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Mitchell & Johnson JP1 - Hybrid Design (Electrostatz)

  1. ehjie
    The exhilarating JP1s - One of The Best Headphones
    Written by ehjie
    Published Aug 18, 2017
    Pros - Voice Clarity, Details, PRAT, Upper bass, Mid-bass, Mids, Lower trebles, Soundstage Height, Soundstage width, percussions, Strings
    Cons - Nothing worth writing
    Greetings all
    This is a review of the Mitchell and Johnson JP1 closed back
    A pair of Premium headphones has more, much more to offer.

    I own this unit. There is no financial incentive to write this review.
    I'm 8 years a member of headfi.org and this is my turn to start sharing.

    My ears are 50 years young, well taken care of. I manage things for a consultancy. We cater to tech stuff for the Construction, fitout and manufacturing Industry. VR is one staple. We have business allies in Asia and throughout the GCC.
    I also advice and recommend moves for the big man in my establishment. Most of the time, I'm hands on especially with project initiations, proposals, etc. and when we get the contract, shift them to the "Factory" in Asia.

    Heaphones / IEMs:
    Hifiman HE-1000V2 $2,999, Beyerdynamic T5p 2nd Gen $1,099, T1p 2nd Gen $1,099.00, DT770 $179, Hifiman Edition S $ 249, Sony MDR-1000CD, Sony MDR-Z1R $2,300, MDR1A $298 , Grado PS500E $595, SR125 $125 , RS2E $495 , Sennheiser HD800 $888 , 800s $1,700, 598 CS $145
    Fidue A91 $888, Jomo 6R $1,022, UM Mentor V2 $1,300, Westone UM Pro50 $ 434, W60 $849, Earsonics ES3 $467, Pioneer CH9T $126, Aurisonics 1+ $299
    Portable amps: Ifi iDsd Black label $549, Vorzuge pure ii $565, Bravo V2 $67
    Portable processor/amp: Chord Mojo $599
    Desktop Amp: Woo Audio WA5-LE $3699
    DAPs: Sony WM1Z $2,873, AK300 $899, Sony ZX2 $1200, Hifiman 901 $1,499, Fiio X7 w/ AM3 $ 999, Ibasso DX50 $149, DX80 $389 , DX90 $600, Fiio X5iiig $400 , Benjie T6 $55, Cayin N3 $149
    I own the FF:
    M+J JP1, Westone W50, W10, Aurisonics Kickers, AAW Q, Sora Intime, Co-donguri Shizuku, V-moda Crossfades, Sony MDR 50ap, Koss Sporta pros, VE monks, Awei ES10M, Koss spark plugs (yes, they're still working)
    DAP: (Dead) Ipod classic 5g 160 gb (for rockboxing)
    Amp: Fiio E12
    Players: LG-V10 (Part DAP duty), hTC10, hTC 1X+ w/ the E12 stacked (Full DAP duty)

    Reference Albums / tracks:
    1976 Boston / Hitch a ride
    1982 Avalon / More than this, Avalon
    1984 Body and Soul / The verdict, You can't get..., Be my number two
    1984 Treasure / Persephone, Donimo
    1986 Colour of spring / I don't believe
    1971 Partita no.2 "Ciacone" Y. Menuhin-violin
    1986 So / Red rain, In your eyes
    1988 A Blues for buddha / Walk w/ the night, sacred Child
    1989 Street Fighting Years / Wall of love, Let it all come down, Belfast child
    1991 Laughing Stock / Myrrhman, Ascension day
    1997 Dig your own hole / Block rockin' beats, Dig your own hole, Electrobank
    1998 K&D Sessions / Bug powder dust, Useless
    2010 Further / Another world, Dissolve, Wonders of the deep

    For better impressions, the reference tracks were played more than once, a good excuse to enjoy.

    The LG V10 was paired with the JP1s

    The package:
    The box itself spells premium and wait till you open

    The wood cupped JP1s, an excellent sheathed cable, airplane adaptor and desk top adaptor plug.

    Real wood Cherry is a treat, not heavy to wear and is fairly light when using

    I have fairly large pair of ears and they do fit snugly

    Noteworthy cable - our local audio group have this high specked DIY that looks very similar to the JP1s, although in black. A black "Nawaza" perhaps, which is really cool.

    Frequency Range / Spec sheet

    The sound signature

    “Hitch a ride” presented us with one of the most natural acoustic guitar, never steely. The cymbal crashes were extended. Brad’s (RIP) voice and the rest of the band’s blending were superb. Engineer Tom’s riffs were just as excellent. The trick mix on the same was both on either side and were extended outside the ear cups.

