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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. WolfP

    Thanks. On the Norne website they recommend Eidolic terminations gold or rhodium....the Oyaide is better ?

    Alternatively, in that price range, there are Black Dragon cables....or, increasing the budget, the Silver Dragon :thinking:
  2. devilboy
    I would think the silver might be too much on an already revealing headphone, so I was considering the Draug3 also.

    Thanks for asking the question I've been trying to get an answer to for weeks and also for changing the subject from all the Mojo posts.
    My God.....I was ready to throw my phone out the window.
    doraymon likes this.
  3. doraymon
  4. WolfP

    You're probably right .... then I'll choose between Norne Draug3 and Black Dragon
  5. devilboy
    Yeah, those were the two cables I was considering. I'm leaning towards the Draug3 heavily.
    I had the Draug2 on my HD800 and it did the trick.
    When I auditioned the Clear at home, I was blown away but pretty sure I didn't want to put silver on them.
    My Clears should arrive next week.
  6. bluenight
    Sorry for OT
    Nice review. I think i would go to a higher price range though maybe around 2k-2,5k. Havent happen to here eddie current? https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/eddie-current-zana-deux-se.14465/

    But step one would be getting a focal clear and to see if i could be happy with it just from mojo or lake people rs 02. Seems funnier to get a new headphone then amp at the moment. I think a clear would compliment hd800s well. Or run over it?
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  7. koiloco
    The Zana Deux is a great amp but it wasn't for me. I still remember listening to HD800 on it. This is years ago when I was poking around, entertaining the idea of getting the HD800. I said to myself "bah, if this is what HD800 sounds like on a high end amp, I am not missing much, not owning a pair". Then I went to Woo booth... Long story short, after listening to HD800 on WA22 I bought both. The combo just clicked for me. The better combo was with WA5 but the difference in SQ didn't justify the cost for me. When I stumbled on Kenrad VT231 driver NOS tubes for the WA22, the urge to upgrade to WA5 stopped.

    Regarding the Clear running over HD800, I don't think that will be the case. The PC answer would be the Clear might be the better choice...

    If I could only keep one, I will be the Clear. It's not because the Clear is technically "better" but it's because the Clear is more enjoyable, easier with source, easier to drive (mobile friendly impedance), better bass slam for a wider range of genres (just as deep but a bit less texture than HD800), better tonality; all that + on top of very good technicality and resolution. On the other hand, HD800 is just so darn picky. For me and IMO, even when HD800 sounds "right" through its better technicality, soundstage, and bit more resolution, it still doesn't convey the same emotion nor pamper me with the euphonic listening experience as the Clear.

    In my case, I will keep the HD800 knowing what it can offer. HD800 will complement the Clear, not the other way around. The HD800 will still be the go- to HPs when I mix and master my tracks due to its undisputed ability to pick apart everything. I still prefer listening to flamenco on HD800.
    To my ear and with my setup, I think HD800 is also a bit faster. It's kind of confusing that the Clear will come at you with such dynamic + speed thus fooling you into thinking it's the faster HPs but when listening to the same track at low volume, HD800's effortless and better speed clearly showcases. I believe this is due to HD800's much bigger driver.

    If someone asked me for advice regarding which HPs to purchase in the 1k range, the answer would be "get the Clear, save yourself some headache and $, and just start enjoying your music."
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    CactoesGel, jtinto and bluenight like this.
  8. bluenight
    Also remmember i have the HD800S the newer version which has improved bass and i guess musicality. I can find them enjoying but again i havent heard the clear to compare it to. Maybe you have heard the newer S version too?

    Woo wa22 seems versitile. Nice that it has balanced connections and lo-hi switch not sure i wanna tube role though. Could be a future amp contender.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  9. koiloco
    I don't have extensive listening time on HD800s so I can't and won't offer an opinion on it. From the brief headtime I had, to my ear, HD800s sounds about the same as my HD800 EQed to +3 to 6 db in the low, notched EQed around 6k to minimize/take care of the spike. Due to the rebalancing of freq response, some ppl say HD800s sound a little muddier and not as resolving. I tend to disagree with this assessment.
    Even with more bass and less treble spike, musicality on HD800s, IMO, was no different or better than HD800. They both are just inherently accurate, ruthless to bad sources and somewhat cold HPs. :ksc75smile:

    German vs French engineering mentality is well showcased here between the Clear and HD800/s...

    We are the lucky winners...

    PS: both HD800 and the Clear sound crappy before coffee kicks in. I've been trying for years to create a coffee response EQ curve but so far, no luck.:beyersmile:
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    bluenight and jtinto like this.
  10. easo91
    My V30 drives them extremely well, you are not wrong to consider the Clears for your V20 (which should also have absolutely no problem driving them). I don't really need to go beyond 40-45 out of 75 steps on the volume slider to get uncomfortably loud. The micro idsd would almost seem redundant, if you're looking to get some dedicated gear, I'd recommend getting some desktop amps, these headphones do benefit from something that can deliver more current to the drivers that most mobile dac/amps just can't deliver. For a mobile setup, I never found either the V20 or V30 to be lacking in any way.

    This is all assuming this gear is only for driving just the Clears and you don't have some higher impedance cans do drive as well.
  11. colonelkernel8
    Just picked these up. Anyone run into any sort of mechanical "clicking" or "creaking" in one of their earcups when they move their head or jaw? It's really mild, but it can be obnoxious in quiet passages in say, classical music. I'm thinking it's the yoke-earcup hinge on my right side.
  12. NickedWicked
    I have the exact same issue, have been thinking about using a very tiny bit of WD40 but something inside me says that isn’t a good idea...
  13. colonelkernel8
    If anything I think the solution would be a white lithium grease on the inside of the hinge (I expect it's something to do with the spring-loaded hinge).

    I am going to wait to hear back from Focal before I do anything crazy. I submitted a support ticket yesterday.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  14. NickedWicked
    Yeah something like that, bit of a pita when moving around. Could you shoot me a update on what Focal says when they reply eventually? Would appreciate it a lot!
  15. colonelkernel8
    I will do so.
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