JAR800 and JAR800S impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Erroneous, Jul 20, 2022.

  1. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    So the JAR800 is launching at the upcoming Texas Audio Roundup and all 3 units that are currently in the USA will go on their own short, mostly invite-only tours after the meet, thanks to @ext1 @Ksorota and @Inoculator who own them. I had the chance to hear all 3 this evening and have some quick thoughts about them.

    Forewarning, I'm terribad at impressions so prepare thy anus for some not-good impressions. Hopefully you get the drift though.

    If you're on the upcoming tours, please post your impressions in this thread. If you're a trusted friend who has been invited to the tours but you don't normally post to SBAF, make damn sure you introduce yourself in the introductions thread after making an account and before posting in this thread.

    All that said, initial quick impressions after hearing 3 different JAR800 just comparing the 3 to each other and my LSN800 which I now plan to get JAR'd. I know, heresy, but IDGAF:

    JAR800

    Blue: A little more upfront, not as much reverb as black. Natalie Merchant sounds good on these. Vocals not as layered as black. Excellent with Pink Floyd. Alt-J vocals sound less authentic and more contrived. Bjork - Not as striking/involving as black but less veiled than yellow.

    Black: Further back in the audience, larger venue than blue. I like male vocals (Vic Chesnutt) more with these than blue and yellow. Natalie Merchant is better and more present with yellow. I think these may offer a more delicate presentation of layered vocals than yellow though. With Pink Floyd the extra reverb is welcome. Alt-J vocals sound natural and well layered. Bjork - Instruments are clearer than yellow. Sparkle and trail off into the distance. Background voices sound more 3D.

    Yellow: thumpier than both others. More upfront like blue. I like these the least for Vic Chesnutt. Best with Natalie Merchant. Like these least with Floyd because it sounds like the end of the notes are a little prematurely cut off. Alt-J vocals sound good and well layered but not as natural and well layered as black. Bjork - feels a little veiled, vocals and instruments.


    Compared to LSN: JAR tightens up the presentation. Makes it a bit more impactful and well put together. Makes the notes stand out more individually. LSN has the clarity and trailing larger venue sound of the black JAR800.


    Natalie Merchant - Where I Go (Paradise Is There)
    Vic Chesnutt - Flirted With You All My Life (At The Cut)
    Pink Floyd - Paranoid Eyes (The Final Cut)
    Alt-J - Breezeblocks (An Awesome Wave)
    Bjork - Virus (Biophilia)

    Please keep in mind these are knee-jerk reactions to great headphones that are much more similar than they are different.

    After this quick listen, my preference between the JAR800 is the black.

    System: Pi4 > May KTE > Icon 4 Zen > ZDS
     
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    What are the physical differences in the mod making the different sound signatures?

    high five for that Vic Chesnutt song! Sooo good
     
  3. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    No physical differences, @ext1 just gave them different colors because apparently he matches the cables with the headphones for best sound and didn't want them getting separated. I think sound difference is down to individual unit variance on Sennheiser's part.
     
  4. Ksorota

    Ksorota Friend

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    JAR800

    I had the chance of listening to the three sets of JAR800’s prior to shipping them off to @Erroneous for the Texas show and wanted to leave some additional impressions since we now have a thread.

    The three sets are more similar than different are represent improvements to the stock HD800 sound they began with. In talking to @ext1 it is clear that the serial number ranges have an effect on the sound, but also unit to unit variation plays a role in how the tuning comes out. EDIT (The mod is essentially the same on all units) The mod is tailored to the different serial number sets per conversations with @ext1 based on his extensive research and owning models from all SN ranges. So the driver is tuned slightly different depending on the range, but all done to produce the desired improvements. The mod is a definitive improvement to my ears across everything that makes the HD800 a good headphone (when modded).

    My set (Orange Ring set) began as a SDR modded set that I received from murphythecat a few months back. In stock form I had no issues with how they sounded, but when I heard Jupiter was doing it again I figured why not, it couldn’t get worse! I was right to take the chance and get the mod completed. (One interesting note is that it’s a much faster turnaround than the JAR6X0 mods) I am happy to state that the JAR mod does not disappoint. It takes the HD800 (SDR mod as reference) and refines and balances the headphone.

    My preference across the three sets after about 8 hours of listening between the three was probably the blue…not that any of the sets are bad, I just felt that on the QS the blue ring version had the most agreeable amount of upper bass foundation. Quick comparison between the sets would be like this.

