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post #211 of 284

Just wanted to post some impressions for these since I finally heard a pair at our recent Dallas meet. 

 

First impression was 'Wow. Forget the Thunderpants.' I had heard the Thunderpants on a few occasions before and really just thought they sounded boring and lifeless without EQ. 

 

These are a totally different story. For one, I saw one of the 'premium' models. It looked great. All black, suspended headband (which really helped comfort wise), and the premium cable as well (4 pin XLR). 

 

We were pushing them with the new Schiit and the Bryston BHA-1 and they sounded great. Not even in the same league as the Thunderpants, honestly. 

 

This may have been the premium model (I think with options it was right around $600) so while it was expensive it seemed worth it. The all black paint job, the added padding, the suspended band, etc. made for one of the most comfortable headphones I'd worn all day. It reminded me a lot of the way the 007 fit. 

 

My only complaint was that sometimes they sounded a tab bright, but that's understandable looking at the graphs, and the fact we were pushing it with SS amps (especially the BHA-1, which I already knew wasn't to my liking).

 

I'm seriously considering buying a pair to go with the Centrance M8 as a 'portable' rig. Already emailed Luis.

 

beerchug.gif

post #212 of 284

 ^ Cool, glad you enjoyed them! 

 

Seriously consider a Cavalli CTH if you end up with a pair. If you need a board PM me or just go to http://joeaudiophile.com/. The CTH with an RCA 6CG7 Clear Top is phenominal. Best part is the RCA clear top can be had for ~20$ The CTH is not as true to the music (Ruler Flat) as the O2 but it is really fun.

 

~M

 

EDIT: LOL Morbid, your avitar threw me off ! I didn't even read your name, just saw the avatar and figured I didnt know you... 


Edited by mmayer167 - 10/15/12 at 10:18am
post #213 of 284

I'm a big fan of the CTH. I thought it was the best pair with (lackluster) Thunderpants when I heard them, and it was fantastic with the HD598 as well. 

 

Alex let me borrow his for awhile.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmayer167 View Post

 ^ Cool, glad you enjoyed them! 

 

Seriously consider a Cavalli CTH if you end up with a pair. If you need a board PM me or just go to http://joeaudiophile.com/. The CTH with an RCA 6CG7 Clear Top is phenominal. Best part is the RCA clear top can be had for ~20$ The CTH is not as true to the music (Ruler Flat) as the O2 but it is really fun.

 

~M

post #214 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Just wanted to post some impressions for these since I finally heard a pair at our recent Dallas meet. 

 

First impression was 'Wow. Forget the Thunderpants.' I had heard the Thunderpants on a few occasions before and really just thought they sounded boring and lifeless without EQ. 

 

These are a totally different story. For one, I saw one of the 'premium' models. It looked great. All black, suspended headband (which really helped comfort wise), and the premium cable as well (4 pin XLR). 

 

We were pushing them with the new Schiit and the Bryston BHA-1 and they sounded great. Not even in the same league as the Thunderpants, honestly. 

 

This may have been the premium model (I think with options it was right around $600) so while it was expensive it seemed worth it. The all black paint job, the added padding, the suspended band, etc. made for one of the most comfortable headphones I'd worn all day. It reminded me a lot of the way the 007 fit. 

 

My only complaint was that sometimes they sounded a tab bright, but that's understandable looking at the graphs, and the fact we were pushing it with SS amps (especially the BHA-1, which I already knew wasn't to my liking).

 

I'm seriously considering buying a pair to go with the Centrance M8 as a 'portable' rig. Already emailed Luis.

 

beerchug.gif

Glad to hear you enjoyed them sir! beerchug.gif

 

I asked for Maxvla's impressions at the meet, and he was very impressed with them as well - he confessed that he preferred them to the LCD 2/3, which I thought was very high praise indeed.

