Avantone : Pro Planar
Dec 2, 2020 at 4:34 AM Post #481 of 1,376

vaxoid

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And the rest of the gang: the Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Closed Re-tuned, my good old Audez'e LCD-2, and my new chain: the Soncoz LA-QXD1 driving my Topping A90.
How does Aeon Flow Closed RT compare to Avantone Planars? I thought about closed planars, but I'm afraid I'm disappointed with the frequency response. Need the neutral FR for studio work.
 
Dec 2, 2020 at 6:04 AM Post #482 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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So here’s a mod/tweak that is very important to do if you’re experiencing severe bass roll-off and upper mid range/treble resonances. I had the idea to do this tweak after speaking to Oratory about why the pair of Planars that he measured have such a bad bass roll-off. He mentioned that it possibly could be a driver mounting problem and seal related.

With that information I removed to pads and tightened the screws holding the magnet array together as tightly I could (if you do this tweak please be careful). I experienced about a 2-3 dB increase in the bass extension and some noticeable smoothing of the 1k resonance that I’ve commonly complained about in this thread.

Around this time I contacted @HardstyleLoco96 in private to ask them to do this tweak if they possibly could to ensure that my findings weren’t just placebo. Low and behold they found the same results. In fact, Hardstyle took it a step further by loosening the screws and heard the severe bass roll-off and midrange resonance begin to worsen.

I think any owner of the Planar needs to check the baffle of their headphone with a screwdriver to ensure their hearing what the manufacturer intended for the headphone to sound like. Your mileage will vary but I noticed some positive changes after doing this tweak. I mentioned my finding to Oratory and he’s going todo the tweak to and remeasure the pair that he has at the lab. I’m sure those measurements will come out within the next few days.


Don't do this tweak. The plastic mounts for the 8 screws mentioned here will strip easily and there is no consistent performance improvements. See: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/avantone-pro-planer.941951/post-16025354

Instead, remove the entire driver from the cups and tighten the 4 screws on each corner of the driver. There should be nuts on the underside of the driver for each of these 4 screws and you'll need to hold those in place with a pair of pliers as you tighten the screw. It's much safer to torque these screws down (of course, as always, be careful and I'm not liable for any damage that may ensue if you do this mod incorrectly). This mod actually yields performance improvements, i.e. a smoother frequency response and improved transience.
 
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Dec 2, 2020 at 6:12 AM Post #483 of 1,376

WyldRage

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How does Aeon Flow Closed RT compare to Avantone Planars? I thought about closed planars, but I'm afraid I'm disappointed with the frequency response. Need the neutral FR for studio work.

I've already done so here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/avantone-pro-planer.941951/post-16004702

I guess using the white tuning felt would get you a more neutral sound vs the black felt, but I feel it kills the transient response, making the headphone a bit boring to listen to.

EDIT: If price is no object, the Ether CX is on sale right now for $750. I watched Joshua Valour's review yesterday, and it seems to make a great monitoring headphone. https://drop.com/buy/drop-mrspeakers-ether-cx-closed-headphones
 
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Dec 2, 2020 at 8:52 AM Post #484 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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So here’s a mod/tweak that is very important to do if you’re experiencing severe bass roll-off and upper mid range/treble resonances. I had the idea to do this tweak after speaking to Oratory about why the pair of Planars that he measured have such a bad bass roll-off. He mentioned that it possibly could be a driver mounting problem and seal related.

With that information I removed to pads and tightened the screws holding the magnet array together as tightly I could (if you do this tweak please be careful). I experienced about a 2-3 dB increase in the bass extension and some noticeable smoothing of the 1k resonance that I’ve commonly complained about in this thread.

Around this time I contacted @HardstyleLoco96 in private to ask them to do this tweak if they possibly could to ensure that my findings weren’t just placebo. Low and behold they found the same results. In fact, Hardstyle took it a step further by loosening the screws and heard the severe bass roll-off and midrange resonance begin to worsen.

