Elex and Eclair discussion thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Vtory, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    I listen to Elear w/ Clear pads daily at work when auditioning various sources and amps we have for sale. It's become a reference for me and definitely deserves a love thread.

    Focal should keep it as a main part of their line and drop the stock elear.

    Elex is my favorite in the line. If a love thread is started, I will be happy to contribute and write up some detailed thoughts and comparions.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Only if focal sells their clear pads with "reasonable" prices. Their pricing policy for replacement parts is too foolish.. and very annoying.

    Yes, I regret to miss the opportunity to buy extra elex pads through MD.... Oh well.

    After heavily using elex for more than half an year, I maintain that the two best amps (among I heard) for elex were Lyr3 and BW2 (Each of these have different synergy with elex, but very lovely combination overall.)

    DAC might matter, but BW2 nearly equalized dac effects (positively) to me.
     
  3. gLer

    gLer Rando

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    I’m sure they’ll drop again, at least I hope so! I think after the positive reviews from Elear owners and their ‘reborn’ headphones the next batch will sell like hot cakes!
     
  4. chrolls

    chrolls Rando

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    Yeah, thinking of upgrading from my HE4XX's to some Elears with Elex pads, assuming they do drop again, of course. You can get a like new Elear off eBay right now for around $500. Throw in the 20% off sitewide sale eBay has every holiday season and a pair of Elex pads, and you're looking at what amounts to an Elex for $450 or so, over a third off the already reduced Massdrop price of a $700 Elex. Not bad at all.

    Just a quick note though, would the colors of the Elex pads clash with the all black gloriousness of the Elears? On one hand that may seem petty and ocd, but at the same time you're paying hundreds of dollars for the thing! May as well get what you want for that price, right?
     
  5. gLer

    gLer Rando

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    It’s actually the Elex that is all-Black. The Elear is two-time black and Aluminium, and is to me the better looking of the two. In fact I think the Elear is one of the best looking headphones ever made - sleek, modern and stylish. The only thing it lacks is a suspension strap for comfort, but I made one and missed it onto my Elear so it looks like it was made for the Elear. I think I’m more OCD than you, and the Elex pads look made for the Elear.
     
  6. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Acquaintance

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    Goddammit.. you were right. I hooked the Elex to a damn Macbook Air and yeah.. it sounds much better, now its actually enjoyable..that thin/metalic sound is mostly gone. Who would have guessed ? Time to invest in dac/amp.
     
  7. RedLipstick

    RedLipstick Acquaintance

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    I just came from the dealer where I had the pleasure to hear the Elex directly from an Holo Audio Cyan Dac/amp.
    The smoothness of the sound blew my mind.. the sound was so clear and at the same time smooth.. totally addictive.

    This has made me into a DAC believer and now I will purchase a DAC first.. I was tempted to just purchase the Cyan on the spot but I came back to my senses and decided to investigate first.

    Those who heard the most famous dacs on the 1k value aka: Cyan/Gungnir Multibit A2/RME ADI-2 DAC which one you think would be the better purchase ?

    I'm more about musicality and smoothness of the sound than crazy detail, but if is possible to have both..why not.
     
  8. gLer

    gLer Rando

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    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the Audio-gd R-28. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical. Don’t believe everything you read in these parts about Audio-gd.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    I won't comment on R-28. I have not heard it.

    Not all A-GD audio gear we heard was shit. The NFB-28 was regarded as a worthy if not superior competitor to Jotunheim. The Master 7, my main DAC for quite a while, lost its place because so many tweaks were required to get the best out of it. Another R2R variant of the Master 7 around that era was also considered pretty good. The issue with the big chassis A-GD DACs was price creep over time, eventually making them non-competitive.

    Now, have you actually heard the S19, and NFB-1, or the Master 1 preamp? These were the ones that were critically panned. These were highly recommended by "people". Perhaps we were unlucky.

    Ultimately, what can you tell me about R-28 over other similar priced setups? What did the R-28 do better than them? What is worse Why do you recommend the ChiFi R-28 over the ChiFi Holo Cyan? Please elaborate. I do want to know. Unless you have direct experience with both AIOs, you have no basis to recommend one over another.

    Your one paragraph assessment in the last post doesn't work because "Audio-gd R-28" can simply be replaced with almost anything - and the reading still makes sense. This is a sign of either poor writing skills or inexperience with gear. Allow me to illustrate what I mean:

    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the Questyle CMA-800. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical.

    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the Liquid Spark. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical.

    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the Lyr 3. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical.

    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the Macbook outs. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical.

    If you want smoothness and detail combined with an exceptional amp for less than the cost of the Cyan, consider the orifice of my butthole. I use mine with the Elex and the sound is, like you describe, exceptional. Highly detailed and dynamic yet non-fatoguining, smooth and musical.

    You have to do better because people do not know your preferences and your experiences. This means offering reference points and comparisons to gear near the same price points, or above and below. You cannot simply say, my "Audio-GD is awesome. Buy it. Don't believe people here when they say Audio-GD is bad". Despite our biases, and a "prove it to us" stance, we have always been open to eating our words when we are wrong.

