Heard these at THE Show Newport, unfortunately not with my own handpicked tracks but the Cable Company computer had enough familiar material.
These things are good - seriously, insanely, no-apologies-or-qualifications-needed good. Better than my LCD-3s. (Not crushingly better, but noticeably.) Of course the Cavalli amp didn't hurt, but as with the Audezes the Abysses (Abyssi?) will illustrate the strengths/weaknesses of whatever you feed them. These are my new favorite bass phones - they plumb the abyss with power and control. Highs are also extended and sweet. Unlike some top tier phones (which I won't name but whose initials are HP 800 and T1) there is never a hint of harshness, grain, aggressiveness or anything unpleasant. These get closer than the Audezes to that electrostat transparency which I pine for. In art terms, planars are oils while electrostats are watercolors; each can be beautiful but especially with acoustic music electrostats are just that much better at the microdetail.
Unfortunately everything else is a mixed bag. I didn't find the weight objectionable, but then my neck is trained to Audeze standards. Fit comfort was lacking. The (very nice leather) ear pads are angled, but I couldn't get what I considered a proper seal. The top bar would pivot, but only toward the rear, so no help. After I got home I wondered if the pads weren't on the wrong cups - they attach magnetically and thus can easily be switched and even "clocked," i.e. rotated around the cup. I saw no channel markings on the cups - the stealth theme is overdone. But I'll bet that with some experimentation the fit could be much better, which would only improve the sound quality.
Style-wide, each to their own but for me they are a Fail. Both the Abyss and the Audeze could be described as Steampunk (a term I'm getting tired of.) But if the LCDs are steampunk done with elegance, the Abyss is SteamClunk, as in a clunky design. When designing the Lotus racers and sports cars, Colin Chapman tried to carve away every unneeded bit of material. The Abyss takes the opposite approach - it could be part of a 19th century bridge. And that horizontal top bar - imagine Frankenstein's monster wearing headphones, and these are his cans. Maybe the designer was a Boris Karloff fan?
Finally the 800-pound gorilla - the price. Hey, what the market will bear is a time-honored tradition. Headphones aren't gasoline or dialysis - we have a choice. Anyone who buys these phones will have to open their ears - and wallet - to the music, but close their eyes to everything else. Probably the natural competition is the Stax 009 (which is suddenly looking almost like a bargain - thanks Abyss for revising my perspective.) I'd greatly enjoy more time with both - but I suspect the lover of acoustic in general and classical in particular will still lean towards to stats. The rocker will probably favor the Abyss. But either will impress, though not enough to get me to fork over list price.
Still, hear the Abyss if you can.