High-end Speakers V Headphone - you kidding me....

Mar 27, 2020
33
6
10
New York
#21
That is good to hear, also part of my justification going my route was part of the hobby's fun was to research and trial what synergizes best together, etc etc.

Also it is less painful to be buying 1 item at a time, though I did buy all my gear relatively quick as I knew what I wanted for most part.

But the HE-1 all in one package is very sleek and I'd assume company would auto synergize everything as it is an all in 1 system.
 

Rocoa

Active Member
Oct 17, 2018
73
39
25
Spain
#23
But the HE-1 all in one package is very sleek and I'd assume company would auto synergize everything as it is an all in 1 system.
I'm afraid it's fireworks
If you listen the Senn H1, having been enjoying the Abyss, perhaps you might have a big disappointment.
 
Mar 27, 2020
33
6
10
New York
#24
I'm afraid it's fireworks
If you listen the Senn H1, having been enjoying the Abyss, perhaps you might have a big disappointment.
Wow really? This comes as a surprise to me.
 

Rocoa

Active Member
Oct 17, 2018
73
39
25
Spain
#25
In my opinion they are meant for people with a lot of money and little judgment, although I may be wrong.
Something like a marketing strategy.
It's just my humble opinion, of course:).
 

Loheswaran

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
328
47
58
#26
Can the advances in headphone design we have seen in the last few years, can they really give us a sound that can compete with the best speaker systems?

I make no bones about it, I have been a headphone fan for many years, and use both every day. I enjoyed both equally. And I would be hard pressed to have to choose which I had to stuff in a boat to take to my desert island. In my opinion, the top headphones have got really close to the best speaker systems in terms of both emotional connection and enjoyment, and technical performance.

I went through the Stax electrostatics from the early Lambda mcdels, Lambda Signature, 007 MK1, 007 MK2, 009, 009s. Plus many electrostatic amplifiers both bought and made as DIY.

View attachment 63230
Electrostatics have a marvellous sense if timing and delicacy, micro detail is all right there, nothing seems to be lost. The challenge with most electrostatics for me, is the bass. It is there, it has extension down to below 20hz, but it DOES NOT have the drive to support it. It just doesn't sound like real bass, more a flat and weaker impression it is there.

Then after various visits to Can-Jam and hifi meets, I moved over to Planars with the LCD and conventional headphone amplifers. The thing that got me to do that was quite odd I guess, it was on hearing the Sennheiser HE1 headphone 50K system. That is an eletrostatic headphone and tube amplifier, but it has all the transparency you would expect from a top electrostatic, but really realistic bass and bass drive. Having heard that sound, I then used it as my 'target' and found the planars got the closest to it.

View attachment 63231

Now it has all gone a bit crazy. I am using the Aries Cerat Genus SET integrated, to drive the Audeze LCD4 directly off the OPT. The Genus has a 1/4 socket on the back for this purpose.
I can tell you, 100% that the sound out of this combination is beyond the level of the Sennheiser HE-1 system. It has the detail and speed, but more realistic mids and really solid placement of the soundstage. I can listen for hours with this combination.

View attachment 63232

Enter the Abyss TC planar magnetic headphone. This has the bass and creamy mids of the LCD4, but crucially the faster treble of the very best electrostatics, and the biggest soundstage I have ever heard on any headphone, even beyond the soundstage king - the Sennheiser HD800/820.

Here it is being powered off the back of the Moon 600i 125W integrated, which equates to about 12W at 33ohms for the Abyss impedance load. It sound marvellous.
The Abyss out of the Genus is up another notch, with typical tube goodness and accuracy of tone, yet the same bass control of the Moon 600i amplifier.

Piching this against my Zingali horns, it is close, different and yet similar. There is a lot more in common than not, which tells me the Abyss has nailed it, broke out of the 'in your head' type of presentation, and matched sonically to a decent speaker. There are some things the Abyss actually does better in my opinion. There is more detail and a closer connection to the music, if you are ok about headphone use in general. It is a nice way to enjoy music, one that is in recent years advanced so much.

Thoughts welcome....

The Abyss TC is without doubt the ultimate headphone.
Headphones cannot and do not image full stop, the end. It's a simple scientific fact. When you have speakers in front of you one sound reaches one ear at a different time. Headphones do not replicate this.

If you want the music to be have no room interaction, if you are mixing, not wanting to keep anyone else up at night fair enough.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,152
238
280
Metro DC
#27
Headphones cannot and do not image full stop, the end. It's a simple scientific fact. When you have speakers in front of you one sound reaches one ear at a different time. Headphones do not replicate this.

If you want the music to be have no room interaction, if you are mixing, not wanting to keep anyone else up at night fair enough.
I am not sure I disagree. The recordings do this for you.
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
1,778
207
225
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#29
1. Let's accept that, ideally, headphone listening is optimal with binaural recordings but, also, discount it because there is so very little repertoire on binaural recordings.
2. With stereo recordings, headphones cannot reproduce a proper soundstage although they can be impressive in many ways, useful in many situations and, for many, satisfying.
3. Let's not make this a competition between headphones with speakers. Different, that's all.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,152
238
280
Metro DC
#30
Stereo recordings are designed for two speakers at x distance apart and
distance from the listener. I admit headphones are at a disadvantage at that.
But then so is a conventional stereo.setup. Is there any setup that can reproduce the size and scale of a symphony orchestra ? If so I have not heard of it.
So let us make binaural recordings.
 

