Final Audio D8000 Pro - Out of the Dark Ages of Ortho Tech!

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    That has been my experience an I'm frustrated I only heard their mid-range line up at the end of Axpona a few years back which wasn't too impressive... I mean the lower to mid-range models were kinda disappointing so I didn't even listen to the D8K or 8k Pro...

    All in all great thread, I wasn't aware the Final had that kind of cash flow, tooling nor that they were hiring folks from those teams! I too would like to see a better option to the continued mediocrity that is and has been Audeze and Hifiman...
     
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  2. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    @purr1n - Just curious - did you like this out of multiple amps / DACs or was there a particular chain that gave the good synergy you describe in the original post. Sorry in advance if I missed it.
     
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  3. boomer

    boomer Rando

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    Because they don't. I really doubt that Final is bigger company than Audeze let alone Focal or Sony. Just because you hire ex-Sony engineer doesn't mean you are on par with them. On their wiki it says that their capital is 1 million USD. They did good job with their planar because they are in good graces with Yamaha so they probably made some deal with them to share old technology and tooling. I really doubt that Final has so much cash to innovate on their own. But they did it smart because they actually improved old technology. Yamaha YH-1000 has actually more advanced driver design than D8k so they will probably try to crack this one in a future.

    Btw. one of the main guys responsible for D8k who designed first product for Final in 1974 died in 2018. RIP Yoshihisa Mori.
     
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  4. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Audeze is actually small. I was a bit surprised their FTE size is around 20 (from one interview in early 2021) -- well not that surprising for US labor costs. My bet is Final is bigger, but may not be bigger than HFM though.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    It's like many other planars which need some good power to drive. The MOTU Ultralite headouts were too weak, thus resultant sound was too soft, too warmpoo. The OG Vali 1 with the MOTU Ultralite as the DAC (warm DAC, neutralish but wet amp) faired better. The Magni 3+ was very good and just sufficiently incisive.

    The Eddie Current custom 45 Studio did even better, but this amp was meant to also power high-efficiency speakers. As I mentioned earlier, I flipped the switch from the 4-ohm tap to the 8-ohm tap on the output transformer for a more full bodied sound and better power transfer. The D8000 Pro was a bit too lean using the 4-ohm tap. I am using the Gungnir A2 as the source, which can be on the cool side of DACs - and the 45 tube is pretty neutral compared to 2A3 or 300B.

    I don't think this is one of those planars like HE-500 (OG), HE-5, and HE-6 that almost need a power amp to come alive. Moderate power seems all that is required. The rest is the usual synergy between sources and amps. I've heard the D8000 Pro a bit lean and a bit too warm depending upon combos. One thing for sure: the D8000 Pro scales like mad with better gear. There's a lot missing between [MOTU Ultralite -> Magni 3+] and [Gungnir A2 -> EC 45 Studio]. Like a lot missing - noting that I didn't feel the same way with the OG Abyss AB1266 (again not Phi or TC).

    Let me check impedance - be right back.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Final Audio D8000 Pro
    Impedance (GRN = on head, YEL = free air)
    Electrical Phase (GRY)
    upload_2021-4-12_21-13-38.png

    Impedance is mostly flat around 60-ohms nominal. Marginally higher in the lows with a small shelf of a few ohms and a small peak around 475Hz. This is a bit different from other orthos which are mostly very flat. Perhaps this is the result of circular traces, magnet pattern, and how the diaphragm is suspended.

    The D8000 Pro should not sound that much different with respect to frequency response from amps with higher output impedance.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    In a nutshell:

    Not quite the perfect ortho headphone - still the D8000 Pro is light years ahead (rediscovered secret of the vintage orthos) with respect to driver tech compared to modern competition. The CSDs have no "ortho walls" or low level ripples which plague almost all modern orthos headphones which have tensioned diaphragms. Whether one can hear these things or not is subject to debate and may be up to personal proclivities or sensitivities. The D8000 Pro does need a moderately powerful amplifier to not sound soft or warmpoo. It responds well to components in the chain and scales like mad with better more resolving gear.

    The bass is first rate, almost achieving the same the "sturm and drang" of the AB1266. The transients are classic ortho, that is don't expect the stat like speed of the higher-line HiFiMans. The D8000 Pro does not immediately appeal or draw you in like a slut. This is the cute one next door where over time you learn to appreciate their qualities. The frequency response has a dip at 3kHz which may be amenable to folks who listen to naturally mic'd orchestral or chamber works (think BBC curve). The rest of the upper mids and lower highs are flat (this is a huge blessing IMO); however, the mid-treble is a bit rough with a tendency toward tizz.

