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Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 235

post #3511 of 6691
Pandora Hope VI review is up, not as detailed as my usual reviews as I had very limited time with themthem

http://www.head-fi.org/t/696821/review-final-audio-design-pandora-hope-vi-interesting-dynamic-ba-full-size-headphones
post #3512 of 6691

FWIW, Colorfly C3 to my ears has some issue on digititus. The sound sounds like... well, very un-analogue. maybe it's my pairing with SE535Red last time. But the price of that DAP is hard to beat.

 

Anyway, heard my Pandora is being shipped from Sg now. Waiting it to arrive onto the land of the hornbills.

post #3513 of 6691

I've had the Pandora VI on my head all morning. I'm gonna need a lot more time with these, so keep in mind this is very early on in my evaluation process. Some initial impressions follow.

 

~> First off, the packaging is amazing. The best packaging I've seen in a headphone in this price range. Period. Just has FAD's kooky sensibility and is a lot of fun. The box is shaped like a hexagon, and inside it's lined with ridiculous faux mink fur. The box also doubles as a headphone stand.

 

~> Extremely sensitive. Plugging them directly into my MacBook yields audible hiss. These are definitely not the sort of headphones you'd want to buy a massive amp for IMO. That being said, they perform very well with my Leckerton UHA-6S and straight from the Sony ZX1 Walkman.

 

~> Sound is definitely not "basshead." They are more balanced now than earlier reports suggested. Bass still has good impact though without being overwhelming. The real star of the shows though for me so far are the upper mids and highs. The BA driver shines here delivering a good amount of detail but without getting too harsh or thin. Mids don't seem sucked out or recessed too much thus far. They have a hint of FAD's characteristic warmth of timbre, but overall I'd say this headphone tends more to a less euphonic and warm sound by their standards.

 

~> Perhaps the most uncertain area for me thus far is their sense of space. I've certainly heard better, even from FAD themselves. It could stand to be a little more outwardly holographic. Still, it has a good sense of separation and doesn't seem congested which is more important for me.

 

~> Comfort for me is quite good. I could see the inner dome behind the pads however causing discomfort for some, as it kind of presses against the ears.

 

~> The cable is very easy to work with, rubber-jacketed rather than cloth (thankfully IMO) and flexible. The plugs are finished well and have mini 1/8" jacks. Glad the cable is detachable.

 


 

In summation thus far, I think FAD has provided a really great package. It appeals to multiple senses: good sound, alluring design, lovely textures and materials on the headphones and inside the packaging. I'm REALLY looking forward to the Pandora VIII and X now, and I will most likely purchase them without an audition.

 

Pictures to follow at some point since I got a new Sony NEX camera for the holidays.

post #3514 of 6691
Would be interested in your impressions on the ZX1 Muppet, on the appropriate thread of course.
post #3515 of 6691

MuppetFace would you agree that the mids seem a bit behind the lows? I generally prefer the mids to be slightly forward, if not at least balanced with the rest of the frequency response. Could you possible compare the PHVI to the Heaven V? I know they're completely different but any sort of idea as to how the PHVI sounds relative to a headphone I'm familiar with would help a great deal.

post #3516 of 6691
Some update regarding my experience with the Heaven V. I'm now getting use to them and one thing that I'm impress is how they present the music. The imaging is just so different of what I heard before. It's very 3D in space. They are very good with Jazz music and vocal like many peoples reported.

I'm starting to like them more & more. Currently listening to Pink Floyd The Division Bell album and it's very nice.

To answer a comment before, I do not think they sound too warm. They are pretty neutral IMO with a little tilt on the warm.
post #3517 of 6691
Quote:
Originally Posted by akarise View Post
 

MuppetFace would you agree that the mids seem a bit behind the lows? I generally prefer the mids to be slightly forward, if not at least balanced with the rest of the frequency response. Could you possible compare the PHVI to the Heaven V? I know they're completely different but any sort of idea as to how the PHVI sounds relative to a headphone I'm familiar with would help a great deal.

 

TBH I was surprised by how linear these sound given what folks have been saying. The bass is slightly north, but not that emphasized, sort of how I was saying something could be technically U shaped even if it was only a gentle lift. In that sense, compared to the bass, the mids are perhaps slightly 'behind.' But are they recessed? Not really. At least not enough to my ears to be bothersome at all. I think the overall signature is well balanced. When you listen I think you will hear what I mean.  

 

I'm not detecting any bothersome midrange suck-out thus far, which is what is most important for me. Even on the LCD-X I hear a very subtle bit of suck-out that makes me turn up the volume on certain tracks.

