Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone
Dec 4, 2018 at 8:37 PM Post #1,607 of 11,346

yosh

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Borrowed 2 HP amps / Aurorasound Heada and Softone balanced ( both made in Japan ). My audio-gd is warm side. The others are very detailed and fast. Heada is very deep. I love them all. Empyrean shows character of amps. It's just personal taste. I'm happy with xDSD ( via BT ) too. About 60 - 80 hrs after starting to use Empyrean, high decreased a little. 100 hrs + / back to very well balanced situation. Also I think reverb tail is very adequate.
 
Dec 4, 2018 at 9:28 PM Post #1,608 of 11,346

Whazzzup

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So empyrean is sibilant or you got used to it
 
Dec 4, 2018 at 10:58 PM Post #1,610 of 11,346

Whazzzup

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Highs became less? Meaning it was sibilant or your brain adjusted or it’s neither
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 1:07 AM Post #1,612 of 11,346
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I just got a call from Mircea from Meze Audio. He explained the process of making the frame. It was quite technical and I did understand it on the phone, but not enough to summarise it here. He had a logical explanation for the 'marks', but agreed with me that it should be perfect. Therefore he'll double check the next pair himself, make sure it's perfect and then he'll send it to me tomorrow.

Hi, yes, the customer has all the right to ask for a replacement if there is a white dot, and we will replace.

But it is more complicated that that.

Usually milled aluminium is polished and sandblasted.
CNC milling means that a drill carves out the entire shape thus leaving behind a trail. Polishing evens out this trails(marks) left behind by the drill head. The sandblasting creates an even grainy surface (such as mac laptops). Final effect is a smooth textured surface.
The anodizing means basically oxidizing the surface. Anodizing is not adding an extra layer but corroding the top surface of aluminium thus creating a barrier. In this process you can add pigment which enters this corrosion crevasses.

But we didn't do this. Because (to the dismay of my team) I usually choose the hard way in order to create something unique:
What we did was to work like crazy until we go an nice even milling tool path effect and then directly anodize it. This means that there is not polishing or sandblasting to cover up any imperfection caused by milling. This process causes causes a lot of extra cost and headache due to the very high scrap rate.

Bellow a closeup of this type of milling texture on a prototype I am working on for a new IEM. This texture is made with ball head milling head. This picture is from early 2018 and i still didn;t release this model with this texture just because we still weren't able to stabilize this texture in mass production. (We will release it first without texture and keep working on this texture for future releases). We are fanatic about making something special. Not choosing the easy path. We could have simply made a casting tooling like everyone else and cast all the Empyrean aluminium parts and then paint them and you would have a frame with same surface effect like all other aluminium headphones frames.

20180731_150017.jpg

As you can see in the image above the surface consists of "hills and valleys". It is very difficult to create an even anodizing color effect across the entire surface when your surface is textured like this.

White dot means the anodizing didn't fully take effect on on of those countless surfaces.


Bellow is closeup of Empyrean texture which I am super happy to have achieved after great difficulties.

It's necessary to understand that this frames as a sort of craftsman's work that is not at all like serialized mass production. It's like a carving with a CNC machine. Even if there is a programming in the machine, the outcome will not be always identical at microscopic level and the the anodizing will just reveal that. And due to the extremely high detail and the countless facets created by the mill on the surface of the aluminium it is very very hard to achieve 100% even coverage.

IMG_8436 Anto.jpg
 
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Dec 5, 2018 at 1:21 AM Post #1,613 of 11,346

Deftone

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Do not be too envious of me...

My wife left for a 4 days business trip abroad....
Because of a virus infection my dermatologist ordered me to bed for three days....(do not touch my post otherwise you will be infected :gs1000smile:)
The Hungarian Meze distributor gave me a Meze Empyrean for a week evaluation to make a review on my local blog...

So I am laying in bed and listening to music all day ...

I do hope there are here other music lovers like me who cannot afford to spend so much for headphones gear (no Abyss, No Dave).
I am not a member of the High Society of Headphoners, but enjoying music from the bottom of my heart.
This morning I was listening the Empyrean from an Astell & Kern Kann - Vorzüge VorzAMP Pure II+ combo and enjoyed every minute.
Later I moved to the following system:
Bluesound Node 2 fed by an Audioquest Carbon CAT7 cable, connected to an Arcam rHead amp with Nordost Heimdall cables.
These all together costed a fraction of the price of a Dave.
The sound quality on this system was considerably better than on the mobile combo...

For those who do not want to buy a Meze Empyrean, because they think, getting one will completely ruin their financial position, because it needs very expensive gear to make it enjoyable I have a message:
NO!!!!
You can enjoy the Emperyan even if you cannot afford even a Chord Hugo 2!!!
I will definitely write a Meze Empyrean review, but just now my main words describing this brilliant headphones:

Effortless,
Musical,
Very comfortable,
Easy to listen,
Beautiful.

As said earlier I recently checked Sennheiser HD820, Ether 2, Flow, but non of them can compete with the prodigious Empyrean.

Good to hear your enjoying your Empyrean, Arcam rHead is a gem but most often ignored.
 
