Nectar Sound - "The Bee" - a planar

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Philimon, Nov 8, 2022.

  1. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    A new headphone from Nectar Sound called "The Bee" - a planar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Intriguing because Nectar's past headphones (albeit all electrostats) were well reviewed here so hopefully some of that quality gets conferred to Sajeev's newest creation.

    A description from the website:
    Screen Shot 2022-11-08 at 8.50.16 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2022-11-08 at 8.46.15 AM.png
    $600.

    https://nectarsound.net/
    https://nectarsound.net/about-the-headphones/
     
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  2. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Sajeev has offered to possibly loan us a set.
    - 'Like' this post to show your interest.

    I understand most people don't care until some positive credible impressions are shared first so hopefully somebody will volunteer to tackle that for us. A loaner tour thread will be created as needed.
    - Please post if you'd like first dibs.
    - 'Dislike' this post if you'd rather wait.
     
  3. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I've wanted to hear the hive for a while, but I've never gotten around to fixing the channel imbalance on my eXStata. I'd like a chance to hear these. If they are comfortable and sound like a LCD2.1 or even 2.2 - they might have something nice at that price.
     
  4. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Update: Sajeev says he plans on building us a set this weekend. Ill contact @ChaChaRealSmooth for loaner tour instruction.

    @M3NTAL Would you be interested in being first? It’d be perfect since youve some Audeze(s) for comparison ready.
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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  6. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Loaner organization is now safely placed into SBAF official channel @ChaChaRealSmooth ! Thank you everyone. Looking forward to hearing the Bee.
     
  7. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Are they US or EU based?
     
  8. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Sure - I am in Phoenix. If anyone is logistically better off than me, go ahead with them.
     
  9. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Do you know the process of removing the covers? Reading about them does have my wallet worried.
     
  10. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    No idea @M3NTAL . Hopefully Sajeev will describe how to remove as well as his experience on the effects or if its simply intended as a safety mechanism.
     
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  11. GGSuperMe

    GGSuperMe Rando

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    I have the Bee. My version is one of the earlier versions will a higher impedance of around 50 Ohms. They are as they are described above. I'm looking forward to seeing other opinions on it. It is a darker set that I think aligned more closely with Audeze's house sound pre 2022.

    The foam pads basically fall out and are super easy to remove. I have a dog that sheds a lot and I haven't run into any issues using it with the foams removed while listening. I put them back in when storing them. BTW these love EQ and there is something about the Timbre that just works so well. The foam's also increase the 2k region from what I understand. Pad swapping is really easy and I'm sure that there is an ear pad set out there that will elevate the mids to bring them a bit more forward.

    BTW I love Sajeev's headphones, and currently have the Bee and Hive X.
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Acquaintance

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    Not before he builds mine I hope ;)

    I have the Hive and Pollinator so I'm anxious to hears what's up with this planar. Besides, Sajeev is a great guy and I like supporting people like him who are honest and make a real effort.
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Acquaintance

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    Well, my Bee arrived about ten days ago....and has been on my head ever since, so I got some decent time in before commenting.

    My associated gear was a Luxman PD277 turntable/Grace F9E cart w/SoundSmith Ruby stylus, OPPO + Moon disc players, Musical Fidelity M1DAC, Topping A30 HP amp.

    Already owning Nectar’s previous headphone offerings, the Pollinator and the Hive, I was excited about the prospect of a planar headphone from Sajeev. Both models offer top notch electrostatic sound at relatively affordable prices. The Hive sounds amazing (to my ears) for the price.

    The Bee goes in a different sonic direction from the Pollinator and Hive, obviously (being a planar). In my initial listening, the first thing I noticed was a solid even foundation from the lowest bass to about 1kHz. Bass was remarkable powerful yet not overpowering, and was seamlessly integrated into the lower midrange. This gave the effect of being at a live performance in a properly designed venue. It brings out the power and majestic quality of a large orchestra or opera performance.

