JVC FD01: A new contender for best DD IEM?

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

  1. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I've just stuffed some cotton in. I couldn't get the alcohol strip right at first but I may try again since James says its better.
     
  2. surfgeorge

    surfgeorge Rando

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    Update on the modded FD02
    The Nobunaga Yuzen cable is turning green from corrosion, which made me finally finish my DIY teflon insulated silver cable.
    This further improves the SQ and takes the FD02 up another level IMO, with a significantly tighter and cleaner bass, and overall cleaner, more transparent and detailed sound. The Nobunaga Yuzen could still sound congested and shouty in very busy passages like in the last part of Starvinsky's Firebird (https://tidal.com/track/77607310) the silver cable keeps things clean and clear. The warmth and fullness of the Yuzen is replaced with a faster, cleaner, more open and more shimmering presentation.

    Although the measurements (simple Dayton Mic & 3D printed coupler) showed the same curves for the original cable, Nobunaga and DIY silver, the perceived balance is quite different, with the silver sounding brighter, due to a tighter and drier bass. Changed the damping to reduce the peak by another 1,5...2dB and it's right back to where I find it perfectly balanced.

    I bought a used T8iE MKII which I should receive in a week and I feel that the FD02 is ready for the battle. Let's see who comes out on top.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    So I had the opportunity to get these in a trade for something I wasn't using and I figured I'd give them a proper go. I started with @james444 recommended 16mm of alcohol wipe and quickly went to 20mm (I'm not using the same material). First impression was that the bass was rather disappointing. They don't come anywhere near displacing EX1000 as King of Bass (Quality) for me, not as deep, punchy or tight. As Marv said, "Wish the bass was tighter, faster, more articulate". I also felt it was lacking in mid-bass relative to mids and subbass. And still a bit too forward. So this is the EQ I ended up with. Marv mentioned a 1kHz suck, so I bumped it up a bit and vocals seem to fill out better.

    [​IMG]

    Going from ZX300 SE to 4.4mm output improved the bass "oomph" a bit. With the mod and EQ they're pleasant and balanced sounding. Stage is fairly wide but shallow. I think a longer length of alcohol wipe would strangle the technicalities and upper treble too much. I also tried a narrow bore Sony Hybrid tip. With 16mm of wipe the stridency is tamed but treble is harsh and tizzy. With 20mm of wipe, treble was slightly smoother but overly rolled off. With 20mm and the stock tips, treble is still somewhat grainy (on the same level as EX1000).

    Ergonomically they're way better than EX1k, and better isolation too. The stock Spiral Dots are a bit insecure for me (even worn over-ear), but Symbios sound pretty much the same and grip the ear canal opening better. The knurled outer edge of the "shell" is a bit unfortunate as it forces one to adjust the fit so it isn't touching your ear. I guess the idea is it makes rotating the nozzle easier, but I don't think it was necessary. otherwise the mechanical design is excellent. The quick swap nozzles are really cool, but really only useful for switching between different lengths of alcohol wipe.

    I tried them out of the ZX2 and while smoother and not quite as strident in the upper mids / lower treble, they still need EQ. I have all sound adjustments disabled on mine so I didn't try.

    I need to listen to them more, but these good be could for general use, especially when travelling as I wouldn't worry about them as much as Andros and since they're more rugged and have a paint-free finish (i.e. no chips).
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  4. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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  5. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Thanks. I have the filters pushed outwards against the nozzle wall as much as possible leaving a significant opening in the center of the nozzle. I remember our discussions about micropore modding the ex1k and the importance of leaving an opening for the sound to "get through", in that case so the highs wouldn't get suffocated.

    I said above that FD01 bass was "not as deep" as that of ex1k. It actually has moar subbass, but it's bloomy and bloated so doesn't feel as deep compared to the ex1k. But listening to more "average" music (e.g. 80s rock) that doesn't have as much subbass content, the bass isn't bad.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    @gixxerwimp sounds like you’d probably prefer the Periodic Audio Be modded. It’s bass is tighter and treble smoother. You’ll give up the JVC dynamics and liveliness for a slightly warmer and smoother presentation.
     
