ETHER 2

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Ice-man, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. davis_man

    davis_man Rando

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    I am anxious to see if the measurements change. There are some recordings that make me think I need to EQ the treble, and some don't. Its in the lower to mid treble as your original measurements suggest, but not to that degree. I find around a .5 - 1.5 db boost around 3k-4.5k seems to work the best.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Finally got my pair of E2 back last Friday. Every issue seems to be gone or at least well-addressed. Now they're good.. very good.

    Spent nearly two whole days in testing (indeed enjoying) them.

    Some thoughts
    • Ether 2 really don't sound like planars. Also it's a huge departure from Dan's previous works (EF and AF), too.
    • Fantastic bass and midrange with slightly dark-tilted treble. More neutral than expected.
    • Interestingly not much different from my sbaf-eqed hd800 (in terms of both tonality and technicality) -- E2 sound a little "clockwise-rotated" to my ears though.
    • Also they remind me of Auteur (with eikon pads) a lot. A tad brighter than auteur.
    95% considered to request a refund.. but now 99% certain that I keep these. Haha

    I am planning to measure them probably tonight (for minimal environmental noise).
     
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  3. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    ^^ I'm glad that this was address. You impressions of them are now more in line with what I hear as well.
     
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  4. BillOhio

    BillOhio Friend

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    I'm not sure that I'd enjoy a headphone with brighter treble than the Auteur. The Auteur's treble was my reason for preferring Ether Flow 1's to the Auteur.
     
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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  6. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Acquaintance

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    Thanks for taking time and putting out those measurements and for a quick comparison to the Auteurs. I’ve been looking at purchasing a high end planar and I’m stuck between these and Hifiman’s Arya/HE-1000 V2. Anyone experience with that headphone and if so any comparisons? Thanks!
     
  7. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    Any word on what was wrong with the first pair?
     
  8. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    I've not been told about any technical details, but Andy Regan (current president of MrSpeakers) said the following:

     
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  9. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Acquaintance

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  10. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio (Thread Judge Code-6 District)

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    @Vtory When you say E2 doesn't sound like a planar (tone aside), what do you mean?

    I have a hard time believing that a super lightweight magnet assembly with thin diaphragms can punch and resolve micro-dynamic contrast like the few heavy-hitting planars of yore.

    What is the stock damping configuration, I wonder? And stock pads?

    Would love to do or read a shootout with some pad rolling.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  11. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    That's exactly what I initially thought from my experience with HFM classics and newer generations.

    Owned HE500, HEX (v2) and LCD2C for fairly long time and heard Sundara (loaner), HE1000 (v1), LCD3/4 for limited time. To me all these sound a bit "unique" around upper midrange to lower treble, often described as "steel-y or metallic sound" (note that this "metallic" feeling is different from focals' metallic sound) -- at least I think none of them sound as smooth as hd600/650. To me Ether 2 was the first exception that assured me cohesive and smooth mid/treble with planar drivers. Like I already posted in another thread, it takes me a good amount of effort and concentration to hear planar-weirdness with E2. Still there but barely audible.

    I also suspect that E2's diaphragm is not as thin as Audeze's recent products or Stax. Thin diaphragm or membrane has a certain sonic perception imo. Couldn't find such thing with E2. E2 had more weight and boldness in bass and midrange, while not losing transient speed/resolution.

    Honestly, If I don't know anything about E2, I might think that E2 had (very good) dynamic drivers.

    Maybe BW2 may do play some roles.. IDK.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  12. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    @Ice-man was your pair that you lent to @sheldaze part of this batch with defective drivers?
     
  13. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I would like to applaud @Vtory for his excellent work and honesty! His posts and measurements led me to the conclusion that I am not crazy. I heard @Ice-man pair at a small group meet. My initial impression was a super dark headphone that must be flawed. No one should ever pay $2K for something that sounds like this. I then assumed my initial impression of the Ether 2 must be because I’m listening on unfamiliar equipment. Chain was MacBook—>Onyx—>BHA-1. I immediately plugged in HD650/58X/HD800S and nope, the E2’s sounded horribad. I even plugged E2 into my S7/Cyan and it sounded even worse. The headphones are nicely built and comfortable, I easily got a great seal. Besides lacking treble the bass sounded muddy and lacked definition. Plugging in the Senns (even lowly 58X) was a breath of fresh air and made the E2 look like a dud.