    Note: Colors represent electrical tape marking the cases and the yellow set has an orange-colored ring on the outside of the cup and the blue set has a blue colored ring on the outside of the cup. The black set has no tape markings at all.

    Yellow Set: As stated above, this set has the punchiest bass of the three, and has the most interesting soundstage retrieval of the sets. On this set in particular I noticed instrument placement being all around my head and presenting from well-defined positioning. Closing my eyes while listening to most songs had me very engaged as I was shocked by notes coming from left, right, right slightly behind my ear, front below eye line, or above my head…The up-front presentation and punchiness meant that It was an exciting listen all the time.

    Blue Set: This set belongs to @innoculator and was the set that spent the most time on my head. I would liken these to the HD650 version of the JAR800mod (and the yellow to be the HD600). The blue set kept my attention well, but also was smoother and a bit tonally richer, with more of a warm bassline. This set was more neutral sounding, it retained the great soundstage that involves around the whole head, but without the punchiness that would grab attention to the left and right like the yellow set. I say they spent the most time on my head mainly because I kept forgetting to A/B to the others while I simply enjoyed the music.

    Black Set: This is Jupiter’s set and to my ears represents a perfect blend of the headphones. The soundstage is a bit larger seeming, but still more closed in than stock HD800 is, which makes for a more natural listen. I think the black set was the most speaker like in its naturalness and by presenting as if you were in the room with the music being played around you. The black and blue sets were the most similar in overall sound sig, but the black had less of the upper bass foundation and as such seemed the airiest.


    All of the sets were fun and a great listen. An improved listening experience of Senns Flagship headphone. The problem with sending them off so quickly is that all these impressions were collected across a night and day of successive listening. My first thought going back to the HD580 was that all the dynamics are gone…and the 580 has been my primary headphone for months. I have retuned back to the HD580, but cannot help but feel it is lacking in soundstage more than ever before. The real standout benefit of the JAR800 mod to me is that the expansive soundstage is tamed and converted to a more natural presence of music around you.


    All my listening was done through the Quicksilver HPA and modded (1656 opamps) Bifrost MB w/Unison
     
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  5. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    People who posted impressions in the TexASS Roundup thread should also put them here for easier future reference.

    Really interested to try this out eventually, even if it means dismantling all the mods I've done to my HD800.
     
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  6. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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  7. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Here are some impressions of the prototype of the JAR 800S (based on HD800S instead of HD800). REMEMBER, this is a PROTOTYPE. Jupiter has already said that CHANGES WILL BE MADE after a few more people provide feedback.

    TLDR Summary: I still don't like the HD800 family of headphones, but if I had to have one, this would probably be it. It's pretty good.

    Overview:
    See my link above for initial feedback about the 3 variants of the JAR HD800 as well as my long standing personal bias against the HD800. This post will be about the JAR800S, the next post (coming later) will be revisiting 2 of the JAR800 that were at the Austin show.

    Setup:
    Yggdrasil A2 (AES) or Holo Spring 2 L2 (I2S) > Stellaris with preferred tube compliment > SE out with individual included cables. I know common knowledge says that the HD800 family sounds better to most people with balanced output for some unknown reason/s (even with inherently SE amps such as the Stellaris). However, per @ext1, the included cables with each of these is actually part of the tuning package and the JAR800S along with one of the JAR800 I also received only included SE cables, so I used each SE cable that was paired with each headphone.

    Sound:

    General:
    - Upon listening, I can tell it's not quite not finalized, but it's pretty good as is already. Hence why I think this has promise. Initially, I liked it as much or more than the black variant of the JAR800 (as well as the blue or orange).
    - On a separate day, I did an A/B/C test vs the Blue and Black JAR800 and confirmed that I like these 800S the most.
    - With this JAR800S, most of the HD800 family flaws are gone or "tuned" to deliberately be there but in a not annoying way. I imagine to either retain some of the original 800 family sound signature or cohesiveness in sound or both.
    - Even better is a new HD800S is easily obtainable, no S/N hunting or other non-sense for drivers that match your preference.
    - I actually liked my Yggdrasil A2 better with the JAR800S. For reference, from the day I got it the A2 until now now it's never paired as well with the Stellaris as I've wanted.
    - Overall sound is very cohesive minus the bit of plasticity mentioned below.

