JVC FD01: A new contender for best DD IEM?

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by james444, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Metro

    Metro Almost "Made"

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    I was thinking, what a missed opportunity that JVC didn't include nozzles with clearly distinctive tunings. The differences between the metals are barely audible. They could have made nozzles with different inner bore diameters, length, shape, etc. It's not too late — JVC can make and sell accessory nozzles. It's a shame not to put that exquisitely made latching mechanism to better use.
     
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  2. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    True, but the way I look at it is the nozzles allow me to try out different mods easily, quickly changing nozzles back and forth. And the color coding makes it easy to remember which is which and keep them paired. So not as intended, but still useful!
     
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  3. Streamline

    Streamline Acquaintance

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    I know it's already been mentioned, but it wasn't clear how easy it was for US buyers to buy this on amazon.co.jp. Just needed to set language to English here: https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/customer-preferences/select-language

    I did have to create a new amazon account, as amazon.co.jp did not recognize my US Amazon account.

    Amazon will charge your card in USD, so there is no foreign transaction fee. The exchange rate they use is competitive too; I used my Amazon Visa so might have gotten a preferred rate.

    Final price, to my door: $327

    Amazon Currency Converter is Enabled.
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    Order Summary
    Items: USD 317.10
    Shipping & Handling: USD 10.26
    Order Total: USD 327.36
    (Change card currency)
    Applicable Exchange Rate
    1 JPY = 0.009386373 USD

    (includes all Amazon fees and charges)
     
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  4. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Alright, @brencho got me to do a little bit of comparison listening to Andros and FD01's through a variety of devices. This is a super hot-take, so FWIW... Just copy pasting from my response to brench, juvenile humor and all:

    ---
    I did this shit for you, because I love and want to scissor with you (kidding about the first, oh wait, I mean the LAST part): https://pmc-dropshare.s3-us-west-1....PbZoreGB6UUFkntrVnj0YdZFcLI0h6VGo33d2IiWo5iRO

    The FD01's do work from my phone (iphone with lightning to 3.5mm dingleberry thing). In fact, they sound pretty nice. First track on Boatman's Call was my comparison track. Was plenty loud at 60 to 70% on the iPhone. Super warm and smoothed a bit.

    I normally listen either from a ZX300 or this Earstudio ES100 thing, which is fun. I couldn't get my ZX300 to talk nice to the ES100, so I didn't do any comparisons for you from that.

    But from the ZX300, the FD01s are significantly leaner and more "reference" sounding than the Andromedas, which I must say surprised me. Again, I only listened to that first track on Boatman's Call because I enjoy comparative listening about as much as I enjoy a good 1am heartburn, but for you my man, I do it. I am your suffering audioservant. ;)

    Normally I boost the heck out of the bass on the FD01s. Didn't need to do that on the iPhone dongle because the bass was naturally loose sloppy and warm, which can be nice. But on the better devices like the ZX300 or ES01, the FD01 are tighter, more resolving, and cleaner sounding, with a more lean bass. Not thin, but leaner. But I slap some EQ on the ZX300 or ES100 and it phattens right up.

    The Andromedas, by comparison, are significantly more midbassey. That makes them sound less clean and tight, even though they probably actually are more tight and fast in the bass.

    The FD01s are built well and feel less like ear jewelry. I hate the rotating nozzle housing because it's fiddly, but I suppose for oddball ear configurations it's good? The mod was easy.

    For what I use them for, which is good sound on the go, I'd be fine with FD01s from my phone. In fact, I rarely break out the ZX300, even though it's nice to have.

    I'm in tip OCD hell right now. On the Andros, medium spiral dots are nearly perfect. They go in, and stay the fuck in, unless I wear them while eating spicy food in which case the inside of my ears get sweaty and no tip will hold the line under those hostile conditions.

    On the JVC's, medium spiral dots are too big and they want to creep out on me. I gave away my medium-small spiral dots, so dunno if those would be good. But Symbios smalls are near perfect for me with the JVCs, so I've been rocking those. I ordered some Symbios "peels" (the not-hybrid ones) and I hope those are even better because the Symbios hybrids aren't as comfy as the much softer Spin Fits.

    Man, fuck IEMs. Speakers are so much better. Also, I love IEMs... sometimes. :)

    If some tragedy killed my Andros and left me only with the FD01's I'd be fine. 100% fine, actually.
    ---

    If you have questions about this comparison, that's great. Procedure for answering those questions:

    1. Order the JVC's yourself
    2. Try them and see what you think

    :)
     
  5. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Replied via PM, sbaf avert your eyes Phillip and I gonna bump donuts now
     
  6. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    @philipmorgan You listen to the Andros with silicone tips?! Defiler!
     
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  7. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    "Come on, @Merrick! Roll around in the dirt with me, all your dreams can come true!" - Jimmy McGill

    Yeah, I was digging Complys for a while, but was having fit problems and tried spiral dots on a lark and the fit was way better, so whatever sound quality shortcomings that might cause can go straight to hell.

    Man, I feel like I tried just a few IEM tips and I'm all the way in IEM tip rolling nervosa hell.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Silicon only way to go guys. For your health.
     
