Abyss Headphones AB-1266

General Information

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Open, around-the-ear, planar magnetic headphone

Latest reviews

ufospls2

Headphoneus Supremus
AB1266 Phi TC Full Review
Pros: Detail
Impact/Slam
Transparency
Cons: Could be a bit heavy for some
takes time to figure out ideal settings
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Side on
Hi All,

A fellow poster on Head-Fi pointed out that I hadn’t posted a review of my Abyss Headphones AB1266 Phi TC. I hadn’t realized, as I have written reviews of the original 1266, and the Phi version. However, both those reviews were written before starting this blog, so I thought why not do a review of my current pair, the TC’s.

There are 4 official versions of the AB1266. The AB1266, the AB1266 Phi, The AB1266 Phi CC, and finally, the AB1266 Phi TC. The 1266 Phi was a driver upgrade over the originals. The Phi CC was a upgrade of the finish to a ceramic coating, and new ear pads (not a driver change,) and the Phi TC is another fully new driver. I have personally owned the original AB1266, the AB1266 Phi, and the AB1266 Phi TC. I also owned the Diana Phi for a long period for good measure also. For the rest of this review, I’ll just refer to the Phi TC, as the TC’s, as the name is a bit long.

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TC Rear
Abyss Headphones are made entirely in the USA, and are the best built headphones I have personally come across, perhaps tied with the Meze Empyrean in terms of build quality. The design of the AB1266 models is a bit polarizing, with some loving, and some hating it. Abyss has refined the design over the years it has been available, but it is largely the same as it was when it was originally released.

The look of the 1266 is entirely function driven. You can extend it width wise to customize the clamp force from no seal to a very regular feeling seal. You can change the o-rings on the newly released updated headband, which, depending on the size used, will change where the headphones sit vertically. The frame also allows forward and backward “toe in” movement of the cups, which allows further customization of comfort, and also sound. Going even further, the frame can be bent slightly at the upper corners to further customize fit. Although it sound a bit crazy to bend a headphones frame, it is designed to be able to do this, and I would highly recommend anyone who owns a pair to try this out, to further customize and dial in a “perfect” fit.

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TC Front
So, how do the TC’s sound? Essentially, they are the most refined AB1266 yet. They are still an AB1266, there is no doubt about it. If you liked the previous versions, you will like the TC’s. I actually personally feel some overstate the difference between the original version and the follow up Phi’s, but there is certainly a string of steady improvements across all versions of the 1266. In general, they have the best, most punchy, and concussive bass on the market. The impact the 1266 provides does happen across the entire frequency response spectrum, but in the low end in particular. Detail and transparency on the TC’s is class leading, equal with the very best of planar magnetic headphones, and headphones in general.

The bass of the 1266 has always been one of its most talked about features. It can be customized varying on the amount of seal the ear pads have on your ears (less seal=more bass.) I’ve always enjoyed a robust bass response, though my preferences have been shifting slowly to less, and less, over the years. The TC’s certainly provide the best bass out of all the 1266 models. It is the quickest, most tactile, and most detailed out of all the models. The impact, perhaps related to the speed of the driver, is also very impressive. I have yet to find a pair of headphones that does impact and so called slam, better than the TC’s. It really is very impressive, especially with certain kinda of music. Electronica, IDM, that sort of thing, is amazing with the TC’s. Given that makes up a lot of my listening time, perhaps its no wonder they are my favourite headphones.

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Front w/ZMF Universe Hybrid Perforated Pads
The mids of the TC’s are again, pretty much in line with the older models. Slightly pulled back. I don’t personally feel this wanders into sounding “lean” but I know some people who do enjoy more in terms of mid range level. The mid range is typically where people will find the “warmth” that is so often talked about. The TC’s are not a warm headphone by any means. I actually prefer this, and think it lends itself to a more detailed sounding headphone, but I understand why others feel differently. The TC’s are fabulously detailed in the mid range, it just isn’t as present as some headphones (think Audeze LCD-3, Sennheiser HD650, that sort of thing.)

The highs of the TC’s again carry on a similar sound as past models. However, one thing I have noticed in particular, is the lack of sibilance in the TC’s response. The Phi’s absolutely did have sibilance at times, especially with female vocals. I noticed when I owned the Diana Phi prior to the TC’s, that this sibilance ha disappeared, regardless of the source equipment I was using. I wondered if the TC’s would continue on with that trend, and they certainly do. The very top end is accentuated, which gives a great feeling of space and air. Again, as with the rest of the frequency range, class leading detail is present. I think some who are used to, or prefer a darker headphone will find the TC’s treble response a bit much in terms of level. I don’t personally, but if you are treble sensitive, I would recommend trying the TC’s prior to purchasing if at all possible.

