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The NEW JVC FX850..Woodie perfection?. (A review) - Page 31
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The 650 is definitely on my shortlist of my coming IEM purchase. I had used the triple flange from my Shure 530 for my TDK as well (I hated the double flange and didn't get near the sound) would they fit with JVC's stuff too?
After burning these in overnight with my Isotonic Burn-in CD, I have some more impressions relating to matching them with sources and amps:
Funny how changing one element in your systems can shift things so dramatically. Yesterday, my HA-FX850 iem's arrived from Japan. They were immediately clearly better than my full sized Sony MDR-MA900s, even before they had any time to break in, which is supposed to improve the JVC's noticeably.
So liking the JVC's meant I was back to trying out every possible combination of sources and amps I have on hand to see what would sound best with the JVCs. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the iFi iCAN Nano amp was not going to be a good match, as it has a very definite hiss with such low impedance and high sensitivity headphones. I was kind of disappointed that it was not going to work, as I just got it in on trial from Avatar Acoustics and iFi. Otherwise it is a great little amp with the nice extra features that make the iCAN amps so special. But if you use high sensitivity headphones, then I would look elsewhere unless you are really not bothered by hiss.
That left the Hifiman 802 with Mini-Box amp card and the Altmann Tera player. With the JVC's beautiful tone and clear sound, the difference between these two became clearer. The Hifiman 802 is a wonderful sounding and clear DAP....but it simply does not match the naturalness and warmth of the Tera. At first I was concerned that the JVC's would not pair well with the Tera as it is known not to pair well with lower impedance iem's. And while there may be the slightest roll off in the very lowest bass frequencies with the Tera, otherwise these new little headphones sound amazing with the Tera. I have mostly used the Tera just as a source feeding other amps as it is notoriously hard to find headphones it matches well with. And I have also tended to use larger headphones as I do not generally like iem's inserted deeply in my ears. But the JVC's sound great with shallow insertion, and I may have finally found a headphone that brings out all of the potential of the Tera.
I can still eke out a little more performance out of the JVC's by including the TDS202 sound enhancer and my larger desktop iFi iCAN amp with the Tera as source. But the difference is slight, and the portability factor drops dramatically (even though I do have an external battery on the larger iCAN amp, so I can carry it from room to room without having to plug it in).
So I am down to the simplest and most portable of systems: the Tera and a pair of small iem's in the form of the FX850's. Simplicity is good....especially when it sounds so downright amazing.
Edited by Nirmalanow - 4/8/14 at 3:51pm
A bit of a weird observation: I remember reading years ago in a review on 6moons of some interconnects made by Franck Tchang about how Mr Tchang felt the most important qualities of an IC were determined by the last few inches of cable. So he used different metals at different points in his cables.
So I had a bright idea and tried putting my 9 inch RAL cryo'ed silver mini to mini IC between my Tera and the cable of the JVC's using a female to female coupler. This makes the last few inches of the cable into a high end silver cable. And in spite of all the cable naysayers, I can hear a nice improvement to the sound. It is very similar to what I hear when I use the RAL mini to mini between the Tera and another amp. It brings out the details and brightens the sound a hair.
It does suggest that there is room for improvement in the cable of the JVC's. Maybe I will have to try some fancier cables....but then again they already sound awesome, and even a little better with the RAL cable included in the chain.
I am not that familiar with all of this, but I thought the mmcx was what the Shure earphones were using. Anyone who knows more about these connectors able to say if the Whiplash cable would work or not?