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  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Fuck that, I only use sheepskin IEM tips.
     
  10. jafnvaegi

    jafnvaegi Friend

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    The natural way to protect your sensitive earholes!™
     
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  11. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    @james444 Would you say the differences between a modded FD01 and HSE A2000 are readily apparent in noisy environments?
     
  13. james444

    james444 Friend

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    For moderately noisy environment, I'd say yes. But I personally wouldn't upgrade from a modded HSE A2000 to the FD01, if I'd only listen to IEMs in noisy environments.
     
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  14. Streamline

    Streamline Acquaintance

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    Last night found me sitting in an airport with a safety pin (always travel with a safety pin) modifying the "mod". The FD01 had arrived about a week earlier, having only taken 4 days to cross the Pacific -- I guess I shouldn't be surprised Amazon is even more ruthlessly efficient in its Japanese incarnation.

    They are heavy and kind of uncomfortable, but I am getting used it. They tend to migrate such that the ridged end caps always come into contact with my ears and cause some irritation no matter how I rotate them.

    These are my first "good" DD and on first listen, I recognized immediately why you all liked them so much -- too much treble energy but otherwise uncompressed dynamics and coherent, decently resolving, with surprising headstage and layering. (In terms of a good place to start, is this the 650/6xx of the IEM world?) This went on for a few days as I listen to a lot of tech house and ambient and the out-of-the-box tuning is pretty listenable for my kind of electronica. At the time I had the urge to apply the mod, all I had were single-ply thick industrial alcohol swabs so I used those and just tuned by ear. First try produced wooly bass, so I incrementally backed off until they sounded better. 24 hours later, I'm in the airport and I'm thinking "still not right" so out came the safety pin and I'm going at the tiny bit of cotton with my fingernails and now I think I have them dialed-in.

    This has been loads of fun and such a great learning experience, as tweaks to the mod are so easily heard. Thanks, SBAF!
     
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  15. DimitriSF

    DimitriSF Rando

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    @james444, I must extend you a hearty thank you.

    I own both the JVC HA-FX1200 and the FD01, based on your reviews and clever mods.

    Unmodded, I do not find the FD01's treble harsh for (most) music I listen to, but I definitely understand why many might.

    I do find the bass too tame though. But, post-mod, the smoother treble gives it a relative bass-boost. Coupled with a 1-2 dB EQ boost, to the 20-125hz range, the FD01 now delivers that elusive sound I've long sought. Bass, mids, and treble are now equal partners.

    After 20+ hours of music listening (flamenco, American folk, bluegrass, jazz, classic rock, classical, R&B, rap, pop, Greek, Middle-Eastern, electronica...), I can't find any music where the FD01 doesn't shine.

    Anyhow, thanks again.
    Dimitri
     
  16. blackships

    blackships Friend

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    Be careful when cleaning earwax out of these, as the screens in the nozzles are soft and very easy to accidentally remove. I'm not sure how feasible it will be to glue them back in.
     
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  17. DimitriSF

    DimitriSF Rando

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    Thanks for the heads-up! I'll be extra careful during cleaning. Fortunately, the FD01s come with 3 sets of nozzles, so if this happens, one still has 2 other sets to fall back up. (I have the "SP" version, which comes with 4 sets of nozzles.)
     
  18. surfgeorge

    surfgeorge Rando

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    In my first post on this forum I want to say thank you to James444 for unearthing this diamond in a rough :)
    Based on this thread and the kind advise from trebor I bought the FD02 with Nobunaga Yuuzen cable. Instead of using the alcohol pads I taped 3M Micropore tape over the nozzle, just leaving a very small gap on one side. That brought the 3-7kHz range down by 5-7dB and smoothed the 15kHz spike without influencing the rest of the frequency range.

    I have to say I am speechless about the SQ from this IEM.
    I find it extremely balanced, natural and detailed, with an seemingly unfallable timbre. Everything sounds very accurate, yet never forced, always silky smooth.

    I spent about 7h at e-earphones in Tokyo last week listening to many IEMs in the range above 1000 €/$ and I felt like the modded FD02 more than stood their ground. Super happy :)
     
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  19. NatsumeYuuki

    NatsumeYuuki Rando

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    Can someone compare FD01/02 with Fiio Fh5, XBA-N3? Thanks.
     
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  20. surfgeorge

    surfgeorge Rando

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    I have listened to the XBA-N3 for a short while at a store and was left with the impression of emphasized bass with a very smooth treble. I compared to the EX800ST, which I found more coherent and clearer but also painting sharper details, more intense, which is not only good.
    The JVC FD01 and FD02 in stock form are bright, or simply too loud in the upper registers for me, but actually very refined. With the mod the FD02 (which I own) is higly resolving and extended in the upper frequency, with a silky smoothness. It has a weighty bass, especially good sub bass, also smooth, but if I had one wish the bass, especially sub-bass could be a bit more detailed and dynamic.
    That's where the N3 might have an advantage (not sure, didn't listen for that) but I find the JVC extremely coherent and still quite dynamic, and from what I remember the N3 did have a bit different character of DD and BA in bass and treble.

    PLEASE don't take only my statement, this is based on memories and other's should add their take.
     
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