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Alternative angle w/ ZMF pads.
The technicalities of the TC, in my opinion, are up there with the best available. Detail, soundstage, transparency, dynamics, both micro and macro, are all class leading. The TC’s all new driver vs the older models has only improved on what was already extremely competent in this regard. Its one of those things that is hard to explain until you hear it for yourself, and really have time to get into it and understand what is going on. 5 minutes at a loud trade show, with a non personalized fit (which admittedly takes a while to figure out) just isn’t going to cut it with these headphones. You need to take a good amount of time to understand how the set up works, and get the best out of the headphones.

In terms of comfort, The TC’s are similar to the old models. The pads on the TC’s were introduced with the CC model, but I never ended up hearing them on that model, thus I have only experienced them on the TC’s. I find these pads do indeed improved upon the original pads that came with the 1266. The soundstage is a bit wider, and imaging is also improved. I also think they are a more comfortable pad than the originals.

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Alternate Angle, with stock pads.
That brings me to an interesting tidbit I have figured out. I had a bunch of pads around the house from ZMF headphones, and my time with their models that I reviewed. I ended up trying a bunch of them on the TC’s, simply out of sheer curiosity. I figured that they wouldn’t work, that the driver wouldn’t be dampened properly, or something. Much to my surprise, the results were actually excellent. All you have to do, as the pads don’t have magnets like the stock pads, is put a little bit double sided tape at the N,S,E,W, positions of the drivers baffle, and put the pads on. These ZMF pads of various kinds fit perfectly. I personally tried the Universe Leather Perforated, the Universe Suede Perforated, and the Verite Leather perforated. The most promising in terms of sound was the Universe Suede Perforated, so I then purchased a pair of Universe Hybrid Perforated. These ended up being my favourites out of all of the ones I tried. They largely keep the sound signature the same, perhaps being a smidge brighter and have a tiny bit less soundstage, which can be fixed with a wider position of the frame. The biggest reason I’m mentioning this is that I know some people struggle with comfort when it comes to the AB1266. These ZMF pads increased the comfort in such a way that was far beyond anything I expected. I highly recommend trying this out if you love the TC’s sound signature, but just can’t get on with it comfort wise. If you find the TC’s comfort acceptable, as I do, then I would likely recommend just sticking with the stock pads, but hey, if you are curious, give it a go. Its an entirely non destructive modification, and can be reversed in seconds 🙂

In comparison to the TC’s, I currently only own one other headphone. That is the Hifiman Susvara. At the pricing the Susvara is available at nowadays both used and from some dealers willing to give discounts, they largely cost about the same as the TC’s, maybe a little bit less. Now, I have to note again, the TC’s are my favourite headphones, there is no doubt about that. With that being said, the Susvara are perhaps the perfect foil to the TC’s sound signature. The Susvara are indeed more comfortable, to the point where you could forget you are wearing them. Their build quality compared to the TC’s is a bit of a joke, but it does allow them to weigh less, and achieve higher comfort levels. In terms of sound, the Susvara is a more even keeled sound signature, more balanced, perhaps. It also has class leading detail and technicalities equal to those of the TC’s, but it is a softer, more gentle sounding headphone. The Susvara also has more presence in the midrange, so for someone who highly values classical, especially orchestral works, it may be the better choice. The TC’s are a much more exciting listen, and excel with Electronica, Pop, Rock, Metal, and that sort of thing. In terms of driving the headphones, the Susvara are very hard to drive, and like lots of power. The TC do as well, but to a lesser extent. This is something to keep in mind when considering either headphone.

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With the Hifiman Susvara, and Boulder 866
Due to the TC’s increased transparency and detail over the older models, pairing it with the right gear for your preferences is important. That doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive, but something with enough power, and a sound signature that suits you and your ears. The iFi Pro iCAN works really well with the TC’s, and has all sorts of customizable options for a more neutral sound signature, or a warmer signature. All of the Wells Audio headphone amps work well with the TC’s, from the more “romantic” and warm sounding Milo, to the more neutral sounding Headtrip. The best I have personally heard is my Boulder 866, which prioritizes a clean neutral response, with epic driver control. Ultimately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great sound out of the TC’s, but careful pairing, and in some cases, more expensive pairings, will indeed bring out the best in them.

