Jupiter Audio Research HD650 - Impressions and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    See discussion in HD650 thread starting around here. I got to check these out as a loaner from a kind member.

    General notes:

    - Mod feels robust and seems to add some heft and density to the enclosure.

    - I am not sure if the pads are at all modified, or if these pads are just old and squished. Can anyone comment? In case they are modified, I listened and took measurements with those pads. Pads make a noticeable difference if these could use a fresh set. (paging @Jinxy245)

    Sound stuff relative to a stock HD650 (with fairly new but not totally stiff pads):

    - Bass seems marginally tighter, faster, and better defined overall. No, it is not taken to Focal levels, for a dynamic headphone, but it's a slight and worthwhile improvement.

    - Bass also sounds less punchy and dynamic. Perhaps can be considered a good thing if things are better damped and controlled. However, I did somewhat prefer the slightly more lively nature of the stock pair, i.e. less risk of sounding overdamped.

    - Mid-bass hump is still present but sounds more subdued and yet not as well integrated with the rest of the sound, i.e. a bit more isolated of a hump.

    - The upper half the response sounds a bit off to me relative to stock. There's a bit more of a rise and emphasis in the upper-mids followed by more of a treble roll-off from there. Doesn't sound as tonally cohesive as a stock pair. Yes, it does sound darker overall.

    - The stock pair, up top, is generally sharper and more neutral sounding but has a bit more of a strain. It's a bit hard to explain, but the JAR HD650 is tonally rougher if you factor in the upper-mids/lower-treble but has a slightly more natural sounding mid-to-upper-treble timbre.

    I'll leave it at that for now. I will experiment with a newer set of pads and see how things compare after that. I don't want to draw conclusions until then. Nonetheless, so far my gut is telling me that plenty of Dynamat will get you about where you need to be to match this (and then just mod everything else how you want).

    But, comparing the JAR HD650 as it was when I received it vs a stock HD650, here are some measurements.

    The bass extension I will need to double check, because this honestly surprised me a bit. Then again, I did find the stock pair to sound fuller and more powerful. This could be a matter of additional damping and resonance control on the JAR HD650 affecting the perceived bass response.

    You can see the JAR HD650 has the slightly extra rise up till about 6KHz. After that, it's a slightly deeper drop in treble from there. While these differences are small, and likely explainable by older pads and no front damping, they do create a shift in the overall tone and timbre.

    JAR HD650 vs Stock HD650 Left FR.png

    As for distortion, it's hard to say. The stock pair might just be a better performer with low-end distortion (slightly). Or maybe I didn't match the volume on these exactly, with the JAR HD650 being more taxed.

    I will double check the stock HD650 results, but what I'm not seeing is a dramatic change in measured bass distortion characteristics on the JAR HD650. I was admittedly a bit surprised by this.

    JAR HD650 Left Distortion.png
    Stock HD650 Left Distortion.png

    CSD results suggest the already-great HD650 might improve here. I'm still wondering if the bass differences I heard would be more from enclosure resonance control rather than a change in response or lower distortion. I'm not sure. Again, it wasn't some massive difference in listening.

    We'll have to see how these perform with newer pads, since this could also be explained by older pads putting my ear closer to the driver.

    JAR HD650 CSD Left -35dB.PNG
    JAR HD650 CSD Left -45dB.PNG
    Stock HD650 CSD Left -35dB.PNG
    Stock HD650 CSD Left -45dB.PNG


    I'll try to listen and measure the JAR HD650 tomorrow with fresher pads and maybe throw some front damping in the mix too.
     
  2. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ve-appreciation-thread.44/page-79#post-217761

    Here are the comments on the pads and its age from the post by @Pharmaboy linked above here:

    "I own the J-Mod/JAR650 headphone @Jinxy245, @EagleWings, and @famish99 auditioned. It was modded for me using a new HD650 by Jupiter Audio Research. I burned it in for ~80 hrs before any listening. Then listened 50+ hrs over 2-3 weeks (sound was so good I had trouble taking it off). All to say that this isn't a beat-down headphone w/suspect pads. It's nicely broken in, no more than that.

    Comments re issue of DIY/cheaper vs more expensive, fully modded HP from Jupiter Audio Research:

    • I was on a long losing streak w/headphones before the J-Mod. went through 4-5 of them (one 4X the price of the JAR650), but sold them because they didn't satisfy me sonically, were uncomfortable, or both. Only 1 cost less than the J-Mod/JAR650.
    • But then, listening to this extensively modded headphone & comparing it to stock, IMO the sound is so good, it's a bargain.
    Based on the JAR650's sonic quality (well above its price), it's a keeper for me. The stock HD650 really impresses me--but regardless, the JAR650 is on a higher level.

