I want to preface the below with the disclosure that HD800's sound signature is not something that excites me. This I hope will make my point of view, or to be precise hearing clear for those looking for sound impressions. I am a sucker for details and clarity but also for neutral and balanced sound, and for me well defined and truthfully represented lows are essential part of a neutral and balanced sound signature. HD800s and their brethren lack that imho. With that out of the way, here we go with my short but hopefully straight to the point follow-up impression of the Enigmas's sound.
It's been two weeks or so since I posted my first impression and their sound has evolved so much since then, I can safely say that in my opinion they are without doubt superior to the Primes. To me, this is a tremendous praise. Stage width has expanded to the Primes' level and even further on some recording. Not only that but the instrument separation/placement has become so 3-dimentional, it makes the Primes sound somewhat flat. I would try to describe what I mean - the Primes place very well the instruments around you: in front, behind, an on the sides, but mostly on the same horizontal plane. Where the Enigmas will not only place them accordingly on the horizontal plane, but will further refine the image by also rendering them vertically on different levels, which makes for great holographic image and better instrument separation. I hope that makes some sense, and I'm sure it will when one hears it for her/himself.
The lows on the Enigmas are just incredible, I have not heard all the headphones in the world with good lows, but theirs are so deep, clean, yet extremely detailed without being forced, I cannot imagine how would a set of cans with better lows sound. I realize that some might find the Enigmas' lows even a bit too much - to me this is rather a function of the recording; if there is a bass in it they will reproduce it faithfully, and if sub-bass happens to figure prominently in the recording they will slam with vengeance, no ifs and no buts. Ultimately, I believe their sound will go beyond satisfying most everyone's musical preferences because they don't exaggerate any frequency, being in the low, mid or high regions of the spectrum.
Detail and clarity is on par with Primes, I can't rate one over the other - great, simply great. The Primes' ability to produce very clear details, rivaling anything under $2K is well documented, so there isn't much to say here.
In the the highs and mids areas to me the Enigmas also win over the Primes, hands down - highs are never sibilant and never offending (unless one listens to infamous offenders like say Alanis Morissette's 'You Oughta Know' where sibilance is ingrained in the recording, and still the effect is much subdued). To me the Primes are also not sibilant, but I can see how for some folks their highs might occasionally reach a bit too high. I don't think anyone will complain about Enigmas' highs being too high. Yet they don't lack in detail - highs are rolled off (of course they are, otherwise will be just as offending as the HD800's can be) but they are rolled off with just the right amount so that clarity is not sacrificed.
Also, with some ingenuity and at very little cost I improved their comfort so much that I can wear them for hours at the time now, I'll gladly share the details if someone's interested.
I'm simply in love with them (if such thing is possible), there isn't more to say really. Except that the Enigmas should be on everyone's shortest under $3K headphones list, even if that list must have one entry. I'm soooo looking forward to comparing them with other TOTL cans during the upcoming NY meet, and do expect them to stand up to any one of them. In fact I will not be surprised at all if I end up rating them 'last cans standing' in my book.
So, for those reading this while in search for TOTL neutral headphones, possessing excellent detail and clarity paired with non-offending highs, and remarkable lows - start planing how to acquire a set of Enigmas. This is it! I will never, ever, part with mine. Fabulous work Luis, marvelous really! And looks to match the sound too.
Edited by Villy - 5/4/16 at 4:34pm