Drop x JVC HA-FDX1 DD IEM: The second coming of ...

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Nice impressions. For other FDX1 buyers, here is a link to a post showing how to remove the nozzles: [Nozzle pic in the main JVC FD01 thread]
     
  2. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Word of warning for other folks whose fdx1s are coming in: I received my pair today and after hours of being somewhat disappointed with the sound on the green nozzle, took them out to realize that they had more cotton in them versus the blue nozzle, which is different from the Drop site pic:
    [​IMG]

    After I dropped the "blue nozzle" in, its held up to expectations just fine. The colored rings are easily removable and swappable so I'm guessing they had a pair of nozzles for each amount of cotton and just assigned the rubber ring fitting to packaging people who probably messed it up. Pay attention to the amount of cotton inside the nozzles instead of the color.
     
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  3. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Same is with the pair I received. I saw more cotton inside the green one. I thought mine was one of case.
     
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  4. randytsuch

    randytsuch Facebook Friend

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    My pair is supposed to be out for delivery, to arrive today.
    Did anyone get them?
    I'm on the other side of the country, so I would expect they already have been delivered to other parts of the country.

    Randy
     
  5. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Yup, check the posts immediately prior to yours.
     
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  6. MCM

    MCM Rando

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    Just got mine in from Drop. It's making me think about selling off some of my more expensive sets. I'm loving the tonality with the Blue filter so far. I think it might be my favorite. Big props to @james444. Thank you very much for this contribution!
     
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  7. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    ***For those who have read my later impressions, this isn't going to be as comprehensive with comparisons and pairing notes. I'm just not really an initiated IEM user and purchased these for the sole purpose of using them on the go when bringing a headphone is inconvenient. Expertise in this area deferred to members such as @shotgunshane and @james444. Also, this post may be edited as more experience is gained.***

    I generally stay away from IEMs because I don't like that "in my ear" sensation. However, after my recent trip on a plane, I've realized that my Thinksound On2, while a good travel pair, suffers from minor ergonomic issues (more due to my large head requiring that I extend the yokes all the way and wear them slightly tilted forward) that do cause me discomfort after a period of time. My hopes in buying the Drop x JVC FDX1 was to have acceptable sound quality and to be comfortable for long periods of time (obviously this requires adjustment on my end to be more okay with sticking stuff in my ear).

    Finding and fitting the proper size tip was a breeze. The tips come off easily and slip on easily, but remain secure enough to not cause nervousness in users. It's a little strange and gummy-feeling, but I do like them more than the stock silicone tips of CA Solaris (may be unfair because the slightly deeper insertion of Solaris annoyed me to no end).

    A pretty neat feature is the rotating part of the body which allows you to either wear the IEM where the cable points down, or points up so it goes behind your ear. I ended up wearing them where the cable goes up and behind my ear; I just found them the most comfortable that way. Combined with the tips, I actually didn't have any issues with comfort aside from the aforementioned minor personal annoyance of "object in ear" syndrome (however, the FDX1 aggravates me the least for some reason). I encourage users to experiment to see what feels best for you.

    In terms of the switching the nozzle, it's explained in the manual and not too hard to do. Just move the switch and twist gently. It does require some dainty fingers to move the locking mechanism, something I don't possess. I preferred the less-stuffed of the two nozzles (essentially what should be the green nozzle, but someone in Drop fucked this up and so the blue nozzles are what the green ones should be. For the purposes of these impressions, I'm going to refer to the less-filled nozzle I preferred as green, and the more filled as blue, which is what they should have been).

    For listening, I mostly used my phone (Galaxy S10), but I also tried a small portable amp, and the Asgard 3 on my headphone rig. I do think this can scale with better sources and amps, but the difference wasn't immediately noticeable like Solaris; audible differences for sure, but I honestly had no problems with running them directly out of my phone.

    With the green nozzle, I found these to have maybe just a touch of forwardness (kind of Focal like), but not etchy or edgy sounding. The tonal presentation does sound well-balanced, with no egregious flaws in FR. It doesn't quite have that last bit of sparkle and air, but honestly I have no complaints on the FR front.

    Transient performance is kind of somewhere between Focal-fast and Sennheiser HD6x0, maybe leaning a touch closer towards the unmodded HD6x0. There's just a touch of looseness in the bass, and the attacks are definitely rounded. I found it satisfyingly controlled in decays. Again, no real complaints.

    I have no real benchmark for resolve other than CA Solaris, but the Solaris blows it out of the water here. Layers better, resolves moar, etc etc. However, with FDX1, I don't necessarily feel like I'm missing things, and what I might be missing didn't detract from my enjoyment.