 

I really enjoyed the sound out of the Bryston, it was an absolute treat to finally get to run the Paradox balanced on a higher end amp. Am looking into amp upgrade options right now. :)

post #215 of 284

I'm sensitive to bright headphones and have no issues with the Paradox. There's no treble emphasis, spike, or ringing problems that you'll find with almost all headphones. The headband and the FA-003 pads are standard issue.

post #216 of 284

I thought I would post my impressions after having had my pair for a couple of weeks now. I gave it a bit of time as I wanted to be sure it wasn't a cognitive bias after spending a reasonable amount of money on the mod. 

 

By way of introduction I'm a long term headphone geek and I've been reading head fi for years without posting much. I have made the mistake of seriously listening to really good speakers up to the $10k price range (VAF Signature Series, Ribbons, Electrostatics) which have informed my expectations of what's possible (e.g. closing my eyes and getting the impression that an artist is actually standing in front of me performing) and I also quite like Mackie HR-824 monitors. 

 

Headphones I own in order of purchase:

Sony MDR-7506

Sennheiser HD-600

Koss KSC-75

Alessandro MS-1 

AKG-701 

Fostex T50RP stock pleather pads self DIY (bought as mk2 but became convinced they were mk1 due to inferior bass response)

Fostex T50RP stock leather pads self DIY replaced with comfy plush pads

Some canalphones hardly worth mentioning

LFF Paradox Fostex T50RP mod in lovely red custom paint:

 

 Painted & Re-Cabled Paradox Headphones

 

For headphone amp / DAC duties I currently use a FiiO E10 which seems to be roughly on par with my Pioneer VSX-AX-S headphone out and I am currently fairly happy with, although I'm eyeing off the O2 DAC/AMP combo as my next purchase.

 

So I contacted LFF asking if he did mods for randoms like me who'd cyber stalked him. I'd been reading about how great the Paradox was on here for months and finally decided to find out for myself whether they were that much better than the DIY mods I'd done. I thought my own DIYs were pretty great, even though I used heavy EQ to tame some of their issues.

 

A few weeks later my shiny new Paradox pair arrived and the serious listening began. 

 

I listen to a wide variety of music. A few examples in a genre-spanning-arc include David Gray, Coldplay, Megadeth, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Anthrax, Better Than Ezra, Kings of Leon, Harry Manx, Stephen Fearing, Kelly Joe Phelps, Ry Cooder, Eric Bibb, Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Eminem, Bad Meets Evil, KRS One, Beastie Boys, Falco, Queen, Paul McCartney & Wings, Jon Anderson, Jean Michel Jarre, John Williams (Star Wars), Holst (The Planets), Alphaville, Erasure, David Guetta, Infected Mushroom, Skrillex.

 

Everything I've thrown at them including the above artists, the Paradox does great justice to. They seem to do the things well that all of my good headphones do, without any of the drawbacks. I have yet to find any overt weakness with them. 

 

The sound balanced and flat without sounding analytical and boring. They're pretty revealing. Recordings like Steely Dan which are overly bright sound that way. Recordings like Better Than Ezra's early stuff which wasn't recorded well sound that way. They're not fatiguing the way revealing gear sometimes is. 

 

My test for accuracy has always been acoustic stuff. As an example John Doan creates celtic guitar records and wow does Wayfarer sound magical on these Paradoxes. Similarly anything acoustic, voice, drums, guitars, strings, horns... they all just sound right. They sound as accurate as my mind can imagine them sounding. 

 

Steely Dan's Haitian Divorce sounds incredible as always, and a tiny bit bright ... true to the recording. 

 

That said, these do an admirable job with electronic music too. Skrillex makes me feel like life is awesome, Stanton Warriors mixes make me feel like I'm in a club with a sound system out of this world. (I didn't actually realise their mixes sounded this good).