    As you get past the mids into the upper midrange and treble area, the sound has a somewhat laid back character the goes well with the bass and lower midrange. That is, it maintains the timbre and tone of real voices and instruments in that area because there is no added artificial sparkle/shimmer in the top end. The tone and timbre are with the best I’ve heard from any headphone.

    Having said that, many will find the upper mid through treble area to lack air and space. I certainly heard it this way with some of my listening material. Cymbals, percussion, snare hits, brass and some female vocals are definitely affected at times. You can hear the “brass” part of the high hat and cymbals but the top, shimmer and decay tend to be a tad muted.

    For me, I see this as a tradeoff. Most headphones don’t do treble properly IMO. Treble needs the space of a room, coming from a pair of loudspeakers. I find most headphone treble to be artificial sounding in comparison. Now, when I consider what I perceived as a lack of air, shimmer and space, I also have to realize that there can be “negative distortion”, where the lack of something cannot suffer distortion because it is not there. And I think this is what is making the overall sound of the Bee (to my ears) very free from distortion and resonance. I found many of my other headphones “lispy” in comparison. But again, there is no getting around that this is definitely on the dark side of neutral. If you used this as a "neutral" yardstick, other headphones are all bright. But that tone...

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sense of openness and space, the image sitting in front of me and to the sides, rather than inside my head. And the Bee does this without being bright, a tough task indeed.

    To finish, I see the Bee as a different sounding headphone to most of what’s out there. And “different” is mostly in a positive way. How other listeners will feel can only be decided by taste and listening. But Sajeev has created a different sound here that some will find very appealing I’m sure. And comfortable to wear, compared to some of the 600+gm planars. It will be interesting to see measurements and for others to chime in with their own impressions, particularly those who bring EQ into the mix.
     
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  14. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth 2000% biased Planar Hater

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    Nectar Bee Impressions

    PXL_20221205_221258336.jpg

    I posted on my profile that I think the Nectar Bee is worth the $600 asking price. That hasn’t changed at all; I think this is one of the better planars I heard and I do actually enjoy them quite a bit. However, I will say that I like these in the same way I liked my old LCD-2.1; these are NOT for those coming from HD600/650 and want ultimate refinement. In a way, the Bee is unrefinement belted out proudly and has a lot of characteristics of the good units of the old Audezes. I’m also concerned about the amping requirements: Nectar recommends an amp that outputs 1.3 W (no load specified, but I’d guess into 50 ohms) and the Bee has an impedance of 11 ohms. That being said, I like these quite a bit and would put these into consideration if the urge to buy a planar strikes me again.

    Sonics

    If you want cavernous, thunderous bass, the Bee has you covered. It doesn’t lead in pitch differentiation or textures (that would go to the ZMF Atrium), but it’s kind of a bass cannon like the Audezes of yore. This is not necessarily what I call “neutral” or “normal,” but it is very fun to listen to (and I mean that in a flattering way; in no way were these “fun” for 15 minutes and then fatiguing after. I can listen to these for hours).

    This kind of cavernous sound carries over to the mids. This is the part where if you didn’t like the old Audeze sound, you’ll really hate these. They are rich and lush, but they have that kind of strange sound where it feels like you’re listening in a big tunnel. I haven’t looked at any measurements, but I’m pretty sure there’s a substantial upper mid dip.

    Ah yes, the treble, a sore spot for many planars in my experience. This is the weakest part of the Bee’s sound, no way around it. It’s unrefined, the textures aren’t great (metallic percussion all seem to have a bit of grain, or maybe that bouncy effect from Marv’s burst cycle measurements). However, it is no worse than the old Audezes in this regard, so really it’s not too bad. Also like those old Audezes, the treble feels like it’s been shelved down a bit in relation to the mids and bass, so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. However, it is worth noting the Bee is missing the upper octaves in treble and doesn’t have much in the sense of “air” (whatever the fuck that means).