    This is my go-to track for sibilance and I’m happy to report there was none.

    On to “More than this”, Bryan’s voice was as cool as ever, emotive. The instruments were used sparingly but it was dynamic. Soundstage was wide.

    Next “Avalon” with Bryan’s moving voice gave us a hint of the venue. Lightly accompanied by subtle but enticing guitar riff on the right, Caracas on the left, and that back up female that will surely qualify for The voice on any day. Soundstage was high. Instrument placement was very good.

    Joe Jackson’s “The verdict” displayed his superb piano skills as well as the quality of the keyboard.

    Drum rolls gave us wide soundstage, cymbals were detailed and the brass side timbre was very well done. The band was playing very well. It was dynamic. We were presented how it should play and sound on stage.

    I consider “You can't get what you want” more than a simple track. Brass was excellent, bass guitar and that jazzy riff was truly engaging. Even if the band were busy from the back drop, Joe’s voice was on top.

    Properly scaled and my go-to track for piano, ”Be my number two” with Joe’s skill were again displayed with tenacity and the band were just as equally great. We got dynamics all over.

    From the 1984 Treasure, “Persephone” pertains to soundstage depth. Opening with a specially tuned drum machine and programmed synthesizers, it sits at the back side whilst steadily beat to the cue for the rest of instrument players. The synth is right in front of it. At front is Liz Frazer’s voice is as ethereal as ever, in centre and right side of centre alternating and blending. Bass tunes here were not muddled. A difficulty overcome by the JP1s. I’ve auditioned a lot of audio gears with this track.

    The closing track “Donimo” on the same album, Liz is accompanied by a small voice choir, very well sung, during solo passage and in chorus. Signal decays hinted the recording venue or to that effect.

    This album is my go-to for the most revealing, most convincing and that most sought after un muddled bass to mid-bass tones. The JP1s portrayed very well not only these 2 tracks mentioned but throughout the entire album.

    “Red Rain” Peter Gabriel’s unique voice was captured here with great detail. He’s the keyboardist here as well. Climax of the track came and the synth played exactly as sung. “…Red rain is pouring down…” pouring down indeed from top left and right downwards motion.

    Shall we dance? “Sledgehammer” next. Very funky, very busy, but we can comprehend and to every beat. “In your eyes” is world music. Percussions and more than a set of drums is perfect harmony together with Peter’s keyboards and synth, Topped with that voice and a small vocal ensemble. Overall it’s crisp, rhythmic, very wide soundstage and I could swear I wanted to dance, again.

    Some highlander music vocalist Jimme “Walk with the night” was quite a story teller here. Starting with his voice and playing the guitar to gradually building a wave. We can already hear the recording quality from the beginning. By the time we’re in the chorus and with the rest of the band playing, the JP1s rode on top of that wave, with consummate ease. The impact of all the major frequencies are there, retained.

    The other track “sacred Child” we can hear the band busy and all at work. Come the drum solo in grandiose scale, with Jimme’s looping voice here and there. The trebles were really extended. One of my test tracks for upper bass dynamics coupled with treble extension and decay.

    “Wall of love” from Simple minds continues to exhibit the same trait of the above. This was an experimental album with the effect of recording from a large hall or venue. The JP1s conveyed that message very well.

    With “Myrrhman” and “Ascension day” micro details, ambient acoustic bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, strings and Mark Hollis’ voice were portrayed as it was - a live take.

    A hypnotic bass riff, great drumming skills unique tuned, bombing bass, percussions, another synth or two hinting the wide soundstage, a very entertaining “Block rockin' beats” right there. Time to dance, again. The title track “Dig your own hole” and “Electrobank” just solidified how the Brothers are very skillful at their mixing art. The JP1s rendered these traits very well including PRAT, coherence, tuneful bass rhythms, ambient synths, lots of micro details.

    The K&D Sessions presented another hypnotic trance that made me listen and stopped typing this review. The JP1s never fail to give you details, quality of mixes, bass rhythms, percussions.

    Before we got stuck and impede this review, another portrayal of detail supremacy from complex passages. “Another world” and “Wonders of the deep” exemplifies the Brothers’ dance floor filling capabilities. Another success story for the JP1s, assuring the listeners to hear the music clearly.

