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Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 231

post #3451 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

TBH, as much as I love the FI-BA-SS, I think you're getting 95% of its capabilities with the Heaven V and VI for less than half the price.

 

I don't have them to compare anymore, but from memory the Heaven VI and FI-BA-SS were two totally different sound signatures, for me.

post #3452 of 7184

I remember vwinter telling me that my Heaven C loaner sounded noticeably more textured to him than his Heaven V.

 

I personally haven't heard the newer V and VI models, but I'd agree that the older A, C and S models can sound pretty close to the much more expensive SS, provided you can get a similarly deep fit. And here's the crux of the matter, the former's larger housings make that kind of fit almost impossible, even with my infamous XXL ear canals.

post #3453 of 7184

When someone asks me where to start with FAD, I'll always recommend the Heaven series first and foremost because it provides the best price-to-performance ratio in my opinion, and it allows people to get a taste of FAD without being "too colored" like their dynamics (note the parentheses), but still flavored with that warmth that sets the brand apart, all without breaking the bank. From there, it's pretty easy to help someone upgrade: if they want more warmth and euphony, they can try the dynamics. If they want more BA pizazz, then the FI-BA-SS might be for them. Personally though I have reservations about telling people to just drop a thousand bucks on something with which they're not familiar. Especially if they don't specify price from the outset.

 

Really, the question of differences is going to very for people I think. For me, I don't find the Piano Forte models that different from one another---mainly a subtle difference most likely imparted by the housings---so I'd say that difference is minimal. A few others however say they hear a big difference. I hear more of a difference between the 1601 and 1602 models, but even then I'd say they're more similar than not. What I'd consider a "big difference" personally is a comparison between the dynamics and the BAs. That, for me, is a totally different type of experience.

 

Ultimately I just pull a percentage like "95%" out of my rear end to express that I feel the Heavens capture a lot of what the FI-BA-SS can do. That's not to say they sound entirely similar in tone. The FI-BA-SS is stainless, which in FAD's world connotes the most pure expression of the sonics. In comparison the Heaven VI is warmer with its copper housing and the brass Heaven S has a zingy, more sizzling character. The brass Heaven V is slightly more low-key than the S, and is actually kind of a nice happy medium to my mind between the more linear Heaven IV and warmer Heaven VI. It's positioned in the middle of FAD's lineup and, to me, sounds that way.

 

The FI-BA-SS is going to be the most detailed of FAD's BAs, and it's going to convey texture more keenly and sound more refined in the extremities. For me, I estimate it at a 5% performance boost over the other BAs. That comes from my living with the FI-BA-SS and other Heaven models and doing direct A/B side-by-side at various points in time. Honestly, I sometimes find more variation from one session with the Heaven V to another depending on my mood, the tracks being used, and how well I've got them fitted (sometimes my ears get a pressure build up and I can't stand to wear IEMs like these). That's pretty much arbitrary however, and maybe for others the differences between models are more pronounced.

 

However also keep in mind the FI-BA-SS is also like that guy who likes to point out every mistake other people make, and when someone mentions "contemporary music," I think it's going to be somewhat hit or miss. Heck, a lot of classical music is even more poorly mastered than a lot of contemporary stuff. Discovering your music collection through the "eyes" of the FI-BA-SS is part of its charm, though. It's just an experience I don't immediately recommend diving into, as I'm cautious in my recommendations. Perhaps overly so.


Edited by MuppetFace - 12/13/13 at 5:19pm
post #3454 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

TBH, as much as I love the FI-BA-SS, I think you're getting 95% of its capabilities with the Heaven V and VI for less than half the price.

It's kind of interesting that you say the VI is U shaped because I thought it would be pretty similar to the V, but the V is literally a reasonably downward sloping reasonably wavy line from bass to treble. Where does the VI pick up to form the U?

This is to an earlier post I read.
Edited by vwinter - 12/13/13 at 5:33pm
post #3455 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post


It's kind of interesting that you say the VI is U shaped because I thought it would be pretty similar to the V, but the V is literally a reasonably downward sloping reasonably wavy line from bass to treble. Where does the VI pick up to form the U?

 

The Heaven VI's treble is slightly north of neutral to me.

post #3456 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

Maybe in technicalities, but I just had a go at the HV a few weeks ago. I don't really find them similar to the SS. The V is a good deal more colored in the mids, and the bass feels slower and less striking than that of the SS. I remember being amazed by what a single BA phone was doing in the low end. I didn't get that same feel from the V.

Your impressions are marred by unfounded expectations. Don't make me send them back to you tongue.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

The Heaven VI's treble is slightly north of neutral to me.

Hmm that might put cymbals right where I want them in terms of depth positioning.

