Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
Mar 7, 2023 at 5:11 PM Post #5,402 of 5,897
I am planning on buying a stealth. I currently have a Topping Dx7 pro setup (not pro+). How does that stack up according to you?
I haven’t heard it myself as a pairing, but it certainly has plenty of power.
 
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Mar 8, 2023 at 10:08 PM Post #5,403 of 5,897
I've had these a year and a half. The past ten days I have heard what I'd best describe as sub bass where it felt like the room shook a bit to the bass. Crazy great. I know that when I moved from the Hugo TT2 to DAVE+MScaler the bass which was already superb in every way was taken up significantly.
 
Mar 9, 2023 at 12:13 PM Post #5,404 of 5,897
So I've been tinkering with my Stealth bass for a while, and wanted to share my experiences.
When I first got the Stealth, I was a bit taken aback by the bass, to my ears it had significantly less bass than notoriously bass-light favourites like the HD600 and HD800. On some tracks I did feel they lacked slam just like I had read from other people's experiences.

I started reading up on it and was satisfied with Dan Clarks explanations that
1): We mostly perceive midbass so a low subbass high midbass headphone will sound bassier than the other way around,
2): Most headphones sound bassier than they are because of bass distortion, clean bass is actually harder for the ears to perceive.

These explanations were further cemented by the fact that I couldn't perceive a noticable bass difference by pressing on the earcups with my hands, so I figured that it wasn't a seal issue.
After the recent posts of people bending the ninithol rods or installing washers to increase the clamping force, I came up with my own brilliant engineering solution: putting an elastic band over the earcups and my forehead to increase clamping force.
It looks stupid and the pressure on my forehead becomes annoying after a few hours but...

There was suddenly bass. Gorgeous, deep, slammy beautiful bass. The Stealth finally sounded like its measurements and became perfect and I have been in audio nirvana ever since.

It's an unfortunate reality that humans have wildy varying head shapes and it's simply impossible to create a perfectly clamping headphone that fits all heads without some adjustment mechanism. The LCD-5 erred on the side of too much clamp when it was first released and have had to rectify the issue by giving users the choice between two easily swappable headband sizes.

I'm sure that Dan is already thinking about this and working on it, but for me it is clear that with the next generation of DCA flagships it is imperative that the clamp force is easily user adjustable.
I also think a lot of negative impressions of the Stealth (and Expanse) bass could have been prevented if there was a warning in big capitalized letters somewhere that the headphone's bass response can be off by up to 10db in case of an imperfect seal.

I really love this headphone so I hope this can help someone :)
My comments on the Stealth bass in this thread so far have unfortunately all been audiophile copium, also an important lesson in not over-rationalizing your audio experiences and trusting your ears and gut.
 
Mar 9, 2023 at 12:26 PM Post #5,405 of 5,897
@plumpudding2 , thanks for taking the time to post your experience, and kudos for your creative solution!
 
Mar 9, 2023 at 12:45 PM Post #5,406 of 5,897
So I've been tinkering with my Stealth bass for a while, and wanted to share my experiences.
When I first got the Stealth, I was a bit taken aback by the bass, to my ears it had significantly less bass than notoriously bass-light favourites like the HD600 and HD800. On some tracks I did feel they lacked slam just like I had read from other people's experiences.

I started reading up on it and was satisfied with Dan Clarks explanations that
1): We mostly perceive midbass so a low subbass high midbass headphone will sound bassier than the other way around,
2): Most headphones sound bassier than they are because of bass distortion, clean bass is actually harder for the ears to perceive.

These explanations were further cemented by the fact that I couldn't perceive a noticable bass difference by pressing on the earcups with my hands, so I figured that it wasn't a seal issue.
After the recent posts of people bending the ninithol rods or installing washers to increase the clamping force, I came up with my own brilliant engineering solution: putting an elastic band over the earcups and my forehead to increase clamping force.
It looks stupid and the pressure on my forehead becomes annoying after a few hours but...

There was suddenly bass. Gorgeous, deep, slammy beautiful bass. The Stealth finally sounded like its measurements and became perfect and I have been in audio nirvana ever since.

It's an unfortunate reality that humans have wildy varying head shapes and it's simply impossible to create a perfectly clamping headphone that fits all heads without some adjustment mechanism. The LCD-5 erred on the side of too much clamp when it was first released and have had to rectify the issue by giving users the choice between two easily swappable headband sizes.

I'm sure that Dan is already thinking about this and working on it, but for me it is clear that with the next generation of DCA flagships it is imperative that the clamp force is easily user adjustable.
I also think a lot of negative impressions of the Stealth (and Expanse) bass could have been prevented if there was a warning in big capitalized letters somewhere that the headphone's bass response can be off by up to 10db in case of an imperfect seal.

I really love this headphone so I hope this can help someone :)
My comments on the Stealth bass in this thread so far have unfortunately all been audiophile copium, also an important lesson in not over-rationalizing your audio experiences and trusting your ears and gut.
Yup, seal problems are real deal with Stealth.
Without proper fitment sound is extremely 'polite', once tight fit on the head is achieved bass is exactly where would you expect to be by looking at FR.

ps. So people who are demoing them at home should try to experiment with fitment/positioning/seal. Seal is the key, it's one of the reasons why these headphones are so polarizing.
 
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Mar 9, 2023 at 2:34 PM Post #5,407 of 5,897
So I've been tinkering with my Stealth bass for a while, and wanted to share my experiences.
When I first got the Stealth, I was a bit taken aback by the bass, to my ears it had significantly less bass than notoriously bass-light favourites like the HD600 and HD800. On some tracks I did feel they lacked slam just like I had read from other people's experiences.

