Sash Tres Planar Magnetic Headphones


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Compelling value prop, with performance beyond the price
Incredibly well-controlled and accurate sound
The words "custom built" just roll off the tongue
Cons: Upper mids and treble may be a bit soft and veiled for some
Shortcomings are more apparent at low listening levels - need volume to sound their best


There are some amazing mass-market headphones today, but there is also an undeniable allure in the idea of finding a hidden gem. As a woodworking hobbyist and overall tinkerer, I was intrigued when I heard about SASH – a one-man operation in Ukraine making headphones (by hand) that punch far above their weight in terms of sound quality.

I went ahead and placed my order in early-June, and after roughly 7 weeks fabrication and 2 weeks shipping, I received my completed headphones 2 months later: the SASH Tres 45 ohm. Specs can be found on the (only recently launched) SASH website:

Construction and Ergonomics​

Sasha, the owner of SASH, was wonderful to deal with throughout the process and he made a point of sending photos as the build progressed. Now that I’ve seen the physical product in person, I can report that while the photos certainly look nice, these headphones have loads of character when you get to hold them in your hand. The genuine wood housings, grills, and cups in have a nice, premium appearance and feel. The yokes are chromed metal and have a purposeful look that suits the overall design. The suspension-style headband is leather under thick, high-density plastic. Everything is well-built and looks like it will last a thousand years.

Physically, these are big headphones, weighing in at ~550g. In use, I find that the headband does a good job distributing the weight, and so far I find it easy to “forget” I’m wearing them and just settle into the music. I honestly wish my Monolith M1570 did this good a job at distributing weight, but they feel like every bit of 640g every moment you’re wearing them. Clamping force with the Tres is on the tight side of moderate, though I expect them to loosen up over time like any other headphone.

The included cable (you can order your preferred length, as well as your preferred connectors) is nicely constructed and has good thickness. It’s more microphonic than I’d prefer, but it’s easy enough to get an aftermarket cable if I decide to go that way.



Disclaimer: Sasha did a certain amount of testing and burn-in before shipping the headphones, but I have no idea how many hours. On my side, I’ve put less than a dozen hours of music through these. Are they fully burned-in? Will they improve with more time? Does burn-in even exist? Pass on all of the above … but if my impressions change down the road, I’ll try to come back here and make updates.

It’s also important to remember these are hand-made headphones, so there is almost certainly a degree of variability between different units. I have no doubt that Sasha puts a lot of care and attention into each and every headphone he ships, but that attention is going to be individual, and I suspect the result is going to be special in a slightly unique way every time.

My primary stack is the SMSL DO200 MKii DAC + SMSL HO200 amplifier, a combo that is well-regarded for clean and accurate sound, and I disabled all “sound colour” profiles in the DO200 for this review. All listening (unless noted otherwise) used the balanced 4.4mm output and cable, and the standard angled leather pads that came with the Tres.


The Test Tracks​

I have a regular reference playlist of about 25 songs that I use as “known territory” for testing and analysis. The songs below are the main (but not the only) tracks I used to write this review.

The Alan Parsons Project (Eye in the Sky) – Children of the Moon

This track is an interesting mix of rock and orchestral elements, with snappy prog-rock riffs and percussion overlaying delicate strings. The vocals in the chorus (“children children of the moon, watch the world go by …”) rely on dynamic upper-mids and are prone to being drained of emotion and vibrancy in some headphones. And of course, there’s that inimitable “70’s sound” to the mixing and mastering we all love so much

Genesis (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) – Fly on a Windshield + Broadway Melody of 1974

Another mix of rock and orchestral elements, and starting at 1:20 things get very very busy: pounding percussion, a deep and relentless bass line, crashing cymbals, a heavy layer of strings, all competing with a weakly-mixed lead guitar. It’s very easy for the presentation to get messy and things to get lost.

In the second part of the song (Broadway Melody), Peter Gabriel’s plaintive vocals are influenced by the sound signature of the headphone’s mids.

Scann-Tec (Unyt) – Unyt

This song is all about the bass, with lots of deep-reaching synth.

Her (Her) – Five Minutes

This song is all about the treble, and the fine line between snappy vs. overcooked

The Souljazz Orchestra (Manifesto) – State Terrorism

The horns section in this song (everything by Souljazz Orchestra really) is just so incredibly lush and chewy. This is a perfect track to test how well a headphone can deliver those spine-shivering, toe-tapping, feel-good harmonics.

Harry Manx (Live at the Glen Gould Studio) – Point of Purchase

This is a beautiful, intimate live recording where each individual headphone (and even individual EQ profiles) influences the perception of the soundstage and space of the studio where it was recorded. The size of concert hall you’re imagining in your head literally depends on the headphone you’re wearing. There’s also a gorgeous interplay of male vocals, female vocals, and acoustic guitar, each of which will be pushed forward or backward by any given headphone’s inherent signature.

The Holly Cole Trio (Don’t Smoke in Bed) – I Can See Clearly Now

Holly Cole’s angelic voice tests the ability of a headphone to deliver clear, effortless mids without distraction. This is a song where I don’t want a distinctive sound signature – I just want to be transported into the ether where that voice resides.

On the flip side, I want a rich and melodic presentation of that piano. So really, I’m asking for a complete contradiction: utter transparency for the vocals, delicious harmonics for the piano.


If I were to use a single word (well, two words) to describe the Tres 45 performance, it would be “buttoned-down”. Everything sounds neat, well-executed, and exactly where it should be. Even with busy musical passages where I’ve seen other headphones struggle, there are no sonic surprises – everything just flows.

Confident, accurate bass and lower-mids are where the Tres shines, but at the same time the relatively recessed upper-mids and treble can make the headphone sound constrained and throttled, especially at lower listening volumes. The overall detail retrieval and precision of these headphones is mindblowing considering they are handcrafted from the ground up.

*edit* As I listen to these headphones more, I am increasingly struck by their musicality. There is an organic, analog sound to these that evokes the golden age of vinyl - dim, smoke-filled rooms and obscure audiophile speaker brands playing saxophone-drenched soul, jazz, and rock fusion. Switching back and forth and A/B testing against other headphones isn't what the Tres is all about. Keep them on and sink into those seductive layers of velvet.


The bass presentation in these headphones is incredibly clean and well-controlled. There are no resonant peaks or bleed that I can detect, nor any soft spots all the way down to around 40hz where the bass (gradually) rolls off. If I have any complaint with the bass it’s that things like kick drums, toms, and bass guitar lines in the “punch” frequencies (100-150hz) don’t hit as hard as some of my other headphones. The thump is there and it’s delivered with delicious precision, but if you’re looking for a headphone that smacks your eardrums around, the SASH Tres isn’t it – especially straight out of the box and without equalization.