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  7. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Sounds up my alley as well.... Gonna have to look into that one more
     
  8. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    FWIW, here's a sneak preview of an on-and-off modding project I've been working on, the excellent FAudio Passion:

    (blue = FD01 mod 13mm, green = FAudio Passion mod, red = ER4S)
    [​IMG]

    The project isn't quite finished yet, but this will be another addition to the somewhat exclusive family of really great sounding single DD IEMs. Tighter bass and a tad warmer than the FD01, to a point where it almost sounds a little mid-centric. Overall tonality probably closer to the Aurisonics Rockets or ER4S than JVCs, but with very nice dynamics, resolution and soundstage.
     
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  9. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    In case you're wondering who the poor sap who has been without his JVC for most of this year, I bet @CEE TEE can tell you, hahaha
     
  12. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    $250! My laziness has finally paid off.
     
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  13. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    I love my Andromedas, but I've been feelin that DD lovin lately.

    Come to Butthead.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    The presale price is only 50 bucks less then the FD01 are on Amazon JP, and the regular price is 20 dollars less. I presume they don't come with the three nozzles which while fairly useless did cost something to produce. The mod is simple and near cost-less for anyone to do.

    Are these aiming to sound better than the modded version? If not, where is the Drop value proposition?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  15. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Regular price isn’t always $300 for the FD01. Amazon is known to randomly drop prices now and again. They are still $370 on Accessory Jack.

    At any rate you’d presume wrong on the FDX1. Have a little patience before going full negative Nancy. Some thoughts coming soon on what I think is pretty much a no brainer purchase.
     
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  16. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Wtf is wrong with you? These are premodded. Also, that Amazon JP price is much much lower than many of us have paid over the last year (I paid closer to $350).

    Oh boo fucking hoo. Woe is me. Someone is trying to make some $$$ while reducing the cost of these IEMs and eliminating the need to mod them, making them a superior sounding product for less $$$ to the version you're importing.

    I've tried a few pairs, most modded versions I've heard have some slight imbalance due to humans being imperfect at cutting at the mm level exactly.

    I'll be listening and posting some impressions. I gave up my pair for 8 months while they worked on revisions of this. All I asked @CEE TEE for is a chance to review the production version. I have heard through the grapevine that the bass might be a touch tighter as well which would improve these in the only area I really want improvement
     
  17. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I purchased them a year ago for 330 on Amazon so 300 is not some drastically unprecedented low price range. The mod costs 5 dollars and 15 minutes. I don't think comparing the price to more expensive of the major retailers stateside is particularly relevant.

    So they will come with all three nozzles which james444 found to have no difference on SQ?

    I look forward to standing corrected. The JVC FD01 are my go to IEMs and if the MD version have improved SQ over the JVC version, I'll be all over them.
     
  18. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I know people have a good relationship with Drop, but I don't think there's any reason to be defensive about questioning value for consumers in audio. In general the hobby tilts towards poor value and discouraging questioning value just reinforces poor value for consumers. I don't think that's what any of us wants.

    Again, I look forward to being wrong.
     
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  19. hellwhynot

    hellwhynot Friend

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    Disclosure: CEETEE is a friend of mine.

    I think you're over-estimating the DIY capabilities of most people. I must admit being amazed how unwilling or reluctant people are to do KISS HD6XX/650 mods. Working on IEMs is far more difficult and offers way less room for error. There might be a few hundred people out there who are comfortable with doing this; and perhaps only half of them will have the motivation or time to actually do it. Drop/JVC don't want to sell a few hundred units- they want to sell a few thousand. Imagine getting a BMW M3 for the price of a 340i. You're only saving 20%, but you're also getting something better. :)
     
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  20. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    Balance isn’t always right even from the factory, and while the mod is extremely low complexity / danger, it requires trial and error to dial the sound in especially the first time. Most people think their time has some value so add that in to the equation.

    Also consider that buying electronics from another country usually means you have no warranty in your home country, I assume that isn’t the case here.

    I’d be interested in hearing some behind the scenes detail from this project, like what did JVC think about the mod? Was it something they liked after hearing it or did Drop have to use strategery to get them to make something they thought was crazy?
     
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