    The timbre kind of reminds me of the Sennheiser HD650, but obviously one is an open-back headphone and the other is an IEM. I think I might like the FDX1's timbre over the Solaris, but I haven't heard the Solaris in a long time and honestly forget what exactly I thought of it.

    In conclusion, I do like what I'm hearing with this IEM. It reminds me of the HD650 in IEM form in the sense that they both just don't do much wrong. It's definitely not what I'd call TOTL, but then again, it doesn't try to be. Time will tell whether or not it ends up being what I hope for in terms of comfort and portable use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  8. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Finally got them in.

    Surprised no one posted this Youtube review that namechecked SBAF:

     
  9. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    The hype surrounding these IEMs make me wish my ears were better suited to getting stuffed. That said, damn this reviewer takes me straight back to when I was into the World Wrestling Federation back in primary school, awesome voice :))

    One nitpick though: "You get a nice neutral v-shape" at around 5:01 made me laugh harder than seeing RoS's IMDB score just earlier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  10. tommytakis

    tommytakis Gear Cycler SoCal Edition

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    Drop x JVC FDX1 Brief Impressions

    - versatility: I like how I can choose the fit (loop it behind the ear or just straight down like ear buds) and the 3 different filters that comes with it. most of my listening was done in the 2nd most filled filter. I won't mention the colors since it was swapped for a lot of people, including me.
    a) the "no damped" filter sounds the liveliest and airy out of the 3 but can be volatile and sound shouty with too much emphasis in the upper mids. Also the bass sounds a bit lean for me.
    b) the 2nd most filled filter is my preference, as it strikes a good tonal balance while not emphasizing too much of anything. Right amount of presence, bass quantity, and polite? treble
    c) the most filled filter was a bit too relaxed sounding for me, lacking a bit of presence and energy in the treble.
    - It doesn't outright impress you with macrodetail and treble sparkle, but there's something about this no-fuckery tuning that I started appreciating the more I listen, reminiscent of the HD650 tuning with better bass extension.
    - excellent sense of dynamism, especially microdynamics. So involving and nuanced that sucks you into the music.
    - natural, life-like timbre especially in the bass. Reminds me of biocellulose bass I heard from ZMF Auteur. Spectacular attack and nice decay I never thought I would hear from an IEM.
    - instruments are well separated with decent stage width and depth.
    - If I had to nitpick, I would say the staging and clarity could be improved, but still punches wayyy above its price point so I'm not complaining.

    The first IEM that truly impressed me was the Andromedas its overall resolve, clarity, wide staging, and transient-response. FDX1 impressed me once again with its easy-to-love tuning/versatility, righteous timbre to instruments and vocals, and nuanced dynamics. I'm sure there are many IEMs that can out-resolve this (and some may be a bit disappointed by this), but at the end of the day, the important thing for me is whether it can bring enjoyment to my listening experience. FDX1 does just that and is a stupidly good sounding IEM that deserves all the praise.
     
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  11. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Does the cable get better at being worn over-ear with time?

    I have large old-man ears and yet it seems to slip out as soon as I turn my head.
     
  12. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Did you try to pull the chin slider tight?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Didn't even notice that was a thing, so ... noooo? :oops:

    I'll give it a go later :bow:
     
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  14. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    With work and holiday gatherings, my time with the loaner has been pretty brief, so my impressions are my initial ones. I also lack the experience doing real reviews, so my apologies if I describe things poorly.

    I have not owned or heard that many iems, as I generally can't have things in my ears more than a couple hours before they get sore. The Shure SE215 was my workhorse for years and years, and it was only recently that I started looking for something new. In house, I have the transpore tape modded HSE-A2000, which was presented as a baby version of the JVC when discovered, and the Sony WF-1000XM3 which I got a little over a month ago. I did most of my listening out of the EarStudio ES1000. While I have heard the Andromedas, Jupiters, and Orions from CA, it has been a while so I can't compare outside of my more emotional memories of them.

    Fit and Finish

    - Nice metal body. Crazy touches like the rotating body and locking mechanism for the nozzles. Not designed in the Shure/Westone monitor style fit. Meant to hang or be hung, so I never got a secure a fit as I like. Body is big and heavy, compared to past iems I have owned, but not overly so - still comfortable. I didn't really like any of the tips from a fit perspective as I have mismatched and odd-shaped canals. I threw on some foam tips and was able to get the fit and seal that I like. The case is nice, with stiff walls for protection. The plastic tray that holds all the tips and nozzles is ok. The cable is really nice. I usually replace cables with something I made almost immediately, but I love this cable. Like @jexby mentioned, would be nice if different terminations were available in the future.

