JVC HA-FD01 Class S Solidege
Apr 24, 2019 at 2:51 AM Post #271 of 419

surfgeorge

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@DimitriSF
I'd be curious to hear the modified FD01 with the mod as described by @james444 !

Cables...
Yes, it could be as you said that the reduced impedance increases the volume and therefore sounds different.
But I for one am convinced that there's more to it. Back in the days when my friends and I were building our stereo systems we got the basics down and then started looking at cables.
One of my friends had built a system based on designs and components from "Clockwork Orange" a German Hifi company that offered kits of extremely high quality and tuned commercial SACD players. His system is awesome.
My friend has a masters degree in electronics and he did not believe that cables could make an appreciable difference beyond their resistance and capacitance values (I guess, I'm mechanical engineer). But his trusted contact from Clockwork Orange just sent him a set of cables, and they clearly made a difference.

I can hear differences, both in speaker cables as well as in signal cables between DAC and Amp. So I am a "believer" if you like.
And there are even mathematical explanations which go far beyond current, voltage, resistance and impedance.
I also believe that the ear and brain are much more capable than the general 20-20000 Hz hearing range describes.
Think about the information we get from what we hear. Direction, distance, etc.

But to come to a conclusion, I would have to go back and do A/B comparison with the stock cable (which is worse on the FD02 compared to the FD01)
I don't really like that because the MMCX cables feel a bit fragile, but maybe I'll do it some day.

I was quite certain that I heard a difference in the shop, changing a few times between the cables. Certain enough to spend €100.
But I am sure I know plenty of people who would not hear a difference. It's a specific kind of listening. Nothing obvious on the surface usually, like the difference between a perfect stroke on a violin and a slightly off one.

Too much rambling :)
If you don't hear it maybe the fD01 cable is good enough, and then you saved yourself some money for other IEMs!

Cheers
 
Apr 24, 2019 at 3:43 AM Post #272 of 419

Mal Waldron

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Last night I went back to testing with that cheap balanced cable and it seems that it sounds as it should, maybe I had not connected it correctly. In any case, I'm not noticing big differences in sound beyond the increase in volume. The truth is that I do not have much time to make more detailed comparisons. On the other hand, I'm really enjoying these headphones so I'm thinking very seriously about buying a FD01 in a few months, with the extra summer pay, for example.

Have a good day!
 
Apr 24, 2019 at 4:05 AM Post #273 of 419

surfgeorge

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Mimouille said:
From 0 to 10, I would say....i (the square root of -1)

I have just had it a couple of days. It should be one of my favorite mono dynamics
---------------------
I take it as he's joking with us and doesn't want to give a verdict yet, but likes what he's hearing so far
And he's telling us that he knows more about math than the average joe LOL
Which makes me guess that he's possibly from Europe, maybe has a degree in science or engineering or studying at a technical university.
..........
 
Apr 24, 2019 at 5:57 AM Post #274 of 419

surfgeorge

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Last night I went back to testing with that cheap balanced cable and it seems that it sounds as it should, maybe I had not connected it correctly. In any case, I'm not noticing big differences in sound beyond the increase in volume. The truth is that I do not have much time to make more detailed comparisons. On the other hand, I'm really enjoying these headphones so I'm thinking very seriously about buying a FD01 in a few months, with the extra summer pay, for example.

Have a good day!

As much fun and informative comparisons are, enjoying the music is anyway what we should do most of all!
From what I have heard, read and talked, the FD01 is not really an upgrade, more a slightly different version.
In direct comparison in stock form it sounded brighter, but after all it uses the same driver. The only thing I see that can make a difference is the holder of the driver, stainless steel in the FD02, titanium in the FD01. Titanium is a little stiffer and maybe even less magnetic than SS.

