Poor Man's FD01 (HSE A2000 modded)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by james444, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Somehow, my set made it to me from Japan before my micropore tape got to me here in the US. I will say that Amazon.jp packaging is so much nicer than the US.

    Out of the box, I see how these might have potential, though they are nearly unlistenable as they are. I like the big bass. It could definitely use some attenuation, but the thump that I am missing with my borrowed Orions is definitely here. Super sibilant and tilted up. I know I am sensitive to treble, but I don't see how these would be pleasant or preferred for many people who don't have hearing problems. I can't tell yet if there is more detail or if the treble spotlight is simply tricking me.

    I swapped over to some cheap Aliexpress foam tips and the fit is very nice. The Orions were ok as long I kept them at a certain angle, but these are nice and tiny, held comfortably and securely by the foam. I do worry about the durability of the stock cable, but these don't look like they will be a good candidate for mounting a socket for a removable cable due to how small they are. Just have to be careful with them.

    At any rate for less than $30 these were worth a shot. Will update after mods. Thanks for bringing these to the community's attention. Definitely better than the Massdrop RE-0's that were about the same price.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Ok, so when I was going to the bathroom, I realized that I had an old first aid kit that I forgot about. Lo and behold, micropore tape! Wow! It really changed the top end. Not just bearable now, but sounding very good. I think because I am using non-stock foam tips I will have to play more with the bass tube, as I am still getting some seriously robust bass, not that I mind too much.

    I am super impressed. I will need to spend a little more time with them, but these are really, really good for the price and a little work. I already like them more than my Shure SE215, which has survived for darn near 6 years now. These don't dig as deep into the music as the Orions, but the FR and comfort are superior for me. I think they are good enough to keep me happy for a while.
     
  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    ^This! As one would expect from Japan, but it's interesting how much they upgraded to meet the expectations of the domestic market. One pull to open the outer package and the inner wrapping glued down to prevent it from slamming around inside the box. Impressive.

    Jamazon1.jpg Jamazon2.jpg Jamazon3.jpg

    I went down to the local store and heard the Rich Man's FD, and I can hear the family resemblance. This tuning isn't for me though, as I find the mids too thin sounding overall, even with the treble tamed and bass reduced. Will post FD01 impressions in that thread.
     
  4. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    My reference is a mostly modded (front foam intact) HD650 out of my Pass WHAMMY and I am not getting noticeable thinness in the mids. I am definitely not in the habit of critically listening to my gear, so I could be missing something, but nothing jumps out at me. I do wonder since this is very much a budget iem that there isn't some manufacturing variability or even micropore tape variability - I had to actually use two holes for my right ear to equalize the midrange and treble coming through.
     
  5. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    I've tried two different brands of micropore tape for similar mods - Curad and 3M. I notice some acoustic difference between them, especially in the treble region.

    The Curad tape is thinner and easier to tear, and seemed more porous when I held it up to the light.

    I just started messing with this PMFD01 mod, and I definitely prefer the slightly thicker 3M tape for it, sounds less immediately shrill than the Curad. Not to mention that 3M tape is what james444 is using/rec'd for the mod? I'm still trying to dial in the bass mod to approach what I'm hearing on the FD01, and I'll report back then.
     
  6. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Interesting, I am currently using some Johnson and Johnson branded tape with some 3M supposed to arrive this evening. Will play around with it.
     
  7. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Oh good lord no, let's not start a micropore rolling fad, I beg you.
     
  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    :D

    Actually if @fraggler 's J&J tape is like mine, it would explain the differences between his and @gixxerwimp 's post-mod observations. The J&J I have is thick, stretchy, closes up after a while when holes are poked in it, and has a greater effect on the treble than Transpore or the 3M Micropore.

    Will likely try all 3 on my pair whenever they arrive - which might be tomorrow, if today's mailbox note from Canada Post is for them and not for the tube I ordered from Belgium in August...
     
  9. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    LOL, this isn't at all like op-amp rolling, the differences between paper / fabric filters are easily measurable.
     
  10. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    I side with @fraggler on the bass: it is punchy and stays focused into the sub-bass. But after part 1 of the mod (micropore), the bass appeared to be a bit strong for me (I may have had a bad minute).

    On the other hand, @Taverius, it is important to characterize the acoustic properties of the different tapes used. Especially Transpore is tricky as it can easily suck out too much life of an earphone.
     
  11. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Heh. As Brause says (and I know Spoony knows) sometimes the effect is way greater than measurements would suggest. The thick J&J tape can really kill dynamics & speed, but that doesn't show up on a frequency sweep. But we're in danger of straying from the topic...
     
  12. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    I completed the mod as described. I used 3 M mp tape and poked a single small hole. The vented bass is now great and even the treble appears tamed (the high piano notes from 1:50 in Diana Krall's "Boy from Ipanema" are just fine). But, overall, the sound is bright and harsh at slightly higher volumes, which is most evident when going from classical to rock... add rhythm guitars and the midrange can quickly get congested and shouty. Having removed bass enhances this.