I think any owner of the Planar needs to check the baffle of their headphone with a screwdriver to ensure their hearing what the manufacturer intended for the headphone to sound like. Your mileage will vary but I noticed some positive changes after doing this tweak. I mentioned my finding to Oratory and he’s going todo the tweak to and remeasure the pair that he has at the lab. I’m sure those measurements will come out within the next few days.
Yes, @Heldaeus contacted me and I was extremely confused to some peoples impressions of the Planar. Some people saying they lack low end, or soundstage seems small, mids sounding muffled or shouty and treble sounding dark. I from day one found the Planar to be very neutral, and till this day I still love the Planars original tuning. I did test out and check the screws. Mine were tightened so I decided to loosen them up and found exactly what @Heldaeus mentioned. Rolled off low end, a peak around 1k, treble sounding warmish/rolled off and soundstage feeling congested. I also have mentioned soundstage is bigger when compared to the Sundara, and closer to the Ananda and Arya. Loosening the screws, to my surprise, the soundstage sounded small and much closer to the Sundara if not smaller but still with more accurate imaging. Details and clarity also seemed to suffer by having loose screws. So please, check your screws as this slight QC issue could be impacting in what you are hearing with the Planar, its a very easy fix.
 
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Dec 2, 2020 at 2:03 PM Post #485 of 1,376

WyldRage

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Yes, @Heldaeus contacted me and I was extremely confused to some peoples impressions of the Planar. Some people saying they lack low end, or soundstage seems small, mids sounding muffled or shouty and treble sounding dark. I from day one found the Planar to be very neutral, and till this day I still love the Planars original tuning. I did test out and check the screws. Mine were tightened so I decided to loosen them up and found exactly what @Heldaeus mentioned. Rolled off low end, a peak around 1k, treble sounding warmish/rolled off and soundstage feeling congested. I also have mentioned soundstage is bigger when compared to the Sundara, and closer to the Ananda and Arya. Loosening the screws, to my surprise, the soundstage sounded small and much closer to the Sundara if not smaller but still with more accurate imaging. Details and clarity also seemed to suffer by having loose screws. So please, check your screws as this slight QC issue could be impacting in what you are hearing with the Planar, its a very easy fix.

Uh. Going to try that tonight. It seemed to me, during my last comparison, that the Planar was more congested than usual, which I assumed it was due to the comparison to electrostats.
 
Dec 2, 2020 at 3:12 PM Post #486 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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Uh. Going to try that tonight. It seemed to me, during my last comparison, that the Planar was more congested than usual, which I assumed it was due to the comparison to electrostats.
Be careful. If the screws won't turn at all then don't try to force them. But, if there's a little bit of give, screw until they're static but don't go any further than that.
 
Dec 2, 2020 at 4:17 PM Post #487 of 1,376

Mink

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I think the Planars are best used without much moving or working at the same time. The Planar started to make noises, the screws of both ear cups were getting loose, I had to gently tighten them. Now they are fine again, but I think these headphones need gentle care and regular maintenance, at least more than the standard pair of headphones. It baffles me they are meant for studio use, I mean for that purpose they should have been built more bullet proof.
Still their sound is excellent and especially with Heldaeus Freqs. Both are excellent. The last one especially. This is the 1st time I prefer an EQ setting over the default tuning.
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 1:37 PM Post #489 of 1,376

vaxoid

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Got second pair of my friend's Planars, so I can compare both.
Out of the box, the second sounded really weird compared to the planars I own and listened to for about 100 hours. I tightened the screws, then compared again.
On the new ones, the sound became balanced and became similar to my heated planars, but the sound became brighter! They have more treble extension, have more detailed highs, while mine sound a bit muffled on high frequencies. Wow... I definitely prefer their sound, and I am a little upset because it will be my friend's headphones, not mine. ))

So I can definitely conclude that different pairs of the same headphones have different sound. Slightly but different! And you need to tighten the screws and check cables, otherwise you will have a weird frequency response and a narrow soundstage like one youtube reviewer.

IMG_2081.jpg
 
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Dec 3, 2020 at 2:43 PM Post #490 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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Got second pair of my friend's Planars, so I can compare both.
Out of the box, the second sounded really weird compared to the planars I own and listened to for about 100 hours. I tightened the screws, then compared again.
On the new ones, the sound became balanced and became similar to my heated planars, but the sound became brighter! They have more treble extension, have more detailed highs, while mine sound a bit muffled on high frequencies. Wow... I definitely prefer their sound, and I am a little upset because it will be my friend's headphones, not mine. ))

So I can definitely conclude that different pairs of the same headphones have different sound. Slightly but different! And you need to tighten the screws and check cables, otherwise you will have a weird frequency response and a narrow soundstage like one youtube reviewer.

That is very interesting. It makes me want to raid Avantones stock of headphones and find the one that sounds the best haha

What did you mean by "heated" or is that a typo?
 
