JAR600V2 impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Erroneous, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    I am gonna get off my ass and put in an order.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Short review of Jupiter JAR600A and JAR600B


    First things first. Kudos to Erroneous for making this tour happen.

    Jupiter mods have been very well received on this forum -- not only in public threads, but also in private chats (some of my good audio friends have marveled at how awesome they would be). So far I’ve listened to JAR580(A), JAR650A, and JAR650B. And now JAR600 A and B are added to my listening history -- I also tried out JAR660S1, but I think that’s another story.

    As usual, the M500 mk3 dac/amp and the HO200 head amp were used for evaluation. Since the amplifier sections of these two devices sound very similar to each other, I benefited from spontaneous switching during the AB tests. Of course, I always repeated the comparisons with swapped amps to make sure that my assessment is independent of the upstream quality.

    In addition, I also paired them with Piety, as it’s a well-hyped combo in the forum. (For both JAR600A and B) I found that the pairing smoothed out some of the harshness/roughness I heard, added a little extra energy, but my ears seemed to miss some details I heard with the other amps.

    I recently spent most of my listening time with the Atrium Closed, the Athena, and the Stealth. While these three pairs do not sound any similar at all, I think my evaluation is probably biased by tonality and presentation I was accustomed to prior to the JAR600 evaluation.

    Here are summaries of my comparative impressions

    Common
    • These are still HD600, which means less bass quantity and more (upper) mid-centric and forwarding nature than HD650/JAR650.
    • Both JAR600 A and B generally sound a bit edgy, grainy, and piercing to me. Especially on recordings that contain nasty highs.
    • Both male and female vocals had excellent presence and body. Decently airy, too. But fundamentals were generally lacking to my liking.
    • Less veiled than the JAR650A/B, although I found the JAR650s to be more cohesive in highs.
    • Soundstage feels like a typical Senn 6x0s. Borderline acceptable.
    Difference
    • A had a slightly, but meaningfully more even tonal balance.
    • B had a very slightly hollower voice presentation.
    • B had better top extension and felt airier, which also resulted in better transients.
    • When switching from A to B, something in the treble persistently sounded off. Hard to describe specifically though.

    As usual with Jupiter products, if you like the HD600 sound and want to get more out of it (and don’t mind handling the law of diminishing returns), then both JAR 600 A and B will undoubtedly be a solid choice. The choice between A and B must be entirely a matter of one’s preference. But I think I do prefer A to B overall, despite B’s benefits over A.

    Measurements below.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: May 6, 2023
  3. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    JAR HD600 LOANER IMPRESSIONS

    Thanks to @Erroneous for arranging the loaner tour. I've had a love/hate relationship with Sennheiser 6x0 models over the years. I got the 650 first and liked it on my Valhalla 2. But I liked the HD600 more (with the right tubes). Then I modded the HD650 and hated it, so sold it. Then the HD600 sounded shouty. Then I sold the Valhalla 2 and got an ECP T3 and loved how the HD600 sounded on them. Then I had the T3 modded and hated it, so sold it in favor of a Schiit Ragnarok integrated. The HD600 sounded shouty again, so I got another HD650. Which I later sold because I thought they sounded too closed in. Then I bought the Utopia seven years ago and put the HD600 in their box, where they remain for nostalgia purposes. Nowadays I rarely listen to headphones, and when I do it's still the Utopia.

    I previously heard the JAR HD650 on a prior loaner tour (not the "B" version; this was years ago when I listened) and thought those sounded nifty on the Ragnarok. So I was curious how the JAR HD600s would sound and compared them this week.

    tl;dr: The JAR HD600A reminds me very much of the JAR HD650, and the JAR HD600B reminds me more of the Utopia. I prefer the B, but still prefer the Focal Utopia overall. I haven't heard the Clear or Elex, so open question whether someone wanting a budget Utopia should go with either of those or the JAR HD600B.

    Listening Impressions

    Chain was: Qobuz --> Pi2AES --> Mogami 3173 AES cable --> Yggdrasil Analog 2 AES input --> Mogami 2497 RCA cables --> Nitsch x Schiit Magni Piety (high gain) --> headphones via 1/4" cable.

    @caute nailed it with their impressions earlier in the thread. But I'll still share mine.

