Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread
Apr 16, 2014 at 9:22 AM Post #721 of 3,694

swspiers

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Edit:
I have an hd800 to compare soundstage and "air"
smily_headphones1.gif

That is one comparison that I am extremely interested in reading about...
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM Post #723 of 3,694
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I have an hd800 to compare soundstage and "air"
smily_headphones1.gif

 
  That is one comparison that I am extremely interested in reading about...

 
I've spent a lot of time with the PM-1 vs. HD800.
 
Here's my short version:  The PM-1 has less "air" than the HD800 (but far more than the LCD-2), a closer but still impressive soundstage for a planar magnetic, a more palatable slower decay vs. the HD800 sounding somewhat electrostatic at times - in a negative way, less of the HD800's remarkable accuracy of imaging - but again, it's pretty amazing for a planar magnetic, it's less neutral - having a fuller tone with more bass energy and more laid back highs - nothing needs fixing here, noticeably lower resolution but still remarkable - it doesn't leave me wanting more, about equal bass extension - but it's hard to tell with the difference in bass energy, and slightly less transparency - actually a good thing in my opinion, instead of having to build a playlist just for the HD800 that has recordings good enough to actually enjoy the music instead of wincing all the time.
 
Overall, I'd take the PM-1 over the HD800 any day. The PM-1 sounds like a PM-1 on just about any neutral and transparent DAC and amp I've tried, where the HD800 morphs all over the place depending on what gear you're using upstream.  I've yet to find an amp that will allow me to just enjoy music with the HD800 (not willing to go to tubes or spend a lot of money on a compatible solid state amp).  I've got several amps, portable and desktop, with which the PM-1 sounds awesome.  Even my LCD-2, known for not being very picky with amps, is more demanding than the PM-1, not really delivering its best performance until you give it at least 1.5 Watts rms per channel, in my opinion, where the PM-1 can hit its stride - yielding everything it has to offer - at something around 300 mW  (i.e. with the Meier Stepdance portable amp on 9V power or the Beresford Bushmaster MkII integrated amp).
 
Mike
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 10:23 AM Post #724 of 3,694

conquerator2

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I wish you could compare the 560 as well... That'd be pretty awesome.
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM Post #727 of 3,694

conquerator2

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^ I reckon something warm 
biggrin.gif

 
Apr 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM Post #728 of 3,694

ssrock64

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  ^ I reckon something warm 
biggrin.gif


I concur. From my communications with zilch0md and others, I gather that most people have been enjoying them the most out of more neutral amps than the Vali. There's also the possibility of some noise floor issues with the little Schiit unit because the PM-1 is so sensitive. Zilch0md has a Vali, but he's been using his PM-1 with the Bushmaster and the Stepdance for the most part.
 
However, if you really like a warm sound signature, that combination or something similar with a higher noise floor could make some sweet sounds.
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM Post #729 of 3,694

tdockweiler

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I concur. From my communications with zilch0md and others, I gather that most people have been enjoying them the most out of more neutral amps than the Vali. There's also the possibility of some noise floor issues with the little Schiit unit because the PM-1 is so sensitive. Zilch0md has a Vali, but he's been using his PM-1 with the Bushmaster and the Stepdance for the most part.
 
However, if you really like a warm sound signature, that combination or something similar with a higher noise floor could make some sweet sounds.

 
Vali isn't really a warm sounding amp though is it? With my Q701 and K400 it sounded basically transparent with a very very slight touch of warmth.
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM Post #730 of 3,694

swspiers

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Overall, I'd take the PM-1 over the HD800 any day. The PM-1 sounds like a PM-1 on just about any neutral and transparent DAC and amp I've tried, where the HD800 morphs all over the place depending on what gear you're using upstream. 

If this develops into a consensus opinion, this could be huge for Oppo.  Especially if the PM-2 is even close to that comparison, which is another thread...
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM Post #731 of 3,694

Metalsludge

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Does the PM-1 leak sound way too much to be used in public settings like on a train or plane...or at midnight when you can't sleep but don't want to disturb the household with music listening? This is supposedly an open can, but some describe it as sounding sort of closed, and being relatively portable for a planar, which makes me wonder about the leakage level. 
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM Post #733 of 3,694

vlach

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Apr 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM Post #734 of 3,694

Maxx134

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Vali isn't really a warm sounding amp though is it? With my Q701 and K400 it sounded basically transparent with a very very slight touch of warmth.

I did not experience this with mine.
No warmth at all..
Only difference was a liquidy crystall trebles without the mid & bass warmth/bloom that some tubes can do..
My woo wa7 also takes this further with extension and authority and elegance without warmth and I believe the best tubes are this way..
 
Apr 16, 2014 at 4:28 PM Post #735 of 3,694

ssrock64

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Vali isn't really a warm sounding amp though is it? With my Q701 and K400 it sounded basically transparent with a very very slight touch of warmth.


I guess that warmth wasn't really how I should have described it; the Vali is fairly neutral as far as tube amps go. However, I personally disagree with your assessment of the Vali's transparency, if we're using the same definition of transparent. While the Vali has a fairly balanced sound signature, its tubey smoothness is what gives it a large draw for people with, say, an HD800 or a Grado. The Vali's smoothness helps to tame those headphones, but it might take the punch and resolution out of something that's already smooth and silky, like the HD650 or the PM-1. A pairing with a warm, midrange-focused headphone could result in loss of detail and an overall reduction in the enjoyment of that headphone if you liked the way it sounded to begin with. Personally, those were the results I had pairing a Vali with the HD650, and I fear that the pairing would lose even more resolution with the PM-1 through static.
 
For what it's worth, the Vali I had was an early-production unit, and suffered from some of the ringing issues that were experienced early on. I'm not aware if that was shown to have an impact on overall sound signature past the warmup phase. I've also only had a brief encounter with a PM-1 so far, and didn't pair it with the Vali at that time. In the coming weeks when I get a unit of my own, I'll be able to better discuss how I feel about it after forming more solid impressions of them both together.
 

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