Drop + JVC HA-FDX1 Dual Carbon IEM...available in the US!
Aug 18, 2019 at 1:16 PM Post #62 of 1,363

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What is the FDX1 and how is it different from (or the same as) the FD01?

The Drop FDX1 is essential the same as the FD01 with minor changes and community tuned filters.
  • Same dual carbon 11mm driver (DLC diamond like carbon inner dome and black carbon outer ring)
  • Same great pleather JVC magnetic case
  • Same great robust OFC cable; On the slightly thicker, heavier side, yet very soft and pliable; virtually memory free with excellent tangle resistance
  • Same CNC machined Stainless Steel housing minus the knurled ridges; housing is a two piece design that swivels to accommodate wearing up or down and any shaped canal
  • FDX1 ditches the Titanium and Brass nozzles and comes with 3 Stainless nozzles
  • 1 nozzle is empty for stock FD01 tuning and/or modding, and 2 nozzles contain community tuned filters
  • Spiral Dot + tips (the best wide bore tips on the market IME)
Pre-Sale starts 9/5/19 for $250. FDX1 will be $280 thereafter. Frankly, the FDX1 is a no-brainer at this pricing.


Backstory

Most of us find the stock tuning of the FD01 to be too strident. In mid 2018, super friend community mod-wizard James444 presented us with detailed instructions (with measurements) on how to mod the removable nozzles of the original FD01. The results were a smoother, more even response that competed with in-ears double in price and more. The modded FD01 has natural timbre and tonality with great dynamics. It’s got the boogie without loosing the realism. The mod was a hit. Many community members purchased their own sets and began performing the mods to great satisfaction. A few even sold off their more expensive rigs.

Once I was able to perform the mods on a community loaner set myself, I was so excited with the results, I instantly started blowing up CeeTee’s phone with texts. He needed to hear this and he had to figure out a way to bring this to the masses. There was this one poor guy that loaned his set out to Drop; little did he know how long that loan would last but thank-god he did. I’m not sure how CeeTee and his team pulled this off, but somehow they were able to get JVC to the table and bring this thing to life.

The first set of prototypes weren’t really close but did show some promise. I was able to compare them with that poor guy’s well modded set. I think he’s been without it for close to a year now. His modded set was then sent to Japan, so the JVC engineers could hear what we were so in love with. The second set of prototypes nailed it. Again, I was able to compare to this poor guy’s set. They were extremely close to his DIY modded set! Was this poor guy going to get his set back now? Nah, a final comparison to pre-production models was going to be the required!

In early August, I sent James444 an email: IT IS HAPPENING. The pre-production model had arrived. While this time I don’t have that unnamed poor soul’s modded FD01 to compare, I knew the FDX1 was better. Somehow, someway, JVC had figured out a way to tighten the bass up. The slightly hazy bass of the modded FD01 was its biggest criticism. The FDX1 betters the modded FD01 with tighter, cleaner bass (this has been confirmed by a notorious purring cat friend, who compared the FDX1 to that same poor guy’s modded FD01). What was once a criticism is now a strength.


Sound

The two community tuned filters are more similar than different. Basically one sounds a hair smoother, darker (blue) and the other is more lively, energetic (green). The empty filter is ripe for the modding! In general, my preference is for the green set but I do enjoy the blue set as well, particularly on the go in noisy environs.

The FDX1’s dynamic driver excels in its more life-like timbre when compared to pricier all armature sets. It’s more even tuning also makes it more realistic sounding than the typically more colored and bassier dynamic driver offerings form the competition. Strings and percussion are the FDX1’s forte, highlighting low level nuances easily glazed over. While distortion rock guitars have solid crunch and bite, it’s the drums that I love to get lost in with the FDX1. Vocals are forward and intimate- male vocals are rich with heft, and female vocals are clear and energetic. Staging is better than average. While not as expansive left to right as Andromeda, it sounds open and effortless with a deeper reach front to back. While not as tall as something like Solaris, it’s sounds taller than the typical in-head, in-ear presentation. While single dynamic drivers usually don’t have the separation and layering of multi-armature or hybrid sets, they produce a more organic and natural sound. The FDX1 has plenty of space to breathe around individual instruments and singers, and it does it all while simply sounding effortless.


