ETHER 2: Impressions and Discussion
Nov 20, 2018 at 8:26 PM Post #826 of 2,978

davisman

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Im telling you guys, move the nitinol wires up in the mounts. There are 4 set screws on each side, and the wires have dimples on them. Just move the bottom dimple up to the top row of set screws on both sides.

ETA: I really doubt you will be able to stretch the wire out without heating it to the correct temp. It will return to its original shape.
 
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Nov 20, 2018 at 8:32 PM Post #827 of 2,978

franz12

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I thought the nitinol superelastic property basically allow it to return to original shape no matter how hard you twist it. I doubt it could reduce the clamping force just by stretching it.

Theoretically, that's right. But when I compare a clamping force between afo and e2 by stretching them out, it is obvious that a clamping force on e2 is stronger. I do feel the nitinol headband on afo is more flexible now, but it was also very strong when I bought it a year ago. I hope the nitinol headband on e2 becomes also a bit more flexible.
 
Nov 20, 2018 at 8:38 PM Post #828 of 2,978

franz12

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Im telling you guys, move the nitinol wires up in the mounts. There are 4 set screws on each side, and the wires have dimples on them. Just move the bottom dimple up to the top row of set screws on both sides.

ETA: I really doubt you will be able to stretch the wire out without heating it to the correct temp. It will return to its original shape.

Good finding. I will try this if the clamping force still does not go away.
 
Nov 20, 2018 at 9:33 PM Post #829 of 2,978
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Tips for a looser fit (on all our headphones):

-Loosen the leather strap to avoid squeezing the band together, there should barely be weight on the top of the head
-Rotate the headband a little forward so it's on the flat of the head not the crown to reduce pressure behind and below the ear
-When putting the headphone on, gently pull the bottom of the heapdhone outward so the top of the pad makes "first contact" above the ear, this will help equalize pressure so it's nice an uniform all around the ear

The pads will soften and conform with use, the nitinol not so much. The wire has the exact same force as all our other headphones.
 
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Nov 20, 2018 at 9:42 PM Post #830 of 2,978

rockytopwiz

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Im telling you guys, move the nitinol wires up in the mounts. There are 4 set screws on each side, and the wires have dimples on them. Just move the bottom dimple up to the top row of set screws on both sides.

ETA: I really doubt you will be able to stretch the wire out without heating it to the correct temp. It will return to its original shape.

@davisman been beating this drum for awhile.

I'm a klutz and don't usually do mods, but with my big noggin Im pretty sure I would do this pretty quickly. Too much clamp is no bueno.

Looking like it'll either be these or the empyrean for my next set. The research is part of the fun, any impressions are appreciated!

I keep checking YouTube everyday for a video review :thinking:

:satellite:
 
Nov 20, 2018 at 10:03 PM Post #831 of 2,978

franz12

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@davisman been beating this drum for awhile.

I'm a klutz and don't usually do mods, but with my big noggin Im pretty sure I would do this pretty quickly. Too much clamp is no bueno.

Looking like it'll either be these or the empyrean for my next set. The research is part of the fun, any impressions are appreciated!

I keep checking YouTube everyday for a video review :thinking:

:satellite:

I bet e2 and empyrean may share a similar sound signature. I saw Jude’s measurement on empyrean. As you can see there its treble 4k-8k is muted. Ether 2 also does not emphisize that region, but I have to burn in further to say something with confidence.

What I can say confidently is that e2 is lighter by the large margin 150g.
 
Nov 21, 2018 at 12:01 AM Post #832 of 2,978

Bastianpp

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Well, that was an interesting evening. I got lots of time in with E2. I like it very much. Here are some brief impressions/comparisons:

Ether 2 -- Light, comfortable, like new cable for its ergonomics (softer, less microphonic). Sound sig is still over in the EFO/HEKv2 planar camp, but closer to the 'middle' of my TOTLs. More 'energetic' and lively sig than EFO 1.0, a little more than EFO 1.1, and a lot more than HEK.