    JAR HD600 "A" impressions
    • Very weighty sound, just like I remembered from the JAR HD650. Drums had a nice resonance and bass hit pretty hard. Good impact
    • Cymbals sounded muted and more ethereal. Just like I remember from the various HD650 I've listened to over the years. This is why I always preferred the HD600 (treble response). HD650 bass and midrange was better, but I just loved the treble presentation of the HD600. The JAR HD600 A killed that for me. In my mind, I equate these headphones to JAR HD650.
    • On certain pop songs (Taylor Swift - Reputation first few tracks) there were certain effects in the mix that just sounded annoying on these. Little scratches or samples that were repetitive and super annoying. Never heard those presented in that way before. Could be a frequency response anomaly or just not sitting well with my ear shape, but it was a relief when those tracks were done.
    JAR HD600 "B" impressions
    • Immediately upon switching to these I wondered where all the bass went. The same thing happened on the Auteur Classic loaner tour recently when I switched back to my Utopia. Then my brain adjusts and all is well again. Took a track or so to happen here too.
    • The "B" version has a much more even frequency response. The treble is back! Cymbals sound like cymbals and are better represented in the mix. Way better. These sounded more like HD600 to me.
    • The sound on these was much more open. Less strained. Less in your face. No annoyance when listening to the same Taylor Swift songs I mentioned above.
    • Tradeoff of course is that there is less heft and impact to the bass, and drums didn't have the weight and presence of the "A" version. I think that tradeoff is worth it.
    • This version reminded me more of the Utopia in a way.
    Utopia impressions
    • I then listened to a few of the same tracks on the Utopia to sanity check. Switched to low gain on the Piety.
    • The sounds/effects on the Taylor Swift tracks were even less annoying.
    • These are way more resolving and have much better imaging/depth. Way easier to hear more intricacies in the music.
    • Slightly less tilted up at the top end of the frequency range than the JAR HD600 B were.
    • Utopia had much better instrument timbre.
    • Made me remember why I haven't sold them yet even though I rarely listen to headphones anymore.

    Conclusion

    Fans of the HD6x0 series should seriously consider the "B" version of JAR HD600. I probably won't be buying one given that I have the Utopia and find the 6x0 pads too small / uncomfortable for my ears. But the JAR HD600B is probably my favorite HD6x0 variant I've tried over the years. I look forward to hearing the JAR 800 at some point.

    Thanks again for letting me participate in the loaner!
     
  4. Tchoupitoulas

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    JAR600 Loaner Impressions
    Thank you @ext1 and @Erroneous for generously lending us your personal pairs of these headphones, I'm really grateful. And thank you organizing this tour, I really appreciate the opportunity to hear these outstandingly good headphones.

    I had a cold for the duration of the loaner so my impressions will be even worse than usual. With that said, I really enjoyed listening to these glorious headphones.

    TL;DR: the v1 sounds like a fixed HD 600, meaning its treble is smoother and its bass is tighter. The v2 sounds like a different headphone, as though the HD 600 had a naughty weekend with the HD 800 this was the happy result. The v2 has a lighter, thinner sound, with better staging (but not wide like the HD 800), and excellent treble extension (and some added emphasis). Its sound is more delicate but not necessarily sweeter.


    Preferences and Caveats
    I’m in my mid-40s and have suffered some hearing loss. I can’t hear much above 14 kHz. I’m sensitive to too much emphasis in the upper-mids and lower-treble as well as fussy about wanting headphones to be free of congestion, veil, and a closed-in headstage. Excess warmth bothers me, especially when there’s too much mid-bass humpiness, and I grouse a lot about a lack of treble air. I lean more towards the HD 600 than the 650.


    Gear and Comparisons
    Most of my listening time was with a Mac Mini with Roon (Qobuz and FLAC/ALAC files) via USB -> Yggdrasil A2 (balanced to Jensen PO-2XR converting to SE) -> DNA Stratus using the XLR, 8-ohm output (tubes are the Psvane 2A3, LinLai 5U4G, and Voshkod 6N1-P).

    I compared both JAR versions with my HD 600.


    The Stock HD 600 Compared to the JAR600s
    The stock 600 sounds inferior to both in almost all respects. I’m not sure it surpasses the JARs in any single quality, although its timbre remains pleasing and convincing.