    Overall, these are dark-sounding or warm-sounding headphones, but the timbre is actually quite nice for a planar. A bit on the overly smooth side, but it’s kind of like the racist Verum headphones where it’s within the realm of acceptable. Also, I don’t think Nectar went stupid nano-thin on these diaphragms; I keep iterating that they sound like the old Audezes for a reason.

    In terms of transients, these are definitely the type of planar that sacrifices ultimate speed in favor of throwing Thor’s hammer at you. These are not airy, light, or ethereal; these have slam. Personally, I vastly prefer this type of planar and wish more companies would stop with this nano-thin nonsense.

    HD800 stage whores might want to run away; the Bee’s stage is the kind of indistinct 2-3 blob. Now, I don’t really care too much about this since it doesn’t do this bad enough for it to be a showstopper, but some people might be very bothered.

    Amp Pairings

    Due to amping requirements, I didn’t have many amps I can try this out of. I’ll put down notes here, but really be warned that you’ll definitely need something that outputs a lot of power.
    1. EC Ultralinear: This was really good, but shouldn’t be any surprise. This amp can drive basically anything that isn’t super low impedance, power hungry speakers.
    2. OG Cavalli Liquid Carbon: I’m not sure what it was, but this amp with this headphone sounded broken. Super grainy and tons of distortion. I sanity checked the Carbon with another headphone and everything is dandy.
    3. Magni Piety: Doesn’t quite have the juice in my opinion, but close.
    Build Quality

    Coming from the cheap Verum 1, I’m actually quite impressed with the build quality of these. Pretty solid feeling and these unlike the Verum feel like an actual product and not something slapped together as a science project. Coupled with the packaging, I can see where some of the cost went so I don’t feel bad about the Bee’s price tag from a build quality and package quality point of view. For reference, when I ordered a Verum it came in a box and was simply wrapped in bubble wrap. These have a molded plastic package inside the box.

    Conclusion

    Overall, I like the Bee but the amp situation needs more information. For now, I’ll say that I like it with the caveats that you’ll need to like the old Audeze sound and have a powerful amp. I’d like for tour members to chime in so we can gather more information about this.

    Loaner thread will be posted shortly
     
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  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Wow @ChaChaRealSmooth you've got some serious biases and generalizations about the sound of orthos that I don't agree with at all. What orthos have you heard other than the first generation LCD-2?

    Where do these generalizations come from here on SBAF? They are quite popular. I can't fathom thinking these things about orthos and then going and putting on an HD650 and being happy with the sound. I think SBAF needs more exposure to the technology before generalizations like this are made about the tech as a whole. They're simply not true.
     
  16. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Correct. We all have our own preferences, expectations, experiences, hearing, etc. See your recent thread to witness the diversity.
     
  17. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I'm not talking about preferences. I'm talking about sonic traits being connected to ortho technology as a whole rather than specific implementations of that technology. I mean it's fine not to like certain orthos, but most implementations of the tech are not a great reflection of the technology itself. I mean I think the phrase ".....for a planar" was used for every aspect of sound here. And it's just not true that orthos sound that way as a whole technology.

    No one writes like this about electromagnetic headphones on SBAF. It would seem, according to SBAF, that electromagnetic technology has no sound. But people are constantly talking about "planar this, and planar that". It's just not accurate.

    No offense to @ChaChaRealSmooth I love you buddy I'm just picking a bone I guess. I liked the review. And appreciate your effort to write it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  18. Entropy

    Entropy Facebook Friend

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    Thanks for the impressions, it seems like an interesting headphone. Always wanted to try something like this...
     
  19. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Youre deriding Chacha’s generilizations while using them yourself.

    rhythmdevils, Im with you. I prefer planars for my use cases.
     
  20. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Please see the forum guidelines... Instead of posting use the rating emoticons for basic communications.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022

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