    Treble:
    - Highs are still raised without the whole signature being bright overall to me. It did not annoy me (800 family normally does). If I were to guess, it sounds like instead of big peaks in the highs that the stock HP has, it's a small plateau in the region - if I were to guess by ear, maybe starting around or slightly above 6k and it drops back down around 12 or 13k?
    - Obviously this is subjective speculation, but based on my conversations with both SBAF and IRL people, those who like a bright HP may not get the overall brightness they want while people are favor a more neutral FR or are annoyed by excessive brightness may want the plateau further reduced. Right now it's kind of in a middle ground. Overall, doing the plateau I think was a good approach though.
    - This one is subjective. Overall, as it is right now, for me it was still slightly fatiguing after a 1.5 hours just due to the extra energy in the highs. Keep in mind that it typically takes me 2 minutes to get fatigued and 5 minutes to want to take off a HD800 on my own setup, typically 1 min before removal on most other setups.
    - Overall sound doesn't get messed up by correcting the highs here either. Some other HD800 mods I've heard over the years are guilty of this. There is only some minor plasticity in the timbre (see below concerns).
    - No substantial peaks and valleys in the FR range. If anything, slight hump / raised around mid bass.

    Mids:
    - Is there a tiny dip somewhere in the lower mids? Only heard glimpses of what I thought was a dip here and there.

    Bass:

    - From memory, bass does not sound reduced like stock HD800/S are and the quality of the bass seems better too. Better extension as well.

    Various technical performance:
    - All other original positives of the 800 family such as staging, separation, openness, and resolution are still present. First 3 are about 90-93% of stock 800 and still par or better than any flagship i can think of off the top of my head right now. 100% worth the small decrease for what the JAR improves upon.
    - Despite PRaT seeming a bit slow (see below concerns), transients are fine.
    - If it makes sense though, the sound wasn't "directionless" like the stock HD800 is to me (despite stock 800 having better PRaT).
    - I have finally heard the odd note decay clearly that people complain about with the Holo Spring series of DACs with this headphone. Stellaris normally masks this and I can't hear it with any other flagship headphone. I switched to Autuer, a mango wood Atrium (personal loan), and Utopia right after the JAR800S and could not hear it, so I don't think it's placebo.
    - Other aspects of sound not mentioned here are good and don't standout in any one way aside from just being good overall. More headphones need to do this. (Well documented by now) General technical performance of the 800 family is about the same or slightly improved otherwise, most within +/- 5-10%, with more + than -. I will explicitly clarify that this is not a read between the lines way of saying that this HP is mediocre.

    Concerns: I spell these out because people want to know this stuff, but in all honesty, there is a lot more right than wrong with this HP. Regardless:

    1 major concern:
    - The HP got somewhat smeared and congested with busy music. Keyword somewhat. The congestion happened the most with busy modern electronic music and most modern metal, more so than 80's and early 90's golden era of metal music. The smearing and congestion didn't also sound dense though (IDK how to better describe this) - more like the HP couldn't handle busy music vs smushing it all into a tiny cube I guess. Didn't happen as much with more rock music where the drums and guitars aren't as busy or busy orchestral pieces. Additionally, I can say that this wouldn't be contributed to a bass or tonality issue for me - this even happened with the cymbals (most sound energy 8-12khz, where the 800 family peak and 800S plateau is).

    This one surprised me. On paper this shouldn't happen, none of the changes in sound made me expect this, the stock HD800 doesn't do this for me, and the other JAR800 releases don't do this. Additionally, the sound did not become "dense" or "compacted". These factors lead me to speculate that this can be fixed in the finalized version.

    1 moderate concern:
    - There was some slight plasticity in the upper mids and highs. Unsurprisingly, there was also a lack of texture in this area. Tiny lack of texture in the mids. Bass has good texture but it sounded slightly (like maybe 10%) artificial. The mids lose some of their expected richness because of this. ex some amy winehouse and lana songs don't have that scratchy sultriness or rich sultriness respectively.

    1 minor concern:
    - PRaT is somehow off. The music just felt slower with these vs stock 800, other JAR 800, or other 800 variants I've heard before. Almost like the tempo is actually slower. Never experienced this with any other HP before, even ones that have horrible PRaT, so not sure what to think of this.

    Closing:
    Overall, this is good. Pretty interesting and unique take on the HD800 family. It's nice to hear the HD800 merits without excessive treble in the way. I hope this breathes some new life into the HD800 family.