Comparisons
via SDAC>Liquid Carbon X (less than 1 ohm OI)
FDX1 with green filter and Spiral Dot tips

Massdrop Plus
(with Mee Audio dual flange tips)
  • Plus has a more diffuse field neutral target tuning
  • Plus has thinner overall note weight
  • Plus middle treble is more present for more brightness and sparkle overall
  • Plus bass tilted to deep bass; FDX1 sounds more balanced in bass with less emphasis in any specific area (deep, mid, upper) in direct comparison; however FDX1 bass feel more elevated overall and is more solid, palpable
  • Plus has quicker bass decay
  • Plus cleaner but less natural sounding
  • Plus vocal placement is similarly forward; male vocals sound thinner but female vocals have more energy than FDX1
  • Plus doesn’t have the same perception of depth; less space around instruments and performers; shorter stage in height
  • Plus transients are faster; distortion rock guitars have more bite and attack; FDX1 is smoother overall


Andromeda
(with Mee Audio dual flange tips)
  • Andromeda has noticeably faster transients; better attack; FDX1 sounds smoother, warmer
  • Andromeda sounds a good bit more natural than the Plus but still less so than FDX1
  • FDX1 bass is slightly thicker, denser with better texture overall; similar extension
  • Andromeda treble is overall brighter with better presence, better sparkle
  • Andromeda female vocals sound a little more blunted, huskier, less energetic
  • Andromeda is wider sounding, more upfront; similar height but slightly less depth and sense of space front to back
  • Andromeda distortion rock guitars sound bigger, bolder
  • Andromeda is more resolving of background details and treble resolution, whereas FDX1 sounds more nuanced and micro-dynamically resolving in decay of percussion and plucked/strummed strings
  • FDX1 sounds more dynamic and effortless from quiet to loud transitions; whereas Andromeda sounds more enveloping, more surrounding my head with a wall of music

Parting Thoughts

The modded FD01 has consistently been a recommendation from me, if a buyer is willing to perform the mods. I’ve long thought the modded FD01 was a bargain at $330-$380 imported from Japan at the time, but the FDX1, with it’s changes and factory mod applied filters, pretty much make it the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen in a long time. For anything less than a used/B-stock Andromeda, it will be my go to recommendation.

Thanks for the great review! I’m looking for a cheaper IEM with MOAR BASS to complement my Andros for daily portable usage out of my iphone but if I get it correctly, there is no major need to get this one if someone has an Andromeda, right? They seem like a budget-ish Andro.

Right now, I’m using the Fiio FH5 as that bassy complement and I thought these would be the next step but it seems more like a cheap alternative than a complement.
 
Aug 18, 2019 at 3:24 PM Post #64 of 1,363

shotgunshane

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Thanks for the great review! I’m looking for a cheaper IEM with MOAR BASS to complement my Andros for daily portable usage out of my iphone but if I get it correctly, there is no major need to get this one if someone has an Andromeda, right? They seem like a budget-ish Andro.

Right now, I’m using the Fiio FH5 as that bassy complement and I thought these would be the next step but it seems more like a cheap alternative than a complement.

For me it’s a nice complement to Andromeda for being a little more forgiving in treble, more natural sounding and slightly richer bass. If you want a lot more bass than Andromeda, then you definitely want something more colored down low.

Thanks, There is no Driver Flex w/ the FDX1 rigtht?

I have had no issues with driver flex at all. I’m also able to wear them shallow or decently deep.
 
Aug 18, 2019 at 3:56 PM Post #65 of 1,363

XERO1

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BlueIcyGartersnake-size_restricted.gif


To everyone involved, you're the real IEM MEGAFORCE!!
 
Aug 18, 2019 at 4:20 PM Post #66 of 1,363

surfgeorge

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What is the FDX1 and how is it different from (or the same as) the FD01?

