Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, May 27, 2017.
Odd, ain't it?
Susvara vs HEKV2 = Susvara having more depth and dimension with greater neutrality & realism making the HEKV2 sound colored, by comparison.
Susvara vs LCD-4=I dunno...
Susvara vs Utopia= Susvara larger, deeper and less forward with better trebles and bass over the smaller closer sounding Utopia. Susvara realism is slightly above the Utopia as well by a detectable margin.
Susvara vs Abyss Phi= on par in realism. Loses out to Phi in bass overall, and in mid-range involvement.
The Phi is able to more easily discern or pick out micro detailing in mid-range area by a slight amount.
while Susvara have an edge over the Phi in treble emphasis, and soundstage placement is about 8feet further away,
The Susvara presentation is also more relaxed over the Phi, which has a more immersive and taller sound over Susvara.
The Abyss Phi and Susvara are both in same Sonic league,
and Phi also eclipse the Susvara on a few points mentioned, plus it is way more efficient .
Those that have a Susvara owe it t to themselves to check out the Abyss Phi to see if they like it.
Remember the Susvara still has the edge on soundstage, which may or may not be important depending on your gear...
I have the Phi and love it....I have heard the HE1000v2 which I think is excellent....the potential problem to me with the Susvara is the need for power beyond what is necessary for the likes of LCD-4,Phi,HE1000v2 and Utopia....
Hifiman, why you do this... I don't have the cash to throw at this. This can is more expensive than a serious audio room with serious speakers. Or a car.
I blame chinese new rich 0.001% for this.
(Posting this because HE6 finally gave up. They started to sound slightly distorted for some reason not related to cable or junk on membrane or net.)
Have you checked the connectors between the cable and driver? When I had my HE-6, those connectors tended to get loose due to the metal on metal design and I formed the habit of tighting them each time I put on the phones.
Yes I have checked connectors, d'oh. As I said, drivers started to develop some sort of distortion. Sounds like harmonic distortion, maybe membrane loosened up or something. Probably not fixable.
Remember the thing is modded to hell and back, only the drivers are HE6, and it is a few years old. Interesting fact is that older HE500 modded are holding. Perhaps... the gold-coated trace is partially delaminating due to air moisture?
EDIT: Could be tensioning failure too though I don't hear any telltale FR changes.
Naah, it ain't this pricey, trust me
Yup, that says it all, thanks. Nice input.
On a side note, I'm quite hppy that people agree about what Susvara is sound wise, what it represents.
@Marvey How does the Susvara respond to EQ? Particularly when compared to a modded HD800?
You mention the Susvara has great articulation and nimbleness in the bass octave, but does it have the slam and power as well? Does it reach Abyss levels of power? Dual 15" woofer levels of power?
The Abyss is still king of slam and rumble. Even the HE-6 slams harder than the SUSVARA, but SUSVARA has more slam and heft than HEK and HEX. It does seem that HFM has made a conscious decision to move toward to the thinner diaphrams to approach electrostatic like transient response. Like woofers, it's a function of mass / force. Woofers that sound faster (necessary for planars or fast wide-bander drivers) tend not to have as much heft or slam. It's all about tradeoffs.
I went to my local headphone shop this morning and gave the Hifiman Susvara a try. I thought I would share some impressions of my Audition as they are a pretty interesting headphone.
Lets get this out of the way first. These headphones cost $6000USD, or here in Canada, $8000CAD. Its insane. I’m never going to own these headphones, but I thought I would give them a listen anyhow.
Gear Used: DAC: Aune S6
Amp: iFi Pro iCAN (in SS mode)
Hifiman Susvara, AB-1266 Phi
First thing I took a look at was the build quality, as this is something to take note of given the Susvara is a Hifiman product. The build quality is good, but not great. It is better than the HE1000V1, and about on par with the HE1000V2, maybe a tiny bit better. The gimbals are tight and the cups don’t flap around like they did with the HE1000V1. Its like they are missing that last 5% of build quality and materials that would really make them an $8000 headphone. Its a shame, as they could really be elevated to that “next level” which is something I would expect at the asking price. The cables suck, and I would definitely replace them if I bought a pair of Susvara. They are just kind of, cheap and nasty feeling?
The weight is totally ok, and they are a VERY comfortable headphone. Definitely one of the more comfortable flagship headphones available currently. It beats out my LCD-4 and Abyss Phi handily. I think they look great, though maybe a bit uninventive as it is basically just a rounder HE1000.
Lets talk about how they sound. In a word. Great! $8000CAD great? No, but still my second favourite headphone I have heard. I prefer the Abyss Phi.
