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that molded foam insert is sitting in the bottom of the bag right? does the bag contain any other protective padding for the headphone?
The bag is not padded, reminds me of a shaving kit travel bag.
thanks for confirming that
No worries, relative to the build quality of the headphone the case is more than adequate for Diana. Our headphones are all aluminum (and steel) designs with minimal moving parts.
The AB-1266 case has no padding either, just solid leather. We once ran over a 1266 with a Jeep (a pair we used for abuse testing
), bent it back to shape, played just fine!
It’s just as handy. The foam padding secures the phones nicely.
Hope to see some of you at CanJam NYC!
On Friday I put on the Diana Phi. Five seconds later I knew I needed to sell the Utopia ... even though I knew then too that with the impending announcement of a new Focal and how the Utopia's price kept depreciating that I would be lucky to sell the Utopia for half its MSRP. But I decided to move forward with it anyway. With Diana Phi around, there is no chance that the Utopia will get any time from me. I'm never the type to keep and collect headphones and let them collect dust. I'm the type to find what I like best, sell the rest, and move on.
Which brings me here today. Forgive me for the long essay ...
If you know me at all (and it's unlikely because I'm pretty low key and generally commented on things related to Woo Audio WA33 or Focal Utopia), you know I love the Focal flagship very much. So I think you would believe me when I say that I would sell the Focal just to get enough funds to buy the superconductor cable for the Diana Phi.
I don't have enough superlatives to heap on the Diana Phi ... but I will try my best.
First off, let's say that the Diana Phi is better than the Utopia in every single goddamn aspect. You hear a lot about the speed of the Utopia and how amazing it is at detail resolution. To me, Diana Phi is at one level higher. The Utopia is truly good at showing you the texture of the music and the delicate layers ... but once you put the Diana on, you will realize that the Utopia tries so hard at that it sounds forced. All of the details the Utopia can show you are present within the soundsphere of the Diana Phi, but just a lot smoother and amazingly natural. It is as if each layer of sound just imperceptibly melts into the next and paints a beautiful soundscape.
The Diana Phi takes the Utopia's strongest point and sublimates it to a degree only surpassed by the Sennheiser HE-1. Yes ... to my ears, nothing I have heard has come ever so close to a $55K headphone system like Diana Phi did, driven by the Sony Server HAP Z1ES and Woo Audio WA33. And you can get all of them together for about 1/4 of the price of HE-1.
The soundstage of the Diana Phi is huge and makes the Utopia sounds like the sound is coming from inside your skull. The image is as big as that of the Susvara and just as precise. To me, the sense of immersion from the Diana Phi is almost scary the way the sounds seem to just envelop me whole. And yet the Susvara doesn't have the clarity and the *natural* high of Diana Phi (in fact, I've always thought the Susvara sounds very dull) or the forceful lows of the Abyss. To me, Susvara simply lacks impact at either end of the spectrum.
I'm not the kind of person to pay all that much attention to the mids unless they are recessed the way the Fostex TX00 Purple Heart is. But I have to say that the Diana Phi takes whatever genre I throw at it and impresses me as though I heard the songs for the first time and makes me fall in love with them all over again. Diana Phi lets me hear details even Utopia didn't. That is just how impressive the little sister of the Abyss flagship is. There is not a single hint of harshness or distortion. Everything you will hear is just natural and musical.
If you put on the Diana Phi for the first time, I have absolute faith you will perceive all of what I just wrote within 5 minutes. I can't recommend it enough. But beware, the Diana Phi isn't for people who don't have stellar gears, because the headphones is transparent and can be even more ruthless than Utopia when it comes to showing you flaws in your system.
If you go to CanJam NY (I’m not, I’m more an RMAF person), make sure to come to hear the Diana Phi with the excellent Woo Audio WA33. I think you will be impressed.
I'm very sorry for your wallet.
I'm very sorry you will decide to shell out for the superconductor cable ... because you will not be able to resist finding out how much better the music can be with better cable. (And this came from a once cable-skeptic)
Oh yes, I surely will!. How is the fit compared to the Utopia?
The grip is very gentle but firm enough for the Diana Phi to stay still on my larger-than-typical head. I like the fit better than the Utopia! There is very generous space inside the ear pads so my ears don't touch it at all.
Can't wait to try these, Steve is the man, and I don't doubt his claims.
Exactly what I wanted to hear. My head is also larger than a typical human too. The Utopia fit me just fine, I just wish the pads were a little bigger.
So I'm guessing the Wooaudio Wa11 Topaz will easily drive the Diana Phi? Right?
If Joe says the relatively weak Sony WM1Z DAP works great I'd say the Woo would be just fine for drive... easily way more than enough.
Nice write-up! Completely agree.
My finalists when upgrading last year were the Utopia and Abyss 1266phi. I chose the Abyss, clear winner in all categories. I have since heard the Diana Phi, it is in the same league as the 1266 and very similar sounding, but a better form factor and more comfortable (although the 1266 is quite a bit more comfortable than it appears).
Interesting to see your comment on th HE1.I also was able to compare Dave > Formula S > 1266phi to the HE-1 directly. Very competitive, and I actually preferred the Abyss combo - I think due to the Dave which is a better DAC than the one in the HE1.
I would love to hear the WA33 the the Abyss phi headphones, I continue to read very good things about this combination.