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New Abyss planar magnetic headphone - Page 3

post #31 of 547
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

5x  the price of the most expensive headphone of similar drive technology, the LCD-3.


I would love to know where I can get an LCD-3 at this price!!!!

post #32 of 547

The Audeze stuff was pretty well received right from the start.  The proto LCD-2's had some issues when I tried them in 2010 but they did fix most of them quickly.  They were also a 1k$ headphone... 


Originally Posted by Dr. Roberts View Post


I'm a bit picky myself. I loved the HD 650 in its day but have no interest in the 800. Adore the HE-6 properly tube-amped from the speaker taps, the LCD-3 with the Bakoon Amp 11-R, and the ATH W3000ANV plugged into an EAR HP4 rolled with NOS RCA's.


Do I really need to shell out another 11k when I already have doubts about the sound signature of the 009? Seems as though I will never become a member of the Stax Mafia.


Thanks to the one individual that actually listened to the headphone in question and took the initiative to post his impressions. Doesn't sound like the Abyss will be admitted to this household either.


There is always the SR-Omega.  Sounds similar in may ways to the SR-009 but a bit larger than life and smoother when properly driven. 

post #33 of 547

"I would love to know where I can get an LCD-3 at this price!!!!"



Oops, they are only 2 and 3/4 the price of LCD-3, my bad.  Now that makes them look like an absolute bargain. 

post #34 of 547
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

There is always the SR-Omega.  Sounds similar in may ways to the SR-009 but a bit larger than life and smoother when properly driven. 


Or, perhaps wait and enjoy the kit currently in-house until Stax releases their next "new and improved" model. The popularity of planar headphones certainly cannot have gone unnoticed by the Japanese firm.

post #35 of 547

Interesting note by the way: These are the headphones featured on the official page for the Cavalli Gold.


I'm not saying they justify their price. I don't know. But maybe, they are pretty good in actuality. And maybe they are TOTL and compete with the best. Who knows? I just think people were unfairly criticizing them without anyone having actually heard them.

post #36 of 547

hmmmmmm... I am really curious as to how they really sound. While I agree that they are quite ugly and that price is too high for me at the moment, I would be really happy if I could get a headphone that I can drive off my amps that sounds on par with 009. so far seems like htat is not the case though, but maybe they will get there.

post #37 of 547

While I am a bit dubious about the single ended nature of the transducer, I would not be surprised if they are at least "pretty good" as you phrase it.  As one electrostatic speaker manufacturer once told me, "it's pretty hard to make a bad sounding electrostatic if you know anything at all.....".  We could probably expand that to include magnetic planar speakers and headphones.  


Certainly they will get some attention from coming out at such a high price, and for having looks that at least shock people, or make them look twice anyway.   

post #38 of 547
Originally Posted by Dr. Roberts View Post

Yes, the price is in the same range as the 009. Might be nice to read a post from someone that has actually heard the headphone as opposed to griping about how expensive they are. Got "news" for you folks, TOTL audio gear is expensive!


At least the posting of the link showing where one might actually purchase a pair is helpful.

I had the opportunity to listen to the Abyss (twice) at the NY Audio show a little over a week ago.  The Cable Co. had it setup along with the LCD-3 and a few others (I believe the HE-6 was another). Unfortunately, the area they were set up in, at the show entrance area next to many other vendors, was not ideal and was particularly noisy.  I did spend a few minutes with the Abyss at the beginning of the day and then went back before leaving to give it another listen. My impression of the sound and build quality was quite positive. My very quick impression, without the benefit of any real A/Bing, was that the Abyss was similar to the LCD-3 with a slightly wider soundstage and possibly greater detail retrieval. That is not to say I thought they were necessarily better than the LCD-3 overall, but those were my very quick thoughts in less than ideal circumstances.  All of this was moot because of the price. My bottom line was that at the asking prie I could buy the Stax 009, which IMHO, is qualitatively in a different league from the Abyss and the LCD-3. I am not in a position to spend that much on a headphone setup, but if I were it would be for the Stax setup, certainly not the Abyss. I am currently considering a purchase of the LCD-2 or the LCD-3 at their respective price points. If the Abyss was priced much closer to the LCD-3, then I would consider it and want to hear more of it. At its current price, it is a nonstarter for me. At that price (and I am personally not in that budget range) I don't think it can compete with Stax.  Clearly I am partial to the Stax sound so, of course, YMMV on this.

