Avantone : Pro Planar
Nov 25, 2020 at 6:22 AM Post #406 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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I removed the 15k adjustment you made. Sorry should’ve clarified that.
So I kept the high shelf at 7,000hz and moved the high shelf I added at 14,000hz down to 12,000hz. It's sounding extremely nice, a lot more air and detail overall in the whole frequency. Things are also sounding more precise and the soundstage seems to have gained a bit as well. Loving this EQ so far 😁👍

Is this how your EQ looks?
Screenshot_20201125-222718_USB Audio Player PRO.jpg
 
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Nov 25, 2020 at 8:15 AM Post #407 of 1,376

Jman841

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Well, it really sucks that the build quality is so lousy on these.I don't have any issue on mine (#17), but I'll keep watching them. Luckily, I got them from a local dealer, so I can get a reimbursement or a replacement pair easily enough if something happens... I hope.

Well then, let's continue.

Avantone Planar vs Hifiman Sundara (with Dekoni Hybrid Pads)

- ATTACK : The Sundara sounds livelier than the Planr, with stronger drum and cymbals attack.
- AIR: The Sundara also has an airier presentation, while the Planar is warmer.
- BUILD QUALITY: While the Sundara is not the best built headphone (changing the adjustment scratches the metal, no swivel), I have more confidence in its durability (less potential breaking points). That said, dead drivers are a possibility (like my old HE-5LE).

+ BASS: The Planar has a better bass presence and extension. It sounds warmer than the Sundara, especially on songs that are supposed to be bassier and wamer (REVEREND BIZARRE - They Used Dark Forces). The Planar also sounds more emotional on songs that are supposed to be (PORCUPINE TREE - Trains).
+ TREBLE: The Sundara has more treble, but more isn't always better. Cymbals are always up front and clear with the Sundara, which I find distracting when they are mostly about keeping tempo (especially on RUSH - Tom Sawyer). The Sundara is a bright-sounding headphone in my opinion.I think it also affects vocals a bit, making them sound a bit metallic.
+ SOUNDSTAGE and IMAGING: The Planar definitely is better here. At 2:30 on RUSH - Tom Sawyer, there is a drum roll moving right to left; I can follow if easily with the Planar (moving continuously), while it jumps from from position to position with the Sundara (right for 2-3 beats, then front right for 2-3 beats, then front-ish, then left). It's hard to describe.
+ DETAIL RETRIEVAL: I can hear the details in the background with the Planar better than with the Sundara, but it's closer than against the S4X.
+ COMFORT: The Sundara are lighter, and the pads are big enough, but the clamping force on these gets tiring very fast. I can wear the Planar longer.

CONCLUSION: For me, based on my subjective impressions, I would qualify the Sundara as a bright, sometimes aggressive headphone... and it just doesn't do it for me. I already listen to aggressive (Metal) music, and it lacks warmth when I listen to music that should be personal and emotional (Prog Rock). The Planar sounds to me as a more neutral headphone, playing music closer to where I would have mixed it (more bass, and toning down the cymbals). Also, I find them more comfortable, clamping less than the Sundara.

It's hard to compare this review with my experiences since you have changed the pads. With that said, I listen to a lot of metal as well (Lamb of God, Tool, etc) and for metal, I preferred the sundara, electric guitars sound so much more realistic vs. muffled on the Planar. With that said, Vocals sounded much more natural on the Planar, especially without EQ.

For soundstage, I disagree as well, the Sundara has a much wider sound stage, but for Imaging, the Planar is better, especially in gaming. I find that imaging and sound stage tend to work in opposite directions. The wider the sound stage, the more difficult precise imaging is. The smaller sound stage of the Planar gives it the advantage for imaging.

As for detail retrieval, Without EQ, the Planar lost a lot of Detail, but when both EQ'd they were pretty similar.

For clamp force, that surprises me, my Sundara has far less clamp force than the Planar did. It was the strong clamp force of the Planar that made it useable due to how heavy it is, but my ears also touched the drivers.

I wonder how much of your experience has been affected by the use of the dekoni pads vs. the stock pads for which all measurements and tuning has been done on it.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 9:29 AM Post #408 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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It's hard to compare this review with my experiences since you have changed the pads. With that said, I listen to a lot of metal as well (Lamb of God, Tool, etc) and for metal, I preferred the sundara, electric guitars sound so much more realistic vs. muffled on the Planar. With that said, Vocals sounded much more natural on the Planar, especially without EQ.

