Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Thenewerguy009, Mar 28, 2017.
You are talking about the ADX5000 correct? How was your experience with Abyss?
Yes, those were my ADX5000 impressions.
About the Phi's...they became my favorite HPs, the most fun to hear. Super musical (really, not exagerating), listening to a live soundtrack was an amazing experience (in that pic, if i am not mistaken, i was listening to Hotel California), the sense of space really put a smile on my face. I do think the treble isn't the best around although it's stil good. Comfort wise they were really good and like i said i never had such much fun listening as with these. I would never consider buy these because of the price tag but i wish i could.
I am not very experienced or technical and so the description may not be the best it could be, but from my point of view these are the ones i would pick just to have a really fun listening time and that would mean most of my audio time.
I do wish i had listened to several different genres to have a better perspective of their "all-aroundness".
Just got the Phi, and will need a lot of time to really listen to them to get a better feel for them. But one thing that hit me right away is the bass. It’s not as much the quantity as it is the texture. There is an immediate sense of microdetail and microcontrast to the bass I’ve not heard in a headphone. Anyways enough for now, back to listening.
Wow, not a lot of posts for the Abyss Phi. Either people here really don’t like these HP or they love them so much they’re too busy listening to them to post .
After 4 full days of time with them, here are my quick impressions. I’m using an Aries Mini streamer to Gungnir Multibit Gen 5 USB. Then RCA to EC 2A3 MK2 (though I have also tried XLR to 10k ohm Jensen transformer to RCA).
First off, I did modify the headbands. I used zip ties on the headphone frame right above the drivers. I then used Velcro straps to connect the headband to the zip ties. This way headband wraps more over more of my head than using the normal attachment point. Using the normal attachment point, over time the Abyss has a tendency to keep sliding down and the pads keep resting on the top of my ears. Plus I feel this way I stress the rubber rings on the headband less, so should have better life out of them. Overall, I will say these are the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever had, BUT simultaneously the most awkward/strange feeling headphones to wear.
I have the pad set I guess on the 10 o’clock position. The thickest part of the pad is behind my ear, one notch down. I slightly bent the frame inward to help make the bottom part of the pad touch my jaw and seal better.
Basically if I set the headphone slightly forward so the back of my ears slightly touch the pads, and I can feel the pad lightly touching my face, I get the most neutral bass response. If I move the pads slightly backwards, I get a big mid bass hump (maybe 40-80 Hz) with some other shifts, but it’s definitely bloomy and less controlled. It’s almost like a ported subwoofer. It can be fun for certain music and genre, rivaling even basshead closed back headphones such as VModa. Personally I prefer the former setup, with more neutral bass response. Plus Abyss responds very well to bass EQ boost, so if you want a bass heavy just use a PEQ and make sure your amp has plenty of power. Note, head banging is NOT recommended, the Abyss will fly off your head (more on that later).
I played around with the audiocheck.net and their tone/sound generators, especially the subwoofer harmonic distortion tests. Overall the bass region of the Abyss is pretty even. At 24 I hear the a decrease in volume (though that could be my hearing). Going thru their suite of tests, I noticed no problems at all, no rattles no unusual sounds. However, be forewarned there is a binaural test I clicked without reading. I’m expecting more test sounds BUT suddenly I hear someone knocking to the right of me. Being home alone back to window, I immediately jump up and spin right to look. The Abyss almost goes flying off my head. Long story short it’s the test sound as explain the in the text if I bothered to read (d’oh). I’m sure with most headphones they would all sound real, but with Abyss having practically no clamping force they do hang precariously on my head.
Any ways too early to give any more detailed impressions. Overall still very good sounding, I would say definitely a step up from HEK but trade blows with Utopia. Back to more listening (and cable reterminating).
Could you post some pictures to show your mods with the headband? I have a pair of 1266 coming and your mods can be helpful. Thanks.
Nacho I don't knowing many have listened to them but I can almost guarantee they are a little bit pricey for many. As much as i like them I would never buy them unless my salary was 6 figures.
Edit: ups, 5 is enough.
Here you go:
For those who are interested in the Abyss, an old pair can be had for $2000-ish on the used market. Which to be fair could get you a pair of Utopia as well, but the Abyss is sort of its own thing. I think the Phi is a worthy upgrade but there isn't THAT much in it and if you want to try the "Abyss" and its signature, an old pair would be awesome Food for thought.
