Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 376

post #5626 of 7185

I agree with the timing of the name change....it was originally called Final back in the 70's and 80's when the company's focus was on very high


2 channel stereo preamps and phono sections....they were very expensive products...


Quite a long and varied history!

post #5627 of 7185


Edited by rovopio - 7/19/16 at 4:09am
post #5628 of 7185
post #5629 of 7185

Well it's a presentation of the product, the drivers unit is made of titanium and the rest in aluminium, it takes one day to do it by hand and it will cost 4500€.

it's a masterpiece and it's awesome.


This is what we learn in this video

post #5630 of 7185
Originally Posted by rovopio View Post

Anybody owns or have auditioned both the heaven V and VI?

I have the V and am wondering if the jump to VI will be worth it or not....? How much difference are the 2?



well i have the heaven v and the heaven vi is waiting to be cleared ...i hope to see it tomorrow...happy to share my impressions...

post #5631 of 7185


Edited by rovopio - 7/19/16 at 3:58am
post #5632 of 7185

I've always wondered if the two Heaven V's sound different too. The aging V seems to cost about 15% more


and if it does enhance the midrange then it worth it....From everything I have read, it is too close to call...


On the other hand, the Heaven VI is consistently portrayed as lush and thick...just the next step of what I


am looking for to go with the slightly bright sounding Cayin N6.

post #5633 of 7185


Edited by rovopio - 7/19/16 at 4:09am
post #5634 of 7185

While I am still extremely happy with my Heaven V in the meantime I tend to believe that they are not the ultimate choice for Rock. 

They are great for anything acoustic, Jazz and all kinds of live recordings.


But on some occasions I believe something (but I can't explain exactly what) is missing when listening to rock.


Sooner or later I am going to buy the JVC HA-FX1200 anyhow. That should fill the gap...

post #5635 of 7185

Agree. I dont plan to sell mine but to get a complimentary pair...otherwise, i just use the Denon woodies when i am home....


they do rock just fine!

post #5636 of 7185

Hello guys , do you have any recommendations for a digital audio player that is good with the FI-BA-SS ?

post #5637 of 7185

A while back I wrote an article for Musica Acoustics' blog comparing the Heaven IV, V, and VI. It doesn't seem to be up anymore, so I figured I'd post it here for future reference.




