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Electrodynamic and electrostatic headphones now obsolete ? - Page 5  

post #61 of 106

Electrostats will never be obsolete. They are a different flavor to the magnet based drivers and I predict that won't change. If graphene becomes available as a material for the 'stat diaphragm then it would certainly be a welcome development to the niche. Take a look here:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.2391

post #62 of 106
Thread Starter 

And while we're on the materials of the future,  electrodynamic headphones (and planar magnetic headphones) also have a future before them with new materials and technologies of the future to develop, such as high-temperature superconductors that would use electric coils with very low mass and also with very low wire section, even closer to the gap of the magnet. 
And since we're talking about magnets, why not with ultra powerful  electromagnets with superconductors ? (such as that of the LHC at CERN, but in miniature, of course ...) ;)

 

LHC, CERN

 

Eric


Edited by eric65 - 12/15/13 at 2:25am
post #63 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post
 

It should effect the extremes.  Is the sub bass distortion on the Abyss pretty low?  Is the cable not shielded and introducing noise or why do you think it's causing distortion in the treble?

 

Sub bass distortion harmonic distortion (with a good seal) is very good. 40-43db down at 20Hz and 45-48db down at 30Hz. On par with the better HFM and Audezes. Treble distortion is about -50db down, about on par with the HFM HE-400/500, but not as good as the Audezes' which are about 5db better. I don't really see anything which screams single-ended ortho.

 

Hard to explain cable, but on my current setup, the cable is not a good match, akin to the stock HD800 cable or actually more similar to the HD25 cable. I'm running plain ol' copper right now which I what I prefer anyways. In any event, the cable difference is not huge and really serves as a final touch.

 

Taming some of the internal reflections seems to sort out the treble on the measurements. On a tube amp with a R2R DAC (say EC445 + AGD M7), I wouldn't notice it. I'm currently running the Abyss on the PWD2/Vali, so I've elected to do some tweaks. And no, I did not add another set of magnets on the other side.

 

blue = stock

yellow = tweaked

 

 

Personally, I find the STAX ethereal and light-on-its-feet tonality more unnatural, albeit it's a pleasant coloration (nevermind the the STAXen's limp-wristed low bass impact.) One issue with the STAX is that it's much harder if not impossible to tweak it to suite one's preferences.


Edited by purrin - 12/15/13 at 3:00am
post #64 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Sub bass distortion harmonic distortion (with a good seal) is very good. 

 

....

 

 

There's currently a "snag" ; in the current situation, the sealing earpads Abyss is impossible to achieve with the rigid articulated frame (articulated only on some direction but not all) of the Abyss. 


Pierre Paya said,  Arnaud said ...

 

Eric

post #65 of 106

I didn't have a problem with seal with the thick part of the pad toward the nape of my neck, though I can definitely see it as an issue with some people. With the above tweaks in place, I do prefer to run the Abyss fully sealed.

 

Even if the seal is not perfect, you only lose performance (in terms of distortion) below ~35Hz where there's not a lot of energy in most recordings to begin with. The more notable aspect is that there's no serious bass roll off with lack of seal: -5db at 20Hz in relation to 500Hz; and no change / 0db at 25Hz in relation to 500Hz. Lose the seal on a STAX, and the already light hitting sub-low bass becomes almost non-existent, and the mid-bass hump gets a significant hump around 120Hz.


Edited by purrin - 12/15/13 at 3:06am
post #66 of 106
Thread Starter 

If I summarize :

 

An modified Abyss with properly sealed earpads (requires use the frame of my SR -009 , height-adjustable and adjustable in all positions for the earpads , including lateral tilt and fore-aft ), if possibly with a hyper-tense membrane Graphene (not pleated like model Tyll in Innerfidelity) (I would not go so far to demand  wire superconducting niobium to the drivers ;)), and price (in dollars) not exceeding that of the SR -009 in Japan (Price pricejapan), well, then I would taker and I would buy this upgrade Abyss (new version) "eyes closed" (without even listening ) :)

 (NB : I could do ; I just finished repaying the loan needed to purchase my 009 ; the banker is my wife more thrifty than me ;)) .


If this is not the case, then I'd settle of my SR -009 associated with my Audiovalve RKV mk2 + Wee mod (twice cheaper than the RKV mk3), and, to get super bass with big impact (such as those that one can obtain with big HP ), well I will connect  my controled feedback subwoofer Martin Logan Grotto-i to my audio system with Stax Headphones (NB : this subwoofer goes down to 25 Hz at 0 dB).

 

 

 

Stax SR-009 + subwoofer Martin Logan Grotto-i

 

Eric

post #67 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Sub bass distortion harmonic distortion (with a good seal) is very good. 40-43db down at 20Hz and 45-48db down at 30Hz. On par with the better HFM and Audezes. Treble distortion is about -50db down, about on par with the HFM HE-400/500, but not as good as the Audezes' which are about 5db better. I don't really see anything which screams single-ended ortho.