The best way I can describe these is that they are like an HE1000 on steroids with a bit more punch and a more forward nature. This might not make sense, but think of it like If the HE1000 is slumped over in a chair, the Susvara is sitting up straight.
The bass isn’t as hard hitting as the Abyss Phi, but it is very present and detailed. Maybe a tiny bit more bass than the HE1000, but less than the Abyss Phi. Listening to fast complicated bass passages in electronica came across very well and didn’t get all muddled up. It has good clarity, no complaints here.
The mids are less warm than say an Audeze LCD-3, and about on par with the LCD-4. Not overly warm, but the Susvara don’t sound cold and clinical. I didn’t really notice any super hard core spikes or dips that bothered me.
The treble was a bit more laid back than the Abyss Phi. I found the Phi to have better clarity and definition in this area. The Susvara was better than the LCD-4 in terms of treble according to my preferences, but I think it would really depend on the type of sound you enjoy. You can definitely pick out all the little details and there are no hardcore spikes drilling into your ears.
Soundstage and imaging are very, very good. Is the soundstage as big as the HD800 and Abyss Phi? No, but it is open sounding, and very deep. It is bigger sounding than the LCD-4. Very precise sounding in terms of where instruments are.
All in all, these are kick ass headphones that could be a little bit better in the materials and build quality department, and a WHOLE lot less in the price department. If these headphones were $3000CAD I would have walked out of the shop with a pair. As it stands, they just aren’t good enough to make me go “$8K is worth it.”
Headphones prices today are ridiculous. And nice Susvara description, quite accurate.
I recently ported my HEKv2 and it improved the SQ considerably. Very happy with this headphone now - still over priced @ 3000 USD, but the SQ is indeed excellent. I have read feedback from folks that have heard all 3 - ported HEKv2, Susvara, Abyss Phi. The ported HEKv2 doesn't reach the lofty levels of the other 2 headphones, but it gets close at around half the price.
What’s this port mod you speak of?
Feilian is the 'semi-official' HEKv2 port mod. Details are here on SBAF - search for "feilian" and you will find the details.
I am far too lazy (and skeptical) to do the fancy feilian port mod - I used 2 short lengths of thin rubber washer to create a small air gap for each cup. That's all that is required to relieve the backpressure on the driver - "because physics". YMMV.
The point is that it raises the performance of the HEKv2 significantly - much, much more than I was expecting.
Thanks for validating my discovery,
and although you didn't do the Feilian mod as laid out, just post in that thread your observations anyways,
because the mod is very substantial,yet no one tried it yet.
There are tiny drawbacks of porting at the pad level.
One is distance of port to driver,
and two, is distance you increase of ear away from driver.
Yet those are small variables and I am glad you tried it because I sold my unit to get a Susvara, and then the Abyss Phi thru a curve at me to re-evaluate what I really like to have.
The port openings are so tiny with my mod implementation that I can't see either of those being an issue. Biggest issue I can think of is the fragile nature of the headphone components. I was concerned that I would break something - that would have been a bit of a disaster.
Yep no problem.
The only things that can be bad:
is touching the driver membrane,
And the wire to socket disconnect (so you would need to re-solder).
Anyways your welcome to post in that mod thread as a safer solution if you like.
More the retaining strip mechanical strength has me concerned. Flexing it to insert the washer material, after loosening the screws, made me nervous. The material had a brittle feel to it and I could imagine it snapping quite easily.
Don't want to side track this Susvara thread with HEKV2 details.
But the plastic on both HEKV1 & V2 felt same to me.
Very light and strong,
yet molded with sharp edge all around to be flush with the wood.
So I can understand why it also felt brittle.
Anyways from my experience it is not brittle and in fact does flex nicely.
Regardless, as long as you noted the positive effects that's what counts.
When I compared the mod againt the Susvara,
I would say it reached one third the way closer to Susvara level.
Susvara remains a great top headphone,
and its just too bad it is not placed at a competitive price level to other top models,
So more people can hear and compare.
It still remained a bit laid back compared to the more energetic Abyss Phi and also the Utopia.
Here is a quick analogy:
The Utopia is like the smaller gifted "teenager" that is a genius but lack the size and stature of his parents, the Abyss Phi & Susvara presentation.
The HD800 seems like the older bigger brother that's skinny.
With the right amp he can boast like his father but just doesn't have the weight.
The Susvara is the mom (delicate & a touch laid back). She can still wip her sons asses if she coaxed.
The Abyss Phi is the Man of the house who wears the pants.
Powerful large majestic detailed sound.
Anyways that's how I see it,
Very subjective so your impressions will vary..
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