*  *  *  *  *  *  *

*  *  *  *  *  *  *



Final Audio Design Heaven V Impressions 
by MuppetFace
There's something about Final Audio Design (or 'FAD' for short) that speaks to certain people. Perhaps it's the exotic materials and finishes that adorn their products; perhaps it's the esoteric and downright mysterious nature of the company itself. In any case, what fans of the company will likely tell you is that there's a strong emotional response at work, and that's something that extends to the sound of these earphones as well. This isn't just soulless audio jewelry for those who are largely disinterested in music. It's creators have paid just as much attention to how these reproduce music as to how they look, and the end result is a complete expression on the part of its creators as to what an earphone can be. At the risk of sounding even more pretentious: this is art made for experiencing art.
The underlying philosophy at work here is holistic, and it eschews separating music from that which reproduces it. Just as the instrument is an extension of the musician, recorded audio and audio equipment are in a sense inseparable. In FAD's world listening is never without a surrounding context. Listening is an activity that is complementary to the performance of music itself; just as an instrument is a tool that becomes an extension of the musician, the earphone is a tool that becomes an extension of what the listener is hearing. This is not an approach that holds the device should "get out of the way," but rather one that holds its task is to assist in replicating a specific character, ambience, and mood. It's a bold approach that bets everything on FAD's unique vision of how thingsshould be heard. Put another way, FAD has a list of priorities---aspects they feel are most important to the reproduction of "music" rather than simply sound---and by focusing most on these specific qualities, it seems they feel they can more authentically recreate the musical experience.
Take, for example, the Piano Forte series of dynamic earphones. When some folks hear these uniquely shaped earphones for the first time, they are immediately surprised by how different they sound: extremely mid-centric, rolled off in the bass and treble, thick and euphonious. It would be a mistake however to think that FAD messed up and produced something unintentionally off-kilter. On the contrary, they've invested quite a bit of energy in tuning them this way on purpose. Their specific goal for these dynamic drivers is to recreate the experience of listening to vintage horn speakers in a large open space. If you're familiar with Japanese culture, you may be aware of clubs that do something similar: they replicate a vintage atmosphere from the interior decor to the dress of the employees, right down to the sound systems which use vintage equipment. It's all about theexperience. It's also more than just a novelty for some: it's a presentation that carries with it a certain something, an almost indefinable spark that makes for a more authentic listening experience. It's not for everyone, though.
Which brings us to FAD's other product line, the balanced armature based Heaven series. This may be presumptuous on my part, but I suspect these earphones carry with them the potential for a broader, more generalized appeal. Certainly it's a less specialized objective: the descriptors on FAD's website indicate these have been tasked primarily with conjuring up the energy of live performances. The lineup itself consists of several different models, the older of which are designated alphabetically; you can still find the Heaven C andHeaven S on sale,  though they've since been updated with newer more sleek counterparts that get Roman numerals to differentiate them. Most recently FAD has introduced the Heaven V into the lineup between the previously released Heaven IV and Heaven VI, and with its siblings it shares the same basic design elements of a cylindrical housing, a ribbon style cable, and a single balanced armature driver. This latter detail is especially intriguing. At a time when manufacturers are competing to see who can cram the most drivers into just about any given tight space, the designers of the Heaven series opt for the approach of "less is more." Really, I think this speaks to the resourceful of FAD's engineers and their understanding of the subtle nuances that go into tweaking and tuning singular drivers to creature such an array of different models.
Without venturing too far into the realm of pseudo-science, FAD seems to feel certain materials are better suited than others for replicating the subtle qualities of music. I'm not intimately familiar with the actual principles behind this, but at first blush it seems similar to the "tonewoods" that luthiers select for crafting instruments. The idea is that the different materials---in this case select metals---impart a certain character to the sound, though unlike wood whose vibrations are well-suited for creating music, metals seem a better choice for this application due to their being less resonant. Either way it's the housings of the Heaven series that differentiate the models primarily, and they range from stainless steel at the entry level to chrome copper at the top; the Heaven V's enclosure on the other hand is made from brass. Beyond this, FAD offers two different finishes on the exterior. More on those later.
The Heaven V fits nicely in the middle of FAD's new lineup of balanced armatures. As its numerical designation would imply it's situated squarely between the less expensive Heaven IV and the more expensive Heaven VI, and having spent a fair amount of time with both of those models, I think this is a fairly apt descriptor for where it falls in terms of sound as well. The sonics of the new Heaven lineup in general can be described as clear and energetic, though they also feature a certain organic quality with just a subtle hint of the warmth that FAD is known for. Overall I'd say they lean more toward being euphonic than detached and analytical, but they never become mushy or wooly by any means thankfully. Personally I find their general signature quite musically satisfying and fun while at the same time saturated with a fairly impressive level of detail and layering. All this from a single balanced armature no less. Speaking of which, those who find balanced armatures rather underwhelming in the lower region may be surprised to hear just how robust the Heavens can sound; this is largely accomplished through FAD's Balanced Air Movement technology, a proprietary feature found on many of their different models that lives up to its name in its ability to push air.
As the middle child of the family, the Heaven V is split rather evenly between its siblings; on the one hand it's not quite as even-keeled as the Heaven IV, while on the other hand its coloration is not quite as overt as theHeaven VI. To help put this into context, the Heaven IV sounds relatively linear by FAD's standards and, like their other stainless steel earphones (even the Piano Forte IX in a relative sense), a bit thinner than its brethren. "Purity" is the operative word here. In comparison the use of chrome copper on earphones such as the HeavenVI seems to result in a somewhat thicker, more lush and "romantic" sound. Which brings us back around to theHeaven V and its shaved brass housing. There's a certain energetic quality present among the brass units, a liveliness that is captured here and makes itself known above and beyond the more sedate Heaven IV. Vocals pop. Highs shimmer. Yet compared to the previous brass model, the Heaven S, the current iteration is more restrained; in particular the highs lack the tizzy quality found on those of the Heaven S, and as a result the top end is slightly less hot. I do find the Heaven V's highs have some occasional glare, but they aren't sibilant or harsh to my ears, and overall they have a bright but non-fatiguing quality in my opinion. 
In terms of bass response, I don't hear the Heaven V as particularly heavy or elevated. It's about on par with theHeaven IV in terms of quantity but somewhat punchier in execution; tight and well-controlled if a bit modest. The Heaven Vi in comparison hits harder and has a touch more low end presence. As previously mentioned theHeaven VI has a slightly thicker sound, though details are not smeared as a result. Really the entire Heavenline excels at detail retrieval, and it does so without sounding artificially analytical and shoving detail down your throat. The Heaven V is no different. In fact, I'd say both it and the Heaven VI come fairly close to the significantly more expensive FI-BA-SS---FAD's flagship balanced armature earphones---in this regard. The same holds true with regard to imaging: simply put, the Heaven V and Heaven VI are imaging champs. Instruments are clearly defined in space around the listener, convincingly solid entities with extension and heft. Positioning is still better defined and textures more lifelike on the FI-BA-SS, but considering the price gap it's awfully close. 
This is perhaps the biggest reason I would choose the Heaven V over the Heaven IV. The field of sound on the latter is less three-dimensional and more flat, more compressed; the Heaven V by comparison does a better job making one feel as if he or she were "there." On their website FAD mentions that the Heaven V was tuned with live music in mind, and it would seem they've succeeded in their objective, as the earphones do a particularly admirable job with live material. The rendered stage isn't overly expansive but rather more moderate. Within that space however the presentation is very holographic, and while I wouldn't characterize the sound of the Heavenseries in general as particularly airy, on the Heaven V instruments have a satisfying sense of air between them in my opinion. The sound is immediate without being claustrophobic, open but not cavernous.
So what's up with the Heaven V Aging? Often times, FAD will make different variations of a particular model as far as the exterior finish goes. In my experience these different variations are purely cosmetic; for instance theHeaven VI comes in both polished copper or gold plated versions, both of which differ in appearance but sound the same. There was some speculation as to whether this is the case with the Aging version of the Heaven V, as FAD has given it an additional title. Are we dealing with a totally different earphone here? Having listened to both the regular and the Aging versions side-by-side, I can say that---to my ears at least---there are no major sonic differences between the two. The Aging concept goes beyond an additional choice in exterior finish however. As mentioned above, FAD deals in artistic expression and offers its customers a multi-sensory experience. The Aging designation seems to be based around the concept of patina: as certain objects age, they gradually change in appearance and develop a character over time. Observing the earphones now, they look somewhat rustic with a deeply grained metallic finish. Almost frosted. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, and to my eyes these earphones as they appear now are some of the most attractive among FAD's plethora of creations, though I'm mot sure exactly how they're supposed to change over time. Also unique to this particular earphone is the carry case. Instead of the svelte metal cigarette case that typically houses the Heaven series now, one gets a round swatch of leather and some cord; there are instructions for threading the cord through the leather to produce what is essentially a mini rucksack of sorts. It's a fun and bizarre if somewhat useless accessory. 
As for the Heaven V, it too is quite lovely with its black chrome finish. This finish is a first for FAD I believe. Both earphones utilize ribbon-style cables that are more flat above the Y-split and somewhat more ovoid below; the result is a cable that is attractive but [mercifully] doesn't coil as severely as the one found on its predecessor, the Heaven S. The flatter cabling above the Y-split feels a bit too flimsy for my liking however. Overall though these earphones seem robust and solid, and the materials used in their construction are top notch at this price point. Comfort wise the earphones don't feel too big in the ears, though the vacuum effect upon insertion---something common among earphones like this in my experience---takes some getting used to. It's also a bit odd that FAD insists on angling the strain relief outward rather than inward (like the Ortofon Q7) or even downward. This makes it a bit awkward if you want to wear them upside down and tuck the cable behind your ears. Overall I'd rate the ergonomics as decent, Personally I prefer this newer form factor to that of yesteryear's Heaven models, but I can see others feeling the reverse to be true. On the other hand I think most will agree the packaging of the Heaven line has improved considerably over the span of its various iterations.
I think the newer Heaven lineup represents an intersection of two approaches for FAD. In many ways, they're the most readily accessible and have the broadest potential appeal of their earphones. As a result some might feel this goes against the notion of what FAD is all about, a compromise of their unique and often polarizing vision. Personally I don't find this to be the case. If the unwavering attention to detail and the novel approach of the Aging concept are any indication, these earphones are most definitely a product of FAD's artistry. Sonically they've created some of their most nuanced entries yet, combining their well-established flare for the dramatic with a newfound level of polish and refinement. The Heaven V in particular sits right at the heart of the new lineup; it represents a nice middle ground approach, and I personally feel it would make a fantastic introduction to the world of FAD for newcomers as well as a nice addition to the collections of FAD-o-philes alike
post #5638 of 7185


