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OPPO PM-1 / PM-2 Loaner Program

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  1. Evshrug
    ^someone has to not like them enough to return them... Lol!
  2. DemonFox
    I highly doubt that happens often lol They are damn near perfect in my opinion. Most comfortable pair I've ever worn and some of the best looking. Hard to beat...


  3. i20bot
    Interested in demoing both and I agree to the terms and condition.  I have the HA-1 and it would be great to try these headphones on it.  Thanks.
  4. Hellvis
    I'm interested in the Oppo PM-2's and I agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. misterpk
    I am interested in demoing both the PM-1 and PM-2 and agree to the terms of service.
  6. shotgunshane Contributor
    PM2 has arrived safely. 
  7. JWizzlez
    PM-1 #2 has landed safely. Got my first listen this morning and was really pleased. More impressions to come.
  8. Sevenfeet

    Great.  I'm looking forward to being next.
  9. shotgunshane Contributor
    PM2 shipped out Saturday. Should be at its next destination tomorrow.
  10. morinu
    Got them today. All is looking good and I am hearing them right now [​IMG]!!
    Thank you!
  11. Sevenfeet
    PM-1, Unit #1 just arrived at the house.  I'll give a listen and let you guys know my thoughts later.
  12. lenroot77

    Yay I'm next!
  13. Evshrug
    Looking forward to impressions! I'd agree with many here about the comfort, even with the leather/pleather pads. I found the sound quite satisfying, wonder how you'll describe it?

