JAR650B + JAR650 OG Loaner impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by ext1, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. ext1

    ext1 MOT: Jupiter Audio Research

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    The loaner is about to start, so I'm making this thread. Thank you for all that have participated, I appreciate it!
     
  2. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    So I guess I'll get this thread kicked off with my shitty comparison. I say shitty because I have the V1 and the V2 and also my early production black paper 650 and between the two JAR mods they're just so damned good that I keep getting pulled into the music and I can't compare them because I'm too busy just enjoying them (which, let's face it, enjoyment is the ultimate goal here so yay.)

    Prior to tonight I was convinced that my black paper 650 was a unicorn because it's just so good and it's not super dark like the scrolls say ancient 650s should be. But the two JAR mods are more engaging and those are the ones that end up on my head.

    Between the two JAR mods I can't say one is better. I can say that I think it'll be system dependent (and maybe music selection dependent) and I think most people will choose a team. But I also think most people will hear the beauty in each.

    This is kinda like comparing DACs in that you're comparing two things which are much more similar than they are different. But we're squarely in "last few percentage points" territory. It's like when you start rolling interconnects. Just the last bit to tune that last little thing.

    There are easily audible differences but I love both. Ultimately since I already own V1 I'd have to think long and hard about getting a V2 because while I love what it does, I'm also easily entranced by my V1 and I already own way too many headphones.

    Anyway, here are my dummy notes. This comparison was impossible but damn it was a great listening session:

    V1 vs V2 650
    V2 more vivid. More direct. More textured.
    V1 bass hits harder. Sound overall is a bit more colored. Like it's lightly filtered and V2 has focus dialed in a bit better.
    Black Paper - Actually sounded shouty on "Slave" compared to the other two. That was surprising.
    It's super hard to do any kind of comparison between V1 and V2 because I just keep getting sucked into the music. They're both just so enjoyable it's hard to concentrate and easy to just have fun listening to music while I should be "working".
    Songs:
    ZZ Top - Old Man
    Trampled By Turtles - Widower's Heart
    Arooj Aftab - Last Night
    Rolling Stones - Slave
    David Byrne & Brian Eno - Life Is Long (ended up getting lost in this album for awhile instead of comparing)
    PJ Harvey - The Desperate Kingdom Of Love
    The New Basement Tapes - When I Get My Hands On You
     
  3. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Preface: I have a stock black silk HD650 and HD600 that I've kept around since about 2003. They have always been headphones that I can rotate in every once in a while and know that there isn't anything that is going to bother me. The HD650 I have is pretty neutral and the HD600 is a little leaner with a little bit of upper-mid bite. I think both could be improved, but do modifications make the stock units redundant or give them the middle child syndrome?

    Chain:
    Source: Pi2AES or J.River + Eitr
    DAC: Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 Mk2 with modifications on the analog output side
    Amplifier: Torpedo 3, Schiit Piety, Schiit Vali 2+
    Headphones: HD650 black silk, JAR650 OG, JAR 650 B

    Quick and dirty:
    Should you sell your stock HD650 or send it in for modifications to acquire one of the JAR models? I don't think so. I think if you love the HD650, you should pokemon these and collect them all. They are three different options that I don't think you can go wrong with. But you ask - if both JAR models are supposed to improve on the HD650 than why would you keep the stock HD650 around?

    Heres why:

    The JAR650 OG is what I would call a "Super HD650" or maybe "Boss Level HD650" - It is leaner than a stock HD650, but warmer than the JAR650 B. Very well balanced and improved technicalities. Similar to the KISS mod, everything is a little more energetic, lively, punchy, focused, resolved - but the JAR improved upon the KISS mod by tightening things further and balancing the frequency response even further than the KISS mod. For me - presentation means quite a bit. The JAR650 OG presents itself much like the stock HD650 - like a traditional headphone with an in head experience. You can define border and space inside the JAR650. Similar to the Utopia, very good imaging and what I feel like is a concisely sized soundstage. The JAR650 OG is the heaviest of them all, but I didn't find it bothersome while wearing.

