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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 133

post #1981 of 3155
I don't want to derail this thread anymore but i recieved an email from Oppo regarding the international shipping and pricing issue, i recieved this reply and hopefully it will help to put the issue to rest or at least on a hiatus.


The PM-1 is only available direct from us. We will be opening up the ability to ship directly to international customers shortly, as we usually do not ship products internationally within the first month or two of a new product release in order to ensure that there are no defects in the product.

If you will be interested in ordering the PM-1, then use the Offline Order Form (http://oppodigital.com/OPPO-Offline-OrderForm.aspx) and write down the PM-1 under OPTIONS so we can look into the price of shipping the PM-1 and provide you with a quote and look into order fulfillment.

Best Regards,

I think this is good news that Oppo seem to be trying to find a solution to what has clearly been a bad move on their part so some respect to them at least for that.

Hope that helps keep the thread a bit more focused.
post #1982 of 3155

That's great news, thanks for passing that on noxa.

 

I will wait patiently to see how they're going to price the PM2 for overseas customers.

 

Thanks also to Oppo for tackling this, and for having such an awesome returns policy.

post #1983 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob49 View Post
 

Did you decide to go ahead with your X5 purchase ?

 

Nope.  That dang thing would be PERFECT for me - except that AFAIK, that song limit still hasnt been fixed.  I was at Jaben in Bangkok last week to pick up a pair of SE846s, and I was ready to pull the trigger on it despite that, in the hope that FiiO would fix it - till I got it in my hands and started playing around with the UI.     I think I may just wait for the Calyx M.

 

Getting back to the Oppos - that reminds me:  I've promised a comparison between them and the HE500s and HD650s.  I'll do so tomorrow.     Interestingly, after a week of listening to the Oppos, I plugged in my HD650s yesterday and I have to say, those oldies are not ready to be put out to pasture yet!   

 

Also, a massive +1000 to the earlier comment about the Oppo being the best of the lot for listening to bad recordings.  My old Furtwangler and Toscanini recordings sound painful on most other headphones - Oppos are the only headphones where i find them tolerable (until now, they have been played on speakers only).


Edited by vkalia - 5/12/14 at 12:13pm
post #1984 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by noxa View Post

Can anyone recommend an American based seller that will ship worldwide at all?

 

Your best option is to use a US freight forwarder, like Usamail1.com and have the product shipped to them - they will then forward it to you.   They also have a shopper service, where they'll buy it for you for 10% fee, if you need to use a US card/billing address.

 

As a minor side note - if they get a package without a bill, you will have to declare the value of the item yourself when you have it forwarded.   

post #1985 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by swspiers View Post

With the sensitivity of the Oppo's, why in the world would anyone feel the need to run balanced?
Maybe you should ask Oppo why they released a balanced amp just a couple weeks after the PM1 release and why they are selling balanced cables in the first place. I don't have a balanced setup however I would have preferred one simply because there are no chances of shorting the amp and phones when using balanced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post


The more esoteric the setup, the larger the confirmation bias is to the audiophile.
Yeah thats exactly why...rolleyes.gif
post #1986 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post


Maybe you should ask Oppo why they released a balanced amp just a couple weeks after the PM1 release and why they are selling balanced cables in the first place. I don't have a balanced setup however I would have preferred one simply because there are no chances of shorting the amp and phones when using balanced.
Yeah thats exactly why...rolleyes.gif

No need to ask Oppo anything.  Balanced in the HA-1 gives maximum flexibility, and a wide range of cans.  Balanced cable is for those who believe balanced makes a difference- which it does if they need 2 or more watts to drive.

 

Didn't realize that single-ended were prone to shorting.  Well, I did once short a Genz Benz amp into a separate 1500 watt power amp on stage once.  Horrible racket, and all sort of magic smoke.

 

At any rate, didn't mean to come across as snarky.  Tough day at work- I normally know better than to challenge preferences when it comes to gear....

post #1987 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by swspiers View Post

No need to ask Oppo anything.  Balanced in the HA-1 gives maximum flexibility, and a wide range of cans.  Balanced cable is for those who believe balanced makes a difference- which it does if they need 2 or more watts to drive.

Didn't realize that single-ended were prone to shorting.  Well, I did once short a Genz Benz amp into a separate 1500 watt power amp on stage once.  Horrible racket, and all sort of magic smoke.

At any rate, didn't mean to come across as snarky.  Tough day at work- I normally know better than to challenge preferences when it comes to gear....
No problem. I would love to have tried going balanced as the HA-1 looks very appealing but I really don't like to spend extra for cables. I won't be able to afford it anyway but it would be nice if people were given an option to pick their own cable termination.
post #1988 of 3155

Another review

Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

Audioholics - Tom Andry - 5/12/2014

 

Quote:

The bass response on the PM-1 was phenomenal. For the first time in all my headphone experience, I heard music down to 20Hz. Not noise, which is what most headphones produce in the bass region, but actual music. Not only was the bass response well extended, but also it was absolutely even as I flipped through the test tones. Sweeps from the bottom of the range up to the top maintained a subjective uniform volume level that I have never experienced. With tracks like Crazy from Seal, Junior B from ello, and more, I heard bass as extended and clear as any headphone I've tested.