The Drop FDX1 is essential the same as the FD01 with minor changes and community tuned filters.
  • Same dual carbon 11mm driver (DLC diamond like carbon inner dome and black carbon outer ring)
  • Same great pleather JVC magnetic case
  • Same great robust OFC cable; On the slightly thicker, heavier side, yet very soft and pliable; virtually memory free with excellent tangle resistance
  • Same CNC machined Stainless Steel housing minus the knurled ridges; housing is a two piece design that swivels to accommodate wearing up or down and any shaped canal
  • FDX1 ditches the Titanium and Brass nozzles and comes with 3 Stainless nozzles
  • 1 nozzle is empty for stock FD01 tuning and/or modding, and 2 nozzles contain community tuned filters
  • Spiral Dot + tips (the best wide bore tips on the market IME)
Pre-Sale starts 9/5/19 for $250. FDX1 will be $280 thereafter. Frankly, the FDX1 is a no-brainer at this pricing.


Backstory

Most of us find the stock tuning of the FD01 to be too strident. In mid 2018, super friend community mod-wizard James444 presented us with detailed instructions (with measurements) on how to mod the removable nozzles of the original FD01. The results were a smoother, more even response that competed with in-ears double in price and more. The modded FD01 has natural timbre and tonality with great dynamics. It’s got the boogie without loosing the realism. The mod was a hit. Many community members purchased their own sets and began performing the mods to great satisfaction. A few even sold off their more expensive rigs.

Once I was able to perform the mods on a community loaner set myself, I was so excited with the results, I instantly started blowing up CeeTee’s phone with texts. He needed to hear this and he had to figure out a way to bring this to the masses. There was this one poor guy that loaned his set out to Drop; little did he know how long that loan would last but thank-god he did. I’m not sure how CeeTee and his team pulled this off, but somehow they were able to get JVC to the table and bring this thing to life.

The first set of prototypes weren’t really close but did show some promise. I was able to compare them with that poor guy’s well modded set. I think he’s been without it for close to a year now. His modded set was then sent to Japan, so the JVC engineers could hear what we were so in love with. The second set of prototypes nailed it. Again, I was able to compare to this poor guy’s set. They were extremely close to his DIY modded set! Was this poor guy going to get his set back now? Nah, a final comparison to pre-production models was going to be the required!

In early August, I sent James444 an email: IT IS HAPPENING. The pre-production model had arrived. While this time I don’t have that unnamed poor soul’s modded FD01 to compare, I knew the FDX1 was better. Somehow, someway, JVC had figured out a way to tighten the bass up. The slightly hazy bass of the modded FD01 was its biggest criticism. The FDX1 betters the modded FD01 with tighter, cleaner bass (this has been confirmed by a notorious purring cat friend, who compared the FDX1 to that same poor guy’s modded FD01). What was once a criticism is now a strength.


Sound

The two community tuned filters are more similar than different. Basically one sounds a hair smoother, darker (blue) and the other is more lively, energetic (green). The empty filter is ripe for the modding! In general, my preference is for the green set but I do enjoy the blue set as well, particularly on the go in noisy environs.

The FDX1’s dynamic driver excels in its more life-like timbre when compared to pricier all armature sets. It’s more even tuning also makes it more realistic sounding than the typically more colored and bassier dynamic driver offerings form the competition. Strings and percussion are the FDX1’s forte, highlighting low level nuances easily glazed over. While distortion rock guitars have solid crunch and bite, it’s the drums that I love to get lost in with the FDX1. Vocals are forward and intimate- male vocals are rich with heft, and female vocals are clear and energetic. Staging is better than average. While not as expansive left to right as Andromeda, it sounds open and effortless with a deeper reach front to back. While not as tall as something like Solaris, it’s sounds taller than the typical in-head, in-ear presentation. While single dynamic drivers usually don’t have the separation and layering of multi-armature or hybrid sets, they produce a more organic and natural sound. The FDX1 has plenty of space to breathe around individual instruments and singers, and it does it all while simply sounding effortless.