    PS: I agree with everything @EagleWings said in his sound comments on previous page."
     
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  3. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Hmmm, I would like to have my HD650 sent to someone to have it measured. My stock 650 is even more mid-bassy and considerably peakier in the lower-treble (~5-6kHz) compared to the JAR650.. It has seen around 60-70hrs of use.. Wondering if mine is just a one off.. Have you come across any 650 that bright?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    They've all sounded pretty consistent to me, i.e. nothing considerably different.
     
  5. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    Yes the JAR650 has well worn stock pads on them. Jupiter hasn't done anything there, but he is looking into a headband replacement.

    Thanks Hands!
     
  6. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

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    @Hands reviews lacks photos ;(
    We see that CSD improved considerably. Maybe that's the key to subjectively tighter bass? Yeah, I understand that CSD improvements 1 khz, but I've heard many times interesting effect - when midrange become more clean, bass as well become to sound faster and more focused.
     
  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    OK, thanks! I wasn't sure because they are worn down in a very peculiar manner. I'll get it tested tonight with some fresh pads and update.

    I'm too lazy to upload photos when there are plenty floating around elsewhere. :)
     
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  8. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Updated impressions and measurements with new pads (with and without front foam):

    - Without front foam, but new pads, the JAR HD650 sounds kind of like...an HD650/Clear hybrid wannabe, and not particularly great. The upper-mids and treble take on a rough, slightly bright nature. I say slightly because A) all that mid-bass and B) it's really not that bad.

    - With front foam in place, and with fresh pads, things start to sound pretty normal. Seemingly a bit more aggressive in the mids, but slightly less bright sounding than the stock HD650. Stock HD650 is still not as bright as the JAR HD650 without front foam.

    - JAR HD650 in general seems to have more of a mid-bass emphasis. This makes them sound bassier and thicker in general than the stock pair, which sounds more neutral overall.

    - JAR HD650 does seem to have better defined, faster bass than the stock HD650 still. But part of me wonders if it's actually improved or just the additional mid-bass throwing me for a loop. These things can be tricky!

    - Stock HD650 still sounds a bit more dynamic and lively for some reason. (It might be a particularly good pair. Not sure.) Not that the JAR HD650 isn't dynamic, but it's a little easier going in a sense. Again, could just be that it's really well damped and has cleaner bass, like how a good planar can at times sound less dynamic than the HD650.

    - I think the JAR HD650, with front foam, might have a smoother treble timbre than the stock HD650. Similar balance, but a little easier going.

    Honestly, I think the JAR HD650 just needs a bit of foam behind the rear driver opening to tone down the mid-bass a bit. That should dial in the excess bloat in that area and keep the positive benefits of the mod.

    By the way, if you remove the pads, you can see the whole mod addition thing is bolted onto the enclosure. Assuming it's also adhered in some way, that should add plenty of additional rigidity, mass, and damping to the enclosure and driver. It's kind of cool looking too, but I still wish it had the grills so it stood out less. You could then also add a bit of rear damping for a clean look.

    I'm still not sure what this mod costs, but if it's pricey, you might still be better off just loading the HD650 with dynamat and stuff.

    Measurements

    Things definitely look more normal with fresh pads. More bass extension, more neutral treble, etc. We can see that without front foam, there's a bit of excess in the 3-6KHz range, and the response could stand to be smoother.

    Adding front foam provides relatively more bass and relatively less mids and treble. This looks a lot more like a usual HD650 response.

    Curiously, the usual 5KHz bump is not there, but rather shifted to 6KHz.

    JAR HD650 w New Pads and Foam Comparison FR.png

    When compared to the stock HD650, you get around a 2dB greater bump in the mid-bass/low-mids. This would explain why they sound thicker and bassier, which I think could be toned down a bit in this case.

    Subtle difference in the treble area. With the 5KHz bump eased down a bit, with a lesser 6KHz peak (assuming front foam in place), you might be able to argue the JAR HD650 eeks out just a slightly more neutral, and maybe even smoother, treble response while retaining the HD650's core strengths.

    JAR HD650 w New Pads vs Stock HD650 FR.png

    I won't comment much on CSDs, but it would appear new pads and the option of front foam change results slightly. Still, some improvements seem to stand relative to the stock HD650 if you use front foam.

    JAR HD650 CSD Left w New Pads -35dB.PNG
    JAR HD650 CSD Left w New Pads -45dB.PNG
    JAR HD650 CSD Left w New Pads and foam -35dB.PNG
    JAR HD650 CSD Left w New Pads and foam -45dB.PNG
     
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  9. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    Fantastic stuff @Hands , thanks again!