    Whether the retro vintage ortho design suits your sense of style, the D8000 Pro does feel solid and luxurious. The headphone is a bit on the heavy side and those with Klingon ridges on the top of their skulls (this includes myself) may prefer some extra padding on the top of the headband. The earpads are fat and comfortable and seal well. It's not fussy with respect to placement or positioning. I really hate saying stuff that costs this much is worth the price, but of the expensive headphones out there, I would say this is one of handful of them.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  8. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Only had them on my head for about 3 hours so far, but I was already thinking how no immediate "wow" hits you, excepting maybe the bass, other than the obvious general coherence/competency. A somewhat broad EQ dip of 3 db centered on 10k fixed the tizz (which on a hard test track did creep into overt sibilance for me) but then I normally listen to Focals. Bass is gooood, heck Cello's sound epic (to say nothing of electronica)...
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  9. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Thank you @purr1n .

    Was curious if the difference in "wow" between you and @ChaChaRealSmooth (and it seems like other members too) was due to differences in the chain, personal preference, or whatever synergy type stuff such as your custom 45 vs his Starlett, UL, etc. Sounds like it's a little bit of everything.
     
  10. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Have had these since Monday but plugged them into Asgard 3 (fed via Gun MB A2 > Saga OG > Asgard 3) for the first time tonight instead of the Starlett. I was unsure how I felt about the "greyness" of the mids (voices in particular) that purr1n refers to above, but the Asgard 3 brings the these mids forward a bit and clears them up, noticeably so. At first I assumed it was because the Asgard is lighter in the bass/upper bass of compared to the Starlett, but its more than this. This HP is also easily revealing the other technicalities (or lack thereof) compared to the Starlett (or the M6 Pro I have). So purr1n is right in that these defiantly scale. Will post a full review in a few days...
     
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  11. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    The following was mostly through a Roon>Pi2AES>Gung MB A2>Bal to SE transform>Saga OG>DNA Starlett (with some Asgard 3)>Final D8000 Pro compared to Utopia (mostly):

    • I want to walk back my earlier statement that the Asgard 3 "clears up" the mids compared to the Starlett. I think I was mistaking a smoothing and a bit of loss of detail combined with a little more forwardness as clarity.
    • In the crucial vocal and mids region the D8000 Pro is truly TOTL. Is it the equal of the Utopia? Yes and no - I think it depends upon what kind of presentation you like. The Utopia just breaths resolve, plankton, separation, and everything else right into your ear like your favorite girlfriend. Every last detail of massed strings there for you to hear and separate, you almost can't get around it even if you want to. The D8000 Pro stages everything a bit wider/taller/deeper, and in a more "natural" speaker-in-room sort of way. The ortho driver presents transients and detail in a different way. I don't want to say "slower" or "duller" because that's not quite it, but with more inner body (though not "realism").
    • In the end it's fair to say that Utopia does indeed outpace the D8000 Pro in resolve/detail in the mids, but the D8000 Pro has a touch more "natural" presentation - it's less "point source" and allows you to relax into its presentation easier. I think it is safe to say that the majority of SBAF members would prefer it, similar in the way most here prefer the HD6XX mids vs. OG Clear.
    • Bass is epic. I sort of don't want to say more. As much as I like the Utopia's bass (even with its sub bass limitations), 9/10 times I want to listen to the D8000 Pro's bass. Weight and slam, body, texture, detail, it's all there and more compelling than the Utopia's.
    • Upper mids (putting aside differences in FR) and low treble (I'm 52 so I won't speak to the top octave) is where the Utopia has a real advantage IMO. I don't want to overstate it, but the D8000 Pro falls short of the Utopia's ultimate finesse, smoothness, and timbre accuracy here. The "tizz" that purr1n refers to is part of it, but for me that was fixed with a 3.5db .8Q cut at 9700 or so. So the D8000 Pro is closer to OG Clear technically for me here.
    • Build quality is top notch. It is heavy on the head fur sur. I am noticing its weight more than the ZMF's, and in the end it's not as long term comfortable as them or the Focals. The stock cables are on the chunky side, and the proprietary interlocking mechanism on the HP side means that some of my cables work and some don't. Of course at these prices what's yet another expensive cable in the overall "value" proposition (said with full realization of the irony ;) )

    I don't have the experience with vintage or modern TOTL orthos to say how much of the qualities of the D8000 Pro are inherent/specific to the D8000 Pro itself or the result of the fundamental differences between orthos and dynamics. I can't seem to choose a winner between it and the Utopia. I think my desert island pic would be the Utopia, but in my current mix (Utopia, Stellia, OG Clear, HD6XX, CA Ara, HD8000 Pro) I choose it for long, relaxed, "musical" sessions out of my main rig. This was a hard comparison for me in the end, the margins are so close. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer.
     
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  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    @purr1n any way to get these to me and @dBel84 for analysis as a finished ortho with proper acoustics?
     
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  13. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I am not a follower of Currawong, this might be the 4th or 5th review I have ever watched (I note he likes the Harman curve - bad, but has questioned MQA from the beginning - good). He struggles in this review to nail exactly what it is about the D8000 Pro that is so beguiling, but perhaps said it better than I did. I find his speculation about the treble detail being held slightly back (in comparison to Utopia) by the pads plausible:



    One thing I would add to my review above is that in addition to the epic quality/texture/detail of the bass, the separation from the low mids is soooo good, there is zero bleed/bloat.
     
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