I started reading up on it and was satisfied with Dan Clarks explanations that
1): We mostly perceive midbass so a low subbass high midbass headphone will sound bassier than the other way around,
2): Most headphones sound bassier than they are because of bass distortion, clean bass is actually harder for the ears to perceive.

These explanations were further cemented by the fact that I couldn't perceive a noticable bass difference by pressing on the earcups with my hands, so I figured that it wasn't a seal issue.
After the recent posts of people bending the ninithol rods or installing washers to increase the clamping force, I came up with my own brilliant engineering solution: putting an elastic band over the earcups and my forehead to increase clamping force.
It looks stupid and the pressure on my forehead becomes annoying after a few hours but...

There was suddenly bass. Gorgeous, deep, slammy beautiful bass. The Stealth finally sounded like its measurements and became perfect and I have been in audio nirvana ever since.

It's an unfortunate reality that humans have wildy varying head shapes and it's simply impossible to create a perfectly clamping headphone that fits all heads without some adjustment mechanism. The LCD-5 erred on the side of too much clamp when it was first released and have had to rectify the issue by giving users the choice between two easily swappable headband sizes.

I'm sure that Dan is already thinking about this and working on it, but for me it is clear that with the next generation of DCA flagships it is imperative that the clamp force is easily user adjustable.
I also think a lot of negative impressions of the Stealth (and Expanse) bass could have been prevented if there was a warning in big capitalized letters somewhere that the headphone's bass response can be off by up to 10db in case of an imperfect seal.

I really love this headphone so I hope this can help someone :)
My comments on the Stealth bass in this thread so far have unfortunately all been audiophile copium, also an important lesson in not over-rationalizing your audio experiences and trusting your ears and gut.
I find it takes a few minutes for the memory foam to warm up and seal around my ears. The pads will even seal around my glasses pretty well.
 
Mar 9, 2023 at 4:06 PM Post #5,408 of 5,897
I find it takes a few minutes for the memory foam to warm up and seal around my ears. The pads will even seal around my glasses pretty well.
I experience this as well which is why I would encourage others to resist the tendency to do back to back comparisons with this and other headphones especially with respect to bass and dynamics.

There’s an almost obligatory readjustment period when I switch from say an Atrium to the Stealth. Whilst it’s immediately clear that the Stealth’s have far better openness, imaging, depth, clarity, resolution and layering The Atrium Open’s bass is perceived as more explosive, you’re hit with a larger mass and the mid bass is more evident. Stealth is absolutely bass light in comparison in that instant. Once I continue to keep listening I no longer sense that it is bass light. It is a superbly balanced headphone that has moved from permanent residency to down right citizenship in my stable.
 
Mar 13, 2023 at 11:07 PM Post #5,410 of 5,897
Was slightly underwhelmed with the Stealth, trying different amps etc but knew there must be more. Finally remembered that I still had some adapters I used for the Susvara and TT2 rear outs.
Plugged into the pre out of the ifi ICan Signature and I can hear a different headphone. All is good now and it only goes to show that this headphone scales immensely but is also very demanding. Susvara was easier to drive/ make sound good(not perfect). C3C8069F-3A65-418B-AC66-A2260A74B60E.jpeg
 
Mar 14, 2023 at 10:18 AM Post #5,411 of 5,897
Resisted buying these ever since they came out. Much better than I expected (not saying much). Not sure I'd end up keeping a pair of similar open backs, but these do fit my use case and make a nice complement to the Z1R.

335005261_934796944342778_1989286798053691606_n.jpg
 
Mar 14, 2023 at 10:46 AM Post #5,412 of 5,897
Resisted buying these ever since they came out. Much better than I expected (not saying much). Not sure I'd end up keeping a pair of similar open backs, but these do fit my use case and make a nice complement to the Z1R.

335005261_934796944342778_1989286798053691606_n.jpg
You should also try Expanse.
If you like Elites, Expanse should be even more into your liking.
 
Mar 14, 2023 at 10:55 AM Post #5,413 of 5,897
You should also try Expanse.
If you like Elites, Expanse should be even more into your liking.
Well early impressions here, i'm about 5 tracks in but... Tbh I don't see them overtaking the D8k Pro Le, which leapfrog the Elite for me and beat even Susvara and LCD-5.
The Final is the reason I can live with the lack of slam and soundstage size on the Stealth. That + the HM1 soundstage knob, which I expect to help. Took @Nomax advice in getting it. I'll get my (second) D8k Pro LE back on Friday hopefully and will be able to compare them head to head. Will also get to comparing it to Elite later tonight.
The separation on the Stealth is surprising considering the soundstage size. I was always curious about AMTS, and i'm glad to try it. I will add, it sounds absolutely anemic with 2v into the Oor, but with 6v it really comes alive.
 
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Mar 14, 2023 at 2:57 PM Post #5,415 of 5,897
Well early impressions here, i'm about 5 tracks in but... Tbh I don't see them overtaking the D8k Pro Le, which leapfrog the Elite for me and beat even Susvara and LCD-5.
The Final is the reason I can live with the lack of slam and soundstage size on the Stealth. That + the HM1 soundstage knob, which I expect to help. Took @Nomax advice in getting it. I'll get my (second) D8k Pro LE back on Friday hopefully and will be able to compare them head to head. Will also get to comparing it to Elite later tonight.
The separation on the Stealth is surprising considering the soundstage size. I was always curious about AMTS, and i'm glad to try it. I will add, it sounds absolutely anemic with 2v into the Oor, but with 6v it really comes alive.
Can you possibly compere D8000 PRO LE and oryginal D8000?
 

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