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HiFiMan Susvara

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ostewart, Jun 18, 2017.
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  1. Hifiearspeakers
    Not to butt in, but how can you say soundstage isn’t a subjective issue? I don’t think it’s possible to describe how you hear sound without it being subjective. The mere act of describing anything forces it into the realm of subjectivity.
    bidn likes this.
  2. jlbrach
    lcd-4 has more bass than the utopia...subjective?.....the abyss has a wider soundstage than the susvara personally i do not see that as controversial but everyone is entitled to their own opinion
  3. Hifiearspeakers
    Oh I’m not calling you wrong and I’m not calling that statement controversial. I’m just saying that I don’t know how a person can describe something without an element of subjectivity.

    And I would agree that the 4 has more bass than the Utopia, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if several people disagreed lol!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    bidn likes this.
  4. jlbrach
    I accept that pretty much everything in this hobby is subjective in terms of good or bad...better or worse but some things are pretty much acknowledged and as i mentioned the lcd-4 being more bass intensive than the utopia is pretty much accepted and i think that the abyss has a larger soundstage is similar in its consensus...no disrespect meant to anyone
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  5. Hifiearspeakers
    I feel the same way. I’m from Kentucky and I always assumed that everyone knows the Wildcats are a much better basketball team than Puke, I mean Duke.

    Imagine my surprise when I met someone from North Carolina that disagreed!

    Don’t people from North Carolina know about the consensus?

  6. Whazzzup
    consensus limits potential and opportunity, but it makes coming to a conclusion convenient and easier
  7. mixman
    Yeah someone once actually pm'ed me to tell me he thought the HEK V2 was a bassy headphone and he wanted something less bassy. Goes to show how subjective this stuff is!
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  8. llamaluv
    From my direct experience, when driven off of a typical headphone amp, I'd say the Abyss's win on soundstage. For me that meant the WA33 and the GS-X mk2 with the Abyss Phi and then the Susvara, though unfortunately I never owned the Phi and Susvara simultaneously.

    However, when the Susvara is driven off of any number of decent speaker amps, soundstage size seems to me to a tie at the very least, though again, I can't attest to this through having done a direct comparison.

    If I were to do a hand-wavey, ultra-subjective ranking of soundstage size of the various speaker amps I've owned or have heard at length connected to the Susvara, it would look like this (from highest to lowest):

    Pass Labs INT-150 > Benchmark AHB2 > Bryston 2.5B SST2 > First Watt J2 / Pass Labs X150.8​

    Though, please don't make too much of this, as raw soundstage size ain't everything. E.g., the precision of imaging of the Susvara with the X150.8 is I'm sure the best I've ever heard.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    Maxx134 and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  9. AnakChan Moderator
    My thoughts of the Susvara seem to echo @gordec’s especially w.r.t. the Susvara & SR-009. Having the right amp to drive either matters though. e.g. I know my Electra does not bring out the most out of my SR-009.

    So w.r.t. @ the Abyss Phi comparison to the Susvara, whilst being driven out with the same equipment is somewhat an apples to apples comparison, is it bring out the best in one or the other?
    Maxx134, gordec and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  10. BassicScience
    Frequency response graphs are not subjective. I've never seen any soundstage measurements. Not saying you're wrong, just that it wasn't the best analogy perhaps.
    bidn likes this.
  11. gordec
    I first heard the 009 with my buddy locally. He was driving it off Pro iDSD -> Pro iCan -> IESL. I actually still like the 009, but he didn't like it. Thought it sounded too analytical. Then he swapped out Pro iCan with NAD M22 V2. The change was pretty dramatic. It's just awkward to have a huge speaker amp driving your headphone. I'm going to get the Naim Unit Atom and run it through IESL to pair with Susvara. I have tried multiple speaker amps with and without IESL. IESL cleans up the sound significantly. Might be worthwhile looking into. It will power both dynamic and electrostats.
  12. fredfung28
    I own susvara and abyss phi then upgraded to abyss Tc afterwards.
    Even abyss phi, the soundstage of abyss is larger than susvara, imaging as well.
    But susvara has another strength like the musicality, intimate mid and softness and details of vocal that abyss couldn’t give as they are different types of headphone.
    If you have trouble with the soundstage of abyss I think that might also be the positioning of your ear pads.
    My amp is riviera aic10
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  13. AnakChan Moderator
    Again, I think posts about any of the headphones - Susvara, Abyss, etc - isn’t going to be as beneficial unless the paired amp is mentioned.
    bidn likes this.
  14. Maxx134
    I compared the Abyss, 009(with carbon amp) and Susvara many times over as my friend kept upgrading amps to achieve better results with both planars to try to bring up to 009 level resolve.

    To me the Abyss stage has a larger (taller and closer) image in mid to lower spectrum, which is a bit skewd as it has a dip in trebles for depth, but...
    The Susvara has the complete image further out in the distance, as well as being more uniform overall.

    The 009 was always reference excellent, but it's image was too wide as it doesn't have angled pads for a more natural image.
    This made it the closest overall, although it was still large, deep, and layered.

    The bass was largest of course on the Abyss, but also the slowest by a slight margin. Susvara speed can match 009 in upper spectrum but mids to bass was more natural and planar like.

    The depth of these three in the bass impact department are more realistic than the bass of utopia which is percieved fast but not "felt" as much in sub-bass dept.

    The only headphone to clearly surpass all by any noticable margin a the raal ribbon headphone, but its its bass is not like any of the others mentioned and may not be satisfactory to those who like sub-bass impact.

    All above my personal opinions, your results will vary.

    I percieve the Abyss image larger yet about 10ft closer than Susvara in soundstage depth.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    AnakChan and gordec like this.
  15. SuperDuke

    Thanks for the review! Did you happen to use more efficient HPs w/ the Headonia? I have a hum w/ Cans like the Utopia or GS3000 that I can't quite get rid of w/ the pots. No hum at all w/ the Susvara or Diana Phi. Aside from that it's a remarkable amp and I too noted how DYNAMIC it is.

    PS Amperex Pinch waist drivers go very well w/ this amp.
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