Edited by rovopio - 7/19/16 at 4:02am
post #5639 of 7185

I finally has an opportunity to get a Piano Forte VIII at a special show price.  I just received them today.


I have to say that my first impression is quite disapointing :( : There is real lack of bass that make treble piercing and fatiguing.  This is quite far from the listening impressions that I read and were speaking about "relaxing...subtile...".


is it normal ? do they improve with break-in ?  are there some recommended music with them...


thanks in advance for your advice




post #5640 of 7185
Originally Posted by rovopio View Post


it's still on this thread, but people have to do advanced search to find the quote to your post that was made by some other user. Yours are the only english reviews for the Heaven V that I could find. And I believe you that in your review the V and V aging sounds the same. I still went for the V aging because the japan store reviews mentioned that V aging has "a little more mid-bass" that makes them sounds a little warmer and rounder.


Based my purchase on that store written review. I'm not invalidating your review, I am just stating that there are domestic reviews that reviews them differently (the review page also includes an hour-long video about V aging discussion by a Final Audio staff and a store employee).



Yeah, the blog post was linked a bunch of times earlier in the thread, but the link doesn't work on my end anymore---plus I couldn't find the entry on Musica Acoustics---so I'm assuming it was lost in the shuffle when their site was updated recently.


When I saw the impressions on some Japanese store sites saying the Aging was different than the 'normal' Heaven V, I was definitely intrigued, but that just hasn't been my own experience. In fact, I found there's more difference in sound based on what kind of tips one uses or insertion into the ear one achieves, so it's quite possible someone hears the two as different just based on other factors. Or perhaps it's natural product variation from one unit to the next.


I say this because FAD usually doesn't tune the different finishes differently (the gold plated and chrome copper versions of the Heaven VI, for instance, are the same --- the external finish is just different).

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread