HiFiMan Susvara
Sep 27, 2021 at 9:32 PM Post #11,491 of 11,905

Roasty

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I’ve really been liking the Utopia WA33 combo.

Also, I did not really like the Susvara out of the standard WA33, and was going to sell it. I waited for the WA33 EE JPS before doing that. For whatever reason the Elite version is much better with the Susvaras.

What are you driving the Susvaras with currently? A speaker amp?

I'm using kinki audio P27 pre and kinki m7 stereo power amp for the susvara and abyss. The P27 offered a bit more detail and spaciousness over the denafrips athena at the cost of some midbass and punch, but I think the M7 compensated a bit for that reduction.

Are u still using high gain on the wa33 for the susvara? On the occasions I do that pairing, I prefer low gain and volume knob at 2 to 3 o'clock (dac volume 85/100) over high gain and volume knob at 10 to 11 o'clock. With high gain, I felt the highs got louder faster before the mids and bass.

Of the three that came over to have a listen, all felt the Susvara gave a relaxed and laid back presentation, whereas the utopia was livelier and more dynamic, and easier to pick out and isolate details. All felt the imaging and placement of the utopia was better.

First guy ranked Utopia+wa33, susvara+athena/apollon, susvara+wa33.
Second guy Utopia+wa33, susvara+kinki, susvara+wa33
Thrid guy abyss, utopia+wa33, susvara+kinki

But to be fair I think a lot boiled down to music preference as well. As looking at their playlist, their was a lot of rock and music from the 80s to 90s. Not so much jazz or vocals or easy listening.

It is super hard to beat the susvara, after the kids have gone to bed and the whole house is quiet. Put on some jazz vocals and a glass of whisky..
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 9:37 PM Post #11,492 of 11,905

Ciggavelli

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I'm using kinki audio P27 pre and kinki m7 stereo power amp for the susvara and abyss. The P27 offered a bit more detail and spaciousness over the denafrips athena at the cost of some midbass and punch, but I think the M7 compensated a bit for that reduction.

Are u still using high gain on the wa33 for the susvara? On the occasions I do that pairing, I prefer low gain and volume knob at 2 to 3 o'clock (dac volume 85/100) over high gain and volume knob at 10 to 11 o'clock. With high gain, I felt the highs got louder faster before the mids and bass.

Of the three that came over to have a listen, all felt the Susvara gave a relaxed and laid back presentation, whereas the utopia was livelier and more dynamic, and easier to pick out and isolate details. All felt the imaging and placement of the utopia was better.

First guy ranked Utopia+wa33, susvara+athena/apollon, susvara+wa33.
Second guy Utopia+wa33, susvara+kinki, susvara+wa33
Thrid guy abyss, utopia+wa33, susvara+kinki

But to be fair I think a lot boiled down to music preference as well. As looking at their playlist, their was a lot of rock and music from the 80s to 90s. Not so much jazz or vocals or easy listening.

It is super hard to beat the susvara, after the kids have gone to bed and the whole house is quiet. Put on some jazz vocals and a glass of whisky..
Yeah, high gain. You do make a good point about music selections. I’m super into metal and hip-hop and that may affect my impressions
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 11:30 PM Post #11,494 of 11,905

Tachyon88

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I swear.....I check the sales thread often and one sold in my neck of the woods only an hour or so after I saw the post earlier today. 😭

Do most used susvaras get sold here or is there another website that sees more action I'm not aware of ?
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 11:48 PM Post #11,495 of 11,905

ufospls2

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Sep 28, 2021 at 12:28 AM Post #11,496 of 11,905

number1sixerfan

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Anyone here with both the Susvara and Stax (007/009)?

I managed to have a listen at a friend's place this morning. Roon Nucleus, Mola Mola Tambaqui, Headamp BHSE and 007 + 009.

The 009 sounds amazing (with autoEQ convolution). Amazing detail, lovely mids and vocals and the bass really surprised me. So much weight and texture and punch/slam.

Unfortunately didn't manage to do a side by side comparison with Susvara. But man the mola/bhse/009 is a real eye opener.

I've had the Susvara, 009 and 007 altogether for a long time. The 009 out of the BHSE is just truly stunning. It has greater resolution, is a bit more open and has a noticeably better midrange, which against the Susvara really says a lot. I give the overall bass nod to the Susvara, but it's close and the 009's mid-bass stands out a bit. Vocals are probably top 3 all time I've ever heard and also a step above the Sus. However, tonality is where the Susvara has it beat.. just buttery smoothness.. but that comes at a cost of smoothing over some of the technicalities to a small degree.

Both great, but I'd pick the 009 over it if I had to each and every time.

Also the 007 really is excellent, but it needs to be powered sufficiently and also shouldn't be paired with warmer gear at all. It's slightly less technically stout than the TC/Sus/009.. but it has an amazingly even sound. Stat resolution just short of the 009, smooth and warmer than the Susvara, and bass quantity and impact (although a bit lower quality) than the TC. I don't talk about it much, but it's an awesome stat.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 12:58 AM Post #11,497 of 11,905

Roasty

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I've had the Susvara, 009 and 007 altogether for a long time. The 009 out of the BHSE is just truly stunning. It has greater resolution, is a bit more open and has a noticeably better midrange, which against the Susvara really says a lot. I give the overall bass nod to the Susvara, but it's close and the 009's mid-bass stands out a bit. Vocals are probably top 3 all time I've ever heard and also a step above the Sus. However, tonality is where the Susvara has it beat.. just buttery smoothness.. but that comes at a cost of smoothing over some of the technicalities to a small degree.

