plankton headphones?

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by 7seven, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. 7seven

    7seven Acquaintance

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    what headphones are the best at reproducing plankton other than the HD650?
    The HD650 helped define plankton for me but i prefer a brighter sig. The he560 felt like an expensive step backwards in this area after a while. I wonder if that was a planar thing and if a simliar bright/lean HP with dynamic drivers like HD800 or Beyer T1 could surpass or match HD650 plankton?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  2. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Nope, HD650 is it. The best headphone ever known to mankind. A gift straight from the gods.
    Sorry, but the only thing limiting the HD650 is your rig. If you want a better sound you just have to throw more money at tube amps and DACs.
     
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  3. 7seven

    7seven Acquaintance

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    in that case what are the best competitors?
     
  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    HD600 for similar but a little brighter, HD800 for...well, it's noticeably brighter, but a whole host of other things too.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Sadly, it's only the Sennheisers with a nominal impedance of 300 ohms or more. And almost forgot, Utopia and LCD4 (assuming grade A sample). Maybe Elex / Elear with Clear pads, but this last one would be a small step back in plankton, but step forward in transient response. The rest is all about amps with very simple signal paths and quality parts.
     
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  6. 7seven

    7seven Acquaintance

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    Does the impedance play a part or is that just a coincidence?
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Magic eight ball says maybe.
     
  8. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Slightly brighter signature... Why not mod the 650...
     
  9. slankoe

    slankoe Tongue tastes of LH butthole

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    The only headphone that I have tried in depth which was more than a smaller incremental difference over HD650 regarding PLANKTON, was the Focal Utopia. Everything else was a small step better, but not that much. I forget how good the HD650 are, still up there with the best and can be considered one of the best headphones I've heard for long term enjoyment. And after many hours of listening attentively, I had understood what exactly is "plankton."

    I am open to trying more headphones (I know a few well - Ety ER4P, quite a few other Sennheisers, Focal Clear/Utopes, HE560, Edition XV1, Noble Audio Katana)

    but only a few instances can provide sufficient extraction of these details and cues, at least to the degree to which I can discern. the headphones that do keep me listening/engaged in the music, and I think the effortless reveal of fine details and small dynamic graduation is one of the most pleasing aspects of hi-fi, period.
     
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  10. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Utopia is a plankton galore and also brighter than the 650. With a wrong amp though, it can be too aggressive.

    800 with SDR and SBAF mods is a nice middle ground. More plankton than 650, but not as good as the Utopia. But it still has a slight peak at 6kHz. With good recordings you won’t be bothered. The moment you throw in crap, your ears will hurt. Putting the dust cover on helps reduce the peak. But it also reduces the size of the stage slightly and can feel over damped.

    If money no problem, Utopia is the end game for plankton. Just get an amp that pairs well. Utopia is also unforgiving when it comes to crappy recordings.

    P.S: If you do have some cash left at the end, do feel free to replace Utopia’s stock cable.
     
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  11. slankoe

    slankoe Tongue tastes of LH butthole

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    Indeed HD800 (stock, which I owned for a relatively short period) is up there with some of the best.

    But Utopia is "top shelf." I have not tried headphones in this price range except the HE-1000, and the next one down is Focal Clear.
    If I wanted to be done the "hobby," I wholeheartedly endorse the Focal Utopia, which also has the plankton that I believe @7seven is looking for.

    Edited for brevity
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  12. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    hd800 with sdr + sbaf combined with ifi audio amps at xbass at max setting

    this beats utopia imo
     
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  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Eitr -> Yggdrasil -> Freya -> Rag -> a pre 2003 Beyer DT880 600 ohms. Tons of Moffat and Stoddard goodness, more impedance, and no Sennheiser veil and softness to get in the way of your raw, no holds barred, unobtanium uberdetail for flexing Diana Krall and Daft Punk.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  14. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday!

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    Ya'll are barking up the wrong tree. Estats is where true headphone resolution is to be found. Just avoid the trashcan worthy BHSE and get an actual decent estat amp before complaining about the "dead" and "ethereal" sound.
     
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  15. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Did someone say cables? Avoid standing waves.
     
  16. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Seconded @HitmanFluffy . Higher end Stax SR or Lambda lines (the more expensive, the better; you get what you pay for) run off Stax brand amps and energizers are extremely resolving. Avoid Kevin Gilmore coffee cans; his amps are an insult to trashcan drummers.
     
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Sennheiser HE90 / HEV90 for the win.

    Frank's tube stat amps were excellent, especially when he used the poisonous glowy blue rectifiers. I haven't seen him in a long long time.
     
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  18. Noldir

    Noldir Rando

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    As a fan of planar headphones, how does (for instance) the he-6 stack up in it's planktonness? I always found the planars very good at the microdetails, but that could be personal
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    The four screw version gets close. Might be hampered by the need to use powerful $6000 speaker amps. Hard to get power with simple circuits with few parts.

    Clarity, fast decay, fast transients should not be mistaken for microdetail.
     
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  20. Noldir

    Noldir Rando

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    I have it powered via a Taurus MK2 which it pairs nicely with. If I'm understanding plankton correctly (having read the threads) it's about the microdetails that make everything sound "real" right? I usually test it with Snowy White - Bird of Paradise and Aggaloch - A Celebration for the Death of Man…

    They both have a plucking of the guitar only a few amps and headphones can do properly I noticed.

    Man, I'm regretting selling my HD-650's now. I always found them sounding too dark for my tastes....
     

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