MrSpeakers ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow -- Inspired by Electrostatic Headphones
Aug 2, 2021 at 2:14 PM Post #5,731 of 5,750

Bastianpp

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Does anyone know what were the conditions in Jude's original measurements in the first post? (90db @ 1kHz? 100db?)
1627928055013.png

They did that THD measurements at this SPL. In other words, 90dB.
 
Aug 3, 2021 at 1:52 PM Post #5,732 of 5,750

pila405

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Using common sense is hard ><
Thanks!
 
Aug 4, 2021 at 2:44 PM Post #5,733 of 5,750

Drewligarchy

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My experience roughly echoes yours, the original AFC are a baby Ether, with the EFC having more bass extension and more bass (since I never owner the AFC I can't say much more). I would have liked the AFC as well, but prefer the EFC, while the AFO to me had recessed mids and I did not like them when I auditioned them. I also have the EFO and like them a lot, but the EFC makes me smile more often.
Note that I bought the EFC 1.0, then Dan applied the 1.1 tuning kit, then I bought new pads, then I removed the tuning stickers on the bass port and looooved the increase in bass (due to the newer pads, the result is probably a tad more bassy than the 1.0 were). So you have some options in that regard. I also prefer the DUM cable over the VIVO somehow, but I like my Lavricables Grand 20 Silver cable even more.

The Ether series is big and not super light, which I suspect you will notice in bed. The AFC might work better there in terms of comfort as they are less likely to touch your mattress or shift due to weight. The hinge design on the newer model may change that.

That said, I did watch a whole movie in bed last night, with a projector lighting up my ceiling, and the EFC did a great job - I didn't even miss my subwoofer. I do wish it had a giant sound stage like the HD800 does, but you can't have everything, I suppose.

You mentioned that the EFC makes you smile a lot more. Is the tuning significantly different vs the EFO? Asking as I want to try to replicate the signature in an open back. As the Ether 2s use a different driver, if the original are closer to the EFC - I might demo them.
 
Aug 4, 2021 at 3:04 PM Post #5,734 of 5,750

Alcophone

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You mentioned that the EFC makes you smile a lot more. Is the tuning significantly different vs the EFO? Asking as I want to try to replicate the signature in an open back. As the Ether 2s use a different driver, if the original are closer to the EFC - I might demo them.
I have to be careful with that statement, I got the EFO to use at home without bothering my wife, but since she has moved out I mostly use speakers for music, and use the EFO mostly for gaming with a Schiit Jotunheim (the original one) and the AK4490 DAC module, while I used the EFC at work with a Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE and a Gustard H20 with SparkoS opamps - so the EFC got the better gear. And now while working from home due to COVID I'm using it in the bedroom with an iFi micro iDSD as the DAC and a Burson Fun with SparkoS opamps as the headphone amp - also a very good combination.

I recently bought an iFi Zen DAC Signature for desk duties, which on first listen provides much nicer mids and highs, but there's still something funky going on in the bass which I want to debug when I have time - I doubt it's the headphone, but I haven't used it for music much in that setup.

In short, the EFO is probably just as good as the EFC and my gear is currently holding it back. The sound signature is certainly very similar, in part because the EFO isn't super open to begin with. I bought the EFO after auditioning many open headphones, and blindly bought the EFC later without any regrets. I'm sure others can better articulate the exact differences, as I'm sure there are some, but they are clearly siblings, and sound more similar to each other than AFO and AFC did.

I did listen to the Ether 2 at RMAF and it struck me as a bit more resolving than the EFO (insofar as one can judge that at a show), maybe a little more delicate, and a lot lighter and more refined looking. I have sort of hoped that something awful happens to my EFO so I can justify an upgrade, but I also have never owned the Ether 2, so I won't claim to know it well enough to judge all its differences to the EFO.
 
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Aug 6, 2021 at 9:55 AM Post #5,735 of 5,750

Drewligarchy

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I admit I didn't, but you don't have to listen in order to know of severe deficiencies which were measured using a credible system.
Just like I don't have to see a picture from a monitor if I saw a measurement of white balance showing it was completely off and had too much green, for example. The physics behind it is the very same. I heard many headphones and know how the measurements correlate.
Sorry for being a little cranky. While I’m not an objectivist, I fall somewhere in the middle. The beating the Abyss took on ASR was just completely ridiculous in my opinion - so I get somewhat defensive of Abyss, specifically because of their uniqueness - when someone criticizes them without listening to them.

Are the Abyss Phi TC tonally perfect? No. That said, it’s not like other headphones. The adjustment that can be made to the headphones fit are very similar to tweaking speaker placement in a room. For that reason, while you can get a general idea of frequency response, the frequency response changes so much with those tweaks that it could be somewhat (though not entirely) misleading.

