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The JPS Labs: Abyss AB-1266 Impressions Thread - Page 12

post #166 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Yeah - I'll take the HD800 and the HE-6 over the LCD-3 in those particular areas.  "Bass quality (resolution detail)"   I'll take the LCD-3 for it's bass quantity (slam)

Ditto to this.

post #167 of 1662
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Well the OP said that the Abyss doesn't come close to the HD800's in terms of those areas. And I know the SR-009 is better than the HD800 again in those mentioned area's. So go figure.


Hahaha, you say that as if I am some authoritative expert in headphone sound analysis, but in truth I'm just another enthusiastic lover of this hobby of ours. 

Having said that, I have since reauditioned the Abyss on the Cavalli Liquid Gold, balanced, and I must say that there's been a big improvement. Soundstage again wider. Instrument depth and separation is surreal. Every positive I mentioned about the Abyss has improved. It's truly amazing and given this, has way surpassed the LCD 3s in every way technically (although of course you may still prefer the sound of the LCD 3s).

I believe what we have here is the best planar magnetic headphone in existence at the time of writing. Just as I can say the HD 800 is the best dynamic headphone in existence and the SR-009 is the best electrostatic headphone in existence. 
 

However, an end-game SR-009 setup is still (in my opinion) easily better than an end-game Abyss/HD 800 setup but in terms of the latter two, they are easily on par with one another. Each with their own areas where they excel. For example, I still feel that imaging, detail retrieval, clarity and overall transparency is better with the HD 800 but properly amped, the Abyss is a close contender in those aspects and excels in terms of soundstage, instrument separation and decay.  

Bear in mind that what constitutes as "easily better" for a head-fier is quite minimal difference for everybody else and this here is an obvious case of chase that last 1%.

This means that a choice between a setup with the Abyss or the HD 800 is purely down to preferences of sound signature/presentation and price. At $4000 more for equivalent performance, you better really love the sound of the Abyss over the HD 800. 

post #168 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolaiw View Post

At $4000 more for equivalent performance, you better really love the sound of the Abyss over the HD 800. 

Damn straight, but don't forget that you'd need a minimum of $8-9k including the price of the Abyss to get decent performance out of them, the HD800 on the other hand you can get end game rig if not better in most areas where people look at, clarity, detail retrieval, neutrality, it will cost the same as a single Abyss headphone which in my opinion is a damn killer of a deal. But if I had $9k to spend I would go via speakers or the SR-009 no questions asked.

 

Also the depth of the earpads on the Abyss could explain why the perceived soundstage sound big, but honestly any soundstage bigger than the HD800 will imho sound bad with music as things are too spaced out, far apart and dis-jointed. For classical this is a good thing but for all other types of genre...hmmmmmm.

 

Btw what is the diameter on the Abyss earpads?


Edited by DefQon - 6/25/13 at 2:57am
post #169 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Damn straight, but don't forget that you'd need a minimum of $8-9k including the price of the Abyss to get decent performance out of them, the HD800 on the other hand you can get end game rig if not better in most areas where people look at, clarity, detail retrieval, neutrality, it will cost the same as a single Abyss headphone which in my opinion is a damn killer of a deal. But if I had $9k to spend I would go via speakers or the SR-009 no questions asked.

 

Also the depth of the earpads on the Abyss could explain why the perceived soundstage sound big, but honestly any soundstage bigger than the HD800 will imho sound bad with music as things are too spaced out, far apart and dis-jointed. For classical this is a good thing but for all other types of genre...hmmmmmm.

 

Btw what is the diameter on the Abyss earpads?

I used to run DL3>DNA Sonett>HD800. Whole set up new cost me around 3K and that is including the DAC and it was really dam good! I am still hard pressed to find an amp+HD800 combo that would blow that out of the water. Sure there are are better set up (i.e. my current PWD2>F3>HD800/HE6) but Sonett based system was really close for WAY LESS money.

 

@DefQon, when i heard HD800 on the DNA Stratus the sound stage was not as huge as always, I would recommend you audition that set up. This is was at a meet so I could be wrong but it is worth a listen. BTW -- I have no relation to DNA aside from being a happy customer) 


Edited by Cante Ista - 6/25/13 at 3:41am
post #170 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolaiw View Post

Having said that, I have since reauditioned the Abyss on the Cavalli Liquid Gold,

I think you meant to say the Liquid Glass(LG) with a 4-pin connector but running single ended?