    Sound

    For me, since I am sensitive to treble, only the most stuffed tubes were listenable for longer than a few test tracks. No stuffing was too bright to finish a song. The middle stuffing was decent, and I can see where a lot of people might like it. I still got a little fatigued up top. It was a bit like a lightly modded HD800, where I really appreciated the sound, but it was just a bit too bright for extended use or certain genres. The most stuffed tubes were great for me. Very HD650 or maybe HD600 in their balance, with tighter bass. I did notice that in getting the treble tamed enough for my ears, that I lost some air, but like the HD650s, I found the trade off to be worth it.

    Having finally listened to the real JVCs, my poor man's version (HSE-A2000) kind of stink now. There is a harshness in the upper mids/lower treble that I kind of noticed before, but really notice now. Unmodded bass is way out of proportion on the HSE, but that doesn't bother me as much as the uneven treble. That said, for $30ish from Japan, the HSE-A2000 are still a really, really good value once modded properly.

    The interesting comparison to me was to the Sony WF-1000XM3, as they are in the same ballpark in price, but exist to serve quite different functions. The Sony is the best fitting true wireless iems that I have tried, but they are still awkward as hell. A normal iem like the JVC will definitely has a more natural and secure fit, especially with the foam tips I used. As far as sound, I really like the Sony. They are a bit rolled at the top, with not a ton of air, but their balance is great for long term listening. I thought they would get stomped by a proper set of iems, but they definitely hold their own. Just a bit behind on detail, transparency, and air. Bass maybe not as tight. But overall a pleasant listen. And really, with the fullest nozzle and my foam tips, they ended up sounding more similar than not. I suppose many would not like the Sony sound then, since my preferences are different from most of the wizard level audiophiles here.

    As for the CA references, I didn't really like any of them. Jupiter was a bit weird sounding to me in the midrange. The Andromeda sounded a bit thin, and the Orion was too prominent in the midrange. Detail and clarity were superb as was air on the Andromeda, but I never liked the sound enough on any of them to pay the asking prices. The JVCs, while falling behind in technicalities from the Andromeda, present a better, more pleasing balance for me. Maybe that was due to my source at the time (phone or Fulla 2), but that is a plus for the JVC that they sound better to me from the sources I have.

    In most ways, these are the iems that I have been looking for for several years - nice build quality, removable cable, balanced sound with good bass and treble that doesn't hurt my ears, and below my max of $300. I honestly can't imagine a better set for the price. That said, I probably won't get a set since I really don't have a need for good iems. I have my main headphone rig in my office where I do most of my work from, and when I am headed to or am waiting for meetings, the Sony's more than meet my audio needs and have other benefits that are more valuable to me in my use cases (true wireless, noise reduction, call capability, and Alexa(!)). If I found a good deal on the used market once everyone has gotten and heard theirs, I'd consider getting a set just on principle, as these really hit my ideal sweetspot.
     
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  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Happy Holidays, and apologies for the noise. Has anyone outside of the US received their's yet, or seen any tracking info outside of CONUS? I haven't seen anything since:
     
  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    The tracking for this shipment only seems to work when they're within the US. Last notification I got was when they reached the int'l distribution centre (Jamaica NY) on the 14th. Nothing from Canada Post until yesterday, when I got the card telling me they'd be ready for pickup (and tax payment!) today.

    Guessing yours are still on their way. Surprised Canada Post got them here before they made Taiwan though ;)
     
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  17. numbercube

    numbercube Acquaintance

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    Got them on last Friday.

    You know what's cool about the filters? I have some hearing damage in my right ear from 3 to 7 kHz, so the blue filter on the left and the white filter on the right form a stable center image for me.

    Thank you @james444, @CEE TEE, all the impressions here and JVC for making this classic.
     
  18. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Nein on tracking but I got mine the 23rd.
     
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  19. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    Its the same for me, but i see a bit more info on 17track (choose dhl e commerce (us) as the carrier)
     
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  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Thanks for all the info from Europe. In the past, MD packages usually make it to DHL HQ in Germany fairly quickly, then go radio silent while taking a long drive on the Road of Bones to get to Asia.

    I just tried 17track on got:
    So I guess they're still sitting in a sack somewhere in NJ, waiting for someone to find it.

    <end noise about shipping/tracking>
     

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