Funny story: I’ve had my Sennheiser 660S for coming up on half a year, and in that time I’ve struggled to appreciate them for what they are. I listen to those effortless, velvety mids and I’ve always liked what I hear, but they weren’t enough to make me like the headphones. The very first thing I noticed about the SASH Tres is a very Sennheiser-like midrange, and suddenly I get it: the saxophone in State Terrorism is filled with life and passion, Harry Manx’ gravel-infused vocals in Point of Purchase are like a cozy wool blanket on a chilly night sitting around the campfire.

Those creamy mids have not only endeared me to the SASH Tres itself, they’ve woken me up to the charms of the 660S, which I found myself appreciating a lot more as I listened for the purposes of this review. That said, to my ear the mids of the Tres become softer and more veiled as you move up the frequency range. I find some female vocals can be pushed back and drained of brilliance, such as Neko Case on the song Down I5.

That sublime presentation of lower mids also lends well to certain instruments, such as the distorted blues guitar in by Vestbo Trio’s Mudslide, or Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Mary Had a Little Lamb.


The easy-listening character of the Tres becomes even more pronounced further up the frequency range. Treble detail is there and it’s well-articulated, but it’s dialled back. This is the one aspect of the Tres where I find I most need to manage my expectations: I am fond of a bright presentation with lots of snap, air and presence, and the Tres takes a much more mellow approach to treble. Some people may find it all a little too buttoned-down.

On the other hand, for those with treble sensitivity, the Tres might be a godsend. Unsurprisingly, sibilance is incredibly well-controlled. Even on an album that I personally find to be very hot and sibilant, like Genesis Duke, the Tres has no trouble delivering all the sound with none of the ear-stabbing sizzle.

Imaging and Soundstage​

The ever-present veil in the upper mids and treble affects the soundstage exactly how you’d expect: by subduing those airy reverberations that open up the space between your ears. Instrument separation and imaging are modest. Overall I’d classify these headphones as warm and intimate, so if you’re looking for a spacious, holographic presentation, you won’t find it here – at least not without equalization.


I’ll talk more about the other Planar headphones in my collection – the Monolith M1570 – further down, but for now it’s worth noting that they take extremely well to equalization. A bit of EQ transforms them from being great-but-flawed to outright excellent. And here’s some more great news: same for the SASH Tres 45 ohm. All the shortcomings I’ve mentioned so far can be addressed to a remarkable degree simply by throwing a u-shaped curve onto the audio. These headphones are absolutely capable of producing lots of detail and brilliance north of 2000hz, they just don’t happen to be tuned that way out of the box.

I created a very rudimentary custom EQ using Wavelet, and while I didn’t get it perfect (things are a bit “clangy” and hot up top) I was able to move female vocals forward, create more air and sparkle, and open up the soundstage significantly.


I have not yet had a chance to apply an EQ profile with more finesse (such as something from Oratory, which I believe is now available for the Tres) but based on what I’ve heard so far, I predict the results will be excellent.

Performance with Closed Cups​

First things first: regardless of any impact on sound the closed cups that came with my SASH Tres are gorgeous, characterful works of hand-made art. Sasha offered to imprint any design of my choosing onto the backs of the cups, and I have to say I’m pleased with the outcome.

In terms of sound signature, the changes when switching to closed cups are subtle. Mids are somewhat more congested but also more impactful, overcoming some (but only some) of the thinness I discussed earlier. Upper-bass impact is also improved by the additional resonant volume. Surprisingly, soundstage and imaging don’t seem particularly impacted by the change to closed cups. If anything, there is slightly more space and air in closed configuration, perhaps due to some undamped resonance from the exposed wooden surfaces inside the cups.

Adding some EQ (the same profile that “opened up” the signature earlier) reveals more of the compromises with closed cups – for example those higher-frequency resonances off the wood become more distracting.

It would be easy to treat the closed cups as a seldom-used novelty on headphones like these, but in the case of the Tres, I feel like they suit (and enhance) the already warm, intimate signature quite well. I can see myself swapping to the closed configuration fairly often, and not just to crank some classic 2112.


Influence of Listening Chain​

I conducted all listening to this point (and also the comparison tests further down) using:
  • Motorola Edge smartphone running Deezer HiFi as a music source
  • Direct wired USB input to SMSL DO200 Mkii DAC, with all sound colour settings disabled
  • Balanced (XLR) input to SMSL HO200 amplifier
  • Balanced 4.4mm output to headphone
  • Open cups and no equalization
For the purposes of assessing “scalability” and sensitivity to amplification source, I tried both the Aiyima T8 hybrid DAC/amp (single-ended output) and Fiio BTR7 mobile DAC/amp (balanced output) as sources. Both amps seem to have adequate power, so differences were subtle: the BTR7 has a slightly less spacious stage, while the T8 sounds even less spacious, but also has slightly looser bass and a softer overall presentation with less articulation, though the tube harmonics come across really nicely in the Tres.


My headphone collection is quite modest, so while I’m sure there are many comparisons people would love to see, I will only offer opinions on the limited set of cans below. To make the comparison as useful as possible, I used the same SMSL stack throughout and tried to maintain a consistent level balance (despite some wildly varying impedance and sensitivity values) across all headphones.

Versus the Monolith M1570​

The M1570 is also a (big and beefy) Planar headphone, so they are an obvious point of comparison with the SASH Tres, and the comparison is mostly apt. Mostly. They are like cousins, and while the Tres went away to the city to attend finishing school, the M1570 stayed home and has been working the farm for the last 5 years. He’s bold and muscular – the kind of guy that brings you in for a hug and gives you a few solid whacks on the back to say hello.

They both have that characteristic Planar confidence in the midrange, but the M1570 does a better job extending that confidence into the upper midrange and even partway into the treble. The M1570 lends more colour to the sound signature and feels like it has more resonant peaks scattered here and there throughout the frequency range: for example on Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell, there is some mud in the upper bass frequencies, while the Tres presents this song effortlessly.

It's worth reiterating that both the Monolith M1570 and the SASH Tres are highly amenable to equalization. With the right profile, each is sonically brilliant in its own special way.

Versus the Sennheiser HD660S​

The forward mids (and especially upper-mids) of the 660S immediately create a more spacious soundstage, but overall the mids (and especially lower-mids) are less emotional and characterful than with the Tres.

In terms of bass, the 660 feels a little over-emphasized around 120hz compared to the Tres, and also starts to roll off a good 10-20hz earlier. Listening to these two headphones back-to-back it really does emphasize how impressive the Tres sounds when it comes to bass, so long as you’re not looking for absurd movie-theatre-rumble. The natural presentation and accuracy are astonishing.

The 660S delivers treble in a businesslike and unremarkable way, but compared to the soft, veiled presentation of the (unequalized) Tres, it’s a much more complete signature. I find myself having to concentrate less when trying to pick up subtle details like cymbal hits, bells, or the uppermost registers of piano or synth.

Versus the Beyerdynamic DT-880 / 600 ohm​

The main draw (to me) of these headphones is an overall balanced presentation coupled with stellar presence, sparkle, and “snap” up top. The contrast between the SASH Tres and the Beyer 880/600 couldn’t be more stark: one of them is impeccable up to around 1500hz, the other is brilliant beyond. Even with equalization, the Tres can’t match the effortless delivery of high mids and treble from the 880.


My personal tastes in headphones lean toward a less delicate, more strident and impactful presentation, so my initial listening sessions with the SASH Tres had me working hard to find their strengths and appreciate their charms.

But once you make peace with the veil in the upper mids and treble, there is a buttery smoothness to these headphones that makes it easy to listen for hours on end, even if the playlist includes hot or fatiguing tracks. These are not clinical headphones – they definitely have a character all their own – they just don’t shove it in your face. They are supremely easy to live with, and if you want to tweak the sonic character with a little EQ it’s very easy to do while still keeping the freakish accuracy intact.

Interestingly, this might be the headphone that gets me to add more classical music into my rotation: their effortless competence lends itself well to the genre, as does the softer treble presentation with less sizzle and snap.

Overall, I might not recommend the SASH Tres as a first headphone for a budding audiophile, but they absolutely deserve a spot on the shelf of someone who’s looking for a unique and quietly characterful sound signature to complement the other phones in their collection.

Just so long as you’re not a die-hard treblehead.
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Good writing. Enjoying mine too. I went with wenge color and different design for the grills
Very long shot: have you tried the Hyland Audio Jupiter One?

If you have, how similar or different would the sound signatures be?
Haven't had the opportunity to listen to that one - sorry.


Headphoneus Supremus
Sash Tres 45 ohm. Ukrainian Planar Magic
Pros: -Insane price to performance (Total of $840 AUD for me)
-Great stock tuning
-Beautiful Full Mids
-Nice clean low end
-Customizations (Open, semi open, closed cups. Leather, perforated, velour, hybrid earpads. Wood colour)
-Detail and resolution. With Eq, this is immensely improved. (These are already very detailed without eq)
Cons: -Weight
-May make you question why you spent thousands of dollars on some cans.
-Wait time getting built.
Quick review and impressions


About the Headphones/Specs
Made in Ukraine.

•Driver, 100mm planar magnetic
•Impedance: 45 Ohm
•Sensitivity: 93db/mw
•Weight: 530g without cable
•Connector type: 2x4 pin xlr
•1 Year Warranty
These are custom made. Choice of colour, cups such as, open, semi open, closed and choice of earpads such as, leather, perforated, velour and hybrid can be chosen when dealing with Sasha online.


The Tres 45 is mainly built of wood, metals and solid yet flexible plastics. It feels like a tank and I don't see anyone breaking these unless you are throwing them around and mistreating them. Overall there are some things for improvment but they are slight nit picks.

The cups rotate, so they spin freely, it would be nice if they had a stopper of some sort. The headband is also plastic. While I don't feel it's weak or will easily break, a metal headband would be nice. The earpads are of great quality, but they aren't memory foam. I have no issue here, but for some, it may impact comfort. Overall, I really do love the build and have no other complaints.


Quick sound impressions

This is done with the Tres 45 in open configuration and leather earpads with no cloth behind the grills as I feel this is the best sounding set up to my ears. If you'd like to know about semi open cups and different earpads, please feel free to ask me.

The Tres 45 has a neutral, to slightly bright tuning. It is no where near as bright as the Hifiman Arya or HD800s. But it does have a upper mid and slight treble energy. The low end extends beautifully and has a slight roll off from 40hz. But it is fast, hard hitting, very clean and rumbles beautifully. Low mids are full and extremely clear, they have emotion and soul and give grunt to male vocals and power to guitars. Upper mids have good energy. But at times, they can sound just a bit distant, this is due to the tuning, but overall, there is great clarity and heaps of detail. They never sound fatiguing and I can listen for hours. The treble has good air and energy. There is a few small peaks but nothing major. Overall it has great sparkle and detail is some of the best under $1000. Soundstaging is large and deep. It is precise but also I do feel it scales and depends on the gear used.

Quick Comparisons

Gear used.

Ifi pro ICAN

Ifi Pro IDSD


Focal Clear MG

Immediatly I'll say. The Clear MG is not my headphone of choice. While it certainly is an amazing can. I did not click with the sound signature. Yes there was amazing clarity, and the dynamic slam is great. It sounded shouty and forceful at times. Going back and forth, the Tres has all the detail, clarity while just being so effortless, smooth and I could just lay back and listen and yet, not feel like I was missing out. Soundstage again, the Tres has the upper hand, when it came to imaging. The Clear MG is extremely pin point, but I felt the Tres 45 had the edge, there was height to it and it just spreaded music all around me with pure emotion. Would I give the Clear MG another go? Maybe. But so far, the Tres 45 is the clear winner for me. Also, when it came to the speed of the driver. I was surprised how quick the Tres is. It certainly has the speed of a 2k planar.

Audeze LCD-X 2021.

Now, this was the one I spent most time with. I'll admit, I am considering getting myself a LCD-X 2021. It is different when compared to the Tres 45. But it is no way better. Only build obviously is a step up. But sound quality wise. The Tres does some things better, and the LCD-X does some things better. And it really comes to personal taste. Soundstage. The Tres 45 is larger. I just feel so much depth in the music and heaps of air. Width is similar but the height on the Tres hands down is larger. Imaging though, they both are on par but due to sound staging, the Tres wins. Detail on both are superb. The Tres does bring more low end texture and detail, I also feel separation is a smidge better. But its hard to beat that Audeze slam. Mids on the LCD-X are more forward but the Tres is still as detailed and they feel thicker and overall emotion comes out more. Do you prefer forward and clear mids or more natural and emotional mids? Overall they both have beautiful mids but I do feel that strings have a slight edge on the Tres. Treble, the LCD-X has a touch more energy up top but I feel the Tres has overall more air. When it comes to detail, it was hard to pick which wins. They both feel similar but it's just presented differently. The LCD-X brings everything to you while the Tres lets you lay back and says, what would you like to hear? But so far, while they both are different. The Tres is my personal pick and the soundstage and imaging just win me over. When it comes to driver speed. The LCD-X is a smidge faster and I do feel this makes them sound more pin point at first, but also due to the soundstage being smaller, it helps with it sounding very exact. But once you get past the soundstage on the Tres 45. You realise that imaging is freaking amazing on them. Surprisingly the LCD-X 2021 leaks more than the Tres 45 🤔, I thought it would be the other way around


Ok speed on the HEDDphone. Is fast. Damn fast. Certainly faster than the Tres. But now, it is a headphone that does good on some genres and not so good on others. Do I see myself owning them? Yes. But the tuning is a bit so so. Now they are very amazing headphones at what they can do. Amazing speed. Great detail. They arent fatiguing. And great layering. But they fall short on many other things. Mids can sound wonky and off sometimes. This affects detail too and some songs sound weirdly veild and some sound amazing and so clear. Treble detail is damn good. I'll say it brings out a bit more detail than the Tres. But it can become a bit piercy sometimes. Not fatiguing. But just a touch spikey. Very slightly. Imaging can also be a bit weird. It can be a little blobby sometimes. And sounds seem to merge together a bit. Soundstage is great though, beautiful depth to the music and great sense of width and height. But unfortunately these certain downs make this a headphone that really need to be used for specific genres.

Austrian Audio HI-X65

They both have a similar tuning but the Tres 45 feels more complete while the HI-X65 feels more analytical and detailed focused with roll off in the low end. This makes the HI-X65 sound more lean and sterile. While the Tres 45 feels more like a headphone made for musical enjoyment. The HI-X65 sounds more like a tool for studio use. In the high treble, the HI-X65 has more sparkle and a touch more energy. The Tres 45 sounds a little more laid back but I feel it has more detail than the HI-X65 while also being more full sounding. When it comes to upper mids, the HI-X65 again has more energy, maybe a touch too much. But then something sounds off, as if there is a slight gap between low mids to upper mids. The Tres 45 feels more complete and fuller sounding though maybe not as clear but this is due to tuning as overall detail I feel the Tres 45 gives more of it. Low mids, again, the Tres 45 just feels fuller and more complete. Grunt in guitars, male vocals have more oomph. And I don't see the HI-X65 doing anything better. The low end on the Tres 45 is fuller and extends much further. Though the HI-X65 is very fast and very clean here but starts to roll off a little early. Imaging and soundstaging is no slouch on both. But the Tres 45 takes the cake here. Being bigger, wider, deeper and more precise.

Avantone Planar

The Avantone Planar is a very neutral/warm tuned headphone. Nothing stands out in its tuning and can sound muffled or dark to those that are more used to headphones tuned by the harmen curve. The Tres 45 has more upper mid and treble energy. It is much more detail and larger sounding. Though I do feel the Avantone Planar can be used for studio use but for overall musical enjoyment. The Tres 45 is my pick. It has more low end extension while being fast and cleaner. It also rumbles and slams harder. Low mids have more grunt and emotion while upper mids have more energy amd sound much less muffled in comparison to the Avantone Planar. Treble is more alive on the Tres 45 and overall, the Tres 45 is more exciting to listen. I can see myself using the Avantone Planar for studio and mastering use, as it healps me hear peaks and flaws on mixes where mids may be to forward, or treble is mixed to hot. But for actual music listening, eq would be my resort for the Avantone Planar as it is tuned to neutral and laidback. Very reference.

Ultrasone Edition 11

Immediatly, these two can not be anymore different than eachother. The Tres 45 being more neutral with a slight upper mid and treble boost. And the Edition 11 being more U shaped. Having elevated sub and mids bass and a sparkly, energetic treble. When it comes to a bassheads dream, the Edition 11 is one of those cans. For me, it's one of Ultrasones best tuned cans. As the treble is no where near as sharp and bright like the others. And it actually is a very enjoyable and fun tuning. Low end is big, but never bloated and has good control. Mids are pushed back slightly, but have good clarity, treble for the sensitive may get a little spicy, but for me, it's sparkly, has great energy and overall a very fun can to listen to. It does amazing with edm, classic rock, rap/hip-hop. All sorts of bass driven music is great to listen to with these. Though while the Tres 45 is tuned differently, I find myself leaning towards the Tres so much more. It may not rumble and slam like the Edition 11. But the low end is so so so much more cleaner and detailed. Mids still have amazing grunt and emotion. Treble is not as energetic, but raw detail is on another level. Soundstaging is similar between the two, but the Tres 45 is more precise while I feel depth on the Edition 11 is endless. They both are very different overall. But I'll be keeping the Edition 11 even if the Tres 45 has taken the crown. I still have a basshead in me.

While I feel the Tres 45 doesn't need eq. I am a strong believer that all headphones can benefit from it. I do feel the Tres 45 really shines with just a few adjustments. I will not post the Eqs here as they are not my own. But all credits to Oratory1990. The eq info can be found on the Sash Tres forum here on page 63.

Overall, I feel the Tres 45 is amazing value and shows that you don't need to spend thousands to get great audio. I wish Sasha all the best for his company and will be awaiting what other amazing gems he'll come up with next.
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@xuan87 I love those two whiskies. They're my go to for just a nice relaxed listening session 😁👍. About sound signature. I genuinly like all types. So be it bassy, U shaped, neutral, bright. I feel if it is tuned well to that exact signature with no major dips or peaks, it can be enjoyable 😊
Very nice review! I like the ability to use these headphones as both open or closed. 😊
Thank you @Jimmyblues1959 for the kind words. I am still no where near a pro at reviewing but I try my best 😁👍. I like swapping between open and semi open cups. While I do feel open gives the best performance. Going semi open can be useful for those long night sessions and also if I want a bit more fun in my sound. I'll try to see if a eq can be made for the 45 ohm Tres with semi open and closed cups 😊


100+ Head-Fier
Sash Tres - Awesome Budget friendly Custom Cans
Pros: Cost to sound -> Planar realm
Headphone Build Quality
Communication with Owner/Builder
Soundstage-> Damn
Simple Add-On for ability to run Open or Closed
Cons: Highs can be too full
Tight on head
Closed mod not as great a value as the open

Never having written one of these things, forgive any misuse of terms or blathering. Trying to place words to feeling around sound is hard. I have been diving down the audio and wallet sinkhole going on three years now. I've thoroughly enjoyed refining my understanding and listening to the broad world of sounds various chains and cans can produce. I have played with a plethora of cans but found that I have an affinity towards wood and handcraft goods. As a DIY tinkerer and Alaskan born and bred these types of headphones just hold a special place in my heart. As you can imagine ZMF is like crack to me. I've owned every type but the Blackwood. A majority of my limited free time is spent reading through threads here learning about tubes and headphones and figuring out what type of sound signature I like or want to try. In addition to effectively the full ZMF suite I have also owned at some point all the Focals with the exception of the Utopias and a handful of Audezes. This is not to say I am anything of a pro in this arena but I don't feel like a slouch either.

My first foray into custom built cans was with Alex at Hyland and his Jupiter 1. I had a fantastic time corresponding with him and ended up with a great set of cans just like I wanted. Maybe if I get into this write-up/review thing I'll do my second about those.

The Discovery & Build and Fit

I was connected to Sash - the mastermind behind the Sash Tres, through a follow forum member here in Spain. Shout out to @Tano. He and I seem to have affinity to similar headphones. I was taken by @Tano's Wallapop (Americans think Craigslist) profile picture. Two beautiful sets of headphones one was the Verum MkII and the other I didn't recognize (now recognized as Sash Tres). The Verums I had heard of and was initially interested in until I read a bit more about the character behind them. That dude won't ever be seeing my support. Beautiful headphones but support what you want to see in the world you know....your money is your vote! I digress.......

Some of @Tano headphones

These new (to me) unknown headphones were different and just as beautiful if not more so! The cups were a deep beautiful wood and had a carving, a Chinese character carved into them with precise matching detail - what I could only assume was the work of a CNC machine. After speaking with @Tano who had already recommend these to me and graciously offered to connect me to Sash I did some digging and the more I saw the more I liked what I saw. At first glance the chassis reminded me in design aesthetics of Audeze and ZMF - like the person child of two entities I already knew I liked the look and sound of.

Sash was great to deal with from the start provided prices and pictures of everything sometimes twice if it got too lost down our conversation thread. I went with the Wenge finish and a Matte final sealer. Couldn't be happier. Took him maybe three week to build out everything and ship. It was a treat to receive random updates over the course of the three weeks from the milled plastic backings to the cutting of the raw cups and planar assembly and wiring. made my day to see the sequential progress. Now in hand these are sexy sexy cans. The detail is exquisite and seemingly as professional in presentation as any Focal, ZMF or Audeze I have used. The hardware is Hard-Ware and I feel like these will be passed down to my kids....they have that kind of feel. Wood stain and finish is smooth, no burs on any of the milled metals and plastics and the leather suspension strap and pads are well finished. Mini xlr connectors run smoothly into the wood chassis without gaps. Right and left are easily identified by blue and red dots with attention to detail.


Quality hardware.

CNC Beauty. Even the internal structure. Screw heads sticking up are the pad attachment points. Very solid.

Note the color dots blue and red for lefty and right the attention to detail. Enough to clearly see but not obnoxious.

After first placing these on my head I realized some adjustment was in order. I was use to bending spring steel support bands of ZMF and Audeze to mold feel to head.....After adjusting the leather suspension strap and rods by loosening a couple allen keyed bolts I found that the supporting headband is actually a polymer (plastic) rather than spring steel. I was a little disappointed at first as I assumed the clamp force might be a bit more challenging to form to my tastes, however now at ~hr 14 of listening I have become accustomed to the fit of these. While at first I worried they might be too tight I see now that as the pads break in, the clamping force is reduced. I would imagine part of the design is to provide a good deal and to change over time with break-in.

*Sounds and Feels
* I stress -> THIS IS S-U-B-J-E-C-T-I-V-E -
Our sound holes are all a little different- those little differences compound to drastically change what we all hear.

I will lay it down plain and simple. I like the sound these produce. If you are interested in what I perceive and words I put to sound you may continue reading (and I'm sorry). However if you were curious about anything else on these or want help getting in contact with Sash (he is a member of this forum) go ahead and skip down. These are best in value planers and for me a set of headphones I will be keeping in lieu of a set of Audezes.

My Chain:
Computer (FLAC or Spotify)-> Schiit Gungnir Multibit -> Schiit Mjolinir 2 W/ BugleBoy ECC88 matched-> Forza Balanced -> Sash Tres

Also have run these on both of my work rigs:
Bifrost 2-> Jotunheim 2
And through JDS Element II

All the following is very un-scientific or instrument supported. No graphs or tracking devices were used, created nor harmed in the making of this review.

NOTE: Initial review is as open- back planar. I will attempt to update the whole writeup thing when I start playing with these with the cups, the backing and whatnot.

So sexy as open backs!

Bass - It goes Boom.

I have a bit of experience with what I believe is the entire range of LCD -2 series: Closed Backs, Fazer, Non-Fazer, Classics, and limited edition Aluminum version. Audeze wins the award for best brain rumbling sub-bass. I haven't tried EQing these (honestly haven't dipped my toe into the world of EQ......might consider down the road) That being said I can imagine tweaking and giving these some deeper rumble. The whole Bass region to my ears is really well balanced. To say that Audeze slightly edges these out oughta give you an idea of just how well these hold their own. I would argue the bass region overall is more balanced.

While writing this (obviously listening to these cans) I went and found some Deadmaus......hell yeah these hold their own. Plenty of depth and range with the base beats- the soundstage still with the deep notes.....I can hear the movement not just the changes in frequencies......though not the fastest response ......relative to dynamics I've heard, but that's like comparing Apples to Pineapples. Not what I'd consider dark and not the fastest but as a solid all-rounder these do a freaking great job and are punching way above price point.

Perforated and no perforated pads available all angled..........I haven't yet had a chance to check. I will report back on sound difference.

Mids - Energetic, Clear, Really good

Initially the mids on these cans struck me as having a sheen.......slight metallic might have been the highs.....

Let me clarify, when I say initially I mean the first track I played on these, ever. Ever since (we are at ~20 hrs now) I have yet to liken the metallic haze I first heard. The mids are very solid. Vocals are jaw droopingly good. I think the off sound I heard came from the upper mids - verging on highs. These are tuned to be very energetic and I think a lot of what I perceive- that energy, comes largely from the solid midrange tuning.

Highs - Hit and Miss

Doesn't have that sparkle of say Campfire Andromedas Campfire .........but again Apples to Pineapples. Some of the features/frequencies of the highs sound really nice but others throw me and don't quite sound on point. Don't get me wrong its not like these are sibilant at any point they are just brighter on certain songs. Maybe it's that's what give these the energetic sound as well ..... It's not that its terrible or anything even close, just parts of the highs strike me as brighter than on other cans.

I assume these cups will change the sound a bit but haven't played with them yet. Will report back.

Soundstage - Holyfu*#balls

Just listened to Chemical Brothers Das Spiegel sounded crisp and clear. Bass was present and the sounds transitioned really well and that soundstage really gets highlighted. At their price these would be worth it if all the frequencies sucked.


Partial Conclusion- What does that even mean!?

It means I'm just getting started with this set of cans. Gonna try closing them up - swapping and playing with different baffles and pad rolling. The idea being I'll update this as I go.

I know I seem to toggle back and forth betwixt the strong points and where I see see room to improve ......take it for what it is.......none of my gripes are anywhere close to deal killers.......they are room for improvement for Sash- if he wants to hear it. These are my thoughts on specific silly things that I noted from my earhole experience.

Another thing to love about the Sash Tres is Tres = 3 .....this is his 3rd iteration and Sash continues to improve aspects of the cans based on his own ear and the ears of others. Iteration and growth are traits any maker should aspire to and an endeavor am happy to support.

I bought these as a long term exploratory project and find myself exploring the sound all off the advice of a dude I met in the forum who seemingly has similar aesthetic and earhole tastes as me.

These cans are the steal of the Pandemic era in my opinion. At their price point Sash could charge 200 euros more per set and I'd still say they are a deal. I likely will be ordering a second set when I get some more cash saved up for a gift and guess what I'll have it saved in half the time it would take me for a set of Audezes!! Do yourself a favor get a hold of Sash (@SashaLach) in this forum and
HERE for his business/Facebook page, and HERE for the gent himself. Have him build you a set! Shout out again to @Tano for the recommendation.

To Be Continued...........Experiments with Closed backs
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Thanks for your review, I'm more and more convinced to splurge some money and get me a pair of these!
Excellent review of a very neat headphone! 😊
You stated the highs can be a little too much, this sounds like the 16Ohm version? Thx. Also, I was in AK, moved to the lower 48 last August 😉


Headphoneus Supremus
Customizable planar at an entry level price
Pros: - In many ways this is the best sounding headphone under $500 I've heard
- Expansive soundstage with precise imaging. Both with open and closed version.
- Clear but not thin mids
- Adequate bass
- Semi-open and closed back cups can be purchased as an extra instead of being two different headphones.
- Customised on order cups and cables.
Cons: - With open back version there is some unwanted ringing/glare/haze in the midrange
- Treble can be bit grainy and too energetic on occasion
- I would prefer suspension headband (New suspension headband is being designed)
- Earpads could still use some work. (New earpads are being designed)
- Cable durability is questionable
- Closed version is too V-shaped for many people

Since the introduction of Sash Deux Ukranian one man headphone manufacturer Studio Audio Sound Handmade has made some name for itself. You can read my review of Sash Deux here and dedicated Sash thread can be found here. Manufacturers facebook page is here.

Like with it's predecessor purchasing the headphones begins with choosing the preferred cable termination, finish for the wood parts and size of the optional semiopen/closed back cups. Sash Deux had only the option of thin wood cups very much like on Audeze LCD-XC. Tres has three different sizes and optional spacer part which would make the cups even bigger.

Headphones cost $350+$20 for worldwide shipping. Closed back and semi-open cups cost $50. So pricewise Sash Tres is still competing with planars like Hifiman Sundara and Verum One. I'm glad Sash did not go overboard increasing the price over the previous model. Sash Deux also sold for $350 so closed back being optional on Tres, price difference is just the cost of having to buy the closed cups seperately. Tres have a new driver, earpads and headband so modest price increase is a very welcome change in the headphone market. As a nice extra Sash offers $50 discount for old customers when they buy new headphones.

Build quality and comfort:

Aesthetically not much has changed since the Deux. Open version cup dimensions are still the same. It's a big headphone. According to my kitchen scale the weight is 490g without cable. It is a lot but not unusual. Reported weight of Audeze LCD-2c is 550g and the Audeze's are made of plastic. I think more apt comparison would the wooden LCD-2 which according to Audeze weights 595g or 580g depending on the wood type. Verum One, similar size planar but plastic cups weights 520g. So 490g is not bad for a big wooden planar however people who are sensitive to heavy headphones would be better served with Hifiman Sundara which is only 372g.

Sash Tres closed back looks huge even next to JVC DX700...
...and even bigger next to Beyerdynamic T1

Earpad system has remained unchanged. I'll just quote myself from the Deux review: "Earpads attachement is a simple twist lock system. Definately nicer than glue system used by Audeze or system used by Hifiman. Hifiman system is basically simple but I don't like how one has to bend the attaching ring a bit and every time take a risk of breaking it. My only gripe with the earpad system is that the ring is glued on the earpad. So no aftermarket earpads unless one is willing to do some diy. I hope in the future models that ring will be removable like on Fostex headphones or better yet, removable Verum style magnet ring."


Pads itself are now different. Pads on Tres are thicker and softer than ones on Deux. There is also bigger angle in the pads. The pads are definately improved but in my opinion they are still not as good as they should be. Foam kind of collapses and after a while it there will be some pressure felt. Good quality memory foam would solve this problem. Sasha(Lyah - guy who makes the headphones) told me that he is currently working on alternative earpads (perforated leather, Velour, Hybrid). Hopefully new pads will be better for long term comfort. As they are the pads are not bad but average at best.
Headband has also been redeveloped. It does not look that different from the Deux headband but because of the different shape it is much better for people with larger heads. It is still made of plastic which in my opinion does not match the luxurious look of the headphones. I think the headband padding has not changed. It is well padded but since it glued to headband it might eventually come off because headband will bend when worn. New headband also has screws which can be tightened to fix the yokes in a desired position. People who have owned older Audeze LCD headphones now what I mean.

New headband is curved and taller. Tres fitted with semi-open cups.

With this kind of big headphones suspension strap headband design would be more comfortable. Good news is that Sasha is working on that. Here are some prototype pictures.
Tres headband2.jpgTres headband1.jpgTres headband3.jpg

Yokes have gone through a small redesign too. Metal is now good bit thinner than on Deux. I suppose it is to reduce weight but I think the old design was better. Thicker metal looks better imo and this new desing brought up a new problem. Thin metal does not fully keep its form and keeps moving away from the cups. This will cause a slight pulling force on the screws which makes the screws turn over time. Every now and then I have to tighten the screws. Not the biggest design error but annoying nonetheless.


Besides the new pads and headband build has not changed. Grilles are still plastic and attached with four allen screws. Metal grille would in my opinion look more classy but seeing that people seem to be into 3d-printing custom grilles on their headphones these days it seems using plastic is not a problem for many.

Quality of the woodwork is excellent as it was with the Deux. My Tres are colored in wenge and I wanted Sasha not to over do the coating so alot of the woodgrain would still be visible despite the dark color. Cups are made of oak which is currently the only wood option.

Cable is the same it was on Deux. Mini-xlr to whatever jack people prefer. It's a nice cloth covered cable with a metal splitter. Cable microphonics are low and it does not seem to tangle easily. I like that the cable is built in house not sourced from alibaba like it is too often the case. Weird enough, I just talked with a fellow Tres owner and he showed me a picture of insulation material coming through the cable exterior. Luckily cable is not completely broken so he can still use the headphones. Cable is not woven very tight so there is a real possibility that this won't be a one time incident.
My cable with 6.3mm jack. I think that is the same Beyerdynamic uses on T1.

Sound quality:

Tres vs HD650.jpg
Tres (black) frequency response with Sennheiser hd650 (red) for reference. Nevermind those dips at 5-6khz as it is known minidsp ears glitch. That treble peak near 16khz on Sennheiser is propably a problem with my particular ears unit.