For soundstage, I disagree as well, the Sundara has a much wider sound stage, but for Imaging, the Planar is better, especially in gaming. I find that imaging and sound stage tend to work in opposite directions. The wider the sound stage, the more difficult precise imaging is. The smaller sound stage of the Planar gives it the advantage for imaging.

As for detail retrieval, Without EQ, the Planar lost a lot of Detail, but when both EQ'd they were pretty similar.

For clamp force, that surprises me, my Sundara has far less clamp force than the Planar did. It was the strong clamp force of the Planar that made it useable due to how heavy it is, but my ears also touched the drivers.

I wonder how much of your experience has been affected by the use of the dekoni pads vs. the stock pads for which all measurements and tuning has been done on it.
Try the EQ I've posted then compare to the Sundara :)
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 9:55 AM Post #409 of 1,376

Jman841

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Try the EQ I've posted then compare to the Sundara :)

I had EQ'd them quite a bit, with EQ, they are very similar with the Sundara having a wider sound stage and the Planar having better imaging but more intimate.

The deal breaker for me was the weight and comfort of the Planar. If the Planar was lighter and more comfortable, I would have chosen it over the Sundara simply for the 5 year warranty.

Both are excellent and the top choices in the Sub $500 category. I hope Avantone comes out with a more comfortable and lighter version of the Planar.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 10:14 AM Post #410 of 1,376

vaxoid

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In the end, I made a 3D model and printed a new part from a flexible and durable material (Elastan) This should last long enough. I am calm )
I also noticed that the paint will not last long. I have been using the Planars for a couple of weeks and the signs of wear are already clearly visible.

You can print this part in any local 3d printing service with any flex material (TPU, Elastan, etc..): Collar_Band_for_Avantone_Planars_(STL_3D_Printing)

IMG_2011.jpegIMG_2012.jpeg
IMG_2015.jpegIMG_2017.jpeg
IMG_2019.jpegIMG_2023.jpeg
IMG_2025.jpegIMG_2022.jpeg
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 10:53 AM Post #411 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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In the end, I made a 3D model and printed a new part from a flexible and durable material (Elastan) This should last long enough. I am calm )
I also noticed that the paint will not last long. I have been using the Planars for a couple of weeks and the signs of wear are already clearly visible.

You can print this part in any local 3d printing service with any flex material (TPU, Elastan, etc..): Collar_Band_for_Avantone_Planars_(STL_3D_Printing)

IMG_2011.jpegIMG_2012.jpeg
IMG_2015.jpegIMG_2017.jpeg
IMG_2019.jpegIMG_2023.jpeg
IMG_2025.jpegIMG_2022.jpeg
WOW this is fantastic! I’ll definitely be doing this mod just for the hell of it. It just looks nicer, great job!
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 10:58 AM Post #412 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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In the end, I made a 3D model and printed a new part from a flexible and durable material (Elastan) This should last long enough. I am calm )
I also noticed that the paint will not last long. I have been using the Planars for a couple of weeks and the signs of wear are already clearly visible.

You can print this part in any local 3d printing service with any flex material (TPU, Elastan, etc..): Collar_Band_for_Avantone_Planars_(STL_3D_Printing)

IMG_2011.jpegIMG_2012.jpeg
IMG_2015.jpegIMG_2017.jpeg
IMG_2019.jpegIMG_2023.jpeg
IMG_2025.jpegIMG_2022.jpeg
I’ve noticed some small spots of rust on the hexagonal grill. I plan on eventually doing my own custom paint job (maybe hydro dipping) but out of all the build issues this is the one that I’m most dissatisfied with.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 1:00 PM Post #413 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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I've created a list of potential modifications that I would personally like to do to this headphone. See the following and feel free to add to the list. I'm writing this here for safe keeping as well :)

Avantone Pro Planar Mods

Planned:

- Custom Improved Collar Band (https://www.dropbox.com/s/d44hn4dq3yb5jgs/avantone_band_collar.stl?dl=0)
- Custom Padded Alcantara Headband (Vesper Audio)
- Custom Deep Velour Pads (Vesper Audio)
- Balanced Ear-cups Mod (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/avantone-pro-planer.941951/post-15922124)
- Contact Dampening for Headband to Yoke
- Re-Stitched Elastic Band in Headband (Remove Lump)
- Custom Non-Micro-phonic Cable (See: Balanced Ear-cups Mod)
- Custom Paint Job

Completed:

:'(
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 2:02 PM Post #414 of 1,376

Mink

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In the end, I made a 3D model and printed a new part from a flexible and durable material (Elastan) This should last long enough. I am calm )
I also noticed that the paint will not last long. I have been using the Planars for a couple of weeks and the signs of wear are already clearly visible.