What I don’t believe can be measured is their presentation, given the unique way they are intended to be worn without a seal, and their imaging which is truly unique and makes instruments more tangible - though the latter is likely effect of frequency response an their mids.

The bass quantity and quality is just significantly better than any other headphone, and I don’t think appropriately reflected on a graph. While not the most resolving TOTL headphone, they are more resolving than the Ether C Flow in my opinion. And, they are pretty damn resolving. I’m just thinking Stax 009, Susvara, etc edge them out.

I think one of the major arguments between objectivists and others is that frequency response can tell you everything, and this is the best example of it not being the case. While I take issue with ASR’s measurements - I can believe that it has distortion at higher levels - just not levels anyone would listen at. So in essence, it’s irrelevant to sound. I know how much objectivists like the HPA4, but the signal to noise ration is far beyond human hearing. My personal opinion is that while this is good engineering, it’s more important to focus on other elements of gear rather than SINAD if it can’t be heard while listening to music.

But I digress. I highly recommend trying the Abyss TC on a relatively powerful rig (works well with the HPA4 if you like that), to have a better idea of what I’m describing. Yes our ears are fallible and there is snake oil out there - but headphones aren’t snake oil. The vast majority of headphones fit essentially the same way. The abyss do not, and as a result, I think more measurements are needed to capture what they are doing.

if you listen to them and completely disagree, that’s completely reasonable. They are just not like regular headphones. I’m not speaking of some magical secret sauce - just that the fit they use, which essentially uses your head as a “room”, and the resulting presentation and changes in frequency response, make them hard to compare with other headphones that fit in a more traditional way.

The Harmon curve, while useful - isn’t gospel. It’s based on preference. And, there are a lot of people that prefer the abyss to anything else (me included). I sold my Stax 009 rig when I got them because I found them so much more engaging to listen to. Given their polarizing look and fit, and the fact that there are much more comfortable headphones (though I find them comfortable - I also don’t mind the LCD series), they have to be doing something that’s appealing. Sure it’s impossible to blind test them, but we’re not having a cable debate or talking about EMI’s effect on a DAC. These are transducers.
 
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Aug 7, 2021 at 5:15 PM Post #5,736 of 5,750

pila405

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I never claimed that everything about headphones can be determined solely from the frequency response. Not only frequency response measurements are tricky and can give inconsistent results, but it clearly doesn't give the full picture. Even with more in-depth measurements (CSD, THD, IMD, group delay etc.), you won't know everything due to technological limitations we have today as well as the current physical understanding.

BUT, you can easily notice severe defects in design in any of these tests, and if you see many problems popping across many measurements, one should really start thinking hard why should anyone pay 5000$ for a pair of headphones, let alone another 3000$ for some cables. This *is* the snake oil you mentioned.

I don't have access to a pair of Abyss phi tc, but I would gladly listen given the chance to be proven otherwise. I am a man of science and am not afraid to change my mind in light of new evidence and information. but I will not be swayed easily since I read quite a bit before forming my current view and understanding.
 
Aug 7, 2021 at 6:04 PM Post #5,737 of 5,750

Drewligarchy

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I never claimed that everything about headphones can be determined solely from the frequency response. Not only frequency response measurements are tricky and can give inconsistent results, but it clearly doesn't give the full picture. Even with more in-depth measurements (CSD, THD, IMD, group delay etc.), you won't know everything due to technological limitations we have today as well as the current physical understanding.

BUT, you can easily notice severe defects in design in any of these tests, and if you see many problems popping across many measurements, one should really start thinking hard why should anyone pay 5000$ for a pair of headphones, let alone another 3000$ for some cables. This *is* the snake oil you mentioned.

I don't have access to a pair of Abyss phi tc, but I would gladly listen given the chance to be proven otherwise. I am a man of science and am not afraid to change my mind in light of new evidence and information. but I will not be swayed easily since I read quite a bit before forming my current view and understanding.

People spend $5000 for a pair of headphones because they really enjoy them. Lots of people enjoy them. Everything you described is simply a tool and as you said there are "technological limitations we have today as well as the current physical understanding".

The point is headphones are just as much art as science and you can't really form an opinion without listening to them. I'm not trying to sway you from anything other than a bit of dogma that seems to prevent you from having an open mind.

And by the way, cables and DACs don't sound different at all - until they do :)

Have a nice weekend.
 