    The 600 sounds slower, richer, warmer, and more sluggish than the JARs. The stock version’s not as snappy, either. I wonder if Jupiter improved the transient attacks. The sound is livelier, more energetic with the JARs, but not in a fatiguing way. I also wonder if the macrodynamic contrast is stronger now; pianos sound much more like percussion instruments.

    The JAR versions are far better when it comes to staging. The stock 600 isn’t particularly airy or spacious, and instrument separation is just meh, by comparison.

    The 600 has poorer bass: it’s looser and vaguer, sometimes woolly, and never very well defined. It’s also too strong for classical music.

    The 600’s main weakness, for me, is its treble. It’s a bit grainy, has a bit of an edge, is peaky sometimes, and can be fatiguing. It also lacks extension, somewhat, and lacks sparkle with acoustic guitars and zing with cymbals.

    [​IMG]

    The JAR600 OG
    This version is recognizably a variant on the HD 600, one that fixes the problems of loose bass and troublesome treble while making several other welcome improvements.

    The tuning’s better balanced. The bass is not as intrusive. The overall tuning is sweeter. It still has some slight, nice warmth, though.

    The timbre of acoustic instruments is improved. Strings have more bite. Alto saxes sound less sharp and more like reedy, woodwind instruments. Acoustic guitars have more sparkle and complexity to their overtones. Pianos sound more percussive and snappier. Cymbals are much better. Electric guitars also sound more exciting; they have richer, grittier and crunchier textures and plenty of bite.

    The bass is much tighter/faster and more controlled, with better textures, although it’s still slightly tubby and thumpy with electric bass guitars, at times.

    Staging is more open, spacious, and airy. If the HD 600 sounds a little cramped at times, now it opens up beautifully. There’s better instrument separation – complex orchestral music sounds less blended together – and there’s more air and space around instruments.

    The JAR600 OG is more resolving. It’s also snappier and more lively and energetic, not so dull or plodding. In the end, the JAR600 has a cleaner, tighter overall sound.


    The JAR600 v2
    The v2 is quite different from the OG version and it’s much less recognizable as an HD 6X0 variant. It’s much more like an HD 800 SDR – which I have – but without the resolution, the spacious width to the staging, or the peaky treble. The treble is better than the HD 800’s but it’s not more extended or pronounced than the JAR600 OG’s.

    The v2 comes across as slightly brighter since the mids and bass aren’t as strong as the OG. As apparent is the thinner and lighter sound. By “light” I mean the tonal weight or density of instruments and notes. It’s as though there’s less substance to the sound. I wouldn’t call the v2 ethereal in the estat sense but it’s moving in that direction. (I’ve got a soft spot for that kind of sound and used to have an old Stax New SR3). The thinness to the sound is what most reminds me of the HD 800 SDR.

    Tuning and timbre are slightly different. There isn’t the warmth of the other versions, and the sound isn’t as sweet. Strings still have plenty of bite. Brass instruments now have more crackle and blare. Cymbals are yet more zingy (zingier?) and come across as more recognizably metallic. They’re also cleaner and crisper, in other words better defined, suggesting improvements in resolution and transient attacks. I really loved vocals with this version; they’re a bit more forward and delicate.

    The bass is even tighter but comes with a loss of tonal richness as well as strength and punch.

    The v2 is tighter sounding and more resolving. Its staging is similar in size to that of the OG but it has better layering, has more air, and comes across as more open.

    A fun quality of the sound is that in spite of having a lighter, less weighty presentation, the v2 might be the most percussive and impactful of the three.


    Conclusion
    The JAR600 OG is a fixed 600. It’s also an improved one in all respects. It was hard having to go back to my stock 600. When pennies permit, I’ll be placing an order, although I should note that at $850+ for the mods and a pair of the used, stock headphones, a second-hand pair of Auteur Classic is tempting. I wonder how the two would compare.

    The V2 is less easy to recommend to fans of the HD 600. I’d be more inclined to recommend it to fans of the HD 800 SDR. Now I’m all the more keen to hear the JAR800. I hope another opportunity will come around to check it out.
     