 

 

I have the only Liquid Gold in existence in my basement (waiting to go back to Alex) after he kindly sent it for the Chicago meet. The reason I am clarifying this is that the Liquid Gold (LAu) is a fully differential balanced amp while the Liquid Glass (LG) is a tube hybrid single ended design. I didn't think / wouldn't have believed that it could get much better than the LG until I had both amps together and the improvement all round is difficult for me to accept. To my ears, the LG is akin to the best rendition of a SET amp - as this is what it is, the triode does all the work, the buffer fades into the background and "fools" the tube into thinking it is seeing no load and thus it operates at its peak linear point with only the intrinsic tube distortion spec. The buffer takes the load and handles the huge voltage swings. I thought the Abyss sounded fantastic in this set up. When I got the liquid gold ( LAu) from Alex (Cavalli) , I was in denial. Bass tightens up even more, the sense of space within music feels more defined - probably due to better absolute resolution. It was this combination that I preferred over the SR009. I do plan to spend some time comparing the Abyss to the HD800 , my initial take was that the HD800 sounded subdued in comparison - and I am not talking about the top end which hopefully not much gets as excitable, but in overall presentation - it felt like it was having a tough time keeping up. This was a very short comparison, and i don't place much weight on it myself. I like the HD800 very much , especially with the LG. 

 

..dB

post #171 of 1662
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

I think you meant to say the Liquid Glass(LG) with a 4-pin connector but running single ended?

You are absolutely correct, my mistake. We've established once before that I'm clearly not the best with Head-Fi component names. Although I at least partially attribute that to the eccentric naming choices of the various gifted (but no-doubt a tiny little bit kooky) engineers and component makers. The worst for me is how Toxic Cables names their cables. Black Widow(?), Silver Widow(?), something something Scorpion(?).... Haha, I'm hopeless. tongue.gif
post #172 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post


The abyss' bass beats the lcd3s bass in terms of detail? Wow thought the LCD-3 bass was already as detailed and layered as it comes! Wonder how the abyss would compare to the 009s in terms of clarity and detail.

 

I've had a fair amount of experience with the LCD3 out of a number of good amps, and the Abyss - in a half hour demo - was pretty easily my favourite in terms of its bass. It was more balanced/less emphasised, and yet hit harder and with greater clarity.

 

In defence of the LCD3, I think it has a sweeter (yet less detailed) midrange. I love its musicality.

 

My preference has never been for the HD800, though I've had the opportunity to appreciate its virtues numerous times. And though both phones seem to strive for a similar kind of neutrality, I'd take the Abyss every day of the week, given a choice. The Abyss is simply awesome with rock music (for example), whereas the 800 has always left me wanting.

 

Haven't heard the 009, but given the Abyss' technical prowess, I'd assume it would give the Stax a run for its money. The separation of sounds, which I've heard is amazing with the 009, is also a virtue of the Abyss.

 

I've heard that the Abyss' fantastic soundstaging capability is due to some innovation regarding the magnets. Please correct me, but I think there is no back magnet in the Abyss - that somehow the driver is not sandwiched between two magnets.

 

Obviously I have no idea :-)

post #173 of 1662
30 minutes worth of demo time is not enough. The brain works in wonderful ways and one of them is the influence of new products where you automatically think newer is better and the the way your brain wants to believe there is a massive difference. This placebo wears off when you have compared two products extensibly to death with more than just 30 minutes demo time.

From what I've read so far the LCD3 and Abyss are two differebt sounding headphones. The LCD3 are more fun, liquidy and forgiving sounding. What it seems is that the Abyss is targetting neutrality such as the HD800's or any of the upper Stax for that matter.

I will give these an audition sometime in the near future when I have time to go to Kew.
Edited by DefQon - 6/25/13 at 6:29pm
post #174 of 1662
I mean no disrespect to anyone who has posted initial impressions here or anywhere else. (I'm not picking anybody out, please don't bite my head off)

But I have to wonder how much the price affects expectations with something like this. What I mean is...what if it was priced at, say, $1600? Would the impressions be weighing strengths/weaknesses/preferences with HD800, LCD-2/3, etc. rather than "it's the best"?

The shocking price must somehow affect expectations.
post #175 of 1662

Perhaps, but my hope and expectation was that the LCD3 would be the better phone; and when switching between the two I couldn't help bobbing my head more with the Abyss.