 

The top end of the frequency response is, traditionally, a sticking point for planar drivers. Subjectively, I liked the top end of the PM-1s. I put on Electric Counterpoint Version for Percussion - III by KUNIKO (96kHz/24-bit). This track features nothing but xylophone and a few other percussive instruments. Usually, the extreme top end of this track quickly becomes fatiguing after a few minutes on lesser headphones as the drivers distort or clip. Not so with the PM-1s. I could listen all the way through without feeling like the high notes were grating or piercing. Subjectively, I thought the top end of the PM-1s was a little rolled off. The notes that were there, however, sounded fantastic.

 

If I had to use a word to describe the PM-1 headphones from Oppo, it would be clear. The biggest difference between the planar drivers and traditional dynamic drivers is the amount of silence you hear. When the music isn’t playing and it’s supposed to be quiet, it is. Notes start and stop without any “smearing” or  holdover. The dynamic range of the music seemed to increase exponentially compared to other headphones. This allows you to hear deeper into the music than you ever have before. You can hear nuances that were previously obscured by the less sophisticated driver technology of other high-end headphones.
 

One thing you'll hear from reviewers is that a speaker or headphone is unforgiving of poorly recorded music. This usually manifests itself on the top end where the presentation becomes harsh and the compression artifacts seem to be exacerbated. I found that the Oppo PM-1 headphones didn't display this propensity. Instead, EVERYTHING sounded great. The slight roll-off on the top end likely contributed to this impression. Sure, I could hear that some music was recorded and mixed better than others, but it wasn't as if I couldn't tolerate MP3s or streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.

 

If anything, this made me like the PM-1 headphones even more. Who wants to spend $1100 on headphones you can only use with HD music? If I spend that much, I want to be able to use it with all my music. The PM-1 headphones were the perfect headphone - they could let your high quality tracks sing while being kind enough to streaming services that you could use, and enjoy, them even for casual use.


Edited by HiFiAudio - 5/12/14 at 1:48pm
post #1989 of 3155
A lot of positive reviews and I really like the build quality, its very important for me. However I am also monitoring the HE560 thread and so far it seems that HE560 is sonically ahead compared to PM1. Lots of comparisons between the two cans there.
post #1990 of 3155

I know I am late the party, but I want to make a post here while it is still somewhat on topic with the discussions that occurred over the course of the past weekend. The quick, TL:DR version of the difference in the pricing of the PM-1, HA-1 and all of our other products in Europe are due to the different distribution methods that OPPO Digital, Inc and our International partners employ. We are single tier (direct to the customer) while they are multi-tier (multiple distribution networks to the retailer).

 

Full Distribution And Price Statement (Click to show)

Here at OPPO Digital, Inc., in addition to designing and developing the products, we sell directly to North American customers and provide support and warranty services from our Mountain View office. Our product pricing is based on this direct sales model which eliminates the cost of multi-tier distribution and retail channels. This is the reason that we can offer these excellent products at the prices that we charge in the US. For in-warranty services, we normally provide the customer with a pre-paid shipping label to send the product to our Mountain View office, and we pay for the cost for shipping the serviced product back to the customer as well. This main-in service arrangement helps reducing the cost of hiring third-party service companies, and enables us to sell products at low prices.

 

For areas outside of the North America, we rely on international distributors such as oppo-bluray.co.uk to sell the products locally and to provide local support. The distributor may in turn rely on a network of local retailers to sell and service the products. The international distributors get the products at a price somewhat lower than the US retail price, but due to our operation efficiency in the US, the distribution price is not as low as traditional consumer electronics brands may offer to their distributors. We announce our MSRP, but do not and cannot decide how much a distributor or reseller may charge for their sales. Overseas retail prices often include the cost of tiered distribution and retail, which is normally higher than our North American direct-sale cost. The prices may also factor in the local warranty and support costs.

 

We hear what our European and Australian customers are saying about the prices, and we are definitely in communication with our international distributors about this. I am not here to defend the international distributors on their pricing, but just want to explain that our North American customers are really enjoying the benefit of our direct sales/service business model.

 

Regarding shipping directly to overseas customers, the cost and logistics of warranty service are huge concerns for us. We used to do that and when a customer encountered a defective unit, we would reimburse the customer the cost of shipping the defective unit to our Mountain View office. With the high international shipping cost, the cost of warranty service pretty much wiped out the little profit we earned from all direct international sales. As a business we found this unsustainable. Beyond that, the customers were often very frustrated due to the long service time caused by custom clearance delays, and they might be charged custom duty/tax again when the repaired products were returned to them. We still ship to customers where there is no local sales/support using our Offline Order Form, but we have to be upfront with the customer about the potential cost and hassle of warranty services.