Genkifd

New Member
Apr 20, 2019
18
0
1
47
#31
last time i listened to a good set of head phones was at my friend's place with his LCDx. for the short time i listened to them they sounded great but compared to his new speaker system is really unfair.

the speaker is more dynamic. the bass went down with authority with chest pump feeling. the holographic sound stage is one of the best ive ever heard. The biggest draw back is the amount the space his speaker system takes.
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
1,778
207
225
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#32
But then so is a conventional stereo.setup. Is there any setup that can reproduce the size and scale of a symphony orchestra ? If so I have not heard of it.
Nor have I but there are many that will do better than headphones in recreating a sense of scale.
So let us make binaural recordings.
Good luck.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,152
238
280
Metro DC
#33
Given the omnipresence of headphones/earbuds the possibility of binaural recordings is good.
You can use existing recording equipment/technology with some modification. Minimal invesrment on the part of the consumer. All we need is the will.
When there is an opportunity to make money some one will take advantage of it.
 
Mar 27, 2020
33
6
10
New York
#35
I did at can jam, it was definitely not my cup of tea, the bass sounds really weird and it was too "bright" for me.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,152
238
280
Metro DC
#36
I cannot speak for any particular brand. Ribbons can rival electrostatics.
 
Last edited:

onlychild

Active Member
Sep 18, 2019
46
118
35
#37
Can the advances in headphone design we have seen in the last few years, can they really give us a sound that can compete with the best speaker systems?

I make no bones about it, I have been a headphone fan for many years, and use both every day. I enjoyed both equally. And I would be hard pressed to have to choose which I had to stuff in a boat to take to my desert island. In my opinion, the top headphones have got really close to the best speaker systems in terms of both emotional connection and enjoyment, and technical performance.

I went through the Stax electrostatics from the early Lambda mcdels, Lambda Signature, 007 MK1, 007 MK2, 009, 009s. Plus many electrostatic amplifiers both bought and made as DIY.

View attachment 63230
Electrostatics have a marvellous sense if timing and delicacy, micro detail is all right there, nothing seems to be lost. The challenge with most electrostatics for me, is the bass. It is there, it has extension down to below 20hz, but it DOES NOT have the drive to support it. It just doesn't sound like real bass, more a flat and weaker impression it is there.

Then after various visits to Can-Jam and hifi meets, I moved over to Planars with the LCD and conventional headphone amplifers. The thing that got me to do that was quite odd I guess, it was on hearing the Sennheiser HE1 headphone 50K system. That is an eletrostatic headphone and tube amplifier, but it has all the transparency you would expect from a top electrostatic, but really realistic bass and bass drive. Having heard that sound, I then used it as my 'target' and found the planars got the closest to it.

View attachment 63231

Now it has all gone a bit crazy. I am using the Aries Cerat Genus SET integrated, to drive the Audeze LCD4 directly off the OPT. The Genus has a 1/4 socket on the back for this purpose.
I can tell you, 100% that the sound out of this combination is beyond the level of the Sennheiser HE-1 system. It has the detail and speed, but more realistic mids and really solid placement of the soundstage. I can listen for hours with this combination.

View attachment 63232

Enter the Abyss TC planar magnetic headphone. This has the bass and creamy mids of the LCD4, but crucially the faster treble of the very best electrostatics, and the biggest soundstage I have ever heard on any headphone, even beyond the soundstage king - the Sennheiser HD800/820.

Here it is being powered off the back of the Moon 600i 125W integrated, which equates to about 12W at 33ohms for the Abyss impedance load. It sound marvellous.
The Abyss out of the Genus is up another notch, with typical tube goodness and accuracy of tone, yet the same bass control of the Moon 600i amplifier.

Piching this against my Zingali horns, it is close, different and yet similar. There is a lot more in common than not, which tells me the Abyss has nailed it, broke out of the 'in your head' type of presentation, and matched sonically to a decent speaker. There are some things the Abyss actually does better in my opinion. There is more detail and a closer connection to the music, if you are ok about headphone use in general. It is a nice way to enjoy music, one that is in recent years advanced so much.

Thoughts welcome....

The Abyss TC is without doubt the ultimate headphone.

Which dac was used with the LCD4 and Genus?
 

Genkifd

New Member
Apr 20, 2019
18
0
1
47
#38
for me the biggest factor headphones compared to speakers is that i can never get the impression of a large soundstage. ive always felt the soundstage on headphones is about an inch from my head.
 

Loheswaran

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
328
47
58
#39
1. Let's accept that, ideally, headphone listening is optimal with binaural recordings but, also, discount it because there is so very little repertoire on binaural recordings.
2. With stereo recordings, headphones cannot reproduce a proper soundstage although they can be impressive in many ways, useful in many situations and, for many, satisfying.
3. Let's not make this a competition between headphones with speakers. Different, that's all.
Sorry for my tone - but I had hoped I had summarised what I think headphones are good for.

It's not about the recording alone creating a soundstage. with headphone one ear hears one thing - the other one hears another thing. When you have speakers both ears hear what the other one hears, but at different times - hence the soundstage.

I've had good headphones over the years, and have heard some very expensive ones of late at shows, but I just think that they just don't grab me and give me satisfaction. They, like much of high end audio, have become utterly overblown in price.
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
1,778
207
225
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#40
Sorry for my tone - but I had hoped I had summarised what I think headphones are good for.

It's not about the recording alone creating a soundstage. with headphone one ear hears one thing - the other one hears another thing. When you have speakers both ears hear what the other one hears, but at different times - hence the soundstage.

I've had good headphones over the years, and have heard some very expensive ones of late at shows, but I just think that they just don't grab me and give me satisfaction. They, like much of high end audio, have become utterly overblown in price.
I have no argument with any of your statements and my comments were not addressed to you.
 

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