    I'd retort don't believe everything you read about Audio-GD from Audio-GD fanboys, especially the ones who keep repeating how their NFB-xx or R2R-xx or Masturbator-xx is "bettar" every five posts where established members happen to recommend gear that is not Audio-GD. Make your point and move on if you have nothing more to offer other than "it's bettar".
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  10. chrolls

    chrolls Rando

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    Yeah, after reading your reply I decided to take a closer look at the Elex pads, and I would agree they are in fact black. In the publicity photos of the actual Elex I thought they looked sorta dark grey. Was paranoid they had performed a color swap a la midnight blue for black as seen in the he4xx's and hd6xx's. Suffice it to say, my ocd need for cosmetic synergy is saved :)! Thx for the reply!
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    When I look closer at the little hairs on my face, a month after my regimen of massively high dosages of antifungal and antibacterial meds, I realized that those hairs are not black or dark brown, but rather salt and pepper and red. Holy shit. I realized I might not be pure ethnically Han Chinese as my dad so proudly claims our family's heritage. I may actually have colonizer blood in my veins!

    New member registrations are now closed.
     
  12. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Either that or you got bleached from the inside out.
     
  13. julie

    julie Friend

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    Oh, who the fuck cares?

    You are a fuckhead.
     
  14. gLer

    gLer Rando

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    This is all fair comment. I can see how what I wrote comes across as flippant and underdeveloped. In my head I had all the reasons for my recommendation but it doesn’t help not to communicate them properly.

    Please allow me to rephrase and expand on my original reply.

    I considered both the R-28 and Cyan before upgrading from my previous all-in-one (an Audio-gd R2R-11, but it could have been any entry level AIO). I was looking for more transparency and resolution from both the amp and the dac, while keeping with the R2R and NOS sound that I’ve come to favour over delta-sigma designs because to me they sound more analogue or organic.

    In any case, I eventually chose the R-28 over the Cyan because it offered more features and power, and I was familiar with the Audio-gd house sound. It was also less expensive, which was a factor since I’d have to import either unit and couldn’t listen before buying. Audio-gd’s 10yr warranty was a factor too.

    Back to the OP, I had an Elear at the time, which I’d since converted to an Elex. The R-28 has great synergy with both sound signatures to my ears, not emphasizing any particular frequency and delivering that smooth, organic sound I was after initially. The dynamics of the Elex are kept intact and the treble never gets too hot - in fact the Elex (on the R-28) is one of the few headphones I’ve heard that’s managed to convey so much clean, deep and textured low end with balanced mids and highs that never stray into sibilance but still maintain plenty of air and sparkle.

    The R-28 also has excellent synergy with my LCD-3F, giving it all the power it needs and more, with a great sense of poise and control. It’s a very versatile dac with regularly updated FPGA-based firmware (currently on version 3), with option for both a smooth and accurate tuning (depending on your preference), you can also switch between 3 NOS modes and 3 oversampling modes, again depending on how you prefer to tweak your sound. None of these settings come at the cost of synergy with the Elex.

    So while the Cyan may well give you similar benefits, I can only speak for the R-28, which I personally considered to be better value for reasons of price for features, value, and synergy with the headphones I own.

    Hope that’s more helpful?

    Edit: fwiw I strongly considered changing my mind several times because the design of the Cyan is just so sleek and stylish. That said, the R-28 is not as large as the ‘master series’ AGD amps and dacs, and dits perfectly into the rather slim side unit I designed for my audio gear. My system is very simple: Mac (running Audirvana+) —> Ideon 3R Renaissance USB —> R-28 —> balanced headphones. I mainly listen to female vocals, but my music taste is diverse, from acoustic to vocal jazz to pop, new age, Celtic, indie, folk, Americans and soft rock. I don’t enjoy rap, blues, R&B, hip hop or metal, but anything else goes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  15. chrolls

    chrolls Rando

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    [​IMG]

    This is all I was referring to. They don't look black here. Some people care a good deal about headphone aesthetics. Perhaps they're stupid. Perhaps I am. All I know is I don't want my headphones to look like sh*t if I can help it, especially on my laughable budget when I'm already throwing around hundreds of dollars and the pads involved in the whole equation are unreturnable. On my salary I can't afford mistakes, I try to research it into the ground until I know there's no f*ckin' way I'm gonna get screwed (within reason). If I can get a trusted community's opinion on a particular subject I care about with one question why wouldn't I try? That's how I ended up with my he4xx's as a matter of fact, due in great part to the gracious and informative help of members on this site including you I might add. Just trying to do the same thing again.

    Conversely, I do empathize with those who would say screw it to all the above, that if a headphone sounds good and feels good, who cares? How the heck "ocd" are you? Swap together a f*ckin' Mad Max asymettrical mulit-colored piece of sh*t for all I care just as long as it's comfortable, built well, and sounds good. Anyways, sincere apologies if I sucked up to much of the conversational oxygen /rant

    *BTW, I hear 23andme does great dna testing, just ask Elizabeth Warren! Maybe you're 1/84th Norwegian or some sh*t...
     
  16. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    One week ban for noise.
     
  17. Whatup69

    Whatup69 Rando

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    elex has different damping to elear so elear + elex pads isnt exactly the same as a elex

    edit: my bad didn't see the cunt got banned. mods please feel free to delete this
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Waiting for the Clears on the loaner to get back to me. Going to measure differences between Elex and Clear pads.

    I thought someone at Massdrop said Elex were essentially Elears with Clear pads? Or Clear like pads.
     
  19. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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  20. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Yeah, that's also in line with my subjective experience -- not exactly eclair vs elex though. I was impossible to distinguish clear pads from elex pads with elex, if I close my eyes.
     

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