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

Time to upgrade the dash speakers in the Jeep. This is how the idea started. My wife's old Sahara had these Mopar headliners for the removable hard tops. My Jeep is the Willys version which is bare bones when it comes to interior, but comes with the rock rails and shocks from the Rubi


Subjective impressions here: The unit is hefty and has a really nice thick metal faceplate. The LEDs are dim and do not blind you.


First set of measurements are SE output. Input is 48kHz 16-bits via coaxial. NOS on. 1kHz 0dbFS
As many of you are aware, I've been emphasizing the importance of system synergy over individual component better-er-ness for some time now. I recently got a ton of stuff in to review. This only confirmed the need for components to play with each well. Of course this doesn't mean bad gear can be made good. But it does mean that gear that doesn't sound all that great in one setup, can sound quite excellent in another with different components.

These are the pieces that I got in:
What I figure I will do is discuss a bit about switching things around, tweaks, combinations that worked (or didn't work) before I split off into individual product reviews and measurements. BTW, the DACs have been sitting around for a few days, left on.
Those who have driven Jeep Wranglers, especially the 2 door with the shorter wheelbase, know how wobbly they can get a highway speeds. Of course there is also the risk of the "death wobble", where the front wheels oscillate from side to side uncontrollably where the only recourse is to completely stop the vehicle. Supposedly the Wrangler JL models released in 2018 did away with the issue, but there are still reports of this occurring. I think there have even been a TSB released regarding this, with Jeep replacing a the steering stabilizer, which is a shock that mounts horizontally to the front axle that dampens steering movement. Evidently the death wobble doesn't just affect Jeeps. I spoke with my neighbor (he's retired but still works on cars) and he mentioned that the Ford F150s were affected by this, and that a change to a better shock fixes the issue. Worn bushings among many other things can also be the cause of the death wobble, but I digress.


I don't have that many my miles on the JL 2-door, but it's been driven off-road quite a bit in demanding terrain. Couple that with bigger 33" tires (285/70/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers), and we can count of that the stock steering stabilizer shock being kaput. My JL 2-door is the Willys model with the red Rubicon shocks, which still seem good. However, I don't think Jeep/Chrysler/Stellantis/Daimler/Whatever ever gave a crap about the steering shock regardless of model / trim.
What sort of sorcery is this? A few years later (around 2010, if memory serves) at a gathering in a rather dismal industrial area of central LA, rumors began to circulate: Sennheiser was supposedly crafting something intriguing, akin to an HD650 version of the HD800. As with many rumors, this one proved false. Instead, Sennheiser unveiled the HD700, often dubbed as the abomination.



Allow me to progress with the technical analysis of the JAR800 Super Saiyan Edition.
Incidentally, this review will lean towards a stream of consciousness style. Currently, I'm in the process of recovering from COVID. Fortunately, I didn't face any respiratory complications; instead, I've been grappling with intense fatigue, necessitating lengthy naps lasting several hours each day. Feel free to pose any questions to maintain our usual conversational flow.


Two summers back, at the Texas Audio Show, I found myself in the "high-end" room where an intriguing conversation caught my attention. A fellow attendee, deeply engrossed listening to music from the Schiit Folkvangr and Grado GS3000X system, exclaimed, "These headphones are truly exceptional, remarkably neutral." Now, I understand that for those familiar with Grado's signature sound, such a statement might raise eyebrows. However, the attendee seemed genuinely impressed, speaking with unwavering conviction.

Being a devoted fan of Grado myself and entrusted with the Grado guide here, I couldn't help but share the initial skepticism many of you may feel. We all know that Grado headphones come with their own distinct characteristics, but the terms "neutral" and "Grado" (unless referring to the latest X series with the F-cush) aren't typically associated.
Let's compare to HD650 and JAR600 below. Measurements are mostly consistent with my concise subjective impressions here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...sial-hd-660s2-thread.13205/page-4#post-425945. A summary:
  • HD600S2 is more full bodied (or has less bass hump depending how we want to look at it)
  • HD600S2 is recessed in upper mids
  • The funky thing that I mentioned (subjective): HD600S2 has more edge or is more prickly than either JAR600/HD650. The measurements show HD660S2 to have less treble overall from 7-10kHz, but why is this? Could be be the 5.5kHz peak? Let's look at CSD and Burst Attack Envelope later...
  • Measurements alone would suggest that the JAR600 would be more difficult in the highs than the HD660S because the JAR600 has a bump around 8kHz, but I actually found the JAR600 to be more even sounding, less prickly, less edgy, than the HD600S2.
Sennheiser HD660S2 -vs- HD650 (WHT)
A challenge was presented to me requesting I develop an inexpensive electronics learning lab that would

