Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
Oct 4, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #1,921 of 3,384

TubyAndWobbly

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I haven’t heard the Stealths, though I’m curious.

If the Stealths are as transparent as the measurements are saying, the differences in the mids are likely due to dacs and amps.

It’s like the HD800s that sound different with tube amps as opposed to solid state ones.
Yeah I wouldn't doubt if that was the case, imo stealth is about as "touchy" with sources as my hd800
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 7:09 PM Post #1,922 of 3,384

Nomax

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When Dan Clark
This has to be one of the most polarizing headphones I've come across in my head-fi experience.

I think we can all agree that these aren't bass monsters and not going to impress with slam or punch.

What I can't figure out is how some of us are hearing one of the best midrange and overall tonality, yet others are complaining about muddy mids. I'd be concerned about a possible bum pair or some issue/bad synergy with upstream components. Let's not forget these are almost as inefficient as the Abyss and Susvara and those threads are filled with talk of how the headphones need the right gear to sound their best. It probably equally applies here. When Dan Clark find a way in the future that this cans can run much more easily

I agree......when Dan find a way that this cans are much much more easier to drive

And its possible...look Hifiman...HE1000....few years later HE1000SE

Because the future will be mobil.....not stationary 😉
(One of the Main Reasons why Focal sells a lot)

NOMAX

PS.he will sell 5 times more 👍
 
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Oct 4, 2021 at 7:17 PM Post #1,923 of 3,384

xirxes

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Yeah I wouldn't doubt if that was the case, imo stealth is about as "touchy" with sources as my hd800
I would rephrase this as “able to fully utilize everything a source chain can offer” where the headphones are clearly not the limiting factor, the weak link will be elsewhere, either in dac, or amp, or cables, as the better gear you throw at stealth, the better it sounds, where you throw DT880 at a wa33 and you still get DT880 lol
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 7:19 PM Post #1,924 of 3,384

Alcophone

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I agree......when Dan find a way that this cans are much much more easier to drive

And its possible...look Hifiman...HE1000....few years later HE1000SE

Because the future will be mobil.....not stationary 😉
(One of the Main Reasons why Focal sells a lot)

NOMAX

PS.he will sell 5 times more 👍
Ironically, when I asked him about a closed back version of the Ether 2 he said it won't happen because it would be too inefficient and he doesn't want to release something that can't be driven by a phone.

Now, technically the Stealth still gets loud enough with a phone and a tablet of mine, and can sound pretty decent, too, but it still seems like a change of heart (which I'm happy about).
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 7:22 PM Post #1,925 of 3,384

Nomax

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In 5 years most of the high end headphones (new releases) will run easily on every mobile device 👍
(and i mean not 80 db 😂)

NOMAX

PS.and when not...eberbody knows the answer 😎
Sales will decline...no?we will see who makes the run 😉
 
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Oct 4, 2021 at 8:37 PM Post #1,926 of 3,384

jlbrach

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unfortunately a phone is not suited for use with a 4k HP...will it work,yes...does it make any sense?...no...sadly I really do think that people using phones and DAP's not suited to TOTL HP's are reviewing these products and are unable to give proper analysis
 
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Oct 4, 2021 at 9:30 PM Post #1,927 of 3,384

Alcophone

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unfortunately a phone is not suited for use with a 4k HP...will it work,yes...does it make any sense?...no...
That argument could have been made at the Ether 2's ~$2K price point as well, though.

I also don't think making them usable with phones means he intended for his headphones to be used with phones primarily or even exclusively, just that it should also work if that's useful in a given situation.

I agree with you in the sense that I would expect most people interested in an expensive headphone to also be willing to invest a bit in gear to drive them properly, though I don't agree that this categorically rules out anything portable or transportable.

sadly I really do think that people using phones and DAP's not suited to TOTL HP's are reviewing these products and are unable to give proper analysis
Definitely not a basis for a definitive judgement of what the headphones are capable of, agreed.
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 11:07 PM Post #1,928 of 3,384

MikeLa

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That argument could have been made at the Ether 2's ~$2K price point as well, though.

I also don't think making them usable with phones means he intended for his headphones to be used with phones primarily or even exclusively, just that it should also work if that's useful in a given situation.

I agree with you in the sense that I would expect most people interested in an expensive headphone to also be willing to invest a bit in gear to drive them properly, though I don't agree that this categorically rules out anything portable or transportable.


Definitely not a basis for a definitive judgement of what the headphones are capable of, agreed.
I have the Stealth (beyond the return period now) along with the Susvara and Verite Closed. I'm currently using the RME ADI-2 DAC FS and Flux FA10 to drive them. The Stealth is definitely harder to drive than the VC but obviously not as hard as the Susvara. Here's where Amir's measurements rank them.

