Final Audio D8000 Planar Magnetic Headphone
Sep 18, 2021 at 3:20 PM Post #1,771 of 2,052

Pharmaboy

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Stock, but I have a pair of Gs on the way too.
I liked the sonic results when I swapped stock pads for G pads. Everything I liked about the D8000 (bass, tone & timbre of notes, slight warmth that in no way obscures resolution) got even slightly better. And one thing I didn't like--a touch of glare in the upper mids (recording- and volume-dependent) disappeared.

I'll be interested in your perceptions of any sonic changes after pad swapping...
 
Sep 18, 2021 at 5:28 PM Post #1,772 of 2,052

SoundJedi

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I liked the sonic results when I swapped stock pads for G pads. Everything I liked about the D8000 (bass, tone & timbre of notes, slight warmth that in no way obscures resolution) got even slightly better. And one thing I didn't like--a touch of glare in the upper mids (recording- and volume-dependent) disappeared.

I'll be interested in your perceptions of any sonic changes after pad swapping...

A couple of weeks and I'll have some opinion on this hopefully.
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 6:25 AM Post #1,773 of 2,052

SoundJedi

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A couple more observations after listening to one of my favourite albums (White Album Deluxe) on the D8k.

First of all, the D8k is so easy to drive. My L&P W2 manages to drive it very adequately, at its scale obviously. I was very impressed and pleased. But I quickly switched to my Xduoo05 Plus to get more juice.

What to say about the sound, other than wow. I've listened to this album probably 100 times and I've never heard it like this. The mix of musicality, energy and the authoritative, thumping yet tasteful bass make listening to the D8k a wonderful experience.

Unlike most other HPs and iems, bass knows when to take a step back and when to come back and hit with authority. Artful.

Supporting vocals are so clear and separation is amazing. You hear everything that's going on in the master and yet it's all artfully subtle when it needs to. Harrison's electric guitar has that satisfying "bite" that you want to hear. So satisfying.

Kick drums on the D8k are unlike anything I've heard on an iem/HP.

John Lennon's voice in "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" gave me chills.

I can't put my finger on anything those are doing wrong or not enough of. Period.
 
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Sep 19, 2021 at 10:31 AM Post #1,777 of 2,052

betula

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There is no way around it, the D8000 sounds better than the Empyrean: better balance, better bass extension, more clarity and resolution while also keeping a fun, dynamic but non-fatiguing character.

Certain textures on the Empyrean can sound slightly better (vocals/string instruments) but the D8000 wins out on 9/10 other qualities. Just to mention a few: bass, kickdrums, speed, instrument separation, details, depth, insight, resolution, dynamic range. On certain tracks in comparison the Empyrean can sound 'boxed in' also kickdrums can sound 'cardboardy' while the D8000 keeps them all clear, lifelike and impactful.

Comfort is obviously better on the Empyrean, larger earcups, more room for your ears, lighter weight; but the D8000 is still more comfortable than many other flagships, like the LCD4.
If I keep the D8000, I might buy the 'G' pads, but not really for sound, rather for more comfort. Tha fabric touching your skin on the 'G' pads looks softer/comfier.

I have also given some advantage to my Empyrean by running them balanced on an upgrade cable, but the D8000 still shows clearly better technicalities on the stock SE cable. I expect the sound (clarity, separation) to slightly improve once the D8000 gets its XLR upgrade cable too.

In my opinion the Empyrean is still a very good, laid back and smooth headphone, but the D8000 does quite a few things better. There is simply more information present in the D8000's sound which means clearer details, better definition and separation of supporting/background instruments/vocals which equals to a deeper stage insight.

I have to mention, this is competing on the highest level of flagships. Like evaluating the differences between top athletes. An averagely good top athlete would still easily beat anyone from the streets. So the Empyrean remains a great flagship headphone, but the D8000 outperforms it in most categories.
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 12:50 PM Post #1,778 of 2,052

Pharmaboy

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First of all, the D8k is so easy to drive.
I have to comment about this. Yes, the D8K is easy to drive...at least at first. But like many other planars, once you start chasing higher volumes (talking SS amps now), it can really suck up some power to get there. It's what automotive engineers call "a wide power band." I noticed this on 3 SS amps thus far:
  • The very powerful Violectric V281 (my best & favorite SS amp/preamp)
  • The somewhat less powerful but great sounding Lake People G109-A
  • And " " " " " " Cavalli Liquid Carbon v2
I haven't yet tried the D8K on my only current tube amp, an OTL (Woo WA3). But I plan to try it. Low impedance Planar HPs often sound quite good on OTLs, exhibiting none of the bass-heaviness of low impedance dynamics (planars have more linear impedance characteristics top to bottom than dynamics).
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 12:51 PM Post #1,779 of 2,052

betula

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It seems, the D8000 reflects the sonic characteristics of your chain very well.
The clean, clear, detailed, punchy and dynamic yet warmish and natural sound of the Burson Soloist 3XP (supported by the RME ADI-2's DAC clarity) shines through in these D8000's cups. The D8000 only adds its subtle, dynamic, thick and fun character to the sound. Very enjoyable, especially that clean bass thump.