    The JAR650 B is something else. I would call this one maybe something like "The HD700 we thought we were getting" - or more specific "HD800 with HD650 timbre". The JAR650 B is more about the driver. You get an almost endless sense of space and ease to the sound. The image is further improved with how much space there is to let sounds have their own spaces. The bass punch is tamer than a stock HD650, the tuning is in my view is near my idea of neutral. I think there is a little bit of maybe upper-mid or lower treble energy that pushes them a little forward of neutral in the treble region, but nothing like the stock HD600. The JAR650 B is the lightest of them all since it is almost nearly stripped all the way down.

    The JAR650 OG is the middle-weight boxer. The right balance of punch and speed.
    The JAR650 B is the dream girl. Surreal, question yourself what is real and not. Beautiful and delicate.
    The HD650 is the old friend that you can sit and have a cocktail with every few months

    If I were in a much more fluid financial position, I would purchase both JAR models of 650. I should be receiving the JAR600 loaner tour soon to help decide which ring to rule them all. Currently the JAR650B is REALLY speaking to me, but I have a feeling the HD600 might appeal more to my tastes.

    Thank you everyone for allowing me to hear these. I should be shipping them off tomorrow.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2022
  4. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Woke up this morning and put on the Vali 2+ -> JAR650 OG and gave them a farewell listen. I am surely going to miss both of them, but I think I underestimated the OG just a little bit. With Vali 2+ listening instead of Piety listening, it softened them up just enjoy for me to really gel with them.

    They are off to @PTS this afternoon. Thanks again to @ext1 and @Erroneous. I don't remember who owns which one, but congrats on a nice sounding set of headphones.

    Not sure if my review is just a wall of words or makes sense - if anyone has questions, I'll do my best to express a specific area a little better.
     
  5. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    Listening via USB from PC tower > Prism Sound Callia > SW51+ > Drop HD6XX (stock) / JAR650 OG / JAR650 B.


    Drop HD6XX:

    -THE GOOD-
    Relaxed, natural sound.
    Better balance overall, more speaker like.
    Longer listening sessions at moderate to loud volume levels before ear fatigue kicks in.
    More forgiving with badly recorded music.

    -THE NOT SO GOOD-
    Less clear/dynamic compared to the JARs.
    Treble slightly rolled off.
    Bass a touch recessed in comparison. Less tight, more muffled.



    JAR650 OG:

    -THE GOOD-
    Immediately wows with it's clarity and separation throughout the frequency spectrum. Lifts the ol' Sennheiser veil.
    Extended on both ends. Bass hits harder, fast and tight. Upper mids/treble pops.
    Can make the music sound thunderous and exciting.

    -THE NOT SO GOOD-
    Could potentially cause ear fatigue at moderate to loud volume levels.
    Lower mids a tiny bit lean, a touch more v-shaped maybe.



    JAR650 B:

    -THE GOOD-
    The clarity king! Rivaling my Denon 7k.
    Takes everything that the OG excels at, and furthers it - tighter bass, snappier upper mid/treble.
    The sound is more spacious and airy, compared to the OG.

    -THE NOT SO GOOD-
    More likely to cause ear fatigue at moderate to loud volume levels.
    More v-shaped, lean in the lower mids for a Sennheiser headphone.



    I enjoyed my time with the JAR modded 650s, so want to offer my thanks to those who made this loaner happen.

    In short, if you find the sound of stock 650s too relaxed or generally underwhelming, don't hesitate to get the JAR mods. As with everything, modding usually comes with trade offs. This is true of the JAR mods, but I like to think the good outweighs the bad if you seek something exciting. With mods, the musicians are in the room and in your face, with the stock 650 they're in the next room over with the doors wide open.

    The OG bumps everything about the stock 650 up a notch, and feels like a good halfway point between the stock and B.

    The B expands beyond, bringing upper-mid elements of vocals forward, and pushing the extremities further (although doesn't improve ability to deliver sub-bass). Everything feels clean and clear, yet somewhat lean. There's some frequency suck in the lower mids, but I can't put my finger on where. It takes a small amount of body from vocals, and lower mid-centric instruments (mainly bass) become slightly less textured.