a) engage the student
b) present concepts clearly and concisely
c) be simple to learn and use
d) be hands-on
e) be inexpensive

The initial target audience are my grandchildren. However others may find this interesting and possibly useful.

Primary considerations for measurement devices were simple operation, highly visible large display, inexpensive. Accuracy and features were not a priority.

Buy this now.

Just a mere two days ago, the ETA Ada headphone made an unexpected appearance at my doorstep. Not a whisper from Tommy or Evan preceded its arrival***; it simply materialized out of thin air. Frankly, I had no inkling of its contents; it could have easily been another delivery of delectable Korean snacks for all I knew.

eta ada.jpg

Every now and then, a product emerges to fill a void unbeknownst to many. The ETA Ada embodies precisely that notion. These days, my enthusiasm for headphones is rather subdued. Marketing teams often hype up new technology, touting it as a "real" game-changer – yet to me, it often boils down to, "Does it produce sound? Oh, just a different sound." Different, not necessarily better. Then there's the monthly parade of super-expensive orthodynamic headphones, necessitating special components to rectify one or two vexing issues. By the time the setup is complete, we've likely spent enough to put down a sizeable down payment on a scarcely available MSRP C8 Corvette.
*I've been way behind on these. Apologies to Sajeev and SBAF.

Nectar Ambrosia Impressions
After the bombastic ortho called the Bee, someone pointed out to me that Nectar makes a dynamic driver headphone called the Ambrosia. I did wonder what I was about to hear; was this going to be along the same lines as the Bee (and maybe kind of like ZMF Atrium), or was I going to get something entirely different? Surprisingly, the answer is the latter; the Ambrosia can be summed up as a polite and gentle listen and compelling at its price point ($400 + shipping).

The Ambrosia's FR seems to be somewhere along the lines of the ZMF sound; lush in the bass and mids, with a noticeable dip in the upper mids and a comeback in the mid treble. This contributes to the Ambrosia sounding a bit polite, although it is definitely not the only reason.

The transients are where I believe the Ambrosia is a bit polite. While not necessarily slow, they are a touch rounded in character (my preference) and it doesn't have the slam of the Atrium.
The Verum 2 sounds like a more mature version of the Verum 1. Things are tighter (as opposed to loose) with snappier transients and focused delivery. The possible downside is that the presentation is a bit drier. The Verum 2 also scales much better with better gear. (It was a let down coming from the MILF/MJ3 to the MMB1/Piety)...

image (3).jpg
Hi everybody! We are at it again in the Bay ( If you are interested in bringing your gear and getting a table spot, please join the discord (link below) and fill out the sign up sheet. I will follow up with you in the coming weeks to give you details on the event, etc. That being said, if you have headphones or IEMs (or even DAPs) that are portable, feel free to bring those with you and carry those around to test out all the cool stuff that will be there. So here are the details:

Important notes:
  1. If you are selected to bring your own setup, please arrive 1 hour before the event to set up. There will also be 1 hours after the event is over to break down and pack up.
  2. Gear list to come.
We are sponsored by Schiit Audio!!! Please thank them for helping us put together this meet and be able to enjoy this bigger venue and the space needed to bring more of us together! Also for sending us awesome gear.

Note: Please be conscious of your manners and hygiene. If there’s a line growing behind you or for the table, limit your listening time and come back when the table isn’t as packed. Let’s let everyone listen. Also keep in mind you will be demoing other people’s gear. Please be clean, wash up, don’t put products in your hair, clean your ears, etc. Be respectful. There’s a lot of cool gear here.

Location and Date/Time:
Saturday January 27, 2024
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST
420 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113