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Dec 3, 2020 at 3:25 PM Post #491 of 1,376

vaxoid

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That is very interesting. It makes me want to raid Avantones stock of headphones and find the one that sounds the best haha
Take a screwdriver, they must be tightened before listening.

What did you mean by "heated" or is that a typo?
my English is not as perfect as my hearing ) probably the word "warmed" or "burn in" would be better.
 
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Dec 3, 2020 at 5:05 PM Post #492 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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Take a screwdriver, they must be tightened before listening.


my English is not as perfect as my hearing ) probably the word "burn in" would be better.
That is very interesting. It makes me want to raid Avantones stock of headphones and find the one that sounds the best haha

What did you mean by "heated" or is that a typo?
And all this time I thought I was crazy for saying the Planars have huge soundstage. But nope, I confirmed on Gearslutz and Reddit as some people have the exact same impressions as me about the Planars. Amazing treble extension, crystal clear mids, bass that can slam, insanely good instrument separation and a massive soundstage 😁. But damn, this only means one thing...... QC aint good with Avantone and they arent doing their jobs on checking their headphones.
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 7:57 PM Post #493 of 1,376

Heldaeus

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And all this time I thought I was crazy for saying the Planars have huge soundstage. But nope, I confirmed on Gearslutz and Reddit as some people have the exact same impressions as me about the Planars. Amazing treble extension, crystal clear mids, bass that can slam, insanely good instrument separation and a massive soundstage 😁. But damn, this only means one thing...... QC aint good with Avantone and they arent doing their jobs on checking their headphones.
I’d love to listen to your pair vs mine and see what I’m missing out on. All that sounds amazing.
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 11:59 PM Post #494 of 1,376

HardstyleLoco96

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I’d love to listen to your pair vs mine and see what I’m missing out on. All that sounds amazing.
With no EQ, it's very neutral. The bass roll off I hear happens around 40 to 35 hz but I don't hear it as big as you have reported and some others. Overall the low end is very linear. Thats why I add the low shelf at 80 or 85hz of 3 or 3.5db just too add a bit of oomph but sometimes I don't use low shelf as I feel the low end on the Planar is plenty. I do hear a slight peak around 1.3khz but nothing major -3 or 2db helps. Treble extension is great but neutral. Thats why I like adding a highshelf just to add a bit more energy up top as I do like a lot of air and sparkle. I have said the Planar reminds me a lot if the Arya/Ananda but more neutral. Thats the best way I can put it. For me personally. The Planar is a superior headphone over the Sundara. But I feel sad that their is bad QC from Avantone because there is so so much unit varients between each headphone. Some having issues with sub bass, some having issues with that 1.3khz spike, I've have read some people have to reduce it by 4 or 5db. Some other people say the treble is very rolled off and lacking sparkle. Other people saying the forward imaging is lacking. Other people saying sounstage is narrow. I do not hear any of that at all. I only use EQ because I want to, but I don't feel the need to as I do love the stock tuning of the Planar. I just find this very unfortunate and I really do hope Avantone read this because even though their has been so many issues regarding build and sound. When the headphone turns out correct and how it should be, it's a F$ck!ng amazing headphone especially for the price. I havent had any build issues or sound issues at all. The headphone has been perfect for me. And sadly if I were to review these. Just because the bad QC issues. I have to rate the Planar 3 stars. For me they are a solid 6, beyond the 5 star rating here. But I can't highly rec them due to the bad QC issues. I absolutely am in love with them and would take them over headphone costing much more. I have said this a few times before. I have listened to the Focal Clear, Hifiman Sundara/Ananda/Arya, I own a Ultrasone Edition 11 that has a seriously big part of my heart, I love those. And many other headphones like the Focal Elegia, Dan Clark Aeon 2 and a few other offerings from ZMF. For me, the Planar has them all beat in tuning. The Planar has the best tuning out of all if them. Yes example, the Ultrasone Edition 11 is suposed to be a balanced yet very airy and big soundstage headphone with a energetic treble and slamming yet clean low end with great thick mids. The Focal Clear is supposed to be a detail monster with a bright neutral tuning but a slightly narrow soundstage. For me, the Planar has a mix of all the great things about those individual headphones and just puts it in one and does it so right. I absolutely love them. But me being no BS honest. I can not rec them after reading so many issues about them. So from my heart, they are a 6 out of 5 stars. But with my mind and soul, 3 stars out of 5.
 
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