IMG_20210919_162533.jpg
IMG_20210919_172253.jpg
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 12:52 PM Post #1,780 of 2,052

betula

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I have to comment about this. Yes, the D8K is easy to drive...at least at first. But like many other planars, once you start chasing higher volumes (talking SS amps now), it can really suck up some power to get there. It's what automotive engineers call "a wide power band." I noticed this on 3 SS amps thus far:
  • The very powerful Violectric V281 (my best & favorite SS amp/preamp)
  • The somewhat less powerful but great sounding Lake People G109-A
  • And " " " " " " Cavalli Liquid Carbon v2
I haven't yet tried the D8K on my only current tube amp, an OTL (Woo WA3). But I plan to try it. Low impedance Planar HPs often sound quite good on OTLs, exhibiting none of the bass-heaviness of low impedance dynamics (planars have more linear impedance characteristics top to bottom than dynamics).
My experience with efficient high-end planars is that they still scale significantly with better gear.
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #1,781 of 2,052

Pharmaboy

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My experience with efficient high-end planars is that they still scale significantly with better gear.
I totally agree. I've had other good planars (pre-fazor LCD-2.1; pre-fazor LCD-3; HEX v2; and Empyrean) and they all sounded better with my better source gear vs my not as good stuff.

My best gear is IMO above average but not SOTA (MHDT Labs Orchid NOS DAC w/the best NOS tube I could find; and the V281)--but I've heard the D8K & Empyrean on way bigger/more expensive gear of all kinds at shows, and you do hear some delta there...
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 1:07 PM Post #1,782 of 2,052

betula

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I totally agree. I've had other good planars (pre-fazor LCD-2.1; pre-fazor LCD-3; HEX v2; and Empyrean) and they all sounded better with my better source gear vs my not as good stuff.

My best gear is IMO above average but not SOTA (MHDT Labs Orchid NOS DAC w/the best NOS tube I could find; and the V281)--but I've heard the D8K & Empyrean on way bigger/more expensive gear of all kinds at shows, and you do hear some delta there...
I agree. All the 'better' headphones (1K+) I auditioned or owned improved significantly with higher-end gear. Of course, the headphone sets a limit where further investments in amps and DACs become obsolete, but my experience is that most Head-Fier's try to save money on the chain so they never really reach the maximum potential of their fine multi thousand dollar/euro/pound headphones.
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 3:08 PM Post #1,783 of 2,052

Slim1970

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I have to comment about this. Yes, the D8K is easy to drive...at least at first. But like many other planars, once you start chasing higher volumes (talking SS amps now), it can really suck up some power to get there. It's what automotive engineers call "a wide power band." I noticed this on 3 SS amps thus far:
  • The very powerful Violectric V281 (my best & favorite SS amp/preamp)
  • The somewhat less powerful but great sounding Lake People G109-A
  • And " " " " " " Cavalli Liquid Carbon v2
I haven't yet tried the D8K on my only current tube amp, an OTL (Woo WA3). But I plan to try it. Low impedance Planar HPs often sound quite good on OTLs, exhibiting none of the bass-heaviness of low impedance dynamics (planars have more linear impedance characteristics top to bottom than dynamics).
These are my findings as well. The D8K Pro's are not difficult to drive, but they definitely scale up with more powerful amps. All their good sonic traits simply sound "better".
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 3:09 PM Post #1,784 of 2,052

SoundJedi

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I agree. All the 'better' headphones (1K+) I auditioned or owned improved significantly with higher-end gear. Of course, the headphone sets a limit where further investments in amps and DACs become obsolete, but my experience is that most Head-Fier's try to save money on the chain so they never really reach the maximum potential of their fine multi thousand dollar/euro/pound headphones.
The rabbit hole hehehe
 
Sep 19, 2021 at 3:12 PM Post #1,785 of 2,052

lucasratmundo

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Have you been using EQ with your D8k Pro? If so, what values have you been using? I've been both Resolve's and Auto EQ's. I have a slight preference for the AutoEQ ones as the Resolve's EQ is too intense on the lower frequencies for my taste. No EQ is actually pretty good too. Just wondering about other people's perspectives here.
 

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