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Diana: the second release by Abyss Headphones!

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by music alchemist, Aug 13, 2015.
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  1. chimney189
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  2. Hifiearspeakers
    My goodness these headphones are power hungry. They will scale to sound as big as the 800S but you’ve got to feed them some power. Out of a Dragonfly Cobalt, they sound very meh and average. I wouldn’t pay more than $500 for them. Give them 1 watt of power and they sound really good. Not amazing, but very good. I would pay $1700 for them. Give them 4 watts of power and they sound amazing! I kid you not when I say these scale dramatically.
    I have no idea how such diminutive headphones can image so large and sound as wide as the 800S, but these do that. I am shocked that these can cast a soundstage that seems equal to the mighty 800S! With enough juice, the soundstage out of these is like an optical illusion.
    I wonder how many people have panned some of the Abyss models because they didn’t realize how much juice you have to give them to really hear what they can do. These are great headphones!
    ekfc63 likes this.
  3. lockjaw
    I concur 100%. My buddy and I went through a ton of amps until we found ones we liked... Even my McIntosh MHA100 can't power my Abyss....

    Final end-point for me is the GSX MK2. 6 watts into balanced.... you can tell, power matters. Even more so with 1266s

    Anyone who give the Abyss a "meh" review isn't using synergistic gear. As much as I enjoy Zeos' antics, he doesn't have the right amps/dacs to give the Abyss a fair shake.

    I'd say the amp is WAY more important than DAC, or even high res files vs standard CD quality. Sadly, the cost of the headphones is only the beginning.

    Once I got my Abyss I sold ALL my flagship and second tier headphones.....(HD800s, Utopias, 007s) tier two, (LCD2/3, TH900, Beyer DT 1990s, Verums.... tons more....)

    My Hifiman Edition X and possibly HP3s are next (and what's left of the collection).
  4. ekfc63
    Ditto. The Abyss rocks. For my musical tastes it made all my other phones irrelevant.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    chimney189 likes this.
  5. raymogi
    I’m doing the exact same thing as well. Already downsized my IEM collection, and now in the process of downsizing the HP collection.

    My Diana Phi should be here any minute now (ordered the Superconductor cable as well). Can’t wait to pair it with the DMP. I might have to take a day off from work to celebrate that.
  6. chimney189
    So which portable amp would you recommend?
  7. Hifiearspeakers
    The Ifi Micro Black Label is what opened my eyes. Honestly, with an impedance of 42 ohms, and sensitivity of 91 db’s, I never thought I’d need the turbo mode. But I was wrong. I give them the full 4 watts and now anything less feels like a downgrade.
    The 800S does have a higher sensitivity, but they also have a much higher impedance of 300 ohms. And yet, I honestly think listening to those on turbo mode could kill you with the loudness. But on my Diana’s, I still have the dial near 12 O’clock.
    I’m sure the Woo Topaz would work well, but I’ve never heard it.
    chimney189 likes this.
  8. raymogi
    Continuing on what @Hifiearspeakers was saying, the pairing of Diana Phi with WA11 Topaz is what actually sold me on the headphone.

    I auditioned the Diana Phi with SP2000 + Topaz and after 3 songs, decided on the spot that Diana Phi is my final headphone purchase. The Topaz is more than capable of powering the Diana. It was the most fun I’ve had listening with headphones.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  9. chimney189
    The WA11 Topaz seems more like a transportable amp than a portable one... regardless, can it connect to an iPhone 6 and work? I'm wondering if the same applies with the iFi iDSD...?
  10. Pictograms
    For non portables has anyone tried the PrimaLuna Evo series with Diana+/-Phi?
    I was using a Cayin Ha-1a mk2 with the original Diana which was fantastic but just bought a used Diana Phi and was wondering if I could do a stereo and head amp upgrade at the same time...
  11. bmichels
    Looking forward reading your listeniong impressions DMP-Z1 + Diana Phi, as well as the comparaison with SP2000 + W11 + Diana Phi.
  12. up late
    i visited my local headphone dealer today who now has the diana v2 for demo. unfortunately, they don't have a diana phi available for audition. this is the third time that i've tried the diana and it still sounds fabulous to my ears. i compared it to the focal utopia and the diana v2 surpasses it for clarity imo. however, while i think that the new larger ear pads have improved the comfort of the diana somewhat, i still wouldn't describe it as comfortable. switching between the diana and the utopia, i found the latter significantly more comfortable despite its heavier weight. as for the sound, well i have to give the nod to the diana v2 there and that's coming from a utopia owner.

    while the diana's appearance has drawn some criticism, i liked it from the get go. i was attracted to the design and relatively light weight. having experienced it first hand, i think that the sound, build quality and form factor are excellent. i'm still impressed by how solid the diana feels in the hand, but the comfort factor remains an issue for me. while i prefer headphones to be lightweight, they must also be more comfortable than a grado ps500e at this price point.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  13. DeepSouth
    Up late, when wearing the Diana v2, did you have one point of pressure on the very top of your head? I had this problem; if you push down forcing more pressure around the headband it’ll conform to your head and the pressure will be distributed more evenly. My Diana v2 was uncomfortable too until I learned this trick from another reviewer. The leather headband will conform.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  14. up late
    yes, i did experience that but it's the overall feel of the diana on my head that continues to bother me. it's not uncomfortable but it's not all that comfortable either, if you know what i mean. :relaxed:
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  15. Pictograms
    So my Diana Phi’s just showed up and although I no longer have the regular Diana’s my first 10 minutes make me think the Phi’s have plenty of bass. This is just out of my mojo as I’m spending time with my Partner... the cord won’t reach my amp.
    The one thing I’m surprised by is that it seems the Phi’s take more power, but the specs make it seem it should take less. I used to use the Diana on the second double red but the Phi’s are 2 steps away from double yellow. Maybe I’m remembering wrong...
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