 

Moving more into the popular domain Sweet Billy Pilgrim sounds magically melancholy. Switchfoot I Dare You to Move clearly has a lot of post-processing applied because the drums have reverb and other sounds are coming from everywhere. I guess that's testament to a very wide soundstage. (Normally I'm not a soundstage-noticing kinda guy). Tenacious D sounds amazing and I can hear the characteristics of how the vocals were mastered to sound in the middle of the mix set back a bit, they're not up front right in your face the way Taylor Swift or Tahiti 80's vocals are. I've never noticed anything like this before. Thom Yorke low-fi masterpiece The Eraser gets another tick, as does White Stripes Icky Thump. All of my favourite music sounds great with them. It doesn't get much better than that from a subjective point of view.

 

If you've heard the Fostex T50RP in any form you know it does drums incredibly lifelike due to the speed. The Paradox retains that speed and the best qualities of the T50RP while resolving all of the issues in the sound that I can identify in my custom DIY pairs and that I remember from the stock set.

 

It might get better than this but I haven't heard it yet in a pair of headphones. In terms of what the best is I've heard, I heard the Sennheiser HD800 earlier this year and while I recognised some impressive detail they had clear gaps in the sound which prevented me from buying them at the time. That was before I came across the Fostex modding scene, and I haven't A/B'd the HD800s against the Paradox since. 

 

A friend at work has a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro's and both of us independently came to the conclusion that the Paradox shares a lot with the DT-770 Pros in terms of sound signature. There was a lot more clarity with the Paradoxes though. The Beyers sounded veiled though by comparison.

 

Apologies for being so giddy in my praise but to wrap up, I could not be happier with my new LFF Paradox headphones. Thanks Luis, you're a genius.

 

Craig

post #217 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

Setting aside the controversy surrounding the gear, I highly recommend pairing the Paradox with the Objective 2 amp (and ODAC).  LFF tuned the Paradox with the Objective2.. and when I heard the combo for the first time, I was utterly floored.  There's an uncanny synergy at play here that is sure to wow.  I'm sure there are better amps & DACs to throw at the Paradox, but for those on a budget, I can't recommend this combo enough.. as the creator himself used it to perfect the Paradox.

How are they with that Leckerton, by the way? And what op-amps do you have? I'm kinda eyeing the UHA-6s MKII for my first amp (and my first DAC for that), but I might end with the Paradox later on so I'd like to know if that'd be a sensible upgrade path.


Edited by hoichi - 10/17/12 at 1:26am
post #218 of 284

I'm a bit curious as to how they sound compared to open headphones.  So far everything I'm reading about them is very positive, but I can't get over the fact that they are closed.  It seems like everyone is talking about them as if they are the same as open headphones.  Am I missing something here?
 

post #219 of 284
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

I'm a bit curious as to how they sound compared to open headphones.  So far everything I'm reading about them is very positive, but I can't get over the fact that they are closed.  It seems like everyone is talking about them as if they are the same as open headphones.  Am I missing something here?

Not all open cans necessarily have a big, open soundstage.  Take the HD600.. it's got a fairly intimate presentation for being an open-backed phone.  The Paradox won't possess the K701's soundstage (obviously taking this example to an extreme).. but what I can say is that it doesn't leave me feeling claustrophobic or 'closed in' at all.  The dead silent background helps with pinpoint imaging.. which makes it easier to pick out spatial queues in music.  If you're accustomed to open phones with average to slightly above average soundstage, the Paradox will not disappoint.

post #220 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

I'm a bit curious as to how they sound compared to open headphones.  So far everything I'm reading about them is very positive, but I can't get over the fact that they are closed.  It seems like everyone is talking about them as if they are the same as open headphones.  Am I missing something here?
 

 

 

I find it rather hard to clump all open headphones into the same type of sound.  Most will say they have a little bit of air, which is probably true I haven't been head-fi'ing enough so I'm not up to date on my audio terms, but I think with open phones it's just a different feeling of space, not necessarily better or worse, but as a generalization I would say yes I prefer open headphones because they are closest to speakers.  

