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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 153

post #2281 of 3442
It's probably that the pre and post reviews were hyping the product so much that the headphones disappointed many enthusiasts when they finally came out.
post #2282 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

It's probably that the pre and post reviews were hyping the product so much that the headphones disappointed many enthusiasts when they finally came out.

 

The earlier reviews were from people who weren't the most experienced which became an issue.  When people got them, they found the flaws rather quickly.  Arguments broke out which is generally when you get the huge positive or negative bias split and very little in between. People claiming that issue isn't there, or the issue is a non-issue, and those stating that it is an issue that shouldn't be ignored. 

post #2283 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

The earlier reviews were from people who weren't the most experienced which became an issue.  When people got them, they found the flaws rather quickly.  Arguments broke out which is generally when you get the huge positive or negative bias split and very little in between. People claiming that issue isn't there, or the issue is a non-issue, and those stating that it is an issue that shouldn't be ignored. 
That's true. Oppo went through an unconventional review path with inexperienced reviewers discovering the planar sound and its numerous strength.
Oppo has an excellent marketing strategy and the headphones show well (look, comfort and the box). The perfect recipe for a release!
post #2284 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post


That's true. Oppo went through an unconventional review path with inexperienced reviewers discovering the planar sound and its numerous strength.
Oppo has an excellent marketing strategy and the headphones show well (look, comfort and the box). The perfect recipe for a release!

 

It's a great recipe for a release...  It creates a fast fan-base, but then again, if someone gets it expecting the perfect headphone and finds that it isn't, and they are disappointed, they'll lose trust...  That happens down the road.  Seen that happen with a different manufacturer that shall remain unnamed. 

post #2285 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by JML View Post

Reading over this thread and the impressions thread on the Oppo HA-1, I came to some conclusions about the comparisons.

 

Once a set of phones hits about $600-800, and an amp and DAC combination hit the $1000 range, many people seem to forget the price and start comparing apples and oranges.  The PM-1 is $1100 and the HA-1 is $1200 (amp and DAC on one chassis).  So the pair is about $2300.  That's a hefty chunk of change for many people.  But others seem to forget price, for reasons I cannot fathom.  

 

Many of the negative Head-Fi postings and some of the external reviews seem to fall into two camps.  One camp treats the Oppo products as an all-out attack on the state-of-the-art, without regard for price.  A second camp seems to focus on the Oppo products as not good enough to justify the higher price when going from lower-priced equipment.  This is a very strange dichotomy.  The positive postings seem to be far more cognizant of price.  

 

For example, perhaps because the PM-1 is a planar, it gets compared to planars ranging from $600 (a point at which the Oppo PM-2 will compete) all the way up to almost $2000 for the LCD-3 and three times that for the Abyss.  And then we see comparisons to the dynamic Senn HD800, which goes for $1500-1800, and needs a significant investment in an amp/dac to perform well; and even exotics such as the electrostatic Stax SR009, at $4100, which requires many thousands of dollars in associated electronics.

 

When you factor in the cost of an amp and DAC, or an all-in-one combination, the inconsistencies in the comparisons become even more pronounced, especially when many of the comparisons to the HA-1 are to front ends that range from 50% to more than 400% higher.

 

I just don't understand why the Oppo products are prompting such a strange reaction.  Maybe it is because they're seen as a large company that is an "outsider" to the headphone community, although they're far from a huge audio company.  Maybe it is because they've redefined one of the points of diminishing returns for a headphone/amp/DAC setup.  Just not sure...

 

For me, what matters in a purchase like this is (1) how well the product lets me enjoy music, (2) the quality of the design and materials, and (3) how comfortable they are.  The PM-1, like the other headphones from $600 to $4000 or more, makes compromises among those three factors (of course, all headphones do).  I happen to like Oppo's balancing of these factors very much (and enough to change my avatar). 

You talking about two products by the same manufacturer. One is great performer with all features important in our days and some which most users don't need. It's called HA-1 and is great value for the money. It's Dac is as good as Matrix X-Sabre costing $1100 (i can't hear difference between them) and all 3 important qualities apply to it. While second product, PM-1 only complies to number 2 and 3 for me but not 1 so because of this it can't be great product for the money because as i as end user can't fix their weakness for me even by buying Dac and amp costing times more. You talking that HD800 are too expensive because they need expensive electronics to shine but you are wrong cause they sound great with HA-1 but if you want cheaper amp get BH Crack and they still sound great and yes i heard them with both amps. Yes HD800 have a weakness but it could be fixed while PM-1's can't
post #2286 of 3442

In my book, any comparison is welcome. If somebody comes here whose only frame of reference is an M50 and a CMoy amp and they're moving up to the PM-1 and HA-1 combo, their impressions can and will be valuable one day to somebody in a similar situation. As long as the points of reference and comparison are clearly noted by a reviewer, I have no problems with comparisons to anything up and down the spectrum. That's the nature of a new release.

post #2287 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

It's probably that the pre and post reviews were hyping the product so much that the headphones disappointed many enthusiasts when they finally came out.

 

^^ IMO, this.    It is a very good headphone, but the initial reviews made it seem like state of the art.  That is not.   

post #2288 of 3442

Back to impressions please.

post #2289 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post
 

In my book, any comparison is welcome. If somebody comes here whose only frame of reference is an M50 and a CMoy amp and they're moving up to the PM-1 and HA-1 combo, their impressions can and will be valuable one day to somebody in a similar situation. As long as the points of reference and comparison are clearly noted by a reviewer, I have no problems with comparisons to anything up and down the spectrum. That's the nature of a new release.

 

Spot on. I'm still at the budget end of things, but may well, one day soon, make that $1,000 leap. Reading about the various flagship headphones and their individual attributes is clearly useful (and tempting) but I'm often left wondering just what advantage would such an expensive upgrade be for me.

post #2290 of 3442
Impressions, ok wait let me put my flame suit on first...
...
.........ok!

I bought these within first hours online and had express shipped..
Returned third week..

The prolem is that oppo gave initial impressions Of PM-1 being a reference can.

Then they give to those inexperienced to this type of can.
So those members have nothing to say but positive things.
Then when finally into buyers hands,
Their shortcomings came out...

That was my impressions but most likely false so I have to take that back.

They simply not reference quality.
They are very good, but final level of resolution that other top quality cans can achieve, is not here with the PM-1.

They instead give a mosfet treble and thus sound forgiving and tubey on all music.
Those are my impressions only but I am not alone.

If I was to rate it I would place it above an he 400 but that's it & not above an AlphaDog, unless you like it's signature which has more bass flavor than the neutral AlphaDog.

Sorry to be a lemon here,
I'm sure your opinions will vary! Lol

EDIT:
Given that this is their first can,
I believe they can be real competition in future with succeeding models.

Also their HA-1 is another story all together.
That was a home run.
Edited by Maxx134 - 5/27/14 at 8:13am
post #2291 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

Impressions, ok wait let me put my flame suit on first...
...
.........ok!

I bought these within first hours online and had express shipped..
Returned third week..

The prolem is that oppo gave initial impressions Of PM-1 being a reference can.

Then they give to those inexperienced to this type of can.
So those members have nothing to say but positive things.
Then when finally into buyers hands,
Their shortcomings came out...

That was my impressions but most likely false so I have to take that back.

They simply not reference quality.
They are very good, but final level of resolution that other top quality cans can achieve, is not here with the PM-1.

They instead give a mosfet treble and thus sound forgiving and tubey on all music.
Those are my impressions only but I am not alone.

If I was to rate it I would place it above an he 400 but that's it & not above an AlphaDog, unless you like it's signature which has more bass flavor than the neutral AlphaDog.

Sorry to be a lemon here,
I'm sure your opinions will vary! Lol
+1 on all of this and also LCD-2 has better treble than PM-1
post #2292 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

Impressions, ok wait let me put my flame suit on first...
If I was to rate it I would place it above an he 400 but that's it & not above an AlphaDog, unless you like it's signature which has more bass flavor than the neutral AlphaDog.

Sorry to be a lemon here,
I'm sure your opinions will vary! Lol

EDIT:
Given that this is their first can,
I believe they can be real competition in future with succeeding models.


