Jupiter Audio Research HD650 Impressions/Measurements (Finalized Mod)

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better gear impressions than you

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    I have the JAR in-house and the pads are fine. As firm as the new pair I got for my KISS a few weeks back.
     
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  2. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Your 1st paragraph explains something I not only couldn't put into words, but really didn't understand: this distinction between brightness & clarity; unwanted resonance and less resonance; more vs less dynamic. I'm guessing that all covary with frequency and are collectively labeled "bright" or "dark," when in fact the truth is more nuanced.

    Your post also reminds me to state something I neglected to: at the same time Jupiter updated my JMod several months ago, he also put new Sennheiser pads on. The original pads were probably fine, but my pair had been used by a number of others & I couldn't be sure what state they were...easier to just replace them. Thus, I'm theoretically being exposed the maximum brightness, dynamics, and clarity of the most recent JMod...and loving it.
     
  3. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    The initial JAR mod (the one I shipped to you last year) actually was smoother and less aggressive than a stock HD650, which I then owned. I sold that HD650 to @sheldaze and he confirmed the bright nature of the unit. @famish99 got a chance to try the initial JMOD and when I asked him for his impressions, he never mentioned anything about the HP being aggressive. But yes, back then he hadn’t modded his 6XX, so we don’t know if the initial Jmod was more/less aggressive than his modded 6XX. But as I am a bit familiar with his preferences and references, I am led to suspect that the latest version is on the aggressive side. Btw, I am team-borderline-warmpoo, so take my preference into account.
     
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  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The biggest changes in the final pairs were:

    1. A shit ton of silicone damping anywhere it could fit.

    2. Larger foam cutout on front side.

    3. Re-introduced a single layer of foam behind driver.

    Too bright? Get some replacement front foam and cut the hole size to preference, or don't cut at all. This will reduce brightness but also noticeably increase the mid-bass hump. Trade offs either way.

    You could try to remove the rear foam, but that's risky. Upside to the JAR mod is you get the most damping I think I've ever seen on a Sennheiser (good starting point), so you can tweak the front side to your heart's content.

    But I found it just right as-is, and I thought I was known as King Warmpoo. Guess I'm getting old? :)

    I mean, shit, I'm listening to a near-final JAR mod HD600 as we speak and am wondering if the JAR HD650 is too dark/boring. :p
     
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  5. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    At the risk of self-aggrandizement, I doubt anyone here is more treble/brightness-averse than I am. I felt that way in my 20s, and now w/frequent migraines & plenty of tinnitus, I feel even more that way.

    It's not just a woosie-boy preference. I've heard live music all my life, everything from tiny clubs & acoustic music all the way up to opera, symphony orchestras, and outstanding but fiercely loud blue, rock, electric Miles, etc. And in all that time, I rarely heard any music that "pushed treble" and was hyper-detailed/"accurate" at the expense of musical enjoyment.

    Of course I've heard live/electric music that was less than perfectly mixed, w/poor room acoustics, all that. But the result isn't usually the overbearing upper mids & treble that I hear from some headphones (also some high end audio gear).
     
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  6. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    I will say my pads are fairly worn and I have to wear them nearly fully extended.
     
  7. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I'll add my two cents from the loaner tour. I signed up because I've preferred the HD600 over the HD650 and HD650M (never tried KISS) until I got my Ragnarok. On the Ragnarok, the HD600 feels more brittle and the peak in the mids is more annoying than it was for me on Valhalla 2 or Torpedo 3. I figure it's due to the lack of a midbass bump given the very low output impedance of Ragnarok. Listening done on Yggdrasil Analog 2 --> Mogami 2534 --> Ragnarok 1.5 --> Mogami 2534 XLR cable --> JAR HD650.

