I love the look with full aluminum construction and steel baffle plate, bring it on.
Generally I like my headphones to have four adjustments: cups-height adjustment (this one almost always there, on the case of the AKG Q-K701-2 it's automatic, Stax SR-009 it's 10-clicks, Sennheiser Momentum it's continuous / infinite number of positions) widening of the headband (usually it's permitted by the flexibility of the headband bow, like on the Final Audio Design Muramasa VIII), vertical axis swiveling of the gimbals (provided by the cylindrical rod free to rotate inside the Audeze LCD-2-3 rodblock), horizontal axis pivoting of the cups (Grado HP 1000 gyroscope-like gimbal). But not every headphones are born with the four. For example Sennheiser didn't offer swiveling for their HD580-600-650, as a result comfort isn't optimal per se (but can still be great all around), and when you look at badly used up pads they're not equally shaped anymore from back to front, because vertically they're not being equally squished against your head.
The prototype for the Abyss used to have none of these... but now the official product is out, let's figure out it's ergonomics together.
From the official feature list: “Padded leather headband with head movement isolation”
So it does provide “head movement isolation” but I see no elastic, so it appears it doesn't provide cup-height adjustment. (0/4 --> 0/3) I hope that I am wrong on this one
From the official feature list: “- Rigid chassis consisting of left/right side frames and structural adjustable two piece headband.”
I know from this photo that they do enlarge to accommodate bigger heads
Look carefully, the headphone has been enlarged:
(0/3 --> 1/3)
I don't think the cups can pivot around an horizontal axis at all. (1/3 --> 1/2)
I mean, it's okay, Audio-Technica winged fullsizes naturally don't either (you need to bend the headband real hard like Tyll Hertsens shown in his video review).
From the official feature list: “Unique adjustability allows for varying head shapes”
Now, if only it can do this:
Swivel inward (and backward would be fun too) vertically. If they can't do that, the pads aren't going to get squished equally from back to front. If they can do that, 1/2 --> 2/2.
To the guy who said “Eew, foam”, it could actually be some kind of aluminum porous matrix: (feature list, again) “- Unique breathable aluminum sides acoustically tuned to our planar diaphragm for completely open sound.” and I remember Joe Dubinski saying something similar about his prototype in the video Tyll Hertsens did with him at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.
And if what also said about the prototype still stands, those plates will be interchangeable-by-the-user filters to tune the sound to our taste.
I think what will make this headphone stand out is the single-piece magnet and aluminum cups. The HiFiMAN HE-400 (*edit: HE4, thanks Jerg) already has the single-sided magnet configuration and it has already been done in the past according to what dBel said... so it's not new, but neither was the ring radiator driving Sennheiser's flagship. We'll have to see how well it's being executed and adapted in context.
I have no doubt the Abyss AB-1266 will sound fantastic and great. Without cup-height adjustment and horizontal pivot comfort won't be maximized, but should still be good.
Conclusion: Its price is congruent with the price of high-end aftermarket cables, that is to say, not for us mere mortals. Sorry, you will never be able to own this headphone. (Just kidding, I know you will all rush out to get it :P)
Edited by devouringone3 - 5/8/13 at 9:34pm