There's absolutely nothing wrong with a dissenting opinion. It's definitely not as resolving as an HD800 or a PS1000, but in my impressions I would have placed it above the AD in terms of detail retrieval. Though the AD is more "crisp" and quick, I still found the PM-1 competitive when it came to resolution, if not speed of decay. What made you like the AD more?

post #2293 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by olegausany View Post


+1 on all of this and also LCD-2 has better treble than PM-1

I wonder if I had a "bad" copy of the LCD2-2... the treble on it dropped of very quick... it was darker than my PM-1.  I have read about a lot of variations on the Audeze cans... even the LCD-3 had less treble energy than the PM-1 to my ears...

 

Either way, I could never go back to the Audeze cans...no competition to the PM-1 when it comes to comfort (Which is a big deal for me)

post #2294 of 3442

I had an opportunity to listen again to the combo HA-1/PM-1 for ~3 hours this time and also throwing a reference rig in the mix (Electra/SR009 driven by the HA-1 dac).

 

I understand it makes little sense to compare HA-1/PM-1 to the Electra/SR009 in terms of price bracket, but our intent was more to have a reference in mind. I use the SR009 for most of my listening time (albeit with a lesser amp for now, SRM727).

 

It turned out to be a very interesting afternoon. I started just with the HA-1/PM-1 and found the exact same foot tapping / exhilarating experience as when I heard them at the recent Fujiya Avic headphone festival. On its own, the PM-1 (when driven balanced by the HA-1, using the HA-1 dac as well) has the right amount of detail to me, it does not sound muffled or very much closed in. It's intimate and extremely pleasant for any of the harder recordings I tried. The most attractive part to me was the voicing with lots of body / presence and non-aggressive mid/heighs which is the antithesis of the typical high-fidelity phones presentation. At this stage, I was like thinking how I could arrange the desk space for the combo as it seems like a good complement to my stat rig for when the mood strikes or recordings call for it.

 

Throw the Electra/SR009 in the mix (driven by the HA-1 DAC balanced). At first, I was mostly playing "average recordings" or some with fair amount of mid-highs / treble energy. The first impression I got from the Electra/SR-009 was puzzling as it did not sound great. Seemed the bass was a bit bloated and the highs were a bit harsh / tizzy. Definitely not the experience I remember from the last time I listened to the electra (same rig but with Invicta as source). I assume that the amp needed to warm up as the bass control improved drastically within half hour or so. The mid-/highs also settled but I would not say the slight tizzy bit was ever completely removed. We later on switched the source with the Invicta for a short while, but I would have needed much more time to assess. It did seem like the sizzle in HF range might come from the HA-1 dac (and, imo, that goes a long way to make the HA-1/PM-1 combo almost magical).

 

 

Things turned a bit sour when I started to A/B the 009 and PM-1 using more demanding recordings like my ECM jazz recordings. While the SR009 sounded very different with each and every recording, the PM-1 started to sound like more and more of the same. In particular, I felt I was listening to the phone with the PM-1 and listening to the CD mastering with the SR009. Clearly, some rock recordings were more enjoyable with the PM-1. But for the most part, over the 3 hours, I started to get annoyed with hearing more of the same with the PM-1, in particular the bass always sounded the same and I missed the texture of all the instruments. I pay a lot of attention to cymbal shimmer for instance, some of these ECM recordings abound of all kinds of such percussion instruments layed deep and large in the recording studio. To date, of all headphones I've heard, the SR009 is by far the most realistic in terms of layering and transparency. The PM-1 did not fair too well there I have to say.

 

Now, does that mean the PM-1 is a bad headphone after all? To me, not in the least. It still is the only planar today that I'd love to own as a complementary phone for when the mood strikes. I tried the Hifiman HE-400i/HE-560 as well as new Fostex at the Fujiya show and they're nowhere as attractive to me. Probably they're more right in their presentation (in particular the hifi-man), but what attracts me with the PM-1 is not its being right or wrong but rather being voiced to make you tap the feet and get a big smile. On its own, it truly sounds awesome to me. The only reserve I have is when you start rotating with other phones or potential irritation with the lack of transparency / texture after a while.

 

Arnaud

post #2295 of 3442

Arnaud, did you use the HA-1's USB input? I felt the same re the HF sizzle, but after switching in a Sonicweld Diverter, the sizzle disappeared. I think a good good usb-spdif converter is 'needed'.

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