 

It's a shame Addicted to Audio won't allow me to compare them extensibly to death.

post #176 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Ditto to this.

Not for me. I'd say LCD-3 = HD800 for bass quality and then the HE-6s (tied with the HE-500s...as they go a bit deeper). But all fall behind the SR-009s. I'd like to hear these headphones though.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 6/25/13 at 6:08pm
post #177 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Not for me. I'd say LCD-3 = HD800 for bass quality and then the HE-6s (tied with the HE-500s...as they go a bit deeper). But all fall behind the SR-009s. I'd like to hear these headphones though.

Really? I felt that the LCD3 as well as the LCD2's have about the same weight to bass more so than the HD800's though. But I guess it depends on what music/genre you're basing off a bass comparison, not sure if you listen to heavy and fast EDM but the LCD2/3 bass has more weight to it then the HD800's. Although the HD800's is no slouch in the bass department as well imho. 

post #178 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Really? I felt that the LCD3 as well as the LCD2's have about the same weight to bass more so than the HD800's though. But I guess it depends on what music/genre you're basing off a bass comparison, not sure if you listen to heavy and fast EDM but the LCD2/3 bass has more weight to it then the HD800's. Although the HD800's is no slouch in the bass department as well imho. 

I find the bass QUALITY of the LCD-3s is a cut above the LCD-2s. But that said, you're gonna need to worry about the amp. Unlike the LCD-2s that play nice with basically everything, the LCD-3s are far more sensitive IME. On the Lyr, the quality wasn't that pronounced. But say on a Liquid Fire, WA22 or better still GS-X, the LCD-3s pull out ahead. The other thing, when watching a movie and the bass is really going heavy, only the LCD-3s can properly portray that bass. Look at the 30 and 50 square wave plots.....the LCD-3's transducers are giving you what's on the recording. 

 

Agreed that the HD800s are no slouch either...but also depends on the upfront gear.

post #179 of 1662

I was fortunate to hear the Abyss off of the Liquid Gold at the recent Chicago meet (thanks dBel84!).  A set of LCD-3's were plugged into the same amp, and there was an SR-009 on a Liquid Lightning next to it, as well as a Liquid Glass that I had my HD800's plugged into.  Obviously, meet conditions are not ideal, and I only had a few minutes on each setup, but I am more impressed with the Abyss than I thought I would be.  I still think that for however amazingly detailed and smooth the SR-009s are, they just don't have enough bass for me.  I am missing that visceral feel.  The Abyss had a more preferred balance for me, and whatever it gave up in detail or smoothness to the SR-009s, I was ok with.  In comparison, the LCD-3's sounded overly intimate and closed in.  One thing I am not sure about is the fit of the Abyss.  They hung off of my head with no real seal for the earpads.  While I understand that this is somewhat intentional, I'd have to think that the sound would be different if I had a larger head (or the frame could be adjusted).  

post #180 of 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

I find the bass QUALITY of the LCD-3s is a cut above the LCD-2s. But that said, you're gonna need to worry about the amp. Unlike the LCD-2s that play nice with basically everything, the LCD-3s are far more sensitive IME.

The LCD3's sensitive with amplification? Yes but not by a lot compared to its older brother. I wouldn't exactly agree the LCD2's playing nice with basically everything either and the LCD2 rev.1's are little less forgiving with amplification than the rev.2's. For example, on most tube amp's I've tried, DIY or even popular off-shelf stuff from Woo, Darkvoice amp's etc, the LCD2's just don't sound as good when fed with good clean neutral or bright but powerful solid state power. The LCD2's and 3's I can also say is one headphone that you don't want anything such as an amp too coloured sounding as this seriously bloats up the sound from these headphones, you want an amp with plenty of power to deliver clean power, amplifying the strong points of headphone itself, the LCD2's and 3's without reference to FR graphs and CSD plots are anything but neutral, some aspects of the sound is neutral this I agree, but it is far from being completely neutral and this includes the infamous Audeze bass response as well. 

 

Regardless of both, none of the two mentioned headphones require finicky amplification that the HD800's do.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

 Obviously, meet conditions are not ideal, and I only had a few minutes on each setup, but I am more impressed with the Abyss than I thought I would be. 

For $5.5k you should be damned impressed at this price-point and there is no excuse for this whatsoever. Judging from what I've read and seen, these are good but not $5.5k good. That crown belongs to the SR-009.

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