    I wonder whether my ears have become overly sensitive with age...or it is the quality of the driver. It appears that harshness is the price for clarity.
     
  13. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Lol. Now I don't want to even bother trying the 3M tape that I have. While I may have choked off some of what make these special, the denser Johnson and Johnson tape has gotten me a very nice frequency response. I am normally quite sensitive to treble harshness and sibilance, but I don't have a problem with these thus far. A little thinner and more energetic than the HD650s but not deal breaking.

    Edit: Ok, looks like the JnJ tape has indeed closed back up and the air and treble are muffled a bit. So, it tames the harshness well, but I may need to poke new holes each time... :confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  14. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    From my experience, that shouldn't be the case. Sound signature is forward and analytical like the FD01, that's for sure. These ain't no HD650 in IEM form. But treble on the two pairs I modded so far has been smooth and free of sibilance. Distortion in the treble range measures even a tad better than for the FD01.

    Could be your fit / tips, could be product variation. I have another pair (still unopened) that I'm going to measure soon.

    Edit: Variation between the 3 units I bought so far is actually quite small (stock tuning, DF-compensated):

    [​IMG]


    And for those who prefer RAW measurements, here's a comparison of the modded A2000 DF (green) vs. RAW (red):

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  15. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    It is likely the 3 kHz peak I am sensitive to. Same with the modded Blitzwolf ES1.
     
  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Completed the mods as specified, and these are sounding pretty good to me now. I'm with @Brause on the 3-4k peak remaining a bit high (for me, for some material), but I was surprised to hear and see it coming down so much after taping; usually this is a tough area to drop with front-filtering without blunting everything to hell.

    Timbre through the entire range seems nicer to me than the Blitzwolves; not so dry through the mids and more realistic in the treble. If I've done it right, this is an interesting insight for me into the sound of the JVCs (being far too much of a cheapskate to try the real thing).

    [​IMG]

    I had some trouble trying to match the channels through the low to mid treble. I suspect the 3M Micropore has a bit more lateral permeability variation than the J&J version or the Transpore, and/or that these particular IEMs are for some reason more sensitive to it than others. Might try another to see if I can even it up some more for appearances sake, but I don't notice a significant difference while listening now. Note also my coupler exaggerates bass by I think around 5 dB, so they're not as high as they look through there.

    @james444 , please do include raw versions when you post measurements. Different couplers aside I find them easier to compare to my own measurements as well as raw ones from IEC units (and I have a hard time understanding why a DF target is a good idea for IEMs anyway...).

    I also have to say my admiration for the way you can hear through tonality to find potentially good modding candidates is only increased by this example. On hearing these stock, my first inclination was to get them as far away from my ears as possible (I don't mind a bit of bass, but these just hurt!). Thanks for your willingness to experiment!
     
  17. Brause

    Brause Friend

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    OK, I redid the mod, with the following differences:
    1. I poked with a thinner wire (the initial holes may be have been too big)
    2. I made smaller air vents (6 windings, later 8 windings)

    Effect: no/less piercing (depending on volume), midrange fuller but a bit veiled (6 windings), bass was ok with 8 windings. Timbre is quite natural, bass lost some speed. But now the overall tonality is decent with a healthy depth.

    Will have difficulties measuring the result as I wear large eartips too big for my coupler. May have to use a sine wave.

    Thanks @james444, not only for this mod but also for the general learning experience.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  18. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Yup, will do to make things easier for people who want to compare to their own raw measurements. Thing is, you can't just switch compensation between DF and raw in REW, you have to change the calibration file and take a second measurement.

    I'll stick to DF-compensation as default for my measurements though, because
    • that's how my other IEMs have been measured and that's what I'm used to.
    • in these graphs, DF-neutral is a horizontal line and correlates very well with my personal idea of neutral (give or take a few dBs in bass, depending on driver type. And maybe a few dBs around 3kHz for shallow fitting IEMs).
    • descriptive terms like "v-shaped" or "n-shaped" correlate better with the graph shape.
    • DF-neutral also correlates with most studio monitors / headphones used for mixing / mastering.
    Thanks, but in that particular case it was pure luck rather than anything else. ;)

    I ordered these based on a very positive review and was similarly dismayed at first listen. However, a steady rise from lower mids to sub-bass makes usually a good candidate for front-vent modding, so I actually didn't mind the stock bass. A mid-bass hump is far worse and sometimes impossible to get rid of, without losing everything below 60Hz or so.
     
  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    No need to repeat each measurement. Hit the 'Change Cal' button under it's summary on the left-hand panel, and you can change Mic/Meter and/or Soundcard calibration, whichever one is being used for the compensation file, as desired.

    But I should learn to translate the EARS-DF compensation into 'my' language anyway, because the EARS is becoming widely used and most users on other forums seem to present their measurements using its DF compensation too.
     
  20. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Awesome, thanks for the tip!
     

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