You can print this part in any local 3d printing service with any flex material (TPU, Elastan, etc..): Collar_Band_for_Avantone_Planars_(STL_3D_Printing)

IMG_2011.jpegIMG_2012.jpeg
IMG_2015.jpegIMG_2017.jpeg
IMG_2019.jpegIMG_2023.jpeg
IMG_2025.jpegIMG_2022.jpeg
Wow! Nice. If the headband of my pair would snap my mod mainly would consist out of lots of duct tape...
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 5:35 PM Post #415 of 1,376

WyldRage

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Got a cold, won't continue the reviews today.

I tried the original pads, and yes, the clamp force does go down and the treble is slightly tamer, but then balance is still tilted towards the highs. At the moment, due to my condition probably, I cannot stand listening to the Sundara more than a couple of minutes.

I'll continue my review with comparative impressions against the Sundara (original pads), LCD-2, Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Closed RT and the Koss ESP/95x with Vesper pads as soon as I feel well.

Cheers guys.
 
Nov 26, 2020 at 3:39 AM Post #416 of 1,376

smorgar

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I've created a list of potential modifications that I would personally like to do to this headphone. See the following and feel free to add to the list. I'm writing this here for safe keeping as well :)

Avantone Pro Planar Mods

Planned:

- Custom Improved Collar Band (https://www.dropbox.com/s/d44hn4dq3yb5jgs/avantone_band_collar.stl?dl=0)
- Custom Padded Alcantara Headband (Vesper Audio)
- Custom Deep Velour Pads (Vesper Audio)
- Balanced Ear-cups Mod (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/avantone-pro-planer.941951/post-15922124)
- Contact Dampening for Headband to Yoke
- Re-Stitched Elastic Band in Headband (Remove Lump)
- Custom Non-Micro-phonic Cable (See: Balanced Ear-cups Mod)
- Custom Paint Job

Completed:

:'(
As a fellow modder/tinkerer ill be here to follow your work closely!
 
Nov 26, 2020 at 5:41 AM Post #417 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/k1bynz/avantone_planar_frequency_response/

@Heldaeus is this it???? 😊 If it is, very similar to the LCD-X but the Planar is tuned better overall and has better technicalities. I think with slight EQ it's easy to make the Planar sound its best. If we can do that, we got a more refined LDX-X :wink:.
I already feel a good start would be is to have two low shelfs. One at 80hz or maybe 90hz by 4db and the other at 40hz to make a very linear and beautifully extended low end.
 
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Nov 26, 2020 at 8:11 AM Post #418 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/k1bynz/avantone_planar_frequency_response/

@Heldaeus is this it???? 😊 If it is, very similar to the LCD-X but the Planar is tuned better overall and has better technicalities. I think with slight EQ it's easy to make the Planar sound its best. If we can do that, we got a more refined LDX-X :wink:.
I already feel a good start would be is to have two low shelfs. One at 80hz or maybe 90hz by 4db and the other at 40hz to make a very linear and beautifully extended low end.
That might really be it! I looked on r/Oratory1990 for the original document and it seems like he hasn’t updated the list. Either way this is very interesting!

EDIT: Yep. That’s it! Just investigated.
 
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Nov 26, 2020 at 8:36 AM Post #419 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/k1bynz/avantone_planar_frequency_response/

@Heldaeus is this it???? 😊 If it is, very similar to the LCD-X but the Planar is tuned better overall and has better technicalities. I think with slight EQ it's easy to make the Planar sound its best. If we can do that, we got a more refined LDX-X :wink:.
I already feel a good start would be is to have two low shelfs. One at 80hz or maybe 90hz by 4db and the other at 40hz to make a very linear and beautifully extended low end.
The Planar’s FR is very close to the 2018 OE Harman w/o Bass target. I’m impressed by the linearity. I’m gonna ask Oratory about the sub-bass extension though because what I’m hearing is significantly different from what the graph is indicating.
 

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