    9/1 edit: I should clarify my own post as well after reading chacha's post below - all technical / performance comparisons above are relative to various HD800 family headphones I've heard through the years, including several stock pairs ranging from early S/N to late models and many others were well documented mods. Comparison is not against say a Utopia, ZMF, or whatever other popular dynamic "resolution" headphones are out there.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 1, 2022
  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere particular to the HD800/S mods, but what is the current plan to have these mods performed? Send off? To where? What's the timing look like? Or are these mods able to be purchased/performed/installed by the end user?
     
  9. ext1

    ext1 MOT: Jupiter Audio Research

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    These (JAR800, JAR800S) are currently being sold here in Korea, and I've shipped out many pairs already. But I'm making the JAR800S tuned a little differently based on various feedback from kind folk. I honestly don't like the S right now and much prefer the 800, but I'm trying to make one that I would like, because I hate making things I don't like. I realized the previous tuning I had on the S was basically just a "more bassy 800" and that meant I always preferred the 800 over it every time. So I thought that this should become a completely different animal instead.

    The current structure on the S over the 800 inherently is less open and transparent. The funny thing is that the more open and transparent you get the more detail and less congestion and clarity and etc you get, but you get that peaks in the highs. It's a fundamental feature of the 800 driver, unfortunately. But it also means that it has great treble extension. This is great when listening to well recorded music, but not when it meets shouty music. Whenever I listen to some test tracks I have for ringing/sibilance, I always think of how nice it would have been if the track was recorded differently. And honestly, I think it would be weird if those tracks didn't sound peaky, because that means something's wrong with the headphone. It would imply a huge dip on the treble response.

    However, I could not be happy with the stock 800 because it somehow managed to make even well-recorded tracks bright and sibilant. Even the stuff that shouldn't be peaky, became peaky. So I set out to fix that without sacrificing what makes a 800 a 800. It was way way harder to keep it as a 800 than to make it a completely different animal. It was a completely different and intentionally different approach from the various DIY mods thus far (esp. sdr). It's not as simple as throwing a dust cover or some uniform filter over the driver to decrease treble.

    But with the S, there are already internal driver changes from Senn that make it inherently less resolving. So, a different approach is required. I don't think it will ever be able to gain the clarity and detail of the 800 that I love. But, maybe some other different things can be achieved- the sort of direction that various DIY mods have walked thus far, but a little different. In my opinion mods usually change the tonality instead while sacrificing other things. Is it possible to do that without (much) sacrifices? I don't know yet- but I do hope I can come up with something I can see myself reaching out for over the 800.

    I have to do driver modification work and the parts have specific torque values on them, so they aren't user-installable : \
     
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  10. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF's Mr. Bean

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    Since this isn't a finalized product at the time of this post and I'm simply giving my thoughts on the black prototype (same black one in the Austin meet), I won't be giving the exhaustive impressions post that I usually do. These will just be some thoughts.

    I'll start with this: anyone hoping for a transformative mod will have to look elsewhere (probably more along the lines of @Bill-P's mod). The JAR800 is more along the lines of the JAR600/650, where the core identity of the headphone is preserved and where the mod addresses various shortcomings. In other words, if you are like me and don't like the HD800 despite having heard SBAF + SDR mods, this isn't going to change your mind. That being said, I feel that this prototype JAR800 is the best HD800 I've heard and if I had to pick one, this one would be it.

    I would say the most egregious fault the OG HD800 has is that damn 5-6k peak and overall being bright as f**k. The JAR800 is still a bright headphone, but now it's in the ballpark of "the Utopia is a bright headphone." I no longer feel like any part of the treble in the JAR800 is piercing and unlistenable in the treble/upper mids. That being said, if the Utopia annoys you I doubt you'll like the JAR800's tonality. The bass relative to the treble has been brought up somewhat, but I can't comment on its quality vs the OG HD800 because frankly I haven't spent much time with HD800.

    Otherwise, the strengths of the HD800 have been left largely intact. Still humungous, wide, nebulous stage, not-quite-laser-like imaging, great resolve in the treble region, etc. I appreciate this a lot despite me hating on the HD800; the HD800 still does some things that other headphones can't quite replicate.