If we think Audeze housesound at one end for darker sounding planars and Hifiman at the other end with the light and ethereal sound Sash Tres would be something inbetween. Despite my measurements showing roll of from 800hz to lower treble region Tres is definately not a dark sounding headphone. Previously I have described these as rather dark sounding but not at Audeze territory dark. I don't know what has changed, my perception of dark/neutral/bright or the headphones but I withdraw everything I've said about these being dark. These might appear dark after listening something like Beyerdynamic DT1990 but pretty much anything does.


Bass extension is average for a planar. I was told that with redesigning the drivers Sasha aimed to improve subbass extension and slam. Sash Deux had a firmer (too tight for some) clamp and because of that the seal was better which results in better bass response. I think subbass is about the same now as it was on Deux so with lesser clamp I'd say new driver does work the way intended. Bass slam is not particularly great but better than on Verum or any Hifiman headphones I've heard (All HE400 variations, Sundara, HE560, Ananda).


Sash Deux had a problem with midrange peaks at 1khz and near 500hz. Particularly that 1khz region made them very aggressive sounding and with some music it could be too much. Tres is still a very midforwad headphone but problem with Deux has mostly been fixed. There is still a peak at 600hz-800hz but it's not as bad as it was with Deux but it would still need some taming.

Overall mids have very nice clarity without any thinnes to them. For sake of comparison I think Hifiman Sundara is about as transparent (as in not having veil) but it does not have enough body. Beyerdynamic DT1990 sounds thicker than Sundara but is veiled compared to Tres. In my experience no other headphone near this price reaches this level of midrange realism. There is however this annoying slight glare of sorts howering over the presentation. It is not present at all times but when it is there I find it very annoying. To my ears it sometimes comes of as a "metallic haze" other times it's more like a distant reverb. I think it is the same issue dispite it can manifest itself in different ways. It's not drastic but it is there. I suspect it is ringing somewhere around 1khz but since I suck at measuring I can't verify it at this moment. It's a shame really because without that the midrange on these would be exceptionally good. It might be worth looking into dampening the cups more, or trying other earpads in case that glare is not caused by driver design itself. On the other hand it seems I'm the only one bothered by this issue so in this case I don't see many people willing to tinker with their headphones. Tres with closed cups don't have this problem or not atleast enough to bother me which suggests it is likely some resonance which could be treated.


I have mixed feelings about treble performance. Highs are bit uneven but luckily not sibilant or piercing. It's nice to have all that air on top but overall I think overall treble presence is too much for my taste. Treble on Tres does not make a number of itself not for good or bad. Could be worse I suppose and truth be told I can't think of a affordable headphone with particularly impressive treble.


I don't know if it is because of the new driver, new pads or combination of both but soundstage has improved from the Deux. Presentation is quite unique. It reminds me of diffuse style soundstage such as on Sennheiser HD800 or Verum One. Tres however don't go all the way to that direction as it still maintains more traditional presentation which allows more pinpoint imaging without everything blending together too much.


Hifiman Sundara

Tres vs Sundara.jpg

I'm a fan of Sundara's and I've often recommended them to people looking for headphones under $500. For $350 Sundaras normally go for it's one of the best value headphones around.

With Sash Deux Sundara's still had a place in my collection but after getting the Tres that changed. Sundara had upper hand on Deux in soundstage and it's airier sound but with Tres having a bigger soundstage and equally clear and airy sound I can't think of a reason to own Sundara anymore. To my ears Sundara does nothing better than Tres. Except for being lighter and more comfortable.

Audeze LCD-1

Tres vs LCD1.jpg

This is propably a comparison I should not be making as I consider LCD-1 to be a major disappointment. I had hoped it would capture atleast some of the "Audeze magic" which it's bigger brothers are known for but in my opinion it did no such thing.

Even though Tres is not a bass master in the planar world it easily outperforms LCD-1 in this regard. My crappy measurements don't show it but to my ears extension, slam and bass solidity are much better on Tres.

LCD-1 sounds veiled and allmost congested compared to Tres. Only thing it has going for it is the portability and lighter weight. LCD-1 is a (a lot) smaller headphone so it was unlikely it could complete with a proper full size headphone. Comparing these two is not entirely out of line. LCD-1 is a openback planar with big (90mm according to Audeze) driver and at $399 it also costs a bit more than Tres.

Tres LCD1.jpg
LCD-1 is petite compared to Sash Tres

Audeze LCD-2 Classic


Since it's clear LCD-1 can't compete with the Tres it is natural to proceed to a higher end Audeze. LCD-2c (msrp $799) is whole another beast compared to LCD-1. Tres can't compete with that famous Audeze bass. Again it can't be seen with my crappy measurements but bass on Audeze extends lower (or atleast it maintains the "rumble" better). Audeze slams harder and does better job seperating different bassnotes. It's just no contest.

When progressing towards midrange things take turn in Tres favor. LCD-2c has trace of nasality which made me sell LCD-3f last year. It's not as bad on LCD-2c but it's there. Tres sound more clear and detailed making LCD-2c sound completely muffled in comparison. I must admit though that Audeze does what it does in good taste. Even though I don't like what I hear it does not give me a vibe of a bad headphone. It's just not what I like (except for the bass).

Regarding treble I think it's up to what one prefers. My preferred treble quantity is somewhere between the two. I think Audeze's more toned down treble gives music more room to breathe compared to occasionally excessive treble on Tres. Theoretically this would give Audeze an opportunity to represent fine details and nyances better than Tres. Unfortunately to Audeze, Tres is most of the time more capable of extruding small details from music even when with the treble masking other frequencies on occasion.

Soundstage is bigger on Tres, both width and debth. Audeze has more proportionate soundstage with debth being more in line with the width. Tres places a listener further back and Audeze has more intimate presentation. Once again neither is better with preferred style being up to the listener. I prefer the Tres because I'm bit of a nut for large soundstages and because I listen to alot of music from 70's and 80's. Music with extreme left/right stereo panning can sound weird on Audeze because sounds just creep too close to my ears.

Because Tres is very similar to Audeze in it's design it's worth saying few things about the build quality. Pads on Audeze are top notch, propably one of the best on the market with the exception of ZMF stuff. They're very comfortable and provide an excellent seal around the ears. Tres can't compete with that. Suspension headband on Audeze is great too. It looks good and feels great to wear. Not that Tres has a bad headband, it just is not same premium league. When taking the price into equation it makes sense. LCD-2c is $799, headband and yoke rods cost $155 when bought seperately. So even though soundwise I would not take LCD-2c's over the Tres, regarding build and comfort there are things gained if one were to spend over double the money.

iBasso SR1

Tres vs SR1.jpg

The iBasso SR1 is one of the lesser known headphones out there but it is also my favorite dynamic headphone under $500 (I'm unclear about current pricing and availability of Fostex TR-X00, it's another fine dynamic near $500) so I really wanted to do this comparison. iBasso SR1 was a limited run headphone. Only 500 were made and price was $499.