Anyway, there's a measurement from @james444 that shows the FD01 unmodded and modded, and the FD02 unmodded (red)
(I don't know what compensation he used)

The FD02 tape mod decreases the hump from 2-7kHz and cuts the 15kHz peak, and should result in a quite smooth response in the range from 2 kHz all the way up.
Should be even smoother than the FD01 mod in this graph.

jJWbeuL.jpg
 
Apr 24, 2019 at 8:43 AM Post #275 of 419

Mal Waldron

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Rather I would buy someday the FD01 because it will be easier to take care of them and keep them as have removable filters and thus be easier to clean.
 
Apr 25, 2019 at 3:09 PM Post #276 of 419

DimitriSF

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I'm not one to talk someone out of a purchase. Only you can decide if this sidegrade is worth the cost.
For me, given the choice between the FD01 and FD02, I bought the FD01s, but ONLY because I found them for a great price, used, on eBay.

That said, having removable nozzles was a huge plus for me. With each set of nozzles modded slightly differently, it made fine tuning the exact sound I wanted a breeze, as I could A/B test quickly and easily. In fact, I have 4 sets of nozzles, so I was able to A/B/C/D test :)
D
 
May 12, 2019 at 12:54 AM Post #277 of 419

surfgeorge

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A short update on the FD02 saga.
Still enjoying them immensly, although I feel like my statement that they have at least as much detail as the Andromeda was likely too enthusiastic :)
I would need to have an Andromeda to listen for more time to really say that.

But I will soon receive some AK T8iE MKII and that should be a good point of reference and test as to how the FD02 holds up against a TOTL DD.

One remark about the Nobunaga cable - the sound is great, but the copper is starting to oxidize underneath the insulation which does not look that nice...
 
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May 15, 2019 at 9:50 AM Post #278 of 419

Smackymander

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How does the FD01 stack up against the FD02, is the cable and nozzles for easier modding worth the difference? or is the tape mod about as good as the swab mod, so it dons't matter?

For the price difference (+ difference in import tax), I could buy an aftermarket cable and use that instead of the stock cable, so it wouldn't be the biggest issue, leaving the main difference up to the nozzles; is it really worth the price differential?

Cheers.
 
May 15, 2019 at 10:29 AM Post #279 of 419

surfgeorge

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How does the FD01 stack up against the FD02, is the cable and nozzles for easier modding worth the difference? or is the tape mod about as good as the swab mod, so it dons't matter?

For the price difference (+ difference in import tax), I could buy an aftermarket cable and use that instead of the stock cable, so it wouldn't be the biggest issue, leaving the main difference up to the nozzles; is it really worth the price differential?

Cheers.

IMO it's really a matter of preference, with 2 main decision criteria:
1. is an aftermarket cable for $100 better than the cable included with the FD01?
2. can you live with the tape mod being visible, and to a certain degree exposed to the environment?
It might need to be changed every now and then. I have been using mine for 2 months now without an issue.
(3. do you really want to have different tuning versions available to switch --> FD01)

In terms of damping characteristics, @james444 commented offline (through a friend) that the tape mod is good, maybe even better than the alcohol swab mod.
The achievable attenuation range is good IMO, and my measurements have shown that visually matching the gap also gives very good channel balance in the measurement. (unless you want to damp a lot and make the gap very small)

Attached some measurements from a series I took a while ago. So you can easily achieve up to 5dB attenuation in the 3-6kHz range.
Above 5dB the gap becomes quite small, so harder to match, but IMO 5dB is already a lot.

James' mod results in about 3-5dB attenuation, but also reduces the treble in the 7-10k range, where the tape mod seems to have no influence. (second image from @james444 , I think diffuse field compensated, FD01 with different filters, FD02 unflitered)

IMG_0578.PNG jJWbeuL.jpg
 
May 16, 2019 at 1:53 AM Post #280 of 419

DimitriSF

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Hi @surfgeorge:
Do you have any posts (with photos) of your tape mod? I'd like to try it on a spare set of nozzles. The cotton swab mod definitely smooths out the upper-mid peakiness, but (as you said) it also smooths out the treble. I'd like to experiment with the tape mode to restore all the sparkle and airiness that I get from my unmodded nozzles.
 
