It’s been a while since I sent my JH-3A back to JHA for the second time. I wasn’t looking forward to writing this unfortunate update, but figured I should in order to keep current.
Given the loudness of the hiss the first time, the continued issues of other folks on the forum, and the speed with which JHA turned around on my amp had me somewhat pessimistic about what was headed back to me when I got the second shipment notification indicating the amp was on the way for round 2. I wasn’t sure if a firmware change could truly solve the noise floor problem. After fully charging it, flipping it on, and inserting the earphones, I heard almost the exact same somewhat headache-inducing buzz as the first time. I think it was a little reduced, but it was still loud enough to hear with even loud music if the specific frequencies were not adequately masked. The gain setting was still much too high.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. A couple folks on the forum report NO hiss at all! Had it not been for this testimonial, I might not have thought it possible with the hardware design.
On another note, when JHA reduced the gain enough that the noise cannot be heard, they found that a PCB (circuit board) change was needed in order to
gain-match the analog level to the digital one. Someone pointed out that they’re not technically matching gain, but tweaking the analog one so they’re both “usable”. So, here’s hoping we’ll see a finished JH-3A in fewer weeks rather than more.
Edit: I just wanted to add to this pretty negative post that I still have every reason to believe that this product will ultimately be extremely satisfying. I can’t wait to enjoy the full effect of the 3A and share my experiences.