Looking for ( found )"end game" headphones in 2K ± price range.
Sep 4, 2020 at 2:33 PM Post #31 of 1,473

FYFL

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HD800S beats the Arya on detail, but the Arya has an arguably better overall presentation.
Could you be more specific as these terms can mean different thing to different people. Just need a bit clearer picture as to what you mean.
You should be good to go with that power
That’s great as I wouldn’t want to limit its potential by underpowering them.
Well, i recommend the d7200 or d9200
Thank you for your recommendations. But I already own rather capable closed back cans. And I only use them when my open backs start to annoy those around me. But I did check them out. They look like a very comfortable and light cans.
Is this a DIY amp?
No it is not. You can find more details about it here.
Very interesting review. Quite compelling and favorable. However, I have few issues based on that review. One, it’s a headphone/amp system. That is going to make it stationary, limited to amp options and harder to sell if it comes to that. Second, as its strengths sound very compelling, it’s lower frequency/slam and limitations as far as SPL is concern makes me worry a bit. I’m afraid that I will miss bass notes and ability to play loud(ish) of at least two other headphones in my collection. I would preferred stronger/even overall performance within audible spectrum.
Hd800S can be extremely deep with the right tubes and nothing currently in production comes even close in width under 4 grand.
Soundstage is big on my list as neither Aeons2C or Audeze LCDX is particularly strong in that department. And I would love to own a headphone that is exceptionally good if not great in soundstage presentation.

800S, which I pair with a Bottlehead Crack-a-two-a, Bottlehead Mainline and Benchmark DAC3-DX. Nearly on the same par are the Focal Clear, though they don't possess the same ability to paint an expansive soundstage.
I’ve heard Clears once before and to be honest they didn’t impress me. Not that they were particularly bad in anything specific but they didn’t do anything exceptionally great. Perhaps it was the setup as my buddy wasn’t too concerned with amp quality. And I wouldn’t know if Clears are finicky about amp matching or not.


At this point I’ll definitely put Arya/Susvara, HD800s on my list.
Would love to hear some opinions regarding ZMF as well. Heard they play nice with tube amps.
Thanks everyone. You have been very helpful.
 
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Sep 4, 2020 at 2:36 PM Post #32 of 1,473

FYFL

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I try not to hype headphones as much as possible, but the Susvara is my top pick. I get the feeling I won’t be satisfied if I purchased an Arya or something else in the $2k range.

You could bash it for not being having ultimate slam like lcd-4. Also, it might be too detailed... So if you listen to poor recordings you might not like it. Stage, vocals, imaging are fantastic.
A little over my budget but who knows. However, in that price range I would have to directly compare it with LCD4 or z. Either one would have to end my game of chasing the ultimate nirvana tho. And that’s not easy given audiophile mentality. Lol
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 2:37 PM Post #33 of 1,473

ruinedx

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Would love to hear some opinions regarding ZMF as well. Heard they play nice with tube amps.
Thanks everyone. You have been very helpful.
ZMF I have not personally heard, but in terms of soundstage I have been told their open back soundstage in general was a couple steps below the HD700 (which itself is a few steps below the HD800S). However was also informed ZMF has better soundstage than HD6xx. So soundstage wise somewhere between the HD6xx and hd700 in size but a ways away from the hd800s.
 
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Sep 4, 2020 at 2:48 PM Post #34 of 1,473

FYFL

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ZMF I have not personally heard, but in terms of soundstage I have been told their open back soundstage in general was a couple steps below the HD700 (which itself is a few steps below the HD800S). However was also informed ZMF has better soundstage than HD6xx. So soundstage wise somewhere between the HD6xx and hd700 in size but a ways away from the hd800s.
In that case they would have to be exceptional in other areas to make me consider them.
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 2:54 PM Post #35 of 1,473

TheMiddleSky

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Need your feedback on headphones that would bring something different to collection of headphones I currently own.

•Budget - around 2k. Could go higher if necessary.
•Preferably tube amp friendly. (Dragon Inspire IHA-1)
•Technically better and with more even, correct tonality then my current headphones.
(Aeon 2C, Sennheiser hd700, Audeze lcdx & Fostex TH-X00 Mahogany)
•Preferably under 500g.
•Exceptional soundstage. For Jazz, Blues, Classical and older Rock.
•Good track record and customer support. Preferably US made or at very least supported by US dealer/distributor network.

I could explore used market for higher budget headphones but I would prefer new or perhaps an open box deals.
What you guys think, doable?

Plenty of options actually. So many solid headphones start from $1500+

However, if you willing to cough more, and looking based on these requirements, ZMF Verite could be the most solid answer from them all. (Not to mention you can fine tuning the sound through changing pads).