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Dec 5, 2018 at 1:48 AM Post #1,614 of 11,346

Deftone

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For a cost no object set up for Empyrean what would your choice be?

I’m thinking

Empyrean - Woo Audio WA33 - dCS Vivaldi

I imagine it would be amazing for any headphone collection though to be honest.
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 3:07 AM Post #1,617 of 11,346

Boogie7910

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Very quick observations on Empyrean vs. He1000se:

Granted, my setup is not really what one would expect for such high-end headphones, but it us what it is.

Both on 3.5mm se to LG V30 and balanced through Massdrop Liquid Carbon X SDAC/Amp via laptop USB.

Empyrean - warmer, richer. More bass presence. Subdued highs (in direct comparison). Thicker midrange. Vocals more upfront. Livelier, more dynamic. Narrower soundstage, slightly deeper.

HEKse - brighter, leaner. Wider soundstage. Less dynamic, but more detailed. Laid back. Vocals less forward. Midrange much leaner. More treble presence.

Build quality goes to Empyrean by a landslide. Overall comfort to SE. Both very easy to drive and sound great through just about anything.

I find for very bass heavy recording (not genre specific), the SE is a better choice. The thickness, warmness and bass of the Empyrean is a bit much.

Bright recordings are better suited for the Empyrean. The SE's elevated treble is too much.

For most decently recorded music (again, not genre specific), I clearly prefer the Empyrean.

To summarize: I bought both with the intention of comparing and selling one off. Perhaps you may have seen my HEKse sale thread I posted yesterday...(that in no way is a knock on the SE. I could easily have lived with it and enjoyed it had I not had the Empyrean).

Bravo, Meze!!!

Thanks. I like everything you said about the Empyrean except the vocals being more up front. I prefer them to be recessed a bit actually.
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 5:13 AM Post #1,618 of 11,346

TheDuke990

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empyrean vs HD800S with a descent source?

Empyrean vs HD800S is like cats vs dogs .

Empyrean: rich, warm, soft, no harshness, etc.
HD800S: much brighter, no real sub bass, sometimes they call him bloodless (not for me)

I owned the HD800/S several times and after some months I sold them because bad records sounds too awful. Some months later I bought it back etc. It was a love-hate relationship and after some loops it ends with selling it.
I could listen to the Empyrean for 2 days and it is a masterpiece in build quality and wearing comfort. The sound is sensational as well but for me it is a little bit too dark and smooth. I missed some energy in the mids (e.g. guitars sounds a little bit veiled).
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 5:32 AM Post #1,619 of 11,346

Mikey99

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Hi, yes, the customer has all the right to ask for a replacement if there is a white dot, and we will replace.

But it is more complicated that that.

Usually milled aluminium is polished and sandblasted.
CNC milling means that a drill carves out the entire shape thus leaving behind a trail. Polishing evens out this trails(marks) left behind by the drill head. The sandblasting creates an even grainy surface (such as mac laptops). Final effect is a smooth textured surface.
The anodizing means basically oxidizing the surface. Anodizing is not adding an extra layer but corroding the top surface of aluminium thus creating a barrier. In this process you can add pigment which enters this corrosion crevasses.

But we didn't do this. Because (to the dismay of my team) I usually choose the hard way in order to create something unique:
What we did was to work like crazy until we go an nice even milling tool path effect and then directly anodize it. This means that there is not polishing or sandblasting to cover up any imperfection caused by milling. This process causes causes a lot of extra cost and headache due to the very high scrap rate.

Bellow a closeup of this type of milling texture on a prototype I am working on for a new IEM. This texture is made with ball head milling head. This picture is from early 2018 and i still didn;t release this model with this texture just because we still weren't able to stabilize this texture in mass production. (We will release it first without texture and keep working on this texture for future releases). We are fanatic about making something special. Not choosing the easy path. We could have simply made a casting tooling like everyone else and cast all the Empyrean aluminium parts and then paint them and you would have a frame with same surface effect like all other aluminium headphones frames.


As you can see in the image above the surface consists of "hills and valleys". It is very difficult to create an even anodizing color effect across the entire surface when your surface is textured like this.

White dot means the anodizing didn't fully take effect on on of those countless surfaces.


Bellow is closeup of Empyrean texture which I am super happy to have achieved after great difficulties.

It's necessary to understand that this frames as a sort of craftsman's work that is not at all like serialized mass production. It's like a carving with a CNC machine. Even if there is a programming in the machine, the outcome will not be always identical at microscopic level and the the anodizing will just reveal that. And due to the extremely high detail and the countless facets created by the mill on the surface of the aluminium it is very very hard to achieve 100% even coverage.

Great to see the craftmanship and attention to detail that has gone into these! They are truly a remarkable product.
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 5:47 AM Post #1,620 of 11,346

Fernando Goñi

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During running in the Empyrean (I recommend minimum 4 days) I found that Empyrean was leaking quite a considerable amount of sound. If you use it on a train, your traveling companions will hear what you are listening even at normal volume...
I support that, they leak at least as much as my HEXv2
 

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