    • Initial impressions were that the JAR HD650 was slow, but that's probably because I've been using Utopia much more than HD600 since the amp switch.
    • Still also felt a little reticent in the treble.
    • I started out around 70 dB as measured on my Decibel iPhone app. The JAR HD650 didn't really open up until 75 dB+.
    • After my brain reset, I really enjoyed these headphones. I much prefer them to my recollection of the HD650M. HD650M in comparison (again, from memory) was boomier and much more annoying to listen to. The JAR mod better controls the bass, and I think maintaining some rear damping helps a lot in that respect vs. the HD650M.
    • The JAR HD650 are a much better match for the Ragnarok than the HD600, though I think this impression would hold true for any HD650 variant. The flatter mids really made a big difference in coherence for me, and they did not sound brittle.
    My takeaways are:
    • I'd like to hear the JAR HD600 to compare directly to HD600. Wish I could have compared JAR HD650 to JAR HD600, but oh well.
    • The timbre and coherence of the HD650 really is something else, especially on a solid state amp. I had forgotten about that quality.
    • I'd probably be fine with HD6XX or potentially a JAR headphone given how little I use headphones anymore, and selling the Utopia to put toward better speakers.
    Thanks again for the opportunity to participate in the loaner.
     
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  8. ext1

    ext1 MOT: JAR650

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    Thanks @zonto for the impressions! Taking everyone's feedback and experiences account and especially @Hands 's I decided I should look into creating a new part where people can swap their foams in and out as an attachment to the way the headphone cup is now. I think a lot of the listening experience varies due to the foam, so I'd like to explore this option.
     
  9. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Thank your for the tour. I've been wanting to directly compare a modded HD650 to a stock one for a long time.

    I've been listening to the loaner set for a while now and comparing them to a stock HD6xx, both with stock HD650 cables. I used the Mainline and an ADI-2 f2 DAC.

    First, the Jupiter feels louder at the same volume, so that might affect my analysis. The bass is definitely more pronounced with the Jupiter. This is better with normal bass level tracks, but can be a bit overwhelming with bass heavy tracks.

    The sound with the Jupiter is fuller than the 6xx, but still retains detail. Obviously a matter of taste, I feel the bass can be a bit overdone on the Jupiter. There is some bleed or mush, or possibly the underlying headphone just isn't fast enough for these level of boost. More likely, I'm just not used to this much bass relative to the other frequencies. Maybe I'm just spoiled with my other headphones and how fast they are.

    The Jupiters are more engaging and emotional then the HD6xx, but (to my ears) not as accurate as the HD6xx. Stage on the Jupiters is wonderful. Somehow the stage with the Jupiters sounds fuller, wider, and deeper.

    It's all a matter of preference, but at lower volumes, what I would normally listen to for background listening while doing other things, I prefer the Jupiters. If I want o to turn it up a bit, sit back, and focus not he music, I prefer the HD6xx. But to be truthful, I prefer any of my other headphones to either, but all the other ones are way more expensive.

    I'm gonna do more listening now.
     
  10. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    The intro to “Lose yourself to dance” is pretty good at testing bass quality. Listen closely to the texture and if you can hear each individual strum and stop. The HD6XX may seem faster initially but is likely due to overall having less bass. Of course, setups (high OI) and listening levels may sway this, as can slight product or pad variation. The Senns are not totally immune to the usual variables of audiophoolery.

    That said, they are definitely bassier. Less rear damping = more bass, though the front cutout mostly dials this back in. Most 650 mods do this to some degree and are absolutely dependent on taste.

    You could, in theory, put more foam in the rear magnet port to dial this down while retaining the benefits of the massive amounts of enclosure damping.
     
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  11. ext1

    ext1 MOT: JAR650

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    I wanted to share an update that will be effective for all units going forward. I was able to finalize the additional attachment piece I was talking about.
    [​IMG]
    You can see the top left piece is the bare piece. It goes with the foam on the left to it, which is stock Senn foam (the same found in the 'spider cage').

    The foam fits perfectly without any physical compression to the piece as shown on the top right. One of the comments of @Hands was that when I sandwiched the foam inbetween the part and driver the sound slightly changed, and so I wanted to remedy that. I feel that that's happening because when the foam is compressed, the structure becomes more dense and acts less like a foam. Anyway now, foam is sitting on top of the drivers with no compression. I definitely can hear the sonic benefits of this new change.

    Another motivation to do this was that the HD600 version should also have foam on top of the driver, so now with this I am happy to say that the HD600 version should be pretty much finalized.

    And finally I liked the idea that people will now be able to take the part out non-destructively and put whichever filter they would like, especially since most of the impression comments seemed like a simple foam amount change could turn things for the better. MOAR foam or zero foam, go wild! Definitely better that there is more power to the people. Because by default these won't have foam on now, people won't have to figure out how to remove the foam I had inserted in previously. And if you want some foam or filtering, just add on top!