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  5. Polemarkos

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    Apologies but I only have the time to relay a series of impressions instead of an in-depth comparison. I haven't had the time for an intensive A/B of the JAR models vs. the stock HD600, and only six or seven hours of listening with the two models over the last week. Young kids/busy.

    I evaluated via PC/Roon/CD transport >>Gugnir A2 w/ Unison USB >> Mjonir 2. I used the Sennheiser balanced cable for all listening.

    I didn't know which headphone was which so I differentiated them in my impressions via the hardcase that they arrived in. I only identified the model numbers after I had completed listening, and include them below.

    Gloss case (OG):
    "More dense feeling in the hand than the stock HD600 - heavier on the head - less 'cloud' like than stock but not at all uncomfortable"
    "Kept slipping out of 'focus' on elements of the sound - too easy to just listen to the music"
    "Sound is not as in my head as the stock HD600 - headstage is noticeably better."
    "Bass is just right - deeper but not bloated, everything that's good about HD650 but not nearly as shaded in the upper-mids and treble."
    "Detail is all there but nothing calls attention to itself. Very balanced and cohesive sound."
    "Conveys emotion well - new Jason Isbell track 'The King of Oklahoma' had me choked up - wasn't thinking about the headphones at all but immersed in the story of a family's struggle with addiction."
    "Arca would have been borderline unlistenable on stock HD600. The sonic profile described above remains consistent even with highly compressed music with lots of sonic features that would have been piercing on the stock tuning, and bass that would have been less than satisfying."
    "Toro Y Moi's 'Maha' album - very dynamic presentation that conveys the fun of the music itself."

    Matte Case (V2):
    "Almost immediate impression is a 'perfect' HD600."
    "Lowest bass a bit more satisfying than V1 - the lowest notes of Edgar Meyer's bass on the 'Not Our First Goat Rodeo' album have more convincing heft."
    "Imaging within the headstage a bit more noticeable / staging in general is more obvious but still not unnaturally etched."
    "A greater sense of 'openness' than the OG - Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou "Killing Floor" is huge (for headphones). Literally got goosebumps on this track."
    "Ella & Basie - "Satin Doll" - trumpet blats in the intro and outro sound perfect, no etching or sense of being pierced.
    "Lovely tone on Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major by the Trondheim Soloists. Overall tone/tamber more pleasing than OG model by a hair."

    My preference was for V2 by a smidge, and both are a striking improvement over the stock HD600.
     
  6. Joshvar

    Joshvar Almost "Made"

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    Ya’lls impressions didn’t leave much for me to add TBH (that’s a complement - this thread is dense with good info). I wish there was more of a market to support @ext1 and @rhythmdevils putting their talents into more hands profitably. The minor flaws are no more glaring than anything I’ve heard in the $1000-2500 space, and really are a matter of flavor and deserve to be considered amongst those competitors. Big thanks to my (almost) neighbor @Erroneous for the loaner!

    As an HD600 enjoyer, the OG mod is for me. It takes the HD600 and improves everything (aside from physical weight) while taking on a slight mellowing that doesn’t dull the sound. I’d say this is what I wanted the Focal Clear to be - the Clear had some imaging/bass advantages but gave up too much in the mids/lower treble to justify sitting next to the HD600. I can’t say much more other than what others have said - I had pretty high expectations and this exceeded them, and found myself a bit disappointed going back to my HD600.

    The B didn’t quite hold on to me but it had more “whoa” moments where some sounds (usually lower treble) just sounded ethereal in the way the HD800 can. If you’re bored of the HD600 and want a less finicky/more versatile HD800 sound, this will push it in that direction. I think the Sennheiser + Bottlehead magic give this a dimension of staging and texture that could satisfy someone looking for a mellow HD800. The B gives up bass cleanness and extension, while doing staging in a more realistic way than the overly diffuse HD800.

    Gear used: Bifrost 2 OG into Jotunheim 2, Mid Tier BHC+SB, Magni Piety, Cavalli Liquid Spark, and new production HD600 + ZMF Perforated Suede Pads + CustomCans Copper Mod
     
  7. bstern

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    (Mods: feel free to move this if it's out-of-place - I know this is a JAR600B thread, but the other options were announcement or loaner threads)

    I've owned a pair of JAR650B's for perhaps a year now, and I'm so thrilled with the experience I wanted to take a few minutes to post.

