Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Taverius, Jun 13, 2018.
Look! Readable CSDs!
Thank you @Taverius for the opportunity to test out exotic cans on my own system and in my own pace. Apart from knowing these exist I knew nothing else about them.
Build, comfort and packaging
The wood box these come in is of the highest quality, made from what looks and feels like solid wood and I appreciate they kept the typical imperfection natural wood has.
Build quality is second to none, everything has a solid feel and you can see they've put a lot of effort in the wood work and frame.
Adjusting the cups reminds me of the Abyss, you can't really make on the fly changes like normal headphones and I get a whiff of overcomplicating it just to set them apart for other manufacturers. I don't mind a different design but I cannot get an equal pressure distribution, main issue being restricted tilting of the cups. The top of the earpad has a lot more pressure and wearing glasses becomes cumbersome to the point where I had to ditch them. The bottom half doesn't seal completely and you're left with a small gap. Bending the frame could fix this but they're not my headphones and at this price point they should have tested bigger melons. Design over function.
Thankfully this doesn't have any sound penalties but I don't feel spoiled like I should.
After tube rolling on my three amps I mainly used the Teton with 6528A for extra power and 27ohm output impedance and a warm slightly rolled off input tube(brimar 13D2) to give the mids a chance.
Tried a couple of my best tubes on the Apex Peak but all sounded off, tone was not as it should be, a big treble spike and the midrange felt dissociated from the high end.
Stellaris with 422A/AVVT/1539 balanced. Thor does scale a bit but nothing to write home about. The DNA amp can push 1.8W into 50ohm so more than enough for the 47ohm Thor.
These are quite efficient and require a touch less volume than my HD650
HD800SDR hardwired, HD650M and HD650JAR with custom cables
Bass is light, lighter than I've heard any planar so far. It has good attack and control but I'm left wanting more. Low bass is there but it never rumbles,HD800 has better body and control in sub and HD650 has more impact and a touch more mid bass.
Mids are crystal clear but whatever I tried the tone couldn't match the senns. I don't want to say plastic but it doesn't sound natural on voices or instruments. Mids are also pushed back and not balanced with the rest of the spectrum IMO. Not a hint of warmth is found here. Also there's a weird felling of the mids not being connected to the high end.
High end is disappointing. It has gobs of attack and they sound super crisp but there's a nasty treble spike somewhere, maybe 8khz. I had to choose tracks that don't emphasise that region but even so they came last in detail retrieval and fines.
I can see they tried to make them super airy but don't have enough technicalities and they lose composure fast especially on complex fast rhythm songs. It's like trying to increase detail by using eq to boost 7k+. Brighter than the 650s and less so than the HD800 but the 800s still has exceptional imaging and definition where the Thor starts to smear detail.
Soundstage is just wider than the HD650 but they lack any sort of proper depth, most things are on the same plane.
Macrodynamics are better than 650s a very impressive first listen but the lack of microdynamics makes them less real sounding, subtle cues are not as present.
VS other planars
From memory these have better details than the OG Abyss,LCD-3/4, HEK and my guess their party trick, bass is least punchy but at least well controlled, soundstage is above average behind LCD4/Abyss and easiest to amp.
With the current screwed up pricing they do sound ok-ish if you want an airy detailed easy to drive planar that sacrifices low end punch, could be comparable to the LCD-4Z.
To be fair if I was to hear them two years ago I would have been super impressed but they don't have a place in my current system after scaling the HD650/800 to their absolute best.
Been listening to these today without comparing them to my other headphones and in a more casual fashion. As such my brain got used to the tonality and didn't find it offensive as I did yesterday.
- still bass light and slightly lean, I would prefer a bit more mid bass for more presence
- mids are jack of all trades master of none.
- soundstage is impressive and cohesive but needs more depth for realism
- apart from the treble peak the detail and air is quite impressive. I've only heard better on the Abyss Phi and Susvara from planars. It's not my kind of sound but preferences and such.
- slightly aggressive due to the attack and it's hard to relax into them. LCD-4 is the complete opposite
- great for percussion and cymbals
- unforgiving on poor recordings
As whole I like them mostly because of the different tuning than most other headphones I've heard but wouldn't get them for myself since they don't do anything better than my current ones.
Yep agreed on your points, on the whole.
People who knew the Odin, which is dark and bassy were hoping for a generalist headphone. Its not.
It does classical and instrumentals real well though.
I like it more than Auteur (with Auteur pads) on concerts, for opera it depends.
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