Oct 11, 2021 at 2:50 PM Post #5,738 of 5,750

abccpu

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I have just sold HiFiMan Edition Xv2 and wondering if buying Ether Flow 1.1 have a sense as upgrade to HEXv2 ? I'm happy owner of Monolith Monoprice M1570 and I do preffer their sound over HEX because they have more direct sound, less polite, better musicality. Is someone compared Ether Flow to HE-6se V2 ?
 
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Oct 11, 2021 at 6:49 PM Post #5,739 of 5,750

omegaorgun

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People spend $5000 for a pair of headphones because they really enjoy them. Lots of people enjoy them. Everything you described is simply a tool and as you said there are "technological limitations we have today as well as the current physical understanding".

The point is headphones are just as much art as science and you can't really form an opinion without listening to them. I'm not trying to sway you from anything other than a bit of dogma that seems to prevent you from having an open mind.

And by the way, cables and DACs don't sound different at all - until they do :)

Have a nice weekend.
@pila405 If you question budget in audiophile realm, then you are in the wrong hobby. Many audiophiles are near retired or have done really well financially for themselves, so they have lots of disposable income to waste. I personally would not spend that much, I think it's out of my price range, but we can't judge others as it's all circumstantial. We all have different budgets and can get great sound for cheap if needed. You are paying for something new, R&D and exclusivity.

I admire DCA and his approach, he tried to think outside the box, and he also loves T50's deep down, I know it. I would like to see him do a carbon open alpha cup kit.
 
Oct 11, 2021 at 7:09 PM Post #5,740 of 5,750
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@pila405 If you question budget in audiophile realm, then you are in the wrong hobby. Many audiophiles are near retired or have done really well financially for themselves, so they have lots of disposable income to waste. I personally would not spend that much, I think it's out of my price range, but we can't judge others as it's all circumstantial. We all have different budgets and can get great sound for cheap if needed. You are paying for something new, R&D and exclusivity.

I admire DCA and his approach, he tried to think outside the box, and he also loves T50's deep down, I know it. I would like to see him do a carbon open alpha cup kit.


Yea but music listening pleasure can happen at all levels of expense, don’t you agree? We sell a lot of summit-fi but for many people a few hundred $$ goes a long way …..just a thought.
 
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Oct 12, 2021 at 4:56 PM Post #5,741 of 5,750
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Oct 16, 2021 at 3:16 AM Post #5,742 of 5,750

oqvist

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I got a pair of aeon 2 noire and ether c flow on loan. No tunings filters on the Ether C it appears. Aeon 2 noire had some black filter in that totally overdamped the music. Like listen to music in vacuum. Removing it helped a lot. I mainly listen to Kennerton Magni these days and it and aeon 2 noire certainly seem to try to track the same harman cardon curve.

I would say Aeon 2 noire probably sound better objectivelly but the magni just has better dynamics somehow though these are the planars that actually do have some thump. and a bit better soundstaging. But it´s ported so it does kind of cheat. The main reason I am curious about the Dan Clarks is the rumour for great isolation and that is certainly true. Have to go back to Ultrasone Ed 8 to find something that isolate so well in the high end segment. But there is some holes so these are perhaps ported as well? Still they don´t leak nearly as much.

Ether C flow is the one that truly gives something more. That treble and air is something I just don´t get with the aeon 2 noire and Kennerton Magni with these old ears. Not like my hd 800S of course but truly spectacular for closed headphones. There is a reason why 95 out of 100 of them recesses the treble.

As for the tuning filters I guess they all kill decay, air and treble so I doubt I would ever find a use for them? I heard headphones that benefit from extra filters but the black ones just didn´t do anything right for the noire :)
 
Oct 16, 2021 at 11:48 AM Post #5,743 of 5,750

VandyMan

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Ether C flow is the one that truly gives something more. That treble and air is something I just don´t get with the aeon 2 noire and Kennerton Magni with these old ears. Not like my hd 800S of course but truly spectacular for closed headphones. There is a reason why 95 out of 100 of them recesses the treble.

Fully agree. I'm selling mine here, but only because I'm planning to get the much more expensive DCA Stealth.
 
Oct 16, 2021 at 12:24 PM Post #5,744 of 5,750

oqvist

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Thats brave. Have you listened to them?
 
Oct 16, 2021 at 1:57 PM Post #5,745 of 5,750

VandyMan

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Thats brave. Have you listened to them?
No, not yet. I've owned quite a few DCA headphones (Alpha Dog, Ether, Ether Flow, Ether Flow C, Ether 2, Aeon Flow C) and been very happy with most of them, so it does not seem like a big risk to me. I'm hoping NYC CanJam happens in February and I can get a listen before purchase though.
 

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