Avantone : Pro Planar
Nov 23, 2020 at 3:06 PM Post #376 of 1,376

dpump

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A word of warning about the headband screws. I tried to tighten one of mine and it broke off because it had some sort of locking compound on it. Booth the bottom screw and the top adjuster were sealed and the threaded screws broke off flush. My SN# is HP000370, so I don't know if older units aren't sealed or newer units aren't sealed. If you try to turn the bottom screw with a flathead screwdriver and it doesn't want to loosen, I would leave it alone as it may be sealed like mine. Avantone is going to send me 2 complete new assemblies so I will be able to adjust them. One of my driver assemblies was tight but the other one was too loose, so I thought I could just tighten the screw to fix it, but no go on my phones.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 4:31 PM Post #377 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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A word of warning about the headband screws. I tried to tighten one of mine and it broke off because it had some sort of locking compound on it. Booth the bottom screw and the top adjuster were sealed and the threaded screws broke off flush. My SN# is HP000370, so I don't know if older units aren't sealed or newer units aren't sealed. If you try to turn the bottom screw with a flathead screwdriver and it doesn't want to loosen, I would leave it alone as it may be sealed like mine. Avantone is going to send me 2 complete new assemblies so I will be able to adjust them. One of my driver assemblies was tight but the other one was too loose, so I thought I could just tighten the screw to fix it, but no go on my phones.
Interesting. I’ll have to be careful though I already tightened my screws and nothing bad happened. Maybe I didn’t go far enough but I am pretty satisfied right now so there’ll be no need to mess with it again. Thanks for the warning.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 4:37 PM Post #378 of 1,376

dpump

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If you were able to tighten your screws you should be fine. I thought mine was just tight and used a lot of force to turn it. It never turned and broke off. The same thing on the top fitting that holds the headband adjuster. Never turned, just broke off.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 8:38 PM Post #379 of 1,376

WyldRage

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I'm starting a series of comparisons between my current headphones vs the Avantone Planar, using the following setup: Gamma2 DAC -> Topping A90 -> Headphones. I listen mainly to Metal and Progressive Rock, and I usually test using High-Res (if available) music from groups such as Rush, Porcupine Tree, Reverend Bizarre, Steven Wilson, Metallica, etc. I will be using a +/- format, where + is an are where the Avantone does better.

So, let's start against the Ollo S4x, since it is going back soon.

Avantone planar vs Ollo S4x

- SUB-BASS: the first thing that strikes is the S4X has better bass extension. Bass is still present in the Avantone, and well defined, but the sub-bass extension, and avoiding the bass hump so many bassy headphones have, are the main claim to fame of the S4X.
- WARMTH and MUSICALITY: in comparison to the S4X, the Avantone Planar does sound colder, more analytical, more distant, especially for vocals.
- WEIGHT: The Planar is definitely the heavier headphone in this comparison.
- DYNAMICS: You can really hear the drums thumping with the S4X. The Planar can give you some pressure as well, but not as strong.
- LOW VOLUME: The S4X seems to handle lower volume better.
- BUILD QUALITY: This is a short term impression, since I've had both for less than a month, but the Planar creaks and some metal parts rub against each other. The S4X looks well-built and more durable.

+ SOUNDSTAGE: The Planar sounds open, the S4X sounds closed (sound doesn't change when I put my hands on the back of the drivers). This is really a night and day difference between the two. I am able to pinpoint the direction where a sound is coming from with the Planar, and that's not really the case for the S4X.
+ INSTRUMENT SEPARATION and DETAIL RETRIEVAL: I can definitely hear more details with the Planar, especially if they are lower in the mix and in complex part. The S4X is quite competent, easily beating my old HD600, but it cannot handle the complex styles I like as well as the Planar. On STEVEN WILSON - Luminol, I can always hear every instrument on the Planar if I am listening critically, but they become mashed together in certain passages on the S4X.
+ TREBLE: Sounds better on the Planar, yet stay very natural. The S4X's treble is clean, but can be buried under the rest of the frequency range.
+COMFORT: The Planar is definitely the more comfortable here for me: oval earpads vs small, round earpads that are smaller than my ears. It's the main reason I don't intend to keep the Ollo S4X.

CONCLUSION: The Avantone Planar for me is the more technically competent headphone of the two. Both are very good for critical listening, but the Planar has the S4X beaten when it comes to complex, fast music with layers and for good soundstage/air. Go for the S4X if you want strong bass and sub-bass without exaggeration, strong thumping from the drums, if you like a close, intimate sound for more emotional/personal/slower music styles, and if you have ears on the small side.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 9:21 PM Post #380 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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UPDATE:

Preamp: -10.50 dB
Band 1: Peak | 30 Hz | +10 dB | Q 3
Band 2: Peak | 1300 Hz | -5 dB | Q 7.5
Band 3: Peak | 1300 Hz | -2 dB | Q 1
Band 4: Peak | 3900 Hz | +4 dB | Q 7
Band 5: High Shelf | 8000 Hz | +4 dB | Q 0.5
Screenshot_20201124-131728_USB Audio Player PRO.jpg


I have my EQ set like this. I still might try the high shelf and ditch 9khz and 16khz but so far, I am absolutely loving what I hear. Before EQ the Planar was already a very detailed headphone, but this EQ keeps the Planar tonality, while making the Planar much more clearer and much more detailed. For some reason, it also feels the low end has gained some more oomph even though I just done some low shelf at 80hz. I think somehow increasing the 3900khz just made drum kicks sound that bit more powerful. Did I mention how much more detail I hear? It's insane 😁
 
