Super Best Audio Friends

The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists

I happened to have HE6SE in the house from a kind loan from my pal. Indeed I auditioned HE6 long ago, but I preferred HE500 (which I owned those days) by a big margin. HE6 had great technicalities but too off tonal balances from the memory -- I believe it was not modded at all.


HE6SE is a lot different from what I remember for HE6, also different from any other contemporary oval ear cup hifimans. Right out of the box, it's already very enjoyable. They don't have any hassles of non-se he6s. And 10 second modding (literally) does the wonder. Anyway after a few hours of listening, I can't help placing an order for a pair for myself. $700 new? How crazy..
Basically this software emulates the speaker-like sound into any headphone you plug into. Yeah I know, wtf right? You can use most available DACs out there, I'm using the Schiit Hel + Porta Pros right now and it works flawlessly. I'll drop down some key things here
It's definitely not for everyone and I don't think these are meant to replace your main headphone rig or speakers, but provides a unique speaker-like experience at a very affordable pricing. I know there's the Smyth realizer ? which is substantially more expensive. I think there's decent amount of friends here that would be interested in this so I decided to write my impressions here. Would be a cool loaner idea, but I think we would have to work with Ryan first since the license key only allows for one source. Mine's a prototype/demo so not sure if things have changed.
Thanks to @Phantaminum 's kindness, I can have this amp for the next couple of weeks. I didn't hear many things about this amp in sbaf -- there's only one outdated discussion thread (link). But have been curious because this is often mentioned in other forums in the context of zmf headphone pairing. Anyway he also loaned me a bunch of (really.. confusingly many!) tubes to test. Super excited.
Drop x JVC HA-FDX1 Dual Carbon IEM

Before we even say another word about this, we need to start here:

@james444 is always digging up random IEMs and modding them with impressive results. He posted a few before and after measurements of the mods, and before long, we purchased a JVC HA-FD01 from a Japan to send along on our loaner program. Most of the folks who heard the loaner, at least those earlier in line, should be aware that I had only implemented a quick and dirty version of the mods. The "authentic" @james444 mods were much more intricate. I think @zerodeefex can tell you guys what a pain in the ass it was for him to do it right. I hindsight, I guess I could have paid my kids (with their smaller fingers) to do the proper mod for me. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that the proper mods result in better bass quality compared to the quick and dirty version.
Desert ironwood looks awesome -- I think I am saying this phrase every year lol.. regardless, it's definitely another wood I desire to collect.

According to the Wood Database, this wood is as hard (3,260 janka lbf) and dense (75 lbs/ft3) as African Blackwood:
(harder and denser than Cocobolo)

FR measurement (not Jude's but Zach's) looks interesting too. Not sure about which pads were on each. @zach915m may chime in.
If SBAF members are interested, @Zampotech said he can make a limited batch to sell here. I think he's shooting for somewhere around $250 + shipping, if I understood correctly.

I've spent a fair amount of time with this "Shortest Way" amp. I still have some comparison testing to do, especially with the ZDT Jr. but have enough thoughts to get started.

So, what is this thing?

- Single-ended, Triode, using 6Z51P tubes
- Output transformers (two types of steel to improve performance at a smaller size, would have to use regular, larger transformers if more are produced)
- Class A
- No capacitors in signal path. Really just a pot and a few resistors, that I can see, plus tubes and OPTs.
- "No feedback except natural communication through the cathode resistor"
- Short signal path