    Edit: After talking more to @ext1, I've learned more things about the mod:
    • The way Jupiter managed to get more bass is by doing a very specific mod on the driver itself to allow for more driver excursion. Frankly speaking, this isn't something that normal people would do (@ext1 might be the first to really try this) and it's pretty genius IMHO. The mod also doesn't seem to increase distortion in the bass by much, if at all (tbh I'd need to see measurements and it's been so long since I heard a stock HD800 that I no longer have any memory of how it sounds like other than a big fat "EW").
    • Modding the HD800 this way allows @ext1 to retain what makes the HD800 great without many of its downsides. Frankly speaking, if I had heard these before I bought a Utopia in years past, it's hard to say whether I would have actually bought the Utopia. Yes, they still sound very different, but I don't really see someone owning both (they would overlap in many ways unless you really want the HD800 stage).
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2022
  11. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

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    I've had the JAR800 (newer production version with white parts) for just over two months now, so thought I'd give you guys my in-depth thoughts/impressions about it.


    I want to start by being blunt:

    The JAR800 is my favorite headphone I've ever owned/tried,
    and I've really enjoyed the two months I've lived with it as my sole headphone. But just because I love the JAR800 doesn't mean it's a great headphone for you. It's my favorite headphone because its technical strengths and overall tonality aligns with my sonic preferences, but your sonic preferences and priorities may differ.

    So for these impressions my goal is to try and set expectations straight: explain what the JAR800 is and, more importantly, what it is not, to hopefully make it easier for you to decide whether the JAR800 is the perfect headphone for you (like it was for me) or if other headphones would be better for you. Let's get started!


    [​IMG]


    First of all, what does the JAR800 sound like?

    The JAR800 is a true upgrade to the stock HD800 or even SDR-modded HD800
    in sound.

    In particular (using Bifrost 2/64 -> Andix Audio HPA-45):
    • The peaky highs are smoothed out/attenuated so they aren't as bothersome anymore and aren't as sibilant/piercing as stock. The upper treble is also extended even further, which increases the resolution/detail and sense of space and openness even further than stock.
    • Mids are less recessed and more present, and the bass has slightly better subbass extension and is overall more articulate and tighter sounding. This paired with the smoother highs means the JAR800 allows the beautiful treble extension of stock to come through while also sounding less bright and more balanced/neutral overall.
    • The soundstage overall no longer sounds diffuse but sounds full/filled-in and flushed out, and is effortlessly expanded and airy. It's very hard for me to describe just how impressive it is coming from all other headphones-- I think the best way I can put it is other headphones I've heard (even HD800 stock) feels like you're "listening" to the sound, whereas the JAR800 feels like you're "experiencing/viewing" the sound. It's like you're in a venue/environment and it's easy to forget you're listening to headphones. This is the most impressive thing about the JAR800 imo and what makes it truly special.
    • Lightness and comfort feels identical to stock, which is to say it's fantastic. It feels comfortably lightweight coming from the Utopia and absolutely feather-light compared to heavier stuff like ZMF headphones and older audezes.


    Some brief comparisons to other headphones from memory and different gear chains:

    Keep in mind that when I talk about "strengths and weaknesses", it's me talking in terms of my personal preferences, YMMV!
    • VS Utopia (ECP Walnut v5 -> ECP 3FS): Utopia has slightly better macrodynamics and hits a little harder (though the jar800 still slams and hits plenty and is way way better than planars from my experience, for example), but has just as tight bass and also has slightly more subbass extension. The mids on both are both lovely, but again the utopia sounds slightly dark on the upper treble in comparison with the JAR800. Imaging on both are both laser-like, but soundstage sounds overall more expansive/engaging on the JAR800 because it's bigger and airier. Resolution is hard to decouple from soundstage for me, but I'm hearing more details overall on the JAR800 than I remember on the utopia (although admittedly I think both are excellent at resolution). Both have wonderful, to-die-for microdynamics, but ultimately the JAR800 is what I personally prefer for its way better soundstage experience.
    • VS ETA Mini Open (ECP acrylic walnut dac -> ECP BD proto / iMac headphone out): while I think the jar800's subbass extension is still great (extending down linearly to around 30hz and audible down to 20hz), when comparing the two it's clear the mini open just has greater, more linear subbass response and feels more like a subwoofer while being tight and punchy throughout. It also has a really nice tight transient response and lovely downslope tonality with the Gerod pads that's pretty unique I think. But the biggest weakness for me was that treble quality and resolution suffered in comparison-- I think I'm also just sensitive to too much bass so listening to the ETA mini for too long was fatiguing to me. That said, in many ways the JAR800 and mini open have complementary strengths/weaknesses and I think contrast would make a great pairing. And honestly some people may prefer the ETA stuff for their preferences (my dad, for example, loves how the bass feels like a subwoofer with movies).
    • VS ZMF Verite Pheasantwood/Verite Closed Ironwood (Gungnir Multibit A2 -> ECP 3F / DNA Starlett): The ZMF verite headphones are unique in that they sound fast but have a unique wood resonance sound that takes brain burn-in to get used to, but did give it a unique ability to layer the soundstage. The upper treble felt dark and dampened compared to the utopia and the JAR800 sounds a lot more open. Honestly it's just a matter of personal preference and I do know a lot of people who like the verite and overall ZMF sound signature, but for me personally the lessened treble extension and more closed-in feeling (as opposed to openness/clarity) compared to the utopia is what led me to sell these headphones several years ago. A special comment about the Verite Closed, but I think the closed-back nature started to bother me as I noticed a fatiguing ringing effect when doing longer listening sessions, but this might just be I'm sensitive to closed headphones in general.
    • VS HD6XX stock (bifrost 2/64 -> Andix Audio HPA-45): The hd650 sounds a lot more mid-centric, less extended in either extremes and less resolving, and sounds a lot more veiled in comparison, but I'm sure absolutely zero people are surprised here. I am getting the HD6XX modded by Jupiter to a JAR6XX v2/B, so will be interested in how that compares with the stock and the JAR800, especially since I liked the JAR650 so much when I heard it with the 3f!
    Some notes on gear pairings:

    Because it is basically a true-upgrade vs a sidegrade to the hd800, I feel that gear that synergizes well with the stock/SDR HD800 would also synergize well with the JAR800. Most of my listening and impressions were done with a Bifrost 2/64 -> Andix Audio HPA-45 amplifier setup, which I also have listened to extensively with the hd650 and stock hd800 and know synergizes greatly with those headphones.

    The JAR800 is extremely resolving of amp/dac differences, even more so than the stock hd800. It was very easy to pick up on the differences between the bifrost 2 and bifrost 2/64 boards, as well as between the magni+, magni piety, andix hpa45, and the XRK audio altoids amp. The smoother peaks in the highs and fuller soundstage makes the JAR800 also a little more flexible with choice of amps I think, so long as the amp/setup isn't overly bright.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is it's nowhere near as picky as, say, the utopia, which really needs a quality amplification setup to get the most out of it. It's also not as picky as the stock hd800 because it's less peaky and more balanced overall, so is a lot more flexible to upstream tonality differences. FWIW, I _prefer_ the JAR800 with the andix audio HPA-45 and also magni piety than I did the utopia with my $6k ECP stack (walnut v5 -> 3FS), because I find the upper treble extension and more expansive and full-sounding soundstage to be more engaging to me (the utopia, while having a reputation for being "brighter", I actually feel is overall darker in the upper treble and doesn't match the upper treble extension of the hd800/jar800).


    So, ultimately, who's the JAR800 For?

    I think ultimately people who like the HD600 but wished it had TOTL technicalities like the HD800 would really like the JAR800!

    What I mean is that the JAR800 doesn't sound like a HD650 tonality-wise-- it's more like a HD600, maybe slightly leaner/brighter, but still overall pretty neutral/balanced sounding. It's not warm and it does not have lush, upfront mids like the hd650, so people expecting those things will likely be disappointed. For people looking for something with hd650-like tonality but with betterer technicalities, the JAR800 probably isn't for you-- I encourage those people to check out other headphones like the JAR650 v2 or OG, ZMF Atrium, Bill-P's modded hd800, or maybe(?) even the Focal clear/elex depending on preferences.

    While the fixed tonality issues are very important, I think what makes me love the JAR800 is that it just expands on the things that make the HD800 truly special. The treble extension, expansive soundstage, and extreme resolving capabilities of the HD800 are arguably its biggest strengths, and the JAR800 mods just take everything to the next level: the upper treble sounds further extended than other headphones, the soundstage is even more expansive while at the same time sounding fuller and less diffuse, and instruments sound better separated, clearer, and more texturally rich and detailed. The extended upper treble is very notable to me: it really makes me feel more like I'm immersed in an environment than any other headphone did before, and makes me feel like I'm "viewing" the music instead of simply listening to it.

