Fischer Audio fa 011


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Perfection
Cons: zilch
Take a grado of choice, add sufficient bass, and a wide soundstage, and you have the FA-011.
Need I say more?
Oh, they sound amazing with rock and metal. and trance. and rap. and uh, everything. 
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Hi, these are about equally as light, and have a more rounded cup than the 650's, which is nice so the side of your ears dont touch the sides of the pads. Your ears rest on the mesh inside a little bit but they feel very comfortable that way.
I am using the Little Dot MK III to drive them, and they sound fantastic.
Percussion has never sounded so real and good, and i'm a long time drummer, so i have pretty deep demands on my percussion sounding right.
They sound great for everything, really.
I was going to directly compare them to the M50's but I ended up sounding a little hostile towards the M50's.
All said and done, there is no better headphone under $175 IMHO
The ONLY con is finding a pair of these in the states.
Grado's with bass would be my perfect headphone. I have Grado SR80s and my FA-011 are nothing like grados. My SR80's are bright and forward, the FA-011 are dark and mids recessed. I do really enjoy my FA-011 with rap or techno, not so much for rock


Co-Organizer for Can Jam '09
Member of the Trade: Paradox
Pros: Amazing DEEP bass, liquid mids and airy highs! Price! Looks!
Cons: Not an accurate headphone but not really a con if you know that coming in....
Fischer Audio is at it again! Before you discount these headphones as another Fischer Audio plot, please allow me to explain why you might absolutely love them. Be prepared…it’s a long review as I truly want to explain the sound on these as best as I can. Keep in mind that these are strictly my opinions and are based on many hours of listening. Always try to seek out the product yourself and try it before you buy it.
Design: open
Housing: nautural wood
Frequency range: 18-22000 Hz
Sensitivity: 98 dB
Impedance: 160 Om
Input power: 0.4 W
Plug: 3.5mm
Length of a cable: 2.5 M
Cable extension: 3.2 M
Color: athracite/black
Box: carton box
Set: cable extension: 3.2 M
[size=19.5pt]THE PACKAGING/BUILD QUALITY:[/size]
The headphones came packaged in the usual cardboard Fischer Audio box. Nothing fancy except for what is inside. Unlike other times, this time the box came nearly destroyed – as if a soccer team got hold of my package and decided to play a game with it. Thankfully, the headphones were ok. This is a testament as to how good the simple box is at protecting the headphones during shipment. I know this is not Fischer Audio’s fault but it is worth mentioning. The box was in such bad shape, I couldn’t even salvage it for storage.
The headphones are another matter all together. Visually, they are stunning to behold. The cups are beautiful and the overall design is very aesthetic and very pleasing. The wife acceptance factor on these is easily rated a 10 out of 10. My wife saw them and for the first time since I have known her, she actually mentioned how beautiful they were. If any audiophile gear can get that kind of praise from my wife…I know it’s a thing of beauty and the FA-011’s certainly are just that…a thing of beauty.
Moreover, the FA-011’s are extremely comfortable…up there with the Sony R-10 or Sony CD-3000 but lighter and comfier. I believe I can wear these for hours upon hours with no fatigue whatsoever. They don’t heat your ears up, probably due to the open design, and they don’t cause any pain on your head due to the super light and comfy headband. I can honestly say that the FA-011’s are the most comfortable headphones I have in my possession at the moment.
[size=19.5pt]EQUIPMENT USED IN REVIEW:[/size]
For the equipment used, please see my profile. I used the FA-011 with everything I own and even some stuff I don't.
“Graceland” by Paul Simon – NON-REMASTERED VERSION

“More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds” by Esquivel

“Inception” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

“Discoveries” by Gustavo Dudamel

“Moanin’” Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (Analogue Productions SACD)