1633403173266.png


I'm not sure what he used to calculate the values, but below are a set of charts Currawong posted in the LCD-5 thread representing the required mW, V, and mA needed for your desired dB. Don't mind my red circle. I'm using it to ask vendors what their mW, V, and mA outputs are in my search for another amp to drive the Susvara's. I believe Currawang's point is that it's not only Watts but also Voltage and Amperage, and none of the vendors (headphone or amplifier) publish any of these numbers to help us match our components. What kills me, Dan Clark didn't even publish the Stealth sensitivity, let alone a frequency graph or a power requirement chart like the ones below to help us match it up with an amp.
1633403199780.png
 
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Oct 4, 2021 at 11:18 PM Post #1,929 of 3,384

xirxes

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I have the Stealth (beyond the return period now) along with the Susvara and Verite Closed. I'm currently using the RME ADI-2 DAC FS and Flux FA10 to drive them. The Stealth is definitely harder to drive than the VC but obviously not as hard as the Susvara. Here's where Amir's measurements rank them.

1633403173266.png

I'm not sure what he used to calculate the values, but below are a set of charts Currawong posted in the LCD-5 thread representing the required mW, V, and mA needed for your desired dB. Don't mind my red circle. I'm using it to ask vendors what their mW, V, and mA outputs are in my search for another amp to drive the Susvara's. I believe Currawang's point is that it's not only Watts but also Voltage and Amperage, and none of the vendors (headphone or amplifier) publish any of these numbers to help us match our components. What kills me, Dan Clark didn't even publish the Stealth sensitivity, let alone a frequency graph or a power requirement chart like the ones below to help us match it up with an amp.
1633403199780.png
Well I’m driving these Stealth very well just now via phone into iFi Diablo 4.4mm balanced out to HP, on ECO mode 45% max gain.
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 11:20 PM Post #1,930 of 3,384

Alcophone

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Here's where Amir's measurements rank them.

1633403173266.png
Less hard to drive than the ÆON RT, that's definitely surprising. Also interesting to see the distinct jump to the Stealth, wondering which headphones would fill the gap.

What kills me, Dan Clark didn't even publish the Stealth sensitivity, let alone a frequency graph or a power requirement chart like the ones below to help us match it up with an amp.
Yeah, he's always been a bit spec shy. Though maybe that's because most people don't really know how to interpret specs and especially charts and are better off trying it for themselves than mistakenly coming to the conclusion that a headphone surely wouldn't work for them.
 
Oct 4, 2021 at 11:28 PM Post #1,931 of 3,384

xirxes

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In 5 years most of the high end headphones (new releases) will run easily on every mobile device 👍
(and i mean not 80 db 😂)

NOMAX

PS.and when not...eberbody knows the answer 😎
Sales will decline...no?we will see who makes the run 😉
I don’t think this is the case at all. I think boutique brands will have a mainline consumer brand with more energy in the 100-200hz and 4K and 8k+hz that are easy to drive from phone for the masses, but the high end audiophile market still exists and you just do NOT want that low an impedance or that high a sensitivity when you are running the chain through big beautiful carefully crafted SS DAC’s/amps or Tube/ss or even full tube setups.

we will see both from most Mfg’s, as I definitely do NOT wa t to be able to drive a set off headphones, as it is a design flaw IMO if you want summit fi quality..
 
Oct 5, 2021 at 12:07 AM Post #1,933 of 3,384

MikeLa

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In 5 years most of the high end headphones (new releases) will run easily on every mobile device 👍
(and i mean not 80 db 😂)

NOMAX

PS.and when not...eberbody knows the answer 😎
Sales will decline...no?we will see who makes the run 😉
It might go the other direction with amplification and DAC hardware becoming more powerful and smaller - and we're all listening to inefficient $4K Bluetooth headphones :)
 
Oct 5, 2021 at 1:05 AM Post #1,934 of 3,384

xirxes

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Thank you, I just looked at the specs for the Diablo. Beefy little portable device. How long do you get on a charge?
Not sure, still on my first one!
 
Oct 5, 2021 at 1:10 AM Post #1,935 of 3,384

Jimthecoffeeguy

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So my stealth has arrived at my dealer. I'm picking them up in two days. But I'm still in a conundrum with dac/amp upgrade to get to "endgame" setup. I'd love some advice.

currently I have schiit magnius and Modius and run balanced xr

I'm thinking dac upgrade first, and then amp when $ allow (thinking an hpa4 in future)

I'm looking at rme adi-2 or benchmark dac3 as most likely candidates.
Both have pros and cons.

Can anyone give thoughts impressions recommendations or alternatives for me please?

Once I've got the new phones I'll give my impressions compared to aeon2 opens too.
 

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