    Ultimately the JAR800 is not for everyone, but if these strengths resonate with you and you like a more neutral/balanced tonality (you prefer the hd600 over the hd650, for example), I think the JAR800 might be one of the best headphones to check out and I highly recommend considering it or at least consider joining the JAR800/JAR800S loaner program! (although the loaner program uses the old parts so it'll be slightly different; see misc notes below)


    Other Random Misc. Notes
    • Small note on the new white parts vs the previous black parts (that were at the Texas Audio Roundup and are on the loaners): Jupiter has told me the new parts add a bit more subbass presence and smooth the highs a bit more than the previous black parts, and should be more durable as well. New JAR800s going forward will use the white parts exclusively
    • It's weird to say, but really the stock HD800 cable sounds best with the JAR800. I've tried other headphone cables, even the Norne Vykari cable, and it just kills the treble extension that makes the JAR800 special. This should be good news, as you don't need to buy a special "audiophile cable or whatnot" to get a better experience.
    • Same with the pads: stock hd800 pads sound the best. I tried the recent ZMF suede HD800 pads with the JAR800 and it just wasn't a great synergy at all: it made the highs sibilant, the mids recessed and dry, and the soundstage weirdly wide and diffuse/nebulous again. This plus the removal process is absolutely abysmal: the plastic part of the pads grip with ironclad intensity and the only way to remove it is to rip it off with a lot of force, which tears the glue from the plastic backing to the headphone. Dekoni's are too thicc and mess up the sound in even worse ways. Just stick with stock.
    • Jupiter offers a separate pelican case with hand-cut foam to fit the JAR800 that is very nice-- it was an extra cost, but I think it was worth it for the added protection. Also just looks nice haha

    Conclusion: is it worth it?

    I don't think the JAR800 is for everyone, and it really depends on what your audio preferences are. For me personally, I listen to a lot of future bass, J-rock, electronic/EDM/electro house, indie pop, and ambient/foley, and for the music I like I tend to extremely value treble quality and treble extension, faster/sharper transients, and an expanded and open soundstage with great imaging. Overall I prefer a neutral tonality, and too much bass presence makes me fatigued; I also tend to prefer bass quality (articulation, slam) over bass quantity. I prefered the utopia over the warmer OG clear, the THX789 to the asgard 3, and the ECP 3F (amorphous) to the DNA starlett.

    For my preferences, I absolutely _love_ the JAR800 and it is 100% worth it to me. And I think people who like the hd600/hd800 would probably like it as well. But for people with different preferences from me it might be disappointing and not worth it. Again, it all depends on what you like or value.

    If unsure what your preferences are, there's currently a loaner for the JAR800/JAR800S I highly recommend trying out, if only to experience the soundstage and what it can do. And at the end of the day if cost is a big factor there's more affordable options that may be worth checking out too (like the JAR6x0 mods and the ETA headphones stuff).

    The beauty of this hobby is that there is something for everyone-- and for me and my preferences, the JAR800 is my favorite headphone I've heard. It is 100% worth it value-wise for me, and hopefully these impressions helped clarify if it'll be great for you!

    ---


    At any rate, I'm looking forward to what other people have to say about this headphone when the loaner impressions start rolling in! And hope you got something from my nonsensical impressions in the meanwhile.

    Happy listening!
    :sail:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    P.S. the future..?

    I was talking with Jupiter and he mentioned that LSN hd800s (serial numbers <10k) have physical differences that lead to even more treble extension, larger staging, and greater resolution than the already excellent JAR800 I have-- and that these qualities make them even better for JAR800 mods. Given that these things are sonic priorities to me, I couldn't resist and have a LSN JAR800 (serial 2kish) coming my way! Will add some impressions on that when it arrives sometime in the next few weeks. To be continued...?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023
  12. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Excellent write up!

    Is the 3FS a special version of the 3F? (maybe I'm having a brain fart and can't remember)
     
  13. Ksorota

    Ksorota Friend

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    This was his Silver transformer version of the ECP 3F.
     
  14. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    tl/dr: having had the JAR HD650's in the house, and loving the OG variant, i was apprehensive that the JAR HD800 siblings would surpass them...alas, that happened.

    i have posted that i didn't really get the OEM HD800 nor the Drop HD8XX. they offered no engagement for me. music was heard, however it seemed quite sterile and far away, not my cup of meat.

    the JAR HD800 is nice, but still a bit too analytical for my taste. beautifully made however.

    the JAR HD800S is, to me, the most musically engaging (for multiple genres) headphone i have had in the house.
    with any and all of my (albeit very limited, cheap, mid-fi [at best]) sources, i got lost.