    So I’m curious if I heard a REALLY bad pair like @Vtory original pair or if they are really this screwed. I was hoping that Ice-man would weigh-in, but sadly radio-silence. The other glaring concern is if I heard the same E2, then WTF was his review in post #1 of this thread based on?
    I’ve not said anything because I figured it was not my place and I heard them at a small meet but my concerns about the credibility of the original review post is enough for me to write.

    I am also concerned that a headphone maker could send out a $2K headphone without anyone listening to it. I could tell after 30 seconds of listening that something was wrong. This is like a fine dining chef sending out a plate without tasting it. Unacceptable.
     
  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Hmm, that is indeed concerning. The last iteration I heard prior to RMAF was, if anything, a hair brighter than the HD650. Certainly cleaner bass. The pair at RMAF seemed fine too, though with an unfamiliar rig and semi-unfamiliar music. I believe they still had yet to up the impedance on the drivers though.

    I have yet to hear a production unit but hope if there are any issues they get ironed out soon. Seems @Vtory had evidence of that. MrSpeakers is usually pretty good about customer service, at least. My best guess is that, unfortunately, there are/were still kinks to iron out that might not show until you have a lot of mass produced samples floating around. It could also be an issue that builds over time and thus isn't caught until the customer has used it for a while.

    I know this isn't the first time hearing a similar story, and it is cause for concern and discussion. But a properly working, good Ether 2 should be a strong enough performer to merit some benefit of the doubt in this case. I hope this or anything else gets resolved and all is well after for the long run.

    Eh, but I could be wrong. Like I said, still need to find out for myself. :)
     
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  15. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Almost "Made"

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    My best sub-bass test is a modern iteration Fats Waller theater organ performance.

    This cut has some pretty deep transients, too, starts a little headshaking on headphones w/real sub-bass, like the Eikon:

     
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    1 month update
    • I've heard some great "soft, smooth, but never dull" sounding headphones including (well-amped) 007, auteur, modded 650. E2 also has the good trait commonly shown in those products -- but in a more refined manner than anything mentioned.
    • E2 is decently fast. At least tad faster than hd800. But nowhere close to focal trio (elex, clear, utopia) or higher stax. To my biased ears, transience and decay are very natural with E2. Switching to elex immediately feels somewhat unnaturally fast.
    • Surprisingly forgiving for this level of resolution and micro-dynamics. I can list at least 10 headphones that sound great with audiophile-grade legendary recordings. But can't think of many that are tolerable and acceptable with poorly recorded jpop tracks without sacrificing much. Big boys such as senn or focal are poor in this respect (they reveal everything no matter whether it is good or bad). By contrast, Zach has been very good at balancing between technicality and forgiveness. Dan's approach seems a bit different from Zach's but equivalently successful to my linking.
    • ^ comes at a cost of slight loss of neutrality and accuracy. Compared to eqed hd800 / hd600 / auteur, E2 is more flavored and colored. Tastefully done though. But sometimes sounds too romantic or oversimplified with certain recordings.
    • Great headstage. Wider and deeper than EFO and AFO. With the aid of BW2, vocals and instruments are portrayed realistically and placed in a pleasingly large space. I am (virtually) sitting at a reasonably distant place. Almost perfect.
    • While I'm very happy with the current rig, I don't think my upstream gears are optimal for E2. Schiit and soekris multibits must be better choices. Also thinking that well-received pro dacs such as convert-2 or solaris would be interesting.
     
  17. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    Between HD800 and E2 which one do you prefer for classical music?
     
  18. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    My 2c...the hd800 is King for Classical. Sound stage and the treble extension of the hd800 lend itself better to that genre of music. ETHER 2 does get tone and timbre done very well, but if classical were my primary genre then I'd go with the hd800.
     
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  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Short answer: hd800 (amplified by Lyr 3 -- among I own now)

    Long answer: For some genre, E2 can sound better, or at least more romantic or pleasing. However, somewhat "sugar-coated" E2 sounds prevent me from listening to each passage accurately and honestly. This is particularly problematic when listening to period/authentic performance. Thus, HD800 is easier recommendation. The same logic also works for why I prefer Lyr 3 to BW2 for this purpose.

    On the other hand, if it's Friday night, and/or when I want to be deeply immersed in the favorite tracks, my choice is E2. Also great performance recorded poorly will be better off with E2 (no joke).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  20. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    Feedback appreciated , thanks both of you!
     

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