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Another angle with ZMF pads.
All in all, Joe and the lads at Abyss Headphones have built upon the previous AB1266 offerings in a meaningful way. They are still my favourite headphones, and I reckon they will be until Abyss comes up with another flagship model. For whatever reason, they just “work” for my ears and preferences. I highly recommend trying these headphones out if you see them at a trade show or a local dealer. Do ask for some help and tips about setting them up if you can, as that will help give you the best experience possible. We really are spoiled for choice in terms of great headphones to choose from at the top end of the hobby’s offerings, but if you are like me, and want an exciting, detailed and transparent sound, I honestly don’t think there is better than the AB1266 Phi TC currently. They really are that good!
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tassardar

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Transparent, Fast, Clarity, Deep and Exciting Bass, Solid Build, Comfortable once setup
Cons: Slightly Recess Mids, Silly Shape, Time Taken to Adjust, Weight
The Abyss AB 1266.
Some call it the Medieval Torture Device. I call it audio heaven.
 
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I shall not mince my words: Abyss is butt ugly. On first impression, I doubt anyone will even figure how the heck to put it on to your head. Followed by its weight, its one of the heaviest in the 640g range. It is on first sight highly unadjustable and uncomfortable. How can something like this sound good? Add on the initial price tag of more then 5K, maybe JPS Labs went mad or something.
 
But the truth is actually far from it. Price has fallen to 4k + (Abyss Lite Edition. Same thing just less accessories). I got mine cheaper then a LCD4 in my area. Its actually highly adjustable, and quite comfortable once you are done with it. Infact due to its design, you wont be as affected by the ears and its surrounding area heating up like most other headphones. The sound can also be describe in one word: Sublime.
 
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First lets look into the design. The Abyss is made of out of solid aluminium pieces bent and merge together. I have a feeling that if you throw it at someone, concussion ensures. Its probably the most solid built headphone I touched, even beating those of Beyerdynamics. The frame will probably last you a lifetime unless you get a car to run over it. The elastic bend is where the headphone rest on. The headphone was designed to actually rest on your head, with the ear cups lightly touching around your ears.  This will put bulk of the weight on top and thus making it rather comfortable. And since there is little clamping force, its more comfortable then many headphones out there, lets not forget it also reduces the chance your ears heating up and sweating! The next question in most people mind now is how do you actually adjust it to there. 
 
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First we take a look at the top, the joint there can be extended by about an inch and slightly bent forward or back. So depending on your head size, just pull or bend accordingly. Next is the ear cups. Its of a asymmetric design. Attached with a magnet, it can rotated up to 18 positions. So just rotate them till you feel comfortable and the entire cup is resting on the side of your head. This adjustment takes around 20-30 min in my experience and its the most important phase of using this headphone. Infact, it will determine if you ever enjoy the headphone, both comfort and sonically.
 
The issue of this headphone and why many cant understand it when they do auditions is this: The adjustments of the entire headphone determines the sound. Clamp down too much and you lose bass impact and make the overall signature warm. Pull it too far apart and you will get a relatively bright signature. If the earpad fully sits on the side of your head, you get a full sound. But if you want alittle more dynamic with more bass rumble, leaving a gap in the seal will give you a better experience. The thing is this headphone is finicky until you get it right. Once you obtain the fitting and sound you want, its onward to audio bliss, SUBLIME!
 
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The Abyss is quite the monster to drive. With 85db/mw, its just slightly better then HE6 which is 83. On the Hugo TT, that will equate to violet or light blue for volume and even white if your track is soft. Its power requirements are also quite high, many amps will not have the grunt to fully power it to its fullest. Best to get something that can do 1w on output. When I first audition it with the Hugo, its rather flat and boomy. The TT did a much much better job as it had the current to swing. For me I use the Cayin IHA6 pictured on top. The IHA6 amp outputs 7w per channel, its a monster in power in a relatively small package. The abyss never needed more then 12 position to be too loud for me.
 
Sound:
 
Equipment:
Laptop -> Hugo TT -> Cayin IHA6 ->Abyss
HD800S
HE500
KSE1500
 
Tracks used:
Powder Snow by Suara (Female Vocals)
Musouka by Suara (Female Vocals)
Liberi Fatali by Distant Worlds(Orchestra/Chant)
Send my Love by Adele (Female Vocals)
Hotel California 
 
This section is based on a properly fitted Abyss.
 