vs. EFO 1.1 -- pretty close. E2 has a bit more bass impact, maybe a bit more mid-forward. Vocals are slightly more 'present'. E2 stage has similar width, slightly shallower -- EFO stage still feels arier, although not as much as EFO 1.0. Note that I did the 1.1 upgrade to EFO, but only put on the decal, no other damping. Also, I'm using the eStat pads on EFO. To my ears, 1.0 => 1.1 changed the sig shape from V-shaped to nearly linear. E2 takes this a bit further, maybe even elevating mids/vocals above linear. Or maybe that's just in comparison to EFOs.

vs. HEKv2 -- further apart than EFO/E2. E2 is significantly brighter and more impactful. E2 comparison emphasizes the 'laid back' nature of HEK sig, contrasted with more energetic sig of E2. My ears hear HEK as pretty much neutral, with E2 producing slightly recessed treble. HEK stage feels bigger, but to accomplish that, it feels like everything is further away, not some closer, some further.

vs. Auteur -- E2 might be right in the middle between HEK and Auteur, in tonality and energy. Auteur is definitely brighter and more energetic. Staging is quite similar -- I'll have to listen more before I can provide a comparison.

vs. Utopia -- I didn't listen to Utopia last night, so I'll defer this, although you can probably add a +1.5 to the Auteur comparisons and be close.

vs. all -- E2 bass is in the same ballpark as the others. Not bass-heavy, not bass-lite. I hear differences, but I'll have to focus on some bassy tunes to come up with more informative comparisons. Things like overall bass quantity, sub-bass vs mid-bass, quality of bass in isolation vs bass in busy passages, acoustic vs electric bass vs bassy percussion. I just can't say yet.

In all, a very good can. I can't imagine keeping both my EFO 1.1 and E2. One will have to go :)

BTW, all listening was NUC ==> SU-1 ==> Pontus ==> Emotiva XSP-1 ==> Bryston BHA-1

Music was Loreena McKennitt, Ray LaMontagne, Beck, Mark Knofler, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Gretchen Peters, Bliss, Enigma, William Fitzsimmons, Beatles, Dead Can Dance, Tunnel Six, Miles Davis
Any new through between stock pad ( not the e-pad ) ether flow 1.1 vs E2?
 
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Nov 21, 2018 at 1:00 AM Post #833 of 2,978

LCMusicLover

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Any new through between stock pad ( not the e-pad ) ether flow 1.1 vs E2?
I haven’t put the stock pads on in quite some time. I plan to experiment with them and the 1.1 mod this weekend. So you’ll get an answer, probably by Sunday.
 
Nov 21, 2018 at 8:54 AM Post #835 of 2,978

Hifiearspeakers

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Nov 21, 2018 at 11:25 AM Post #836 of 2,978

franz12

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Great write up! My only criticism, though, is when the reviewer tried to say the build quality of the HEK SE is top notch. That’s just patently false. All of the other headphones are far above anything Hifiman has ever produced. Period.

I am just curious. How far HEKv2 is away from Ananda? Probably a galaxy away? Ananda was pretty good, but I was not able to get over its slightly wooly bass and somewhat steely timbre on treble (to my ears), though not sibilant.
 
Nov 21, 2018 at 11:38 AM Post #838 of 2,978

Hifiearspeakers

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I am just curious. How far HEKv2 is away from Ananda? Probably a galaxy away? Ananda was pretty good, but I was not able to get over its slightly wooly bass and somewhat steely timbre on treble (to my ears), though not sibilant.

The HEK V2 is definitely better than Ananda in overall tone and smoothness but it’s not dramatically better. The HEK actually has more treble, but it is higher quality. It does have a peak, but it is less than the 800S and only shows up in badly recorded music. The Ananda has a resonance peak that is always there and always bothersome. But they’re very similar in comfort, soundstage, bass and mids quality. The HEK V2 has more bass in general, especially sub bass, and it extends deeper.
 
Nov 21, 2018 at 11:48 AM Post #839 of 2,978

franz12

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The HEK V2 is definitely better than Ananda in overall tone and smoothness but it’s not dramatically better. The HEK actually has more treble, but it is higher quality. It does have a peak, but it is less than the 800S and only shows up in badly recorded music. The Ananda has a resonance peak that is always there and always bothersome. But they’re very similar in comfort, soundstage, bass and mids quality. The HEK V2 has more bass in general, especially sub bass, and it extends deeper.
Thanks for that information. HEKv2 may still not be in my ballpark, but I am guessing HEKse may be miles ahead of HEKv2.
 

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