I was at similar condition before (no need to tube friendly though), and after tried almost everything out there, I think Verite ticks most of my requirements.

Few other headphone that went to my serious consideration:
- Hifiman HE1000SE
- Audeze LCD 4z
- Focal Utopia
- Focal Clear
- Abyss Diana Phi
- Abyss Diana V2 (Actually this one suits my taste well too, except the soundstage is not super big. In the end I bought it too). It has the typical abyss sound signature, but with more relax and smoothness than any other Abyss headphones.
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 2:55 PM Post #36 of 1,473

ruinedx

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In that case they would have to be exceptional in other areas to make me consider them.
Well again I have not personally heard them but they apparently are exceptional in other areas. To me though as a "main" headphone that wouldn't matter when soundstage is my main priority and there is a reference level headphone with huge soundstage available. Thus it's something I might consider as a secondary or tertiary, but not something I would buy if I were looking to upgrade my primary listening device.
 
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Sep 4, 2020 at 3:28 PM Post #37 of 1,473

JTori

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At this point I’ll definitely put Arya/Susvara, HD800s on my list.
Would love to hear some opinions regarding ZMF as well. Heard they play nice with tube amps.
Thanks everyone. You have been very helpful.

I also own a pair of ZMF Auteurs in Teak. They sound exceptional with both the Mainline and the Crack-a-two-a (C2A). The Auteurs pair extremely well with the C2A, which is an OTL amp.

As for the Clears, they've given me some goosebump moments during listening sessions with the Mainline.

Given the parameters you outlined, sounds like the 800S would be a winner. They deliver truth of timbre, punch, are easy to drive, paint an extensive soundstage, are comfortable and play nice with tube amps (especially the ones I own).
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 4:29 PM Post #38 of 1,473

FYFL

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Well again I have not personally heard them but they apparently are exceptional in other areas. To me though as a "main" headphone that wouldn't matter when soundstage is my main priority and there is a reference level headphone with huge soundstage available. Thus it's something I might consider as a secondary or tertiary, but not something I would buy if I were looking to upgrade my primary listening device.
As mentioned before, soundstage is very important to me. So is tonality and technicality/detail retrieval. I have no doubt that HD800s is hard to beat in creating huge and immersed soundstage. But I don’t want to discard other headphones that might offer qualities that I could find very appealing. With advice from my fellow headphone aficionados, I aim to narrow my choices to say 2-4 headphones. Once that’s settled, I would need to find a way to audition them in person. Eventually, I would probably settled on 2 best candidates and try to make a decision as to which headphone is closest to my taste. Hardest part is going to have those headphone home, at the same time, side by side for comparison using my gear. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
I also own a pair of ZMF Auteurs in Teak. They sound exceptional with both the Mainline and the Crack-a-two-a (C2A). The Auteurs pair extremely well with the C2A, which is an OTL amp.

As for the Clears, they've given me some goosebump moments during listening sessions with the Mainline.

Given the parameters you outlined, sounds like the 800S would be a winner. They deliver truth of timbre, punch, are easy to drive, paint an extensive soundstage, are comfortable and play nice with tube amps (especially the ones I own).
Auteurs suppose to be tonally correct and need non or very little EQ from what I’ve heard. Which is great. Aren't Verite worth an upgrade in your opinion? And which one from these two projects larger soundstage?
As to Clears being a bit boring. Well, like I’ve said. They sounded great but I think my friends setup was locking at best. I think he was using headphone out from Rouge Audio tube integrated amp ( probably poor choice for these particular headphones).Can’t recall source he was using but it had to be quite forgettable since it didn’t catch my eye.
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 4:54 PM Post #39 of 1,473

lltfdaniel

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Is there any amp dac that reads the sound signature of the headphones to give a more harmony match, as in how digital signals get turned into analogue?

What i am trying to say is that this is a lazy mans approach, instead of an amp that dictates it's own sound signature on the headphone so it is not in harmony.

This is purely for attack, so it molds into the sound signature of the headphones and it auto controls the pace via simple electronic signal so it matchs when the driver moves alot, this is determined by a simple push pull of a magnet and thus much more automatic most possible synergy varying the design, and with push pull of the headphone it matches the push pull in the amp exactly like the same with basic magnet physics when magnets repel or attract but with the digital signal and automatic.

This simple attract and repel in a electric force can be done with complex audio so it sound as awesome as possible, every automatic match of the frequency controlled with simple attract or repel to determine the sound but with complex sound passages.

The force between repel or attract give an automatic harmony match is all complex audio passages and auto adjusts, so it is like a automatic equalizer and a automatic sonic exciter in a way, changing every second.

Should make things more interesting.
 
