg

 

An armature doesn't care what's behind it, whatever that green thing is, and whyever they chose to drill some vent holes in the back. The armature should be firmly coupled to the exit nozzle, otherwise it just won't sound good, just like when you don't get a good seal - there's no armature design (except the e-Q7 special case) that uses air space around it for generating any aspect of its sound. A balanced armature is a self-contained system in itself, absolutely independent of enclosure - contrary to dynamic drivers. The only things that matter for sound tuning are the nozzle length, diameter, and the acoustic filter used - the housing doesn't matter, it's completely irrelevant. Same as the other Final Audio stuff, I smell bullshit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by communic View Post

Erm, not entirely true. I'm with you on the exit nozzle, but without seeing a cross-section of the nozzle it would be impossible to tell if an airtight seal is made between it and the armature. Also, the space behind the armature would only be deemed irrelevant if the armature enclosure was so dense it didn't leak any sound whatsoever. To date, I have never met an armature that has done so. For that reason, the housing is almost just as important for armatures as it is for dynamic based designs.

 

Hmmm, interesting scientific discussion...

You know what, I'm simply gonna try and cover the vents. If sound stays the same, they are bs.
 

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