[size=19.5pt]THE SOUND:[/size]
The sound quality straight out of the box is very good. As always, I decided to let these beauties burn in for at least 48 hours before I started my review. How much the sound changed I can’t really say as the initial listen was less than a minute long.
Now…I love the comfort…I love the looks but I am not truly in love with the sound. Why? Did Fischer Audio fail? NO! Were the headphones bad? NO…absolutely not! So why am I not in love with these beauties? Well…I love a neutral sound signature. That is what I look for in my gear. So let me point this out from the very beginning – THESE ARE NOT NEUTRAL SOUNDING!!! This just might be a godsend for many of you!
Is that bad? NO…. Do they sound bad? NO…absolutely not…
In some way, I feel Fischer Audio is responding carefully to the criticisms it has received from products like the FA-003 and the FA-004. If the FA-003/002W mated with the FA-004 and was raised by the Sony R-10, the result would be the FA-011. For the people who have complained that the FA-004 might be a bit too muddy, the FA-011 resolves that issue perfectly. For the people who feel the FA-003 has no bass impact, the FA-011 resolves that issue perfectly as well. The comfort level, as mentioned before, is up there with the R-10. In other words, the FA-011 sounds mostly like the FA-003 with the bottom end of the FA-004 but tighter and much more emphasized.
What does that mean? Well, for those of you who are familiar with the Senn HD-650 – take the sound of the HD-650 and remove the veil, remove the muddy bass and replace it with deep, tight bass and you have the FA-011.  For those of you familiar with the FA-003 – take the sound of the FA-003 and add a subwoofer and a wee bit of high end and you have the FA-011. Grado fans, take your John Grado model of preference, refine every aspect of the sound, add supreme comfort and add more bass and you have the FA-011.
Despite the emphasized bass, the FA-011 does surprisingly well with most genres. It’s fantastic with rock, most classical pieces, most jazz, hip-hop/rap, electronic and vocals. The obvious characteristic that defines the FA-011 is the deep bass. However, the mids are typical Fischer Audio. Lush, life-like and vivid. Those of you who love the Fischer Audio house sound fear not for the critical mid range remains intact and beautiful as always. Also take note that the high end is tweaked a bit though. I found that the FA-011 sounded too bright at times with improperly mastered recordings and ever so slightly bright with well mastered ones. My guess is that the high end has been tweaked a slight bit to compensate for the huge amount of bass these things can put out.
Another promising feature of these headphones is the huge soundstage. I found that the soundstage is not 100% accurate but boy does it sound amazing. Imagine taking a 180 degree view of the soundstage and spacing it out proportionally to about to about 200-220 degrees. The FA-011 provides a huge soundstage that remains relatively accurate while providing good depth and even a sense of height. Binaural recordings truly shine with these headphones in a way they shine with few other headphones I have heard.
More Sound Specifics….
I found the FA-011 aptly suited for most classical music – especially well mastered and well recorded albums. I played “Danzón No. 2” as played by the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. This piece is very dynamic and it has some very light as well as some very heavy and dynamic parts. The opening theme is light and airy on the FA-011. At 1:14 the bass section comes in and the bottom end is clearly heard on the FA-011. I guess the best description I can find is that instead of being dead center, you have the entire orchestra dead center but the bass section is about 10 feet closer and to the right. For me, it’s not the most accurate presentation but the few people I played it for absolutely LOVED it. Orchestral pieces and chamber pieces were just as impressive. However, the homerun on these were pipe organ recordings. Playing some recordings by Virgil Fox were not just impressive - they were down right jaw dropping.
On the Inception soundtrack the notes were airy and the bass was DEEP. The low end on this soundtrack can really be appreciated with the FA-011’s. The drum hits on Mombasa were low and deep bringing along with them a sense of space and depth. Needless to say, it sounded very impressive. You haven't heard the low notes on this soundtrack until you hear them with the FA-011!!
The FA-011 is perfectly suited for this genre. Playing “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga was a true pleasure. For those seeking a hi-fi club sound, the FA-011 provides that in spades. Lady Gaga’s vocals just floated above the music as they should and the bass was thumping along making me bop my head while enjoying the song. Truly fun headphones for listening to this genre…be it Lady Gaga, Madonna or Michael Jackson.
Listening to Paul Simon's "Graceland" is just amazing on the FA-003/FA-002W. With the FA-011, you appreciate another dimension. I kept telling myself "I know this isn't accuarate...but man, does it sound good!". From track to track, it just sounded so good - especially the parts that have a prominent bass part or parts where there are drum hits.
Due to the amazing mid-range, the FA-011 does well in jazz as well. Playing “Moanin’” was a delight. The bass was very prominent (a good thing) on the SACD while listening with the FA-011. This is good in this case because the bass is a little weak on this particular mastering of the recording and the FA-011 displayed the great bass playing proudly. Very enjoyable.
On “More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds” the huge dynamic swings were very impressive and the FA-011 handled every dynamic jump with ease. If you guys need a recording with great sound quality and awesome dynamics, get this recording by Esquivel. On the second track, "Chant To The Night" there is a nice dynamic intro followed by some nice mellow trumpet playing on the left, piano in the middle and the percussion section and chorus on the right. The trumpet sounded very accurate and airy. The piano remained lifelike and the drums on the left exhibited a nice bit of heft which goes missing on most headphones. The bass, while much more prominent than other headphones, didn't overpower anything and remained pleasant throughout.
I played “Hotel California” from the DCC release mastered by Steve Hoffman. As with the rest, it was very enjoyable. The bass was very prominent but didn’t overshadow any other instrument. A very pleasurable listen.
One word: WOW! I haven’t heard bass thumping like this since I had the HD-650’s! The vocals and rest of the instrumentation on various tracks came across very well but the bass was thumping along better and clearer than at most local clubs. If this is a genre you love, you need to experience your favorite songs with the FA-011!
While not a music genre, I thought I would mention the superb performance of the FA-011 while gaming. Explosions are intense, placement is accurate and the comfort level just makes this the ultimate gaming headphone. I played some Call of Duty for well over 2 hours and my ears didn’t get sweaty, my head wasn’t sore from the headband and the aural intensity of the experience just made it all that more fun! The FA-011, as is, is an awesome gaming headphone! If the FA-011 had an optional headset microphone attachment for voice, I would not hesitate to recommend it as the ultimate gaming headphone. It’s that good!! Fischer Audio…take note. :wink: 