Comparisons
via SDAC>Liquid Carbon X (less than 1 ohm OI)
FDX1 with green filter and Spiral Dot tips

Massdrop Plus
(with Mee Audio dual flange tips)
  • Plus has a more diffuse field neutral target tuning
  • Plus has thinner overall note weight
  • Plus middle treble is more present for more brightness and sparkle overall
  • Plus bass tilted to deep bass; FDX1 sounds more balanced in bass with less emphasis in any specific area (deep, mid, upper) in direct comparison; however FDX1 bass feel more elevated overall and is more solid, palpable
  • Plus has quicker bass decay
  • Plus cleaner but less natural sounding
  • Plus vocal placement is similarly forward; male vocals sound thinner but female vocals have more energy than FDX1
  • Plus doesn’t have the same perception of depth; less space around instruments and performers; shorter stage in height
  • Plus transients are faster; distortion rock guitars have more bite and attack; FDX1 is smoother overall


Andromeda
(with Mee Audio dual flange tips)
  • Andromeda has noticeably faster transients; better attack; FDX1 sounds smoother, warmer
  • Andromeda sounds a good bit more natural than the Plus but still less so than FDX1
  • FDX1 bass is slightly thicker, denser with better texture overall; similar extension
  • Andromeda treble is overall brighter with better presence, better sparkle
  • Andromeda female vocals sound a little more blunted, huskier, less energetic
  • Andromeda is wider sounding, more upfront; similar height but slightly less depth and sense of space front to back
  • Andromeda distortion rock guitars sound bigger, bolder
  • Andromeda is more resolving of background details and treble resolution, whereas FDX1 sounds more nuanced and micro-dynamically resolving in decay of percussion and plucked/strummed strings
  • FDX1 sounds more dynamic and effortless from quiet to loud transitions; whereas Andromeda sounds more enveloping, more surrounding my head with a wall of music

Parting Thoughts

The modded FD01 has consistently been a recommendation from me, if a buyer is willing to perform the mods. I’ve long thought the modded FD01 was a bargain at $330-$380 imported from Japan at the time, but the FDX1, with it’s changes and factory mod applied filters, pretty much make it the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen in a long time. For anything less than a used/B-stock Andromeda, it will be my go to recommendation.

Thanks for that brilliant story and summary! I have been a big fan of the modded FD02 and just didn't see the reason for spending more to get the FD01.
The FDX1 changes the game and I will be getting them. Really looking forward to this.
Thanks to @shotgunshane and @james444 for bringing this to life! Wohooo!!! :L3000::L3000:
 
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Aug 18, 2019 at 5:24 PM Post #67 of 1,363

XERO1

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Could one of the reviewers please post some close-up pics of just the nozzles that have the filter material? Just curious what they look like. :thinking:

Thanks.
 
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Aug 18, 2019 at 8:15 PM Post #68 of 1,363

lgcubana

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I had already set aside the funds. But the 2 posted *reviews (on mDrop) are indicating this to be a neutral set.

It'll be interesting to see how the JVCs compare to the Tin Audio P1


* "more realistic sounding than the typically more colored and bassier dynamic driver offerings form the competition"
With blue tips: has the same deep bass impact and smooth treble of the Tin Hifi T2 Pro, but the T2 Pro is warmer
 
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Aug 19, 2019 at 12:15 AM Post #70 of 1,363

james444

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How robust are the MMCX connectors?

I've had the FD01 for more than a year and the FW01 / FX1100 / FX850 for much longer. Never had any problem with JVC's MMCX connectors, they seem to be of very high quality.
 
Aug 19, 2019 at 2:31 AM Post #72 of 1,363

CEE TEE

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The body for both 01 and 02 is stainless steel. There is an insert holding the driver that is titanium.
Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 11.29.42 PM.png
 
Aug 19, 2019 at 3:20 AM Post #73 of 1,363

Mal Waldron

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I'm thinking of buying a new balanced cable from Null Audio, for the FD02, and I was wondering which one would be more suitable, the copper one (Arete) or the silver one (Lune). Thank you!
 
Aug 19, 2019 at 5:22 AM Post #74 of 1,363

james444

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Could one of the reviewers please post some close-up pics of just the nozzles that have the filter material? Just curious what they look like. :thinking:

Thanks.


Here's a comparison of my own DIY-filters (alcohol swab; left side) for the FD01 and JVC's filters for the FDX1 (right side):

JNnkusr.jpg
 
Aug 20, 2019 at 2:26 AM Post #75 of 1,363

crinacle

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