    The OG has a little more weight in the lower mids and is perhaps less extended in the extremes. Both mods won't help bad recordings, the flaws of which will become glaring. If listening loud, upper mid bite and splashy treble can wear on the ears after a while, but this shouldn't be a problem if you keep the volume low to medium for longer listening sessions.

    As others have said, your impressions will be very much system dependent, and will also vary on the genres of music you listen to.

    As it's a recent addition, I can't speak much to how the SW51+ colors the sound (despite sharing sonic similarities with SS designs for a SET tube amp), but the Prism Sound DAC carries a lot of weight. Full bodied with a lot of bass. Using my old RME DAC would've given a wildly different experience.

    I listen to a lot of dynamic, hard hitting music, so found the key to getting the most from the JAR mods are shorter/louder listening sessions, or on the flip side, longer/quieter.

    For most people, I'd recommend the JAR mods as I think they make the 650 a better headphone. The increase in clarity and dynamics are seriously addictive. That said, I'm perhaps more particular than your average audio nut with what look for in headphones these days. I've suffered hearing damage over the years from playing live music in bands, so as a result I tend to get ear fatigue quickly and aggravate my tinnitus further. I've always listened slightly too loud and too long than is recommended, so am perhaps better suited to the more relaxed sound of my stock 6XX.

    Either way, a thumbs up for JAR mods!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2022
  6. bigjako

    bigjako Facebook Friend

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    I just spent my week with the B, and will be shipping them on tomorrow (I thought FedEx would be open today, but alas).

    First let me say thanks to SBAF and Jupiter (Audio Research). I’m a Rando Contributor, and this is my first loaner tour. I jumped at this tour because I have a JAR 650A and it is tied with my Atrium for head time - I consider them equal but different, and considering the price difference, I think that says everything about how I feel about them. The A is my first real experience with the Senn sound - I bought a 6XX when I started out and was underwhelmed by them and moved on in my mid-fi journey (to a long-gone Nighthawk). And thanks to @PTS for meeting me in Glendale to pass them on. Anytime shipping can be avoided, I’m in.

    I jumped on the JAR 650A trade while I was waiting for my Stratus, because I’d heard about how great a pairing the 6** series was with the Stratus (from @RestoredSparda and others) and I figured it would be a good reason to taste test that sound again on my endgame gear.

    The majority of the impressions below are on an Yggdrasil —> Stratus (with JJ 2A3s which are bloomier than my RCAs, in the direction of a 300b sound) out of XLR / Low Z / Balanced. I also listened on a Glenn OTL, which has a particular synergy with the A.

    JAR 650A
    I’ll start with the JAR650A because I’ve had the most time with them (I’m not sure what sub-version of the A I have). Compared to the Atrium the A is more intimate, but it has this direct, clear, natural sound and sounds particularly amazing with female vocals. It’s in the same part of the forest as the Atrium, I think it shares a number of similarities but one is grand and spread out and the other is in your face and sweet in the mids. The smaller stage of the A gives it a more mid-centric sound to me, or highlights the mids more.

    The Atrium is a chameleon that can depict its source-amp chain exceptionally well whereas the 650A is more consistently itself. The 650A has a wonderful synergy with the Glenn - there was a point late one night where I was overcome with the feeling that I wasn’t wearing a headphone, with female vocals sounding like they were being sung right into my ear. That’s where the intimacy of the 650A and the smaller stage of the Glenn (relative to the Stratus) worked so well with each other.

    That synergy wasn’t there with the B. Or, better to say it was there but it also came with overload up top. The Glenn has good bass slam, particularly on the A but on the B that bass slam also comes with treble klang. I’m slightly treble sensitive so some may find the pairing just what they’re after. On the Stratus, the A was less harsh in the treble and upper mids.

    I’ll talk more about the A below, but I wanted to talk about it on its own because it’s such a special headphone to me. I could be happy with the JAR 650A as my sole headphone, with the Glenn or the Stratus.