[size=19.5pt]MORE NOTABLE NOTES….:[/size]
On most headphones my volume knob rarely goes past the 10 o’clock position. With some headphones, it can get to the 11 o’clock position. With the FA-011 the knob got to 4 o’clock!! The only other headphones to push the knob further were orthodynamic headphones.
Make no mistake, these babies require more power than your average headphone to drive them properly. The more juice you throw at them, the better the dynamics, impact and overall sound will be. If you are considering these for your next purchase and do not own a headphone amp, portable or home, you might want to consider ordering one to power these power hungry babies as listening to these without proper amplification should be a crime. They will still sound very nice but nowhere near the level of performance you will get with proper amplification.
Here is where the rubber meets the road…
The FA-011 is a great headphone but it’s a headphone I can see many having a love/hate relationship with – especially if it’s your only headphone. The bass emphasis and ever so slight treble emphasis are what will cause this. Whenever you emphasize a particular frequency range you also emphasize many problems inherent in those frequencies. Due to bad monitoring and bad mastering, many, many recordings have problems in the bass region and in the high treble region (~10,000 Hz +). If your recordings have these problems, they will be greatly emphasized with the FA-011. The slight bump in the highs will also emphasize any and all signs of hiss in a recording as hiss tends to reign supreme right around 10,000 Hz and when you have a hissy recording that will become even more prominent – it’s no fun.  A perfect example is the RVG version of “Moanin’”. The hiss is very prominent and every trumpet blow produced a thump which made the RVG simply unbearable to listen to. The Hoffman/Gray SACD of the same title, in contrast, was sublime on the FA-011.
This isn’t to say it’s the fault of the FA-011 for placing a bump on certain frequency ranges – quite the opposite. If producers had access to monitors of this quality they might notice the glaring problems in the crap they are making. These problems are noticeable on the FA-003 and FA-002W but they are much more noticeable on the FA-011. This isn’t to put down the FA-011 but you should all be aware that if your music has any problems in the low end or high end, it will show up with a vengeance on the FA-011.
On the other hand, on great recordings or great remasters, the FA-011, like all Fischer Audio headphones I have heard, shine in their own special way. Listening to XRCD’s, Hoffman/Gray SACD’s, Steve Hoffman DCC remasters, MFSL’s, Chesky recordings, Audio Fidelity remasters and my binaural recordings was a true pleasure….like taking a well cooked steak and seasoning it with some flavor.
The rule to follow with the FA-011 is this: CRAP IN - MAJOR CRAP OUT...QUALITY IN - MAJOR QUALITY OUT.
I think the FA-011 might just be the sweet spot in the Fischer Audio line up. I say this because the same people who heard the FA-003, FA-002W and FA-004 absolutely loved the FA-011 but didn’t quite love the others for one reason or another. The FA-011 seems to be pleasing to a wide range of people in my brief experience with them. If you are like an engineering friend of mine, and are a stickler for natural sound and neutrality, then stay away from the FA-011 as your ultimate purchase. If you are like me and can enjoy different types of sound signatures for different genres, the FA-011 should be on your must buy list.
In all honesty, I think that if you have a pair of FA-011's and FA-003's, you will have a listening tool for anything and everything in your audio arsenal. It’s no secret that I love the FA-003 and a natural and neutral sound signature. That’s the only reason I don’t absolutely love the FA-011…but hey…that’s what the FA-003 is for!!!
So, to conclude a lengthy review, this is what I honestly opine about these headphones:
I remain in love and married to my FA-003 and FA-002W due to their neutral and natural sound signature. However, the FA-011 makes a very nice mistress. Beautiful looks, amazingly supreme comfort, fantastic soundstage and a great "fun" sound…I can honestly say that I like these very, very, very much…why…you could say that it’s almost like being in love!
How do they sound without amp on PC(with sound card only) ?
how do they sound compare to grado sr225i (a little expensive), which is also for pop?
I have a pair and have used them with everything from ipods to Headroom amps and an OTL tube amp.
The bass IS a bit fat, but right now I'm listening on my Headroom micro stack with the usb input and
using the eq in itunes to drop the 64hz area about 2 db and a little less pulled out in the 4-6kz range and
they sound amazing for the price. Great detail in the midrange once the big bass is tamed a bit.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: great value for money, punch above their weight, sexy and woody.
Cons: slightly rolled off highs, need good amping.
Hey guys and gals, hoping all are well!
So first off i REALLY need to thank Billy of the epic 'Noisy Motel' ( for not only being such a great dude, but for bringing in the most interesting, eclectic, and downright amazing selection of personal audio gadgetry and headphones... Thats right, Billy has some of the nicest cans in Australia :wink: 
So today, as soon as i heard the Fischer FA (F#&!ing Awesome) 011's had arrived, i immediately made an 80's mid air fist pump, slid across my mazda 3 bonnet like magnum pi, and halled ass over to Prahran. Ive been tracking the progress of the FA011's on this forum for a while now, following many threads with special attention to one of the great HeadFi Fischer resources "off the deep end" by the all knowing LFF which can be found here:
When i first heard there was another FA011 coming out, i hoped they would be remenisent of this "golden revision" i kept reading about. Truth is Fischer released a lot of their pre-production work to their suppliers as stock, this in a way was good as they had a chance to use real enthusiasts as a test market and tweak things based on feedback. In another way it sucked if you got one of the less impressive units. When i heard this new revision came with the curly cord, like others here, my mind went straight to that first revision.
At first sight of the pre-sales images i was sent to whet my apetite i noticed a few things. After the cable next of which was the wood finish, it wasnt trick photography, with them now safely in my hands i can confirm the finish all over has REALLY improved! My particular pair had an exaggerated grain which i love, but the plainer pairs also had a cool modern/retro vibe to them, it was hard to play favorites.
Second I noticed the new badge, and lastly what looked like different pad material. Being not overly familiar with the first rev pads i cant confirm or deny any difference, but these are certainly different then some of the other earlier models i am more familiar with. I can now confirm that this time round theres a tight weave wool twill with similar inner "leather?" wall, and more/different padding- these are really quite firm, but being so light and comfortable this REALLY works in their favor! Also not as itchy. 
There also seems to be some sort of baffle behind the smartly badged outer mesh, and they have now perfected the inner lining cutouts. Like i said earlier, greatly improved fit and finishes- shmick.