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Sep 4, 2020 at 5:17 PM Post #40 of 1,473

FYFL

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If you use linear amp with relatively flat response (I have one of those. Cheap but linear nevertheless) that doesn’t add anything to “color” the sound, you are still depended on sound signature of your headphones. Since no headphones are perfect, I do enjoy flexibility of a tube amp to “color” the sound that is most pleasing to my ears. Yes, I know, it’s flawed approach but it is the one that I am will to compromise with to fine tune the sound to match my bias perception of “musical enjoyment”. I think it’s very personal and each individual has preferences that are important to him/her despite being compromised by front end choices or headphones.

And yes, there’s an amp that “listens” to speakers. Is it effective? No clue. Lol
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 7:19 PM Post #41 of 1,473

yolosauce

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From the headphones I have owned and currently own I would rank them as

susvara>he1000se=verite>arya>aeolus>focal clear>lcdx

The Verite has a natural timbre and great bass slam. The SE has a larger soundstage and is more detailed. The Susvara takes the best qualities of SE and Verite and combines them into one super headphone.
 
Sep 4, 2020 at 8:11 PM Post #42 of 1,473

descloud

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Is there any amp dac that reads the sound signature of the headphones to give a more harmony match, as in how digital signals get turned into analogue?

What i am trying to say is that this is a lazy mans approach, instead of an amp that dictates it's own sound signature on the headphone so it is not in harmony.
The only ones I can think of that does some sort of EQ profile change to some extent is the Sennheser HDV 820 for the HD 8X0 series and the Focal Arche for the Clear/Stellia/Utopia. Not sure if these dac/amps do some sort of equalization/filters at the DAC portion or at the amp output. What I recall the headphone show mentioned was for the Focal Arche, it wasn't much DAC performing EQ presets but something else (need to look this up to verify).

This is purely for attack, so it molds into the sound signature of the headphones and it auto controls the pace via simple electronic signal so it matchs when the driver moves alot, this is determined by a simple push pull of a magnet and thus much more automatic most possible synergy varying the design, and with push pull of the headphone it matches the push pull in the amp exactly like the same with basic magnet physics when magnets repel or attract but with the digital signal and automatic.

This simple attract and repel in a electric force can be done with complex audio so it sound as awesome as possible, every automatic match of the frequency controlled with simple attract or repel to determine the sound but with complex sound passages.

The force between repel or attract give an automatic harmony match is all complex audio passages and auto adjusts, so it is like a automatic equalizer and a automatic sonic exciter in a way, changing every second.
All I read here is poetry like how Darko writes tbh. If you're saying that an amp can "adjust" its output analog signals mid-travel ater sending the signal to a headphone load, that's not how it works.
 
Sep 5, 2020 at 12:22 AM Post #43 of 1,473

ruinedx

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The only ones I can think of that does some sort of EQ profile change to some extent is the Sennheser HDV 820 for the HD 8X0 series

I have not heard of this. However the HDV 820 does have a high output impedence which impacts the HD8xx FR if you want to call it EQ in that manner - but also makes it a poor match for anything but 150ohm+ headphones. Not some profile built into the dac tho as far as I'm aware of.
 
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Sep 5, 2020 at 12:49 AM Post #44 of 1,473

ruinedx

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If you use linear amp with relatively flat response (I have one of those. Cheap but linear nevertheless) that doesn’t add anything to “color” the sound, you are still depended on sound signature of your headphones. Since no headphones are perfect, I do enjoy flexibility of a tube amp to “color” the sound that is most pleasing to my ears. Yes, I know, it’s flawed approach but it is the one that I am will to compromise with to fine tune the sound to match my bias perception of “musical enjoyment”. I think it’s very personal and each individual has preferences that are important to him/her despite being compromised by front end choices or headphones.

Tubes are a lot of fun and are sort of a "fixed hardware EQ" that is a lot more enjoyable to use than an actual EQ.

Anyways, in my humble opinion, these should be your finalists to check out:

The soundstage champion, technical wizard, Sennheiser HD800S:
https://en-us.sennheiser.com/high-resolution-headphones-3d-audio-hd-800-s

The romantic and intimate, never offending ZMF Aeolus Ltd Ed:
https://www.zmfheadphones.com/zmf-originals/aeolusltd

Both headphones actually look like how they sound ;]

From your discussion of your preferences, the HD800S I think will be the clear winner. The ZMF Aeolus is a good 2nd headphone to have though for a more intimate, less revealing and totally different sound. So buy both, complementary bliss :)
 
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Sep 5, 2020 at 2:52 AM Post #45 of 1,473

PointyFox

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The Focal Clear's bass increases by about 8 dB going from an output impedance of <1 to 130 Ohms.
 

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