post #39 of 547
Just a few comments as a card carrying orthohead. 
An assumption being made is that push-pull planar magnetic is "better" than single ended. I am sure that you recognise this theme 'P-P vs SE' as it has been beaten to death in electronics which obviously has different connotations but ultimately does bear some relevance to the subject at hand. Push-Pull offers more power when considering the same source of power whether a tube, solid state output device or magnet structure for a planar magnetic driver. Planar magnetic drivers have classically evolved as push pull due relatively poor magnetic strengths of early magnets. Take the Wharfedale isodynamic which uses good old fashioned rubberized "fridge magnets". If this headphone were any less efficient it would be relegated to obscurity ( not that many people have even heard of it ). Magnet technology has evoloved along with everything else, ceramic magnets and some of the more exotic materials that vintage orthoheads silently get off on, all had one ( perhaps 2 ) goals in mind. Greater strength to improve efficiency and more even polarization. Problems both real and theoretical exist with push-pull, the most discussed is probably the resonances derived from the cavity created by the magnet structure. There is a white paper out there that discusses some of the resonances / driver ringing that can be exacerbated by the dual layer of magnets and one of the reasons several planar magnetic speaker manufacturers looked into the use of single sided drivers. ( yep, I am afraid this is not a JPS original ) . If you scour the ortho thread , you will see some experiments conducted with some of the vintage drivers by converting them into single sided drivers. Some more successful than others but nothing of such groundbeaking discovery that more people were inclined to universally implement it. The real pièce de résistance of the Abyss is the custom single piece magnet. Not that I am down playing the real R&D that went into the driver ( I have not seen it but what tidbits I know, it is at the technological forefront of its kind ). To have a single, powerful magnet that can be perfectly aligned to the driver ( and not have to worry about the second magnet shifting and possibly causing all sorts of polarity and polarisation issues ) , is a huge advance in this technology. It does not follow "previous art" and sometimes stepping out of the box allows for positive innovation. Does this mean that the single ended driver is free from all of these problems that the more classic P-P driver suffers from, in an ideal world perhaps, but this is why I chose to use the word "exacerbates" . JPS is a new kid on the block and took many of us by surprise but that has been the nature of the new planar magnetics, Audeze was known to the ortho crowd but no one anticipated HiFiMan to have a product at the same CanJam that the LCD made its debut ( well no one would be a far stretch, there are always a few who follow these developments but are generally sworn to secrecy or have to sign an NDA ). JPS has access to materials and industry developments through their manufacture of exotic cables and even though they are not speaker engineers, this type of knowledge can be attained through consultation and research. The acceptance of their product is for the consumer to decide, be it based on price, design, audio quality. If what the Cable Co. says is true, their first run has sold out already, so clearly there is more than just peripheral interest. 
I have only heard the abyss as a prototype at a trade show and what I heard was very encouraging.  
post #40 of 547

@dBel84....Thanks for your extremely informative and exemplary post.

post #41 of 547
The single most requirement that forces use of pushpull design is linearity I thought. In particular, you cannot guarantee linear drive without having constant flux in the excursion range of the membrane. With a trace between 2 magnets, I see no issue. With one magnet, I say, humm, interesting...
post #42 of 547

That's the way it works with electrostats...I can only assume magnetic forces would work the same way.

post #43 of 547

It does work the same way with magnetics, with an inverse square force/distance relationship,.


There is no new "technology" here and no new technology to be gained by being a cable manufacturer.  The physics to totally define cables and signal transmission have been completely known for 100 years, with no new technology in decades and decades, other than digital concerns.  So they learned no great answers to mysteries from the cable biz.


Planar magnetic speakers were patented before 1930.  Only rare earth magnets have improved things, and neo is now old.  


We shall see what they sound like and maybe it will be great but it is impossible that there is new physics or technology or materials at play.  And they do have a hurdle to get over which is the non-linear force/distance relationship.  

post #44 of 547
Regarldess of the claims for added transparency, I suspect this choice is more about market differentiation....
post #45 of 547
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

The single most requirement that forces use of pushpull design is linearity I thought. In particular, you cannot guarantee linear drive without having constant flux in the excursion range of the membrane. With a trace between 2 magnets, I see no issue. With one magnet, I say, humm, interesting...


Yes the flux consistency is one consideration, It will highly depend on the membrane excursion and the flux at min and max excursion - this is where your mathematical modelling could be very interesting arnaud. I am very interested in seeing how these pan out, my point was merely that being single ended was not necessarily a deficiency. 


edit - I am sure there will be a lot of marketing speak, this we need to learn how to filter



Originally Posted by Operakid View Post


There is no new "technology"  .....

this is pretty much a non statement. Of course there are no new principles but materials technology has advanced dramatically over the past few decades unless you feel that yester-years dynamic drivers have as much to offer as their modern counterparts , the same applies to planars, both magnetic and electrostatic. There are a handful of vintage dynamic drivers which have stood the test of time, likewise a handful of the vintage planar magnetics and electrostatics have stood out. Having spoken with Alex and Shankar of Audeze about their driver , I have no doubt that the reason that they have achieved such successful implementation has to do with ultrathin membranes, new technologies that enable coating of said membranes with conductive traces and powerful magnets. I heard rumors that the Abyss was some exotic material that few have access to, truth? no idea, didn't spread the rumour as that is all it is. Access to something of this nature because of industry connections - well I know my own business well enough to enable me to believe that this could be a possibility. Again all heresay and this is not where the truth lies. So , best not to speculate on minutia but to look at what tangible realities there are. The custom magnet - that is real, is it necessary? Early fostex and all yamaha, pmb and sawafuji drivers were solid cast. Many were assembled poorly with misalignment front to back, probably adding to the variability that riddles the vintage scene. I am sure that it helps with flux uniformity. I don't understand why the magnet produced better sound when attached to the front of the assembly vs the rear, I have not come up with a reasonable theory for this, perhaps the mathematical modelling might show something obvious? I am also sure that it is easier to assemble than dual sided drivers - ask Tyll about his HE6 experiences, those magnets need a specialised jig to oppose and the possibility for subtle variation is much greater than merely using a jig to align traces to a magnets. 


I have no vested interest, just thought some alternate principles might need be considered.  

Edited by dBel84 - 4/22/13 at 6:03pm
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