Extras in this package was a kink resistant silicon extension cord for home listening, gold jack adapter, and the usual fantastic freebee padded Fischer zip up case, and hilarious warranty card:
"d) unauthorised modification or misuse;
e) circumstances out of control of Fischer Audio, including, without limitation to, fires, storms, earthquakes, floods, stupidity or maniacal stubbornness. Failure caused by acts of God, fall of asteroid, Martian attack, hungry piranhas and/or swallowing by Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, is covered by Fischer Audio if such accident has been proven."
Now for the important bit, the sound.
[while breaking in, 0-3 hours in]

If your familiar with the aforementioned LFF thread all the better, if not- i recommend the read never the less im going to treat this as a new review, befitting a new revision.
Two things i strongly recommend before even going out to try these gorgeous, revered, and well priced ($169) woodies are:
1/ Take good music with you, and i dont just mean your favorite polka band outro, or Vegas famed Celine Dion impersonator, I mean you need to have good quality files. As good as these cans are, as many light years as they punch above their price point, they wont take kindly to being fed fast food with a plastic spoon... Which brings me to my next point.
2/ The plastic spoon. Amp them properly, they deserve it, and more importantly so do you. Theres good and bad to this particular side of the whole Fischer (and many other manufacturers) range.
The bad is that they are surprisingly hard to power on the go. This doesnt necessarily mean they wont go loud enough riding bare back through your iphone for your fully sick grub-shlep, but it does mean that you need a good amount of juice for a night and day change... And you can believe its night and day! Unamped they were pretty good to nice, amped on a portable c421 (which is only one of my most favoriteset amps in the whole wide world), i was further impressed and grinned widely, but not surprised that the Soundmagic HP100's i picked up at the same time conquered them through the same amp in ways you wouldnt want your girlfriend or mother to see. But hey, the HP100's cost roughly $100 more. When i got home i immediately settled by the WA7, and replayed my same playlist. These didnt budge easily for 160ohm's, I cranked it past 11:00 (extremely loud, on this little powerhouse), then i wound it down a tad... My jaw honestly dropped. I was shocked, were these the same cans? Im not being cute, the absolute difference seemed utterly implausible.
The good in this scenario is the irrational price point they gave these cans considering what you get. A world class set of handcrafted European wooden open cans,  with all the trimmings for $169. How does this relate to amping? Well for that kinda coin it allows you leeway to purchase a matching amp. Considering the kind of headphones these compare to in every aspect other than money, should you have opted for another open headphone of similar calibre, let alone ANY other wooden headphone on the market, you would have been up for $275-$1895 and i shudder to mention those higher than even this. Sure we arent all rushing out to buy LCD3's to match our Zegna man scarfs and boat shoes, nor do these sound like LCD3, but you get my point- with the money you "would have" spent you can now afford to purchase a $106-$1726 amplifier you will enjoy with all your cans for years to come! 
These headphones are no joke. Ok, they have a little roll off on the high end, they certainly wont offend those sensitive to sibilance. They seem relatively flat with the mids being the star of the show, supported by an excellent representation on the low end. Slightly over capable bass, without any overly obvious coloration to genres that arent flattered by any exaggeration below the waistline. Great staging and separation, and endless unfatigued listening possibilities. These are anything but offensive.  
In images, and in person they are as well made as an Eames original, and they will command as much attention and interest as the Facebook Gap test. Amp these cans well, and provide them with good quality music and you have a pocket-friendly-rocket. "like".