May 16, 2019 at 1:56 AM Post #281 of 419

DimitriSF

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How does the FD01 stack up against the FD02, is the cable and nozzles for easier modding worth the difference? or is the tape mod about as good as the swab mod, so it dons't matter?

For the price difference (+ difference in import tax), I could buy an aftermarket cable and use that instead of the stock cable, so it wouldn't be the biggest issue, leaving the main difference up to the nozzles; is it really worth the price differential?

Cheers.

George has already answered. For me, I don't think the FD01 is worth the extra price, if bought new. Used is another matter. If you can find it used, for a good price, I'd say get the FD01 for its ease of customization.
 
May 16, 2019 at 2:08 AM Post #282 of 419

surfgeorge

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Hi @surfgeorge:
Do you have any posts (with photos) of your tape mod? I'd like to try it on a spare set of nozzles. The cotton swab mod definitely smooths out the upper-mid peakiness, but (as you said) it also smooths out the treble. I'd like to experiment with the tape mode to restore all the sparkle and airiness that I get from my unmodded nozzles.

@DimitriSF
This is the mod as I am now using it.
From memory this attenutates the mids by about 4-5dB, which is actually on the higher side.
If you want to keep more of the sparkle then the gap can be bigger.
As shown, the treble is very smooth. At low volume it could be more sparkly, at high volume I find it perfect, I can play quite loud, it get's a little more bite but always just below my cringe level.

To apply just stick the tape on, cut it with some sharp scissors to leave about 4-5mm around the nozzle, then cut radially into 4-5 segments and fold them down one by one. The tape can still move slightly, so you can use your fingers to pull down on the periphery to tighten the MP tape before aaplying the tip, starting with an angle on the gap side and pushing/tilting it over the tape. Check if the tape moved. I needed several tries to get it where I wanted.

This photo also shows the oxydation of the Nobunaga cable, which is a bit annoying. It sounds really good and looked really nice when new, but it's getting ugly now.

246FC809-86F2-48C8-9971-4CA6846153D9.jpeg
 

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May 16, 2019 at 2:29 AM Post #283 of 419

surfgeorge

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I had a private discussion about whether the FD02 is a good addition to the Tanjim Oxygen and went back to do a comparison (again) with my EX800ST, using the ultimate percussion test, the “Jazz Variants” by O-Zone percussion group.

The FD02 is smooth and I can hear the (Harman) elevated mids and sub bass and that silky smooth treble, the EX800 is textured, with slightly rolled off sub bass, flat bass-mids and slightly elevated treble. But what came out very clearly today is exactly that difference between smooth and textured. It almost sounds like a slightly slow impulse response or slightly softer membrane from the FD02, and it reminds me of the KPE, and from memory also the Oxygen (which I only tried briefly in a shop).
FD02, KPE share the DLC membrane technology (EDIT: as @chickenmoon stated, Tanjim Oxygen has a carbon nanotube membrane), so maybe that is a characteristic of this? The FD02 is much faster than the KPE, but the EX800 has clearly more texture.
That makes the FD02 easier to listen to, and it sounds fabulous with vocals. But in terms of sheer "naturalness" and realism I have to give it to the EX800 for that particular piece of music.

I still pick the FD02 over the EX800 maybe 80% of the time, but that test today made me again understand the differences a little better.
For me they are a really great pair, complementing each other.
 
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May 22, 2019 at 3:50 AM Post #285 of 419

surfgeorge

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I played a bit with the tuning of the FD02 and reduced the covered area of the nozzle to boost the upper frequencies a bit more.
With the coverage shown in this photo, the mids get attenuated by about 4dB, which gives a bit more sparkle and upper mids/treble energy compared to the small gap shown in the post above.

I also tried them without damping again to have a baseline and they get fatiguing very quickly and can sound hollow, tinny and brash. With the mod it's smooth, open and clear.

I'm still a big fan of these. In 2 weeks I'll get my AK T8iE MKII, that will be interesting.

D9E235F5-6ABA-4A9A-B135-DC6411E21523.jpeg
 
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