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Nov 23, 2020 at 11:44 PM Post #381 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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UPDATE 2:

Preamp: -11.20 dB
Band 1: Low-shelf | 40 Hz | +9 db | Q 1.3
Band 2: Peak | 70 Hz | +1.5 dB | Q 1
Band 3: Peak | 1,350 Hz | -4.5 dB | Q 6
Band 4: Peak | 3,900 Hz | +4 dB | Q 7
Band 5: High-shelf | 7,000 Hz | +7.5 dB | Q 0.5

This sounds more balanced when I listen to a sweep and music granted it is a little bright. Although I think that's the 7-8k peaks and that might just be a me problem.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 12:19 AM Post #382 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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UPDATE 2:

Preamp: -11.20 dB
Band 1: Low-shelf | 40 Hz | +9 db | Q 1.3
Band 2: Peak | 70 Hz | +1.5 dB | Q 1
Band 3: Peak | 1,350 Hz | -4.5 dB | Q 6
Band 4: Peak | 3,900 Hz | +4 dB | Q 7
Band 5: High-shelf | 7,000 Hz | +7.5 dB | Q 0.5

This sounds more balanced when I listen to a sweep and music granted it is a little bright. Although I think that's the 7-8k peaks and that might just be a me problem.
May I ask. Why do you drop the 1,350hz? I tried it but I prefer leaving it how it is. The 3,900hz is a must though.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 2:33 AM Post #384 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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May I ask. Why do you drop the 1,350hz? I tried it but I prefer leaving it how it is. The 3,900hz is a must though.
Can you try this out?

Band 1: Low-shelf | 40 Hz | +9 dB | Q 1
Band 2: Peak | 80 Hz | +4 dB | Q 3.25

How does that sound to you?
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 5:37 AM Post #386 of 1,376

Jman841

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I'm starting a series of comparisons between my current headphones vs the Avantone Planar, using the following setup: Gamma2 DAC -> Topping A90 -> Headphones. I listen mainly to Metal and Progressive Rock, and I usually test using High-Res (if available) music from groups such as Rush, Porcupine Tree, Reverend Bizarre, Steven Wilson, Metallica, etc. I will be using a +/- format, where + is an are where the Avantone does better.

So, let's start against the Ollo S4x, since it is going back soon.

Avantone planar vs Ollo S4x

Agree with your comparison, the S4x is a good headphone but really can't compete with the Avantone planar or the Sundara.

I think a more interesting comparison is the Sundara vs. the Planar, the planar is heavily rolled off in the treble where as the Sundara is truly flat. As resolve at headphones.com pointed out, the Sundara is the flattest measuring headphone he has ever measured.

With EQ, both can sound very similar. The deal breaker for me was the comfort. The Sundara is far lighter and more comfortable for me than the Planar was, and is $50 cheaper. The planar is excellent though and if it was more comfortable I would have chosen it over the Sundara simply due to it not having a reputation of longevity issues.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 6:31 AM Post #387 of 1,376

WyldRage

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Agree with your comparison, the S4x is a good headphone but really can't compete with the Avantone planar or the Sundara.

I think a more interesting comparison is the Sundara vs. the Planar, the planar is heavily rolled off in the treble where as the Sundara is truly flat. As resolve at headphones.com pointed out, the Sundara is the flattest measuring headphone he has ever measured.

With EQ, both can sound very similar. The deal breaker for me was the comfort. The Sundara is far lighter and more comfortable for me than the Planar was, and is $50 cheaper. The planar is excellent though and if it was more comfortable I would have chosen it over the Sundara simply due to it not having a reputation of longevity issues.

Well, it's the next one I intend to do, though from memory I probably won't come out with the same conclusions as yours. Hopefully I'll have time tonight.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 8:04 AM Post #388 of 1,376

Jman841

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Well, it's the next one I intend to do, though from memory I probably won't come out with the same conclusions as yours. Hopefully I'll have time tonight.

There is two versions of the Sundara, the late 2019 update changed the sound signature to be very neutral, much more so than the Planar which is very recessed in the treble. The Older version, pre-December 2019 was a bit hotter in the treble and had a larger roll off in the bass.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 8:45 AM Post #389 of 1,376

WyldRage

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I have the 2020 version. I bought it during the summer. I do have Dekoni pads on these (hybrids), so I will test with the Dekoni and with the original pads.

It appears to follow the Harmon Curve very well. However, that curve is a preference curve, not necessarily what everyone perceives as neutral.

Also, the frequency response is only one factor. If you look at a CSD plot of a Sundara, you can see resonance at several frequencies, which will affect the perceived sound quality.

Unfortunately, I do not have the means to measure the Avantone Planar, so the comparison will be subjective.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 9:46 AM Post #390 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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Can you try this out?

Band 1: Low-shelf | 40 Hz | +9 dB | Q 1
Band 2: Peak | 80 Hz | +4 dB | Q 3.25

How does that sound to you?
I gave it a go and I feel it sounds great. Very very great, no bloat, very clean yet a bit more fuller and roll off seems to be fixed. With the high shelf at 7000hz, I dropped it from 7.5db to 5.5db as I felt the peaks were a bit too bright. 5.5 feels right but I also added another high shelf at 14000hz of 3db. Here is a picture of the settings. Let me know what you think.
I'm seriously liking how its sounding. I also listened to more music and I agree, at 1350hz some songs had this slight strange forwardness, with some songs it sounded ok, no problems. But on others it sounded to forward. Dropping it helps make things sound more natural :).

Screenshot_20201125-014155_USB Audio Player PRO.jpg
 
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