This headphone is fast. Faster then my HE500 and HD800S. This gives it a more dynamic feel with nicer blacks as instruments tend to not decay longer then they should. In Liberi Fatali, the bass and the treble will never mix. I can hear the xylophone in the background clearly even with all the other instruments and chants. In Hotel California, you can clearly hear the guitar pluckings as the bass pounds away.  Instrument separation is just fantastic as everything could be easily identified and heard. 
 
Soundstaging and placement is fantastic. Its soundstage is wide and huge, comparable to the HD800S in size. However its Z Axis doesnt feel as great the HD800S, I will say HD800S feels a little more holographic then the Abyss.This also lead to a slightly better separation in the HD800S. In Liberi Fatali, instruments could be heard clearly but on the Abyss, you cant exactly pin point its position all the time unlike the HD800S. There is also a slightly different feel to the soundstage. HD800S felt like a concert hall with mid row seat while the Abyss is a more closer to the front. This is very apparent in Hotel California, where everything felt closer with the sound radiating out far.
 
The Abyss is transparent and detailed. To me its more transparent then HD800S and the HE500. Other then my KSE1500 which sounds about the same in this field, everything else felt like there is a veil over them muddles things a little. In the tracks for the female vocals, the voice is just crystal clear with all the instrument sounding right.  In Musouku, you can hear the little guitar plucks that is usually lost. It does mean that many modern recorded song for the masses will sound bad. You can probably pick up every crackle which can be downright irritating.
 
Vocals and mids are great, natural but a little recessed.The Abyss is just so much more relaxed and natural in the mids then the HD800S. In Send My Love, there are those claps. The Abyss just renders them like exactly how you would expect, a slap like impact followed by quick decay. The HD800S however sounded like just a mass of sound that feels like a clap. You cant tell the exact point of impact.  The mids are slightly recessed on the mids for the Abyss. This gives them a feeling of being slightly further away. Due to the way the Abyss is voiced, it sounds perfectly fine, but put it next to the HD800S and it becomes apparent. In Powder Snow, Abyss felt like the vocals were aligned with the instruments while on the HD800S, the instruments played a more supporting role. That said, even though its slightly behind, the Abyss felt more natural. The HD800S vocals felt a little constricted when compared. However there is an issue at times. In Hotel California, the bass can at times feel like it overpowered the vocals due to the slight change in placement. Though if you are a basshead then this is totally up your alley.
 
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Cause Abyss is King for bass. I tried many headphones before I purchased the Abyss. He1000, LCD4, HD800S, LCD3, TH900. When I tried the Abyss properly, I just could not forget how it sounded. I told a friend of mine who ran one of the shop that sells everything but the Abyss: "Sorry but I will probably purchase the Abyss. It is deep... deep like its name stake, The Abyss" The thing is the Abyss bass goes not only deep, it sounded like a sub woofer. It impacts the side of your head and ear. You can feel that rumbling vibration that was lost in almost all headphones. Most headphones just had a tight, deep and impactful bass. The Abyss had all that plus a bass that can be felt just like a Sub. Its controlled, you can pinpoint the point of impact, then its decay, rumble and vibration there after. That was not the only thing great, with all the rumble, definitely the mids will get affected, but it isnt. It really felt like a properly integrated sub woofer, clearly separated but part of the total audio landscape. 
 
The last part is the treble. Here, I will say the HD800S had a more distinct treble that sparkles a little more but never confusing. It also means the Abyss due to its treble being a little more tamed to me, sounded much more pleasant with almost no sibilant. The treble also sounded more natural. The little bells in Powder Snow just felt like the small bells you would hear. It was reported in complex treble tracks, the Abyss may sound confusing in the treble region. I did not personally heard it in the tracks I used. Maybe it needs a full orchestra with lots of instrument in that region which I did not have access to.
 
There is something I love about Abyss's sound Realism and Atmosphere. The Abyss just sounded closer what the mind imagines as the live music then my other headphones. Infact swapping between it, HD800S, HE500, and KSE1500, the Abyss gave the best overall feel and atmosphere of closer to going live in a concert. The KSE1500 takes the cake for most realistic vocals, it was like a small room live recording. The other 2 felt like listening to really great headphones of the music replay, with the HE500 better for vocals and the HD800S for the huge spacious feel. 
 