    Almost time! But of course, let the man have his full week (and shipping time). Still, it should be an interesting compliment to the HD800... more intimate soundstage (details are more up front), but also easier to listen to and relax to because it has less treble energy.
  14. Sevenfeet
    Ok, first impressions time.
    I admit I have not read the full 40 page thread of impressions here but it's safe to say that on balance, Oppo has had a hit on their hands with a quality sounding product at a competitive price, especially when the PM family first debuted.  Afterwards, a deluge of planar headphones hit the market and even Monoprice is getting into the act, lowering the cost of entry even further.
    My first experience listening to a variety of planar headphones was at a headphone meet here in Nashville in 2015 (I missed the meet earlier this year).  Oppo wasn't there but there was lots of Sennheiser including the highly praised HD800, Audeze (LCD 2, LCD-3, LCD-XC and EL-8) and MrSpeaker (EtherC).  Of those, I likes the EtherC the best of the closed designs with Audeze running a very close second (and better looking product).  Of the opens, I loved the Audeze LCD-2 since I thought I might be able to afford one eventually.  The LCD-3 was awesome but I thought it didn't make much sense lusting after something I'd never pony up that much money for.  As for the HD800s, I understood why they have lots of fans and they had clarity and air for miles, but they proved to be fatiguing to me eventually, much like listening to Klipsch loudspeakers.  They are great, but not for everyone's ears.
    Which brings me to the PM-1, the best of the Oppo line right now.  In discussions with JWizzlez in the last few days who had the headphones previous to me, his argument was that the PM-1s were nice but needed better amplification to really shine.  This gets back to the argument, are they really that easy to drive or not?  Well my feeling is, yes and no.  Yes, you can plug them straight into an iPhone and get decent performance.  But they are not going to be driven at the volume, staging and clarity of a headphone amp, especially a really good one.  This rule of thumb is the same for loudspeakers as it is for headphones....give a speaker a really good amp and listen to it blossom much more than you'd hear otherwise.
    But I'm just starting in this hobby and I don't have a nice stand alone amp.  The tube-preamp in my 2-channel listening room doesn't drive headphones.  What I do have is the Oppo HA-2 portable amp which I use regularly and am pretty happy with.  So Oppo HA-2 + PM-1....is this going to be enough?  Well, mostly.  It's certainly a better combo than no portable amp and I'm pretty happy with it in the 36 hours of listening I've done.  But will it replace a nice stand alone amp?  Certainly not so I need to find one in order to round out my listening experience.  I know that our local high end audio store carries headphone amps and is an actual dealer for some Oppo stuff including the HA-1 so I will go there maybe Thursday or Friday before the PM-1 has to be shipped off to it's next listener.
    I did do an experiment to see if the HA-2 was better than the headphone stage of my venerable 15-year old Denon 3805 receiver.  It's an old faithful that has done most things well I've thrown at it and it's pre-amp stage works well with external amplification as well.  So how did it sound?
    Ewwwwww........  I can't believe it sucked that hard.  Seriously, the headphone stage was probably an afterthought on this product.  The HA-2 crushed it in just about every way imaginable.
    One thing that surprised me about the auditioning experience.  The headphones I do have in the house are a new pair of Bose QC35s I use mainly for travel.  I've only had them for a few weeks but they have surprised me but how well they sound, especially hooked up to the HA-2.  Am I saying that the QC35s are in the same league as the PM-1s?  No.  But I am surprised they sound as well as they do, considering I have the PM-1s to compare them to.  Bose has come a long way from the QC15s I used to own years ago.
    But I've been doing these kinds of auditions off and on for 15 years.  The real person to impress is my wife so I offered her to listen to anything she wanted last night and she chose the classic Firebird Suite (Stravinsky), specifically the recording from Disney's Fantasia 2000 that was always a favorite in our house and we have the CD soundtrack which means I have a nice Redbook lossless rip in my library.  Going in my wife wasn't too happy about testing a $1000 piece of equipment I might talk her into.  But after she listened to Firebird as well as some high definition tracks from our library, she was completely hooked.
    Listening to Mario Biondi right now, though compressed from Apple Music.....more to come.
    maxh22 likes this.
  15. Sevenfeet
    OK, long post coming.
    It's been about a week and I'm about to send the PM-1s on their merry way.  I've managed to spend a decent amount of time with them, even though I had a schedule large company conference this past week (in which I did bring them with me).  And you can read my initial impressions above this post.  But today I got a change to use them with something I don't actually own...a proper standalone headphone amp instead of the Oppo HA-2 I do own.  My local high end audiophile store is HiFiBuys in Nashville (not affiliated with a store of the same name and logo in Atlanta).  I've purchased from them before and they were nice enough to let me have an hour with my MacBook Pro and this:
    Yes, the McIntosh MHA-100 ($4,500 USD).  This was not the new MHA-150 with the newer chipset that handles DSD and DXD files, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, right?  The side benefit of this exercise is that the MHA-100 was plugged into a wall of available headphones for sale which were easily choosable.  Since I didn't have much time and since most of the selection was lower to medium priced Grados, I chose to A/B test the PM-1 against the Sennheiser HD-800S (USD $1,599).  The store also had a Sony HAP-S1 (USD $999) but I didn't have time to audition it.
    Macbook Pro (2010) upgraded to flash storage
    JRiver Media Center 22
    McIntosh MHA-100 amp
    Oppo PM-1
    Sennheiser HD-800S
    I brought my collection of high-res music, consisting mainly of jazz, classical and some pop.
    Artist: Chicago
    Genre: Pop
    Album: Chicago Transit Authority
    Song: Beginnings
    Sample rate: 24/192
    This is an older recording a good start with a nice transfer from the original analog master to an ALAC recording.  On first impression, you understand what having a high quality amp, analog stage and D/A converter mean to the recording.  It's not that the HA-2 couldn't handle things.  But there is only so much that a portable player with limited power can accomplish.  And while many prefer tube amps, the Mc MHA-100 produced a sound signature favorable to most ears.  For the first time, the PM-1s really felt like they were being driven by something superior.  I couldn't resist then changing over to the Sennheisers.  I has listened to the older HD-800s two years earlier and knew that the sound was going to be different, and right I was.  The PM-1s aren't really anything like the HD-800s which makes the signature a big matter of personal preference.  The HD-800S has that "air" that everyone talks about that distinquish itself from other products.  Highs are its forte and clear distinction and separation of the instruments.  The big different between the two products is the midrange and lower-midrange.  Although the Sennheisers are good all the way down to 5hz, this is a product that didn't accentuate the midrange and lower midrange at all.  This is obviously by design, but if you expect your music to have a greater "punch", you should look elsewhere.  If you think that the PM-1 and products like it add too much of this kind of color to the music, you should look elsewhere.  But I do think that the PM-1 sound closer to my loudspeakers than the HD-800S.  So that may influence your purchase too.
    Artist: Anne Akiko Myers, English Chamber Orchestra and David Lockington
    Genre: Classical
    Album: HDTracks 2013 Sampler
    Song: Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring): I, Allegro
    Sample rate: 24/96
    Classical recordings, especially where strings are involved as the center focus seem to me where the Sennheisers find their calling.  The PM-1 are great too, with the HD-800s you get a since that you are sitting a few feet away in one of the first rows at the concert.  The PM-1s sound like you are among the instruments....interesting but not quite the place you were looking for placement in the soundstage.  One more thing about the HD-800S...the older version of this product felt fatiguing to me after a while.  These....not so much.  Not sure if that as going to be the final consensus but for the time I spent with them, they were easier on the ears that earlier models.
    Artist: Al Green
    Genre: R&B/Soul
    Album: Al Green - Greatest Hits
    Song: Love and Happiness
    Sample Rate: 24/48
    This is a recording where I clearly enjoyed listening to it with the PM-1s versus the HD-800S.  Both products do well with the first singing by the artist and strums on the guitar.  But when the song kicks into gear after 30 seconds with the unmistakeable Hammond organ, only the PM-1 makes you want to get up and dance.  The HD-800S sounds too reserved....too sterile....just not involved with the music.  I'm starting to realize why many headphone enthusiasts have more than one nice set of cans....you may want a different sound depending on that you are listening to.
    That was most of the afternoon that I could squeeze in.  On balance, I think I prefer the PM-1s depending the type of music I like the the signature they provide.  But I could easily understand why you might pick the HD-800S.  Both are beautiful, but choosing one depends on what you consider "good sound" is.
    Evshrug and maxh22 like this.
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