I should also add: I have been away from my house and full size headphones for a week.
The Abyss Phi continues to impress me. I started off with the Susvara, but am now listening to the Phi's and boy they are good.
Ok, there is one immediate issue that hit me right away and hasn’t gone away after a week of use and burnin (I’ve found a good use of my Hugo 1 ). There is a distinct treble harshness, most noticible with vocal sibilance. However, rather than just FR issue of being bright drivers, I sense a slight sustain in the sibilance that makes it much worse. To me it sounds like what @purr1n talks about with CSD and ringing here:
CSDs and What They Tell Us
I would say there is a very high (9+ kHz) issue, but also something in the lower range. But without having talked to Purr1n on this or heard exactly what he means I’m only guessing (really need to join meets - stuff like this can’t be learned by reading).
Based on my speaker and room setup days (with measurement rigs so I did do some quantitative analysis), this reminded me of a too lively room with flat hard reflecting surfaces. It then reflect the worst offending sounding frequency to extend the harshness. You won’t necessarily see it in FR (or FR peak won’t look that bad), but a waterfall/CSD plot will show this issue clearly. Normally a good diffuser at first (and maybe second) reflection point solves it. But I’m no expert in speaker room setup (along with headphones) so maybe I’m wrong here and just speaking out my ass.
Any ways the point is, I tried to apply my above knowledge (right or wrong) to see if I can help the sibilance on the Abyss. In my mind, I never bothered to mod my HD800 since I felt for the price it’s a good value headphone, BUT for as much as the Abyss is I’m going to do what I can to get the most out of them.
I got some medium/medium-light open cell foam, 3mm and 5mm thick. I made a cylinder shape out of them to fit inside the leather earpad, making sure to tuck the 5mm thick foam a little into the back of the earpad where there is a gap between the leather and metal ring. The point is I did not want to block any part of the driver. The foam cylinder goes about 2/3 of the way from driver to end of earpad. I cut a notch out of the foam cylinder where my ear would go for comfort. Friction holds everything in place. It talked only a few seconds to remove or put in.
So far after 3-4 days, I’m very happy with this. I like the 5mm thick over the 3mm. I don’t feel it significantly changes the FR that I can hear (no point to fix one issue and muck up another). However, I really feel it tightened the sibilance. The initial “tsssss” is still there and same volume (comparable to Utopia).
For example on POWERHOUSE, In An Ambient Way, the cymbal hits on Shhh/Peasefull is still unlistenable (same as with Utopia and definitely HEK). Or Heather Nova (Oyster, Truth and Bone) or Autour de Lucie (self titled, L’accord parfait). The harsh initial sibilance is still there.
But the it sibilance decays faster, meaning it stops right away. Pearl Jam, Ten original 91 CD, Eddie Vedder on Jeremy or Porch. With treatment the “tsssss” is now “tst” and generally inoffensive. Actually I can’t find any more male vocals where the sibilance is offensive to me.
In addition, as unexpected benefit is I feel the bass is slightly slightly tighter when you setup the earpad backwards more to have a bigger gap. The foam I’m using really should be absorbing bass notes so maybe this is just a placebo effect.
Back to more listening, both with and without the foam. I do want to make sure I’m not hurting something else by using the foam.
This was my take on Marvs mod to reduce the issue you are describing. 3d printed a cookie cutter. 3mm creatology and a thin layer of felt.
Works a treat.
Cool this is serious mods. I also saw the HD800 Marv and zerodeefex did with the the laser cutter.
Being my first effort and with only scissor cutting would be nearly impossible.
Also, my mode puts the foam on the ear pad. If you think about the space between the driver and your ear as a room, then my foam goes on the wall of the room.
Btw the 5mm foam is medium density. The picture makes it look denser than it really is. The 3mm is somewhat see through. The picture below is with the 5mm foam.
The Abyss Phi just arrived yesterday, just before I was due to fly interstate, so I brought it along with my Sony WM1A and balanced 4 XLR to 4.4mm TRRS adapter.
Out of the box, other than the much much larger soundstage, I didn’t see why I spent my extra dollars on the Abyss - bass was tight and extended but I didn’t hear the ‘visceral’ nature people have been raving about, mids were clear and full and highs were extended if a little bright. I was reminded how claustrophobic Utopia’s soundstage is but otherwise I was disappointed.