Both great, but I'd pick the 009 over it if I had to each and every time.

Also the 007 really is excellent, but it needs to be powered sufficiently and also shouldn't be paired with warmer gear at all. It's slightly less technically stout than the TC/Sus/009.. but it has an amazingly even sound. Stat resolution just short of the 009, smooth and warmer than the Susvara, and bass quantity and impact (although a bit lower quality) than the TC. I don't talk about it much, but it's an awesome stat.

With the EQ, the 009+BHSE sounded like the complete package, or my ideal sound. The bass was amazing, and thats coming from me having both the susvara and abyss. I always had the impression or assumption that stats were thin and sterile, but I am clearly wrong about that.

One of my thoughts were that now since I'm mostly using LMS and Squeezelite, I don't have a way to put the convolution filter in place.

The vocals and clarity I heard from the Stax, and the tonality and timbre.. To say that I am jealous of you having the BHSE and 009 is putting it lightly.. U lucky sod!

I think I am detracting too much from the susvara topic so I will give it a rest. Thanks for chiming in, all!
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 4:34 AM Post #11,498 of 11,905
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Someone was just selling a 009 for 1800 a couple days ago on Head-Fi too, absolute steal of a price if you're willing to commit to a system.

Even though it's not going to be my primary headphone set to listen to, one day I'll treat myself with used 009 anyway. And it's going to share shelf space with another legend, Senns HD600.
 
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Sep 28, 2021 at 9:04 AM Post #11,499 of 11,905

paradoxper

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BHSE is quite a round and musical amp, and it really helps the Stax 009 (and HE60) a lot. Not much talk about e-stats, but these are right up there with the best of the best still.

However, you're hearing mostly midbass thickness from the tube and not quite visceral slam - but the raw resolving power and detail of 009 is ahead of Susvara.

Someone was just selling a 009 for 1800 a couple days ago on Head-Fi too, absolute steal of a price if you're willing to commit to a system.

At the end of the day though, Susvara is the more musically complete and engaging headphone for me. I'll be receiving the CRBN (and maybe X9000 for review) and will try to compare with Susvara/ Utopia / LCD5 / LCD4 and HE6 OG
It's crazy to see the 009 selling for $1800.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 11:45 AM Post #11,501 of 11,905

townes

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Having both, the Susvara and the Stax SR-009 (not 009S), some weeks ago, I set up a test environment to compare them.
The "competitors" were:
Pass Preamp XP32 tape-out --> BHSE --> Stax SR009
vs
Pass Preamp XP32 main output --> Pass XA25 Speaker amp --> Susvara (using an Arctic cable, connected to the speaker taps)
common part of the test environment:
local files on a fanless Roon server --> network --> Sonore Signatue Rendu SE --> emm Labs DA2 V2 DAC --> Preamp Pass XP32

I carefully tried to adjust the volume (BHSE and XP32) to the same level so that no headphone had a disadvantage

(Note: The Susvara is only competitive to the Stax 009/BHSE with an excellent amp, preferably a speaker amp, e.g. it was clearly not on the same level with the Benchmark HPA4)

If the result would have been very clear to me, I would have posted about this experiment already two months ago.
Anyway, better late than never, some conclusions after hours of comparing:

- If you have a Susvara with an excellent amp like the Pass, you don't have to be jealous on someone with a Stax 009/BHSE
- same as above, but vice versa.
- Stax 009/BHSE has a bit more punch, dynamics. A bit more vivid. Upper mids and treble are sometimes a bit too pronounced.
- Susvara/Pass XA25 is smoother, * seems to have * a bit less resolution and clarity. A bit less vivid also.

Digging into "resolution/clarity", example: Pink Floy - On the Run, the female voice on the loudspeaker... one might guess, that the Stax resolves this better, but that's not the case, it's a tie. The Susvara has more resolution, than you might think at first.

For me the smoothness over the whole frequeny range and the slightly better lower mids and bass provides a small advantage for the Susvara/Pass combo. On the other hand, my wife prefers the punch/dynamics/upper frequeny range of the BHSE/Stax combo.

Anyway, the difference is so small, that I pre-ordered the Stax SR-X9000. I am confident, that the combination Stax SR-X9000 and BHSE will be a step ahead of the two setups described above, let's wait and see. I am curious for sure.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 11:51 AM Post #11,502 of 11,905

Axel

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Pass labs amps are known to be on the smooth side of the spectrum, especially their class A variations.
Maybe a more open amp will better suit the Susvara.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 12:02 PM Post #11,503 of 11,905

Articnoise

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Pass labs amps are known to be on the smooth side of the spectrum, especially their class A variations.
Maybe a more open amp will better suit the Susvara.

I agree on that, but even with a more aggressive amp the Susvara will (probably) never sound as dynamic and vivid as the top 3 headphones in this specific regard.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 1:21 PM Post #11,504 of 11,905

Sajid Amit

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Pass labs amps are known to be on the smooth side of the spectrum, especially their class A variations.
Maybe a more open amp will better suit the Susvara.
I personally agree. I owned the Pass Labd xp12 and xa25, loved the combo, until I heard the TC, and then decided to pair the Sus with the more dynamic sounding Accuphase.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 1:22 PM Post #11,505 of 11,905

Sajid Amit

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I agree on that, but even with a more aggressive amp the Susvara will (probably) never sound as dynamic and vivid as the top 3 headphones in this specific regard.
True, the Sus wasn’t intended to become a punchy monster, regardless of what’s driving it.
 

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