    JAR 650B
    I keep switching the A and B models up in my head, as I think B = bass. But the B is about transparency and clarity, but with a natural timbre. One of the days I had them, I went back and forth between the B and my electrostatic system (EC Electra amp) because it took the B to the place I reserve for my estats. Clarity, air, sparkle, transparency. The estats beat the B in transparency, air and sparkle but it did it with a very natural tone. It really reset my expectations that transparency had to come with a cold, metallic undertone.

    As an aside, I found the A to match up similarly to the LNS or Lambda NB the most, and had some similarities to the 007 mk1. The B was closest to the L300 or ES-1a, with less air and sparkle but with that natural timbre and decay. Both the JARs have a more cohesive sound than the estats, which separates everything and adds air around it all and that slightly artificial or metallic timbre. Different, not worse or better.

    The first thing I did when I got it was compare the B to the A, and I found myself being blown away by the B. I could hear into the music much more than the A, I could hear the texture of the bass without the mids covering some of the texture up. There was more separation and that exposed more detail. Same driver, much different strategies to express it. That first night was like the Pepsi Challenge story (TLDR; Pepsi wins in sip-tests, Coke wins over the course of a full can) - I kept going back for moar of the B, especially out of the Stratus’ XLR jack. Over short listening sessions, I kept preferring the B’s clarity and detail, without any un-naturalness downsides. I perceived the B to have more speed, which I think must eb a function of the amount of dampening in the A and being able to make out the leading and trailing edges moreso on the B.

    The next day, over longer listening sessions, I would always end up back on the A.

    One of my favorite songs and test tracks is Mercy, Mercy, Mercy by Cannonball Adderley, particularly the way the crowd noise and screams play out. I can hear glasses clicking and side-chat alongside yelps and hollers. On the A, the chatter falls behind the music, it complements it. On the B it’s right up front next to the music, with air around it. I suppose it’s like you’re there in the crowd (and maybe you’re glaring at the chatterboxes because “ffs, this is a legendary show please stfu”). But it perfectly demonstrates the differences in these headphones to me - one is warmer, more condensed and smooth while the other cracks everything open and puts in on display, under the glare of bright light and air.

    Some other specific examples:

    9 Million Bicycles by Katie Melua: The B places her vocals on a pedestal, it’s not competing with anything else but I feel like it overshadows the instruments. For the A, there’s less separation of the vocals from the instruments and so it feels more liquid and cohesive to me, more musical.

    Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy: Another favorite, I think the sparseness plays so well with the A - her voice is so pure and thick. The B sounds great, but its strengths aren’t put to great use here. The A just hits the soul on this one - it’s rich and the dampening on A adds to the reverb/distortion effect in her mournful voice.

    Spanish Harlem by Rebecca Pidgeon: Maybe I’m just full of shit, but in this case I think the sparseness favored the B. It put her voice on this airy, almost ethereal pedestal. I love this song on the B. On the A the maracas are on more of an equal level whereas on the B they take a back seat to her voice. The B also lets you feel more of the space of the room itself - it’s not a stage thing, I think it’s just more about separation of space.

    Things will be Fine by Metronomy - I preferred the B for this. The separation and clarity helped the musicality here, I was toe-tapping and nodding along on the B. There’s so much going on in this song that the B allowed them all to shine, and they sounded more dynamic (to be fair, for this comparison I had the B on the XLR out and the A on the SE). On the A all those components melded into each other more - smoother and more liquid, but less dynamic especially in the treble.

    You Want it Darker by Leonard Cohen: one of my favorite tracks for the A, it’s dark and deep and plays into the B’s strengths. The B adds a unique presentation of the song, it breaks things out more and separates the murky darkness of the song, but that’s one of the things I love about the A here. The texture and weight to the bass and his voice is magnificent on the A.

    The Weight, Last Waltz Soundtrack: I do really like the B on live tracks where there’s so much going on. The bass texture was really pulled out of the depths and shone on the B. I got a sense of every individual person on the stage. I preferred the B for this song, but it’s still one of my favorites on the A, too. I keep saying A is moe cohesive, everything blends into everything more in a way that reminds me of the OG Auteurs.

    Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
    : particularly in the last minute, the B gets too hot in the treble for me, but it also does add a lot of air and separation to his haunting voice there. The A is more even-keeled, with only the peaks of his plaintive wails poking me.

    If I didn’t already have a pretty nutso electrostat setup, I would get the B for shorter, analytical listening sessions because it just shows so much, and when I do quick A/B’s I’d generally end up on B. But since I have that estat setup, the A suits me perfectly as an intensely intimate complement to the grander Atrium - on both the similarly grand, stately Stratus or the slammy, rougher Glenn OTL. As a control, I asked my music-loving but non-audiophile wife for her preferences across the A, B and Atrium. At first she was wowed by the B, then wowed by the Atrium’s grand stage and bass presentation but after several songs, came back to the A as her favorite, which she said was more “full-bodied”.

    So…these are wonderful headphones, both. I think the A fits my use cases better and it’s already one of my cherished headphones and will continue to be for a long time. Thanks to everyone involved for enabling me to experience the B and for reading this far.
     
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  7. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Best way I've heard a non-cherry picked 6XX described!

    Also agree 100%, the JAR mods in general (though I've only heard the 600OG and 600B), they are truly seriously addictive, I have dedicated a small secondary setup just for a future 600B. They're both amazing though, I wish I could hear a good 650B.
     
  8. Northwest

    Northwest Almost "Made"

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    Thank you for all for organizing and letting me experience this loaner. Also, I wanted to apologize. I’m much later with these impressions than I would have liked. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these headphones but for some reason I difficulty to convey it.

    Chain


    Ipad/PC Qobuz->USB->Soekris 1541 (DAC and volume control) -> Nitsch Piety-> 650A (high gain), 650B (low gain)

    · One of my dislikes with a stock 650/6XX is that I feel a distinct gap between the left and right channel. Both headphones fix the issue, and the left and right channel are stitched into a cohesive sound stage.

    · With an ordinary 650 I have experienced an enjoyment “ceiling” that volume or the audio gear I’ve owned could not overcome. I don’t feel this with either JAR mod.



    JAR 650B

    I gave this version a listen first. I was astonished by how it felt like the headphone was no longer the limiting factor in setting the sound stage, and it was now solely the songs responsibility. People walking onto the stage, an artist moving their head to and from the microphone, I hear little reflections between people. All these little interactions fill the space making for a vivid and enjoyable experience. However, there are songs or maybe genres that are produced mostly in a computer that still sound okay, but do not elicit same emotional response from me.

    I think the 650B has more potential for fatigue. Using the high gain on the Piety was uncomfortable. Some sibilant or relatively bright albums caused me to adjust volume more often than with the 650A or 6XX.

    JAR 650A


    My impressions of the 650A are why my impressions are so late. Even now I don’t think I conveyed how much I like this original version.

    The 650B is ethereal, further away, with a little less body. The 650A is rich, and forward. The improved bass and treble better support the mid range which gave me sense of balanced enjoyment over the 650B. I spent less time fiddling, and more time listening, and this was the first headphone I have enjoyed using the Piety’s high gain.

    A note on construction:

    I have no experience modding headphones, but I am impressed with the application of the mods. If you take a look at the outside ear cup of the 650B, the foam/padding is applied on an offset. It’s super cool!
     
  9. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    tl/dr: the veil is lifted! (although i didn't know it was there in the first place, until...)

    i like Sennheiser's. my go to public transportation headphone is the HD 25. i would love to try something modded from Custom Cans. for a while i tried to buy MrsForBin Senn's as the ones i choose were cheap and cheerful, and easy to buy again after she (inevitably) broke them. no go, she really does NOT like Sennheiser's.

    i also blew my boyfriend's mind when he tried the HD 25 on my on-the-go setup.

    the only other ones i own are the Massdrop HD6XX, as i am a sucker for Tyll's recomendations.

    concerning the JAR HD 650's:

    big confession:

    unboxing lead me to prefer the OG's presentation. these things are gorgeous! in all the industrial design ways that i find compelling.