There is something I noted of the Abyss when I tried it out with my friend. I usually listen on the Hugo TT at around Dark Blue while he does it at Light Blue. This translates to around 85db peak at 90+ vs 97db peak at 100+. We noticed at my levels, everything is in control, but at his preferred level, the bass had this weird vibration which we believe is distortion. We therefore believe that at higher volumes, the Abyss may have big and powerful bass but it will distort and therefore if you are sensitive to such things, do audition it at those level before purchase.
 
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The Abyss is a medieval torture device that sound as deep as the Abyss. As a TOTL, I believe it deserves its place in todays context. You will be called nuts 3 years ago at 5.5k when it first debutted but now with pricing reaching similar levels of LCD4 (and maybe even the Focus Utopia), it is definitely a must try if you are in that market. Especially if you like quality sound with bass sounding like a sub woofer that is clearly missed in almost all headphones. Lets not forget its one of  kind look which is actually quite comfortable.
tassardar
tassardar
Yup and I really feel thats the case for the Abyss. Once you get over the looks, everything else about it is great. Maybe except the price
Douger333
Douger333
Very nice review! I have listened to the Abyss extensively at RMAF two years and and am completely impressed... Only obstacle is the price...
tassardar
tassardar
Prices have drop since then. Today its the same or slightly above a LCD4 for the Lite edition. Just need to contact the retailer.

Kiats

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Transparent, neutral, detailed, nuanced, visceral bass, impressive soundstage and headroom
Cons: Cost
Every now and then, comes a headphone which defies conventional wisdom and challenges the way we look at headphones. The JPS Abyss AB-1266 is one such headphone. Whether it is by its distinctive looks, its industrial strength construction and its sonic signature, it is something which will figure strongly in our collective consciousness for a while to come.
 
I am blessed to own one such specimen. It sits nicely in the top tier, if not at the apex, of my little collection of headphones comprising most of the Grados, the LCD 2 & 3, HD700 & 800, Beyerdynamic T1, Hifiman HE-6, HE-5LE, He-560, HE-500, HE 1000, Fostex TH900, AKG K702 & K812, Stax SR007 MK1 & MK2.5, SR 009, L700 and the Final Sonorous X. 
 
 
Build Quality
 
The build quality of the Abyss is first class. The frame is solid aluminum; two sides joined together via a rivet which allows the two sides to be pulled together as adjustment as well as the angle of the cups for a different listening experience with each angle. The earpads are also unusual: they can be adjusted around as it attaches to the frame magnetically, allowing the user to decide if he wishes to have more bass or treble. The Abyss is hefty. It is solidly built. The rigidity of the frame ensures that there are no vibrations or distortions which is important given the hefty bass kick the planar magnetic drivers will emit when called upon. The Abyss is adjustable in various ways for the user for a different listening experience. This pair of cans are well conceived and designed.
 
Finally, the Abyss comes with JPS own cables. Of course JPS is well known for their audiophile grade cables and power cords. So, the stock cables are one of the best you will see as stock. The cables are also removable thereby allowing users to switch cables to their personal preference and tastes. 
 
Comfort and Isolation
 
The Abyss may look terribly uncomfortable with a look that may make you look like Frankenstein when you put it on and its solid heft will cause some concern. What I can say is that the design of the suspended headband actually works very well to spread out the weight of the Abyss such that when I first received the Abyss, I actually had it on every day for about a week and I did not end up in a neck brace nor develop neck muscles the Incredible Hulk would be envious of.
 
The Abyss is not to worn like any other headphone: it is not meant to clamp on your head like a conventional headphone. You have to adjust the headphone so that it sits on your head and with the cups touching but not clamping on your ears. It is worth noting that the Abyss are open cans and so there is some inevitable leakage.  
 
 
Music Genres
 
I am known to be fairly open-minded in my music tastes. As long as it is good music I will listen. I currently have more than 12 TB of music. in my music collection: all the way from medieval choral music to modern pop music to classical music and everything in between.
 
Make no mistake: the Abyss is a paragon of neutrality and clarity. Hence, I can listen to any sort of music on the Abyss and it sounds right. The Abyss sounds good with vocals running the gamut of acoustic to rock. Considering how everyone talks about its explosive and visceral bass power, the Abyss can be very nuanced and gentle: it all depends on the music that is being played. No colour. That being said, the bass line when called upon in crescendos can sweep you away or have you toe tapping when listening to EDM. Did I mention that it is versatile? Whether it is the emotional cello of Yo Yo Ma in the OST of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or a full orchestra, it conveys the right emotion, timbre of the strings or soundstage of the full orchestra. 
 
 
Sound Quality
 
The Abyss is very neutral and flat. No part of the sonic spectrum is emphasized or hampered. It is all about the music. Whatever is called for, the Abyss will produce. There is great details and clarity. At the same time, the timbre on the strings are outstanding. Emotional inflections  and nuances of the vocalists are also clearly conveyed across. Soundstage and imaging is first class. The soundstage here is true soundstage - there is width as well as depth. No congestion in the music flowing from this headphone. Headroom is also outstanding. And, of course, there is the visceral bass - no other headphone comes close. The bass is taut as well - no bleeding or unnaturally long decay to cause any muddiness. The Abyss is, in the ultimate analysis, a very immersive experience - it is closer to speakers than headphones.
 
There are some criticism of the Abyss not being emotional or being a bit recessed. For the latter, I suspect the critics come from the school of forward mids and so anything which is natural will sound recessed. As for lack of emotions, I defy anyone to have a listen to Fly Away from Corrine May's eponymous debut album: this song is semi-autobiographical about how difficult it was for her to leave her grandmother, whom she was very close to since childhood,  And the emotions of her flying away to a faraway land to seek her musical dreams. In the song, her grandmother fell terminally ill when she was away and she flew back to see her on her death bed. The simple instrumental accompaniment of piano to Corrine's distinctive and nuanced vocals is something that never fails to pull at my heartstrings every time I hear it on the Abyss.
 
I am known for my admiration for the work of Tibetan singer Alan Dawa Dolma: the songs she does as part of the OST of the Red Cliff (Parts 1 & 2) is particularly impressive on the Abyss because of the grand soundstage that the songs demand and the additional headroom that the Abyss is able to afford. The two songs are cinematic and panoramic: between the demonstration of impressive vocal range by Alan, her soaring vocals and her emotional repertoire and the lush and layered instrumentation and the visceral and realistic bass, they are great showcases or the stunning ability of the Abyss.
 
There will always be those who prefer their TOTL cans to be tilted towards the treble end of the sonic spectrum: that gives a perception of soundstage and details. They will need to look elsewhere. The Abyss is stunning. It is wide open and neutral. It is detailed and conveys great instrumental separation and layering. It is also emotional and nuanced when the music calls for it. You feel the quake from the visceral bass. It is full range from treble all the way down to the quick and deep bass. If that is what you desire from a headphone, look no further.
 
 
Pairing
 
One caution about the Abyss is that it needs driving power to reap the full benefit of the impressive drivers. If there is not sufficient power, the Abyss will not sound the spectacular pair of cans it is.
 
As noted above, the cables can be switched. I currently alternate a few pairs of dual balanced cables with the Abyss: the Tralucent Uber, the Toxic Cables Copper Venom and Toxic Cables Silver Venom. Each cable brings with it a different sonic signature. And as I said, the Abyss is transparent and so the sonic characteristics of each cable will be discernible.
 
My home desktop rig comprises an Auralic Aries (with external linear PSU), connected via a Audiquest Diamond USB 3 cable to a Bricasti M1 DAC and then JPS Superconductor V RCA to the Cavalli Liquid Gold. Power cord for the DAC is a Tralucent Uber power cord, and power cord for the Liquid Gold is a JPS Kaptovator power cord. Power to the components of the desktop rig and sources is fed through an Isotek Aquarus and all the power cords use US plugs. My Synology DS 414 and a Seagate Backup Plus HDD (connected directly via USB to the Aries) are powered by the new Plixir Elite BDC Power Supply kindly customized for me by James Soh of Sound Affairs in Singapore.
 
 
Conclusion
 
As I had cautioned above, the Abyss challenges our preconceptions of how a pair of headphone should sound. It is transparent, neutral and flat. It is detailed and nuanced. Yet, it packs a body blow of a bass when bass is called for. If you are looking for pair of headphones that seem to be more like ear speakers with impressive soundstage and headroom, and all these qualities, this is the headphone for you!

metalboss
metalboss
Excellent review
NA Blur
NA Blur
Once you realize that this headphone is not supposed to seal and sits a few mm to a cm away from the ear it does sound better, but the design is so eccentric it will never catch on.
Kiats
Kiats
@ Sid: Thanks, man!
@bosiemoncrieff: Actually such comparisons are peppered all over the Abyss thread
@metalboss: thanks! :)
@NA Blur: agree. if I recall correctly, Tyll or Jude did a video to show it is done. It seems difficult but once you get it right, the rewards are immense.

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