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Nice review, I'm actually a bit jealous with the natural housing colour and the new logo badge (which I would seriously pay for a new set of 011's just to use the badges). Yeh the high's a tiny bit of problem but can be mellowed or mitigated by balancing the headphones with some dampening on the inner milled wood edges, as well as tube rolling amplification.
Btw did your's come with the new revised earpads?


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Bass quantity, looks, sounds better through weak and cheap amps so don't need to spend a fortune.
Cons: Sibilant, overly bright and tizzy when given some power, horrendous curly cable.
These headphones are really frustrating.
Poorly amped they sound acceptable, maybe with the treble a tad rolled off, but give them some power and you'll be clutching your head in pain at the sibilance and overly bright treble.
They look amazing, but the horrid curly cable lets them down (i've replaced mine with dual entry balanced XLR)
The pads could do with being a bit deeper, but it's easy enough to stuff them with tissue (tissue mod)
I'll probably experiment with dynamat to see if i can tighten up the bass some, and see if it does anything for the sibilance.
For the price they are a bargain, but i wouldn't expect to pay any more.
Yep exactly ^ Sounds like pooters has one of the units from the 2nd or 3rd batch. The 1st original batch and the supposedly the latest revision are the best sounding ones.
I think mine are original, have the maroon/mahogany coloured wood and had the curly cable until i replaced it.
"These headphones are really frustrating.

Poorly amped they sound acceptable, maybe with the treble a tad rolled off, but give them some power and you'll be clutching your head in pain at the sibilance and overly bright treble."
Exactly same impression as mine. A new verison has came out which hopefully has addressed the issue.

Magick Man

Daddy Warbucks
Pros: They look good, mids have a fun coloration
Cons: The bass is overpowering and loose, the earpads are like torture devices
After hearing the glowing reviews for these I was looking forward to getting them on my head to hear this reportedly "fun" headphone. After waiting over two weeks to get these from Noisy Motel in Australia, that wasn't their fault (Aussie post must be one of the slowest carriers on Earth), they finally arrived.

Build quality and comfort:

Oh boy... from the outside they seemed okay and in good cosmetic condition. In terms of appearance, they look attractive. Mine are the dark wood finish, which I find to be more sophisticated than the natural version they're shipping now.

However, placing them on my head and getting them situated is another matter. For me these aren't "over-ear" headphones, the pads are small and very shallow. So the whole time I listened to them part of my ears were sitting on the outer pad while the rest was digging into the foam over the driver. This is exacerbated by the somewhat scratchy material they use. The clamping pressure is okay and the headband system works well, but overall I have to say that, for me, they aren't comfortable, at all.

At any rate, soldiering on, I plugged them into my Benchmark DAC1 PRE, started up my first test track, Paul Simon's Graceland, and... all I got was a massive flood of bass. Let me clarify, there was no treble, as in none. Just a torrent of loose, overpowering bass. Well, something was wrong, so I checked my connections, tried other headphones, checked the FA-011s, everything. All seemed fine.

So, after trying other songs, which yielded the same results, I did what any sane audiophile tinkerer would do, I took them apart, completely apart. That even included removing a wad of resistors soldered on to the back of each of the drivers. Then, after checking out their guts, which seemed okay, I put them all back together again. For whatever reason, that did the trick and was finally able to get treble and was able to start the sound test in earnest. As an aside, for a DIY kit, this is expected, for a retail product it's ridiculous. Normally, I would have just sent them back, but the shipping charge to do so would have been high and the wait would have been a month or more.


So I fired up Graceland again and it was better, much better, I had treble. However, the bass was still too loose and heavy by a decent amount, even to the point that it bled into the lower mids. The upper mids were pleasantly colored, almost Grado-like, and the treble was the same, though too peaky from 6-8kHz (even compared to my Grado PS500s and AKG Q701s).

Kind of expecting what I'd encounter, I switched to Dubstep, Crystallize by Lindsey Stirling. Those unfamiliar with her work, she is a violinist with a flare for modern music styles. Unfortunately, no tight, satisfying bass was to be found, just more mud. Though, again, the mids were enjoyable and at low volume the highs weren't too piercing.

Moving along, I switched to Madonna's Lucky Star, to get a feel for the imaging and soundstage. It wasn't bad, though I have to admit the depth and precision weren't up to par with other offerings in their price class, such as the Sennheiser HD518s and Audio Technica ATH-AD700s.

At that point my ears were hurting from the pads, so I decided to call it quits and just let them break-in for a while. Some say this doesn't matter, but I was wanting to give these cans another chance down the road, so I set them to run some pink noise, put them in a drawer, and let them run for a few days at higher volume. When I came back to them after over 100 hours nothing had really changed. I even went back over them, to ensure that they were functioning properly, but no dice.


I'll admit, I'm a mids and treble lover, but I do appreciate and enjoy tight, articulate bass. These don't have that quality. Even for bassheads, I can't recommend them, not when there are much more pleasing offerings such as the M-Audio Q40s and Sony MDR-XB500s. Compound that with the discomfort of wearing them, and I see no reason to buy these.

2.5/5 Stars
It's really bad how the batches are so uneven.
Magick Man
Magick Man
That's what I'm thinking too. Their QC leaves a lot to be desired.