    put them on, opened JRiver, pressed play, got lost in the music.

    alas, not much time spent with the B's. didn't feel the need to.

    about that veil: i did a quick a-b with my stock HD6XX and the JAR OG. there is no middle ground, the JAR kicked ass and the HD6XX was very, very polite (and kinda boring.)

    one thing about this addiction is choosing headphones for different use cases. the Phillips Fidelio X2 is wonderful for video, as mentioned the HD 25 rock my world on the ferry and the bus, the beyerdynamic DT150 allow me to fall asleep to tunes without waking the cat.

    that said, the JAR HD 650 OG worked with everything. music (all sorts), spoken word, video, both movie and YouTube. but.. they leak, big time. (i know, i know open backs are not appropriate for all situations.)

    i understand the pokemon strategy from @M3NTAL, however i would be totally satisfied with the JAR HD650OG and call it a day.

    cheers!

    (n.b.: the JAR HD 800 siblings are in the house, my fear is that these will prove to be even more compelling then the HD650's.)
     
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  10. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Hopefully this isn't considered a noise post.

    Thanks to this loaner and another that I was participating in at roughly the same time has made a new customer for Jupiter Audio Research.

    I am going with the 650 in "b" variant. I just can't shake how haunting the imaging was. Utopia is another one that images well, but it puts it more in your face vs. the more spacious JAR650b.
     
  11. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Wait, there's a MrsForBin and you have a boyfriend?!
     
  12. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    This is 2023. These things happen out in the open these days and we're better off for it.
     
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  13. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Some people are just blessed.

    Also for whoever's on this loaner, post your impressions here! I know it's been making its way thru the US, there's gotta be more folks who've had ears on these special hp, let's SEO the f**k out of JAR. I've been downvoted to oblivion for mentioning JAR or RDA on Reddit, so this is really the only place besides a couple old HF threads that Jupiter can get any outside exposure.
     
  14. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Does anyone have any particular reason why this is happening? It is because Reddit is so Anti-SBAF?
     
  15. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    They hate DACS that cost more than a Modi (thinking they all sound the same), they unironically think the Apple dongle is more than sufficient to power 6X0 (as they mostly sway quasi-objectivist, who, being a young crowd in their early 20s and younger, just don't have the money to spend on good gear, so they shit on anything over $1K unless it's transducers), and I'm guessing like gear they haven't heard that is more than a couple hundred dollars, they hate the idea of professional modifications costing >$500.

    I don't think it has anything to do specifically with SBAF, they just put their blinders on to gear out of their financial reach, which I get—I purposefully didn't listen to the DNA amps at the Schiit Audio Show bc I thought I would like them too much and want one immediately, but gott dang, they take it to a whole 'nother level.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  16. Huhnkopf

    Huhnkopf Friend

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    Well, redditors can always KISS Mod for cheap or what is it that's stopping them other than confusing Dynamat with Wrigley's?
     
  17. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Well, you can't take downvotes there personal. It sounds like they are acting as reverse gatekeepers in going fond on whatever their college or working some menial job can afford them. I know they are all about stuff like O2 amps and DIY T-50 mods.

    I guess they will never unlock the true potential of their 6XX's with that attitude. Ignorance is bliss it seems.
     
  18. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    You'll be wasting your breath anywhere but here. ETA and JAR both have their 'home' here and most people outside here don't understand.

    My Mini-S got passed by at the last meet because they thought they were MDR-V6's

    If ya know ya know. SBAF
     
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    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  19. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Totally agree, that's why I was saying everyone who's on the loaner should post their impressions, it seems suspiciously quiet in this and the JAR600B thread. The more good content we post, the better for Jupiter Audio Research.
     
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  20. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I know he is a busy boy right now. I think the JAR800 is the hot new boy on the block for Jupiter. CEE TEE is currently the resident JAR historian as far as I know. Couple others have collected them all too I think? I think what Bill-P was doing with dynamic drivers might be a better use of the HD800.. :shrug: We shall see in the long run maybe.
     

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