HiFiMan Susvara
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So you say, but can you tell me which audio gear you use to full appreciate what Susvara can do?
I got so used to Pro iCAN with Susvaras so much that I enjoy this setup a lot, which is not surprising as at the office we have mostly our own stuff. But after hearing these cans at @Matez (he rolls with the Bakoon) before the pandemic situation, that was the best sounding Susvara to me. He had his amp connected to a different DAC there and I couldn't tell how much it contributed.
 
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I'm glad Lord Gwyn realized there is more to the story than just Wattage = loudness. As he later realized and pointed out, impedence matching, damping, current are all factors in optimizing sound quality for a hard to drive loud like Susvara. There is a reason why everyone isn't running Susvara on flea watt headamps.
 
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jlbrach

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as I mentioned earlier I found it impossible to listen to the susvara directly from the chord dave so the amp definitely does impact the performance of the susvara but I also find the susvara to sound wonderful through the formula s/powerman combo as does the abyss TC and both are power hungry planars to say the least....I only mention the formula s combo because its power rating of 6/16 certainly doesnt scream that it would drive the susvara as well as it does...it seems to me there are all sorts of metrics in addition to the watts rated that go into a good sounding amp...for instance the toppinga90 is rated more powerful than the formula s combo yet it isnt in the same league in terms of driving the susvara etc
 
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as I mentioned earlier I found it impossible to listen to the susvara directly from the chord dave so the amp definitely does impact the performance of the susvara but I also find the susvara to sound wonderful through the formula s/powerman combo as does the abyss TC and both are power hungry planars to say the least....I only mention the formula s combo because its power rating of 6/16 certainly doesnt scream that it would drive the susvara as well as it does...it seems to me there are all sorts of metrics in addition to the watts rated that go into a good sounding amp...for instance the toppinga90 is rated more powerful than the formula s combo yet it isnt in the same league in terms of driving the susvara etc
Planar Magnetic Headphones love current, current current and more current to their ultra flat impedance characteristics across the complete music frequency range that the human ear can hear and beyond.

So if there is an Amp that has a high impedance and high output voltage with a small current output then this isn't going to be as good as for Planar Magnetics than if the Amp has a low output impedance, low output voltage and a high current even though the power output for both Amps would be the same !
 
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I'm glad Lord Gwyn realized there is more to the story than just Wattage = loudness. As he later realized and pointed out, impedence matching, damping, current are all factors in optimizing sound quality for a hard to drive loud like Susvara. There is a reason why everyone isn't running Susvara on flea watt headamps.
Not exactly, but I'd rather not get into it again.
 
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Bonesy Jonesy

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Planar Magnetic Headphones love current, current current and more current to their ultra flat impedance characteristics across the complete music frequency range that the human ear can hear and beyond.

So if there is an Amp that has a high impedance and high output voltage with a small current output then this isn't going to be as good as for Planar Magnetics than if the Amp has a low output impedance, low output voltage and a high current even though the power output for both Amps would be the same !
So (as I have mentioned in previous posts), if you do the maths for various Amps that have different characteristics and types you will see a pattern emerging for the Amps that sound poor, good, very good and amazing with the Susvara's just on these basic parameters alone !
 
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Not exactly, but I'd rather not get into it again.
Well we could get into the Quantum world if you like where real reality is happening and closer to my line of work and not look at very basic Ohm Law equations !
 
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Well we could get into the Quantum world if you like where real reality is happening and closer to my line of work and not look at very basic Ohm Law equations !
You must be very intelligent and important.
 
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Planar Magnetic Headphones love current, current current and more current to their ultra flat impedance characteristics across the complete music frequency range that the human ear can hear and beyond.

So if there is an Amp that has a high impedance and high output voltage with a small current output then this isn't going to be as good as for Planar Magnetics than if the Amp has a low output impedance, low output voltage and a high current even though the power output for both Amps would be the same !
so would the current explain the outstanding performance of the formula s combo and why it was designed for use with a power hungry planar but with modest power specs?
 
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You must be very intelligent and important.
Not really. I am very passionate though of my profession and work and I love making lots of money for my expertise and what I do !
 
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so would the current explain the outstanding performance of the formula s combo and why it was designed for use with a power hungry planar but with modest power specs?
Yes especially when you add the add on Power Pack to the Formula S which they could have done with the main unit in a bigger chassis but they wanted to make more money so people would buy this add on Power Pack and lower the output performance of the main unit.
 
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In the last several months, I have invested my weekends and after-office hours auditioning amps from leading manufacturers, including Pass Labs, Mcintosh, Gryphon, Luxman, Accuphase, Musical Fidelity, Parasound, Anthem, PS Audio, etc.