    It was surprisingly hard to find good adhesive that will stick and readhere to the nylon coated plastic surface, but 3M VHB tape did the trick. These are 1.2mm thick each. I have cut out the cavity at 2.0mm, and so I use two pieces of adhesive on each side. You can see the part assembled at the lower left. On the lower right you can see that's how the tape actually looks without the protective film on it.

    Here's now how it stands:
    [​IMG]
    The new addition doesn't look too bad!

    So now I'll finally able to move the HD600 loaner program forward and start shipping out units.

    Thank you for your patience!
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Very quick subjective impressions. Don't know which version I have. The foam section is not interchangeable. Also, most of the inside foam is removed. Like dollar coin mod instead of quarter or nickel mod. A lot of the internal baffle is exposed around the driver area.

    Pluses are a more solid sound, more solid transients, more lively. However, I wouldn't say any more plankton than the KISS or M mods.

    ^ This. Bass is too much, more my tastes, exacerbated by the fact that the HD6XX/50 does't really have very good bass to begin with. Highs seems slightly more evident. I'm not sure I like the that much foam cut away. Just a personal preference. Overall sound seems slightly disjointed between lows and highs. Kind of a U-shape with more bass emphasis and just a tiny high emphasis.

    Beyond tonal response, which we all know can be tweaked, I was hoping for substantial leap in technicalities. There is improvement, but putting lipstick on a pig can only get us so far.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  13. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Wondering how distortion characteristics and CSDs differ from KISS mod, since iirc only comparisons so far have been to stock HD650/6XX?

    Also curious about impulse response and square wave performance. Guessing impulse is much tidied up with 30Hz neater than on stock? Bassier but cleaner sounds like an all around improvement over KISS given my recent preferences, haha. Meant to ask @Hands much earlier but does all that dampening collapse the already-narrow stage on the Sennheisers, not that I guess many people care for staging on them?
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Green = HAR HD650
    Yellow = Stock HD650
    upload_2019-5-19_15-46-4.png
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    HD650 stock Harmonic Distortions Rch and Lch
    upload_2019-5-19_15-52-8.png
    upload_2019-5-19_15-57-24.png


    JAR HD650 Mod Harmonic Distortions L
    upload_2019-5-19_15-51-32.png
     
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  16. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Front foam cutout should be about the exact size of the driver as a whole, and centered over it as such. Outer perimeter of driver being covered with the silver baffle and all.

    A smaller cutout further boosts the midbass hump, which is really just too much. You can try it, and you'll see what I mean. :)

    Still, the version you have I'd say is more tailored to someone that would mod the HD650 and remove all rear foam. It's more akin to that. Not for everyone.

    I think the change to a removable/adhesive rear piece to hold the foam, vs sandwiching it in with the large damping piece, is a good move. In theory, this will allow full contact between the large damping piece + silicone and the magnet, whereas the version you have has foam sandwiched in there.

    It should also allow one to experiment with different types of damping foam. I assume by default there will be one foam disk in there, but you may be able to squeeze in more. Front can be adjusted as to tastes as well.

    On what you have currently, you could try cutting out a little circle of foam and putting it in that rear port to supplement the foam that's already in there, dial down bass, etc.

    But, really, I think the benefit will boil down to getting that magnet fully damped with the silicone and all that.

    You are right, though, that there are inherent limitation's to the bass performance. I think this new version will offer up additional tightness, but the HD650 is still an HD650. It's more about exerting as much control as possible over everything else.

    The HD600 version I think you will enjoy. It strikes a happy medium between the stock HD600 and HD650.
     
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The front foam cutout on the unit I have is huge and exposes a good portion of the silver screen / baffle. I don't know if it was streched over time. I think you know where I'm coming from. I dislike the sound of the bare screen exposed. We don't see anything in measurements, but the treble timbre ends up kind of wierd. Let me locate some spare front foam.

    The HD600 version sounds interesting.
     
  18. ext1

    ext1 MOT: JAR650

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    Thank you for the feedback @purr1n - it's really appreciated! My thoughts mostly mirror @Hands 's - he has put it much more eloquently than I am capable of doing.