 

I love the sound of my paradox out of my galaxy s3.  Even though I could use an aftermarket DAC/AMP with my phone such as a fiio e7 and I believe the pico amp/dac, I don't even feel the need because it just sounds so nice without any of that.  I really dislike the paradox out of my Decware Taboo amplifier.  It is a very sharp amplifier that apparently causes a bit of harshness in the highs with the paradox.  My other tube amp however which is much more of a stereotypical tube amplifier does well with the paradox.  I imagine some tube rolling on my taboo could match the paradox perfectly, because my little dot does not even come close to matching the detail of my taboo.  While my favorite setup is still my taboo + he-500.  I can't say that it's a clear winner.  If the t50rp had better technology behind it, I get the feeling it would destroy every planar.  That being said it does nearly everything well above average and from my experience the paradox is one of the best, if not the single best value in headphones.

post #221 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llloyd View Post

 

 

I find it rather hard to clump all open headphones into the same type of sound.  Most will say they have a little bit of air, which is probably true I haven't been head-fi'ing enough so I'm not up to date on my audio terms, but I think with open phones it's just a different feeling of space, not necessarily better or worse, but as a generalization I would say yes I prefer open headphones because they are closest to speakers.  

 

I love the sound of my paradox out of my galaxy s3.  Even though I could use an aftermarket DAC/AMP with my phone such as a fiio e7 and I believe the pico amp/dac, I don't even feel the need because it just sounds so nice without any of that.  I really dislike the paradox out of my Decware Taboo amplifier.  It is a very sharp amplifier that apparently causes a bit of harshness in the highs with the paradox.  My other tube amp however which is much more of a stereotypical tube amplifier does well with the paradox.  I imagine some tube rolling on my taboo could match the paradox perfectly, because my little dot does not even come close to matching the detail of my taboo.  While my favorite setup is still my taboo + he-500.  I can't say that it's a clear winner.  If the t50rp had better technology behind it, I get the feeling it would destroy every planar.  That being said it does nearly everything well above average and from my experience the paradox is one of the best, if not the single best value in headphones.

 

 

how much was your paradox?

post #222 of 284

They all should sound the same, the difference between versions is only cosmetic for the most part, unless you explicitly ask to tune the sound in a particular way. 

post #223 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiinippongamer View Post

They all should sound the same, the difference between versions is only cosmetic for the most part, unless you explicitly ask to tune the sound in a particular way. 

"Basic" model includes stock cable, while the others offer Mogami sleeved cable. Is it the same one?

post #224 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiinippongamer View Post

They all should sound the same, the difference between versions is only cosmetic for the most part, unless you explicitly ask to tune the sound in a particular way. 

As for sound, Luis makes no promises regarding actual improvement in the custom and premium versions.

 

However, I would not go so far to say the changes are only cosmetic - if I remember correctly, the custom version comes with a balanced cable as well as your choice between a 1/4" or 1/8" termination. Definitely a good upgrade to pick up if you're considering running them balanced or 1/4", as the stock V-Moda cable doesn't offer the same flexibility.

 

The premium also comes with a glossy paint job and a suspension handband, which is what makes the headphones such a joy to wear.

 

I sprung for the premium and have no regrets. The $200 bump up from the basic Paradox was money very well spent. ^^

post #225 of 284

The suspended headband really helps. Makes it much more comfortable. The cable was really nice, too. I'd be getting pretty much the same version you got if I end up with one. I could see it happening depending on how much I like this new Centrance M8. Portable 4 pin goodness.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HideousPride View Post

As for sound, Luis makes no promises regarding actual improvement in the custom and premium versions.

 

However, I would not go so far to say the changes are only cosmetic - if I remember correctly, the custom version comes with a balanced cable as well as your choice between a 1/4" or 1/8" termination. Definitely a good upgrade to pick up if you're considering running them balanced or 1/4", as the stock V-Moda cable doesn't offer the same flexibility.

 

The premium also comes with a glossy paint job and a suspension handband, which is what makes the headphones such a joy to wear.

 

I sprung for the premium and have no regrets. The $200 bump up from the basic Paradox was money very well spent. ^^

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