    To summarize the above:

    Bass: ****

    Upper bass: *****

    Mids: *****

    Lower trebles: *****

    Upper trebles: ****

    Soundstage depth: ***

    Soundstage width: *****

    Soundstage height: *****

    Stereo separation: *****

    Detail retrieval: *****

    Imaging: *****

    These Hybrids are a treat to the ears. Devoid of the mid-bass muddle we always wanted not to hear, the JP1s are without a doubt one of the best headphones I have auditioned. I am truly blessed to own a pair.
      RockStar2005 and barondla like this.
    1. Jonathan Dunham
      When you say “paired with the LG10” do you mean connected to it? Was that the best player/amp you used these with or did you try any decent desktop amp with it too?
      Jonathan Dunham, Apr 28, 2018
      ehjie likes this.
    2. ehjie
      Yes, i did try it on a Burson Soloist mk1. It played Exactly what an Amp would do, Amplify everything. And they sound superb, Not that it needs amping like that much...
      ehjie, May 7, 2018
  2. davidet
    It could be the best
    Written by davidet
    Published Dec 17, 2016
    Pros - Clarity with medium decay heavy bass (a rare comb), correct tonality, easy to drive
    Cons - Construction, stock pads, soundstage not with the best
    I've just bought a pair of Verisonix n500 = M&J  JP1.   It's much better than the M&J GL2se in each department.
    Better bass and much more, better clarity, more details in the mids and in the highs.
    Now I own also a pair of Beyer DT1770 and Fostex TH600.  With low quality amplification the Verisonix is a clear winner but when you use a good amp Fostex and in particular Beyer scales much more.  With stock pads after some use the Verisonix is the last of the group in particular watching movies, where soundstage is very important.
    Then I've replaced the pads with Brainwavz ones.  I've 2 pairs of Brainwavz, one old 2.5cm not memory foam, and one more recent memory foam 3cm thicks.
    In each case the confort increases a lot, becoming very confortable.  In each case the soundstage improves but in the 2nd case the bass disappears.
    Let's consider then, only the 2.5 not memory foam pads and make a comparison with the other 2 headphones (I've also added some material to icrease the sealing and the pressure of the pads)
    - Bass
    Beyer and Fostex I rate 9.5, with the Beyer more audiophile and punchy and the Fostex with the sub bass you want in movies.  I rate the Verisonix an excellent 9-.  We should consider that the other 2, in particular the Beyer, are quite a reference in the bass department so the result for the Verisonix is really great.  The Verisonix doesn't have the last sub bass of the Fostex and miss a bit the strongest punch of the Beyer.  But it's very near to them.
    - Mid
    Fostex is the worst, clarity but some digs and not proper tonality for music, a good 8-- anyway for the clarity (and in terms of tonality it's still better than Denon D7100).  Between Beyer and Verisonix there's the battle.  Beyer may have a bit the edge with dynamic and possibly detail (possibly) where the Verisonix win for sure for tonality, a 9.5 all the two (not 10 because the Hifiman He6 has more detail in the mid high department and it's even more effortless although some problems in tonality)
    - Highs
    Here the Verisonix wins.  Fostex has o lot of extension in the highs, Beyer has bit more quality than the Fostex but less extension.  Verisonix has extension, details, tonality, again tonality and they're the less fatiguing highs I've heard together with the electrostatic Kingsound.  Really great.  So 8+ for Fostex 8.5 for Beyer 9.5 for Verisonix.  I don't give a full 10 to Verisonix because in terms of armonyc reproduction Senn HD800 and Hifiman HE6 are better.
    And now the soundstage: an excellent 9.5 for Fostex, the best closed headphones I've heard for soundstage, a good 8.5 for Beyer, smaller soundstage good for movies although not ideal but surely very good for most of the music.  And a 7.5 for the Verisonix: the soundstage is good now but still the flatter of the 2.  It extends to the sides but it can be better in terms of air and depth.  But still much better than with the stock pads
    I plan to mod further the Verisonix.  I believe it has great potential.  Possibly with the right pads and cable can be the winner
    A note about construction: one of the metal arms broke.  The soldering is really weak.  These things shouldn't happen for a top model.  Anyway it can be repaired, it's not like the Shure 940, which is impossible to repair
      ehjie, barondla and Richter Di like this.
    1. barondla
      Excellent review. The ear pad info and comparison to other well regarded headphones is much appreciated. I have the MJ2. Any idea what the tuning differences are between them?
      barondla, Mar 19, 2017
    2. davidet
      I'm not so sure sorry BUT the possiblity to swap pads with JP1 make it a great choice among the two.
      davidet, Apr 24, 2017