 

Hard to explain cable, but on my current setup, the cable is not a good match, akin to the stock HD800 cable or actually more similar to the HD25 cable. I'm running plain ol' copper right now which I what I prefer anyways. In any event, the cable difference is not huge and really serves as a final touch.

 

Taming some of the internal reflections seems to sort out the treble on the measurements. On a tube amp with a R2R DAC (say EC445 + AGD M7), I wouldn't notice it. I'm currently running the Abyss on the PWD2/Vali, so I've elected to do some tweaks. And no, I did not add another set of magnets on the other side.

 

blue = stock

yellow = tweaked

 

 

Personally, I find the STAX ethereal and light-on-its-feet tonality more unnatural, albeit it's a pleasant coloration (nevermind the the STAXen's limp-wristed low bass impact.) One issue with the STAX is that it's much harder if not impossible to tweak it to suite one's preferences.

 

20 dB difference between the hollow at 5 kHz and the 8 kHz peak for the stock Abyss (unmodified), which is a lot, and audible, right?

post #68 of 106
Thread Starter 

In comparison, the frequency response curves corrected by Arnaud of Stax SR-009 seems much better.

 

 

link : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post177887211.html#p177887211

 

Eric

post #69 of 106
For a better apples to apples comparison, here is an FR measurement of the SR-009 from ultrabike since he uses a system most similar to my latest rig. It's really unfair to compare measurements from two different measurement systems, and even within the same system, the measurements are best if taken relative to each other.

I wouldn't worry so much about the ~5k dips in either the SR-009 or Abyss measurements. A lot of planar headphones exhibit this behavior and it seems to related to the inner diameter of the earpads - probably a null / cancellation at that wavelength.

 

As I had expected, the SR-009 distortion is very low, and not only that, consistently low with no regions where distortion is high. Typically, we always see something, even with other 'stats such as the SR-007. The best overall distortion measurements I've seen (or heard) so far, especially in the treble.

 

While these measurements give us a clue to their sound, none of them tell us how they actually sound, much less than how we might react to them.

 

For reference (Abyss+mods):

 

  • For D2 (and overall harmonic distortion which is dominated by D2) 009 wins past 2kHz, where its performance is exemplary and unlike anything I've seen.
  • For bass Abyss wins for D3, D4 below 200Hz and D2 is slightly better between 50 and 150Hz.
  • The Abyss has a D2 spike around 6k-7kHz, which translates into added tones at 12-14kHz. It's possible us old fogeys around 45 years old have some roll-off in this region, and may not hear this distortion as much as the younger guys.

Edited by purrin - 12/15/13 at 12:31pm
post #70 of 106
Thread Starter 

Thank you purrin for these curves and the comments given ; as Arnaud said on Stax thread HCFR, everything is above all a matter of interpretation.

 

Otherwise, the discussion is raging again on the Abyss thread on French forum HCFR (very passionate between pro and anti Abyss).
The French have good wine, but hot blood ..;)

 

Eric

post #71 of 106
Thread Starter 

Dub, one of the French group testers of Abyss, reported as the main defect of the Abyss, is not its construction who seems to him solid and serious, but its low sensitivity requiring the use of a powerful amplifier, as for example the RKV (with impedancer).

 

http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post177912629.html#p177912629

post #72 of 106

I'm getting by with a $119 amplifier (Schiit Vali) until my real amp gets built. Abyss is low sensitivity yes, just turn up the volume knob. Despite sensitivity, it's actually much less demanding of power, unlike like the HE-500, HE-6, LCD3, etc. to get something decent sounding out of it.

post #73 of 106
Thread Starter 

Pierre Paya (also member of the French group listening Abyss) seems to him prefer to listen the Abyss with an powerful symmetrical tube amplifier at 4000 Euros (AudioValve RKV mark 3). Better listening that with the Fostex HP-A8 amp, it seems.

(see photo on the previous page of this amplifier RKV mk3 with Abyss)

post #74 of 106

VT-Compress (tm) Xing Technology Corp.

post #75 of 106
Thread Starter 

No, the headphones of the future will be connected directly to the human brain (via neuronal socket) to give a complete illusion of reality sound (see images below from the futuristic movie "Matrix").

If you think about it, the ethereal sound from a Stax headphones, appearing from nowherecould give a little preview of this futuristic sound.


However, for now, no need to neuronal socket to operate this electrostatic headphones (whose technology is not yet obsolete)

 

What does the future hold? ;)

 

 

 

 

Eric


Edited by eric65 - 12/16/13 at 12:29am
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