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post #196 of 207

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
post #197 of 207

How'd this get into full size headphones.

post #198 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

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 affordable HiFiMAN HE-400 already has the single-sided magnet configuration and it has already been done in the past like 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 placed 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)

It's HE4, not HE400, that has single-sided magnet arrays. And even that is different as its magnet array is on the inner side of the diaphragm, the Abyss's array is on the outer side.

post #199 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

I love the look with full aluminum construction and steel baffle plate, bring it on.

Thanks Devouringone3. To clarify a few points...

The 2 piece structural aluminum headband can both extend in and out and rotate about its axis. You can toe in or out (forward or back) limited between about 15 to 30 degrees depending on extension. This point is under controlled friction so it holds it's position while being easy enough to adjust.

Moving the driver position vertically on your head is just a matter of doing just that. The leather headband sits atop your head under just enough tension to support the weight of the headphones. It will stretch to allow the phones to be moved up or down on your head without changing inward pressure on the sides of your head. With most headphones, adjusting height also adjusts side tension on the head, with the AB-1266 these motions are exclusive.

The side covers are uniquely porous aluminum, an expensive material to have made to our specs. While we feel the stock tuning is near perfect for high resolution music of all genres and requires no further tweaking (trust me, we did this to an exhaustive level), acoustics may be altered by dropping in a disc of differing design.

I should also add as another adjustment, our ear pads can be rotated on the front baffles in 18 different positions; the thicker portion of the pad can be rotated to the thinnest portion of your head. This combined with all of the other ranges of adjustments, reading the instructions, and a bit of patience at first, allows for a nice fit. It also allows for creativity in unique headphone positions never before realized by most listeners.smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Joe Skubinski - 5/7/13 at 8:52pm
post #200 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post


Thanks Devouringone3. To clarify a few points...

The 2 piece structural aluminum headband can both extend in and out and rotate about its axis. You can toe in or out (forward or back) limited between about 15 to 30 degrees depending on extension. This point is under controlled friction so it holds it's position while being easy enough to adjust.

Moving the driver position vertically on your head is just a matter of doing just that. The leather headband sits atop your head under just enough tension to support the weight of the headphones. It will stretch to allow the phones to be moved up or down on your head without changing inward pressure on the sides of your head. With most headphones, adjusting height also adjusts side tension on the head, with the AB-1266 these motions are exclusive.

The side covers are uniquely porous aluminum, an expensive material to have made to our specs. While we feel the stock tuning is near perfect for high resolution music of all genres and requires no further tweaking (trust me, we did this to an exhaustive level), acoustics may be altered by dropping in a disc of differing design.

I should also add as another adjustment, our ear pads can be rotated on the front baffles in 18 different positions; the thicker portion of the pad can be rotated to the thinnest portion of your head. This combined with all of the other ranges of adjustments, reading the instructions, and a bit of patience at first, allows for a nice fit. It also allows for creativity in unique headphone positions never before realized by most listeners.smily_headphones1.gif

Hi Joe,

 

Are there any future plans to decreasing the mass of the headphone? At the moment it weighs in as heavier than the Audezes/Hifimans, which are already the heaviest of the heavy cans.

post #201 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Hi Joe,

Are there any future plans to decreasing the mass of the headphone? At the moment it weighs in as heavier than the Audezes/Hifimans, which are already the heaviest of the heavy cans.

Mass is not the only thing to consider in design parameters.
Edited by Joe Skubinski - 5/7/13 at 9:56pm
post #202 of 207

I've heard from a few people they were surprised to learn the JPS was heavier on paper than the Audez'e, as on their head it didn't feel that way. No idea what could account for that, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

 

Hopefully I will see (and hear and feel) for myself by the end of this month.

 


 

 

 

Since you're answering questions Joe, I was wondering if you could say a bit more about this: "acoustics may be altered by dropping in a disc of differing design."

 

1. Is this an actual add-on you include with the Abyss, like a filter of sorts? Or perhaps something you plan to release later?

2. Could you be a little more specific on how it might change the acoustics? For instance, do you feel it's better suited for certain music genres?

3. How easy is it to change this disc? Is it something you can do on the fly, or do you need to unscrew stuff?

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm very intrigued by your product.


Edited by MuppetFace - 5/8/13 at 3:14am
post #203 of 207

I go away for a week, and suddenly a company rep is on the thread? Cool.

post #204 of 207
Hi Muppet,

The discs can be changed by disassembling the side covers but it's not something we are currently working on finalizing nor recommending- probably best left to a dealer or the factory with the proper tools. This is a future consideration.

It would be easy enough to install various other materials to say for example lower the highs, increase midrange focus, etc. We've tried all sorts of materials, exotic woods, commercial damping products, etc. so have a library to pull from. Changing ear pad materials can also have a significant effect. Stock configuration however is very open, clear, and well balanced and has proven to play nicely with top shelf amp and source electronics designed for the same.
post #205 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

It's HE4, not HE400, that has single-sided magnet arrays. And even that is different as its magnet array is on the inner side of the diaphragm, the Abyss's array is on the outer side.

 

According to the video Tyll shot at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012 with Joe, the magnet of the Abyss is also on the inner side of the diaphragm. Tyll could see the reflection of the diaphragm by looking at it through the acoustic pattern of the outer side of the cup, and Joe said in the video he wanted to get rid of reflection of sound from having a magnet on the back.

 

 

Thanks for your reply Joe

 

So you're telling me that the leather headband is indeed auto-adjusting (to the distance between the top of your head and your ear), in that case: 2/2 --> 3/3

 

Another thing that might as well be unique to the Abyss is that once you got the vertical adjustments right for you, it is one screw to tighten and your personal setting will be memorized for as long as you need it to.

 

The ability to rotate pads is also good for tweaking freaks like me, because not all ears are contoured to fit the inside contours of a given pad. And since the pads are angled, rotating them will allow you to get a more optimal seal for your particular head shape. (3/3 --> 4/3) Actually I had forgot about that "adjustment feature" in my list, pad-rotation, like on the Fostex TH600 and TH900, and unlike on the Audeze LCD-2-3 where they are glued onto the cups.

 

*Edit: Oh yeah, right, you said it yourself: the thicker portion of the pad can be rotated to the thinnest portion of your head” which is essentially what I just repeated with more words :/

 

So even though the overall design didn't change much from the prototype to the product, the ergonomics went from seemingly little to pretty good!


Edited by devouringone3 - 5/8/13 at 10:48pm
post #206 of 207
post #207 of 207
Thread Starter 

If anyone in the UK is interested in listening to these, it looks like Music Room of Glasgow will be demoing them at the national audio show, sept. 21-22.

 

http://musicroomnewsdesk.blogspot.co.uk/

 

At only £3495 they should sell like hot cakes.

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