Unrelatedly, do you ever find that any of the FAD BA's get "cold" after a while and sound a bit clearer after a bit up "working" and warming up?
Edited by vwinter - 12/13/13 at 5:41pm
post #3457 of 7184

Heaven VI ramps up with power. With a really strong amp it becomes more mid to bass oriented and the treble is comparatively de-emphasized. My perception is otherwise not so much U-shaped though - I think that the mids are fairly prominent.

 

I like the Heaven VI a lot. It is the isolating IEM that I recommend for those that can afford it.

post #3458 of 7184

Keep in mind that "U shaped" is not the same as "V shaped," at least not in my lexicon. Something can be U-shaped and still have very prevalent mids, just with a gently upturned bass and treble. Even a slight treble and bass emphasis is enough to qualify technically, and most earphones out there are U-shaped to some degree, with a far smaller percentage in my experience measuring relatively flat or deemphasized in the treble or bass. Though they certainly exist (like some of FAD's own dynamics).

 

Most of FAD's earphones have an underlying warmth of timbre in the mids I find, independent of bass or treble emphasis (or "timbre" instead of "tonal" warmth I guess you could say). One of the few exceptions for me is the Adagio V which is the only FAD I'd personally describe as "cold" sounding myself. Ah, the Adagios. Now there are some FADs that don't get a lot of love. Second only to their terminally overlooked 1350s, the plastic ancestors of today's Piano Fortes.

post #3459 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

Keep in mind that "U shaped" is not the same as "V shaped," at least not in my lexicon. Something can be U-shaped and still have very prevalent mids, just with a gently upturned bass and treble. Even a slight treble and bass emphasis is enough to qualify technically, and most earphones out there are U-shaped to some degree, with a far smaller percentage in my experience measuring relatively flat or deemphasized in the treble or bass. Though they certainly exist (like some of FAD's own dynamics).

 

Ah! Got it. That does make sense. 

post #3460 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post


Your impressions are marred by unfounded expectations. Don't make me send them back to you tongue.gif
Hmm that might put cymbals right where I want them in terms of depth positioning.

Unrelatedly, do you ever find that any of the FAD BA's get "cold" after a while and sound a bit clearer after a bit up "working" and warming up?

 

I've noticed  a definite burn-in in the Heaven series, which is atypical for BAs.

If you haven't used them for a while, I guess there is a mini burn-in going on.

But if you are using them daily, it's probably just brain adjusting to extracting the details.

post #3461 of 7184

Heaven VI can now be had for the lowest price ever - 400-405$ from Kakaku by clicking the BuySmartJapan banner:

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000418981/

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000439184/

 

Heaven IV violet and white versions can be had for 130$-135$:

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000360426/

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000360427/

 

The black version will cost 165$-170$:

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000360428/

 

I think Heaven IV is the best place to start with the Heavens - if you don't like them, you are not going to like the higher models either.

They are a stupendous value.

post #3462 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenF View Post

I've noticed  a definite burn-in in the Heaven series, which is atypical for BAs.
If you haven't used them for a while, I guess there is a mini burn-in going on.
But if you are using them daily, it's probably just brain adjusting to extracting the details.

Yea the haven't used them in a while scenario.
post #3463 of 7184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenF View Post
 

 

I think Heaven IV is the best place to start with the Heavens - if you don't like them, you are not going to like the higher models either.

They are a stupendous value.

 

The reason why I personally steer folks away from the Heaven IV is that it's FAD's most neutral sounding earphone. Even more than the Heaven C from memory. I actually know several people who thought the Heaven IV was "too pedestrian" by FAD's standards (I think it was Tomscy2000 who used this turn of phrase?) and ended up more satisfied with the Heaven VI.

 

I do agree with you though that they are a stupendous value. I'm just not personally inclined to think they're the best way to get that overt "FAD experience" (coloration) on the cheap. I'm very curious to hear how the Heaven II compare though, especially to the Adagio III.

 

Regarding burn-in, with FAD I really do think it's mostly a case of getting reacclimatized to their unique sound.

post #3464 of 7184
Heaven II also change a lot with amping and fit. I've got custom tips for my heaven II and they work well out of a warmer source or with an amp
I use them out of the Fiio X3
post #3465 of 7184
Dropping by on this thread since I have found very little mentions of FAD Pandora Hope VI which is in stock even here in France, only one review so far by Roger Gnaw (http://headfijourney.blogspot.fr/2013/11/final-audio-design-pandora-hope-vi.html)

It seems strange that there is little to no press and that no one among headfiers would have had a listen to those hybrid driver headphones (are there any other company trying this setup?). A dedicated thread will probably happen, eager to read some feedback!

I know I am really tempted!
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