    First, @ext1 is a pleasure to work with. Great communication always, helps with questions, and was happy to just repair an issue that arose after a number of months. Customer service at its finest - Jupiter truly stands behind his products.

    I had Jupiter mod an HD650 pair that I wanted to complement my glorious Starlett->HD800S setup. What I did not expect was that the JAR650B would almost entirely replace my use of the HD800S. Someone in this thread said that Jupiter's headphones are a revelation. They are indeed.

    Someone else said that these were the holy grail of "HD650 with HD800 technicalities". Well... I wouldn't quite go that far, but they're a notable step in that direction. Soundstage is a clear improvement, but maybe more of a 30% step towards the HD800. Although the JAR650B has taken over as my primary headphone, I still do miss the HD800's details and soundstage. And, it's punch below 50-60Hz. But to me, the combination of tone and still doing all the above competently enough - in the end they're just a more engaging listen. By a non-trivial margin.

    But what struck me the most about them is that they sound... clear. I'm not an audiophile and I can't seem to find the right word to describe it. I've never been a big fan of the argument that the HD580's sound veiled. (I'm with Tyll that HD650 maybe-kinda-sorta but not the rest of the family). But compared to my HD580... well... let's just say the JAR650B sounds much more CLEAR. Whatever that means. Less hazy, less muddy, less constrained. I've never thought those things about my 580s before. This thing really is a revelation.

    Since I've tried this with a handful of amps as well, I figured I'd try and add pairing impressions. The setups were all with Yggdrasil LIM and Unison.

    Starlett: This was the first amp I tried the JAR650B with and... I wasn't blown away. The timbre was actually drippingly beautiful but I thought it sounded congested/veiled and not terribly punchy. This result was a shock to me since it was amazing with my HD800S. I feel awful to say anything negative about Starlett, I love so much about it, but I just didn't feel like the pairing came alive.

    Mjolnir 1: The first amp I tried JAR650B where I realized its potential. Punchy and clear. Almost perfect, but the treble seemed a little hot. The LIM helped (vs using a Gungnir Multibit A1) but I did find it a bit fatiguing. Still, a superb pairing if you're not sensitive to highs.

    Black Widow 1: Perfection (to me anyway). Clear, punchy (though a bit more subdued than the MJ1), and all the best of the HD650 comes through. Just a sense of "rightness". I really wish I could describe it better. Maybe someone in the Seattle area would want to hear this combo and help find better words to describe it.

    Piety: This was disturbingly close to the BW1 with the JAR. As in, enough to make me wonder why I need to spend more than this on this expensive hobby. I'll call it a holy shit moment. I have found the Piety to be a little peaky in the treble with some headphones. I expected to hear it here, but really didn't (perhaps a bit of influence from the LIM).

    Liquid Platinum: Not bad, but didn't have the magic of BW or Piety. A bit of the clarity felt like it was missing. Still, not bad.

    But in summary, this thing's a winner. A revelation indeed. At least this in this rando's opinion!
     
  8. RenEH

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    I'm not sure where else to post this, so here it is. I'm looking at the photos of the Nitsch JAR600 and the original and I can't help, but wonder why some of the modifications exist the way they do.

    1) It seems like the housing is being braced similar to how a speaker would be to reduce resonance. The new screws seem to emphasize the importance of this and it's new rigidity and the importance of pushing up the foam as close to the housing as possible. This would also add additional mass which should reduce resonance in general I guess.
    2) The original mod seems to be using something similar to thick sorbothane to damp where the original KISS mods used the car damping stuff, but way more of it which means better damping maybe?
    3) The air flow is also changed, but I don't understand the mechanism of how this modifies the sound. Is it less airflow out the back so MOAR BASS... or rather bass extension? I think I've seen something similar in IEM and subwoofer modding.

    It seems like most of the mods are pointed squarely at the 4K peak which I think is a resonance, but I'm not sure.

    Sorry, I'm just trying to wrap my head around the mods here. It sounds really interesting though from a tinkerer perspective.
     
  9. Huhnkopf

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    Jupiter Audio has a website where you might find contact details to message him and maybe get some answers. Way better than gheying up an impressions thread.
     
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