I watched the instructional video on the Abyss website, and went to work trying to optimise the fit based on comfort and sound. I have a big head so pulling the headband out a little to make the yolk wider only worked so far - the bass was a little deeper and I could hear a glimpse of the visceral bass.
I ended up having to bend the headband at the corners to widened the distance between the drivers and wow! The bass was there - impactful, textured and extended, no bleeding into the miss. My head was being pounded just from my WM1A - the Utopia, SR-009/007 and HD800 should be all ashamed of themselves...
The trick I gathered from all this is that the ear pads are only to touch the head, any pressure leads to less bass.
I can’t wait to try the Abyss on a proper home rig!
I agree with @alucart overall impression. Especially the fact that the fit makes a huge difference on the bass slam. Btw I read Joe Skubinsky (founder/owner of JPS Labs) has a special headphone frame for people with much larger/wider heads that works better than just bending the frame. If you still can’t get the fitting right, maybe try reaching out to Joe.
@cskippy I hope your okay continuing the Abyss Phi discussion here rather than clutter the EC AF thread.
Your Phi measurement looks a lot like what Marvey/purr1n posted on Changstar years ago, with the old regular Abyss in “leakage” mode. Did you happen to also test it playing around with the sealing, or maybe CSD/waterfall plots?
Either case thanks for posting this info. I haven’t been able to find Phi measurements before and have been going by ear. I kept swearing it sounded a lot alike the old plots on Changstar for original Abyss; maybe more refined and less audible suck out I don’t know since I never heard the original.
Based on the Phi plot with Marvey “leakage” mode, this does extra visceral punch with the headphones looser and pushed back more so there is obvious gap in the rear of the headphone. Most music this works well, and 40ish Hz hump is smart. That’s a bass guitar low open E which just sings so well on Phi with leakage. Even dropped D at around 36 Hz sounds wonderful. For the few music tracks that has lower notes with need for less distortion (for me I like organ compositions) or orchestral music that may not touch lower but needs more balance (and tighter bass), then I’d move the Phi forward to almost have it touch the back of my ear (and forms a better seal). To me it’s like having a subwoofer where you can swap between ported and sealed.
With the foam mod, and recently putting a very thin speaker cover cloth over the whole driver (I would love to do what Xecuter showed one day), I think I have the CSD rings at 8k and 1k tamed down (plus I have a high sensitivity to 9-9.1 kHz). I feel both contributes to the shouty sibilance that really bothered me. I think the peaks are still there, particularly the 8k (and some higher frequency stuff) versus Utopia that makes me feel these are brighter without more (actually less) detail.
I struggling to determine if some of these mods have helped with the 2-4 kHz drop, mostly reducing peaks so I can turn up the volume a little more. These are important first and second harmonic for guitar notes in many solos (and in the Hotel California intro) that give guitars the rich sound, especially acoustic guitar.
But overall with the easy mods I’m very happy. To me it’s a clear upgrade from HEK v2 and while its not an Utopia I think it’s a good compromise. I’m going to miss the Utopia but I’ll sleep better.
New Abyss earpads incomming. I hope they aren't $500USD like the original earpads were. The Diana pads are $95USD so that gives me a bit hope but not much.
"ABYSS has given their AB-1266 Phi Reference Headphone a new suit, made of, what they say is, “the hardest thin film coating on Earth”. A coloured polymer ceramic coating (CC) is factory applied and oven cured. This gives a two-tone luxury black finish and ABYSS say it also enhances the quality of sound by further improving upon the anti-resonant nature of its all aluminium components. It also allows for custom colour options.
ABYSS has also improved upon the ear pads in both appearance and function. The new pads are deeper and more comfortable, and are said to improve acoustics. The new pads will be standard issue with the new CC model, and will also be sold separately as an upgrade for any older model AB-1266.
Pricing for the new AB-1266 Phi CC is $4995 USD for the Lite version, $5995 USD for Deluxe, and $7995 USD for the Complete. Current Euro prices will remain the same."
$500 price increase incoming. Lame.
I really wish people like @Garuspik can put an end to this nonsense.
Their earpads don't look any different, harder to make or better than what ZMF, MrSpeakers, Dekoni sell, which themselves probably only cost $10-$30 to make. That extra $400 is purely markup.
$325 if ordered now. Final MSRP will be $395. Shipping in July.
Who’s gonna be the first to order em?
Separate names with a comma.