 

With that said, this does not fix the difference in pricing, it only helps you understand why it exists. Which is why I pointed out yesterday, will point out again today, and will also reference the resent post by noxa: We will allow for the International sale and shipment of PM-1 headphones. At the moment we are working on the language for an updated Offline Order Form, and when it goes live, we will be able to process PM-1 orders for International shipping. There will be caveats, but I will be more than happy to discuss these through PM or you can discuss this further by contacting OPPO directly.

 

For now, let's return back to PM-1 impressions.

post #1991 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

A lot of positive reviews and I really like the build quality, its very important for me. However I am also monitoring the HE560 thread and so far it seems that HE560 is sonically ahead compared to PM1. Lots of comparisons between the two cans there.

If there is one thing I have noticed as a comparison between threads is that there is more forgiveness of manufacturing mistakes/build quality by the HiFiMan fans.  IMHO all the problems of pre-order units received sound dreadful compared to Oppo carefully planned release, never mind the vendor making up for the issues after a customer already has one in hand.  But all this is being addressed promptly and viewed positively.

 

As Smellyfungus said "neither headphone "destroys" the other, its really down to preference like most other higher end cans."  With that let the comparisons spring forth. :) 

post #1992 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noxa View Post

Can anyone recommend an American based seller that will ship worldwide at all?

 

Your best option is to use a US freight forwarder, like Usamail1.com and have the product shipped to them - they will then forward it to you.   They also have a shopper service, where they'll buy it for you for 10% fee, if you need to use a US card/billing address.

 

As a minor side note - if they get a package without a bill, you will have to declare the value of the item yourself when you have it forwarded.   


When I received my Hifiman HE-560 last week, the customs form, from China, stated a value of $45!

post #1993 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiAudio View Post

If there is one thing I have noticed as a comparison between threads is that there is more forgiveness of manufacturing mistakes/build quality by the HiFiMan fans.  IMHO all the problems of pre-order units received sound dreadful compared to Oppo carefully planned release, never mind the vendor making up for the issues after a customer already has one in hand.  But all this is being addressed promptly and viewed positively.

As Smellyfungus said "neither headphone "destroys" the other, its really down to preference like most other higher end cans."  With that let the comparisons spring forth. smily_headphones1.gif  
Hehe you are right, its hard for me to admit but I am the same. Am just communicating to send back RE-400 for replacement as they broke. Sent broken HM-602 back too, rusty screws on other Hifiman phones. Their QC sucks but their customer service is excellent, their products have competitive prices and most importantly every headphone I bought from them I loved sound wise.

Sorry, too much about them but this is really tough deciding between HE560 and PM1. I REALLY want a well built headphone but ultimately sound is most important (and comfort). smily_headphones1.gif

Hastur thanks for clarification. Makes total sense. I am used to $=€. Pretty much every company has the same policy from my experience, its just unfortunate people (me too unfortunately, sorry) vented about bad pricing in this thread, in my book it means people REALLY want this headphone but don't want to pay so much more than our friends overseas.

Personally I would be happy to pay for shipping back to the States to repair if it meant saving 500$ beforehand. With this kind of exceptional build I wouldn't expect to send them back at all, ever!
post #1994 of 3155
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post


Hastur thanks for clarification. Makes total sense. I am used to $=€. Pretty much every company has the same policy from my experience, its just unfortunate people (me too unfortunately, sorry) vented about bad pricing in this thread, in my book it means people REALLY want this headphone but don't want to pay so much more than our friends overseas.

 

Most other companies are multi-tier out the gate, so the prices are more equal from region to region with variations only being in the strength of the currency and adjustments for VAT. We started and remain direct sales, so there is a big "what to do" when it comes to International distribution.

 

Quote:
Personally I would be happy to pay for shipping back to the States to repair if it meant saving 500$ beforehand. With this kind of exceptional build I wouldn't expect to send them back at all, ever!

 

And that is the type of caveat I had eluded to. Although the Warranty would be void, we would not want to preclude any paying customer from receiving service. We are currently discussing what options would make it fair for all parties involved in the sale, which is why International sales are not yet being taken or fulfilled.

post #1995 of 3155

Thanks for the detailed explanation Hastur.

 

The comments re' the PM1's handling of poor recordings are encouraging.

Can anyone comment on how the PM1's cope with low rez/lossy content ( as opposed to old recordings )?

 

Also, has anyone got an opinion re' how the PM1 sound while being used with any amps with bass boost technology? ( I'm not suggesting that they need this, just curious as I'm a borderline basshead myself ).

 

If it turns out that the PM2 is too much for my wallet, I'm going to try an HD650, even though I've never heard them, and they look kinda plastic-y!

 

I think I was drawn to planar technology by the T50RP thread, as it seemed to offer better than average sound at an affordable price.

It's been nice to read about  the emergence of all these high end planars in the last few years, but what's been missing is a modern iteration of an AFFORDABLE planar.

 

If those of us outside the US can buy the PM2 at the $ price I believe it would come close to meeting many audiophiles definition of affordable.

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