    Jupiter read it & tried it...he likes it better with the foam as well. He missed the registration cut off otherwise he'd respond here himself.

    Don't know if you have a filter, but I sent you a PM....

    Thx again.
     
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  10. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I had the pleasure of meeting Jong-hyeon (Jupiter) in person for the first time last night. We went out for winner winner chicken dinner and he generously loaned me 2 pairs of JAR 650 for an audition. He told me the JAR 650 recently underwent a small revision with more damping material and asked me to compare them and see which one sounds better. FWIW, the unit currently on loaner that @Hands reviewed is the pre-revision unit. I took them home, took out my own HD 650 with trifecta mod (foam disc removal, damping, coin mod) for some serious A/B/C. Gears used were Yggy and ZDS with Philips JAN 6SL7WGT.

    First of all, it should be noted that while it's no secret I hold the HD 650 in high regard, it comes with a big caveat of being modded. Although some say the mods do not make a significant difference, without that difference, I daresay the stock HD 650 is somewhat a "borderline shit" of a headphone for me (let's say that I find over 90% of the so-called "TOTL" headphones out there utter shit). The stock HD650 does scale high with better gear, but it remains dark, veiled, congested, and warmf*g to my ears. The trifecta mod notably makes the HD 650 brighter (though it still sounds slightly dark in the grand scheme of things), less veiled and airier. I feel the mod is a must to bring out what the HD 650 really has to offer. Therefore I won't be comparing them with a stock HD 650 at all, but with a fully modded one.

    Comparing the pre- and post-revision JAR 650, I noticed subtle but noticeable differences. The pre-revision is has a wider and more diffuse soundstage, whereas that of the post-revision is deeper and more focused. It's not a night-and-day difference, but for me I slightly preferred the post-revision. Maybe it's because the ZDS complements the HD 650 with its huge, holographic soundstage, but I can see some people preferring the pre-revision if they find the soundstage of HD 650 inherently lacking.

    What's interesting about the JAR 650 is that it completely removes the oval foam beneath the earpads. I had tried this too when modding my own HD 650, but like many others I found it too bright and opted for a coin-sized hole (e.g. coin mod) as a good compromise. Of all mods I tried, the removal of oval foam was the only mod that actually made the HD 650 sound bright to my ears, otherwise I would never call the HD 650 bright or have a peaky treble. Well, this was also the case with JAR 650. Jong-hyeon claims he is a treble-head and I can understand where he's coming from, but I'm not sure if this would be the best choice for most people. I found that out of having no oval foam, full foam or coin mod, the coin mod also worked best with JAR 650. It tones down the treble edge while retaining a transparent window to the sound. I advised him that maybe the JAR 650 should be shipped from now on with the coin mod, unless the customer specifically asks for a brighter sound. Apparently @Hands gave him the same advice.

    Now let's compare the trifecta modded HD 650M and JAR 650 (post-revision). It goes without saying that both are well-damped, and the sound is obviously clearer and more focused than the stock unit and I would gladly take either over stock. The most notable difference between the two modded headphones is that the JAR 650 has a more neutral sonic signature. The HD 650M has a rather forward presentation of mids, which may come off as a midbass hump to some people, and while its treble is brighter than stock, it's still relatively toned down from the rest of the spectrum. The JAR 650 has a more relaxed mids compared to 650M, although I wouldn't say it's laid-back, and the treble response is more pronounced. The result is a flatter frequency response.

    While some would argue this makes the 650 less colored and take away some of the fun, I find it to be a welcome change in the long run. I for one prefer a neutral and balanced sound, as headphones like Code-X and PMx2 were some of my most tonally pleasing headphones of all time. It doesn't have an initial "wow" factor, but it's a sound that grows easily on your ears.

    In the end, I can conclude that out of all mods and variations of HD 600/650/6XX family of headphones I heard, the JAR 650 with coin mod and fresh pads was the best sounding to me. The 650M is also impressive and the difference between the two isn't very significant, but the JAR 650 has a more neutral sonic presentation that won me over.

    I would recommend the JAR 650 to:
    1. Those who own a stock HD 650 but lack DIY skills and feel inconfident to perform any mod themselves
    2. Those who own a HD 650M but feel it is still a bit dark sounding (I honestly do)
    3. Those who prefer a neutral and balanced sound (e.g. Code-X, PMx2)

    I would not recommend the JAR 650 to:
    1. Those who own a stock HD 650 and do not want any form of irreversible mod performed on theirs (although in this case, I would say "their loss")
    2. Those who own a HD 650M and feel it hits the perfect sweet spot with just the right amount of coloration
    3. Those who find even the HD 650M already too bright (the JAR 650 is brighter)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018

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