I have also heard amps from leading headphone amp manufacturers, which, to my mind, paled in comparison to speaker amps. I am, of course, not the first to say this. Nor will I be the last.

Users of the Hifiman Susvara, and to a lesser degree, the Abyss 1266 HPs, have also noted the superior sound from speaker amps, even when driving other headphones, far less ravenous than the Susvaras or the 1266.

Herb Reichert has a poetic review of the Susvaras where he posits the same, referring to these explorations of driving headphones with speaker amps, rather amusingly, as “unauthorized experiments.”

In any case, my conclusions from my experiments are as follows:

1. The Pass Labs XA25 power amp and XP12 pre-amp combo is the best sound I have heard from any amplifier, be it speaker or headphone amp; Class A or Class A/B; Solid State or Tube. Its the most transparent sounding amp, with outstanding naturalness of timbre, an eerily large soundstage, surprising tactility to instrument sounds, and vocals that are just breathtaking. I am, of course, not the first to be impressed by this. Many revered audio critics have opined that the XA25 might be Nelson Pass’s best creation. I myself have also heard Pass’s Class A Monoblocks, if that helps to know, as a benchmark.

2. I have run the Susvaras off 8-10 different head amp and speaker amp combos, but nothing comes close to this rig. The marriage between the XP12, XA25, and the Susvaras, is divine. I was told by my (South Asian) parents growing up that marriages are made in heaven. This is probably what they had in mind? For reference, I am a happily married man.


Perfection.jpg



3. The Hifiman Susvaras off the Pass XP12 and XA25 is the best sound I have heard, period. The sound is far superior to my ears, than speaker rigs worth multiple times more, to say nothing of other headphone + head amp rigs. I may have heard every other TOTL headphone and amp pairings. Your preferences may vary of course, as they should. As they must. But for me, this is endgame. The elusive crossing of the final frontier.

In case you would like impressions, as some of you sought, when I reported acquiring this rig:

Listening to the Susvaras off the Pass Labs accentuates the Susvara’s beguiling musicality.

The details. Oh, the details on this rig. Ubiquitous but never offensive. Blithely inhabiting the space and stage afforded by the marriage of the Sus and the Pass.

As the music’s details hang in this expanded spaciousness of stage, the listener is able to pin point the location and size of each instrument; the movement of the performer on stage, etc.

In terms of frequencies: the bass is deep, detailed, visceral, and subsonic. The bass is tight, controlled, fast, and where Susvaras shine is their low-end detail.

The treble sparkles but stays unerringly polite. In fact, the Susvara treble is a shameless exhibitionist. It's like it wants to see you walk the line on treble energy without ever, ever, giving you sibilance. It makes you laud the damn headphones even whilst listening to it. I kid you not. :gs1000smile:

The midrange is so true to life, that it can make a saint of a sinner, a truth teller of a lying man. Vocals glow and you may start believing the transparency is the handmaiden of musicality, which, for most gears, are compromises.

This is audio nirvana as far as I am concerned. :purple_heart:

Full review of the Hifiman Susvara on various amps, forthcoming.
Man, I am so curious to what you have learned. I started my head-fi journey, before my years of speaker hobby with Naim and Harbeth, with the excellent Arya A90/D90 combo during the first lockdown. But, I always knew I wanted true TOTL end game set-up.

I consider myself so lucky: got the truly magical Holo May KTE dac on christmas eve, and yesterday a fresh Susvara arrived.

It is clear my Susvara still needs ample burn in, but it already sounds sweet on the Topping A90. I do have to adjust mentally to the different sound signature of the Susvara from the Arya, which seem more open and dynamic, but also leaner in the mids. But just like I learned from my Aryas, power potential is key for Hifiman planars to really start singing. The A90 is IMHO an perfect match for the Arya, and is impressively fun with the Susvaras, but clearly not the powerhouse ithe Susvara deserves.

Already ordered an speaker-amp adapter, so I can test my Supernait II + Hi-Cap DR combo. I do not expect anything, the supernait is amazing but not at lower levels.

Again, I'm really looking forward to your amplication review, and I'm confident other fresh Susvara owners are too.
 
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Already ordered an speaker-amp adapter, so I can test my Supernait II + Hi-Cap DR combo. I do not expect anything, the supernait is amazing but not at lower levels.
I look forward to learning how this plays out.
 
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The Topping a90 has enough power with xlr output for Susvara. On the other hand, the sound quality is missing. With a better amp Susvara scales a lot.
 
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