    I'm sorry that the pair you have isn't the one with the newest detachable foam - it was only a very recent change and that pair is actually from late last year. I personally have found that putting the foam outside instead of it being sandwiched has made a difference (albeit perhaps small).

    You are absolutely right about the foam - the foam has a tendency to stretch outwards indeed. You can see it in the below picture, the foam on the far left is deformed (most noticeably towards each side). It gets progressively more deformed over time.
    [​IMG]
    The intended area of coverage was the red circle:
    [​IMG]
    @Hands 's and I tried the blue circle threshold, and concluded it's not for the best and so we had decided on the red.
    [​IMG]
    This is sorta the idea, where in this picture the blue area represents the foam. Except there isn't be any foam on the inner area of the red circle. This is just a picture from brainstorming before.

    On the 600, we decided that it shouldn't be cut at all and we're only using a full foam.

    The 600 version is a odd one, after I made that one I haven't put the 650 version on my head for pleasure listening at all, only for unit testing. I had no clue I'd like it so much, honestly. But still, there are people who definitely prefer the 650 version over the 600, so, I know that it's not the ultimate mega version or anything. Curious to think what the community will think of it!

    Thank you as always for the feedback, I really appreciate it as it's a very valuable learning experience for me. It gives me new ideas and directions to try to explore!
     
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  19. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

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    Some notes from the HD 650 JAR mod loaner tour:

    - The JAR sounds more like the 650, and kiss mod sounds more like 600.
    - JAR is quite a bit heavier than 6xx kiss mod.
    - Pads play a huge role in the 650 family. In comparison, my 6xx with aging pads sound more closed in and brighter.
    - The U-shaped plastic on the outside of the lower earcup seems to make a difference. The JAR doesn't have it. And I removed it from my 6xx.
    Link to a picture in case anyone is wondering: https://bit.ly/2XtDYvy

    - JAR sounds more controlled than kiss mod, fine details are easier to spot.
    - Mid bass is elevated and can take some time to adjust to. Not particularly enjoyable feeding by the Lyr 3, might be better with an amp that has better bass control.
    - Overall I like the JAR mod. It inspired me to fine tune my 6xx kiss mod and make it sound more like stock 650. Pretty interested in hearing the 600 with JAR mod.
     
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  20. k4rstar

    k4rstar On a journey... somewhere

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    I purchased a pair of JAR 650s (650 JAR?) earlier this year and I've had them for a few months now. I am a HD650 fanboy and worship at the Church of the Dynamic every Sunday. However, I never actually bothered to apply any of the mods discussed on this forum to my own pair as I was concerned about trade-offs and in general I am lazy.

    I actually bought a brand new pair of HD650s from Amazon at the same time, planning to compare them with the JAR with my new amp and keep the victor. Months passed and the comparison never happened, mostly because in general I am lazy and I was enjoying the JAR mod so why bother? Besides, I really never was a fan of A/B comparing gear, it's really a pain in the butt. By the time you swap cables, inputs, fit on a new set of headphones or whatever else you have to do, the auditory memory gets fuzzy and you start doubting the differences you think you hear. At least that's how it is for me. I prefer to live with something long term, swap something else in when opportune and then go with my gut feeling.

    Tonight I pulled the stock pair out of their box and switched over to them after I had already spent several hours with the JAR. Side note: there's just something about unboxing a pair of 650 or 600s that I love, they have that new car smell. The pads on both units were minty fresh. My setup is a custom 45 SET amp and an AD1865 NOS DAC. Neither component is really warm or even warmish, by my anti-warmbutt standards.

    After listening to two tracks off the same album I had just finished with the JARs my gut feeling was that I preferred the JAR mod and I went back to it. The only thing I enjoyed more about the stock HD650s was slightly lower bass levels. The HD650 bass, when boosted in a damped/controlled fashion, gets this unnatural hardness to it that is unnerving and annoying. It's slight but noticeable and my only nitpick with the JAR mod.

    Other than that, the JAR mod is more dynamic, with better transients, less fuzzy, less strained during complex musical passages, and ever so slightly brighter (which I prefer). I'm happy with it! There's the gut feeling review. I can't really say much more than that, without sounding like I'm making shit up. I look forward to trying the HD600 version of the mod as well.
     

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