    Alex de Grassi Slow Circle (Windham Hill 1009, 1979.) if you strain, you can detect his fingers moving over the steel strings as he changes position on the fretboard. from a Schitt MB Bifrost and Lyr 2, there is no straining with the JAR HD800S.

    Sinatra! Come Dance with Me (The Capitol Years [21-CD] EMI 1998.) i just wanna dance, and i have white-man's overbite, on a Schitt Fulla.

    my last night with the JAR HD800S was listening from a Nuforce Icon iDo being fed by a modified solid-state iPod Classic. i cued up Laura Nyro's Laura: Laura Nyro Live at the Bottom Line (Cypress Records 1990) lying in bed. i fell in love with Laura all over again.

    now, i need to figure out how to afford the JAR HD650 OG and the JAR HD800S.

    damn it!

    cheers!
     
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  15. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    This actually scares me. Quite a bit... Having heard the JAR600v1, 600B & most recently, the JAR660S, and loving the 600B so much that I'm doing a full about-face wrt to my system—turning it from planar-only to not only dynamic-curious, but uprooting my ortho system entirely in favor of a 600B and Piety to run it (for now).

    —Add that to also being on the loaner for the JAR800s, I'm worried I'm gonna actually like the 800 or 800S this time around. I owned an 800SDR for about 6 months in 2016/'17—and admittedly never drove them to anywhere near their full potential (Valhalla 2)—but although I tried as I might to love them (Sonarworks, various other EQ, etc.), they were just not my bag.

    I'm worried that with the JAR800S specifically (I did somewhat like the somewhat cozier S a little better when I demoed them, While they seemed a bit slimmed down a bit in proportions, were still too unnaturally cavernous and distant for my taste, and even with the Helmholtz resonator ((read: "SDR" in German)), and I still didn't jive with the upward tilt)—with the same apprehension you spoke of—JARification will once again change my mind and my checking balance.

    Oh, the joys of loaners, great for the curious ear, terrible for sound finances!
     
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  16. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Loaner impressions!

    Chain:
    Roon on Mac->Pi2AES->Abbas .11SE DAC->Saga+->Piety/Vali 1

    To preface, I haven’t heard any 800 variant in years. When I last heard it, I didn’t like it. Too bright was what I mainly remembered.

    Listening to the JAR800/800S is a totally different animal. This honestly have some of the most even FR I’ve ever heard. Everything is presented in balanced, equal measure. It’s extremely impressive how easy it is to listen to these for long stretches without any fatigue, something I’d previously thought not possible with the 800.

    The only penalty for this improvement is, going from distant audio memory, a slight reduction in the width of the head stage. Given that the 800 normally has one of the widest head stages of any headphone out there, this may actually also be considered an improvement if you felt the 800 was unnaturally wide or too diffuse.

    As expected, technicalities on this are top notch. Even using the Piety, which is surely a bottleneck when dealing with headphones of this caliber, I could hear more detail, with better layering and placement, and with quicker transients on both 800 models over my JAR650. I also happened to have an LCD-2 pre-fazor on hand to compare and the 800 was brighter (but again, balanced), with much more air, space, and better defined layering and placement.

    I honestly did not hear major differences between the 800 and the 800S. Both are clearly HD800 headphones and both have been tuned exquisitely. If you have a preference for one model stock over another, you might find those differences are not as noticeable when JAR modded.

    I think what’s most impressive about these is how…normal they sound. Normal is not something you expect from the HD800, and yet here it is. Bravo to JAR for another excellent mod to add to the lineup!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
  17. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Echoing @Merrick 's excellent observations. A welcome side-effect on the stage, which I also noticed, is that the sound is more focused, less diffuse, and as a result, more engaging.
     
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  18. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I didn't see it noted, but Jupiter prefers not to work on SDR units as they are risky to remove the black screen over the driver a second time. I will be going with a Solderdud adapter for the HD800.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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  20. ext1

    ext1 MOT: Jupiter Audio Research

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    Thank you everyone for the impressions and Bob for the measurements!! I am incredibly humbled. :bow:
    This is only half the truth. It's not that they're risky, I don't like SDR'd units because they have torn/wrinkled screen because of how it requires you to peel off the screen. They don't stick back to the driver plastic again like before and it permanently affects sound.
     
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