SR1 is a laid back easy to listen headphone with VERY good bass, especially for a open back dynamic headphone. It has 50mm bio-cellulose driver with suspension edges. Very similar to Fostex so bass performance is not all that surprising. Tres can outperform SR1's bass with fast paced music (black/death metal etc) but it does not have the same impact or not even the seemingly endless extension SR1's have.

SR1's have a nice gradually downwards sloping mids which give the mids a sense of body. Tres do that too but not in such refined manner. I really like the mids on SR1 but once again Tres excell in clarity over competition. Next to the Tres veil on SR1 is obvious.

Treble on SR1 is mellow but it lack air up top making them sound a bit...well, dead. In the graph one can see treble being pretty much gone around 16khz. That is not a measurement glitch. Sr1 really has a well audible frequency range from 10hz to 16khz! It is not that bad of course because not much goes on up there and most people over 30 can't hear beyond that anyway. Unfortunately lack of energy in the highest regions does affect the overall sound of the headphones making this problem for SR1.

Soundstage on SR1 is quite intimate. Tres is in another level completely. Imaging on SR1 is very good but it doesn't quite compete with tres.

SR1 will remain in my "stable" for relaxed listening as I find it's tonality more agreeable to my ears then other laid back headphones such as Audeze or Audioquest Nighthawk. From pure performance standpoint it can't compete with Sash Tres. For me excellent bass performance can't make up for lack of air in the treble, veil in the midrange and small(ish) soundstage. I can we'll understand if someone would take SR1 over the Tres as it is still very good at what it does; providing mellow sound with great bass.

Using Sash Tres as a closed back headphone

Closed cups are attached with four screws after removing the plastic grille used in open version. It will use different longer screws as cups are so thick. With Sash Deux you could use the same screws. In theory it is simple but sometimes it takes a while to get it right. It's a handmade headphone not precision crafted in some high tech facility so there is certain amount of irregularity with the dimensions. It's propably within 1mm but when you want to attach a round thing with four screws it will take some wiggling to make the cups fit. Other times it works at one try. Not a big problem but it would be nice if there was a faster way to change between the cups.

Interchangeable cups have been the thing that really sets Sash headphones apart the competition. Unfortunately with Sash Deux it was poorly implemented. It just did not sound good. I'm glad to report that it is not the case with Sash Tres.

It wan't turn the headphones into Tres with isolation but sonics change in a drastic way. Closed back Tres is very V-shaped. I think it's good thing as this really makes it a two in one headphone. If you don't care for V-shaped response just save the $50.

So how V-shaped is it exactly? It's close to Campfire Audio Cascade sound after removing the white filter. That is too much for many people but some people (me included) like it. I used Cascade's without the white filter for a long time and in many ways I preferred it over Fostex TH900.

Tres vs Cascade.jpg

Unfortunately I realized the similarity later when I had allready sold the Cascades so I can't do a proper comparison. It would have been nice because just going by what I remember of Cascades I can't say I recall it being clearly superior to Tres. What I do remember is that Tres as closed back had a bigger soundstage than Cascade. Closed Tres actually has bigger soundstage than Tres open. It is also strangely three dimensional if not the most accurate with imaging. It is very fun with electronic music that has a lot of effects coming in from different directions.

I wish I could do more comparisons but only closed headphone I have that is comparable to Tres is Aeon Flow Closed.

Tres closed vs AFC

Tres vs AFC.jpg

Bass on Tres closed sounds allmost like a bass from a traditional dynamic headphone next to AFC. Tres is agressive and punchy with percussion. There is a sense of actual HIT but with AFC it is more of light touch. On low notes Tres hits harder but AFC has better bass defination. It's kind of fun sound vs monitor type of situation. This difference is made even bigger by the audible resonances that Tres has in it's wood cups. It's not entirely unwanted resonance but just something that colors the sound.

The differences in presentation are consistent in every area. AFO sounds bit veiled in comparison but Tres can come off as grainy next to smooth presentation of AFC. This is the same for both mids and highs. This makes me listen to the headphones differently. With Tres I tend to lower the volume while listening with AFC I crank it up.

I think that AFC is technically the more correct headphone here. Personally I find AFC's to sound quite dead so I much prefer the Tres here. Despite being near "perfect" AFC is just not engaging at all. To turn it opposite if one really enjoys AFC, Tres might be too much to handle with it's brighter treble, cup reflections and grain.


Tuning/modding the Tres

I have not had the time to experiment with the different cups, spacers and dampening material as much as I'd like. What I found out is that all the cups have this similar trait. They all introduce a same midrange dip at some area. With open cups its at the upper mids area, with closed it is at the center and with semi-open it is at low mids. That makes the semi-open cups sound quite weird and pretty much unlistenable.

I think if someone took the time these headphones could be improved with better dampening materials and perhaps with pads that provide a better seal (thinking Audeze lcd-2 pads here).

Open version has only a thin felt behind the driver for dust protection, closed and semi open cups are dampened only with stuff that looks like cotton pads. I'm sure there could be improvements easy made here.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS and Gear Used in this review:

Specifications reported by the manufacturer are these: Impedance: 16 ohms - Sensitivity: 96dB/1mw (at Drum Reference Point) - Minimum power requirement: >100mW - Recommended power level: >250mW

I used the headphones with SPL Phonitor 2730, Gustard H10, SMSL SP200 and Burson Soloist SL. All those amplifiers worked fine and I have no preference over those. For portable amps I tested Chord Mojo and Audioquest Dragonfly red. Mojo was decent at best and Dragonfly was not up for the task, there was Audible distortion.

Dacs used:
Schiit bifrost multibit (don't remember which gen)
Hegel HD10


For the price Sash Tres is the best combination of clarity and spaciousness while maintaining proper bass and fullness in the midrange. In many ways this is the best headphone I have heard for under $500 and competitive with headphons beyond that even. For my preferences I have not heard better headphone unless I go to Hifiman Ananda (about $700 in USA, still $999 in europe). Closed back alternative sounds good too but will be too colored for people who don't enjoy v-shaped response. Affordable parts and customization options will offer people with modding urges good times. Buying a "audiophile" (I hate that word) level headphones at affordable price is always a compromise, heck..buying even TOTL stuff is a compromise to some extent. Sash Tres is not a perfect headphone but for me it compromises least on the things I find most important on a headphone.
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Excellent, analytical, comparing review w/o forgetting feeling, impact and personal preference. Thank you, well done.
Excellent review, thanks.
I auditioned the SR and sounds good. on that same day also the Empyrean.
I like the treble here according to the graph. But maybe too much revealing. how about upgrading the cable to spc to reduce some peaks?