 

Compared to the Heaven V? Hmm. There's a definite family resemblance with FAD's BAs since the Pandoras use the Molex BA driver, but I'd say the Pandora has more control and refinement in the frequency extremes. It's perhaps not quite as coherent sounding as the single driver earphones since the addition of the bass driver (though I think I need more time to really get a sense of how the bass works w/ the rest of the signature in these). I'd say they also sound somewhat more relaxed than the earphones do, easier to listen to for longer periods of time.

 

Personally I love these so far!

post #3518 of 6691
Did you guys hear about these CIEMs? The Final Audio X?



http://www.feversound1.com/131205-ect-2014/
post #3519 of 6691

Meh.

 

I'm definitely intrigued, and I'll probably get a pair just to hear the Molex drivers in a custom inclosure (at one point I was going to do something similar with a cIEM maker and the Heaven series drivers....), but a lot of the FAD sound comes from other factors like the shape of their universal enclosures, the metal housings and the alloy powder they use inside of them. Unless they find a way to translate some of that, like maybe using metal inside like FitEar or finding a way to use ports for their BAM, I think you'd more or less end up with "just another cIEM" if you catch my drift.

 

I know some folks who got custom tips made for their universal FitEars. Didn't work so well on the 1601s because it ended up blocking the airflow.


Edited by MuppetFace - 12/28/13 at 5:21pm
post #3520 of 6691
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

 

TBH I was surprised by how linear these sound given what folks have been saying. The bass is slightly north, but not that emphasized, sort of how I was saying something could be technically U shaped even if it was only a gentle lift. In that sense, compared to the bass, the mids are perhaps slightly 'behind.' But are they recessed? Not really. At least not enough to my ears to be bothersome at all. I think the overall signature is well balanced. When you listen I think you will hear what I mean.  

 

I'm not detecting any bothersome midrange suck-out thus far, which is what is most important for me. Even on the LCD-X I hear a very subtle bit of suck-out that makes me turn up the volume on certain tracks.

 

Compared to the Heaven V? Hmm. There's a definite family resemblance with FAD's BAs since the Pandoras use the Molex BA driver, but I'd say the Pandora has more control and refinement in the frequency extremes. It's perhaps not quite as coherent sounding as the single driver earphones since the addition of the bass driver (though I think I need more time to really get a sense of how the bass works w/ the rest of the signature in these). I'd say they also sound somewhat more relaxed than the earphones do, easier to listen to for longer periods of time.

 

Personally I love these so far!

 

Thanks for the comparison, it helped a lot! I think I've heard almost all I need, will be purchasing them soon. Hope to hear your evaluation after you've had more time with them!

post #3521 of 6691
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
 

Meh.

 

I'm definitely intrigued, and I'll probably get a pair just to hear the Molex drivers in a custom inclosure (at one point I was going to do something similar with a cIEM maker and the Heaven series drivers....), but a lot of the FAD sound comes from other factors like the shape of their universal enclosures, the metal housings and the alloy powder they use inside of them. Unless they find a way to translate some of that, like maybe using metal inside like FitEar or finding a way to use ports for their BAM, I think you'd more or less end up with "just another cIEM" if you catch my drift.

 

I know some folks who got custom tips made for their universal FitEars. Didn't work so well on the 1601s because it ended up blocking the airflow.

 

That bolded sequence made me chuckle. ;)

 

I agree that custom tips for the 160x series seem like a waste of money, but maybe not so much for their armatures.

 

FAD's BAM mechanism appears to work mostly self-contained with a large part of the airflow just happening between various sections of the driver unit itself. Granted, there's also a back vent from the driver unit to the outside, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that BAM might work well in a custom shell that provides some kind of air chamber behind the driver.

post #3522 of 6691

I've read impressions in this thread about the differences that the materials might make in the different FAD designs, but I don't think there was ever a post from someone who directly compared several of them side by side.  Or did I miss it?

 

The reason I'm asking is that I would like to buy some Piano Fortes, and am having a hard time choosing.  I usually like bright headphones, and I know none of these are bright, but is the IX slightly brighter than the others?  Or is it best just to buy the highest model I can reasonably afford?

post #3523 of 6691
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

 

That bolded sequence made me chuckle. ;)

 

I agree that custom tips for the 160x series seem like a waste of money, but maybe not so much for their armatures.

 

FAD's BAM mechanism appears to work mostly self-contained with a large part of the airflow just happening between various sections of the driver unit itself. Granted, there's also a back vent from the driver unit to the outside, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that BAM might work well in a custom shell that provides some kind of air chamber behind the driver.

 

 

Actually the Heavens have an unvented BAM implementation.

post #3524 of 6691
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post


Actually the Heavens have an unvented BAM implementation.

He was likely referring to the lettered Heaven series, A, S, C, and arguably the SS, though that might not be technically considered a Heaven. The newer numbered series look to be internally vented into a specially designed chamber.
post #3525 of 6691

^ Exactly, thanks for the clarification! :smile_phones: 

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